Summary of Leadership Team Meeting, January 13, 2016

Meeting Summary by Agenda Topic

Attending:  Dave KG7LEA, Franz N3HFS, Joel KD7QKK, Jeff WB7AHT, George AE7G, Jessica W7EMF, Bill N6NBN, Carl N7KUW, Tim WT1IM, Todd WA7FOX, Susanna WB7CON, Mike KF7DTI and Mark N7LYE.

Web Related Services – Casey & Doug

Casey and Doug were unable to attend the meeting – Mark provided a brief status report on web project letting the team know the public web site was up and functioning and that Jessica and Doug were finalizing loading the documents into the file structure for the internal site.  As soon as this is completed we will send out login information to all members so they can setup their secure log-in credentials.  The www.seattleacs.com site is no longer active but can be accessed going directly to the MyStateUSA login. Also noted is that log-in credentials established by members for updating their contact information in the AlertSeattle system supporting alerting for Seattle ACS is separate from the new website and separate from public alerting accounts members may have setup to receive emergency alerts from the City of Seattle.

Field Day – Doug was out of town on business and could not attend the meeting; he forwarded this update on Field Day which Mark presented at the meeting:

On the one hand, I am very happy that we had a safe and effective Field Day 2015 with good points generation from CW, digital and bonus points for things like emergency power, educational activity, message traffic, etc.  On the needs improvement side, our GOTA operation had very little usage and we did not run an effective phone station (we did much better in 2014 on both counts).  We out-scored our 2014 effort and moved up the table but that was basically due to the great effort by Jim K7WA and his helpers on CW.

We need to recruit operators that are interested in running a more effective contest effort.  For GOTA, we all have friends, children, grandchildren, etc. that we need to encourage to come and experience ham radio and try out the GOTA station.  This is a great introduction and its key to getting points for the GOTA operation.  VHF worked well for us last year but we were only up on 6m and 2m I believe.  We need to get up on 440 and possibly others as this is an easy way to get points.

Good news we believe Jim may be joining us again in 2016. Bob (K9PQ) has let us know he has other plans for this year.  This puts us in a significant deficit from an equipment standpoint.  We need to recruit more people interested in operating the Field Day contest and those who have solid equipment for Field Day operations.  We are going to need both antennas and radios.  I suggested getting PSRG to start purchasing some of this type of stuff, but was turned down so we are currently reliant on person equipment donations.  On the operational side, a good CW operation can really rake in the points, and we need to do much better on phone (like we did in 2014), running frequencies and keeping the station manned.  Running a frequency is a lot like being a net control on a very busy frequency and we should encourage folks to try doing this.

I would love to know if Curt will be back this year – I’ll be reaching out to see once is back from his winter travels.  I would love to get indications of interest from ACS members who are willing to help in 2016 and in particular in helping to address our operation (CW) and equipment deficits.

Doug is recruiting people interested in working on the team to make Field Day a success this year – please contact him at kd7dk@arrl.net  The following members at the meeting expressed interest in working on Field Day:  Tim WT1IM, Franz N3HFS – interested in bringing in the Boy and Girl Scouts, George AE7G – assisting with the planning for GOTA but is committed to running the GOTA for Mike & Key and Susanna WB7CON working as liaison with the HUBs organization.

Training and Team Development – Carl

Carl pointed out how our training plan was set for the remained of the year through June, but we would continue to make members aware of ICS and related communications and general preparedness training that was being offered. 

Exercises – Jessica Coleman

Jessica discussed the general strategy and plan for conducting ACS drills and exercises for the year with an emphasis on doing more smaller events such as the 5th Saturday exercises as well as sector oriented drills and stand-up training.  Our larger planned exercises will be the Cascadia Rising exercise in June and a HUB focused drill in October to match up with the national SET exercise. Carl gave a brief report on the status of the Cascadia Rising 2016 (CR16) exercise and how ACS would potential play several different roles on different days during the 4 days of the event.  There will be much more information for distribution later on about how ACS will be involved.  Getting sufficient ACS member participation maybe a challenge due to most exercise activities are planned during business hours.  Jessica will soon be calling another meeting of the ACS exercise planning team – if you are interested in helping with this effort please contact her at   jsroder@gmail.com

