Excerpt of ARES E-Letter for October 17, 2018

Michael Callaham

            The ARES E-Letter

Published by the American Radio Relay League

October 17, 2018

Editor: Rick Palm, K1CE <k1ce@...>


- South Carolina Amateurs Answer Call for Hurricane Florence Response
- Minnesota Hams Use APRS, Voice to Support Bicycle Tour
- Louisiana-Mississippi Amateurs Support MS Bike Tour
- ARRL Section News
- Tech Tips: Mag Mounts an Issue with More Vehicles With Non-Steel
- Books: Disaster Emergency Communications
- ARRL -- Your One-Stop Resource for Amateur Radio News and Information

Hurricane Michael

Hurricane Michael was the third-most intense storm to make landfall on
the United States, the strongest hurricane to ever make landfall in the
Florida Panhandle, as well as the fourth-strongest hurricane in the
United States mainland by wind speed. Northern Florida ARES Teams
Handle Hurricane Duty

Earlier reports: ...

County ARES Programs Were Prepared: On Sunday night, October 7, Madison
County (in the Big Bend of Florida) EC Pat Lightcap, K4NRD, sent this
bulletin to his ARES team: "I am calling a special Net for Madison
County ARES Monday evening at 7:00 PM. We will use the Lee 145.190 MHz
repeater. If it is down we will use 146.550 simplex.The topic will be
preparations for potential Hurricane Michael that may come ashore on
Wednesday afternoon near Apalachicola and then turn to the northeast
toward the Tallahassee/Albany area. Watch the weather and be prepared."

More reports to be received will be covered in next month's issue.

ARES News, Briefs

Amateur Radio Volunteers in Indonesia Link Earthquake Zone with Outside
"Black Swan 18" Exercise to Test US Government/Amateur Radio
Interoperability on 60 Meters
(10/3/18); MARS Members to Support Defense Department Radio
Communication Readiness Exercise

ARES and Emergency Preparedness -- 2018 ARRL Simulated Emergency Test
Continues Through Fall
-- Although the main SET weekend this year was October 6 - 7, local and
Section-wide exercises may take place throughout the fall.

Key References

See the ARRL 2018 Hurricanes Page <>
for Information Resources, ARRL News, Media Hits, and Donations to Ham

ARES Annual/Monthly Reports
<> can be found here,
organized by date, with a link to download a PDF of the full report.

Archives of the ARRL ARES E-Letter <> going
back to the original issue (September 2005) are available for download.

ARRL Emergency Coordinators may register their ARES group here
<> for a group ID.

Partipate in Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill: Tomorrow

Earthquakes can happen where we work, live, or travel. Great ShakeOut
Earthquake Drills
are an opportunity for everyone, everywhere, to practice earthquake
safety and other aspects of emergency plans. Once again, FEMA is
partnering with ShakeOut to encourage everyone to take action and
register their participation.

The 2018 International ShakeOut day is October 18, when millions of
people worldwide will hold earthquake drills in schools, organizations,
communities, and households at 10:18 a.m. local time.

to register your participation, find resources, and learn more. To
learn more about earthquake safety, watch the When the Earth Shakes
and visit


"South Carolina ARES was fully activated," ARRL South Carolina Section
Emergency Coordinator Billy Irwin, K9OH, reported. Irwin coordinated
regularly with the state Emergency Management Division. "We had
operators serving 12-hour shifts at the EMD and ultimately moved to
24-hour coverage.Two operators were deployed to Berkeley County to
assist with shelter operations at the request of the Emergency
Coordinator there." "We literally modified plans on the fly to meet the
needs of the mission," Irwin added. "Several ARRL Sections offered

Richland County EC Ronnie Livingston, W4RWL, said volunteers in his
county staffed the county EOC and the Red Cross. Operators at the State
Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) kept in contact with field
volunteers in Marion and Dillon counties after conventional
telecommunications failed there.

DEC Earl Dean, W4ESD, reported that ARES had deployed operators
coordinated with the active agencies. Horry County EC and ARRL South
Carolina Section Public Information Officer (PIO) Gordon Mooneyhan,
W4EGM, said radio amateurs set up and organized communication networks
to assist local government and emergency agencies, as well as to handle
health-and-welfare traffic for affected residents, to let their family
members outside the affected area know they were all right.

A week later, Amateur Radio operators were still dealing with
Florence's aftermath: Conventional telecommunications were starting to
return to normal in some areas, but others faced record-breaking
flooding. "Things are back to normal communication status, and
demobilization is occurring for the deployed operators," Irwin said on
September 19.

