ARRL ARES Communicator's Comments - 2018-02-25

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Emergency Communications' started by W.T. Jones, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. W.T. Jones

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

    Luzerne County ARES® Sunday Night Bulletin
    "We don't rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training."
    Archilochus - Greek Poet and Soldier

    "Success is not Final. Failure is not Fatal. The only thing that matters is the courage to carry on."
    Winston Churchill

    If you are an ARRL member and you have at least noticed what the ARRL Board is doing then here is the information you need to react to it.
    If you are not aware of what the ARRL Board is doing then it is time for you to get informed!


    • Current Versions of Fldigi programs
    • Luzerne County ARES® Information...
    • Luzerne County ARES®Net Control Schedule
    • Luzerne County LCARES Announcements...
    • Click Here for the Luzerne County ARES®Activities Schedule
    • Click Here for Net Schedules of Interest - updated on 2/17/2018
    • 2018 LCARES Members Operational Status - Net Stats - Bulletin Responses (updated 2/23/18)...
    • Weekly Images
    • An ARRL ARES®Communicator's Comments
      • How To Send Your Weather Report...
      • OH8STN has a new Video...
      • EMP Is Not A Dead Issue...
      • ARES Connect is coming - slowly...
      • A 10 Meter Test...
      • 10 Meter Antenna Bill of Materials...
      • Spring Skywarn Training...
    • EPA-ARRL Web site...
    • Ham Radio Links
    • Closing
    Bulletin Date: February 25, 2018
    Bulletin Number: 187

    This Bulletin is for all Amateur Radio Operators in Luzerne County and any interested Amateur Radio Station anywhere.

    Note: A copy of this Bulletin is stored on the web site in .wav file format. This file can be replayed by Fldigi and Flamp to get the complete Bulletin.

    Current Versions of Fldigi programs
    Current Versions of Fldigi Suite
    Fldigi Flmsg Flamp
    4.0.16 4.0.5 2.2.03
    Current as of: February 18, 2018. *Indicates an update in the past week.
    Latest versions available at
    Luzerne County ARES® Information...
    - Important: The Sunday Night Bulletin is required reading for all LCARES Members.

    Luzerne County ARES®Net Control Schedule
    The Rotation Schedule for the LCARES Voice net has been posted on the Last update: February 17, 2018

    Please be sure to review the NCS schedule before the upcoming nets.

    Luzerne County LCARES Announcements...
    (These will be read by the Alternate NCS during the regular weekly session of the LCARES Voice Net.)

    * - indicates that announcement should not be read on the LCARES Net.

    1. The 2018 Communications Exercise is set for April 28th. The planned frequencies will be on 2 meters and 10 meters. There are plans for 2 fixed locations and at least 3 mobile stations.
    2. KC3FKW has written a very good "How To Give Your WX Report". It is included in the SNB and will be posted on the web site. (note: The ANCS will read the message to the net during the announcements.)
    3. There will be 10 meter antenna session at the EOC at 10:00AM on March 3rd. We will be building 10 meter dipoles and testing them for use during the 2018 Commex. It takes only 15 minutes to build a dipole. See list of materials below. If the weather is nice we will set them up outside for a test.
    4. A dry-run of the proposed locations for the April Commex will be held on March 31st. The EC would like as many LCARES members who can make it come and try it out.
    5. Simplex Test Night will be on Tuesday Evening March 13th following the LCARES Net. Please make every effort to be HOME and get one the air for the Simplex Test. The frequency will be 147.54mHz.
    Click Here for the Luzerne County ARES®Activities Schedule
    Click Here for Net Schedules of Interest - updated on 2/17/2018
    2018 LCARES Members Operational Status - Net Stats - Bulletin Responses (updated 2/23/18)...

    Sunday Night Bulletin for February 18, 2018 Responses
    1st Response
    Bill - KCHLT
    2nd Response
    Ian - K3IK
    3rd Response
    Rich - KC3FKW
    Total Bulletin Responses for Last Week - 9
    Weekly Images
    The Other LCARES - Lucas County ARES. Click on the image for their web site.
    An ARRL ARES®Communicator's Comments
    How To Send Your Weather Report...
    - KC3FKW, after taking the winter wx reports so often, has finally started doing what I do. I write instructions. Maybe some body reads them but I have my doubts. Rich penned (even though he was typing) a very concise set of instructions and suggestions on how to send your weather reports. So without any further procrastination here is Rich's information.

    (ANCS Start Here!)

    Not everyone of our ARES members serve as NCS or ANCS for our weekly nets. As a result you may not realize how difficult it is to record storm reports that are not given in a specific format.

    In order to remedy this, I would like to suggest the following, which I use when giving my report.

    Go to the LCARES website and under the link "LCARES Skywarn Spreadsheet" download a copy of the spreadsheet to your computer.

    Open up the spreadsheet, and then save a copy using a name you will remember. This copy will be your personal log of weather reports.
    Use basically as is, except in column A enter the date of the report. Column E and beyond can be used for additional comments. I use it to indicate who the report was sent to. You can either just print off a copy of the blank spreadsheet and use pen in hand to record, or if you are paper conscience, maintain a running report on the computer.

    Just remember when giving this report on voice, only say what is entered in columns B thru D, unless you are reporting from a location other than your home base. Do not elaborate. Anything additional can be added to your comments on the net.

    (ANCS Stop Here!)

    Thanks Rich...

    Rich's suggestion is easy. I could give you a list of the fields but you should have the spreadsheet any way. It is on the web site. It will probably change in the future but I'll let you know.

