1Lincoln County New Mexico ARES / RACES
1Simulated Emergency Test Report
1J. Rick Sohl
1Lincoln County RACES Officer and
1Lincoln County ARRL Emergency Coordinator
Lincoln County ARES / RACES Teams participated in the ARRLs 2002 Simulated Emergency Test (SET.) Due to conflicts in our schedules we decided to run our SET in two parts. Part 1, was coordinated with the New Mexico and Bernaleo County SETs, see report noted as 19 October 2002 SET Report.
Part 2, of our SET was held one week later and was a test of our VHF Radio Coverage in the Hondo Valley served by Highway 70, where a major road construction project will start soon. Official Lincoln County Radio networks do not have very good radio coverage in this area and during past events we have seen a need for support communications in these areas along this highway. This problem has been discussed many times at meetings of the Lincoln County Local Emergency Planning Committee. J. P. Kenmore K5FBK ARRL DEC, requested that we run part of our SET to test our coverage in the Hondo area. This was to allow us to determine what areas we do not have reliable ARES/RACES coverage and develop a plan that we could use to provide good communications in this area during a major event in the area when the Lincoln County radio networks might not be reliable.
SET Report Part 1.
The Lincoln Country ARES/RACES Organization Report NM SET
Saturday, 19 October 2002.
Jim Ratchford, AB5JR was the Net Control Station for the Lincoln County ARES/RACES Net on the 146.92 Sierra Blanca Amateur Radio Club Repeater. The net was opened at 1010 MDT; we had 8 check-ins: KK5XZ, AA5BJ, K5LPS, K5JWE, KD5GKX, K5FBK, W0ZW and KD5DJ. All members who checked in were capable of operating on emergency (battery) power. KK5XZ (Bruce Mackenzie) checked in from the local Red Cross office, which is his usual function. W0ZW (Wayne Greaves) checked in from his residence in San Patricio and provided coverage for that area of Lincoln County. KD5DJ (Doug Jarrard) checked in from his residence in Carrizozo and provided coverage for that area of Lincoln County. The rest of the check-ins were from the immediate Ruidoso area. All of the check-ins stations monitored the 146.92 repeater for the duration of the exercise.
AB5JR checked into the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Santa Fe on the state HF radio net (simulated by first W5SQU and then by AG5S) at approximately 1020 MDT on the assigned emergency frequency of 7233 KHz. AG5S assumed State NCS at 1047 MDT and simulated the State EOC thereafter. AB5JR also checked in with W5YEJ on VHF via the 146.74-Buck Mountain repeater, linked to Mt. Taylor (the 146.64 machine). The VHF link gave us an alternate means of contacting the State EOC. All passing of traffic was done on HF.
The Lincoln County ARES/RACES Net did not pass any formal traffic. This is something we should work on for future exercises; prior planning and communications with ARES/RACES members will help improve this. AB5JR, representing the Lincoln County RACES Officer and the simulated Lincoln County Emergency Manager, dispatched/handled four (4) pieces of formal traffic. There were three (3) routine messages and one (1) priority message. AB5JR received and simulated delivery of one priority message.
The exercise was terminated by the simulated State EOC station at 1224 MDT 19 October 2002. 73 Jim Ratchford, AB5JR
SET Report Part 2.
On Sunday 27 October 2002 at 16:00 Mountain time we opened a VHF radio net on146.920 simplex. This is the output frequency for our local repeater, but our plan was to simulate a failure of our local repeaters and test our coverage on line of sight mobile to fixed station as would be required during an event that shuts all our repeaters down. This is planning for a worse case event as we have four repeaters in this area, with our local club 146.920 repeater being a 100% backup system. This system has two stand alone repeaters on the same frequency with a remote control system that allows us to switch between them as needed, one of these repeaters runs on a battery back up system and the two units are separated by only two miles. The other two repeaters we use are located on Buck Mountain and on Capitan Mountain. Capitan is solar powered so it is very reliable as well. Any complete failure of all four repeaters would be a major event affecting the complete state.
