SLCARC History

SLCARC ‘s Early History

Prior to and since the formation of the Salt Lake Crossroads Amateur Radio Club much occurred that formed and focused this emergency and disaster response ham club.  This document sets to written record the most important of these events.  Material elsewhere in this website site covers the post 2014 club history.  The material here covers the early precedent setting period.

  1. On 1 February 2014 the SLCARC was formed by four hams who had been for many years active in assisting Salt Lake City’s Volunteer Ham Radio communications.  These four hams were KJ7ABC – Susan Smith (ABC as she is sometimes called), KM7TMS – Mike Smith (TMS as he is sometimes called), KE7ORB Dave Anderson (sometimes called ORB), KA7TPH Marvin Match (sometimes called TPH).  The primary goals of the club were to support the ham radio emergency communications needs of Salt Lake City government and promote ham radio.  Working in partnership with city government, we licensed ham radio operators, voluntarily coordinating emergency and disaster communications as per negotiated protocols.  As such activities require considerable coordination and assistance from others, SLCARC 1) umbrellas other ham groups in the city who wish to assist our emergency response efforts, and 2) uses non-ham licensed volunteers to assist in communications, as per protocols referenced on this website.  As of this 2021 writing, Salt Lake City coordination with SLCARC, local CERT groups, etc. has developed one of the most ambitious emergency and disaster response programs in existence.  To be better prepared for emergencies please train with us.
  2. Foundational Club History Through 2014
    1. In 2007 KJ7ABC, took a CERT class that was to set many things rolling.  Her husband KM7TMS, relented and also completed such, but it would be ABC who was more than any other volunteer, driving the early development of SLCARC, the ham participating in  the S.A.F.E. Neighborhoods Disaster Response Plan and the growth and development of the volunteer training program for that disaster plan.
    1. In Spring 2008 Susan and Mike, did it again—taking a second CERT class — this time within the SLC’s developing CERT system.  They realized you don’t digest a lot of the CERT material the first time round.
    1. Then in fall 2008, they did it again, this time with Salt Lake County Fire system.  They realized the important of neighboring jurisdictions and that there was still not much training happening after CERT graduation.  As Fire said to them; Fire was tasked to teach CERT not develop a vast community infrastructure.  That was mostly on us.
    1. Within SLC, better times were coming.  In fall 2009 Cory Lyman became Salt Lake City’s Emergency Management Director and was tasked to develop program.  This reflected the wider nation-wide concern for better emergency preparedness.
    1. About February 2010, John Flynt was hired as the Preparedness Coordinator for Salt Lake City’s Office of Emergency Management.  While holding an early coordination meeting among responders on Saturday June 12, the Red Butte Pipeline Leak Emergency began.  They immediately went into response mode.  TMS and ABC who were also in Police Corp’s, Mobile Watch unit, were soon handing out fliers to effected residents, and a day or two later, doing communications and other response work down at Liberty Park where dozens of volunteers were doing such things as saving the waterfowl.
    1. After the FRS, etc. comms experiences at Liberty Park, the Smiths realized it was wise to license as Ham Radio Operators and stay involved.  They obtained their Technician class license a month later.
    1. 2011 was another busy and important preparedness year.  In April KJ7ABC started weekly nets for the Southeast Division CERT hams.  This was the early beginning of our club’s net. In June a number of CERT Incident Commander trainees around the city exercised, setting up their command posts in what was called “The Functional Exercise.”  This event also was valuable experience for the city’s EM staff — particularly as it would contributed to the development of the S.A.F.E. Neighborhoods Disaster Response Plan.  In October a sizable drill was held in Sugarhouse Park that practiced CERT activities interacting with Ham Comms.  From the Park, TMS connected with KA7TPH who had located by City Hall.  TMS was assisted by OD Williams (now a Silent Key) an Elmer out of the Foothill Net group. Foothill is not only still active, it continues as perhaps the best organized comms group in the city that operates at the local group level.
    1. 2012 was monumental.  As mentioned on the club website, in April 2012 we participated in Utah’s first, Statewide Great Utah ShakeOut.  Crossroads coordinated with SLC EM, holding at Highland Park Elementary School, CERT and sheltering events.  Prior to Highland Park, the city’s EM office also held a smaller brief Ensign Elementary activity.  These activities began a coordination process between SLCEM, elementary schools, CERTS, Red Cross Sheltering principals and SLCARC Hams.
    1. 2013 was also monumental.  The term S.A.F.E. Neighborhoods (SN) first appears in Susan’s notes in 2013.  This is when John Flynt’s SN Plan began moving beyond the core professional SLCEM staff over to the volunteers who would implement this disaster plan.  August 2013 brought the Open House for the city’s new Public Safety Building.  This event culminated years of work to obtain for the city, a fine PSB facility.  Importantly its Emergency Operations area contained a much envied, dedicated Ham Radio Room in the heart of the city’s response headquarters, and much new equipment, including our first repeater on 448.525 with -100 offset.
    1. 2014 was perhaps our richest event year.  In Feb 2014 ham active at the weekly CERT net transitioned to our Salt Lake Crossroads Amateur Radio Club Net.  It was then held weekly on 147.5 simplex Thursdays at 2100 hrs.   As I mentioned above, at this time the club was formed and we became the officially designated ham organization to umbrella the other ham groups in the city, foster close relationships with our elementary schools and other neighborhood volunteer groups. It was an honor to become this valuable ham group, and its considerable workload that will never be completely finished.  The position was earned through years of previous service experience. Future club leaders must work to preserve and expand upon this unique heritage.

