Amateur Radio Emergency Service - W4ACA

Proudly using the Oak Ridge ARC (W4SKH) Repeaters & W4ACA APRS Digipeater

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Beta Testing new site.

Hello everyone,

I was bored this afternoon watching football... so I decided to play some with the Andersonville Volunteer Fire Department website that I am also the webmaster. The new page is located here at the BETA page.

Please let me know what you think about, the ONLY pages that are active are the HOME and NEWS pages at the moment. The others will follow once everyone is happy with it.

Feel free to let me know what you think, likes and dislikes.

Happy New Year!


Friday, December 28, 2007

Ham radios can be lifeline in emergency

By Kelly Weaver-Hayes

Daily Times Correspondent

What happens when cell phone operating facilities are damaged and do not work during an emergency?

What if there is no power going out to hundreds, even thousands, of houses and most roads are impassible?

That was the story when Hurricane Katrina hit our southern neighbors two years ago.
That was the story for the eastern third of North America during the super storm of 1993.

Some sources are betting on a blizzard this winter, citing the summer drought and high temperatures this year as a similar weather pattern to that preceding the blizzard of 1993.

The need for reliable communication is always at the heart of getting help during an emergency.

When all else fails, there’s amateur radio — that is the motto of the National Association of Amateur Radio. The club serving Maryville and Alcoa recently celebrated its 60th anniversary of providing such service to the community.

Long-time member and Trustee Carol Peabody, of the Smoky Mountain Amateur Radio Club (SMARC), said he went out in the 1993 blizzard with rescuers, using his radio equipment to communicate with people stranded by the storm.

“The local automobile dealers lent out their four-wheel drive vehicles to the Red Cross to rescue people who were stranded,” Peabody said. “The Red Cross set up its headquarters on Church Avenue, in what used to be the old library.

“I went out with a driver and got people and took them to a shelter at Montvale Station, Maryville Middle School, or the rescue station.”

Emergency workers also took supplies to people who were sick, or who had no food or heat. Land lines were still working, but cell phones were out, so the mobile radios were the only way to communicate once you were on the road.

And just like it was in 1993, there are groups of people all over this country and the world, putting thousands of their own dollars into a system of communication that the Red Cross and National Guard rely upon during emergencies like the aftermath of Katrina

Read More

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

2008 Extra Class Question Pool

As Released December 21, 2007- NCVEC QPC

The 2008 Element 4 (Extra Class) question pool is hereby released to public use. This pool will become effective for examinations given on or after July 1, 2008, and will remain active until replaced by a subsequent version. As of this writing, this pool is scheduled to be in service until June 30, 2012.

Whenever possible, we have included references to the FCC rules for most of the questions in section E1. The citations are included only as a guideline, and while the QPC has made reasonable efforts to insure accuracy, we do not guarantee that such citations are accurate and/or complete.

Any graphics required for the questions are included at the end of this document, or are available as a separate file from NCVEC.ORG To assist in viewing fine details of some of the drawings associated with certain questions, we recommend increasing the "zoom" factor to 200% (or larger) when viewing the associated graphic.

While every effort was made to insure the accuracy of the material herein, this material was prepared by ordinary human beings, and there is always the possibility that a few typographical or other errors may remain. Users are authorized to make whatever typographic corrections that may be needed, keeping in mind that the basic meaning of a question, answer, or distractor must remain intact. The QPC would appreciate notification of any such errors.

There are 741 questions in the pool as released.

2008-2012 Element 4 Word

2008-2012 Element 4 PDF

2008-2012 Element 4 RTF

Current Question Pool for all license classes.

Please refer any questions to the QPC, by e-mail, to QPC@NCVEC.ORG


Jim Wiley, KL7CC
Chairman, NCVEC Question Pool Committee
Anchorage VEC

Courtesy of National Conference of Volunter Examiner Coordinators

New YouTube PSK31 tutorial videos

Randy K7AGE has recently put a couple of new PSK31 tutorial videos on YouTube.

