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Each year, Hawaii State Civil Defense in cooperation with a number of governmental and private agencies conduct a state-wide exercise to test and evaluate preparations for operations before, during and after a hurricane. The exercise, entitled Makani Pahili, will be conducted on Saturday, June 2, 2012 9:00 am - 12 noon.

This event will be the largest simultaneous, multi-site, multi-band communications exercise in the history of the Hawaii amateur radio community concentrating on two-way exchanges of simulated messages.

These are the arrangements underway within the amateur radio community in preparation for participating in the exercise. If you know of any, please contact Ron Hashiro, AH6RH

Enjoy, and feel free to drop me an e-mail if you have any questions.


Objective

April 12, 2011

The most frequently heard remark after Hurricane Iniki was that we as amateur radio operators should have been better prepared. The amateurs on Kauai and Oahu were challenged to exchange and deliver hundreds of messages accurately in a timely fashion each hour for many hours. The messages were a mix of short messages and some that were multiple pages in length and most of the messages were handled by voice communications as that is the means that most operators had operational.

A major part of the Makani Pahili exercise is for all operators and stations to gain experience and proficiency in sending and receiving ICS-213 messages between nets and under net operating conditions. It tests existing arrangements and capabilities between the amateurs and the agencies and communities that we serve. It tests the operator's ability to generate and efficiently exchange ICS-213 messages under actual net operating conditions and changing radio propagation.

Stations are encouraged to generate and send test messages for the exercise, gain practice and become proficient BEFORE the next emergency or disaster. Stations are encouraged to generate ICS-213 messages that contain an actionable request as opposed to simply a message that has just status and is informational. This is so that the receiving party can generate a message containing a simulated reply. All stations will use "THIS IS AN EXERCISE MESSAGE" at the beginning and end of all messages. New

Net Control Stations, bulletin stations and net liaison stations are encouraged to pass the net bulletins on the nets to simulate and practice passing net bulletins. Updates to the information bulletins were done on May 30, 2012. New

A PDF version and an MS Word version of the net preamble and net bulletins are available.

Test Procedure - Kerchunking repeaters is illegal

June 2, 2012, Updated June 2, 2012 New

A reminder to ALL stations - especially newly licensed stations - that when testing access and coverage with repeaters to clearly identify your transmissions with your callsign and the word "Test" or "Testing". Momentarily keying your radio to activate the repeater to cause it to transmit without saying anything (known as "kerchunking" a repeater) is an unidentified transmission. Unidentified transmissions are a violation of FCC Part 97.119(a) and is illegal. Do not kerchunk a repeater, even once.

If you kerchunk repeaters, do not be surprised when you receive a notice from the FCC regarding your operations.

The correct procedure is to key your microphone, identify your transmission with your callsign and the word "Test" at the same time as you are keying down, then release the PTT switch and listen. (Example: "KH6ABC Test.") As a courtesy, another station on frequency may acknowledge your test signal with a signal report (Example: "KH6ABC, you are loud and clear. KH6ZZZ.")

Again, NEVER kerchunk a repeater with an unidentified transmission.

Saturday, June 2, 2012 Net Timeline

December 15, 2011, updated May 23, 2012

The preliminary timeline for the net on Saturday, June 2, 2012 from 9:00 am to 12 noon is:

  • 9:00 am, start the net. Announce net preamble, take check-ins, start message handling
  • 9:10 am, simulated 20 mph winds arrive on the windward coasts of all major Hawaiian Islands. Residents are seeking shelter in place or at designated shelters.
  • 10:00 am, simulated 75+ mph winds arrive on the windward coasts of all major Hawaiian Islands. Winds gusts up to 111 mph or more may be experienced. HF antennas on towers fail. Loss of commercial power. Mobile operators forced to cease operations due to flying debris. Only hurricane-rated repeaters remain on the air. Operators next to glass windows forced to withdraw to safer interior rooms. (If you're in a concrete building, move to an interior room and test simplex operations.)
  • 10:45 am, End of damaging winds. Residents leave shelters and begin post-hurricane assessment, clean-up and relief operations. Initial field damage assessment possible.
  • 11:50 am, Prepare to wind down the net. Announce final statistics (if available)
  • 12 noon, close the net

Messages will be exchanged in ICS-213 message format.

