Archive for April, 2008

AREN April Meeting 2008 Report

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

AREN April Meeting

Last Saturday the 12th of April, commencing at 10AM, AREN held a meeting in the Clonmel Park Hotel, on the outskirts of Clonmel, South Tipperary.

There was a very satisfactory turnout, with members attending from Dublin, Waterford, Tipperary and as far away as Donegal, and West Cork.

The guest speaker was Mr. Paul Gaskell, G4MWO, of RAYNET UK.

The photograph above was taken as the meeting was ending. It shows:
Back L-R:

Paul Sinclair EI5GTB
John McCarthy EI8JA
Fergus Millar EI6IB
Paul Gaskell G4MWO
John Burke EI2JB.

Sitting L-R:
Bernard Tyers EI8FDB
Tim McKnight EI5GPB
John Ronan EI7IG
Conor O Neill EI4JN.
Not shown: Eamon (Eddie) Kavanagh EI3FFB, Paul Norris EI3ENB, John Ketch EI2GN)

The meeting began with an overview of what AREN actually is, and what it’s role within Amateur Radio is. This was very useful to give members a clear understanding of what is required of an AREN member.

A run-through of the organisation internal structure was given and also the new committee was introduced to members, as well as new members introducing themselves to everyone.

The committee changes that took place were:

* Outgoing Finance officer Dave Moore is succeeded by Tim McNight
* Conor O’Neill continues in Operations
* John Ketch stands down as National Co-Ordinator, but remains on the
committee in a new role as Secretary
* Mark Wall stands down as PRO leaving the position open
* John Ronan takes over as our new National Coordinator, again leaving the
Technical Co-Ordinator open

(Expressions of interest are welcomed – please contact us if interested).

A lively discussion around AREN fundamentals, member competencies, technical, operational, and teamwork then took place. These were all important to build a sense of a common team goal, and technical expertise within the AREN organisation.

An introduction to the concept of Net Control was also given. Net Control is responsible and manages such functions as activating and assigning Net resources, assigns tactical calls, keeping a good log, assures that traffic messages are moved quickly and efficiently.

A discussion on the possible usage of the 5MHz radio spectrum also took place. This spectrum would be very beneficial in conditions when other radio spectrum was unusable.

AREN‘s role in national emergencies was then discussed. It is hoped that AREN will be able to assist national voluntary and primary response agencies in an official capacity as part of a National Emergency Plan.

After lunch John, EI7IG and Conor, EI4JN, organised a table-top exercise. This was to put the attendees in the Emergency Communications mind-set, and thinking about some of the problems that could potentially occur.

After the exercise, a review of 2007 exercises, operational details and a financial report was discussed.

John and Conor presented different go-kit set-ups. Essentially a radio go-kit is a small, portable, bag with all the necessary equipment to set-up an emergency radio communications station.

A good rule-of-thumb with making a go-kit is:

“It is better to have the bare essentials always handy than to leave a bulky pack someplace where you can’t get to it”.

Emcomm Radio go-kits

Paul, G4MWO, of RAYNET, gave an interesting and useful talk about RAYNET operations in England, technical discussions RAYNET are involved with, and issues RAYNET have had to overcome when dealing with other voluntary, and non-voluntary response organisations in the UK.

John, EI7IG then gave a technical report of the GAISS project, which was a collaboration between AREN, the TSSG research group in Waterford IT, and the South East Mountain Rescue Association.

The meeting ended with an open discussion on various topics.