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 August 2012


            On 1 August 2012 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:


            Water tower refurbishment is taking longer than expected.   Painting has not started and may take to the end of August or beyond before it is finished.   Our EOC has had several weather related activations, but fortunately nothing bad has happened.   Oakland County has been the grant money fiduciary for surrounding county projects.  Macomb County will begin handling this on 1 September 2012. Such funding could help our EOC with needed remodeling, i.e. removing walls, hiding exposed wiring, etc.    


            Query: Does Oakland County activate cooling centers during hot weather?  Only individual communities activate cooling centers and not the County.    The EOC – county government only asks to be informed about any activation so that they can correctly respond to inquiries.    Do note that there is a difference between cooling centers and shelters.   Cooling centers can be a mall or library which has limited hours and services.


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


            Coming events for our Oakland County ARPSC:


(1). 17 August 2012 - Berkley Parade of Cars

(2). 18 August 2012 – Woodward Dream Cruise

(3). 30 September 2012 – Brooksie Way Half Marathon

(4). Fall Simulated Test Exercise (SET), date not given.


            MICON-DTX will be adding 440 DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) to its analog communications.  Our own EOC will have one.   National Weather Service (NWS) defines MICON as the acronym for the “Michigan Inter County Organization Network.”   They add that DTX is the designator for the Detroit/Pontiac Weather Service office located in White Lake, Michigan.  MICON-DTX provides two way NWS communications for 17 counties in its area.  Three other MICON regional networks exist, including MICON-GRR, MICON-APX, and MICON-MQT.  These networks provide communications between NWS and counties under their warning responsibility. 


            Oakland County now has 252 sirens.  Steve Iannucci reports another 9 sirens will be added this year.  So far, 152 have been covered this year, leaving us to cover 100 plus any newly added sirens.   Subnets include:


(1). Northeast Subnet – Brad Maney, KD8QPF.  39 sirens haven’t been checked this year.  If interested in helping, call Brad at 734-731-0597. 

(2). Northwest Subnet – Greg Siemasz, W8VIJ.  37 sirens are still unchecked.

(3). Southwest Subnet – Rick Redoutey, WA8UMT.   Eight sirens are unchecked.

(4). Southeast Subnet – Marsha Fleming, N8FE.  16 sirens remain.


            There will be a fall SET (Stimulated Test Exercise) which is similar to one in Troy, but county wide.   Pete Gladysz – K8PGJ, Operations added this SET will be made closest to what really happens, with short notice and played as an emergency.  There won’t be 10-12 hours notice.   ARRL SET format will be used as standard procedure.  We need the practice.   


(III). Public Events:


            Kevin Gilday – KD8GVM of Woodhaven, Michigan needs ham radio volunteers for the “Cruise in Shoes” 5K Walk and Run to be held during the Woodward Dream Cruise at 7:30 am.  Part of this walk/run will be held on the southbound lanes of Woodward Avenue.  Race begins and ends at Shrine Catholic High School.  Communications includes commercial radios and a W8RUN net on our Dream Cruise W8OAK operations from 7:30 – 8:30 am on Saturday morning.  More information is at http://www.cruiseinshoes.com.   If interested contact Kevin at kd8gvm@arrl.net.


            Kevin Gilday – KD8GVM is also recruiting hams for the Free Press Marathon on 21 October 2012.   Sign up is at http://www.freepmarathon.com for insurance coverage and the contact point is Kevin’s email address.   Last year’s Free Press Marathon had 23,500 runners.  


(IV). Presentation by Donna Crabtree – KD8SDK: Emergency Communication – What It Can Do and What It Can’t Do.


            This is Donna’s personal experience in Michigan when her parents in West Virginia were hit by the 29 June 2012 derecho storm.  She needed to find out if they were okay.  This storm began in the Midwest and traveled 600 miles in 10 hours to the east coast with peak wind gusts of 80-100 mph.  Four million people lost electrical power including 53/55 counties in West Virginia.    


Communications went out in West Virginia and it took her 63 hours to contact her parents.  Donna had explored different communication sources for assistance.  This included (1) friend and family internet emails and phones, (2) checking WV news sites, local town forums and smart phone apps, (3) local power company’s website for power outages and when expected restored, (4) Echolink assistance, (5) National Traffic System, (6) checking ARRL repeater handbook for help, (7) checking her parent’s WV county ARES (none in parent’s county), (8) Facebook and texting assistance. 


