Cell Phone Ban Provision Passes in Massachusetts Senate Committee

MA StatehouseShawn O’Donnell, K3HI, EMA State Government Liaison writes:

On Monday, June 28, the Senate Long-Term Debt and Capital Expenditures Committee passed a transportation bond bill, H4771, that includes a provision to ban the use of hand-held cell phones while driving. This bill does not appear to be a direct threat to mobile amateur operation, but we should keep an eye on the bill to make sure it isn’t amended to make things worse.

The bill bans the use of hand-held cell phones, only. Cell phone use with a headset will still be legal, and the bill says nothing about two-way radio systems.

Last year, several House committees approved a cell phone ban in bill H3919, but that bill has been stuck in the House Ways & Means committee since last July.

H4771 now goes to the Senate Ways & Means Committee for review. This bill originated in the House and is undergoing review in the Senate, so it is still a few steps away from becoming law. See the “Ham’s guide to legislation” at http://www.userstudy.com/ARRL/Guide_to_MA_legislation.pdf . We’re currently in the “Three readings” stage in the Senate, in the middle row of the diagram.

The cell phone ban, along with a primary-enforcement seat belt law, were attached to a finance bill by the Long Term Debt committee. Given the controversial nature of the seat belt and cell phone laws, it is possible that either or both provisions will be eliminated from the bill as it passes through other committees. Also, the House will have to approve the amendments, since it passed a different version of the bill.
The provision attached to H4771 uses the same language as H3919 (typos and all,) minus the passage in H3919 that would have made it illegal for junior drivers to use any type of cell phone.

For more information, including text of the bill and tips on contacting your representatives on Beacon Hill, visit http://sgl.ema.arrl.org/.

73,

Shawn O’Donnell K3HI
ARRL EMASS State Government Liaison
k3hi@arrl.net

Read More

The “Ultimate Fox Hunt”

DNC logoRick Zach, K1RJZ by way of W1NAU writes:

Everyone @ gemoto.com listserv:

Hello folks. If appropriate please forward this email via your ham club’s email listserv system.

Today I met with technical officials who will work at the Boston DNC convention. This same team will work at the Republican Convention so this group’s roots are philosophically agnostic.

These folks are the official frequency coordinators who are acknowledged by the Broadcast Media and FCC as having authority to coordinate, minimise interference and enforce the proper use of coordinated RF frequencies for:

– short haul microwave
– wireless mikes
– two way radios and repeaters
– remote controls
– anything that sends or receives RF

This technical group is looking for technical RF-oriented volunteers before and during the actual DNC convention. (July 22-29)

That being said, the local broadcast community is flat out working on their own projects. The official DNC frequency coordinator, Louis Libin has asked me to solicit help from two local communities:

1) The local chapter of the Society of Broadcast Engineers (ch-11)

2) The local ham radio community

If you are in a position to work on “The Ultimate Fox Hunt”, please contact Louis Libin at louislibin@broad-comm.com or via phone at 516-816-8661.

The only pay will be the appreciation of a grateful community and an incredible learning experience! Volunteers will receive DNC credentials after the appropriate checks and training.

The volunteers will need to possess:

* significant real world RF and foxhunt experience from 30 MHz to 23 GHz.

* significant tact and real-world human relations experience

The DNC frequency coordination group will have some test gear available.

A dedicated 451-range UHF repeater pair will be used to manage this coordination effort. Many of the world’s major media outlets will depend on this small group of volunteers to detect interference and protect many major lines of communications.

If interested, please contact Louis Libin at louislibin@broad-comm.com or via phone at 516-816-8661

via,
Rick Zach, Chief Engineer WCVB-TV ch5
aka K1RJZ

Read More

USS Salem Activities June 26—Volunteers Sought

K1USN QSL cardJC Cunningham, W1AI writes:

We are expecting 40 scouts this coming weekend. They will probably be split into 3-4 small groups.

Can I get some volunteers to work with the scouts from 3:00pm to 6:00pm on Saturday (6/26/04)? (Volunteers should plan on arriving around 2:30 to assist with setup.)

Most of our regular volunteers will be participating in Field Day, so if you’re not, please consider helping out this weekend!

Email me at W1AI@hamtestonline.com if you can help! (I have to let the ship know by Friday morning whether we can accommodate!)

Thanks,

JC Cunningham, W1AI
USS Salem K1USN Radio Club Scouting Program Volunteer Coordinator
http://www.hamtestonline.com/

Read More

ISS Talking On Field Day Weekend (Maybe)

Int'l Space StationMiles Mann, WF1F writes on BARS mailing list:

This weekend it may be possible to listen to the Crew on board the ISS. And if you are a licensed Ham, you may even get a chance to talk to them directly by ham radio, too.

Voice Tips:
http://www.marexmg.org/fileshtml/issvoicetips.html

Packet Tips:
http://www.marexmg.org/fileshtml/isspacketmanual.html

The Space Station will be transmitting on 145.800 FM. If you have a proper licens you can try to call them using the posted Uplink channel. The uplink channels are different depending on what part of the world
you are located in.

