We need to have people on the air and on location. We are going to be sharing our location with Richfield CERT van again, and we will need supplies please email email@example.com to see how you can help.
With a stretch of nice weather in the forecast, it’s time to dust off the transmitter hunting gear! This Thursday (8/29/19), the Bloomington Amateur Radio Association will be hosting a transmitter hunt, beginning at 6:30 PM at Bloomington Civic Plaza from the parking lot on the west side of the building (near the southwest entrance).
The field of play will be the City of Bloomington, bounded on the west by US HWY 169, to the north by I-494, and to the south and east by the Minnesota River.
Format: Two hidden transmitters; one 500 mW to 1 W, the other 10-20 mW and in the general vicinity of the stronger transmitter. The transmitters will be on alternate 1-minute transmit windows.
Accessibility: A vehicle will be required for finding the transmitters, but at-home operators (in Bloomington and possibly surrounding municipalities) with omnidirectional or directional antennas can still contribute with coordinated hunting (see Resources below for tips from WB4APR). On-foot hunting is expected to take up to a mile of walking on sidewalks, dirt/grass paths, or over cut grass.
Difficulty: This is intended to be a beginner-friendly event, and those without directional antennas are encouraged to take part in a coordinated hunt (see Resources below). With sunset at 7:56 PM, the event will be complete around 8:00–8:15 PM.
Frequencies: Two hidden transmitters: 146.565 MHz FM Safety and administrative: 147.090 MHz, +600 kHz, no tone, analog FM (KD0CL VHF repeater) Coordinated hunting: 444.375 MHz, +5 MHz, DCS 047 (TX and RX), analog FM (KD0CL UHF repeater; repeater is Yaesu C4FM capable, but please use analog for this event)
The 2019 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend is fast approaching, so mark your calendars for
* Sunday, October 6 (Marathon & Medtronic TC 10 Mile
If you wish to volunteer for the 2019 race medical team (Sunday), please register online by September 22. Early registration ensures you are on the team and have a secured position. We are staffing the marathon and the 10 mile as independent races to allow shorter shifts, but you can sign up for both races. We are using the RaceSafe platform for medical volunteer registration again this year so if you registered last year, you will just update changes in your status for this year. For those of you who are new, you will need to access the website and download the app to your phone as outlined below. The volunteer list will be available for other Twin Cities In Motion events so it will be easy for you to volunteer if you choose to do so. If you are not available for this year’s race, but wish to remain on the list for future years, please register and you will appear on our lists for future events.
We are still in the planning stages and always looking for suggestions to improve our medical team.
Race Day Logistics: The medical section coordinators will be setting up race day assignments by September 22, so please register as soon as possible. You will get an email with your assignment, report times, and a map of the location as soon as we make assignments. If you would like to remain in your previous post, please note where you have worked in past years and we will do our best to make this happen. If you have a medical license and you enter it in the registration process, you will automatically be in our medical liability plan.
To Register in RaceSafe please complete the following steps:
1. Create an account or Login by going to the event specific links below for Sunday (marathon & 10 mile) Sunday (marathon and ten mile)
Please note there are 10 mile shifts and marathon shifts.
If you have an existing RaceSafe login, please click the link above to get to RaceSafe and then click the login link. Your login is your email. Hopefully, you remember your password.
If you are signing up for the first time, click on the link above and fill in the requested information. You will receive an authentication email at the email you provide with an activation link that you must click on to create an account.
2. Please go through the registration wizard and fill out all mandatory fields. If you are a provider without a license, please type in “unlicensed” or “none”. For those with existing accounts please update your profile in the dashboard if your information has changed since your last volunteer experience.
Select the event you are volunteering for from the dashboard and choose the correct volunteer position that applies to you. They have been divided up to make the check-in process on race day quicker and easier.
In the “Comment section”: If you have worked medical before, please enter your past medical assignments and your qualifications here. If you have foreign language skills, please include that here.
Complete the registration process by watching the videos. You will receive a confirmation email afterwards confirming your registration is complete.
Physical Therapists will receive final assignments from Kelly Roberts Lane.
3. Download RaceSafe on the Apple App Store or Google Play if you don’t have it already. If you do have it make sure you update the app (there have been some updates over the past year).