Island of Oahu
Agency
HF
VHF
UHF
APRS
Hawaii SCD 3993.5, 5330.5, 7088 147.06+ PL 103.5, 147.02+ PL 103.5, 147.04+, Liaison: 146.88- 444.35+ PL 103.5 for DEM voice traffic Yes
DEM 7088, 7080 after the Healthcomm net New 146.88-, 146.98- PL 88.5, 146.76-, Simplex: 146.55, 146.58 444.725+ PL 123.0 for FLDIGI traffic
DEM District IV-Windward Oahu 3888, 5057.0, 7098 Voice/FLDIGI, 7290 146.66-, 146.505 Simplex Voice/FLDIGI, Liaison: 146.88- for DEM voice traffic, 146.55, 146.58 444.175+ No PL for Voice traffic, 444.325+ PL 103.5 for DEM voice traffic
Healthcomm 3888,5371.5,7080 147.280+ 443.825+, 443.775+ PL 123.0, 444.775+ PL 123.0
Univ of Hawaii 3880, 7180 146.800-, 146.440 Simplex 445.525 Simplex Yes
DOE New 147.06+ PL 103.5 (State) 444.35+ PL 103.5 (Oahu)

State CD RACES/ARES

December 15, 2011, updated May 29, 2012

Statewide Hurricane Exercise - State CD RACES/ARES participation.

Expected path of the simulated exercise Category 3 or 4 hurricane is it passes near the major Hawaiian Islands, approximately 50 to 75 miles off-shore from the windward coasts of the islands.


June 1, 5:00 pm HST - Hurricane warning in effect for all of Hawaii
June 2, 9:10 am HST - Simulate people sheltering at home or evacuating into shelters.
June 2, 10:00 am HST - Simulate people in shelters with damaging winds outdoors.
June 2, 10:45 am HST - End of damaging winds outdoors. People able to leave shelters.
June 2, 11:50 am HST - Prepare the close the exercise radio net.
June 4 - All clear issued, post disaster assessment and recovery phase begins

Call signs:
SCD - KH6HPZ

SCD will be on the following frequencies at differing times:

HF - Command/Control/Message Handling

147.060+ PL 103.5 - DH Repeater - Command/Control/Message Handling
146.880 - DH Repeater - for interoperation with Oahu DEM RACES
444.350+ PL 103.5 - DH Repeater - for interoperation with Oahu DEM RACES
144.390 - APRS

Initial contact will be made on the 147.060 repeater. Stations will then be moved to another frequency, if possible, to handle traffic.

HF will also be used as follows to communicate with SCD and to exercise NVIS.

SCD will be on the SCD interisland net:
40m on 7088 kHz LSB (+/- qrm)
60m on 5330.5 kHz USB (Channel 1) (+/- qrm)
80m on 3993.5 kHz LSB (if 40m is not open)

Messages will be exchanged in ICS-213 message format. A major part of this exercise is to gain experience in sending and receiving ICS-213 messages. Stations are encouraged to generate and send test messages for the exercise. All stations will use "THIS IS AN EXERCISE MESSAGE" at the beginning and end of all messages.

Net Schedule:
Saturday (June 2) will be from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. KH6HPZ at State CD will be operating. Testing to occur before 9:00 am.

SCD will be operating FLDIGI on HF. Mode will be MT63 with 1K sliding windows. (Subject to change.) New

Oahu RACES

April 23, 2011, updated June 1, 2012

Statewide Hurricane Exercise - Oahu DEM RACES participation.

