Oakland County Amateur Radio Public Service Corp (ARPSC)
            W8OAK Repeaters – 146.900 MHz/100pl & 444.325 MHz/107.2pl
                        Weekly 2 meter net 8 pm every Thursday
                        Hospital Radio Net – 7:30 pm last Thursday of Month
            Packet 144.950 MHz/1200 baud, connects made with Oakxxx or
                        Callsign-# to OAKBBS (W8OAK-3) with nodes at
                        OAKNOD (N8NM-1 Pontiac – most coverage),
                        OAKEOC (W8OAK-7 at EOC) or K8DTX-7 (White Lake)
            APRS – 144.390 MHz
            Web Site: http://www.arpsc.com

Meeting Minutes for 3 April 2013

            On 3 April 2013 at 6:45 pm, Jim Richards - AB8JR, Emergency Coordinator (EC) for the Oakland County ARPSC, called the Annual Dinner Meeting to order in the County Executive Office Building.  The order of business began with a presentation on the Civil Air Patrol and concluded with brief business announcements:

(I). Presentation on Civil Air Patrol Emergency Services by Lt. Col. Mike Saile, Major Jim Gregory, and Major Shawn Wyant.

            The first Civil Air Patrol (CAP) began in the late 1930’s and assisted in World War II missions.  In 1946, the Civil Air Patrol was incorporated as a benevolent, nonprofit organization.  In 1948, Congress made CAP an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force.  Their primary missions are aerospace education, cadet programs, and emergency services. 

            According to their fact sheet, Civil Air Patrol emergency service conducts 90% of inland search and rescue operations in the U.S. through the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and other agencies.  In addition, they (1) assist in disaster relief such as Hurricane Sandy and Katrina, in part by making fly-over photographs of affected areas, (2) aid in humanitarian services such as flying blood to communities, (3) assist in counterdrug actions, and (4) give Air Force support, such as light transport, communication support, and low-altitude route surveys.     Because CAP is a volunteer service, costs for their missions are greatly reduced.   In Michigan, “406” on-board plane beacons have reduced the need for CAP assistance, and now CAP finds itself increasingly involved with aerial photography.

            Communications for CAP are different than found for amateur radio.  The FCC governs ham radio, but CAP is governed by the NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Agency).  Ham radios are not compliant with CAP radios, both in frequencies and equipment.  CAP uses private DOD frequencies which can only be used by CAP members.   Radio transceivers include EF Johnson 5300 mobile for VHF, EF Johnson 5100 handheld for VHF, and Micom 3F for HF.  For HF needs, a maximum distance of 150-250 miles is all that is needed.   In Michigan, CAP has repeaters in Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Battle Creek, Cadillac, Alpena, Gaylord, Iron Mountain, and Escanaba and can set up temporary ones when needed.  Licenses for CAP radio communications require an online course, an exam passing grade, and a hands-on proficiency test.  An example of CAP call letters is Major Shawn Wyant’s “Red Robin 545” or “RR545.”   Additional communication specialists are needed.

            Questions included:

Are CAP members required to deploy at every call?  Answer – They go when possible, probably the same as ARPSC members.

What is the maximum age for members?  Answer - There is no actual age limit.  Oldest pilot is 80 years old. 

How does one coordinate communications between CAP and amateur radio?  Answer - either through the State Police or have a CAP imbedded with the ham service.   

Are hams allowed to communicate over CAP frequencies?  Answer - No.  An exception might be if a CAP representative is present with the amateur radio specialist.       

 (II). Announcements from the Emergency Coordinator (EC), Jim Richards - AB8JR:

 Fifty three Oakland County sirens were covered on the first siren test this year (2 March 2013).  The second Siren Test of the year will be held Wednesday, April 10 at 1:00 pm (per 2013 Siren Test Calendar).   This is a special test in recognition of Severe Weather Awareness Week (6 – 13 April 2013).  This date is different than previously reported in the minutes.  Please note that there will not be a siren test on Saturday 6 April 2013.   Volunteers are asked to coordinate coverage with their subnet leader before heading out to a siren.  Our new siren coordinator is Dave Roberts – KD8RDG who will be contacting the subnet coordinators with further information.

            Michigan QSO Party will be Saturday, 20 April 2013 and our ARPSC is tentatively planning to take part at the EOC.   Anyone interested in assisting, please contact Operations Manager, Pete Gladysz – K8PGJ.    An additional CW operator would be most helpful to add CW contest points.

            The Saturday, 27 April 2013 Stimulated Test Exercise is still in the works.  A conflicting problem may be an EC meeting in Lansing on the same date.  Jim will send out an email to members when he has more information.

            Emergency management grant money was available to communities who opted out of county emergency arrangements.   These are called “390 Communities” and include Southfield, Birmingham, Farmington Hills, and Bloomfield Township.  This grant money enabled them to purchase two or three ham handhelds and mobile radios.  ARPSC member liaisons are needed for Birmingham and Farmington Hills.   First priority for those interested in the liaison positions will  be given to those who are residents of the subject city.  Current liaisons are (1) Marsha Fleming - N8FE, for Southfield, and (2) Phil Ross –WB8NXP for Bloomfield Township.  Their primary contacts will be fire department related.  

Respectfully submitted,
James R. Murphy, N8SML
Secretary, Oakland County, ARPSC
4 April 2013