Meeting Minutes

August 8, 2017

John Meyer NZ9Z advised that there is a long delay at WAR for the repeater updates, but we are in their queue.
The use of a gas grill for next year’s brat fry was discussed.
David Jaeger WN9Q invites interested operators to participate in the Scouts’ Jamboree on the Air on 10/21 (Saturday).
There is no internet at HFM yet, so the Winlink station will remain at his
house for the time being.
Headphone splitter is defective. We are ordering new one.  The Irma WECOMM tone settings need experimenting with the PL tone setting to stop interference.

May 9, 2017

Yogi WN9Q took the Food Handler’s course and received the permit for the brat fry.

Mike KC9HQV reported that there is high SWR on the antenna and there is an issue with internet access.  Mike installed new batteries for the power supply.  The VHF ARES repeater is off by an hour, John NZ9Z should be able to adjust remotely.

Members will meet at the Armory at 6:30 Tuesday, May 23 to work on the NVIS antenna.  The HFMMC MOU was reviewed.  The room that was set up for operating is currently in use due to a software upgrade.

 March 14, 2017

The Winlink project is progressing, and Mike KC9HQV and Yogi WN9Q gave a demo.  APRS was causing issues and have been turned off. TeamViewer Software will be added to the computer to aid in remote troubleshooting.  Mike and Yogi would like to set up  Winlink and digital nets.

 The updated MOU has been delivered and is being reviewed by HFMMC staff.

John Meyer NZ9Z reports that the 440 repeater cannot go to Sri Lanka due to their frequency management policy. He is coordinating pick up of the equipment. Disposition of the repeater will be determined at a future time.

We have terminated the post office box lease.

Anne KC9YL used a slide show to demonstrate the ins and outs of Echolink.

The software is free and easy to set up.

January 10, 2017 

The Brat Fry at Rob’s Family Market is set for Saturday June 17.  Yogi WN9Q is in charge.

Attendees voted to add the following topics  to the 2017 agenda:  Echolink, pick a band (choosing the right  frequency for the job), Portable antennas, and Testing equipment usage.

Image may contain: 4 people, people sitting, table and indoor

We will purchase a G6 antenna for the HFMMC site, subject to authorization for Winlink.

WE NEED ADDITIONAL NET CONTROL OPERATORS!!  Contact Ken KD9AQM.

Ken Ivey KD9AQM and Travis Waack KB9YRC, drawing on ARRL manuals, personal experience and that of previously deployed ARES/RACES members, presented on readiness, mutual assistance, response kits, and the impact of realistic training exercises, with Travis showing off his personal response kit.

December 13, 2016

Members showed off their “go kits”

The W9RES repeater will be moving off of the Cato tower approximately December 19.  The repeater is planned to be off the air for a few days.

 Mark your calendars for our holiday party, scheduled for Friday January 20 at City Limits (former Bil Mar).  Contact Ken KD9AQM ASAP so he can get a head count.  You do NOT have to be an ARES/RACES/LARSC member to attend.

The MOU with the Red Cross, LTC and Holy Family Memorial will need to be updated.  Future plans also include installing WinLink at the hospital site.

We have a working station at the new site!

November 8, 2016

Elections were held, all club offices were filled

Travis Waack KB9YRC – President

Mike Martch KC9HQV – Vice President

Ken Ivey KD9AQM – Secretary

David Jaeger WN9Q – Treasurer

Attendees shared their thoughts from the recent ARES/RACES State Conference.  Recruitment/retention seems to be a problem across the board, with radio club and non-profit/volunteer groups in general having similar problems.

The new club room and radio/storage facilities at the Rollaire Skate Center (old Armory) were checked out.  Tentative plans were made to move equipment from the Red Cross to the new site on Friday, November 11. Furniture options were discussed.

Brat Fry planning – David Jaeger WN9Q will take the lead.

Christmas party planning – Cary and Ken will check out some options

October 11, 2016

The new shack location should be accessible by the November meeting.

The MOU with HFM Hospital, LTC and the Red Cross will need to updated once the move is complete.

We need to set up Winlink at HFM Hospital. All ARES frequencies need to be added to the ARES Member plan.

Ken KD9AQM will work on arrangements for our mid-winter banquet.

Nominations were taken at the October meeting – elections will be held in November.

Other items discussed:  WECOMM repeater issues, Wisconsin ARES state conference, critique of the October 1 SET. and broadband over power lines.

September 13, 2016

The lease with the city for the new shack location is still a work in progress.

The MOU with HFM Hospital, LTC and the Red Cross will need to updated once the move is complete.

The Cato tower will be coming down and the repeater will need to be relocated.  The county will find space on another tower.

The SET exercise will be held on October 1.

Officer nominations will continue at the October meeting with elections in November.

May 10, 2016

The Brat Fry went well – thanks to all who helped in any way.  (Next year – Rob’s on a Saturday???)

Field Day plans will be finalized at the June meeting.

Our next monthly meeting will be Tuesday, June 14 at 6:30 p.m.

Upcoming events:

next VE session – Tuesday, May 17 – 6:30 registration/7:00 testing in Plymouth

NB9QV Cobia Special Event as part of Museum Ships weekend – June 4/5

April 12, 2016

 There will be a mini-set drill and Skywarn net for the tornado drill on Thursday April 14.

Brat Fry will be held on Friday, May 6 at Piggly Wiggly in Manitowoc.

A new meeting/station space is still a work in progress.

Field Day is coming up – tentative plans include building/erecting 80m/160m antennas – more details at the May meeting.

Yogi WN9Q demonstrated Slow Scan TV, and we received an image from the ISS!

