SCARS Weekly Newsletter – 9/28/15

I’ve got a license, now what? Week Two . . .
Section Emergency Test . . .
Tower Work Is Thursday! . . .
Did I forget you last week? . . .
ARRL Letter – 9/24/2015 . . .
How to Become A VE . . .
Amateur Radio Newsline . . .
Officers, and odd-links . . .
Upcoming Hamfests within 250 miles _…_._

I’ve got a license, now what?
Week Two

Last week, I posted a link to the FCC document which governs the Amateur Radio Service. These links:

This week I’m going to present a very brief discussion with links about “guidelines”. But don’t think of them as that, think of them as “best practices”.

You’ve read through at least a few of the rules. Here is something you should concern yourself with often:

Subpart B—Station Operation Standards
 §97.101 General standards.
  (a) In all respects not specifically covered by FCC Rules each amateur station must be operated in accordance with good engineering and good amateur practice.
  (b) Each station licensee and each control operator must cooperate in selecting transmitting channels and in making the most effective use of the amateur service frequencies. No frequency will be assigned for the exclusive use of any station.
  (c) At all times and on all frequencies, each control operator must give priority to stations providing emergency communications, except to stations transmitting communications for training drills and tests in RACES.
  (d) No amateur operator shall willfully or maliciously interfere with or cause interference to any radio communication or signal.

This too:


These are examples of “guidelines” (Best Practice – “Great Practice”, IMO):

This one is a good primer on how to make contacts:

How about using a repeater?:

This one is really good, too:

Next week, I’ll point you to some resources on putting up HF and VHF antennas.

Section Emergency Test        

2015 ARES-Oklahoma Simulated Emergency Test (SET)

Get Ready for the SET

Register with ARES-Oklahoma at

Keep in touch with ARES-Oklahoma – go to and click “Join this Group!” on the right hand side of the page and sign up to receive all the latest ARES-Oklahoma news.

Seek out local ARES-OK leader & training via

Exercise Date  Saturday, October 3, 2015

Exercise Times  Activity should not begin before at 0830L and should conclude all activity by 1300L.

Statewide HF net will start on 1000L.

If local ARES-OK leader(s) wishes to extend the local exercise past 1300L, that is their call.

Purpose of SET

To find out the strengths and weaknesses of ARES, NTS, and other groups in providing emergency communications.

To provide a public demonstration to served agencies such as the American Red Cross, the emergency management agency and through the news media of the value to the public that Amateur Radio provides, particularly in time of need.

To help radio amateurs gain experience in communications using standard procedures and a variety of modes under simulated-emergency conditions.

Scenario for the 2015 SET
An ice storm has paralyzed your region of Oklahoma. The ice accumulations is between 1/2 to 1 inch has causes many trees, branches and power lines to fail. Estimates are between 60 to 80 percent of homes in your region (Zone) are without power. Many roads are impassible. Normal daily use communications infrastructure has also suffered. Downed wires, power outages, bent antennas, and failed back-ups have hampered normal communications. Amateur Radio operators have not gone undamaged. Repeaters that are not on back-up power are not functioning.  Many large antennas systems are down or damaged. Area served agencies have requested communications support from local Amateur Radio.

What’s working in this scenario?
VHF/UHF Simplex
Limited Repeaters. (Repeaters with back-up power may be used. )
Limited Internet. (Internet may be use at the discretion of local ARES-OK leaders.)
HF with NVIS type antenna systems
Our ingenuity
Operations Guidelines and Goals

  1. KEY GOAL: At the local level – send tactical message traffic on behalf of local served agency(s). (Local ARES-OK leaders to create their own mock messages).

NOTE: If you’re not working with any served agency partners in your county?  Local ARES-OK leaders pick 2 or 3 locations around your area and simulate your deployment response — the SET is meant to be good practice (find a way to participate).

