D.A.R.E.N. News 2010

DAREN of WV News February 7, 2010 (.917)
Kenneth Harris WA8LLM (304) 679-3470 wa8llm@yahoo.com
P.O. BOX 3328, PARKERSBURG, WV 26103

DAREN News, are articles and information about the Digital Amateur Radio "Emergency" Network of WV, which operates on 145.69 MHz.  Anyone having any information about DAREN, or Amateur Radio in general, and would like to share it with others, may send it to WA8LLM @ PKBGWV on 145.69 MHz, or to my E-Mail: wa8llm@yahoo.com.  A State Wide DAREN NET is operated every Saturday from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and lately, before and after those hours.  The DAREN Net Announcement, showing the MAIN NCS, ALTERNATE NCS, NODEs accessible to both, and the previous week's check-ins, are posted by Thursday on most of the Main county DAREN PBBS'.  The DAREN News can also be found on the wc8ec.org website.

How did your fair the storm this time?  We were lucky, we only got about 7 inches of snow, and the power stayed on.  I heard that other parts of the state had as much as 31 inches, and other areas lost their power.  One area said their power wouldn't be back on until Friday the 12th.  Another area in Harrison County had a tree break a fiber optic cable, and there was no telephone service into and out of a couple of towns.  When telephone service is lost, that means there is no 911 service, and those people are at the mercy of their neighbors for help.  During storms like the one we just had is when we need to listen a lot closer to our radios.  We need to listen for the Amateurs in the surrounding counties, cities, and towns, in case they are calling for assistance with communications.  If you are not in an area that has been affected, you may be the only communications link for them.  A lot of times when telephones service has been interrupted, it also affects cellular telephone and Public Safety radio systems, so those systems may be out also. Amateurs in the affects areas may try to contact someone outside of their area for assistance.  If you are in the affected area, you should try to contact someone in another city or town using their voice radio systems.  This storm reminded me of a project that I've delayed working on.  The project was to install a packet station, with a computer attached, in the Wood County E-911 Communications Center.  Here's how the system would work.  The packet station would have the callsign of WOOD91-1.  When you connect to WOOD91-1, a flashing light would alert dispatchers in the communications center that someone had just connected to the packet station.  You would then leave a message on the computer of the assistance that you require.  You could tell them that your area is without telephone service, or other information.  Be sure to leave as much information as you can, such as your name, address, telephone number, and if you know why the telephone service is out.  Even though the main telephone service into your area is out, the 911 Center may be able to contact someone by radio in your area, and they may be able to call you back if your telephone is working.  Just because telephone service between cities or towns are out, doesn't mean you can't call, or be called, by someone in your own area.  The only problem with connecting by packet radio at a 911 Center is, you may, or may not get a response back, depending on a couple of things.  One: If there is an Amateur Radio operator on duty, and Two: depending how busy the 911 Center is.  In either case, here's how to connect up the flashing light.  When someone connects to a packet station, the "CON" lamp lights up.  Using a little bit of engineering, you can connect an external flashing light.  The external flashing light should be equipped with a reset button so that it can be turned off. Basically that is all there is to it.  I have a couple of packet stations that I put together a few months back that are just sitting on a shelf collecting dust.  I think I'll get the external flashing light connected to one of them. The next thing that needs to be done is talk the 911 Center into allowing the system to be installed in their center.

There were 60 check-ins to this week's State Wide DAREN Net.  Gary Rosenlieb, KC8YJJ, who's been participating in the net since August 27, 2005, has completed 50 check-ins and will be receiving his certificate.  There was one station with the callsign of "NOCALL" that checked in.  If you don't see your call on this week's Net Announcement, and think it may be yours, let me Know.

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