W7ACS DSTAR Repeater up and running – thank you to ACS Tech Team

A Cold Day on the Roof

On Saturday November 4th at 0900 the ACS Tech Team assembled on Capitol Hill to install the antenna and repeater equipment to breathe life into the W7ACS DSTAR repeater which has been silent for several months.  It was previously located on top of the Seattle Municipal Tower.  It was not working well at that location and was subsequently removed and remained in storage until now.

Recently, ACS leadership appointed a new team of COMTs to lead the ACS technical planning and work projects.  The first project on the list was restarting DSTAR.  We thank Doug KD7DK for taking the lead and organizing the team to plan and carry out this work which required two visits to the Capitol Park site as well as a lot of work by the team in assembling, configuring and testing the equipment and software.

Antennas at Capitol Park

The final installation took place on Saturday November 4th, a very cold and threatening day following the first snow fall of the year.   The work required transporting all the gear and tools to the site, removing an old 22 foot UHF antenna, preparing the cabling, installing and testing the equipment.  Additionally,  some alignment work was completed to improve the connection of HamWAN with the Queen Ann site.

We want to thank those who participated in this project – the team includes:  Randy W3RWN, Casey AE7SL, Mark N7LYE, Carl N7KUW, Tom N7OEP, and HamWAN engineer Nigel N7NVH.  They donated both their time and equipment to this site installation.  We especially want to thank Doug, KD7DK for his leadership and coordination of the effort, many of the planning methods for this project will be leveraged for future work.

Equipment Rack at Capitol Park

So give the repeater a try:  This is a DSTAR only, digital, narrow band repeater (IC-4000V + IC-RP2C + Raspberry PI Gateway) operating on 440.7625 with a +5.0MHz offset.  It is open to anyone to test out.  We would be interested in your reports of coverage.  Its operating at 25 watts with a modest gain antenna.


HUBs & SPOKEs Exercise was a Great Experience!


After Action Review completed – On Saturday August 5, 2017 Seattle ACS hosted an after action discussion at South Seattle College to review the Hubs and Spokes Exercise.  The session was facilitated by Stan K7TEG with a summary prepared by Tim WT1IM.  This information along with reports submitted by the participating Hubs and Sector teams were used by Stan to prepare the final ACS Hubs and Spokes After Action Report now available for review.  The Hubs will complete their after action review on Thursday August 24th at 7:00 PM at the HubCaps meeting to be held at Discovery Park.

Amateur (“Ham”) Radio Operators and Neighborhood Hub Volunteers To Deploy Across City To Test Emergency and Priority Message Handling For Simulated Day 6 of Earthquake Aftermath

Seattle, July 29, 2017 — The Seattle Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS), a volunteer organization operating under the auspices of the Seattle Office of Emergency Management, and the Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs, a grass-roots, neighborhood network of community members, will jointly conduct a citywide communications exercise called “Hubs and Spokes” on Saturday, July 29, between 8:00 AM and 1:00 PM. The drill, which is part of the “Cascadia Rising” exercise series, simulates Day 6 in the aftermath of a catastrophic earthquake, with challenges including damaged or destroyed infrastructure, widespread medical casualties, and reduced volunteer capabilities due to fatigue and resource constraints. Because the Hubs are the major resource for neighborhood situational awareness and resource coordination, smooth communications between the Hubs, ACS, and the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) are a must.

Read more about this event – see our Media Release


Field Day 2017 was a Great Success!

Once again the Seattle Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) a program of the Office of Emergency Management conducted an emergency communications preparedness exercise as part of a national amateur radio “Field Day” event. The purpose was to demonstrate the capability of amateur radio operators to set up and operate field radio stations under emergency conditions for an extended period of time and contact as many other teams across the US and Canada using amateur radio.

Events like this help our volunteer emergency communications teams train and prepare for responding in times of disaster and emergency when electricity and conventional means of communications are disrupted. The ACS team invited other local amateur radio groups to join them for this event and  powered operations around the clock using solar generated energy.

The Seattle Auxiliary Communications Services (Seattle ACS) is a volunteer group of Amateur radio operators that provides radio communications support to the City of Seattle, Office of Emergency Management, as well as other government agencies. Seattle ACS will conduct this Emergency Communications Field Exercise at South Seattle Community College in the field at the south/east corner of the campus behind Olympic Hall. This event will take place over the weekend beginning with set up on Friday morning June 23 at 9:00 AM. The event activities began at 11:00 AM on Saturday, June 25 and ended at approximately 11:00 AM on Sunday June 25, 2017.