Tag Archives: arrl

2014 June VHF QSO Party

This appears to be shaping up with fairly good conditions on 6 meters, but then I am still kinda new on 6. There have been plenty of times before that I didn’t hear much. For sure I am hearing a lot more now than can hear me, but I only have 100 watts, and a home brew Squalo. I have made about 40 contacts on 6 m so far. Maybe I can get a good pic of the antennas later.

20140615_4074ax

Trying to be heard in Colorado.

I use the very helpful DXmap real-time updates from Continue reading

2013 Field Day

I shouldn’t be sittin here messin with computer stuff ..!..
It is about to be Field Day 2013 http://arrl.org/field-day

Listen for us on WA4NZD, from NASA’s MSFC in Huntsville, AL.
/;^)

Tornadoes, radios and chickens

How the world can change so quickly. This time last week we were waking up in a new darkness, preparing to launch a major recovery effort after the largest tornado outbreak in recorded history. The time to prepare has passed, it was time to deploy our skills as communicators and information coordinators, and provide the community with our support.

Over the last week our Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) has provided such support to dozens of relief organizations under the umbrella of the Volunteer Organizations Active in  Disasters (VOAD). To name just a few: The American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, the N.Alabama Medical Reserve Corps, the Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) … and other groups distributing supplies and manpower all across our county. This has been accomplished by the individual and collective efforts of hundreds of ham radio operators who can do more than talk on the radio. They can think and act. And they have done so in such a show of power that I am tremendously proud to be in their company. The ARES group here organizes and trains for exactly this sort of thing, and while there are always hitches and complications, we were well prepared in my opinion. There is always a core group that provides leadership and motivation for such an organization, and I am proud to have been a part of that team of Emergency Coordinators.

Madison County ARES EC - K4RGG

Rolf Goedhart - K4RGG at the Anderson Hills Command Post

Rolf Goedhart – K4RGG is our Emergency Coordinator for Madison County, and has served in that capacity since before I came to town 5 years ago. He has also recently completed the naturalization process and is proud to now also be a U.S. Citizen. We all benefit from his wisdom and leadership in our ARES organization. Thank you Rolf.!.

Another of our members I want to call out is Steve Conklin – AI4QR. Conducting a flow of information during extreme events can be challenging and frustrating, but as our Net Control Operator during the tornadoes last Wednesday evening Steve kept his cool, and did an admirable job. He even managed to capture some of the live audio and has made it available for review. This is a large file, best to save it to your local computer before starting the playback. Audio recording from Madison County Emergency Net, Apr 27 2011. Steve has a great overview of what all has been happening, on his blog

Steve also reminds us of a training exercise we did a few years back. As a part of that simulation, we reported a derailed railroad car that had unfortunately released hundreds of chickens. We tasked a Boy Scout group with the challenge of how to collect the chickens, and they formulated a table-top response which would include borrowing a truck/trailer to contain the re-captured chickens. Steve shares this link to a story from the LA Times, regarding tornado chickens in Alabama.

Train like it is the real thing, and when the real thing comes around
– you’re trained and ready for it.
Thanks to everyone . . . we are making progress.    /;^)

Madison County Tornadoes – 20110502

Not a typical Monday, May 2nd was day 5 of the recovery effort in Madison County, Alabama. Preliminary reports from the NWS suggest that all four of the tornadoes that ripped across the county last Wednesday were EF-4 tornadoes.

wb5rmg and w4ozk at Sparkman School

WB5RMG (L) and W4OZK (R) at Sparkman School

ARRL Director for the Southeastern Division,
Greg Sarratt – W4OZK stops by the ARES Information/Communications hub at the Sparkman School, to get a briefing by Alan Sieg – WB5RMG. Primarily ARES communications is supporting the field clinic operated by the North Alabama Medical Reserve Corps, but the bigger picture includes providing assistance with information distribution and logistics coordination all about the Sparkman Support Post operations. There is a steady flow of people, vehicles and supplies; including neighborhood residents, volunteers, law enforcement, and the National Guard.

Here is a link to a DropBox gallery of some of my recent pics.
http://www.dropbox.com/gallery/1931686/1/MadisonCountyTornado_20110502?h=82ca9b
Previous posts on this site have links to some earlier photos. Higher resolution pics are available by request, be sure to indicate the entire filename.

Again, thanks everyone for your continued prayers and support.  /;^)