THE CARA FEBRUARY MEETING

FEBRUARY 5TH AT GREEN ACRES

7:00 P.M. – GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING

FEBRUARY BOARD MEETING, FEBRUARY 26TH AT 6:30 PM

If you’d like to see the “pretty copy” of this month’s Smoke & a world of other club info,

Go to the CARA web pages

http://www.k7rdg.org     

 

ITEMS OF INTEREST FROM THE RACES NOTES

Bob Hollister, N7INK

 

The SAR Academy will be held at the county service center in Willcox at 450 S Haskell Ave on Feb 10-11.  Sign-in is at 8:30.

 

From Sierra Vista the best route is to go up Hwy 90 to I-10. Proceed east on I-10 to Willcox and take Exit 336.  This will put you onto Business 10, also known as Haskell Ave.  Proceed northeast into Willcox. There is a Circle K at the corner of Soto Ave and Haskell. Turn left on Soto and then immediately right into the parking lot behind the County Building.  The entrance is on the parking lot side of the building.

 

This (next) report briefly describes the support provided by the RACES Communications team to the Cochise County Search and Rescue Team on 25 January 2007.  It does not address SAR specific operational issues.

 

At approximately 11:45 on 25 January 2007 hours the RACES team received notification by page of a search for a missing Honduran female in the Castle Dome area at the southern end of the Chiricahua Mountains. It had been reported that the lady had died during the trek up from the border and been left by the group she was traveling with in that area. Her twin sister and brother-in-law had arrived from Miami FL and were on scene with us during this search. The RACES team arrived on scene at approximately 13:00 hours and set up operations just south of Castle Dome and northeast of Douglas.  Two ground teams were deployed with Border Patrol agents to cover the suspected area. The mission was called at approximately 17:30 as darkness was falling and it was beginning to snow.

 We were originally scheduled to resume the search on Saturday morning (1/27) with additional resources.  However, it (was) subsequently determined that the victim had been in the US approximately 3 days before she died. As a consequence, the search area has become greatly expanded.  At this time we do not have a solid lead identifying a probable location to focus our attention on.  The search has been indefinitely suspended until such time as one can be developed.

 

LESSONS LEARNED

       

Replacement Laptop - The replacement laptop was pressed into service during this mission but we experienced printing problems.  There are also still software programs that need to be loaded and the network printer problem resolved to become fully functional.  We also need to re-establish the Shared Network Folder for holding the common files. A list of the additional missing software has been provided to Mr. Roy Eaton of the County IT Department.

 

Big-Stick Antenna -The use of the Big-Stick Antenna and the mast are proving to be a reasonable solution to some of the inter-modulation/cross talk issues previously reported.  The vertical separation and additional distance provided between the antennas is definitely helping. Additionally, the use of the replacement Motorola (versus) the Kenwood for the basic SO-1 and CMA channels has also helped mitigate this interference problem.

 

Local Area Network - We hooked up a LAN connection using the MCU I/O panel and Cat 5 cable with the SAR Command vehicle and provided Internet connectivity to allow access to email. This worked quite well. There was an attempt to get additional search location information via email and current weather data. The satellite connection and the LAN worked just fine and we were able to determine that an additional storm front was expected to come

into our area that evening.  The MCU WiFi network configuration is need of an additional antenna adapter to utilize the external WiFi antenna (TNC-SMA).

 

MCU Camera - Although we are not sure why, we have also confirmed that we must start the laptop computer and get it up on the network before starting the Shuttle computer (map support/digital support) to access and control the mast camera. Those times when we have not followed that protocol have usually prevented us from accessing the camera controls.

 

COMMENTS

 

Apparently there was an issue with the new laptop computer installation that has somehow caused a problem with the network printer access. Mr. Duarte is aware of this and believes he has a fix for it.

       

ACTION ITEMS

 

1 - Complete the software load on the new Laptop

2 - Resolve the network printer driver conflict

3 - Obtain the TNC/SMA Antenna Adapter for the WiFi Router.

4 - Need a permanent mount for the replacement Motorola radio. It is currently being held in   place by Velcro.

