The Columbia Amateur RADIO SOCIETY


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Local News / Information

January 10, 2010

  • Welcome NEW Amateur Radio Operators!

    We would like to welcome a few new operators in our area.
    KG4JTJ - William Crawley
    KJ4QIV - Robert Downey
    W1QBI - Daniel Gleason
  • Neighborhood HamWatch

    Goal To provide a method for every capable amateur radio operator who isn't involved in a deployed active ARES operation to serve his/her community in an Emergency Communication role. This would include senior citizens, care givers, health challenged, wives with kids, off duty police and fire, and others who cannot commit to a deployment but want to serve their community. These amateurs are good communicators, and have ample stations with emergency power they can use during periods of extended communication outages which often follow major natural disasters. These amateurs would augment the active ARES´┐Ż volunteers and be part of the Em Comm System.

    Objectives 1) Communicate neighborhood conditions to local Emergency Operations Centers. Emergency Managers will be provided access to first-hand information about conditions in the communities which they serve. They would handle heath and welfare, report crime and fulfill other communications needs.

    2) Relay information from local Emergency Managers to local neighborhoods so local citizens are better informed of relief efforts and information helpful to their survival and overall recovery process.

    Requirements Participation in this program requires the desire and capability to utilize your amateur radio license to help your fellow neighbors. You would augment informational communications when normal commercial communication systems fail to operate. There is no special training or equipment burden necessary. A valid license and 2-meter/UHF radio and/or HF rig will do the job.

    Concept of Operations Amateur radio operators would communicate with ARES stations that are in direct contact with local government EOC's. Because of commercial outages, this may be the only link to the outside world. Examples are the telephones, commercial television and radio and cell phones. They would describe neighborhood conditions, medical needs, dangerous situations to Emergency Managers or their staff. Emergency Managers through amateur radio would relay messages to these neighborhoods containing information citizens need for their safety and survival in the recovery effort.

    Key Players Amateur radio operators located at his/her home station. They would be an active station in a Neighborhood Hamwatch program. Support from local amateur radio clubs, ARES Groups, other Em Comm groups or private owner of a 2M/ UHF repeater. They would support this program by providing the repeater(s) for use by Neighborhood HamWatch operators. Simplex operation should be practiced and utilized when/where necessary. These communications would be second to emergency operations and should be given ample time to handle the local neighborhood traffic. The ARRL DEC's and EC's would coordinate this plan and would help implement its operation with their emergency plans.

    Here is how to get started. An informational brochure is available on the NFL website which will help explain the program and can be printed by local hams and distributed to their neighbors. This will acquaint neighbors with their next-door amateur radio operators and establish the Neighborhood HamWatch groups.

    ARES EC's, NCS's can help by including a check-in option for Neighborhood HamWatch operators during or immediately following training nets so participating Hams can begin establishing contact familiarity.

    For more information contact: Andy Gausz, Neighborhood HamWatch coordinator for the NFL Section KG4QCD@arrl.net 321-229-7547 2519 Sweetwater Trail Winter park, FL, 32789
  • April 15, 2009

    • Official Presidential Announcement KI4ZBO
      It is with great sadness that I Wes Jones/KI4ZBO must step down as the President of the Columbia Amateur Radio Society's club. As announced in the previous months, I have taken a truck driving job that takes me from coast to coast. I am no longer able to fullfil my duties as President. I can however continue to maintain the clubs website with all the updates needed via email. Effective April 15, 2009 @ 00:00, the current Vice President, Rich Arnold/KI4WSW is now President of the club. 73's to all.

    January 21, 2009

    • We have a new URL. nf4cq.com
      nf4cq.com will be replacing columbia-ars.com. Both domains are currently active. However, on October 17, 2009, columbia-ars.com will cease to exist. If you have columbia-ars.com bookmarked, be sure to update the bookmark with nf4cq.com.

