Eastern Massachusetts ARES Monthly Net Change

The Eastern Massachusetts ARES Monthly Net has been changed. Starting on Monday January 3rd, 2005, the Eastern Massachusetts ARES Net will be on the first Monday of every month at 8:30 PM on the MMRA Linked Repeater System (http://www.mmra.org). This immediately follows the rolling RACES Nets that occur in Massachusetts across various RACES repeaters on the first Monday every month. If a holiday falls on a Monday, the net will be moved to the second Monday of the month just like the RACES Nets are handled for Monday holidays.The ARES Monthly Net has not been held over the last several months. Over the course of 2005, we plan to reinvigorate the monthly nets and we’d like your help in making that happen. We’d like to hear from you on what you’d like to hear on the nets to entice you to take time out of your busy schedules to join us on the net monthly. We will certainly be providing announcements on ARES training, SKYWARN Training, drills, and upcoming public service events but we’d like to hear from, you, our ARES membership on what additional things we can do during the net. Perhaps a discussion topic each month where everyone can make comments or perhaps message handling practice each month or on certain months of the net.

We’ll also be looking for Net Controls. Running net control is a skill that comes with experience. Even though a monthly net is fairly routine in nature, it allows for the ARES membership to practice some basic skills on net operations which will be useful in the event of an ARES activation.

If you have suggestions on topics or if you’re interested in running the ARES Net. Please contact the following people:

W1MPN-Mike Neilsen at w1mpn@ema.arrl.org
K1BTH-Blake Haskell at k1bth@arrl.net
KD1CY-Rob Macedo at kd1cy@ema.arrl.org

We look forward to hearing you on our first ARES Net in 2005 on the MMRA repeater system on Monday January 3rd at 8:30 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Southeast Massachusetts ARES District Emergency Coordinator
SEMARA ARES Emergency Coordinator
Pager #: (508) 354-3142
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: 1-800-445-2588 Ext.: 72929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com
http://users.rcn.com/rmacedo
1

ARES Web Site Activity and Best Holiday Wishes and Thanks for Your Support

Over the past few weeks, the ARES web site has been relatively quiet as our staff prepares for the holiday season as many of our members are doing as well. Also, the Eastern Massachusetts ARES staff has been hard at work on a “Calendar of Events and Training” for 2005 as well. As holiday preparations wind down, we will have several topics that will be covered here on the web-site.

We had an excellent ARES Drill in late October and a report on that will follow in the next few weeks. We also had an excellent SKYWARN Recognition Day where Eastern Massachusetts was well represented with active stations at the National Weather Service in Taunton, Massachusetts and with the Boston Amateur Radio Club Station setup at the Blue Hill Observatory. An update complete with pictures will be posted in the coming weeks as well.

2004 was an extremely successful year for Eastern Massachusetts ARES. In addition to flawless support and execution for SKYWARN Activations, ARES drills and Emergency Communications Workshops, the biggest ARES mobilization in recent years was completed for the Democratic National Convention. While no incidents occurred during the DNC, the fact that Eastern Massachusetts ARES could mobilize and support a sustained 4-day event for 16 hours per day is a testament as to how far the organization has grown. While there is much work to be done and we have yet to be tested in a true disaster-type situation, the growth over the past several years has been self-evident and the ARES staff truly appreciates the tremendous support from ARES members in the section. It is hoped that we will also have a report on the DNC in the coming weeks as well.

Despite the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, our staff is monitoring for any threats, weather or otherwise, that could cause an ARES mobilization and this web-site along with the various email lists that are maintained are ways for the membership to stay in touch. On behalf of the entire Eastern Massachusetts ARES staff, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Holiday season. This is a wonderful time for friends and family to get together. Don’t hesitate to contact the ARES leaadership if you have any questions or concerns.

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Deputy Section Emergency Coordinator
Pager #: (508) 354-3142
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: 1-800-445-2588 Ext.: 72929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com
http://users.rcn.com/rmacedo 1

Brigham And Women’s Hospital To Incorporate Amateur Radio Into Emergency Plans

Boston ARC logoBrigham and Women’s Hospital is planning to include Amateur Radio in its emergency plans, according to Boston ARC Vice President Blake Haskell, K1BTH. Haskell met recently with representatives from Boston Emergency Management Agency and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The hospital is working on installing an antenna and feedline from the roof to a small room that would be used by amateurs in the event of an emergency.

—Thanks, Boston ARC The SPARC, December, 2004

EMa ARES Simulated Emergency Test 10/30/04

EMa ARES logoEastern Massachusetts ARES will conduct a limited ARES Simulated Emergency Test on Saturday October 30th, 2004 from 10 AM-Noon. This drill is being constructed to add-on to a medium difficulty drill that Cape Cod ARES has put together for their group. The original Cape Cod ARES drill had been designed around an immunization scenerio with the CDC (Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention) involving flu vaccinations; however, it was cancelled by the CDC due to a lack of vaccine. The drill scenario for the Cape was changed at the last minute by Cape and Islands DEC Frank O’Laughlin, WQ1O.

This SET will attempt to relay messages between Cape Cod and various points in the Eastern Massachusetts section utilizing HF, 6 Meters, Packet and 2 Meters. Local ECs and DECs are welcome to activate 2 Meter nets on their local ARES/RACES/SKYWARN frequency as they see fit. [Full story]

EMa ARES Limited SET Drill Sat. 10/30/04 NEW!

EMA-ARES Logo Eastern Massachusetts ARES will be doing a limited ARES Simulated Emergency Test for Saturday October 30th, 2004 from 10 AM-Noon. This drill is being constructed to add-on to a medium difficulty drill that Cape Cod ARES has put together for their group. The reason the notice is out late is because the original Cape Cod ARES drill which was suppose to be an immunization drill with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) for flu vaccine but it was cancelled by the CDC due to a lack of vaccine so the drill scenario for the Cape had to be changed at the last minute by Frank O’Laughlin-WQ1O. Special thanks to Frank for doing this as quickly as he did so that an exercise would still take place this coming Saturday for his region and we could add-on a regional component to it. Also, everyone should remember that even though its a drill, real emergency communications events could happen with far less than a week’s notice and we need to be able to react to all situations. The drill will also help to practice that as well.Purpose of the drill

The purpose of this drill is to be able to relay messages outside of Cape Cod to various points throughout the Eastern Massachusetts section and that various points across Eastern Massachusetts can bring message traffic into Cape Cod. This will be done utilizing HF, 6 Meters, Packet and 2 Meters where ARES groups can reach the Cape Cod area on 2 Meters. Local EC’s as well as DEC’s are welcome to activate 2 Meter nets on their local ARES/RACES/SKYWARN frequency as they see fit.

Scenario

The drill scenario that Cape Cod ARES has devised is a major blackout coupled with a major storm system that will cause heavy rainfall and coastal flooding to their region. Cape Cod will be dealing with both facets and look to send status messages and reports to areas outside of Cape Cod. Eastern Massachusetts ARES will respond with messages in return using any mode that can reach the Cape. For many areas of Eastern Massachusetts, it will involve HF and 6 Meters with some 2 Meter communications to Cape Cod through stations in Southeast Massachusetts.

Frequencies to Be Utilized

The drill will utilize some of the following main frequencies to reach Cape Cod:

Primary 40 Meter frequency: 7232 Khz LSB
Secondary 40 Meter frequency: 7275 KHz LSB

Eastern Mass. ARES/RACES Primary Frequency:
7245 KHz LSB
Eastern Mass. ARES/RACES Secondary Frequency:
3943 KHz LSB

Please note if another net is active on the designated frequency, please move up the band first and then move down the band from the listed
frequency.

6 Meter Liaision:
53.31/52.31 PL:71.9 Hz (Mount Wachusett Repeater)

Main 2 Meter liaison repeater for Cape Cod:
146.955 PL 88.5 Hz

As stated in the purpose section, EC’s may elect to start nets on 2 Meters and get involved in the drill locally or just support the Cape via 2 Meters, 6 Meters, and HF where appropriate. These repeaters will be the typical ones used in past drills and are the standard ARES/RACES/SKYWARN frequencies that are published on the various web sites.

