‘CQ Santa”

Santa sketch
Attention EMA clubs:

Please consider getting involved in this worthwhile project.

73,

Phil Temples, K9HI

Duane Wyatt, WA0MJD writes:

“Time is short to have Santa talk to the sick kids this Christmas via amateur radio.

“Please look at the new, easy, revised information about how to do this—an amateur radio presence is not needed on-site and no transmissions need to be made in the hospital. The new information is seen in the “Holiday Hams” section of the www.hobbiesforhealing.com website.

“I want to expand this program before next Christmas—can you help me? My new email address is: ss011148@southeasttech.com Thanks very much.”

Duane Wyatt WA0MJD

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Request For Comments: NTS and ARES Cooperation

Happy Thanksgiving, EMA traffic handlers!

I wanted to share this Request For Information from the ARRL Volunteer Resources Committee, via Steve Ewald at ARRL Hq. VRC feels that more cooperation is needed between NTS and ARES programs. They are looking for input from Section Managers, Section Traffic Managers and Section Emergency Coordinators as to how this might occur.

Additionally, I invite comments from any NTS or ARES participants.

73,

Phil Temples, K9HI

ARRL Section Manager,
Eastern Massachusetts Section

ARRL Section Managers,

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BERT/SATERN After Action Report: EMA Simulated Emergency Test

Boston ARC logoThe Massachusetts SATERN EOC, at Mass. Div. HQ’s. was the designated Metro-Boston District EOC for the EMass. ARRL ARES/RACES SET conducted on November 9th. The Metro-Boston ARES DEC, Bill Ricker, N1VUX, was in command, assisted by both SATERN Team Leader, Frank Murphy, N1DHW and BERT Leader, Rick DeSisto, NG1L. ( Boston ARC ” Emergency Response Team”)…The purpose of this season’s drill was to test the ability of Primary Field Teams (PFT’s) to tactically communicate without the use of repeaters. Additionally, having PFT’s relay traffic from outlying district EOC’s and PFT’s to Metro-Boston EOC and MEMA. All tactical traffic between field teams and EOC’s was passed using 2m, 6m, and 70cm simplex only. Traffic between outlying District EOC’s and Mass. State Emergency Management sites was passed using RACES NTS formal HF messaging on 6 and 40 meters. (NVIS)

The SATERN EOC was manned by 6 SATERN members including the Massachusetts SATERN Coordinator, Bill Foley, kb1glf. One of the Boston canteens was manned by Rick Meuse, N1HID, and equipped for HF and vhf/uhf communications, and designated as Boston Tactical Remote Vehicle.

PFT’s were organized from the Boston Amateur Radio Club ” Emergency Response Team”, and were dispatched to two remote “high” areas outside Metro-Boston. Many of this group, 30 strong, are SATERN members; some of whom were active at “Ground Zero”. Individual “mobile and home players” provided tactical traffic related to “simulated emergency conditions/situations” that could be arise around Metro-Boston”. Additionally, the town of Hingham’s Emergency Management EOC was tied in, since it is located within contact range of the “Cape Cod and Islands District”. It was manned by the EM, Mark Duff, KB1EKN, the Hingham Deputy Fire Chief, and a radio officer.

Radio Equipment Used:

EOC – SATERN/METRO BOSTON

Yaesu FT900, Icom 706MKIIG, Icom 2100, Knwd TM-G707, Knwd 315A and individual Ht’s, and EOC scanners.

The SA location, 5 stories high, had a 5 band vertical, 6 mtr vertical, and a 40 mtr dipole(NVIS), along with 2, 220, and 440 vertical. (G5RV not used)

Commercial Power was used; however multiple rechargeable marine batteries and generators were available.

Tactical Remote Vehicle – A30:

Icom 706MKIIG, Knwd dual bander, Ht’s, and truck’s scanners. This vehicle is also equipped with direct Fire Alarm communications with Metro-Boston.

HF was with an Outbacker Antenna and trucks HF whip. VHF/UHF was with truck mounted antennas and mobile magnet mounts.

Primary Field Teams –

North – Located at Chelsea Veterans Home (Malone Park)
4 BERT/SATERN Members
NG1L ~ Rick – BERT Team Leader
AA1XS ~ James
N1LRT – Paul
KA1RDZ – Dan Equipped with 2 – 706 MKIIG (Mobile Verticals) / and dual band mobiles

South/West – Located at Larz Anderson Park, Brookline (BARC FD Site)
WA1IDA ~ Bob
N1ZKR ~ Paul / Pres. BARC
KB1IBG ~ Walter

Results and What We Learned:

The drill was a success, but not without its problems.

First, the drill as outlined, proved that we (SATERN and BERT) could communicate successfully to State EM without the use of repeaters in the Eastern Mass. Section. The SATERN EOC was able to directly communicate with all Mass. Emergency Management Agency locations on air. We were also able to communicate with all of our PFT’s, our Tactical Vehicle on HF, and the Hingham EOC on both HF and VHF simplex. The DEC used 6 meters to conduct drill discussions with the SEC, w1mpn. Additionally, we received and passed traffic from outlying district PFT’s, and also passed American Red Cross traffic from members of the Western Mass. Section, who were conducting an American Red Cross Hospital drill at the same time.

