OCRACES Holiday Dinner: Monday, December 4th
OCRACES members will gather at Moreno's Mexican Restaurant in
Orange at 6:30 PM on Monday, December 4, 2017, for their annual
Holiday Dinner. There will be no regular monthly meeting or net
on that date.
OCRACES Teams Up with OCARC at June 2017 Field Day
Tom Wright, KJ6SPE (left) and
Walter Kroy, KC6HAM, assemble an HF antenna at Field Day (left
photo). Bob McFadden, KK6CUS (left) and Tony Scalpi, N2VAJ, at
the satellite station (right photo).
County of Orange RACES members teamed up with members of the
Orange County Amateur Radio Club (OCARC) during Field Day, to
set up and operate HF and VHF/UHF stations at the Walter Knott
Education Center in Buena Park. OCRACES members showing up for
setup at 9:00 AM on Friday, June 23, 2017, included Walter
Kroy, KC6HAM, Tom Wright, KJ6SPE, and Chief Radio Officer Ken
Bourne, W6HK. They helped to set up OCARC’s HF antennas and
stations. Tony Scalpi, N2VAJ, set up his satellite station. The
VHF/UHF station was provided by City of Orange RACES (COAR)
members Robbie Robinson, KB6CJZ, and Don Poysa, KØVNJ, and was
operated by several OCRACES members. Robbie was the OCARC
VHF/UHF band captain. A transmit hum problem caused by RF
feedback into a switching power supply had to be overcome before
the VHF/UHF station was fully operational. The power supply was
eventually replaced with a transformer type supply, and the
problem went away.
OCRACES members showing up Saturday morning, June 24th, for
remaining setup and operations in-cluded Jack Barth, AB6VC,
Scott Byington, KC6MMF, Ken Bourne, W6HK, Matt Luczko, KM6CAO,
Bob McFadden, KK6CUS, Fran Needham, KJ6UJS, and Tony Scalpi,
N2VAJ. Ken Tucker, WF6F, signed up to operate Saturday night.
David Corsiglia, WA6TWF, and other OCRACES members also visited
the site. Walter Kroy, KC6HAM, helped with teardown on Sunday,
June 25th, and OCSD Emergency Communications Manager Lee Kaser,
KK6VIV, visited the site.
The OCARC Field Day co-chairmen were Tim Goeppinger, N6GP, Jim
Schultz, AF6N, and Ron Mudry, W6FPS. The station setups,
especially the antennas, were impressive, and everyone worked
hard for a successful Field Day. OCRACES appreciates the warm
welcome given to our members by the OCARC members, and the tasty
food provided by the Boy Scout troop.
RACES and MOU
Units Participate in May 6, 2017, ACS Exercise
Roger Berchtold (left photo)
receives incoming messages while RACES Sgt. Tom Tracey, KC6FIC,
operates the 40-meter station during the May 6, 2017,
City/County RACES & MOU ACS Exercise.
Civil disorder was the scenario for the City/County RACES & MOU
ACS Exercise on Saturday, May 6, 2017. OCRACES members and
applicants arrived at the Orange County EOC RACES Room before
0830 hours to get prepared for the drill, which occurred from
0900 to 1100 hours. They were welcomed by OCRACES RACES Chief
Radio Officer Ken Bourne, W6HK, who had prepared all original
messages to be sent during the general voice and Winlink
segments of the drill. OCSD Emergency Communications Manager Lee
Kaser, KK6VIV, arrived soon after the drill began, and expressed
his appreciation for the excellent turnout of members at the EOC
as well as at field locations. Simplex communications were
handled primarily between the City RACES units, to test
coverage. About 40 voice messages were received on OCRACES
2-meter and 70-centimeter repeaters, and 26 voice messages were
sent via the City RACES primary repeater and simplex
frequencies. A few messages were sent and received at the
40-meter SSB station. The Winlink station sent 20 messages and
OCRACES members at the EOC, in addition to Capt. Bourne,
included Roger Berchtold, WB6HMW, Sgt. Jack Barth, AB6VC, Martin
La Rocque, N6NTH, Walter Kroy, KC6HAM, Fran Needham, KJ6UJS,
Harvey Packard, KM6BV, Sgt. Tom Tracey, KC6FIC, and Ken Tucker,
WF6F. OCRACES applicants included Brian Ahn, KM6CXL, and Nikko
Lawson, KM6ATE, who operated together at the Winlink station.
This was their first experience with Winlink, and they
immediately became experts! Also at the EOC RACES Room,
representing the Hospital Disaster Support Communications System
(HDSCS), was Justin Ennen, AI6CI.
Two OCRACES teams were in the field during the exercise,
including Randy Benicky, N6PRL, and Matt Luczko, KM6CAO, mobile
in South County, and Bob McFadden, KK6CUS, and Tony Scalpi,
N2VAJ, at a portable location in Orange. Both teams were on 2
meters and 70 centimeters, as well as on 40 meters SSB.
Participating City RACES units included Anaheim, Brea, Buena
Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Fullerton,
Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Laguna
Woods, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Orange,
Placentia, Seal Beach, and Westminster. Also participating were
American Red Cross, HDSCS, and Cal OES.
The civil-disorder scenario generated many interesting messages.
For example, a message to Newport Beach PD warned of five
submarine snorkels near the entrance of Newport Harbor. A
Winlink message indicated a submarine was headed toward a
Hornblower cruise ship in the harbor. A reply said the submarine
grounded in shallow waters. Costa Mesa PD was warned to prepare
for a terrorist attack from a fleet of eight semi-trailer trucks
approaching South Coast Plaza at high speed. Buena Park PD was
advised of 15 drones near Knott’s Berry Farm. Anaheim Fire was
notified of gangs preparing to board a train to rob passengers.
A message to St. Jude Medical Center via HDSCS advised of
ambulances approaching the hospital that were filled with
terrorists and chemical weapons. St. Jude responded that they
were being put on lockdown.
OCRACES Activates for Winter Storm on January 20,
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 November 15, 2016, 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 October 1, 2016, ACS Drill
(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, 2016,
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).
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.
November 20: 1900 hours
OCRACES ACS Net
m: Martin La Rocque, N6NTH
Pager: Tom Tracey, KC6FIC
November 20: 1920 hours
November 27: 1900 hours
OCRACES ACS Net
2 m/70 cm/6 m/1¼ m/10 m: Matt Luczko, KM6CAO
December 4: 1830 hours
OCRACES Holiday Dinner (no net, no regular meeting)
December 11: 1900 hours
OCRACES ACS Net
m: Bob McFadden, KK6CUS
Pager: Ken Bourne, W6HK
December 18: 1900 hours
OCRACES ACS Net
m: Fran Needham, KJ6UJS
Pager: Scott Byington, KC6MMF
December 18: 1920 hours
December 25: Christmas
January 1: New Year's Day