This report is for April 2015.
In the last month or so there have been at least two major Earthquakes. One in Nepal and the other in Papua New Guinea. There were two major storms in the Eastern Pacific in Vanuatu and FSM.
In Late March to Early April 2015 Category 5 Typhoon Maysak ravaged many islands in the nation of Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) causing major damage and some loss of life. While some agencies and nations are responding, it is just not enough. After hitting FSM the typhoon weakened and proceeded on to parts of the Philippians.
FSM is an independent island nation and a United States Associated State consisting of four states and over 600 islands. From west to east are Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpai and Kosrae and cover about 1,800 miles. The country has a population of over 103,000 and consists of what has traditionally been called the Caroline Islands. It was once part of the Trust Territories of the Pacific under the United States after WW2. Its call sign prefix is now V63. Their national flag is a blue field with four white stars.
ARRL is a member of Hawaii State VOAD, an organization of NGO’s that provide relief during disasters. Some, but not all of the responding agencies so far in FSM are: LDS church, Catholic charities, Micronesian Red Cross, Salvation Army, Team Rubicon (Baptist), International Organization for Migration, USAID, Pacific Missionary Airlines and others. Here is a quick synopsis of what we are doing locally from Hawaii on behalf of ARRL and The Big Island ARC. John Bush, KH6DLK/V63JB through his company has been providing a variety of services including humanitarian services and training on Ulithi and Woleai Atolls since 2011. Humanitarian services include introducing ham radio and training and certification of four members of the community of Federai Island in Ulithi Atoll. In spring 2013 John received the 2012 ARRL International Humanitarian award for work done in Yap state outer islands. John also worked with Yap State DOE to install computer systems into both “outer island” high school and 5 elementary schools. His work is ongoing.
Most recently, John has been working with Yap DOE to restructure the Ulithi schools. Typhoon Maysak hit Ulithi Atoll dead center with 160 mph winds gusting to 195 mph (Cat 5). There was also a major storm surge of unknown height. All islands in the area were virtually destroyed. Outer Island High School was partly destroyed. Island power systems were destroyed. Few of the inter-island government radio systems have come back on line due to the loss of antennas and power. There is little indication of small boat travel between the islands. Two of the hams - William, V63YWR and Albert, V63YAH had been off the air since just before the typhoon hit. They have not been heard from since, until William came up April 6th on a flat battery and very low power. Fortunately, there was no loss of life on the islands of Ulithi Atoll (as of the last reports).
What We Are Doing:
With the help of a core group of local hams, John Bush left Friday, April 10th for Yap and Ulithi. He had already bought a plane ticket well before the typhoon. Richard and Barbara Darling, AH7G and NH7FY sponsored a 100W portable PV system. Bob Schneider, AH6J, our Pacific section manager, setup access to the ARRL supplied “Go Kit”: with an IC-718, 4 VHF HT’s, and coax. Bob Schneider and Tom English, WH6EBS, have been working hard to get Hawaiian Airlines to waive the excess baggage charges. We ended up shipping as 11extra bag. Some, but not all the excess fees were waived.
From preliminary information, we had expected to see no power on any of the islands for some time. An Internet search turned up Renogy PV products which include a foldup-into-a-suitcase 100W PV panel with a charge controller. That was purchased from Amazon and was included in the baggage. A 500W pure sinewave inverter was also purchased from Renogy. Two FAA legal 12V 8AH gel cells were also purchased locally to provide bare bones low power. We put out an appeal to Guam residents through Ray Gibson, KH2GUM, for larger marine or car batteries for higher capacity. These were paid for with locally generated donations.
A pair of IC-718’s, one belonging to John and the other coming from the ARRL HF Go Kit will make up the primary stations. There will also be four VHF HT’s, for simplex operation around the island. Additional equipment includes an MFJ antenna tuner, several MFJ 13.8V power supplies, and a battery booster/regulator.
The primary antennas are expected to be HF elevated ground planes on top of 20 foot masts. The homebrew ones are telescoping whip sections for adjusting to 20m, 15m, and 10m along with a pair of radials for each band. John has also purchased and shipped a Hygain 14AVQ, which will be mounted at 20 feet. A pair of, four foot six section telescoping, fiberglass masts are also being carried on the plane. A number of 4 foot telescoping ¾ and ½ inch fiberglass tubes were prepared by Dave Shearer, WH6AWH. These will be used for inverted V’s or as tent poles. An MFJ antenna analyzer is also going along for optimizing ad hoc antennas. Also included in the ARRL Go Kit was a long wire antenna. That was probably a mistake since it added extra weight and brought us over the 50 pound limit of normal baggage so incurred extra cost. After John arrived he found few tall trees left that could be used to string up wires.
