Members of the W0VFW ham club and 52 Crew members gathered to install a new GP9 antenna atop the VFW Post 3115.
Participated today in the AmRRon FTX 4 exercise using JS8Call program.
JS8Call is software using the JS8 Digital Mode providing weak signal keyboard to keyboard messaging to Amateur Radio Operators.
Here was the scenario: The 2020 Presidential election has been one of the most (if not the most) divisive elections in U.S. history. No matter the outcome, it is anticipated that individuals and groups that have instigated civil unrest and riots during this past summer may use the outcome of the election as an excuse to increase their level of anarchy and violence. Unconfirmed reports of post-election Civil Unrest have been circulating. For the situational awareness of all participants, we need to report Civil Conditions in each participant’s area of operation (AO), what actions participants are taking, and if assistance is needed. Operators that identify other members that might be in jeopardy are encouraged to reach out to them with any assistance that can reasonably be provided (based upon their respective proximity).
PIR(s) for this exercise: (A PIR is a Priority Intelligence Requirement)
1. What are the conditions of the Civil climate in your area of operation (AO)
2. What actions will you be undertaking to assure the safety of you and your family?
3. Do you need assistance?
Stations first prepared their PIR for their area and enter the PIR(s) in the “info” field of JS8Call.
Next, stations were to report (TX) your “info” field to the exercise group periodically (perhaps every 15-20 minutes as frequency availability allows.) through the exercise. Mine, for example looked like:
Then, participants were to record and retrieve as many reports as possible to access the situation elsewhere. Using your preferred off-grid mapping plan, note the location and PIR status of each station you are able to receive.
Other stations would request my PIR that was sent automatically from the contents of the “info” field of JS8Call. For example:
Through the course of the exercise I was able to copy and record 12 PIR’s from other stations including those from Grid Squares: EN57, EM86, EN82, DM78, DM79, EM82, DN70, EN62, EN11, EM48, DM79. Those basically included the states of Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri, Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia, and Michigan. I heard states as far away as New Jersey, Idaho, and Florida and saw their PIRs in the received band activity window but wasn’t able to make contact with them.
All in all, it did seem to be a useful exercise in helping me first better understand and utilize the JS8Call software and second to gather and send information to other stations.
Had this been a real-world event, I’m not quite sure how I could help others if they were in need because of the distances they were located away from me. But, the intelligence gathered would be good in accessing the overall situational awareness.
Because of the orientation of my Alpha Delta DXCC antenna, I was receiving best stations generally located to the west and east of my location with limited reception north and south. The greatest distance I was hearing was about 1200 miles, and was able to work stations about 850 miles away.
Using PSKReporter, I was able to graphically display my reception:
The SATERN International 20 meter Phone Net for Hurricane Delta was activated Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. Hurricane Delta made landfall in Mexico Wednesday as an extremely dangerous Category 2 storm, coming ashore near Puerto Morelos along the northeastern coast of Yucatan Peninsula. It is later expected to arrive near the Louisiana Coast about 4 pm EDT on Friday, October 9.
Strengthening is forecast while the hurricane moves over the southern and central Gulf of Mexico and Delta is expected to become a major hurricane again.
I will be taking net control duties for the Hurricane Delta Activation net on Thursday, Oct. 8, 1900Z at 14.265 Mhz for one hour. SATERN will be monitoring for any outbound emergency traffic, health & welfare messages, including requests for assistance from areas affected. No traffic or messages will be sent into the affected areas, only out-going messages.
Life-threatening storm surge is expected near and east of where Delta makes landfall on Friday, and a Storm Surge Warning is in effect from High Island, Texas, to Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Residents in the warning area should promptly follow advice given by local
officials. The storm surge risk remains high despite the forecast decrease in intensity before landfall since Delta is expected to grow in size.
Hurricane-force winds are expected Friday afternoon and evening somewhere within the Hurricane Warning area between High Island, Texas, and Morgan City, Louisiana. Hurricane-force winds will also spread inland across portions of southern Louisiana near the path of
Deltas center Friday evening and Friday night.
Significant flash flooding and minor to moderate river flooding are likely in parts of Louisiana Friday and Saturday, with additional flooding in portions of the central Gulf Coast into the Lower Mississippi Valley.