If you are registering for both days, please go back to your dashboard and add the second day to your events, repeating the same steps as before. You will not have to download the app a second time.
4. After “Account Creation” and “RaceSafe app download,” please go through all the training slides and click “I have completed the training.” This only takes around 10 minutes. Be sure to click “I have completed the training” on the last slide.
Success! Now, on race day you will be able to access the app from your Apple or Android phone/tablet to do your part in keeping participants safe.
We have replaced the antenna on our VHF repeater AKA 5.39 we like people to give reports of it’s improvement. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please compare to our UHF repeater AKA .475. This testing should only be on FM mode and not on C4FM. Digital mode will give a false reading.
How To Coordinate With Your Two-Way Radios For Major Events. An Opinion Article.
Recently, our group worked at three very large annual public events.
What was very obvious right from the start, was that no one gave a thought about coordinating two-way radio communications. Yep, not one thought.
Here are some of the problems that were encountered:
1) All different radio types where the owner had no clue how to operate it other than to; turn the power switch on and to use the push-to-talk button.
Remedy – Learn your radio! Don’t expect others to show you how to operate your own radio while out in the field during the actual event. It’s time consuming and a major waste of other people’s time. Learn your own radio.
2) All different radio bands being used at the event. Example; Amateur 2 Meters, Amateur 440 MHz, Commercial VHF Hi-Band and Commercial UHF.
Remedy – Bring at least two radios to the event. One for VHF Hi-Band (140 MHz – 170 MHz) and One for UHF (400 MHz – 470 MHz. If you have a dual band radio, all the better. This way you are flexible depending on what band the event is using for communications. Also; know the radio frequencies being used before hand at the event.
3) Radios that weren’t field programmable. Example, Motorola and other commercial radios.
Remedy – If your going to show up at an event with radios that aren’t keyboard programmable or are commercial radios, then carry a small computer or have some way to program them out in the field. Don’t expect other agencies or personnel to configure their radios to your now ‘brick radio’. Can’t configure your radio out in the field, then leave it home as it’s worthless during a major event.
4) Radios that were field programmable, but the operators have No Clue How To Program Them Without The Use Of A Computer.
Remedy – You should know how to program your radio without the use of a computer. Read the radio manual and practice programming out in the field without the use of the manual.
5) People yacking on their radios way too much, as though they wanted to hear themselves talk.
Remedy – No single transmission should last more than 10-15 seconds in length. Leave 4-5 second pauses between each transmission. If your transmitting more than 10-15 times during a 1 hour period, your talking way too much. Stay off the radio unless it’s absolutely necessary.
6) Incident Command. Some using it, some not.
Not enough personnel to effectively use it correctly. Something to be said for just using Plain English Communications.
Remedy – Get everyone on the same page. Either use Incident Command Structure or Don’t. Get everyone your working with on the same page and don’t have two different communications structures going at the same time.
7) Some people having loads and loads of certifications but never actually putting them to the test out in the field by actually using that knowledge during a major event. This was a huge problem…
Remedy – Train/Work with other groups out in the field as much as you can. Use what you know and have been taught with that certification you received. Book work means nothing unless you actually use it.
8) People having radio knowledge but no medical knowledge and visa-versa, but being located in a First Aid Tent.
Remedy – Be of more value. >>> Cross Train to do multiple jobs if possible, as your more valuable that way to other agencies and organizations.
9) Some using repeaters and others using simplex.
Remedy – Unless absolutely necessary, use simplex. You don’t need the entire world listening in to your communications at the event. It just invites hackers and jammers to cause problems with your radio communications. If the event activity is being held within a square mile, use simplex. If you need to get a hold of someone further away, then switch to a repeater temporarily to communicate with them or the dispatcher who is off-site from the event. ONLY use a repeater during a wide coverage event including multiple cities or involving long distances between two-way radio units.
On the bright side.
** Luckily, we carried enough extra radios to lend to the other agencies and operators so that everyone could communicate on the same frequencies and bands. But, this creates another problem if the radios get damaged or walk-away after the event. It can get expensive to replace radios.
