Connecticut ARES - Region 3 DEC: George Lillenstein, AB1GL Asst DEC: Bill Storey, AB1LZ
Connecticut ARES - Region 3     DEC: George Lillenstein, AB1GL     Asst DEC: Bill Storey, AB1LZ

Where to Find Us:

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)

AB1GL@arrl.net

 

The DEC's schedule:

2015

8 Tuesday evenings - beginning Feb 10 27 2015  teaching NARL Tech class at Newington Senior Center, 120 Cedar St, Newington. 6:30-8:30.

Jan 28 - Monthly briefing for Manchester CERT - 321 Olcott Street, Manchester, CT, 7 PM

Feb 2 - NARL general membership meeting, Newington Sr Ctr, 7 pm

March 15 - SARA Hamfest - Spring ARES Meeting, Southington High School.

May 23-24 - Angel Ride.  Contact N1CLV to volunteer.

May 30 - Jim Calhoun Cancer Challenge, HQ at Northwest Catholic High School, Wampanoag Road, West Hartford.  Radio comms by CT ARES Region 3.  Looking for volunteers for checkpoints, SAGs, HQ net control, runners, scribes, phone answerers. Email AB1GL@arrl.net

 

 

About A R E S

ARES is the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, the field arm of the American Radio Relay League. 

  • General volunteers for ARES do not have to be ARRL members, but must be FCC licensed Amateur Radio Operators. 
  • ARES Leadership must be ARRL members and are appointed by the ARRL Section Manager.

 

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!

 

ARES stand down from Blizzard watch

TUESDAY Jan 27 3:30 PM: Storm Juno is winding down.  The light, powdery snowfall did not produce the mass power outages that were anticipated, and the shelters that were activated early on have been closed.. The travel ban in Connecticut was lifted by the Governor at 2 pm Tuesday. ARES is returned to Alert Level Zero.

Region 2 offers in-person ICS classes

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:

  • Jan 17 2015 - IS 700 ICS (Incident Command System)
  • Feb 21 2015 - IS 700 NIMS (National Incident Management System)
  • March 21 - IS-200 Resources and Initial Action Incidents
  • April 18 - IS-800 National Response Framework

Class size limited to 40 participants. To enroll email wlfdmrc@yahoo.com

DMR (Digital Radio)

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. The CS700 is available direct from www.connectsystems.com in California for around $200.  A USB programming cable is an additional $5 (highly recommended-other brands won't work); a spare battery is $30.  

 

There are other brands of DMR radios available; notably Hytera and Motorola.  These are substantially more expensive.  Also, Connect Systems announced 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 on 2 meters 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, the latest CTARES NET codeplug will be available from www.k1tmm.info/DMR  If you load this code plug, be sure to change the radio's ID number and name in the General Info screen and save the plug under your name.  You get your individual radio ID number by registering with www.DMR-MARC.NET

 

To update your radio's list of ID numbers/first names in between code plug versions, you will need the G4EML CS700 Contact Manager program to append latest data dump to  your own code plug.  (See the DOWNLOADS page on this website to download the Contact Manager.  The data dump is available from the DMR-MARC.NET site, but takes a bit of spreadsheet manipulation to strip out extraneous columns.

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© George Lillenstein, AB1GL 2014