Every three years the Austin-Strauble Int. Airport holds a mock disaster. This is a major exercise for the area. It involves all the hospitals in Brown County and multiple public safety agencies.
Anywhere between 50 and 75 volunteer "victims" are dressed and made-up in full moulage to provide a variety of injuries from a simulated commercial airline crash. The victims are triaged on the airfield and transported to local hospitals by school bus.
Our job is to provide emergency communications between the EOC/IC at the airport, the hospitals, family assistance center and the school buses transporting victims.
The exercise runs "officially" from 10 am until noon on Wednesday, August 20th and lunch will be served at each of the locations.
We'll need to meet at the airport for the pre-drill briefing and assignments at 8:15 am. All personnel must be at their assigned locations, set up and operational by 9:45 am.
Some unique challenges come with this drill. Manpower is a big one. We'll need a minimum of 12 people to staff the four hospitals, family assistance center, EOC, net control and the 3 school buses. Experience has taught us that having two persons at each location works best. That means we need 15-18 or more to double up.This provides redundancy in case of equipment failures, a second set of eyes, ears and hands at each location and it allows new ARES members, walk-up volunteers or mutual aid to be paired up with someone experienced.
APRS trackers will be in each of the school buses. Portable radios and magmount antennas are a must for radio operators in the school buses.
We would like to try FLDIGI/NBEMS (using ICS message forms) between the hospitals and the EOC at the airport to transmit numbers and breakdown of victims going to each hospital. This will probably require two operators at the hospitals. One to handle voice communications and one (with a laptop and radio) for digital communications.
Communications at the hospitals has some challenges.
At Aurora, we park a vehicle in the ambulance bay and use one of thier security radios to relay traffic from the net into the hospital EOC.
At St.mary's, the radio system uses shared "telephone" style radio desksets. The desksets are located in security and the emergency room. The issue is when ER is talking with ambulances, we can't talk on them and visa-versa. The fix for this is to setup a vehicle using a "dual-band" radio with crossband repeat, and an HT on UHF. This allows the operator to roam where needed in the hospital and talk through the dualband radio to the repeater.
Bellin & St. Vincent have radios. Bellin uses the antenna from the 147.360 repeater (yes, the repeater has to be shut down to do this) or we bring in a magmount or j-pole antenna and use it with the hospital radio.
At all the hospitals, using an HT (UHF or VHF) inside has proved futile. Hitting any of the repeaters reliably is all but impossible. Best results are obtained with a mobile, power supply and a magmount or j-pole near an outside wall (window).
Adding FLDIGI to the mix complicates things a little. A laptop is needed along with a second operator and radio or a single operator switching frequencies or transmitting digital on the net primary frequency. Of course when you consider the unique situtuations at St. Mary's & Aurora, it further complicates the setup.
The Triathlon at Ashwaubomay Park is Sunday, June 1 this year (7-11:30am). The course is pretty much the same as last year with a slight change near the beginning of the Bike course.
We need at least 5, we have 3 possibly 4 committed (they could use more). I'd like to scrape up 2 or 3 extra folks, so If you know anyone else that's available let me know.
The revised maps and a timeline are available, just email me at email@example.com if you want to sign up and I'll send you the maps. This is an easy event to work. Most of us will be in vehicles or motorcycles if you are equipped for 2 meter.
Basically, we would be driving 2 lead vehicles. One for the Long bike route and one for the Short Bike route, and the SAG (following the last bikers and runners, (and of course, Net Control).
We will track the folks and report any breakdowns or injuries back to net control. They don't have any medical stations, just a truck for bike repairs. Medical emergencies would probably be handled through 911 & Net Control.
I'm working on the Google Earth Route Map for reference (I started marking the intersections where the Police officers would be, but not finished). We'll probably use the same tool box trackers that we used for the Cellcom.
We'll meet at Ashwaubomay Park pavillion (same as last year) around 6:15am to get trackers and assignments).
Kyle, KC9SDK) the ARES EC for Winnebago County is in need of volunteers to help with the Neenah Duathlon on May 3rd (Next Saturday) from 7-12PM.
Winnebago County ARES is a big supporter of the Cellcom Marathon. Let's see if we can't return the support!