            At the April 2014 Shakeout we held our second an exercise at Highland Park Elementary.  John’s MSEL control system made the event run much more smoothly and we used evaluators and controllers in our exercises for the first time.  For our fall exercise we held a joint exercise between the HRR, Indian Hills and McGillis elementaries.  Also of note was the workshop Vigilant Guard, held on Nov 4. This broadly based exercise involved agencies coordinating with elements of the National Guard with some SN activities occurring locally. During this time early club president Susan was very active, visiting the graduating CERT classes and notifying them there were things to do after graduation. Graduating CERTS now had places to go and they were coordinated within four city quadrants.. SLCARC was a primary force in coordinating the events associated with these exercises, drills, and the active CERT groups around the city.

     

  • Post 2014 items are quite well covered on the club’s website slcarc.org.  Check it out.  The most important things to be said about this later period that is not well mentioned in that website material, is that SLCEM began to downsize.  This trend accelerated with the arrival of COVID.   In 2021 the EM program, was reformed into the Fire Department.  More than ever before, local S.A.F.E. Neighborhoods training, drill, and exercise leadership fell to SLCARC.  However, during this time the Smith’s were rolling out the previously developing S.A.F.E. Neighborhoods Training Program.  The slcarc.org website matured to carry much of this important volunteer response education material, including its Ambassadors components.  Check it out & train with us, because building functional infrastructure for our city’s disaster volunteer response plan is still largely up to SLC neighborhood volunteers.

73s from KM7TMS & KJ7ABC

Standard Load Instructions

Instructions to New Standard Load Users

Introduction

Welcome to the “Standard Load.” This is a standard programming sequence designed to make your radio operations faster and easier. It is also designed to give you local control over your own frequencies while somewhat standardizing channels and channel names county-wide.

Underlying Philosophy for This List

Military and EMS personnel know that careful radio programming is essential to successful communications in emergency situations. Good communications in times of crisis can mean the difference between life and death or mitigating property losses.

In addition, in day-to-day operations and in training, having a common set of channel numbers and names will make it much easier for new operators to learn how to navigate the large number of frequencies that might be needed in an emergency situation.

Printed Copies

Many of us are visual learners, so looking at a tiny HT screen may not be enough for some of us. In addition to the pre-programming on our radios, we have created “standard load cards” that operators can carry with their radios or in their wallets. I also keep a full-sized printout in my emergency binder (the same place that I keep my license, ICS forms, etc.) and another small copy folded up behind my ARES ID. 