5 - Need to update the MCU operations manual to cover the replacement Motorola.

 

Primary Participants were:

 

CCSO SAR Team

Border Patrol - Douglas Station

RACES Team

     Bob Hollister - Team Lead and Chase Vehicle

     Charles Campbell - MCU Operator

     Roger Peters - MCU Operator/ Driver

     Pablo Duarte - CC IT Department

     Floyd Sharp - Home Unit Monitor

     Barb Heck - Home Unit Monitor

 

Upcoming Events

 

Feb. 10-11 SAR Academy - Willcox

March 13-15 DICE 07, JITC, Ft. Huachuca

April 28-29 La Vuelta de Bisbee Bike Race

 

DICE-07 – Just a reminder that DICE is getting closer. I will be looking for volunteers to operate at least a 4-hour shift on one or more of the days identified. Please set some time aside during this period to assist.  This will be a great time to get some hands-on operating experience in the MCU as well as working with other response agencies.

 

NIMS Guidelines for NGOs - The FEMA National Incident Management System (NIMS) Integration Center recently released a fact sheet that was called NIMS Implementation for Nongovernmental Organizations (NGO).  This fact sheet recommends activities to ensure that NGOs that assist the government responding to emergency events are knowledgeable of NIMS and Incident Command System (ICS) procedures. One of the recommended activities is

maintaining NIMS training and completing certain components of the National Standard Curriculum Guide.  For us that basically includes the ICS 100, 200, 700 and 800 courses.  Additional courses may be recommended in the future. 

 

Mission Response – My goal is to always have a minimum of three initial responders when the MCU deploys.  This includes two in the MCU and a Chase Vehicle. Lately we have been a little light on getting sufficient volunteers who are able to respond and deploy to missions.  I am not exactly sure why this is but I would like to address a couple possible causes.  Is your pager battery dead?  Do you carry your pager with you?  Are you concerned that you don’t have enough experience? I won’t send a team out without at least one quite experienced person.  Participating in these events is a good way to develop experience and self-confidence.  We need to expand our core group of responders and the best way to do that is have less experienced people participate along with a mentor.  So come on down and join us. You might have some fun and you are helping out your community.

 

ONE-LINERS FROM FRIENDS ON THE WEB

 

Only in America... do we use the word 'politics' to describe the process so well: 'Poli' in Latin meaning 'many' and 'tics' meaning 'bloodsucking creatures.'

EVER WONDER ~~~~ Why Noah didn't swat those two mosquitoes?

 

 

       

 

 
 COCHISE AMATEUR RADIO ASSOCIATION

 P.O. Box 1855, Sierra Vista, AZ  85636

 

CARA General Membership Meeting Minutes

JANUARY 8, 2007

 

Call To Order:  The meeting was called to order by Vice President NJ7C.  Other officers present were the Secretary KD7HAB, Treasurer KD7TDL, and Member at Large WB6OTS.  The President KD7OED was out of town on business travel.

Secretary’s Report:  A motion was made by WB6OTS and seconded by KC8TUG for the minutes to be approved as printed in the SMOKE.  The motion passed on a voice vote.

 

Treasurer’s Report:  KD7TDL no report this month, just about done with the budget. The club is solvent

Vice President’s Report:  NJ7C reported that we currently have 114 members including 7 life members, 76 full members, 23 family members, 7 associate members, and one honorary member.

CARA Board of Directors Meeting:  The CARA board of directors met on 2 JAN to review the calendar for the upcoming year and noted that we have many facilities projects that need to be taken care of.  The board also reviewed the draft budget KD7TDL had prepared, but will not be ready to present it until next month when we have a complete estimate of materials required for the facilities upgrades.  The board also reconfirmed its December decision to allocate up to $500 for the purchase of an isolator for the digipeater.  KD7OED will contact the manufacturer in Phoenix to have it fabricated, and it will be installed once the weather is a bit warmer up on the mountain.  Finally, the board noted the need to get moving on the Hamfest planning, and solicited a volunteer to be the chairperson (Randy/KC8TUG has subsequently accepted).