What ARES Groups and Members Can do:

-Support the activity by checking in via HF and 6 Meters.
-Support 2 Meter Nets where DEC/EC’s activate them. ARES Members can check their local ARES/RACES/SKYWARN Frequency.
-Generate traffic including health and welfare traffic and status messages on whether the Cape needs support etc.
-Will try and have at least the SEMARA Club Station and possibly NWS Taunton active for this drill. Other stations may also be active.

Will try and update this note one or two more times if required before this Saturday. Special thanks to all who participate in this drill and please let me know if there are any questions or concerns.

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Southeast Massachusetts ARES District Emergency Coordinator
SEMARA ARES Emergency Coordinator
Pager #: (508) 354-3142
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: 1-800-445-2588 Ext.: 72929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com
http://users.rcn.com/rmacedo

ARES DNC Bulletin #003 On-line

DNC 2004 logoIn Brief:

EMa ARES will begin a limited mobilization starting next Sunday, July 25th…

…Red Cross Rapid Action Team (RAT) met Thursday, July 22 to finalize plans before the DNC begins next week. KD1CY presented the ARES briefing…

N1IV, EMa ARRL Public Information Coordinator has appointed Bill, KA1MOM to provide Public Relations assistance with the DNC Activities next week…

…Section Manager K9HI and Section Emergency Coordinator W1MPN met on July 22 with staff at ARRL Headquarters in Newington CT. to brief them on ARES preparations… [Full story]

DNC Update #1

DNC Logo Hello to all…..

This will be the first of what we hope will be daily updates on our plans to assist participating agencies with the DNC. News items will appear in this column, while permanent material or changes will be posted in the left hand column under the heading “DNC OPERATIONS”.

Please note: Amateur Radio Operators outside the ARRL Eastern Massachusetts section should first contact their ARES Section Emergency Coordinator for permission to mobilize, as no “self mobilized” hams will be accepted, and will be turned away. Their response to you will depend on whether we have asked for assistance from outside our section, based on how much support we receive from inside the Eastern Massachusetts section.

And now the news…..

1. EMa ARES will begin a limited mobilization starting next Sunday, July 25th. Many of the germane parts of the Operations Plan (OpPlan) appear in the left column under the heading “DNC OPERATIONS”.
2. We will be having a communication drill tonight. Please see the updated note in this column. Please note that the frequency plan for our mobilization will not appear on this website, but will be passed to players under separate cover.
3. We have filled most of the required shifts, but we can still use more volunteers. Please contact any of the DEC’s or me if you would like to help. A summary of our requirements appears below.
4. We held a meeting this past Saturday with most of the ARES leadership staff, and some of the participating players to go over the draft OpPlan.
5. Players can expect the updated plan by the end of the week.

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.

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

ARES/NTS Cooperative Meeting 4/24

[From the EMa ARRL Website, K9HI Webmaster]

New EMA ARES ARRL members active in the ARES and NTS programs in Eastern Massachusetts met Saturday, April 24 in Bridgewater to achieve greater cooperation between their respective programs. Section Manager Phil Temples, K9HI called for the workshop in light of recent reports and recommendations by the League’s Volunteer Resources Committee, and the ad-hoc ARES Committee.

KD1CY at ARES-NTS Meeting “It was a great day where much was accomplished,” concluded Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator Rob Macedo, KD1CY. Macedo coordinated and chaired the workshop.

“I’m very pleased with the progress we made this past weekend,” commented K9HI. “Folks from the NTS voice nets, digital nets and ARES leadership sat down and discussed their mutual needs and problems. There was no animosity between the different camps. I want to especially thank Carl, N1FY and members of the Massasoit Amateur Radio Association for hosting the meeting at the Bridgewater EOC,” Temples added.

Minutes from the ARES-NTS Seminar have been posted on the EMA ARES web site, [please press ARES-NTS button to the left]. Photos are also posted at this site under “Photo Gallery”. Additionally, K9HI has created a mailing list called “ares-nts-coop” to provide for follow up discussion to the points of interest.