By using our repeater output we could fall back to our repeater if needed during our test allowing more accurate reports between our stations (nodes) during our test. This type simplex operation was used during our major fires last March and proved very reliable during a repeater failure.
We deployed our stations as follows:
1. Mobile unit between Highway 70 and Highway 48 Y and Hondo Schools. AB5JR, 50 watts.
2. Mobile unit on Camelot Mountain. K5FBK, 25 watts.
3. Mobile unit at Spencer Theater. WG0B power unknown.
4. Mobile unit at Blue Lake. WA5HOK power unknown.
5. Mobile unit between Capitan and Highway 70 on County Road E007. W6RQR and KD5NDM power unknown.
6. Fixed station at Loma Grande on Cedar Crest Rd. K5RIC 35 watts. This station was the Net Control Station.
7. Fixed station at Carrizozo. KD5DJ power unknown. County Liaison Station county seat.
8. Fixed station at Capitan. W6RQR prior to going mobile.
9. Fixed station at San Paticio. W0ZW, 10 watts.
10. Fixed station at Los Chozas Trail on Highway 380 North of Hondo. W5EJ and KA5ABC 100, watts.
Our deployment was based on past experience during actual events this team has worked.
Ed Juge W5EJ, near Hondo had just moved and did not have an antenna installed for his radio. Ed due to medical problems could not install a pole and antenna he needed for the test, requested assistance with a quickie install. Wayne Grieves W0ZW went to Eds and helped install a 10pole with an antenna for Ed to use. This proved invaluable for this test, as Wayne and Ed are the two stations in the Hondo area that would act as relay stations for any major event in the area.
The Test was conducted as follows:
Each mobile station deployed to their relay sites as noted above. Each station programmed and tested their radios on both repeater and simplex.
Jim Ratchford AB5JR in his mobile unit drove Highway 70 from the Y to Hondo with communications checks at every mile marker and each station provided a signal report at each check in.
A second mobile traveled between Capitan and the Hondo Valley on the county road between the airport and Glencoe. The coverage to this unit was better than 98% as well.
The test showed that we cover most of the Highway with the stations at Loma Grande and near Spencer Theater. The other sites did not provide full coverage along the route. But these two stations did have better than 98% coverage along the route. The Loma Grande station is completely operational on HF and VHF/UHF and has direct contact with our station in Carrizozo. The Spencer Theater station was a mobile deployed from nearby, but the station owner WG0B lives along the airport road and if he installed a good antenna most likely he could cover the same areas. Any of the other locations would work with either Wayne or Ed providing relay duty. Most of this area can be covered with the local 146.920repeater, so neither relay station nor any deployment would be required as long as the repeater is operational.
The Spencer Theater, Capitan and Loma Grande Stations all have very good coverage to the Carrizozo station for coordination with the county EOC during a time of repeater failure. The station at Camelot had Carrizozo coverage but it was not as good and depended on the exact location of the unit. A portable antenna might improve this stations coverage.
This test proved very good and showed that if we had a major failure of our repeater systems that we could deploy a single mobile unit to cover the area if none of our fixed stations were useable during that time.
ARES/RACES Resource Details:
There are close to fifty Amateurs in Lincoln County. Most of these have operational stations that can be used when needed. Many have emergency power and many have mobile units that can be deployed as needed. Most mobile stations are of the VHF/UHF type that operate line of sight or can be extended by mountain top repeater stations.
All volunteer support and equipment for this program is provided free of charge by the members of the Lincoln County ARES/RACES. No governmental or tax funds are used to operate this program. Members performing dual duties for other disaster relief organizations may receive reimbursement for their actual expenses incurred during an actual or training event.
Wayne W0ZM, Ed W5EJ, Rick K5RIC, Doug KD5DJ, Jim AB5JR, J. P. K5FBK and a number of others in the area have fixed High Frequency (HF) stations that have long-range (statewide or worldwide) coverage.
Ed W5EJ, Rick K5RIC and Jim AB5JR have HF mobile stations that can provide long-range mobile coverage when needed.