ARCA Report: The new amateur radio plate is not quite available yet, but it should be available shortly.  The MVD website (http://www.azdot.gov/mvd/vehicle/mvdplate.asp) will have information as soon as the plates are available.  The next ARCA meeting will be during the Yuma Hamfest on 17 FEB – KD7OED and WB6OTS will both attend. Plans are now underway for the 2007 ARCA convention in Williams – stand by for more detailed info in March.

 

ARRL Report:  Arizona ARRL Section Manager Tom Fagan, (WB7NXH) reported during the December ARCA meeting that the FCC has started to suspend licenses for amateurs who do not keep their mailing address up to date.  Please check QRZ.COM or the FCC web site NOW to make sure ALL of your info is current.  Even such a small thing as having an old zip code could cause you to have a problem (and many zip codes have changed in southern Arizona over the past few years).  

The FCC is considering a license restructuring proposal that would reduce amateur radio licenses down to only two (rather than the current 5) classes.  If this proposal were adopted, it is possible that the FCC would require all license holder attend a VE session to have their licenses reissued under the new system (this would allow the FCC to simultaneously transition to a new database).  This would place an additional burden on volunteer examiners who are already expected to have a rush of new license applications following the elimination of the Morse code requirement.  Nothing is decided on license restructuring at this time, however – it is merely being discussed as an option for the future.

Rick Aldom (W7STS) has agreed to act as the chairman of the committee that will host the ARRL Southwest Division Convention in Arizona in 2008.  The event is likely to be in the Phoenix area – more information will be available in the coming months.  Because of the late start on planning – Rick will be looking for lots of help from ARRL member clubs like CARA.

Calendar Review:  NJ7C then reviewed the 2007 CARA calendar approved by the board at the last meeting. 

 

Member-at-Large Report:  WB6OTS reported that CARA will still conduct both a Morse Code and Technician License class this spring.  Stay tuned to the CARA Web Page (www.k7rdg.org) for further information.  

Technical Report: Congratulations to KB7RDG on his recent retirement, even though it will be only about 45 days before he returns to federal service as a part time worker!  Rich reviewed the recent upgrades to the Mule Mountain facility (photos are posted on the web), and also thanked KC7GNM for his assistance in remote reprogramming of the digipeater to fix a delay problem it was having. 

Material Director Report: AD7HZ asked the members if they had stuff to donate for the junque sale in May to bring it in and we will give them a donation certificate for their taxes.  The junque sale is the biggest revenue producer from the Hamfest.

RACES Report:  N7INK gave a report recapping the RACES activity over the past year.  RACES members participated in 4 Public Service events, 19 actual incidents, and 6 training events with the Search and Rescue (SAR) group.  This added up to a total of 594.5 mission hours and 1628.5 volunteer hours for the year.  He also reminded the RACES members that if the have not finished the FEMA classes 100 & 700 they need to talk to him and complete them as soon as possible.  He also reminded the members about the SAR Academy that will be held in Wilcox on 10-11 February.  Bob also invited all amateurs to attend a presentation from the National Weather Service on “Storm Ready Communities.”  This presentation will be on January 19th at 1:30 PM in Room 200 of the Science Building at Cochise Community College (Sierra Vista Campus) as part of the Local Emergency Planning Committee meeting. 

CARA Net Report:  Charles/ K4AFN mentioned that participation is up. He is looking for help with doing the net.  All are welcome to join the net, which takes place every Thursday night at 7:00pm on the CARA Repeater (146.76, negative offset, PL 162.2).

