Archive for the ‘news’ Category

Indonesian disasters – update

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

As the dual natural disasters of an erupting volcano and the aftermath of a Tsunami continue, ORARI (Organisasi Amatir Radio Indonesia) has advised how its members are providing emergency communications.

ORARI International Affairs Coordinator, Wisnu Widjaja YB0AZ said, “Our members are still working in the field at Mount Merapi Eruption disaster and Mentawai Tsunami. We are working on the 2-metre band and HF is 7.065MHz.”

He asks that the 40m frequency and the IARU Region 3 Emergency Centre of Activity Frequencies be kept clear from regular use.

“We are supporting communication for rescue, first aid, medic, food and logistics. We are embedded with the local government and Ministry of Communications and Information Technology Rescue Team,” said Wisnu YB0AZ.

Mount Merapi at Yogyakarta province has had a series of eruptions and claimed 138 lives. Volcanic ash air pollution is also disrupting international flights and hampering local aircraft movements delivering much needed medical and other supplies. Thousands have fled the immediate volcano area.

Meantime the tsunami triggered by a 7.2 magnitude quake that hit the Mentawai Islands washed away coastal villages claiming an estimated 400 lives. Aid is yet to reach all of the remote and sparsely populated areas.

Wisnu YB0AZ said that especially in the Mentawai disaster, communications support is being provided to the Indonesian Red Cross.

Our thoughts are with the ORARI Communication and Rescue Task Force team members as they enter another week of providing emergency communications, often in difficult circumstances.

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

Communication support for dual disasters in Indonesia

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Following two natural disasters, an earthquake triggered tsunami, and separately an erupting volcano, radio amateurs are providing their help as the enormous response effort continues.

ORARI (Organisasi Amatir Radio Indonesia) International Affairs Coordinator, Wisnu Widjaja YB0AZ has provided initial information about the involvement of radio hams in the dual disasters that hit the Indonesian archipelago this week.

He said that the ORARI Communication and Rescue Task Force has joined the team of the Disaster Management of Directorate General Post and Telecommunications, Ministry of Communication and Informatics Republic of Indonesia.

They have been operating in the field and provide communications support to the government and communities in the area where the eruption of Mount Merapi catastrophe at Yogyakarta province and the earthquake also followed by tsunami at Mentawai of West Sumatra,? said Wisnu YB0AZ.

Media reports that at least 170 died, mostly drowned after the tsunami triggered by a 7.7 magnitude offshore earthquake struck the Mentawai islands late Monday off the west coast of Sumatra. Up to 400 others are missing.

While on the island of Java, several hundred kilometres away, 29 were killed when the volcano, Mount Merapi, erupted on Tuesday releasing clouds of hot gas, rocks and laver into the air. almost 42,000 people had fled to temporary shelters around the nearby city of Yogyakarta as the area is covered in volcanic ash.

The remoteness of the affected areas, poor communications, and the ongoing disaster response and relief efforts are likely to see the OARI Communication and Rescue Task Force involved for some time yet.

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

Thai Radio Amateurs assisting with relief efforts.

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

The worst flooding in decades in part of Thailand caused by heavy monsoon rain over the past two weeks has claimed at least 56 lives and affecting 940,000 homes in 32 provinces.

The Bangkok Post newspaper has reported that amateur radio operators in Nakhon Ratchasima and Chaiyaphum are helping authorities coordinate rescue and relief efforts.

The IARU member Radio Amateur Society of Thailand (RAST) on its website reports that the communications talents and capabilities of radio amateurs are being put to good use.

Nakhon Ratchsima is Thailand?s biggest province, which has a population of 2.7 million in 32 districts with 3,700 villages.

The natural disaster has destroyed more than 80,000 hectares of rice paddies, most just weeks away from harvest time that provides many farmers with their annual source of income.

The Nakhon Ratchasima Amateur Radio Association (NRARA) has set up a coordinating centre using the call sign HS3AN.

Located at the provincial hall, it has been working closely with government agencies, relaying details about the emergency situation to officials and relief workers.

NRARA President, Charnchai Siriamornpan HS4XU, said amateur radio operators had also pitched in to help soldiers, volunteers and foundation workers get food to flood victims and ferry women are in advanced stages of pregnancy to hospital.

The Bangkok Post said that government licensed amateur radio users are allowed to communicate with one another using VHF and HF (short wave) radio communications. They often operate in areas where mobile phone signals can’t reach.

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

AREN Wins IRTS Arup Cup.

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

Last Sunday at the IRTS AGM in Dundalk, AREN were presented with the Arup Cup. The certificate that was also presented read:

“This Award is presented to AREN Communications Volunteers in recognition of their continuous training, operations and achievements for the good of the community.”

Accepting the cup on behalf of AREN volunteers John Ronan, EI7IG said “To be honest, I was caught completely by surprise on the day. That said, I think the award is due recognition for the work being done continuously by various groups country wide, whooperate under the AREN banner. This work includes, not only the operating on the day, but also the public relations aspect, which, although secondary, is of no less importance to the hobby as a whole. I’m delighted on behalf of everyone involved in Emergency Communications throughout the country.”

Arup Cup
The Arup family donated this cup to the Society in memory of their son EI3M who died at an early age.  The cup is beautifully crafted in Danish silver and is awarded for exceptional service to the Society or to Amateur Radio.  The cup was first awarded in 1948 to Howard Coombs EI6J.

AREN will be assisting with communications next Saturday the 8th of May when the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland will be bringing their fleet of
boats into Dublin along the Grand Canal. They are looking to recruit some additional operators for the exercise which will give you a flavour of life along the inland waterways as well as an interesting introduction to AREN.

The operation will be from dawn to dusk but even if you can assist for a few hours during the day you will be most welcome. Contact Liam EI3HK 086 2521542 or Paul EI2CA 087 2523908.

IARU Region 1 exhibition

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

From the 26 to 30th of April. the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU), Region 1 (Europe, Africa, Middle East and Northern Asia), European Community Sub-Regional Working Group (EUROCOM) is hosting an exhibition in the European Parliment entitled Amateur Radio Benefits Society. The exhibition is sponsored by MEP Mrs Brigit Sippel and was opened by IARU Region 1 President Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T

IRTS and AREN is represented by Seán Nolan, EI7CD, and Séamus McCague, EI8BP (pictured below)

Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Dr. Kristalina Georgieva gives a mention to the exhibition in her Blog and concludes the post nicely with.

The expressions “Humanitarian Aid” and “Crisis Response” often suggest large organisations delivering aid and heavy loads in helicopters or trailers. But, very often, it is about the job of anonymous people that continue to broadcast information and hope from damaged equipment and fallen antennae, as they like to say, “when everything else fails”.

Haiti, Final Update

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

The following update was received from Greg Mossop, IARU Region 1 Emergency Communications Co-Ordinator.

From 1800UTC 22 January the HF frequencies used to respond to the
immediate needs of the Haiti Earthquake, 14.300MHz, 14.265MHz ,
7.045MHz, 7.065MHz, 7.265MHz, 3.720MHz,  3.977MHz will return to normal
use. The groups who have been passing messages on those frequencies will
revert to monitoring mode or their normal operations.

There are still a number of radio amateurs in the country attached to
various relief groups who may still be heard on the amateur bands on a
number of frequencies according to their particular needs to maintain
contact with their home countries.

Please maintain the normal procedures of;

* Listen before transmitting
* If you hear any station passing emergency traffic then leave the
frequency clear and avoid causing QRM.

Thanks to everyone for their assistance during this emergency.

Haiti Update No. 6

Monday, January 18th, 2010

The following update was received from Greg Mossop, IARU Region 1 Emergency Communications Co-Ordinator.

Dear friends,

I just finish a telephone conversation with Rafael HI8ROX who provide
the following information:

1) Repeaters

Port au Prince (Haiti) repeater:
146.880 -600 tone 100

Jimaní (Dominican Republic) repeater
147.970 tone 100 simplex
They will work Thursday morning on this repeater including changing the
antenna to improve coverage.

Both repeaters are working well and usable even with handheld.

Rafael ask the amateur radio operators going to Haiti to take note of
the frequencies.

2) Radio Club Dominicano amateurs are still in Jumaní, when many wounded
are arriving.  They are helping Haitians to contact their relatives and
friends outside of Haiti but they can´t help the world to find specific
individuals in Haiti.  They are receiving many emails with such request
but security and road conditions make impossible to look for specific
individuals in Haiti at the present.

3) Radio Club Dominicano is updating their Facebook account (in Spanish)
regularly.

We are updating news on Haiti received from our Member Societies on our
Twitter account www.twitter.com/iaru_r2 and on our Webpage
www.iaru-r2.org that now has section for Emergency Communications.

73

Ramon Santoyo V., XE1KK
Secretary IARU Region2
xe1kk@iaru.org
www.iaru-r2.org

Haiti Update No. 5

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

The following update was received from Greg Mossop, IARU Region 1 Emergency Communications Co-Ordinator.

The eight amateurs from Radio Club Dominicano (RCD) who were operating under the callsign HI8RCD/HH have had to abort their operations after the convoy they were travelling in was fired on.

EB9GF, who is integrated in the Spanish Red Cross contingent, was able to contact the colleagues from the Radio Club Dominicano (RCD). The RCD has currently two VHF repeaters in use for operations:

- 146.970 (-600), CTCSS 100 Hz. Placed in the Dominican Republic. Please
note that the old frequency 147.970 seems to be wrong.
- 145.350 (-600), CTCSS 100 Hz. New repeater active near the border with
Haiti.

RCD initially reported that their team crossed the Haitian border at 10:50 hours haitian time arriving at the Dominican Embassy in Haiti at 14:29 hours when they started installing and testing their equipment.

Within a few hours though, reports via the RCD Facebook page confirmed by a long telephone conversation between Hugo Ramón HI8VRS and Ramon Sanyoyo V, XE1KK reported that the HI8RCD team of eight amateurs, were back in the border town of Jimani (Dominican Republic). Their convoy, which included other non related Dominicans, was assaulted and one person reported dead.

The Radio Amateurs were uninjured but decided to leave the capital for safety and return to the border unescorted. They report the situation as extremely unsafe and scary.

The repeaters they have installed remain in service linking the Haitian and Dominican capitals,  and are being used by the Red Cross and Civil Defense since there is no other way to communicate. The station at the Embassy in Haiti could not be activated though.

To confirm, all members of the HCD team are safe and have returned to Jimanji in the Dominican Republic.

In other reports, John Henault HH6JH who is engaged in Missionary work with homeless children in Port au Prince continues to make contacts on 20m using power from a neighbour’s generator and very pleased that amateur radio enabled him to let his friends in the USA know he was alive.

Another radio amateur in the country, Pierre Petry HH2/HB9AMO who works for the UN food program is also safe. However nothing is known at this stage of about another ten hams in Haiti.

Thanks to Ismael EA4FSI, Cesar HR2P and Jim VK3PC for their reports.

Haiti Update No. 4

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Frequencies in use from Haiti are now believed to be: 14.300MHz, 14.265MHz, 7.045MHz , 7.065MHz, 7.265MHz, 3.720MHz,  3.977MHz and a 2m repeated on 147.970MHz. The International Radio Emergency Support Coalition (IRESC) is also active on EchoLink node 278173 Please keep clear of these frequencies even if you cannot hear any emergency traffic – stations in the area are low powered and may suffer interference. Some interesting news from the Radio Club Dominicano (RCD) group in Facebook ( Translation by Ismael EA4FSI ):

During the night of the tragedy, amateur radio operators received a message from the Dominican Red Cross, requesting the use of an amateur radio repeater in order to establish communications between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. This repeater started to operate immediately, with the assistance of Mr Joal Cleto HI8RYF and Mr Angel Carpio HI8ABC. Mr Joal Cleto is now leading another group installing additional repeaters in order to improve the communications.

The Radio Club Dominicano has sent communication teams to the neighbour country, in the hope of transmitting from the Dominican Embassy Pétionville, in the following frequencies:  7.045, 7.065, 7.265 and 3.720 (recommended for disasters by IARU) and the 2m repeater in 147.970.

The hams which will operate the Radio Club Dominicano station with callsign HI8RCD/HH are:

Teddy Jimenez HI3TEJ
Candido Guzmán HI8CJG
Fausto Alvarado HI8FLB

We would like to thank Mr. Goyco, who offered the transport logistics to the neighbour country, and INDOTEL for granting the frequencies.

Haiti Update No. 3

Friday, January 15th, 2010

The following update was received from Greg Mossop, IARU Region 1 Emergency Communications Co-Ordinator.

Some status reports are now coming from Haiti but at the moment , no
data regarding survivors or any other ‘Health and Welfare’ traffic is
currently being passed.

Anyone trying to trace family or friends in Haiti should register their
details with the International Federation of the Red Cross at;

http://www.familylinks.icrc.org/web/doc/siterfl0.nsf/htmlall/familylinks-haiti-eng?opendocument

The ICRC are co-operating with the Haitian Red Cross Society and other
Red Cross/ Red Crescent societies around the world to accelerate the
process of restoring contact between separated family members.

Further amateur radio support is on its way to the island, Victor Baez,
HI8VB, Secretary of the Radio Club Dominicano (RCD) reports that the RCD
with UDRA, Unión Dominicana de Radio Aficionados, are preparing to go to
Port au Prince early morning of Friday January 15 to install an
emergency radio Communications station, HI8RCD/HH, and a mobile station.
Victor has a blog which hopefully he will update with more news from
Haiti: www.hi8vb.tk

Some countries in Region 1 have activated their own stations to respond
to the disaster, Jari Perkiömäki, OH6BG has produced some propagation
predictions for 40m and 20m assuming the transmitter has an output power
of 10 watts (very low power) and a compromise antenna. On all receiver
sites on the map (there are hundreds of similar receivers in a grid), it
is assumed that there is an antenna whose gain is equivalent to that of
an 3-element Yagi and is 55 ft (appr. 17 meters) above the ground. His
predictions can be downloaded from;

http://www.voacap.com/hh.zip – 7Mhz propagation predictions

http://www.voacap.com/hh14b.zip – 14MHz propagation predictions

Alonso EA3EPH has produced an alternative MUF prediction available in
Spanish at;

http://www.ipellejero.es/remer/emercomms/Estudio_Circuitos_HF_desde_Puerto_Principe.pdf

Live feeds are available on the internet from receivers better placed in
Region 2 where any traffic can be monitored, these feeds are available
at http://bit.ly/69Mqbr