TO: ALL WOOD COUNTY ARES MEMBERS (OFFICIAL)
ALL ARES AND NON-ARES AMATEURS ANYWHERE (INFORMATION)
FROM: KEN HARRIS WA8LLM ARRL DISTRICT 3
EMERGENCY COORDINATOR WOOD COUNTY EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS INC.
WOOD COUNTY ARES BULLETIN NR 20.17 DATE: April 26, 2020
SUBJECT: OPERATIONS WITHOUT COMMERCIAL POWER
Not every amateur will prepare himself, or herself, for an emergency by having a complete self-powered station. Questions you might ask yourself; Can I operate my station without commercial power? If I do not have an automatic backup system in place, how long does it take to set it up? Many amateurs have equipment that will operate on 12 volts (Battery power), or have access to auxiliary power like generators, but have never taken the time to see if they can operate their station from this source.
If the power were to fail this minute, and you were in the middle of a radio conversation, could you maintain that conversation on any of your equipment? Will your VHF radio be operational? How about HF? And, how about Packet Radio? Remember the DAREN Packet Radio system can be a major communications route in a major emergency or disaster.
These are all valid questions, which we might set a goal to answer, Yes! As a test for yourself, get out the batteries, if they are charged, or get out the generator, if it still runs. Break out the cables to connect the batteries, hook up the station to the alternative source of power and operate for a couple hours in that manner, this includes working in the dark if you don't have emergency lights, or flashlights.
If your station is already set up for battery backup, you can still do this drill. Just turn off your commercial power switch. Think about how to operate your computer or dumb terminal, or do you have a portable, or laptop computer? These things will help us all remain familiar with the procedure, which will affect our response time, and our ability to communicate, in a disaster or emergency.
Keeps these items and ideas ready and waiting, just in case the commercial power goes off.
Ken Harris WA8LLM
Wood County WV
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