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 3 October 2012


            On 3 October 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 repairs are nearly finished, after which antennas including W8OAK can be remounted.   The tower will feature a painted green bottom and white top.  It could be finished in a few days, or as Jim Richards – AB8JR suggests – up to another 4 – 6 weeks.   

 (II). Report from Randy Love – WF5X, District Two EC:

             Randy is still working to establishing minimum credentials (education) required for ARPSC personnel when activated to assist in a different county.   Currently, different District Two counties require different accreditations for members.   Both Wayne and Washtenaw Counties have the most complex. 

 A discussion took place on credentialing.  State of Michigan RACES currently requires only IS-22 for its members to be activated by the State.  This minimum may not be enough for individual counties who have set higher standards.   One example might be a volunteer being sent to another county with higher requirements than the volunteer has achieved.  He/she could be side-lined or ignored.   Randy adds that the county has no obligation to accept and use this out-of-county person.   A common minimum standard needs to in place before an emergency and be acceptable to every county within District Two.   Such credited members can be pre-registered into every county’s records long before they might be needed.   

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

            Fifty-two sirens still need coverage for the first time this year.  October and November siren tests are all we have left to accomplish this.   Before this week end’s October Siren Test, Jim plans to send out a PDF file detailing these 52 sirens to members.   Marsh Fleming – N8FE, SE Subnet is asking all her volunteers to assist the NE or NW subnets.   Her remaining five sirens have assigned coverage.   Be sure to check into the correct subnet beforehand to prevent double coverage.  

            W8OAK repeater voter and controller still need installation by the county.  The current 2 meter repeater continues to “act up.” 

           Brooksie Way Marathon took place on 30 September 2012.  Pete Gladysz – K8PGJ reports 6242 registered for the races and he had 13 volunteers.  Jim Richards – AB8JR noted the sheriff’s department reported trouble with cars getting into the runner’s path.  One volunteer was “bumped” by a car, but was okay.  Jim thinks they will be asking us next year to assist with traffic control.  Pete plans to send an email to the volunteers requesting suggestions for improvement. 

            A DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) is being ordered as a part of large corporate order in order to save money. 

            Our upcoming SET (Stimulated Emergency Test) this October will be an activation system test.  Widespread emails and text messages will be sent out to test our ability to find out how many will respond.  Jim prefers to not use cascading phone activation because it takes too many people to assist this.  Let Jim know if you have a cell phone and if it has no texting ability.   Should a second shift be needed, there would be more time to contact additional personnel.  One member suggested software exists which simplifies such activations.  Jim will look into this.   

This SET will be done on a date and time not known in advance so that it can better stimulate an emergency situation.   City of Troy will request the county EOC to activate our communication assistance.  This official activation will “daisy-chain” down to Jim who then will find volunteers.      ARPSC E-teams will probably not be part.   Once amateur radio activation begins, call into the W8OAK net and let them know you are available, even if you live too far away from Troy.   Knowing how many members hear our call for volunteers is the basis of this test.  

Damage Assessment Class is coming up Tuesday, 9 October 2012, beginning at 8:30 am, runs all day, and will be held at CREST- OCC.   Seating is limited to several ARPSC members.  Officials will ask amateur radio communications to deploy several hams out in field during its stimulated test exercise (SET).    Their main function will be to check if attendees are moving along during this exercise.  The building officials will be told standard communications are down and that amateur radio will provide alternate communications.

Query: ID Badges will expire 31 December 2012.  What then?  Answer: New badges with new colors will be issued December 2012 or January 2013.          

(IV). Presentation - Introduction to Digital Data Modes by Ron Miotke – WD8MNX:

             Ron’s presentation is based on a conference he attended where digital data modes were discussed by George Heron – N2APB.   Ron now updates this and is summarized here:  

 After reviewing other amateur radio web sites, Ron notes increasing use of over-the-air digital data by keyboard, including emergency situations.  This offers fewer errors compared to voice and has some unique advantages.     Currently, ham radio uses many different digital data modes with many variants, including PSK31, SSTV, RTTY, MFSK32, Olivia, Packet, PACTOR 2 - 4, SITOR, Clover, and many others.  No two are compatible.

