Welcome to the Sacramento Valley Regional ARES

ARRL Sacramento Valley Section site and on Facebook Twitter
Links to Storm & Wildfire Information

Hams and Hawaii false alarm

Hawaii's communication breakdown and how going ham could save us
Hawaii's recent false nuclear missile alert showed us how reliant we are on cell phones and modern technology—and how unprepared we are if they become inaccessible. But in case the unexpected happens, an unlikely group of hobbyists—ham radio operators—are standing at the ready and may save us all.

Hams In Emergencies

From Cal OES and Cal OES Auxiliary Communications Service
Recent disasters in the US and around the world have resulted in lost communications. Whether hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or terror attacks response to a disaster is made more difficult without effective communications. Cal OES has at least one answer to that in California - HAMS.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJxPM2X2uQo&list=TLGG91jN3nF9VJAwNzAyMjAxOA    2/7/2018

Supporting Red Cross- Get Familiar with Winlink

To support the Red Cross from many areas in the Sacramento Vallery Section, it is likely we will need to use Winlink. Winlink is perfect for sending long lists of needed supplies or forms.
Two pages to help you get started:

It is time to start planning for winter storms and flooding- Send Winlink Messages to Red Cross Winlink station: KA6ARC

Getting Started with Winlink
http://www.sacvalleyares.org/contents/news/2018/StartingwithWinlink.asp    1/23/2018

End of Year Summary of Sacramento Valley Section ARES Volunteer times - 23,614 hours!

ARRL Section: Sacramento Valley Section
Year: 2017
Total number of ARES members 398
Change since last year 31 +
Number of ARES nets active: 897
Number of nets with NTS liaison: 137
Number of drills, tests and training sessions this year: 610
NUmber of drill Person hours; 12,449
Number of public service events this month: 59
total PS Person hours: 6,910
Number of emergency operations this year: 53
Totl Emergency Person Hours 2,680
Total number of ARES operations this year: 1,756
Total Person hours 23,614    1/10/2018

Joe Pistritto, N3CKF, spoke about ARRL/Red Cross Puerto Rico Disaster Relief Deployment

At the River City ARCS General Meeting on Tuesday, January 2 at 7:30 pm, Joe Pistritto, N3CKF, gave a presentation on his September 28-October 18 deployment as a communications volunteer in the post-Hurricane Maria ARRL/Red Cross Puerto Rico disaster relief effort.

Watch the slide show with audio narration at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPO6XPhwHqE    1/10/2018

Ham's assisting hams

At a recent meeting of the CREBC XE2BNC Baja Radio Club in Mexico saw photos of KE6YUV repeater damage due to a neighboring tower falling due to recent wind storm in the Valley. The club "passed the hat" and send a generous donation to the Berryessa Amateur Radio Klub to assist with the repairs of the repeater that was damaged.
It’s mutual assistance like this that makes Amateur Radio such a great community.

A new Full Service BBS and Winlink gateway now active in Amador County

Dan Edwards, KJ6WYW, has installed a full service BBS station and a Winlink gateway in Amador County.
The BBS and winlink gateway are on 144.370. It is running on a raspberry pi.
Connect to the BBS - KJ6WYW-1 via berr37, or the Winlink gateway via KJ6WYW-10 via berr37    12/27/2017

Good news! KE6YUV repeater is back up and running!

12-21-17 Ken K6WLS and Bill K6KN went up to the repeater site on Thursday. They hooked up two spare antennas as a temporary fix to get the repeater back up and running.
Thank you Ken and Bill!    12/21/2017

KE6YUV Repeater down

The strongs winds this last weekend caused the tower from the communications vault next to us to topple.
When their tower fell, it took out the KE6YUV repeater antennas and stripped the coax from our tower.
View a couple of photos.    12/18/2017

California International Marathon- required 35 Radio Operators

The running of the 35th California International Marathon, December 2, 2017, required 35 Amateur Radio Operators to provided the needed communication support for this event.
California International Marathon (CIM), is hosted by the Sacramento Running Association. This year the event drew over 11,000 runners and an additional 1,000 Relay Teams for the 26.2-mile race from Folsom to downtown Sacramento.
Read more about the CIM
http://www.sacvalleyares.org/contents/news/2017/cim2017.pdf    12/11/2017

DISASTER GUIDE- HOW TO SURVIVE What you need to do before the next fire, earthquake, or flood

From the San Francisco Chronicle: DISASTER GUIDE- HOW TO SURVIVE What you need to do before the next fire, earthquake, or flood.
Lots of great information to help you and your family be prepared.
http://www.sfchronicle.com/survival/    11/19/2017

A Must read: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Winlink 2000

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Winlink 2000
Highly recommended document: The Winlink FAQ is updated regularly by Don Felgenhauer, K7BFL. Don distills information and answers to questions discussed on the Winlink email reflectors by users, gurus, developers and sysops. This 100+ page document is well written and organized for easy consumption. includes info on set ups for using winlink.


