District 3 Digital Bulletin - December 16 2018

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Emergency Communications' started by W.T. Jones, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. W.T. Jones

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

    ARRL images are service/trademarks of the American Radio Relay League and used in accordance with ARRL Instructions.
    Skywarn is a Service mark of the National Weather Service!
    Eastern Pennsylvania ARES® District 3 Bulletin
    Bulletin #010 December 16, 2018

    • District 3 Weekly Nets...
    • FLDigi Programs - Current Versions...
    • District 3 Activities Schedule...
    • The District 3 Digital Bulletin Statement of Purpose...
    • The Old ARES Communicators' Comments
      • !!!ARES Connect - its not optional...
      • !!!New ARES Volunteers and ARES Connect...
      • The Job Of The ARES Emergency Coordinator...
      • The ARES Emergency Coordinator's Job Description...
      • The Test Pilot...
      • The Real Cost of Christmas...
      • Old Time Christmas Radio Pictures....
      • For All You With Youngsters - NORAD Tracks Santa Web Site...
      • That is it for this D3DB...
    • Ham Radio Links
    • Closing
    ARRL Eastern Pennsylvania Section ARES® District 3 Structure
    [​IMG]District 3 Counties
    Eastern PA Section Manager
    George Miller, W3GWM
    Eastern PA Section Emergency Coordinator
    Andrew Shecktor, N3OMA
    Eastern PA ASEC & District 3 District Emergency Coordinator
    WT Jones, WN3LIF
    District 3 County Emergency Coordinators
    Lackawanna County
    Mark Krzan
    Luzerne County
    Dave Kirby
    Pike County
    Tom Olver
    Susquehanna County
    Lee Parsons
    Wayne County
    Hank Grilk
    Wyoming County
    Allen Brooks

    "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

    "The time to take counsel of your fears is before you make an important battle decision. That's the time to listen to every fear you can imagine! When you have collected all the facts and fears and made your decision, turn off all your fears and go ahead!" --Gen. George S. Patton
    District 3 Weekly Nets...
    - It is all about communicating! Nets are nothing more than a common meeting frequency and time for Hams with a common interest to get together. There are nets that concentrate on traffic/message handling, social conversation, club information, hobbies, and even those that are planning for the TEOTWAKI! What ever your pleasure or interest take time to join a net. You might find it interesting.

    District 3 Nets and other Nets of Interest (Click here in case you don't understand links!)
    (I could put all the tables here with the nets listed and make it really easy for you but that takes air time when I send this via Fldigi. So for the benefit of my weary FT-8800R I'll just put the link here. That will save the electrons in the FT-8800's finals for the good stuff below.)

    FLDigi Programs - Current Versions...
    Current As of Fldigi Flmsg Flamp Flrig
    December 9, 2018 4.0.18 4.0.7 2.2.03 1.3.40
    District 3 Activities Schedule...

    Eastern PA District 3 Activities Schedule <-- Be sure to click and check for any upcoming ARES®Activities!
    Check the schedule - Training such as Skywarn and other good things are available.

    The District 3 Digital Bulletin Statement of Purpose...
    - The District 3 Digital Bulletin (D3DB) is produced solely by the EPA Assistant SEC who is also the EPA District 3 ARES District EC. The content, except for anything that is linked or reproduced with attribution, is his alone and does not represent the view of any one or any organization except himself. If you find fault with it then direct your ire toward him and him alone. He gladly takes on all comers.

    The D3DB is sent on Sunday Evenings at 2100L using the Fldigi Programs and the N3FCK repeater near Wilkes-Barre, PA. The ASEC gratefully acknowledges N3FCK and N3VTH's assistance. The D3DB is posted on the N3LLR web forum (see the bottom of the D3DB for the link) for those who cannot copy the bulletin over the air. Those who can copy the D3DB over the air are encouraged to do so as a form of practice with digital communications.

    A PDF copy of the D3DB is sent to all the ECs in District 3 immediately following the bulletin transmission. The instructions to EC are to forward the D3DB to all the ARES members and clubs in their counties. This once a week opportunity should be used by the ECs to provide any extra information to their members. The process of communicating with the ARES members on a regular basis is the primary function of the EC. In order for the ARES to function the members much know their ECs and be constantly reminded what is happening the ARES world. That familiarity is one reason for the D3DB. Knowing everyone in District 3 and what they do makes for smooth operations during an emergency.

