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Announcements     Take Note

(02/09/14)   DCARES ARESMAT Deploys to West Chester University Shelter

In response to a mutual aid request from PEMA, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, Delaware County ARES served with Chester County ARES in the aftermath of the ice storm which knocked out power to nearly 80 percent of the residences in Chester County. Bob Wilson, W3BIG, who serves as EC for Delaware County, deployed to the mega-shelter at West Chester University from 0000 to 1230 on Thursday, February 6, 2014. Dave Garber, KC3ABY, served on Sunday, February 9 from 1800 to 2400. Bob was the initial communications volunteer to operate from the West Chester shelter and passed traffic between the large Red Cross shelter and EOC in West Chester. The shelter at West Chester University was one of three in operation in Chester County. Dave manned the shelter station during a busy Sunday night shift. Chester County ARES volunteers manned radios at the other two shelters in Lionville and Avon Grove as well as West Chester University. ARES radio operators provided shelter communications from Wednesday, February 5 through Tuesday, February 11.

(12/11/13)   Microwave Link Installed at W3AEC D-Star Repeater

The W3AEC D-Star repeater, known as DelStar West, is one step closer to gateway operation with the installation of a 5.4 Ghz microwave link to the 911 Center in Lima. Two small Part 97 transceivers and dishes were installed at both the repeater site atop the Fair Acres building and on the ARES tower at the 911 Center. The microwave link is required to furnish internet service to the repeater controller. A three man team of Bob Famiglio-K3RF, Joe Ames-W3JY and Bob Wilson-W3BIG assembled and installed the links. Once the signal is tweaked and software installed, W3AEC will begin operating as a gateway, opening up access to the worldwide D-Star network as well as linking up service with EOCs in adjacent counties.  (See story).

(10/16/13)   Comprehensive Training Program - Saturday, November 9, 2013

Delaware County ARES-RACES will present a comprehensive training program at the EOC / 911 Center from 1000 to 1600 hours on Saturday, November 9, 2013. The training program will feature modules on ARES Room IT System Familiarization, Emergency Communication - VHF / UHF Field Operations and a Traffic Handling Praxis. All are invited to attend, but should RSVP via email. The 911 Center is located at 360 N. Middletown Road in Middletown Township. Presenters include Joe Ames-W3JY and Bob Wilson-W3BIG.

(10/05/13)  October Section Emergency Test Successful

Delaware County ARES-RACES conducted an exercise on Saturday, October 5th as part of the EPA Section Emergency Test (SET). The drill was a response to a simulated communications emergency resulting from an extreme weather event that caused power outages and required staffing two shelters. Responding to a simulated activation by DES, a resource net was conducted with seven check-ins including KB3SUM, KB3SUP, KA3TWG, W3UEC, K3RMC, KB3UGI and W3BIG. Rich-K3RMC and Sonya-KB3UGI made simulated deployments to emergency shelters. Bob-W3BIG served as NCS for a tactical net conducted on two-meter simplex. Message traffic was passed flawlessly between NCS and the two simulated shelters.

(5/16-13)   K3RF and W3JG Featured in June QST Article

EPA Section Manager and Delaware County ARES member Bob Famiglio, K3RF, is featured along with Jim Goldman, W3JG in this June's QST.  The article, on page 65, details Bob and Jim's aerial Field Day flyovers in 2012.  Using W3JG's Cessna 182 Skylane, the pair visited 21 Field Day sites and landed at two airfields. Bob and Jim are planning another Field Day aerial sojurn in 2013, so check out the details on the ARRL's EPA webisite @ ARRL EPA Section webpage

(1/18/13)    Delaware County ARES-RACES Changes Net to Monday

Effective Monday, April 29, Delaware County ARES-RACES will conduct the weekly net on Monday evening at 1930 hours.  The move to Monday evening will avoid conflicting with other ARES nets in Southern New Jersey.

