THE SPARK GAP A monthly publication of the Meridian Amateur Radio Club May 2001
ATTENTION ALL RADIO AMATEURS
The Clay County Amateur Radio Society is sponsoring a ham radio trade day, Saturday, May 12th, starting at 8:00 AM. Bring all your surplus equipment and join us under the covered outdoor pavilion at West Point's famous Mossy Oak Factory Outlet Mall located on Highway 45 Alternate on the south side of town. Tables are free, admission is free, and you and the family can visit the mall and enjoy lunch at Swanky Franky's delicious deli sandwich shop. Our friends at nearby MFJ have promised to bring over a few goodies so there should be plenty of new and used radio and computer gear to buy,sell, and trade!
When: Saturday, May 12th, All day long
Where: Mossy Oak Outlet Mall on Hwy 45A in West Point
Talk-in: 147.180 MHz (West Point 2M repeater)
We will have some tables and chairs but you are welcome to bring your own or just sit it on the tailgate if the weather is pretty. There is plenty of parking and display space so fill the trunk full of junk and come on!
For more information contact:
Denver Baker (KC5EXZ) 662-494-9096
Emery Wooten (KC5LIO) 662-494-3301
NEW Pelahatchie Repeater
The repeater antenna was installed on May 1st. The antenna and coax checked out real good and are working fine. In fact I talked with Dennis KI5FW after the install. He could hear me on reverse in Meridian. I have minor work yet on the repeater, but I hope to have it in service within two weeks. Frequency is 147.240 w/77 hz. tone, height 650 foot with a ground elevation of 460 ft.
This is an open repeater to be used by anyone at any time. This machine should perform very good when traveling between Jackson & Meridian. It will be an asset to the weather linking as well. You should have no trouble linking into the machine from Meridian. We also installed a link antenna & coax yesterday at 180 ft. I plan to install a link radio at the site at some point.....Probably in the next couple of months.
As you all know, repeaters and their maintenance cost dollars. If you would like to make a donation to help offset some of these expenses, anything is appreciated. Here is my address:
Raymond, MS 39154
Vicksburg ARC QSO with ISS
The Vicksburg ARC QSO with ISS-Alpha was successful on Wednesday Morning at 7:15 (on the third try..... never give up). Nine Vicksburg High School Students had an opportunity to beam up 18 questions to Astronaut Susan Helms, KC5NHZ. Kudos to N5JGK, W5WAF, K5NRK, and the rest of the VARC for making this happen.
Have you ever wondered if you have any DX QSLs at the W5 Bureau? Check out www.datasync.com/~w5ue/mdxa/buro.html for on-line info. All letters are not on line yet. Follow-up questions can be sent to Bureau Manager N5FG at firstname.lastname@example.org or to your letter sorter.
The article below is a 2 part series by AB5WF
I came across this in the W5PFC Report
Please print this out for future reference
Reprinted with permission from the W5PFC Report by Ron Brown, AB5WF
by Ron Brown, AB5WF March 30, 2001
Much is said in Amateur Radio Circles about emergency communications and our ability to get the messages through under adverse conditions. Indeed, it is this capability which provides us continued support, respect, and use of the frequency spectrum. The very first item in Part 97 is the Basis and Purpose of the Amateur Radio Service. Paragraph 97.1(a) states the first principle for providing for amateur radio is. "Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications". In effect, emergency communication is our reason for being and the justification for allocating valuable radio frequencies to be used without remuneration. If we cant or dont provide communication in emergencies and disasters, then we arent "doing our job".
Many hams will say they are willing to help in an emergency. When disasters strike they come out of the woodwork to offer their services and equipment for the public good. This sounds great, but sometimes these individuals are more willing than able to serve. Hams who are good technicians, have super strong signals, DXCC awards and satellite experience may not be able to manage net control duties or prepare messages in standard ARRL format. Good emergency communicators are trained and prepared for the task.
How does one become prepared to respond effectively when disaster strikes? The first step is to let the person in charge of emergency communications in your local area know that you are interested in becoming actively involved in the effort. The individual to see is usually the Emergency Coordinator or EC. The EC is an ARRL appointed official designated to manage the efforts of amateurs in a local area such as a county. It is his or her job to develop an emergency communication plan outlining the agencies where assistance is needed, such as Red Cross, Emergency Operations Centers, etc. and to secure operators to man stations at these locations.
The EC operates through the Amateur Radio Emergency Services or ARES organization. Membership in this group would be the place to start your quest to become an effective emergency communicator. If you dont know who your EC is, then check with your local Ham Radio Club for information. Check the Mississippi ARRL home page at www.arrlmiss.org for a list of ARRL officials in the state. You can find help at the ARRL web page www.arrl.org also.
You should provide the EC with information about your interest and your station capability so that he or she can make appropriate assignments. Your EC will need to know if you have emergency power, or can operate on the HF bands, UHF repeater, packet, APRS, or mobile.
