WCARES and how it fits within the ARRL Field Organization
Ed Hudgens, WB4RHQ
Jim Creek Naval Station Antenna
Scott Yates, N4BBB
WCARES and how it fits within the ARRL Field Organization
Ed Hudgens, WB4RHQ
Jim Creek Naval Station Antenna
Scott Yates, N4BBB
The ARRL has highlighted a recent petition by commercial interests for high power ( 20 kW ) data transmission in bands across 2 – 25 MHz and immediately adjacent to spectrum allocated to amateur radio (20 kW, frequency agility techniques across 2-25 MHz with a potential maximum bandwidth of 50 kHz.)
From the petition (RM-11593) and the ARRL page, the petitioners appear to represent high-speed stock trading interests.
The main FCC page for this petition is here:
and the PDF of the petition is here:
The ARRL Legal Counsel David Siddal and the ARRL Lab are preparing the League’s response to this petition. It should be filed next week.
Comments on this filing are due by July 31, 2023 and reply comments by August 15.
Please read the petition and consider filing thoughtful comments before July 31.
Some of the more interesting comments already filed include:
Update 2 – be sure to check out the introduction to HamDash in Paul’s June Monthly Meeting video.
Update – we have added:
And: Build an antenna for Fox Hunting June 24th
During Field Day, at the Public Safety Center. Dave Matthews (KI4PSR) will be hosting a “Tape Measure Yagi” antenna-building exercise. Tape-measure Yagi antennas are great for Fox Hunting events. If you would like to participate in this kit build please get in touch with Dave.
Dave will have kits for the first dozen participants. The cost is anticipated to be around $28 for the parts. Please bring cash to pay Dave for the parts.
The Antennas will be great to have for the upcoming WCARES Fox Hunt later this year. Fox hunt participants do not need to be licensed to the antennas as it is a receive-only event. So this is a great way to get kids, XLS, XYLS and friends to participate.
Field Day is always the fourth full weekend of June, beginning at 1800 UTC / 1300 CDT Saturday and running through 2059 UTC / 1259 CDT Sunday.
Field Day 2023 is June 24-25.
Again this year, we will be operating from the EOC for SSB and CW or your QTH or other designated location for any Digital mode in order to minimize interference on the bands.
And again we’ll use the aggregate scoring as WCARES-TN.
For all the details please read the WCARES Field Day Rules for 2023 which you can find here. This document includes the link to sign up for an operator slot or slots! at the EOC for CW and/or SSB.
From the ARRL:
Following Earthquake in Haiti, Radio Amateurs Asked to Keep Frequencies Clear
In a statement received by ARRL on August 14, 2021, Region 2 of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU-R2) has requested that radio amateurs in the Americas keep the following frequencies clear to support emergency communications in Haiti following an earthquake this morning: 3750 kHz, 7150 kHz and 14330 kHz. The statement came from IARU-R2 Emergency Coordinator (EMCOR) Carlos Alberto Santamaría González, CO2JC.
According to preliminary information from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on August 14, 2021 at 1229 UTC, about 12 kilometers northeast of Saint-Louis-du-Sud and 33 kilometers to the east-northeast of Les Cayes, Haiti; 18.352 degrees north and 73.4801 degrees west at a depth of 10 km.
Mr. Jean-Robert Gaillard, HH2JR, President of the Radio Club of Haiti, reported significant structural damage.
Image Credit: U.S. Geological Survey
Department of the Interior/USGS
Update – April 27, 2021
New RF Exposure FAQ (V1.4) has been posted to the ARRL.ORG website
The updated RF Safety exposure FAQ (V1.4) is available from the
ARRL RF Safety page at;
According to the ARRL, “… updates [to the FAQ] might be very common as
details come into better focus as the discussions between the FCC
and the ARRL develop clarifications and recommendations.”
The ARRL has released a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document related to RF Exposure and the recent FCC rules announcement. This document answers some common questions and includes information on evaluating your station.
A copy of the FAQ is available here.