 Our next monthly meeting will be Tuesday, May 10 at 6:30 p.m.

Upcoming events:

next VE session – Tuesday, May 17 – 6:30 registration/7:00 testing in Plymouth

Reminder:  LARSC dues due 1/1/16

March 8, 2016

A brat fry has been scheduled for Friday, May 6 at the Piggly Wiggly in Manitowoc.

We’re still waiting on paperwork from the City before we can move the station.

There will be a Skywarn net for the tornado drill on Thursday April 14.

 Mike Martch KC9HQV will help facilitate Field Day, and suggested Fox hunting and NVIS antenna construction as possible activities. Cary Klager KD9CZQ mentioned the possibility of a cabin available.

 February 9, 2016

The group is planning another Brat Fry fundraiser this summer – date & location to be determined.

The lease for the new location of the W9RES station & meeting space is still a work in progress.

The W9RES 440 repeater is still alive, if you  pause,  stand by to reset or it may drop.

• Upcoming exercises •

Simcomm – Niellsville May 18, 19

Exercise – Miles Paratis WEM & NG, Jun 4 (5 day exercise)

WI-CAMS credential cards may involve background checks. Training sessions are forthcoming.

Yogi WN9Q  reported that Digital Nets using FSQ are popular among other EmComm groups

John NZ9Z reports a problem with the Calumet County repeater, UHF is still in service on 444.800

Our next monthly meeting will be Tuesday March 8 at 6:30 p.m.

Upcoming events:

Saturday, February 27 – Ham breakfast at Wildflower Cafe in Cleveland -9:00 a.m.

Saturday, March 5 – VE session in Plymouth – 8:30 registration. 9:00 testing

Reminder:  LARSC dues due 1/1/16

December 8, 2015

Election of officers was held with members casting a unanimous ballot for:

                John Meyer NZ9Z – President

                Mike Martch KC9HQV – Vice President

                Ken Ivey KD9AQM – Secretary

                Dave “Yogi” Jaeger WN9Q – Treasurer

Members voted to take out radio equipment insurance coverage through the ARRL.  We will also renew the PO Box for another 6 months.

Anne KC9UHH will check into available dates for a brat fry at Festival Foods.

Yogi, Mike & Ken demonstrated FLDigi, sending digital messages on 2m.  Yogi used a Signalink interface, Mike used a remote speaker as a microphone and Ken used his HT and laptop speaker/microphones.  Members were encouraged to download the free software in the hope that we can add a digital net to our regular Tuesday night get-togethers.

Our next monthly meeting will be Tuesday, February 9 at 6:30 p.m.

Upcoming events:

Saturday, January 9 – All Ham Chicken Dinner at Knox’s Silver Valley in Manitowoc

Saturday, January 16 – VE session in Plymouth – 8:30 registration. 9:00 testing

Reminder:  LARSC dues due 1/1/16

November 10, 2015

The move from the Red Cross is still a work in progress.  The old County Shop space will no longer be available, but we have been offered a spot in the 2nd floor of the old Armory building on 18th street.  More information will be available next month.

Mike KC9HQV would like to start a digital net on Tuesday nights, after the regular 2m net.  John NZ9Z asked Mike and Yogi WN9Q to give a demo at the December meeting.

Election of officers was tabled until the December meeting.  Please contact John if you wish to nominate someone, or add your name to the ballot.

Upcoming events;

Tuesday, December 8 – monthly meeting – election of officers – 6:30 at the Red Cross in Manitowoc

Saturday, January 9, 2015 – Silver Valley Supper Club – ALL HAM Chicken Dinner

Saturday, January 16 – Plymouth VE session – 8:30 registration/9:00 testing

October 12, 2015

The nuclear plant drill went well. Suggestions for the future included a set-up/cheat sheet for each go-kit to assist with ease of operation, operating the go-kits at a club meeting to allow members to become familiar with the equipment and standardization of the message forms.

The NB9QV Cobia special event originally scheduled for November 7-8 has been cancelled.

The antennas at the Red Cross have been dismantled and are in storage.

Upcoming events;

Sunday, November 1 – Appleton Hamfest & VE session

Saturday, November 7 – Plymouth VE session

Tuesday, November 9 – meeting & election of officers

Saturday, January 9, 2015 – Silver Valley Supper Club – ALL HAM Holiday party!

September 8, 2015

John NZ9Z reported that LARSC is now an affiliated club and has liability insurance.  Travis KB9YRC reported that the Red Cross building has been listed with a realtor and that antenna take-down and equipment removal should start soon.

Brat Fry proceeds were a little over $ 500.00.  Thanks to Western Fraternal Life Association for its matching funds and volunteer help.

Other discussions included repeater use in the West experienced by those involved in the wildfires, the upcoming Point Beach Nuclear Plant drill to be held September 15, future meeting topics, antenna problems at LTC, digital systems used by other ARES/RACES groups, and the new FSQ digital mode.

June 9, 2015

The meeting of LARSC/ARES-RACES was called to order by Fred W6BSF. The club application is still in process – we should hear something within 4-6 weeks.

Field Day will be held at the Red Cross office in Manitowoc.  We will operate on 20m and 40m as a 2F station. If there is enough interest, the group will fry out.  There is no operating schedule – stop in when you can!  Contact Fred or John NZ9Z via email if you plan on attending.

Our brat fry fundraiser will be held at Festival Foods on Saturday, August 8 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  We are being co-sponsored by the Western Fraternal Life Association, which will reimburse some of our costs and well as be a source for additional volunteer help.  We plan to be able to set up an amateur radio demonstration to promote interest in the club and the ham radio hobby.  Anne KC9UHH will contact members later in summer to set up a volunteer schedule.