OLD BUSINESS:

a.  Annual Fire Inspection:  This inspection was conducted in October by Fry Fire Department; we now have the written report that says we passed with no deficiencies.

b.  Liability Insurance:  During the preparations for Santa On The Radio, we discovered that our liability insurance had been lapsed for two years.  KD7OED contacted the underwriter, and KD7TDL wrote the check to get the policy reinstated.  KD7OED is now working to get the equipment insurance reinstated, as well.  Both of these expenses will be carried as recurring items in the budget to ensure that they are not overlooked again.

c.  Green Acres Lease Renewal: Email traffic from the Bureau of Land Management permits the county to occupy the site until the lease is renewed, but the BLM still has not completed the renewal process.  KD7OED has confirmed that the county has paid the rent forward through May of 2008, and has formally requested that the county facilities manager coordinate with the BLM to complete the lease renewal. 

d.  Green Acres Caretaker:  N7SFP continues as acting caretaker, but his health doesn’t allow him to get out as much as he would like during the cold weather.  The board elected not to solicit a new caretaker until the property lease is renewed.

e.  HF Antenna Improvement Fund:  At this point we are still more than $600 short of our original fundraising goal, and since we started the fundraising effort the price of the Monst-IR 40M three-element STEPPIR antenna has gone up by several hundred dollars.   The board discussed an alternative option to procure a 4-element SteppIR for 20M and up, but include an optional kit to make the driven element perform as a folded dipole on 30M and 40M.  The board recommended that the technical committee do some further research on this option and come up with a detailed budget for this option before making a recommendation to the club.  It is hoped that the revised estimate will allow for purchase of all required materials (less crane time) and still will leave funds available for the purchase of materials to erect the Hygain High-Tower vertical antenna that was purchased last year for use on 75M and 160M.   The board also elected not to recommend purchase of these materials until we are certain of the lease renewal.

f.  Contest Activity: Results of our participation in the November Sweeps were published in the Christmas edition of the Smoke.  We are now starting the planning for the ARRL International DX contest to be held 3-4 MAR (KD7OED will have a sign-up sheet at next month’s meeting for folks who would like to participate at the club station).

NEW BUSINESS:  

Larry Warren Memorial Hamfest:  Randy/KC8TUG has volunteered to be the chairman of the 2007 hamfest, which we have named in honor of KF7TJ (SK).  The initial planning meeting will be held this Saturday, January 13th at Green Acres at 0900 hours.  KC8TUG asked for everyone to volunteer to help with the Hamfest.  WB6OTS moved that the club approve up to $2,000.00 in expenses for the Hamfest, the motion was seconded and passed on a voice vote.

 

Election of Club Officers:  The terms of office for both Treasurer and Vice-President expired this month.  KD7TDL/Paul had completed a full two-year term as Treasurer, and NJ7C/ Dale had completed the remainder of KD7OED’s term as Vice-President.  At the end of November, both officers agreed to serve for another term if elected, and that was the board’s proposed slating.   To prevent any conflict of interest, Past President WB6OTS handled the elections.  KD7HAB moved to accept the slating proposed by the board, and there were no further nominations.  Both members were re-elected by a voice vote.   NJ7C and KD7TDL will serve regular two-year terms as Vice President and Treasurer respectively, with their terms expiring in January 2009.   

The date for the next regular meeting is February 5, 2007 at 1900 hours.  There being no further business, NJ7C adjourned the meeting at 8:00 pm. 

                                                 

 

Respectfully Submitted, Pat Thies KD7HAB, Secretary

 

 

MORE ITEMS OF INTEREST FROM THE RACES NOTES

Bob Hollister, N7INK

 

 Volunteer Hours 2006 - Although the year is not quite over I have compiled the basic stats for the year. We have had a busy year to say the least with events from the JITC DICE Exercise, the Highway 80 Propane Tanker, a large variety of Search and Rescue Missions starting with the Cave Rescue early on in March to successful victim recoveries in the mountains.  All in all a very interesting year. Public Service Events - 4 (La Vuelta de Bisbee, Bisbee Coaster Race,

Perimeter Cycle Race, SV Methodist Church Readiness Day) Mission Support - 19 Actual Incidents, 6 Training Activities Emergency Service Hours - 594.5, Total Recorded Volunteer Hours 1628.5, Registered members = 57

 

At approximately 12:00 on 23 January 2007 hours the RACES team received notification by page of a possible fatality or hypothermic victim in the Miller Canyon area of the Huachuca Mountains. It had been reported that a possible body had been seen near the Miller Canyon Trail under a blanket and next to an extinguished fire. The reporting party, a male undocumented alien, who was in hypothermic distress himself, did not render aid. The

