Greetings Fellow ARES Members,

It definitely feels like Fall is in the air. As Summer winds down, the last of the public service events looks like the Portland Marathon in October. My thanks to all of you who have helped with the many Spring and Summer events; it is really a great way to build your operating skills and gain experience with your radios.

The Swift tracking project was a lot of fun and thanks to all who helped listen for those birds with transmitters. I think they left Yakima and skipped Portland as they were not detected here but were heard in Eugene and Roseburg. It was still a fun project and a great way to view the huge flocks of swifts during their migration south.

Greg NF7H has resigned his position as team leader for the County ECC. His life has turned very busy and paring down his volunteer commitments is needed. Thanks Greg for all you have done for Multnomah County ARES! We will miss you! We are making good progress with our ARRO certifications with a majority of our members completing the basic and many moving on to the other paths of their choice. A big thanks to Robert WX5TEX for launching the HF certification and to Adam KF7LJH for his soon to be released Digital certification. I really appreciate their time and expertise in this endeavor.

Hope to see you at the September 25 meeting.

Huge thanks to Robert for developing the HF Certification and his HF Check-off workshop coming up before the next meeting, and to Adam for his work on creating the Digital Operator Certification and his presentation at this month’s meeting.

We are making good progress toward our goal of having all team members basic ARRO certified by the end of the year. There are several folks who just need to send a 213 and an NTS message to finish their certification. You will each be contacted to arrange to get this done. You are so close!

I have many varied interests and hobbies – if you can call an ever-growing pile of unfinished projects a hobby – ranging from physical sciences, electronics, computers, radio, and metalworking, to cooking, brewing beer, traveling, and studying languages. I have a bad habit of focusing very intensely on one or two areas for a while at the expense of others, and then switching when something else catches my attention – hence the unfinished projects. While it doesn’t (directly) involve cooking or brewing beer, it seems ham radio may be the closest thing I’ve found to pull my varied interests together (though I have some ideas rattling around that involve computers, electronics, and brewing).

I’ve been interested in electronics since I was a kid. My dad was an industrial electrician and brought home lots of old electronics bits for me to investigate, though I must admit that most of my self-directed “investigation” involved more disassembly, desoldering, and sorting of components into parts bins, than learning and applying electronics theory. I do recall one particularly illuminating experiment I performed around the age of 8, which involved an electrolytic capacitor and an AC wall socket. See, I understood that capacitors would store a charge when connected in parallel with a DC source, but failed to grasp, until that moment, how they behaved in an AC circuit. A shower of sparks and a tripped circuit breaker taught me a valuable lesson or two.

All throughout my childhood, I maintained that same curiosity about electronics, but lacked an end to the means – a goal to which I could apply the concepts I was learning. I had books full of amplifier and power supply schematics, but what could I amplify? What would I power? I think all along I needed amateur radio to help guide and focus my interests, but I wasn’t even aware of its existence. The addition of a new family member in my middle school years – an 80286-based computer – sent me in a whole new direction, learning about programming, operating systems, and digital communications, which has in turn led to employment in technical support, software quality assurance, web development, system administration, and telecommunications.

Sometime around 1995, in my college years, I learned of amateur radio. I found it interesting but didn’t know anyone who was licensed, and didn’t have the time or money to pursue the hobby. When the Great Coastal Gale of 2007 cut off all communication with family on the southwest Washington coast, I felt helpless and thought again about amateur radio. I decided that earning my amateur radio license and getting trained in providing emergency communications would be one way I could make myself useful the next time a disaster struck our region. I studied hard and got my Technician license in January, 2008, then bought a J-pole and an old, used Kenwood TM-773, which I nervously sat in front of many a night before mustering the courage to key the mic and check into the Portland Amateur Radio Club’s Monday night net.