The Lakeshore Scenic Shore 150 bike ride leukemia/lymphoma fundraiser will be in the area on Saturday/Sunday July 18-19.  Contact Fred if you’d be interested in working one of the rest stops.  A 2m mobile rig, or an HT connected to a mag mount antenna is sufficient.

The Museum Ships  Weekend was a great success with the Cobia Club activating NB9QV aboard the USS Cobia with 1029 total contacts (a new record).  Join us in November for our Veteran’s Day special event.

Yogi WN9Q has offered to be the program director for the club.  Please contact him if you have ideas for meeting topics, or if you’d be interested in facilitating a club talk, demonstration or discussion.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:38 p.m. followed by a presentation by Mahinda  Abeyawardhena 4S7PA, a member of the Council of the Radio Society of Sri Lanka.  Mahinda shared his experiences during the tsunami of 2004, and the nature of ham radio on the island country.

Club meetings are suspended for the summer – mark your calendars for the 2nd Tuesday of September – 6:30 (ARES/RACES) and 7:00 (LARSC) on the 8th.

 Summer nets will continue on Monday evenings at 7:00 but will run every other week until Labor Day.  Check the website for an up-to-date schedule.

 

May 11, 2015

The Bylaws and Constitution of the newly formed Lakeshore Amateur Radio Service Club were reviewed and approved.  This reorganization will allow us to be an affiliated club with the ARRL and be able to obtain the liability insurance that the city of Manitowoc requires.  LARSC’s purpose will be to support ARES/RACES and emergency amateur radio communications in the Lakeshore area.  The relocation of the W9RES station is on hold until the ARRL approves us as an affiliated club.

Officers for the group were elected and will hold office until January 1.  (Elections will be held in November).

     President – John Meyer NZ9Z

     Vice President – Fred Neuenfeldt W6BSF

     Secretary – Anne Dirkman KC9UHH

     Treasurer – Tom Shea NV9W

Field day plans will be discussed at the June meeting.

The Scenic Shore 150 Bike Tour – July 18-19 – is looking for volunteers to provide amateur radio support at the rest stops.  Contact Fred W9BSF for more information or if you are able to organize the volunteers in Manitowoc County.

We have a brat fry fundraiser scheduled for August 8 at Festival Foods in Manitowoc.

ARES members were reminded to keep their training up-to-date.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The meeting began with a little show-and-tell by Yogi WN9Q who showed us his home-brew moxon antenna.  They can be made multi-band and are reported to work as well as a 3-element beam.  Yogi also shared some of his recent slow-scan TV projects.  Check out WB9KMW’s website for more information and software links.

Fred W6BSF will be sending out the Cobia signup list around May 1.  If you want to operate on the USS Cobia for the Museum Ships Weekend, contact Fred.

John NZ9Z reported that in order to be a ARRL sanctioned club and therefore be eligible to purchase their liability insurance (more affordable rate) we need to reorganize and form a new club.  It was decided that the new club be named: Lakeshore Amateur Radio Service Club and that its purpose will be to support ARES/RACES of Manitowoc County. Travis KB9YRC will develop the bylaws & constitution.  Officers of the new club will be the EC & AECs.  Dues will be $ 20.00 per  year.  Field Day plans are up in the air for now.  We have been invited to participate in Sheboygan’s Field Day event.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Travis KB9YRC has a meeting scheduled for Monday and is working toward finding a new home for the W9RES station equipment as well as a meeting place for our group.  Anne KC9UHH and Bob KC9HBA brought along some of their CW equipment for a little show & tell.

Yogi WN9Q shared some satellite operation tips and show us the equipment he uses and explained some of the software involved. Dongles, chipsets, elk antennas and software defined radios – Yogi gave us a taste of it all. Here’s more information:

AmateurRadio.com (@amatradio)

Interested in getting into #RTLSDR? Check out this quickstart guide to software defined radio and #hdsdr lucashayas.com/journal/2014/1… @LucasHayas

 The next URL is the HDSDR home page:

 http://www.hdsdr.de/

 The next URL is the Amazon page that shows the RTL-SDR that is demonstrated.

  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00P2UOU72?psc=1

 The final URL is a catch all set up page for both SDR# and HDSDR.  It sounds complicated but if you follow instructions and don’t skip anything it all works.  Of course the one word of caution is “ignore the ads and make sure that you always press the correct download button”.

 http://www.rtl-sdr.com/rtl-sdr-quick-start-guide/

Thanks again, Yogi, it was AWESOME!!!!!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Guest speaker was Nick Cluppert, from the Red Cross Oshkosh office. He is the new Disaster Program Specialist for our chapter.  We have use of the building as there are no immediate plans to dispose of the property.  He is willing to continue the working relationship with ARES/RACES and will contact us in the event of a drill/exercise.  Travis KB9YRC and John will be contacting Nancy to meet and discuss the future home for the W9RES station.  A county property or hospital site was mentioned as something to consider, keeping LTC as a backup station.

John NZ9Z remarked that our treasury balance is around $ 300.00.  There was some discussion about possibly having a brat fry fundraiser.  Steve AA9SJ mentioned that the Plymouth WECOMM repeater has been having intermittent issues, especially evenings and weekends.  Cathy Cole has offered a donation of an HT which we hope to set up for Echolink, using existing equipment.  The W9RES Winlink is again operational.  John reminded members to take the required ICS/NIMS training if they haven’t already. Only RACES-badged amateurs would be allowed to operate in the event of a national emergency.