  • Sector Drills
  • 5th Saturday Drills
  • Cascadia Rising 2016 Exercise – Carl
  • Planned Field Exercises
  • Other exercises/drills

Nets – Mike Maloy

The group discussed whether the current net format and purpose was appropriate or should we consider changing format, objectives, frequency and time.  It was generally agreed that the current format and approach seemed to work the time slot was good because it gives us exposure to the many PSRG members and visitors who check in at 7:30 and constraining our time to 30 minutes is good practice for being efficient managing information flow and conducting a net.  Additionally, the question of doing a roll call vs. member initiated check-ins was discussed and it was agreed the way we currently do it is better practice for a real-world situation.  The idea of making net control duty a mandatory requirement for ACS membership was discussed as way to promote better participation. Additionally, the group decided to explore establishing a message handling training net both voice and digital.  A group initiated by Carl and Tim is working to develop a plan – if you are interested in working on this please contact  Tim at tim.helming@gmail.com

  • Check-in Nets
  • Multiple repeater test net
  • Proposed Message handling practice net (voice and digital)
  • Monday Digital net

Development of ACS Digital Messaging Strategy – mission, objectives, practices and tools – Mark

Mark discussed how ACS had been using and experimenting with several digital tools including FLDIGI, WinLink/RMS, APRS and D-STAR and it probably made sense that we should develop a plan and practice for aligning the best tool with a specific communications requirement. We want to establish a group to develop this plan for the organization – George, Joel, Bill, and Franz expressed interest.  I have asked Jeff Coleman to take the lead in facilitating this group – if you are interested in patriating in developing this plan please contact him at jeffreyncoleman@gmail.com

ACS Communications Technology Strategy and Work Plan – Mark

Mark recapped all the progress that was made this past year as the result of our previous planning effort and the great technical work completed by the Tech Team lead by Frank K7RSD and Carl N7KUW.  This also resulted in many improvements to our Repeater system facilitated by Barry K7PAL and Tom N7OEP and many other who participated in several work parties.  We will be kicking off this year’s technical systems planning effort soon, Joel, Todd, Bill, Dave and Franz expressed interest in participating – if you are also interested please contact Mark at mark.sheppard@seattle.gov

If you are interested in being part of the Tech Work Team and participating in the work parties to run cable, set up repeaters and install radio equipment please contact Frank at fmcjunki@comcast.net or Barry at k7pal@k7pal.com

  • EOC improvements
  • Repeater strategy – improvements, partnerships and connectivity
  • C4FM Fusion technology – what does it mean for ACS
  • North Seattle College Station – (other satellite comm centers) mission, purpose and plan
  • EOC Emergency Comms evacuation plan

EOC Support Team – Mark, Carl and Mike

Mike, Carl and Mark have been working on a plan to develop a more formalized EOC support team.  This will include specific positions with a set of requirements and expectations along with training, work experience and a task-book to record progress.  This plan will materialize during the first half of 2016 and will be developed in conjunction with the new OEM volunteer coordinator position.  More information to follow.

Special Events Strategy and Plan – Mark

There is considerable interest and enthusiasm for continuing to expand the incorporation of public service event support into the culture of Seattle ACS.  We are looking for some folks to form a work group to help plan this strategy and approach – if you are interested please contact Mark at mark.sheppard@seattle.gov

Approach for Work Plan Development and Management: Note the above topics are for discussion – a topic discussion leader is designated for the leadership team  meeting the expectation is that these topics will be discussed with the goal of coming up with an agreed upon purpose, set of objectives and expectations which will lead to development of a work plan with specific tasks and outcomes to move these work program elements forward.  A leader for each work item is required as well as a working group or team to do the work, information about the team activities and work products should be posted on a topic specific blog page and meetings and milestones listed on our ACS calendar. Update of work group progress will be reported at our monthly business/training meetings as well as on the website and as information announcements on our weekly information nets.   The leadership team will meet quarterly or more frequently as needed to review overall work plan progress.