Hello folks,

I have only received four messages since the last communication with you and I am still needing the information I ask for on most of you.

However this is what I do have at this time. Sandor KG4FET reports that it is possible that the 147.280 repeater that Mel Goodwin purchased from Steve KK5AU some time back may be back on the air in the near future. He also reports that the issue with the 145.270 repeater is in the process of being resolved but that has been going on for over the course of a year so who knows when it will be resolved. I really am not sure that we should place to much hope in the TVARC and there machine. When I ask if we could place there machine on our list as a backup machine I was told they would have to think about it. We need systems we can depend on not maybe’s.

The up side is that we have a member of our ARES unit that has wanted to install a machine in the county for some time and has been on the 2 meter waiting list for 7 years or more. Ray K5RCP has said in a recent email that he will get on the list for a 70 cm repeater instead. That list is much smaller so he may be able to get a construction go ahead fairly soon. Ray wants set this machine up so it can be made portable when we need it in the field. If any of you have had experience with this please contact me and I will put in touch with Ray. I will also be beating the bushes to see if I know anybody who has any expertise in this area.

I also receive a question about when the next Skywarn School would be available. Skywarn School is held in the early part of the year normally from Feb. to the end of May. So there are no more scheduled for this year. The new schedule will be available at the http://kcares.info website when it comes out. Until then we really don’t need to worry too much we have a weak storm season this time of year but it is normally pretty tame. We have had tornado’s in December but since there are no classes this time of year we will have to play it by ear for now.

Other thing. I will write another message about digital when I get a chance and explain why I think that we need some sort of digital system in place in the county.

A friend of mine Mike N5TZR has moved into a leadership position with Ellis County RACES and I will be talking with them about how we can best work together on that end of the county.

And last but not least. You need to use the kcares.info  website. I didn’t put it up to show off. It is there for the purposes of having a place to store information that we need and as a central point of contact for our group. The web space is not free and I have to spend time maintaining it and that is fine. I don’t mind maintaining it but we need to use it. You need to refer people to it when you are talking about Kaufman County ARES. We have information about us. Some contact information. Registration forms. Like I said it is not just there for looks. So please utilize it.

Thanks for your time and we will be talking soon

Richard KB5JBV

ARES Emergency Coordinator for Kaufman Couny

kb5jbv@gmail.com

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Ok everybody, I hope you got a good rest. Now it’s time to get to work again.

I would like to Thank Sandor KG4FET for minding the store while I was away. For those that were not aware I have been out of state working for over a month but now I am back and ready to go.

First I would like to talk about April 3 2012. On April 3 2012 there was a wide spread tornado outbreak in the area of DFW. The city of Forney experienced the single EF3 tornado of the 22 confirmed tornados that day. This tornado came across Mesquite as an EF0 and spun back up around the area of the Diamond Creek subdivision near the Walmart at 548 and HWY 80. We were requested to activate by the weather service for this event. When the net activated the only participants were the net control and one spotter. The spotter watched the funnel until it roped out. He then had to break off to go to his place of employment because it was inside of the Forney city limits. The entire event lasted over 6 hours. Kaufman County ARES was involved for less than an hour.

Now, before anybody gets upset. I understand that people have to work. I was just describing the events of that day. The spotter that had to go to his job was me. So we need to work together to come up with a plan to make sure we are covered better when and if this should happen again.

So the nets and repeater. During this event we were bumped from the machine due to Mesquite needing the 147.040 repeater as a back up because the 145.310 machine went down during this event. Since we were guest on that machine we had to standby. They ended up operating in our county that day but I had no other choice than to let them proceed due to the lack of personnel on our side. So we are on the hunt for a different repeater again. The TVARC repeater is still not an option because it is still having issues with another repeater that was assigned the same frequency by mistake. The repeater in Kaufman is still under the control of the former EC of the county and we have been advised to steer clear of him. Terry Van Sicle has decided not to work with us concerning his machine. So once again we are at a stand still.

The Net has been suspended since April and will continue to be suspended until we can come up with a workable communication plan. I need to know how many of you will be able to participate in net operations if we have to consider UHF operations. I would also like to know how many of you have cross band repeat capability.

Let talk about alerting. It is your responsibility to be aware of impending bad weather in the area. If we activate we may not have time to send out an email alert and some of you may not get it until the next day. Other things that we may be called up for are not so easy to keep up with but the weather is. The National Weather service has a Facebook page, Twitter account, and NOAA weather radio. I receive watches and warnings on my phone. There are several places you can sign up for that. So please stay on top of the weather.

Since we do not currently have a VHF repeater we also need to explore alternate means of communications. I would like to here from you folks on your ability or interest in Digital communications. Digital voice or Digital Data. I am currently looking into HSMM (High Speed Multi Media) which is very inexpensive to get into but it has a limitation concerning distance. Packet is also an option. There are different ways to use packet other than Winlink. The D-rats digital terminal for D-Star low speed data is also coming along very well and could also meet our needs. D-Star digital voice is also an option for us we have a D-Star repeater just outside the county that would give us coverage over most of the area and as an extra benefit we could connect into other D-Star machines as needed. you can also operate D-Star from anywhere you have an internet connection and that same computer can be turned into a D-Star access point for radios. So if you are interested in any of these options please contact me.

Now I understand everybody has a job. We are in an odd situation here in Kaufman County because we have the two ends of the curve and not much middle. Meaning that the majority of our people are either still working age or retired. Most of the retired have a hard time getting out of the house when a net is called up and the working age folks might be at work or trying to get some sleep so they can go to work the next day. I just recently went back to the type of work I was doing that gives me more flexibility. We have at least two members of our group that work for cities in Dallas county and have to be at work when we have severe weather. This is a problem we may only be able to solve by getting more people into our unit.

So that’s it for now. I am not getting down on anybody. We just need to pull together and try to overcome some of the obstacles we keep running to. Some of yo may think I an unapproachable because I am the EC but I am just another radio operator just like you and I need your input to help drive this organization. Remember that being in charge of any amateur radio club or Emcomm group is like driving a car with no breaks. You just do your best to steer it in the right direction and hope you don’t hit anything. I’m just the guy holding on to the wheel.

So i need input from all of you on

  • Communication Plan
  • Alerting
  • Digital Communications
  • Recruiting
  • Direction of Kaufman County ARES moving forward

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope to hear from you soon

Richard KB5JBV

Kaufman County ARES Emergency Coordinator

 

 

 

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Hello folks. Its me again. I am looking to work on a couple of projects out here in the radio wasteland known as Kaufman County. If you are wondering Kaufman county is the county just east of Dallas county here in Texas.

The first one I would like to tackle is getting a Ratflector (D-Star low speed digital repeater/Internet gateway) up and running here. I have worked with the program before and when I was living in Dallas county had a Ratflector up and running. I was the only one on it. So if you are in the Dallas / Fort Worth area or in Kaufman, Rockwall, Henderson, or Van Zandt county get in touch with me and lets see if we can make this thing go. I have always preferred digital to any other mode and I think this is the way to go.

You can contact me on Facebook as KB5JBV or Google+ and Email at kb5jbv@gmail.com

Thanks

Richard KB5JBV

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This looks like it was taken from the parking lot next to Brookshires on Pinson Rd. (F. M. 741)

 

 

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This was shot from about 100 feet from the place I work in Forney.

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