Field day options were discussed including joining with Sheboygan at Taylor Park, or setting up onsite at the Red Cross.

 January 2015 – no meeting – holiday party

December 2014 – no meeting – PBNP drill

Monday, November 10, 2014

We were notified by Travis KB9YRC that the Red Cross will be no longer staffing the office in Manitowoc.  It was suggested that we begin looking for an alternate site for the station.  We will continue to have access to the Red Cross for the time being.  Since we should have adequate notice in the event the building is sold, the group decided to leave the antenna and station intact for now and continue to have meetings at the Red Cross building. John NZ9Z and Travis will be checking to see if there might be space available in a county building.

Fred W6BSF reported a successful Cobia event with over 800 Qs.  The Herald Times reporter posted a video of the radio operations on their website, and the video will be re-broadcast on HamNation.  There’s a link on the Wisconsin Maritime Museum’s facebook page.

The “Christmas” party will be held on Saturday, January 10 at Knox’s Silver Valley restaurant just west of Manitowoc.  Anne KC9UHH will contact members closer to the date.  We will then decide if we wish to have a family-style set-up or order off the menu.  Tentative schedule is 5:00 cocktails with the meal at 6:00.  Contact Anne so she can get a headcount.

Don’t forget to watch Travis’s ICS presentation if you missed it last month.

 

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CoyX87E-qo

 Monday, October 13, 2014

Travis KB9YRC presentation:  Applying ICS to Assist with ARES/RACES Responses.  Members present learned how to apply ICS to an emergency situation.  Check out the video on youtube:

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CoyX87E-qo

Monday, September 8, 2014

Members present were asked for meeting program ideas, and reminded of upcoming requests from neighboring counties to help with their runs/bike events.  See the “LOTS OF SEPTEMBER RADIO STUFF” link on the home page for details.  John NZ9Z told us that the local 146.895 repeater will open with ANY PL tone, but only 100.0 will pass audio.  This will need to be fixed!  The lack of backup emergency power for the repeater was also discussed, as well as TX/RX difficulties noticed during periods of heavy rain.  At October’s meeting, Travis KB9YRC’s presentation will show us how we can apply ICS to any emergency situation (We may record the meeting for those unable to attend).  A full-scale interactive scenario is planned for November’s meeting.  December will already be a busy month with the upcoming PBNP full-scale plume exercise, pre-drills and post-drills, so we may decide to cancel that monthly meeting.  Anne KC9UHH will call around to local restaurants to see if we can book a date and reserve a room for a Saturday night holiday party in January.  Yogi WN9Q will record video of our go-boxes and the nuclear plant drill to post on HamNation.  Fred W6BSF has invited local hams to attend Tom Ashenbrenner’s Cobia talk this Saturday, September 13 at the Maritime Museum at 9:00 a.m.   Our scheduled speaker was unable to attend, so we discussed our experiences in helping out with local community events providing radio support.  Next meeting:  Monday, October 13 – 7:00 p.m. at the Red Cross.

 

SUMMER 2014 NOTES & REMINDERS:

We had enjoyed a successful field day again this year – operating from the foggy, foggy shore of Lake Michigan.  Thanks to Mike, KC9HQV for showing us how to set up a UHF/VHF station in emergency power situations, APRS demo and the use of packet radio.  We ran 20m and 40m with a little time spent on 15m at the end of the day.  ARES.RACES members and guests finished off the day with a potluck meal.  Thanks to everyone who brought a dish to pass, and those who showed up early to set up the radios/antennas.  Special thanks again to Travis KB9YRC for allowing us to use the Red Cross RV.

Don’t forget nets run every OTHER week after Field Day.  Our next meeting will be Monday, September 8 – weekly nets will begin again on September 15.

Next Ham Breakfast is scheduled for Saturday August 23.  Contact Fred W6BSF if you’re attending.

Have a radio-active summer!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Field Day –   Fred W6BSF will bring his gas grill.  We will fry up hotdogs for lunch & brats/burgers for supper.  Setup will begin at 9:00 a.m.  and we hope to feature digital/satellite?CW modes as part of our operations.  Anne KC9UHH will email everyone to coordinate the potluck, and contacting the area newspapers & radio stations with press release info.

John NZ9Z went reviewed procedures for a Skywarn net scenario.  This is the time of year when we need to keep an eye on the sky – weather radios, weather apps, Code Red and NWS websites help keep citizens informed of watches/warnings.  John reminded that there is about a 4 minute lag on radar.  Net controls should designate liaisons to contact the NWS in Green Bay, if necessary.   Being southeast of a storm generally offers the best views.  Remember to stay safe!

Cobia Event – Fred W6BSF reported a new record for Saturday/Sunday’s Museum Ships Weekend operation with 901 Q’s.

State ARES group is working on state badging of members.  More info will be available as that progresses.

Next meeting:  SEPTEMBER 8 – 7:00 P.M.

 Monday, May 12, 2014

Field Day –   Fred W6BSF will bring his gas grill.  Anne KC9UHH will coordinate the potluck.  We will fry up hotdogs for lunch & brats/burgers for supper.  Setup will begin at 9:00 a.m.  and we hope to feature digital/satellite modes as part of our operations.

Ken KC9AQM mentioned that he would like to write about ARES.RACES in his HTR Tech column.  That would be another way to “advertise” our Field Day event, in addition to a press release that KC9UHH has been working on.

Cobia Event – Museum Ships Weekend – sponsored by The Battleship New Jersey Amateur Radio Station- will be held on June 8-9.  Contact W6BSF to sign up for a time to operate, or to help set up.  Welcome to our visitor, KC0KEW Gary.

