Idaho Amateur Radio
Emergency Service
   
District 3 Activities - Table Of Contents

Idaho ARES - District 3 Exercises
30 Jan 2017 - District 3 Simplex Exercise

The exercise will occur instead of the normally scheduled District 3 VHF/UHF Net on Monday evening, so - no net on January 30.

New This Exercise:

Simplifying the frequency plan by substituting Ada and Canyon County frequencies for the Upper and Lower Treasure Valley frequencies we have been using.

Here are the details.

We will continue to use use Zulu (Coordinated Universal) Time. We will continue taking check-ins and GYRB reports from the Ham community, even if they are not ARES members. We will continue with scheduling the beginning time of the local and command nets.

The Time Plan:

Please use Zulu time during the exercise for practice. Please remember that Monday evening in Idaho is Tuesday morning in Zulu time.

Net schedule:

Scenario and the Big Picture:

An event has occurred severe enough to possibly trigger an ARES activation by served agencies, and normal communications are down. ARES members are gathering on the air to determine who is available to respond if an activation is requested. This is known as a Resource Net.

In case of an actual event, we would be spending hours, days or weeks on the air in service of our communities. Other types of nets may be added as volunteers are assigned duties, and formal traffic is passed. Once initial check-ins are established on a resource net, the nets can be held on a schedule, typically once an hour, for county EC's to keep track of resource availability. It is best practice, once checked in to a recurring Resource Net, to check out with Net Control before leaving the net. This exercise simulates the first step of contacting each other and establishing communications with a command net. This establishes the basis for serving our counties, state or region efficiently, effectively and where we are needed.

Hourly Rotating Net Schedules:

A typical net schedule may be Command net at top of each hour, local net at the half hour. This gives operators a break between nets and a chance to gather reportable observations or time to perform a task between nets. This also leaves the frequencies free for emergency traffic or station to station message passing.

When passing a list of stations to the command net, it is not necessary to compose an ICS-213 Message Form. Passing the name of the local net, then call signs, GYRB and traffic status for each station is sufficient and efficient. It is suggested to collect local check-ins on an ID ARES Dist 3 ICS-217A form our Idaho ARES Handbook or a similar form. A notepad will also work.

As a side note - there are no ICS forms designed for this specific purpose. We adapted an ICS-217 form to organize Net check-ins and called it an Idaho ARES District 3 ICS-217A. This is not an official FEMA form. Use the fields that are useful to you. There is not a GYRB column, so I record GYRB status in the margin.

Zulu Time (Coordinated Universal Time):

During Daylight Savings Time, add 6 hours to Mountain Daylight time. Remember the Zulu date becomes tomorrow at 18:00 (6:00pm) MDT.

Add 7 hours to Mountain Standard time. Remember the Zulu date becomes tomorrow at 17:00 (5:00 pm) MST.

Date Time Group (DTG)

The date/time group format used by the Idaho Office of Emergency Management is YYYYMMDD HHMM ZULU.

They can use this code to uniquely identify messages in their logs. You may see this format in messages coming from IEOM. Example: 20160816/1906 ZULU means 2016, August, 16 at 19:06 Zulu. The date and time may be divided up into separate fields on some ICS forms. If you are aware of the date/time group format, you can understand it if you see it.


TIP: Have a battery operated clock in your shack that displays 24 hour Zulu time. It is even better if it shows the date. I wear a wrist watch with a 2nd time zone display so I always have one with me.


Accept check-ins and reports from all Hams

Following lessons learned during Cascadia Rising 2016, IOEM wishes to develop methods to utilize every Ham in the state to obtain ground truth reports for areas affected by disasters or events. The Military Affiliate Radio Service (MARS) is developing a similar capability. ARES groups are well positioned to help them facilitate this communication path. We are opening up our district exercises to be inclusive of all Hams, to help them learn which frequencies will be active in their areas during disasters. They may have useful information. Lets welcome them and help them with the technical details. You may have to ask them a few questions to determine their GYRB status.