Channel 1 145.800.0 RX 144.490.0 TX Voice North America
Channel 2 145.800.0 RX 145.990.0 TX Packet (Worldwide)
Channel 3 145.800.0 RX 145.200.0 TX Voice (Region 1Europe, Africa)

Audio from the 2002 field day links with Susan Helms on ISS

http://www.marexmg.org/fileshtml/issaudiofiles.html


From the Amsat BBS June 22, 2004

by Scott H. Stevens / N3ASA

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station may participate in Field Day operations this year. Mike Fincke, KE5AIT, and Gennady Padalka, RN3DT, may participate in Field Day activities as time permits.

Fincke should be operating as NA1SS, 1 Alpha, ISS. If Padalka can participate then he should sign RS0ISS, 1 Alpha, ISS.

ISS Ham Radio Project Engineer Kenneth G. Ransom, N5VHO, sent Field Day operating instructions and pass times to the ISS support team at Johnson Space Center for relay to Fincke. Best pass times sent to Mike are for June 27 and include:

07:53 – 08:11 UTC Southern & NE U.S.
09:27 – 09:47 UTC Western U.S.
11:03 – 11:23 UTC Northwest U.S.
14:15 – 14:35 UTC Northeast U.S.
15:51 – 16:11 UTC Central U.S.
17:27 – 17:43 UTC Southwest U.S.

The plan is for Fincke to be on voice using the standard ISS voice frequencies for contacts in ITU region 2 of 144.49 up and 145.80 down in the FM mode. If Padalka participates, he will also operate on the same 2 meter frequency set and they will probably trade off on passes.

The prospect of two operators being available and operating simultaneously is possible since ARISS now has 2 radios on board. One of them is a dual band and that makes activation of another band possible though not guaranteed. If we are fortunate enough to have 2 operators on at the same time, one of them would operating on 437.55 simplex in the FM mode while the other is on the standard 2 meter FM split voice frequency. Keep in mind that the Doppler shift in the 70 centimeter band is significantly greater than on 2 meters.

Doppler will be the biggest challenge for earthbound hams trying to work ISS on 70 cm. The Doppler on 70 cm is plus or minus 10 kHz. Most radios include 5-kHz tuning steps, and to work ISS on voice you will need to get within 3 kHz of the ISS receiver frequency. Setting up memories on a 5kHz stepped radio would require 5 memory channels. Start with channel 1 at the beginning of the pass and proceed to the next as the pass progresses.

TX Channel RX Channel Doppler
1 437.540 437.560 +10
2 437.545 437.555 +5
3 437.550 437.550 0
4 437.555 437.545 -5
5 437.560 437.540 -10

Ideally, you would be able to have tuning steps of 2 kHz and the table would look like this:

TX Channel RX Channel Doppler
1 437.540 437.560 +10
2 437.542 437.558 +8
3 437.544 437.556 +6
4 437.546 437.554 +4
5 437.548 437.552 +2
6 437.550 437.550 0
7 437.552 437.548 -2
8 437.554 437.546 -4
9 437.556 437.544 -6
10 437.558 437.542 -8
11 437.560 437.540 -10

As with any amateur radio operation aboard the ISS, the crew gives of their free time to participate and as such may not be available on every pass or more pressing events may preclude any participation at all. It is planned that if the crew is unable to participate that the packet station will be on and available for ground stations to work each other via the packet digipeater using ARISS as the alias for the callsign in UNPROTO mode using 145.99 up and 145.80 down.

Keep in mind that an EVA is scheduled just a few days before Field Day and the crew will still be in the process of getting back to a normal schedule when Field Day is in full swing.

73 & good luck on Field Day!
Scott H. Stevens / N3ASA

NNNNNNNN

Marexmg Web page
http://www.marexmg.org

Information on the crew’s activities aboard the Space Station, future launch dates, as well as Station sighting opportunities from anywhere on the Earth, is available on the Internet at:

http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/

73 Miles WF1F MAREX-MG

Until we meet again

DOSVIDANIYA Miles WF1F

Read More

Cohasset EOC Active For RACES Hurricane Drill

Cohasset EOC during recent RACES drillAmateurs operating at the Cohasset Emergency Operations Center were featured in a recent newspaper article and accompanying photo in the Cohasset Mariner. The June 7 RACES drill simulated the devastating effects of a hurricane in Cohasset and other towns in Sector 2B.

Pictured are: Bob Callahan, W1QWT; Hal Coughlin, WA1J; and Arthur Lehr, Cohasset Emergency Management Director. —Thanks, W1QWT

Read More

Norwood ARC Demos Ham Radio At Walpole Village Fair

Norwood ARCMembers of the Norwood Amateur Radio Club set up a station to demonstrate Amateur Radio to fair goers at the Walpole Village Fair June 12.

According to Dave Doe, K1HRV, “Many came by to inquire or chat about Amateur Radio… We were also interviewed by the Daily News Transcript. They took our picture to accompany the story.”