Next meeting:  MONDAY, June 9

Monday, April 14, 2014

Travis KB9YRC reviewed the high points of last month’s presentation for members and our guests, Steve AA9SJ  and Ken KD9AQM.   Travis mentioned that the scenario involved command & control, staffing & logistics, and staging – aspects of emergency support that DIDN’T focus on  communications.  John NZ9Z reported that he had talked to Stan about mutual aid from area hams if the need would arise.  There is talk of a state-wide ARES.RACES credentialing/badging process  and John reminded members that NIMS 700 and ICS 100 are still considered “required” for ARES.RACES membership.  Travis has spoken with Nancy and said that while the ICS training is encouraged, what may be more important is a good faith effort, and some type of vetting process at a staging area of an emergency.  If adjacent Emergency Coordinators were contacted for additional help, they would inform us who they were sending to assist.

Walt K9WL is having trouble getting the Echolink set up and continues to work on the project.   Mike KC9HQV had John ask when a good time to set up a message handling net would be.  The group agreed that 11:00 a.m. Sundays would work out.

Field day will be held again at the wayside on Memorial Drive with setup at 9:00 on Saturday, June 28.  Anne KC9UHH will take care of issuing a press release and inviting local politicians and County/City officials. Suggestions were made to add digital modes to our operations including WinLink, JT65 and satellite.  Travis showed us the WINMOR setup at the club station and mentioned that step-by-step procedures should be documented and available at the station for ease of use.  Also discussed was setting the HFMMC antennas to use as a digipeater for APRS and the WINLINK equipment at the Sheboygan Red Cross.

Anne gave an update on the upcoming ARES.RACES state convention in October.  Travis has been asked to present to the group, along with Steve Buck, Disaster Co-Chair from SE Wisconsin Red Cross Chapter.  Anne also mentioned the DROPBOX WI Leadership Information that John had forwarded to the AECs in December.  There is a wealth of information available including member lists from all counties in Wisconsin, plat maps, ICS forms, leadership binder, ARRL forms, SET information, equipment manuals and much, much more – check it out!

Next meeting:  MONDAY, May 12.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The new Baofeng HT’s have arrived and have been programmed to our standard frequencies as listed in the member manuals.  Members have purchased the same radios and we are getting good reports.  Walt is still working on the Echolink projecct.

Field day will be held again at the wayside on Memorial Drive.  We will issue a press release in advance.  We will be able to use the Red Cross mobile operations vehicle.  APRS coverage was discussed.

Travis KB9YRC presented a powerful table-top exercise.  The scenario evolved from an early  morning announcement by the National Weather Service that we were to be on the watch for a potentially dangerous storm that would be affecting the county.  By 4:30 p.m. the storm had passed, leaving 10 homes completely destroyed, multiple fatalities and injuries, people trapped in their homes, widespread 911 outages in the county, extensive power outages in the affected areas, Cato tower (site of our repeater) was toppled.  At that point in the scenario, we received a request from Emergency Government for ARES.RACES members to provide communications at the Reedsville Command Center, Whitelaw Red Cross Station, 2 area hospitals & shelters, as well as shadow 6 emergency personnel, as they assessed current conditions.

Travis walked us through the exercise, asking how our actions/responses would change as the event escalated.  Questions raised included:

  • when would we activate Skywarn – who would do it?
  • when would we activate Calling Post, if required  – who would do it?  how would we know if it’s been activated?
  • when do you mobilize?   to where?
  • will you contact additional personnel?  who do you contact?  how?

Other discussions included: credentials required for additional assistance (must be ARES.RACES)?  How and where would they check in?  What support would they require (food/shelter/transportation)?  How would you cover these positions if the situation required a commitment longer than 12-18 hours?  Who would move equipment?  Who would keep track of that?

Travis reminded us that even though we are communicators, our role in a true emergency may be providing other types of support.  It was clear that our group would not be large enough to provide for all the communication needs in an event of this magnitude.  Even with a general emergency plan  in place, and for minor emergency events, we still need to be flexible and address issues such as calling post being down,  members being unavailable to respond, inaccessibility to Red Cross equipment (roads closed), and power outages.  Some of our members would have other responsibilities in an emergency – securing their workplace, fire department volunteers, Red Cross workers.  Do we have backup plans in place?  Lots of topics for future discussions.

Travis offered to present this exercise at the state ARES races meeting.  Anne KC9UHH is on the conference committee and will pass on the offer.

Next meeting:  MONDAY, April 14.

 February 10, 2014 – new meeting night!

John NZ9Z reviewed the discussion of the December EC meeting that was held in Oshkosh.

The repeater is back on the tower and the timeout has been reset to 10 minutes.  Last week’s net went well, and the simplex test that followed was a good test of the use of a backup frequency, in the event the repeater is ever down again.

Mike KC9HQV was unable to attend the meeting, but is working on the WinLink and WinMor programs.  Members were asked to give some thought to possible scenarios/ideas for a Saturday simplex message-handling net that is in the works.

Walt K9WL is working on getting Echolink running on the local repeater.

We have orderd Baofeng HT’s to replace the D7’s – their batteries are not holding a charge.  Travis KB9YRC will work on setting the old radios up as APRS Field Boxes.

Anne KC9UHH is a member of the planning committee for the October WI ARES State Convention, which will likely be moved from WI Rapids to a location on the campus of UW-Stevens Point.  They are hoping to have the convention be sanctioned as an ARRL event, which could facilitate having a speaker/presentation from the national organization.  The plan is to focus on training, with topics of general interest, as well as breakout sessions in adjacent classroom.  Planning is in the very beginning stages, and any suggestions or ideas will be passed on to the committee for their consideration.

