ARRL ARES Communicator's Comments - 2018-03-25

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Emergency Communications' started by W.T. Jones, Mar 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 3/25/18)...
    • Weekly Images
    • An ARRL ARES®Communicator's Comments
      • No one knows it all...
      • Just Deleted The Rest Of This....
      • New Stuff from OH8STN...
      • Two Interesting Messages from this morning's paNBEMS net...
      • Spring Skywarn Training...
      • ARC Safe and Well Custom Message Form...
    • EPA-ARRL Web site...
    • Ham Radio Links
    • Closing
    Bulletin Date: March 25, 2018
    Bulletin Number: 191

    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 4.0.6* 2.2.03
    Current as of: March 25, 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: March 11, 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. Flmsg 4.0.6 is good to go. LCARES members can install it without worries since it was pretty much beaten to death on the LCADN on March 20th. The computers at the EOC (LCARES Room Computer and Go-Kit Laptops) will remain on 4.0.5 until after the Murgas Meeting in April.
    4. A reminder about updating the laptops and other testing at the TM@EOC. The prime purpose of the maintenance is to make sure everything is ready to go. This includes the Motorola Radios as well as the Go-Kit equipment. "Everything" includes the LCARES members. Every LCARES member who is at the TM@EOC should be able to perform the update and check the radios. Recently only one person has been doing the updates. Everyone who shows up at the TM@EOC should do an update on one of the laptop go-kits and be able to check the batteries. If there is a go-kit and no one to check it by 11:00AM then it may be updated by some one who has already done one.
    5. There will be a short bulletin sent on Eastern Sunday April 1st at the usual time.
    6. On the LCADN on March 27th the American Red Cross' Safe and Well Custom Message Form will be tested. The link is in the March 25th Sunday Night Bulletin. If you did get the bulletin then you can download the audio file from the W3LUZ web site and play it back to get it. Be sure to put the form in the right CUSTOM folder.
    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 3/25/18)...

    Note: Credit is given for responding but to win, place, or show the answer has to be correct.
    Sunday Night Bulletin for March 18, 2018 Responses
    1st Response
    Rich - KC3FKW
    2nd Response
    Bill - KC3HLT
    3rd Response
    Mark - WB3FKP
    Total Bulletin Responses for Last Week - 9
    Weekly Images
    Click on image for the VOA Story!
    An ARRL ARES®Communicator's Comments
    No one knows it all...
    - Sorry folks but I am on a rant this weekend.

    I have to admit to a certain amount of know-it-all in my veins. I would say that it is because I do but I am very aware of the fact that I don't know it all. That does scare me a bit. I never know when I am going to need to know something that I don't. So I am ever continuing my search for information and knowledge.

    One of the things that frightens me is when I run into someone that seems to know it all. I should not say that frightens me but it does. My brain thinks that I have found a great resource who I can rely for the good stuff. And there in lays my fault. In certain instances I turn skeptical automatically. My BS meter kicks in so to speak. But other times, and this is usually in casual conversation, I tend to think that what I am being told is fact. It takes me a bit but I generally can sort it out. I will say that I have met a few Hams that really do know it all and when they don't they admit it. I feel very safe taking their advice.

    I have said that one of the great things about being the SEC was I get to go see how others do it. No matter what it is I keep an open mind and try to absorb everything. Later on, when I have time to sit and think I will sort out what I heard, saw, and maybe what I comprehended from my experience. It is one of those times when either I get an "Ah Ha!' moment and realize that someone has a better idea or I forget the entire episode like deleting it from the DVR.

    The other side of the coin is trying to avoid being a "know it all" when I am listening to what is being explained. I don't want to interrupt because the person explaining what they are doing and why they are doing it. They might lose their train of thought and miss something. I don't want to miss anything that might be important. Ears open and mouth closed is always a good philosophy when someone else is talking.

