Amateur Radio and Emergency Communications

Some discussions just don't fit into a well defined box. Use this forum to discuss general topics and issues revolving around the Church and the technology offerings we use and share.
Roger-p40
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Mara

Postby Roger-p40 » Sat Aug 01, 2009 2:45 am

MARA was an effort to have a worldwide amateur network. It worked in places where you had a strong leader. Some of the groups are still going some have stopped operation.

At one time we had a list of members who had ham license. This was produced by someone in SLC.

Roger
N4AHA

skiptaylor
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Postby skiptaylor » Sat Aug 01, 2009 9:05 am

Roger wrote:MARA was an effort to have a worldwide amateur network. It worked in places where you had a strong leader. Some of the groups are still going some have stopped operation.

At one time we had a list of members who had ham license. This was produced by someone in SLC.

Roger
N4AHA

I found a MARA website (http://www.mara.net/). With some information, but it's limited.
Skip Taylor :eek:
Lancaster CA.

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:36 am

MARA is a fine group and still exists in many areas, but they are no longer the emcomm organization of the Church. The Church now uses its own group of Amateur Radio operators and the current title is Emergency Response Communications, or ERC.

(I say "current" title, because there is a small internal conflict with the initials ERC, as this also means LDS "Employment Resource Center".)
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sat Aug 01, 2009 1:55 pm

Mikerowaved wrote:MARA is a fine group and still exists in many areas, but they are no longer the emcomm organization of the Church. The Church now uses its own group of Amateur Radio operators and the current title is Emergency Response Communications, or ERC.


I wonder how the issues raised in the past have been dealt with? Or will history repeat itself?

Link
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:18 pm

RussellHltn wrote:I wonder how the issues raised in the past have been dealt with? Or will history repeat itself?http://www.mara.net/12052008.pdf

Those in charge are well aware of the past issues with MARA and have guidelines in place to prevent a recurrence.
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

Onti-p40
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Postby Onti-p40 » Thu Oct 15, 2009 12:05 pm

RussellHltn wrote:http://www.providentliving.org/channel/0,11677,8033-1,00.html

The FAQ section under Emergency Communication seems to be the most helpful.


As an emergency coordinator, I've always figured that a Deacon on a dirt bike is a lot more useful than a Bishop in a Buick. Get the Deacon a ham license and an HT, and keep the Bishop at the building -- each is now where he can do the most good.

As far as your binary comment, sounds like 11rd-hand info to me.

mike s-p40
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Postby mike s-p40 » Sun May 02, 2010 2:09 pm

RussellHltn wrote:OK, this isn't exactly **** "high tech" but it's still technology. Yet this seem to be the first post to even contain the words "Amateur Radio".

So what's the scoop? Is there any official plan? I've heard of it being used in some individual Stake plans. I've heard word of it in time past for broader plans, but have lost contact. If the Church is still doing something with this, this site seems like an ideal way to distribute information and recruit volunteers.

Hi, Probibly not what you are expecting but this is the only site i can find for church radio amateure. I'm an active operator in the uk and wondering if the church has a site for radio amateures like our selves? Or if not how is one statted, either on the air or web? Hope you reply soon. mike s

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northernscout-p40
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Postby northernscout-p40 » Sat Oct 16, 2010 3:15 pm

Hello fellow hams and wannabe hams (or why on earth do I want to be a ham?).

Don't despair about not having the church supply us with equipment. As someone mentioned - it's better for members to have their own equipment, antennas, etc, that they keep up and know are in good operating condition. Being a member of a couple of regular nets that you check into helps you to know your equipment is operational and that you are mentally prepared to communicate.

HAMS NEED BACKUP POWER TO BE EFFECTIVE

It's a given that you also need some sort of power source that will allow you to operate when the commercial power goes down. I have a 110 AH 12V AGM battery under my radio shelf. The AGM is a bit expensive but it's a sealed battery and I know it's not drying up on me. It's also not producing sulfurous gasses that smell the place up or concentrations of potentially explosive gases. If it were then it should be kept outside. I charge it with a small smart charger designed to work with AGM batteries. I would like to purchase a couple of 100 watt solar panels and mount them facing the south and these to charge the AGM battery. I have a similar thing, a single 70 watt panel, on the roof of our Trillium travel trailer. I wired my truck with a solenoid that provides power to the charge system in the trailer when the trucks engine is running but since putting the solar panel onto the roof the charge circuit from the truck is redundant.