ARRL Bulletin 11, ARLB011, has more detail on the FCC announcement:
The FCC has announced that rule changes detailed in a lengthy 2019
Report and Order governing RF exposure standards go into effect on
May 3, 2021. The new rules do not change existing RF exposure (RFE)
limits but do require that stations in all services, including
amateur radio, be evaluated against existing limits, unless they are
exempted. For stations already in place, that evaluation must be
completed by May 3, 2023. After May 3 of this year, any new station,
or any existing station modified in a way that’s likely to change
its RFE profile – such as different antenna or placement or greater
power – will need to conduct an evaluation by the date of activation
The Report and Order can be found online in PDF format at,
“In the RF Report and Order, the Commission anticipated that few
parties would have to conduct reevaluations under the new rules and
that such evaluations will be relatively straightforward,” the FCC
said in an April 2 Public Notice. “It nevertheless adopted a 2-year
period for parties to verify and ensure compliance under the new
The Amateur Service is no longer categorically excluded from certain
aspects of the rules, as amended, and licensees can no longer avoid
performing an exposure assessment simply because they are
transmitting below a given power level.
“For most amateurs, the major difference is the removal of the
categorical exclusion for amateur radio, which means that ham
station owners must determine if they either qualify for an
exemption or must perform a routine environmental evaluation,” said
Greg Lapin, N9GL, chair of the ARRL RF Safety Committee and a member
of the FCC Technological Advisory Council (TAC).
“Ham stations previously excluded from performing environmental
evaluations will have until May 3, 2023, to perform these. After May
3, 2021, any new stations or those modified in a way that affects RF
exposure must comply before being put into service,” Lapin said.
The December 2019 RF Report and Order changes the methods that many
radio services use to determine and achieve compliance with FCC
limits on human exposure to RF electromagnetic fields. The FCC also
modified the process for determining whether a particular device or
deployment is exempt from a more thorough analysis by replacing a
service-specific list of transmitters, facilities, and operations
for which evaluation is required with new streamlined formula-based
criteria. The R&O also addressed how to perform evaluations where
the exemption does not apply, and how to mitigate exposure.
Amateur radio licensees will have to determine whether any existing
facilities previously excluded under the old rules now qualify for
an exemption under the new rules. Most will, but some may not.
“For amateurs, the major difference is the removal of the
categorical exclusion,” Lapin said, “which means that every ham will
be required to perform some sort of calculation, either to determine
if they qualify for an exemption or must perform a full-fledged
exposure assessment. For hams who previously performed exposure
assessments on their stations, there is nothing more to do.”
The ARRL Laboratory staff is available to help amateurs to make
these determinations and, if needed, perform the necessary
calculations to ensure their stations comply. ARRL Laboratory
Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, who helped prepare ARRL’s RF Exposure and
You book, explained it this way. “The FCC did not change any of the
underlying rules applicable to amateur station evaluations,” he
said. “The sections of the book on how to perform routine station
evaluations are still valid and usable, especially the many charts
of common antennas at different heights.” Hare said ARRL Lab staff
also would be available to help amateurs understand the rules and
evaluate their stations.”
RF Exposure and You is available in PDF format for free download
from ARRL at,
ARRL also has an RF Safety page on its website at,
The ARRL RF Safety Committee is working with the FCC to update the
FCC’s aids for following human exposure rules – OET Bulletin 65 and
OET Bulletin 65 Supplement B for Radio Amateurs. In addition, ARRL
is developing tools that all hams can use to perform exposure
ARRL ARES Volunteers Standing By to Assist if Needed in Wake of Nashville Blast
ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers remain ready to deploy in Williamson County, Tennessee, in the aftermath of an apparently intentional explosion early on Christmas morning in downtown Nashville. In addition to injuring at least three people and possibly killing one, damaging more than 40 buildings, and causing multiple water main breaks, the blast disrupted telecommunication systems. The explosion occurred in front of an AT&T switching facility. Nashville’s mayor has declared a civil emergency and imposed a curfew through December 27. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee called the damage “shocking” and has requested a federal emergency declaration. ARRL Vice Director and Williamson County Emergency Coordinator Ed Hudgens, WB4RHQ, who lives in Nashville, is monitoring the situation.