Every member of the ARES/RACES program has available VHF or VHF/UHF mobile units.
A number of members have portable HF, VHF/UHF stations that can be deployed as needed as well.
HF radios can talk direct statewide or worldwide and are not subject to line of sight radio propagation and do not need any repeaters to operate. But such stations require a good antenna and experienced operator to provide reliable communications.
The New Mexico State EOC in Santa Fe has HF radios as well as VHF/UHF radios. This allows Lincoln county ARES/RACES stations to talk direct to the state EOC when needed and during tests such as this.
SET Report Details October 2002
Report of SET for Lincoln County NM ARES / RACES
AB5JR, KK5XZ, AA5BJ, K5LPS, K5JWE, KD5GKX, K5FBK, W0ZW and KD5DJ. 2:14 Time
20.1 Man Hours
AB5JR, K5FBK, WG0B, WA5HOK, W6RQR, KD5NDM, K5RIC, KD5DJ, W0ZW, W5EJ, KA5ABC and KK5XZ. 2:00 Time
24.0 Man Hours
44.1 Man Hours Total Time
All equipment and expenses for this Test were provided by the members of the Lincoln County ARES/RACES Team at no cost to the taxpayers of any governmental entity.
Email Message Sent Regarding the SET Oct 2002.
Below is a message regarding an SET test we will do to test our radio coverage on simplex in the Hondo Valley. This is because of the upcoming road construction in that area and possible major auto accidents during the next few year(s)
We participated with a group of other NM counties on Saturday 19 Oct. and our group did very well, with Jim AB5JR NCS for Lincoln County ARES Team. His report is at the end of this message. Jim did great and sent four formal messages into the statewide HF net during the test. We will file reports on both Lincoln Co SET events this year with the ARRL. Thanks Jim great job.
Now back to our Simplex SET test next Sunday, this will test to find what areas we can reach on Simplex along Highway 70 into Hondo Valley. We will use 146.920 Repeater and Simplex. Using simplex on the repeater output allows us to use the repeater when needed and still test on simplex. We found last March that using our repeater simplex works very well during actual events when we lost the repeater; it allows instant return to the repeater when it returns to the air. This has now become our county simplex frequency when the repeater fails or is off the air. Please program 146.920 simplex into your radio if you cannot switch from repeater offset to simplex rapidly.
Our test should only run about one hour, we planned to run from 17:00 to 18:00 but I forgot that we change time tonight / morning so it will be getting dark by 18:00 MST, so K5FBK and WB0B and I decided to run from 16:00 to 17:00 instead. (That is 4PM to 5PM Sunday MST)
We plan to deploy as follows:
1. Mobile unit / relay station to the top of Camelot
2. Doug KD5DJ at home
3. Rick K5RIC at home
4. Robert W6RQR at home
5. Wayne W0ZW at home
6. Mobile unit en-route to Hondo Area on Hwy 70
7. Mobile unit en-route to ??
8. Any other home stations that are available
9. Any other mobile station that is available
We will not use HF only 2 meters 146.920 simplex and 146.920 repeater.
Please keep a log so we can see where you could hear/talk to the mobiles during the test. Please email copy to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as you can. Mobile unit(s) please keep a log of mileage as you travel, or use trip meter readings starting from Ruidoso Downs Wall Mart. Mobile should send trip meter readings with each transmission including tenths (i.e.: I am at 13.4 miles ) Each fixed station should log the trip meter readings from each mobile and a note of signal strength. Please use the below notation:
Report Log Description
Loud n Clear LC Full quieting or only small amount of noise
Readable R Good signal with noise but very readable
Weak W Readable signal most of time
Weak unreadable WU Signal opens squelch but voice is not readable.
Unreadable U No signal or signal too weak to hold squelch open during transmission.
