OCRACES Meetings and Outside Group Activities Canceled
Because of the COVID-19 emergency, all OCRACES outside group activities have been canceled until further notice.
OCRACES meetings will be held online on first Mondays at 7:30
PM. Monday night 2-meter nets at 7:00 PM and Saturday morning
60-meter nets at 10:00 AM will continue. No RACES members are to enter the Loma Ridge
facility at this time, nor engage in any RACES activities
outside the home.
Websites with COVID-19 Information
The Orange County Health Care Agency website at
https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com has information that is
regularly updated regarding the status of COVID-19 in Orange
County. A good site to monitor for the latest Orange
County COVID-19 news is
For information about COVID-19 in the state of California, visit
https://covid19.ca.gov. That site emphasizes that if you
have any symptoms or are at risk, it’s especially important to
stay home and avoid in-person contact with others.
The White House, CDC, and FEMA have an informative website at
https://www.coronavirus.gov. You can also visit
FEMA has a website at
https://www.fema.gov/coronavirus-rumor-control to help you
distinguish between rumors and facts regarding the response to
Sign up for County of Orange AlertOC COVID-19 updates to your
smartphone. Text “OCCOVID19” to 888777.
RACES Runs Portable Drill on May 2, 2020
A City/County RACES & MOU Portable Drill was held on Saturday,
May 2, 2020. Because RACES activities outside home property were
prohibited due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most participants
operated portable stations from their backyards, using battery
power and portable antennas. OCRACES Chief Radio Officer Ken
Bourne, W6HK, was net control, operating from his home station
in Orange. The drill simulated that the OCRACES repeaters were
down, and had two segments, the first hour on 2 meters simplex
and the second hour on 60 meters upper sideband, "channel 4."
Ken began the Portable Drill on 2 meters simplex at 0900 hours
by calling for check-ins from cities in alphabetical order, then
from MOUs, and finally from OCRACES members. Relay stations were
assigned, to enable handheld and other low-power stations to
check in. Participating units (members) on 2 meters included
OCRACES (9), Brea RACES (3), Costa Mesa RACES (8), Cypress RACES
(1), Fountain Valley RACES (2), Huntington Beach RACES (3),
Irvine RACES (7), Laguna Niguel ACS (6), Laguna Woods RACES (3),
Los Alamitos RACES (1), Mission Viejo RACES (8), Newport Beach
RACES (3), Orange RACES (3), Placentia RACES (1), Westminster
RACES (1), American Red Cross (2), and OCHEART (9).
Beginning at 1000 hours, Ken incorporated the Portable Drill
into the normal Saturday morning 60-meter OCRACES ACS net.
Portable stations typically used Hamstick dipoles and end-fed
wires, and ran on battery power. Participating units (members)
on 60 meters included OCRACES (5), Brea RACES (1), Costa Mesa
RACES (1), Cypress RACES (1), Irvine RACES (1), Laguna Woods
RACES (1), Mission Viejo RACES (1), Newport Beach RACES (5),
Orange RACES (2), Cal OES CRU (2), OCHEART (2), Ventura County
ACS (1) Nye County NV EmComm (1), and non-EmComm stations (4).
Activates Severe Fire Weather Patrols
October 2019 was that time of year when the Santa Ana winds
began to blow,
the humidity dropped, and potential wildland fires threatened. The National
Weather Service issued Red Flag Warnings and High Wind
Warnings, resulting in the Orange County Sheriff's Department
Emergency Management Division activating stationary Fire Watch
observers (who focus especially on the Orange County Parks) and
roving teams such as the County of Orange RACES Severe Fire
Weather Patrol and OCSD's Professional Services Responders
(PSRs), typically covering Brea Canyon, Carbon Canyon, Santiago
Canyon, Black Star Canyon, Williams Canyon, Modjeska Canyon,
Live Oak Canyon, Trabuco Canyon, and points along Ortega Highway
and coastal areas. Hams in the various Fire Watch groups
communicate through the SOARA repeater, while Severe Fire
Weather Patrollers use the 2-meter OCRACES repeater and
sometimes one of the OCRACES UHF repeaters. City RACES members
who have trained at OCRACES meetings for Severe Fire Weather
Patrol have volunteered their time to ride with OCRACES members
on patrol. The Severe Fire Weather Patrols were active on October 10th and 11th, October 24th, and October
30th. Some city RACES units also conducted fire
patrols in October.