[KD1CY Photo courtesy of K9HI]

ARES, NTS Move Toward Greater Cooperation in EMA

EMA NTS logoEMA ARES logoARRL members active in the ARES and NTS programs in Eastern Massachusetts met Saturday, April 24 in Bridgewater to achieve greater cooperation between their respective programs. Section Manager Phil Temples, K9HI called for the workshop in light of recent reports and recommendations by the League’s Volunteer Resources Committee, and the ad-hoc ARES Committee.

“It was a great day where much was accomplished,” concluded Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator Rob Macedo, KD1CY. Macedo coordinated and chaired the workshop.

“I’m very pleased with the progress we made this past weekend,” commented K9HI. “Folks from the NTS voice nets, digital nets and ARES leadership sat down and discussed their mutual needs and problems. There was no animosity between the different camps. I want to especially thank Carl, N1FY and members of the Massasoit Amateur Radio Association for hosting the meeting at the Bridgewater EOC,” Temples added.

Seminar group photoMinutes from the ARES-NTS Seminar have been posted. Photos are also posted at this site under “Photo Gallery” below. Additionally, K9HI has created a mailing list called “ares-nts-coop” to provide for follow up discussion to the points of interest.

ARES-NTS Forum, April 24, 2004

There were 12 attendees at the seminar and they were as follows:

KB1EKN-Mark Duff Metro Boston ARES District Emergency Coordinator
WQ1O-Frank Olaughlin Cape Cod ARES District Emergency Coordinator
N1XTB-Philip McNamara Bridgewater ARES Team Member
K9HI-Phil Temples Eastern Massachusetts ARRL Section Manager
WA1IDA-Bob Salow Eastern Massachusetts Assistant Section Manager
N1LKJ-Jim Ward Eastern Massachusetts Section NTS Traffic Manager
N1BDA-Steve Telsey Middlesex County ARES District Emergency Coordinator
KW1U-Marcia Forde NTS EAS Chairperson
W1GMF-Gil Follett NTS Traffic Handler
W3EVE-Steve Schwarm Norfolk County ARES District Emergency Coordinator
N1FY-Carl Aveni Bridgewater ARES Emergency Coordinator
KD1CY-Rob Macedo ARES SKYWARN Coordinator for NWS Taunton

The first topic of the meeting was an ARES Program Overview. During the program overview, introductions were made and each person was asked about what they would like to get out of the meeting. The overview described how the ARES program has progressed over the last several years and how ARES has expanded relationships with different served agencies. It also talked about existing working relationships with MEMA and the National Weather Service. The presentation was well received and some suggestions on enhancements for the NWS Taunton station and for an additional project involving receiving AM Radio Stations was discussed and will be reviewed with NWS.

Following the ARES Overview, numerous items were discussed. Gil Follett-W1GMF requested what Clients/Served Agencies might need NTSD (National Traffic System Digital) or Packet support. This included the following agencies:

  1. Red Cross
  2.  Salvation Army
  3. National Weather Service
  4. Cities/Towns ARES/RACES operations
  5. VOAD non-profit (Southern Baptist, Adventists, REACT and other smaller groups) (Mass. VOAD currently defunct due to internal issues.)
  6. MARS-Is there some way to try and plug into their digital system

It was noted in these discussions that any agency could need support in an emergency but the various agencies listed above would be some of the main agencies to service for potential ARES activations. Several additional ideas were also noted:

Instruct all NTS traffic that is going to a different ARES team either within district but especially outside of the district to pass their traffic via an active NTS traffic net using voice for all future ARES exercises.

  • Utilize Packet more heavily across all parts of the Eastern Massachusetts section during exercises and actual activations.
  • Add Health and Welfare traffic as part of the exercise and utilize active NTS voice traffic nets as well as Packet to pass this traffic.
  • Add NTS Net and Net Control Operations to the Advanced Emergency Communications Workshop as follow-on to the Basic NTS Course offering in the Basic Emergency Communications Workshop.
  • Assist NTS with utilization of a Laptop and LCD Projector capable of putting together Power Point slides to assist with getting more people involved with NTS.
  • NTS Traffic Overview

Jim Ward-N1LKJ gave an overview of the voice and CW network. He explained what nets are run at run times and how the local nets interface with the region and area nets.
All these nets are available and need to be utilized further.

