CT ARES Section 3 DEC
(District Emergency Coordinator)
George Lillenstein, AB1GL
39a Downey Dr
Manchester, CT 06040
Phone: +1 860 289-1445 (H)
860 716-3367 (Cell)
860 645-5449 (Work) (leave voicemail here only)
The DEC's schedule:
Saturday Dec 20 - Bears breakfast, place to be determined, 8 am
Christmas Eve - listening to the Santa Net on N1NW, 146.730, minus offset, PL156.7, 10 pm
Also check out the 14300 20-meter net from 2pm to 7 pm on the 23rd and 24th.
New Years Day - BEARS Fox hunt, starts at Wapping Elementary School iin South Windsor, 1 pm
* * *
Monday, Jan. 5 - NARL Installation Dinner, Outback Steak House in Newington (Berlin Turnpike) 6 pm
Tuesday evenings - beginning lat Jan 2015 teaching Tech class at Newington Senior Center
March 15 - SARA Hamfest - Spring ARES Meeting, Southington High School.
ARES is the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, the field arm of the American Radio Relay League.
Our special focus is the use of Amateur Radio for emergency communications, and the recruiting and training of a pool of skilled radio operators to be available in times of emergency.
ARES in Connecticut supports requests for auxiliary communications from state and municipal governments, public health entities, and non-profit providers such as the Red Cross and Salvation Army.
Most agencies that receive federal funds of any kind are required to be compliant with NIMS, the National Incident Management System. This framework requires that everyone on scene be certified in use of ICS, the Incident Command structure. If you wish to be assigned a role with one of ARES' served agencies, you must provide proof that you have passed the required training courses. These courses are provided free by the US government over the internet. For hams who do not wish to take these courses, ARES can assign you to work from your home or mobile unit during an emergency.
For a detailed list of training available, see the training page of the state ARES web site, CTARES.ORG.
IMPORTANT! Whenever there is an ARES activation, leadership will notify and assign tasks ONLY to those who have current records in the ARES member database. Go to www.ctares.org and update your record now!
For any ARES member who would rather take the core FEMA ICS training in person, instead of over the internet, the Wallingford Medical Reserve Corps is offering the courses free on four Saturday mornings from 8:30 am to noon at the Wallingford Senior Center, 238 Washington St, Wallingford, CT 06492. Here is the schedule:
Class size limited to 40 participants. To enroll email email@example.com
DMR Radio is very rapidly taking hold in the state of Connecticut for ARES command and control communications. This is an FM-narrow band mode in which audio is digitized, allowing more conversations in the same bandwidth as the traditional wide-band FM. In one particular implementation of DMR, talk groups can be assigned to two different time slots on the same repeater, and to any of a thousand zones, each with up to sixteen channels. Elaborate rules can be programmed into the repeaters and bridges to allow or deny access to specific talk groups. In the current implementation of the CT-ARES net over DMR, the ARES leadership and the state police Amateur Radio club have set up some statewide talk groups and some for use within a single ARES region. This will allow ARES hams to have very structured communications during activations up and down the chain of command with very little effort.
If DMR is adopted widely, this could eliminate the need for internet-dependent mail lists, discussion groups, even packet bulletins during emergencies. The DMR repeaters which have already been installed around the state are at hardened sites, connected by microwave links and not dependent on cable or hardlines in most cases.
The downside: hams will need new radios capable of decoding the DMR signals. As of today, the least expensive DMR radio that will work on the CT-ARES net is the Connect Systems model CS700. This is a hand-held, 4 watt UHF radio capable of traditional analog UHF plust both D-Star and DMR modes. For the rest of 2014 it is available direct from www.connectsystems.com in California for $180 plus shipping. A USB programming cable is an additional $5 (highly recommended); a spare battery is $30. There will be a speaker mike peripheral available later but it is out of stock as of today, 12/15/2014. The price goes up Jan. 1, so if you're sitting on the fence, time is getting short. Suggestion: Order by phone using the number on the website, it's much more secure than putting credit card information in an email. Its a very small company and they do not have secure ordering by web. ***NOTE*** Check with your ARES EC, there may be a group purchase in the works at an additional discount. Additional details will be posted here if they arrive in time to get in on the group.
There are other brands of DMR radios available; notably Hytera and Motorola. These are substantially more expensive. Also, Connect Systems announced back in May of this year that it intends to release a model CS7000, which reportedly will be a dual-band VHF/UHF radio capable of not only analog and DMR, but also P25, D-Star, MARC, and other digital modes. Alas, this radio is not yet available, nor are VHF repeaters and coordinated pairs available in Connecticut to implement DMR at this time. So let's not get ahead of ourselves. As of now, Connecticut ARES leadership has begun a DMR net every Sunday night at 8:30, following the traditional FM analog net. If you decide to take the leap and get a DMR radio, be sure to contact your ARES DEC for a code plug and/or information on how to program your radio to join the CT-ARES net talk groups.
PS-- no, ARES and the DEC do NOT have any relationship with Connect Systems and we do NOT get anything for touting their product. It ain't perfect, but we think its good value for the price.