We learned that once our Primary 40m (NVIS) frequency was taken over by a non-participating slow-scan video station, that the secondary HF frequency became too crowded. (needs Net Control Operator) The primary Tactical VHF frequency was also too crowded. (it also needed a Net Control)

The Frequency Table provided was adequate, but not utilized correctly by most.

While the locations selected for the remote sites were optimum for individual team communications, today’s high power equipment, good antennas, and the presence of a “lift condition”, created a condition on simplex similar to most DX pile-ups. Without a Net Control Operator to sort out the hailing stations and directing us to alternate frequencies to pass traffic, weaker, distant stations were not recognized, or if they were on alternate frequencies, they were not heard. Emphasis must be placed on proper use of hailing frequencies/initial contact freq’s, with direction to an alternate by a NCS. (Thought should be given by Section Manager and SEC, to assigning individual club simplex frequencies for better hailing.)

The next step for our SATERN/BERT Group must be to test our ability to communicate within the ring of “high ground”. We must dispatch mobile operators, or the canteen, to many of the shelters, hospitals, and local EOC’s to recognize those problem communication area’s we may encounter in a real world disaster in Metro-Boston . Also, the equipment used at the EOC was provided by SATERN members and took considerable time to transport, erect antennas and set-up. The Salvation Army Mass. Division MUST purchase its own equipment, and provide a permanently equipped in house EOC location, that can be opened and manned in a reasonable time to be able to respond quickly. The Sharon, Mass. “Camp Wonderland” should also be equipped and tested as an alternate EOC location.

Some areas we have to work-on are:

1 – separation of EOC operators (too distracting hearing multiple traffic)
2 – assign tactical calls to our own PFT’s for easier recognition of hailing
3 – assign a recorder to each operator, and a separate NTS writer for traffic
4 – build a retractable operating shelf in the canteen for HF radio equipment
5 – wire external antenna connectors
6 – provide seating for the mobile operator.
7 – SOP for SATERN and BERT teams/ tested and distributed to all members.
8 – better participation of club members to drill training efforts. Only 12 members participated from BERT,40%, and 8% of total BARC membership.
9 – request additional “home/mobile players” participate in next drill to test real world LOAD on EOC’s ability to steer and pass tactical info correctly.
10- establish a list of HF hailing freq’s to other New England SATERN and American Red Cross EOC’s.

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CEMARC Meeting Date

The final CEMARC meeting of the year will be hosted by the Algonquin Amateur Radio Club on December 7th at 9:00 am. Location will be the Central Fire Station in Marlborough. The address is 255 Maple Street (Route 85).

A tour of the Marlborough EOC will be conducted prior to the meeting.

Please submit agenda items to: n1dhw@arrl.net

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Cape Cod ARES After Action Report: EMA Simulated Emergency Test

The drill began for us at 10am. That was 1 hour later than the official start of the section SET. This was due to our operations plan having been completed before the Section plan was complete.

Cape Cod ARES dispatched 2 field teams. One was deployed to assist Sandwich Emergency Management office. The other was sent to the Lower Cape Regional Technical High School in Harwich MA…Communications were quickly established with K1PBO Cape cod ARES EOC and both teams via 2m FM simplex.

Communications were also quickly established via 40m NVIS on 7230khz (severe interference was observed from a slow scan TV Net on 7228kzh). NVIS signals were very strong even for such close range. Although CCARES has done this numerous times in our last 10 drills, the NVIS signals were the best we have encountered to date.

We attempted to initiate comms on 75m NVIS, but signals were very poor. It was certain that 40m would be the band of choice today. We were able to establish comms with our EC on Martha’s Vineyard Brad KB1QL on 40m. An attempt to establish communications with Region II on our liaison frequency of 147.465. Contact was unsuccessful.

Several NTS and tactical messages were exchanged between our field teams and CCARES EOC. We were able to fulfill envelope 1 by deploying team members to the Sandwich EM site. We were initially unable to successfully act on envelope #3 as a path had not been located.

Successful check-in was made to WC1MAB Region II anchoring the EMA/RI RACES Net on 7246khz. Signals were excellent.

An initial NTS message on current shelter status was sent to WC1MAB on 40m. We then learned that Region II had indeed heard us calling on the 2m liaison frequency (147.465)earlier. They could not get a sufficient signal back to us. Once a relay path was made, we were able to send an NTS message destined for W1MPN via 40m.

An NTS message was relayed to us from Central MA Red cross on the 40m Net(7246khz). We had contact with many stations on 40m NVIS(7230khz). Several RI EOCs checked in with us having super signals. Our local operations continued normally untill mid afternoon.

