WCARES SET 2022 – Simulated Emergency Test

WCARES, the Williamson County (TN) Amateur Radio Emergency Service, will be conducting an ARRL Simulated Emergency Test (SET) on

Saturday, October 15, 2022 from 0800 (8 AM) CST through 1215 (12:15 PM) CST

This exercise will take the place of the October WCARES Monthly Meeting.

This countywide emergency communications exercise is intended to test our ability to provide communications for our primary served agency – the Williamson County Emergency Management Agency – as well as the National Weather Service.

The exercise scenario will involve a simulated weather event necessitating evacuation to simulated shelters. Shelter Communication teams will deploy to the simulated shelters and establish radio communication operations. Additionally, Mobile Communication operators will deploy to Emergency Response partner locations to establish communications between the partner and the ECOMM 911 center. More details will be provided.

At this point, we are looking for volunteers for the Shelter Communication teams and as Mobile Communication operators.

Please use the sign-up form below.

This is a great opportunity to exercise your skills, try out your equipment, and help demonstrate the emergency communication capability we have in WCARES.


Sign-up here to take part in the WCARES Simulated Emergency Test 2022:


 

 


Sept. 2022 In-Person & Virtual Monthly Meeting: VarAC

Tim, AD4CJ gave a talk introducing a new use for the VARA HF protocol: the VarAC HF chat application created by by Irad Deutsch, 4Z1AC. The website for VarAC is: https://www.varac-hamradio.com and includes a list of features, the download for Windows, FAQs, user manuals and a community forum etc.

Tim then played a portion of the September 5th, 2022 Tonight @ 8 video from RSGB (Radio Society of Great Britain): Back to the keyboard! by Mike Richards, G4WNC. Mike gives an overview and examples of digital modes, required equipment and radio connections for keyboard QSOs and then walks through the features of VarAC and provides some operating tips for keyboard QSOs.

The complete video is well worth watching especially if you are new to digital modes:
https://youtu.be/SC0UxNG2itE
or skip ahead to the section on VarAC with the embedded video below.

The RSGB website is: https://rsgb.org/ and more videos from RSGB can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheRSGB/videos.

The VarAC portion of the video starts around the 29:45 mark:


WCARES and The Boy Scouts, Sept. 2022

WCARES took part in the Scouting event this past weekend in Franklin. Jeff Schwartz, KC1DWP who headed up the WCARES effort had this to say after the event:

I want to thank you all for turning out on a very rainy day and providing an engaging experience for the scouts, their parents, and the scout leaders who stopped by our three pop ups. In spite of the challenging conditions, we were able to get all of the planned stations up and operational and even had some of the Scouts make their first on-air contacts.

Nick Darnell, Cubmaster for Pack 131 was asked to coordinate getting all of the public safety departments to attend. He was the Scouts event contact for WCARES, met with WCARES at the site on Wednesday before the event, and provided the site needed to set up all of the gear, especially the antenna field.

Nick shared the following with Jeff after the event:

Thank You and everyone that came out. I heard a lot of talking about the “radio men”. I thought that was an awesome title. Some of the boys were so intrigued that everything was running off batteries. WCARES made a great impression, maybe next time it won’t rain all day.

 

Photos by WCARES members and Eric Strickland, Scout event photographer


Antenna Party

WCARES members helped Hoop, K9QJS raise an Off Center Fed dipole. Jon, KK4AIZ supplied the pictures and reported that a good time was had by all. The antenna was recommended by Ted W3TB and in attendance were:

Paul – KM4PT;
Doug – W4DML;
Jon – KK4AIZ;
JIM – WA0PUG;
Dennis – WB9PJZ;
Jeff – WB5WAJ; and
Hoop – K9QJS


Siren Test Monitoring – 7/2/2022

Signup by clicking here.

