Amateur Radio Emergency Service - W4ACA

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

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

-- Updated -- Mitt Romney and Ham Radio

Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney says that he never intended to demean Amateur radio in an exchange with a television reporter two years ago. This, as the debate over his comments flares anew on the ham bands and on hobby radio blogging websites nationwide.

Amateur Radio Newsline's Don Wilbanks was the one who contacted Mitt Romney and asked him to explain:

It all began during a televised Town Meeting that aired on November 16th of 2005 on segment 2 of WCVB television's "When Disaster Strikes" The program featured public safety and volunteer organization officials from across Massachusetts.

Moderator Natalie Jacobson had asked Governor Romney questions about communications interoperability, and communication without commercial power.

During the exchange Jacobson commented ' you don't see yourself getting down to ham radio operators?...' The then governor replied: "No, we don't need to deal with ham radio operators. We have power systems that allow us to speak with one another and to manage our response."

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Repost of "Proof Ham Radio is Bad"

After Several request from people I am reposting a couple of YouTube video's that prove HAM's are bad. Please enjoy them.

73, Moe

Proof That Amateur Radio Is "Bad!!"

Clip from the old Twilight Zone...

"Those men seem so... threatening!"

...and here's the inevitable neighborhood mob all amateurs must face!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Romney "Disses" Amateur Radio In Televised Town Meeting

Posted on Wednesday 16 November 2005 @ 15:48:10

Governor Mitt Romney dismissed the role of Amateur Radio operators in emergency communications during a televised "town meeting" program last night on WCVB's "When Disaster Strikes: Segment Two." The program featured public safety and volunteer organization officials from across Massachusetts among its audience.

Host and moderator Natalie Jacobson asked an increasingly-agitated Governor Romney questions about communications interoperability, and communication without commercial power. Romney was next asked by Jacobson, " does it come down to ham radio?..."

The Governor replied in a disgusted tone, "No, we don't need to deal with ham radio operators..."

Embarrassed public safety officials later tried to put in a good word for Amateur Radio. National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Glenn Field was prepared to state the importance of Amateur Radio, when Salvation Army Colonel Fred Van Brunt was called upon. Van Brunt remarked about his organization's quest to improve its communications capabilities and how Amateur Radio has aided his organization. "The ham radio situation helps a great deal," he stated.

"I have already written and submitted a letter to the Governor's Office," wrote Eastern MA Section Emergency Coordinator Rob Macedo, KD1CY. "I have also written an email to Natalie Jacobson."

ARRL Section Manager Mike Neilsen, W1MPN sent a section-wide email today to all Eastern MA ARRL members describing the incident along with actions he and his staff were taking to mitigate the situation.

"[Romney's] attitude about us sets an unfortunate tone within the state's executive branch," wrote Neilsen. "As a former military officer, I see this as a failure in leadership. My immediate concern is our working relationship within the [Massachusetts Emergency Management Team] environment." Neilsen intends to address the Governor's comments as "an urgent matter" at a meeting on November 17 with Don Carlton from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

"I was very disturbed about what the Governor stated on the program," wrote Ron Wood, W1PLW, the section's Public Information Coordinator. "It does show that more work is needed by all hams in the section. It's a great idea to write letters explaining the good we do." Wood is attempting to schedule a meeting with the Governor's office tomorrow so that EMA ARRL staffers might discuss the matter further.

Tom Kinahan, N1CPE wrote that Governor Romney's comment has made "a PR problem" for Kinahan in his role as MA State RACES Officer.

"I've got a roster of over 150 Amateur Radio operators that support local communities, and those of us that directly support the state government. There are at least double that in terms of people that are actually out there that I don't have formal paperwork on that support Amateur Radio emergency communications in some organized manner... The Governor has said that he 'certainly doesn't need to rely on ham radio' -- where does that leave the RACES program now?"

"I am ashamed tonight that I am a Republican!" remarked one ham radio viewer. "[Romney] speaks in derogatory tones about hams. He certainly shows an ignorance as to what we do and are capable of. I suggest a grass roots campaign of local hams calling the State House and The Governor's Office to protest."

The television program can be viewed here.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Safe Mobile Operation


The word Telemeter is defined as an apparatus for recording the readings of an instrument and transmitting the accumulated data by radio. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) uses an adjective form of the word telemetrics to describe the use of mobile communications devices. Although amateurs relate this to two way radios communications, there are other forms. For example, cell phones, mobile fax machines, e-mail, navigation systems, and devices under driver voice command.

While some of these devices are more distracting than others (their basic design plays an important part), the cell phone is by far the most distracting. This fact has prompted some political entities to enact laws governing their use while underway. The city of Santa Fe, NM is one such entity. Within the city limits of Santa Fe, if you use a cell phone while underway, it must be operated in a handsfree mode. In the nearly two years the ordinance has been in effect, local authorities have written over 3,000 $60 tickets to scofflaws.

