Emergency Coordination

                                                      Emergency Coordinator's Page                                                                     
(Previous articles can be found on the sub-pages at the bottom of this page)
Direct all questions about this page to kb5hpt@arrl.net

++++++ARES® Membership++++++

Qualifications for membership in El Paso County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (EPCARES) are as follows:

  1. Have the following credentials:

a.       ICS-100 Introduction to the Incident Command System

b.      ICS-200 ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents

c.       IS-700 NIMS, an Introduction

d.      IS-800 National Response Framework (NRF), an Introduction

e.       Intro to Emergency Communication (EC-001). See EC-001 course catalog at http://www.arrl.org/online-course-catalog. Click on the Registration Page to get started.

Candidates should submit an ARES® Registration Form (fsd98) along with copies of the above certificates of completion. Send them to kb5hpt@arrl.net.

By submitting your application for membership in ARES® you have indicated the following:

  1. You have registered your qualifications and communications equipment for use in public service during a communications emergency.
  2. You can work in a controlled environment.
  3. You have a desire to make a contribution to your community.

++++++EPCARES Mission Statement Is:++++++


Our Core Values Are: 

 Confidence             Commitment         Excellence

Respect                   Integrity

++++++EPCARES Data Operators++++++

ARES® Digital Operators: Positions are available for ARES® Digital Operators within the El Paso County ARES® (EPCARES). Required stations are as follows:
                        a. Winlink 2000; VHF Packet Station capable of Winlink Express and Paclink
                        b. Winlink 2000; HF Station capable of WINMOR, ARDOP HF, VARA HF and VARA FM.
                        c. Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System (NBEMS); VHF/HF Station

++++++ Amateur Radio Communications Teams (ARCT) ++++++

ARCT Type 1 

Full field station and 4 mobile/portable units. For single or multiple agency support. Is not dependant on any outside power source or infrastructure. Team consists of 12 licensed and registered AROs with ten (minimum) vehicles. Team Leader (General class or higher). Liaison to the incident Communications Coordinator (COMC). Assistant Team Leader (General class or higher) Capable of VHF/UHF digital/voice, HF digital communications for tactical and voice communications for logistics, health/welfare, administrative, and other radio traffic.

ARCT Type 2

4 licensed and registered Amateur Radio Operators with two vehicles. Team leader (General class or higher). Capable of VHF/UHF & HF digital/voice communications for tactical, logistics, health/welfare, administrative, and other radio traffic.

ARCT Type 3 (Multiple)

4 licensed and registered Amateur Radio Operators with two vehicles. Team Leader (Technician class or higher). Capable of VHF/UHF digital/voice communications for tactical, logistics, health/welfare, administrative, and other radio traffic.

ARCT Type 4 (Multiple)

For assignment to agency or supplemental/relieve an existing multi-agency ARCT. 2 licensed and registered Amateur Radio Operators with two vehicles. Technician class or higher. Capable of VHF FM (minimum) equipped w/digital capabilities. HF desired w/digital capabilities (General class or higher required).

ARCT Type 5 (Multiple)

For assignment to agency or supplemental/relieve an existing multi-agency ARCT. 1 licensed and registered Amateur Radio Operator with a vehicle. Rarely ordered singly. 1 VHF FM (Minimum) with vehicle (Technician class or higher).

++++++SKYWARN® Coordinator Wanted++++++

Person/s interested in the SKYWARN® Coordinator position must have the following qualifications:

  • Active in the  SKYWARN® spotting program.
  • Two years active SKYWARN® field spotting.
  • Must travel to the National Weather Service in Santa Teresa, NM when activated and for bimonthly SKYWARN® nets.
  • Must be General class or above.
  • Must be D-Star/D-RATS qualified.

Interested person/s must contact Lew, KB5HPT at kb5hpt@arrl.net 

January 2020

DEC Bulletin

High Speed Multimedia is ARRL’s terminology. Quoting from the ARRL web site:
“The Amateur Radio bands above 50 MHz can support computer-to-computer communications at speeds high enough to support multimedia applications.