  • District I - Oahu EOC
  • District I - Battery Harlow - Ralph Toyama NH6PY and Darrell Omuro, KH6XL New
  • District II - Wailua Intermediate - Rick Chavez NH7NM New
  • District III - Maile Pt EOC - Chuck Oh N6NCT New
  • District III - Nanakuli Shelter - Zeph McNaughton N7WAP New
  • District VI - Leeward Community College, Parking Lot - Tony Gannon KH6TG New

Net Schedule:
Oahu HQ - KH6OCD
June 2, 8:00 - DEM Reservists start Tropical Storm assessments and report to district EOC on simplex.
June 2, 8:30 - Communications Test with Oahu EOC, send messages from shelters to Oahu EOC
June 2, 10:00 - District EOCs send reports to Oahu EOC
June 2, 12:00 - End of operations

DEM will be on the following frequencies:

VHF/UHF
146.88- DH Repeater - Command/Control
146.76- Mokuleia Repeater - Linked with FFMB repeater
146.98- FFMB Repeater - Traffic
146.55 Simplex
146.58 Simplex
444.725+ FLDIGI MT63-2K

HF:
40m on 7088 kHz LSB. 7080 kHz LSB after the Healthcomm net. New

DEM will be using FLDIGI MT63-2K for VHF/UHF. New

Oahu District IV (Windward) Shelters

April 11, 2012, updated: May 30, 2012

Oahu District IV (Windward) Shelters.

Net Schedule:
Start at 9:00 am, end at 12 noon. New

Oahu District IV Shelters will be on the following frequencies:

VHF/UHF:
146.66- Olomana Repeater - No District IV Command/Control - Repeater down as of May 29, 2012
146.505 - District IV Simplex - Primary command and control due to 146.66 out of service. FLDIGI MT63-1K. New
146.88- DH Repeater - Liaison with DEM RACES Command/Control
146.98- FFMB Repeater - Liaison with DEM RACES Traffic
146.55 Liaison with District 1 Simplex
146.58 Liaison with District 1 Simplex
444.175+ Portable Repeater - Voice only. FLDIGI discontinued. New

HF:
80m on 3888 kHz LSB
60m on 5357.0 kHz USB (Channel 3)
40m on 7098 kHz LSB Primary. Voice/FLDIGI MT63-1K. New
40m on 7290 kHz LSB Alternate

Healthcomm

April 23, 2011, Updated May 30, 2011

Statewide Hurricane Exercise - Healthcomm participation. The Healthcomm organization will participate on Friday, June 1, 2012 as part of the monthly siren net. Individuals will check-in to the Makani Pahili nets upon completion of the monthly Healthcomm net on the first Saturday of each month.

Call signs:
Healthcomm - KH6HC

147.280 - Hawaii Medical Center-West Repeater
443.775+ pl 123.0
443.825
444.775+ pl 123.0

Healthcomm will be on HF:
40m on 7080 kHz LSB (+/- qrm) Primary
60m on 5371.5 kHz USB (Channel 4) (+/- qrm) Alternate
80m on 3888 kHz LSB (if 40m is not open) Alternate

University of Hawaii

May 29, 2012, Updated May 30, 20112

Statewide Hurricane Exercise - University of Hawaii participation.

  • Leeward Community College - Gene Dashiel and Warren Munro KH6WM
  • Kapiolani Community College - Eric Ty KH6RT and Alex Andrade KH6IR
  • UH Manoa - Wayne Greenleaf KH6MEI, Randy Young KH6IB, David Hafner WH6DSL, Jimmy Lagunero WH7MW and others at the Holmes Hall.

Net Schedule:
Testing on net frequencies to start at 8:45 am, and net operations to start at 9:00 am.

VHF/UHF:
146.800 - EARC Mauna Kapu Repeater
146.440 - VHF Simplex
445.525 - UHF Simplex

HF:
40m on 7180 kHz LSB (+/- qrm) Primary
May try 60 m
80m on 3880 kHz LSB

Modes:
Will have FLDIGI capabilities New
May be on APRS, and PSK31

Department of Education - Simulated EOC

June 1, 2012, Updated June 1, 2012 New

Department of Education

  • Simulated EOC - Helen Sanpei KH6HS

Net Schedule:
Operations to start at 9:00 am.

VHF/UHF:
147.06+ PL 103.5 - State-wide traffic via SCD RACES VHF Repeaters
444.35+ PL 103.5 - Oahu traffic via the linked 146.76-, 146.98-, 444.325+ 444.350+

After Action Reports

June 6, 2012, Updated June 6, 2012 New

This section is compiled and adapted from the after-action reports submitted by the groups operating during the amateur radio portion of Makani Pahili 2012, adjusting mainly for consistency in formatting and reporting.