I went through the Portland Neighborhood Emergency Team training in the Winter of 2009, made my first long-distance QSO, with W6YX, via the U/v FM repeater on board the International Space Station, then upgraded my license to General. I checked into the occasional FM 2-meter net, and attended an ARES meeting or two, but otherwise remained fairly inactive until I attended the NET/CERT/ARES “radio tour” in May, 2012. That got me motivated to start volunteering for event communications, and by the end of the year I had worked at least 8 events and a fire station go-kit exercise or two, and I was hungry for more. Since then I have become more active in Multnomah County ARES, have helped organize communications for Walk MS and the Disaster Relief trials, and became the team leader for the PBEM ECC team.

In addition to emergency communications, I am also interested in amateur satellites, digital modes, software-defined radio, and, thanks to my success in the December 2013 MCARES contest-style drill-from-home and encouragement from K7ATN and others, I have a growing interest in VHF+ contesting. Maybe someday I’ll get on HF…

Greetings Fellow ARES Members,

I hope you all are enjoying this great summer weather we are having.

My thanks to all who participated in the last Served Agency Drill on August 9. We tested the Life Safety traffic with the BOEC folks and they were very pleased with the new form. Unfortunately my job needed me to work that day but I understand all went reasonably well.

I am soon off to Sisters for the State ARES Leadership weekend meeting. I hope to bring back a lot of information to share with you, on what the state has in store for us in the coming year.

As summer winds down there are still a few opportunities for field experience. Our next ARES event will be the Fall SET. I’ll let you know the date when it is available.

Hope to see you at the August 28 meeting.

The drill on August 9 went quite well over all. It did bring up several things where we could do better. I strongly encourage all who participated to attend the general meeting on Thursday, August 28 when we will go over the items we can improve upon. Thanks to the drill participants who gave us feedback on how we can better organize the drills and provide better drill documents. These were discussed at the leadership meeting and your concerns have been addressed.

The Race for the Cure is coming up and this is another great opportunity to get some operating experience. It’s also a whole lot of fun! If you want to be buddied up with a more experienced ham, let Pat know. If you are willing to be partnered with a newer ham, also let Pat know.

We are in a final push to get all our team members ARRO certified by the end of the year. We are arranging some extra workshops. If you are not yet certified, contact me and I will help you finish up.

Membership News

by Deb KK7DEB on 2014-08-12

Welcome to our newest members, Gregory KD7KBR, Will KG7LPW, and Susan KG6MJR, and congratulations to Julie KF7TAU for her upgrade to Extra Class.

Congratulations to Robert WX5TEX and Jenny on the birth of their son, Wyatt, born August 7. Robert is really enjoying his new Daddy role, as you can see in the photo here.

Multnomah County ARES vests and t-shirts are available to all our members. Contact me at dprovo [at] yahoo [dot] com if you wish to make a purchase.

My interest in ham radio began when I went to a CERT “Train the Trainer” course in the summer of 2011. Ham radio was mentioned briefly and piqued my interest, but it was not until later that winter that I decided to actually study and take the Technician exam. I remember my older brother having a ham radio in his room back in the early 70s. I remember it took up an incredible amount of table space. I also remember his call sign, KN7OAQ, as it was above his door to his bedroom.

After getting my technician license, I got involved with Multnomah County ARES and started to attend the meetings.

Somewhere along the way I was connected with Garrett AF7RF. I can’t thank him enough for taking the time to come to Lewis & Clark College, which is where I work, and help me with my hand held radio. I have had tremendous support from the Director of Campus Safety to add equipment to our readiness program. I called upon Garrett to steer me in the direction of purchasing a dual band for the college as well. In February, 2013, I upgraded to a General license. Next on the agenda was the purchase of a high frequency radio. I called upon Garrett yet again, and he suggested a good HF radio to purchase for the college and came out to install the antenna. I really enjoy the friendships I have developed through Multnomah County ARES and the learning process, which is never ending! I have since upgraded to the Extra ticket and am waiting for a new call sign.

In my spare time I am a competitive trap shooter and hold a couple of state shooting titles. My husband and I also have nationally ranked field trial dogs and compete in other American Kennel Club events as well.

Robert WX5TEX gave a very good HF 101 class at last month’s meeting: a good balance of technical info and basic how-to to keep everybody interested. Thanks, Robert!

John KF7ZWX will be presenting Electrical Safety and Grounding this month, a topic we should all know something about! Thank you, John!