Gil Follett-W1GMF gave an overview of the digital system of NTS traffic. He put up a diagram using post it signs on the whiteboard to describe the Packet network. Learned that KW1U-Marcia is a Winlink PMBO node that can be utilized as part of the NTSD network. MMRA is attempting to put this together and we need to refer MMRA to Marcia for technical/logistical support.

Gil then walked through how to format a NTS message via Packet. With Digital, messages can be handled at any length within Gil’s system. Outside of Gil’s system, you have to follow normal NTS traffic rules. Keep in mind, that you can send regular messages at any length in and/or out of the Mass. system.

Gil-W1GMF discussed the NTS program. He discouraged the use of WinRC Packet because it’s only compatible with systems in Colorado. Gil discussed the NTS system being developed by KA1VGM and Beta tested by Gil. The system has most if not all of the bugs worked out. The system should be compatible with any BBS system and include the Winlink systems. The program should now be up on the KA1VGM web site. It is meant for anyone writing NTS traffic. It has several views for NWS messages, NTS traffic and other types of messages and will be passed to the various stations on the Packet network.

Several suggestions have come out of discussion:

1.) Have Jim-N1LKJ and Gil-W1GMF involved in ARES Meetings/exercise discussions. (Add them to all ARES Meeting invitations)
2.) For regular NTS nets, get listeners and anyone else to check into the net and encourage them to get out there and check-in and try to slow down on traffic for new people that are interested. Make sure that NTS people slow down to pass traffic to newcomers.
3.) Need to encourage Amateurs to utilize NTS traffic messaging via the Packet/Digital network even if its for routine traffic as its good practice for activations.
4.) Ask Jim to contact the local Net Managers, one night a month or one night a week to conduct a very basic training net to pass traffic. Jim to put together the scenario to run the basic NTS training across all the traffic nets.
5.) Jim asked that all ARES/RACES personnel encourage their members to check into the NTS Traffic Nets and generate and pick up traffic whenever possible and check into the local, and region traffic nets.
6.) Make sure NTS personnel are invited to the MRAS Meetings.
7.) Put together an all day NTS workshop that would encompass the existing slide sets from the basic and advanced Emergency Communication Workshops and include running a NTS Traffic Net on simplex or a repeater with everyone checking in using HT’s.
8.) Recommend NTS utilize Echolink/IRLP capabilities for in addition to their Region and Area nets and be part of the NTS national infrastructure.
9.) Supplying creative NTS traffic throughout the network via voice or digital nets. Use the key NTS traffic handlers to get this accomplished.
10.) Look into a formal DEC appointment for NTS.

After lunch, continued brainstorming continued and the first part of the afternoon focused on the ARESCOM proposals and the NTSD system. Marcia discussed the NTSD (National Traffic System Digital) System in reasonable detail. Marcia is able to get bulk traffic (2500 messages plus per month) sent across the national digital network using her WinLink node.

Marcia knows several members that are on the ARESCOM, which is a committee setup by Board of Directors concerning nationwide emergency communications and how to improve it. There are two NTS people are on this committee. ARESCOM is working closely with the Winlink Classic and the Winlink 2000 programs. The Winlink Classic program allows single user text messages using conventional forms of Packet. Winlink 2000 is an enhancement to Winlink Classic that would allow traffic from ARES clients including attachments, email and more. The protocol being utilized is called B2, which can handle attachments and has much higher compression rates and makes the message relatively secure.

The idea is to improve ARES capability to expand beyond the local area and to handle anything the client wants to send out. They want a flat “invisible” network with traffic coming in and out of Internet/Digital without knowing where the source is. The National Connection is through the Internet backed up with HF. It was noted that Doc-W1EO might be an excellent resource in the NTSD discussions going forward. The goal is to have regular messages and email with or without attachments to be able to be accepted through the NTSD system utilizing PMBO’s (Participating Mail Box Operators) when needed with the Winlink Classic program via Internet backbone or HF backbone whenever needed.