The exhibit station signing the call sign N1OP featured Norwood ARC’s new club banner. “It was quite visible—even from across the street,” commented Doe.

NARC’s station included an Icom IC-2720 dual-band UHF/VHF transceiver and an Icom IC-706MKII HF rig feeding a 2-meter/440 MHz vertical atop and a 20-meter inverted “V” atop a 20-foot mast.

Those who operated the special events station or visited, included: W1PNH, K1BFD, KB1KRN, N1NWZ, K5OTY, W1ZSA, and K1HRV. —Thanks K1HRV and Norwood ARC Newscarrier

Read More

Hurricane Drill (update)

RACES Logo A Hurricane Drill will be held on Monday 21 June at 1900 throughout the Commmonwealth. Please use your RACES repeater. Please press the “read more” button below to view the exercise including action “envelopes” that are to be reacted to during the exercise. Any questions please contact Tom at n1cpe@amsat.org, or leave message at 508.820.1428. Good luck!RACES/ARES Hurricane Drill

June 21, 2004, 7 – 9 p.m.

Scenario: Hurricane Yolanda is making its way up the coast at a rapid pace. The East Coast is bracing for a category 3 Hurricane as it is moving North- Northeast and is just 50 miles offshore of Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Procedure: The drill will be conducted in 3 stages: beginning (checking in and reporting preparedness status), middle (at the height of the hurricane), and end (wrap-up and status reports). Each stage is described in a separate section below, together with the expectations for RACES and ARES participants.

Notes: Primary communication will be on the frequency listed as primary for your community in the Massachusetts State RACES Plan. Get the
Massachusetts State RACES Plan here
, or at http://www.qsl.net/n1cpe/racesplan.pdf. The drill will also be held on HF (75 meters likely, 40 meters possible). Stations capable of using packet are encouraged to do so, particularly with lengthy or summary traffic. Refer to the RACES plan for details on frequencies being used.

Every message should begin with the words “THIS IS A DRILL” as part of the text, and [all] other radio communication pertaining to the scenario should [be preceded with] include this qualification as well. If the ham operator is working this drill with the representative of his/her served agency (for example, the local EMA Director), messages should be signed by that representative’s name and title. If the ham operator is working alone, messages should be signed by the title only (no name) of the served agency’s representative.

Examples:

Signed, Jane Doe, EMA Director, Town of Smallville Signed, EMA Director for Smallville
All RACES traffic is addressed to and signed by a government official. The objective of this drill is to exercise the system, provide practice in order to improve emergency readiness (for EMA directors and served agencies as well as hams), and discover opportunities for improvement. Your feedback after the event is welcome. And your participation is deeply appreciated!

STAGE 1

TO: Massachusetts EMA Directors, ARES Served Agency communications coordinators,
ARES Members

FROM: Director, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency

WHEN: Beginning of exercise (7:00 – 7:15 p.m.)

The National Weather Service in Taunton Massachusetts in conjunction with the National Hurricane Center in Miami Florida has issued a Hurricane Warning for all coastal areas of Massachusetts. The National Weather Service in Taunton Massachusetts has issued an Inland High Wind Warning for Hurricane Force Winds for all interior areas of Massachusetts. A Tornado Watch is in effect for the entire state of Massachusetts. A Flash Flood Watch for rivers and streams is also in effect for the entire state of Massachusetts. Hurricane Yolanda is presently located near latitude 40.1 North, longitude 74.0 West, or a little less than 100 miles South-Southwest of Long Island, New York. Hurricane Yolanda is moving toward the North-Northeast at 25 MPH with winds up to 125 MPH, and the present movement is expected to continue for the next several hours with the center passing over Narragansett Bay into Southeast Massachusetts. With the center passing over Southeast Massachusetts, heavy rains of 6-10” with higher amounts are expected with significant river and stream flooding expected across Western, Central and Northeast Massachusetts. This includes Berkshire County. The strongest sustained straight-line winds and wind damage with possible structural damage is expected across Eastern Massachusetts with 2-6” of rain expected with locally higher amounts in interior areas. Lower rainfall amounts are expected across the South Coast of Massachusetts and Cape Cod and the Islands but this area has the greatest threat of significant wind damage affecting structures along with a 12-18 foot coastal storm surge across south and east facing beaches. Severe Weather with pockets of wind damage from microbursts, macrobursts and isolated tornadoes is possible anywhere in the state of Massachusetts.

RACES Stations: Now please go to your EOC and report to your MEMA Region Headquarters:
(1) your community
(2) status of your EOC
(3) number of shelters currently open
This message should be formatted in NTS format per the Massachusetts RACES Plan.
ARES Stations: Please report now to your Section Emergency Coordinator or designee. Use an NTS
Format message to report:
(1) your ARES appointment (if any)
(2) what frequency you will monitor during this activation/exercise
(3) what served agency you are supporting (if any)
Training Opportunity: Emergency Managers and Served Agencies should use this time to discuss
their present course of action. Discussions should include reviewing your plans, checklists, and
resources. For ARES groups, this would mean having go-kits prepared for shelter and other public
safety communications.