    In short the D3DB is NOT something that is just done for the enjoyment of typing. It is done to communicate information and substance about ARES in general and EPA District ARES in specific. If there is some enjoyment in reading the topics contained in the D3DB so much the better.

    !!!ARES Connect - its not optional...
    - This past week the EPA Section Staff (you can read that as N3OMA and WN3LIF) made strides toward completing the roll-out of ARES Connect. The goal to complete the load for the Section as soon as possible.

    One thing I need to state here because I have received some feedback that some counties do not want to participate in the ARES Connect project. ARES Connect is not an optional program. The ARRL Program and Services and the ARRL Board of Directors are behind this project and ALL ARES entities will participate in it. The old style of doing things like the paper reports and monthly reporting are over and done as of the December 2018 reports.

    Please get on board with the program by reviewing the documents provided at:

    ARES Connect Instructions

    The Section under "All Users" is the best place to start.

    !!!New ARES Volunteers and ARES Connect...
    One of the things that will change after the ARES Connect Template Upload for a county is the way that new members are taken into the County ARES Organization. No more paper applications. Links such as the Wayne County Online ARES Application and the Luzerne County ARES Application must be replaced with access to the ARES Connect Section Landing Page.

    New Volunteers "sign up" at the ARES Connect web site. That puts them in the new volunteer group. The EC can then review the application online and then approve the new volunteer for membership.

    Again, the administrative world of ARES is changing come January 1st. Read the documentation and watch the videos. There are some things that have changed since they were posted but the main content is correct.

    We are in this together but together we will make it work.

    The Job Of The ARES Emergency Coordinator...
    - I am cheating a bit here. I wrote the following back in February of 2017. I have edited it a bit since I was the SEC back then. It is an attempt to define exactly what is expected of an ARES EC. When it was written I was having a bit of a problem and I was almost certain that I was going to have to ask an EC to step down. I was fortunate that a little guidance and effort turned the situation around. I think it is time to reiterate just what is expected of an EC. So read on.

    Since 9/11 the needs and demands have changed. In the pre-9/11 days the EC could keep a roster of his registered ARES members, figure out how to get to them when he needed them, and run a weekly net and that was pretty much it. Today it is so much different.

    Lets go through what an EC needs to be.

    The EC needs to be a recruiter because the average Ham could not care less about doing public service. Everyone has different interests and doing public service is usually way down on the list of things that Hams want to do. The EC has to be the disciple and keep that in front of the amateur community. Tough job? Yep.

    The EC needs to be a diplomat. He has to interface with the organizations that need the ARES. Paying visits. Talking to them as a trusted advisor. Letting them know what the EC's organization can and cannot do. It is no longer a "they will come to us". It is a "we have to go to them." The only way ARES is of any use is for the EC to "sell" our services. As one new County Emergency Management Coordinator put it; "I expected him to be sitting on my doorstep waiting to talk to me." But the ARES EC wasn't there.

    The EC needs to take the lead in training. The EC cannot tell his ARES members to take training unless he is leading by example. The EC needs every certificate and every class to set the example.

    The EC needs to be a trainer. He needs to impart knowledge and experience to his group. It cannot be done in the "force it down their throats" way. It has to be delivered as something interesting and fun. Creating that kind of training is rewarding when "they get it!"

    The EC needs to be a technological leader. The EC may not own every new gadget or work every mode that comes down the path but the EC needs to know their value to emergency communications. And he needs to know the positive and negative aspects of each one. He cannot be "down" on any mode just because he does not like it. He has to be able to state clearly and with good reasons why he won't commit to it as far as an emergency communications mode. In the same vein he has to be supportive and encouraging to those that are expanding the Amateur Radio technology base with their experimentation and while he may not use them for emergency communications he should be willing, if the opportunity arises, to try them himself. You can't say peas taste terrible unless you have tasted them at least once.

    The EC needs to be a record keeper. Rosters, equipment, training, and other activities need to be documented. The people that ARES serves will expect you to know who your members are, what is available in the way of equipment, who is trained to work in the EOC or with a Radiological Monitoring Team. And the records have to be kept up to date. And they have to be secure. The EC needs to know that you don't post the telephone numbers of the members on a web site. It is all necessary knowledge in this world. The worst thing about record keeping is that it is the biggest time sink of the job and the most important.

