Portable Ops – Liberty Park

Our EC, Jeff Standifer, WB5WAJ contributed this short video of a WCARES portable ops gathering at Liberty Park. The video was taken on 11/22/2022 and features Jon Kessell (KK4AIZ) at his rig while other WCARES members look on.


Portable Ops – “Going to the dogs”

Jeff, Jeff and Paul have gone to the dogs while operating POTA on the Natchez Trace Parkway at the 1812 Memorial Monument!


Winter Field Day 2023

From Paul, KM4PT

Reminder that in just over 2 months, the last weekend in January (28 & 29) is Winter Field Day. You can go online to winterfieldday.com and pull up the 2023 regulations. Think about volunteering, there will be CW, SSB and Digital stations. A sign up sheet will be coming out soon. SSB and CW will be at the EOC. Digital will be at a remote location in a tent so it will truly be in the weather elements. So think about what you want to do.


WCARES SET 2022 Pictures


WCARES SET 2022 Summary

From Jeff, KC1DWP:


Our 2022 SET demonstrated that WCARES has the skills, depth, and commitment to serve our community in a time of need when communication support is necessary. During the SET exercise, 8 mobile radio operators connected 10 Emergency Response partners from multiple municipal agencies to the Williamson County ECOMM 911 center. This was an important first step demonstrating proof of concept in the development of the procedures and application of technology to provide continuity of communication in the event of a catastrophic Public Safety radio system outage.


Three simulated shelters were activated in response to a simulated flood event. Seven radio operators established stand alone radio operations at the three sites using their own power and radio equipment to provide vital status reports back to Net control and the Williamson County Emergency Management Agency.


Seven radio operators comprised the Net Control Team utilizing multiple modes, including the WCARES repeater system and back-up repeater, DMR and Winlink to manage communications from the 3 shelters, the 10 emergency response partners, and other participating WCARES members providing requested information regarding shelter status, weather and flood conditions as well as the status of public utilities. Vital information was able to be obtained from field sources and provided to the Williamson County Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service.

 


WCARES Members enjoy their classic rigs on AM

By Doug Miller, W4DML

Ron Howes and I enjoy vintage AM radio. On September 30, Ron used his Johnson Viking seen in the first photo and I used my Johnson Valiant on the top center of the second photo.

These are both 1950’s transmitters. The receivers that we used are also vintage. We had a great QSO and lots of fun! We have done this a few other times on other vintage AM gear.


No monthly meeting in October due to SET Exercise

There is no monthly meeting in October due to the SET exercise (see link below).
The next WCARES Monthly meeting is Saturday November 19, 2022.

Click here to read all the details and sign up to take part.


Updated – 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.

Final copies of the Simulated Emergency Test WCARES 2022 Player Handbook (Version 2.7) and the exercise associated Incident Radio Communications Plan (ICS 205) (Version 1.4) are now available at the following (updated) links:

Simulated Emergency Test WCARES 2022 Player Handbook (Version 2.7) updated Oct 11, 2022
Incident Radio Communications Plan (ICS 205) (Version 1.4) updated Oct 11, 2022


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


Update:
From: Jeff Schwartz, KC1DWP

THIS IS AN EXERCISE

The Williamson County Amateur Radio Emergency Service, WCARES, will be conducting an ARRL Simulated Emergency Test (SET) on Saturday 15 October 2022 from 0800 through 1215.

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 weather event necessitating evacuation to simulated shelters. Shelter communication teams will deploy to the simulated shelters and establish communication operations. Mobile communication operators will deploy to specific municipal agency locations to establish two-way communication between the agency and the Williamson County EMCOMM 911. Other simulated emergency communication needs will develop during the event.

All exercise related communications will begin with the phrase THIS IS AN EXERCISE.

Should an ACTUAL emergency occur during the exercise, the phrase “REAL WORLD” repeated three times will be used to indicate that the exercise is suspended until further notice.

Additional communications will be issued in advance of and during the exercise.

THIS IS AN EXERCISE
ARES® Resources

Previous:

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.

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

 


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