ARRL

Secure Site Login

News

Cross-Borders ARES Exercise Tests Northeast Communication Capabilities

12/16/2014

Maine ARES® Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) Phil Duggan, N1EP, wants to expand Amateur Radio’s reach during emergencies in the Northeast. To that end, he convened a 40 meter “cross-borders” net on Saturday morning, December 13, on 7262 kHz to test the communication paths for that band and time for operators in Maine, New Hampshire, and the bordering Canadian provinces. The exercise was spurred by Maine Emergency Management Agency Communications Manager Steve Mallory’s suggestion that Maine hams put extra effort into training and exercising with neighboring states and provinces, since disasters do not recognize borders.

“The exercise brought together Amateur Radio operators from the bordering states and provinces in a collaborative effort that will continue in the coming months, using a variety of bands and modes,” Duggan told ARRL. He said the net attracted 33 check-ins from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Several state and provincial ARES members and emergency coordinators participated, including New Hampshire SEC Wayne Santos, N1CKM.

“Most signals were easily copied during the net by all,” Duggan recounted. “One surprising outcome for some was the fact that a couple of the stations that had the strongest signals were using modest power — 25 to 40 W — and their antennas were verticals.” Duggan said the exercise expanded upon Maine ARES and New Hampshire ARES Simulated Emergency Tests held earlier this fall, when members of both states’ teams supported each other’s SETs.

“In recent years there have been few such exercises in the region [and] most Maine emergency communication drills have been limited to VHF or 75 meter phone,” Duggan said. “As Maine SEC, in addition to voice modes, I am encouraging the use of more Amateur Radio assets in our training activities, including Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System (NBEMS) digital, good old-fashioned CW, and working with our neighbors.”

Duggan plans similar events in the future, most likely on a quarterly basis. He encouraged stations in all six New England states, as well as in the Maritime provinces and Quebec, to join in. The NBEMS suite of programs and digital modes, such as fldigi and fimsg developed by Dave Freese, W1HKJ, and his team, are freely available for Amateur Radio use, Duggan pointed out. — Thanks to Maine SEC Phil Duggan, N1EP

 

 



Back