PSK31 Transmitter Level Adjustment

PSK31 - Operating

Randy has previously posted several other PSK31 tutorial videos
Part 1: Introduction to PSK31 - Receiving
Part 2: Sample of 20 meter activity for PSK31 introduction
Part 3: Video Soundcard Interfacing

They can be seen at

Related URL's

Digipan PSK31 Download Page

British Amateur Radio Teledata Group (BARTG)
BARTG Yahoo Email Group
To join email:

Monday, December 24, 2007

CALLING ALL SANTAS : Local (California) businessman is searching for volunteers to help answer wayward calls for the Jolly Old Elf


November 28, 2007 6:46 AM

John Dickson received nationwide media attention last year for taking phone calls from children across the country hoping to talk to Santa. Instead of dialing 1- 800-SANTACLAUS, they accidentally called his business line, 1-800-SANTABARBARA, just one digit off. And so as not to diminish the hopes of the little ones, he cheerfully played along.

But this holiday season, the "Accidental Santa" won't be answering his phone.

That's because he's setting up a Santa Claus Call Center to handle the hundreds if not thousands of potential calls.

Now if a little boy or girl mistakenly gets his number, the call will be routed to one of five lines at the center, located in the administrative office of the downtown Montecito Bank & Trust.

Mr. Dickson is hoping to find about 100 volunteers to answer the phones.

The qualifications?

Thick white beard, rosy cheeks, big belly, predisposition to "Ho-ho-hos"?

"You don't have to look like Santa and you don't have to look like Mrs. Claus," Mr. Dickson insists. "This is over the telephone only, so come as you are."

Some potential volunteers have expressed concern over their voice being too high.

"I said, 'You can be an elf!' " chuckles Mr. Dickson.

"We can find a place for anybody."

But won't kids be disappointed if they don't reach Santa?

Read More

The Accidental Santa Website can be found HERE

Merry Christmas to everyone from ACARES and we hope that you have a very Happy New Year!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Google Toolbar: Beware of Buttons

December 20th, 2007

by Roderick OrdoƱez

The Google toolbar has found yet another use: as a possible malware vector. Researcher Aviv Raff has released a proof-of-concept (PoC) code, which demonstrates how an attacker may install malicious software or conduct phishing attacks by prompting the user to install a new Google toolbar button.

Affected Google toolbar versions are as follows:

Google Toolbar 5 beta for Internet Explorer
Google Toolbar 4 for Internet Explorer
Google Toolbar 4 for Firefox (partially)

The code makes use of a specially crafted link that refers to the button’s XML file, which when clicked displays a dialog box summarizing the details of the button to be installed. This dialog box also displays a URL of where the button is to be downloaded. Through manipulation, however, a malicious author could make it appear that the said URL is non-malicious by adding special redirector strings. This further increases the user’s trust in the button to be installed. If the toolbar does get installed, the user must manually click on the button to execute it, which in turn may run an installation script (which a user must approve to install) or a fake log-in console (for phishing purposes).

However, Google classifies the PoC as non-critical, due to the multitude of steps involved before a user does get infected. Nevertheless, the search giant has confirmed that it is currently looking for a fix to remedy the bug.

Google actually encourages the creation of custom buttons for its toolbar, and outlines the ease of creating one in their Web site, complete with API documentation. This ease-of-creation feature, coupled with Google’s large fanbase, opens up plenty of possibilities for its users, malware authors included.

For the meantime, users of Google toolbar are advised to refrain from adding new buttons.

Read More

Delfi-C3 is the first nanosatellite student project from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. The satellite is based on the CubeSat concept and a number of novel technologies will be tested on board the satellite:

Thin Film Solar Cell Experiment (Dutch Space)

Autonomous Wireless Sun Sensor Experiment (TNO)

A team of MSc students is currently working to finish Delfi-C3. The student team consists of aerospace engineering students, electrical engineering students and computer engineering students. Several bachelor of engineering students from schools across the area are also involved in this project. On this website you can find information about the project and the team.