Very good introduction to Winlink

Very good presentation on Winlink by Greg Butler KW6GB
Well worth watching.


Simulation shows winds near origins of Oct. 8 fires in Northern California may have been 75-90 mph

Research by the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado into the weather conditions when the devastating October 8 wildfires started in Northern California indicates that hurricane force wind was one of the factors responsiblewind speed conversion table for the extremely rapid spread of the fires that killed at least 43 people and destroyed more than 8,900 structures.
... CAL FIRE has not released the causes of the October 8 confligrations, but at about the same time firefighters were first responding to numerous fires, they also received multiple calls about fallen power lines and electrical transformers exploding.

California law dictates that power lines are supposed to be able to withstand 56 mph.    10/30/2017

Two different perspectives regarding Amateur Radio in Puerto RICO

Two different perspectives regarding ARRL/Red Cross use of Amateur Radio in Puerto RICO

Ham Radio Now: Force of Two


UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Wildfire Assistance Activities

UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Wildfire Assistance Activities
Continue to check this page daily for the latest updates on UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine activities surrounding the Napa area fires.

To date, the veterinary hospital has treated one dog, two llamas, 10 horses, 19 cats, and 33 koi fish.

Many of the fire victims treated are from families who have lost everything. Please consider donating to the SVM Veterinary Catastrophic Need Fund to help treat animals affected by these wildfires.

Ham radio operators have Butte County emergency role

Oroville >> When the Red Cross signaled it would open a evacuation center in Oroville for the Cherokee and La Porte fires, there was a small band of volunteers that may have not been noticed.

They were hauling boxes of equipment to a back room at the Church of the Nazarene. They were part of the Golden Empire Amateur Radio Society, providing communication capabilities to the Red Cross.    10/19/2017

Nevada County Amateur Radio Services operators assist in fire emergencies

Article from the Nevada county Union:

Sacramento Valley Section ARES in ARRL News

ARRL has published a news item on the response of Sacramento Valley Section ARES to the wild fires.
Read http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-section-manager-evacuates-when-fire-comes-within-two-blocks    10/17/2017

Interactive map: Wine Country fires Including Air Quality Map

A well done Interactive map: Wine Country fires
Map updated as information becomes available. From SF Chronicle    10/15/2017

Real Time Fire / Evacuation maps

A fire / evacuation maps
When it finally loads, enter an address or city to check.    10/12/2017

Fires in Yuba / Butte & Calaveras Fire Shelter Frequencies

Fires in Yuba / Butte & Calaveras Fire Shelter Frequencies
NAZ shelter in Oroville

W6SCR 145.290 - 110.9
WD6AXM  146.085 +  127.3

Amador / Calaveras Point Fire
Pioneer Shelter & the Calaveras Shelter
K6ARC 146.835 - 100    10/9/2017

ICS-300 course in January at Mather in Sacramento

CalOES will be offering ICS-300 course in January at Mather in Sacramento.
ICS 300 Intermediate Incident Command System for Expanding Incidents
Here's the link to sign up:


AllThingsFirstnet.com: Public Safety Advocate: When All Else Fails, There Is Ham Radio

... Sometimes it seems we simply assume our communications networks and the Internet will be available all the time, but during Harvey, Irma, and now Maria, many learned that communications capabilities, one of the most important links for all of us, may not always be available when we want them and need them. While our infrastructure companies work at making our systems better, there are times when nature’s fury beats our best efforts. The good news is that when all else fails there will still be amateur radio!
Read article    9/29/2017


From Radio Relay International
http://radio-relay.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/BULLETIN-Hurricane-Maria-2017-9-23.pdf    9/25/2017

Amateur radio enthusiasts are handy in emergencies

From the Davis Enterprise newspaper:
Joe DeAngelo AG6QO is involved in Yolo Amateur Radio Emergency Service, a local branch of ARES, an organization of trained volunteers throughout the United States and Canada who dedicate much of their time to helping with emergency communications    9/25/2017

Mexico Earthquake & Winlink

Because of the outages to communications and basic infrastructure, Mexico's FRME, Federación Mexicana de Radioexperimentadores, A.C., activated their Red HF net along with Winlink capabilities. Mexico has 5 Winlink full service gateways, one in Mexico City itself. XE1VP gateway in Mexico City lost internet but continued to function via HF auto forwarding, normally to gateway N5TW in Texas. An example of Winlink use was at the collapse site at the Enrique Rebsamen School in Mexico City.    9/22/2017

Location of some of the collapsed buildings in just Mexico City

This map was posted by the "San Diego County-Baja California Winlink for Emcomm" google group.

