Advanced Certification (DRAFT)

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This training and certification will involve approximately sixteen (16) hours of classroom and/or online training followed by eight (8) hours of practical evaluation where the operator must demonstrate the specific learning competencies outlined for the course. This course will cover advanced emergency communications skills including HF and digital modes, as well as personal survival and preparedness.

Students attending this course are expected to bring proof of completion of the Basic certification course as well as the IS-800 FEMA courses.

The following outline is representative of the material to be presented in the classroom.

  1. HF 1
    1. Band overview
      1. Long / Short bands
      2. Day / Night propagation
    2. HF Antennas
      1. Theory
        1. Calculating dipole length
        2. Field chokes
        3. Baluns
      2. Practical Antennas
        1. Dipole
        2. Vertical
        3. Beam
        4. Random long wire
        5. Packable emergency antennas
    3. HF Radios
      1. Grounding
      2. Safety
      3. Antenna tuners
      4. Filtering, DSP and other radio features
      5. Sideband operation and other modes
  2. HF 2
    1. HF Voice
    2. HF Digital modes
      1. Pactor
        1. Levels and speed
        2. Available hardware and recommendations
      2. PSK-31, RTTY, and other soundcard modes
        1. Limitations and advantages
        2. Overview of available software and recommendations
      3. CW
      4. Other modes
        1. SSTV
        2. AMTOR, GTOR
        3. Packet
        4. WSPR
  3. Cable and Connectors
    1. Data
      1. Serial: DB9, DB25
      2. Ethernet
      3. USB
    2. Power
      1. Anderson connectors
      2. Ring terminals
      3. Banana plugs
      4. Coaxial
      5. Molex
    3. RF
      1. PL-259
      2. N-connectors
      3. BNC
      4. SMA
      5. Types of Coax
    4. Audio
      1. TRS
      2. DIN
      3. Mini-DIN
    5. Gender
    6. Soldering basics
  4. Power Systems
    1. Battery boosters
    2. Importance of voltage stability
    3. Alternative power sources
      1. Solar power / charging
      2. Wind power
      3. Fuel cells
    4. Generator power
      1. Inverter vs. Alternator
      2. Fuel sources (gasoline, diesel, propane)
      3. Battery charger
      4. Safety
        1. Venting
        2. Extension cords
    5. Standalone AC Power Inverters
    6. Using a multimeter
    7. Power and equipment requirements of common Items
      1. 100W HF Radio
      2. 50W Mobile Radio
      3. Desktop Computer
      4. CRT Monitor
      5. LCD Monitor
      6. Laptop Computer
      7. Inkjet Printer
      8. Laser Printer
      9. Electric Space Header
      10. Electric Blanket
    8. Consumer UPS units
  5. Workshop (HF, Soldering, Connectors)
  6. Talk like a dispatcher
  7. Advanced RF concepts
    1. Simplex repeater operation
    2. Duplex repeater operation
    3. Cross-band repeaters
      1. Extending range of handhelds
      2. Access point for isolated stations
      3. Creating a link between two duplex repeaters
    4. Cavity duplexers
      1. How they work
      2. Why they are needed
      3. Temperature and shock sensitivity
    5. Cavity filters
      1. When you might use them
      2. How to apply them to a system
    6. Band pass filters
  8. Amateur Radio and Internet-based Services
    1. Echolink
    2. IRLP
    3. Propagation testing networks
  9. Computers
    1. Common hardware
      1. Laptops
      2. Desktops
      3. Netbooks
      4. Handhelds
    2. Operating Systems
    3. Serial communication
      1. Cables
      2. Null modems
    4. Terminal Programs
      1. Basic settings
      2. Common uses
    5. Sound interfacing
    6. USB adapters for newer systems
      1. Serial
      2. Audio
    7. Emergency power
    8. Networking
      1. Wired Ethernet
      2. Wireless Ethernet
      3. IP addresses
  10. Legacy packet
    1. 300, 1200, 9600 baud
    2. AX.25 and IP
    3. Digipeaters
    4. Systems
      1. A simple TNC mailbox in a pinch
      2. Advanced BBSes and routing networks
    5. Clients
      1. Terminal
      2. Outpost
      3. Airmail
  11. Winlink 2000
    1. System overview
      1. CMS
      2. RMS
      3. Relay
    2. Clients
      1. Airmail
      2. Paclink
      3. RMS Express
    3. HF Pactor/Winmor
      1. Available Pactor I hardware
      2. Available Pactor II/III hardware
      3. Winmor software and hardware requirements
    4. RMS/Packet access
    5. Internet access
  12. D-STAR
    1. Voice
    2. Slow and High-Speed data
    3. Repeaters
    4. Gateways
      1. Callsign Routing
      2. Reflectors
      3. DVDongle
      4. DVAP and Hotspot
  13. APRS
    1. GPS receivers
    2. Simple trackers
    3. Available hardware
    4. Offline mapping stations and software
    5. Internet gateways
    6. Other types of data
      1. Messaging
      2. Weather
      3. Telemetry
  14. Station Setup and Operation
    1. Arrival and setup
      1. Determine power situation
        1. Is AC power available, cords needed
        2. Generator or some other source of aux power
        3. Battery power only, determine plans for recharging
      2. Determine antenna needs
        1. Portable masts
        2. Antennas
        3. Feed lines
      3. Determine equipment needs
        1. Bands of operation
        2. Modes required
      4. Advise if you need additional resources to set up
    2. Determine initial contacts
      1. Locate people you will be working with
      2. Determine how to best get information to and from them
      3. Obtain any necessary paperwork for shift
  15. Workshop (Computers and Winlink 2000)
  16. Working in a team environment
    1. Shift planning
    2. Task assignments
    3. Dealing with personalities
    4. Handling emergent volunteers
    5. Tabletop deployment

At the end of the course there will be a comprehensive 40 question multiple choice test.  Students must pass with a 75% or higher score. 

The eight (8) hour practical session will be practical application of skills learned and will include each student successfully demonstrating the following skills:

  • Individual
    • Demonstrate operating at least one WL2K email client by sending a message
    • Demonstrate selecting the proper size fuse for typical amateur radio loads
    • Given a serial device, terminal program and serial cable, perform the following:
      • Configure the terminal program
      • Establish communications with the device
      • Modify the basic device configuration
    • Given an illustration of a complex field station setup, indicate where and how window filters and/or bandpass filters could be used to reduce interference.
    • Using a small soldering iron, solder two pieces of wire together to form a good, electrically-sound bond
    • Correctly identify a set of four connectors (power, data, RF, etc)
    • Correctly identify three commonly used AFSK signals by sound
    • Given the following items, assemble and transmit from a working station
      1. Power supply with no polarity markings
      2. A good and bad power cord with ring terminals
      3. VHF or UHF radio
      4. Power/SWR meter
      5. Good antenna
      6. Multimeter
    • Tune in a single-sideband signal on a provided HF radio
  • Group
    • Participate as a member of a sub-group to analyze an emergency situation
    • Develop a local plan for traffic and resources
    • Determine resource requests and status needs to be shared with other groups
    • Interact with the other groups over the radio to manage the situation while optimizing communication paths and modes