VP’s Corner

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Congratulations to the OVH team for another successful Field
Day. In true ham spirit, you braved thunderstorms and torrential
rains along with high winds which sent your tent tumbling. And,
as if that weren’t enough, you added a fox hunt to the activities
and managed to fit in a briefing for a couple of ARRL VIPs. Well
done!
Of course Field Day is more than just a chance to enjoy some
outdoor contesting. It’s good training for our role in supporting
disaster communications. Some of us still get kidding from
friends and family when we tell them about this role. After all,
everybody has a cell phone now, so nobody needs ham radio. But
just how resilient is all that modern hardware? Well … here’s
some fodder from recent events for your response.
Among the fires which erupted across the western U.S. last week
was one near Goleta, California. Driven by windy dry conditions
and temperatures over 100 degrees, it consumed 10 homes in a
matter of hours. According to local TV station KEYT on July 6th:
“At one point 2,770 customers were without power in the area.
Multiple power lines are down. SCE crews are working to restore
power where they can.”
The 911 system was soon jammed. Local authorities responded by
telling citizens, “Please do not call 911 unless you have an
emergency.” (What??)
( http://www.keyt.com/news/wildfire/brush-fire-explodes-over-goleta-hills-mandatory-evacuationsunderway/764268995
)
Yes, their repeaters remained functional and the local ham clubs
were ready to go. Not called upon this time, but ready to go.
Remember, “When all else fails …”
Speaking of emergency communications, does anyone else think we
might be relying too much on 2 meter repeaters? Want to spread
your wings a little and try 6 meters? Many acres of spectrum
there open to all license classes. We could have something like a
“6 meters in the park” day to peak and tweek our 6 meter mobiles
and backpacks. Maybe a drive test to see what local propagation is
really like. Let me know..
Join us for the July meeting and a presentation by Jay, NQ4T,
with lots of cool pics of his Field Day in the Sierras. Hope to
see you there!

 

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