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 6 July 2011

            On 6 July 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:

            The funeral for John Fleming – K8UP SK (silent key) was one week ago.  We will miss him.  His wife, Marsha – N8FE states she will remain active in the ARPSC and Hazel Park Amateur Radio Club. 

            Our Field Day operations combined with those of White Lake’s NWS (National Weather Service) at their offices, under the call letters of K8DTX.   Operation class was 3F.   Operators included N8KIP – Kip Kammer, N8ZSA – Ted Davis, K8PGJ – Pete Gladysz, AB8JR – Jim A. Richards, W8JJR – Jim J. Richards, K8ED – Mark Shaw, K8BB – Don Chisholm, N2NGQ – Lloyd Sutter, K8SJD – Morrie Davidson, WF5X –Randy Love.   There were 910 CW and 700 phone contacts which should net quite a few contest points.

            Berkley CruiseFest Parade is Friday evening 19 August 2011 and runs between 6-9 pm.  Volunteers should meet at the Berkley City Fire Hall at 5 pm for briefing and sign-up.  Woodward Dream Cruise is Saturday 20 August 2011 with volunteers meeting at the same fire house prior to their assignment.   Pete Gladysz – K8PGJ will be in charge and net control will be run from the Berkley Fire House.   A volunteer sign-up sheet was passed around to members, with Pete is asking them to indicate their choice of Berkley and/or Dream Cruise (1st or 2nd shift).    To volunteer, Pete’s email is pgladysz@aol.com.

            Brooksie Way Half Marathon and 5K Race/Walk will be held Sunday, 2 October 2011.  A sign-up sheet was passed to members.

(II). Presentation – SkyWarn Net Operating Protocol with various staff members:

            Skywarn’s mission is to protect life and property.  Real time spotters provide information for warnings to be issued, enhance forecast accuracy, and validate damage reports.   Skywarn begins with NWS officially requesting Oakland County EOC activation, who then requests Skywarn and spotter activation. 

Oakland County is often placed on the eastern edge of NWS watch boxes long before the storm is due to arrive.   Because of this, our own spotter operation begins 2-3 hours before a weather event.  Net staff then arrives at the EOC, and a net is usually started in the “Stand-by” mode.   Our net control also listens to and sends relevant information to MICON.   MICON gathers information from southeast Michigan counties and reports to NWS.   Using various sources, our Skywarn can report and advise how and where a storm(s) may hit and indicate its severity.  News agencies often listen to our nets for the latest information.   

Skywarn is a directed net with no transmissions being permitted without net control approval.   Transmissions must be kept brief and to the point.   Standby condition is when severe storms are not imminent.  Condition Green is either a Severe Thunderstorm Watch or a Tornado Watch with check-ins accepted.  Yellow is a Severe Thunderstorm Warning which may or may not have check-ins.  Red is a Tornado Warning and no check-ins are permitted.  Net control will announce what type and kind of reports are acceptable; i.e. size of hail, wind speed, etc.  

Our W8OAK two meter repeater will send out periodic severe storm or tornado warning messages until a net control operator takes over.    Because it is automatic, the message won’t name condition green, yellow, or red.   This will be only announced by net control.  

Before checking in, listen for several minutes to determine the condition.  Net control will announce what type of weather information is needed.  This will vary from condition standby to red.  Give your call sign in phonetics, your name, city, and major cross streets.  Even better than cross streets would be your GPS coordinates which is easier to find.  Next give the severe condition and the exact time the problem occurred.  Please remember the time.   Before reporting your information, listen to what Net Control is requesting.    Weather information is passed on to MICON (1) though the directed net and (2) through the internet.  Listening to MICON only picks up some weather information being transferred.  MICON has to spend a lot of time validating events with references, so that a spotter must be very clear.   MICON net are directed nets only for members, and cannot be used by individuals to report weather. 

Sirens in Oakland County will sound also for wind speeds of 70+ mph.   If winds reach this speed a second time, the sirens may go off again.  People are wrong to think the 2nd warning siren means the warning is cancelled.

Query: Are downed power lines reported to the power companies?  Answer: No, Skywarn does not do this.    

  (III). AEC-Management Team Reports:

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

             The 440 machine quit about one week ago and the problem is not yet known.  Two back room computers now have printer capability. 

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

             Needed are more net control operators for Thursday night and Skywarn nets.  At best, there should be 3 or 4 net operators at a Skywarn net.  One runs the Skywarn Net; 2nd the MICON Net, 3rd liaison operations, and 4th to assist and fill in.  Using only one for both the Skywarn and MICON doesn’t work well.    

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

             Power leads to the main radio have been repaired.   Further repairs to the traffic light have it working better.   

 (IV). Specialty Officer/Coordinator Reports:

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

             Our last siren test was on Saturday 2 July 2011.  There were 54 check-ins with 32 sirens being reported for the first time this year.  We have now covered 193 of 244 total sirens and have 4 more tests to go.   For those checking sirens in August, check our website to see which sirens haven’t yet been covered.     Marsha Fleming – N8FE will continue to run the SE subnet sirens and she has the capability of finding substitute net controllers when needed.     There are still some school grounds that need covering for siren loudness.  If selected for one of these, go to the school, get out of the car and go to the playground or area in question.  Find out if noisy school kids can hear the sirens.   Also, note if the school is open or closed and if their grounds are being used.   

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

            For the June net, 15 or 17 hospitals checked-in.   So far this year, hospital participation in the net is 90% with different 64 hams giving us a total 125 check-ins since January.  One hospital – St. John Novi accounts for nearly half of the missed check-ins.   There is a newly revised list of hospitals given tactical call names; i.e. POH Pontiac, Beaumont Troy, etc.   If a volunteer is not sure what the tactical name for his/her hospital, use the call given by net control.   Paul went to a recent Regional 2 North Conference at Macomb County College.    Oakland County was well represented at the RACES table.  Many flyers were passed out and many people stopped to talk with them.    Of Regional 2 North, St. Clair County has a problem with their hospital radio network.   This should be addressed as soon as a new Regional 2 North EC can be appointed in place of John Fleming – K8UP SK.

Query: In regard to tactical call hospital names, is the county name being dropped?  Answer: Yes.  Hospital tactical names by themselves will be enough to uniquely identify each one.   Adding the county is redundant.     

(V). New and Other Items of Interest:

(1). OCARS has their nets Tuesday at 7 pm on the Clarkston Repeater (146.840/100Hz).

(2). Morrie Davidson reports that a ham radio display will be set up at the West Bloomfield Library during the first two weeks of September.  

Respectfully submitted,

James R. Murphy, N8SML

Secretary, Oakland County, ARPSC

7 July 2011

Minutes approved by Jim Richard – AB8JR, EC, 8 July 2011