On October 3, 2020, Johnson County ARES, Johnson County Emergency Communications Service (ECS) (the County RACES organization) and the Kansas/Western Missouri Division of SATERN participated cooperatively in the Simulated Emergency Test (SET) with a common exercise plan. Due to Covid-19, participants this year will mostly be operating from their homes rather than being deployed to field locations.
The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) is an all volunteer organization made up of currently licensed amateur radio operators who volunteer their time and efforts toward aiding The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services ministry. The purpose of SATERN is to acquire and train personnel skilled in emergency communications and message handling, who will support Salvation Army operations in local, regional and international disaster situations.
As a member of SATERN in Wichita, Kansas, in addition to participating in the message handling exercise, I’ve been tasked with running net control of our VHF net for the Wichita area. Net control duties went fine but some of the message handling was challenging. Messages passed locally on 2 meters was pretty simple but the HF traffic presented some challenges. How well you hear other stations on HF, of course, is highly dependent on propagation and it was not great during this exercise. I was able to get some relays through the International Satern net on 7.265 Mhz, albeit with quite a bit of interference from other stations. Apparently, the California QSO Party kicked off about the same time as our exercise and the band was full of signals.
Like previous exercises I’ve participated in, when it was over I was exhausted.
Part 1 of the Ham Radio Crash Course BaoFeng UV5R and Family radio tutorial on setting and programming.
A low cost radio to add your preps is the Baofeng family of radios. I have several of these including the UV5R, BF-F8HP, and UV-82. The low cost UV5R is probably one of the most popular in the prepper community because of it’s features and low cost. It’s a great radio to toss in your bug out bag or carry with you in your car. I prefer the the BF-F8HP because of it’s higher output power.
Every Saturday @ 9:00 p.m.
Simplex Frequency 146.420 Mhz
All licensed radio operators are invited to check in and join the conversation.
Unlicensed Operators Can Check in on Channel 3 on FRS, MURS and CB Radio
Our main focus is emergency preparedness and emergency communications, but other topics may also be covered.
- Staying informed helps you make smart decisions
- Informing others can save lives
- Non-government, civil defense volunteer network
- Developed and run by patriots for patriots
AmRRon members and other interested prepper parties are encouraged to call the net. Contact Vic (K0VAB) or Matt (KE0MBB) with your interest and we’ll get you plugged in. Following are resources to help you:
I joined other members of the WØVFW club for this year’s field day activity. It was held at club president, Pat Schneweis’s (KCØZRY) home where he had ample space and antennas for making contacts.
I really didn’t prepare any project for this year and mostly participated for the fellowship and food. And, I must say, the food prepared by Pat was excellent this year. BBQ ribs and pulled pork.
This is my third field day and I’m learning that just as important as making HF contacts is the food and fellowship.
Fortunately, much of the activity took place indoors where it was air conditioned and much cooler than outdoors.
We operated with the club call-sign WØVFW and designater 3DKS. Even though I was not working real hard at making contacts, I did make a few on 2 meters, 6 meters, and 20 meters. I have yet to get the report as to how many stations all operators worked, but I’d venture to say the most active was Coy (WØZWS). I did logging for him for a period of time and I could hardly keep up with his contacts. A real pro at contesting.
It was particularly interesting to watch Coy (WØZWS) and Meg (KWØMEG) work together. Both are blind hams and Coy made the calls while Meg logged them using a braille typewriter. Together they worked about 31 stations.
An amateur radio net is an “on-the-air” gathering of amateur radio operators that convene on a regular schedule and specific frequency, and are organized for a particular purpose, such as relaying messages, discussing a common topic of interest, in severe weather (for example, during a Skywarn activation), emergencies, or simply as a regular gathering of friends for conversation.
Net lengths vary from only a few minutes to several hours for DX and maritime nets. Some nets are “roll call” only, while others have comments from check ins. Informal sessions may precede and/or follow some nets.
Nets are a great opportunity for the amateur radio operator to test their equipment and improve their familiarity with radio operations. They are also great places for the new operator to key up and get over their mic fright.