Read More

Radio Amateur Section

Delfi-C3 will have a downlink in the amateur satellite segment of the VHF amateur radio frequency band. Telemetry decoding software will be made available to participating amateur radio operators and universities which allows them to decode and display real time telemetry. Furthermore, the software allows for a data upload to the central Delfi-C3 ground station via the Internet for data processing. The Delfi-C3 team would like to invite all interested radio amateurs to receive, decode and forward telemetry data to the Delfi-C3 ground station.

Delfi-C3 includes a mode UV linear transponder. The satellite will be in telemetry only mode for approximately the first three months of the mission, after which it is switched to transponder mode.


Primary telemetry downlink: 145.870 MHz 1200 Baud BPSK AX.25 400mW

Backup telemetry downlink: 145.930 MHz 1200 Baud BPSK AX.25 400mW
Linear transponder passband downlink: 145.880 - 145.920 MHz (inverting) 400mW PEP

Linear transponder passband uplink: 435.570 - 435.530 MHz
Transponder mode beacon: 145.870 MHz CW (10dB below transponder PEP)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Last Link - When disaster strikes, amateur radio operators keep the connection


of The Dalles Chronicle

Hugh Flint fires off a rapid explanation of what he does, pointing to equipment and using lingo like "packet data" and "terminal nodes" and "repeaters," while quietly leaving out the most important point: What he does may someday help save your life.

Flint heads the local Amateur Radio Emergency Service section for Wasco County, which helps with communication during emergency events. When a massive storm recently overwhelmed western Oregon with wind and water, downing phone lines and limiting cell coverage, people like Flint provided vital links within and outside the ravaged regions.

Amateur radio operators were heralded by state emergency officials as heroes, who set up networks for government and emergency officials to communicate when other system failed.

A network of at least 60 voluneer amateur radio operators working along the coast and inland helped keep crucial systems such as 9-1-1, American Red Cross and hospital services connected. They relayed information about patient care and lists of supplies needed in areas cut off by water.

Ham radio operators also kept New York City agencies in touch with each other after their command center was destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001, according to the National Association for Amateur radio. And when hurricanes like Katrina hit, amateur radio operators helped provide fire-and-death community services when everything else failed.

Read More

Hams step into communication void

By Rod Jones

(Created: Thursday, December 13, 2007)

If there was ever an example of the importance of Ham radios, the storms last week were it.

When all other forms of two-way communication crashed for more than a day, Ham operators stepped in to fill a vital role in emergency response. Seaside and most parts of the county not only lost landline phone service, but also cell phone service. Even the 9-1-1 service was out for about a day, a service considered so important that a few minutes of its absence sends chills up the spines of emergency responders.

Dozens of Ham radio operators took to the airwaves to fill the communications void during the strongest part of the storm, helping to keep some order to an otherwise chaotic situation.

One local Ham has been preaching the Ham gospel for the past couple years. Jeff Holwege, one of the founders of a new local amateur radio club called WA7VE, credited the local Ham radio operators for their quick and critical response.

Read More

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Milam County presses ham radio into service

By Jeanne Williams - Telegram Staff Writer

Published December 17, 2007

CAMERON - Hurricane Rita was the impetus that propelled Franklin Stewart from his comfortable pose as local VFW commander and oil company retiree into the minuteman role as volunteer amateur radio communications leader for Milam County’s Homeland Security Department.

Before the hurricanes of 2005, Stewart leisurely used his amateur radio skills to visit other ham operators across the United States, and mused at the opportunity to chat with the Space Shuttle crew via his desktop transmitter in Cameron.

Susan Reinders, Milam County’s homeland security director, knew about Stewart’s ham radio hobby, and recruited him into service when Hurricane Rita threatened the Texas coast and appeared to be headed toward Central Texas.

Stewart set up his antenna and ham radio set at the Milam County Courthouse’s homeland security headquarters in Cameron to ensure emergency management officials could communicate if the storm struck.

“Everything I came across in state and regional planning stated that amateur radio is the backup system for communications and we didn’t have a radio,” Mrs. Reinders said. “Mr. Stewart brought in his equipment and set up his antenna in the courthouse yard.”