Lesson’s learned: (1) Donna did not have enough ham radio skills and proper equipment, (2) at the time, she needed to keep a log of accumulated information and site results, (3) and wasn’t knowledgeable enough to use the National Traffic System.


One needs to be prepared for emergencies and before they happen.  Cars need to have enough gas to run when filling stations are closed.  Generators must be tested on a regular basis and ready for operation.  Food, batteries, and emergency plans for the family must be in place.   Donna’s parents were without power for eleven days and although they were okay, their biggest complaint was the triple digit heat.    


 Jim Richards – AB8JR comments that we are accustomed to getting immediate responses.  That doesn’t always happen in emergency situations.  NTS messages may take days rather than hours.  Most important – plans need to be in place to handle one’s emergencies.   


Pete Gladysz – K8PGJ actually drove through this same storm on his way to Florida.  In Ohio, he began to understand how bad things were when he saw trees and debris in the road.   Ham repeaters on the way down were unusually quiet because few had generator backup.  After driving through Ohio, he finally found the first open gas station in Charlestown, West Virginia.  There was a huge lineup for gas and bathrooms.     Jim Richards also mentioned that three days later a smaller storm hit Michigan causing some power outages.  Electrical repairs were slow because many workers were elsewhere assisting in derecho storm repairs.   Jim suggests travelers affected in such a storm might find helpful information by tuning into a news talk radio station or the NOAA Broadcasts from the National Weather Service. 


(V). Comments from Frank Coutts, Southfield, Michigan Emergency Management Director.


            For everyone in emergency management: Be prepared!  Have a network of persons to contact for emergency work.   Money for emergency management has already been granted to the communities of Southfield, Bloomfield Township, Birmingham, and Farmingtom Hills.     Communities will have to do their own emergency planning, recruit and train their own emergency operators.   In Southfield, members are expected to come to meetings and to train.   How the members are handled in other communities may be different.


            When other communication systems fail, amateur radios have the capability to bridge the problem.  Southfield Emergency Management now has amateur radio volunteers called “SARS” (Southfield Amateur Radio Service).    


(VI). AEC-Management Team Reports:


            (1). Report from Pete Gladysz – K8PGJ, Operations


            Ham volunteers are needed for the Dream Cruise/Berkley Parade of Cars on 17 and 18 August 2012.    If you have signed up but have not indicated your hours, please let Pete know.  Time for the Berkley Parade of Cars begins after the dinner, with the dinner not yet confirmed at 5 pm Friday.   For both operations, 442.500 MHz/107.2 pl will be used.  The 440 offers less chance of interference by others.   Dream Cruise operations begin at 8:30 am Saturday morning.   Steve Iannucci believes meals should be same as last year, but he doesn’t have any confirmation. 


            Query: Will it be hard to get to the Berkley Fire House with the 12 Mile and Coolidge Road construction?    Answer: MDOT stated this construction would be finished by then.        


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


            The schedule for August has been sent out.   Volunteer net operators are needed.  If interested please contact Mike.


            (3). Report on Training/VE Testing and Membership, per Jim Richards – AB8JR:


            Next month, Lloyd Suter – N2NGQ will be asking members which FEMA classes they would like with class room instruction.    Ron Miotke – WD8MNX will soon have a new W8OAKI website format.


(VII). Specialty Officer/Coordinator Reports:


            (1). Report from Ted Davis – N8ZSA, Sirens:


            Ted asks subnet leaders to concentrate their regular volunteers on sirens still uncovered this year. 


            (3) Report from Mark Shaw – K8ED, National Traffic System (NTS) Communications:


            NTS net can be found on the Spirit of 76 repeater (146.760 MHz/100 pl) on every night of the year at 10:15 pm.  If nothing else, one can listen, learn, and can ask questions.   One needs to understand NTS.


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


            There will be a NWS Open House at White Lake, Wednesday, 29 August 2012 from 2 – 7 pm.   June had 9 days at 90+ temperature.  July had 13 days.  This has been the hottest summer on record.


(VI). New and Other Items of Interest:


            Hazel Park Amateur Radio Club will be holding amateur radio license classes this fall: (1) Tech Classes in Warren by Walt Carter – KD8LWC; (2) General Classes by Marsha Fleming –N8FE, and (3) Extra classes by Ron Miotke – WD8MNX. 


Respectfully submitted,

James R. Murphy, N8SML

Secretary, Oakland County, ARPSC

2 August 2012

Minutes corrected and approved by Jim Richards, AB8JR.