"We are still lacking in our numbers for supporting the Neenah Duathlon which has been renamed the “Hope For Kenya Duathlon” by the organizers. The event is next Saturday May 3rd , the race starts at 7:30 am and usually lasts until just before noon. It is a 5k run followed by a 20 mile bike race. The bike route had to be changed this year due to construction on the US41 overpasses at county Y and GG. We currently only have 4 operators INCLUDING Net Control, and last year we used 10 to cover the race courses. Please have anyone interested signup on our website using the following link http://ecwec.org/register/?sheet_id=8 or go to ecwec.org and under activities click on the signup sheets and select the duathlon event."
Every last operator will make a big difference for this event.
It's time to go through your "Go Kits" and restock batteries, check your cables, connectors, spare antennas, manuals, update your frequency lists and make sure you radios are programmed with the current repeaters (don't forget to charge your spare battery packs!).
If you don't have a "Go Kit" or need to put one together, there are some great resources on the Internet.
Here's just one : www.qsl.net/kc0nrk/go-bags.html
HT's & Rubber "Duckies"
With the explosion of the "cheap", $40 dual-band radios from China flooding the market, it's time to revisit some basics on HT's.
I ran across this article on eHam written in 2001, but it's even more relevant today:
Ed Harris, KE4SKY, Virginia State RACES Training OfficerThe National Institute of Science and Technology tested Public Safety "high-band" VHF and amateur 2-meter antennas. Flexible antennas commonly used on portable transceivers have negative gain compared to a quarter wave whip held at face level.
This means that 5-watt portable VHF with stock antenna has an effective radiated power of only 1-watt. Placing the portable on your belt produces -20db of attenuation, reducing EIRP to 50 milliwatts! UHF results are no better...
An effective expedient to improve a flexible antenna is to attach a counterpoise (19.5" long for the 2-meter band, or 6.5" for the 70 cm band) of stranded wire, crimped and soldered to a battery clip or ring terminal which will fit over the antenna connector. Reinforce the soldered connection with heat shrink to resist flex. When attached to the outer collar of the BNC connector or the antenna shield, the counterpoise prevents transmitted RF from coupling with your body. This enables it to perform like a center-fed dipole, instead of an "end-fed dummy load!" The main lobe of the radiation pattern can be "aimed" by, grasping and pointing the end of the counterpoise in the direction where you need a stronger signal.
Some after-market and home-made antennas performmuch better than the standard helical "rubber duck." A J-pole antenna constructed of 300-ohm twin-lead rolls up and fits into your pocket. When thrown up in a tree, it increases both height and gain. Full-sized, flexible 1/4 wave and telescoping 2-wave antennas work very well.
A quarter wave provides unity gain when used with a counterpoise and held at face level. This represents a 5 dB improvement over a stock flexible antenna, because most of the effective signal is radiated. If operating from a vehicle, connect your portable to a magnetic mount mobile antenna to provide a clear RF path outside the vehicle. This overcomes the substantial attenuation, which results from operating a portable unit from inside a metal vehicle. Always carry suitable adapters so that you can connect your portable transceiver to an outside base or mobile antenna, when one is readily available.
In marginal operating locations a telescoping, half-wave is much better, because it provides the same unity gain without a ground plane that a 1/4 wave antenna does when used with a ground plane. A 2-wave antenna can be pulled up into a tree, dangled out a window, attached to a window pane with suction cups, or be used bicycle or motorcycle mobile, or in city driving on a window clip mount. A telescoping half-wave increases useable simplex range of a typical 5 watt, 2-meter portable from about a mile with the stock flexible antenna to 3 miles or more, depending upon terrain. Adding a counterpoise to an efficient antenna enables a portable unit to keep in reliable contact within 5 miles of an EOC or base station equipped with an efficient antenna elevated on a tower.
Mark your calendars! Next week is our ARES meeting. Now that the storm spotter training is behind us. It's time to prepare for the severe weather season and nets.
Next week we will conduct a weather weather net table top exercise at the meeting in preparation for "Severe Weather Awareness Week" and the state-wide Tornado drill on April 24, 2014 1-2pm.
We'll review the procedures for checking in to the net, the components (Net Control, spotters, NWS Liaison & NWS), who can start a WX Net and when a net should be started.
The exercise will walk through a scripted weather event from start to finish without radios. There will be an BCARES Net Control, a NWS liaison, a NWS Net Control and of course spotters. This allows us to discuss net operations, procedures and reports and answer questions as we go.
This is a great way for new folks to learn how a Severe Weather Net works, the correct way to check in and report weather conditions. It also enables experienced spotters to refresh their skills and review procedures.