It all comes back to the operator and ‘their’ responsibility to have good operating radio equipment, well charged radio batteries, knowledge of their radios, how it works and how to program them. Most of all, ‘common sense’ and ‘plain english language, no codes’ when communicating on those radios during an event.
Just my opinion from working hundreds of general public events and working with public safety organizations at events.
Corrections, Additions, or Comments all appreciated.
We all learn from sharing what we know 🙂
Sub Notes by Don KC0TJ..
This definitely bothers me to see these challenges on an event day. As Pres & a member of RARC I have made a pledge to help all members to learn radio basics & radio programming every meeting & during most activities. This article is from a dear friend of mine and his personal experiences. I wish that all members of RARC set some time to ask me or other members to be more prepared for the what ifs events and activities. Our experiences will make the hobby grow by being involved in drills, events, and by asking questions to our members and Elmer’s. This is also is why Sept 19th RARC’S net is an “All call Net” to be more prepared and be better then the article above. We also support club events like Field Day, GOTA, and 4th Wednesday events to help practice and share our craft. Again, this is why we are a club is to help other groups and events with our hobby.
Last note.. This article has nothing related to any of our members at Dan’s events, but is to encourage our members to get involved by learning from others.
Our monthly meeting is this Wednesday, Topics are “NET Training” This will have role playing examples of many variations of nets and being interactive. Our goal is to have fun and know the different types of nets (formal (closed, or All Calls), informal (Normal Nets, or Gaming Nets), & Round Tables (Tech Nets, informational, or Discussion Nets). We will cover terms, the how to’s, & Q&A’s. We hope everyone feels comfortable to help us with our weekly nets by the end.
2nd Part… Is a brief look at the Field Day event. We need a (Go To Person) or a (Go To Group). Field Day in briefest summary is… The biggest ham event that happens annually. This year is on June 22-23 weekend that is a Get-On-The-Air Event in a 24 hour period and is open to all. We only charge people if they want a rib dinner made by one of our members for his expenses. We do many side activities including non-alcoholic refreshments and snacks donated by members. Most of our event is already setup. *** WE ASK ALL HAMS TO JOIN A FD LOCATION! ***
12/97 members have finished our club’s survey This is not tracking any emails. We are trying to improve RARC by using this survey. We will be closing this survey Wednesday before the meeting. We are going to review the greatresponses at the meeting. CLICK HERE! May 22nd @ 7pm… 4th Wednesday is our Informal Gathering having 12 chairs set together at Perkins (494 & France Ave.) The 1st person arrives needs to make the setup. We ask everyone orders a menu item. Perkins doesn’t have any advance reservations, but will setup for 12 people anytime. Please use RARC “Rock!” when reserving a space so people can find us!Family’s are welcome, Next month we might change locations. May 25th… Get-On-The-Air needs a new location, or change to June 1st, but we will need someone to take lead.
Finally remember every club meeting we will try to revisita Basic Ham Radio related topic that we might have forgotten or was not in the test, Help with your Radio Programming Questions, and an Emergency Preparedness minute.
I will see you soon, Don Pres KC0TJ
Nets every Thurs @ 6:30pm 444.475+ PL Tone 118.8
Formal Meetings every 3rd Wed of the month from 7-9pm (7000 Nicollet Ave S)
Informal Gathering every 4th Wed starting at 7pm at a restaurant (Must buy a menu item.)
Our Bylaws & Constitution was passed and will be updated to the web soon.
Still need more people to take our surveynets dates might change based on 6 members responses.
Richfield Historical Society still needs help with spring clean-up & boardwalk building April 27 starting at 9am. (6901 Lyndale Ave.) Please call 612-968-8074. (The Historical Society hosts our 1st permanent club station.)
We will meet at Perkins (4201 W 78th St, Bloomington) April 24th 7pm for a very informal gathering for all. We will setup for 12 people to sit together. We ask people to order a food or a drink item, & RARC will not be paying for anyone’s orders. We have no advance reservations, but ask for “RARC (Rock)” when entering to find us.
MAY 15th next meeting… “Net Training and Pre-Field Day planning.” We need a Chairperson or Co-chairs for FD…
Next “Get On The Air Event” will be on May 25th 10am – 2pm…(Unknown Location)