Communications unit, amateur based, being used Mexico EQ
Communication unit from the Guanajauto radio club (XE1CRG), well equipped is on site. Call sign XE1PRA.
Internet is spotty if at all and they are on site sending and receiving email via Winlink on HF with Pactor.
http://tinyurl.com/yak5osxo    9/19/2017

Full Service BBS and Winlink gateway now active in Yolo County

Ken Wilson, K6WLS, has installed a full service BBS station and a Winlink gateway in Yolo County.
The BBS and winlink gateway are on 144.370.
Connect to the BBS - K6WLS-1 via berr37, or the Winlink gateway via K6WLS-10 via berr37.    9/18/2017

Andy Boone KJ6IYM appointed as Yuba-Sutter EC

The Sacramento Valley Section is pleased to announce that Andy Boone KJ6IYM has been appointed as Yuba-Sutter Emergency Coordinator. Andy will be taking over for Steve Sweetman K6TAZ who has served a EC for the last four years. Thank you Steve and welcome Andy!

Northern California DX Club is offering free online classes for the General Class Amateur Radio License

The Northern California DX Club is offering free online classes for the General Class Amateur Radio License and HF operating starting in mid-September.

After a couple of introductory classes the tracks include Track I General License Exam Preparation, Track II HF Operating and Station Building and Track III Advanced Topics. Because the material is presented in tracks you can take only the classes that interest you. Our plan is to expose you to everything HF at your own skill level. There will even be a little material on how to chase DX thrown in for good measure.

Classes are free and we will do our best to make them fun. Some classes will be taught using Webex so you don't even have to leave your home to take them. Others will be taught at your Elmer's shack where you can try out what you are learning on the air. We look forward to helping you to enjoy HF ham
Go to http://www.ncdxc.org/pages/elmer.html for details    8/23/2017

Monitor Eclipse Communications

Oregon ARES has eclipse information at: http://www.oregonaresraces.org/?page_id=1792

Red Cross and ARRL has ICS-205 plans for many of the states in the path of totality.

Video recording of the Red Cross Coordination Call 2017 Solar Eclipse video. August 15, 2017

https://youtu.be/eY9Gw6ohifM    8/17/2017

New version of Flmsg has been posted

New version of Flmsg has been posted
the Red Cross Templates are designed to wrk with Flmsg. The new version of Flmsg adds new features to facilitate saving files to be sent by radio operators..    7/19/2017

Alturas Functional Shelter Exercise

ARES DEC Jim Linden, N7JIL, and EC Dan Stossmeister, KJ6ZUW were invited to the Strong Family Functional Shelter Exercise on June 27th in Alturas, CA. The scenario was no electricity or Internet for 24 hours. Clinic had a generator running and we set up Packet Winlink in a closet with an outside antenna. From there we sent and received e-mails for the shelter. All the agencies participated there were quite impressed with that capability that hams can bring to a disaster.
read more...    7/1/2017

Video of Field Day in Yolo County

Jay Ballinger, N6SAC, created a short film documenting Field Day in Yolo County. 4 radio clubs YARS, BARK, ARES, UCDARC
https://jayballinger.com/swapspace/arrl-field-day-2017/    6/30/2017

The Red Cross Message Utility

American Red Cross liaison to amateur radio has prepared a zip file containing the "The Red Cross Message Utility".

The Red Cross Message Utility (“flmsg”) is primarily intended to create messages for transmission by radio when cell phone and Internet is unavailable. The zip file contains the latest version of Flmsg, nine custom Red Cross forms, and directions for use.    6/8/2017

American Red Cross Gold Country Region Amateur has a Winlink address KA6ARC@winlink.org

The American Red Cross Gold Country Region Amateur Radio Call Sign is KA6ARC and they now has a WinLink address of ka6arc@winlink.org

Jim Piper N6MED, Red Cross Liaison to Amateur radio has taken on this task of monitoring this winlink address.

In past exercises and disasters, that involve multiple counties, it is important to be able to communicate with the Red Cross Disaster Operations Center (DOC). A running Winlink station at the DOC will facilitate this passing of information. Jim has the winlink station running now so we can start to get familiar with sending information to the DOC. This is an exciting development.

It would be great if you, or any of your ARES members could send a winlink message to the DOC.
If you are using Winlink Express, send a short message to the Red Cross winlink station. Please include your Name, Call sign, Location, County.