    The EC needs to be a communicator. I am not talking about radios here. I am talking about other things that do not involve radios. The EC has to constantly keep the members of his group up to date with what is going on. He has to let them know that a public service event is coming. What training is available. Who the groups leaders are. Second, the EC needs to communicate with the served agencies often. He has to stay in front of them and let them know what great things are happening in his group. And third the EC needs to be telling all of the Amateur Radio operators in his area that ARES is there, needs members, and is a fun thing to be involved with. While the ARES Connect project will help with this it is not a substitute for the EC getting out there and speaking with and emailing the Amateurs in general and the ARES members specifically.

    The EC needs to be a motivator. The members will get stale if they have nothing to do. If there are things to do it is a tough sell to get the members out of their warm cozy shacks to work a public service event. And above all the EC has to recognize the members of his ARES group when they have done something. The EC never takes credit, he gives it. No matter how well things happen the EC is not the one that made it happen. The ARES group is the one that made it happen.

    The EC needs to be responsible for failure. It is very easy when things go wrong to point the finger. The EC can't point the finger at anyone. The only person the EC can point at is the EC. That is a tough thing to do but it is absolutely necessary for success. When things are great the EC has to remember that it is the ARES group that takes the credit. When things go wrong it is the EC that takes the responsibility. Period!

    The EC needs to be the distributor of credit for success. It is easy to nod and say "aw shucks folks" when everything went the way it was supposed to go and people are applauding. The harder path is to stand there and say "It wasn't me. It was the ARES Team including..." and name the names of those that contributed to the success of the operation. Even if the EC busted his proverbial butt to get the members to do something it is always the members that succeeded. That recognition is more than important. It is crucial to the success of the ARES Team and to the members themselves. Nothing breeds success like success. Let them know they succeeded and whats more let the served agencies know who succeeded. Tell everyone who'll listen. It is that important.

    The EC needs to be a planner. The EC needs to look forward and use his "crystal ball" to see what may come and how his group may be able to contribute. He needs to be able to fit the members into positions where they will be successful. His understanding of the needs of his ARES group is key to the success of ARES group. He needs to understand the needs of the people and organizations that his ARES group serves. He must be able to make the best contribution to the served partners' success. The EC needs to remember that planning for the success of the organizations that the ARES group serves will mean success for the ARES group. It is that old win-win situation.

    The EC needs to be present and available. The EC needs to be in front of the ARES Membership and the Amateur Population in general. That means attending meetings, doing presentations, sending emails on a regular basis, and engaging the local amateur population on the air when ever possible. The EC should be present on every net, contribute to every function, and be the resource that saves the day for the clubs when they need something. A correspondence from a member should never go unanswered even if it is just to say "I got it!" It is necessary that the local amateurs recognize the name, the call, the face, and most importantly, the voice of the EC. There should be no need for the EC to hand out his business cards during a disaster.

    The EC needs to be a person who knows when and what to delegate. The EC can ask for help with his jobs. He cannot delegate his presence nor his record keeping but there is much that can be delegated. Too many ECs try to do everything. It just cannot be done. Well it can but the EC burns out like the 1st stage of a moon rocket. A great ride at the beginning but nothing left at the middle of the ride. Take it from me. I know the burnout feeling. The EC needs to recognize talent in his ARES organization and give them the ball to run. This brings unexpected rewards too. The person gets the job done and gets some self satisfaction for the effort. The EC gets a job done without having to do it by himself. And it start the process of grooming the EC's replacement.

    The EC can never be satisfied. There cannot be a "resting on his laurels" attitude. The good EC takes in all that is around him and may revel in a job well done but then the EC needs to start analyzing what could have been done better, what could be changed to improve, is there a need for some training, who should be recognized for doing a great job, and on and on and on.

    I would like to say that any one can be an EC but I know that not everyone can do the job. There are many who have some of the strengths listed above but finding them all in one person who wants the job is a Herculean task.

    There is a reason why the EC appointment is only for two years. If the person does the job then that is probably 1 year too long.

    Next week, I'll tell you exactly what is expected of an ARES Volunteer. If I set the bar for the EC it is only fair to set the bar for the Volunteers too.

    The ARES Emergency Coordinator's Job Description...
    - What follows is the Emergency Coordinator's Job Description as published by the ARRL. I am sure that it will change with the coming changes to ARES. But for now it is what is expected of an ARES Emergency Coordinator.