All licensed amateur radio operators are welcome to attend and participate. Anyone checking in to the severe weather net is encourage to attend.
Pass the word! See you on Wednesday at 6:30 pm, 3030 Curry Lane Brown County Jail, 2nd Floor (EOC).
Wednesday, August 20th is the Airport Disaster drill that takes place every 3 years. Brown County ARES provides Emergency Communications for this every three years. The last one was in 2009. This will be our SET for 2014!
Here are some highlights:
This is an official ARES drill. ESponder will be used along with all the appropriate forms and logging.
The EOC will be at the airport's new fire station facility. Incident Command will probably be at the terminal upstairs in one of the conference rooms.
The scenario is a airliner crash on the Austin-Strauble Int. Airport field. There should be around 60-70 "casualties" with full make-up.
We will be staffing three shuttle buses, the shelter, airport terminal, EOC and the survivor hanger. Usually, we are done by noon. They served lunch at the airport FD in 2009 (don't know if they will do that this year).
6 people for the three buses
2 people at the EOC
2 person at the "Hanger" for survivors
2 person at the Red Cross shelter
1 person at the 'Terminal"
1 Net Control Station
3 people for the hospitals
15-17 volunteers or more are needed.
We will set up the A.R.E.S. (GB M&K club) trailer at the old overflow parking lot, north end of the runway, across from the NWS.
I would like to put APRS trackers in the buses and set up a PC in the IC. We could also use FLDIGI to communicate information & requests between the hospitals and IC/EOC using the ICS forms built in. Maybe we can to do something with Broadband-Hamnet for streaming video too.
Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) and Winnebago County, in conjunction with the Wisconsin National Guard - Joint Operations Center (WI-JOC), invite you to attend SIMCOM 2014 at the Sunnyview Expo Center, 500 East County Rd Y, Oshkosh, WI 54901, on May 15, 2014.
The purpose of the SIMCOM (State Interoperable Mobile Communications) exercise is to educate, coordinate and test Mobile Emergency Communications platform capabilities from federal, state, tribal and local jurisdictions. Come to SIMCOM 2014 and share information about your mobile communications assets, develop relationships, and understand capabilities of other agencies before they are needed in an emergency or incident.
You are welcome to bring your equipment, or just come out and see what mobile communications platforms are available in response and recovery incidents. If you are planning to attend the event we ask that you reply to Jim Meilahn (WEM Warning and Communication Officer) firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information by 28 March 2014.
This Saturday is the Wisconsin QSO party. Nice time to get on and check Simplex from your QTH. I will be participating mobile on my return from Illinois Sunday afternoon. 146.550 is what I will be monitoring.
Monday night (Mar 10th) , 7:00 pm is the East Central ARES District Net on the WI Interstate Network System (443.400 + pl100). I would like to try an experiment and if every county can check in, we will take the monthly reports on the air. Just a little message practice.
In May I would like to try the net on the WECOMM 2 meter linked system.
I will be out of town Friday March 7 and returning on Sunday March 9th. I will be on Cell phone but my internet time will be very limited.
Warm weather is coming. be prepared for flooding conditions. Lots of ice blocking rivers, streams and drains. Lots of storm drains may be iced over yet too. River ice jams can happen if rain pics up and temps rise.
Also, a reminder that SIMCOM 2014 is comming up at the Sunnyview Expo Center, 500 East County Rd Y, Oshkosh, WI 54901, on May 15, 2014.
Posted by KC9OIS Dennis, Wednesday, February 12th, 2014 @ 11:24am
The Storm Spotter Class for Amateur Radio Operators (open to the public) at St. Norbert College is on a Thursday this year. Same place & time, just a different day of the week.
March 27th 6:00-8:00 PM
St. Norbert College
Boyle Hall, Room 122
Jeff Last will be presenting.
NOTE:This is a change from the normal Tuesdays in the past. The NWS in Green Bay is short staffed this year. This was the only date open in March. The next available dates would be in late April or May.
Come early as seats usually fill up!
There are two on-line programs we encourage everyone to take prior to attending a local spotter classes.
These national on-line programs provide base-line training while attending a local program fills the gaps missing with the on-line content.
The 2014 XV Cellcom Marathon course maps have been made public now. I posted the links and much more detail information on the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon Amateur Radio Volunteers website here, where you can also sign up if you haven't already!