The city of Lawrence, KS has gone one step further, and eliminated all mobile-in-motion cell phone usage. At this writing, over 100 cities, the states of New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, California and the District of Columbia, have joined the ranks with anti-cell phone ordinances on their books. Typical fines range from $50 to $100 for drivers caught using a hand-held device.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Wireless Radio Interface

K7AGE, Randy, has produced a new video which describes how to add a wireless headset to your radio. Add wireless to your wireless! The video shows how to use Jabra’s A-210 cellphone interface along with simple connections to your radio. Randy also demonstrates the VXI BlueParrott A150 headset, which provides better performance than commonly used bluetooth headsets.

Randy has also produced videos on PSK31 and AO-51 Satellite operations along with many other topics that are very popular the ham radio community.

All K7AGE video are available on YouTube - K7AGE.

Risking all to warn others

By betting their own lives, storm trackers helped others stay informed of hot spots.

Didi Tang and Amos Bridges


As others took shelter from the devastating storms Monday night, several hundred Ozarkers headed in the opposite direction.
In the driving rain, wind and lightning, volunteer weather spotters put their own safety on the line to provide firsthand information to meteorologists and emergency managers tracking the storms.

Spotters and amateur radio operators form an integral part of emergency response, those officials said, although the volunteer efforts often take place out of the public eye.

"They provide a tremendous service to the National Weather Services and the community because they are the eyes — they are telling us what's actually happening," said Gerry Claycomb, a NWS meteorologist in Springfield.

At emergency management offices in Springfield and surrounding counties, spotter reports helped officials determine when to activate warning sirens and where to direct response teams.

"We've got a radar in front of us, but the radar is just a radar," said Ryan Nicholls, director of the Springfield-Greene County Office of Emergency Management. "We need some eyes on the scene ...

"These guys go out any time of the day or night, leave their families and go out there to provide a public service."

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Antenna Launcher

Hello all,

I came across this on You Tube. It looks interesting.

Radio hams use air power to launch a wire antenna at their 2007 field day site.

The video is based on this site (Click Here) Antenna Launcher dot com

What is Pneumatic Antenna Launching?

Pneumatically Powered (Tennis Ball) Antenna Launching. Pneumatic Line launching is perhaps a more apt description. First we need a line in the trees, then we can pull up an antenna, which in most cases is a long piece of wire. In the launcher pictured above a Tennis Ball is propelled by compressed air, towing a fishing line over the tree. Then we pull up nylon mason twine with the fishline, and finally a wire or heavier line as needed.

Why does anyone need to Launch an Antenna?

It is often more convenient to use existing trees than to erect supports for wire or beam antennas, especially when these antennas are required for temporary or emergency field use. We set up antennas for disasters and drills, camping and contests, practice and fun. With all the applications for Homeland Security there are many potential uses for rapid deplyment. If you have a need to quickly set up antennas in various field situations, or you have some really nice trees in your backyard, you may have a use for Antenna Line Launching.

What is a Pneumatic Antenna Launcher?

It is a very simple system that uses the energy in a pressurized volume of gas (generally air), a valve to release the gas, and a projectile (tennis ball) in a tube that is accelerated by the expanding gas giving it the requisite velocity to pull a light line over the tree.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Wisconsin ARES Members Activated to Assist with Tornado Aftermath

Courtesy of American Radio Relay League

A rare January EF3 tornado in Wisconsin destroyed houses and knocked out power shortly after 4 PM (local time) Monday, January 7, displacing about 160 people. The Red Cross activated members of the Kenosha County and Racine County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) groups to provide logistical communications at the two relief shelters in Kenosha County, as well as from a communications station at the Kenosha County Emergency Operation Center. Riding along with Red Cross teams, ARES members helped relay damage assessments back to the Red Cross building in Racine.

"Providing communications is essential," said Assistant Emergency Coordinator for the Racine County ARES Alex Voss, N9RGX. "We set up a communications network at the Red Cross building in Racine, outside of the affected area. We were ready to go when activated. I couldn't be more proud of our volunteers. We will work with the responding agencies as long as they need us. We'll take what we've learned this time and use it to improve our response in the future."

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Monday, January 7, 2008

MS Office 2003 SP3 Literally Leaves Past Behind

January 6th, 2008 by Jovi Umawing

Microsoft seems to have started its 2008 on the wrong foot and drawing criticism just a day after the New Year. The Register is reporting Microsoft’s Office 2003 Service Pack 3 to be blocking old file formats that were defined to be less secure.

This includes legitimate file formats accessible to Microsoft’s own applications, such as MS Office Excel 2003, MS Office PowerPoint 2003, and MS Word 2003. This update also blocks file formats supported by Corel Draw, a graphics editing tool of software giant Corel.

Below is a list of some of the file formats blocked by the Office 2003 update, which was launched last December:


Microsoft advises their users to enable access to such files in case the need to use them arises. More of Microsoft’s information workaround regarding blocked files types are found here.

David LeBlanc, Microsoft’s Senior Developer, prescribes a number of links where Office XP 2003 users can still use the blocked file formats.

Much speculation about this blocking plan has been circulating for quite some time now, but official word is that Microsoft had done it for security’s sake. Some may not completely agree with this train of thought. Nevertheless, LeBlanc assured Microsoft clients (and his blog readers) that “this (the blocking of old file formats) is the right thing to do.”

Courtesy of TrendMicro

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

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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