STAGE 2

TO: Massachusetts EMA Directors, ARES Served Agency communications coordinators,
ARES Members

FROM: Director, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency

WHEN: Middle of exercise (7:45 – 8:15 p.m.)

The full force of Hurricane Yolanda has hit Massachusetts with winds of 115 to 130 miles per hour with higher gusts. Governor Romney has declared a State of Emergency for Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency has been fully activated. There are widespread
commercial power and telephone outages. Torrential downpours have caused localized flooding, and coastal flooding will be a serious threat with the approach of high tide. In the central and western parts of the state, funnel clouds have been sighted. Wind damage has downed trees and power lines in pockets across numerous communities in this area. Many downed electrical wires are alive and dangerous. Emergency Management Directors /RACES Stations: You now have the option to pick another local
action or happening to go along with Hurricane Yolanda. This incident may be large or small and may be directly or indirectly related to the hurricane itself. Please pick one of the following:
HAZMAT Spill
Fire
Public safety communication outage needing full ham radio backup
Tornado
River or stream flooding
Coastal storm surge flooding
Microburst or macroburst wind damage
Medical emergency at a shelter
Other (feel free to be creative)
After you decide, notify your MEMA Region Headquarters of the type of emergency/disaster. Use Massachusetts RACES Radiogram format to report the type of event and (if appropriate given the scenario you select) the number of residences affected. Optional: initiate other traffic that might be expected in an actual emergency situation. For example, contact the EMA Director of a neighboring town to request additional shelter supplies.
ARES Stations: Report your personal availability to staff a Shelter for individuals affected by
Hurricane Yolanda or other events that may happen as a result of the storm to your Section
Emergency Coordinator or designee in the form of an NTS Message.
Training Opportunity: Emergency Management Directors should be using this time to combat the
effects of Hurricane Yolanda. The Emergency Management Directors should also be coordinating the
local effects of any other emergency/disaster put into the exercise working with ARES groups as
required.
ARES groups backing up RACES and Emergency Management, supporting SKYWARN efforts, Red
Cross, Salvation Army and other agencies can work based on the scenarios picked and combat the
issues that these specific scenarios would cause. This would include insuring solid radio
communication and being able to communicate shelter needs and issues.

STAGE 3

TO: Massachusetts EMA Directors, ARES Served Agency communications coordinators,
ARES Members

FROM: Director, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency

WHEN: End of exercise (8:45 – 9:00 p.m.)

The National Weather Service has canceled all warnings and watches. Hurricane Yolanda is no
longer a threat to Massachusetts residents. Recovery missions have already begun in numerous
communities.
RACES Stations: Now please report to your MEMA Region Headquarters in Massachusetts RACES
Radiogram format the following information:
(1) your community
(2) number of homes destroyed
(3) number of homes damaged
(4) any additional status reports as needed.
ARES Stations: Please report to your SEC or DEC in NTS Format:
(1) the name of your served agency, if any
(2) whether it is activated in the aftermath of Hurricane Yolanda
Training Opportunity: Emergency Management Directors and other served agencies should use this
time for recovery discussions. Please stress damage assessment and documentation. Discussion
should highlight Federal/State Disaster Declaration reimbursements.
ARES Groups should report their activity to their local EC, DEC, or SEC where appropriate and
communicate any issues that they had during the event. The report should include what went well
and what went poorly and ways to improve what did not go as expected.

Read More

Field Day Info!

Field Day 2004 The 2004 EMa Field Day page is now up and running at the Section Field Day page. Thanks to a tremendous amount of effort and hard work by Bill Ricker, N1VUX with additional assistance from Peter Grace, KB1CVH, the Field Day page is a wonderful compendium of every resource one could want: directories of all clubs and groups operating in the section, including past scores, maps, locations (GPS coordinates, too!) and contact numbers. Also included is a full description of the Field Day rules. Be sure to check this out!

Current and past field day information appears in this area. The date for Field Day 2004 is Sat/Sun 26-27 June 2004. You can view the rules (w/o forms) at http://www.arrl.org/contests/forms/index.html#FD

The 2m simplex frequency to meet other FD stations is 146.550. Remember 146.52 is offlimits during the FD weekend.

=== Note from N1VUX ===

To Club Officers and FD Chairs:

Please review the information I have on your radio club on the EMA ARRL Field Day website. In particular, please note if your current site is correctly described. Proof read the driving directions (which the EMA SM or his Staff and possibly the NE Div staff will you to find your site, along with maps based on Lat-Long) Click the Topo link if your listing has one to check the Lat-Long pos. If the Red Cross doesn’t come up exactly on your site (unlikey unless we nailed it last year), please click on your exact site on the topo map and mail me back the URL of the topo when you’ve got the red-cross just where you want it. If your site doesnt have a Topo link, you can give me the street address and which side of the building / parking lot, or you can browse around on Maps.Yahoo.com or Topozone.com or any similar mapping program and mail me the URL. Or read the Lat-Lon off your GPS or Map. This website is no longer tracking official club contact information for ARRL Affiliate clubs. You can now make those corrections online. The EMA FD website would like updates for club FD contacts, contact info for non-Affiliated clubs (although we’d encourage you to become Affiliated Clubs of course!). If you will have special technology demonstrations or modes (PSK31, Satelite, …), you can note that. Note the “Visits” entry … this shows who from ARRL/ARES staff think are going to visit you … that have told me. Check it again closer to FD too.