(1/01/12)   Penn-Del Ham-in-a-Day Class Scheduled for February 23

Penn-Del Amateur Radio Club will be sponsoring another installment in the extremely successful Ham-in-a-Day Amateur Radio Technician licensing class on February 23rd. The class will begin at 0800 hours at Maximillian's Restaurant located at 3001 Naamans Creek Road in Boothwyn, PA. The class will prepare students for taking the entry level Technician license exam which will be administered at the conclusion of the all-day class.  Those interested in signing up for this very popular class should contact Hal Frantz, KA3TWG at Send email to KA3TWG.

(12/25/12) NBEMS Training Session Scheduled for February 9

A training session on Narrow Band Emergency Messaging Software will be presented at the Delaware County EOC on Saturday, February 9th at 0900 hours. NBEMS is a digital system for transmitting and receiving text messages on UHF and VHF frequencies utilizing the sound card of a laptop or other computer. The ARRL has adopted NBEMS for use by ARES to offer a quick and efficient method of sending text messages without the need for interfaces or other expensive equipment. The presenter for this invaluable training will be Joe Vilardo, K3JV, Chester County Emergency Coordinator.

(11/20/12) DelCo ARES-RACES Couple Tie the Knot

We are happy to report that the "Dynamic Duo" of Delaware County ARES-RACES has made it official. Sonya Fazio-KB3UGI and Jim Rowland-KB3UGL were married on Saturday, November 17th.  Sonya and Jim have been an integral part of the ARES-RACES team and have participated in just about every exercise and public service event in the past few years. During the Hurricane Sandy activation both Sonya and Jim were deployed to a regional shelter in East Lansdowne and served a vital role relaying information back to the EOC. It has been a great pleasure working with both Sonya and Jim and has been rewarding to witness the energy they have brought to our unit. Their dedication to Delaware County ARES-RACES is only exceeded by their devotion to each other. Congratulations to both Sonya and Jim.

(11/07/12)  Hurricane Sandy Deployment

Delaware County ARES-RACES was activated on October 29-30 by the Department of Emergency Services in response to Hurricane Sandy. This was the first time an ARES unit was ever activated in Delaware County. We were asked to provide communications for three regional emergency shelters located at schools in Chester, Ridley Park and East Lansdowne. Additionally, DCARES manned the Radio Room at the 911 Center and provided liaison and support to emergency managers inside the EOC. Delaware County ARES/RACES actually had a position inside the EOC, which is the nerve center during any emergency response.

For this activation 10 individuals responded and each did an impressive job setting up communication posts in a timely manner and relaying traffic between the shelters and EOC.

The following individuals provided service during this activation. Manning the ARES Radio Room and EOC were Bob-K3RF, Joe-W3JY and Dan-N3IXQ. Dan, a former EC stepped right in and did a fantastic job handling net operations from the ARES radio room. K3RF wore a few different hats during the response period and when he wasn't at the EOC he was serving as a first responder with Rose Tree Fire Company. Joe-W3JY did a great job keeping the equipment running - especially the telpac station which saw a lot of use during the response period.

Manning communications at the East Lansdowne Shelter were Sonya-KB3UGI and Jim-KB3UGL. Manning the radios at the Ridley Shelter was Mike-KB3SUS. In addition to serving as the operator at Ridley, Mike also stopped by the Chester Shelter to assist in erecting an antenna and mast in high winds and blowing rain. Handling communications at the Chester Shelter was Bob-W3BIG.

Hal-KA3TWG and Ermanno-KC3V provided equipment and technical support for the 70cm trunking radios that were used during the emergency. The use of this additional resource was a boon for operations and proved its merit during the PHL Airport exercise and again during this activation.

Craig-KB3SUM did a great job running the SKYWARN Net and relaying important weather observations back to the National Weather Service in Mount Holly.

During the deployment the following communications resources were utilized: The KA3TWG 450 repeater was a prime conduit for coordination. The W3AEC D-star repeater in Lima was used for administrative control and tactical communication. The trunking system carried the bulk of communications between shelters and the EOC. The RMS packet node in Lima, W3AEC-10, carried email traffic via the Winlink system.