(I can hear other stations working him/her but I cannot hear at all)
The more fixed stations we have the better idea we will have of where to deploy or ask for help from during an event in that area. If we have enough mobiles, we may see about deploying one to an alternate area simulating a time when Camelot might not be available to us. Any ideas where this area might be? K5FBK has scoped out some and maybe he will be able to help us pick an area. One of the reasons for a Sunday test was so K5FBK can work with us as his Saturday job keeps getting in the way of our events.
Thank you for your participation Saturday the 19th and I hope Sunday.
The Lincoln County EMG. Manager will be moving his office to the Sub Station in Ruidoso next week, so we should be able to reach him in the future in town, he sent me an email with this information, so we are a part of his team.
The hams in Roswell are not doing so well in that area, so if anyone knows any of the Roswell EMG. Management team let us know. We talked to some of the Roswell hams recently and they need some help with their local EM staff. They are going to the LEPC meetings there so they are going in the right direction, but need some help.
See you Sunday at 4 PM,
Amateur Radio Formal Message Regarding SET Oct 2002.
AMATEUR RADIO STATION K5RIC, ARRL MESSAGE FORM
NUM. PRECIDENCE HANDLING ORG. STATION COUNT LOCATION DATE
10 R HXG K5RIC 13 LINCOLN CO NM 27 0248 Z
ADDRESSEE: STATION: K5RIC
ALL LINCOLN COUNTY AMATEURS INET: email@example.com
Chf. Op. RICK SOHL
HC 67 # 157
______________________________________ Nogal NM 88341-9709
PHONE NUMBER: ______-_____-________________
PLEASE MONITOR AND CHECKIN SIMULATED
1 2 3 4 5
EMERGENCY TEST NET 146.920 REPEATER
6 7 8 9 10
16:00 MOUNTAIN SUNDAY
11 12 13 14 15
__________ ___________ ___________ _____________ _____________
16 17 18 19 20
__________ ___________ ___________ _____________ _____________
21 22 23 24 25
__________ ___________ ___________ _____________ _____________
26 27 28 29 30
(SIGNATUREJ) 73 RICK K5RIC
RECEIVED FROM: DATE TIME GROUP : _________
SENT TO: _______________ DATE TIME GROUP: _______________
OPERATOR _______ NOTES: 16:00 = 4 PM SENT BY EMAIL.
Appendix 3. W5EJ Report
1SET test - Hondo1 - W5EJ/Hondo
1W6RQR/M:Leaving home?good copyRacetrack3good copyFt Stanton RdS9great copy
1K5RIC+10S9+102633good copyFt Stanton 9good but flutter
1K5FBKCamelotgood@ 25W2640no copyE0074-9good but flutter
1W6RQRS22650no copyHwy 702weak/readable
1KK5XZno copy2662weak/readDestination0no copy
Appendix 4. W0ZW Report.
Below is a summary of the Simulated Emergency Test through the Hondo Valley
on 10/27/02 for W0ZW:
W0ZW QTH: San Patricio, mile marker 280, 33.40581 deg. N, 105.34302 deg. W
W0ZW Equipment: Icom 207H, 10 watts, dual band Comet vertical @ 25 ft. AGL
Stations Consistently Copied:
WG0B (both Spencer Theatre and Sierra Blanca Airport locations)
Stations Not Copied:
Mobile Stations Copied:
AB5JR along Hwy 70 (area of non-coverage exists from west of Fox Cave to
about mm 274)
W6RQR (coverage thru Devil's Canyon was intermittent)
Let me know if you have any questions or need clarification.
Appendix 5. K5RIC Report.
1SET test Loma Grande1 - K5RIC Rick
Clear 1 StationLocationsigcommentLocationsigcommentLocationsigcomment
1AB5JR/M:70 / 48 "Y"LC
1W6RQR/M:Leaving homeLCRacetrackLCFt Stanton RdLC
1W5EJNr HondoLC263LCFt Stanton LC
1K5FBKCamelotLC to WR264LCE007LC flutter
1W6RQRCapitan LC265LCHwy 70Weak/readable
1W0ZWSan Petr.LC267Weak Readable
278LC w Flutter
280LC w FlutterSan Patr.