ARRL ARES Communicator's Comments - 2017-08-20

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Emergency Communications' started by W.T. Jones, Aug 20, 2017.

  1. W.T. Jones

    W.T. Jones Moderator Staff Member Silver Member Golden GPS Recipient AtlDiv EPA Leader AtlDiv ARES Member

    An ARRL ARES® Communicator's Comments
    September 7th SSES Practice Drill...
    - A postal mailing went out on Saturday Morning to the LCARES membership regarding the meeting on Thursday, August 24th. I know as soon as people read this or get the post card the emails will start telling me about how that can't make the meeting. As much as I understand the conflicts of daily life and the need to be elsewhere at times I have to wonder just how many of you would be ready and willing if it was the much vaunted "Real Thing"?

    - I have put into words what is going to happen and how things will work enough times. With the exception of trying Fldigi this time it is the same as it was every other time. On August 25th, the day after the meeting, I'll make the assignments and notify you of where you are going. I will try to put people where they there were in previous years but then again your assignment may not be the same. We've lost two regulars due to health issues. Understandable but there are 18 locations and we have 32 members so the loss of 2 of our regulars for the exercise should not matter.

    Battery Box Article by KC3FKW...
    Rich has contributed an article to the Sunday Bulletin again. A rather good one too. If you consider the cost of buying a Battery Box from "name your supplier here" versus this I think you'll see that this is a really good bargain. You can click on any of the photos for a larger view. Here is Rich's article....

    Battery night should be coming up soon on our Tuesday night LCARES net. Time to get out the battery, make sure it's charged, find the cables with the power-pole connectors, and set them up in the shack to get ready. But that's not exactly how it should go - we should be ready to react at a moment's notice. How easy is it to get your equipment ready in the event of a power failure? Do you have candles, matches, flashlight? Are the batteries in the flashlight in good condition? Are the backup batteries in the garage? This is basically how I went through the last test, and I knew that I needed to get more prepared. So I searched YouTube to see if there was a better solution and found a do-it-yourself project which fit the bill (a link to the video is at the end of this article). If you have a problem with the link, you can copy and paste the following:

    The author put together a very basic portable power supply. The nice thing about it is that it is easily modified to adapt to your specific needs. I am not going to go through a step-by-step on how to build this, the author of the article did an excellent job and I refer you to his video. The simple modifications I made are as follows:

    1. The external connectors to charge the battery were eliminated - how hard is it to remove the cover and attach cables or solar panels? In the future I may add these back, but it is not a priority.
    2. An Anderson Chassis Mount was added to provide connection for the radio. Four power-pole connectors may have been somewhat of an over-kill, since I will probably use only one at any time, but it looks good. This mount was found on Amazon at a cost of $13.50.
    3. An additional switch with two small LED lights were added. These are HotSystem 12v 9w LED's which are basically automobile backup lights. The lights, as well as the toggle switches, were purchased on Amazon.

    The battery box is available on-line at Wal-Mart's web site, and can be ordered and delivered to a local store for $9.48 (tax included) with no shipping charges. It is hard to find a store which carries these on their shelves, and Wal-Mart's pricing was the best I could find.

    This power supply is now kept in a central location in my house, which makes it readily available during an emergency. If the battery charge drops too much, it can be replaced easily with one of a number of other batteries I keep fully charged. It's also a nice feature to have the voltage meter on the box to monitor the charge level.

    I have included a photo of my feeble attempt at a wiring diagram, as well as photos of the finished project. As a final note, the entire project came in at just under $50.

    Portable Power Supply

    by Motionmagnetics
    So there you have it. Rich did a great job on the Battery Box and the Article. Many thanks Rich!

    Transmission Lines Videos found by AB3ZI...
    John, AB3ZI, is always on the lookout for interesting technical videos on YouTube. It is one of the aspects of YouTube that is missed with the Music and other Videos that are more prevalent there. John found a two part series of videos on Transmission lines this time. Well worth the viewing time from what I see. Many thanks to John, AB3ZI, for her contribution to the Sunday Night Bulletin.

    Transmission Lines 1 of 2 by Blake Jacquot

    Transmission Lines 2 of 2 by Blake Jacquot

    Tuesday Mornings at the EOC (TM@EOC)...
    - The LCARES Briefing for the LCEMA was given to the LCARES members on August 15th. The actual briefing to LCEMA was done on Friday, August 18th. From the perspective of the EC the briefing was well received by the LCEMA staff. There was no poll taken at the end so it is just the EC's perspective. You could say that no one kept looking at their watches and fidgeting.

    The LCARES members did comment that they enjoyed the briefing. The EC's skeptical mind thinks that the members thought it was just a great way to keep the EC from assigning work for 45 minutes. Be that it may there was feedback from the members saying that they would like to have more sessions when technical information is transferred in a controlled setting. The EC tends to think that is probably a good idea. There was a suggestion or two that an evening version of the TM@EOC should be held on a monthly basis. At the present time LCARES does have the EOC reserved on the 3rd Saturday of each month. Is there a consensus that the 3rd Saturday should be given up since it has not been used for a evening time? Should we go back to having the Saturday Afternoon Session instead of a Saturday Morning Session? The members can drive this. No response means the 3rd Saturday will be reserved in case we decide to use it. If there is sufficient response for an evening session then what night will be determined and the 3rd Saturday released back to EMA.