Tools and other items:
Since Outer Island High School computer lab was destroyed, the original tools kept in the computer lab are presumed lost. It was necessary to go out and purchase all new tools including a DMM. This was also financially supported by Richard and Barbara, AH7G and NH7FY. Additional space was taken up with emergency food, shelter tarps, medicine, water filtration units, and other necessities.
After viewing preliminary pictures of the destruction, we had no idea what we would encounter during the deployment on Ulithi. The preparation for the emergency communications has occurred in just nine days but has the complexity of a major DX expedition. For more information do a search on Federated States of Micronesia, Ulithi and Typhoon Maysak.
If everything goes well, they should be on 14,335 at 0700Z and possibly 21,335 at 2100Z each day. Look for them but please don’t interrupt if vital communications are in progress. This is not a DXpedition!
Last month’s big news was the introduction of HR-1301. “The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015” — H.R.1301 — has been introduced in the US House of Representatives. The measure would direct the FCC to extend its rules (PRB-1) relating to reasonable accommodation of Amateur Service communications to private land use restrictions. US Rep Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) introduced the bill March 4 with 12 original co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle — seven Republicans and five Democrats. Kinzinger also sponsored “The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014, which died at the end of the 113th Congress. H.R. 1301 is an essentially identical piece of legislation. The ARRL BOD executive members and several ARRL officers went to Washington to familiarize House members about the critical need for this bill. Bob Vallio, W6RGG, (Pacific Division Director) was there and reports the three House Office building are huge and he did a “lot” of walking. He commented that ARRL members really got their money’s worth from this effort. The group went in mid-March. As of this moment there is no parallel bill in the Senate. Be sure to go to the ARRL webpage on HR-1301and write letters to your representative. Send them to the ARRL for presentation to your representative. The problem with writing directly to Washington is that because of security, mail to congress sometimes takes as much a two months to get delivered.
Our SM, (me) which represents all ARRL members in the Pacific Ocean areas, wrote letters to the two representatives from Hawaii along with letters to the three non-voting House members from Guam, American Samoa and Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas. (They may not be able to vote but they can co-sponsor bills.) We really need their help as last year’s effort ended with no action. As of this writing there are just over 50 co-sponsors however none of the five representatives contacted are on that list. We in the Pacific have a chance to really make a difference.
03/28/2015 – Cyclone Pam update from last month:
In an effort to coordinate relief efforts in Vanuatu in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Pam, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has deployed emergency telecommunication equipment to that Pacific Ocean island nation. The category 5 storm devastated parts of Vanuatu on March 13. The ITU has dispatched 40 satellite phones, 10 broadband global area network terminals, and 35 solar panels.
“The frequency and intensity of disasters are increasing worldwide with a disproportionate impact on developing countries,” said ITU Secretary General Houlin Zhao. “ITU is encouraging governments, especially those in developing countries, to invest in telecommunication infrastructure that is resilient to disasters.”
Brahima Sanou, the director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, said the tropical storm had “paralyzed telecommunications and affected rescue and rehabilitation efforts.” He said the ITU was committed to assisting member states restore telecommunication links in the aftermath of natural disasters “to facilitate humanitarian response to support the affected populations.”
Vanuatu’s Prime Minister Joe Natuman thanked the ITU for the support. He said that all 83 islands in the Vanuatu archipelago suffered substantial devastation as a result of Tropical Cyclone Pam. “As communications are down, the ITU emergency equipment, which we have received and distributed throughout the country, will help us coordinate the relief efforts as well as report the situation in outer islands,” he said. Vanuatu’s population of 267,000 is spread over 65 islands. Some 47,000 people live in the capital, Port Vila on Éfaté Island. Australia and New Zealand have been the major responders.
A special Event Stations Marked World Amateur Radio Day, April 18. See the ARRL page for more.
June 27th and 28th is Field Day this year. Is your club going out?
The Pahoa Lava flow is still stopped and things are getting back to normal. Most businesses have reopened. Meanwhile at the main Kilauea vent at Hawaii Volcanoes National park, the “small” hole in the crater floor has filled up and now lava is beginning to flow on the main crater floor. It is a real tourist attraction. Last week you SM and wife “tried” to go for a visit and could not get to within a couple miles because of the traffic congestion. The best way to see it is still by air and the aircraft tour companies are doing a land office business. It seems like a helicopter is always flying over.