ARRL leaders in South Carolina thanked all Amateur Radio operators
providing service to their communities during Hurricane Florence,
especially to their team of emergency coordinators across the state.
They all planned for the worst, hoped for the best, and worked to be
safe. -- summarized from ARRL News reports


The "Driftless Area" of southern Minnesota and Wisconsin is known for
its scenic, hilly, beauty as well as a fine network of farm roads. That
makes it perfect for great bicycle rides such as Winona, Minnesota's
Ride The Ridges. But the same scenic hills and deep valleys also are a
communications challenge for members of the Winona Amateur Radio Club
(WARC) as they try to provide good communication for the 300 riders and

Club members provided communications for the ride, held September 15.
Four routes ranging from 23 to 105 miles were patrolled along with
seven rest stops. Good voice communication was assured using a UHF
repeater near Winona and a VHF repeater 30 miles away near La Crosse,
Wisconsin, owned by the Riverland Amateur Radio Club of La Crosse.

APRS was used to track SAG and sweep vehicles so the ride director, who
had a APRSISCE/32 <> driven unit in his
vehicle, could keep an eye on ride assets. Messaging was also a
possibility with APRS. As a public awareness effort, a large-screen
display at the ride's start and end showed friends and family the
progress of riders.

Cell coverage was spotty due to the terrain so the club installed two
temporary digipeaters to assure constant contact with the APRS units.
 It was also a public service according to club chair for the event,
Dan Goltz, WK0W. "These are not 'public play with our toys' events. We

    can bring technology to these events that the sponsoring
organizations don't have other access to. We are there to enhance the
event, and to provide a service, not for our benefit but for theirs."
There were 15 club members involved in the communications exercise.

Ride The Ridges coordinator Mike Bernatz gave another perspective to
the communication offered by WARC members: "Unless a person works with
a radio club member as I do, I know it would be impossible to realize
how very, very helpful - and almost necessary - to have the radio
operators involved." Bernatz added, "Yesterday, from start to finish,
was 'a bragging bucks bonanza.' It hit all the marks: a great [Winona
Rotary] club project, a hugely successful event, and a valuable source
of funds the club can use to help support its many other projects and
programs." -- Bob Seaquist, W9LSE, La Crosse, Wisconsin


Thirty-three Amateur Radio volunteers from southeast Louisiana and
southwest Mississippi provided support for the annual Multiple
Sclerosis 150-Mile "Dat's How We Roll" Bike Tour on October 6 and 7.
With 500+ cyclists spread over the 75-mile route each day from Hammond
(Louisiana) to Percy Quin Park (Mississippi), it was important to
maintain good communications with the five Rest Stops, mobile units,
local and state police, the MS staff and medical units. The skilled and
dedicated hams provided over 400 people-power hours of communications
support to the logistics, medical and safety teams for the ride. The
Southeast Louisiana Amateur Radio Club (SELARC) VHF repeater and
Louisiana ARES UHF repeater systems provided excellent coverage over
the route into Percy Quin Park in Mississippi. This was the 33rd year
that local ham operators participated in the tour and they were highly
praised by Multiple Sclerosis officials and the many friends and family
members of the cyclists along the route. -- Bob Priez, WB5FBS,
Louisiana ARES District Emergency


Southern, West Central and Northern Florida Sections Hold Inter-Section
Planning Meeting

The ARRL Southern Florida Section hosted a statewide ARES meeting with
all three Florida Sections represented, at the Indian River County EOC
in Vero Beach on September 1st. With two incoming new Section Managers
and two incoming new Section Emergency Coordinators, the section reps
all felt that the time was ripe for such a meeting.

Appointed as new ESF#2 (Emergency Support Function 2: Communications)
liaison to the State EOC was ARRL West Central Florida SEC Ben Henley,
KI4IGX, of Sebring. Many items were discussed and much networking among
the participants took place. The group agreed to meet again at the
Melbourne Hamfest this month. Thanks went to Treasure Coast DEC Gary
Webster, N1PZB, and Indian River EC Bud Holman, WA4ASJ, for securing
the EOC for the meeting. - Jeff Beals, WA4AW, ARRL Southern Florida
Section Manager and Southeastern Division Assistant Director

Eastern Massachusetts Section's Operation Equinox Tests HF Capability
in Seaside Communities

Operation Equinox was conducted on Sunday, October 1, to test the
emergency readiness of HF systems of the ARES organization in the
seaside communities of Gloucester and Rockport, north of Boston,
Massachusetts. Ron Draper, WA1QZK, reported that the basic plan was to
set up portable equipment and practice members' emergency
communications response plans on a more individual level, as opposed to
ARRL Field Day, which tends to focus on a group effort.