Thanks,

Bill Ricker N1VUX
n1vux

Note For GPS & APRS users
All Lat/Long coords are either Topo NAD27 or unknown; to get WGS84/NAD83 Lat/Lon (native mode for GPSs), use the CoordXvert link courtesy of jeEep.com which will give you all three formats (D.dd, D.M.m, DMS.s) for both grids (or toggle your GPS into NAD27 mode while entering ’em by number, same as you would reading off a topomap if you want to be really accurate).

Updates to n1vux [please]

Read More

Salvation Army Communications Exercise Report

Bill Ohm, W1OHMFollows is N1DHW’s report on last month’s Salvation Army communications exercise in Sharon, MA in which an ARES group from the Boston Amateur Radio Club participated. (N1DHW is Massachusetts SATERN Coordinator.) Additionally, the EMA ARRL SEC and several DECs were present at the exercise as observers.

[“See also Boston ARC To Participate in SATERN Communications Exercise.”]

This report was picked up and disseminated on SATERN’s nationwide mailing list by Maj. Mac Phersen, WW9E, SATERN National Director.

Pictured, left: participant Bill Ohm, W1OHM, courtesy N1DHW. Other photos from the exercise are available for viewing online. (Select “May ICS Drill.”)


From: WW9E@aol.com
To: satlist List Member
Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2004 11:48 AM
Subject: [satlist] Massachusetts Division Emergency Exercise {01}

“Be Prepared”. Every ham involved with Scouting as a youngster remembers that motto.

Well the Massachusetts Division of the Salvation Army, along with its supporting SATERN Group, and members of the Boston Amateur Radio Club’s Emergency Response Team (BERT) are another great example of those believing in Being Prepared.

To begin their story, be aware that numerous warnings have and continue to be posted relating to a fear of terrorist activities occurring this summer in Boston, during the Democratic National Convention scheduled for late July. While the Mass. Div. of the Army has participated in surrounding communities Terrorist and HazMat Drills, it was the Emergency Disaster Services and SATERN members who benefited from these earlier training exercises.

In order to expose more of the Mass. SA Officers, staff, and volunteers to some hands on disaster training, the Mass. Division leadership formed an internal, statewide Disaster Service Organization. (DSO) The Officers and staff they assigned to this DSO were then ordered to complete courses in the Incident Command System, and a volunteer specialist was then asked to design a drill that would first test the groups response to the emergency scene as a Disaster Relief Agency, and then to examine their ability to coordinate the SA relief operations throughout the drill.Sounds like any other staged drill doesn’t it. Well, the Division Commander went a step further, he said the drill had to be designed to utilize ONLY radio communications. No phones, cell phones, fax machines, email, or any other means of commercial communications. (. . . he and many others in the Division are veterans of WTC service.).

This brings us to the real meat of the story. The preliminary drill scenario was designed and then dropped in the lap of their Emergency Service Coordinator, Bill Foley, kb1glf, who in turn called on me as the Mass. SATERN Coordinator, for support. We were directed to come up with a communications plan that not only permitted legal radio communications for the non-ham officers and volunteers to communicate, but to also insure that if they couldn’t do it effectively, we had a backup communications plan in place. Now the simple solution for backup would be to enlist aid and support from the ARES group, which in Eastern Mass. is a model for many to follow.

Instead, since this was a closed SA agency drill, we chose to really test the Army system. The Mass. SA Disaster Rehab/Canteens had all been radio equipped utilizing a business band repeater, we had a dozen Vertex 160 hand-helds, both a Divisional EOC and a backup EOC at Camp Wonderland in Sharon, Ma. (. . this is a town located outside of the Boston area which was to be the drill site location.) both of these EOC’s have all band radio equipment installed, and we also had a recently completed ( but yet untested) communications vehicle.. (a local University had donated a modern ambulance to SATERN that we had just completed the installation of VHF/ UHF/ 6mtr/CB/GMRS/FRS/Busn Band and HF radios and antennas, a Honda generator, and finally an inverter for the onboard laptops). In addition, the same University donated a dozen Motorola Saber handhelds with spare batteries and chargers, formally used by their Police Dept., and we had these radios cached onboard the new Comm. Unit. The picture began to form, but we were still missing something.

Well we had plenty of equipment, so now what. After some discussions with the drill designer, Al MacLeod, we knew that one business repeater frequency would never handle the traffic expected, nor could we expect to see the necessary radio operating skill and discipline from those SA non-hams involved, in such a short training window. We also assumed that in any major Boston incident it would be very likely that our SA Business repeater could go down. We really needed some additional talk-power, and earlier HazMat experiences made FRS out of the question in the city.

