Thursday, July 15, 2010


Meeting the communications needs of "served" agencies is a challenging,
and often daunting proposition in today's complex disaster/emergency relief
arena. With the proliferation of emergency relief organizations, increasingly
sophisticated needs, all competing for that scarce resource--the volunteer- -
coupled with the emergence of other non-ARES amateur providers, it's enough to
make an ARES member's head spin. As more of the population moves to disaster-prone areas, and less government funding is available, more pressure is consequently placed on
agencies to use (and sometimes abuse) the volunteer sector for support of their
missions in disaster mitigation. Toes are sometimes stepped on and volunteer morale can be undermined. On the other hand, the League's formal relationships with served
agencies are vitally important and valuable to radio amateurs. They provide us
with the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the relief of suffering among our
fellow human beings. Another substantial benefit not to be overlooked is that these relationships lend legitimacy and credibility for Amateur Radio's public service capability, and that is important when it comes time to defend our frequencies and privileges before the FCC and Congress, an ever more challenging task.
So, ARES' relationships with the emergency/disaster relief world are to be nurtured.
What to Do?
First, it is imperative that a detailed local operational plan be developed
with agency managers in the jurisdiction that set forth precisely what each
organization's expectations are during a disaster operation. ARES and agency
officials must work jointly to establish protocols for mutual trust and respect.
Make sure they know who the principle ARES official is in the jurisdiction.
All matters involving recruitment and utilization of ARES volunteers are directed
by him/her, in response to the needs assessed by the agency involved. Make
sure ARES counterparts in these agencies are aware of ARES policies,capabilities and perhaps most importantly, resource limitations. Let them know that ARES may have other obligations to fulfill with other agencies, too.
Technical issues involving message format, security of message
transmission, Disaster Welfare Inquiry policies, and others, should be reviewed
and expounded upon in the detailed local operations plans.
Source: Kentucky Amateur Radio Web Site –

FCC RM 10-124 Report and Order

From Bryce Rummery K1GAX Maine ARES SEC
If you have served agency employees that are hams, please pass this on to them.

FCC RM 10-124 Report and Order

FCC has adopted new rules regarding employee participation in drills.

Employees are now allowed to participate in drills. Government-sponsored drills are unlimited. Non-government sponsored drills are limited to one hour per week and two 72 hours drills per year.

A new exemption was also granted for school teachers using ham radio in the classroom, and rules for stations like W1AW were clarified.

Federal Communications Commission FCC 10-124
Final Rules
Part 97 of Chapter 1 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:
The authority citation for part 97 continues to read as follows:
AUTHORITY: 48 Stat. 1066, 1082, as amended; 47 U.S.C. 154, 303. Interpret or apply 48 Stat.
1064-1068, 1081-1105, as amended; 47 U.S.C. 151-155, 301-609, unless otherwise noted.
1. Section 97.113 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(3), adding new paragraphs (a)(3)(i) and (a)(3)(ii),
redesignating paragraphs (c) and (d) as new paragraphs (a)(3)(iii) and (a)(3)(iv) respectively, and
redesignating paragraphs (e) and (f) as (c) and (d) respectively, to read as follows:
§ 97.113 Prohibited transmissions.
(a) * * *
(3) Communications in which the station licensee or control operator has a pecuniary interest, including
communications on behalf of an employer, with the following exceptions:
(i) A station licensee or control station operator may participate on behalf of an employer in an
emergency preparedness or disaster readiness test or drill, limited to the duration and scope of such test or
drill, and operational testing immediately prior to such test or drill. Tests or drills that are not
government-sponsored are limited to a total time of one hour per week; except that no more than twice in
any calendar year, they may be conducted for a period not to exceed 72 hours.
(ii) An amateur operator may notify other amateur operators of the availability for sale or trade of
apparatus normally used in an amateur station, provided that such activity is not conducted on a regular
(iii) A control operator may accept compensation as an incident of a teaching position during periods of
time when an amateur station is used by that teacher as a part of classroom instruction at an educational
(iv) The control operator of a club station may accept compensation for the periods of time when the
station is transmitting telegraphy practice or information bulletins, provided that the station transmits such
telegraphy practice and bulletins for at least 40 hours per week; schedules operations on at least six
amateur service MF and HF bands using reasonable measures to maximize coverage; where the schedule
of normal operating times and frequencies is published at least 30 days in advance of the actual
transmissions; and where the control operator does not accept any direct or indirect compensation for any
other service as a control operator.
* * * * *


"Make Good Operating Procedures A Habit"
From the April 2005 issue of EMCOMM MONTHLY

