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 4 May 2011

            On 4 May 2011 at 7 pm, Jim Richards - AB8JR, 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), Jim Richards - AB8JR:

            Steve Iannucci – Homeland Security Division, Oakland County is at a conference this week.   John Fleming – K8UP District 2 Michigan Section ARPSC Emergency Coordinator, is absent because of a medical problem.  

            Nationwide exercises are scheduled the same week as the Dayton Hamvention (20-22 May 2011).   Michigan’s role is still uncertain, but John Fleming – K8UP recently indicated that Oakland County might have a call check.   Jim will handle this since many members will be at Dayton.    Lenawee County will be setting up a portable hospital as part these exercises.   During the Dayton event, Oakland County ARPSC net operations will be assisted by Mark Shaw – K8ED.

            There is nothing new to report on House Bill 607.   In February 2011, this bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and included auction of 420-440 and 450-470 MHz bands.  Our ARRL immediately began efforts to get it changed.  According to the ARRL, the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council also agreed that the bill, as presented, needed to be amended.*

* (from www.arrl.org: 04/01/2011 ARRL in Action: What Have We Been Up to Lately?  ARRL Members Respond to HR 407)

            Steve Iannucci – Oakland County Homeland Security Division commented to Jim that no specific threats were coming out on a Federal level.  However, everyone should remain extra vigilant.    Any events might be local.

            Currently, we are putting together an Oakland County ARPSC membership database and hope to have it finished in 30 days.    Members need keep us updated on email notifications, addresses, and phone numbers.   Definition of “active member” is still being debated.

            At our last meeting, we learned about the use of radar in weather reporting.  Using this, Jim reviewed certain aspects of the latest tornado outbreak.   Near Bologna, Arkansas, weather screen radar showed a huge wedge-shaped tornado reflectively with a clearly visible “hook.”    This storm already had the highest risk rating and a very big size.   Doppler velocity was twice the storm size indicating potential large debris.  At one point in time, Jim counted 12 different tornados in 8-10 counties with one staying on the ground for 60 miles.   Randy Love – WF5X added that one supercell was tracked for 384 miles beginning in Mississippi and ending in North Carolina.  

Already this year, there have been more tornados than normal.    Michigan may not expect as many or as bad, but one never knows.  March 20, 1976 marked the 25th Anniversary of the West Bloomfield F4 Tornado.  F-4 relates to wind speeds of 207-260 mph and NOAA says they are “capable of leveling well constructed houses, throwing cars, and projecting large missiles.” **   This tornado began about 13 Mile and Halsted Roads and moved east-north-east to about half mile east of Middlebelt and W. Maple Roads.   Jim arrived on this scene and found a garage of one home sliced away, a large structural truss speared into another home’s bathroom, and a Winnebago Motor Home lying on a bank roof. 

** http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dtz/wbtor.php

 (IV). AEC-Management Team Reports:

             (1). Report from (AEC) Randy Love – WF5X, Operations:

             A list of equipment needs was submitted to the county.  

             Randy reported on the results of the Michigan QSO Party on 16-17 April 2011.   Oakland County ARPSC had 10 volunteers working the EOC category in both CW and phone.   There were 1022 QSO contacts, 71/83 Michigan counties contacted and 24 overseas dx contacts.  Band conditions were excellent this year with exception of 80 meters.  Equipment included a Yaesu FT-5000 and ICOM IC-746 Pro, two G5RV antennas and a dipole.   Randy states this should give us our most points ever.   Contesting improves our communication skills for disaster and emergency situations.

             Jim Richards – AB8JR asked how many hams might be interested in a Field Day Operation.   This year, the field site could be outside the EOC.               

             (2). Report from Jim Richards – W8JJR, SkyWarn

             Jim reports that there are two new D-Star digital repeaters in our area: 145.130 and 444.2635 MHz.   Both have the call sign of K8DXA and its antenna is in Auburn Hills, Michigan.  Website is https://k8dxa.ham-radio-op.net.  This secretary can confirm 145.130 digital is up and working and coming in full strength at his home.  