    And I always try to find out the "Why" behind what is being done. Is there a need? Is it just fun to try? Is there an advantage to doing it they way you are doing it? Have you tried variations? Have you documented what you are doing? What happens when it doesn't work? All these questions are things that I want to get answers to so I am better at knowing, maybe not all, but more than I did when arrived. I am not asking for a defense of what is being done. Just the Rhyme & Reason for doing it. I will take the answer that a higher authority ordained it as long as that higher authority has some repute in the real world.

    The one thing that bothers me, even though I won't say anything, is when I get a parochial response to a question. The entire premise of what is being done has not been researched outside of the little fiefdom that the professors of great knowledge reside in. The failure to research, exam, explore alternatives, and generally be exposed to how the rest of the world might be doing something is inexcusable. Highly inexcusable especially when the information is available for all with very little effort. Even worse is to do something, except for the fun of it, without considering all the consequences that may follow and then declaring what is done as gospel. Very sad.

    The regret I have is that in Eastern PA there is no exchange of information that encompasses the entire section and there is no guidance in any form for others to use to succeed where others have succeeded. I have to assume that is something that would drive out the provincial reinventing the wheel that is so common in our section. There are so many Hams out there that have done things that are truly amazing and have blazed trails that the rest of us could follow. Instead we have some that are boldly going where no Ham has gone before and not sharing that knowledge while the rest are still working on the stone wheel. With a hand from those who have done it those who are laboring and trying to find the path might just make the next great leap forward. If I have any knowledge at all it is because I have stood on the shoulders' of giants. The good thing was those giants also told me where to look.

    Just Deleted The Rest Of This....
    - I had written a lot of other things here about the "Safe and Well" messages, how Winlink's forms are a real disaster themselves, and how dumb it is for me to think I can do anything about it. Besides, you probably won't read it. You'll just look for the challenge and answer it.

    New Stuff from OH8STN...
    - Julian has a new post about APRS Messenger which I found interesting. You might like it as well and one about his Portable DIY LiFePO4 Power for Ham Radio. Here are the links:

    Two Interesting Messages from this morning's paNBEMS net...
    - Generally the practice traffic on the paNBEMS net is just that, practice! KD2DO came with 2 interesting messages that I thought some of you might be interested in. Here they are:

    TITLE: new Pi
    TO: NY NBEMS net
    SUBJ: Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ launched on Pi Day
    DATE: 2018-03-24
    TIME: 07:47L
    A new and faster version of the Raspberry Pi 3, a single-board Linux computer, has been announced March 14 (Pi Day). This version costs the same $35 as the Pi 3 Model B and has a faster 1.4Ghz processor, Dual-band 802.11ac ethernet, Bluetooth 4.2, Power-over-Ethernet support, GigE support over USB 2.0 and more.
    Hams may be interested in this change:
    "The wireless circuitry is encapsulated under a metal shield, rather fetchingly embossed with our logo. This has allowed us to certify the entire board as a radio module under FCC rules, which in turn will significantly reduce the cost of conformance testing Raspberry Pi-based products."

    TITLE: Big Battery
    TO: NY NBEMS net
    SUBJ: Tesla Builds World's Biggest Battery in Australian Outback
    DATE: 2018-03-24
    TIME: 07:31L
    The world's biggest lithium-ion battery has plugged into an Australian state grid, an official said Friday, easily delivering on Tesla Inc. chief executive Elon Musk's 100-day guarantee.
    Tesla says the battery providing 70 megawatts has the capacity to power 30,000 homes for up to an hour in the event of a severe blackout, but is more likely to be called into action to boost supply during peak demand periods.
    South Australia, which relies heavily on solar and wind-generated energy, has been scrambling to find a way to bolster its fragile power grid since the entire state suffered a blackout during a storm last year. Further blackouts plagued the state over the next few months. - battery technology

    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. Spring really is here! 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.

    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.

    ARC Safe and Well Custom Message Form...
    - Here is the link to the American Red Cross Safe and Well Custom Message Form.

    (right click and save it to the CUSTOM message directory.)

    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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