Saturday, April 4, 2009

Weather Net and Fox Hunt!

We had some severe weather here in South Georgia last Saturday evening, Mar 28. To be prepared we spun up an ARES net here on the local primary repeater to take checkins and just be ready to respond if needed. I ran the primary resource net on 146.970 and Mac ran the secondary and mobile net on 147.330. We had around 29 operators check in and make thier whereabouts and availability known. Extremely good participation and some good training. Good thing that we always designate a secondary frequency because we needed it. At about 1917 we lost the primary repeater due to a constant key from someones radio. The repeater has a 3 minute timeout if someone stays keyed for that long. Because the station continued to transmit it wasn't possible for our control operator, KT4RW, to reset the repeater. Without hesitation we resumed the net on the secondary repeater. After everyone had moved over we began the task of trying to determine who was keyed up on the 970. This turned out to be a great exercise in direction finding. We began taking signal reports from several of the operators on the signal that was keyed up. Several operators also had beam antennas that they were able to rotate to better determine the direction of the signal. After digesting all of this info we also did some deductive reasoning to zero in on one particular station that we thought might be the culprit. Ted, KJ4EGZ was mobile near the suspect area so he went to the house of the station of interest. Sure enough, Ralph, W4REQ determined that his rig was accidently keyed up on vox and putting out a constant carrier. It took us about an hour and fifty minutes to find but what an experience. Everyone did a great job. Ralphs radio was only putting out about 1 watt and he had a directional antenna pointed at the repeater. That radio would have run forever! Good job to all!

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