After a long hiatus, the Western Massachusetts ARES Section will conduct a simplified Simulated Emergency Test (SET) to determine our current capacities for communications within the 5 counties in the section.
The exercise will begin at noon local time on Sunday November 3 and last until approximately 3PM. Inter-section communications -MAY- be attempted in the 3PM to 4PM timeframe if the appropriate equipment can be put into place. More information on this will appear on this website prior to Nov 3 or be announced in an update during the regular ARES nets on the Sunday morning od the SET.
The SET will attempt to communicate across counties using our normal repeaters for an initial callup at 1200 local time, followed by county – to – county VHF simplex testing from 1230 to 1255.
At 1300, the ARES HF Emergency net will do a roll call on the same frequency (3.944 MHz+/-) as the usual Sunday morning HF net. Following this, at 1330, we will attempt to establish contacts across counties using SSB; there will be several ‘acting EOC’ stations to facilitate this testing under the guidance of an announced net control station.
Digital mode (NBEMS) activity will commence at 1400 with a simple HF digital net on the 75M NBEMS frequency … 3.580 MHz USB using PSK31. We will attempt to broadcast a beacon message for stations to synchronize their operating frequency … the short message will read :
WMA ARES SECTON SET TEST DE K1YO
And will be repeated for 5 minutes after which we will have an NBEMS net control station calling up several stations by county and coordinating direct digital communications between them.
At 1430, we will initiate some WinLink messages to pre-established addresses to test this capability for stations so equipped. There also may be some direct peer to peer testing using WinLink although this is not anticipated to be the usual mode for direct communications during an emergency.
Additional inter-section testing is possible after 1500 with predetermined parameters that will not likely include the general ARES membership but could give our neighbor section(s) a chance to test whatever may be appropriate for their needs.
It is important to note that we are NOT looking to have a flawless exercise – but we should observe how effectively we may participate … a chance to identify our individual and group shortcomings and make notes on these. We will conduct several review meetings to reveal where we need improvement, and to identify additional training the WMA ARES team will develop and provide to our members. This will allow us to develop exercises in the near future to test and measure our improvement in key areas needed. MISTAKES ARE WELCOME !! – IT’S HOW WE WILL LEARN TO BE EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATORS