Presentation by PG&E Public Safety Specialist (January 25, 2020):
Batteries 101 (October 26, 2019):
Radio For The Rest Of Us (July 27, 2019):
The last few years have seen a dramatic rise in the frequency and intensity of storms, fires, power shutdowns, and other natural and man-made disasters - events which often disrupt vital communications services. Recent examples include 9/11, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Carr and Camp Fires, and Hurricanes Sandy, Katrina, Maria and Irma, which wiped out cell and Internet communications. With the ever-increasing impacts of climate change and political tensions, these disasters may only become more frequent and more intense - putting us all at greater risk. Thompsons presentation also offers suggestions on how the rest of us might help ourselves, our friends, our families and community to stay safer in the face of cell-phone and Internet service failures.
About our guest speaker Alan Thompson:
Alan Thompson, W6WN, grew up and still lives and works in Placerville California. Hes the Owner and Chief Field Engineer for El Dorado Networks, providing satellite Internet systems installations and maintenance services for businesses and governmental organizations including Facebook, Intelsat, Bank of America / Merrill Lynch, the Department of Defense, and the Federal Aviation Administration. On one of his most recent projects, he was part of a Disaster Recovery Team that installed several satellite Internet backup systems to help restore cell-phone service ten days after the 2018 Camp Fire rubbed out electronic communications in Paradise and Magalia.
The Camp Fire Phones, Fires, and Failures (April 27, 2019):
Alan further states:
Santa Clara County Sheriffs Search and Rescue Team (Jan 26, 2019):
MARS, Military Auxiliary Radio Service (Oct 27, 2018):
Team Rubicon (July 28, 2018):
Medical Response to Disasters (April 28, 2018):
Challenges Encountered During Large Wildland Fires (January 27, 2018):
Fire Associates Rehab Fire Support Vehicle (October 28, 2017):
County 3rd Annual Radio Direction Finding Mini-Drill (July 22, 2017):
CalFire 1629 Mobile Command Vehicle (April 22, 2017):
Nick Arnett, KJ6FOI, a member of Santa Clara ARES/RACES, is a nationally registered EMT and former paramedic with experience in domestic and international disaster response in medical, communications, crisis intervention and chaplain roles. He has been a contract CAL FIRE employee during major incidents. He is a member of the California Fire Chaplain Association, on the executive board of the California Peer Support Association and a member of the Contra Costa County Public Safety Support Association. He received a Volunteer of the Year award from the Santa Clara County Emergency Managers Association in 2012. His occupation for the last 20 years has been product management leadership in the software industry.
Planning Process for Level One Homeland Security Event (January 28th, 2017):
Hazmat Recognition (October 22, 2016):
After a disaster such as an earthquake it is inevitable that hazardous materials will be released. In order for emergency communicators in the field to remain safe, it is critical to be able to recognize when hazardous materials are present. This presentation is designed to provide emergency responders with the ability to recognize Hazmat so that they can keep a safe distance and be able to pass along important information to command. Some of the topics covered:
Engaging Youth With Amateur Radio (July 23, 2016):
Electronics Flea Market (May 14, 2016):
Radio Testing and Analysis (April 23, 2016):
Risk and Impact of a Communications Outage (Jan 23, 2016):
South County Airport Pilots Association, Disaster Airlift Response Team (Oct 24, 2015):
SATERN, Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (July 25, 2015):
Amateur Radio Installations at County Fire Stations in Cupertino (April 25, 2015):
Website with all the project details attendees were asking for is at http://www.cupertinoares.org/index.php?content=proj1406
Download presentation slides from http://www.cupertinoares.org/pdocs/VCP2014-SVECS-Presentation.pdf
Achievements of the County ARES/RACES Organization (January 24, 2015):
Countywide Broadband Mesh Networks (October 25, 2014):
This countywide broadband mesh network uses low cost wireless links of WISP and WIFI equipment (2.4 and 5.8 GHz Part 15 802.11 radios) between emergency operations centers throughout Santa Clara County. These wireless datalinks enable applications as diverse as the internet itself including web services, forms, instant messaging, file transfer, VOIP phone service, digital video, or social media, but without reliance on public internet infrastructure. This system began as the Santa Clara Emergency Wireless Network, http://www.scewn.org, a standalone system independent of the internet and commercial networks. Craig was the Coordinator of SVWUX - Silicon Valley Wireless Users and Experimenters, http://www.svwux.org
Most currently deployed radios are products by Ubiquiti Networks, such as BulletM, NanoBridge, and NanoStation. These radios were favored because they are the most affordable devices we could find that were tailored to long range communication.
This photo shows a Ubiquiti 5.8GHz NanoBridge radio mounted alongside a 440 MHz band yagi antenna. Radio fits into the parabolic antenna, a Cat5 cable routes down to inside building where it connects to a POE (Power Over Ethernet) device that provides power to the NanoStation.
Video of Craig Andersons presentation at SVECS
PDF of Craig Andersons presentation slides
Photo showing elements connected together with Cat5 cable
Diagram of Ubiquiti Nanobridge Radio to PC and VOIP phone
Schematic for power crossover PoE cable for VOIP phone
Other amateur radio operators are working on similar systems, such as broadband mesh networks at http://www.broadband-hamnet.org
Some of the items used:
Carnegie Mellon Universitys (CMU), Disaster Management Initiative (DMI) which include,
Emergency Wireless Network slides by Andrew Brown from CMU workshop (PDF)
SCEWN White Paper (PDF)
San Francisco Earthquakes, Past and Present, and Seismic Risks in the Bay Area (July 26, 2014):
Emergency Preparedness Plan for Kaiser Santa Clara (April 26, 2014):
Toward an Integrated Electronic Messaging System (January 25, 2014):
Everything discussed today is due to the efforts of these people!
Radio Testing and Measurement Party (October 26, 2013):
Care and feeding of your batteries (July 27, 2013):
ARES Items (April 27, 2013):
Coast Guard Auxiliary: Their Mission, Communications and Activities (February 2, 2013):
Santa Clara County Terrorism Task Force (October 27, 2012):
History and Current Mission of the Civil Air Patrol (July 28, 2012):
Mounted Search and Rescue Team of San Mateo County (April 28, 2012):
NVIS and advanced digital communication techinques (January 28, 2012):
Emergency Management and Radio Communications (July 23, 2011):
Search and Locate practice, Visual and Radio Direction Finding (July 23, 2011):
Scenario: SCC ARES/RACES were asked to provide and coordinate responders to assist a local agency in finding some lost items in a park. (NOTE: There is no requirement for RDF capability in order to participate in the exercise drill.) Stuck microphone scenarios may appear, Net Control may perform frequency change exercises, and more.
*Those not a Santa Clara County DSW were asked to sign up and swear in at the event. Participation in this event required having a current Santa Clara County DSW status.
Digitizing Radio Content for Web-based Common Operations (April 30, 2011):
Due to unforseen circumstances Jeannie Stamberger, previous speaker for Carnegie Mellon Disaster Management could not appear for the April 30th SVECS Quarterly Breakfast. She apologized for the switch in speakers; she mentioned amateur radio community does fantastic work during emergencies and would love to further incorporate that community into the next generation technology development research at the DMI.
San Bruno Gas Pipeline Explosion (Jan 22, 2011):
Go-Cases, Deployable Radio Systems (Oct 23, 2010):
National Night Out (August 3, 2010):
SJ RACES provided hams to National Night Out to let the neighborhoods know that when the cell phone towers fall and ATT is totally busy WE WILL BE THERE. A check-in net at was on N6NFI repeater that connected all the local National Night Out events. San Jose registered 86 sites within the city.
Santa Clara ARES/RACES
City of Santa Clara supported National Night Out with members position at various different neighborhood meetings around the city. They monitored and interacted with the SJ RACES effort on the N6NFI repeater. http://santaclara-ares.org
Canine Search and Rescue (July 24, 2010):
Ms. Engelbert experience includes working with the Canine Specialized Search Team, Institute for Canine Forensics, and NASA Disaster Assistance & Rescue Team. She also has a degree in Fire Science Technology from Mission College.
Lynne and her dog Lucy worked with California Task Force 4 the recovery effort at World Trade Center in September 2001. http://dogsinthenews.com/issues/0206/articles/020601y.htm
Ms. Engelbert has worked numerous disaster and recovery events including Hurricane Katrina, Shuttle Columbia recovery, and Oklahoma City. See Saratoga News article, Saratoga woman and her dog, Sweep, are there when theyre needed. http://www.k9forensic.org/MNews-Engelbert.pdf
Cisco NERV Vehicle (April 24, 2010):
When all else fails, the April 2009 Cable Cut (January 23, 2010):
Packet Updates in Santa Clara County (October 24, 2009):
Jims presentation slides are available here: (PDF file)
Photos from Oct 24, 2009 meeting:
Copernicus Peak Fire Lookout (July 25, 2009):
The fire lookout was closed for 17 years reopened in 2007.
Calfire News June 2007 article:
Volunteers will staff the lookout on an as-need basis during red flags, high winds, after lightning storms and on high-fire danger days.
The lookout was constructed in 1938 and served as one of several fire lookouts within the Santa Clara Unit, a 1.4 million-acre stretch.
Electronics Flea Market, De Anza College (June 13, 2009):
A Big Thanks to all that helped SVECS at the June Electronics Flea Market coffee/donut tent at DeAnza College http://www.electronicsfleamarket.com
Red Cross Emergency Communication Response Vehicle (April 25, 2009):
Fiber Cable(s) Cut Causes Telephone/Internet Outage in Santa Clara County (April 9, 2009):
To all hams who worked on April 9, 2009
from Larry Carr KE6AGJ
Chief Radio Officer, RACES
Santa Clara County OES
I would like to thank all the hams who provided support during the phone outage that occurred on Thursday, April 9, 2009. The 43 hams, listed below, delivered critical assistance at a time when most means of communications were either completely interrupted, or severely overloaded.
Your professionalism was apparent, and I commend you all!
|Julie Burns K6AKA|
|Jon Moore KG6YOL||Jack Luoma W6JAK|
|Kris Moore KG6YPB||Pat Moore KG6RLR|
|Tom Smith KD6SOJ||Michael Fox N6MEF|
|LOS ALTOS HILLS|
|Al Whaley KV6U|
|Mike Chappel KB6PDA||Guy Martin K6GWM|
|Randy Christensen KI6PNS||Wayne Rohten KD6HMJ|
|Gary Gokel K6GMG||Pam Rohten KD6WQD|
|Eric Hilding K6VVA||Woody Salyer K6WWS|
|Darrel Holmdahl KG6ZHD||Logan Zintsmaster KZ6O|
|Michael Johnston KI6CBS|
|Bob Fishman K6FSH||Steve Hill KG6EVZ|
|George Freeman KG6POV||Dave Platt AE6EO|
|Mark Gilkey KI6BQC||Ed Senior W6LOL|
|Mark Foster KI6DHU|
|Ron Greene KG6RLG||Doug Kalish KA3L|
|John Amos KC6TVM||Ray Rogoway W6RAR|
|Chris De Mille KI6FAN||Peter Walde KI6DDX|
|SANTA CLARA COUNTY OES|
|Larry Carr KE6AGJ||Scott Morse KC6SKM|
|Dave Chamberlin N6DWC|
|Andreas Ott K6OTT||Phil Stewart K6PHL|
|Howard Krawetz N6HM||Robert Stodieck KI6GDF|
|Jordan Makower WA2BRV||Bill Young K6VWO|
|Tom Root KF6NEW|
NOTE: If any ham who responded has been left off this list, please let me know.
Media coverage of telephone/internet outage:
And officials in Santa Clara and Monterey counties are praising ham radio operators not only for their quick response, but also for coming through when state-of-the-art technology failed. Amateur radio operators, armed with their antennaed boxes - the true wireless - became the eyes and ears of police and fire on the streets.
Phone service restored after vandalism shuts it down in Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Santa Cruz County
Stress Management and PTSD (January 24, 2009):
APRS Applications in ARES/RACES (October 25, 2008):
Dave worked in the Silicon Valley since 1998 in design engineering, engineering management, and consulting. He also serves on the board at the Wireless Communications Alliance (http://www.wca.org).
Cap worked as a CDF Fire Captain, now retired, but is active DEC for Santa Cruz County ARES/RACES. He maintains a APRS web server and APRS station.
Amateur Radios Role with Emergency Medical Services in Santa Clara County (July 26, 2008):
Michael Clark, Training and Operations Coordinator for the Santa Clara County Public Health Dept., discussed emergency medical services preparation and resources, and how amateur radio can assist during times of major events. His departments webpage has various items of interest including (in Information Library) training packets, pandemic flu press releases, health advisories at http://www.sccemsagency.org
Electronics Flea Market, De Anza College (May 10, 2008):
A Big Thanks to all that helped SVECS at the coffee/donut tent at Electronics Flea Market. We sold all the donuts!
Near Vertical Incidence Skywave (April 26, 2008):
Elaine Gibbons WA6UBE discussed NVIS. For more info, see her NVIS page at http://www.tactical-link.com/nvis_discussion_page.htm
WiFi used in Emergency Communications (January 26, 2008):
by Craig Anderson, N6YXK, member of Silicon Valley Wireless Users Group
Amateur Television for ARES/RACES Operations (November 3, 2007):
Emergency Communications and the ARRL (July 28, 2007):
Hazmat Safety (April 28, 2007):
Electronics Flea Market (April 14, 2007):
MCI and Amateur Radio Emergency Services (January 27, 2007):
Silent Key - WA6RPI (January 9, 2007)
Volunteer of the Year Awards (Dec 14, 2006)
The Santa Clara County Emergency Managers Association awarded Volunteer of the Year awards to volunteers from 12 cities in the county, and one volunteer from Santa Clara County OES; of the thirteen awards presented this year, six went to hams. The following hams were selected by their cities to receive this award: Paul Lufkin, K6PML, Palo Alto; David Platt, AE6EO, Mountain View; Christina Sand, KG6ORH, Saratoga; Smitty Smithwick, W6CS, Los Altos Hills; and Bob Steinberg, K6RPS, San Jose. In addition, Larry Carr, KE6AGJ, was selected by Santa Clara Co OES as their choice as Volunteer of the Year. Congratulations to all.
PG&E Pipeline Safety (October 28, 2006):
Santa Clara County Water District Emergency Services Program (July 22, 2006):
Hurricane Katrina Recovery Effort (April 22, 2006):
Electronics Flea Market (March 11, 2006):
Hurricane Katrina Emergency Response (January 21, 2006):
Specifically, Frank Kibbish, Jr. (WB6MRQ) presented on how APRS was used for the CDF Fourth of July fire patrols. He also pointed out how usage of APRS could be applied in emergency communications situations -- both for CDF and other agencies.
Incorporating Amateur Radio into Emergency Prepardness Planning (April 30, 2005):
California OES Auxiliary Communications Service (January 22, 2005):
Recent Hurricanes and Working with FEMA (October 23, 2004):
Electronics Flea Market (September 11, 2004):
Union Pacific Railroad Emergency Prepardness (July 24, 2004):
Bay Area Earthquake Studies (April 24, 2004):
Emergency Communications Procedures (January 24, 2004):
A dispatcher is a first responder to a link in a chain of emergency services. Other items discussed were what kind of people make successful dispatchers, required skills, official job requirements, preparation, and time tested techniques that work.
Hardcopies of the paper "Radio 101 Techniques for the Field" were distributed at the meeting. This paper was authored by Linda Olmstead, a dispatcher for the CHP in Monterey. A PDF can be downloaded here, http://www.svecs.net/Radio101.pdf. See Linda's webpage at http://www.gryeyes.com
Website editor's note: I later talked to Holly and she mentioned Evergreen College has a 3-week dispatcher course that leads to certification. Other tips she suggested were use the words "affirmative" or "negative," not "yes" or "no" ("no" can be mis-heard as "go").
Micro RAWS, a Remote Automated Weather Station (October 25, 2003):
The speaker was Ben Vickers, WB6FRM. He demonstrated the Micro RAWS, a Remote Automated Weather Station deployed by CDF near wildfires to help plan firefighting operations.
Data from Raws Obs stations can be found at the National RAWS Data Server: http://raws.boi.noaa.gov/rawsobs.html
Foothill Electronics Flea Market (August 9, 2003):
Foothill Electronics Flea Market (August 9, 2003):
Here are some photos taken during a lull from the crowds. SVECS featured most delicious hotdogs.
Disaster Medical Assistance Team (July 26, 2003):
Disaster Medical Assistance Team (July 26, 2003):
Transmitter Hunting and Equipment (April 26, 2003):
Transmitter Hunting and Equipment (April 26, 2003):
Notes from talk by Rich: Steps to locating a transmitter:
Rule 1: Follow your initial bearing.
Rule 2: Get back on to initial bearing.
GPS is handy for bearing on mountain roads.
Also carry emergency supplies like a flashlight, snacks, water, and raincoat.
This book on T-Hunting is the bible:
Transmitter Hunting, by Joseph Moell, KÌÎåÂOV, and Thomas Curlee, WB6UZZ.
HF Backpacks (Jan 25, 2003):
Bonnie Crystal is a RF engineer, inventor, author and columnist, and also co-founder of Telegen and Telisar. Please see her website at http://www.qsl.net/kq6xa
Santa Clara Sheriff's Dept. Search and Rescue (Oct 26, 2002):
The Santa Clara County Sheriff Search and Rescue Team is comprised entirely of unpaid volunteers. The teams mission includes urban, rural and wilderness SAR; Evidence search and public education. Please see their website at http://www.sccssar.org.
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