This list is only for sirens in the unincorporated areas of Williamson County. The test Will take place this Saturday at 1PM. After you monitor the siren please send reports by email to wb5waj@arrl.net . In the email please include the following:

  1. Did the Siren sound?
  2. What time did it go off?
  3. Did it go the full time?
  4. Were there any problems?

Field Day: Submitting your Log

From Paul, KM4PT

Congrats!  The twenty-four-hour event has come to an end and you’ve got some contacts to contribute to the group score.  Awesome.

The ARRL wants you to use their web app form to submit your entry at: https://field-day.arrl.org/fdentry.php

When you go there in your browser, you’re going to be asked to fill out a form AND to submit your contacts.  

You can give them your contacts in the form of a Cabrillo formatted log OR a “Dupe Sheet” (which is simply a text file of your contacts categorized by band/mode with the call signs sorted alphabetically).

N3FJP can create Cabrillo files. And, on that same screen where Cabrillo files are created, there is a button labeled “Write Dupe File” that will create a Dupe Sheet for you.

  • Export your log using the Web Applet in a “Dupe Sheet” format

  • Use ARRL web app to submit your entry (and upload your log)

 

To submit your Field Day entry to the ARRL, do this:

  1. Delete any contacts from your log that you know need to be deleted.  (This could include any early contacts you created while testing.)

  2. In the N3FJP software, click the File menu and choose “Write Cabrillo (Contest Submittal) File…”
  3. In the pop-up form that appears, you can ignore all of those data entry fields!  (You’re going to fill out those fields online on the ARRL website.)
  4. At the bottom of the screen, click the button labeled “Write Dupe File” and you’ll be prompted to save the Dupe Sheet file to your computer.  (This is a text file that you can open with Notepad or any text editor.)
  5. You may also want to click the button labeled “Write / View Summary File” as this file contains a breakdown of the number of contacts per band/mode that you’ll need when filling out the ARRL web form. (You can derive this information from the Dupe Sheet but it’s broken down into a more easily viewable table in the Summary file.)

Okay, you’ve got your Dupe Sheet (or Cabrillo formatting log file) and you may also have your Summary file. It’s time to go to the ARRL Field Day data entry form to submit your entry.

https://field-day.arrl.org/fdentry.php

The one important thing to remember when you submit your entry is to enter “WCARES-TN” in the field labeled Club or Group Name.

 


Following are the official ARRL rules for Field Day QSO submission
 

8. Reporting:

     8.1. Entries may be submitted to the ARRL via:

          8.1.1. Field Day Web App at https://field-day.arrl.org/fdentry.php or

     8.2. Entries must be postmarked or submitted by Tuesday July 26, 2022. Late entries cannot be accepted.

     8.3. A complete Field Day Web Applet Submission site entry consists of:

          8.3.1. An official ARRL summary sheet which is completed via web app at https://field-day.arrl.org/fdentry.php;

          8.3.2. Supporting information uploaded via web app. Supporting information must include:

               8.3.2.1. An attached list of stations worked by band/mode during the Field Day period (dupe sheet or an alpha/numeric list sorted by band and mode – a Cabrillo log can be submitted in lieu of a Dupe Sheet/Calls list by band/mode); and

               8.3.2.2. Proof of all bonus points claimed (copies of visitor logs, press releases, NTS messages handled, photographs, etc).

               8.3.2.3 The web app will display a confirmation number and email a confirmation of your Field Day entry to the email address entered via the app. Please be sure to record this confirmation number and/or save the confirmation email.