The reason I mentioned putting a pair of panels somewhere on the house is because of two things - more usage of other items requiring 12V power (emergency LED lights, AM and FM broadcast radios) ,and the time when most failures occur is in winter when solarization to the panels would be at a low. Less sunshine and more rain/cloud, etc. You need a whole lot more solar collection area to provide useful electrical power than in the summer months. Not keen to put up a wind charger because older ones were pretty noisy. Some newer designs are more attractive, the ones with curved blades like the ones on stealth helicopters. You and your neighbors won't lose sleep, almost noiseless. Still hard to find distributors of them though. There is one in Australia called the Hush Turbine. I was just searching for info on quiet wind chargers and found an article on sources of noise. I never even considered some of them before:
http://www.windturbinenoises.org/wind%20turbine%20noise.html
Lots of considerations. The thing with photovoltaics is this: when the wind is stopped often you have sunshine, when the sunshine is gone there is usually wind. Ideally I guess a person should have a sampling of both technologies to exist off the grid or through a disaster situation. Most blue water sailors have both on their sail boats to handle their needs while crossing oceans.

Donn/VA7DH
ldsradio.ca

lmherdz
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Ward Emergency Response Communication Specialist (WERCS)

Postby lmherdz » Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:25 am

[align=center]Ward Emergency Response Communication Specialist (WERCS)
[/align]
[align=center]
[/align]
The WERCS Is Responsible For:
·Organizing methods of communication to be used in times of an emergency.
·Providing emergency communication between the Bishop, ward leaders and members.
·Providing emergency communication between the Bishop and Stake Emergency Response Communication Specialist (SERCS) in the event that “normal communications” are disrupted (i.e. phones lines & cell phones). The means of communication is at the discretion of each ward and may include Ham Radio, CB Radio, General Mobile Service Radio GMSR, Family Service Radio FSR, messenger or any other method that works.
·Teaching ward members how to set-up and operate equipment used by the ward
·Helping ward members understand their Ward Emergency Communication Plan and how it is to be implemented. This may include helping individuals obtain a license, as required, to operate radios used by the ward.
·Practicing communication techniques on a ward level to ensure their ability to communicate in an emergency (monthly or more often as needed).
·Participating in a weekly stake net (on the air check-in and capabilities report) using a 2 meter ham radio. WERCS should stay on the net until it’s closed.
·Calling roll for their ward during the stake net, if asked.
·Performing the responsibilities of the Net Control Operator for the stake net, when assigned.

Characteristics of a WERCS
·Bishop is comfortable talking to and working with the WERCS and trusts their ability to communicate messages accurately.
·Must be able to handle sensitive information and maintain a high level of confidentiality.
·Should be a person that is normally in the area (doesn’t routinely travel for extended periods of time unless they have a backup person) or is not part of Law Enforcement or other emergency services which likely be called into action during an emergency.
·Should have an aptitude to use technical devices or a desire to learn.
·Does not need a Ham radio license to be called or assigned to this position. The stake should provide ham radio training and will help them get their license.
·The Ward Emergency Preparedness Coordinator may be utilized as the WERCS.

Financial Requirements:
·Radio license $15.00
·The WERCS will need to be able to spend $135.00 for a 2 meter handheld Ham Radio.
·Optional expenses depending on the difficulty of communicating due to distance or terrain:
[font="]o [/font]External “slim jim” antenna $20.00
[font="]o [/font]¼ wave whip antenna $30.00
[font="]o [/font]Backup battery AA case $30.00
[font="]o [/font]mag mount car antenna $35.00
[font="]o [/font]filtered automotive power supply $30.00 (most newer cars have clean electrical system so the extra expense of a filter may be unnecessary – worst case there is whining of the engine rpms in the background of your audio transmition).
[font="]o [/font]12 volt power cord $8.00

lmherdz
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0-60 Hams in One Year Plan

Postby lmherdz » Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:09 am

[align=center]0-60 Hams in One Year Plan
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[align=center]How the Roseville California Stake Went from Zero to Sixty Ham Radio Operators in One Year
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Here is what they do:
1) Keep it simple
a) Avoid the “Hammy” talk like 73, etc. and ask that people just speak normal. You are not trying to impress anyone by using CB lingo. Most people new to Armature Radio can get lost and this is in an effort to help them feel included, not excluded from the conversation.
b) This is not a “hobby.” Most people will get there Amateur Radio License either for their calling or for emergency communications and not necessarily for the “hobby’s sake.” It may become a hobby (and that’s okay) but that is not what is emphasized.
c) 2 Meter simplex (unless it does not work geographically for your stake).
d) Basic Hand Held Radios and mobiles. They recommend the Yaesu FT-270R hand held or the Yaesu FT-2900R mobile. There are many opinions out there and cool muti-bands for over $1,000 dollars but our focus was to keep it as inexpensive and simple as possible. For around $250 dollars a Ward Emergency Response Communication Specialist (WERC) can get everything he needs - a hand-held radio, ¼ wave antenna (which is way better than the “rubber-ducky” antenna it comes with), back-up battery adapter (that takes AA batteries), car cig. lighter adapter, a mag mount car antenna and “Slim Jim” antenna. See detailed list below:
Basic HT Set-Up
Manufacturer:
Item :
Description :
Price
Notes
YAESU
FT-270R
2M 5W HT W FNB-83 & CHARGER
[align=right]$129.99
[/align]