    December 18, 2008

    • We held our annual banquet at the Grand China Buffet this past Monday. It was a great turnout. There were a few people we haven't seen in a while there, and a few people that we didn't see. So here is some of the highlights that were covered.

      • After chow, the President welcomed everyone to the final meeting of 2008.
      • The President reminded everyone that should he ever find a job, he may not be available and may have to step down (Thank you Rick for taking over should this happen)
      • We heard from Ben Coleman's wife for a few minutes of remembrance of a dear friend and member of the club.
      • A few highlights about the website was brought up about the recognition from many people around the nation. Comments about how things on the site are clean looking and easy to navigate. More information will be posted to the site including archives dating back to 1992.
      • The President asked for the club's participation for having 1 or 2 barbeque's and inviting other clubs to it.
      • The President asked for the club's feedback on changing the time of the club meeting to an earlier time so that it will end at an earlier time. This will help club members get home at a safer time since the meeting times sometime goes into 10:00pm and later. *Will be voted on in Jan 2009 meeting.
      • Colen brought up the FCC asking for Radio Clubs through out the nation for help on educating the public on the DTV conversion that will take place in Feb 2009. The President suggested setting up a booth/mobile trailer somewhere like Wal-Mart to do this.
      • The President suggested we have a intermediate club meeting on the air. This will help with new ideas to cover during the official meeting. Will be discussed further in the Jan 2009 meeting. If approved, This would take place maybe on the 1st Monday/Saturday of each month sometime around 18:00-20:00 local time.
      • Colen suggested we set up High Speed Multi Media for our area. Equipment cost for the transmitting site around $300-400 and cost for the home user $100. A small monthly cost of $20-40/m to pay for the high speed internet access. This would cover an area of up 30-40 mile radius (covers Lake City, Live Oak, Jasper, Jennings, Ft. White)
      • Finally the last thing I remember is the President suggested to the club we get more involved in community events. City to County events WE SHOULD BE THERE to show our support and knowledge of what we can do and are doing with radio communications. The more we expose ourselves, the more recognition we will get.

    November 17, 2008

    • 2009 Elections were held tonight. The results are listed on the Club Info page.

    • The President also appointed the Secretary to be Treasurer of the club.

    • It was suggested tonight that CARS start training classes. More info on this subject contact Richard Heston (KE4BQI).

    June 17, 2008

    • Web site updates, field day, stormy weather... WOW!
      I am please to announce the additional info to our website thanks to Google and Yahoo. I have added their news feeds to our site that deals with Amateur Radio! Live news feeds from thousands of news outlets from across the nation... Great for hours of reading!

    • Field Day is coming up quick! ARE YOU READY?!? We want to see EVERYONE and then some there! Bring your family and/or friends. Help us show the public why being an amateur radio operator is FUN!
    • Whenever bad weather comes our way, be sure to turn on your radio (or at least the scanner). SKYWARN may get activated. We may need your eyes and ears to help spread the word for adverse weather. If the weather is too bad, disconnect your radio equipment and make a quick phone call to any of the regulars. I myself have special insurance on all my electronic toys so I will never disconnect. Feel free to contact me! KI4ZBO

    March 21, 2008

    •  HOSPITAL DRILL March 12, 2008

      On March 12, six SHANDS hospitals including North Florida Regional Lake City Medical Center, requested assistance in a hospital drill.  Approximately 25 ham operators were active in this operation and others were on standby.

      This drill was a simulation of an incident that occurred in a stadium in Gainesville, FL.  at a ball game.
      In the scenario, Sarin Gas (Nerve Agent) was dispersed in a crowd by terrorists and affected one to three thousand spectators. The drill was to stress test the multiple medical facilities ability to handle many casualties with overwhelming numbers of injuries and deaths.