GYRB Status:

You will find GYRB in Chapter 12 of the ARES Operator Guidebook. It is used for resource planning, and assignment relief or resupply.

You report your color status when checking in to the resource net.


GYRB STATUS
GREEN Station is good. Availability in excess of 24 hours at present location.
YELLOW Station is conditional. Availability 6 to 24 hours at present location.
RED Station is marginal. Availability less than 3 hours hours at present location.
BLACK No check-in during last reporting period.

Exercise Process:

Note: See Ch 5 in Guidebook for details on starting the local nets, and Chapter 12 for GYRB definitions.

The Rules:

Safety Plan:

If there are active thunderstorms in District 3, we will cancel the exercise.

Use your best judgment and stay safe.

ICS-205 INCIDENT RADIO COMMUNICATIONS PLAN


ICS-205 INCIDENT RADIO COMMUNICATIONS PLAN
1. Incident Name:
IDAHO ARES DISTRICT 3 SIMPLEX COMEX
 
2. Date/Time Prepared:
Date: 25 JAN 2017
Time: 1800Z
3. Operational Period: Date From: 30 JAN 2017 Date To: 30 JAN 2017
Time From: 0230Z Time To:
   
4. Basic Radio Channel Use:
Zone
Grp.
Ch # Function Channel Name/
Trunked Radio
System Talkgroup
Assignment RX Freq
N or W
RX Tone/
NAC
TX Freq
N or W
TX Tone/
NAC
Mode
(A,D, or M)
Remarks
  1   ADA CO.   146.410   146.410   A SIMPLEX
  2   BOISE CO.   146.540   146.540   A SIMPLEX
  3   BOISE CO.   145.310   144.710 100.0 A KA7ERV REPEATER
  4   CANYON CO.   146.510   146.510   A SIMPLEX
  5   GEM CO.   146.490   146.490   A SIMPLEX
  6   ELMORE CO.   146.550   146.550   A SIMPLEX
  7   OWYHEE CO.   146.430   146.430   A SIMPLEX
  8   PAYETTE CO.   146.550   146.550   A SIMPLEX
  9   VALLEY CO.   147.530   147.530   A SIMPLEX
  10   WASHINGTON CO.   147.510   147.510   A SIMPLEX
  11   HF COMMAND NET PRIMARY   3929 kHz LSB   3929 kHz LSB   A SIMPLEX
  12   HF COMMAND NET ALTERNATE   3879 kHz LSB   3879 kHz LSB   A SIMPLEX
  13   GUARD FREQUENCY   147.940   146.340 100.0 A K7BSE REPEATER
  14                  
  15                  
  16                  
  17                  
  18                  
  19                  
  20                  
5. Special Instructions:
SEE IDAHO ARES WEB-SITE. REF: ACTIVITIES MENU, DISTRICT 3.
6. Prepared by: Name: DAN WOODALL Position/Title: IDAHO ARES DISTRICT 3 EC Signature: DAN WOODALL
ICS-205, Page 1 Date/Time (mm/dd/yy): 01/25/2017

Frequency lists are found in Chapter 4 of the ARES Guidebook on the IdahoARES.info website. An updated guidebook is now available on IdahoARES.info.

What to do ahead of the Exercise:

What to do After The Exercise:

The Reasons for Simplex Methods

During small events, like Skywarn activations, repeater systems are available to us and usable. During a significant area disaster, regular Hams will be using the popular open repeaters heavily. They will not be very usable to us for emergency communications. Also Ham systems go down during disasters just like everyone else. Not all repeaters may survive a disaster. If we do not develop the skills to work around repeater down situations, we will not be very useful. When we are good at simplex, we can easily communicate in easier environments.

Using simplex methods to activate and dispatch ARES members in a mountainous ten county district is not trivial. We need a good system and some practice.

We are practicing as a district, but the skills and processes transfer to county and state communication scenarios as well.

Thank you, have fun, and stay safe.

