Amateur radio operators are needed for a countywide emergency communications exercise. This exercise, scheduled for Thursday May 21, is intended to tie together hospitals, clinics, and skilled nursing facilities across the county. Over 20 facilities, in 9 communities in Mendocino County have been invited to participate. 30 to 35 volunteers may be needed to adequately cover the facilities that are expected to participate. May 21, 2015 is coming up quickly so calendar the date and plan to lend a hand.
Many of you participated in similar drills over the past few years, and Tim WB9NJS, would appreciate your support again this year. If you did not participate in a previous exercise, please consider joining in the 2015 drill. This exercise is an excellent opportunity to develop your emergency communications skills, while becoming more familiar with your local health care facilities.
This year Mendocino County Health and Human Services (HHSA) has asked to extend the time frame of the drill to provide additional time to exchange messages. The exercise is scheduled to start at 10:30 AM and could run for up to 3 hours, depending on volunteer availability. This means volunteers should plan to report to their assigned facilities between 9:00 and 9:30 AM. Volunteers who are unable help for the entire period are still encouraged to participate, as facilities will be allowed to delay their start time.
The exercise will consist of using standardized forms and the ARRL radiogram format to exchange information between the facilities and an EOC in Ukiah. The option of using digital messaging will be included this year, if enough operators who are appropriately trained and equipped are available.
If you are interested in volunteering for this exercise, please contact Tim, either by WB9NJS email or by telephone at (707) 972-9388.
WARS (Willits Amateur Radio Society) will hold a meeting on Saturday, Feb 21, 2015, at 11:30 am, at Old Mission Pizza in Willits. All hams and their families are welcome to attend. This is a great time to visit with old friends, or meet face to face with folks you have only ‘met on the net’. The club will buy the pizza and you buy your drink(s) and anything special like a sandwich or salad bar. Mike Stephens, a local wildlife biologist and owl specialist, will be speaking on “Radio Technology Used for Studying and Surveying Wildlife”. He will be talking about the tracking of Spotted Owls and Marbled Murrlets using RADAR (in a van) for studies deep in the woods. Mike will also have photos and sample radio transmitters for inspection.
The WARS seminar, Oct. 18, 2014, was very successful with a room full of enthusiasts coming out to hear all about digital radio history, modes and how to use them in this day and age where cell phones seem to have taken the place of radio.
Tim WB9NJS, explained just what is digital, as well as the common digital modes. How does one work with digital modes when their transceiver doesn’t speak digital? CW is the original digital mode and the timing that constitutes a dit, rather than a dah.
Radio Teletype or RTTY was one of the first digital modes authorized for amateur use following WWII and Tim gave a wonderful history of how that evolved from using an elect o-mechanical teleprinter as a terminal to now using a personal computer as a terminal, and it’s sound card in place of a modem. Tim’s RTTY station from 1978 was heavy, bulky and very noisy and today is replaced with a laptop.
What’s needed to get started? Well, acoustically coupled you would need just a computer with a sound card, a digital communication program and a transceiver. Optionally an interface can be placed between the computer and transceiver.
Joyce KJ6ZVS, demonstrated fldigi and flmsg, the programs primarily used on Digi-Net Tuesday evenings on the county wide repeater system, using acoustical coupling. Noting that there is a learning curve and sometimes patience as well as persistence is what makes the practice successful.
George K7WWA, gave a presentation on packet radio, the history, what it was used for and where it is today. Hook up an ordinary PC, a Kantronics radio modem, and your radio then you can send and receive e-mail, transfer files and monitor remote operations. George demonstrated APRS by tracking Nick KI6RIT, as he was returning from his latest trip and then showing that there was a historical record available as he tracked a trip he had made earlier this year.
Tim and Joyce finished the afternoon with a demonstration of SSTV, showing how with a computer and a software program, pictures can be sent. Using Slow Scan and taking a snap shop of an emergency/disaster scene could then be sent to an EOC showing exactly what is happening in real time. Len WA6KLK, commented that Kenwood had a radio equipped with a camera before cell phones.
