November 2016 Minutes

Recording of the November 2017 Meeting

  • Mike Mathews advocated for the combines club bylaws and the advantages of the 501 3(c) and how we could bring other repeaters into the system.
  • Nebraska QSO Party April 22nd and 23rd 150th anniversary operating from historical locations sites important to Nebraska History like Brian’s Birthplace
  • 21 paid members most of which never show up.
  • Reading of the treasurers report motion accepted
  • Nominating of officers,
    • President- Daniel Bergman N0DND
    • Vice President – Jeremy Smith KC0NUK
    • Treasurer – Jay Rasmussen wx9r
    • Secretary – Open
  • Talked about Asking Brad to have his ham Training classes here in GI
  • Press Release?
  • When do you want to go look at centennial towers
  • Antennas at EOC, possibly need HF Radio.
  • Talk to Jon about antennas and HF Radio. Setting up on radio for digital and one for phone.
  • Talked about making a goal of having our own club house
  • Wondered why whoever is responsible for D-Star is not wanting to maintain system, does not currently operate correctly, Some issue with gateway. Maybe talk to jon?
  • Training on knowing your radio
  • Meeting Adjourned

GIARS ARES Emergency Communications Plan-Draft

We finally have a draft plan of a formal Emergency Communications plan. There are a few things left to tweak like an organizational chart and our working with CERT. But it is a workable draft and so it is at this location for your review.

Grand Island Amateur Radio Society ARES Emergency Communications Plan

Some of the important fact are:

  • Responsibilities of the DEC, EC, and Assistants
  • Training and credentialing requirements
  • Response responsibilities
  • Addition of trained Ready response Teams
  • Repeater and net Use
  • Volunteer acceptance

There will probably be some editing as time goes on and I receive comments. this plan will be submitted to the Emergency Management office on 12/13/2017

This is just a first step, there are many more to go.

The Goal is to have at least one, hopefully more, Ready response teams trained and ready to go by the end of 2017. This isn’t much time to pass, plan and recruit and ultimately train so it will probably require a little more intense participation. In this Spirit, We have recruited Joe Hayes, KB9TBX to coordinate training and credentialing. He is already experience at training, he is a VE, a firearms instructor for the state and who knows what else! He is also very good with comms. We have a few other guys very good at this as well. So we are going to put these guys to work.

Let me know what you think?

Attention Members, For Your Review

As many of you know there have been a few changes in the works. We have been working to combine the clubs under one flag, giving us the benefit of size, numbers, and non-profit status. Mike Mathews, President of the Hastings club, has put in a lot of work toward these ends. I have here a few documents for your review. Please comment now or forever hold your peace. These documents are stored in a dropbox account, if you want to make notes feel free to do so. We will make sure it gets back to those who need to know. Otherwise just comment on the post.

Articles of Incorporation

Bylaws of Midwest Amateur Radio Club 

Also, and maybe more importantly, We will be reaching out to all club members in the coming days to chat about some of the changes we have been doing and/or thinking about. We also want to update our Database on members, whether or not they want to participate in ARES activities and whether or not they want to have equipment on the list that can be volunteered. In the coming days there will be another post about ARES operating procedure, our interfacing with the EOC emergency operations. There will be many training opportunities and activities. 

Fund Raising and Future Goals

At our Saturday morning breakfast this week the topic of fund raising came up. While we are working on becoming a 501c3 organization which should help with donations, it has become necessary to increase our funds somehow. This can be accomplished in a couple of different ways, one would be to raise membership dues, but another way would be to hold a couple of fund raisers during the year.

Why has this become necessary? Our equipment  has become aged, and some of it needs repair. Some components need to be upgraded, for instance the comet antennas we are using have proven not to be very reliable. Even if we build our own equipment we still need materials. We are going to start training and even some of that is going to require some funds.

Also, if we can grow the club and get more participation it would be a pretty cool deal if we could provide ourselves a club house where we can set up our station, and actually spend some time playing with the big boys. Is it a dream? well maybe but if we all set a little time asside to participate it is something we can achieve.

At this time we are looking for ideas! Even if you don’t have an idea a comment or two to know where we stand as a club would be great. So let me know what you think and lets start moving our club in a direction where we all want to be there and where we all are having fun with it, that is after all why we are wll here. so, sound off guys.?

