Ham radio in the news - on the island

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A very nice article at the Stanwood-Camano News:

Emergency communications trailer placed on Camano; Amateur Radio Field Day is June 22
Camano Island now will be safer in a disaster situation. Island County Department of Emergency Management (DEM) has stationed a mobile emergency communications trailer on Camano Island.

The multi-use trailer provides communications capability for the fire department and other Island County agencies, as well as the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, according to Sue Ryan, Stanwood Camano Amateur Radio Club president.

The public can stop by to check out the trailer during Amateur Radio Field Day on June 22 at Tyee Farms (see below), the Mabana Fire Station Open House on June 29 or the Terry’s Corner Fire Station Open House on Sept. 14.

We have been waiting for this for almost a year - turned out way better than we were initially expecting:

The trailer is 28-feet long, fully self-contained and stocked with a VHF/UHF dual band radio, HF radio, CEMNET radio and antennas, along with a Packet and Winlink computer with VHF/UHF radio.

Amateur Radio ARES volunteers and county officials will staff the unit, which can be moved anywhere it is needed. Ryan said its generator can be set up in minutes to provide power under any conditions.

For now, the trailer will be used for weekly emergency communications drills and community events such as Amateur Radio Field Day, National Night Out and Camano Community Center Car Show, among other events.

During any emergency, such as the frigid February conditions that limited travel on Camano, communications are extremely important to everyone on the island.

“This trailer will ensure information about conditions here on Camano can get to the DEM immediately and information about the situation will get back to Camano Island, so we can better handle the situation,” Ryan said. “When all else fails, amateur radio won’t!”

CEMNET is the state-wide network that I participate in on Tuesday. Winlink is a very cool protocol for sending email over the air. It is error correcting so if the roads are out and Mr. Smith is running out of a specific medication, we can get that information to the hospital with knowing that the spelling will be accurate and zero chance of error. Winlink also can use standard FEMA communications forms so after the event, it will be easy to build a timeline of what happened.

Here are Larry and Rhonda at last years field day:


Rhonda is using Winlink - the laptop connects to the radio through a USB audio adapter.

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