    After the September 7th SSES Drill the LCARES will discuss this on a Tuesday Night net. The EC is open to any suggestions. An evening session may make sense to give some of the working members a chance to attend.

    Special Announcement for an October Event...
    Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, will be coming to Montgomery County in October. This announcement will be a fixture in the Sunday Bulletin until October 29th.

    Beware the Barracuda Triathlon...
    - This is a two day event. The Saturday portion is the monitoring the young cyclists over their course. You want a smile? Then this is fun because you'll see all the tyke bikes out in force.

    Sunday is the big boys and girls portion. High speed cycling at its best.

    I'll be sending out the details to those who volunteered so far. I need more. At least 3 more but more would be welcome. It is an easy day but an early start. We'll be done well before noon if last year is any indication. I will need a net control station at the beach area and a person to follow Susan, the announcer, around with an ear bud so the person can hear what is going on. More details will follow up I really need to drum up the people right now.

    The BTB will be our last public service event for the year. Lets make it a good showing at it.

    EPA-ARRL Web site...
    - If you have not done it yet then what are you waiting for? Get to the EPA-ARRL web site and either submit your email address or like it on Facebook. It is the place to get the information and news about the EPA Section.

    Ham Radio Links
    N3LLR's Ham Radio Forum
    ARRL Eastern PA Section Web Site
    Luzerne County ARES®
    Harris County Texas ARES® - A great training resource
    Lake County (OH) RACES Personal Go-Kit for Emergency Operations - KE7LHR
    MecklenBurg County ARES® and RACES
    K0BG - The Website for Mobile Amateur Radio Operators (Perhaps the best web site on mobile operations I have found!)
    Origins of Ham Speak - Fact, Legends, and Myths??? - Compiled by AC6V from the Internet and other unreliable sources
    The Petite Prepper
    The VOA Radiogram
    Thank you for copying our weekly digital information Bulletin to all Amateur Radio Operators.

    Send reception reports and comments to

    Have a good week everyone!


    ARRL EPA Section Emergency Coordinator
    ARRL EPA District 3 District Emergency Coordinator
    ARRL ARES® Emergency Coordinator
    Luzerne County ARES®
    ARES and "Amateur Radio Emergency Services" are registered service marks owned by the American Radio Relay League, The National Association of Amateur Radio. Use of these service marks is by permission only.
  2. wedgar

    wedgar Administrator Staff Member Gold Member

    Love the pictures of the battery box project. Great write-up...
  3. W.T. Jones

    W.T. Jones Moderator Staff Member Silver Member Golden GPS Recipient AtlDiv EPA Leader AtlDiv ARES Member

    I will pass that on to KC3FKW. I am sure that he will appreciate it.

    BTW, I put a "challenge" in Over The Air and the Download version of the Sunday Night Bulletin. The members read the Bulletin and email me with the response to the Challenge.

    The Challenge in the OTA version was "How much did the Andersen Chassis Mount cost KC3FKW?" KC3FKW answered with the total cost of the battery box, $50.

    When I responded to his email he had a breast pounding and garment rending moment. The correct answer was $13.50. "My own article and I screw up the answer!" was his response.

    The LCARES members get 2 points for an OTA response and 1 point for a downloaded response. It is a tight competition right now.

    Keeps them interested and reading.
    wedgar likes this.
  4. wedgar

    wedgar Administrator Staff Member Gold Member

    Awesome - a fun activity! That spurs most participation.

    Hah! Funny the author screwed up the answer.

    So what are you using for prizes?
  5. W.T. Jones

    W.T. Jones Moderator Staff Member Silver Member Golden GPS Recipient AtlDiv EPA Leader AtlDiv ARES Member

    Certificates - most activation responses during the year, most bulletin responses, and so on. Recognition is about the only thing that the budget allows for but I hope to manage some deployment caps this year for the group.
  6. wedgar

    wedgar Administrator Staff Member Gold Member

    I can give you some DVD's of former Atlantic Division webinars if there would be some interest...
  7. W.T. Jones

    W.T. Jones Moderator Staff Member Silver Member Golden GPS Recipient AtlDiv EPA Leader AtlDiv ARES Member

    That would be nice! Any thing I can put in their hands is a good thing.
  8. wedgar

    wedgar Administrator Staff Member Gold Member

    Heading back down south. Next time I'm back in PA, I'll send some to you.
  9. W.T. Jones

    W.T. Jones Moderator Staff Member Silver Member Golden GPS Recipient AtlDiv EPA Leader AtlDiv ARES Member

    That would be great! Travel safely down the road! Oh, and stay dry!

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