ARRL ARES Communicator's Comments - 2018-04-22

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Emergency Communications' started by W.T. Jones, Apr 22, 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 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 4/8/2018
    • 2018 LCARES Members Operational Status - Net Stats - Bulletin Responses (updated 4/14/18)...
    • Weekly Images
    • An ARRL ARES®Communicator's Comments
      • !In a Hurry?....
      • Tower on Wires Pictures...
      • Pretty Much Out of the Picture...
      • Falling Tower Comments from N1ZZZ...
      • QST Article - Land Ops...
    • EPA-ARRL Web site...
    • Ham Radio Links
    • Closing
    Bulletin Date: April 22, 2018
    Bulletin Number: 195

    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: April 1, 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. If you are busy look for the things with the ! in front of them.

    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 Dry Run was held on April 14th. As soon as the results from the Dry Run are in they will be published and any amendments/changes to the Comm Ex will be announced..
    2. Just a reminder that both the LCARES Voice Net and the LCADN are canceled for April 24th due to the LCEMA Quarterly Training (QT). If you plan on attending theplease let Dave Elmore, KC3IMJ, know by email at
    Click Here for the Luzerne County ARES®Activities Schedule
    Click Here for Net Schedules of Interest - updated on 4/8/2018
    2018 LCARES Members Operational Status - Net Stats - Bulletin Responses (updated 4/14/18)...

    Note: Credit is given for responding but to win, place, or show the answer has to be correct.
    Sunday Night Bulletin for April 15, 2018 Responses
    1st Response
    2nd Response
    3rd Response
    Total Bulletin Responses for Last Week - 8

    Weekly Images

    Courtesy of Pete, NL7XM!
    An ARRL ARES®Communicator's Comments
    !In a Hurry?....
    - I thought I'd leave this in here a few weeks. Remember, if you are rushed for time look for the items with the !. Those are the items that really need to be read. Everything else is just fluff. Read the important things and the other stuff when you can.

    Tower on Wires Pictures...
    - Giving credit where credit is due and thank you to KC3EPX for sending them. The recent photos of the antenna that had fallen on the wires were from the Smithsburg Leitersburg Fire Companies in Maryland. Thanks to Brian, KC3EPX, and to the Fire Companies for doing their jobs so well. We'd be in a world of hurt with out the Fire Fighters (paid and volunteer) of this world.

    Pretty Much Out of the Picture...
    - I am truly sorry for being out of the picture for most of last week and I am pretty sure for much of the upcoming week. I am writing this on Saturday afternoon and right now I am just about out of gas again. Can't really remember being like this for a very long time.

    I know you folks can do very well without me but I know I am falling down on the job for the upcoming drill. I'll try to have the practice messages for the drill done by Wednesday if possible.

    Falling Tower Comments from N1ZZZ...
    Thank you to N1ZZZ for giving me content for this week.


    "Keep it grounded, but not too grounded."

    Our EC recently shared some images of a commercial tower that fell over in the wind and onto some power lines. This resulted in a dead ground and caused a fire in a building. This is a case of poor engineering and safety practices leading to the station being "too grounded."

    As Emergency Communicators, we are trained to respond to areas we have no necessarily planned to operate from. With this in mind, electrical safety and good radio engineering must be kept in mind, while you set up a good station in rapid order.

    When we erect an antenna in a new area, you must stop and tie your boot. Look all around you, including up. Are you erecting a 30' push up pole? If so, make sure that you are more than 30 feet from any overhead power lines and areas where people may be. Are you using guys on your pole? If so, make sure they are clearly visible so that no one walks into them. Is that coax cable you are using causing a tripping hazard? If so, a run of duct tape can minimize this risk. Is you antenna far enough away from people to prevent adverse RF exposure? If you are unsure, keep the power to a minimum and distance to the maximum practical. You are the communication's technician that the responders are relying to erect a safe and efficient antenna.

    After the antenna is set up, think about the grounding at the rig. Proper grounding not only makes things safer, but also improves your signals. While you likely won't be able to drive multiple 8-ft ground rods, you can do some things to improvise. A run of wide braid, even coax braid from some a discarded feed line, can be run from the radio to an aluminum tent stake driven into the ground as close as practical to the operating position. Bond the main stake with more braid to six or seven other stakes and drive them into the ground as well. On the antenna itself, you can make a poor-man's choke by winding coax in a loop near the feed point. This works with the chassis ground to minimize RFI. If you are using a field generator, make sure that the generator is grounded according to the manufacturer's instructions. Even if the operating site has an antenna you can use, it is likely there isn't an effective ground to go along with it, especially if you are plugging your own radio into their antenna system. Be prepared, even if it's a "fixed" location.

    In the end don't make yourself or your station part of the emergency; we are there to help, not hinder. Sound safety and engineering practices will enable you to serve while not increasing risk to the operation. The served agency is relying on us to pass their information in safe and efficient manner, and ARES needs to bring the mental and physical tools with us to accomplish that mission.

    Thanks Jeremy

    QST Article - Land Ops...
    - This article was in this month's QST. Looks like a lot of fun.

    QST Article name is: Land Ops - Off Road and On the Air


    Welcome to Land Ops, a unique ham radio, off-road and navigation challenge
    club. We invite you to join our group and experience the teamwork challenges,
    improve your ham radio skills, improve your off-road driving skills and
    learn about GPS navigation in an offroad setting. Our collection of videos
    will give you a taste of the Land Ops experience. Month in QST/May2018/Biram.pdf

    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.
  2. wedgar

    wedgar Administrator Staff Member Gold Member


    This sounds like a lot of fun. There ought to be some great pictures and write-ups on this event.

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