Standard Load Design and Customization

(See Appendix B for an example of a printed standard load card.)

Green Local Channels

Channels 1-10: Neighborhood, Church, Group, Club, Schools, City, etc.These channels are for local groups to assign. We recommend that local groups work together and agree on a schema and make channel number and name assignments. By working together you will gain the most benefit from the standard load methodology in that you can, for example, tell your local users, “turn to channel 3” if you want them to access a specific neighborhood frequency. We recommend that you place your selected frequencies in order from where you stand outward. In my case that would be my local area (known as a Ward in my case), district, city, and county. However, you might also want to include a club, or some other entity or organizational level. You may even want to include listen-only FRS or weather channels. It is completely up to local groups how to organize these first 10 channels. Again, and we can’t stress this enough, you will benefit the most from the standard load methodology if you coordinate locally, and agree on these first ten channels to the extent possible. 

Our Local Decisions Example– We decided to assign the first few channels to “Ward” and “Stake” because our emergency radio operators all work under the auspices of the LDS Church in my neighborhood. Perhaps your neighborhood is different. Had we worked under civil authority our parlance might be “Area” and “District” or some other nomenclature. (It really doesn’t matter. You get to decide how to program your frequencies. But we still recommend that you start from where you stand and work outward.) Then we skipped channel 3, saving that for future use. Then channels 4 and 5 were assigned for city use. Channel 4 was for the Draper repeater and 5 was for the Draper simplex backup frequency. Then we skipped another channel for future use. We placed the ARES check-in frequency on Channel 7. Our reasoning was that this is the first place we are going to call outside of Draper City when things get very bad. Finally, after skipping Channel 8, we placed the local NOAA station in the channel 9 slot because many of our operators own radios that don’t have a weather station capability. The district next to ours made very different decisions. They still worked outward, but they used every channel. But, they did place the Draper frequencies on channels 4 and 5 so that they would be consistent with us since we are in the same city and would be working together. 

11-20 – Alternate repeaters for Salt Lake County:We have researched these repeaters over the past three years in two ways. We have continually attempted to use each repeater and we have sought information from various ARES members, Draper Ham Radio Association Officers, Kelly Weldon (our Salt Lake County Emergency Coordinator), and we used data from the Utah VHS Society Website. Based on the best information we can collect, we compiled this list of what we felt were a stable set of repeaters that we believe are likely to be available during an emergency. We make this claim based on our:

  • Ability to communicate on these repeaters from many areas of the county over several months. 
  • Word of mouth verification that the repeaters are stable and work throughout the county.
  • Documentation that the repeaters have emergency power and solid ERP. 

Therefore, we strongly urge local groups to leave this list as it is since it is possible that we may use some of these repeaters during an emergency situation – so having them pre-programmed, with agreed upon channel numbers county-wide would be beneficial. However, local groups may, if they have compelling reasoning, modify this list.

21-30 – Neighboring Locations:This block should be changed by local groups to fit their needs. We left our pre-programmed repeaters on the list to provide an example of our decisions. In our case, a section of Draper City is over the border inside Utah County on the south side of South Mountain in Utah Valley. Therefore, we included Utah County ARES repeaters on our list. In addition, we included a link to the Sinbad system and links further west to Tooele County. This allows us to reach out to our immediate neighbors. We recommend that your group consider who you might want to reach outside your immediate area and add those frequencies here. 

Red ARES Channels

The ARES Band Plan has been in place for some years. This list should look familiar to most ARES members. (With the exception of the addition of Hospital 9.) Note also that we moved all of the digital channels to the end of the list because only a few users will utilize those channels. I won’t restate all the channels in these instructions. Instead, I recommend that you review the excellent ARES graphic meant for this purpose – the ARES band plan. http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=c2xjb2FyZXMubmV0fHNsY29hcmVzfGd4OmQwMjFkNzdkMjg0ODQ2MA

Other Channels

Grey National Calling Frequencies

These two simplex frequencies are the standard calling frequencies. They are used for the Wilderness Protocol as well.

