News this week - 11th October 2017
The RAYNET-UK AGM takes place on Saturday 21st October at CSSC Sports & Leisure Bristol, Filton Avenue, Horfield, Bristol BS7 0AT. Details have been sent in the calling notice to members.
To download the Annual Report 2016-7, please click on the following link
A reminder that meal orders should be received by Friday 13th October, either sent electronically or by post to 9 Conigre, Chinnor, OX39 4JY.
Tropical Storm Nate is now threatening to dump flooding rains over portions of Central America, according to the National Hurricane Center. An amateur radio emergency net has been activated in Costa Rica. Amateurs not involved in the storm emergency are asked to avoid interfering or operating near storm nets.
The frequencies likely to be used are 3.752MHz, 7.24MHz and 14.302MHz. 40m is the main HF band for traffic. Other nets active in the region could be using 7.117MHz, 7.090MHz and 7.098MHz.
Fifty of the nation’s most accomplished Amateur Radio operators responded within 24 hours to the call of the American Red Cross to deploy to Puerto Rico and provide emergency communications. At the behest of Red Cross, ARRL rallied the US Amateur Radio community to provide up to 25 two-person teams of highly qualified hams. The group’s principal mission will be to move health-and-welfare information from the island back to the US mainland, where that data will be entered in the Red Cross “Safe & Well” website.
The group will deploy the middle of this week and remain on the island for up to 3 weeks.
ARRL will equip each two-person team with a modern digital HF transceiver, special software, a dipole antenna, a power supply and all the connecting cables, fitted in a rugged waterproof container. In addition, ARRL is sending a number of small, 2,000-W portable generators as well as solar-powered battery chargers of the variety the US military uses on extended deployments. The hams and their equipment will be sent to Red Cross shelters extending from San Juan to the western end of the island.
“This generous outpouring of response represents the finest qualities of the Amateur Radio community,” ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, said. “These individuals are dropping whatever they are doing now, heading off to an extended hardship-duty assignment, and offering their special talents to Americans who have been cut off from their families, living amid widespread destruction and without electrical power since Hurricane Maria struck the Caribbean region last week.”
ARRL’s Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey, KI1U, said this was the first time in the nearly 75-year relationship between ARRL and the American Red Cross that such as request for assistance had been made. “Hurricane Maria has devastated the island’s communications infrastructure,” Corey said. “Without electricity and telephone, and with most of the cell sites out of service, millions of Americans are cut off from communicating. Shelters are unable to reach local emergency services. And, people cannot check on the welfare of their loved ones. The situation is dire.”
In a letter to all ARRL members, ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, asked for contributions to ARRL’s Ham Aid fund. “Equipment has been flying out the door since Hurricane Harvey struck the US mainland,” he emphasized. “From meeting requirements in aid of Hurricane Irma victims in the US Virgin Island and Florida, our store of Ham Aid kits has been depleted.”
ARRL’s Ham Aid program loans Amateur Radio equipment kits to established Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) groups and partner agencies during disaster responses, in order to establish Amateur Radio communication support. Ham Aid is supported by donations from individuals and corporations, including many of our ham radio industry partners.
ARRL has previously staged Ham Aid equipment in Texas, and in the last few weeks, ARRL has supplied kits to Florida, the US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. With our Ham Aid inventory depleted, your donation is needed now. Contributions to Ham Aid are 100% tax deductible.
To make a donation online, go to the ARRL donation form and select “Ham Aid.” To donate by mail, print a donation form, and mail it with your check payable to ARRL, noting “Ham Aid” on the memo line of your check. Mail to ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111 USA.
Registered number 2771954
The Companies Act 2006
Notice is hereby given under the Act mentioned above of the Annual General Meeting of the Company to be held at CSSC Sports & Leisure Bristol, Filton Avenue, Horfield, Bristol BS7 0AT on Saturday 21 October 2017 at 2.00 pm for the purposes of considering and, if thought fit, passing the ordinary business of the Company. By order of the Board of Directors
22 September 2017
1. Any member of the Company entitled to attend, speak and vote at the above mentioned meeting may appoint a proxy to attend, speak and, on a poll, vote instead of that member. A proxy may demand, or join in demanding, a poll. A proxy need not be a member of the Company. A proxy form is available on the AGM website, and it should be completed to reflect the member’s wishes.
