Participated today in the AmRRon FTX21-3 exercise using JS8Call program.
This exercise simulates a National Signals Center (CigCen Nat) attempting to fill an information void by having remote stations report Priority Information Requirements (PIRs) within their area of operation (AO) while consuming as little power and radio spectrum as possible.
Multiple Listening Posts (LP) will be utilized in each time zone, that will be collectors of PIR reports. LPs will not be identifying their presence, nor will they be acknowledging reception of PIR reports – they are passive listeners only. At the end of the exercise each LP will compile a summary of the intel they have collected and will forward their compiled information to SigCen Nat via HF.
This exercise scenario:
Recent storms throughout the Midwest left many households without access to electrical power and water service. This field training exercise will allow AmRRon operators to self-assess their ability to successfully execute AmRRon’s civil support mission during such a natural disaster.
Assess your ability to keep your radio communications systems operational for a blackout period lasting 3-5 days when there is no commercial power available, and AmRRon is activated to Net Schedule 3.
Assess your ability to keep your household systems (cooking, refrigerator, furnace, well pump, etc.) operational, and possibly assist your neighborhood/community for a blackout period lasting 3-5 days when commercial power is not available.
PIR’s answer those two questions with Green/Yellow/Red/Unknown (abbreviated G, Y, R, U) conditions.
- Green (G): Optimum (I am well, situation is good, favorable weather, well prepared, etc.)
- Yellow (Y): Cautious (Intermediate, sub-optimal, preparation deficiencies, etc.)
- Red (R): Serious (Non-functioning, dangerous, hazardous, severely unprepared, etc.)
- Unknown (U): Unable to determine.
After setting up the JS8Call settings for this exercise to disable auto reply’s and heartbeat messages, I created my station ID information as follows:
That message will be sent to the @AMRFTX group once an hour.
This is a “Listen, Transmit and Trust that I will be heard” exercise. I will not be querying any station for their info. Participants will not be transmitting any Beacons, Acknowledgement, Signal Report Requests, Directed Messages or other extraneous transmissions (power saving mode).
During the exercise I will monitor what “Station Info” I am able to receive, record that information, and create a map for my personal situational awareness. I used the Maidenhead U.S. Grid Square Map available from Icom America.
Through the course of the exercise I was able to copy and record 15 PIR’s from other stations including those from Grid Squares: CM98, CN94, DN18, EN41, EN52, EN62, EM79, EM85, EM86, EM68, EM01, FM08, FM19, FN13. Those basically included the states of Oregon, California, Idaho, Colorado, Texas, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, New York
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 1300 miles.
Overall, this Intel gave me a fairly good idea of conditions being experienced by other operators across the country.