Next OCRACES Meeting: April 3, 2017
The next County of Orange RACES meeting will be on Monday,
April 3, 2017, at 7:30 PM, at 840 N. Eckhoff Street, Suite 104,
in Orange. OCIAC (Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center)
will give a 45-minute presentation on pre-incident indicators to
Next Cooperative T-Hunt: April 17, 2017, on
The next Cooperative T-Hunt will be on Monday, April 17, 2017,
immediately following the 7:00 PM OCRACES ACS net. The fox will
transmit tones at about 7:20 PM
on the input of the OCRACES 2-meter repeater, and will hide on
paved, publicly accessible property in a city or sector of
Orange County to be announced a few days before the hunt.
Hunters will compare bearings on another frequency, and are
encouraged to beacon their locations via APRS throughout the
hunt. This is an exercise in working together to quickly locate
interference. We are looking for a volunteer to be the fox.
OCRACES Activates for Winter Storm
Tom Riley, K6TPR, RACES Sgt.
Jack Barth, AB6VC, and Fran Needham, KJ6UJS (left to right), in
EOC RACES Room during January 21, 2017, Winter Storm activation.
On Saturday, January 20, 2017, OCSD Emergency Communications
Manager Lee Kaser, KK6VIV, informed OCRACES Chief Radio Officer
Ken Bourne, W6HK, that OCSD Emergency Management Division was
going to activate the Orange County EOC at a low level the next
morning (Sunday, January 21st) at 1000 hours, due to the pending
major winter storm with expected flooding, debris flows,
mudslides, downed trees, road closures, power outages, property
damage, and evacuations. Anticipated continuous rainfall was
expected to exceed 3-5 inches within a 24-hour period. OCSD/EMD
Director Donna Boston asked that the EOC RACES Room be staffed
beginning at 1000 hours on Sunday. After receiving Lee’s
information, Ken sent an e-mail to all members, requesting
availability. Based on the response, Ken assigned Tom Riley,
K6TPR, to the first shift. The EOC was indeed activated at 1000
hours on Sunday and the Public Information Hotline was staffed.
Tom arrived at the EOC RACES Room at 0930 hours and worked for
more than three hours. After church, Ken arrived about noon and
stayed about six hours, coordinating with the EOC Command Center
and keeping tabs on shifts. OCSD/EMD indicated that OCRACES
could stand down at 2200 hours, but might need staffing the next
morning. At 1436 hours, the National Weather Service in San
Diego issued a Flash Flood Warning for Orange County. Fran
Needham, KJ6UJS, arrived at about 1420 hours on Sunday and
stayed for several hours. Fran greeted Sgt. Jack Barth, AB6VC,
who arrived at about 1730 hours. OCSD EMD released Fran and Jack
at about 2100 hours, and asked Fran to return at 0900 hours on
Monday. Fran arrived before 0900 hours on Monday, and expected
to work until 1300 hours, at which time he would be relieved by
Ken Tucker, WF6F. Fran was soon informed that the EOC was
deactivating at 0930 hours, at which time OCRACES deactivated,
and Ken Tucker did not need to report for scheduled duty.
Several cities had also activated their EOCs, and some city
RACES units were activated. Some roadways were flooded and power
outages and downed trees were also reported throughout the
County. OCRACES repeaters were monitored for field reports
throughout the activation. Members who are not deployed to the
EOC during a weather activation are encouraged to report their
observations of heavy weather conditions and damage to the EOC
via the repeater.
OCRACES Participates in Radio Rodeo
County of Orange RACES participated in Radio Rodeo on Tuesday,
November 15, 2016, at the Huntington City Beach parking lot in
Huntington Beach. The event was sponsored by the California
Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee (CalSIEC)
Southern Planning Area (SPA). This interoperability training
exercise was hosted in several counties simultaneously, with
each providing a local site for participants. Participating
agencies brought their communications vehicle to the Radio Rodeo
site, set it up, and participated in structured radio testing of
all interoperability channels over all public-safety frequency
bands, as well as on RACES frequencies in the 2-meter and
70-centimeter bands. This was an opportunity for agency
personnel to test the radio equipment and ensure proper
programming and functionality of the radios.
Leading the Radio Rodeo effort were
OCSD/Communications Program Support Manager Delia Kraft, KR6AFT,
and Emergency Communications Manager Lee Kaser, KK6VIV.