The EMCON proposal was proposed by W3YVQ-Jim from the Baltimore, Maryland area. Marcia stated that in direct discussions with Jim, they do not consider what they are proposing to be an ARES-NTS merger although at times the document comes across like it should be an ARES-NTS merger. Marcia stated that there is a Message and Procedure Guide on the League web site concerning Winlink and the EMCON proposal and you can click on topics of interest to gather information.

Marcia-KW1U highlighted the following items from the proposal documentation and in direct discussions with W3YVQ-Jim, which is one of the NTSD/EMCON proposal writers:

  • STM and SEC as separate organizations doing what they are doing.
  • ARES will work with the agencies and that’s their primary responsibility.
  • NTS responsible for the message handling network and meet certain criteria.
  • SEC and STM should work together to establish the Emergency Communications Plan for the section.

Based on this discussion, the ARES-NTS Workshop participants drew the following conclusions:

  • The ARESCOM Report/Proposal is very misunderstood by ARES and NTS leadership on what the changes would mean for ARES and NTS.
  • The report needs to be streamlined, reorganized and reworded and should separate the ARES-NTS network alignment from the Winlink-Digital system technical documentation.
  • Volunteer Resource Committee had very negative feedback on NTS. ARESCOM is far less negative on NTS. ARRL Board of Directors needs to decide what committee’s report is more relevant. Based on the fact that ARESCOM does not recommend NTS merge with a ARES, we recommend that ARESCOM apply pressure to the ARRL Board of Directors on preventing any merger of ARES and NTS.
  • Recommend Board of Directors to clear-up miscommunication of ARES-NTS network realignment/further cooperation. State to all SMs that NTS IS a requirement and having a STM IS a requirement that must be upheld.
  • Recommend that the Part 97 rule changes that would dissolve RACES be dropped. While this may happen at some point in the future by attrition, the ARRL should not advocate it as it could promote ill will from RACES groups that already feel threatened by ARES.
  • After the NTSD/ARESCOM discussion, the participants discussed Gil’s recent issues with passing traffic to certain states that are blocking it as “SPAM” traffic. Phil-K9HI plans to confront some of the ARRL Section Managers that are allowing this behavior at the
  • Dayton Hamfest in late May. Phil has recommended that all who attended the meeting be prepared to write complaints to Tom-K1KI, New England Division Director if necessary, to try and resolve these NTS problems as ARRL HQ and the Board have not responded on the issues that Gil is having. Phil also recommended to Marcia that ARESCOM apply pressure to the ARRL Board of Directors and HQ on this issue as well. Phil-K9HI plans on providing status reports on this issue.

Additional discussions surrounded increasing NTS participation. A suggestion was made to take a NTS net, record it and put it on the NTS web site and the ARES web site as well. There should be recordings of one voice net and one CW Net. After putting these recordings, commentary to explain the various portions of the NTS Net, voice or CW could be done as well. Jim and Gil will attempt to put together the recording via .wav or other audio type file that can be put on the web-site, put in workshops and bring to club meetings etc. Gil-W1GMF, Phil-N1XTB and Phil-K9HI will check with Elliot Mayer-W1MJ as he may be an expert in utilizing audio files and could help with breaking up the audio files to allow commentary to be put into the audio files to help describe what various items that happen in the net are so that Hams can learn about NTS Nets quicker.

The next item discussed was a recommendation on a potential name change from ARES to a more generic “Emergency Communicator, Emergency Communications team” type of name. The recommendation was taken under advisement for a future meeting.

Phil-N1XTB brought up a generic point about technical considerations of what MARS is running into for their digital system and how NTS may run into some of the same issues. Some corroboration between MARS and NTS in this area maybe very helpful for both Digital networks to work well and potentially have a path to connect to each other if needed.