Overall Results

The Makani Pahili 2012 communications exercise was the first exercise featuring nine served agencies, nineteen separate nets and frequencies, and forty operators. It was the largest simultaneous amateur radio exercise since the operation during Hurricane Iniki. It offered amateur radio operators licensed since September 1992 a sense of the extent of the simultaneous, multi-frequency operation that occurred during Hurricane Iniki.

The agencies served or simulated were: Hawaii State Civil Defense, Department of Emergency Management (Oahu), Hawaii Civil Defense, Maui Civil Defense, DEM District IV, Healthcomm, National Park Service - Kalaupapa, University of Hawaii, Department of Education.

Summary Statistics
Agency
Nets/Frequencies
Operators
Check-ins
Messages Passed
Comment
Hawaii SCD
3
5
38
36
DEM
4
6
8
7
DEM District IV-Windward Oahu
3
13
44
Hawaii Civil Defense
3
1
Maui Civil Defense
2
1
Healthcomm
NPS-Kalaupapa
0
2
New for 2012
Univ of Hawaii
4
11
New for 2012
DOE
0
1
3
New for 2012
Total Reported
19
40
46
90

State Civil Defense, submitted by Ron Hashiro AH6RH

The SCD operations at the SCD EOC in Diamond Head crater ran from 9:00 am to 12 noon. HF operators were Robin Liu AH6CP and Larry Sue AH6SP. VHF 147.06 operators were Kevin Bogan AH6QO and Peter Yuen KH6JBS. Operator and liaison for the 146.98 RACES repeater and simulated DIAS operations desk was Ron Hashiro AH6RH.

The Level 1 Net on 147.02/147.04/147.06 MHz had nineteen check-ins, handled eight inbound ICS-213 messages and three outbound ICS-213 messages. Three tactical messages were handled. Three of the inbound reports were situation reports from DOE, UH Manoa and DEM District IV during the exercise event. Stations checking in were: AL4A, AH6JA, WH6CDT, KH6CQ, WH6DTZ, WH6DWF, WH6DXT, WH6DYQ, KH6H, KH7HO, KH6HS, NH7JH, WH7MW, NH7PE, KD0RPD, WH7XO, KN6ZU, KH6ZZ.

The Level 2 Net on 7088 kHz had eighteen check-ins, handled eight inbound messages and eight outbound messages. Zero tactical messages were handled. One message was relayed from Maui on 7.02 to Maui EOC on 7088. Stations checking in were: NH6AH, KH6AS, KH6CQ, AH6JA, WH6DIQ, WH6DVB, WH6FC, KH6H, KH7LK, KH6OQ, NH7PE, KH6PO, KH6RT, KH6TS, KH6WM, AH6WX, NH6Y, NH7YS.

The Liaison operator on the DEM RACES net handled one outbound ICS-213 message and two tactical messages.

Two messages were received via WINLINK packet-to-email system.

One message was received from WH6DSL-7 on APRS. It appears that the reply messages were not being delivered via the APRS IGATE system.

What worked well

DEM was able to relay an ICS-213 message from SCD to the simulated DOE EOC which checked in later onto the 146.98 repeater.

Tactical messages received were recorded internally onto the ICS-213 message form, and additional contact information added so that the incoming request could be handled by the simulated operations desk. Keeping the inbound messages standardized onto the ICS-213 form aided in processing the simulated request. Suggestion for the future is to annotate "Tactical" for the message number at the bottom of the form.

Spontaneous messages demonstrated the need be flexible and to adapt rapidly. The simulated scenario involved a Japanese visitor and a tactical request to secure a translator. An interim exercise reply message was translated into Japanese and passed as a formal ICS-213 message.

The liaison operator position between SCD and DEM worked well. The SCD EOC received a tactical message with a request simulated assistance in Waikiki. The request was successfully handled using tactical messaging between the SCD EOC and the DEM EOC and the requested resource was dispatched into Waikiki by DEM and the follow-up status was relayed via ICS-213 to the requesting station. The tactical messaging followed proper exercise protocol for exercise messages by stating "Exercise, exercise, exercise" or "This is an exercise message" at the beginning and ending of the exchange.