Multimedia in this case refers to voice, data and image communications.

One approach that has been extensively explored is an adaptation of IEEE 802.11 technologies, particularly 802.11b operating in the 2400-2450 MHz band, known as the "Hinternet." Also, under the HSMM umbrella has been an orthogonal frequency division multiplex (OFDM) system developed by John Stephenson, KD6OZH, and tested on the 6-m band.”

The Austin Broadband Hamnet™ (formerly HSMM-MESH™) Special Interest Group have developed hardware and software changes to make use of inexpensive 802.11 wireless computer networking routers under Part-97 of the FCC rules. The terms Broadband Hamnet™ and HSMM-MESH™ are registered trademarks. The network operates on the amateur radio 13cm band (channels 1 through 6). Major changes include extended range 10 – 15 miles with good Line-of-Sight. Privileges are also granted on the 9cm band (3 GHz) and the 5cm band (5 GHz). Automatic address negotiation is employed so routers link automatically, with no user intervention within 5 seconds of coming into RF range of each other. They will also automatically link within 60 seconds from power up. If a BBHN (Broadband Hamnet™) mobile node stays in range of the network, it will transition from node to node automatically. The same as a cell phone will transition from tower to tower. The software uses Optimum Link State Routing (OLSR) firmware. The RF section of the Linksys WRT54GL or Ubiquiti wireless router has been modified so only like modified routers can see each other. They are invisible to all other standard 802.11 routers. A word of caution about using the Linksys WRT54 series routers is that there is not enough memory to sustain another upgrade.

We can also use the Amateur Radio Emergency Data Networking (AREDN) firmware on the Ubiquity, TP Link, Mikrotik, and other routers. The firmware is basically the same so anything done with the BBHN firmware can also be done with the AREDN firmware. The two firmware are not compatible with each other so the network must be one or the other.

What can be done with BBHN/AREDN networking? The answer is anything that can be done on the Internet can be done with the BBHN/AREDN. You can send email, surf the Internet if at least one router in the network is connected to the Internet. The BBHN/AREDN network will allow the transfer/streaming of pictures, amateur digital video (ADV), or transferring files. BBHN/AREDN can also be a source for a VOIP telephone network. During disasters BBHN/AREDN can be used for shelter operations to provide written text to hospitals and pharmacies. It can also provide photographs of trees down, hail damage, power lines down or other infrastructure failure. It could be used to support first responder units in a disaster area. It could provide real time communications support for other responders in field such as ARES® (Amateur Radio Emergency Service®), and CERT (Citizen Emergency Response Team). Public Service Events could be supported such as Races/Runs/Marathons, Parades, Air Shows, Balloon Races. All of this is without the conventional Internet connection.

Currently the BBHN groups in the Austin and Plano, TX areas have extensive networks up and operational for their tornado warning system for the NWS. Las Cruses, NM has around 30-35 ARDEN nodes creating an umbrella over their city now. They have a VOIP telephone network setup and is running D-RATS (D-Star low speed data program).

Why use the BBHN/AREDN? It is fast. The RF links are around 27- 54 Mbps. To keep everything in perspective we can compare BBHN/AREDN to other daily amateur radio activities.

– Packet Radio/APRS 0.0012 Mbps

– Pactor III .003 Mbps

– D-Star DD 0.128 Mbps

Home Services

– Fiber optics 2 -15Mbps up-link / 15-25 Mbps down-link

– T1 1.5 Mbps

– DSL up to 1.5 Mbps up-link/ 6 Mbps down-link

– Dialup 0.014 – 0.056 Mbps

We are presently using BBHN to present demonstrations in some local parks. Watch the calendar, Announcements or Special Event pages on this website for location and time. We encourage those interested to come out and see what all can be done with this fantastic technology. For more information about BBHN go to http://broadband-hamnet.org/. For more information about AREDN go to https://www.arednmesh.org.

Questions and comments regarding the content of this article are welcome and encouraged. Send an email to the address shown below.