The next meeting will be scheduled in the late Summer/Fall of 2004 to review actions generated from this meeting and assure that the plan for expanding the cooperation of ARES and NTS goes to the plans laid out during the meeting. The next meeting will also assure that the recommendations to the ARRL Board of Directors and HQ on ARES and NTS are heard and taken into account on the future of ARES and NTS going forward.

ARES/Skywarn/Emergency Communications Talk Set

W1ACT logoRob Macedo will be the speaker at the Bristol County Repeater Association April meeting, set for April 5th at 7 PM. Rob will be covering topics including emergency communications, ARES and Skywarn.

Anyone who is interested is welcome to attend. The meeting will be at the Third Baptist Church, corner of Stafford Rd. and Brayton Ave. in Fall River. Talk-in will be on the BCRA 145.15 repeater, neg. offset, PL 123.0.

Directions:

From 195 in Fall River, take Rte. 24 SOUTH, get off at the first exit (very close to Rte 195), Brayton Ave./Eastern Ave. At the end of the ramp, take a left. Go up the hill to the end of the road at the lights, the church will be on the right, kiddie corner from Swidey’s Corner Store. Parking is across the street from the front of the church.

NHARES to hold 2m/6m SSB net

Hello to all. At the last NHARES leadership meeting, it was decided to run an initial test of using 2m SSB and /or 6m SSB as an alternative to 75m and the K1JY system. The test will be on Feb. 22 (Sunday) from 0930 to 1200. All NHARES members with 2m SSB or 6m SSB with any type of antennas (fixed or mobile or portable) are requested to participate. Vertical polarization is preferred, but we want to test all types…yagis, omnis…whatever we have. Those of you who know how bad 75m phone has been, know how important it is that we come up with an alternative.

Please put this on your schedule and try to participate. Further details are to follow.

[Although this is a great training opportunity for our members in the northern part of the EMa Section, this net is a directed net held for NH ARES members. To that end, please check in only after NCS asks for “any other stations”. Please allow NH players to check in first – W1MPN]

Thanks to all of you for your help and dedication in this time of need!

73,
Rex G. Carr, M.D.
AA1KL
NHARES EC Southern Grafton
VTARES AEC Windsor County
rexgcarr@sover.net
aa1kl@arrl.net
W 603-643-5254
H 603-643-4329
C 603-252-7152

CCARES Weekend Exercise

Frozen Canal

Operation Artic Chill

[Frozen Cape Cod Canal photo courtesy of W1MPN
Click on photo to enlarge in your browser window.]

Happy WQ1O A happy WQ1O, CCARES DEC, presided over his “Operation Arctic Chill” exercise on Sat 1/31. Based at the Sandwich EOC, team members established comms around the entire Cape Cod district (including Martha’s Vinyard and Nantucket Islands) using pre-planned 2m, 6m, and HF frequencies. NVIS quick deploy antenna systems were used for HF comms.

Please press “Read More” button to read the after action report and view some pictures. [Work on this piece is in progress – W1MPN] [WQ1O photo courtesy of W1MPN
Click on photo to enlarge in your browser window.] CCARES Exercise #18 “Operation Arctic Chill” After Action Report

The exercise began at 10am will the following EOC stations:

1. CCARES EOC Hyannis

2. Sandwich EOC

3. Falmouth EOC

4. Martha’s Vineyard EOC

5. Nantucket EOC

The CCARES primary operations Net was established on the RACES repeater 146.955. A resource Net was established on the Falmouth Repeater 146.655. An NVIS callup was started on 7232khz. NTS mesages were initialized just after 10am. Many messages were passed between EOC stations. Several home stations were used for relay and liaison purposes. 6m FM was established for backup long range district wide operations. Operations ended about 12:15pm as stated goals were met.

Sandwich EOC Evacuation and Field Operations

At just after 11am, a simulated evacuation was begun at the Sandwich EOC. Vehicles were designated for 30 minute intervals to be used for cold weather rehab. Temperatures were in the low to mid 20s. A trailer was used for field NVIS operations and 2m operations. Another vehicle was used to support 6m operations. Both vehicles had expedient vertical antennas for vhf usage.

