News

Emcom

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
Chairman 
IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee.

World Amateur Radio Day 2014

World Amateur Radio Day

Each year on 18 April, radio amateurs celebrate World Amateur Radio Day. On that day in 1925 the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) was founded. 

Amateur radio has truly entered the 21st Century. In less than 100 years amateur radio communications has evolved from crude spark-gap technology to digital signal processing and software-defined radios. The amateur's HF choice between voice and CW has been expanded to a broad range of communication choices from television to spread spectrum. 

Amateur digital communications has evolved. At the end of World War II until the early 1980's, radioteletype, also known as RTTY, was the only HF digital mode available to amateurs. In the 1980's, AMTOR made its debut along with the increased popularity and availability of personal computers. AMTOR was the first amateur digital communication mode to offer error-free text transmission. 

From the early 1980's, the rate of change increased dramatically. Packet Radio emerged and for a period of time was the most popular form of amateur digital communication. As microprocessor technology became more sophisticated, there was a rise in modes such as Clover, PACTOR, and G-TOR that were capable of error-free exchanges under marginal band conditions. In the late 1990's, there was an invention that harnessed personal computer technology to create PSK31. 

In the VHF-UHF frequency ranges, Packet Radio had less activity at the close of the century than it did in the 1980's and 1990's. However, Packet Radio was reborn as the popular Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) and traditional packet systems still exist to support public service activities with greatly enhanced functionality. 

Thanks to individual amateurs, hams now enjoy digital meteor scatter contacts and even moonbounce on VHF and UHF frequencies with modest stations. An ordinary computer sound device and software that can be downloaded free from the internet is all that is needed. 

The Japan Amateur Radio League developed the D-STAR digital voice and data standard and there has been significant amateur growth as amateurs establish D-STAR repeater networks on the VHF, UHF and microwave bands. 

All of these development have inspired amateurs around the world to experiment in their own HF, VHF, UHF and microwave band digital communication. 

Activities on the occasion of World Amateur Radio Day  can be a great opportunity to spread the word about what the "hams" are doing in the 21st Century. 
http://www.iaru.org/world-amateur-radio-day.html

MARTS ACTIVITIES - 2014

MARTS ACTIVITIES - 2014 (Format PDF)

MARTS Media Release: MARTS played Role in Mysterious Missing Airliner MH370 Response

The disappearance of a Malaysian Airline Boeing 777 jetliner with 239 passengers on board is a mystery that nine nations are trying to solve.   But during its early hours ham radio was called in to help with the human aspect of the situation and MARTS responded to the calls immediately.

----- Quoted by Disaster Communication Committee of International Amateur Radio Union -----

Following the mysterious disappearance of the Malaysian Airline Boeing 777-200ER jetliner with 239 passengers aboard, the airline’s Emergency Management Centre (EMC) at Kuala Lumpur Airport provided hotel accommodations for next of kin. The Malaysian Amateur Radio Transmitters' Society (MARTS) President, Mohd Aris Bernawi, 9M2IR, said his organization was asked to provide a link between the airport and the hotel.

MARTS quickly set up a station, led by Zanirul Akhmal Zanirun, 9M2PRO, with Azizi Samsuri, 9W2ZZE, as the airline’s team leader. The Negeri Sembilan Amateur Radio Club (NESRAC) provided volunteers for the station at the EMC. MARTS set up a cross-band VHF/UHF link to avoid any unnecessary interference to and from public service communications, and an HF link was added later. During the callout 11 Amateur Radio volunteers were at the EMC and 23 volunteers at the hotel.

9M2IR, who oversaw the entire process, said MARTS — an IARU member-society — was pleased to be able provide the communication link as the search for flight MH370 continues. — Thanks to Jim Linton, VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee

----------------------------------- end of quoted text ---------------------------------------

Read more: MARTS Media Release: MARTS played Role in Mysterious Missing Airliner MH370 Response

USA snow storm activates emergency communications

From normally sunny Florida comes news that on Monday, January 27 at 1700 hours, during rare winter storms, the Escambia County Emergency Management called out the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES). It had 46 radio amateurs active during this weather event that saw freezing hazardous icy conditions close land transport on local roads, interstate routes and many bridges. ARES members were at the Emergency Operations Centre, and two public shelters (one winter weather shelter, and one train derailment shelter) were opened during the storm.

Read more: USA snow storm activates emergency communications

Amateur Radio - Condensed Version

STRONG TYPHOON HITS PHILIPINES

STRONG TYPHOON HITS PHILIPPINES

The Super Typhoon Haiyan has affected the Philippines, triggering flooding, destroying buildings and causing millions of people to take shelter.


Ramon Anquilan DU1UGZ of the Philippines Amateur Radio Association (PARA) reports that the typhoon made landfall at about 4.40am local time today in Guian Estern Samar, about 600 kilometres southeast of Manila, and neighbouring provinces are affected.

Then it made second landfall over Dulag-Tolosa, Leyte with maximum sustained winds of 235 kilometres per hour near the centre and gusting up to 275 kph.

Sadly the area of Bohol and Cebu, which suffered from the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in October, are also along the typhoon's path. Bohol was the epicentre of the earthquake that killed 222 people, where at least 5,000 survivors still living in tents.

There is no power in many areas including Masbate, Ticao Island, Southern Sorsogon, Romblon, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Biliran, Northern Cebu, Cebu City, Bantayan, Camotes Islands, Northern Negros Occidental, Capiz, Aklan, Antique, Iloilo, Guimaras and Dinagat Province.

Ramon DU1UGZ said, "HERO (Ham Emergency Radio Operator) have reported that those along the typhoon path have shut down their radios as they wait out for it to pass. In a few hours, we feel we should be hearing them again."

Already there have been some 270 postings of emergency traffic. More reports are expected. Earlier PARA called for the frequencies of 7.095 and 144.740 to be kept clear for emergency traffic.

Typhoon Haiyan, the world's strongest this year, and some reports make it potentially one of the most intense recorded.

The Philippines is battered by an average of 20 major storms or typhoons each year. Typhoon Bopha left about 2,000 people dead or missing on Mindanao Island in December 2012.

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

Subcategories