    OH8STN has a new Video...
    Julian's first video is about Winlink and the new Yaesu FT-891. Some of the claims that operators are making about the 891 not being digital friendly are out of left field. Julian uses Winlink to show that the FT-891 is really digital friendly.

    His next entry is a LiFePO4 128wH 50A draw battery pack for the FT-891. Man! That is a battery pack.

    Interesting enough Julian just reported that a new version of the FT-817 (the FT-818 maybe?) will be coming in April. That may mean I'll have an FT-817 for sale in 6 or so months.

    EMP Is Not A Dead Issue...
    - I thought I had finally finished up the EMP issue when I received my Trade Rag called "Security International". It is a marketing magazine above all but there was an article in it that caught my eye and it is called "When the Signals Stop!" I took my Evelyn Wood trained eye and scanned the article and realized that it was about EMP. Now there is nothing about Amateur Radio and EMP in it but it was about EMP and satellites and the danger to them from EMP. I am going to give the magazine to KC3FKW so if you want to read it find him.

    ARES Connect is coming - slowly...
    - ARES Connect is still in the works. You may have read about it in some of the bulletins. It is a work in progress. Here is what I received this past week...

    Hello, ARRL Section Managers and Section Emergency Coordinators.

    (This message is going to both SM and SEC reflectors.)

    Thank you very much for your patience as we work to process the high volume of registrations received to-date for ARES Connect. With more than 700 registrations received, the initial response has been overwhelming and we are grateful for your response. We are working to process the applications as quickly as possible – about half of the ARES groups that responded have already received their ARES ID, and we continue to process the remainder on a daily basis. We do anticipate that it will take a few more weeks to complete the processing of the registrations received. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Ken Bailey at 860-594-0227 or


    Steve Ewald, WV1X
    Supervisor, Field Organization Team
    ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio®
    A 10 Meter Test...
    - Tonight I will be sending the SNB on 28.140mHz at 9:30PM which is following the regular festivities at 9:00PM. The mode will be MFSK-64 and it is just a test. If you happen to hear it please respond to the challenge. It will give everyone in Luzerne County a chance to see if they can copy it. If you don't have a 10 meter antenna try it anyway. Remember, if you don't have a tuner then tune up on 28.140mHz because that will help your reception.

    10 Meter Antenna Bill of Materials...
    - The required material for a dipole cannot be simpler.

    Center and End Insulators can be anything that does not conduct. You can even use a piece of cordage as long as it does not get wet. A piece of wood, plexiglas, a zip tie, just so long as it is not conductive. As far as the center insulator you can even get away without one in a pinch. The center insulator is just there to take the strain off of the coax cable.

    The wire can be anything but figure on about 18ft of wire. Solid or Stranded will work but since this antenna will be going up and down and rolled for storage it is better to use stranded. 12 or 14 gauge is fine. Even 16 or 18 gauge will work. The smaller the gauge the more prone it will be to breakage.

    A PL-259 for the end of the coax. We have them at the EOC and a crimping tool.

    You'll need cordage for supports. If you want make a simple master for just the center you can do that to make an inverted V.

    We'll solder the conductors at the center feedpoint for integrity but even that can be dispensed with in an emergency.

    If you have lots of coax you can measure just measure back 9 feet and strip off the outer cover. Go to the spot where you cut off the cover and open the coax up but don't cut it. Pull the center conductor with the dielectric out. Stretch it out and you have a close to frequency 10 meter dipole. It isn't pretty but it will work.

    If you want to make a vertical then don't pull the center conductor out. Just fold the braid back over the coax. The problem there is you will need to hang the end 20ft off the ground. But it does work.

    The amount of coax should be enough so that you can put your 10 Meter dipole about 20 to 25 feet up and have an easy run to your rig. It is rather uncomfortable operating your rig while it is hanging from a coax run that is too short. 50 feet should be plenty but have more if you can get it.

    Remember that this is a simple thing. Don't do what most do and that is over-think it.

    And I am going to stop there. This has been a busy week for me and I have not had much time to be creative. So that means this will have to do for February 25th.

    Spring Skywarn Training...
    - Well, I know it is hard to believe but Spring is just around the corner. As I am typing this on Monday night there are 35 days until Spring arrives. As long as the ice goes away I'll be happy. Snow can stay but I really don't want to see any more ice. And I think my YF will agree with that.

    The Luzerne County edition of Spring Skywarn Training will be held on April 17th. Just about 2 months away. I am getting this out in front of folks and will keep it out in front them because I want a good turn out from our Luzerne County Ham Community. It is required for LCARES members to attend one every 2 years but I think that it would not hurt any of us to get to the training as a Refresher.

    Personally I would rather report some summer weather than more ice and snow. Sure would be nice.

    There are other courses being held through out District 3 so anyone not in Luzerne County reading this get to a Skywarn in your county. Skywarn is a "Meat & Potatoes" service that Amateur Radio operators can perform. We are very lucky in this area since we have a Weather Office that supports our efforts. The least we can do is support them.

    Here is the list of Skywarn Classes and the links to register for them. All classes are from 6:30PM to 8:30PM.

    March 21st
    Wayne County PA Emergency Management Agency
    43 Volunteer Drive
    Honesdale, PA 18431
    Wayne County Registration

    April 17th
    Luzerne County EMA
    185 Water Street
    Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
    Luzerne County Registration
    Be sure to register because the presenter needs to know how much support materials to bring.

    And more classes for Lackawanna County, Wyoming County, and Susquehanna County will be coming.

    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
    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. Total prep time for this bulletin - 5 hours.

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