Saturday, March 27, 2010

St. Joseph's Hospital HAM Station Test

Kevin-KW4B and I met over at St. Joseph's Hospital today to install and test the new Dual Band VHF/UHF radio and antenna.  St. Joseph's is one our served agencies here in Chatham County and relies on the local ARES operators to provide backup communications in the event of emergencies or disaster in the area.  First thing we did today was to connect the analyzer to the feed line and test the antenna SWR.  1.2 to 1 all the way across the 2 meter and 70 cm bands.  Nice.  Then we set up the new Alinco power supply and Kenwood dual bander and began to test all of the local repeaters.  We gave Steve-K4SDJ a call and he gave us comm checks on all of the local repeaters.  We were also able to hit the repeaters in Jesup, Whitehall, Pembroke, and Rockledge (just east of Dublin).  Not too bad.  Now we just have to wait for the new HF radio and antenna to come in and get it installed and tested.  Productive day.

Mar 27, 2010 Pancake Breakfast

Had a good time and a good breakfast at the Masonic Lodge in Richmond Hill this morning with my friend and fellow radio operator, Greg-N4VAD.  Greg and a couple of his buddies setup three "go kit" style radio stations to demonstrate to the public in conjunction with thier fund raiser.  I enjoyed meeting Larry-AF4MI and David-KD4NUE.  Also had one of our newest HAMs, Charles-KJ4SMZ there to check out the operation.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mar 25th License Upgrades

Congratulations to Linda Eagan-KI4WHO who upgraded to Extra Class and to Will Griffin-KJ4PSU who upgraded to General Class at today's VE Session.

Thanks to our Volunteer Examiners, Steve-K4SDJ, Sue-W4SWJ, and Mac-AF4KL.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mar 24, 2010 Radio Work on the B-17 Restoration Project

Spent a few hours at the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum today working on the BC-348 reciever.  Carroll-WX4Y and I showed up about 2:00pm and opened the reciever on the workbench and tested the tubes and some of the capacitors and resisters.  Seven of the eight tube are all still good!  The eighth needs to be replaced.  Pretty good.  Capacitors and resitors are looking good as well.  I took out the dynamotor which takes a 28 volt input and delivers 227 volts to power the tubes and we inspected the armature, the bushings, and the bearings.  The bearings still have grease!  Awesome.  Next visit we will service the dynamotor and test it with a 28 volt power supply.  Carroll will bring his service monitor and we will do some initial testing of the circuitry.  The restoration team has set us up with a very nice workstation.

Later in the day several other HAMs that are also going to be working on the project arrived for the restoration team "All Hands" meeting to get a project update from Jerry McLaughlin who is the project manager.  Steve-K4SDJ, Mark-KA4CID, and Al-KJ4SMY and myself enjoyed the company of other restoration volunteers as we had drinks and pizza.

Chatham County ARES Meeting

Had a great ARES meeting on Monday evening with over 20 operators from four counties.  Particularly awesome was the fact that we had four new operators from our most recent Technician class and we registered nine new members into the ARES program!   Here was our agenda.  Next meeting in June or July.
  • Welcome and Introductions
  • Served Agencies Overview
  • Activity Summary
  • Things To Accomplish This Year
  • Training Requirements
  • Upcoming Activities
  • Next Meeting Date
  • Adjournment

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mar 20th 100th Anniversary Scouting Event

On Saturday, Mar 20th about a dozen local area Hams gathered at the Taro Drop Zone on Fort Stewart to teach scouts about amateur radio and to help them earn thier radio merit badge.  What a great time and the weather was absolutely beautiful!  We had a couple of HF stations and a 2 meter station set up operating with the Special Event Callsign W4S which stands for We're 4 Scouting.  Clever, huh?  This is the callsign that Philip-KA4KOE always gets for scout related radio events like this and like the annual Jamboree on the Air (JOTA).  As an added bit of fun, Kevin-KW4B brought out a couple of his telescopes and everyone was able to get great views of the sun, the moon, Saturn, a nebula, and a couple of distant galaxies.  What a big hit the star gazing turned out to be.

ARES St. Patrick's Day Support

On Wed, Mar 17th our local ARES program activated to support a couple of our served agencies during the St. Patrick's Day parade and festivities.  St. Patrick's Day in Savannah is a big event and significant enough for both the Chatham EMA and Memorial Medical Center to activate thier respective Emergency Operations Centers.  At 0600 Steve-K4SDJ arrived at the CEMA EOC to bring up the amateur radio station and ensure the EOC staff that we have backup communcations established in the event it is needed.  Steve began to take checkins from local ARES members to establish a network of available operators around the city. 

Guy-K4GTM arrived at Memorial Medical Center at 0830 and and reported to Jimmy Gordon who is the Safety Officer for the hospital and to Ra Meguier-N4RVM who was the executive in charge of the hospital EOC activation.  Guy brought up the amateur radio station and established communication with Steve at the CEMA EOC. 
Throughout the day, we transferred the Net Control duties back and forth between the CEMA station N4CEM and the Memorial station K4MUM based on the situation.  We used the Red Cross repeater, 146.850, as our primary repeater for the based on it's proximately to the downtown area.  It worked great.  We maintained a "resource net" of sorts on the primary Chatham County ARES repeater where folks that wanted to be part of the "Parade Net" could be redirected to the Red Cross repeater.  Once again this year we had a number of radio operators in and along the parade route which provided us with great coverage for the event.

Throughout the course of the day we had operators arrive to support the activities at the CEMA EOC and the Memorial EOC.  John-N2DRL worked with Steve at CEMA and Lester-KF4JBQ and Ted-KJ4EGZ worked with Guy at Memorial.  We also had Carl-KC4UHM, who is an employee of Memorial, spend some time with us.

We maintained the net and the active EOC until about 1500 when both CEMA and Memorial de-activated thier respective EOCs and we stood down our ARES activation.  We closed the net and secured our respective amateur radio stations.  These activations give us great opportunities to train and show's our close relationship with our served agencies and the public that we are ultimately in place to support.