Assisting was “Mr. Radio Rodeo” himself, Robert Stoffel, KD6DAQ,
who was the Division’s Director before the current Director Dave
Participating agencies included Anaheim RACES, California
Department of Transportation, Costa Mesa Police Department and
Costa Mesa RACES (MESAC), Garden Grove Police Department,
Huntington Beach Marine Safety Division, Huntington Beach Police
Department, Huntington Beach RACES, Laguna Beach Police
Department and Laguna Beach RACES (LBECT), Irvine RACES (IDEC),
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Los Angeles County
Disaster Communications Service (LACDCS), Mission Viejo RACES,
Orange County Emergency Medical Services, Orange County Fire
Authority (two MCPs), Orange County Sheriff’s Department
(OCRACES, Samantha II Mobile Communications Center, Field Support Trailer, OASIS Trailer, and
Duke), Orange Police Department and Orange RACES (COAR), Santa
Ana School Police Department, and West Cities Police
Communications Center (West-Comm), which serves Cypress, Los
Alamitos, and Seal Beach.
OCRACES did not have its van at Radio Rodeo, since it is now out
of service and decommissioned. However, OCRACES was net control
for the RACES component from a table outside the Field Support
Trailer, set up by Kenan Reilly, KR6J, and Brad Russo, KB6GPM.
Chief Radio Officer Ken Bourne, W6HK, ran the net, and Fran
Needham, KJ6UJS, observed. Randy Benicky, N6PRL, operated from
Samantha II. On-site RACES testing included not only Samantha II
but also Anaheim RACES (AF6XY), MESAC (KJ6PFW), IDEC (N6IPD),
LBECT (K6WHC), COAR (W6OPD), Mission Viejo RACES (KE6BXT), and
OCRACES net control also conducted RACES testing with Riverside
County RACES and San Diego County RACES on the Cactus Intertie
system, Also checking in on Cactus were Yuma County (Arizona)
RACES (NØRHZ) and Colorado State RACES (WA4HND). Contact was
also made with Riverside County RACES on two OCRACES UHF repeaters and on the Riverside County RACES
UHF repeater. Don Hill, KE6BXT, and Joe Ayers, AE6XE,
from Mission Viejo RACES, set up a mesh network and communicated
with Riverside County RACES via a node on Pleasants Peak.
RACES and MOU
Units Participate in ACS Exercise
(Left to right) Martin La
Rocque, N6NTH, and RACES Sgt. Jack Barth, AB6VC, send outgoing
messages, while Matt Luczko, KM6CAO, and Randy Benicky, N6PRL,
are at the 40-meter station during the October 1, 2017,
City/County RACES & MOU ACS Exercise.
County of Orange RACES conducted the City/County RACES & MOU ACS
Exercise on October 1, 2016, from the RACES Room at the Orange
County EOC and at the OCRACES van at the “Career Fair” at the
Sheriff’s Academy in Tustin. Also participating were 14 City
RACES units (Anaheim, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Fountain
Valley, Fullerton, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, Los
Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Orange, Seal Beach, and Westminster)
and two MOU units (American Red Cross and Hospital Disaster
Support Communications System, HDSCS).
At the EOC RACES Room were Chief Radio Officer Ken Bourne, W6HK,
Sergeants Jack Barth, AB6VC, Ernest Fierheller, KG6LXT, and Tom
Tracey, KC6FIC, Members Randy Benicky, N6PRL, Roger Berchtold,
WB6HMW, Martin La Rocque, N6NTH, and Tom Wright, KJ6SPE, and
Applicants Brian Ahn, KM6CXL, and Matt Luczko, KM6CAO. Also at
the RACES Room was Ken Simpson, W6KOS, from HDSCS.
Operating from the OCRACES van, which was on display at the
Sheriff’s Career Fair in Tustin, were OCSD Emergency
Communications Manager Lee Kaser, KK6VIV, and Members Tom Riley,
K6TPR, and Tony Scalpi, N2VAJ. Ken Bourne, W6HK, joined them
after the drill.
OCRACES sent 15 messages plus four replies, and received 28
messages, during the “General” portion of the drill. OCRACES
sent nine messages with attachments to each of the City RACES
units on Winlink and received 15 messages (six with Notepad,
Word, PDF, and WebEOC-form attachments). We did not have a
simplex position in the RACES Room. In the next drill (May 6,
2017), we might send a couple of members up the hill outside the
EOC with a simplex radio.
HF propagation on 40 meters was quite poor during the drill. Net
Control checked in eight City RACES Units and one MOU.
For the first time, we tried a DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) test
during the drill. Robert Stoffel, KD6DAQ, ran the DMR net from
another location, and used the N6GGS repeater on Santiago Peak
(thanks to Pat Stewart, KA6P, one of the repeater owners).
