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

Meeting notes

Because of Viadocalypse (viaduct-apocalyse), this month’s meeting took place at N. Seattle College.

We reviewed several things including:

  • the progress being made to make the new radio room ready, including the antenna work that had been done and the need to get the HF loop installed.
  • the 5th Saturday drill and some lessons learned from other departments
  • the Hwy 99 tunnel test (more detail in the previous article)
  • PSRG’s trial of DMR, currently on TX 440.775 / RX 445.775, Color code: 2 – Doug also mentioned that there will be some opportunities to learn more about DMR at the Comm Academy.
  • Monday’s multi-repeater net which will include; simplex UHF, DMR, MT63-2k, and a repeater.
  • a few updates that were made to the ICS-217 for incorrect labeling of some digital channels
  • new ACS badges! Rapid tag is now in effect which should provide us with faster check-in/out and better and easier reporting

One additional thing that came up was, if you were at the December 8th meeting at Discovery Park and you received an ACS “Go Drive”, you will need to update the ICS-217s on there as the offsets are incorrect. Delete the ones on the USB and replace them with ones in the Google Drive – link here

After the break, we heard from Lauren Paolini of AT&T about FirstNet. She reviewed how it came to be and explained the different tiers of users and the way AT&T can prioritize FirstNet users, not just over the new Band 14, but across all its bands. Generally speaking the Primary users, with the highest level of access will be Law enforcement, EMS, a Fire, or as Laura put it “Guns, needles, and hoses.” The next tier, “Extended Primary”, would consist of healthcare, utilities, transportation, etc

AT&T claims to have 78+% coverage across the country (2.74 million sq/miles) but also has 72 deployables to extend coverage or service an area that has lost it. Washington has 9 dedicated to the state, with 7 of those being stationed in North Bend.

They are also working on an “Enhance push-to-talk” that would be a radio-like bridge to existing LMR radios over their data network.

Many newer phones are capable of utilizing Band 14, so if you are interested, you can sign up for FirstNet through AT&T. Apparently, the service rates are quite competitive.

Finally, Scott Currie gave us a talk about APRS, what it can do and he’s utilized it at RAMROD. He demonstrated the software they use (APRSISCE/32) to keep track of the various moving vehicles required to support the ride.

If you weren’t able to join us this time, we hope to see you next time!