Santa Clara County OES, California
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County-wide Communications Exercise -- 12-April-2014

 

Activation Number XSC-14-03T
Audience

Open to all amateur radio operators who have a current Santa Clara County Disaster Service Worker registration.  

Individuals who do not have a current DSW registration with Santa Clara County ARES/RACES are encouraged to register prior to the drill.  Any of the county staff can register you. If you are unable to register prior to the drill, you can register when you arrive at the drill.  Registering for DSW during check-in may delay your check-in by as much as 30 minutes, so plan accordingly.

Purpose A county-wide communications exercise designed to practice mobilization, deployment and demobilization of amateur radio operations.  The activities are varied and have been designed to provide fun and education while, at the same time, developing experience with operating according to the standard procedures required for emergency operations.
Sign-Up To participate in this drill, you must sign-up in advance.  To sign-up, use the Training and Event Database.
Drill Location

Drill Location
Edith Morley Park
615 Campbell Technology Parkway.   (on McGlincy Lane off Union Ave.)
Campbell, CA

Thomas Brothers:  page 853, grid E7

Map of Surrounding Area

Park map showing location of Staging

Date

Saturday, April 12, 2014  (rain or shine)

Weather Average daytime temperatures in April: High temp: 69 F; Low temp: 48 F. Sunny to partly cloudy with 4% chance of precipitation.
Schedule
  • Resource Net Opens:  07:00
  • Staging Opens: 08:00  (please do not arrive earlier unless specifically scheduled)
  • If participating in two activities: Sign-in at Staging no later than 09:00
  • If participating in one activity:  Sign-in at Staging no later than 10:30  (unless specifically scheduled)
  • We hope to complete all activities by approximately 14:00.
Forms Be sure to start your ICS-214 Unit Activity Log prior to leaving your home.  A list of the ICS forms required for your go kit can be found on the Operations page of this web site:  Operations > Forms and Signs > ICS Forms used in Communications > These are ICS Forms you should have in your Go Kit.
Travel to Drill

Follow standard Resource Net procedures.  When you arrive, be prepared to copy the staging net frequency. 

Resource Net The Resource Net will be used for travel to County Staging AND from there to Drill City at Central Park.

The following repeaters will be linked together for the drill and will function as the resource net:

  • AA6BT:  146.115 (+) 100.0  (Main; located in East San Jose)
  • W6ASH: 145.270 (-) 100.0  (North; best for North end of the county)
  • N6NAC:  444.625 (+) 110.9  (South; best when South of San Jose intersection of Hwys 85 & 101)

Procedure:

  • Program all three repeaters into your radio memory so you can easily switch between them while driving.  If you are coming from the southern end of the county, you will need to switch from N6NAC to AA6BT approximately when you reach the 85 and 101 intersection in South San Jose. If you are coming from the northern end of the county, you can probably stay on W6ASH the whole way.
  • Remember that linked repeaters require you to insert extra delay.  Leave plenty of space before keying up.  Pause after keying up, before speaking.
  • Prior to departure from home:  Check into the resource net. When called, tell net control your starting mileage (last three digits of your odometer) and your street location. (Your odometer does not have a decimal point. If you see a decimal point, you're looking at your trip odometer.  We don't use that because it can be reset.  Switch to your odometer and provide the last three digits to net control).
  • While traveling:  Stay tuned to the resource net and respond to health and welfare checks by net control. When called, give your mileage and street location
  • Upon arrival at the drill: Stay in your vehicle and contact net control. You will be told to switch to the staging net and the frequency will be provided. Do not exit your vehicle until you have successfully checked into the staging net. If you are unable to reach the staging net, return to the resource net and inform net control.
  • If you do not yet have a current county DSW registration, net control will not be able to officially activate you and you will not be covered under the DSW program until you reach the drill site and complete your DSW registration. However, you must still check into the resource net so net control can track to you to the event.
Net Usage Everyone is required to be on the proper net at the proper time. The Resource Net is used for travel to and from the event. The Staging Net is used whenever you are not on an assignment.  Assignments may involve other nets.  Primary staff members will be on the command net.  Be sure you always check-in and check-out properly when moving from one net to the other. Always pay attention to the net control operator of whichever net you are on and answer promptly when called.
Training Info Additional information on the disaster server worker program, resource net procedures and net types and usage can be found in the Fundamentals of Emergency Communications training course materials. If you have not taken this course, you are advised to review the course presentation prior to the drill.
Equipment

ALL participants should bring the following items with them, on their person.  You may find that a small backpack, knapsack or shoulder bag will be helpful.

