Meeting Notes – April and May 2019

If you didn’t make it to either or both of the last two meetings, here are some of the highlights for what you missed.

At the April 20th meeting, we discussed some tools that can be used to help find a line of sight for things that may require it, like Hamwan. Randy – W3RWN sent those out to ACS members just before the meeting but took some time to demonstrate how they worked.

Great turnout for Comm Academy – such high participate that some people actually had to be turned away. Considerations are being made for a new location in future years and the potential for bringing in more sponsorships and investigating grant opportunities.

Field Day is coming up on June 22nd. It will be a partnership between WSARC, PSRG, and ACS, with the potential of the hub and/or Red Cross joining. It will be hosted at South Seattle College again, but an investigation of alternate locations for the future is being done. This year, there is going be more effort put into community inclusion and outreach as well as educational opportunities.

The majority of setup with take place the day before on Friday the 21st. As always, volunteers are appreciated. Beyond that, we need volunteers to take some leadership positions. Thanks to Petyr – W7ELN for volunteering to lead the dipole construction crew. We also have openings to lead the ACS tent construction and someone to take lead in coordinating the documenting of “Extra Point” activities of field day, like messaging, safety, trainings and education, etc. Reach out to Doug – KD7DK for more info and to volunteer.

Winlink trainings are being held at North Seattle College. The next one will be on Tuesday, May 14th. If you are looking to get started or just need some troubleshooting help, reach out to Christian – K7XTN

Mark posted dates in the previous article for upcoming events. To add to that is RAMROD which is the last Thursday of July – the 25th this year. If you are interested in helping with RAMROD, reach out to George – AE7G. If you are interested in Fat Salmon or the Solstice Parade, reach out to Franz – N3HFS

There was an update on the June 1st exercise. 14 hubs will be participating. Expect to receive a message from Alert Seattle Friday afternoon about a net that evening. Saturday morning, sectors and the EOC will stand up. All North sectors will be combined into one as will the South, but the South sector may operate out of the EOC.

Lastly, Doug and Randy gave a high level overview of DMR, including how it works techinically, what ways it can be used, and future plans for its expansion.

News & Activities

The May ACS Meeting and Training will be held Saturday May 11th at North Seattle College in the Education Building room ED2843A, coffee at 8:30 AM – business meeting starts at 9:00 AM and our training and presentations begin at about 10 AM. Dave and George will discuss our plans for conducting the June 1st emergency communications field exercise with the HUBs. Doug and Randy will lead practical discussion about the structure, use and future plans for the Seattle area DMR system and DMR use for Emcomm. This should be a fun an interactive session.
Location and directions: North Seattle College and see campus map

Up-coming public service events (and the list will grow)

Field Day June 21 (set-up) Event June 22 – 23

Fremont Solstice Parade – June 22

Fat Salmon Open Water Swim – July 13

FCC Rule Making Regarding Digital Communications Needs your Review and Comments– IMPORTANT

There is a proposed FCC Rulemaking, RM-11831, which if implemented would basically eliminate most if not all of our digital radio communications modes and capabilities including but not limited to Winlink, P25, DMR, and C4FM.  The potential negative impacts to both amateur radio, and to emergency communications, are huge.

We encourage all ACS members to do the following:

  1. Read the proposal, Petition for Rulemaking RM-11831. First you need to understand what is being proposed before you can comment for or against.
  2. Reviews articles about the issue in these linked publications:
    1. Article from Mission Critical Communications
    1. Article from NYU Wireless
    1. Winlink’s response to Petition RM-11831
  3. Follow this link and read some of the other comments, both for and against the proposed rulemaking.  Consider the various points of view.
  4. Look at these two linked responses, which have already been filed by Seattle OEM/ACS:  Mark Sheppard and Carl Leon.  Please do not simply copy or quote these but read them to perhaps get ideas of what you might want to say. But say it in your own words.
  5. Compose your own thoughts on a piece of paper, in Word or in a text file. Set them aside for a bit, then go back and read them again. Fine tune until what you want to say is concise and clear.  Save it.
  6. Go to this link: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings  and post your own comment.  The page looks intimidating, but it really isn’t. Fill in the boxes that clearly apply to you and leave the rest blank. Some are required.  You do need to indicate RM-11831 in the first box, and that you are the filer. No need to enter anything in for author, or law firm, or any other fields that clearly don’t apply.  When you have completed all the necessary boxes, at the bottom of the form is a place to upload a file.  Upload the file with your comments (that you saved in step 5 above).
  7. Submit the form. And thank you for taking the time to consider this matter and to submit a response.

Thank you, ACS Leadership