I hope that everyone had a safe and joyful Christmas and have a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

NOTE: The terms ARES® and Amateur Radio Emergency Service® is both registered trademarks of the American Radio Relay League, Inc. and are used by permission.

Lew Maxwell, KB5HPT
Amateur Radio Emergency Service
DEC, District 6, WTX Section
Email: kb5hpt@arrl.net

December 2019

DEC Bulletin

Before I get into the final article of this SKYWARN Activation series I want to make a couple of additional comments on the Hazardous Weather Outlook (HWO) statement and home weather stations.

The NWS may at times request specific information about a storm. They will do this at the bottom of the HWO statement. So, this is another reason why one should check the HWO statements often. Report this information to the NWS via the spotter’s hotline 800 874-6755 or via twitter (@NWSElPaso) if it will fit into 144 characters. If not make additional tweets.

The home weather stations can serve the NWS if they are connected to the Internet. Once connected to the internet they can automatically report data to the Citizens Weather Observer Program (CWOP) if the station has been registered with CWOP. Data from the CWOP is monitored by the NWS, emergency management, public safety officials as well as other weather spotters in the area. If the weather station is not connected to the Internet that’s okay. The owner should make their own reports to the NWS.  

Now, for the Post-Activation activities. Once the storm has past our job as weather spotters is not finished. I will initiate the Know Your Neighborhood Program. We will start taking damage reports for specific areas that was hit by the storm. This will give the NWS staff some extra eyes on the ground. You can find more information on the Know Your Neighborhood Program at www.hamradioelpaso.com/emergency-coordination, and scroll to the bottom of the page. Also, look at the Know Your Neighborhood List for a list of places to check in the zip code. Report any damages found to the NCS at the NWS. By submitting photographs as well as a written report will be a great help to the meteorologists in compiling their damage reports after the storm.

As the Know Your Neighborhood paper states nobody knows the areas better than those who live in the areas. They know where flooding occurs most of the time and how to maneuver around in those areas. Not all people will be activated for this event. It would behoove us to download the Know Your Neighborhood List and start locating all the items on the list before they are needed. That way when an activation occurs the hard work will be done ahead of time. This will be a time saver when needed.

As I stated in last month’s article “doing paper work.” For us to get credit for our services we must document the service performed. If it is not documented then it didn’t happen. When SKYWARN is officially activated I will submit a Public Service Activity Report to the SEC/ARRL HQ. I will be asking for some information during the net for the report. One specific question that comes to mind is cost of the equipment used during the event. I will also ask for your logs and reports made to the NCS/NWS. This is a copy of the log entries from your station logs. These reports will become public record and will be maintained for one year.

Questions and comments regarding the content of this article are welcome and encouraged. Send an email to the address shown below.

Lew Maxwell, KB5HPT
Amateur Radio Emergency Service
DEC, District 6, WTX Section
Email: kb5hpt@arrl.net

 Previous articles can be found on the subpages links towards the bottom of this page.

The terms Amateur Radio Emergency Service and ARES are both registered trademarks of the 
American Radio Relay League Inc. and are used by permission.  

Lew Maxwell, KB5HPT  
DEC District 6 - Far West Texas
Email: kb5hpt@arrl.net  
Lewis Maxwell,
Sep 28, 2016, 6:16 PM
Lewis Maxwell,
Jan 30, 2017, 10:09 AM
Ham Radio El Paso,
Jun 8, 2013, 7:34 AM
Lewis Maxwell,
Oct 18, 2016, 11:36 AM
Lewis Maxwell,
Jul 27, 2017, 1:04 PM
Lewis Maxwell,
Sep 28, 2016, 6:18 PM
Lewis Maxwell,
Sep 28, 2016, 6:12 PM
Lewis Maxwell,
Apr 18, 2011, 5:51 PM
Lewis Maxwell,
Sep 28, 2016, 6:34 PM
Lewis Maxwell,
Sep 28, 2016, 9:25 AM