If you’re like me, then you read every ACS email, in which case you also know we got to play with radios today and not just our own! We had about 30 people out today to assist with our SR99 testing project. Most of those being ACS members, but we were also supported by SFD and WSDOT. The task was to determine the range of effective communications of our radios in and through the new tunnel.
We were also loaned 800 MHz radios by SFD for the exercise. Our testing consisted of staging a ham every three-tenths of a mile for the entire 2.1-mile stretch, end to end on both the north and southbound lanes. We tested simplex frequencies on VHF, UHF, and 800 MHz. We found that the higher frequencies had the best coverage. The 800 MHz radios were readable from start to finish, while 440 covered a majority of the length for HT’s with the standard “rubber ducky” antenna.
Overall, it was a fun afternoon despite the chills of the first day of Winter. Thanks to Franz (N3HFS) for the idea, everyone who assisted, and leadership for making it happen!
Disaster Exercise – Media Advisory
On April 28, 2018, from 0830 to 1200, the Seattle Neighborhood Hubs and Seattle ACS will hold a field exercise. ACS will support the hubs by deploying sector teams and hub operators simulating a general communications failure. Please follow this link to view the Media Advisory Information
Participating amateur radio operators will need radios programmed with the ACS frequencies and the ability to receive Fldigi digital messages. Winlink email will be the default mode for sending messages from hubs and sectors. Voice will be used for coordination and as a last alternative for messaging. The emphasis of this exercise will be efficient and accurate message handling as well as practice deploying and operating as cohesive teams.
To simulate an unplanned emergency a full briefing will be broadcast the night before at 1900 on UHF Channel 4, the Columbia repeater. The net will also be announced via Alert Seattle. ACS will activate at 0830 on Saturday morning. The exercise will conclude at 1200. Please plan to participate, we hope this will be a helpful learning opportunity and a lot of fun.
After Action Review – .We have set a date for a joint Hub and ACS After Action Review, it will be Wednesday, May 2, 7:00 pm at the Discovery Park Environmental Center. 3801 Discovery Park Blvd, Seattle, WA 98199 . If you can’t attend, please get feedback you want to share to me or someone in your sector who can present it for you.
On Saturday March 31st Seattle Auxiliary Communications Services (ACS) conducted a city-wide drill. Forty two ACS amateur radio volunteers participated and were organized into 5 sector teams throughout the city as well as a team staffing the EOC. The exercise instructions and plan were kept secret from the participants until the start of the activities.
The exercise scenario was that a significant wind storm had knocked out all power to the region and caused widespread damage from downed trees.
The drill ran from 0830 to 1200 hours. During that time the teams we able to:
- assemble rosters of members participating on each team
- visit 52 emergency hub sites and conduct radio frequency path testing
- submit 172 simulated damage reports derived from scavenger hunt like activities
- as well as contact the State EOC and coordinate with other teams across the region
Overall, ACS volunteers drove approximately 300 miles in their own vehicles throughout the City to support this mission to collect and provide critical information that would be essential in a disaster situation.
These tasks were accomplished through the use of amateur radio voice communication as well as digital email-over-radio messaging. Special thanks and appreciation to Dean Lambert an ACS volunteer for planning and managing the exercise.