Phase Shift Keying (PSK) is the most used newer digital mode and there is all already variants.   RTTY is the oldest of HF digital modes, is popular in DX, used in contesting, and is found near 7.040, 14.090, and 21.090 MHz.   PACTOR has four versions, can used with Winlink 2000 systems and Flex Radio, but error correction can time consuming.  MFSK-16 uses 16 tones, has good performance, is sideband dependent, and proper tuning is quite critical.    PSK31 is easiest to use, very reliable, but too slow for long messages.  Hellschreiber is a fax type mode and useful in fading, very weak signals, and very slow.  Packet is declining in popularity, used mostly on 2 meters, message forwarding, APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System), 300 baud on HF, 1200 baud on 2 meters, 9600 baud on 440.   Olivia is a newer HF digital mode, has selectable bandwidth, transmits 8 tones, extremely resistant to fading, and can be heard below the noise level.   JT-65 is used in very weak signals, very slow, with call signs taking up to 2 minutes.

Designing an HF digital station usually includes the use of a computer with at least a 500 MHz Pentium processor (or like), and an external sound card which generally works much better than an internal one.  The only modes which don’t need a sound card are PACTOR and AOR digital voice. There are a number of software packages available such as DIGIPAN. 

Some modes don’t need a computer, software, and sound card.  Be careful with the audio levels.  Too much transmit will distort signals, with the worst being PSK31.  So, do so use them.  Digital data modes help in emergency communications and typing is better for messages than voice.              

 (V). AEC-Management Team Reports:

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

             Volunteers should keep in mind the basics of RACES/ARES deployment, including:  Emergencies using local first responders begin with the establishment of the Incident Command Post.  An RACES/ARES county may then request deployment of RACES members to the Incident Command Post.  Self-deploying is very much discouraged.  Our EC may use 146.900 MHz/100pl and possibly other frequencies.  To the volunteer, first check that you and your family are safe and secure.    Travel safely to the deployment site.  Be sure you take your identification.  Check into the incident command post or W8OAK repeater.  Following the check-in, expect to receive a safety and incident briefing.  Upon deployment, logs are useful and may be necessary for your activity.  Bring paper and pen.  Special logging forms may be available.  Make copies of all messages during the incident.  When you complete your shift, check-out with the Incident Commander or his designee.  When being relieved by another, conduct a shift change briefing and then promptly leave the area.   Always keep in mind that that management uses the ARES community in the role of backup communications.

             (2). Report for Net Operations:

             Volunteers for net control operations are needed.  If interested, email to Mike Vander Veer at kd8atk@wowway.com

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

             Murray is working to resolve a power problem in the EOC communications room.

 (V). Specialty Officer/Coordinator Reports:

             (1). Report from Ron Miotke – WD8MNX, Membership:

            A two page instruction sheet is being made up for the new website. 

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

            Ted is considering a pre-net stop for breakfast or lunch at Nick’s County Oven at 4972 N. Adams Road, Rochester before the siren test.  He will add more details on tomorrow night’s net (4 October 2012). 

            (3). Report on Hospital Communication Teams:   

            During the last Hospital Net on Thursday 27 September 2012, 4 or 5 hospitals did not check-in. 

(VI). New and Other Items of Interest:

            (1). Kevin Gilday – KD8GVM of Woodhaven, Michigan called Jim Richards – AB8JR.  He needs ham radio volunteers for the Free Press Marathon on 21 October 2012.  Sign up is required and is at http://www.freepmarathon.com.   Go to this website and lo

ok for volunteer job descriptions.  Ham operator sign-up is listed there. 


Respectfully submitted,

James R. Murphy, N8SML

Secretary, Oakland County, ARPSC

4 October 2012

Read and approved by Jim Richards, EC.