  • Driver's license or other State-issued identification card
  • Amateur Radio License
  • HT (2m minimum; 2m/440 dual-band preferred) with sufficient batteries to operate for the time you are there
  • Clipboard, note pad, pens/pencils
  • All ICS forms required for your Go Kit (see Operations > Forms > ICS Forms used in Communications)
  • Lunch
  • Sufficient water for the time you are there
  • Sturdy, closed-toe shoes (wear)
  • Long pants (wear)
  • Sun protection (hat, sunscreen, etc.)
  • Be sure you have a backpack, fanny pack, shoulder bag or some other hands free way to carry your equipment. That goes double for your radio - you need a radio harness, belt clip, or something to hold it.

MACs and MITs must bring the following additional equipment with them, on their person.  Anyone else who has the equipment should bring it, too.  There will be a fun exercise involving this equipment.

  • Short coax jumper (3 feet is plenty)
  • Coax adapters to connect HT to coax
  • Coax adapters to connect coax to the following:
    • BNC plug (male) & BNC socket (female)
    • UHF plug (PL-259) & UHF socket (SO-239)
    • N-type plug (male) and N-type socket (female)
  • Power cord adapters to connect your HT to various 12V power sources:
    • Powerpoles
    • Cigarette lighter socket
    • Vehicle battery terminals

MACs and MITs participating in MAC evaluations will have other equipment requirements, depending on the qualification level of the evaluation.  Consult the MAC handbook for a list of the required equipment for each MAC qualification level.

Check-In After checking into the Staging Net from your vehicle, walk to the Staging Area to complete the check-in procedure.
Assignments

Attendees have the option to sign up for various assignments, including:

  • Field operations:  walk to various stations located throughout the park; try out the various activities and technologies at each station; report your results to net control.  The activities currently scheduled for the field operations assignment are:  radio direction finding, HT programming, HF operations, and intro to packet operations.
  • F2 Eval:  separate from the above field operations (a separate sign-up list exists for this activity)
  • Net Control:  manage the various nets that control operations of the entire drill
  • Packet:  dedicated in-depth time spent assembling, configuring and operating a packet data station
  • Shadow:  provide communications for an event official

Each activity will take approximately 2 hours.  Attendees can participate in up to two assignments as long as they arrive at staging prior to 09:00.

All sign-ups should be done on-line, as far in advance of the event as possible, so the event staff can plan for the right number of attendees.

Some activities require minimum qualifications.  For example, Net Control and Packet assignments require the participant to be at least an MIT.

Other Activities

There will be a opportunity to test how well you can connect your HT to various power and antenna sources using the connectors from your go-kit.  This activity will not be scheduled but will be drop-in between other activities.

If you have an interest in Mesh Networking there will be a network set up where you can observe and play with the network or bring your own Mesh nodes and devices and connect up to the Mesh.

Evaluations

Mutual Aid Communicators (MACs) and MACs in Training (MITs) can request evaluations for the following MAC program qualifications:  F3, F2, N3, N2, P3, P2, S3, S2.  We may offer MAC equipment evaluations if sufficient staff is available.

Note for F2 evaluees:  The field operations activity involve portable operation, walking around the park to various activity stations.  The F2 evaluation will be conducted at a fixed location within the park a short distance from the street parking.  The evaluation requires setting up a station, antenna and other gear, which is not portable.  Therefore, the F2 evaluation will be separate from the above field operation activity.  MACs who request an F2 evaluation *and* wish to participate in the various field activities should sign up for both activities.

Lunch There is no specific time defined for a lunch break.  The drill will run continuously.  But attendees can stop and take their lunch break in between assignments or whenever it is convenient.
Check-Out After you have completed each assignment, return to the Drill City Staging Area for re-assignment or check-out.  Be sure to fill out an evaluation form so we can capture your feedback.
Travel Home Check in to the Resource Net from your car, prior to leaving the park. If you prefer not to be tracked back home, notify net control when you check in. Alternatively, you can check out of the resource net at any time on your way home if you decide to go somewhere else.

 


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