  1. Simplex should be used wherever possible.
  1. Traffic can be passed between fixed and/or mobile stations if needed.
  1. All traffic MUST begin with “THIS IS A EXERCISE MESSAGE” or “EXERCISE, EXERCISE”.
  1. On every participating net, Net Control Stations shall at the beginning, close and often during the net (at least every 15 minutes) announce the following phrase: “THIS IS THE ARES-OKLAHOMA SIMULATED EMERGENCY TEST – THIS IS ONLY A EXERCISE”.
  1. The Scenario notes that roads may be impassable. Therefore, movement of mobile stations should be limited. It may be necessary to assign other than “the usual” operators to locations such as county EOCs, or other served agencies.  Mix it up.
  1. All stations are encouraged to use their emergency power source and set up emergency antennas if possible. If it’s something you’d expect to do during a communications emergency/disaster, no better time than now to test it out.
  1. Creative “thinking outside the box” is encouraged to circumvent the rules (provided it’s legal!)
  1. REPORTING: Leaders of ARES-OK groups shall send a SET report. Individuals participating on their own and not with a local group should also send a SET report. Links to SET reporting forms and the EC Annual Report may be found at After logging on the page, scroll down and look in the middle of the page for links titled “Form A: EC Simulated Emergency Test Report”,  “Form B: NM Simulated Emergency Test Report”, and Form C: EC Annual Report.”You may e-mail your SET reports to ARRL Headquarters via If you mail them to ARRL via the postal service, the address is: ARRL Headquarters, 225 Main Street, Newington, CT06111-1494.
  1. Don’t forget, let’s have some fun with this!

Local Net(s) during Annual SET
The selection of VHF/UHF simplex frequencies will be at the discretion of the local ARES-OK leaders. Repeaters may be use at the discretion of the local ARES-OK leaders.

Statewide HF Nets during Annual SET
The ARES-OK Statewide HF ARES Net will be active during the annual Simulated Emergency Test at the times noted below.

ALL Radio Amateurs in OKLAHOMA are encouraged to check-in to the ARES-OK Statewide HF ARES Net.
The ARES-OK Statewide HF Net will be active in support of SET for the purpose of forwarding messages over longer distances than can not be handled on local VHF and UHF nets, and to give increased exposure to ARES throughout the state and to encourage ARES membership and activity through a high level of visibility. This is also a good opportunity for all OKLAHOMA Radio Amateurs to test and practice operations HF equipment — on back up powers systems and/or NVIS type antennas.

ARES-OK Statewide HF Net -Start time 1000L and conclude no later than 1200L.

Primary frequency: 7260KHz  Lower Sideband Phone +/- QRM (+/- QRM = translates to up or down the band depending on use or noise).

ALT frequency:      3900KHz  Lower Sideband Phone +/- QRM

You may have to tune around to find the net.
ARES-OK Net Control Stations will be controlling this net session.

Checking into the net will follow the “Roll Call” check-in system that is normally conducted during the weekly Sunday ARES-OK HF Net.
Once the roll is complete the Net will be open to check-ins/comments from ALL Radio Amateurs in OKLAHOMA.

Check-in will be called by the ARES-OK regions.
North-West Region
South-West Region
 Capital Region
North-East Region
 Tulsa Region
South-East Region

At the discretion of the ARES-OK Net Control Station — the net may be opened up to check-in stations from outside of Oklahoma.


All events REQUIRE proper documentation.

All tactical traffic should be logged on an ICS-309AR form.

Each station/group should log all activity on an ICS-214 form.

Formal message traffic should be written to insure proper handling of the message. To better interface with our served agencies ARES-OK will work toward transitioning to the NIMS message form ISC-213. The ISC-213 form may be downloaded from and reproduced as necessary.

However the ARRL Radiogram maybe still be used and can downloaded from and can also be reproduced as needed. It is critical to establishing maintain the paper trail for all written messages.

REMINDER: Send Your Simulated Emergency Test Report

After the SET all ARES-OK leaders please send in your report. Individuals participating on their own and not with a local group should also send a SET report.