(4/23/12)   Delaware County ARES-RACES Completes Busy Public Service Week

If Delaware County ARES-RACES team members were on the clock, they'd  be racking up some serious overtime. From Wednesday through Sunday afternoon radio teams covered three separate public service events including a county-wide emergency communications exercise and two MS Walks.

On Wednesday afternoon a nine member team provided communications for the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) Communications Exercise. In this critical drill, the county was tested on its ability to coordinate and deliver medication to the public in scenarios simulating mass exposure to dangerous pathogens. Radio operators were deployed to POD (Point of Distribution) sites located through Delaware County including the Elwyn Institute, Radnor High School, Beverly Hills Middle School, Marple-Newtown High School, Garnet Valley High School, Interboro High School, Sun Valley High School, Penn Crest High School and the Fair Acres Logistical Node. Bob Famiglio, K3RF, served as EOC liaison and NCS for the exercise. Deployed teams included Jim-K33UGL, Sonya-KB3UGI, Mike-KB3SUS, Rich-K3RMC, Fred-N3OFR, Amy-N3RLX, Ace-KB3ACE and Bob-W3BIG.

It's interesting to note the credibility Delaware County ARES-RACES has achieved with emergency managers. They consider us a critically important part of the county's emergency response and have given us highly visible roles in important exercises. During Wednesday's drill, K3RF, serving as NCS, sat alongside the county's radio dispatcher and provided an impressive presence in directing deployed field units. The professionalism of our unit has reached an all-time high The county has taken note and has incorporated ARES as an integral part of emergency communications. ARES now has an operating position in the brand new Emergency Communications Command Vehicle. Our operating position is in the front passenger seat and includes power and antenna connections for three radios. Three Amateur Radio antennas are installed on the vehicle's roof for operation on two meters, 70cm and 1.2 G D-Star.

On a chilly and rainy Sunday morning, two separate radio teams deployed to sites at Ridley Creek State Park and the Radnor Corporate Center on April 22nd to provide event communications for the MS Walks. Bob Famiglio, K3RF, served as NCS and event liaison at Ridley Creek State Park. Four other team members included Craig-KB3SUM, Martin-NX3T, Mike-KB3SUS and Bob-W3BIG. The team provided communications from four checkpoints back to the NCS located in the parking lot of Area 11. K3RF's net control station included a dual-band J-pole atop a 30 foot fiberglass mast. Net operations were held primarily on the KA3TWG 446.925 repeater with additional operation on two-meter simplex and the DelStar West D-Star repeater. Approximately 500 walkers participated in the walk at Ridley Creek State Park.

Over at the Radnor Corporate Center, a second ARES-RACES team lead by Rich-K3RMC, provided event communications for the Walk America event. Providing communications at the rest stops were Sonya-KB3UGI and Jim-KB3UGL. Approximately 200 walkers participated in this event and communications were conducted flawlessly on two-meter simplex.

Providing service is what we do in ARES-RACES, but radio is not our only skill. At the conclusion of the MS Walk at Ridley Creek State Park, a wet walker approached our NCS, Bob Famiglio. She explained anxiously that she had locked herself out of her Honda and wanted Bob to contact a park ranger for assistance. Boy, was she lucky. Standing next to Bob was Craig-KB3SUM, who just happens to be a master Honda service technician who had his lock-out kit in his car. Craig drove the woman to her vehicle and used his expertise to unlock the car in record time. Awesome service, Craig. I do believe this woman was left with a rather favorable impression of Amateur Radio operators.
 