Additional topics at the meeting included repeater finder apps for smartphones, Echolink, lockbox access, Arrow antennas, and visiting the stations at LTC and Holy Family Memorial Medical Center.  The ARES.RACES member manuals were reviewed.  The Sheboygan Amateur Radio Club will be contacted to see if they are interested in coordinating events for Field Day.

See you next month!  Monday, March 10. Don’t forget, nets have also moved to Monday night!

 January 11, 2014

Members and their guests met at the Red Cross on Saturday, January 11 for our (belated) holiday gathering.  We look forward to another year of serving our community and enjoying ham radio camaraderie.

December 10, 2013

We had a nice turnout for the December meeting.  Rick N9XFD showed us his foxhunter transmitter “on steroids”.  We hope to plan a T-hunt activity for 2014.  Yogi WN9Q reported that his Cobia satellite video aired recently on Ham Nation (Episode 125).  Tom NV9W showed off  his new QSL binder, recently purchased from Bill Plum.

Don’t forget to exchange your IRC’s at the Post Office – they expire at the end of December!

Our holiday/winter party will be Saturday, January 11 at the Red Cross with setup at 6:00 and meal served at 6:30.  Families are welcome!  Contact Anne KC9UHH with your choice of dish to pass and a head count.  See you there!

REMINDER:  Starting in  February we will be holding our regular meetings on the 2nd MONDAY of each month.   2014 agenda will be available shortly.

November 12, 2013

We have decided to change our regular meeting night from the 2nd Tuesday to the 2nd Monday of the month.  This will be more convenient for a few of our members who have conflicts with other commitments on Tuesdays.  December meeting will be held as scheduled on the 10th – January is our holiday party (11th) – the new schedule will take effect in February.

Our Christmas/Holiday get-together will be held at the Red Cross on Saturday, January 11.  More info will be available in December and Anne KC9UHH will take care of monitoring the potluck choices.

Anne KC9UHH showed a powerpoint reviewing the Wisconsin ARES/RACES State Conference -which was held on Saturday, October 19 in Wisconsin Rapids. Highlights included:

  • Bill Neimuth KB9ENO talking about the WeCOMM network – 2 sites are needed yet to provide coverage for the whole state.
  • Matt Marmer KC9UAO, Calumet Co. EM discussed concerns when working with governmental entities, their staff & volunteers
  • Mark Rasmussen N9MEA SEC discussed the results of the recent SET activity.
  • Gary Sorenson W9ULK Section Manager talked about his recent training at the ARRL.  They are making changes in their marketing program – moving away from EmComm and focusing on community service.
  • Stan Piekarczyk K9STN led out District breakout session and suggested ways for local groups to expand their membership.  There will be a District meeting on December 14 at a place TBA.

Members discussed other recent activities such as the Cobia Club activation for Veteran’s Day weekend – Fred W6BSF set up 2 HF radios on the mess deck and Yogi WN9Q operated satellite topside!  A video has been posted to youtube.  We had an enjoyable time getting together with the Sheboygan hams last Saturday in Cleveland.  (And this past  Sunday, some of our group served as VE’s at the Appleton hamfest).  Members discussed operating on a Cobia overnight event, or working local Boy Scouts for a jamboree event.

The nuclear drill on October 30 went well – we had activated stations at the Red Cross and the EOC.  We were able to utilize the linked repeaters (WECOMM).  It was mentioned that we should have a 2nd set of headphones for the EOC.  Using speakers would be distracting to others in the room, and the background noise also makes it difficult for radio operators to hear the messages/traffic.  The 2014 will involve another plume scenario, but the exercise in 2015 will be a hostile action emergency drill.

Mike Martsch KC9HQV had suggested that we start a weekend message handling net so that members who may be unavailable on weeknights due their job schedules can participate in weekly nets.  John NZ9Z will contact Mike and see if he wants to set something up.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

We joined the Sheboygan County Amateur Radio Club for their fall brat fry get-together.  We checked out the radio station facilities at the Red Cross and enjoyed some ham radio camaraderie and fox-hunting fun!

On October 9, Fred W6BSF & John NZ9Z spent the day with Emergency Government personnel, touring the JIC and becoming familiar with the reception process at the Manitowoc County Highway Department facility.

September 10, 2013

Newly revised ARES/RACES member plans have been distributed.  Heartfelt thanks to John NZ9Z for his countless hours in revising the handbooks.  John reviewed the manual and urged those present to review the material on a regular basis.  Contact John if you still need your updated copy.

The Kewaunee nuclear plant exercise will be held on October 30.  We will activate stations at the Red Cross as well as the EOC in downtown Manitowoc.

Other items up for discussion included message handling practice (Saturdays on the air/tabletop), relocation of our repeater to a lower spot on the existing tower to eliminate issues noticed during recent stormy weather, equipment checkout procedures, and a possible future meeting at LTC.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Great meeting attendance with 9 hams present!  John NZ9Z reported that the MOUS need signatures, once that is done, the revised ARES.RACES manuals should be ready to go.  It was mentioned that all manuals may not contain the Skyward information.  That will be looked into.

Field Day is set for January 22 – setup at 9:00 a.m., lunch at noon-ish and operating will begin at 1:00 p.m.  We have a new banner which will be posted on ERV during Field Day and Anne KC9UHH will be sending e-vites to local officials and newspapers. Contact Fred W6BSF if you will be attending so that we can plan the meal(s).  Family and visitors are welcome for the evening meal and are asked to bring a dish to pass.  Beverages are BYO.