After you sign-up, your duty is to prepare yourself to serve when called upon. Your EC will conduct training sessions and nets to help you gain the communications skill needed for you assignment. Youll need to know net operating procedures, message writing, traffic handling, record keeping and necessary relationships with served agencies. Youll also need onthe-air practice to develop and maintain your skills in these areas. One good way to do this is to check into local and statewide nets designed for traffic handling or training for emergency purposes. Participate in SKYWARN events and Field Day as well as the Simulated Emergency Test. Participation in club sponsored public service projects such as bike rides, and walks gives valuable experience in tactical communications.
The next step is to develop your station resources so you will be able to respond to the proper place with the equipment and materials needed to do the job. This will require some personal planning and organization so that little time is wasted getting ready to go when the call to service comes.
The checklist for deployment preparation and the development of a "ready kit" will be the subject of the next column.
Part Two by Ron Brown, AB5WF
Amateur Radio Operators who are willing to be of service during an emergency situation should recall the Boy Scout Motto "Be Prepared". It is one thing to say you can help, but its important to be ready when needed. When the call comes from the Emergency Coordinator (EC) requesting a station to report to a certain location to assist in emergency communications, would you be ready to go on short notice, or would you have to scramble around to collect things you think you might need? The good operator, like the good scout is prepared. Have your "Ready Kit" packed so you can pick it up as you go out the door. Sometimes you may have to stay in the field a long time if there is a major disaster. In such a situation you would need additional personal and support gear.
Let us review some of the preparations and priorities associated with personal participation in emergency communications activities. The following check lists have been gathered from ARRL publications ARES Field Manual, and the ARRL Operating Manual.
WHAT TO DO FIRST IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY
Check that you and your family are safe and secure before you respond as an ARES volunteer. Check that your property is safe and secure before you respond as an ARES Volunteer. Monitor your local emergency frequencies. Follow the instructions you receive from the ARES officials in charge on the above frequency, Contact your local emergency coordinator, or his/her designee, for further instructions.
INITIAL ACTION CHECKLIST
The net control station and/or ARES officials on the designated emergency net will provide additional instructions, including information on frequencies used for other resource and tactical nets. Normally, a resource net will enroll volunteers and provide information on how you can assist.
Be prepared to operate. Check all equipment and connections. Check-in with your assigned contact. Deploy to assignment with "Ready" kit. Obtain tactical call sign for you location/assignment. Initiate personal event log. Enter assigned frequency(s) on log sheet and on emergency/frequency plan. Use log form to record messages handled. Use a formal message form when a precise record is required. Use tactical call sign for your location, while observing FCCs ten-minute I-d rule. Monitor your assigned frequency AT ALL TIMES. Notify NCS if you have to leave.
ARES PERSONAL CHECKLIST
The following represents recommendations of emergency equipment and supplies ARES members should consider having available for use during an emergency or public service activity.
Forms of Identification
- ARES Identification Card
- FCC Amateur Radio License
- Driver license
- Rig (VHF)
- Power Supply/extra batteries
- Antennas with mounts
- Spare fuses
- Patch cords/adapters
- SWR meter
- Extra coax
- Message forms
- Note paper
Personal Gear (short duration)
- Liquid refreshments
- Throat lozenges
- Personal medicine
- Extra pair of glasses
Personal Gear (72-hour duration)
- Foul-weather gear
- Three-day supply of drinking water
- Cooler with three-day supply of food
- Mess kit with cleaning supplies
- First-aid kit
- Personal medicin
- Throat lozenges
- Sleeping bag
- Toilet articles
- Mechanical or battery powered alarm clock
- Flashlight/lantern with batteries
- Waterproof matches
- Extra pair of glasses
Tool Box (72-hour duration)
- Socket wrenches
- Electrical tape
- 12/120V soldering iron
- volt-ohm meter
Other (72-hour duration)
- rig (HF)
- jumper cable
- generator, spare plugs and oil
- kerosene lights, camping lantern or candles
- 3/8-inch hemp rope
- highway flares
- extra gasoline and oil
The checklist above includes about everything you would need for either a short duration event or one for about three days. The short duration list would be the same as your "ready-kit" in a grab-and-go bag. These item are the minimum set of supplies you would need if you were to go to a Red Cross Shelter during a disaster or to help with a public service event such as a bike race.
Simplified checklist for your "READY KIT"
- 2-METER HT
- 2-METER MAG-MOUNT ANTENNA AND COAX
- PAPER AND PENCIL
- ARES ID CARD
- EXTRA BATTERIES
- APPROPRIATE CLOTHING
- FOOD AND WATER
All amateurs and especially ARES members should get themselves organized and like good Boy Scouts be Prepared to go to the field and be of service. Are your ready?
Have a great month
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