Fresno County ARES/RACES Emergency Communications
The Fresno County ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) and Fresno County RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services) organizations have joined forces. Although ARES and RACES are separate entities, our members now can have dual membership and provide greater flexibility during emergencies. Using the same operators and the same frequencies, an ARES group also enrolled in RACES can "switch hats" from ARES to RACES and RACES to ARES to meet the requirements of the situation as it develops. For example, during a "non-declared emergency," ARES can operate under ARES, but when an emergency or disaster is officially declared by a state or federal authority, the operation can become RACES with no change in personnel or frequencies.
A joint weekly net is held every Monday night at 19:30 hours on the N6HEW Repeater.
147.15 (+) PL of 141.3
Packet radio is up during the net on 145.030 and sign on to AC6WS-1.
All Fresno County hams are encouraged to participate if they have a desire to serve the community and a willingness to become proficient in emergency communications. If you have a question or would like to join Fresno County ARES/RACES, you may call:
ARRL San Joaquin Valley Section Manager (SM)
Dan Pruitt AE6SX 559-779-2974
Fresno County Emergency Coordinator (EC)
and Fresno County RACES Officer
Glen Caine N6HEW 559-292-4611
EC REPORT FOR AUG 2013
August is always a slow relaxing month. Well it has been a bit slower than our winter months but we had some excitement. We had four nets, one EmComm Coffee, and one EmComm Meeting. We also worked on the Rim Fire with the Red Cross.
Starting Aug. 5, 2013, we began having Flmsg practice after the nets on Monday nights. Lead by Richard (KE6SHL), several of our members met on 145.55 and practiced sending messages back and forth using digital modes. We used both PSK31 and PSK125. We found that PSK125, with its higher speed had fewer errors and produced more efficient results. We are going to continue this practice and plan on using not only the PSK modes but employing some of the other digital modes such as MT63. Although these modes have a wider footprint, traffic passes quicker and more efficiently.
The Rim Fire and Red Cross
August 26, 2013. We were asked to set up at the Red Cross Office at 1300 W. Shaw Avenue in Fresno. We located at the RC HQ erecting an antenna mast with an Elk dual band log periodic and setting up a station using a FT-8800 and a power system consisting of a deep cycle battery and a power supply with a power gate to ensure no power outages. We made contact with Mariposa County ARES who were located at the Greeley Hill shelter. We passed traffic back and forth until we were asked to shut down for the night. We returned to the station at 0700 hr. the next morning.
For some time before the event, Fresno County ARES, as well as Mariposa County ARES, had been practicing passing traffic with the digital modes, PSK etc. We had been using VHF FM simplex and were able to contact Mariposa with little difficulty. During the Rim Fire event Mariposa County ARES asked if we like to try to use digital modes from the shelter and the RC HQ. We would have to use a repeater and we had not tried that before. We tested and all seemed to work. We were using Fldigi and Flmsg on PSK125. We found that the faster speed and wider signal had fewer errors.
The Red Cross was very impressed with the ability to send and receive traffic in the ICS-213 Form filled out and printed copy. We used this mode for about two and a half hours before we were asked to stand down and go back into the standby mode. We took down the station at 1715 local time August 27, 2013.
The Fresno County ARES Members that took part were: Glen Caine (N6HEW) FC ARES EC, Dan Pruitt (AE6SX) SJV SM, Jerry Hammons (W6GCL), Richard Pack (KE6SHL), Lew Roberts (KI6YWX), Karl Kramer (W6TUI). Jan Whitteberry (WA6WTF), Greg Waters (KI6OUI).
Tour de Fresno Bike Race
The Tour de Fresno Bike Race will be held September 14, 2013. This is a 100 mile race and we have been asked to help the CARP Club with the event. People will be needed at all of the rest stops as well as other areas. This is a good training tool giving us practice passing traffic under natural conditions. If you would like to take part please contact either Rob Mavis by email (
) or myself using the information listed at the end of the publication. I am looking forward to work with you.
Don’t forget the Monday Night Emcomm Net at 1930 hr. on the 147.15 MHz Pl 141.3. We have some good information and camaraderie. On the third Friday of the month there is an EmComm Breakfast at Yosemite Falls Cafe on Cedar south of Ashlan in Granite Park at 0830hr. And last but not least the next Emcomm Meeting will be held on the fourth Thursday this month, the 26th of September at 1900 hr. at the Salvation Army Citadel at 1854 Fulton St., Fresno.
GLEN CAINE (N6HEW)
EC Report for July 2013
Hope you all had a good month. Many of us were on vacation and out of town. It has been relaxing sitting under the air conditioner working the bands when they would open up and those times were few and far between. It has been a slow month compared to the last. We had four nets, one EmComm Coffee and one meeting. We also had a Fldigi and Flmsg workshop held on the 27th of July.
Digital Modes and Served Agencies
I attended the last Disaster Medical Response Committee meeting on the 8th of July. I informed the group we were training our people to use PSK31 with Fldigi and Flmsg for use in an emergency or disaster situation. I informed them we would be using the same message forms they used and how it would enhance their communications during an event. I explained that the software could be loaded on to their computer and their office staff would fill out the message forms and bring them to us on a memory stick. We would then send the message for them. All of the other agencies could copy the message and either save, print or both if needed. Several of the agencies wanted to know more. I suggested I could put together a presentation for the next meeting in September.
I also informed them we could offer their staff the option of getting a Ham license. We could teach a class at one of their facilities during working hours if needed. St. Agnes was very interested and we will be looking forward to helping them.
DEC Steps Down
I am sorry to report that Hal Clover (KC6LUB) has stepped down from his post as District Emergency Coordinator for medical reasons. I really liked working with Hal and he will be missed. I wish him well and will be praying for him and his family.
Starting Aug. 5, 2013, we will be having Flmsg practice after the nets on Monday nights. We will be practicing on the 2 Mtr. FM frequencies transmitting and receiving messages using PSK31 and the Flmsg program. If you are interested in participating, listen to the net next Monday night and I will fill you in on the details including the time and frequencies. This should a good learning experience.
Net Control Staff Needed
We are looking for volunteers to take a turn as net control on Monday nights. This is not a difficult task. We will provide the preamble and net roster. This is a great way to enhance your skills running a net for emergency situations. If you are interested, please contact Gary (KI6OYW) at 559-269-1340 or email
Don't forget the Monday Night Emcomm Net at 1930 hr. on the 147.15 MHz Pl 141.3. We have some good information and camaraderie. On the third Friday of the month there is an EmComm Breakfast at YFC on Cedar south of Ashlan in Granite Park at 0830hr. And last but not least the Emcomm Meeting will be held on the fourth Thursday this month. The next meeting will be Thursday the 22nd of August, at 1900 hr. at the Salvation Army Citadel at 1854 Fulton St., Fresno.
GLEN CAINE (N6HEW)