License training oportunities

So I recieved this letter from the Brad, both a member of GIARS and also the Hastings club. They are trying to put together some oportunities for  License training and he is trying to see if there is any interest and if so how much. I wanted to post on our site to give people a heads up and make sure the word gets out. If you are interested in upgrading this may be your chance to do exactly that.


“I am trying to gauge the need/support of License Training Sessions in the

area.  If you would like to take a training session email me back and let

me know which exam.  It will either be Tech., General or Extra.


We will be doing this on a night every week for between 4 and 8 weeks

depending on what we decide and which test we are training for.  Extra will

take more time because it is a “larger” test.  I am just now thinking about

doing this so I don’t have an exact timeframe yet.  If you have a night

that will not work for you let me know also.  I can’t guarantee that we can

accommodate everyone but we can try.


Also if you get this email and are interest in helping with training or

have tips or suggestions let me know.


I am also interested in hearing from area hams not in the Hastings Club or

people that are primarily living in a location outside of the ARAN area.  I

would like to know if there is interest from other area clubs on doing

training or working together to provide training.  I can’t say for sure

that WE can provide training outside of Hastings but I want to leave the

door open for cooperation so we can license as many hams in the area as



Brad KD0JCP”


October 2016 Minutes

In Attendance:

Dan Bergman N0DND

Jeremy Smith kc0nuk

Gene Hornung wb0pkp

Jay Rasmussen nx9r

Jaden Smith Visitor

Perry Haake kb0ifm

Darlene Haake Visitor

Stan Coleman n0yxv

Rachelle Lipker Special Guest

  • Introduced Michelle Lipker, the new Executive director of the Red Cross to the club
  • Voted on not having Meeting in December, officers will be nominated in November and voted on in January
  • A quick recap on the club joining. Mike Mathews, President of hastings club, is working on bylaws now and will let us when He gets them written.
  • Discussed once again how to get topics on the Agenda
  • Recap of Harvest of Harmony, Auxcom training, and jeremy gave a short synopsis on the Presentation to the walnut middle school science club.
  • Dan passed on to club CERT members Jon was thinking of a 10 hour a year Minimum
  • Dan gave a Training Scenario that began a lot of discussion on how we would and should prepare for a disaster.
  • Adjourned for the evening

It is a Disaster

At the October meeting we had an exercise to cause some discussion and help us understand just how bad things can be in a disaster. It was a lot of fun and I think we learned just how unprepared we all really are. After the discussion we decided that we would keep doing this and I hope that others will come to the meeting because This was fun, and the more people who are here the funner it will be. Exercise as follows:

***** THIS IS A DRILL ****** THIS IS A DRILL *******

Internet/Cellular Phone/Communications Exercise Your community has just been hit by a disaster — The following conditions now exist: No commercial power will be available for 72 hours. 60% of the power line infrastructure is down. 60% of all radio towers are out of service for 72 hours, with all antennas at a 45 degree angle from normal in the city from North to South. The trunking systems are all out of service – totally.

Land line telephone service is lost to 60% of the community. The cellular telephone system is overloaded, and it takes two hours to get a connection, and then you are limited to using the service for 3 minutes.

***** THIS IS A DRILL ****** THIS IS A DRILL *******

All city, county and state radio networks are reduced to 20% of their normal capacity. Cable TV systems and satellite TV services are completely out of service with no commercial power available. All internet service providers are down and out of service. All internet telephone service is down. 25% of the fire, police and EMS equipment is destroyed. No gasoline or diesel is available from any underground storage tanks, and the local government has taken over all overhead fuel storage tanks for their use. If you can demonstrate to them that your use will support the recovery effort you may be able to secure a limited amount of 5 gallons of fuel.

***** THIS IS A DRILL ****** THIS IS A DRILL *******

You have planned ahead and have an emergency gasoline powered generator to power your radio equipment, your generator uses 0.7 gallons of fuel per hour of operation. How much fuel do you have on hand (this may include your automobiles fuel tanks, if you have a way to get the fuel out)? You have; _____ gallons of fuel, and can operate your generator for _____ hours. If you use your automobile to charge your batteries, the fuel consumption will be MUCH higher.

Do you have food for 72 hours for all members of your household? An MRE will feed two average persons per meal – 1200 calories each. Do you have five or ten gallons of drinking water? Tomorrow was your day to replenish your supply.

