Emergency Coordination

ter Report                                                      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)

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


This net will run each Tuesday (except 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s) for 24 hours. Check in anytime during the 24 hour period. Address messages to Lew, KB5HPT, DEC, Dist.6, WTX Section. 

If you are an ARRL Field Appointee please use your Position/Title for the messages. 

All others please use radio operator for your position/title. 

The stations checking into this net are encouraged to use the ARES GO-BOX with the NVIS antenna. We will allow the use of a home station while the Go Box is being put together. The use of EOC stations is also encouraged.

Sending Messages

The HF Mode of the week will be ARDOP Winlink or VARA HF Winlink. Please use the WA5TED RMS as primary target otherwise use best available. We would like to use all West Texas Section assets if possible. Use ARDOP P2P or VARA P2P on the frequency and time shown below.


My HF station will be on the air from 8:30 AM through 10:30 AM (MDT) for ARDOP P2P, and 5 PM through 7 PM (MDT) for VARA P2P each Tuesday. 

The Center frequency is 7.063.50 MHz.

The VHF mode of the week will be Packet Winlink or VARA FM. Please use the KB5HPT-10 Packet RMS on 145.070 MHz or KB5HPT-10 VARA FM RMS on 439.010 MHz simplex as primary target. 

Connect using VHF Packet Winlink P2P or VARA FM P2P sessions on 145.650 MHz simplex. The time are the same as for the P2P HF times.

If all the above methods to check in fails, then use Telnet Winlink.



Forms Used.

1. This week we will use the SHARES Message Form. The SHARES Message Form2.txt is found in the Template Manager. Click on New Message icon then Select Templates. Expand the Standard Templates. Scroll down to SHARES forms and expand that folder. Select SHARES Message Form2.txt. Fill in all blanks. In the PARA 1 line select Exercise. For PARA 2 enter a short message. When finished click on Submit then OK. 

In the Enter a New Message form be sure the Send As block is correct. Be sure that Request message receipt box is checked. Address the message to KB5HPT, Post the message and send it.

For those that do not have access to the Template Manager be sure the following information is included in your email message:

  • Message sent to:
  • Originating station; Operator name
  • Time/month/year (zulu)
  • From: Name: Agency: City: State
  • To: Name: Agency: City: State
  • PARA 1: This is a SHARES exercise
  • PARA 2: Enter a short message.   
Send message when finished. 

Real time Communications and Coordination

If there is a question during the net, maybe something is not understood or a frequency needs to be changed here is a way to get the situation resolved.  

How to Load D-RATS

1. Go to https://groups.io/g/d-rats/topics and join the group.

2. When approved click on the Files Tab on the left side of the page.

3. Click on D-RATS Program Files and select the latest version of D-RATS. The WIN XP also works on WIN10.

4. Download the file and install it. When the CONFIG page pops up fill in your Call Sign then click SAVE. 

How to Connect to the AE5HE Ratflector

1. Click on File>>Preferences>>Radio.

2. Click ADD and in the ADD Port box give it a name of your choosing

        a.TYPE is Network

        b. Host Address is: ae5he.ham-radio-op.net

        c. Port is 9000

        d. Password leave blank

        e. In the Radio page uncheck the ENABLE Boxes of the other Ratflectors that maybe checked.

 3. We will hangout in the El Paso Chat Room.

        a. In the Chat Pane. Click on Join Channel.

        b. In the Join Channel Box enter El_Paso then click OK.

        c. At the bottom of the Chat Pane click on the #El_Paso tab. You are in the El Paso Chat Room.

4. To find the File Repository on the AE5HE RATflector follow these instructions.

        a. In D-RATS click on the FILES TAB.

        b. In the Station box click the drop-down arrow and select W5ELP

        c. If W5ELP is not displayed in the Stations List hover the mouse over the Stations List area    and right click. Select Ping All Stations.

        d. With W5ELP selected click Connect.

        e. When the files populate the box below select Winlink Tuesday.txt. There may be more            than one file. Get all with that label.

        f. Click Disconnect when finished.

        g. To read the file go the the D-RATS Shared folder on your desktop and open the Winlink        Tuesday Net file.