A search of the FCC database, and a verification call to ww9e, Maj. Pat Mc Phersen, the SATERN National Coordinator, assured us that the Salvation Army has a nation-wide transient business frequency pair. We monitored these frequencies for 3 weeks and heard a one time 30 second casual non-identified transmission. Our decision then was to use 3 business band simplex frequencies for the SA non-hams, selected vhf simplex frequencies for the hams involved, and one local ham repeater for any real life emergency traffic. The SA command business frequency would be completely open and free to the SA IC staffs usage, while the secondary tactical and traffic frequencies along with the ham shadow operations, would utilize a Net Control Operator.(ham) We then added the SA transient frequencies to all the SA hand radios, (25) and received permission from the ham repeater trustee to use the local repeater. Memos were sent to the two coordinated local area FCC licensee’s of the transient frequencies, explaining our intention to use them on simplex on our drill date. We had a Communications Plan. ( . all of the SA frequencies and the ham simplex frequencies are now a permanent part of the Divisions Response Radio Plan)

THE DRILL This first drill’s design did not directly involve local first response agencies, although they really did want to fully participate with all their resources. We promised a combined drill at a later date. In fact, since the drill was designed to test only SA internal relief operations, volunteers were recruited to simulate these groups. However, we did have a number of official observers: Sharon Fire Chief, Hingham Fire Dep.Chief, and Boston Fire Dep.Chief, Sharon Police, State and local Emg.Mgr’s, Mass.Fire Chaplin’s, MIT Univ.Police Radio Officer, the E. Ma. ARES SEC, Boston DEC, and local EC’s, all who actively participated by monitoring our ICS and radio operations.

The scenario was a Boston rehab canteen arriving to support the town of Sharon Fire Dept. during a large warehouse fire. As the fire escalated, the first arriving canteen team leader radioed for an additional canteen to respond. However, before its arrival, explosions at the warehouse spread the fire to surrounding woodlands and quickly threatened a nearby housing development. As the first houses were enveloped, resulting in evacuees and injuries; the first responding canteens team leader, acting as the SA IC immediately made a call to Div.Headquarters requesting deployment of the DSO. (..this callout not only calls for the SA DSO personnel to respond, but also calls out all available canteens and support vehicles, Ministry, pre-registered disaster volunteers, the communications command vehicle, as well as SATERN/BERT members necessary to man the EOC and Comm Van. The SATERN leader also alerts the EMa SEC)

Up to this point everything went as planned. Our first problem occurred at the Stage Area as the first DSO and ham shadows arrived. I was busy establishing the EOC operation with the Satern members who responded first from the nearby R.I. area, Bill was busy positioning canteens around the fire zone, and we neglected to assign a “take charge” ham to dispense and instruct those inexperienced first responding DSO personnel, as well as issuing them radios and ham shadows. As I thought about it later, all of our ARES drills, ham supported PS events, etc; have been well rehearsed over the years, usually planned to the last detail. We always have well experienced NC operators, the frequency list has usually been distributed earlier for convenience of pre-programming our radios, experienced hams are placed in critical positions, site locations documented and usually mapped and distributed. Most of this will have to be done on the fly at a real life event, because you don’t know what hams will respond, or when. We got it straightened out, but lost valuable time. [Something for all to keep in mind, graciously accept assistance from one of the first knowledgeable responding hams, or offer to assist if your that knowledgeable early arrival .] Another mistake pointed out was in having two NC operators, one in the EOC, and another to handle traffic/ messages in the field Comm. Unit. Having the two operators was fine, but having them in different locations proved un-manageable. They should both have been located at the EOC working closely with each other, and the SA Incident Commander and the Division staff. (. .other problems reported by the observers, or voiced by the hams in the After Action Meeting are listed at the end.)

As far as the DSO personnel went, they did an outstanding job for their first time working together, and the first time using the Incident Command System,. While some liberties were taken from a strict ICS structure, the key observances from the knowledgeable ICS observers present was; “the SA Operations Chief attempted to do everything himself”, next was the lack of visual identification of key IC leaders. ( .some discussion of this occurred prior to the drill, but since we are a support agency, we are not the Incident Commander, Op’s Chief, etc, so it was agreed that we would not purchase these readily available vests, but instead later find an outlet to design an easily identifiable Salvation Army ID responders vest.)

I did catch a few on their cell phones, and they were immediately beaten with my trusty “wouffe hong”.

The drill was finally completed in late afternoon after having tested all of the designed elements/activities. The conclusion was: “The exercise was an exceptional success.” We, and the observers are confident that this Massachusetts Division is more ready today to respond as a team to any local major event, and we know that our performance will be note worthy. Yes, we still have a lot to work on, based on lessons derived from this self-test, but we’re confident that we will get it done. In fact, we were working on it the next day.