Fry Elect.
YAESU
CN-3
RFA-8182PP
SMA Male to UHF Female $4.00 ea or use Yaesu mini coax HS-05 18” SMA to SO-239 from HRO for $14.95
[align=right]$11.95
[/align]

YAESU
EDC-5B
Filtered Cigarette lighter plug
[align=right]$26.95
[/align]

YAESU
FBA-25
6 AA BATT CASE
[align=right]$20.95
[/align]

(Find on ebay)

[align=center]Top of Form
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VHF Slim Jim J-Pole For HT 2 Meter Antenna 16'
(also works on ft-2900 radio instead of buying long coax and base station antenna. Good starting point.
Coax)Bottom of Form

[align=right]$23.00
[/align]

YAESU
MH-57A4B
SPKR/MIC VX-7R/VX6R
[align=right]$30.95
[/align]
(Optional)


2M 5/8 W/ MAG MOUNT ANTENNA
[align=right]
[/align]
(optional)
Mobile or Base Station Set-Up
YAESU
FT-2900R
2M 75W MOBILE W MH-48A6J MIC
[align=right]$159.95
[/align]


100-feet 9913-Equivalent Ultra-Low-Loss Coaxial Cable
[align=right]$120.00
[/align]
Diamond
CP22E
2M 2-5/8WAVE VERTICAL 6.5DB 9ft Antenna
[align=right]$54.95
[/align]
Alpha-Delta
TT3G50
Surge Protector (Ask John or Steve about $5.00 substitute)
[align=right]$59.95
[/align]
(Hardware store)
8' Grounding Rod ¾”? or the largest dia rod at Home D.
[align=right]$15.00
[/align]


Solder type. N-TGS-HRO $5.99 each at HRO
[align=right]$12.00
[/align]
Powerwerx

AndersonPower Pole Connectors (30 amp)
[align=right]$10.00
[/align]
Sams-Club

Marine Deep Cycle Battery
[align=right]$60.00
[/align]
Wal-Mart

Batterymaintainer/ charger (Schumacher1.5 amp)
[align=right]$20.00
[/align]
Wal-Mart

Plastic Battery Case
[align=right]$8.00
[/align]
McMaster-Carr

10 lf Red/ Black 12 ga wire
[align=right]$10.00
[/align]
e)

Since most of us have the same radios it is very easy to “clone” them. This basically copies all the pre-set channels and tones (for the repeaters). It has also easy reference to say “Go to channel 100” verses giving out the frequency (might come in handy someday).
2) Lead by example – as a leader people will follow what you have. We have approximately 60 operators in the stake (some still do not have radios) and we average at least 30 who participate weekly on our Stake net every Sunday night. The stake next to us has over a 150 operators (they had a really big push to get people licensed) and they only have about 10 people on average on their nets Sunday nights. So what’s the difference? We all have inexpensive single band radios and almost all of them (10 or so) have the $1,000 multi-band radios.
3) Find a local Ham Radio club that will do testing for you and put together a 3- hour “Ham Cram” study session. This is 3- hour self study. Ask them to go through all 400 questions and answers (it has just the correct answers) at least twice and then review just the answers right before the test. We have had a perfect record on passing so far on doing it this way. It is difficult test and many complained that they did not understand what they were studding thought for sure they were going to fail. The idea is to get you to pass and then we can teach them how to use the radio and understand everything later.
4) As the Stake net evolves and the Wards come on line ask that each WERC call roll for their own Ward. This helps them gain experience speaking in the mic and gives them a reason to be there each Sunday. The plan is to eventually have each Ward do their own net with just the ERC’s checking into the Stake Net but we are not there yet and this seems to work pretty well.
5) Keep the communication plan as simple as possible. For example our “Official” Stake plan is two pages and just has the most basic information and contact numbers. As a companion to that we have the 24 page handbook which gives all the information they need from their responsibilities in their calling to how to run a net.



http://ercinfo.webs.com/march2011meeting.htm.


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