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 7 September 2011

            On 7 September 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:

            Congratulations go to Pete Gladysz – K8PGJ and all the volunteers who participated in the Berkley CruiseFest Parade on 10 August 2011 and Woodward Dream Cruise on 20 August 2011.  Both Berkley and Royal Oak praised our efforts and may look to use us for other opportunities.   Thanks go everyone who took part.

            Brooksie Way Half Marathon and 5K Race/Walk will be held Sunday, 2 October 2011.    Fred Czubak – KD8CMD and Jim Richards – AB8JR will head up ham communication operations.  The event needs more volunteers and is a fun way to participate.  To volunteer, email to kd8cmd@comcast.net.  This year, our team will also be present in the Sheriff’s command vehicle.

            Our 2-meter repeater has a new voter.  A new controller is on its way.  Thanks go to the county for its assistance and providing funding.  When both are installed, our repeater system should work better. An installation date will be determined once the controller is received.

            Jim gave a PowerPoint slide presentation about storm damage which occurred during the Woodward Dream Cruise in the late afternoon, 20 August 2011.  One area affected was near Maple - Orchard Lake Roads in West Bloomfield.   Wind shear, thought up to 85 mph, uprooted, topped off large trees, and damaged some houses while adjacent properties were hardly touched.   In one location, several tree trunks measuring 12-14 inches snapped off.    At another, the trunk was 26 inches in diameter. Translating this to Skywarn reports, Jim reminds volunteers to give precise details of what they observe, give the exact time the problem occurred, and define the location either by GPS or the nearest cross street.

            Recently, Jim Richards – AB8JR, Randy Love – WF5X, and Pete Gladysz – K8PGJ joined forces to simulate an emergency activation during the Ohio QSO Party held 27 August 2011.    With approximately a day of planning, they traveled down to Wyandot County, Ohio which has a reputation for infrequent contacts during contests.  Wyandot County is about 20 miles east-south-east of Findlay.     They pulled into an US-23 rest stop near the town of Carey and set up radio operations beneath a covered pavilion.  They found an electrical outlet nearby and didn’t need a generator.  After stringing up antennas in nearby trees, they operated for about five hours and netted 397 QSO’s and worked 24-26 states.   Jim sees this type of operation as an excellent way to run test emergency activations with little notice.  This develops skills in communication and readiness to deploy.    On top of all this, it was fun.   He suggests this could be done again with other members.  His only regret was not bringing a cushion for the hard benches.   

            Mike Smith – N8GUZ, Training & VE Testing, is in the hospital, now postop from extensive cardiac surgery.  We are will be keeping him in our thoughts and prayers.                

            There are new changes to our staff.   Randy Love – WF5X, Operations has resigned in order to take on duties of being the new District II Emergency Coordinator.   Randy is to be congratulated on his new appointment.  He views his new job as helping coordinate actions and to establish policies for the six county District II emergency ARPSCs.   Furthermore, he wants the counties to work with the National Traffic System.  Problems at this time include St. Clair County having no EC and Monroe with a newly appointed EC.

            Our new AEC for operations will be Pete Gladysz – K8PGJ.  AEC for Administration will be Fred Czubak – KD8CMD.    Congratulations Pete and Fred!   

(II). Presentation – Volunteerism by Ron Miotke – WD8MNX:

            Ron has done a lot of volunteering in his life; i.e. Red Cross, government activities, amateur radio, etc.  In his PowerPoint presentation he offers seven tips on how to be a volunteer that leaders love. 

            (1). Sign up and show up.   Sign up early and let the leader know your plan.  If one needs to cancel, then cancel early.  Signing up the same day of the event is not very helpful to the event leader.

            (2). Dress like an emergency communications professional.  What we wear impacts our image.  In general, dress in office work or casual office attire.  A polo shirt with a respectable logo is usually acceptable.  Try not to have too many logos or patches.

            (3). Smile.  Great volunteers develop a “game face” and game attributes to bring to public events.  Stay in control.

(4). Seek feedback in order to see how one could improve.

(5). Build your skills.  Newcomer mistakes must be forgiven.  One needs to constantly “sharpen the saw” on a regular basis.  Use these events to train while having fun.  Then read, take classes, do free online training, and anything to improve your skills.

(6). Help solve problems.  In the process, use your abilities with the organization you serve.  Great volunteers give great service.

