A Successful ACT 1!

On Saturday, April 3rd 2010 at 0900 PDT several groups  across the state began to conduct the first Oregon ACES ACT exercise.  There were stations in at least three counties in Oregon, as well as several from outside the state, from as far away as Spokane, WA.  At the time of this writing, reports have been submitted showing at least 47 individual Amateur Operators participating in the exercise.  All of the feedback received has indicated that the exercise was a success, so we expect even better participation next time!

N7HQR and others at the Community Center in Lincoln City

Tillamook County RACES personnel participated using KB7EOC as Net Control and relayed traffic on their VHF and UHF repeaters, as well as over simplex, and HF on 75m and 10m. D-STAR was also used and much traffic was exchanged using Airmail and Winlink. Check-ins on 147.22 included local personnel as well as check-ins from Lincoln City and Depoe Bay. Simplex operations were attempted to personnel at Cape Meares, Cape Lookout, Garibaldi, Bay City, Cascade Head and Tillamook. Communications were exchanged with various EOCs including, Lincoln City EOC, Lincoln County EOC, Hillsboro EOC and Washington County EOC.

N6OED at Seal Rock Fire Station

From their positions at the community center, N7HQR and KD7YGN in Lincoln County contacted Washington County and Tillamook County EOC's on D-STAR via the linked D-STAR repeaters.  They also contacted Hillsboro EOC via the UHF repeater on Mt. Hebo which was linked to 147.360 in Aloha.  Many contacts were made on 75m, but due to the traffic on all the radios, the AC1ES station was unable to spend enough time on HF to answer everyone.

The City of Hillsboro Staff

The community center was a portable station, utilizing a 12'x12' pop-up shelter with side panels and a folding table inside for the operators.  They had a 75/60/40 meter NVIS antenna setup for HF, as well as a GP-9 on a 25-foot telescoping mast, and an X-50 about 15 feet in the air.

From his truck parked outside the Seal Rock Fire Station, N6OED was able to hear all  of the stations on simplex South and East of Cape Foul Weather. It was reportedly a good location with a great view of the ocean and 101 road/traffic conditions.

KE7WKM and KA7BVG at the new Washington County EOC

Washington County EOC made contacts on UHF D-STAR and answered a lot of Winlink traffic, testing their new station at the Sheriff's office for the first time.  The City of Hillsboro EOC ham station also operated from a new location during the drill. In addition to successfully using their new alphanumeric paging system for notification of their staff, they also passed over fourty messages via Winlink, Packet, and D-STAR data. The City of Hillsboro's Water Operations station was staffed from the parking lot and tested using handheld radios to contact the city's EOC via their station repeater.

In Tillamook County, the HAMsters group worked on transmitting, receiving and transcribing messages. They used scripted dialog from the Seaside STARTS Club which simulates conversations between an EOC and a shelter site. They also had instructions on how to use the base radio at the Manzanita EOC.

We received enough pictures that we plan to create a gallery on this site for archival of pictures from this and future events.  If you submitted a picture, check the gallery for it and others!

With this level of success for a first time event, not to mention being on a holiday weekend, there will definitely be an "ACT 2" in the next couple of months.  Stay tuned for that!