Read More

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Black Hack Down: U.S. Military Labs Data Get Breached (ORNL)

December 12th, 2007 by Jake Soriano

Michael Jackson even had a song about it: Human Nature. There’s your weakest link—and one that hackers repeatedly take advantage of and manipulate.

Reports confirm that hackers have successfully broken the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee, an institution in the United States that conducts highly sensitive research. While little is known of it, it also appears that the sister-institution of ORNL, the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, was also hacked. These are two of the United States’ more important research labs, where homeland security and military researches are conducted.

Investigations reveal that seven (only seven) phishing emails were directly involved in the breach. The said email messages were sent to lab employees. It was still unclear what these messages did specifically, but experts say they probably had malicious attachments in them.

Waves of phishing emails reportedly began in October, with employees as specific targets. The attackers managed to access a non-classified computer of ORNL that contained the personal information of people who visited the research laboratory since 1990.

The targeted attacks on these two institutions and the success of the hackers had analysts calling them “a sophisticated cyber attack that now appears to be part of a coordinated attempt to gain access to computer networks at numerous laboratories and other institutions across the country.”

Analysts, though, are careful in naming explicit architects of the attack. The angles range from a government-sponsored espionage to the work of a small crime organization.

What is interesting is that this would not be the first attack of this kind on institutions like the abovementioned laboratories. Los Alamos, in fact, has been the subject of not just one, but several breaches in recent years.

At the center of all these security breaches and hacking attacks is the individual—one with a trusting, or non-questioning, nature. The lesson learned here is that a huge and imposing organization is still made of people, and when these people are not well informed on how to stave off potential security attacks, the whole organization suffers.

Courtesy of Trend Micro Malware Blog

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Amateur radio operators step up when needed to keep county in touch with the world.


The Daily Astorian

When twin storms hammered the coast Sunday through Monday with hurricane-force winds, snapping tree limbs like twigs and cutting power to thousands in Clatsop County, amateur radio operators didn't just bolster efforts at the county Emergency Operations Center.

They were the heart of the response.

"Really, it's ham radio operators that are the backbone, because we operate on power," said Clatsop County Sheriff Tom Bergin. "They are a godsend when it comes to emergencies."

When phone service is cut, 9-1-1 lines are down, power is out and major highways are blocked, ham radio still works. Early this week, amateur operators' signals provided the only route for sending messages across or outside Clatsop County.

"When communications went out, I couldn't get ahold of anybody," said Sgt. Mark Whisler as he worked in the emergency center's communications room on Friday. "It all fell to them."

As efforts move on from disaster response to recovery from ruin, volunteers can expect to go home soon.

Since the beginning of the storm, 42 amateur radio operators have held strategic posts from Arch Cape and Cannon Beach to the Seaside and Warrenton fire departments, Rilea Armed Forces Training Center, local dispatch centers and hospitals, the Knappa-Svensen sheriff's office substation and the American Red Cross.

"The first day, we had one guy talking nonstop," said Frank Van Winkle, of Astoria, the local assistant emergency coordinator for amateur radio. At one point, traffic was so heavy over the lines that a radio gave out, he said.

Many on the North Coast belong to Sunset Empire Amateur Radio Club, whose communications bus also supported storm operations when the county generator temporarily shut down.

Read More

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Send Me RSS

Hello everyone,

After lots of trouble out of the the previous RSS feed to email update program created more trouble than it was worth I have replaced it with a great working program I use personaly on several other feeds. I recommend Send Me RSS.

What’s RSS?

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication.” It’s a family of information formats used to distribute frequently updated content. An RSS document is called a “feed” and usually contains a short summary of the full text. To learn more about RSS, watch this fun video called “RSS in Plain English.”

Hamquick Technician Class Tutorials

Courtesy of

Now, getting your amateur radio license has never been easier. Just read our simple and easy to read tutorials, and pass the Technician Class license exam in a breeeze!

The tutorials are categorized into sub-elements, each subelement focusing on a different topic you need to learn.

Start Learning Today!