“Here in Nashville and the surrounding counties things are a bit of a mess still. The explosion did a lot more damage than was originally thought. AT&T now has about 30 mobile cell units deployed throughout the area.
“Since about 0730 yesterday, we have had monitoring nets up and running on the local analog repeaters and DMR repeaters. We have mainly been answering questions as best we can considering the limited information coming out from AT&T. My ARES group is ready to deploy to the Williamson County PSC to assist with communications for various county offices when the call comes.
“MTEARS [Middle Tennessee Emergency Amateur Repeater System] is holding nets on our DMR repeater system several times a day. The main repeater at the TEMA [Tennessee Emergency Management Agency] site is affected by the outage and fortunately we just last week got two DMR repeaters online in Williamson County, and all communications is going through them.
“WCARES is holding a continuous net on our five-repeater linked system to assist hams as needed. We are relaying news updates from AT&T and county governments and assisting callers on AT&T to implement wireless calling on their phones. In the future we may start taking traffic and routing it to the state nets.” The monitoring net on the linked system will remain u p until AT&T systems begin to come back online, he added.
Hudgens said that a net is active in Davidson County in Middle Tennessee, in addition to the WCARES net. “The MTEARS system is active and providing similar information. Our DMR repeater system is also up and running. The main repeater at TEMA is down because of the AT&T outage, but just last week we got two new DMR repeaters up in Williamson county and all DMR traffic is running through them,” Hudgens said.
ARRL Headquarters has reached out to Tennessee Section Manager David Thomas, KM4NYI, to offer any possible assistance.
A public address system on the RV broadcast continuous warning messages, counting down from 15 minutes. Police called to the site after reports of gunfire quickly evacuated residents. According to FEMA, outages with patient-tracking systems were reported, but there is no anticipated impact on patient care. Air traffic at Vanderbilt University Medical Center is on hold due to a communication outage, FEMA said. Vanderbilt University Medical Center is the only Level I trauma center serving the region.
AT&T is experiencing service outages across middle Tennessee and Kentucky, including with local 911 systems, cable TV, telephone, and internet customers. The Tennessee Emergency Operations Center is at partial activation, experiencing telephone and internet outages. The FBI is heading up the investigation. FEMA reports it’s received no requests for assistance.
Don’t know where to start with logging your contacts? Need help getting LOTW up and running?
The LOTW New User Guide written by Gary, ZL2iFB has reached version 1.0.
You can find more information about LOTW at the ARRL here:
A copy of the current version of Gary’s guide will be kept under the Library -> User Guides section of the WCARES website – here:
and the definitive URL for the current English version is:
From the ARRL Task Book introduction…
The Task Book is a working document that enable those ARES communicators electing to participate in the ARRL training plan, to track and document their training plan elements as they are completed toward the various levels of increasing proficiency.
As an ARES organization, WCARES will be using the Task Book for members who wish to advance their knowledge of emergency communications.
Jeff’s presentation has been added to the WCARES Youtube Channel – thanks Cliff, N4CCB:
To download the Task Book used by WCARES see the ARRL ARES Task Book – WCARES under
Mar 4, 2020 – As a part of the new Plant The Seed initiative by the Delta Division of the ARRL to get ARRL publications in libraries, the Williamson County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (WCARES) donated and presented an ARRL Library Book Set to Sheila Taylor KI4IBX and Sharon Reily of the main branch of the Williamson County Public Library system in Franklin, TN.
Ed Hudgens WB4RHQ, Emergency Coordinator for Williamson County and Jeff Standifer WB5WAJ presented the set of books.
This set will replace the over ten year old well-used set currently in their system. Included are the 24th edition of the Antenna Book, the 4th edition of the FCC Rules, the 2020 Handbook, the 12th edition of the Operating Manual, the 3rd edition of the RFI Book, the 2nd edition of Understanding Basic Electronics, and copies of the current edition of the Technician, General, and Extra Class License Manuals.