Dan


Contact information is available only to Idaho ARES members who are currently logged into the web-site. If you are not seeing the contact information for Dan Woodall (N7DKW), please log into the web-site and then navigate back to this page. If you are not an Idaho ARES member, you can join Idaho ARES (FREE) by applying on the registration page by clicking HERE.


Idaho ARES - District 3 NETs
District 3 Weekly VHF / UHF Station Readiness NET Frequencies

The Idaho ARES District 3 weekly VHF/FM NET is held each Monday night at 2030 hours local (Mountain) time on the following frequencies:


ICS-205 INCIDENT RADIO COMMUNICATIONS PLAN
1. Incident Name:
IDAHO ARES DISTRICT 3 WEEKLY NET
 
2. Date/Time Prepared:
Date: 25 JAN 2017
Time: 2134Z
3. Operational Period: Date From: MONDAY (ON-GOING) Date To:
Time From: 2030 MOUNTAIN Time To:
   
4. Basic Radio Channel Use:
Zone
Grp.
Ch # Function Channel Name/
Trunked Radio
System Talkgroup
Assignment RX Freq
N or W
RX Tone/
NAC
TX Freq
N or W
TX Tone/
NAC
Mode
(A,D, or M)
Remarks
  1   K7BSE   146.940   146.340 100.0 A ISRA
  2   K7ZZL   443.300   438.300 110.9 A Dear Point ARC
  3   KC7MCC No Business Mt.   147.020   147.620 100.0 A CIARC
  4   KC7MCC Brundage Mt.   146.900   146.300 123.0 A CIARC
  5   KA7ERV Pilot Pk.   145.310   144.710 100.0 A KA7ERV
  6                  
  7                  
  8                  
  9                  
  10                  
5. Special Instructions:
SEE IDAHO ARES WEB-SITE. REF: ACTIVITIES MENU, DISTRICT 3.
6. Prepared by: Name: Position/Title: Signature:
ICS-205, Page 1 Date/Time (mm/dd/yy): 01/25/2017

NOTE: The K7ZZL 70cm repeater component of this network is currently out of service, and the loss of this critical component also results in the loss of the ability to participate in this NET while using the CIARC repeaters at No Business Mt. or Brundage Mt., or the KA7ERV repeater that is located on Pilot Peak in Boise Co.


District 3 Net Coverage Workaround

All,

It has come to my attention that some members are not able to participate in the Monday night net due to loss of repeaters and coverage area.

Since simplex methods are too time consuming for our information and training net, we might try another strategy. Technology can provide a method for limited participation for those who cannot work the repeater network directly.

After all, Emergency Communicators will use the best communications means available to them for the task at hand, even if it is not using amateur radio.

The ISRA club has set up internet streaming of the 146.94 repeater. That provides a way for you to hear us.

Click the here to listen to the live Broadcastify audio stream via the ISRA Boise web-site.

Check ins and traffic can be sent to N7DKW (see contact info box below) fairly early in the net for inclusion of your call sign in the log, and to have your announcements read over the air.

Hope it helps,

Dan Woodall, N7DKW

January 12, 2017


Contact information is available only to Idaho ARES members who are currently logged into the web-site. If you are not seeing the contact information for Dan Woodall (N7DKW), please log into the web-site and then navigate back to this page. If you are not an Idaho ARES member, you can join Idaho ARES (FREE) by applying on the registration page by clicking HERE.


A brief explanation of the repeater linked network that is used to support Idaho ARES District 3 NET operations follows. The status of those repeaters listed above that are full-time participants in the Central Idaho Amateur Radio Club linked repeater network can be viewed by clicking here.