DEC, District 6, WTX Section

September 2020

DEC Bulletin

Let us suppose there is a situation for an EMOMM activation requiring HF communication over a short range. I am talking about an area within the WTX Section or within a smaller state. The radio is the same regardless of the size. The antenna is the key factor here. I am referring to a NVIS antenna. NVIS stands for Near-Vertical Incidence Skywave. It is used for short range communications from 200 to as much as 500 miles. It can fill in the skip zone for us.

I am also bringing this up because we have been experiencing some bad band conditions during our Winlink Tuesday Nets. It is my belief that most of the participants have been using their fixed station antennas. These antennas are higher and have a lower beam angle making their signals shoot over top of us. If we direct that beam angle higher then it will return to earth at a shorter distance.

I am not going to get into a lot of technical detail here because there is a ton of information out there on the web. Just Google NVIS and you will get a lot of hits. I encourage you readers to check these sources out for yourself. For those of us in the EMCOMM business be aware that there will come a time when we will be asked to send messages to someone that is outside the range of the UHF or VHF bands. Our other alternative is HF modes. Either voice or digital modes. We must be ready for what comes our way.

For NVIS to work we are talking about frequencies between 2 and 13 MHz. The signal must be bounced off the F-layer back to earth. Frequencies as low as 2 MHz would be used at nighttime and up to 13 MHz would be used in the daytime. Think about this. This only leaves us with the 30, 40, 60- and 80-meter bands. The 30- and 60-meter bands could be used during twilight and dusk when the 40-meter band is shutting down, and the 80-meter band has yet to open and visa-versa. So, the 40-meter band is a daytime band and the 80-meter band is the nighttime band. This arrangement is primarily due to the D layer. In the daytime it is present and absorbs frequencies in the MF and HF range making 80 meters unreliable. At nighttime, the D layer dissipates, and the 80-meter band becomes reliable.

How high do we put the antenna up? The answer is from one quarter to a half wave. This directs our beam angle more upward than outward. Thus, when the signal is bounced back to earth it will be a shorter distance. So, the height will vary depending on the distance to be covered.  

If the EMCOMM group has a band plan for the section the NVIS antennas can be tuned to the proper frequency and eliminate the need for the tuner. If the NVIS antenna is a multiband such as a 40/80-meter cross dipole antenna, then a tuner would most likely be required.

Other News:

National Preparedness Month (NPM)Tips of the Day

There are a few simple steps you and your family can take to become better prepared for an emergency: Get a Kit, Make a Plan, Be Informed and Get Involved. This September, during NPM, please follow these "Tips of the Day" from the American Red Cross and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help you and your family get started today. Read the Tips of the Day each day on this Home page. Then help spread the word by adding them in your daily emails and conversations. If you already have an emergency plan and disaster supply kit for you and your family this month would be a perfect time to review them and update them if needed.

- - - - - - - - - - -

El Paso County ARES® (EPCARES) has immediate openings for communications teams in support for our local EMCOMM needs. The teams consist of two technician or above class operators (ARCT type 4). Must have mobile radios with antennas not mounted in the vehicle. See Amateur Radio Communications Teams (ARCT) below for more details. Then contact me at the email address shown below.

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.

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

Lew Maxwell, KB5HPT
DEC, District 6 – Far West Texas
Email: kb5hpt@arrl.net

August 2020

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 National Weather Service (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 El Paso Office 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 it 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 is 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 net control station (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 paperwork.” For us to get credit for our services we must document the service performed. If it is not documented, then it did not happen. When SKYWARN is officially activated I will submit a Public Service Activity Report to the SEC and 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.

++++++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 

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, WTX Section
Email: kb5hpt@arrl.net  
Lewis Maxwell,
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Jan 30, 2017, 10:09 AM
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