(2/21/12)   Bob Famiglio, K3RF, Elected EPA Section Manager

Delaware County's own Bob Famiglio, K3RF, has been elected Section Manager for the Eastern Pennsylvania Section of the ARRL.  A life member of the ARRL, volunteer counsel for 25 years and First District DEC for six years, Bob was elected in a close contest that saw high voter turnout for a critically important post.  K3RF has been a driving force to improve the organization and viability of ARES-RACES throughout the Delaware Valley. He has been instrumental in improving and enhancing the emergency communication infrastructure in the First Section by working tirelessly to secure grants and equipment including new D-Star repeaters and field communications kits for all of the county units in the district. We are certain Bob will continue to make ARES-RACES the focus of this tenure as Section Manager.

(2/20/12)   Training Seminar Scheduled for March 31, 1000 Hours at EOC

Delaware County ARES-RACES will present a multi-faceted training seminar at the EOC in Lima on Saturday, March 31 at 1000 hours.  The seminar will include modules on traffic handling with an historical overview of this critically important aspect of Amateur Radio and details on using the ARRL Radiogram and ICS-213 form. Other modules will include Winlink in emergency communication, portable power supplies for emcomm,  antennas for emcomm and D-Star.  Presenters will include Joe Ames, W3JY, an expert in traffic handling and Bob Wilson, W3BIG, Delaware County EC. There is limited space available for this training, so please reserve a seat early by contacting W3BIG. mailto:W3BIG

2/08/12   Delaware County ARES-RACES Presents Program to County Volunteers

Delaware County ARES-RACES presented a program on Tuesday evening, February 7 at 1900 hours to an audience of approximately 25 volunteers from several organizations including the County Animal Rescue Team (CART), the Reserve Medical Corps, CERT and the Department of Emergency Services. The program, conducted by Bob Famiglio, K3RF and Bob Wilson, W3BIG, was held at Penn State's Brandywine campus in Middletown Township. The presentation, which ran a little longer than one hour, provided an overview of ARES-RACES operations and responsibilities to volunteers who may be called upon to interact with ARES-RACES personnel during disasters and other serious emergencies.

1/01/12   Ham-in-a-Day Class Scheduled for March 10

Penn-Del Amateur Radio Club will be sponsoring another installment in the extremely successful Ham-in-a-Day Amateur Radio Technician licensing class on March 10. The class will begin at 0800 hours at Maximillian's Restaurant located at 3001 Naamans Creek Road in Boothwyn, PA. The class will prepare students for taking the entry level Technician license exam which will be administered at the conclusion of the all-day class.  Those interested in signing up for this very popular class should contact Hal Frantz, KA3TWG at Send email to KA3TWG.

11/01/11  Airport Drill Showcases Delaware County ARES-RACES

The critically important Philadelphia Airport Emergency Preparedness Exercise, PHL EPEX 2011, was held Saturday, October 29 during a strong nor'easter that peppered volunteers with blowing rain, sleet, freezing rain and snow. Despite the brutal weather, a hearty team of 13 radio operators braved the conditions to provide communications for patient transport and recovery.

The communications team consisted of 11 operators from Delaware County ARES-RACES and two volunteers from Holmesburg Amateur Radio Club.  Providing bus communications were Sonya Fazio, KB3UGI, Jim Rowland, KB3UGL, Mike Thomas, KB3SUS, Rich Caruth, K3ZEZ, Nat Stinson, K3NAT, Sol Volen, N3UBY and Carl Gerhart, N3ZZK. Bob Famiglio, K3RF served as liaison to the airport operations staff in the ramp control tower. Hal Frantz, KA3TWG was assigned as liaison to Delaware County Department of Emergency Services in Mobile-1. Ace Trexler, KB3ACE, Craig Skotnicki, KB3SUM, Joe Ames, W3JY and Bob Wilson, W3BIG served as net control operators from inside the Atlantic Aviation hangar at the airport.

The drill showcased the communications expertise of Delaware County ARES-RACES and provided a valuable test of the use of integrated radio services in emergencies. Both Amateur Radio frequencies and commercial frequencies reserved for disaster relief were utilized during the exercise. The integration of the two services was seamless. D-STAR frequencies on 1.2 Ghz were also employed for command and control with flawless utility.

