Emcomm GoBox

Getting ready for natural and man-made disasters

The Malaysian Amateur Radio Transmitters' Society (MARTS) on Saturday May 10, held an 'Emcomm GoBox' contest to show how to pack the minimum essential equipment needed to enable a light-weight, rugged, yet portable emergency communications station.

MARTS wanted local radio amateurs in West Malaysia to produce a complete, compact station, to provide the communications support, if requested by the authorities.

There was a talk by Johnny Tan 9M8DB on the use of the IARU message form by radio amateurs, as a means to better emergency message handling, especially during large scale disaster events with volunteers from other regions and countries.

The judges using a school ground at Kuala Lumpur were Deen Attan 9M2DA and Johnny Tan 9M8DB, both being very impressed with the level of interest and cooperation. In all 12 teams entered with categories covering HF and UHF, and VHF only.

All were required to demonstrate the ease of setting up a station. This setup was timed with points given in addition to those for the design and communication facilities provided.

Each Emcomm GoBox was judged on its merits. Johnny 9M8DB said all entrants are congratulated on their ability to come up with solutions.

While some had a different approach, it was a good learning experience by the entrants and the observing public who saw the volunteer skills and time available from radio amateurs in times of emergency.

Jim Linton VK3PC
IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee.