Archive for April, 2015

AREN Meeting

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

On the weekend of the 18th and 19th of April the Amateur Radio Emergency Network held a training and development event in Dromineer County Tipperary. Members enjoyed a mix of indoor and outdoor activities with Winlink, Fldigi (NBEMS), message handling, navigation skills and go-kit demonstrations to whet the appetite.

 

EI5DD Presenting.

Steve, EI5DD, presenting on his use of 80 meter ground wave

 

EI4JNs stack.

EI4JN showing his mobile/portable HF ‘stack’

 

AREN would like thank Declan EI2GE of the Lough Derg House & Lake Cafe for accommodation, Denis Dillon of Shannon Sailing for the training facilities and especially the members for giving of their time and making the trip to Dromineer.

Earthquake update #4

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

As the time passes the situation in Nepal, hit by a 7.8-magnitude
earthquake over the weekend, seems to be getting worse. Many people are still buried in collapsed buildings and caught in rubble from landslides and there are fears that the number of deaths may increase above the estimated 5,000.

Rescue teams are moving away from capital of Kathmandu, to reach devastated villages near the quake’s epicenter.

National Coordinator for Disaster Communication in India, Jayu S. Bhide VU2JAU, reports that authorities have issued 9N7-prefixed callsigns to some visiting HAMS. He said there was very limited or no power and mobile towers down and mobile recharging was impossible. “In spite of the appalling conditions, the HAM radio operation is in progress and the Nepalese Government has started issuing HAM licences to those visiting HAMs, with callsigns that have the 9N7 prefix. “The authorities have asked for radio stations to be set up at different places to cover most of devastated areas. We are also requesting them to operate on different frequencies to avoid QRM,” said Jayu VU2JAU.

The whole of India has seemingly swung into action to aid the earthquake victims in neighboring Nepal, especially those HAMs who were rarely seen previously. Jayu VU2JAU, Suhas VU2SMN, Peddy VU2PEP Rakesh VU3PUA, Sarath VU2SCV along with some other HAMs have controlled the emergency communication, keeping the frequency busy with messages. They are also trying to get information on the missing people to inform their relatives. A list of 17 missing people from Maharashtra has been passed to 9N1AA, along with 67 others from various countries, with Nepalese authorities involved.

Lists should now be checked against the Red Cross or Google person
finder services at;

http://google.org/personfinder/2015-nepal-earthquake/
http://familylinks.icrc.org/nepal-earthquake/en/pages/home.aspx

to ensure that use is made of the more complete casualty lists available from the Red Cross as they increase their relief activities.

The ARRL along with other groups around the world are trying to respond to the request for VHF handhelds and other equipment which has been passed over the 20m emergency nets. However the process to get even basic emergency supplies and Search and Rescue Teams into the area is hampered by restricted capacity at Kathmandu Airport and Customs procedures. The Nepal Government has signed a customs agreement for the facilitation of emergency relief consignments but even with this agreement in place ( which is solely for humanitarian shipments, not necessarily communications equipment ) the documents that must accompany any humanitarian shipment under the terms of the Agreement are:

1. Cover letter requesting customs clearance (with list of attached
documents);
2. UN Certificate (see template in the Agreement’s Annex), duly
completed by the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s (RC) Office;
3. Completed Custom Entry Form;
4. Bill of Lading/Airway bill (contract of transport), original copy;
5. Commercial Invoice or Deed of Donation;
6. Packing list;
7. Declaration of Origin

This is not an easy process to complete but the ARRL are continuing with their efforts to get the requested equipment through.

Amateur Radio HF nets have been one link between Nepal and the outside world, as Internet service continues to be intermittent and Nepalese hams also are active locally on VHF/UHF.

Radio Amateurs are again requested to keep the frequencies in use by Nepal clear and allow the Nepalese stations to control the flow of
messages, in the same principle as any other distress message.

The current known frequencies are, 14.205, 14.215 and all the designated Region 3 Emergency Centre of Activity frequencies which may be found in the IARU Emergency Telecommunications Guide at
http://www.iaru.org/emergency-telecommunications-guide.html.

 


Greg, G0DUB
IARU Region 1 Emergency Communications Co-Ordinator

Earthquake update #3

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

The death toll of at least 4,300 people and tens of thousands are homeless following the 7.9 earthquake that hit Nepal on the weekend is still engaged in rescue and recovery.

The quake also triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest with many climbers killed or lost.

Jayu VU2JAU the National Coordinator for Disaster Communication in neighbouring India reported that after the first two days the rescue teams are still finding it difficult to trace the missing as well as those who are buried in the ruins.

He said all the officials and police department are working hard among the chaos to help people.

Jayu VU2JAU said: “More than 2500 people are reported to be untraceable.

As one of hotels was demolished where four doctors were staying, only one survived and is located in Red Cross camp injured condition. This is one case but many cases possible like that as the hotel must be holding many people.

“It was also reported that three places had landslides where casualties are expected to be more and the list may increase.”

He reported that people are stranded in many places like at the Airport, Base Camps, Indian Embassy and other places.

Nepal HAMs are facing hard situation. Now another two HAMs along with Satish 9N1AA and Suresh 9N1HA are supported by Pravin 9N1KK and Akarsha 9N1ZZ, along with VU2DMS joined them in operation,” said Jayu VU2JAU.

The Indian Embassy has arranged busses to evacuate people from various places.

Four buses from Mungaling to Birganj, but face two broken bridges on the way and passengers are required to change buses and walk. Another ten buses are running from Pokhara to Mungling since Pokhara reported maximum casualties.

Four HAMs from Gujarat left for Nepal headed by Zala VU2ZNN. They will be reaching Nepal today and set up stations at critical places.

Similarly a four-member team of HAMs are expected to reach tomorrow from North Delhi. Jayu VU2JAU along with Ananda VU2AGJ and Sandip VU2MUE have decided to set up HF and VHF stations at Gorakhpur on the Indo-Nepal border.

-Jim Linton VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee.

Nepal Earthquake – update

Monday, April 27th, 2015

The rescue and recovery work is continuing after the devastating 7.8 on the Richter scale earthquake that claimed at least 2,700 lives, with many missing, and widespread damage in Nepal.

The Nepal Amateur Radio Society is providing emergency communications with their members reported to be active on HF emergency nets as well as on VHF/UHF to handle local traffic. Nepal’s first Amateur Radio repeater, set up in 2012 by the National Society for Earthquake Technology, had a dozen hams who previously engaged in simulated emergency tests.

The 9N1KS repeater 434.500 MHz in and 145.000 MHz out, is on the outskirts of Kathmandu with coverage into the Kathmandu Valley.

Satish Krishna Kharel 9N1AA reports that with help from VU2 in India and others work is continuing. Hams in India have been among the most active responders as parts of Eastern India also suffered earthquake damage.

Satish 9N1AA is using solar power in coordination with the Nepal police in Kathmandu sharing the emergency communications work with Suresh Upreti 9N1HA operating an emergency net on 20 metres on 14.205 and/or 14.215 MHz, has amateurs from around the world involved in message passing including requests for the status of friends and relatives in the disaster areas. Satish 9N1AA said information has already been provided on the status of about 80 loved ones of foreign radio amateurs and others. The 20m operational frequencies of 14.205 and 14.215 MHz have been chosen by the Nepalese stations as it appears they are clearer than higher in the band. Steps are being taken to improve the communications outside the area with Amir 4X6TT offered the facilities of Icelandic station TX4X to operate remotely as this is a low noise location with good antennas and propagation into the affected area.

Sanjeeb Panday, 9N1SP, has been operating on 21.360 MHz with Tim McFadden, KB2RLB/T6TM, a Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) member in Afghanistan. This operation followed procedures exercised with the American Military Auxiliary Radio Service ( MARS ) in 2013 and 2014 in which the emergency scenario was an earthquake in Nepal. Following news of the disaster MARS operators commenced scanning International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Global Emergency Centre of Activity frequencies for stations in Nepal. These frequencies were established as the places to pass emergency traffic in this kind of situation.

Please keep all these frequencies ± 5 kHz clear of *all* transmissions unless you are directly involved in contacts with Nepal.

With more than 17 Red Cross camps set up for affected persons and now that registration of survivors and casualties has commenced use should be made of the Red Cross or Google person finder services at;

http://google.org/personfinder/2015-nepal-earthquake/

http://familylinks.icrc.org/nepal-earthquake/en/pages/home.aspx

There is no cross-border movement so far of radio equipment and radio amateurs with Satish 9N1AA specifically saying that DX hams operating in the area are only possible if they came across as part of a relief team under a government to government arrangement. It is known that amateurs are embedded in some relief teams already heading to the area and steps are being taken to ensure that their frequency usage is co-ordinated with the local response.

Additional radio equipment has been requested on the 20m nets and offers of equipment have been received from many countries to assist. Mobile network and some telephones lines were restored in the late evening along with power in some places and the International Telecommunication Union said on Monday it has sent emergency communications equipment to Nepal to help in the aftermath of the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake. This includes 35 satellite mobile phones and 10 satellite Broadband Global Area Network terminals along with solar panels and laptops to help coordinate the relief effort.

Nepal Earthquake – Report from IARU Region 3

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

EARTH QUAKE STRUCK IN Nepal and parts of India

It was terrible to bear as all of a sudden tremors of earth quack struck in the morning around 11.40 a.m. on 25 April 2015. It surprised all the people and everyone came out of their houses.
The tremor was experienced 2 – 3 times by all. In Gurgaon as reported by OM Kaustubh VU2UUU that all the 250 people evacuated the building to the safer place. After the effect was over all started their work. Immediately the emergency net was started on 14210 mhz. VU2JAU/AT150ITU was controlling the net. All the other HAMs came in to action soon. In Siliguri few buildings are damaged and a school building in Pokhara, where the epic centre of earth quack is damaged badly but no casualty was reported.

OM Suhas VU2SMN joined the net and helped a lot. OM Suhas VU2SMN remained with Jayu VU2JAU/AT150ITU till late night. Soon 9N1AA OM Satish and 9N!HA OM Suresh was contacted. OM Suresh said that he will be on HF in the night but till than OM Satish 9N1AA will be in communication on HF. OM Satish told that there is no power and all are facing problems to get sets on the air. It was advised that they have to transmit only when required with small over?s. He will be operating HF using 25 watts. He also reported that almost 2000 people are affected due to the earth quake having power of 7.7 RV strong. 15 Nepal HAMs are on VHF and are in contacts with each other from different locations. OM Satish 9N1AA is coordinating with Nepal police.

In India 50+ causalities are reported at different areas. It is also understood from OM Kaustubh VU2UUU that 4 companies of NDRF have left for the eastern India. It was announced to the DX HAMs that the emergency net is working on 14210 and all the DX HAMs put it on Cluster and on Social media. It showed its effect soon as the massages started pouring to find out people. More than 15 people were traced out who found to be in good conditions.

OM Suresh 9N1HA who was in Radio Nepal announcing about the missing persons and helping all.9N1DX YL Tej also supported with OM Satish 9N1AA. At 22.10 tremor of 4.5 Rv was experienced and all the people came out of their houses. It was also announced that the tremor will be repeating after each 1.30 hrs so everyone have to stay out for 30 minutes.
Power restored at 2.30 a.m. on 26/4/2015.

OM Amer 4X6TT joined all the HAMs on emergency net. He informed that Turkey HAMs are ready to send HAM equipments to Nepal. OM Amer 4X6TT helped to keep the frequency clear as so many DX stations were working. it was also reported from Spain that 15 people along with medical equipments will be reaching Nepal next day. The DX HAMs supported during the operation are T6TM OM Tim, 4X6TT OM Amer, ZL2TZE, CT7ACG and VK land. The VU HAMs are VU2UUU, VU2DED, VU2DPI, VU3MDL, VU3UNO, VU2VV, VU3GAO, VU2AGJ, VU2SMN, VU2DFB, VU2IWA, VU3PUA, VU2RIY, VU2IVV, VU2UPQ and many more. Myself along with OM Suhas VU2SMN and OM Rakesh VU3PUA stayed on the band whole night for emergency communication net. Our stations are working with no break.

Jayu S. Bhide VU2JAU
National Coordinator for Disaster Communication in India (ARSI) R3.

Chile Volcano

Friday, April 24th, 2015

The Calbuco volcano in the Los Lagos region of Chile erupted for the first time after 54 years of inactivity, forcing the evacuation of an area of 20 kilometers around the volcano. Some 5,000 residents of the area have been evacuated from locations such as Chamisa, Lago Chapo and Route 225.

Marisa Tobella Pinto CE2MT, Director of Emergency Communications, said he advised that 7050 kHz is in use for emergency nets, with the alternative frequencies being 14250 kHz and 3738 kHz.

Winds are pushing the plume of ash towards Argentina where the authorities are also putting emergency arrangements in place and some flights have been cancelled fearing that flying could be dangerous.