Following are some of the VHF nets I like to regularly check in to:
|0100||2400||Tuesday||147.15||2m||Butler County Severe Weather Net|
|0100||2400||Saturday||145.27||2m||Visually Inconvenienced Hams|
|0200||0100||Sunday||146.85||2m||Wichita Amateur Radio Club|
|0200||0100||Sunday||147.15||2m||Butler County CERT|
|0230||0130||Monday||145.19||2m||Cowley County Amateur Radio Club Net|
|0300||0200||Saturday||146.42||2m||AmRRon Local Net|
|0300||Sunday||146.85||2m||KanOkla Intertie Net|
Following are some of the HF nets I like to regularly check in to:
|1430||Tuesday||7.265||40m||SATERN Central Territorial Net|
|1500||Daily||3.903||80m||SATERN Oklahoma Division Net|
|1600||Saturday||7.265||40m||SATERN Southern Territorial Net|
|1600||Mon – Sat||14.265||20m||SATERN International Net|
|1600||Mon – Sat||7.290||40m||7290 Traffic Net|
|1700||Mon – Fri||14.255||20m||West Coast VA Hospital Net|
|1830||Mon – Sat||7.253.5||40m||
Central States Traffic Net (Kadiddlehoppers)
|1900||Mon – Fri||7.290||40m||7290 Traffic Net|
|2000||1 & 3 Wed||14.342||20m||AmRRon Net|
|2030||Mon – Sat||7.263||40m||Hams for Christ|
|2100||Mon – Fri||7.240||40m||NoName Net|
|2200||Saturday||3.860||80m||South Dakota Weather Net|
|0130||Mon – Sat||3.860||80m||Eastern Regional Patriot Net|
Following are some of the Digital nets I like to regularly check in to:
|1800||1700||Saturday||14.065||20m||SATERN Digital Net (Olivia)|
|2000||Tuesday||14.110||20m||AmRRon Digital Intel Brief (+12000 MFSK32)|
|2430||1 -3 Thurs||7.110||40m||AmRRon Digital Net (+1200 Contestia 4/250)|
|2445||Saturday||3.592||80m||ERPN Digital Net (+800 Contestia 4/250)|
|0100||2 – 4 Sun||7.110||40m||TAPRN Digital Net (+1200 Contestia 4/250)|
|0130||Monday||146.40||2m||Butler County Digital Net|
|0200||Tuesday||3.579.5||80m||SATERN KS/MO Digital (PSK)|
For a list of other nets conducted around the country, visit here.
The BUTLER COUNTY DIGITAL NET is dedicated to learning and developing digital operating skills and practicing digital traffic handling. Digital communications can become important in an emergency due to a natural disaster or power outage.
To support this mission, we focus on three fundamentals: Directed Net protocols, Computer skills, and Digital traffic-handling with NBEMS software. NBEMS stands for Narrow Band Emergency Messaging Software and is the more common method of transferring files, emails, FEMA ICS forms, and ARRL Radiograms. Experience using the digital modes and messaging protocols is imperative for communicating with EOC’s and other emergency responders.
I’m not suggesting that digital modes will totally replace voice, rather it’s a good alternative when voice communications is not possible, when operating with limited power, or when accuracy in information passing is critical.
The Butler County Digital Net connects amateur operators with common interests in training, information-sharing, and mutual-aid. Barb (KD0WAU) and Wayne (KD0WAT) Schlueter started this net in 2019. This net is inspired and modeled by the ORCA Digital Net. This past year has been one of learning the software and practicing passing messages on the air. Visitors are always welcome to join in and work with us.
We currently operate on frequency 146.400 simplex and use a computer program FLDIGI to interpret our signals. Sometime in the next couple of months the net will be moved to the Flint Hills Amateur Radio Club repeater at147.150 Mghz. This will give the net greater reach across Butler county and into Sedgwick county. The net is conducted every Monday evening at 7:30 p.m.
Fldigi (short for Fast light digital) is a free and open-source program which allows an ordinary computer’s sound card to be used as a simple two-way data modem. Fldigi is popularly used among emergency communicators, FEMA, and other disaster teams. One advantage of using this software is it’s possible for amateur radio operators to communicate worldwide while using only a few watts of RF power.
You can download fldigi at SourceForge for free. There are versions to run on Windows, Linux, and Mac. You’ll need to download fldigi, flmsg, and flamp at a minimum.