This was the second time Delaware County ARES-RACES provided communications for the drill held every three years. Airport officials were impressed with the communications and organizational skills demonstrated by the ARES-RACES team and appreciated the professionalism and dedication shown.

See News Story on PHL EPEX 2011

06/09/11  Participation in PODEX Communications Exercise a Complete Success

Delaware County ARES-RACES took part in a county-wide communications exercise Wednesday, June 8 to test the capability of providing radio communication between the EOC in Lima, the logistical node at the Crozer warehouse and seven POD sites located throughout Delaware County. The drill is a test of the county's ability to establish, staff and operate dispensing units tasked with distributing medications to the population in the event of a large-scale public health emergency.

Ten volunteers from DelCo ARES-RACES provided communications at the EOC, the logistical node and seven PODs. First District EC Bob Famiglio-K3RF served as the liaison to the EOC, Joe Ames-W3JY served as net control, Ace Trexler-KB3ACE provided comms from the logistical node at Crozer,  Bob Wilson-W3BIG was stationed at Beverly Hills POD in Upper Darby, Mike Thomas-KB3SUS was at the Elwyn POD, Nat Stinson-K3NAT was at the Sun Valley POD, Rich Caruth-K3ZEZ was at the Garnet Valley POD, Jim Rowland-KB3UGL was at the Radnor POD, Sonya Fazio-KB3UGI was at the Marple POD and Martin Monaghan-KB3VJS was at the Interboro POD.

Despite several members being new to ARES-RACES, with no prior experience in drills, our part in the exercise was flawless. All members deployed on time and provided excellent service. In addition to testing communications circuits, simulated message traffic was also passed. Primary communication channel was the KA3TWG repeater on 446.925 Mhz. Tactical communication was carried on DelStar West, our D-Star repeater at Fair Acres.

The county was impressed with the performance of Delaware County ARES-RACES. Steve Giancristoforo, the Assistant Systems Manager and Training Officer for the 911 Center, and our liaison,  commented, "Please express my personal thanks to you and all of your members for their participation in the exercise.  As always, your crew did an exemplary job."

  11/12/10  ARES-RACES Net To Utilize KA3TWG-R Echolink

Beginning November 17 those wishing to check into the ARES-RACES Net at 1930 hours may do so via Echolink on the KA3TWG-R Node (446925). Hal, KA3TWG and Craig, KB3SUM have successfully installed the link and tweaked the system to provide clear, robust audio. The new Echolink feature will expand the coverage area of the KA3TWG repeater as well as the viability of the Delaware County ARES-RACES Net. Those wishing to use the Echolink node should register with the Echolink system and also send a notification email to Hal, KA3TWG: email to KA3TWG.

10/05/10  Ace Trexler, KB3ACE, Appointed AEC for Operations

Ace Trexler, KB3ACE, of Morton, Pennsylvania, has been appointed AEC for Operations, effective October 5, 2010. Ace has been very active and effective since joining ARES-RACES earlier this year. His service during exercises and operations has been indispensable and has contributed significantly to the the success of the unit. In addition to serving with ARES-RACES, Ace is also a certified Emergency Medical Technician.

10/03/10  October Simulated Emergency Test Successful

Five ARES-RACES team members responded to a simulated emergency test Saturday, October 2nd, deploying to two sites and the EOC. The SET scenario involved a simulated chemical spill and toxic gas release west of Media requiring evacuation of residents and establishment of a shelter at Rose Tree Fire Company. Response Team Alfa was activated shortly after 1330 hours Saturday and all assigned team members were deployed and on station within 30 minutes.

Ace Trexler, KB3ACE and Craig Skotnicki, KB3SUM responded to the evacuation area to assist with the simulated evacuation of residents in the affected area. Bob Famiglio, K3RF and Joe Ames, W3JY provided communications at the shelter at Rose Tree Fire Company including W3JY's portable telpac station to send and receive radio emails via the Winlink 2000 system. Bob Wilson, W3BIG manned the EOC radio room to coordinate the exercise and provide liaison with Delaware County Department of Emergency Services.