(7). Observe lines of authority.  Recognize and handle bad situations and “bad days” that others might have.  Good volunteers want to contribute, but be careful to not be overly enthusiastic and cause problems without meaning to. 

Ron also informed the group that he and a small group of hams from the Hazel Park club conducted an impromptu portable operation on Labor Day from a park in Warren.  He likened that operation to the Ohio QSO Party trip by Jim, Pete and Randy as a way of practicing skills and being prepared in the event of a true emergency activation.

Ron sums up a good volunteer:  A volunteer continuously practices his/her skills and continues to develop them.    In several months, Ron plans to give a presentation on his Earth-Moon-Earth communication experiences.                 

 (III). AEC-Management Team Reports:

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

             The new voter has eight channels, two more than the previous one.  The new controller will use Linux software and has the capability to transfer voice by internet protocol (IP) to remote sites rather than using additional bandwidth.

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

             Skywarn was activated Saturday, 3 September 2011 with 30 check-ins and numerous storm reports.  Accuracy in Skywarn reports is most important.  For instance, Steve Iannucci, Oakland County Homeland Security Division, needs reliable wind speed reports that point to 70+ mph in order to set off sirens.  In general, it takes two reports to do this, unless one can be interpreted as measured or extremely accurate.  

             Query?  Why didn’t sirens go off during the Woodward Dream Cruise?  Answer: Reports came in too late as the winds were extremely isolated.              

             (4). Report on Net Operations: 

             Volunteers are needed for net control.   Please contact Mike Vander Veer – KD8ATK.

 (IV). Specialty Officer/Coordinator Reports:

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

             Sirens were tested last Saturday, 3 September 2011.  Forty sirens were checked with only two doubles.  The magic number of unchecked sirens this year is now 13 out of 244 total.    Our website lists a 14th siren, but in fact has been checked and will soon be corrected.   Next month’s siren test will probably have 16 priority sirens, which includes one new one in the City of Rochester.  Our subnets now divide the county into 4 quadrants.   Still unchecked: Northeast Net – 5; Clarkston Net - 2; DART Net – 2; Novi Net - 4.   Mike thanks everyone for volunteering.

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

             So far this year, there have been 159 check-ins by 68 hams.  This equates to 88% participation.    Dates of two future Hospital Nets have been changed as follows:

(Old date) 29 September 2011.  Reason: Rosh Hashanah.  New date – Thursday, 22 September at 7:30 pm.

(Old date) 24 November 2011.  Reason: Thanksgiving.  New date – Thursday, 17 November 2011 at 7:30 pm.

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

            August 2011 had 19 days of 90 degree weather and we have tied the record number of days for highs of 80 degrees or more.

(VI). What’s Upcoming and What’s of Interest:

            (1). Jim, AB8JR informed us that our 3 September SkyWarn Net was simulcast over the internet on radioreference.com. He reminded everyone that anything said on the air can reach a much broader audience than we expect.  Professionalism at all times is extremely important.  www.radioreference.com states it is the world’s largest radio communication data provider, with a frequency database, trunked radio system information, and FCC license data.   It offers news, announcements, and active forums.  Basic access is free while there are charges for premium services. 

            (2). Query?  What is the current stasis of Orion Township permitting us to place a receive site antenna on their water tower?   Answer: Issues need to be first resolved.

            (3). A report states that there is a new D-Star station in Port Huron on 146.690 MHz.

             (4). Findlay Radio has both a ham fest and the Great Lakes Division Convention on 11 September 2011 at Findlay, Ohio.  More information can be found at http://www.w8ft.org.

             (5). Oakland Township, Oakland County, Michigan has approved PRB-1 for ham antennas and towers.  

             (6). West Bloomfield Library will have a ham radio display beginning 10 October 2011.  This year, a 2 x 2 foot logo will be included, which says “When All Else Fails, Amateur Radio.” 

             (7). On Friday, 11 September 2011 (9-11 Anniversary), the West Bloomfield Fire Department will dedicate a two foot long, 125 pound steel artifact from the World Trade Center mounted on a mobile cart.    Event time is 2 pm.


Respectfully submitted,

James R. Murphy, N8SML

Secretary, Oakland County, ARPSC

8 September 2011

Minutes corrected and approved by Jim Richards – AB8JR