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 December 2011

 

            On 7 December 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:

 

            Steve wishes everyone “happy holidays.”   This fall went by quietly and there were no county siren tests for December.   Several smaller groups did test last Saturday These were heard by some members, including sirens from Wayne County.     Steve is now planning our annual dinner meeting to be the 1st Wednesday of March 2012.  He hopes to book it in the Oakland County Executive Office Building Auditorium.  

 

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

 

            Skywarn Recognition Day took place last weekend, 3 - 4 December 2011 from 7 pm Friday to 7 pm Saturday.   Our ARPSC joined with the MICON team and operated under the K8DTX call sign at the White Lake National Weather Service.  Three HF antennas were used, including a G5RV hung from a lamp post, a 20 meter vertical, and a 34 foot high 40 meter vertical.   Two meter and 440 frequencies were also used.    Five hundred twenty one QSO’s were made and these were our best results ever.  States missed were Alaska, Hawaii, and Idaho.  Twenty meter band usually skips nearby locations, but that changed when Redford, Michigan became a QSO.  

 

This is an excellent event and training format for everyone to practice temporary site communications.  Jim foresees organizing similar events with small groups and driving to counties with a history of little ham activity.   Here, communication equipment can be set up and run at such places as a highway rest stop.   

 

            The National EAS (Emergency Alert System) Test took place 9 November 2011.   Observers were varied in their opinions, but many thought it to be extremely successful.  W8JJR’s Jim Richards noticed several problems.  As the audio transmissions cascaded down to secondary stations, a noticeable degradation took place.  Also, there were major gaps in nationwide coverage, especially in Texas and Oregon.    Apparently, these areas didn’t or couldn’t use wire linkage, but required satellite uplinks which didn’t work.  Some local TV channels didn’t carry the EAC messages or its transmissions were delayed.   Sometime next year, there will be another such test.

 

            Our display at the West Bloomfield Library ran for 3 weeks and served as portal to the world about ham radio.  This included a large eye-catching poster printed by the ARRL, several transceivers, many hand-out folders, and about 50 QSL contact cards with various designs.  There were pictures of famous ham radio licensees, including Joe Walsh, Patty Loveless, and Ronny Milsap.    Parts of the display were changed several times to keep visitor’s interest.   The display seemed to attract much interest as the supplied flyers required constant refilling.   The organizers are looking forward to returning next year.   This display is available to use in other communities, but requires someone else to setup and assume responsibility.    

 

            DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) is an open standard two-way format found in Europe and complies with U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandates in the U.S.  It uses 12.5 and 6.25 KHz narrowband, and provides voice and data.   Recently, several of our members began using DMR for amateur radio communications.  The digital audio quality is better than expected.  Manufacturers involved in DMR include Yaesu (Vertex Standard), TRC (Tait Radio Communications), HYT (Hytera), Motorola, and Vertex Standard.  Wikipedia mentions Kenwood and ICOM have also been helping to establish standards and interoperability.   Having multiple manufacturers helps to keep prices more competitive.    Next month, Randy Love – WF5X will give a presentation on DMR and D-Star Radio. 

 

            There are new personnel changes: 

 

(1). Chuck Lorenz - KD8NYB is now team leader at St. John – Providence, Southfield Hospital in place of Jay Schwartz – WB8SBI. Jay is continuing as a member of the Providence Southfield team.

 

(2). Mark Schurig – KC8WPS will be our new Hospital Radio Administrator in place of Paul Hatfield – KE8UD who has resigned from the ARPSC.

 

(3). Ron Miotke – WD8MNX will be in charge of membership in place of Jim Poehlman – K8ABZ.   Jim Richards – AB8JR is hoping (1) a new software program can be developed to make volunteer hour summaries and (2) develop a webpage for membership signups that directly transmits this information to certain administrators.  

 

(4). A volunteer is needed to head sirens in place of Mike Nebel – N3BEL.           

 

            Jim Richards – AB8JR has an additional thought to add.  We are all volunteers here with different time constraints and sometimes things might not go the way we want.  We must have confidence in our volunteers and be sure that they are treated well.

 

The new 2 meter voter and new controller are in Steve Iannucci’s office and await installation.   

 

Thirteen weeks ago, Mike Smith – N8GUZ had bypass and valve surgery which was followed by complications.  He still needs more recovery time, and everyone was happy to see him at the OCARS meeting last night.   He welcomes calls on his cell phone and monitors the Clarkston Repeater.   

 

(III). AEC-Management Team Reports:

 

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

 

            Sno-Drift Rally takes place for two days on 27-28 January 2012 near Atlanta, Montmorency County in northeastern lower Michigan.   Pete Gladysz – K8PGJ is Chief of Communications, with Randy Love - WF5X and Ted – N8ZSA being net controls.   Rally is a race 350 miles long, takes 2 days over icy roads, uses no studded tires, has entrants racing from morning to 10pm on the 1st day, and has a 50% rate of failure to finish.   Barbara Steencken – KC8SWF is Chief of Controls and needs 200 volunteers to assist in various functions.   If interested, go to snow-drift.org and apply under heading of “volunteers.”      

 

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

 

            We are finally getting a good core of net control operators, but need more help.

 

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

 

            Mad River Radio Club has awarded W8OAK and the Oakland County ARPSC a beautiful plaque for having the highest 2011 score among EOC entries.   Nine volunteers made 990 QSO’s for 265,000 points while working low power.

 

 (V). Specialty Officer/Coordinator Reports:

 

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

 

            The final siren net for the year was on Saturday, 5 November 2011.  There were 33 check-ins and had coverage for two additional schools.  This is the 2nd year in a row 100% of the sirens were covered, as well as 20 schools.

 

            (2). Report from Mark Schurig – KC8WPS, Communication Teams:

 

            Mark asks hospital team leaders to email their roster lists to him at kc8wps@arrl.net.

 

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

 

            Last September and November 2011 had record rainfall.   On one single day in November, there was 6 inches of rain and the month averaged five degrees warmer.   This year is now the 2nd wettest year on record.     

 

            (VI). New and Other Items of Interest:

           

            Sunday, 15 January 2012 is the Hazel Park ARC Swap.  Details can be found at www.hparc.org.

 

Respectfully submitted,

James R. Murphy, N8SML

Secretary, Oakland County, ARPSC

8 December 2011

Minutes corrected and approved by Jim Richards, AB8JR, EC 12/12/2011