Blue Specialty Channels:This is a mixed group of channels used by those who have the equipment designed for these purposes.

Purple Statewide Channels:These channels are special use frequencies that may be assigned at any point during an emergency.

Brown UHP Channels:Self Explanatory. (Listen only.)

Orange Safe Neighborhoods Channels:

These are the coordinated frequencies for each city/township/unincorporated area in the valley. These frequencies are found in each of the Amateur Radio Frequencies Plan for Disasters S.A.F.E. Neighborhoods Program JIT Kits found at each Safe School and at each town/city EOC. 

Rules for use of these frequencies:

  1. These frequencies are intended for S.A.F.E. Schools and City EOC emergency use.
  2. Before operating S.A.F.E. Schools and City EOCs should check in with Net Control (Channel RES_1 Frequency 146.620 -).
  3. S.A.F.E. Schools can call their city EOC.
  4. City EOCs can call their S.A.F.E. Schools and other city EOCs.

Why All the Blank Rows?

The blank rows are there to give local groups space for programming their own frequencies. Other blank rows are there to allow for on-the-fly programming during an emergency. For example, ARES may need to designate a new frequency that is not on this table as “Hospital 10.” To make things easier for everybody, we can all program into our radios a new HOSP10 frequency without having to delete a frequency. In addition, some radios have a very limited number of channels and treat unused channels differently when programming. Having the blanks on the color-coded printed card will make it easier to identify where a much-needed space is available. 

Appendix A: Requests & Questions (And Answers)

Could you please add 30 or 40 more green channels up front so I can move my “favorite” channels to the front?

Sorry, no…The reason of course is that this is a “standard load.” The whole concept is to have a standard set of channel numbers for everybody in the valley for each of the frequencies. This standard load is NOT meant to be a way to make it easier for just one person or one group. 

Why not add another 10 or 20 green rows then? 

Many of our operators have HTs with a limited number of memory spaces. So adding more green spaces means dropping some of the standard load off the bottom. For example, one of my HTs only has 99 memory spaces. 

So instead, what we recommend is that you use memory registers for your favorites if your radio supports them. Place your favorites in a personal register so that the standard load has a standard channel numbering schema.

I don’t like the repeater list you have in block 11-20 or you didn’t list my favorite repeater, or you listed THAT repeater!!!. 

As I have heard these comments, I’ve tried to get to the bottom of them. Wow! I’ve learned that repeaters and frequencies in this valley are a touchy subject! So I will not play favorites. Make changes if you feel it is the right thing to do. But please, be honest with yourself and your served agencies. Be sure your reasons for making changes are based on documented data and science rather than politics and opinion. Do what you can as a professional to verify that the repeater you add will have a chance of surviving a major earthquake, blackout, or other event. 

PLEASE!

Send Suggestions for Improvements to this document and to the standard load. 

Thanks

Tom, AF7TE

MESH Training

There will be a MESH Training event this coming Saturday, the 28th of October at the Miller Public Safety and Education Building in room 275 starting at 9AM. 

 

Please feel free to forward this to invite your friends!  We have a large room!  Hams and even non Hams that are interested in the Public Safety value of MESH in an emergency are welcome.

 

Session 1  9AM – 9:50  Basic MESH what is it, how does it work, what can it do.  OK, I have a link up, Now what do I do? (covered briefly, Session 3 more in depth)

 

Session 2  10AM – 10:50  Advanced MESH –When you use something in a different way than the Engineers designed it,  Bad things will happen! How to make it work, with the Wasatch 100 as an example of one solution to MESH issues.    How to make AREDN work in the real world.  The three issues that AREDN has that will bring the network to a screeching halt, and how to solve or get around them.

 

Session 3  11:00AM – 11:50  Tools and programs to help set up and utilize MESH,  The three Step method to make sure a link will work.  What can you do on the MESH pipeline?  (Bring a laptop if you can to setup and view online tools for yourself – not a lot of power outlets, will have some for you).

