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 1 June 2011

            On 1 June 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 Steve Iannucci, Homeland Security Division – Oakland County:

            EOC was activated twice in the last week due to severe weather.    Thanks are given to all who supported us.  On a different topic, when something is needed or when problems arise, please come to us and not elsewhere in the county administration.   Steve is the point contact for the ARPSC.  

            Two Citizen Preparedness classes will be held on 4 June 2011 and are open to all.  Location is EOB (Executive Office Building), 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, Building 41 West, Waterford, Michigan.  Times are (1) 10 am to noon and (2) 1-3 pm.  To register, please contact the Oakland County Homeland Security Division at 248-858-5300.  

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

            Our District 2 Michigan Section ARPSC Emergency Coordinator, John Fleming – K8UP, is in the hospital with renal failure after a pacemaker insertion.  He is now on continuous bedside dialysis and shows improvement. 

            Last May 16-21, 2011, a national level FEMA exercise took place called the “New Madrid Exercise.”   This simulated a catastrophic earthquake in the central U.S. with participation by command posts, emergency operation centers, etc.   During the actual exercise, Michigan operations were mostly at State level and Oakland County was not activated.     

            A number of Oakland County ARPSC members went to the Dayton Hamvention in May.   Jim Richards AB8JR, Randy Love WF5X and others assisted Ed Griffin – W4KMA at the Wouxun table.   All 500 Wouxun radios brought to Dayton were sold.

            Upcoming events include:

(1) Saturday 4 June 2011- Oak Apple Run (Royal Oak, Mi.): Volunteers need to be present at 6:30 am.

(2) Saturday 11 June 2011 - ADA Tour de Cure (Brighton, Mi.): Contact Jeff Albrecht – N8WR at n8wr@arrl.net and be present by 6:30 am at the Brighton High School.

(3) Saturday 20 August 2011 - Woodward Dream Cruise (Berkley & Royal Oak, Mi.): Planning begins now, including the appointment of someone to lead amateur radio operations and signing up ham volunteers.  A minimum of 25 is needed.   Historically, local agencies seem to request ham volunteers a week or two before the event.    Steve Iannucci reports hams from other groups won’t be covered by liability insurance if they are not a member of the Oakland County ARPSC.

            Query: Does the Dream Cruise sign-up include the Berkley CruiseFest Parade (Friday evening 19 August 2011)?   Answer: Yes. 

            There is new activity on U.S. House Bill 607.  If passed, it will auction various spectrum bands including the 440 MHz ham band.     Lieberman and McCain have introduced Companion Bill S1040 which currently leaves out auctioning the amateur radio band.   They would hold the auction, if passed, not later than 31 January 2014 and it would consist of 1755 - 2180 MHz frequencies.   S1040 also states that licensees who continue to use 170-512 MHz bands will need to demonstrate changing or loosing their band would have an adverse impact to serve the community.  

            Jim is working hard to finish-up our emergency responder’s notification system.  Problems continue with ever-changing email addresses. 

            Recently, someone took an EchoLink issue (re: our repeater) to a high-level county executive without our knowledge.   EchoLink allows licensed amateur radio stations to connect to one another over the internet.    This caused much reaction because proper channels were by-passed.   Issues such as this should first go to Jim or Randy Love – WF5X for consideration, and if found favorable, they would take it to Steve Iannucci.  None of this was done. 

Randy Love –WF5X, ARPSC Operations Chief, states EchoLink is not advisable at this time because it doesn’t fit our needs and we don’t have enough volunteers to run such an operation.  Computer disconnects require greater on-the-spot operator control, and causes increased complexity for the repeater “voter.”   This “voter” chooses which of several incoming signals to retransmit.   Jim sums the problem up - bring it up to group first!    Murray Scott – KE8UM mentioned that the Hazel Park ARC has a somewhat similar IRLP on 443.225 MHz/107.2pl.  The main difference between EchoLink and IRLP is that the IRLP has RF gateway nodes and no direct access from a PC.    The Hazel Park IRLP is not very busy.

             Jim commented that members who show up regularly at our meetings form our core group.  However, we need to reach out to other members and find ways to gain their interests and develop their skills.   When emergencies occur, many willing volunteers find themselves not ready and not prepared.   

 (III). AEC-Management Team Reports:

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

             Field Day is coming up 25-26 June 2011.  Both local clubs and our ARPSC take part.  If interested in Field Day with the ARPSC, please contact Randy and Pete Gladysz – KB8PGJ.  Based on our success with the Michigan QSO Party 2011, up to 3 transmitters can be used. These contests improve our communication skills for disaster and emergency situations.

             Nothing yet has been heard on our grant money request for a repeater upgrade with a new controller.    At about Dayton Hamvention time, the repeater “locked” down and had to be serviced.  Gremlins continued to exist in the system.  Oakland County owns our ham equipment, does maintenance on it, puts the antennas on their towers, and keeps our volunteer costs too a minimum.  To the county, we give our deepest appreciation.

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

             Skywarn was activated twice this last week – Sunday, 29 May 2011 and Tuesday, 31 May 2011.  We were very lucky because the worse part of the storms missed us.   Jim Richards - AB8JR commented that the sirens went off twice on Sunday.   First time was for winds 70+ mph and 2nd was when a cloud rotation was seen.

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

             Additional net controllers are needed.  Anyone interested, please contact Mike.  Jim Richards – W8JJR added that these people will be mixed with others in order to gain experience.

             (4). Report from Murray Scott – KE8UM, Logistics:

              The traffic light has a brand new four way switch.  It exists for the administration when they walk into the room.  They can immediately see our Skywarn status. 

 (IV). Specialty Officer/Coordinator Reports:

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

             Our last siren test (7 May 2022) had 58 check-ins.  One was a double on a siren and 13 had been covered previously.  Results show over half of 129/244 sirens are now checked.   Volunteers have now reported on 9 of 20 school properties for adequate loudness.   Southeast Subnet will cover their sirens first before focusing on school properties.     Due to John Fleming – K8UP’s illness, Mike Vander Veer – KD8ATK will handle the next SE subnet.    When going to a school property, report how loud it is to school children on the playground.   Is a closer siren needed?  Also, check whether the school is in use or seems to be in “mothballs.”   Mike mentioned that George Schutte – K8GEO is recovering from an operation and hopes to be back for the next meeting.

.            (2). Report from Paul Hatfield – Ke8UD, Hospital Communication Teams:

            Last Thursday, 26 May 2011, three hospitals missed the Hospital Net.  One will report into the next regular weekly net; one had a family emergency, and the third hospital radio volunteer was an actual hospital patient.    This year’s hospital participation is currently at 91%.

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

            Between 1 March and 31 May 2011, Oakland County had 14.6 inches of rain.  This made it the 2nd wettest spring in recorded history.

(V). New and Other Items of Interest:

            Randy Love – WF5X commented that new software is being made by others for Wouxun radios.    This includes: (1) Commander by James Mitchell - KC8UNJ and (2) CHIRP.   When the Commander Software was down-loaded into the 2 meter/220 radio, several were turned into bricks on 220.  A solution was found by reading a good radio and then writing that file back to the “bricked” radio using either the Wouxun or CHIRP software.  After doing some testing, Randy recommends saving the original Wouxun file BEFORE downloading any new program.          

Respectfully submitted,

James R. Murphy, N8SML

Secretary, Oakland County, ARPSC

2 June 2011

Minutes corrected and approved by Jim Richards – AB8JR, 3 June 2011