     8.4 While the preferred method of submitting entries is via the Web Applet, entries and/or supporting documentation may alternately be submitted via email to fieldday@arrl.org. A complete non-web-app email submission consists of:

          8.4.1. An electronic copy of an ARRL summary sheet completely and accurately filled out;

          8.4.2. An attached list of stations worked by band/mode during the Field Day period (dupe sheet or an alpha/numeric list sorted by band and mode); and

          8.4.3. Proofs of bonus points claimed (copies of visitor logs, press releases, NTS messages handled, photographs, etc).

     8.5. A complete land/postal-mail or delivery non-electronic submission consists of:

          8.5.1. A complete and accurate ARRL summary sheet;

          8.5.2. An accompanying list of stations worked by band/mode during the Field Day period (dupe sheet or an alpha/numeric list sorted by band and mode); and

          8.5.3. Proofs of bonus points claimed (copies of visitor logs, press releases, NTS messages handled, photographs, etc).

     8.6. Complete station logs are NOT required for submission, and ARRL does not use the logs. The club should maintain log files for one year in case they are requested by ARRL HQ. However, a list of stations worked sorted by band and mode (dupe sheet) is required.

     8.7. Cabrillo format log files are NOT required for Field Day entries, but they will be accepted in lieu of the dupe sheets (but do not constitute an entry unless the web app (or a corresponding summary sheet with complete mailed entry) is also submitted.

     8.8. Digital images of proof of bonus points are acceptable.

     8.9. Electronic submissions are considered signed when submitted.

If you have other questions please contact Paul Tampien KM4PT (KM4PT@arrl.net) .


WCARES Field Day 2022 – change of location

Note the change of location – now Public Safety Center (EOC) and home

Out of concern over the currently forecast high temperatures, the decision has been made to move this years WCARES Field Day back to the Public Safety Center for SSB and CW and at-home (for digital.)

Note that set-up will not happen until 8 AM on Saturday morning.

If you did not sign up because of weather conditions now is a good time to sign up for air conditioned spaces!

WCARES Field Day information can be found here.

To sign up and participate with WCARES click here.

There are still lots of openings for Phone, Digital and CW Operators.

Look for more details to follow here on the website, WCARES Notes and the Monday night net.

If you have other questions please contact Paul Tampien KM4PT (KM4PT@arrl.net) .


June 2022 In-Person & Virtual Monthly Meeting: Surge Protection with Paul Havlik, WD9IOK

Paul Havlik (WD9IOK) gives a MasterClass in station grounding and surge protection. Paul worked for Square D (now Schneider Electric) for 28 years, so he certainly knows his stuff.


Williamson County Siren Testing sign-up

A temporary sign-up form is available to help monitor Williamson County siren tests. You can find the form here:

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0E4FADAC29A5FFCE9-owsmonthly

The form lists sirens and test dates to choose from. After selecting sirens and dates, click the

Submit and Sign Up

button at the bottom of the page.

After you monitor a siren test please send reports by e-mail to our EC, Jeff Standifer wb5waj@arrl.net. Please include the following in your e-mail:

  • Did the Siren sound?
  • What time did it go off?
  • Did it go the full time?
  • Were there any problems?

Take part in the May 31 – June 1 FEMA Communications Outage Exercise using Winlink

WCARES members are encouraged fire up Winlink and take part in the FEMA RECCWG Region 4 &
Region 6 May 31-June 1 Communications Outage Exercise
.

For any WCARES members who take part, please CC WB5WAJ on your submitted exercise Winlink message.

The linked PDF provides detailed step-by-step instructions. Some points to note from the PDF:

  • DATE and TIME of Exercise: Tuesday evening, May 31st, from 6:00 PM EDT (5:00 PM CDT) until 4:00 PM EDT (3:00 PM CDT) Wednesday afternoon, June 1st.
  • Please, no telnet from areas where communications outage problems are shown to exist (Charlotte, Dallas, Miami, Little Rock – see attached map).
  • Message to send: Winlink standard Template, Field Situation Report
  • Please avoid requesting acknowledgement requests, either manually or automatically.

Exercise map showing cities affected by the exercise “communications outage”.

Click here for the PDF with detailed step-by-step instructions.

In a “real life situation,” you would always want to use Telnet if it is available in order to leave the precious RF spectrum for those in affected areas who have no other choice. However, for this exercise, do what you wish since this is for practicing your ability to use Winlink in an emergency condition.