The drill was successful in all tested performance aspects, with voice and data traffic passed effectively and efficiently. Activation and deployment went smoothly and communications on all channels including the primary repeater (KA3TWG), DelStar West (W3AEC), tactical simplex frequencies and the RMS packet node.

09/04/10  DelCo ARES-RACES Response to Scully Welding Explosion and Fire

Immediately following the horrific explosion and fire at Scully Welding Supply on Oak Avenue in Collingdale September 2nd, Delaware County ARES-RACES was on-scene assisting police and fire in minor roles with crowd control, evacuating residents in the danger zone and handing out water bottles to first-responders battling the blaze in the scorching 94 degree heat.  Delaware County EC, Bob Wilson, W3BIG, who lives 1,000 feet from the site of the explosion responded within minutes, directing onlookers away from a nearby park and assisting police and Delaware County Sheriffs with door-to-door evacuations on Lafayette Avenue in Collingdale. Bob Famiglio, K3RF and Ace Trexler, KB3ACE, also assisted by monitoring frequencies and assuming standby status during the response.

08/04/10  DCCC Offers Free Courses in Emergency Preparedness

Delaware County Community College is offering a battery of free courses leading to certificates in Emergency Management, Incident Management and Homeland Security.  Of particular interest to ARES-RACES personnel are the courses on Incident Management and NIMS (Intro to Incident Command & NIMS (100-200-700) CRN-3084 ). These courses are scheduled for 9/18 and 9/25 and are required for all ARES-RACES team members. A link to the DCCC Emergency Preparedness courses is available here: http://www.dccc.edu/emergencyinstitute/.  The courses are free but do have a $5.00 processing fee.

06/28/10  Field Day 2010 Successful Despite Heat and Poor Band Conditions

As Field Days go, 2010 will be remembered for its hot weather and poor band conditions. The mercury climbed to 91 on Saturday and 95 on Sunday. As hot as the air temperature was, HF band conditions were almost cold to the touch. Heavy static coupled with poor propagation made 10, 15 and 20 meters virtually unusable. The only two bands that yielded reliable contacts were 40 and 80 meters.

Despite the negatives, a robust Class 3A Field Day station was established at Area 12 in Ridley Creek State Park. Powered by a 5 KW gasoline generator and battery arrays, the station included three HF transceivers, a 2m/70cm FM transceiver, a 2m/70cm D-Star transceiver, a 1.2G D-Star transceiver and a 2m telpac station. Antennas included a G5RV, an NVIS 80m dipole, a long-wire, a military vertical, 2m Ringo, 2m/70cm Yagi, 2m/70cm open-stub J-pole and a 1.2G Yagi. 

Even though the HF bands proved to be a bust, more than 100 contacts were logged on phone and digital modes in 30 different sections. As is protocol, ARES-RACES approached Field Day as an exercise and training session rather than a contest. Emphasis was placed on deployment with a skeleton crew using equipment and modes that would be required to conduct field operations during a widespread communications emergency. ARES-RACES trainees got a great opportunity to wet their feet on the HF bands, making contacts on phone and seeing first-hand all of the excitement. 

A great deal of credit goes to Ace Trexler-KB3ACE, Bob Famiglio-K3RF, Joe Ames-W3JY and Bob Wilson-W3BIG for hanging antennas and setting up the station. W3JY, K3RF, KB3ACE and W3BIG broke down the station Sunday afternoon during the peak of the heat wave. Additional operators included Craig Skotnicki-KB3SUM, Ted Mills-N3UP, Sonya Fazio-KB3UGI and Jim Rowland-KB3UGL. Grill-master Joe Ames and wife Joanne provided a great cookout dinner Saturday evening and a terrific lunch on Sunday. Thanks to all for a memorable event.