    Emergency Coordinator (EC)
    Available at http://www.arrl.org/emergency-coordinator

    Taken from the ARRL 2015 ARES Manual...

    The ARRL Emergency Coordinator is a key team player in ARES on the local emergency scene. Working with the Section Emergency Coordinator, the DEC and Official Emergency Stations, the EC prepares for, and engages in management of communications needs in disasters.


    Technician class license or higher; Full ARRL membership


    • Promote and enhance the activities of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) for the benefit of the public as a voluntary, non-commercial communications service.

    • Manage and coordinate the training, organization and emergency participation of interested amateurs working in support of the communities, agencies or functions designated by the Section Emergency Coordinator/Section Manager.

    • Establish viable working relationships with federal, state, county, city governmental and private agencies in the ARES jurisdictional area which need the services of ARES in emergencies. Determine what agencies are active in your area, evaluate each of their needs, and which ones you are capable of meeting, and then prioritize these agencies and needs. Discuss your planning with your Section Emergency Coordinator and then with your counterparts in each of the agencies. Ensure they are all aware of your ARES group's capabilities, and perhaps more importantly, your limitations.

    • Develop detailed local operational plans with ''served" agency officials in your jurisdiction that set forth precisely what each of your expectations are during a disaster operation. Work jointly to establish protocols for mutual trust and respect. All matters involving recruitment and utilization of ARES volunteers are directed by you, in response to the needs assessed by the agency officials. Technical issues involving message format, security of message transmission, Disaster Welfare Inquiry policies, and others, should be reviewed and expounded upon in your detailed local operations plans.

    • Establish local communications networks run on a regular basis and periodically test those networks by conducting realistic drills.

    • Establish an emergency traffic plan, with Welfare traffic inclusive, utilizing the National Traffic System as one active component for traffic handling. Establish an operational liaison with local and section nets, particularly for handling Welfare traffic in an emergency situation.

    • In times of disaster, evaluate the communications needs of the jurisdiction and respond quickly to those needs. The EC will assume authority and responsibility for emergency response and performance by ARES personnel under his jurisdiction.

    • Work with other non-ARES amateur provider-groups to establish mutual respect and understanding, and a coordination mechanism for the good of the public and Amateur Radio. The goal is to foster an efficient and effective Amateur Radio response overall.

    • Work for growth in your ARES program, making it a stronger, more valuable resource and hence able to meet more of the agencies' local needs. There are thousands of new Technicians coming into the amateur service that would make ideal additions to your ARES roster. A stronger ARES means a better ability to serve your communities in times of need and a greater sense of pride for Amateur Radio by both amateurs and the public.

    • Report regularly to the DEC and SEC, as required.

    • Encouraged to earn certification in Level 1 of the ARRL Emergency Communications Course.

    • Earn the appropriate ICS certifications.

    Recruitment of new hams and ARRL members is an integral part of the job of every ARRL appointee. Appointees should take advantage of every opportunity to recruit a new ham or member to foster growth of Field Organization programs, and our abilities to serve the public.

    As you can see the ARRL, who owns the ARES, has a set of expectations for the ARES Emergency Coordinator. As you can see some of the tasks have become obsolete. The Level 1 ARRL Emergency Communications Course is still not available to all. The training now requires ICS-100, 200, 700 & 800 level courses. And not only for the EC but for all ARES members.

    The EC position is not something handed out for the sake of giving a friend a title. It probably should be given to your worst enemy because it is not a pleasant task at times. But if my worst enemy was the best for the job I would willingly appoint him.

    As the SEC in the past and the current ASEC and DEC I have committed the unpardonable sin of not spelling out exactly what was required to be an EC. I kind of assumed that everyone would take it to heart and run with it. And I have encouraged people to take the job simply to get them into the job with the hope they would turn out to be what was hoped for. I will admit that in some cases I inherited ECs that were just the best that could be asked for such as W2TAO. In some cases I did manage, through dumb luck, find a diamond in the rough who really did take the ball and run with it. And in some cases the jury is still out. The only good thing is that the appointment is for only 2 years.

    Sending the above has now remedied that error. Now everyone knows.

    The Test Pilot...
    - From Harlan, W1QH, in CT...

