Oakland County Amateur Radio Public Service Corp (ARPSC)
W8OAK Repeater – 146.900 MHz/100pl
Weekly Net 8 pm every Thursday
Hospital Radio Net – 7:30 pm last Thursday of month
W8OAK Repeater – 444.325 MHz/107.2pl
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 7 April 2010

            On 7 April 2010 at 7 pm, Larry Hornsby – KB8POD, Emergency Coordinator (EC) for the Oakland County ARPSC, called the meeting to order in the County Emergency Operations Center (EOC).  The order of business included:

(I). Report from the Emergency Coordinator (EC), Larry Hornsby – KB8POD:

            A number of ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Services) cards have expired.  To get a new card, see Jim Poehlman – K8ABZ. 

             The following Oakland County Skywarn classes will be held with reservations required.  Call 248-858-5300 or email to ocem@oakgov.com.   

Saturday, 17 April 2010, 10-12 pm, Oakland County Homeland Security Division at Executive Office Building

Saturday, 17 April 2010, 1-3 pm, Oakland County Homeland Security Division at Executive Office Building.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010, 6-8 pm at Bloomfield Township Fire Station, 1155 Exeter, Bloomfield Hills, 48302 – SE corner of Andover and Exeter, 1 block south of Long Lake Road.

Monday, 3 May 2010, 7-9 pm at Novi PD Training Center, 45125 W. Ten Mile Road, Novi, 48375.

Monday, 10 May 2010, 7-9 pm at the Lake Orion High School.

             Larry noted that two Oakland County Skywarn nets have already taken place this year.  One was with winds in excess of 60 mph.  He expects bad weather to keep everyone busy this year.   Skywarn nets will be using (1) condition green for thunderstorm or tornado watches, (2) condition yellow for thunderstorm warnings, (3) condition red for tornado warnings.  Check-ins are not requested for conditions yellow and red.   Do report any worthwhile severe weather that you observe.    Pre-nets may start early at home and weather announcements may precede a Skywarn net.

On Saturday, 10 April 2010, our ARPSC will have a SET (simulated test exercise).  Members will be asked to check in on 146.900 MHz/100pl beginning at 9 am. This will be followed by check-ins on a simplex frequency.  Finally, members will be asked if they can check in with a digital mode.  Ten meter band is expected to be used. 

Bill Bond – W8WRB, District Two AEC, is back in Troy Beaumont Hospital and may be there for the rest of this week. 

Shelby Township now has a law allowing only hands-free cell phone use in a moving car. 

 (II). Presentation on "Damage Assessment" presented by Joel Goldberg – W8HIU:

              A few years ago, Joel became involved with FEMA training through their Maryland sponsor and supported by Steve Iannucci and Gail Novak of Oakland County Homeland Security Division.    He developed a course of instruction called "Damage Assessment from Your Windshield" which can be used by our EOC and ARPSC.

             There are times Homeland Security Division will need someone to look over a problem or emergency location and report back what is going on.  These people are not to go into buildings or get into dangerous situations.  The purpose of Joel's presentation is to interest ARPSC members to become involved in this process.

             These volunteers will need training, come equipped, take on-call, and live near the area of interest.   The EOC would request them to observe and to give damage reports in their assigned area.  The State of Michigan requires damage reports before 72 hours.  Gail Novak and Steve Iannucci will be directing emergency operations at the EOC and will not be able to do the inspections themselves.  Once the information comes back, they will determine which local agencies can be called or if additional aid is needed.  

             Once the volunteer reaches the location of interest, he will fill out a damage assessment form developed by the State Police.  This form identifies several levels of damage: Level 0 – "Affected" means trees down, flooding, but not in houses, and damage which is cosmetic in repairs.  Level 1 - "Minor damage" means side of building pushed in, off foundation, etc.  Level 2 – "Major damage" means partially collapsed house, etc.  Level 3 – "Destroyed" means under water, building crushed, fallen down, etc.         