Great ShakeOut Drill Gathers 35 Participants
In support of the Orange County Sheriff's Department Emergency
Management Division (EMD), County of Orange RACES activated at
the EOC at Loma Ridge for the Great ShakeOut on Thursday,
October 17, 2019, from approximately 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM,
taking calls on the OCRACES 2-meter repeater from OCRACES
members as well as from members of City RACES and MOU units.
Participants gave simulated "Mike-Mike" earthquake intensity
reports, using the Modified Mercalli Earthquake Intensity Scale
(which may be downloaded from the "Forms" page on this website).
Reports were received at the EOC from 35 participants, who were
not only OCRACES members and applicants but were also members of
city RACES units in Fullerton, Orange, Huntington Beach, Irvine,
Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Newport Beach, Placentia, and
Westminster. Tri-Cities RACES (Dana Point, San Clemente, and San
Juan Capistrano) members also participated, as did American Red
RACES Runs Deployment Drill on October 5, 2019
Bob McFadden, KK6CUS, set up
a portable station on 60 meters and 2 meters and 70 centimeters at
picturesque Strand Beach in Dana Point (left photo). He also ran
Winlink. Tony Scalpi, N2VAJ, set up a relay station in Belmont
Park (right photo), high in the hills of Orange.
City and County RACES units conducted a deployment drill on
Saturday, October 5, 2019, from 0900 to 1100 hours. American Red
Cross also participated. Unit members set up portable stations
on 60 meters as well as on OCRACES repeaters on 2 meters and 70
centimeters, looking for areas that were difficult for accessing
the repeaters, such as deep in canyons or below seaside cliffs,
and overcoming these difficulties with simplex relays through
stations at high locations and via NVIS (near vertical incidence
skywave) propagation on 60 meters. Many of the portable and
mobile stations beaconed their locations via APRS, either over
the air or via a cell-phone app.
OCRACES Members and applicants operated as net control in the
Orange County EOC RACES Room at Loma Ridge. Other members
checked repeater coverage along Loma Ridge Jeep Trail and in the
eastern end of Silverado Canyon Road. One member set up a
2-m/70-cm, 60-m, and Winlink portable station at Strand Beach in
Dana Point. Another member set up a portable station at Belmont
Park in the Orange hills, operating as a relay station on
2-m/70-cm simplex and 60 m. Another member covered Ortega
Highway on 2-m/70-cm and 60-m mobile.
Effective tests were conducted not only by OCRACES but also by
RACES/ACS units from Brea, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Irvine,
Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach,
Orange, San Juan Capistrano (Tri-Cities RACES), and Westminster.
Although Huntington Beach RACES was busy with communications for
the city's Great Pacific Airshow (with assistance from Costa
Mesa RACES), they managed to check into the drill. Amercan Red
Cross was also active in the drill, as was Cal OES CRU.
Six Winlink messages were received at the EOC from deployed
While many of the deployed stations contacted the EOC on 60
meters, Ventura County ACS and Nye County (Nevada) EmComm also
participated, plus other visitors. Using NVIS propagation,
Ventura County ACS was able to provide relays between the
60-meter portable stations deployed throughout Orange County.
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.
17: 1900 hours
OCRACES ACS Net
2 m : Scott
August 24: 1900 hours
OCRACES ACS Net
m/70 cm/6 m/1¼ m: Ernest Fierheller, KG6LXT
August 31: 1900 hours
OCRACES ACS Net
2 m: Ray
(no net or meeting)
September 14: 1900 hours
OCRACES ACS Net
2 m: Lee Kaser, KK6VIV
September 14: 1930 hours
OCRACES Online Meeting
September 21: 1900 hours
OCRACES ACS Net
2 m: Walter Kroy, KC6HAM
September 28: 1900 hours
2 m/70 cm/6 m/1¼ m: Martin La Rocque, N6NTH