Ham radio operators add to relief effort in storm-battered Oregon

Heavy rain, high winds knocked out power, phone service, Net access

Todd R. Weiss

December 07, 2007 (Computerworld) -- Telephone lines, power lines, Internet access and cell-phone systems were no match for Mother Nature when three massive storms struck parts of Oregon in rapid succession this week. The storms lashed the region with 120-mph winds, heavy rains and flooding.

Even as modern technologies succumbed to the weather, the long-established, reliable ham radio network was able to fill the gaps and help state and county officials coordinate emergency response efforts and communicate with one another to assist distressed residents across the region.

In Oregon, about 200 volunteer ham radio operators have donated their time since last Sunday night to provide needed communications since the storms struck, said Vince Vanderhyde, emergency coordinator for the amateur radio volunteers who assist the Oregon Emergency Management Agency (OEM).

"I spoke to a woman who's been operating her radio in [the city of] Vernonia for 20 hours straight," Vanderhyde said. "Another guy volunteered to help communicate, then he said he was exhausted and was heading home to clean up his own house, which had been flooded with floodwaters. I have to tell you, it's the most dedicated bunch of citizen volunteers that you can imagine."

Read More Page 1

Read More Page 2


Please note: The information provided is INCOMPLETE but with a little imagination you can fill in the blanks. 73 Moe

Published: December 8, 2007

By Valliant Corley

Pilot staff writer

GOLD BEACH – In the aftermath of last weekend's major winter storm, which knocked out virtually all communications in Curry County, most of the services, including the 911 system, were back up by Friday, officials said.

"We've got 911 services back, the long distance lines are back up," County Emergency Services Director Michael Brace told Curry County Commissioners on Wednesday.

"Basically, all our communication went out," Brace said. "Backup ham radio was destroyed, backup to the backup was down. It was completely wiped out.

"There's nothing we could have done short of putting people in cars," Brace said. "Power lines were down. What could we have done? How could we stop the wind?"

The storm, which hit Sunday and continued through Monday, brought winds of 80 to 100 mph along much of the Oregon Coast, with the Curry County cities of Gold Beach and Port Orford taking the brunt of the wind.

During the storm the microwave dish sending signals from Grizzly Mountain, four miles east of Gold Beach, to the courthouse in downtown Gold Beach was destroyed. Two other dishes were knocked out of alignment.

"We had ham radio equipment in the annex, not to have all our eggs in one basket," Brace said.

The storm took care of both, as well as the private ham radio that was located at Grizzly Mountain to be used as backup.

"Thank God I've got no report of injuries or deaths," Brace told the commission.

Read More


Earthquake Details
Magnitude 2.4
Date-Time Sunday, December 09, 2007 at 06:58:50 UTC
Sunday, December 09, 2007 at 01:58:50 AM at epicenter

Location 36.250°N, 84.370°W
Depth 21.3 km (13.2 miles)
Distances 16 km (10 miles) WSW (241°) from Caryville, TN
19 km (12 miles) W (279°) from Lake City, TN
19 km (12 miles) WSW (241°) from Jacksboro, TN
26 km (16 miles) WSW (237°) from La Follette, TN
49 km (31 miles) NW (309°) from Knoxville, TN
277 km (172 miles) N (1°) from Atlanta, GA

View Map of Location

Read More

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Amateur radio operators can talk around the world, help in crises.

By Eric Freeman efreeman@columbustelegram.comMonday, Dec 03, 2007 - 12:43:25 pm CST
COLUMBUS -- Randy Hiltner became a licensed ham radio operator in 1990. His interest in the hobby was cultivated while listening to the radio at his father’s side.

Hiltner is far from alone in his interest in amateur radio. The Pawnee Amateur Radio Club has been active in the Columbus area since 1970 with an average membership of about 15 through the years.

The club rents space on top of the courthouse for a VHF (very high frequency) repeater that amplifies the signals it receives and sends the transmissions back to hams and scanner listeners in the Columbus area. The frequency of the repeater is 146.640 MHz.