Fred mentioned that the FCARC is looking for help operating their special event station W9ZL at the EAA Airventure 2013 from July 25-29.   Operators work 4-hour shifts at the Lone Rock Service Building at the Pioneer Airport, and may receive a daily wristband so that they can attend the AirShow.  Check their website for more information.

http://fcarc.us/?q=node/44

The remainder of the meeting consisted mostly of Skywarn overview – dos, don’ts and general weather spotter safety information.  Skywarn training is now available online.

http://www.crh.noaa.gov/grb/?n=spotters

Skywarn nets are activated when warnings of severe weather are issued locally.  It is suggested that if a warning has been issued for a neighboring county, and your county is in the storm’s path, that a Skywarn net be activated. Any trained spotter can act as net control.  Their objective is to activate the net, monitor check-ins, stop chatter, take reports and designated a liaison.  The liaison monitors 2 frequencies – that of the net, and the local NWS.  Travis KB9YRC stressed personal safety in weather spotting. It is recommended NOT to direct spotters into the field, due to liability concerns.   Technology advances has made it possible for GPS and internet capabilities in the field, making weather radar and precise positioning information possible when operating mobile.  Keep a county map with you and keep aware of your surroundings, especially the direction of the storm.  Please remember to CHECK OUT – either when the net is closing, or if you need to leave the net early for any reason.

The meeting continued with a discussion of the recent loss the 3 weather spotters in last month’s Moore, OK tornado, tornado chasers seen on TV, the Dayton Hamfest and digital modes JT65 and JT9.

Reminders:

Field Day – June 22

Every other week Tuesday evening nets begin after Field Day.

Ham Breakfast in Cleveland June 29

Breakfast with Victor 4S7VK (August 3?)

Next meeting – September 10

Have a RADIO-ACTIVE summer!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The meeting began with some “housekeeping” discussion by John NZ9Z, regarding updates to the ARES/RACES manuals.

Fred encouraged members to sign up for the June 1 & 2 USS Cobia participation in the Museum Ships Afloat event.  About 90 museum ships are already registered to participate.

Field Day is set for June 22  We will again be setting up at the wayside on Memorial Drive, across from Aurora Hospital.  We will be a 3A station this year, setting up 3 radios and running on emergency generator power.  Food plan is hotdogs for lunch and brats/burgers/potluck for supper.  Friends, family and visitors are welcome.

The WI ARES RACES state meeting will be held in Wisconsin Rapids on October 19.  A full-scale nuclear exercise is planned for October 30.

A future meeting at the new repeater site was discussed.  Check out our Manitowoc County ARES facebook page.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

We were treated to a lively presentation by Rick Albright, N9XFD from Two Rivers, who showed off his ultra-portable ham radio station.  Rick has activated all Manitowoc County cemeteries (59 of them!) with his custom-made set-up. He has transformed a simple dolly and Army surplus backpack and incorporated a  custom-made box complete with an all-band YAESU 857D radio, antenna tuner, speaker, GPS, digital recorder & battery, a flip-table, cushioned seat, antenna(s), and tripod into his radio-station-on-wheels!

N9XFD CROPPED

Great job, Rick!

Mark your calendars for these upcoming ham radio activities & events:

On Thursday, April 18, 2013, a statewide tornado drill is planned.   A mock tornado watch will be issued statewide by the National Weather Service (NWS) at 1 p.m. The NWS will then issue a statewide mock tornado warning at 1:45 p.m.  Take the opportunity to check the batteries in your weather radio and HT.

Saturday, April 20 – Ham breakfast at Fork & Knife.  Call or email Fred W6BSF so he can give the waitresses an approximate headcount.

Saturday, June 22 – Field Day –  We’ll finalize plans at our June meeting, but we will plan a morning setup, with a potluck meal planned for lunch AND supper.  Members can sign up for an hour (or more!) with Fred W6BSF.

There will be a nuclear plant drill involving Kewaunee Nuclear Plant on Wednesday, October 30.

Several members updated their Skywarn training at last week’s presentation at the EOC.  Bob KC9HBA reported that the Sheboygan County Amateur Radio Club has expressed interest in coordinating a meeting/get-t0gether with Manitowoc ARES/RACES.  Bob will invite them to our Field Day, and Fred will contact Steve, AA9SJ and see if we can set something up.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

We had a smaller crowd than usual, but members present enjoyed a video presentation & show-and-tell display of John’s NZ9Z tacklebox of spare parts which active hams should keep on hand.  The MFJ antenna analyzer has been purchased by the club, and is available for use by club members.  We discussed a “new” way to attach PL-259 coax plugs, as featured in November 2012’s QST Magazine (p.34-5).

The hospital drill went well and was a good learning experience for those participating.  Flexibility with using different styles of message handling forms was mentioned, as well as the suggestion to provide a check & precedence with all messages.

Upcoming projects to work on include: updating the ARES/RACES manuals, and reprogramming the station 2m frequencies, reviewing the returned questionnaires and assigning Skywarn duties.

Field day is set for Saturday, June 22 with a potluck meal planned for lunch AND supper.  Members can sign up for an hour (or more!) with Fred W6BSF.

A possible (brat fry) fundraiser was discussed, but it was thought that participation from club members might not be sufficient.

Paul NB9Z  said that LTC will be hosting an emergency scenario in May, but he wasn’t sure of the date.  He invited the club hams to come down and use the radio station at LTC.

