ARRL ARES Communicator's Comments - 2017-11-12

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Emergency Communications' started by W.T. Jones, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. W.T. Jones

    W.T. Jones Moderator Staff Member Silver Member Golden GPS Recipient

    Weekly Image

    Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
    November 10, 1975
    Photo by: By Greenmars, CC
    BY-SA 3.0, [​IMG]
    General George Patton
    Born: November 11, 1885
    A Veteran's Veteran [​IMG]
    Thank You Veterans!
    Without you there might not have
    been a "this week!"
    An ARRL ARES®Communicator's Comments
    And now for something completely different...

    For the longest time I have been writing about how to do things. Today I decided to let the experimental juices flow a bit. I have created a short video on Flmsg Configuration settings. It is an experiment only. It was created using Vokoscreen for Linux. Prepared script? Hardly. Rehearsal? Not at all! Best called a Hasty Presentation. In other words I winged it. The microphone was a Logitech USB headset without any preparation other than plugging it in. There is no audio filtering at all. No level setting. Just select the screen area and let 'er rip. I just moved the mouse and talked about what came up. Here is the link to the video. BTW, I have tried it on Windows 10 and it flies with Windows Media Player (to my great surprise). So take a listen to it. It is not a great quality but if it is suitable and I get some positive feedback I might do one or two more. I can't go whole hog and do a lot because I don't have that much space on the web server.

    OH8STN feedback...
    - Seems that the OH8STN topic was well received. People liked it. Remember you can subscribe to Julian's blog and get the good stuff direct if you want. I will be mentioning things that are interesting to me and might be applicable to ARES. But in any case thank you for the feedback on the topic. It is very rare that I get that.

    LCARES Operations Manual is changing to Guidelines and Procedures Manual...
    - After a few, make that many, false starts I have come to the conclusion that the Operations Manual was not going in the direction that I wanted it to go. My thoughts were that it would be a real operations manual but I have finally figured out that the won't work. So it is becoming the Guidelines and Procedures Manual.

    The Guidelines spell out things that need to be known and are shortened as much as possible to make them clear and concise. If an LCARES member needs to know what something is or how to do something the Guidelines should explain it in a simple manner. Needless to say the Guidelines will grow and change as people ask me questions. If you have to ask then it needs to be in the Guidelines. The idea is that an LCARES member does not need to find one of the LCARES management team to find out how to do something or what something is in relation to LCARES.

    The Guidelines are not absolute. Nothing is absolute. They are just what the name implies - Guidelines. Something that I expect LCARES members to look at and, if needed, bend to fit the situation. There are Guidelines that I have put in there to keep the LCARES at the top of the game. Discussion is always welcome and suggestions for Guidelines are appreciated.

    The Procedures section of the manual will contain "How To" information for anything that we do. The sections on Fldigi and its parts are as complete as I am going to make it. The formatting needs to change and that is all. More procedures will be added such as the setup and use of the laptop computers for acoustic coupling and as much as I can think of so that it will be a reference point for all LCARES members.

    The effort started on November 9th and the first version for that date is on the web site. Start looking at it. Every entry will have an "Effective Date" listed with it. That is the date the Guideline or Procedure is effective. New entries will be marked as new so when you go to review it again you won't have to reread everything to find something new.

    I do suggest that you start reading it.

    Luzerne County ARES Activities Schedule...
    - The Activities Schedule will be the list of what is happening with LCARES Activities. Anything that is going to happen will be in there. I will make the announcements once about activities in the Sunday Night Bulletin and put them into the Activities Schedule. Get your information from that source. It is on the LCARES Web site. I am going to ask Dave, N3SRO, to monitor the Activities Schedule and ensure that anything important is transferred to the Facebook page that he maintains. David has been doing an outstanding job keeping that Facebook page updated and current. It is just a good thing that that Dave Kirby fellow makes a lot of likes on it. I might have to get me one of those Facebook accounts so I can start "liking" things too. Update: I did it! I now have a Facebook Account. Well, enough of one that I can "like" things on Luzerne County Amateur Radio Emergency Services page.