Let's face reality, folks. When push comes to shove, and when the chips are down, the majority of emergency communications will be voice (radiotelephone). At least in the United States. 100 years ago it was all in Morse. Spark gap was the mode-of-the-day...then later CW dominated. That was all there was. If you weren't a Morse didn't communicate. 60 years ago, a reasonable guess might be that the ratio was 50% Morse and 50% AM 'phone, plus perhaps a little SSB and FM.
It makes no difference if your favorite mode is CW or digital, or that voice is the least efficient mode. The reality is that most emcomm is done by voice...and will probably remain like that for a long time. CW, digital, and other modes are more effective in many ways and still have their place, and they can (and will) be used very effectively to supplement voice communications in certain situations and for specific functions. However, the reality it or not...voice is where we are at.
We all learned to talk before we entered kindergarten. By the time we left grammar school, most of us could read and write fairly well. By the end of high school, we all (should have, at least) mastered basic verbal and written language skills. While some of us had learned the Morse language by that time, most had not, and struggled to learn it later in life. Many hams learned just enough Morse to pass an exam...and unfortunately never or rarely use it. SSB and FM prevail.
In all public service, good communication skills are essential. But, unfortunately, what we hear on the usually NOT a good example of effective communication skills. As EMCOMM operators, we must NOT allow ourselves to become mediocre (or worse) voice communicators. Sadly, many operators emulate what they hear on the air. And what they hear, from both newcomers and old timers alike, is often improper, sloppy and/or inefficient.
So how does a skilled voice radio operator...operate?


1. ALWAYS makes sure that his/her transceiver is properly adjusted. Mic gain level, on the proper frequency, not using excessive power, etc.
2. ALWAYS speaks clearly and succinctly...and not too fast (or too slow).
3. Establishes two-way contact and obtains a signal report before starting a transmission. (If you want a radio check take your radio to a repair shop.)
4. Avoids talking directly into a microphone. But rather talks "across the mic".
5. Knows and uses ITU PHONETICS
6. Uses ROGER solely to indicate that a transmission has been received and is understood. (ROGER is the voice equivalent of R in Morse.)
7. Does not use ROGER for "yes", "affirmative", or "I agree with you" and does not say: "That's a big ROGER" or some other similar slang term.
8. Says AFFIRMATIVE for "yes" and does not use it in place of ROGER. (They are not the same.)
9. Says NEGATIVE for "no". "Nega-tory" (or other similar slang terms) is not in his or her vocabulary.
10. Uses SAY AGAIN when they need something repeated. "Repeat" or "please repeat" may be confused with "received."
11. Says the call sign of the station he/she is turning the contact over to, followed by their call sign, followed by OVER. (Same as K or KN in Morse.)
12. Allows a one-second pause before transmitting. (If you wait too long...someone may butt in and say something like: "it's been passed to you.")
13. Keeps their transmissions reasonably short.
14. Pays attention and practices "TLC"...("To Listen Carefully").
15. Knows where (s)he is located and knows how to effectively communicate that location to another station.
16. On 'phone says: "Say your location" or "What is your location?" Never: "What's your QTH?", "What's your 10-20", or (worse yet) "What's yer twenty?". (Note: Law enforcement uses the "10 code" and their own phonetics. Amateur, commercial, maritime, aeronautical and other operators use the ITU standard prowords.)
17. Stays in a net (and pays attention) unless checked in and checked out.
18. Does not ask another operator to "check me in" (to a net) unless he/she plans to remain in radio contact with the relaying station during a net period. Telephone, email, Internet and other landline circuit relays are not radio...and do not count. Nor does: "Check me in to the net tonight. I'm going bowling." This puts the other operator on the spot and is worthless.
19. NEVER whistles, says "hell - oh", or blows into a mic when transmitting. (Use a dummy load instead.)
20. NEVER keys down on a frequency that is in use to adjust an antenna matching unit, and NEVER fails to identify when tuning up or testing.
21. NEVER slurs his or her call sign when identifying in voice.
22. NEVER "quick keys." On 'phone, always allow a pause of 0.5 to 1.0 seconds before PTT in order to allow another station break in. Then allow another 0.5 to 1.0 seconds before speaking. (This prevents cutting off the first few letters or words of your transmission.)
23. NEVER transmits using excessive power.
24. ALWAYS identifies at the end of each communication, and at least every ten minutes during a communication. (Part 97.119)
25. ALWAYS remains courteous and respectful of others on the air. (Even if the other operator is "a world class lid".)
Here are some transmissions that have actually been heard...during public service nets:
(After "doubling" on a net control station.): "Net? Is there a net on? What time is it? What frequency am I on?"
"BREAK!" (NCS says): "Go ahead". The "breaker" then asks: "Is the club breakfast this Saturday or next?"
"Uhh, in...Juarez!"
"Uhh, in...José."