Also CC Jim at:

Microsoft Patch for the WannaCry Computer virus

You can get the XP patches from MicroSoft's Web site:
https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/msrc/2017/05/12/customer-guidance-for-wannacrypt-attacks/    5/16/2017

New Sierra County Emergency Coordinator named

Scott A Schlefstein N5TEN, has been named the new Emergency Coordinator for Sierra County ARES

Please welcome Scott to ARES
Scott A Schlefstein N5TEN,
scottlasd261@gmail.com    5/16/2017

AB1222 Call-to-Action - 3 May 2017. Amendment Bill to Distracted Driving Law

AB1222 goes to the Assembly floor for vote SOON, in-adequately amended. It *MUST* be fixed before it passes, or in the Senate. We will be emailing the Assembly with our concerns, but that is not enough. We all need to CALL our representatives and BE HEARD! DO. NOT. WAIT. A more complete update and instructions are at: http://www.no1pc.org/handsfree/index.htm Thank you for your support...

Full Service BBS and Winlink gateway now active in Modoc County

Jim Hertel, N6KMR, has installed a full service BBS station and a Winlink gateway in Modoc County.
Connect ot the BBS - N6KMR-1, or the Winlink gateway via N6MKR-10. Currently the stations are on 145.050, but these may change in the future when approved by NCPA to 145.09 or 144.97.
Jim notes: "our coverage is Modoc county Alturas Area and as soon as the snow melts Surprise Valley too"
Contact Jim at: N6KMR@N6KMR.#NCA.CA.USA.NOAM or K6KMR@winlink.org    5/4/2017

CAL FIRE Launches New Ready for Wildfire App

SACRAMENTO - Being Ready for Wildfire has never been easier with CAL FIRE’s new Ready for Wildfire app. This new tool puts a whole library of step-by-step checklists in the palm of the user’s hand.

Users can also sign-up for customized alerts that will send a text or push notification to their device when a CAL FIRE is responding or assisting to a wildfire in their area. Additionally, users can set up alerts for single counties, multiple counties


Emergency Communications Driving Increase in Amateur Radio Operators

Emergency Communications Driving Increase in Amateur Radio Operators
More Americans than ever have been licensed by the Federal Communications Commission as amateur radio operators, and those in the know say that emergency communications is driving their passion to be “hams.”
From Emergency Management Magazine    4/13/2017

Volunteer Examiner Session Checklist

Yolo County ARES VE team developed a "Volunteer Examiner Session checklist"
used in each of our FCC license test sessions to make sure all the forms are completed correctly.

We put a copy with each candidate's paper work and the VEs check the forms as the testing progresses. At the end, a quick review is all that is needed.    12/8/2015

Ultra-portable Packet Station

Joe, AG6QO wrote: Kenwood produces a beautiful little HT known as the TH-D72, which is a dual band 5 W transceiver, with built-in GPS and TNC. This makes it not only a nice mobile APRS unit, but a travelling packet station with the addition of a MS Windows based Venue 8 Pro tablet

He has installed puTTY, Outpost, RMS Express, and even Paclink and Thunderbird on this little 16 GB table which turns it into the ultra-portable packet station he needed for remote access to the AG6QO-1 BBS and radio mail.
Check out the AG6QO web site http://ag6qo.com/RpiBPQnode.html#tablet    7/5/2015

ARES Deployment and Assignment Form

The ARES Deployment and Assignment Form, helps ARES members gather and organize information they might need for deployment or activation.    6/17/2015

Updated Amateur Radio Emergency Service Manual Now Online

The latest edition (March 2015) of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) Manual now is online. This edition includes various Incident Command System (ICS) forms for ARES use, clarifies the role of the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), contains an improved chapter on ARES training, and includes all current ARRL memoranda of understanding/agreement.    6/4/2015

Yolo, Sacramento, and Placer County Everbridge Alert System Sign up

It is most important that each of your ARES members properly signup up for the Everbridge Alert system. Find out how you can get registered with Everbridge.

Sacramento, Placer and Yolo Counties Sign up page/    8/26/2014

Latest Version of the National Interoperability Field Guide

The Department of Homeland security has released a new version of the National Interoperability Field Guide.

The NIFOG can be downloaded at:

An index of tools and documents is available:

The Public Safety Library site that has links to an Adroid and Apple mobile OS apps that lets you download and manage documents.
http://publicsafetytools.info/pslib    8/1/2014

Using FLmsg with Outpost Packet Manager to send Form Data

During the Regional ARES exercise in March, the value of using packet for sending information digitally was appreciated. Although several digital programs such as FLdigi and Winlink can send form data digitally, it is cumbersome with a packet program such as Outpost Packet Manager.

The Outpost Packet Manager has been embraced by many ARES groups in the US for digital packet messaging. In a project to make it easy to send and work with form data from FLmsg, a form manager design to work with FLdigi, we have created step by step instructions to enable the use of FLmsg forms to send form data with Outpost to a PBBS or a full service BBS, and when form data is received in a message in Outpost, to recreate the original form.

Documentation for using FLmsg and Outpost usage and well as a web based tool to create a custom Outpost Script that will work with your packet setup.    3/27/2014
Visit the Sacramento Valley ARES News Archive to view past stories


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