      Some of the comment’s  in the post-debriefing session from the state Joint Hospital Examining Committee were, “ The amateur radio operators were able to relay the information accurately from Incident Command, to the state EOC before the staff could use their cell phones or the intra-hospital internet links. Examiners were quoted as saying, “If I were in a Sarin Gas attack I would want to be in Columbia County at Shands Hospital ,” “Amateur radio operators have been a dependable critical link in this hospital exercise as well as other actual emergency  events and should be included in every hospital plan.

      The hospital monitored and graded the hospitals strengths and weakness as well as checked the accuracy of the information given at the local Incident Command against the messages received at the state EOC in Tallahassee.

      We linked and tested communications between seven county EOC’s and eight hospitals that participated. Two HF links were established to the state EOC and all other communications were linked via VHF. Incident Command links were simplex to County EOC’s and HF links from Alachua, and included Alachua, Columbia, Suwannee for North Central Florida and Duval for North East Florida including Bradford County. Standby operators on the side monitoring were;  Madison, Baker, Union and Gilcrest counties.

      We felt honored and appreciated with comments of our involvement.  I am grateful for the radio operators that cooperated in the participating counties and we are better prepared for an actual event.

    March 18, 2008

    • NASA has announced the next Space Shuttle mission (STS124) is targeted for May 25, 2008. Time of launch 7:26pm local time. I'm already making my plans to go.

    March 18, 2008

    Feb 26, 2008

    • Columbia SKYWARN was activated today due to bad weather conditions around our area. Thanks to the 8 amateur radio operators that stepped up to the plate to relay REAL TIME information in various locations in the surrounding counties. KI4ZBO was the net control for the activation of SKYWARN and having 3 computer systems that constantly supplied live radar and warning information, this doesn't compare to the eyes of the fellow amateur radio operators. A big thank you goes out to all who checked into the net.

    Feb 20, 2008

    • This past Saturday many local ham operators participated in the Olustee parade here in Lake City. This is just another example of how ham operators prove that we know our communications. We have the skills, we have the know how, and we have the man/woman power to do what is asked. Many thanks to all that helped!

    Feb 7, 2008

    • The space shuttle Atlantis (STS122) finally lifted off today at 14:45 eastern time. It was a flawless launch. It may only be me, but every time a launch takes place, it makes me feel good inside.

    January 24, 2008

    • The Columbia ARES/Skywarn net has been moved to 7:45PM local time from the 8:15PM local time slot. Please make a note of this and join us!
    • As work continues to make space shuttle Atlantis ready to launch on its Feb. 7 target date, NASA's space shuttle program managers have set March 11 as the target launch date for space shuttle Endeavour on its STS-123 mission.

    December 6, 2007

    • Just in case anyone that works for NASA reads this site, LAUNCH ALREADY! :) Yes, I'm waiting to go to the Cape to watch the launch. Are you delaying the launch because of this?!?
    • A big thank you to everyone that showed up for the annual banquet this week. It was a wonderful turnout. Be looking for more for the 2008 year!
    • Anyone wishing to post news, send me an email to ki4zbo@arrl.net.

    December 3, 2007

    • If I heard correctly, a total of 5 people passed their written exam. 3 New Techs, 2 new Generals. (this was an overheard conversation. Please correct me if I am wrong)

    November 24, 2007

    • Because I got pulled over for no apparent reason, I feel the need to post this message. The officer is well known for writing tickets for any reason he can find. Rumors have it, he will pull people over without PC (probable cause). Well, I was the one pulled over the other day. Since I do have a fairly in depth knowledge of traffic laws, every thing this officer threw at me he failed at. However, the reason for this post is he tried to cite me for my SCANNER in my car. He was really unhappy when I told him to refer to Florida Statute 843.16 Section 3. Since this deals with Amateur Radio Operators, Here is the link to the actual law from Online Sunshine
    • Started this Local News and Information section of our site. This section will relay information that pertains to our area. This is open to anyone wishing to post information that has to do with Amateur Radio/Scanners. Currently, any news can be emails to me @ ki4zbo@arrl.net and I will get it posted. This section my change in the future depending on the amount of stories..

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