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



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.


This year, the 2013 worldwide Jamboree-On-The-Air (JOTA) was held from the 19th to the 20th of October. JOTA is the largest event held by the Scouts and Guides annually. Every year, thousands of Scouts and Guides share program ideas, greetings and experiences on the airwaves with their counterparts hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of miles away.

Many new friendships are forged this way using radio-waves to communicate with the many Amateur Radio stations setup across the world for this huge gathering. 

In North Malaysia, one of the JOTA was at the SJK (C) Sin Ya at Bukit Mertajam in Penang State led by Scout District Commissioner of Bukit Mertajam Mr. Tan Sow Sung, 9W2SCO. It was the largest JOTA gathering in the country, with a total of 700 Scouts and Guides participating, including some 30 Scouts from neighboring Thailand and one of their Directors of Education.

Read more: JOTA

Powerful Cyclone Hits India

Powerful Cyclone Hits India

As Cyclone Phailin hit the Bay of Bengal in India on Saturday (October 12) it flooded thousands of homes, killed at least five people and forced 800,000 others to evacuate.

In anticipation, amateur radio operators were ready to provide emergency communications and help spread up-to-date information on the storms damage and path.

Many mud homes and farms were destroyed, and uprooted trees blocked roads. The windy and wet  Cyclone had deluged some areas causing one of the largest evacuations in India's history.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he had directed the central government extend all needed assistance to state officials.

The National Institute of Amateur Radio reports that it has several ham radio operators involved. The cyclone did weaken when it reached the coast, but its impact is still severe.

Jose Jacob VU2JOS and VU2MCW Mukesh Kumar Gola VU2MCW are to reach Odisha and begin operating.

During the Paradwip Cyclone in 1999, the Chief Minister's house was without power and telecommunications. It was then ham radio operators who provided a link to rescuers and the outside world.

In the current disaster the army, air force and navy are helping in rescue and relief operations. However more details are not immediately known due to the large population involved and the normal slowness of official data.

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



Radio Amateur Examination - Series No. 9 - 2013

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The recent 'battery only' power training exercise in Malaysia, aimed at passing messages and testing day-time propagation paths, involved around 30 radio amateurs who were assisted by five shortwave listeners.

IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee's Johnny Tan 9M8DB noted that some drove 800km from Kuching to Miri for the exercise that tested paths between west to east Malaysia, and most certainly prepared everyone involved for disaster communications.

The emcomm message handling exercise on voice was a success. Due to some missing connectors lost in transportation the use of PSK31 had to be postponed to a later date.





Emcom stations taking part in the above exercise shall be on 2m and the CoAs as according to the IARU R 3 bandplan adopted at the 15th IARU Region 3 Conference held in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam in 2012.

CoA frequencies are as below :

Emergency CoA frequency 3.600 MHz ( All Modes ± 5 KHz )

Emergency CoA frequency 7.110 MHz ( All Modes ± 5 KHz )

Emergency CoA frequency 14.300 MHz ( All Modes ± 5 KHz )

Emergency CoA frequency 18.160 MHz ( All Modes ± 5 KHz )

Emergency CoA frequency 21.360 MHz ( All Modes ± 5 KHz )


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