SOARA General Meeting – 7/18 – Monday

CERT and Emergency Communication Basic Battery Box
By Tony Gawel W6TNY

The presentation at the SOARA Club general meeting will be on the CERT and EmComm battery box project. The project is intended to provide CERT, EmComm teams and amateur radio clubs with a basic low cost Emergency Battery Box that is simple to build and requires minimal tools. The project is designed to inspire new ideas on what is possible by providing a Club/ Group activity that all members can participate in. The building process provides the builder with both comradery and pride of ownership in building their own (emergency) equipment (the fundamentals of Amateur Radio).

This project is not the high-end Mega EmComm box that some amateur radio operators will build! It is a smaller more portable version that uses the same basic concepts used on it larger cousin.

This project is designed for people who want to be better prepared with a more portable solution.

Emergency Communication Course EC-001

We are sorry for the short notice!

Dates: January 9 and January 16, 2016

Time: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm each day

Place: Mission Viejo Community Center. Address and map will be available on website:

Course Cost: $15.00 for course and book.

Hope you can register soon… Don’t forget there’s pre-requisites for ICS-100b & ICS-700.  Also not indicated in the below letter bring your own sack lunch” both Saturdays as none is provided and no time to go out, we will have a working lunch.

UPDATE:  To register email Cathy at before the course starts.

Please see the below for more information:


Emergency Communication Course EC-001

Introduction to Emergency Communications, course number EC–001, is sponsored by the American Radio Relay League. The class is conducted in a classroom setting,  The instructor is an ARRL qualified instructor that has given this course on multiple occasions since 2010. This course will be current with the latest information available.

The class given is a hybrid format which gives the instructor the opportunity to introduce information that is relevant to the local community. In the classroom, mentor/instructors will explain how the content of the course fits with the kinds of emergency responses you might be called upon to engage in your local community. A final exam is given at the end of the second session that requires a passing score of 80% or higher to receive a Certificate of Completion for the course.  Test is optional.

The course is open to all amateur radio operators and those who work in disaster service areas and emergency communication organizations such as  CERT, ACS, SKYWARN, SATERN, RACES, ARES, Red Cross and others.

Send a check or money order payable to Carl Gardenias books will be available in the class on January 9, 2016. You Must Be Registered For The Class in order to receive a book. We cannot guarantee book availability.

Send payment to:  Carl Gardenias, 20902 Gardenias St., Perris, CA 92570

Test cost: $15.00 paid to the ARRL Field examiners at the time of the exam cash or check only. The test is not a requirement if you do not wish to have a certificate.

Instructor: Carl Gardenias, WU6D, is a certified instructor for this course by ARRL                       and has given the course numerous times since 2010. Also, he is the                     ARRL Orange Section Manager.

For further information: Please contact Cathy K6VC –

Description. This course is designed to provide basic knowledge and tools for any emergency communications volunteer. The course has 6 sections with 29 lesson topics. It includes required student activities, a 35-question final assessment and is expected to take approximately 16 + (homework assignments) hours to complete.

The objective is for students to gain practical knowledge as well as hands-on experience, essential and crucial to being prepared for local activation.

The course material and related Student Activities have been gathered and produced by Emergency Communications experts all over the country. They’ve been developed in a generic format as a baseline for general widespread use. The classroom instructors will explain how the content of the course fits with the kinds of emergency responses you might be called upon to engage in your local community. The students will be familiarized with the emergency responders in their community,  that will include practice activities, to teach the course content and be adapted to their local situation to make them as practical and relevant as possible. The objective is that students comprehend the lesson material and gain practical knowledge as well as hands-on experience, essential—and crucial—to being prepared for local activation.

Prerequisites. Before you begin the course you should have completed the following prerequisites. These courses provide a foundation for the content of this course.  These are free mini-courses you can take online at

Please note: When you, you take the test on November 21, 2015, you will be asked to provide a IS100.b & IS-700 dates that you took these online exams.

This course is a revision of our former Emergency Communications Basic/Level I, II, III course.

Course Syllabus

Section 1: The Framework: How You Fit In

  1. Introduction to Emergency Communications 2. Amateurs as Professionals 3. Network Theory and Design 4. Emergency Communications Organizations and Systems 5. Served Agency Communications Systems A. Served Agency Communications Systems B. Working Directly with the Public

Section 2: The Networks for Messages

  1. Basic Communications Skills 7. Net Operations: A. Basic Net Operations B. Introduction to Emergency Nets C. Net Operating Guidelines D. The FCC Ruling on Drills and Employees 8. The Net Control Station 9. Net Control Station Operator Practices 10. The Net Manager 11. Introduction to the National Traffic System 12. Specialized Net Operations 13. Severe Weather Nets

Section 3: Message Handling

14and.15 Basic Message Handling/digital mode

Section 4: What Happens When Called

  1. The Incident Command System 17. Preparing for Deployment 18. Equipment Choices 19. Emergency Activation 20. Setting Up, Initial Operations and Shutdown

Section 5: Considerations

  1. Operations & Logistics 22. Safety & Survival 23. ARES PIO: The Right Stuff 24. Alternative Communication Methods 25. What to Expect in Large Disasters 26. Hazardous Materials Awareness 27. Marine Communications

Section 6: Alternatives and Opportunities

  1. Modes, Methods and Applications 29. Other Learning Opportunities


Silent Key – David Whitney – K6DBW

SOARA is very sad to announce that we have lost one of our own, Dave Whitney, K6DBW.  Dave passed away last Wednesday after suffering a stroke last Tuesday.  He was a member of SOARA for several years and was a fixture at the meetings.  He also manned a booth at each of the SOARA Fair events, showing the many QSL cards he collected from around the world.  Dave oDavid Whitney Picperated both mobile and at home, with great results with just a G5RV at home.  Dave’s interest in radio began at a young age and was a SWL (Short-Wave-Listener) back in the glory days of short wave before getting his ham radio license in 2006.  Dave was fair 5always asking if I’d been on the radio recently and if I had bought a “real” antenna yet and was always enthusiastic about ham radio and was a always a pleasure to talk to.  It was great hearing about his latest QSL card or hearing about which DX country he worked just a few minutes ago from the mobile.  Dave achieved the following awards: DXCC, WAS, WAC and was working on WAZ and IOTA.