What needs improvement

  • Some of the external stations were initially confused with Kevin AH6QO's operation at SCD station KH6HPZ, and called for AH6QO rather than KH6HPZ. That was corrected.
  • Incoming messages were received for American Red Cross HQ EOC, but no station was available to receive the message. A simulated response was generated by the simulated SCD operations desk for one of the messages.
  • One of the received simulated messages noted "victims". Suggest using "persons" instead.
  • One actionable inbound messages did not make it to the simulated operations desk. For the next event, the simulated workflow will be reviewed prior to the event and checked periodically for "stuck messages" stuck elsewhere in the workflow.
  • The use of the ICS-213 form for standard formal messaging was well received. A goal for the coming year is to educate the amateur community on the NIMS (National Incident Management System) use of Position field, and to educate on the ESFs (Emergency Support Function) used in that field. http://www.fema.gov/emergency/nrf/" Operators are encouraged to take the free online courses at FEMA for learning the NIMS (National Incident Management System). http://www.fema.gov/emergency/nrf/training.htm
  • The 147.04 repeater in Lihue was not responding. The link to the 147.04 repeater may have been down.
  • The link to the 146.76 repeater appears to have been down during the time of the exercise.
  • The reverse outbound traffic for APRS via the IGATE to be reviewed and corrected.
  • A future capability to operate a frequency agile remote base on the Diamond Head rim site to be factored into the work plans.

DEM RACES, submitted by Jeff Sue AH6IX

DEM EOC

DEM RACES operated station KH6OCD from the DEM EOC, Frank Fasi Municipal Building. The station operated from 0800 to 1200 HST. The personnel included Russell Houlton WH7O, Ralph Miranda WH7PD, Linda Miranda, Kele Miranda, John Gwaltney NH6LL, and Jeffrey Sue AH6IX.

The station had four operating positions:

  • VHF station - 146.88 WH6CZB repeater and 146.58 simplex
  • UHF station - 444.725 PL 123.0 WH6FM repeater for FLDIGI traffic
  • Computer console control of the 146.98 PL 88.0 KH6OCD repeater
  • HF - 7080 kHz with a NVIS antenna

The VHF, UHF and HF NVIS crossed dipole antennas were installed on the mezzanine level.

Stations contacted were WH7BB, KH6BLA, WH6DIJ, KH6HB, KH6HBZ, KH6HS, N6NCT, KH6TG.

  • ICS 213 messages received: 7 (5 by voice, 2 by fldigi)
  • One of the received messages on 146.98 MHz was relayed to the recipient at DOE EOC
  • Messages were received from Districts III and VI
  • Messages were entered into the City's ETeam software system.

What Worked Well

  • District III EOC could not hit the 146.88 or 146.76 repeaters, but we could communicate with the District III EOC using HF and NVIS antennas.
  • Having the computer available for 146.98 meant that the 2 meter radio could be freed up to monitor the main DEM net on the 146.88 repeater, and also 146.58 simplex. The other advantage is that we could be up and operating immediately without waiting for the VHF antenna to be put up.
  • The mezzanine is a much better place to set up antennas than in the front garden. Also, it was easy to toss the coax from the mezzanine over a tree then down to the pipe that enters the building, so that no one would trip over the coax.
  • The NVIS antenna is smaller, easier and quicker to set up than the previous full length HF antenna.
  • From a limited sample of two messages, FLDIGI was much faster and easier to have accuracy than passing traffic by voice. One message was received without error from Leeward Community College on the first transmission. The other message had to be resent because of operator error. (The operator thought the message was going to be sent by voice and had the blank ICS 213 form ready for recording the incoming voice message, but when the digital tones was heard had to reset to receive the FLDIGI message). The second transmission attempt was 100% accurate.

