About This Form
Amateur Radio donates thousands of man hours of supplementary public service communications in civil emergencies, official drills and events such as parades and marathons each year. Such events show Amateur Radio in its best light, and it is critically important that ARRL bring documentation of this public service work to the attention of the Congress, the FCC and other public officials. Your information below is an important addition to the record. Please complete and return this form to the Public Service Branch at ARRL Headquarters. Thank you.
1. Nature of activity (Check one).
Amateurs supplied communications required to replace or supplement
normal communications means.
Alert. Amateurs were deployed for emergency communications, but emergency situation did not develop.
Special exercise. Amateurs supplied communications for a parade, race, etc.
X Test or drill. A training activity in which amateurs participated.
2. Brief description of activity: Communications exercise
3. Places or areas involved: Anchorage, Alaska; Matanuska-Susitna Valley, Alaska
4. Number of amateurs participating: 8
5. Event start date/time: 6 Oct 98/2015L 6. Event end date/time: 6 Oct 98/2100L
7. Duration of event (hours): .75 8. Total man-hours: 6.0
9. Number of repeaters used: 0
10. Estimated manpower cost: $60 (man-hours times $10/hr)
11. Estimated cost of equipment used: $2,800 (hand-helds, repeaters, etc.)
12. Total estimated cost of service: $2,860 (add amounts from lines 10 and 11)
13. Nets and/or frequencies used (including repeater call signs): Big City Simplex Net, 146.52 MHz
14. Number of messages handled: Nine pieces of exercise traffic
15. Names of agencies receiving communications support: N/A. Local area communications exercise.
16. Please list call signs of amateurs who were major participants: WL7YR, WL7WH, KL0CY, KL7HHO, WL7CSR, KL4E, WL7CKB, KL5T
17. Other comments: See attatchment containing exercise assessment and script
Please attach photos of amateurs in action, newspaper clippings or other data.
Name of Amateur Radio organization providing service: South Central Amateur Radio Club, Anchorage Amateur Radio Club, ARES
Location of organization: City or town: Anchorage State: AK
Your name: Larry K. Petty Call sign: KL5T
Address: 2631 W. 27th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99517
ARRL appointment, if any: ASM, VE, ARES e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: (907) 552-2448
I attest that the information provided above is complete and true to the best of my knowledge.
20 Oct 98
A communications exercise (COMMEX 981001) was held on the Big City Simplex VHF phone net on 6 Oct 98. The net is held each Tuesday evening at 2000L on 146.52 MHz. After net check-ins tapered off, net control, KL0EO, advised the following:
Attention all net stations, attention all net stations, this is KL0EO. This net will now conduct a communications exercise. I repeat, this net will now conduct a communications exercise.
The purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate the importance of our ability to maintain proficiency in preparing, passing, and receiving formal ARRL formatted message traffic. Our goal is 100 percent participation from all check-ins. All stations, standby for further instructions. I say again, all stations standby for further instructions. This is KL0EO. Please standby.
Attention all net stations, attention all net stations, this is KL0EO. Following are exercise instructions. I say again, following are exercise instructions. All net stations, at this time, draft an ARRL formatted message identifying the transmitter, output power, antenna, antenna height, and power source (commercial or battery/backup) for which you are currently participating in this net with. Again, all net stations, at this time, draft an ARRL formatted message identifying the transmitter, output power, antenna, antenna height, and power source (commercial or battery/backup) for which you are currently participating in this net with. Once your message is drafted, contact KL5T on this frequency, and pass your traffic. KL5T will also be available to assist in drafting your messages. Once your traffic is passed, please stand by. This is a communications exercise. Are there any fills?
Net control then advised KL5T to assume control of the net, and to pass a sample message to control to demonstrate how to format and pass the traffic.
KL5T passed his message to net control, then stood by for queries and exercise traffic.
KL5T ensured each message was formatted correctly with accurate header information. He will further ensured stations passed traffic over the air in the proper format, i.e., use of pauses, the terms "break", "x-ray", etc. Once the messages were received, KL5T advised the originator to standby while the message was checked for correctness, including checking the group count. Once verified for completeness, and after any necessary fills had been provided, KL5T acknowledged receipt of the messages and called for any additional traffic. We even had a bicycle mobile station pass a message!
After all participating stations passed their traffic, KL5T advised the net to standby for a brief exercise summary, and turned the net back to KL0EO.
KL5T calculated statistics, and then gave a brief summary of the exercise over the air which included the following:
The following stations passed traffic during this exercise:
Overall, folks did a great job under the gun to gin up their messages. Since many of us don't pass formal message traffic very often, or at all, we certainly had some areas of confusion. This was clearly expected, and feedback/lessons learned is in order. Most of the problems encountered were areas clearly identified in the ARRL Operating Manual. Continued practice passing messages, and review of this manual would most certainly enhance our ability to effectively move traffic. Following are some of the most common problems encountered:
- CHECK: We had fun with this one. We had discrepancies on the word count in nearly every message passed. This was expected, as the operating manual dedicates a fair amount of space in an effort to clarify how this is to be determined.
- Failure to pause after passing the preamble
- Failure to say "break" after passing the addressee
- Passing a handling instruction (HX), but only passing the suffix
- Stations spoke way too fast. KL5T had to request many fills because he just couldn't keep up. KL5T probably needs to work on his transcription skills as well!
- Inserting words into the text, such as the word "is". This led to problems with the check
- Substituting the addressee for the station of origin
- Ending text with "x-ray", which should never be done
- Failure to pass "end, no more" following the signature
Believe this was a very productive exercise which resulted in good questions and discussion being generated on the topic. Several stations commented that they were already looking at the books and realized we all needed some work in this area. Others stated they hadn't heard exercise traffic, or any traffic at all for that matter, passed in quite some time, and this was good to hear. It was interesting to me to note that while I was receiving exercise message traffic on this VHF net, I also heard valid formal ARRL formatted message traffic being passed on the Bush Net on 7.092 MHz!
Many thanks to all who participated, and to those that even showed up afterwards to provide comments. Again, I would encourage all of you to take the time to script a communications exercise.