Terry (left) and Matt working on Comm III
As the Centralia ARES team is nearing it’s completion deadline for our newest communications van, Comm III, we enlisted the capable help of the guys at the Centralia City Shop to help install the outside graphics on the van today. Terry, the shop supervisor and his able assistant, Matt, are a joy to work with. No matter the problem or issue, they are willing to help. Today, besides the graphics, they checked the battery system on the van and replaced a mirror.
The graphics package comes from Awards West Printware in Centralia and include 12 separate decals to cover both sides and the back doors. Each graphic has to be placed into its proper spot, leveled, and taped down. Once this is done, the backing is carefully removed and the decal is gently and SLOWLY smoothed out making sure no tiny bubbles show up. The shop had it all done in a little over two hours this morning. We treated them each to a $15 coffee card (probably not nearly enough for what they did) and thanked them as many times as we could.
With graphics installed, we’re down to hooking up the radio storage batteries, installing the overhead and desk lighting, and placing one last cabinet. We are getting so close, we can smell the finish line. We’ll have both of our communications vans, Comm II and Comm III at this year’s Seattle Communications Academy on Saturday, April 14th so be sure and stop by and say hello.
Paul, KE7PCB, installs the first decal
We are working hard to get our newest communications van, Comm III, ready to accompany Comm II to the Communications Academy in Seattle on April 14th. In the last week, we’ve finished up on the HF screwdriver antenna system, installed the antenna pole cabinet, clock, divisional response map and notepad holder. The HF tuner has arrived and is ready to install and the CB radio has arrived. Desk chairs were placed into the van and the system to keep them securely in place installed. Saturday, Dan Olmsted will arrive to help us install the battery system in Comm III and upgrade the same system in Comm II. These batteries are heavy and we really appreciate Dan’s help.
The full decal package recently arrived. While the Centralia City Shop has volunteered to place the decals on the vehicle next week, we talked Paul, KE7PCB, into attempting the smallest and least expensive decal on the back door and he did a great job. While at the shop next week, new vehicle batteries and a replacement mirror are on the schedule as well.
Next week should see all radio systems installed and the probable completion of our last, and largest, storage cabinet. Once that is in place, we can finish the first aid kit and flashlight holder placement as well as the back door fire extinguisher and grab handles. We’re certainly nearing the finishing line and it will be a race all the way to the end, but we have dedicated volunteers willing to help. If you’re planning on attending this year’s Communications Academy in Seattle, stop by the vehicle displays and say hello. We may not have the million dollar emergency van, but we are proud of all the sweat and tears that have gone into our vans.
Each month, the Centralia Amateur Radio Emergency Service team comes together for brunch at our favorite local restaurant. It is simply a time to get together while stuffing ourselves with great food and calling it a meeting. Brunch is always held on the last Thursday of the month at 10:30 am, and everyone is welcome. While training and exercises are important, we recognize that eating fabulous food at a nice restaurant is really why we stay together as a team
Our favorite brunch restaurant is Judy’s Country Kitchen, 3210 Galvin Road in Centralia. Come early and bring an appetite.