What could be improved

  • RACES members would like a map and explicit instructions to find their assigned location. Most members have never been to the District EOCs before.
  • Establish protocols to re-establish repeater links (e.g. the 146.76 repeater was supposed to be linked to 146.98. It was linked on Thursday.) DEM and RACES members do not currently have control over repeater linking.
  • Establish backup protocols for loss of expected repeater links. This would be similar to the protocol for loss of repeaters, except it would specify what other repeaters might be available. This could be part of an overall protocol (e.g. if you are in this location, use this repeater as your primary repeater. If that repeater is not available (or not linked), try this repeater next, etc. If no repeaters are available, try these simplex VHF or UHF frequencies. If no contact, attempt HF NVIS on these frequencies.
  • Establish HF frequencies. Oahu RACES rarely operates on HF, while Healthcom regularly uses HF during weekly drills. We need to specify a frequency for both 40 meters and 80 meters, and consider 60 meters. Personally, I do not operate HF much, so it would help if an experienced HF operator could look at options (don't use this frequency because it is a common frequency for SSTV, don't use that frequency because it is used often for JT65, etc.). We also need to get on the air and practice using HF.
  • Use FLDIGI to transmit more messages. For example, we received reports from the District EOCs that had to be sent to the EOC. In at least one instance, this was transmitted by voice. Why not take the written message and type it into the FLMSG program, and then send it. Takes up less radio time, and probably easier to achieve 100% accuracy. We do need to know how to pass traffic by voice, but if computers are available (before their batteries run out), let's use them.
  • The most important thing to improve is the amount of participation by hams in general, and by DEM RACES members in particular. Out of all the hams on Oahu, we only had 10 hams participate with DEM RACES (excluding the Windward side hams, who essentially had a separate exercise). We could barely man four District EOCs. We need to increase participation before expanding to cover additional responsibilities (e.g. providing overage for shelters).

DEM District IV - Windward Oahu, submitted by Clem Jung KH7HO

In DEM District IV (Windward Oahu), thirteen amateur radio operators operated from eight Windward Oahu school sites and Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH). The emphasis was on providing communications among evacuation shelters and with DEM EOC.

  • KH6OM - Richard Kimitsuka KH6OM and Doug Morgan KH6U operated from Richard's home on Kailua Heights as NCS on 146.505 simplex (voice and FLDIGI), 444.175 (voice and FLDIGI) DEM portable repeater at Richard's home, and on 7098 kHz LSB on HF.
  • Kalaheo High School - Clement Jung KH7HO, and Randy Scott NH7I operated from inside a classroom at Kalaheo High School on 146.505 simplex (voice and FLDIGI), 444.175 repeater (on voice and FLDIGI) and HF on 7098 kHz (HF was not successful however).
  • King Intermediate School - Henry McCoy WH6P and Roanne Abe KH7WT operated from King Intermediate School parking lot on 146.505 simplex (voice and FLDIGI).
  • MCBH - Leon Sims WH6DIR operated VHF with a HT on 146.505 voice only from MCBH.
  • Ahuimanu Elementary School - Dan Ferguson KH6BS operated from the Ahuimanu Elementary School parking lot on 146.505 simplex voice and on 444.175 repeater on voice.
  • Kailua High School - Tiff Lawyer AH6S operated on 146.505 simplex on voice and FLDIGI, and on 444.175 on voice from Kailua High School outside the gym.
  • Keolu Elementary School - Bob Gilman WH6DUV operated on 146.505 simplex on voice and FLDIGI and on 444.175 on voice from the Keolu Elementary School parking lot.
  • Enchanged Lake Elementary School - Keith Higa WH7GG operated on 146.505 simplex on voice and FLDIGI and on 444.175 voice and FLDIGI from the Enchanted Lake Elementary School parking lot.
  • KK7GFT - Chris Garrett KK7GFT operated on 146.505 simplex on voice and receive only on FLDIGI and 444.175 voice. Could receive FLDIGI on 7098 kHz.
  • AH6HG - Ken Rappolt AH6HG operated on 146.505 simplex on voice and 444.175 voice only from his home near Kainalu Elementary School.

Overall, this year's communications exercise was very successful in meeting these exercise objectives:

  • Sucessfully operated on the District 4 simplex 146.505 MHz frequency.
  • Sent ICS-213 voice and FLDIGI formal messages by those who had this capability. A total of 44 messages sent between stations and with NCS as well as to Honolulu DEM EOC.
  • Successfully tested the 444.175 portable repeater and determined the coverage area.

