locked Emergency Communications Exercise #digitaldata #emcomm


Doug KM4LKC
 

Would you be willing to participate?

I am considering traveling to Highlands Hammack to set up a portable emergency radio operations station.  Highlands Hammack is about 50 miles from Port Charlotte / Punta Gorda.  This should put me outside of the ground wave range and force NVIS communications.  The exercise would ask participants to set up a portable antenna system and run their radio on emergency power. You can set up in your front yard or at a nearby park.  We can test communications abilities on several bands (80/40/20) and at least two modes - voice and JS8.

I am thinking about Saturday, August 22 from about 9:30 am - 12:00 noon or so.

Any thoughts or interest in participating?


--

Doug KM4LKC
Having fun promoting amateur radio technology


Chuck KO4ACY
 

Count me in. Another aspect of ham radio. Maybe another antenna project. 
KO4ACY
Chuck. 



Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S7, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone


-------- Original message --------
From: "Doug KM4LKC via groups.io" <sunburned_fl@...>
Date: 7/28/20 4:55 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: main@CARS-FL.groups.io
Subject: [CARS-FL] Emergency Communications Exercise #emcomm

Would you be willing to participate?

I am considering traveling to Highlands Hammack to set up a portable emergency radio operations station.  Highlands Hammack is about 50 miles from Port Charlotte / Punta Gorda.  This should put me outside of the ground wave range and force NVIS communications.  The exercise would ask participants to set up a portable antenna system and run their radio on emergency power. You can set up in your front yard or at a nearby park.  We can test communications abilities on several bands (80/40/20) and at least two modes - voice and JS8.

I am thinking about Saturday, August 22 from about 9:30 am - 12:00 noon or so.

Any thoughts or interest in participating?


--

Doug KM4LKC
Having fun promoting amateur radio technology


Dennis W6BFK
 

I think your right, Chuck.  I know I don't have a good NVIS antenna in my inventory.
I'll have to see, Doug.  I've been burning gunpowder pretty heavy on the week ends lately.


73
de W6BFK


Ed WA4CES
 

Don't think my antenna will do well for NVIS.

73
Ed WA4CES

On 07/28/2020 4:55 PM Doug KM4LKC via groups.io <sunburned_fl@...> wrote:


Would you be willing to participate?

I am considering traveling to Highlands Hammack to set up a portable emergency radio operations station.  Highlands Hammack is about 50 miles from Port Charlotte / Punta Gorda.  This should put me outside of the ground wave range and force NVIS communications.  The exercise would ask participants to set up a portable antenna system and run their radio on emergency power. You can set up in your front yard or at a nearby park.  We can test communications abilities on several bands (80/40/20) and at least two modes - voice and JS8.

I am thinking about Saturday, August 22 from about 9:30 am - 12:00 noon or so.

Any thoughts or interest in participating?


--

Doug KM4LKC
Having fun promoting amateur radio technology


Timothy Martin Clark
 

sounds good


Doug KM4LKC
 

Burning gunpowder sounds like a lot of fun Dennis.


Joe KK4TOI
 

Ok with me


On Fri, Jul 31, 2020, 7:38 AM Doug KM4LKC via groups.io <sunburned_fl=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Burning gunpowder sounds like a lot of fun Dennis.


Doug KM4LKC
 
Edited

This should be fun.  The idea is to make it easy for amateur radio operators to try out their rigs and NVIS antenna systems.  Ideally, operators can set up from the comfort of their homes.  If you can, try operating with emergency power.  And for the bold, pack up your gear and head out to a local park for a truly portable operation.

It sounds like we have several portable stations that will operate from Charlotte County.  I will also contact Ft Myers Amateur Radio Club, CCFLARES, Sarasota Radio Club, and the Section Manager for ARRL WCF. Maybe we can get a few additional stations operating from the ten-county section of West Central Florida and Ft Myers.  I hope this will give everyone a better indication of their station's capabilities. 

We should map out an operating plan for the event.  I believe that the WCF Ares emergency frequency list includes 3.911 and 7.281 as the primary voice and digital points for emergencies.  We also want to experiment with 20 meters for the exercise.  What are your thoughts on the following plan:

10:00 am local -    3.915 +/-  voice
10:30 am local -    3.578  JS8
11:00 am local -    14.280 +/- voice
11:30 am local -    14.078  JS8
12:00 noon      -     7.280 +/- voice
12:30 pm local -     7.078 JS8

Let's sketch out an operating plan.