Draper noted the opportunity for members to vigorously check out their
HF stations in portable, simulated disaster situations. Members set up
their HF antennas, found and replaced bad coax jumpers and cables, and
tried new antennas. Members also garnered experience with 12 V
batteries, and their assets and limitations. "Grab 'n' go" kits both
for HF and VHF systems were checked as well as kits for personal needs
such as food and water for 2-3 days for self-sufficiency.

The Gloucester and Rockport ARES members learned about the needs and
protocols of their served agencies. They were advised to have visible
ID badges and day packs with the personal items necessary, along with
notebooks containing phone numbers of key contacts for local and state
officials. Draper recommended the use of tents to limit exposure to the
elements. Exercise set up went quickly and efficiently. He commended
the group for a "great response for a first time short notice."


More vehicles have non-steel roof panels constructed of fiberglass,
aluminum, or carbon fiber.This makes placing a temporary mag-mount
antenna on the roof difficult. We have run into this issue several
times in the past when our radio operators were riding in Support And
Gear (SAG), sweep, or pace vehicles during special events or riding
along with a Jeep Patrol in the mountains. Recently, I was assisting a
neighboring ARES region with a special event and was riding in a new
law enforcement vehicle that had an aluminum roof panel.The solution
was to use an HT Window Mount Clip from MFJ (MFJ-310
<>). They
make a BNC, SMA, and female SMA version of this clip so you can easily
attach an HT antenna and get it outside of the vehicle. It is small
enough to throw in a ruck sack if you know you will be operating from a
vehicle other than your own. Operators may find other uses for this
mount such as to get an antenna outside of a room with Low-E window
treatment, to get some extra height for an HT antenna, etc. It may not
have the same ground plane effects of a mag-mount, but it definitely
works. -- John Bloodgood, KD0SFY, Emergency Coordinator and Public
Information Officer, Region 2 District 2, Colorado ARES (Pikes Peak
ARES); follow Pikes Peak ARES at:


Author Bascombe J. (Jay) Wilson, W0AIM, is a Certified Emergency
Manager (CEM) and has managed critical communications systems for
federal and state agencies, local public safety responders and
international organizations for major disasters. He has deployed to
over 120 disasters as incident commander, operations section chief, EOC
watch officer as well as others. He is a member of Colorado ARES.

The third edition (2015) of Wilson's book Disaster Emergency
Communications - Planning Essentials, Emergency Response Guide and
Technical Reference is published by DisasterCom World Press, Longmont,
Colorado. The book is well organized and divided into three main parts:
Planning Essentials, Emergency Response Guide, and Technical
References, with appendices and notes.

Wilson leads off by stating that "communication systems essential for
public safety have become so complex and so interdependent that when
parts of the system begin to fail during a disaster, cascading effects
are often catastrophic." He writes that only through "comprehensive
systems analysis and extensive contingency planning is it possible to
ensure uninterrupted communications during disaster situations."

Amateur Radio, of course, is part and parcel of that contingency
planning and amateurs become more effective in meeting that goal when
they have a working practical and technical knowledge of primary and
other backup/supplemental radio services and systems. Wilson's book
goes a long way towards meeting that goal.

Wilson discusses common challenges facing communicators, and the goals
of planning - to devise an infrastructure that meets the requirements
of the situation while being as resistant to failure as possible.
Planning includes an assessment of primary, backup, auxiliary, and
emergency communications systems. Wilson places Amateur Radio in and
cites ARES as an auxiliary system, which dovetails with the federal
government's labeling of our service sometimes as AUXCOMM or Auxiliary
Communications Service.

Hazards and threats to critical communications must be identified. Gap
analysis - the gap between what you have and what you need - must be
identified next. A host of other planning considerations is also

Even with the best pre-planning, the unforeseen can occur, and the next
section of Wilson's book - Emergency Response Guide -- provides a rapid
guide to essential tasks for fast look-up of information and tips,
rather than dense explanation. Initial damage assessment, determining
resource needs and prioritizing resource requirements are all
discussed. A priority is the drafting of the emergency communications
plan; the ICS Form 205 can help.

Wilson compares emergency communications systems, and cites the
advantages of ARES: Flexibility, no direct cost, voice, data and video
modes, high speed multimedia, and local and global coverage. Wilson
goes on to discuss all major communications services available to
emergency management, with a good discussion of Amateur Radio, ARES,
RACES and others.

The last part of the book is a comprehensive list of technical
references, including standard connectors, a glossary of terms,
frequency tables and other reference guides.

Recommended Reading

I recommend this book to all amateur operators involved in public
event, emergency and disaster response communications. The book will
help you to understand the entire emergency communications environment
we work in, not just Amateur Radio. The book is not full of dense
jargon, but rather is easy to read, with just the right tone.



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8<- - - - -

Mike nw3v
Science matters. Matter matters.
Energy matters, including dark energy.