The seminar was attended by a CERTS team as a communication activity, this helps keep them certified. They were excited about the possibilities of digital communications and could see the advantages of precise and accurate messaging. Several asked about classes to become licensed in amateur radio, and about taking the necessary test(s).
Interestingly enough, 40 percent of those attending were ladies showing that the hobby is not primarily just interesting to guys. We had attendees that made the trip from areas including Gualala, Laytonville, Ukiah, Lake County, as well as the extended Willits area.
A thank you goes to Jim W6JRC, for returning from Pacificon with commemorative centennial coins that were donated to the raffle, and the new HRO catalogs.
WARS (Willits Amateur Radio Society) will hold a Seminar on Saturday, October 18, 2014, from 10:00 am to about 2:00 pm, at The Mormon Church south of Willits. This seminar will be geared mainly towards all things digital. Would you like to know more about the different digital modes? What equipment is needed (or not necessary)? Why try digital modes, are there pluses, and what is the purpose? Digital and HF bands, is it really very effective? What is the purest form of digital?
All HAMS or anyone interested in amateur radio are welcome to attend. More information about speakers and topics will be posted as it is available.
Saturday April 26th VOMARC (Valley of the Moon Amateur Radio Club) held their annual Hamfest, which included an indoor/outdoor swapmeet, exam session, breakfast, drawings for door prizes and demonstrations.
We arrived at almost 8am on the dot and business was already brisk at the swapmeet with many attendees returning to their vehicles with their new found treasures. Attendance; both sellers and buyers appeared to be down as compared to a year ago, probably because of the forecasted weather. However, while it was really cool at 8am, by 10 the air had warmed nicely and the day was gorgeous. There were good buys to be found and I enjoyed digging through various boxes of parts looking for the elusive pieces and parts I want for my spectrum analyzer project.
Breakfast, as it has been in the past, was plentiful and delicious with lots of people moving around and stopping for casual conversations. We enjoyed a leisurely meal in a relaxed atmosphere where we met and talked with Hams from outside our local area, made new friends, exchanged information about radio equipment, accessories, and programming. WARS members that attended were Bill KK6HZU and his XYL Debbie, Len WA6KLK, Don KJ6ZVR, and me.
This is the 3rd VOMARC Hamfest that I have had the pleasure of attending and I’d recommend it to anyone interested in a fun day, it’s never too early to mark your 2015 calendar for the 4th Saturday in April. It is the perfect spot and time of year to enjoy a beautiful drive out to Sonoma, find the buy you never expected, possibly take an upgrade exam, and have a meal, all hosted by friendly members of the local radio club.
Do you want to learn about Ham Radio? Have questions?
Having issues with your ham radio?
We have the answers!
Bring your radio and the manual for it and we will have the people there to help you!
Lake County Amateur Radio Society Operations Day May 3, 2014 10:00 am to 3:00 Location: Lucerne Community Church in the Fellowship Hall 5870 East Highway 20 in Lucerne, CA 95458
All levels of Ham Radio Operators are welcome! Licensed or not!
For further information, contact Kristine (KI6YYW) via e-mail � firstname.lastname@example.org
WARS (Willits Amateur Radio Society) will hold a meeting on Saturday, May 17, 2014, at 11:30 am, at Old Mission Pizza, Willits in lieu of our spring seminar. All hams and their families are welcome to attend. This is a great time to visit with old friends, or meet face to face with folks you have only “met on the net”. The club will buy the pizza and you buy your drink(s) and anything special like a sandwich or salad bar.
A speaker is being sought and will be announced shortly. We will also take ideas for activities that members are interested in for future meetings so, bring your ideas and be ready to share with the rest of us.
Dues for 2014: $15.00 each or $22.50 for two in a household are now due and payable, either at the meeting or by mailing a payment to:
WARS, PO Box 73, Willits, CA 95490.
Donations are always appreciated.