Doug KM4LKC
 

Does anyone have thoughts on the band hoping for Saturday, August 22nd?

I've had success on 80 meters early in the day.  But it usually goes away around 11:00 - 12 noon.
40 meters has always been a struggle in the morning for me so I thought maybe I should go to 20 meters first.

What would you do?


David NC4CC
 

What I’ve been doing band wise, is 40M from 2 hours before dark until 2 hours after sunrise, and 20M from 3 hours after sunrise to 2 hours after sunset. But it seems those 2 bands are starting to dissipate their propagation across the board. I haven’t been active on 80M.

 

Dave  NC4CC

 

 

From: main@CARS-FL.groups.io [mailto:main@CARS-FL.groups.io] On Behalf Of Doug KM4LKC via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, August 4, 2020 7:00 PM
To: Doug KM4LKC <sunburned_fl@...>; main@CARS-FL.groups.io
Subject: Re: [CARS-FL] Emergency Communications Exercise #emcomm #digitaldata

 

Does anyone have thoughts on the band hoping for Saturday, August 22nd?

I've had success on 80 meters early in the day.  But it usually goes away around 11:00 - 12 noon.
40 meters has always been a struggle in the morning for me so I thought maybe I should go to 20 meters first.

What would you do?


Steve W4OEP
 

Hi Doug,
   I plan to participate.  My go-kit includes an NVIS antenna for 80/60/40/20 meters. 
   I have conducted a few other NVIS tests in both West Central Florida and Minnesota and find 60 meters to be quite reliable too.
73,
   Steve W4OEP
   OES and Emergency Coordinator for Manatee County


Donald Kumpost
 

For all who are interested.

I will be setting up a local field location at Higgs Park, 21400 Higgs Drive in Port Charlotte (located near intersection of Harbor Blvd and Edgewater Drive - see attached map).

Anyone and everyone is welcome to come see operations and deployed antenna.  I will warn folks that I will only have a couple of chairs for visitors so if you have a camp chair you may want to bring it just in case.

I will arrive for setup ~ 0915 so I can be operational by 1000.  If you are willing to come by and help set up that would be greatly appreciated.  

If you do plan to stop by, please let me know by emailing me at:  kumpostd @ hotmail dot com or text me at 941-787-4047.


Don Kumpost
KG5RVW


David W9NWY
 

Doug
 Do you know if any group in Charlotte County will be running stations for ARRL SET in October.
I am part of Army MARS and part of out emergency exercise coming up in Sept/Oct  will being
contacting SET operations in the counties we live in.

Dave Boland W9NWY
 I am a member of CARS and was part of ARES/RACES years ago

On Tuesday, August 18, 2020, 02:44:25 PM EDT, Donald Kumpost <kumpostd@...> wrote:


For all who are interested.

I will be setting up a local field location at Higgs Park, 21400 Higgs Drive in Port Charlotte (located near intersection of Harbor Blvd and Edgewater Drive - see attached map).

Anyone and everyone is welcome to come see operations and deployed antenna.  I will warn folks that I will only have a couple of chairs for visitors so if you have a camp chair you may want to bring it just in case.

I will arrive for setup ~ 0915 so I can be operational by 1000.  If you are willing to come by and help set up that would be greatly appreciated.  

If you do plan to stop by, please let me know by emailing me at:  kumpostd @ hotmail dot com or text me at 941-787-4047.


Don Kumpost
KG5RVW


Doug KM4LKC
 

Hey Dave,

I am not aware of anyone preparing for the SET in October.  Could you start a separate thread for this topic?  It would be great if you could provide some background on the event and maybe we can get this on the calendar.  It would be cool to generate some interest in this exercise.

Doug


Ed WA4CES
 

Doug has moved to 14.275


Steve W4OEP
 

Thanks Ed.
Nothing heard on 20m in Manatee County.


Angelo K3YUN
 

Ed, I heard you and lon on 20 meters . When I tried to call you a station on 14.285  answered me from a light house in Louisiana. 


On Sat, Aug 22, 2020, 11:21 AM Ed WA4CES <csmith3356@... wrote:
Doug has moved to 14.275


Allan KN4JEN
 

I heard Dave K4DES on 40m but no one else. Wasn’t expecting much & got it. 


On Aug 22, 2020, at 12:47 PM, Angelo K3YUN <adramis164@...> wrote:


Ed, I heard you and lon on 20 meters . When I tried to call you a station on 14.285  answered me from a light house in Louisiana. 

On Sat, Aug 22, 2020, 11:21 AM Ed WA4CES <csmith3356@... wrote:
Doug has moved to 14.275


Doug KM4LKC
 

August 22, 2020, NVIS Emergency Communication Drill

Douglas Young KM4LKC


Here’s a big shout out to all of the participants in this exercise - THANK YOU!.  


I also want to give special thanks to Darrell Davis KT4WX, our West Central Florida Section Manager.  Darrell does a tremendous amount of work for the amateur radio community and I appreciate his help by spreading the word about this event.  I also want to thank Steve Smith W4GPI from the Fort Myers Amateur Radio Club for his help in getting the word out as well.  Dave Weinstein K3FHP and Charlotte Amateur Radio Society always support our field efforts. And finally, Don Kumpost, KG5RVW is willing to get out and showcase his operations for the benefit of others.


Operating band/mode plan


Here was the original operating band/mode plan:

10:00 am local -    3.915 +/-  voice

10:30 am local -    3.578  JS8

11:00 am local -    14.280 +/- voice

11:30 am local -    14.078  JS8

12:00 noon      -     7.280 +/- voice

12:30 pm local -    7.078 JS8


80 meters worked about as I expected.  I made about 20 contacts on voice and about 5 contacts on JS8.  As usual, the band goes away around 14:00 - 15:00 UTC.  During the voice portion of the 80-meter exercise, I exchanged six or seven 59 signals with Venice and Ft Myers.  I made solid contact with Sarasota, Bartow, and Lakeland.   It was interesting that I could hear many of the stations in Charlotte County but only communicated with about 4 stations.  Their signals were generally S7 or greater, but they were having a tough time hearing me.  JS8 worked well with signals ranging from +06 to -06.  This mode is a very useful tool as long as the band is open. 


20 meters was a complete bust for me.  However, that is not a surprise as I believe the 20-meter band was not really an option for short-range communication within less than 300 miles.  This is confirmed by the Digisonde site out of Eglin Air Force Base. 


40 meters held more promise, but I was only able to make a few contacts.  Again, I could hear the Charlotte county stations, but I could not get a response.  My guess is that both parties need NVIS antennas.


Steve W4OEP suggested that 60 meters is a good option.  We’ve discussed this idea before.  I think this is something I may add in the future or even eliminate 20 meters from the fan-dipole.

 

Antennas

 

I ran the fan-dipole as a slight inverted vee.  The dipole was 15 feet at the center and about 8 feet on the outboard ends.  The dipole stretches about 156 feet in length.  This is the lowest height that I have used for an event with the fan dipole. The advantage of this low height is the mast doesn't require any guy lines.  That’s nice.   However, I think the optimal height for this antenna system is about 30 feet.  This requires only one set of guy lines but still gives enough height to help reduce ground loss.

As far as the stations I heard with strong signal reports on 80 meters - Hands down, stations with horizontal loops ruled the day.  Flat top dipoles and inverted vees came in a close second.  Vertices did not appear to perform as well.  This really shouldn’t be any surprise.

 

 

Power Systems

 

The power was supplied by my 35 Ah sealed lead-acid battery.  It sports an inverter, power monitor, and fuse block all stored in a plastic ammo can.  Typically, this pack can run the radio fairly hard for about 5 hours.  However, I noticed the computer was putting a real strain on the power system.  So, I unplugged just the computer from the battery and plugged into the SUV’s 400-watt inverter.  Three hours later, the car battery died.  This proves Don's KG5RVW point that a small 2Kw generator is the best bet for portable power.  I agree.  It’s nice to have the battery and a solar bank, but it’s tough to beat the convenience and reliability of the generator.

 

 

Operator Protocol

 

We had some issues with the operator protocol that is worth mentioning.  I can’t say if this is due to the lack of HF experience or not.  But the stations in Charlotte County were talking over the more distant stations.  I was laughing because, at one point, a station from the Lakeland area was yelling “The frequency is in use!”  The Charlotte stations were operating on gound wave and must not have been able to hear the other stations, myself included.  I tried to imagine a  DX pileup that I couldn’t get through and then having a conversation with another station on the same frequency.  It sure made the frequency unusable for the rest of us.   I guess the best answer is for ground wave stations to move off frequency in an operating event like this. 

--

Doug KM4LKC
Having fun promoting amateur radio technology


Duwain W8JJV
 

Thanks very interesting
Duwain W8JJV