COLOR DESCRIPTION
RED Signal paths that are depicted in red represent the Central Idaho Amateur Radio Club repeater netework, and show link paths that are available full-time.
AQUA Signal paths in aqua depict a link path that are enabled by commanded or by operation of a command scheduler according to a regularly scheduled event, such as the Idaho ARES District 3 Station Readiness NET. When enabled, communications between the Boise K7BSE repeater, operating on 146.940 MHz -Offset 100.0 Hz CTCSS, and the Snowbank Mountain K7ZZL repeater, operating on 443.300 MHz +Offset 110.9 Hz CTCSS, are possible.
VIOLET The signal paths in violet is established via a remote base and is enabled in the same manner as those signal paths depicted in aqua. When enabled, communications between the CIARC Repeater Network (i.e. repeaters linked in red or orange) and the Snowbank Mountain K7ZZL repeater, operating on 443.300 MHz +Offset 110.9 Hz CTCSS, are possible.
ORANGE Signal paths that are depicted in orange are commanded connections that are only available in support of emergency communications services, or in support of public service communications when prior agreement has been obtained. The signal path is enabled only by specified control operators within the CIARC or KA7ERV repeater organizations, and requires either prior agreement (in support of public service communications) or an immediate need in support of emergency communications. This signal path will not be enabled for casual use.
AQUA VIOLET
When both the aqua and violet signal paths are enabled, communications between the Boise K7BSE repeater, operating on 146.940 MHz -Offset 100.0 Hz CTCSS, the Snowbank Mountain K7ZZL repeater, operating on 443.300 MHz +Offset 110.9 Hz CTCSS, and the Central Idaho Amateur Radio Club repeater network are possible.

The Central Idaho Amateur Radio Club web-site provides a tutorial on station operation through a linked repeater network, and explains why the District 3 NET script has an announcement regarding waiting for the repeaters to come-up and allowing repeaters to drop. Failure to adhere to the instruction provided in this article can result in loss of information on the beginning of the transmission or the timing out of the repeaters (a loss of all information). This tutorial is available by clicking here (This article was revised on 18 September 2015 to include a discussion on avoiding timing out of the repeater transmitters, and is considered to be vital information for NET control stations).

It is highly recommended that Net control operators become familiar with the material discussed in this article. This material is also deemed useful for all other participating stations.


District 3 Weekly VHF / UHF Station Readiness NET - The Importance of Brevity & Accuracy

Linking of the K7BSE repeater to repeaters north of Treasure Valley is performed automatically and according to a schedule. Linking is established 5-minutes prior to the scheduled start of the NET. Linking is disabled 15-minutes after the NET is scheduled to terminate.

The scheduled period of operation for the NET is from 2030 to 2100 local time. Therefore, linking is established at 2025 local time and terminated at 2115 local time.

In order for critical traffic to be able to be passed during the scheduled NET operational time period where linking is enabled, and to enable stations north of the Treasure Valley to participate in any exercise operations, it is vital that participating stations strive to maintain efficient operations. As an Idaho ARES District 3 operator, you can assist in that regard by considering the following recommendations and integrating these into your operating practices:

Your operating habits and procedures do make a difference. Emergency communications rely heavily on both accuracy and brevity. All NET operations are an opportunity to build these skills. We appreciate your assistance in striving to have formal NET operations conclude before linking is automatically disabled.

IMPORTANT:

The links from Treasure Valley repeaters to northern repeaters (i.e. Valley County, Boise County, Adams County, southern Idaho County) will terminate at 2115, regardless whether the formal portion of the NET has been completed. Once the links are terminated, stations north are unable to hear vital traffic or participate in NET exercises. One station inserting a small delay may not result in loss of communications for northern stations, but many stations inserting even a minuscule delay will result in accumulating a significant delay across several stations, and has resulted in loss of linking (loss of communications) prior to the close of NET. Please be aware that the duration of your communications may adversely impact the ability of other stations to participate in NET operations.


REFERENCE MATERIAL AVAILABLE:

If you never received mentoring with regard to the Amateur Radio service, or came from another radio service, an operators manual has been prepared by the Central Idaho Amateur Radio Club that covers physical protocols of operating a radio, a brief introduction to propagation on VHF/UHF, repeater operating protocols, the language of Amateur Radio, and brief introductions to other facets of Amateur Radio. This reference is available by clicking here.