             Query: When an emergency event occurs, how is one selected?  Answer: Teams would be assigned to inspect a designated area.  They would already be properly equipped and trained.  This includes what and how to report.

             Query:  How are these teams coordinated with police?  Answer: Coordination comes from the home EOC who contacts local police, fire, or any other involved governmental agency.  On-site people would be informed about your presence and asked to cooperate.

 (III). Presentation on Recruiting Efforts by Jerry Begel – W9NPI:

             Jerry presented how he is recruiting amateur communication volunteers for hospital radios, sirens, Skywarn, local charity runs/walks, etc.   He is taking his presentations to amateur radio clubs in the area.

 (IV). Presentation on Digital Mode Primer by Joe Miller - KJ80:

             To get started with digital modes, one needs (1) a computer with a sound card, (2) HF transceiver, (3) digital interface such as a RIGblaster from West Mountain Radio or SignaLink from Tigertronics, (4) data cable, (5) software such as Ham Radio Deluxe or Digital Master 780.

             Digital data modes for HF frequencies include phase shift keying (i.e.PSK31), HF Packet, Hellschreiber, MT63, Clover, RTTY.  These modes take up a lot less bandwidth as compared to SSB (single sideband) transmission which averages 2000 to 2500 hertz. 

             PSK is the most popular data mode for QSO and other contests.   There are a number of different forms of phase shift keying.   For example, PSK31 uses a very small bandwith of 31 Hz, takes very little equipment, but does not use error control.  An allied mode such as QPSK31 does.

             Radioteletype (RTTY) had its commercial service begin in 1932 and was widely used in World War II.   It uses a 5-bit character "Baudot code" which is sequenced permitting only 32 different codes, not including unshifted and shifted states.    It has no error checking and the bandwidth is approximately 180 hertz.

             MT63 uses 64 different modulated tones to achieve higher speeds.  By doing this, it is able to include a large amount of extra data in its transmissions.  Reception can be understood even when 25% of the data is obliterated.  Forward error correction is possible, but weak signals are hard to copy.

             Olivia MFSK is designed to work with signals 10 decibels below noise floor and has forward error correction.  It uses a teletype protocol and involves a stream of ASCII (7-bit) characters being sent in blocks of 5 every two seconds.  This can run with 125, 250, 500, 1000, or 2000 hertz bandwidth.  Overall, it is slow, but very reliable.

             Query: Which digital mode is useful for state emergency operations?  Answer: Olivia MFSK is being looked at for the 80 meter band.   Larry Hornsby –KB8POD added that one facet of next Saturday's SET will be to find out which mode(s) works best. 

 (V). Presentation on the Newest Membership Application Form by Jim Poehlman -  K8ABZ:

             Once the member completes the membership application/renewal, hit the transmit button.  If certain items are missed or not done correctly, the program will direct one back to the problem area.  When the transmit button passes on your information, a message will come up asking the member to identify one of several selections.  This directs your computer to pick the correct email program to send out the .pdf file; i.e. Hotmail, Microsoft Outlook, etc.   Jim recommends that this information be saved on your computer. 

             Software program for the membership application/renewal has new improvements.  As one member explained to this secretary after the meeting, the application differs from buying something over the internet.    Online purchases go to a dedicated 24-7 computer at the other end which performs certain actions.  On the other hand, the ARPSC application performs certain actions before sending a finalized version to several email addresses.  To do this requires an Adobe program on the member's computer.  This allows it to be saved and be sent as a .pdf file.   This saves a lot of work and bypasses the need for a secretary. 

(VI). Report from Steve Iannucci, Homeland Security Division – Oakland County:

             Security is reducing the number of people who can access the EOC meeting room.   Locks have or will be changed and ARPSC members can only use this room for monthly meetings.  Classes can be held in the adjacent room with the amateur radios.  Laptop teaching presentations will be possible to a screen in this room.  Also, Steve is worried that members might make unfair or negative comments on Facebook, etc.  Be careful what you write because such comments can be very damaging and time consuming to defend. 