The new repeater is up and running, and will be the site of our Tuesday ARES/RACES nets.  The March 6 net welcomed 10 in and out-of-county check-ins – all with great signal reports!  Set your radios to 146.895 with a PL tone of 100.0.

Skywarn training will again be held in Manitowoc County on Thursday, April 4 (live webinar on Thursday, March 28) Check http://www.crh.noaa.gov/grb/?n=spotterschedule for more details and to pre-register.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

8:00 a.m. to 10:40 a.m.

We plan to activate stations at the Manitowoc Red Cross Office, as well as the station at Holy Family Memorial Medical Center.

Contact John NZ9Z  as soon as possible whether (or not) you will be able to help out in this drill and where you would like to be stationed.

Also, check out the NOAA website for the upcoming weather spotter training schedule.

http://www.crh.noaa.gov/grb/?n=spotterschedule

Classes will be held in Manitowoc – April 4 – 6:00 p.m.

Or there will be a webinar held on March 28 for those who can’t make the April date (must preregister)

February 12, 2013

The Board met at 6:00 to discuss sharing the load of the assorted administrative duties, equipment maintenance and activity planning for the year.  Further discussion of upcoming events will come after the member surveys are returned.

The regular membership meeting followed.  Field day is scheduled for the 4th weekend in June.  We plan on activating on Saturday, June 22.  The club will be ordering an antenna analyzer and tote.  The newly installed  2m repeater was destroyed in the recent thunder snow storm.  A replacement is in the works.  A SET (simulated emergency test) drill is scheduled for Saturday, March 3.  John NZ9Z will pass on information when it becomes available.  We viewed an amateur radio video, which chronicled the history of ham radio, from Marconi’s experiments in the early 1900’s to today’s communications with the International Space Station and hams all over the world using morse code, voice and digital modes.

January 8, 2013

We had a great time at our (belated) Christmas party.  ARES-RACES members and their guests were treated to a video presentation demonstrating Marty Suettinger KC9JGE’s Tesla coil.  Marty’s project has been featured at the last two “Kites over Lake Michigan” in Two Rivers.  John NZ9Z also showed us a video featuring Walter Cronkite, who spoke of his adventures in the world of amateur radio.

A questionnaire/survey has been sent to all ARES/RACES members to update their personal information and indicate their interest in participating in our upcoming meetings/events.

WI ARES-RACES group has posted a recap of the October state conference held in Wisconsin Rapids.  Click the link, view the pictures and listen to video recordings from the presenters.

http://www.wi-aresraces.org/2012_conf/index.shtml

Also, check out the 2013 January state newsletter:

http://www.wi-aresraces.org/newsletters/jANUARY%202013%20newsletter.pdf

December 2012

Our Christmas party, scheduled for Friday, 14 Dec. was postponed due to other commitments by several of our members.  Since there was no scheduled December regular meeting, our EC & VECs met on December 11, discussing the past year’s events and to begin making plans for 2013.  A questionnaire/survey will be sent to all ARES/RACES members to update their personal information and indicate their interest in participating in our upcoming meetings/events.

See you at the Mid-Winter party – January 8!  Invites have been emailed to all!

November 13, 2012

Our regular monthly meeting was held on November 13.

John NZ9Z and Anne KC9UHH reviewed the topics that were covered at the October 20 State ARES/RACES meeting:

Gary Sorensen W9ULK gave attendees a brief overview of the support that the ARRL (American Radio Relay League) provides, such as manpower, equipment & technology support in times of emergency.  ARRL also accepts donations toward their “Ham Aid” program, which lends ham radios and antennas in times of disaster, as well as selected training missions and demonstrations.

Bill Niemuth KB9ENO spoke about WECOMM, the statewide repeater network being expanded throughout the state of Wisconsin.  The network will be capable of supporting simultaneous voice and digital communications, and will cover 62 of Wisconsin counties with the currently planned installations.

Additional topics included the Badger Emergency and ARES/RACES statewide nets, the possibility of expansion of amateur radio operators to have access to statewide mutual aide frequencies – which are currently available to law enforcement agencies – at the discretion of those agencies in emergency situations.

Travis Waack KB9YRC informed us about how best to prepare our radio and electronic gear against an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack.  The http://readywisconsin.wi.gov website lists steps that we can take to better prepare ourselves in many emergency situations.  With winter approaching, NOW is a good time to prepare yourself and your family for those unexpected events.

October 9, 2012

Our regular monthly meeting was held on October 9th.  In keeping with last month’s theme of Emergency Preparedness, we viewed a video entitled:   Run, Hide, Fight – a video produced by the city of Houston, TX on the subject of surviving a workplace shooting.  Here’s a link to that video:

http://www.readyhoustontx.gov/runhidefightenglish.html

The ready.gov website also features suggestions for amateur radio enthusiasts, as well as the general public.  Topics include natural disasater preparation, evacuation and sheltering, community involvement and personal safety in emergency situations.

Members were reminded to register for the ARES/RACES state conference by October 12.  We will be car-pooling to the WI Rapids event.  Contact John Meyer NZ9Z for details.

The Cobia club still has a few openings for their 20m/40m operation to be held aboard the submarine on October 20-21.  The Maritime Museum will be hosting an open house, so there should be lots of visitors stopping by to watch the ham radio operators in action!

The new repeater has been ordered and the frequency has been assigned:  146.895 (PL 100.0)

Thanks to Rahlf, N9AWG who helped get our station at Holy Family Memorial back in shape.  It has been moved next door to the security office, and should be a bit more accessible in an emergency situation.

We welcomed 2 new amateurs:  Mike, KC9WII, and Nathan, KC9WIL.