NVIS Operations

NVIS contact was established with Hyannis and with Nantucket. Band conditions were very poor, but signal from Nantucket was good. Contact with Hyannis was in close proximity and was somewhat weak.

VHF and 6m Operations

VHF repeater communications were nominal as expected. Our control operator simulated repeater failure of the RACES 146.955 Dennis machine by shutting the repeater on and off without notice. Operator did not know the repeater status from one moment to the other. Simplex emergency communications on the output of the repeater were successfully implemented. Signals were excellent. 6m FM continued to prove a star performer. Its range and clarity have made it a continued favorite for district wide usage.

Messaging

NTS messaging continues to improve with each exercise. This is especially true of “message fills” and corrections. Operators are moving messages with increased efficiency.

What Worked/or Not/Lessons Learned

1. Appropriate cold weather clothing cannot be over emphasized It can never be too much!

2. Adequate spacing for RF interference is a must if vehicles are operating simultaneously on VHF

3. A rehab vehicle can significantly ease the burden of the Operators in cold conditions

4. All metallic masts and accessories must be handled with gloves (re-emphisized from last year)

5. A simplex 2m or 440 local field operations frequency is a must if using seperate vehicles

We wish to thank Dick Farrar W1RBF and the Town of Sandwich for hosting the field operations team. We also wish to thank the Nantucket, CCARES and Martha’s Vineyard ARES groups for their participation. The following operators participated in the exercise.

Frank Olaughlin WQ1O
George Allen N1NBQ
Brad Fligor KB1QL
Jim Bradbury WA1KCC
Bob Courtemanche N1WAT
Henry Brown K1WCC
Ben Carnevale W1VZT
Dan Howard K1DYO
Kent Bradshaw KB1ESG
Ritchey Guild KB1EAJ
Jim Leavitt KC1KM
Ron Trainor KC8CEV
Ross LLoyd KB1IMO
Paul Finnegan WA1JSE
Trenor Goodell N1PIV
Nick Norton K1NGJ
Ken Blackshaw W1NQT
Andy Bullington W1AWB
Jon Thayer KB1ILC
Phil Raneri W1PJR

Our special thanks to SEC Mike Neilsen for taking the time out of his busy schedule to visit us. Other visitors included Laura Neilsen, Rob Macedo KD1CY, Tony Duarte N1XRS. good to see everyone.

Preparations are already underway for the Section execise on 02/21/04

Respectfully submitted,
Frank Olaughlin WQ1O
Cape&Islands ARES District DEC

N1VUX’s SKYWARN Interview

One of our own, N1VUX interview appears in Metro Sunday Globe today 2/1, and is written up at our section website. If this link has expired, please find under “SKYWARN” in column to the left.

N1VUX [Bill, N1VUX, is Primary NCS for Northeastern SKYWARN operating primarily on the Waltham repeater. He is also a regular contributor of information on VHF/UHF ducting, using his predictive model. He will also occasionally comment on other unusual atmospheric phenomena affecting communications – W1MPN]

N1VUX Photo courtesy K9HI

CCARES Drill

EMa ARES Logo CCARES will hold its “Operation Big Chill” exercise this Saturday, 31 Jan at 1000 throughout the Cape and Islands District.

[The following article contributed by K9HI at http://ema.arrl.org/article.php?sid=319 , -W1MPN]

Grab your boots and mittens—oh, and your Go-kit for the Cape Cod Amateur Radio Emergency Service’s (CCARES) winter cold weather exercise on January 31, 2004 beginning at 9:00 a.m. Dubbed “Operation Arctic Chill” the exercise will test the ability of Emergency Operation Centers, zone-based relay stations, and field operations teams under freeezing, weather conditions.

WQ1O “This will be a drill to test our primary stations and other ARES member home stations,” explained District Emergency Coordinator Frank O’Laughlin, WQ1O. “We will attempt to utilize HF NVIS, VHF/UHF simplex FM. We’ll also utilize VHF/UHF SSB and digital modes. And we will attempt communications with other ARES districts and their EOCs.”

WQ1O Photo courtesy of K9HI