ARRL ARES Communicator's Comments - 2018-03-04

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Emergency Communications' started by W.T. Jones, Mar 4, 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
      • Cell Phones Never Go Out...
      • Winter Skywarn Reports...
      • 10 Meter Antenna Build...
      • LCARES Membership Purge Time...
      • Spring Skywarn Training...
    • EPA-ARRL Web site...
    • Ham Radio Links
    • Closing
    Bulletin Date: March 4, 2018
    Bulletin Number: 188

    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: March 4, 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. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. March 17th will be a tech day at the EOC. It will start about noon and go to 3:00PM. All are welcome.
    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 25, 2018 Responses
    1st Response
    Dave - N3SRO
    2nd Response
    Bill - KC3HLT
    3rd Response
    Ian - K3IK
    Total Bulletin Responses for Last Week - 10
    Weekly Images

    Members of LCARES build 10 meter dipoles at the Luzerne County EOC on March 3!
    Good time had by all!

    An ARRL ARES®Communicator's Comments
    Cell Phones Never Go Out...
    - Well, now we know that cell phones are always available and ready! NOT! Again a lesson is learned. How soon will it be forgotten.

    Cell Phones out? When did that happen? Of course that is what the cell phone providers want us to do.

    On June 17th, 2017 a fiber cable was severed in Wilmington, NC, that caused outages. The weather did the cell phone service on Friday.

    Ever notice how one provider's outage affects so many others. There are interconnects, agreements to pass services, and all kinds of entanglements that cause that cascading effect.

    While those of us in the Greater Metro (?) area of Pennsylvania could get landline service there are those in the wilds of PA that depend on the cell phone as their only contact with emergency services.

    We, LCARES, were not much use on Friday because there has been no planning on what to do in the event of a cell phone outage. Oh, it has been thought about but no planning has been done. We'll see how suggestions to make some plans go in the near future.

    After all, we had good communications all the way down to Selinsgrove thanks to the N3FCK repeater.

    BTW, about that planning. It all depends on how willing the amateur radio operators to get off their bottoms and out of their houses to help.

    Winter Skywarn Reports...
    - We had a good day for the National Weather Service on Friday. Some valuable information was provided to the Binghamton Office of the National Weather Service. We had 21 operators involved with gathering snow fall data. The report over the radio to WX2BGM was abbreviated for speed but was followed up with a full spreadsheet to the bgm storm report email address.

    The repeater in Binghamton is 146.865 (146.2). It does conflict with the Tannersville repeater on the same frequency. It is a good idea to tone decode on the receive to keep the Tannersville Repeater from being heard. It helps. Not perfect but it does help. I can get into the Skywarn repeater from my home but trying it to day proved that it does not work at the EOC. I am sure that if we had a beam antenna at the EOC we probably could do it. So I am asking all to check on their ability to access the 146.865 repeater (146.2) from their home. During a Summer Skywarn event it could be our way of getting information to Binghamton in a hurry.

    The weather here at WN3LIF on Friday was not really bad but the wind plastered stuff on the siding and at one time the visibility went down to 100ft as seen in the picture below. The last picture on the right is from K2LNS in Bear Creek. It looks like someone was painting his house white.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    And these 2 from our stalwart Hazleton Representative of LCARES, K3NDB!

    The snow was heavy, wet, and sticky. WA2CCN in Lakeville broke a belt on his snow thrower and he had over 12 inches of the wet white stuff.

    Here is a complete list of the Winter Storm Reports taken through the day.

    KB3FVF 7:30 35° 1.46 IN RAIN
    KB3VS 7:33 35° .25 WIND 15 TO 20MPH
    K3NDB 7:34
    KC3HLT 7:51 34° JUST RAIN
    WN3LIF 9:31 33° Trace snow amount now
    Primary/Secondary Roads wet
    kb3kuj 11:00 30° 3.3” wind strong and gusting
    Visiblity less than 1/8 mile
    kc3fkw 12:05 28° 5” strong winds 10 mph gusting
    Visibility 1/8 mile
    k3ik 12:11 29° 4” - road surfaces covered
    wn3lif 12:16 33° 1.9” - windy road surfaces covered but
    Not slippery Some dead tree limbs down
    Currently calm – snow falling straight down
    kb3vs 12:23 30° 3.2” approx windspeed 20 mph
    kb3fvf 12:24 32° 3.0” hvy wet snow 7 mph est windspeed
    kb3acz 12:25 34° 3.3” Light winds
    k3zk 12:26 31° 2.5” est wind 6mph
    n3pqp 12:27 30° 5.3” heavy wet blowing show
    wb3fkp 12:30 33° 3.0”
    wx3rob 12:41 32° 3.5”
    n3fck 12:46 30° Reports PA Turnpike slippery
    Rt 115 between I-81/WB entrance toTpike
    Tpike reported to be “crawling”
    ab3zi 12:55
    MM 78.6 tpke roads clear snowfall moderate
    k3zk 17:30 30° 3.5 Total icing on trees
    wb3dye 18:15 27° 6” total
    kc3fkw 18:50 24° 7” Total wind 5-10 icing
    wn3lif 19:00 32° 8.2” Total
    n3pqp 19:00 28° 7” Total
    kc3hlq 19:00 29° 7” Total
    wb3fkp 19:00 33° 3” total
    kb3fvf 19:00 30° 5” total icing snow stopped around 4:30PM
    k3ik 19:13 30° 6” total Gusting to 20 to 30 mph
    wx3rob 19:24 28° 7.5”
    n3ssl 19:27 32° 0”
    ab3zi 19:48 31° 5.0”
    Thank you to all of you who provided reports.

    10 Meter Antenna Build...
    - A group of LCARES members (the usual ones who come out to help) built 10 meter antennas under the able influence of KB3VS. It was a great session. I have to say that I had a great time with the crew. Every now and then it is good to just have fun. I know that KB3FVF had a good time.

    We have the 2018 Comm Ex coming up in April. At the end of March I am hoping to have a test run of some of the locations on 10 meters just to see how it goes. I have to think that those LCARES members who did not come to the antenna build have a 10 meter antenna or plans to build one. No one knows right now what operators will be chosen to operate on 10 meters during the exercise. Remember Jeff Foxworthy's "Here's Your Sign" jokes. Maybe if someone is chosen to operate 10 meters and doesn't have an antenna they might have to have a sign that says "I was not prepared!"

    LCARES Membership Purge Time...
    - Most of you who are reading this have no worry about being removed from LCARES rosters. It is unfortunate to have to do that but it will happen soon anyway with the advent of ARES Connect. And the training requirements for ARES will be changed by the ARRL. History shows that many of the supposed ARES members across the country are not ready for anything except sitting in front of a rig holding a soda and a bag of chips. Pick up a soldering iron? The only things that are hot in their shacks is the coffee pot and the back end of their rigs where the finals are located.

    The main criteria is not participating any LCARES activity over the past year. That includes our LCARES net on Tuesday, our responses to LCEMA, Training sessions, etc. That and not at least starting the ICS Training. As I have told others in the section - if you have not trained at least a little you'll be more of a detriment than a help if we are needed.

    But don't worry. If you show up at something like that I will have something for you. It will be a map to a shelter where you can get a hot meal and a bed for the night.

    And some of you who have been participating and not registered with LCARES will be getting a letter asking you to register.

    And you do get credit for responding to the LCARES challenges in the bulletins.

    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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