SKYWARN Recognition Day Update

Due to remodeling at the National Weather Service Office in Valley, Nebraska, they are unable to host this event.  This will be the first time that the Omaha/Valley office will not participate since the event began.     But they are looking forward to having us back out in 2019.

However, you can still get on the air and talk to many NWS stations around the country.

You can learn more about the event at:

If you are on Echolink:

SKYWARN Recognition Day (SRD) 2018 on the *WX_TALK* Echolink Conference Node: 7203/IRLP 9219 System – Saturday 12/1/18 0000-2400 UTC

Amateur Radio Disaster Preparedness

You must make sure your personally prepared for a disaster before you can even consider helping with Amateur Radio. If you are preoccupied with personal matters, you won’t be able to help us. To be ready for disaster communications, do the following:

  • Register with your local ARES group.
    • This registration helps the ARES leadership know the number of potential volunteers and their capabilities should we be called up on to provide communications services.
  • Train regularly with your local ARES group.
    • How you train today, determines how you perform tomorrow.  Attending training, participating in ARES nets, and community service activities help you lean how to be a good communicator when there are fewer distractions.  During emergency and disaster responses, the familiarity of the net routine will help keep the frequencies and communications clear.
    • Being known to your ARES leadership is also important.   They will be making decisions as to what your assignments are.   The more familiar they are with your level of training and other skill sets, the better fit can be made.
  • Have a personal/family disaster plan.
    • If you are distracted by your home situation, you will not be a valuable asset during a response.   Take care of your own first!
  • Have all resource materials you need in printed form.
    • Don’t depend on downloading your radio manual or ID from the internet.  Computers, smart phones, etc may not work during a disaster, they require electricity for charging and are relatively fragile.
  •  Practice doing things such as calling nets and handling traffic the pencil-and-paper way once in a while. Remember, you are you may not be able to spare the amp-hours or the table space to run a computer.
  • Have an Amateur Radio “go-kit” ready to supplement your personal “go kit”.
  • Upgrade your license.
    •  Many disaster communications assignments require HF privileges to move messages in and out of the disaster area.

Be Ready to Report

Amateur radio nets are intended to facilitate orderly communications.   The procedures might vary depending on what kinds of net that it is and the net control is operating the net.  A swap net will have different procedures to check in and give out information than will an emergency response or training net.

But no matter what type of net, no matter what type of information you are sharing, you need to be ready with the following information. Ideally the net control station or anyone else on the net will not have any questions.    The details may vary, but these questions should be answered within your announcement:    Who, What, When and Where.

For instance you would probably never check in to the swap net and list and item for sale without giving the information about what the item is, its condition, how much you would like for the item, and how and when any potential buyer can reach you to complete the purchase.

But often you will hear announcements during nets that the operator giving out the information does not have the details on an event.  It’s nice to know share that a local radio club is having a flea market, but without the days, time and location, the information is not worth much.   Take a few minutes before the net to get the details to share.

During a SKYWARN net, it is very important that you take a moment to collect your thoughts and be ready to report when Net Control has acknowledge you, then give the following information:
Who you are.
What you are seeing. (with appropriate details for the event)
Where you are seeing it.
When you saw it.

It is not practical to give examples on every scenario you might encounter so take a moment to make sure you have all the information before keying the mic.

Upcoming Public Service Event, Drills and On Air Activities

The following events are excellent ways to practice net procedures and operating in a remote situation.

Nebraska State High School Track Meet  – May 18th and 19th
Beat the Heat Race – July 8th
Major Accident Response Exercise (MARE) – July 28th
Offutt Air Show – August 11th
Corporate Cup – September 9th
Market-to-Market Relay  – October 6th
Epply Full Scale Exercise – October 13th


HF events that ARES members are encouraged to participate in:
Nebraska QSO Party – April 21st &  22nd
Museum Ships Weekend – June 2nd & June 3rd
ARRL Field Day – June 23rd & June 24th
ARRL Sweepstakes (CW) – November 3rd & 4th
ARRL Sweepstakes (SSB) – November 17th & 18th
SKYWARN Recognition Day – December 1st
Winter Field Day  – January 26th (2019)




VOLK FIELD AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Wis. — When a natural disaster strikes, the efforts of government and civilian organizations are required to support relief operations. Coordination among these organizations may occur after a tornado, flooding, a HAZMAT incident, or another type of state emergency. National Guard units along with state and civilian agencies work together to provide life-saving services and emergency response.

PATRIOT North 2017 exercise, conducted in July of 2017, is a domestic operations (DOMOPS) exercise that provides an opportunity for these organizations to coordinate realistic and relevant training to prepare for a disaster or state emergency.

Read the entire article 

Red Cross is Back on the Air

WØEQU is operational from the Heartland Chapterhouse, thanks to the hard work of AI7Q, NØUP, KAØVNY, KØCTU and NØTRK.  These folks have been working to get the Red Cross amateur radio station back on the air after the feed lines between the tower and the building were unfortunately removed several years ago.  This required the replacement of the lightning arresters on the tower.

The HF antenna has an improved mounting system which will not put stress on the balun or resistor that are critical to its operation, and it is also now on a pulley system to allow it to be lowered for servicing.

The group worked to confirm that the VHF/UHF antennas are still good operating condition.     The group also have packet back on the air and added a AREDN mesh node as well.    They also have acquired a couple of computers for use at the station.   AI7Q and the group are working on a wish list for the station.

Currently the Ak-Sar-Ben Amateur Radio Club, a long time support of ARES working with the Heartland Chapter of the American Red Cross, has loaned a complete Kenwood TS-570D station to be used until the equipment can be updated.     The antenna and radio were working well.  KØCTU heard a station that he worked many times during National Parks on the Air.   K7CAR was camped in Nevada and was coming in 59 to Omaha.

While the radios are working again, there is still a lot of work to do in the radio room itself, so it will be a while before there will be any organized non-Red Cross or emergency operations from the site.

Weekly SATERN Nets

The International SATERN SSB Voice net is on  14.265.0 MHz – Monday – Saturday at 10:00 am Central Time

The International SATERN Digital net is on 14.065.0 MHz  on Saturday at 12:00 noon Central Time

The Central Territory  SATERN SSB Voice net is  on 7.265.0 MHz on Saturday at 9:30 am Central Time

Omaha SATERN should check into the Douglas County ARES FM Voice net 146.940(-) MHz on Sunday at 9:00 pm CDT