Links to SET reporting forms and the EC Annual Report may be found at  After logging on the page, scroll down and look in the middle of the page for links titled “Form A: EC Simulated Emergency Test Report”,  “Form B: NM Simulated Emergency Test Report”, and Form C: EC Annual Report.”

You may e-mail your SET summaries to ARRL Headquarters via If you mail them to ARRL via the postal service, the address is: ARRL Headquarters, 225 Main Street, Newington, CT06111-1494.

Got Questions?
Local ARES-OK leaders if you have questions, please contact your Regional EC.  If you’re not getting the help you need or still have questions, please feel free to contact the SEC.

Good Luck,

Mark Conklin, N7XYO
Oklahoma Section Emergency Coordinator
Amateur Radio Emergency Service

Tower Work Is Thursday!

The long-anticipated work on the antennas and feedlines at the repeater site is this Thursday. We are hopeful that work is completed by the end of the day, but it may drag on into Friday. We will be taking the repeater system cavities away from the site, perhaps earlier in the week, to check tuning and get the dust off of everything.

While the repeaters are down, don’t just stay off-the-air, the N5MS repeater, 146.88 – no tone – is up and has a good signal, so use it.

I’ll post here, by email, on the SCARS Twitter feed, and Facebook groups, the anticipated schedule, when the systems go down, and when they are back up.

QRX (stand by for more info) . . .

 Did I Forget You Last Week?

There’s an easy way to make sure that you receive each and every blog post. Yes, even on those days when I forget to send an email out to the Club list! But remember that I ONLY send out an email notification for the Weekly Newsletters. The other non-Weekly posts are very rarely notified about via email.

From anywhere on the Blog, scroll down until you see “Follow Blog via Email” in the right side-bar. Sign-up there, and you will always receive an email notice each and every time I post something here. Big Solar Flare? Bingo – you’re on it.

ARRL Letter – 9/24/15

Read it all: ARRL Letter

  How To Become A VE

If you are interested in becoming an ARRL Volunteer Examiner (VE) and serving the Amateur Radio community, it’s easy and free!

Follow these three steps to become an ARRL Volunteer Examiner:

1. Review the Volunteer Examiner Manual, paying special attention to Chapter 2: Becoming a Volunteer Examiner.

2. Complete and sign the VE Application form and open-book review * (40 question review).

3. Please fax, mail or email forms (Adobe PDF file or scanned JPEG image showing your real signature) to the address below: * *

225 Main St
Newington, CT 06111  USA

Fax: 860-594-0339


Once accredited, you will receive in the mail a colorful, laminated VE badge, and badge clip to wear at exam sessions and a certificate suitable for framing. Please allow 3-4 weeks for the ARRL VE badge and certificate to arrive.

A bit more info at this link:

 Amateur Radio Newsline, September 25, 2015


Live links and Audio here: ARNEWSLINE #1978

Odds and Ends

ARRL Outgoing QSL Service

Announced DX Operations

D-Star stuff

This Month (September) in QST
[Oh? You’re not a member? Why not? Seriously – ask me at this month’s meeting. Let me talk with you about it. -WB5ULK]

News, Links, Repeater Info, Hamfests, Licensing, General Help

For those who have not yet found the officers on the webpage, here is the list:

President: Phil Sinnett, KD5UGO
President-Elect-VP: Harold Black, W5IFN
Treasurer: Doug Forsyth, WX5DF
Secretary: Chris Pape, KE5JZN
Past President: Bill Lockett, AE5F
Director at Large: Bill Baker, WG5T (appointment)
Trustee: Peter Laws, N5UWY (appointment)
Assistant Trustee: Gary Skaggs, WB5ULK  (appointment)

Also, some of you have asked about the site I use personally to track real-time lightning data. That site can be found here:

Upcoming Hamfests within 250 miles

Link below lists all the ARRL-related hamfests within a 250 mile drive of Norman for about the next 5 months. Lots of good ones close to Norman.

As always…Nets, Links, Other Stuff in the link at the top AND in the sidebar. Have a great week!

73 de Gary, WB5ULK …_._

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