What worked well

  • 146.505 simplex voice worked very well using a mobile radio and good external antenna.
  • FLDIGI on 146.505 for the six stations worked very well. Fast and accurate mode of sending ICS-213 formal messages digitally versus voice ICS-213 formal messages. We will expand the used of FLDIGI with more stations and will be the primary mode for sending ICS-213 messages.
  • Radio operators at four school sites used battery or emergency generator to power their stations.
  • The 444.175 portable repeater had very good coverage into Kailua and Waimanalo. Some success in Kaneohe for those who had a good external antenna and higher power. Enchanted Lake Elementary School station was able to successfully send a FLDIGI ICS-213 message on the 444.175 repeater to a Honolulu liaison station in operating with DEM EOC.
  • KH6OM did a great job as NCS for Windward Oahu.
  • NCS site was an excellent site to operate from because of its height and propagation into Honolulu.
  • This was the first time radio operators were able to operate from a classroom at a school (Kalaheo High School) in Windward Oahu. Kailua High School had a workshop and therefore the radio operator was not able to operate from the designated site in the school library.
  • NCS had two operators which was very helpful. Large sheets of paper near the station recorded operator's name, location, resources, and notes facilitated NCS making accurate, fast decisions to enhance message handling, resource management, and particpating stations distinct operational needs. A written log was kept by NCS on each station reporting, especially noting those stations which were having difficulty hearing each other. NCS station was able to operating using battery power successfully.

What needs improvement

  • Distant stations using handheld at 5 watts did not do so well for those stations further out from the NCS in Kailua. A 50 watts mobile VHF/UHF dual band with a good external antenna is a must for all stations.
  • The Kalaheo High School site could not hear Ahuimanu Elementary School and MCBH due to the Oneawa Hills/Kalaheo Hillside ridge line.
  • HF had limited capability for Windward Oahu. Was not able to communicate to NCS on HF due to probably where the HF OCF (Off-Center Fed) dipole NVIS antenna was sent up between classrooms on the second story patio area. This was the first time HF was used at this location and will need to be fine tuned on NVIS for future use if HF would be used at this location.
  • Need to operate from in the school classroom or offices in future communications exercise. For next year's exercise will work on getting more schools open so the radio operator can operate inside the school instead from the school parking lot.
  • No restroom facilities were open at the schools, except at Kalaheo High School, which became a challenge for one station. Operating in a school will solve this problem.
  • Another station reported operating from the school parking lot standing throughout the three hour commex. Need to operate within the school next year or bring a chair next time (a lesson learned).

National Park Service - Kalaupapa, submitted by Steve Prokop WH6DTS

The operations Makani Pahili 2012 at National Park Service - Kalaupapa were on Friday with Healthcomm net and on Saturday with State Civil Defense net. Two operators. Steve WH6DTS operated HF on Saturday, and Lionel WH6DTZ operated VHF/UHF on both Friday and Saturday.

UH Manoa, submitted by Wayne Greenleaf KH6MEI

This year the UH contacted the EARC to assist them in setting up amateur radio communications between campuses as the UH is designated as shelters in the event of hurricanes, etc. We were hoping to get as many of the UH campuses lined up (including Neighbor Islands) but unfortunately the timeline didn't allow for this to be accomplished this year. As this was the first time exercise for UH, we decided to just set up a couple of stations and test what could be used and what would work.

  • Leeward Community College (LCC) - Gene KH6XJ, Warren KH6WM set up HF, VHF and UHF.
  • Kapiolani Community College (KCC) - Eric KH6RT, Alex KH6IR set up HF, VHF, UHF.
  • UH Manoa (UHM) - Randy KH6IB, Fred KH6ZX, Trent N2OBM, Dave WH6DSL, Jimmy WH7WM, Mei KH6MG and Wayne KH6MEI set up on the roof of Holmes Hall.