    A newly formed Aerospace company wanted to get a contract to build Fighter Jets. They hired a team of engineers to design and build the new aircraft. When the project was completed, a test pilot took the craft up to put it through it's paces. All went well until the pilot went into a steep dive and when he tried to pull out, the wings ripped off!

    This caused them to do a complete redesign and when it was done, another test pilot was hired. Again, all was good until the steep dive test, which again resulted in wing separation.

    Well, they were trying another design and a newbie Engineer piped up "Drill a set of 1 inch holes along the wing root".

    They figured what the heck, drilled the holes, and hired another pilot.

    The team held their breath when he went into the final dive and...SUCESS! The wings stayed on!

    When the newbie Engineer was asked how he came up with that idea, he replied, "Well, I used to work at a toilet paper factory and I know it never tears at the perforation."

    The Real Cost of Christmas...
    - From Ron, NY3J...

    Note - the total cost may be slightly inaccurate due to a garbled transmission. But is close!

    PNC Christmas Price Index - The real cost of 12 days of Christmas

    Partridge in a pear tree $209.99 -2.30% oversupply of game birds
    Two turtle doves $375.00 29.30% supply and demand
    Three french hens $181.50 0.00% steady supply and demand
    Four calling birds $599.96 0.00% market value
    Five gold rings $750.00 0.00% retailers kept price steady
    Six geese a laying $360.00 0.00% goose market stable
    Seven swans a swimming $13,125.00 0.00% bird gifts are flat
    Eight maids a milking $58.00 0.00% stagnant federal minimum wage
    Nine ladies dancing $7,552.84 0.00% controlled by dance companies
    Ten lords a leaping $5,508.70 0.00% no increase in salaries
    Eleven pipers piping $2,708.40 2.80% increase in wages
    Twelve drummers drumming $2,934.10 2.80% increase in demand

    cumulative costs for repetition in song (364 gifts) $156,508.88 0.70%
    Core index (excluding swans) $21,238.49 1.10% CPI removes the most unpredictable gift

    Total cost of Christmas $212,110.00

    Old Time Christmas Radio Pictures....
    - Here is one for this week.

    For All You With Youngsters - NORAD Tracks Santa Web Site...
    - This is one of my favorite web sites. Has nothing to do with Amateur Radio or ARES® but it is fun.

    Every year NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) tracks that jolly old elf through the skies on Christmas Eve. It is still a little early but if you look at the lower right corner you'll see the countdown timer to Christmas Eve. I know the youngsters in Duryea like it because their Fathers have asked me for the web site again this year. So maybe you have some youngsters that might be interested in tracking Santa Claus. If nothing else read the story of how it got started. All because of a wrong number printed in a newspaper.

    Here is the web site: https://www.noradsanta.org/. Okay, just for the record. As I write this there are: 15 Days, 3 hour, 53 minutes, and 52 seconds, 51 seconds, 50 seconds.

    That is it for this D3DB...
    - Another week down the tubes. Been an interesting one. Played more with VARA on Winlink. Worked on a Digipeater. Helped a few new Hams with their station selection. Cleaned up the desk. Dirtied up the desk again. Made Christmas cookies with my wife. Ate Christmas cookies with my wife. Had Taffi in the Vet Hospital for a day. She is home and fine. All in all it was a good week.

    Its getting closer and closer to the Big Holiday! Things are ready in the Jones Manor. I just hope they stay ready!

    I put a very short time in on the D3DB this week. The topics were timely though. I hope everyone who takes time to ready this missive gets something out of it. If you like it then let me know. If you don't let me know too. After all this does take time out of my life. If no one wants it let me know. However, if you have read this far then you must have found something worth looking at.

    If you want to contribute please send me the content you want to list to my email address below. It has to be something interesting and pertinent to Amateur Radio and/or ARES. You'll get to see you name and call in the D3DB. I don't know if that is incentive or not.

    Have a great week and get that Christmas Shopping done! Santa is depending on you.



    de WN3LIF


    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
    Wayne County ARES®
    PA DMR
    Thank you for copying our weekly digital information Bulletin to all Amateur Radio Operators.

    Send reception reports and comments to wn3lif@w3luz.org

    If some one sends one in I'll be smiling all week long.

    Have a good week everyone!


    ARRL EPA ASEC & District 3 District Emergency Coordinator
    email: wn3lif@w3luz.org
    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.

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