This year, the full and half marathons are being run as two separate events, the courses will span nearly 40 miles. Last year the Finish Line and Main Medical Tent were located on the southeast corner of the stadium parking lot. This year, everything will be located on the west side of the stadium, with Incident Command, Medical, Net Control and the FINISH line at the southwest corner of the stadium parking lot.
These changes make this marathon unique in that it's the first time any marathon has run laps inside two historic NFL stadiums following a path of "Packer" history. Celebrating it's 15th year!
This is why we still need 35-40 more volunteers to support the marathon in 2014.
It's going to be a great event and a lot of fun!
The race officials for the Apostle Island Sled Dog Race that takes place this year on February 1st and 2nd are seeking volunteer amateur radio operators to help cover the race course. We have gotten promise to lodge for free any hams that would be willing to make the trip.
The race takes place each day from 10AM to approximately 3PM. Mushers on the longest course will end up covering a total of 80 miles during the two days. We only need a handful of hams to cover the course properly so we can know what mushers have made it to each checkpoint.
If you would be willing to volunteer for the weekend, free lodging will be provided on Friday and Saturday night. Please contact me email@example.com or Chris Keezer, NW Wisconsin DEC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, if you know any other hams that might be interested, please forward this email to them as well.
Thanks & 73
Dave Eplett W9DJE email@example.com
I started back in late December playing around with Teamviewer and trying to get it to work throught the Broadband-Hamnet nodes using a couple of laptops with Windows 7. After messing around for a month, I finally got it to work!
After emailing KC9UHI, who got it to work on a couple of PCs during some downtime on the road. I suspected that it had something to do with the network configuration on the PCs.
Having both wifi and ethernet adapters on the laptops and constantly changing configurations between the two, I think that windows and Teamviewer got confused or something got corrupted. So, I went back to square one and started with a couple of clean WIN XP desktops (with only one ethernet card in them) and a fresh install of Teamviewer 9. I hooked them to the same node and tested to make sure everything worked. Then I moved one of the PCs to a second node and with just a little tweaking in Teamviewer, it worked. I added an IP camera, a website, FTP server and installed Focus VideoPhone (VideoPhone is a video-communication application that can be used in LAN or Internet).
Without going into a lot of detail, Windows keeps track of everything you do on the system. It tracks what network hardware is installed, MAC addresses, how it's configured (and everytime it changes), DNS, DHCP, IP addresses. Every computer and network you have ever connected too and what you do on the system. Most of this is tracked in the registry. I think the problem was that Windows (7 & Vista) get confused and/or something got corrupted when I started changing network configurations many times over the weeks of testing.
Originally, I tried disabling my network adapters, then from a command prompt, ran ipconfig /flushdns, /release and /renew to clean up the net configuration. This usually works, but it wasn't completely successful. After some research on the Internet, I came across a useful article support.microsoft.com/kb/299357. I uninstalled Teamviewer. Then I used the netsh command "netsh int ip reset c:\resetlog.txt" (this rewrites two registry keys that are used by TCP/IP and has the same result as removing and reinstalling the protocol). The reset command rewrites the following two registry keys: SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\ SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\DHCP\Parameters\
I rebooted the computer. Reinstalled Teamviewer and connect to the node. After that, it worked flawlessly!Now I can remote control any PC (whether it's XP, Vista, Win7 or Linux) on the Mesh.
Each BBHN node is configured with the defaults (5-node Direct Mode). Teamviewer justs need to have the Incoming Lan Connections on the General Tab, set to "ALLOW". When your network is LAN only (with no Internet), Teamviewer will show the IP address of your PC in the YOUR ID Box on the left of the dialog. There is no port forwarding to configure, no rules, no tunneling.
If you add Internet to your Mesh, it will display a 9 digit number or if you are using the online web management, you can assign a name to each PC. You can connect to remote PCs using the 9 digit number, IP address or Name.
The main objective was to be able to control an HF rig at my home from the EOC. I can connect to the PC at home (the radio and PC have to be on) with a connection to a Mesh node (Internet for normal use). Once connected to the remote PC I can bring up HRD (v.5.X, the last free version), activate the VOIP in Teamviewer on both PCs (I keep the mic muted in VOIP on the PC I'm working from until I want to transmit. If you don't, and you start talking, it will key the transmitter via VOX). With a headset/boom mic, I can transmit & receive, change bands, frequencies and do anything I would do normally do with HRD, sitting in my shack.
Added benefits of Teamviewer 9 besides being free:It has built in Chat, VOIP, Video, file sharing and of course remote control! One free application that does a whole lot.