 (VII). AEC-Management Team Reports:

             (1) Report from Lloyd Suter – N2NGQ, Administration:

             Lloyd is putting together a call list of members for emergencies.  Larry Hornsby – KB8POD added that if anything happens in a specific location, volunteer members living near that area may be called. 

             (2). Report from (AEC) Randy Love – WF5X, Repeaters and Computers:

             The repeater has a problem whereby the audio output slowly deceases in volume.  This appears to be at one or two receive sites.

            (3). Report from (AEC) Barry Kaufman – WD8JWM, Library:

            Some operational manuals have missing information.  Barry is now filling in missing sections.   He is also replacing older manuals with the newest ones.  

            (4). Report from (AEC) Michael Smith – N8GUZ, Training:

            Several classes will be scheduled shortly. 

 (VIII). Specialty Officer/Coordinator Reports:

             (1). Club Liaisons on Local Clubs: A volunteer is needed for this position.

             (2). Report from Jerry Begel – N9NPI, Hospital Communication Teams:

             The March 2010 Hospital Net had 14 check-ins.  Two forgot and plans are being made to have them make up the missed session.  When they check into the regular weekly net, they can make their transmission with the mobile group.    Jerry will be recruiting hospital net operators at the 12 April 2010 USECA meeting.  He is waiting for a date to visit the L'anse Creuse Amateur Radio Club.     

             (3). Report for Murray Scott – KE8UM, Logistics:

             Radios on the south side of the main console are hooked to antenna mounted on the top of the tower.  The north side console radios are hooked to an antenna at the bottom of tower.  This could make a difference in communications when using a simplex frequency.   Mike VanderVeer, Net Manager recommended that any change be made after the 10 April 2010 SET.  Murray's inspection of cables and antennas is not yet complete.

             (4). National Traffic System: A volunteer is needed for this position.          

             (5). Report from Maurice Davidson – K8SJD, News from National Weather Service (NWS):

             The NWS – White Lake has issued 29 warnings last year with the average warning time being 21 hours.  There were no Michigan tornados in March. 

             (6). Report from Gary Sklar – K8IKW, Events and Dates of Interest:

 Saturday, 17 April 2010 – Milford Swap and Shop - Website at http://www.qsl.net/w8ydk.

 14-16 May 2010 Dayton Hamvention - Website at http://www.hamvention.org.  The Arrow Club of Ann Arbor is again taking a bus to Dayton on Saturday.  The bus leaves at 4 am and returns the same day.  Tickets are available from George Schutte – K8GEO.  

             (7). Report from Mike Nebel – N3BEL, Sirens:

             The March 2010 Siren test had 60 sirens checked, which is 25% of the total.  Thanks go to all who participated.  The next test will be Wednesday, 14 April 2010 on Severe Weather Awareness Week.   

             (8). Report from Joe Miller – KJ8O, Special Events:

             Michigan QSO Party begins on Saturday 17 April 2010 and covers 10-80 meters CW and SSB.  Volunteers are needed, including help to set up equipment beginning at 9 am.  Contest starts at 12 noon.  Here is a chance to see and help setup a G5RV antenna.  Our gang won the "EOC" category in 2008 and 2009, but competition is expected to be much harder this year.                      

             (10). Report from Gary Bouwkamp – N8HMP, W8OAK Web Master:

Boundaries for siren coverage have been changed and can be found on the arpsc.com website.  Application (renewal) form has also been updated on the website and now can be used. 

 (11). Report from Mike Vanderveer – KD8ATK, Net Manager:

 (IX). From Larry Hornsby – KB8POD, EC

             Larry states that he is stepping down from EC due to family needs.  As of tonight, a search for a new EC will begin.

 Respectfully submitted,

James R. Murphy, N8SML

Secretary, Oakland County, ARPSC

8 April 2010

Corrected and approved by Larry Hornsby 9 April 2010