CBC 2010 Exercise

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(Last updated 2010-04-27.  Change log at bottom of this page.)

Objective

An Alberta wide communications exercise involving ARES groups.   The secondary objective is  to exercise the VE6NHB and VE6OIL repeaters using the SARA system for 3 1/2 hour as part of the contract with CBC Transmission in Edmonton and Calgary where the repeaters reside.  

Overview

The CBC exercise will be on Saturday 2010 May 8th  from 10 am to 1:30 pm MDT.  The exercise is open to all who are interested within Alberta or elsewhere.   Participate for an hour or more.   Your group can participate via direct repeater link if close enough to a SARA UHF hub or a VHF drop repeater, IRLP, or via HF. 

Participating groups

If you are only participating for a short identify yourself when a break in traffic occurs and we will add you to the roster of participating stations.   RAC Amateur Radio Emergency Service Alberta page.

How can I participate?

If you are not part of an ARES group you can participate by checking in on the general listener check in net at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm.  

If you have HF capability you can participate in the HF nets. See the HF Frequencies section in this document.

If you are in the Edmonton area come on down to Hawrelak Park. 

VHF/UHF Frequencies

Edmonton VE6NHB 145.410
Calgary VE6OIL 146.610
Red Deer VE6REP 145.330
All the UHF hubs which are on the SARA backbone

IRLP

SARA will be utilizing the 9035 node with 9029 node as the backup. During the exercise you can click on the above reflector links to see which stations are connected to the reflector.  You will need to connect your repeater to the IRLP reflector yourself.  There is no means available for repeaters, such as the SARA system, which are connected to a reflector node to connect to another node. 

Echolink

An Echolink node will be reconfigured for the duration of the exercise.  The call is VA6JL-R, node number 455454.. There are a maximum of five connections allowed to it so it's possible this may get maxed out.

HF frequencies.

"To test and demonstrate the range and utility of NVIS transmission around Alberta,  VE6NC will be on the air on May 8, 2010. The Northern Alberta Radio Club and ARES Edmonton are participating at the City of Edmonton Emergency Preparedness Saturday.

VE6NC will call CQ on the hour for 5 minutes starting at 1000 hours local on 3.675 MHz LSB, the Canadian ARES  Frequency on 80m.  The last call will be at 1500 hours local.  In the unlikely event that 3.675 is in use  due to emergency/disaster or other QRM  we will go up for clear frequency as far as 3.685, then if still looking for a clear frequency, down as far as 3.665.

Note:  National HF EmComm Frequencies

Schedule

10 am - Net control: Edmonton

12 Noon

1 pm

1:30 pm

Otherwise message traffic and occasional surprises (maybe) thrown in.  Exercise situation report approximately every half hour.

I would suggest the general check in net be called  by Edmonton, Red Deer, Calgary, IRLP and then Echolink stations.

Net Control

Net control will start in Edmonton at 10 am and be assigned to Red Deer at 12 noon. If other ARES groups wish to participate and do net control please let me know and we'll put you in the schedule..  Please let me know if you have a specific time you'd like to be net control.

Note that everyone should press the PTT buttons for about two seconds before starting to talk   There are about six  radios between the south east end and north east end of the current SARA system.  It takes time for the repeaters to turn on from one end of the system to the other end.   Also IRLP has about a one second delay.   Also leave at least five seconds after calling for check-ins to allow for check ins via IRLP.

A five or ten second break between messages and/or three or five minute intervals is required to allow amateurs to break in with network messages.

Exercise situation report

Exercise situation report will be given approximately every half hour.   The script is:

All stations, all stations, all stations.  This is <your call sign phonetically>,  my name is <first name> and I'm at <station name>.   This is the Emergency Preparedness Week Exercise on the SARA linking repeater system, various linked VHF drop repeaters and connected IRLP stations.   This exercise will run from 10 am to 1:30 pm.  

Stations with emergency traffic will be recognized by by giving a double break and identifying themselvess.

The following ARES groups are currently participating.   <insert list here>

VE6NC will call CQ on the hour for 5 minutes starting at 1000 hours local on 3.675 MHz LSB on an NVIS antenna.

The current net control operator will be expected to give the exercise report.  

Messaging

Messages can be sent using the standard Radiogram form or whatever form or method your group or served agency uses.   For some sample forms, including Radiogram and incoming, outgoing and station logs visit the Edmonton Amateur Radio Emergency Service website and click on the Documents link.

Each ARES group should have two or three messages ready to go to another participating ARES group or to participating agencies. And, of course, you'll need to respond to incoming messages to your group appropriately.

All message traffic should state "exercise" at the beginning and end of the body text.

Put some humour in the messages.  Make them slightly whacky.  Let's have some fun.  

Tips:  Yes, I know most people reading this page are old pro's.  But I recently retook the message course and did the message handling workshop and came out with the following tips.
1) After the message header before the message text state "Roger so far" and wait for the other station to verify that they could keep up with you.  Don't forget to hold the PTT button for two or three seconds before starting to talk due to the SARA network, IRLP and Echolink stations.
2) As you are reading the message write it down on a piece of scrap paper.  This will ensure that you are speaking slow enough for the receiving operator.   You will feel quite silly for being so slow but the receiving operators will be grateful.

While groups in other provinces may be participating somewhat we will use local Mountain Time for this exercise.  

Scenario

A severe grass fire which started during wind storm from a tree that fell onto an amateurs dipole in an acreage in Sherwood Park while he was participating ni a contest at full power. <smile> The fire has gone through the refineries and is into Edmonton. Edmonton is evacuating and needs lots of help including hazardours materials experts. Red Deer can send responses of equipment and personnel sent as well as asking status questions.

Think up some relevant messages that could be sent to various groups participating in this exercise.    I will be working on some  messages to start things going. 

Logging

All participating groups should maintain individual exercise log containing location, call sign, contact info and times of contacts. If desired I can make a Microsoft Access logging database, along with a runtime available for anyone to use if they wish.   I would appreciate a copy of your log, be it an Excel spreadsheet, paper which has been scanned and emailed or faxed.  Email me for my fax number.

Miscellaneous

Interested in ARES in Alberta?  Join the ARES_AB reflector. This is a place where we can keep each other up to date on information pertinent to ARES in Alberta.  The volume is relatively low at a few emails per month.

Change Log

2010-04-25 page created.

2010-04-25  Added 80m NVIS CQ information.

2010-04-27 Added Echonlink node info.  Minor updates to page especially sitrep script.

Questions?

Please email me Tony VE6MVP at tony at ve6mvp dot com.  I will update this web page as soon as I can with the answer.

Many thanks,

Tony VE6MVP
Director, Southern Alberta Repeater Association.

Website copyright 2004-2013 Tony VE6MVP