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, and VERA
                        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 

May 2019

DEC Bulletin

Since Paul, AE5OJ and I gave a talk to the W5ES club on Friday, May 26, 2019 about introducing the digital modes I thought I would use this time to reiterate what was said about D-Star.

D-Star is the radio communications of the future and as ICOM states in their literature “for the second century of amateur radio”. D-Star stands for Digital Smart Technology for Amateur Radio. It was developed by the Japanese Amateur Radio League (JARL). D-Star is an open standard which means that anyone can build equipment that meets the standard. ICOM and Kenwood so far are the only manufactures that have taken advantage of this standard. There are some however, who have been successful in putting together some non-ICON equipment that works very well with D-Star. They have used a Yaesu radio and an interface box to achieve to this result. There are others that have homebrewed non-ICOM repeaters with great results as well. Check out KI6ZUM.com and VK5ZEA has some outstanding You Tube videos of his equipment.

D-Star uses a GMSK codec (Gaussian Mean Shift Keying encoder/decoder) at 4800 bps in digital voice mode. The codec is called Advanced Multiband Excitation (AMBE). AMBE is a product of Digital Voice Systems Incorporated (DVSI). It is similar but not the same as the APCO-25 IMBE digital voice used by Public Safety.

The D-Star modes are available with the following specs:

Digital Voice (DV)

            4800 bps GMSK data

            1200 bps forward error correction data

            1200 bps packet replacement/D-PRS (GPS tracking)

Digital Data (DD) can be used point-to-point or through a repeater. Data and voice are done on the same frequency simultaneously.

The ID-1 and ID-9700 radios are the only radios that can operate high speed data on the 23 cm band. They connect to the computer via a USB and Ethernet cables. The USB is for control and Ethernet is for data.

The 128-kbps data rate is near ISDN speed, and an Effective rate ~90 kbps

Low Speed Data can be done on the 2 m and 70 cm bands. It can be used to transmit position data like APRS.

It can be used for similar keyboard-keyboard applications such as D-Chat or D-Rats.


As far as D-Star vs Analog operations is concerned with the analog radios we need three settings, frequency, offset, and tone (pl). In the D-Star radios we need frequency, offset, DV mode, call-sign settings. With the D-Star radios it is a good idea to keep the manuals handy until you become familiar with the radio.

The D-Star system is a call-sign routed system. A station can be local or remote. The system routes the calls immediately. The call-sign entries are eight characters long. The eight character of a call-sign is reserved for the Terminal ID or Repeater ID.

We need to tell the D-Star system four things:

            MYCALL (who you are)

            URCALL (who you want to talk to)

            RPT1 (the repeater you are coming into)

            RPT2 (the repeater you are leaving from)

How you set up your call-sign entries tells the system where to route your transmissions. It could be locally on the same repeater. It could be on multiple repeater modules such as a crossband transmission, or it could be to another repeater module via the Internet gateway.

The D-Star repeater is a narrow band repeater. The D-Star voice and low-speed data repeater offers a significant improvement in spectrum efficiency. The repeater requires only a 6.25 kHz channel instead of the 15-30 kHz required by the analog repeater. We could replace one analog repeater and put three D-Star repeaters its place. D-Star repeaters could also be sandwiched in between two analog repeaters.

To see a list of the Last Heard stations on D-Star go to http://dstarusers.org/. This is a list of users worldwide. Another website to look at is http://www.dstarinfo.com. Here you can find many different features about D-Star.

We hope to have additional talks about the many other applications and capabilities of D-Star in the future. 

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

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

Feburuary 2019


The number of participating Amateur Radio operators during exercises or Public Service Events will have a large impact on the future of Amateur Radio providing any kind of communications in El Paso County, emergency or otherwise. We are perceived as volunteers in the eyes of the Agencies and Emergency Management. From their standpoint volunteers are unreliable and planning unknowns.

Coordinating exercises and Public Service Events doesn’t happen over night. There is a lot of time and effort that goes into planning these events. Time off from work must be coordinated to attend planning meetings for some people. When events are planed and advertised, and only a couple of people show up the agencies take notice. This gives an impression of how reliable we, as volunteers will be in an actual emergency. We also need to be careful of how we talk when we are around agency officials. They are only interested in--can we deliver their messages accurately and in a timely and efficient manor. They could care less how we do it, or what we use to do it with. Participation in EMCOMM and participation in the Public Service Events is the Service aspect of Amateur Radio. It’s not the hobby. Agency personnel are professionals in their fields and expect a professional service.

The purpose of an exercise is to test The Plan (the Standard Operating Procedure), and to get the members accustomed to working as a Team. For the members to function as a Team the members must attend training sessions together. The Plan is developed to act as a guide for those people responding to a situation. It doesn’t solve all problems but points the individual in the right direction to find a solution to the problem. It takes People to make The Plan work.

During the SET (Simulated Emergency Test) when volunteer communicators are requested on a Resource Net on the 146.70 repeater, or at the club meetings, or on the nets don’t be afraid to speak up. It’s not a crime to step up to the plate and raise your hand and say, “I’d like to volunteer.” Amateur Radio Operators in other parts of the United States are known for their willingness to volunteer as EMCOMM operators, and for Public Service Events. To become part of the team, contact any ARES® member or me as shown below. It’s the people that are going to make a favorable impression. Our success or failure is in the numbers.

Other News

Join me at the Sun City club on February 15 (7 PM) where I will be talking about the new changes being made by ARRL, Section Manager and Section Emergency Coordinator to ARES®. We have a completely different way we operate now. The past is past and the future in ARES® is bright.

Question and comments regarding this article are encouraged. Send an email to the 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.

Lew Maxwell, KB5HPT
DEC, District 6 – Far West Texas
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