 

Afterwards MESH Equipment show and tell, examples of hardware, and also Hardware available to be purchased at Super Buy prices – normally much less than the going rate!

 

Miller Public Safety & Education Building (410 West 9800 South Sandy)

Salt Lake Community College Miller Campus

Room 275

 

 

 

 

 

After the training, the following MESH equipment will be available:

 

ESH Ham Radio Equipment Super Buy!

 

Used Nanobridge M2 Radio only  $20 each

 

Used Nanobridge M5 Radio only   $25 each

Used Ubiquiti Networks NanoBridge M2 2.4Ghz and M5 5.8GHz MIMO  Radio only – This will fit in the NanoBridge high gain dish that many of you have already.  The 5.8Ghz and 2.4Ghz radios are inter-changeable, allowing you to have a go-kit parabolic system with both radios!  I have several radios in my bag of each frequency programmed with different loads, Ubiquity OS, HSMM-Mesh and AREDN.  You just plug in the one you need!

 

Ubiquiti Nanostation M2   $40 each  These are the more powerful Nanostation, not the Nano Loco.

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All are used, tested, in working order, but you will have to flash them your self if you plan to load another system like AREDN on them and not use the native Ubiquiti Air OS.

 

I also have new Ubiquiti Gigibit POE power supplies, 24 volt .5 amp units for $5 each or three for $10

Brand New Ubiquiti 24 Volt POE Switching Mode Power Supply, Model GP-A240-050  (part # POE-24-12W), Input 100-2401V, 50/60Hz Max 0.3A, Output DC 24V 0.5A with reset button.  Not only provides power to the device, but protection from storm pulses when connected to a grounded outlet and with proper Ethernet cabling.  PoE Adapters are highly reliable, and when used with Ubiquiti TOUGHCable™ (STP cable) with proper STP ends, they provide earth grounding and surge protection to help protect against electrostatic discharge (ESD) events

 

Please email me back with the quantity you are interested in

 

Remember, I do not warranty these units, they should all be working when I got them.

 

You can pick them up this coming Saturday morning (21st) from 8 AM till Noon at:

 

5168 West Carolee Hill Circle

West Jordan, Ut  84084

 

Please bring exact change, that is greatly appreciated.

 

Please pass this email on to your friends that might be interested, and tell them to email me if they want some, and to be put on the Super Buy list.

 

MESH basic and Advanced Training Sessions coming at the Larry Miller POST  Academy … Will send out an announcement soon.  


David T. Bauman
KF7MCF

 

kf7mcf@hotmail.com

Ham Radio Technician Class

Dear Friends of Amateur Radio,

We’re pleased to announce that Marvin Match (KA7TPH) will be teaching another Technician course in amateur radio in preparation to take the FCC exam.

  • Thursdays, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • November 2, 2017 through January 11, 2018 — skipping Thanksgiving
  • At the SLC Public Safety Building (PSB), 475 South 300 East, Salt Lake City, UT  84111
  • 1st floor Community Room  (enter at the small door on the northside of the PSB)
  • Parking is available in a small parking lot behind the PSB to the east and on 500 South
  • Scheduled for ten weeks of instruction but may be less, depending on student needs
  • $35includes book and license exam fee; bring cash to the first class
  • Registerat http://www.bereadyslc.com/community-preparedness/ham-radio/for the instructor to know how many books are needed
  • Walk-in registrations are accepted, but books will be distributed first to pre-registrants

There are many ways to study for the FCC exam, but attendance at a live course provides extra content, an opportunity to see live demonstrations and ask questions, and to meet a great group of people aiming for the same goal.  We hope to see you there!

73 (“Best regards” in ham lingo),

Susan

Susan Smith, President

Salt Lake Crossroads Amateur Radio Club

www.k7xrd.blogspot.com

www.slcarc.org

SSmithRPh@gmail.com