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AuxComm HF NET Exercise Announcement

On Sunday, 25 January 2015, at 3pm (Eastern Time) the AUXCOMM Network will be conducting another volunteer HF emergency communications training net for all AuxComm personnel within the United States. The primary purpose of this net is to allow all amateur radio operators and opportunity to test out their equipment and get signal reports from three net control stations (NCSs) which will be spread out between Florida and Illinois. Operating on both the 20 and 40 meter bands, this one hour test will allow all amateur radio operators the opportunity to contact all three net controls on all both bands which are typically used for emergency communications. The following matrix should be used when participating: (all times are Eastern)

Station                              3pm_______3:15pm          3:30pm                3:45pm                    4pm

(Washington, DC)        7.186                 14.282             7.186                     14.282                   Finish

(Chicago, IL)                  14.322               7.236               14.322                   7.236                     Finish

(Orlando, FL)                7.263                 14.228             7.263                     14.228                   Finish

Frequency’s maybe +/- 5 kHz depending on QRM/QRN. Try to hit all three net control stations using all six frequencies. Net Controls will be logging your call signs, locations and signal reports.

This training net is coordinated by volunteer amateur radio operators. It has nothing to do with any government entity and is not intended to replace any of the great HF nets that various EMCOMM organizations currently have on the air.   This training net is for all amateur radio operators. Especially those who provide public safety with emergency backup communications. Should you have any questions regarding this AuxComm training net, please feel free to send your inquiries to:

ARES Volunteers in Ohio Activate Following Loss of 911, Telephone Services

ARES volunteers in northeast Ohio activated on January 13 after 911 and other telephone services went down in six counties due to a power failure at a major AT&T center in Akron. The outage was blamed on a burst steam pipe. Cell telephones and the 800-900 MHz digital Multi-Agency Radio Communication System (MARCS) remained functioning.

The Medina County Emergency Management Agency requested ARES communication support with surrounding counties and with the Ohio Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Columbus as a backup. At the same time, EMA Directors in Stark, Summit, Portage, Mahoning, and Columbiana counties alerted their ARES organizations.

Ohio ARRL Section Emergency Coordinator Stan Broadway, N8BHL, also requested activation of RACES station W8SGT at the Ohio EOC. Communication was established on 75 meters with several county Emergency Coordinators. The EOC also was able to link up with the Stark County 2 meter repeater, some 135 miles away.

Amateur Radio tactical communication regarding the status of systems and repairs confirmed what was being reported via MARCS. The Amateur Radio activation terminated after 4 hours, once the 911 system was brought back online.

“The Ohio EOC staff was extremely cordial as we coordinated with them, and the various county EMA directors were quick to activate Amateur Radio during the event,” Broadway said.

Broadway said Ohio volunteers already had practiced for such an event, since the emergency scenario during the Ohio Simulated Emergency Test (SET) last fall involved a statewide communication breakdown.

As occasionally happens, Broadway said, such events occur at inconvenient times. One EMA director was away on a honeymoon, and the Stark County EOC had no antennas in place while the roof of their building was being replaced. “Summit County (Akron) had an additional challenge,” Broadway noted. “It was decided to move their EOC, because all phone service was down. ARES members had to grab a ‘go bag’ and quickly set up operations at an alternate site.”

“My thanks to all who were involved!” Broadway said. “Our response was quick and professional, and was a great opportunity to show the value of Amateur Radio.”

Where the Ham Radio Hobby Began for Many…

I thought I would add a photo of where my radio experience began. I attended the U.S. Navy Radio School in Bainbridge, MD for 6 months in 1953. It was an awesome school. I then served in the Communications Department (Radioman) onboard the USS Siboney, CVE-112, part of an Anti-Submarine Warfare Task Group (Hunter/Killer) during the Korean War. I communicated via radio ship-to-ship, ship-to-airplane, and ship-to-shore. It was a great experience. USNTC Bainbridge is no longer in existence, but here is the photo of our Radio School:

USNTC Bainbridge, MD Radio School
USNTC Bainbridge, MD Radio School
The USS Siboney, CVE-112
The USS Siboney, CVE-112

By Dick Neumann, W9JR