District 3 Weekly VHF / UHF Station Readiness NET - Early Completion of the NET

If NET operations are concluded prior to 2115 local time, the links between the Treasure Valley and northern repeaters (i.e. Valley County, Boise County, Adams County, southern Idaho County) will remain established until 2115 local time. Any QSO that occurs from the close of NET and up to 2115 hours will tie up all repeaters in the linked network, and not just the local repeater being used for the QSO.

As a courtesy to other repeater operators and users, in the event of early completion of NET operations, please operate in a manner that allows a control operator to break in to request time to drop the links manually.

Please be aware that the combination of use of an audio delay board and standard repeater muting in response to DTMF key entry may not result in hearing the efforts of control stations to drop the links. If a request is made to allow for time to manually drop the links, please provide an adequate amount of time to invoke repeater control and verify that the control operation was successful. Stations re-engaging in QSO while control operations are being attempted can cause control operations to fail, and this unnecessarily causes the control operator to have to make additional attempts at control, which can only further delay the pending QSO.

Your cooperation in allowing control operations to be concluded is greatly appreciated.

District 3 Weekly VHF / UHF Station Readiness NET - NET CONTROL SCRIPT

NCS Notes:

Please read this several times before you try to use it. Text in Red is the actual script, Yellow is is information for you and [BREAK] means un-key the repeater at this point and catch your breath. It takes a few seconds for the repeater(s) to fully drop, so wait for it.

In case of repeater failure go to the District 3 Area Simplex Frequency of 147.470 and continue with the net. If repeater failure forces you to move to simplex, please be sure to loosen your squelch, and to periodically request relays in order to accommodate stations outside of your immediate simplex coverage. Do the best you can with the reduced coverage.

This is just a guideline to help you move through the net in an organized manner. Improvising is OK, and is even necessary during the check-in portions. Have fun and enjoy running the net.

This NET script is revision 20151221.


At 20:25 PM Mountain Time, make the following announcement on the net frequency.

The District 3, Southwest Idaho ARES Net will start in 5 minutes. Stations that need to make an urgent call, please do so at this time. A clear channel will be appreciated. This is (your call sign).


START OF NET 8:30 PM SHARP (2030 HOURS)

QST, QST, QST. This is (your call sign), net control station for the District 3, Southwest Idaho ARES net.

This net meets every Monday at 2030 hours Mountain Time, on this repeater system.

The system includes the 146.940 MHz repeater on Shaffer Butte, the 443.300 Megahertz repeater on West Mountain, the the 146.900 MHz repeater on Brundage Mountain, the 147.020 MHz repeater on No Business Mountain and the 145.310 MHz repeater on Pilot Peak.

In case of repeater failures, the net will continue on the District 3 Simplex Frequency of 147.470 MHz. Stations with emergency or priority traffic may break in at any time.

[BREAK]

This net tests the communications capabilities of ARES stations and provides a forum for emergency communications training, and information sharing.

All licensed amateur radio operators are invited to check-in, learn with us, and participate in net activities.

The requirements for ARES membership are an Amateur Radio License of any class, and a willingness to serve. You can find training links, resources, information, and register as a member, at IdahoARES.info.

[BREAK]

This net is a directed net so please address all transmissions to Net Control. Wait to be acknowledged by Net Control before proceeding and follow all instructions given by Net Control. All stations are requested to remain on frequency until the net closes.

After check-ins are complete, I will acknowledge stations with traffic.

Traffic includes formal messages, announcements, questions, comments, activities, training, and other items of interest to ARES members, or the general amateur community.

[BREAK]

CHECK-IN PORTION
Take as many or as few check-ins in a row as you are comfortable with. You only need to track call sign, county and traffic status. Record check ins on scratch paper, roster, computer or other means you are comfortable with.

This is (Your Call Sign); This net uses a roll call check-in by county. ARES members can check in when I call their county. Following the roll call of counties, I will ask for visitor check ins. All licensed amateurs are welcome to check in at that time. When checking in please give your call sign slowly using the International Telecommunications Union phonetic alphabet, and say if you have traffic for the net. As a reminder, please allow the repeater to drop completely, and key up a second before speaking to allow all links to engage.

