Pictures from the various locations around the state from last weeks Volunteer Day are here: http://www.arrlri.org/VolFair2008/. If anyone else has additional pictures they would like to share just email them to me. Thanks to all.
To all RI ARRL members:
The ARRL has announced recipients in their 2007 ARRL Foundation Scholarship Award program. I am very pleased to report that two Rhode Island Amateurs have been selected among the fifty seven deserving winners.
Mr. Adam DiLuglio, KB1LJR of Jamestown was chosen to receive one of the $500 awards in The Challenge Met Scholarship program.
Mr. Brian Earley, W1BWE of Cumberland was chosen to receive one of the $1000 Awards granted by the New England Federation of Eastern Massachusetts Amateur Radio Association.(FEMARA)
Congratulations Adam and Brian. We're very pleased for both of you. For more information on the ARRL Scholarship program, you may go to http://www.arrlf.org/programs/scholarship . Applications for the 2008 ARRL Scholarship program open on October 1st.
73, Bob Beaudet, W1YRC
*MONTGOMERY, Alabama* (AP) -- In the chaos after a tornado killed nine people in Enterprise, Alabama, emergency workers had trouble talking to one another because they tried to use their cell phones instead of the state's $18 million emergency communications upgrade, officials say.
"People were frustrated, but all they had to do was turn on their radios," state Homeland Security Director Jim Walker told The Associated Press in a recent interview.
Most police, firefighters and other emergency responders in Coffee County use Southern LINC Wireless phones and walkie-talkies for day-to-day communications.
But after the tornado struck on March 1, traffic on that system more than tripled "instantaneously," said Southern LINC's manager of radio frequency and construction, Clay Brogdon.
"It overwhelmed our network," Brogdon said.
Like most people, police and other rescue workers have gotten used to using cell phone technology, said Larry Walker, Coffee County deputy emergency management director.
"Because of our reliance on it, if it goes down you're in a quandary," Larry Walker said.
He said emergency workers eventually switched from cell phones to radios "and that system worked fine."
The problems in Enterprise show how dependent society has become on cell phones, said Rosanna Guadagno, a social psychology professor at the University of Alabama.
"Humans tend to be creatures of habit and our habit these days is the cell phone. It's disabling when technology we have come to rely on is not available to us," Guadagno said.
For years, law enforcement agencies in Alabama struggled with different radio systems that often would not allow officers in one city to talk to police in the next town or even to their own fire department.
In an effort to fix that problem, the Alabama Department of Homeland Security used $18 million from a federal grant in 2004 to buy equipment that would bridge the gaps between various radio systems.
Brogdon said the Southern LINC cell phone tower in the area stayed in service throughout the emergency and Enterprise never completely lost service. He said many callers were unable to get through because so many people were trying to use the system.
On Monday, February 26th, at 8:00 p.m. a new net will begin. This net will be called the ARES Tactical Net. Its purpose will be to provide a very easy and enjoyable way for new radio amateurs to start using their radios. This net is planned for the 2nd and 4th Monday of every month. It will not occur on significant holidays.
The primary goal will be to provide a place for CERT volunteers to move their ham radio skills to the airwaves. But all new or inexperienced hams are very welcome.
Of course there will be discussion of emergency nets, how they run, what you want to say to them, and how you convey information from shelters or other places during an activation. But there will also be discussions of how to hold the microphone, how to increase the distance you can reach with a handheld, etc.
One of the neatest parts of the FCC rules for Amateur Radio Operators is to ‘get on the air and talk.’ They also refer to this talk as “unimportant” and of “no consequence.” Sounds like me on the air. But there is a very deep importance to this directive! If you get on the air and go “blah blah blah,” when Rhode Island needs you, you’ll be prepared and comfortable with your radio!! Hopefully everyone can remember this directive and have a good time. That’s also why it’s great to overhear conversations on repeaters that are absolutely unimportant and of no significance whatsoever. It means that hams are working hard on the FCC directive.
Perhaps we can attain this lofty directive and also sneak in a few pointers and helpful hints as we go along.
Steven Hodell (KA1RCI) has enthusiastically endorsed this new net and has offered his repeaters for this effort.
We will start with the following repeaters:
147.075 positive offset with a PL tone of 67.0
for access Portsmouth
441.350 positive offset with a PL tone of 103.5
for access Providence
All ARES members who consider themselves to be mentors (I think that’s everybody) are also welcome to monitor the net and to participate. This will also be a great opportunity to try out some net control skills.
Another internet site to follow on this matter is http://www.arrlri.org/ . Thanks to Mark (W1EOF) for keeping us informed on this site.
Finally, not all new hams will receive this e-mail. Please forward this note to those who can benefit from getting on the air for the first time.
Also glad to answer any questions along the way.
Bill (W1VH) W1VH@cox.net
U.S. Department of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Weather Service Forecast Office
445 Myles Standish Blvd.
Taunton MA 02780
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SKYWARN TRAINING
The National Weather Service (NWS) will be conducting a severe weather spotter training session, part of its SKYWARN program, in Rhode Island in May.
The class will be on Thursday May 17, 2007 from 7:00 PM.to 9:30 PM. The class will be held at SAVE THE BAY 100 Save The Bay Drive Providence RI 02905.
The session is open to the public at no charge. Emergency managers, police, fire, and other first responders are especially encouraged to attend. Everyone age 16 and older who stays to complete the training will be able to become trained NWS weather spotters.
Each training session includes a two and one half hour computer-based presentation, which discusses the development of thunderstorms, the criteria for “severe” thunderstorms, as well as the cloud features associated with severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. Additional information will be presented about winter storms and proper snow measurement. The session will also present the procedure for reporting weather information to the National Weather Service.
It is not necessary to pre-register for this training. However, if you have any questions about SKYWARN or the training sessions, please contact Bill Babcock, SKYWARN Program Leader, or Glenn Field, NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist, at
508-823-1900 during normal business hours.
This SKYWARN training session is also being sponsored by the PROVIDENCE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY AND OFFICE OF HOMELAND SECURITY .Todd Manni, Homeland Security Liaison, City of Providence EMA
DIRECTIONS TO SAVE THE BAY
Save The Bay is located at 100 Save The Bay Drive at Fields Point in Providence, at the far end of the Johnson and Wales Harborside Campus.
From I-95, take exit 18 ( Thurbers Ave.) and follow signs to Allens Ave. Turn right onto Allens Ave and head south towards Cranston.
Travel 1.1 miles on Allens Ave. until you reach the traffic light at Horborside Boulevard ( a shell gas station and the Johnson and Wales Harborside Campus marquees will be on your left) Turn left onto Harborside Boulevard and follow it all the way to the end, at which point you must turn right onto Save The Bay Drive, which leads directly to Save The Bay’s waterfront facility.
By Martin Mendelson n1jma
SKYWARN Coordinator for RI