Read More

Oregon emergency officials say ham radio operators the unsung heroes

12/4/2007, 5:39 p.m. PST

By SARAH SKIDMORE The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — When parts of Oregon were overwhelmed by wind and water during the recent storm, vital communication often was lacking, with trees down and across phone lines and cell coverage limited.

Even the state police had difficulty in reaching some of their own troops.

But ham radio worked.


Saturday, December 1, 2007

2007 SKYWARN Recognition Day

Hams and the National Weather Service: Working Together for SKYWARN Recognition Day:

The Ninth Annual SKYWARN Recognition Day recognizes Amateur Radio operators for their commitment to help keep communities safe. Co-sponsored by the ARRL and the National Weather Service (NWS), the event is scheduled for Saturday, December 1. During this 24 hour special event, Amateur Radio operators, working together with their local NWS offices, will activate Amateur Radio stations and work as a team to contact other hams across the world.

"This is a fun event," said ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP. "For 364 days of the year, hams aid in providing the NWS offices with real-time information on severe weather when people and property are at risk. But this one day is for fun, friendship and recognition of the critical services given to communities by the hams."

Scott Mentzer, N0QE, organizer of the event and Meteorologist-In-Charge at the NWS office in Goodland, Kansas, concurred. "Radio amateurs are a tremendous resource for the National Weather Service. These folks are dedicated, and the assistance they provide throughout the year is invaluable. SKYWARN Recognition Day is our way of saying thank you."

In 2006, 90 NWS offices across the country participated and logged more than 16,000 radio contacts, according to Goodland's Warning Coordination Meteorologist David Floyd, N5DBZ. In typical SKYWARN operations during severe weather, direct communication between mobile spotters and local NWS offices provides critical "ground truth" information for forecasters. In summer, spotter reports of hail size, wind damage and storm rotation in real time greatly assist the radar warning operator, since that information can be correlated with Doppler radar displays. In winter, snow nets are held, where reports of snow totals, ice accumulations and whiteout conditions in blowing snow help NWS forecasters assess the extent and severity of winter storms. In recent years during wildfire situations, Amateur Radio operators have reported the precise locations of thick smoke and zero visibility, allowing forecasters to provide crucial weather updates to fire fighters.

"NWS offices utilize the real-time reporting of weather events to assist in warning operations, but certainly hurricanes Katrina and Rita have shown us that ham radio operators are equally important during the recovery phase of large-scale natural disasters," Floyd pointed out. He also cited the example of the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN). He notes that the HWN, organized in 1965 during Hurricane Betsy, started out as an informal group of amateurs but has since developed a formal relationship with the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami via its Amateur Radio station WX4NHC. Ham radio operators and volunteers at Miami work together when hurricanes threaten to provide real-time weather data and damage reports to the Hurricane Center's forecasters.

For more information on SKYWARN Recognition Day, including a list of participating NWS offices, QSL card and certificate information, please see the NWS Web site.

The Morristown TN NWS ham plans to be on the air also but at the time of this posting details were still being worked out.

Anderson County ARES Information

The Anderson County ARES net meets every Tuesday Night at 7PM local time.
We use the the W4SKH Oak Ridge ARC repeaters.

The main repeater is: 146.880 PL Tone 88.5 (Currently Online)
The current back up is: 146.970 (Currently Online)

The ARES Nation Simplex Frequency is 147.420 and will used if required.

The net preamble for the Anderson County ARES net can be found here.

Net Control Station Manual

New FCC BAND PLAN (pdf) Updated Version with a different layout HF Band Plan Vertical (pdf) Courtesy of KB6NU's Ham Radio Blog

If you would like to join Anderson County ARES please complete the application form and submit it by email to Jeff or Moe.

Emergency Coordinator and Staff

Jeff Yawn K4IK Emergency Coordinator (865)567-2577
Jim Bogard - KY4L Assistant Emergency Coordinator
Larry Hensley - KB4ITS Asst Emergency Coordinator / Net Manager
Steve Lothridge - KI4RGN Net Manager
Moe Brewer - N4CQW Asst Emergency Coordinator / Webmaster

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