    BTW, the facebook page URL for Luzerne County Amateur Radio Emergency Service is:

    Ajit Pai's Comments On Amateur Radio and Puerto Rico...
    - I like the fact that the FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, made a comment about Amateur Radio in his remarks regarding his visit to Puerto Rico. We got a ...Additionally, Amateur Radio operators, broadcasters,... so we were at least first in the list of people that Mr. Pai recognized. He didn't recognize the CQ WW CW or SSB contests. He made no comment about the latest World Radiosport Competition. Seems that what got Mr. Pai's and the rest of the world's notice was the emergency communications effort that was mounted. That has to be noted with some satisfaction by those of us who toil to do emergency communications. Dare I say that is what will be keep Amateur Radio around for a while longer. I got it straight from an industry consultants mouth last Tuesday afternoon. He told me that the Amateur Radio showing in the Caribbean hurt the industry's ideas about asking for more spectrum where Amateurs play. Note the last word in that sentence - "play" because that is what industry thinks we do with all that nice spectrum. Think very carefully about that.

    N3SRO Pictures...
    - These pictures are simply amazing. The first two, as N3SRO says, are just nice to look at. They are of a sunset going into Toronto. The third one is very unique. It is the Pottstown Power Plant going into Philadelphia. Enjoy! You can click on each picture for a larger view.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Flashlights Again...
    - With the departure of my trusty 2004 Subaru, many tried and true options that I had long prepared have gone by the wayside. For many years I had a Streamlight Stinger D8 LED light in a DC charger mounted on the side of the cargo compartment. Dang light was the best. The rechargeable battery was installed in 2008 and it still works even though the charge is now dying out since the car battery that charged it is probably in a recycler's storage area.

    Many of my lights use the 123A lithium batteries. I just bought another 12 from Surefire. 2nd time I am purchasing them in 14 years. Does that give you a hint on how well they last. Since the 2009 "looks like a Soccer Mom" Subaru is in need of a flashlight I grabbed my old Surefire 6P and put two new lithium batteries in it. It works but it certainly doesn't have the light it used to. Or that I thought it used to.

    Turns out the 6P is OLD technology. So it looks more like a candle than a flame thrower any more. It works and it will do until I decide on a replacement. I don't like traveling without a flashlight and several other protective devices. It is just common sense from where I sit. Still it was a disappointment to see such a weak light from what was once the preferred light of the FBI.

    I generally use a 3 cell Maglite for my Taffi excursions. 3 D cells and it is ready to go. The last battery refresh was March of this year. I replaced the batteries and it was like a shock to see how brilliant it was. Showed old Mr. Skunk at well over 70 yards. A fact of which I am very happy to report allowed the Taffster and me to avoid an unpleasant encounter. I don't like Tomato Juice baths and I know that Taffi doesn't really care for the tub at all.

    The problem with the Maglite and the weak kneed 6P is that blasted battery maintenance. You just have to change out those primary cells. But I don't like the idea of wiring in a charger to the "looks like a Soccer Mom" Subaru either. And I don't relish spending $153 on a new Streamlight too. My wife, being the shopper that she is, pointed out that the D cells are not expensive and since they last for at least 6 months why not put a Maglite in the car and rotate the batteries out of it every 6 months or so.

    New batteries in the Subaru Maglite and put those almost unused batteries in the Taffi Walking Illumination Device. Makes some financial sense even if it does require another item on the calendar.

    In any case folks do not leave home without a good flashlight. It will help you avoid skunks. The 2 legged and the 4 legged kind.

    November 19th...
    - Sunday November 19th I will be attending a church conference in Scranton until 8:00PM. I should be home for the 9:00PM kick off of the Bulletin Transmission. It may be a few minutes late but as I say "it will happen!"

    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
    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
    Luzerne County ARES Facebook Page <-- New
    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.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2017

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