As for the 25 supporting hams, I had email on my computer when I finally got home that day asking; ” What is the date for the next drill?” What a group! None complained about the 90 plus degree heat, the long day, or the miles of walking they endured as shadows over that 110 acre site. They made me proud to be a ham and have them as friends and fellow volunteers. In addition to the hams volunteering themselves, some also had wives and family accompanying them, and they were trained in Disaster Relief skills, while others were actors/ actresses for the day as triage victims, evacuees, and grieving relatives.

A special thanks must go out to the Pennsylvania SA Disaster Services Group for bringing up that magnificent Eastern Territory’s 40 foot Disaster Field Kitchen trailer and its supporting crew. Oh, did I mention that we had over 250 participants at the drill, or that they were all fed a delicious dinner from that kitchen at the end of the day. Also, groups of volunteers were trained on-site in the operation of that kitchen trailer, and it was those volunteers who helped prepare the evening meal. (lunch was provided to all while in the field and served from all the canteens as a drill segment)

There is no greater reward than that of helping a person in need. We learn this as children in Scouting, church youth groups, later as hams, and are reminded again so vividly when we assist at a real life disaster as adults. Please don’t waste your precious time, talent and ability. Join us by actively participating in SATERN and the Emergency Disaster Services of the Salvation Army nearest your home. Help us to help others.

Frank Murphy, N1DHW
Massachusetts SATERN Coordinator
n1dhw@ema.arrl.org

William (Bill) Foley, KB1GLF
Salvation Army, Boston, Massachusetts
Emergency Disaster Services, State Coordinator
Bfoley@USE.SalvationArmy.org

Blake Haskell, K1BTH
Boston Emergency Response Team Leader
VP, Boston Amateur Radio Club
k1bth@arrl.net

Read More

Expanded Weather Radio Network

Contributed by KA8SCP:

Weather Radio to Handle Terror Alerts
By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP)–Emergency alerts for everything from tornadoes to missing children and terror warnings will get out to the public through an expanded weather radio network, the government announced Thursday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s network already makes emergency weather warnings available to 97 percent of the country and has added alerts for missing children and other hazards in recent years.

The addition of the Homeland Security Department to the system will allow terror alerts and warnings to be distributed automatically through the same way.“This agreement is an example of interagency cooperation that … can be applied to protect the homeland from both man-made and natural disasters,” said Frank Libutti, undersecretary for information analysis and infrastructure protection at Homeland Security.

Added NOAA Administrator Conrad C. Lautenbacher: “Today, radios, televisions and other devices are equipped to sound the alarm when danger threatens. Warnings and alerts can also be sent to cell phones, pagers and computers, ensuring that these vital messages can reach every corner of America.”

Special radios that automatically turn on and sound an alarm when it is received are popular in areas subject to tornado, hurricane and other weather threats. The devices are in use in many public places, stores.

Lautenbacher noted that the system encodes messages to a specific area where a threat occurs.

NOAA also cooperates with the Emergency Alert System, operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which sends alerts to local radio and television stations and cable systems.

Beginning more than three decades ago with weather warnings over special radios, the NOAA system has become an all-hazards network. It covers natural disasters such as earthquakes and volcanoes; serious accidents, such as chemical releases; nuclear power plant emergencies; train derailments; maritime concerns; and 911 outages.

___

On the Net:

NOAA Weather Radio: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr

All-Hazards Emergency Messages: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/allhazard.htm

AP-NY-06-17-04 1907EDT

Read More

Call for Speakers, Organizations at Boxboro

Boxboro logoKen Caruso, WO1N writes:

This is a call for speakers and organizations desiring to participate in the 2004 ARRL New England Division Convention program.

Note the new dates for the convention this year: August 13, 14 and 15.

There has been good response to date, check out the “Events” section of the official Boxboro Web site, www.boxboro.org. Open program hours remain available, drop me a note if you wish to present a talk. Include a subject title and if you are so prepared include a brief abstract.

If you represent a regional club or organization (e.g. NESMC, CEMARC, MARS) we can help facilitate open forums or closed meetings by providing you a meeting room. I am asking organizations like this to please consider Sunday morning time slots.

We can accommodate additional requests for information booths, but please get your request in early. We are asking for some volunteer time in return for the table/booth to help us with parking, ticket sales and other convention logistics during the convention.

Keep an eye on the convention web site, http://www.boxboro.org, for the latest information.

Note, if you require a hotel room, make your reservations ASAP per the instructions contained on the web site to get the special convention rate.

I look forward to meeting you at the convention,

Ken Caruso, WO1N
Boxboro Program Chairman
WO1N@ARRL.NET
978-952-5377 (Days)
978-663-3027 (Evenings)

Read More

No Monthly ARES Net

***** No Monthly ARES Net this Month *****
*** Please guard SKYWARN Frequencies during FD Weekend ***

Hello to all….

Due to unavailability of moderator K1BTH and the Quincy Repeater (which he needs to use anyway), I have decided to cancel the monthly ARES net scheduled for this Sunday.

Please check into the many weekly nets that are available on Sundays as a substitute. Please also check our website http://ares.ema.arrl.org often for details about the upcoming DNC mobilization, and the section site http://ema.arrl.org/fd for the latest on Field Day arrangements.