In the next few articles, I will go into more detail on setting up HRD with a soundcard and hardware to control an HF rig. I will also go into more detail on Teamviewer for remote control and some of the features like Chat & VOIP.
Matt De Namur KC9UHI has started up a message board as a central location for discussion of various digital technologies in amateur radio. It seems as many people in the area are beginning to get more involved with HSMM, P25, APRS, etc. and working on implementing the technology for use. Unfortunately, most of the project ideas and breakthroughs aren't currently easily communicated to others who might have valuable input - here's a way to do so. Check out the board at http://digital.kc9uhi.net Please feel share the site with others who might be interested.
December 18th is our last meeting of the year (pizza party). Some of you we haven't seen for quite awhile, so please stop in and say hello. Everyone is welcome! We have many new things on the horizon for next year.
Remember, our meetings are for the benefit of everyone. The Emergency Coordinator merely facilitates the meetings.
It's up to all of you, as ARES members to provide input into what we do at these meetings and throughout the year. This is your opportunity to determine what we will be doing for training, topics for learning, implementation of new technologies, sharing ideas, discussions & planning exercises, and events for the new year.
ARES has proven itself as vital organization. It's only a matter of time before we are needed and called upon, but we must continue to practice frequently and enhance our skills so we are ready! We also have a responsibility to increase the number of trained amateur radio volunteers for the hobby and for ARES. To do this, we need to keep things interesting and keep people involved. There is no reason why we can't have fun while enhancing our skills and capabilities as ARES members. It's up to all of us to make it happen!
As a final note, there are many hams out there that use the 147.120 & 444.775 repeaters frequently on a daily basis.
PLEASE keep in mind, that without the club, none of us, including BCARES, would have access to some of the best wide are coverage repeaters and equipment in Northeast Wisconsin. Equipment that ARES and the amateur radio community relies upon frequently! It does cost money to maintain the equipment and keep up with the latest technology.
Although membership in the Mike & Key Club is not a requirement to be a member of BCARES, it does not mean you can't or shouldn't contribute to help maintain the equipment. The club provides BCARES with access to the repeaters and helps purchase specialized equipment when the need arises.
So, please consider supporting the Green Bay Mike and Key Club and encourage anyone who uses the repeaters to contribute. You can donate without becoming a member at www.k9eam.org/p/paypal.html. Also, pass the word along and bring a friend to an ARES or Mike & Key Club meeting and give both organizations a chance to show you what we are about.
If anyone would like to volunteer as a Net Control Operator or open an position in Brown County ARES let Dave (N8KQS) or I know.
Also, please note that the updated Net Control preamble is out here (see the right hand column, along with the updated meeting location (including a map).
For those of you who are using FLDigi, be sure to update to the latest version. We will be starting up the FLDigi informal net at 7:30pm on 144.910 on Sunday nights a half hour before the ARES Net on the 147.120 repeater for those who wish to test their setups.
Thank you all for your support and dedication! I hope to see you all in December.
Stay "Radio Active" and everyone have a great Thanksgiving!
"The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released their 492 page report on the Joplin tornado (May 2011, killed over 150 people). This is about a 38 Meg file, thus allow time to download the file.
This is the final report of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) investigation of the May 22, 2011, tornado in Joplin, Missouri, conducted under the National Construction Safety Team Act.
This report describes the wind field of the tornado and how the wind pressures and windborne debris damaged and destroyed thousands of buildings; the emergency communications before and during the tornado and how the public responded; the influence of tornado hazards and public response and building and designated shelter area performance on survival and injury; and areas of current building and emergency communications codes, standards and practices that warrant revision. Also described in this report is the means by which NIST reached its conclusions. NIST collected large numbers of documents, photographs, videos, and building plans; developed a computer model of the wind field of the tornado as it crossed the City of Joplin; analyzed the performance of a range of building types for life safety and functionality; interviewed many survivors of the tornado, developed an evidence-based explanation for decisions made and actions taken by the public in response to the tornado; and analyzed the factors affecting life safety outcomes.
The report outlines 47 findings related to the May 22, 2011, Joplin tornado and concludes with a list of 16 recommendations for action in areas of improved measurement and characterization of tornado hazards, new methods for tornado resistant design of buildings, enhanced guidance for community tornado sheltering, and improved and standardized emergency communications.
Skip Voros Executive Director Milwaukee Area Skywarn Association"