Do you have a way to keep warm during cold weather, bed rolls, blankets, fireplace, gas or charcoal grill (for cooking as well)?

***** THIS IS A DRILL ****** THIS IS A DRILL *******

With the loss of 60% of the radio towers we have lost a great deal of homes and many people will require shelter. Is emergency shelter available for 60% of the population and can you access your camping gear, if it did not get destroyed with your house? Are you prepared to not just survive, but can you help for distances in excess of 40 miles? Do you have emergency radios, both local(FM and HF? Do you have spare/portable antennas, tools, etc.?

For now amateur radio provides the only communications link within the community and to the outside world. How do you intend to help our served agencies, EOC’s, hospitals, health and welfare, emergency shelters, disaster support agencies and provide local media outlets with emergency information for the public?

Your radio tower was damaged, your home lost 40% of the roof. Do you have an emergency antenna support?

Do you have a 30 watt or higher power mobile unit installed in your automobile? If this unit has not been used in the last 7 days, count it as out of service.

***** THIS IS A DRILL ****** THIS IS A DRILL *******

Would you need to go to the local store to purchase (they will all be out of everything in one hour, if not currently destroyed) food, water, batteries, gasoline (none available), bed rolls, parts for replacement antennas? If you are using any portable radio (including cell phones) that transmits, do you have an alkaline/Ni-MH battery pack, with spare batteries? If not, count that radio out of service after 4 hours of use.

If your rechargeable battery pack was not charged in the last 72 hours count that battery pack as out of service. If you have not used that portable radio in the last 7 days count it as out of service.

Do you have an HF radio, including portable antenna and emergency power source, that was operated in the last 7 days? If not, count it as out of service.

All amateur repeaters are presently out of service. Can you communicate without their use on a simplex frequency, and do you know which one to use? *****


This short scenario can be used to judge how prepared you are and help you determine what you need to do to get prepared.


One of the major things we need to do to get in line with ICS/NIMS requirements is to develop an SOP. There are a lot of good SOP documents that we can use to write our own. Fortunately we do not have to re-invent the wheel. So, Here is a link to one such Document that we can use.

We will vote on who, what, why, and where. Take some time to look over this, give your input. Do we need a committee to do this? Dan, N0DND is willing to put in the time to write it up in concert with our capabilities and our communities needs.

Preparing for a Disaster

As many of you know a few were honored to attend a training session put on by the department of homeland security called Auxcom. It was training to to help the ham community and other radio services learn to communicate when disasters happen. The old saying is hams will work when nothing else does, this is true, but there is so much more to it than that and this course helped us to understand the many different services we can provide and how we provide that service. It is also our responsibility to help the emergency service providers understand who we are, what we are capable of, and how we can use those capabilities to help them save lives. Many of have had other training to be more involved and can be an important tool when it comes to saving lives.

We live in a region where we are relatively blessed with tranquility most of the time. We normally do not have major destructive storms like they have in the south, we generally are not a target of terrorism, and we are not a major industrial area. However, any and all of these thing could happen here. We have two major rail lines that pass thru GI, we have a blossoming ethanol industry, and we have seen the destructive power of tornadoes here. It is incumbant on all of us to take these possibilities seriously and we as a club need to get ourselves organized. If participation is low that we need to find a way to get others involved.

So with that, here are a few things we should start doing right away. We need to write and adopt a SOP, one that has been written with the knowledge and input of our emergency personal whom we will be working with, Agreements should be obtained with our sister clubs on use of equipment, and a general training regimen should be instituted.

There is a lot we can do to help. But it does take a little bit of commitment. You will as a ham, have to have credentials. You will have to pass background checks. In today’s day and age, with liability and all that goes with putting yourself out there,  just showing up in an emergency is likely not going to be useful to anyone. Our emergency people cannot let you get involved in the process if you are not trained and credentialed in some way.

As all of this goes forward, we would encourage everyone’s participation. Consider all of this an upgrade on what we have already been doing. Think of it like this, what we are doing now is bringing our organization in line with ICS/NIMS and other Homeland security procedures. Being able to bring our procedures up to date, and our training up to date, and doing it as a club will allow us to operate in a proficient and useful manner with a high degree of professionalism.

We welcome your comments and look forward to talking about and working on it together. See you all on Thursday.

Keeping Communications Alive in the New Century