Dave will be missed by us all.  Please keep him and his family in your thoughts are prayers.  We have lost a true ham and a great friend.

K6DBW 73 de K6MSM & K6SOA

Sparky, NG6K, in England

ng6kSpencer (now Elder) Ammermon has made it to England and is keeping a blog of his adventures, which he will try to update weekly or as his very busy schedule allows.

You can follow his blog here:

Spencer’s Mission Blog

Here is a brief excerpt:

It’s already been raining a little here and I love it. Surprisingly, it looks a lot like home with the hills, just the hills are all green and not brown like California.

We will miss you, Spencer!  Field Day won’t be the same w/o you and I hope we remember how to put the batting-cage vertical together!

April 20: SOARA Club Meeting

Please join us on Monday, April 20th at 7pm at the Norman P Murray Center in Mission Viejo for our next general meeting. You might be surprised to find the world’s nearly 15,500 lighthouses and 2.6 million+ amateur radio operators have many things in common.  Amateur radio fittingly celebrates International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend every August to promote awareness of these structures’ unique architectures, local histories, and preservation needs while furthering amateur radio’s public service and international goodwill.

Diana Feinberg, AI6DF, will speak on “Amateur Radio’s International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend”—a presentation based on her 50+ year interest in lighthouses and the Palos Verdes Amateur Radio Club’s annual ILLW participation at Point Vicente Lighthouse in Rancho Palos Verdes.  Her presentation also covers ILLW from a global perspective and the future for lighthouses in the United States, in addition to worldwide commonalities between ham radio operators and lighthouses.

Currently serving her fourth term as president of the Palos Verdes Amateur Radio Club, Diana is also Chair of HAMCON 2015, the 2015 ARRL Southwestern Division Convention that returns to the Torrance Marriott Hotel on Sept. 11-13, 2015.

Diana’s HF amateur radio interests include DXing and contesting using simple indoor wire dipole antennas (95 countries worked in past 12 months), participating in the PVARC’s annual “Islands On The Air” DXpeditions to Santa Catalina Island, and ARRL Field Day.  She is also very active with amateur radio emergency communication through the Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service, several local agencies, and numerous public service events including the Los Angeles Marathon and Palos Verdes Half Marathon.  She found time for all these activities after retiring early following 24 years in various managerial and executive positions spanning planning and finance functions at three large consumer products firms.

[Corrected for grammar and spelling. -AJ6B]

K6HIV Open Letter to the ARRL

This is a SOARA member opinion article and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of SOARA.

Open letter to Rick Palm and Mike Corey of QST, by Knute Josifek, K6HIV regarding the Public Service feature in the June 2014 edition of QST:

In Mike Corey’s article about putting the emphasis on public service instead of emergency communications, he did a great job explaining why the League is making this change. The problem with his argument is that he starts with a false premise. Thus, his argument, regardless how eloquent, results in a false conclusion.

His premise: He states, “The problem begins with the definition of ‘emergency communications.’ One does exist and can be found on the FCC’s website…” He goes on to quote the FCC. The difficulty here is that this is NOT the one and only definition of “emergency communications.” To mention just one other, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (I think that said “Emergency”) includes in it’s emergency communications the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service.

Many Hams who train, prepare their equipment and read up on Emergency Communications never participate in a real emergency. However, they are still emergency communicators. Do you realize that most cops never fire their guns in the line of duty throughout their entire careers. Does that make them not cops?

Mike refers to the difference between an emergency and a disaster, again a false premise. One would have to use very narrow definitions of each to come to this conclusion. Mike told a cute joke about it’s a disaster if it happens to you but an emergency if it happens to me but, in fact most emergencies are a disaster to the ones to whom it is happening and all disasters are emergencies.

What we do as Ham emergency communicators is emergency communications; whether it be providing a public service at a marathon and reporting in, “Everything is OK at station 6,” or, “Man down, man down at station 6. Need ambulance and EMT.”

As Ham emergency communicators we study, train and drill for the disaster/emergency we pray never comes. Like policemen, firemen, national guard, we are emergency communicators whether there is an emergency or not.

The FCC is just some little government agency. It is NOT the be all, end all definition of who we are as Hams. The ARRL has defined us as emergency communicators in Amateur Radio Emergency Service. Homeland Security/FEMA has defined us as emergency communicators in Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service. And every Ham who has ever responded to a distress call from a boat at sea or a stranded hiker or an automobile accident in a no-cell-phone area is an emergency communicator.

So Mike and Rick and others at the League who got off on this illogical path, please retract this article and get back to supporting us out here “in the trenches.”

Knute Josifek, K6HIV
Member: ARES, RACES, Mission Viejo, CA EOC Volunteer,
SOARA and, oh yes, ARRL