             So far, weather has not been bad enough for Oakland County Skywarn to activate.    Both Jim Richards – AB8JR and W8JJR are recruiting staff for 3 teams to send into the field for emergencies.   

             (4). Report from Mike Vander Veer – KD8ATK, Net Operations:

             New net control operators are needed for EOC operations.   Jim Richards – AB8JR states additional staff could run several nets at the same time.   

             (5). Report from (AEC) Michael Smith – N8GUZ, Training/VE Testing:

             Query: Is the Oakland County ARPSC planning VE testing?   Answer: No.  There are enough area clubs doing this already. 

             Mike encourages the membership to take time to review the operation of their radios.  Sometimes settings need to be change or corrected.   Reviewing this now could speed up solving radio problems during an emergency.   Also, Winter Go-kits should be updated to summer versions.  Medication expiration dates need to be checked.    

             Jim Richards – AB8JR states that some ham retail stores are selling Nifty Mini Manuals for some transceivers.    KC8UNJ now has a free software program for Wouxun radios to improve programming performance.     This is found at http://www.kc8unj.com.  The software improves edit/move/cut/copy/paste and other features.  KC8UNJ does warn that his software is used at one’s own risk.   Care needs to be used because there is a software meltdown report.  

             (6). Report from Murray Scott – KE8UM, Logistics

             The EOC’s “Traffic-Light” for Skywarn needs a new switch.  Murray warns members that extended use of cross band repeat can cause a transceiver to overheat and burn up.  This is because most radios lack sufficient heat sink capability. 

 (V). Specialty Officer/Coordinator Reports:

            (1). Report from Larry Hornsby – KB8POD for Mike Nebel – N3BEL, Sirens:

            Because Mike is out of town, Larry Hornsby will handle the next siren test on Saturday, 7 May 2011.   During the siren test, Homeland Security asks us to check if a siren can be heard outside the schools.  Important is whether a noisy group of kids on the playground can hear it.    For inside alerts, a few schools still have old Plectron radios for weather alerts.

(2). Report from Paul Hatfield – KE8UD, Hospital Communication Teams:

            Sixteen hospitals reported into the last Hospital net on Thursday, 28 April 2011.   Paul now has a new computer to program hospital radios. 

            (3). Report from Maurice Davidson – K8SJD, National Weather Service (NWS) Liaison:

            Morrie attended last month’s MICON-NWS meeting and reported their findings.

(VI). New and Other Items of Interest – Events Coming Up:

             (1). Disaster Preparedness Planning Class.  Morrie Davidson – K8SJD reports Southfield Emergency Management is offering a free disaster preparedness class on Saturday 14 May 2011 from 10 am to noon in the Southfield Public Library, 26300 Evergreen Road.  To register, call Southfield Emergency Management at 248-796-5990.   Voicemail messages will be accepted if callers leave their name and telephone number.  

             (2). TourdeCure.  Jeff Albrecht – N8WR needs 13-15 radio operators for TourdeCure on the morning of 11 June 2011 in Brighton, Michigan.  To sign up, email N8WR@arrl.net.   Volunteers will need a 2 meter or dual band mobile radio with 25 watts minimum, and a magnetic mount antenna.   SAG Wagon operators will need to move their radios with a power plug into SAG vehicles    Start and finish is at the Brighton High School.     Randy Love – W5FX, Operations states Jeff has permission to use the W8OAK repeater for this event and everyone should stand clear if they hear his group on the repeater.

             (3). GMARC Trunk Sale: Don Ledwith – K7SDF, reports GMARC is having a Trunk Swap at the Trinity Lutheran Church Parking Lot on Van Dyke Avenue and Hall Road in Utica, Michigan on 14 May 2011.   A raffle drawing will be held at 11 am.  It was reported at the meeting this date had been moved up from 7 May 2011 – which is still shown on their website. 


Respectfully submitted,

James R. Murphy, N8SML

Secretary, Oakland County, ARPSC

5 May 2011