Participation of CCARES Members

Number of CCARES members participating in the Exercise: 12

WQ1O-Frank
WA1KCC-Jim
KB1EAJ-Ritchey
W1VZT-Ben
N1ZPO-Mark
W1PPY-Chris
W1RBF-%@!#%& (also Sandwich EM Director)
N1CP-Chris
WA1JSE-Paul
KC1KM-Jim
K1WCC-Henry
N1PIV-Trenor

Modes and bands Used in Exercise
2m FM
2m SSB
6m FM
6m SSB
40m NVIS
40m Normal deploy
Packet Radio 2m

Number of Messages Passed
NTS format – 15
Tactical Messages – 24
NTS using packet radio – 3

Number of off Cape Stations Worked
40m – 7 stations

Operational Objectives
Deploy field teams – Successful
Logistical Resupply(Food) – Partially successful
Conduct NVIS operations with other off Cape stations – Extremely successful
Conduct all mode operation between fied teams and EOC – Extremely successful
Establish Contact to Region II on Simplex 2m FM – Unsuccessful* (warrants further technical investigation as we were unable to hear WC1MAB on 2m, but they could hear us)(we also worked other stations further away than WC1MAB on 2m FM with no difficulty)
Provide relief operators at the field sites – Successful

Observations and Analysis of Operations

1. The goal of getting numerous stations to play in the EMa Section, WMa Section and RI was well represented. It was good to see all those call signs in there.

2. 40m was incredibly reliable for this exercise. It is interesting to note that CCARES has observed the situation in which communications with just one station using an NVIS antenna can do well even if the other station is using normal antenna configurations. We have observed this concept in 6 of our last 10 drills. When we were communicating with WC1MAB on 40m, we were using a normal dipole at 45 feet. Signals were good. As we approached the end of the 40m Net on 7246khz, I conducted a test with WC1MAB (W3EVE as NCS). We switched our antenna to our NVIS 40 meter dipole (6′ off the ground with a counterpoise wire 5% longer underneath). Steve reported a dramatic signal increase after the switch(thanks Steve!). This is a great demonstration of how NVIS can be used for significant advantage.

I also want to take this opportunity to note the professionalism in operations by the RACES Region station operators. Net operations were done very effectively. I want to thank Steve W3EVE and Bob WA1OEZ for helping WC1MAB anchor the net. Great Job to all. My thanks to WMa SEC Dennis Zonia and also the RI groups who participated. We are also very lucky to have Mike W1MPN as our SEC here in the east. My desire was to see people get in the field to operate. I used to believe for years that I was prepared for field ops. That belief was shaken to the core after CCARES began our series of field drills shortly after the 9-11 attacks. You never realize just how unprepared you are until your operation ceases because you failed to bring a 50 cent item. After that, you never forget that item again. During our May 18th drill, we had downpours all day long with strong winds. I learned more from that drill than any other to date. I never would have learned those lessons without going out and experiencing it. It was great to see all you guys “in action” today. You should all be proud of yourselves for doing a great job today! My thanks to all who put in time and hard work to make the exercise possible.

73s and Happy Holidays to all!

Respectfully Submitted,
Frank WQ1O
Cape Area ARES DEC

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Waltham ARA/1200 Radio Club Auction Coming Soon!

Don’t forget that the annual club auction is this coming Saturday November 16th. Complete information is on our club website at www.wara64.org/auction/

The main reason for this message is that our steadfast printer of our newsletter has, sadly gone out of business and the newsletter has yet to make it to the post office. We’re working hard to make that happen but it’s getting so close to the auction that I wanted to ask folks to talk it up on the air and with friends. This is our main fund raiser for the club for the year so anything you can do to help get the word out will be appreciated.

73 for now,
Ron, N1USS

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K1USN Veteran’s Day Operation

Happy Veterans Day!

Today we were able to activate K1USN from 9 AM – 3:30 PM. K1VV, K1RV, W1BT, KB1IUB, N1VTI and NI1X were on the air using both HF stations in Radio Room 5. We also activated the IRLP from Node # 4320.

We were able to work well over 100 contacts on 20-17-15 and 10 meters SSB. Band conditions were very good with many excellent signal reports from throughout the US, South America, Europe and Africa. We made many contacts with veterans from all branches of the Armed Forces.

We were able to work several other Museum Ships and also spoke with some of our friends associated with other ships that were not activated today. We did work the USS Clamagore just before they had to secure due to bad wx conditions! AA2WN-Harry said that the USS New Jersey is gearing up for this year’s Scouting program.They can be contacted on IRLP Node # 3740. VA3USN-John told us that the HCMS Haida was due to enter dry-dock within the next 10 days and several of their members have been spending time onboard the USS The Sullivans and USS Croaker. They expect more activity from the USS Little Rock soon. They also hope to get active on the IRLP soon.

The USS Kid was quite active and we did work them several times using the IRLP on Node # 8560 but not on HF. They also had well over 100 QSO’s today.

We spoke with one of the guys from the USS Hornet Radio Club – NB6GC, who tried to “hook us up” on 15 meters. We never did get to work them, but I did speak with several stations who had worked them. They may also be getting active with IRLP soon.

There were many stations working the USS Missouri – KH6BB today, but we never seemed to have good propagation to Pearl Harbor. Perhaps we should have tried the Echolink which was quite successful during the Museum Ships Weekend!

Thanks to all who participated today and encourage any other Museum Ships to let us know if they were active for Veterans Day.

73 , Pi – K1RV / K1USN

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