As was mentioned earlier, we are still looking for someone to be the Section Youth Coordinator (SYC). It is a new, section-level ARRL Field Organization appointment that is available and ready to be filled as soon as we have someone for the position. Here are the appointment guidelines that describe the requirements and responsibilities: http://www.arrl.org/section-youth-coordinator
If you are interested or know of someone who would be just right for the job, let the SM know.
The Big Island International Hamfest on Saturday April 11th in Keaau was not well attended. Publicity and planning seemed to be the weakness.
SPARC – The South Point ARC or “SPARC” meets on the first Sunday at Noon at Manuka State park. It is potluck. They are not affiliated with ARRL. They don’t have a website (yet). Next get together is June 7th. There is no website. Their meeting on May 3rd was mostly planning for Field Day.
KARC – The Kauai ARC meets on the first Monday at 1900W. Website is: http://www.kauaiarc.org/ next is May 4th or June 2nd. There is a weekly Saturday breakfast at The Feral Pig located in Harbor Mall at Nawiliwili at 0730W. Next is April 4, 11, 18 & 25. They normally meet at 18:00 HST at the KIUC Conference Room, 4463 Pahe'e Street, in Lihu'e. We note with sadness the passing of John Montalbano, KH6JMM on March 28th. He was president of Kauai ARC. They have set up a repeater memorial fund in remembrance.
MARC – Marianas ARC of Guam normally meets on the 2nd Tue. At KSTO studio on Nimitz Hill at 1900 Guam time HOWEVER the next meeting is Tuesday May 5 2015 at the NOAA office in Tijan Guam Forecast Office 3232 Hueneme Rd Barrigada, GU 96913. WE WILL NOT BE AT OUR REGULAR PLACE. which is the KSTO Radio Staion on Nimitz Hill. Regular meetings are usually held on the first Tuesday of every month at 7:00 PM. Website is http://www.ah2g.net/ .
If you would like to take an Amateur Radio exam or have questions, call Mike Wendt, WH2M at 671-477-6737. Testing is by appointment and normally takes place before the monthly meeting about 5PM. Hafa Adai from Guam where Americas Day begins.
There is another website for Guam and the Northern Marianas (CNMI) with emphasis on HF operations. It is the Mariana Islands DX Association, NH2DX. It has many pictures as well as history stories. The population for the islands is small so they are to be congratulated for putting together such a nice webpage. http://www.guam.net/pub/midxa/ . They are not an ARRL affiliated club and they don’t have regularly formal meetings.
KHRC– (Kohala-Hamakua) The Kohala-Hamakua Radio Club (KHRC) meets on two schedules. Odd months are 2nd Sunday in Kapa’au at 1400W. Even months are 2nd Wednesday in Waimea at Keck Bldg. at 1900W. Next meeting is May 10th in Kapa’au at 2PM. QTH: Conference Room, (Enter in rear of Gym Building), Hisaoka Gym, King Kam Park, Kapa'au
Webpage is http://www.hamradioandmore.com/khrc.htm .
In the past they have met at the Hawaii Preparatory Academy Energy Lab. KHRC helps sponsor the HPA school radio club. The school has a general webpage which is: http://www.hpa.edu/ . The HPA Energy lab is the only one of its kind in the world. Since HPA is a private school, it is not open to the public.
MARC – Maui ARC meets on the 2nd Wed. at CD Hq. at 1900W. Web = http://www.kh6rs.org/ . Next meeting is May 13th. Club meetings are held at the Maui County Civil Defense Emergency Operating Center (EOC) Conference Room. The EOC is in the basement of the County Building. The County building is located on High Street in Wailuku. Just come around the back of the building from Kaohu Street. Directions can usually be received on 147.020 (+600-no tone). Meetings start at 7:00 P.M.
For exams contact Mel, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 808-250-4591.
KARC – The Koolau ARC website is: http://www.karc.net/ . They meet on the 2nd Sat. at 0930W at Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden Park in Kaneohe, Oahu. Next meeting will be May 9th.
BIARC – The Big Island ARC website is: www.biarc.net . They meet on the 2nd Sat. At 1400W at the Keaau Community Center. The next meeting will be May 9th.
