Update Region 3

Hi KY Hams….. sorry to have not been able to update the Region 3 news for a few weeks. Life sometimes gets in the way.

There has been a ton of activity around amateur radio all caused by sunspots! YAY, they’re back!

Ten meters has been hopping and there’s even been F2 openings on 6 meters. A lot of our tech operators have gotten their first taste of real propagation with such great 10 meter openings.

Contests this past month have been plentiful and well attended. November is the daddy of the contest season, starting off with CW Sweepstakes. This contest has the longest and most difficult exchange. It’s a ton of fun whether you’re serious or just looking to fill in a few blanks on your WAS award. The following weekend was the KY QSO party. This is an opportunity to put KY in a lot of logs and have a friendly competition at the same time. This always conflicts with the opening weekend of modern firearms deer season so your editor gets to operate portable in LaRue County. My vertical wasn’t cooperating so went to 40 meter SSB and put about 20 Q’s in the log. It was great to see some friends from neighboring states drive into KY for some rover operation. Last weekend was ARRL SSB sweepstakes. This one definitely clogs up the phone bands with lots of contesters. It was FB to see so much activity on 10 meters.

With so much activity around the world it begs a mention about using the ARRL’s Logbook of the World. There were so many logs and QSO’s from the DX and CWSS contests that the servers were running more than 3 days in arrears. But kudos to the ARRL techs for working through the logjam to get updates to a reasonable time frame.

The Bullitt ARS has done a major redo of the popular 146.70 repeater. A new repeater has been installed and after a few false starts is up and running. The voice ID and controller should be installed before years end and if funds allow a new antenna to replace the aging one.

A great idea was introduced to me a couple of months ago. What do you do with your old QST’s? Well a few of mine have found new homes in waiting rooms from the auto repair shop to the doctors office. I attach a couple of stickers pointing the reader to the KY4KY.com website to find out more about amateur radio. Thanks to KY4COP for a great idea.

On a final note, the St Aloysius RC has been active on 10 meter sideband on Wednesday afternoons and report QSO’s from CA, WA, and BC. It’s fun to watch 9,10 and 11 year olds make conversation with some of our hams across the world. One highlight was talking to a ham in WA whose age was more than the 7 kids in the shack combined!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this update. Remember to make one contact a day and keep your radio spirit alive and well.

Hams Participate in Search and Rescue Course

Local area hams recently participated in basic search and rescue training over the weekend of November 4-6.  The class, sponsored by local emergency services, was held in Magnolia, Kentucky and consisted of three days of classroom and practical instruction, as well as a simulated, real-time search and rescue field exercise.

According to the course instructor, Mike Wheeler, KD4VOS, “We had about 35 registered students. The Basic Search and Rescue class helps prepare responders to function more effectively during responses involving lost or missing individuals. The course involves the theory and application of search techniques, but also survival, communications, rescue, and team coordination procedures.”

KD4VOS also reported that the two hams who took the course, Grady Joslin, K9YL, and James Brown, KJ4YIG, were “the most excited participants in the class and had a ball.”

Glenn Allen, WA4YPQ, District 5 DEC, led the communications team at the command post.  He states that the activity forced operators to pull from several different skill sets – particularly map reading and logging of all communications on several different frequencies.

With any learning exercise, there are generally some great opportunities to adapt and overcome surprise situations.  This one was no different.

“During the field exercise designed to simulate an actual search operation, the sponsoring agency had brought in their command trailer as they would for any large scale event,” says KD4VOS. “This resource serves as their Command and Communications hub. But as they were setting up and plugged in their generator to support the internal systems, both of their power supplies for their communications ‘let all the smoke out’ making them useless.

“Fortunately there were several ARES team members standing ready to assist with resources that far exceeded the requirements for the operation. The event went on without skipping a beat. There was never a loss of communications or accountability between the command staff and the deployed field assets, so safety was never compromised. Thanks to the quick action and capabilities of the support of Amateur Radio the event was a success.”

Hardin County EC Shelby Ennis, W8WN, worked directly with one of the search teams in the field.  He says the participants came away with some lessons of value, including the need for necessary information to be consistent and communicated to all involved, as well as to be prepared for the unexpected (and the briar bushes!).

Congratulations to KY9L and KJ4YIG for acquiring their BSAR certification, and kudos to the following hams who participated simply to practice their emergency communications skills!

Mike Wheeler, KD4VOS
Grady Joslin, K9YL
James Brown, KJ4YIG
Shelby Ennis, W8WN
Glenn Allen, WA4YPQ
Leon Priest, N4TFK