Essex RAYNET are providing communications support to the Maldon District Council organised Saltmarsh75 Ultra Marathon event to be held over the weekend of the 7th and 8th of October. The Saltmarsh75 is a two day Ultra Marathon, where competitors tackle 75 miles of some of England’s most unique coast line, the Saltmarsh Coast of the Maldon District.
Given the size and complexity of the event they need a large number of operators to cover the two days and are currently short of operators. Essex use a mix of VHF/UHF amateur voice, VHF PMR and APRS. If any RAYNET-UK members are interested in getting involved please can they contact Essex RAYNET via phone or email.
Neil Smith, M0NAS
secretary<at>essexraynet.co.uk or chairman<at>essexraynet.co.uk
The American Red Cross (ARC) has asked the ARRL for assistance with relief efforts in Puerto Rico. ARC needs up to 50 radio amateurs that can help record, enter and submit disaster survivor information into the ARC Safe and Well system. In the nearly 75-year relationship between ARRL and ARC this is the first time such a request for assistance on this scale has been made. ARRL now is looking for radio amateurs that can step up and volunteer to help our friends in Puerto Rico. There are very specific requirements and qualifications needed for this deployment.
Requirements Due to the nature of this deployment you will need to process in as ARC volunteers, including passing a background check. The ARC has indicated they will cover all expenses for transportation, lodging and feeding while on deployment. ARC will also provide liability coverage for volunteers. The only out of pocket expense to the volunteer would be personal items purchased during deployment.
ARRL and ARC will require training for volunteers being deployed. ARC will provide general deployment training and advanced training in working in austere environments. ARRL will provide to ARC training on Amateur Radio equipment and modes to be used, reporting and operating guidelines. Deployment will be for up to three weeks.
Qualifications - General class Amateur Radio license or higher - Familiarity with WinLink, HF voice, and VHF simplex communications - Strong technical skills - Ability to work under difficult conditions - Ability to deploy for up to three weeks - Ability to work as part of a team Helpful Skills - Spanish speaking - Previous experience in disaster response - Previous or current work as a Red Cross volunteer - Previous experience with shelter operations
If you feel that you meet these qualifications and would like to be considered for this deployment please contact ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey, KI1U, firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-594-0222 who will make the introduction of qualified volunteers to ARC. to edit.
Published: Saturday, 23 September 2017 08:14
Written by Greg Mossop
Earthquake and hurricane emergencies
The 7.1 earthquake in Mexico that downed many buildings and killed more than 250, plus Hurricane Maria that swept through a number of Caribbean nations, have kept emergency communications frequencies busy with coordination and traffic. Networks not in the affected areas, particularly the Colombia Amateur Radio League (LCRA), and in the USA, are seeking information about relatives in the Caribbean islands. Reports are continuing from Hurricane Maria, a Category 5 storm, which hit Puerto Rico, Dominica and Turks and Caicos.
LCRA is using 7.117 MHz for SSB and 7.085 MHz for digital modes, as well as EchoLinkCOL_LCRA conference.
The Amateur Radio League of Cali's HK5VD is in support, under the guidance of Juan Manuel Yanguas HK5AKN, the LCRA Emergency Coordinator. The Columbian national VHF repeater system is also involved as the last delivery point trying to reunite families displaced by the hurricane and its aftermath. The ARRL even suspended normal use of its Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station W1AW, to assist in handling outbound health-and-welfare traffic from Puerto Rico for the evening of Friday September 22.
The Salvation Army SATERN frequency of 14.265 MHz and similar activities are happening elsewhere as desperate people are trying all means to make contact with their loved ones. Meanwhile Cesar Pio Santos HR2P, EMCOR IARU R2, has reported that radio amateurs are providing rescue groups and authorities with coordination help, and communications. In Mexico the station XE2A is in control sending some radio amateurs to Morelos to help there with a radio base station to be installed for emergency traffic and coordination. Typical of the volunteer work in Mexico is Jesus XE2JTC and Octavio XE2JUM, who have travelled with others in 4-wheel-drive vehicles carrying hydraulic equipment and units to support breathing. Authorities in all affected places say the recovery work is continuing and will do so for a long time.
Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee
& Greg Mossop
When hurricanes destroy phone lines, the Guard enables communication...
By: Tara Copp.
WASHINGTON ― Twenty-four hours after Hurricane Maria sent Puerto Rico into darkness, the first National Guard troops arrived, well-versed in how to handle the aftermath. Maria is their third Category 5 hurricane this month.
The first 500 troops to respond were Puerto Rico National Guard forces activated in advance of the storm. On Thursday they conducted search and rescue missions and did route clearance, said Lt. Col. Jamie Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.
The next wave will arrive with generators, helicopters and high-water vehicles. Much of that equipment was used in the National Guard’s response to Hurricane Harvey Aug. 25, and then Hurricane Irma Sept. 10. Then it was pre-positioned again to be ready for Maria.
“We’ve learned a lot from [Hurricane] Katrina over the years,” Air Force Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of staff of the National Guard, told defense reporters Monday.
Airmen load a Joint Incident Site Communications Capability trailer onto a C-130J Hercules to help with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Eight more are headed to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.. (Master Sgt. Matt Schwartz/Air Force)
One of the lessons learned was the value of bringing in deployable, civilian-friendly phone lines. Hurricane Maria destroyed Puerto Rico’s electrical grid and downed most of its telephone wires.
Getting some of that communication restored will depend on the Joint Incident Site Communications Capability.
The JISCC is a 20-foot, tented communications system on a trailer, with its own generator and satellite dish. It can move to a storm location via a flatbed or a C-130.
It’s normal for the military to deploy with its own communications systems. The problem is that those networks are often closed off from non-military phone calls.
With the JISCC, “the system is so flexible, that a county sheriff on his personal cell phone can call up a military commander who is using his standard military radio system,” said Army Col. Les Melnyk, a spokesman for the Guard. “This is facilitated by radio cross-banding and is a unique capability of the JISCC.”
“We can bring these systems into a disaster response area, where maybe the cell phone networks have been taken out, and we can establish a network for people to be able to communicate,” Lengyel said.
The National Guard first tested out the JISCC during Katrina in 2005. Based on its performance there, the Defense Department used National Guard and reserve equipment funds to buy 100 of them. Each system costs about $1.5 million.
The Guard had six JISCCs in use for its Hurricane Harvey response and 12 for Irma. Puerto Rico’s National Guard had two on the island, which they took down to protect them before Maria hit “but they will be up and running soon,” Melnyk said.
The Guard Bureau is also coordinating to have six more JISCCs sent to Puerto Rico, two each for airfield operations, a joint force headquarters and two to support U.S. Marines operating there from the nearby amphibious assault ships Wasp and Kearsarge, which remained in the area following Hurricane Irma.
Aircraft from those ships also conducted their first search and rescue operations early Thursday, Davis said.
Lengyel suspects the JISCC will be needed again before the year is out, noting that 2012’s Hurricane Sandy hit in November.
“This has been a pretty aggressive hurricane season,” Lengyel said. “We’re not by any means out of the danger zone yet.”
Credit: Tara Copp, the Military Times’ Pentagon Bureau Chief.
Tcopp@mco.com Twitter: @TaraCopp
Thursday, September 21, 2017
The FCC said 95 percent of Puerto Rico’s wireless cell sites are out of service in a Sept. 21 statement
“Hurricane Maria has had a catastrophic impact on Puerto Rico’s communications networks,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “The FCC is proactively reaching out to communications providers in Puerto Rico to gather additional information about the situation on the ground and find out if there is anything that the commission can do to assist with restoration efforts. We are also working closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and providing all requested support.
“Unfortunately, getting Puerto Rico’s communications networks up and running will be a challenging process, particularly given the power outages throughout the island. But the FCC stands ready to do whatever we can to help with this task. My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Puerto Rico.” The FCC said it will be available 24 hours a day to address emergency communications needs as Maria approaches and threatens U.S. coastal areas and U.S. territories.
The RAYNET-UK Exhibitions Team have been busy this week attending the Emergency Services Show which was held at NEC Birmingham on Wednesday 20th and tomorrow Thursday 21st of September. If you are visiting the show, pop over and say hi at Stand W16.
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