All team leaders should give their team members who are not yet ARRO certified their check off sheets. This way you will all know what you have left to accomplish. Take your sheet with you whenever you work a drill or event and see if the person in charge can check you off on any of the tasks. When the sheet is complete, give it back to your team leader or to Eli either at a general meeting or you can scan and email it to eliza [dot] pride [at] gmail [dot] com.

Robert WX5TEX has completed and leadership has approved the qualifications for the High Frequency Radio Operator (HFRO) certification. The check sheet will be on the web site soon and we will have copies available at the July general meeting. Basic ARRO certification and a General class license or higher are prerequisites. This is an optional voluntary add-on certification for those who are interested. It is recommended for team members whose served agency has HF capability.

Adam KF7LJH is working on the Digital Radio Operator (DRO) certification requirements and those will be coming soon. ARRO certification is a prerequisite. This is also optional and voluntary for anyone who is interested. It is recommended for team members whose served agency has digital capability. Adam will also be giving another WinLink presentation at the September meeting.

Greetings Fellow ARES Members,

As you know, Multnomah County ARES just completed all the necessary steps to become certified by the Oregon Section ARES. My thanks to all of you for being a part of our organization and working hard to help us achieve this goal. We have finished the Basic certification and are very close to the Intermediate level. We will continue to work toward the Advance” level certification. We are so very fortunate to have a dedicated cadre of members. Your participation in meetings, training, drills, and events are what keep us sharp and prepared in the event that we are needed. Again, my thanks to each of you.

Garrett AF7RF reports that the new Life Safety form was used by ham radio operators to report an incident during the Rose Festival Parade with great success. Our next Served Agency drill will be August 9 and we will be sending more Life Safety traffic to test the newly installed Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system in the radio room at the PBEM ECC. An email with details of this drill will be coming soon. Please save the date.

Jeremy Van Keuren reports the NET team ham radio operators will soon have a new training program. Kudos to John K7TY, Michael AE7XP, and Helen KE7SCS for all their work to get this program rolling. The program will use a lot of our ARRO certification check sheet. It also standardizes ARES and NET radio operations so we can work compatibly and interchangeably.

Hope to see some of you at the Disaster Relief Trials and all of you at the July 24 monthly meeting.

My ham adventures began in December 2012 when I passed my tech exam with an initial goal of getting on the air to do HF. I passed my General ticket the very next month and shortly thereafter made my first DX contact to Lithuania. Not too long after I received my call sign I was in an EMCOM class at PCC and James Bryant came in to give a talk about ARES. I went to the next monthly meeting and the rest is history.

I’ve been on again off again with electronics in general since I was a wee one, but got back into circuits and things back in 2002ish when I started working on some interactive art projects. Ham radio seemed like a natural progression.

Aside from participating in ARES activities, I like to do Summits on the Air, surf the HF bands when I have the time, and try out all the digital modes I can figure out. I also carry my 2m handheld everywhere, and enjoy making contacts on the road and trails. My goals for the summer are to upgrade to Extra class, and actually design and mail out some contact postcards.

I grew up in the Chicago burbs, and have been in PDX since 2005 after moving here from Brooklyn, NY. After 10 years in web production, web start up life and a short stint as an aquatic ecologist, I’ve been freelancing in web production and print design for the past 7-odd years.

Last year I returned to school full time. Currently I’m a post-BACC student in Geology with minor in mathematics at PSU and an Emergency Management Cert student at PCC. I originally returned to school to focus on volcanology and volcanic hazard & landslide mitigation, but I recently fell down a geodynamics worm hole, so who knows where I’ll end up next.

Aside from school, I’m also a staff member of the Experimental Film Fest Portland. We just put on our 3rd successful festival and were awarded a Precipice grant this year from PICA and the Andy Warhol Foundation. In the minuscule amount of free time I have left I do experimental animation, hike, camp, bicycle and otherwise enjoy adventure time in the land between art and science. I’ve lived off rapidly changing NE Alberta Street for the past seven years with my partner and our two cats. As you may imagine the weed jungle around our house is substantial!