Radio Amateur Civil
Emergency Service (RACES)
When cell phones, land line phones, the internet and other systems are down or overloaded, Amateur Radio still gets the message through. Radio amateurs, often called “hams,” enjoy radio technology as a hobby. It's also a service –a vital service that has saved lives when regular communication systems failed.
WinLink Peer-to-Peer Station Ready for Testing
NEMCo's Outreach Committee had been planning a WinLink Peer-to-Peer workshop, but due to recent events all in-person training is on hold. Now might be the perfect time to try and work out issues with your WinLink system.
Doug (KF7RQ), a member of the Outreach committee, has set up a WinLink station to receive and answer messages.
A number of NEMCo members have been working on their WinLink systems. Having a station with which they may exchange messages should assist in any final configuration or hardware adjustments that are needed to perform.
Here are the specifics:
Peer-to-Peer Frequency 145.050
Doug is located in North Kenmore
The station will be running until Sunday, April 5, 2020
Kenwood d74a Radio, Bluetooth TNC, 5wt power output, 145.050 MHz
Laptop, WinLink peer-to-peer session
Mirage dual band linear amplifier, boosts power output to antenna to 50 wt
Yeti 1250 storage battery, powers amplifier
Comet SB224 triband mobile antenna...normally outside on steel patio table
Diamond mag mount antenna base
You can make a contact via Telnet or Peer-to-Peer. Doug will respond either way. He will leave messages in his Outbox. Once you connect to his station any messages to you will be picked up. Doug will normally respond to messages in the evening, so check for his messages the day after you leave them, or late at night. If you send messages by both Telnet and Peer-to-Peer you will need to connect to WinLink both ways to collect all the messages.
Remember, if you are sending Peer-to-Peer messages you must use the drop down “Send as:” box and choose “Peer-to-Peer” when you create the message to Doug.
Upon opening the WinLink Session choose “Packet P2P."
Under “Connection type" choose “Direct.”
Enter Doug’s call “KF7RQ” in the next box to the right.
Hit “Start” and watch the connection dialog.
If you are having issues with Peer-to-Peer connections, note the details of your equipment, copy the connection notes, and send this information to Randy (firstname.lastname@example.org). These will be useful for diagnostics. We will summarize all of the notes received and send them out to our Sunday Night email list to see if there is someone with knowledge of your system who can provide remote assistance.
Good luck and have fun.
NEMCo RACES Spring Drill
On May 30, 2020, NEMCo RACES will be conducting a drill, coinciding with the Washington State "Fifth Saturday Drill.”
The Washington Emergency Management Division (EMD) holds quarterly exercises to test emergency and disaster plans spanning many areas of National Incident Management System (NIMS) concepts and processes. Usually the amateur community is invited along with the Military, FEMA, and many other agencies and districts across Washington State.
NEMCo RACES is planning to exercise internal and field communication operations, as well as inter-operate with other regional ARES, RACES, and ACS groups, and the WA EMD at Camp Murray.
Currently, the NEMCo Steering Committee is planning primary goals that are likely to include:
* Deploying "Field Agents" to exercise voice and packet communications
* Confirming radio programming at EOCs, especially for the 6-meter band
* Demonstrating skilled radio operation and message handling
* Practicing use of ICS form 213 by voice
* Exercising formal and informal message traffic via packet
We will also be looking for feedback on the "Radio Room Resource Guide" to learn what needs to change and what is working well.
RACES members are amateur radio (ham) operators with Technician, General or Extra privileges, who may be activated in emergency situations to provide radio communications. They are governed by the rules and regulations (Part 97) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
RACES members train, develop, and refine their skills in a variety of ways:
Weekly. NEMCo conducts a resource net where a net control operator initiates a roll call of members and guests. The purpose of the net is to practice radio communications, make announcements, provide training, and conduct drills. In the event of an emergency, the resource net frequency will be used to determine volunteer availability and make assignments.
Monthly. Regular meetings are held to provide information, announcements, mini-training workshops, and discussions of interest to participants.
Monthly. Checks of the four Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) test the gear and initiate contact between the EOCs using voice and packet (email) radio.
Biannually. NEMCo participates in state-wide exercises known as “Fifth Saturday Drills” where EOCs around the state contact each other via voice and packet radio.
Periodically. RACES members may be deployed as the communications component of a Community Emergency Response Team. CERT members participate in a variety of activities including damage assessment, urban search and rescue, and shelter operations.
Periodically. RACES members provide communications assistance for community events such as fun runs organized by the Cities and/or various charities.