SKYWARN will be active on Field Day weekend to help you watch for thunderstorms, so please guard your nearest SKYWARN repeater during the FD weekend.

Good luck and enjoy yourselves!

73,

Michael P. Neilsen, W1MPN
Eastern Massachusetts
Section Emergency Coordinator
w1mpn@ema.arrl.org
http://ares.ema.arrl.org
978.562.5662 Office
978.389.0558 FAX

Read More

Ham info by congressional district available

\"MAI have available lists of Massachusetts hams by congressional district up to date as of 12/1/03. These lists are based on lists of unexpired licenses from the ARRL license search page for individuals only. I also have summary information for the 7th and 8th congressional districts and an information summary statewide that includes such things as density of hams per square mile. These are all set up as DOC files. I can e-mail these to anyone who needs them to help convince their representative realize that ham radio is important.

Send requests for the information to: KA1MOM@aol.com

-= Bill McIninch, Jr. KA1MOM =-
Metro Boston PIO

Read More

Town of Framingham To Proclaim June 20-27 “Amateur Radio Week”

Framingham ARA logoDick Marshall, K1KTK writes on FraminghamARA-L@fara.org:

“The Selectmen of the Town of Framingham will issue a Proclamation proclaiming June 20-27 as Amateur Radio Week in Framingham. They will present this Proclamation to us on Thursday evening, June 17 at 7:00 PM at the Selectmen’s Meeting in Town Hall.

“It would be nice to have a good turnout for this presentation. It should take only 10 or 15 minutes, depending on how talkative they will be.”

Read More

Boston ARC VE Session Changes

Boston ARC logoBecause of extensive renovations at the Pierce School in Brookline this summer, the Boston Amateur Radio Club must cancel their volunteer exam sessions for July and August. Things should get back to almost normal with the session on September 13, 2004. “Almost normal,” because the following month’s exams are moved up to October 4 by the school holiday. After that you can rely on the second Mondays of each month (unless dire circumstances intervene).

—Boston ARC The SPARC, June 2004

Read More

RACES Hurricane Drill Deemed “A Success”

RACES logoBob Mims, WA1OEZ writes on mras-leaders” list:

“Region II MEMA had a very successful hurricane drill in place of the normal RACES messages on Monday, June 7th.

A total of 39 communities were logged into the five 2 meter nets run from Region II Headquarters in Bridgewater (4 voice nets, 1 packet). The new tower and antennas greatly reduced our overload problems.

Special thanks to Mike Neilsen, Rob Macedo, and EMass. ARES for supplying us some extra operators for Region II. This kind of cooperation is what ham radio is all about.

The RACES operators in the towns all should be congratulated for doing an excellent job. We had to pack a lot of traffic into a two hour drill. Thanks for you patience and efficient message handling.

Bob Mims
WA1OEZ
Region II, MEMA

[See also: Annual R2 Hurricane Drill]

Read More

Belmont First-Graders Want to “Ham It Up”

FirstMs. Donna LaRoche’s first grade “HAMsters” are learning about ham radio—and geography—and reading—and writing—and much, much more.

“Ham radio is such a great teaching tool!” exclaims Belmont school teacher Donna LaRoche, M.Ed. “The kids absolutely love receiving greetings from hams around the country, and seeing their QSL cards.”

Incorporating ham radio into the classroom curriculum is a relatively new project for LaRoche. “I’ve received a lot of great material from (ARRL Headquarters staff member) Mark Spencer (WA8SME).” Spencer is the Amateur Radio Education and Technology Program Coordinator (a.k.a. “The Big Project”). Martin Bayes, AA1ON, has also contributed time and energy to the project, including material for the HAMsters’ web site.

LaRoche says that her kids really enjoy using the code practice oscillators to send morse code to one another. “We have a radio. It doesn’t work at the moment, but the kids love to pretend that they’re on the air with it.”

A recent request for an actual ham radio demonstration and “real ham operators” in the class room on an EMA club mailing list netted several interested volunteers, including ARRL Public Information Officer Bill Mc Ininch, KA1MOM. LaRoche is delighted by the response. The first demonstration is slated to take place at the Winn Brook school in Belmont in the very near future.

“Please ask all hams to stop by our web site and leave a guest book greeting for the class.”

The Winn Brook school’s “HAMsters” web site can be found at http://www.belmont.k12.ma.us/class_pages/laroche/ham_radio/.

Read More

Revolutionary Antenna Design by KD1FT

Rob Vincent, KD1FT, a University of Rhode Island Physics Department employee is reported to have developed a revolutionary antenna design that dramatically reduces the size of an antenna while improving its efficiency and maintaining a broad bandwidth.

“The Holy Grail of antenna technology is to create a small antenna with high efficiency and wide bandwidth,” explains Vincent. “According to current theory, you have to give up one of the three—size, efficiency, or bandwidth—to achieve the other two.”

One of Vincent’s test sites was situated in salt marshes in Westport, MA. [Full story]

Read More