New Member Orientation & Information Meeting

With the addition of several new members to the Centralia Amateur Radio Emergency Service team recently, an orientation and information meeting is planned for Monday, September 25th from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm at the Riverside Fire Authority Training Room, 1818 Harrison Avenue, in Centralia.

Fall is normally our time to go over deployment plans, go-bag information and general flood season response preparedness so it seems a great time to bring our newest members up to speed and answer questions as well.  All team members or those thinking about joining Centralia ARES are welcome.

Entrance to the Riverside Fire Authority training room is located at the back of the facility through the double doors.  Please bring your Field Resource Manuals with you as we will cover its contents as well.

Icom Radios Welcome Addition

Icom IC-7300 HF+6 Meter Radio System

The Centralia ARES team has received a welcome addition to our emergency communications equipment with the delivery of the first of three Icom IC-7300 radios generously donated by the Centralia Police Department.

The IC-7300 is an HF+ 6 meter, 100 watt transceiver with a large color touch screen, built in automatic antenna tuner, 15 band pass filters and 101 channels.  It also has an SD memory card slot for saving data with capability across the SSB, CW, RTTY, AM and FM bands.  Of special interest to our emergency communications team is its ability to access the 60 meter band.

EC Bob Willey with Chief Carl Nielsen and Commander Stacy Denham of the Centralia Police Department

Current plans are to place one of the radios in the downtown Centralia Emergency Operations Center and one in each of our ARES mobile communications vans, Comm II and Comm III.  One of the nice things about these medium sized amateur radios is how easily they can be moved from one EOC to the alternate EOC at Riverside Fire or from the communications vans into a shelter if needed.

With the arrival of this first IC-7300, we will begin training EOC and van operators on the radio’s many functions as well as testing with our current communications van antennas.

Thanks again to Chief Carl Nielsen and the great people at the Centralia Police Department for their support.

September 18th ARES Meeting

John, AD6KT, talks about the ARRL Emergency Communications Course

Amid rain, quarter sized hail and tornado warnings across the area, the intrepid Centralia ARES team met last evening at the Riverside Fire Authority’s station #2 for our regular training session.  Unfortunately, our guest speaker, Scott, couldn’t make the meeting but we will schedule him, hopefully, for our next training session.  The net check-in proved difficult when the base radio at the fire station quit receiving.  Everyone could hear net control but net control couldn’t hear anyone.  That’s the way the whole day has been.

EC Bob Willey accepts the Icom IC-7300 HF radio from Chief Nielsen and Commander Denham.

We did have a great time however.  We were able to show off the new Icom IC-7300 HF radio the Centralia Police Department purchased for the team.  Ultimately, there will be three of these radios coming our way – one for the EOC and one for each of our communication vans.  This, and digital capability currently undergoing some changes, will complete our list of comms equipment allowing us complete VHF, UHF, HF, Law and Fire, digital and CB systems.

Team member Bill Knepper, with his new call sign N7GWK, gave a nice presentation on his HF and VHF antenna installation project at his home.  This was the first time many of us had seen the Hex beam antenna system up close.  Bill has the tower, antenna, and coax all set up and working well.  It was fun to see the system  come together, complete with his unique mid-tower hinge  –

Team member John Campeau, AD6KT,  completed his ARRL Emergency Communications Course and had high praise for this nine week training system.  John felt the course covered many, many areas he was unfamiliar with and was full of tips and techniques.  The course, costing $50 is overseen by an ARRL on-line mentor, which John greatly appreciated.  The final part is a 35 question multiple choice test which you must pass with a score of 80% or better.  Overall, John said he learned many things from this valuable course and would highly recommend it to others.

Chuck Verdon, W5KAV, updated the team on the progress of our team digital system work.  More to come on that at our next meeting on October 2nd.

As a reminder, our regular meeting location at the downtown Emergency Operations Center is being used for a conversational Spanish class through November so we will be training at either the Riverside Fire Authority’s station #2 training room, 1818 Harrison Avenue or the Police & Fire training facility, 1401 Mellen Street.  Check your emails or the calendar for updates.


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