Amateurs operators were well received at three public service events. On the Canal Run along the Delaware Canal, there were some places along the course where the only available communications was via the ham volunteers. Brian N3EXA and team successfully tested out a portable repeater setup to fill in some coverage gaps along the course.
We began the month with our Simulated Emergency Test, which provided a lot of valuable information about our non-repeater capabilities. In short, if we needed to activate without the use of repeaters, we would be able to, but it would take a bit longer. Some stations in the central part of the county need to do a better job acting as relays, especially for weaker signals to the north. More information can be found here.
In addition to our largest SET ever, members still found time to help out with a number of public service events including the Covered Bridges Ride, a golf outing at Five Ponds, and a 5K run benefiting Craven Hall.
July and August saw a number of public service events, as is typical for the summer months. September culminated with a massive schedule conflict between the MS-150, the Bucks County Health Department annual flu pandemic drill, and the Mt. Airy VHF Radio Club's Mid-Atlantic VHF Conference all on the same weekend. Despite the conflict, all events were fully staffed and went well.
•July 9, 2013:
At our bi-monthly meeting, Suzanne Redington from the Bucks County Department of Health provided an orientation to the department's operations for those who will be participating in this fall's POD flu drill. Afterwards, Jason, N3RAY, provided a detailed analysis of his Amateur TV station. One of the ATV stations provided by the recent grant uses much of the same equipment as Jason's station. Some of his lessons learned will help us make the right choices as we learn to set up and deploy this new equipment.
•July 7, 2013:
Thanks to a grant from Bucks County, BCARES has acquired some new equipment. Some of this equipment is a result of action items noted over the past year, and some is to help us experiment and identify areas where we need to improve our communications ability. The grant covers three projects: bring the EOC radio room to current standards; provide ad-hoc video communications throughout the county; and meet the deficiencies in the county field kits. More information will be provided on the equipment pages as time permits.
•May 5, 2013:
We've thus far escaped the spring season without any major severe weather events. Ron, NY3J, had a chance to work with Delware County on a High-speed Multimedia setup using reprogrammed Linksys routers in the amateur 2.4GHz band. Many other members assisted with the Valley Forge run, the MS Walk, and the March for Babies walk in April. Coming up the end of May and into June, amateur radio operators are needed for the Warminster Memorial Day Parade, the ADA Tour De Cure, and the Five Ponds Golf outing. Don't forget our meeting on the 14th of May as well.
Nearly all administrative functions are currently being handled by the Emergency Coordinator. Most urgently, we need someone to fill an additional AEC position, as well as someone to handle public information releases. Less urgently, but still important, we could use someone to take over the management of membership information, someone to offer classroom ICS training, and someone to take responsibility for fundraising.