RACES team arrived on scene at approximately 12:45 hours and set up operations at the Miller Canyon trailhead lower parking lot.  A SAR ground team was inserted at the bottom to search up the canyon and a second SAR ground team was inserted at the top with the assistance of AZ DPS Ranger 42 from Phoenix. Ground Team Two located the blanket and fire location fairly

quickly near the top of the trail.  It appeared that the alleged victim had departed the area and left on foot south.  AZ DPS Ranger followed the tracks as far as they could by air but it appeared that the individual was headed back to the Mexican border.  The mission was called at approximately 17:30.

 

 Participants

CCSO SAR Team

AZ DPS Phoenix Ranger

RACES Team: Bob Hollister - Team Lead, Charles Campbell - MCU Operator, Pat Thies - MCU Operator and Chase Vehicle, Floyd Sharp - Home Unit Monitor, Barb Heck - Home Unit Monitor

 

On Monday evening at approximately 19:00 on 15 January 2007 the RACES Team was called out to support a search mission for three juveniles that had become lost along the San Pedro River east of Sierra Vista.  The three missing juveniles were part of a 4H outing who had been hiking along the San Pedro River. Unfortunately once it got dark they became disoriented and called for assistance on a cell phone. They started a small signal fire and Tucson Ranger located them quite quickly.  One of the young ladies reported that she had blacked out

after falling about 4-5 ft while running to catch one of her friends. Although she seemed conscious and alert during the initial medical evaluation it is standard protocol for that type injury to be taken to the hospital. A Fry Fire District ambulance crew transported her to Sierra Vista Regional for a more complete medical evaluation. We cleared the scene at 20:45.

 

Participants Cochise

County Sheriff's Office SAR Team

AZ Department of Public Safety Tucson Ranger

Cochise County RACES Team, Deployed Participants: Robert Hollister N7INK, Charles Campbell K4AFN, Home Unit Monitors: Pat Thies KD7HAB, Floyd Sharp W7LPJ, Barb Heck KD7YOZ

MORSE CODE REQUIREMENT ENDS FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23RD

ARRL Bulletin #5, Jan. 24, 2007

 

Circle Friday, February 23, on your calendar. That's when the current 5 WPM Morse code requirement will officially disappear from the Amateur Radio Service Part 97 rules. On or after that date, applicants for a General or Amateur Extra class Amateur Radio license no longer will have to demonstrate proficiency in Morse code. They'll just have to pass the applicable written examination.  Federal Register publication January 24 of the FCC's Report and

Order (R&O) in the "Morse code proceeding," WT Docket 05-235, starts a 30-day countdown for the new rules to become effective.  Deletion of the Morse requirement - still a matter of controversy within the amateur community - is a landmark in Amateur Radio history.

 

The new rules also put all Technician licensees on an equal footing, whether or not they've passed a Morse code examination. Starting February 23, Technicians will gain CW privileges on 80, 40, 15 meters and CW, RTTY, data and SSB privileges on 10 meters.  Once the revised rules are in place, an applicant holding a valid Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) for Element 3 (General) or Element 4 (Amateur Extra) may redeem it for an upgrade. A CSCE is good for 365 days from the date of issuance, no exceptions. For example, a Technician licensee holding a valid CSCE for Element 3 may apply at a Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) test session, pay the application fee, which most VECs charge, and receive an instant upgrade.

 

THE COCHISE SMOKE is published each month by e-Mail and snail Mail.  Editor is Ted Weaver, K9TED tedweaver2@juno.com (FYI Juno will accept any transmission including pix.)  Snail mail stuff you’d like to have me publish in Smoke to P.O. Box 6017, Huachuca City, AZ 85616 or use the above e-mail address.

 

 

 

 

 

The Cochise Amateur Radio Association, Inc. (CARA)

P.O. Box 1855

Sierra Vista, AZ 85636

 

 
                                             “This Is A First Class Publication”