Friday, May 8, 2009


This article was taken from the April 2009 Newsletter from the website.

By Jerry Boyd, N7WR, Associate Editor and ICS Advisor

This column will continue last month’s discussion regarding how home stations might provide some EMCOMM support during major incidents. As noted in the March issue, some amateurs, for a variety of reasons, may want to help but are simply unable to respond in the field to emergencies and disasters. There are a number of important tasks that need to be performed by the EMCOMM unit, but to assign them to a field-capable volunteer might mean that an essential field position is unstaffed. Here is where the "homebound" can step in. Radio traffic in response to an emergency/disaster is important and it needs to be documented. There are multiple reasons why documentation is important. Just one of those reasons is to aid in the after-action critique/evaluation of the incident response. The home-based station may be in a good position to monitor and audio record all radio traffic involving the EMCOMM unit response to the incident. Whether done by a tape recorder or via a computer sound card, this is important data to compile and is the type which a “ham at home” can gather. Every group, including EMCOMM groups, have need for logistical support during their operational periods. Food, water, fresh batteries, fuel, notepads, sunscreen, etc….all may need to be replenished if the event is of long duration. The ham at home can be a valuable resource in determining what is needed, where it is needed, and when it is needed and then making arrangements to procure same and have it delivered. Finally, events of long duration cannot be handled by the initial crew of responding radio operators. There will be a need to relieve them with fresh operators. The home-bound station can help team leaders determine staffing needs, and recruit and schedule replacement operators as necessary. In summary, the home station has more than ample opportunities to be of service.

73 from NE Oregon de N7WR

Monday, May 4, 2009


Work was done on the Hancock County EMCOMM repeater antenna on 5/4/2009 by Jim N1MTN of Brown's Communications. The 'temporary' Diamond antenna was replaced with the commercial unit originally purchased for the repeater package. Thanks go out to Brown's Communications for their continued help and support!

Hancock County EMCOMM's New Structure

At the last meeting of the Ellsworth Amateur Wireless Association (EAWA), at the suggestion of member Mark Albee N1MEA, it was voted on that Hancock County EMCOMM come under the ‘wing’ of EAWA. A three-person committee was formed to oversee the EMCOMM group, consisting of Bob Carter AA1PI, Mark Albee N1TDO and Dick Small W1KRP. It was felt that the EMCOMM group, lying dormant for some time now, would be better served by downsizing the command structure and trying to make the EMCOMM experience more enjoyable. On Sunday, May 3rd, the EMCOMM committee met for the first time to get the basics on paper in reference to the future of Hancock County EMCOMM, Bob AA1PI had an excellent presentation on what he thought was important and it was unanimous between the three that this was a great starting point.. Below is the work sheet type listing that we urge all to review for a discussion in the very near future. Any questions in reference to Hancock County EMCOMM please email any of the below listed Reps.

Mark Albee N1MEA

Bob Carter AA1PI

Dick Small W1KRP

Who is a member of EMCOMM

Who is active

Who can do what
weather spotter
marine service Boat with radio
ATV with radio
mapping program
solar power operation
battery operation

What is your comfort area
HF Radio
2 meter FM
2 meter sideband
digital modes HF

What mode can you bring mobile

I would like to see the packet network expand to include hospitals and shelters or portable units ready to go.

Also a workshop on sending text files to the BBS and down loading to EMCOMM control.

Also the packet controller at EMCOMM needs to have it's call sign KB1NEB installed and address mail to this call sign
the BBS system will not deliver mail to a call without a numeral in the call.

I would like to see persons that have alike interests of operating modes group together to refine their operating procedures, that way you learn from each other and when a person is missing the show goes on.

Thanks for hearing my suggestions Bob aa1pi

Houston Representative Introduces Amateur Radio Bill in Congress

On Wednesday, April 29, Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) introduced HR 2160, the Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act of 2009 in the US House of Representatives. This bill, if passed, would "promote and encourage the valuable public service, disaster relief, and emergency communications provided on a volunteer basis by licensees of the Federal Communications Commission in the Amateur Radio Service, by undertaking a study of the uses of Amateur Radio for emergency and disaster relief communications, by identifying unnecessary or unreasonable impediments to the deployment of Amateur Radio emergency and disaster relief communications, and by making recommendations for relief of such unreasonable restrictions so as to expand the uses of Amateur Radio communications in Homeland Security planning and response." The bill has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
If enacted into law, HR 2160, would instruct the Secretary of Homeland Security to undertake a study and report its findings to Congress within 180 days. The study would spell out uses and capabilities of Amateur Radio communications in emergencies and disaster relief. The study shall:
· Include recommendations for enhancements in the voluntary deployment of Amateur Radio licensees in disaster and emergency communications and disaster relief efforts.
· Include recommendations for improved integration of Amateur Radio operators in planning and in furtherance of the Department of Homeland Security initiatives.
· Identify unreasonable or unnecessary impediments to enhanced Amateur Radio communications -- such as the effects of private land use regulations on residential antenna installations -- and make recommendations regarding such impediments.
· Include an evaluation of Section 207 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-104, 110 Stat 56 [1996]).
· Recommend whether Section 207 should be modified to prevent unreasonable private land use restrictions that impair the ability of amateurs to conduct, or prepare to conduct, emergency communications by means of effective outdoor antennas and support structures at reasonable heights and dimensions for the purpose in residential areas.
The Secretary of Homeland Security shall utilize the expertise of the ARRL and shall seek information from private and public sectors for the study.
The bill currently has five co-sponsors: Madeleine Bordallo (Guam), Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and Bennie Thompson (D-MS). Representative Thompson currently serves as Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security. Representatives Jackson-Lee, Lofgren and Kilroy are members of that committee.
"We understand that Representative Jackson-Lee was very impressed with the radio amateurs she encountered on a visit to an Emergency Operations Center in Houston during Hurricane Ike last September," said ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ. "We are grateful to her and to the five original co-sponsors for their support of Amateur Radio and the encouragement that their bill offers."
ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, concurred: "We are excited to have Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee introduce HR 2160. It is extremely encouraging to have the support of a number of original co-sponsors -- including several members of the House Homeland Security Committee -- who recognize the importance of Amateur Radio's long history of public service."