OCRACES Participates in
Field Day with OCARC
OCRACES Chief Radio Officer
Ken Bourne, W6HK (left photo), operates Field Day VHF/UHF
station in OCRACES van, while Tony Scalpi, N2VAJ, in his tent,
tries for a Field Day satellite contact.
The Orange County Amateur Radio Club (OCARC) and County of
Orange RACES (OCRACES) participated as a team at Field Day on
Saturday, June 25-26, 2016, at the Walter Knott Education Center
in Buena Park. It was an enjoyable event, and many members
OCARC members began constructing their HF antennas
and towers at 0900 hours on Friday, June 24th. Their stations
operated on 15 meters phone/CW, 20 meters phone, 20 meters CW,
digital all bands, 40 meters phone/CW, and satellite. They also
had a GOTA station for visitors to operate. OCRACES arrived
before 0800 Saturday to set up its van and VHF/UHF station.
OCARC Member Tim Goeppinger, N6GP, provided a Moxon 6-meter
antenna, which was mounted on the van’s Will-Burt mast.
OCRACES/OCARC Member Tony Scalpi, N2VAJ, who set up and operated the
club’s satellite station, provided a 2-meter/70-centimeter loop
antenna for the van’s station.
The location was excellent,
with a nice shady spot for the OCRACES van. A Boy Scout troop
cooked excellent meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) for all
participants, available at a very reasonable cost as a fund
raiser for the Scouts.
Fran Needham, KJ6UJS, drove the OCRACES van from Eckhoff to the
Field Day site on Saturday, and then back to Eckhoff on Sunday.
The van and VHF/UHF stations were set up by Fran, Chief Radio
Officer Ken Bourne, W6HK, Tom Riley, K6TPR, Tom Wright, KJ6SPE,
Walter Kroy, KC6HAM, and Radio Officer Harvey Packard, KM6BV.
Also present most of the day was Martin La Rocque, N6NTH. Radio
Officer Scott Byington, KC6MMF, stopped by on his way to Las
Vegas for a relative’s wedding event.
Due to an OCSD Search & Rescue and Aero Squadron Reserve
exercise on Saturday, some members arrived late Saturday, or
could not participate. After the exercise, Assistant Radio
Officer Bob McFadden, KK6CUS, stayed into late evening, and came
back on Sunday. David Corsiglia, WA6TWF, also participated on
Demobilization began at 1100 hours on Sunday, by Ken, W6HK,
Fran, KJ6UJS, Bob, KK6CUS, Walter, KC6HAM, and Tony, N2VAJ, as
well as by many OCARC members tearing down the HF stations.
RACES Wants You!
the most exciting and rewarding part of amateur radio. Being a
RACES member gives you the opportunity to sharpen your
operating skills and technical knowledge while volunteering your services
in public-safety communications. Get involved in emergency communications now. Click the
OCRACES link for more information.
Baker to Las Vegas Challenge
March 27: 1900 hours
OCRACES ACS Net
m/70 cm/6 m/1¼ m/10 m: Randy Benicky, N6PRL
April 3: 1900 hours
OCRACES ACS Net
2 m: Roger Berchtold, WB6HMW
3: 1930 hours
840 N. Eckhoff
Street, Suite 104, Orange
April 10: 1900 hours
OCRACES ACS Net
2 m: Ken Bourne, W6HK
Pager: Tom Tracey,
Regional Conference & Exposition, Ontario Convention Center
(register at http://www.apcowrc2017.org)
April 17: 1900 hours
OCRACES ACS Net
2 m: Scott Byington, KC6MMF
Pager: Jack Barth, AB6VC
April 17: 1920 hours
April 24: 1900 hours
OCRACES ACS Net
2 m/70 cm/6 m/1¼ m/10 m: David Corsiglia, WA6TWF
May 1: 1930 hours
840 N. Eckhoff Street, Suite 104, Orange
May 6: 0900-1100 hours
& MOU ACS Exercise
May 15: 1920 hours
June 5: 1930 hours
840 N. Eckhoff Street, Suite 104, Orange
June 12: 1900 hours
OCRACES ACS Net
June 12: 1930 hours
City/County RACES &
MOU Meeting, 840 N. Eckhoff Street, Suite 104, Orange
October 2: 1930 hours
N. Eckhoff Street, Suite 104, Orange
City/County RACES & MOU ACS Exercise
October 9: 1920 hours
October 16: 1930 hours
& MOU Meeting, 840 N. Eckhoff Street, Suite 104, Orange