At UH Manoa, a temporary command center was set up at Holmes hall. Randy, Fred, Trent brought the HF antennas used and necessary coaxial cables to run from the roof down to the top floor of the building. Dave brought out his APRS digital GPS positioning equipment, antenna and a laptop (for sending and receiving digital messages between stations). Wayne provided two Icom IC-7000 HF/VHF/UHF, an Icom IC-2200 VHF radio (for communicating with State Civil Defense KH6HPZ), Signalink USB to one of the 7000's to the laptop for passing ICS-213 messages using the FLDigi digital package and a 75 amp AGM battery for power.

At LCC, Gene set up his Icom IC-7000 with a SignaLink USB and laptop for digital messaging, a three element beam constructed from a QST article, as well as battery power and solar panels. Warren set up the HF antennas, etc.

At KCC, Eric and Alex have a station well set up using a dipole for HF and a vertical for VHF/UHF mounted at the school. Unfortunately they were not able to get the digital package FLDIGI to work and we are continuing to work on that for future operations.

Frequencies used:

  • HF - 7180 kHz LSB/3880 kHz LSB
  • VHF - 146.800 MHz EARC Mauna Kapu Repeater
  • VHF - 146.440 MHz Simplex
  • UHF - 445.525 MHz Simplex

Summary

From UH Manoa site we set up the S-9 43 foot vertical antenna provided by Fred KH6ZX for HF operation on 7180 and 3880 kHz. This antenna tuned perfectly and worked well getting out, however the noise level at the site was S9 and above. We were able to communicate to KCC with Eric and Alex but could not hear LCC due to the noise level. They could hear us however and a relay was set up from UH to KCC to LCC when needed.

We later tried using Fred's HI Q antenna in NVIS set up but found the noise level remained and our signal diminished and returned to the S-9 antenna. We all later determined this noise problem was probably caused as we were parallel to the height of the high tension power lines right next to the building. A short net was established on the 146.80 MHz Mauna Kapu repeater to coordinate our start and we all switched over to simple VHF for the remainder of the exercise. VHF comms were excellent between the three site and several ICS-213 messages were passed using FLDIGI in MT63-2000 digital mode.

Dave WH6DSL made several contacts and passed traffic and messages using the APRS digital network. Contacts included Hawaii Medical Center-East and was able to direct others to our frequencies for further coordination.

Jimmy WH7WM ran most of the communications at Holmes Hall, first establishing a net within the UH Net then making contact and establishing a link with KH6HPZ State Civil Defense on the statewide SCD RACES VHF repeater system 147.060 MHz and later passing message on both nets. Jimmy WH7WM is the UH's coordinator for these types of operations within the UH system and has only recently started in the position. He also is a Ham operator and while this was his first time operating as an NCS did a great job and we were there to coach and support the effort.

From LCC, excerpts from Gene's email:

I am really pleased about today. I got my solar/PV/battery/inverter setup together and it seems to work OK. I got my Tigertronics Signalink USB working to key the transmitter via the computer. I got FLDIGI and FLMXG working. I have wanted to do these things for several years. Many thanks to you all for the help, advice, support and incentive to get these things together and working.

At LCC we had fantastic support from facilities and security folk. We set up on a classroom with antennae, and power sources (and solar collector) on the adjacent balcony, great view of Pearl Harbor, out of the sun and wind, line of sight to Manoa, town, Leahi.

From KCC: Eric and Alex reported they could hear everyone well and there were no problems.

In Closing:

We learned we could in a short period of time set up and get a net going for UH. Thanks again to all who came out and supported this effort, we really appreciate it and we look forward to more activities with the UH. Hope I didn't miss anything if I did please excuse, the memory is fading these days....

DOE EOC, submitted by Helen Sanpei KH6HS

The DOE's simulated Emergency Operating Center operated from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on VHF 147.06 MHz PL 103.5 (state-wide traffic via State Civil Defense RACES VHF repeaters) and UHF 444.35 MHz PL 103.5 (Oahu traffic via the linked 146.76, 146.98, 444.325 and 444.350 repeaters). Monitoring was also done on VHF 146.80 and on HF, SCD interisland net, 40 meters on 7088 kHz LSB. This exercise provided newly licensed hams like myself with an opportunity to generate and receive a total of three ICS 213 messages between the DOE EOC and State Civil Defense.

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December 15, 2011, Updated: June 6, 2012

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