EARC - The Emergency ARC (Oahu) website is: http://earchi.org/event_listing.html they meet on the 3rd Tue. at the Fleet Reserve Association (FRA) Branch 46 located at 891 Valkenburgh St. in Honolulu. They next meet May 19th at 7PM. The talk will be about logging Programs (and Field Day). For Pot Luck, Please contact Gloria, KH6GLO, if you're going to bring something to share. There will be a mini Field Day May 9th at Hawaii Kai boat ramp from 4PM to 11PM in practice for the real thing June 27-28.
HARC – The Honolulu ARC website is: http://ham.aditl.com/harc . They meet on the 3rd Sat. at 0900W on odd months (Jan, March, May, July, Sept, and Nov) at the Monterey Bay Cannery restaurant. The next meeting will be May 16th.
The Waikiki ARC meets s every Tue at 0700W for breakfast at the Monterey Bay Cannery in Aiea. It has only the ARRL club website: http://www.arrl.org/Groups/view/waikiki-amateur-radio-club/type:club .
KARS – Kona Amateur Radio Society webpage is: http://www.cfht.hawaii.edu/~veillet/hwars.html. They meet on the 4th Sun. at 1400W in Wawaloli Beach Park at NELHA. It is a picnic potluck. Next get together is May 24th . Thai food is the food theme. For questions please contact Van NH7IT at 808-345-5008 or e-mail NH7IT@arrl.net . In addition to the regular KARS monthly meeting they now have a breakfast at 808 Grindz restaurant in Kopika Plaza on the 2nd Saturday of each month at 0830W. For additional information contact Stuart KH7DX at 808-896-1290.
PERC – The Puna Emergency Radio Club website is: http://perchawaii.com/ their meeting is on the 4th Saturday of each month at 1000W at the Hilo Coffee Mill. Come early and enjoy breakfast. The next meeting is Saturday May 23rd. They supported the Hilo International Marathon in March with 27 people participation in communications support. They have a net every Wednesday at 19:00W on 146.52 simplex
HARC – (The Hilo ARC): They meet daily 6:30-8:30 AM at Jack in the Box Hilo. This club is the oldest on the Island of Hawaii however there was a break in existence of several years until former Section Manager Dean Manley, KH6B and several others reactivated it. They also sponsor the Council of Radio Club which meets once monthly. Please contact Dean for more information.
There has been no news from The American Samoa Radio club or Molokai Club in recent times.
The Civil Defense Amateur Radio Club (Honolulu) has no regular meetings. Their mission is to provide ARRL Volunteer Examiner testing services for amateur radio operators on the island of Oahu. The goal is to continually build up the pool of available emergency communicators available during times of emergency. Testing is on the third Wednesday of selected months; however, contact Ray Moody, AH6LT moody at: hawaii.edu or phone 941-9239. Advance registration is required to pass building security at the Red Cross building. Schedule for 2015 can be found in the VEC page of ARRL. It is: 06/17/2015, 08/19/2015 and 11/18/2015 at 1830W at the American Red Cross building (in back of Diamond Head) AGAIN No walk-ins.
Cal-Pac RC upgraded the Mauna Loa site antennas and took the six meter beacon off the air. It will be back shortly however it has not been decided if it will be put back at Mauna Loa. The picture of the KH6HME memorial brick at ARRL HQ is in the photo files at the bottom of the Pacific Section website along with other pictures of the Mauna Loa site. The brick was donated by BIARC member Chuck McConnell, W6DPD of Fresno.
REPEAT OR REFERENCE INFORMATION:
The Pacific Section webpage is: http://www.arrl.org/Groups/view/pacific-section. It now contains this
SM report. Each affiliated club should fill in an activities report to ARRL at least once every year. For more information go to: http://www.arrl.org/club-update . Your SM is always looking for news
So be sure to update him too. Even if your group is not ARRL affiliated, send a report. If you have notable activities send along a jpeg picture and description (please). At the bottom of the Pacific
Section webpage is a picture gallery.
Hawaii's Official Amateur Radio Repeater Coordination Site is: http://www.hawaiirepeaters.net/ .
Ron Hashiro’s webpage always has a good collection of news of local happenings. See:
http://www.qsl.net/a/ah6rh/am-radio/in-hawaii.html . There is a new feature telling about the history of the early repeaters in Hawaii especially Diamond Head 146.88. Go to Ron’s page and click on The EARC Diamond Head 146.28/146.88 MHz Repeater