[BREAK]

When checking in please say if you have traffic. As a reminder, please allow the repeater to drop completely, and key up a second before speaking to allow all links to engage.

[BREAK]     

I will now take ARES member check-ins from Ada County.

[BREAK]

I will now take ARES member check-ins from Adams County.

[BREAK]

I will now take ARES member check-ins from Boise County.

[BREAK]

I will now take ARES member check-ins from Canyon County.

[BREAK]

I will now take ARES member check-ins from Elmore County.

[BREAK]

I will now take ARES member check-ins from Gem County.

[BREAK]

I will now take ARES member check-ins from Owyhee County.

[BREAK]

I will now take ARES member check-ins from Payette County.

[BREAK]

I will now take ARES member check-ins from Valley County.

[BREAK]

I will now take ARES member check-ins from Washington County.

[BREAK]

Now taking late ARES member check-ins from any County. Please tell me your county when checking in.

[BREAK]


(VISITOR CHECK-INS)

This is (your call sign), Net Control Station for the Southwest Idaho ARES Weekly Net. I will now take visitor check-ins from any Amateur Operators on frequency. Please give your call sign slowly and phonetically. Please say say if you have traffic for the net.

[BREAK]

Procedure: Record the call signs, and traffic status. Note Stations with Traffic so you can call them later.

Are there any other check-ins for the Amateur Radio Emergency Service Net?

[BREAK]


TRAFFIC PORTION

Call each station that stated they had traffic in the order of check-in, and have them pass their traffic to the net.

This is (your call sign), Net Control for the Southwest Idaho ARES Weekly Net. We will now handle net traffic in order of check-ins.

Net control now recognizes traffic from (Call Sign of First Person with Traffic)

After the message is passed to the net, ask for any questions or comments on that traffic before proceeding to the next person with traffic.

Are there any questions or comments regarding this traffic?

Continue to next member with traffic.

Is there any other traffic at this time?

[BREAK]


FINAL CHECK-IN

This is (Your Call Sign), Net Control Station for the Southwest Idaho ARES Weekly Net; I will now take any final check-ins - late, missed or visitor. When checking in to the net, please give your call sign slowly and phonetically. Please say if you have traffic for the Net. Any stations wishing to check-in, please call now.”

[BREAK]     

Acknowledge the call signs you hear and record their data. Allow check-ins to pass any traffic they may have in the order received.


WRAP UP AND CLOSE NET

Are there are any questions, comments or further business for the Net tonight?

[BREAK]

If any response, acknowledge station and name as before.

If there are no further items to discuss, announce next week’s Net Control and Backup and then close the Net.

This is (Your Call Sign) closing the District 3, Southwest Idaho ARES weekly net. This net meets each Monday evening at 2030 hours Mountain Time on this repeater network. The Southwest Idaho ARES team wishes to thank you for checking in, and thanks to the ISRA, the CIARC, and to W7ZRQ, and KA7ERV for allowing use of the repeater network this evening.

The next scheduled net will be next Monday at 2030 hours Mountain Time.

The Southwest Idaho ARES team wishes to thank you for checking in, and thanks to the Idaho Society of Radio Amateurs, and the Central Idaho Amateur Radio Club for allowing use of the repeater network this evening.

The next scheduled net will be next Monday at 2030 hours Mountain Time.

This is (Your Call Sign), now returning the repeaters to general use. Thank you for your participation in the net.


THE PAPERWORK PORTION

Tally the ARES members checking in by county and put that information into your email report to the Emergency Coordinators and Net Control Operators. Please say if a training session occurred during the net. The EC’s can use this information in their monthly reports.

The email is our record of check-ins. The paper record does not need to be saved.

Thank you for calling the net!!!


Idaho ARES - District 3 Training

Currently, there is no district specific training scheduled for Idaho ARES District 3.