 06/23/10   SNS Drill Declared a Resounding Success

Delaware County ARES-RACES was activated June 21 and 22 to support the Strategic National Stockpile drill held at various county facilities. The exercise tested the ability of federal, state, county and local emergency management officials to quickly respond to a widespread public health crisis. The scenario was focused on a simulated biological terrorist attack on the population of Delaware County using an aerosol anthrax agent.

On Monday, June 21 at 1249 hours, Delaware County ARES-RACES was notified and tasked with supporting the public health response by providing critical communications. Within 20 minutes Ready Response Team Alfa deployed to three sites in the county including the SNS Operations Center at Delaware County Intermediate Unit in Morton, the Local Logistical Node at the Fair Acres Geriatric Center in Lima and at a dispensing POD at Academy Park High School in Sharon Hill.

Ready response Team Alfa included Bob Famiglio-K3RF, Fred Field-N3OFR, Ace Trexler-KB3ACE and Bob Wilson-W3BIG. More than 36 man-hours of service were logged and 20 pieces of official message traffic were passed during the exercise. At the conclusion of the drill public health officials declared DelCo ARES-RACES' participation a success.

A short news story on ARES-RACES participation in the drill is included here: (SNS Drill)

06/06/10  Bob Famiglio, K3RF, Receives 2010 Atlantic Division Technical Achievement Award

Delaware Countyís own Bob Famiglio, K3RF, has been named the ARRL Atlantic Division 2010 recipient of the Technical Achievement Award. Bob, who serves as the EPAís First District Emergency Coordinator, has made a significant impact in the revitalization of ARES-RACES in the five-county Philadelphia area. His dedication to emergency communication via Amateur Radio has been inspirational and his efforts have had a tangible effect on both the emcomm infrastructure in the Delaware Valley and on readiness of all ARES-RACES units in the district.

Bobís efforts were instrumental in securing a grant through the Pennsylvania Southeastern Counterterrorism Task Force which brought new D-Star repeaters and tactical communication kits to all five counties in the First District. Bob has increased the visibility and credibility of ARES-RACES among emergency managers in his district and has focused a very positive light on Amateur Radio among regional hospital administrators, the National Disaster Medical System, PEMA and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Through his efforts representing ARES-RACES, one large hospital in Delaware County decided to fund the purchase and installation of a new D-Star repeater system, which has the distinction of being the first such system in the county. This repeater system, along with a second system funded by the Counterterrorism Task Force, form a robust digital communications system dedicated to emergency operations in Delaware County.

Bob has also worked tirelessly to promote cooperative training and operation between all of the ARES-RACES units in the First District. His inspired leadership has been responsible for a renewed esprit de corps that has had a positive effect on training and readiness.

Delaware County ARES-RACES takes great pleasure and pride in recognizing the significant accomplishments of Bob Famiglio and congratulates the Atlantic Division in selecting the most deserving recipient for this high honor.

06/04/10  ARES-RACES Cooperative Meeting at Cooper University Hospital

Cooper University Hospital in Camden hosted an ARES-RACES meeting on June 3rd with representatives from seven south Jersey counties and two Pennsylvania counties in attendance. The focus of the meeting was emerging technologies in Amateur Radio emergency communications with a special emphasis on D-Star. Representing EPA's First District was Bob Famiglio, K3RF, Brian Faux, N3QGO from Bucks County and Bob Wilson, W3BIG from Delaware County. Delaware County ARES-RACES demonstrated the new TAC-COM kits to the group. A cooperative exercise between the south Jersey ARES-RACES units and EPA's First District will be scheduled in the near future.

05/18/10  SNS Planning Exercise Successful

The May 17 planning session for the June SNS (Strategic National Stockpile) exercise went off without a hitch. Delaware County ARES-RACES was tasked with providing backup communications for the exercise to demonstrate our capability should the infrastructure fail. A robust communications station was set up at the operations center inside Delaware County Intermediate Unit in Morton. Two voice channels were established with primary on KA3TWG and secondary on W3AEC, the first official ARES use of the new DelStar West system. A portable packet station was also deployed to send radio emails via Winlink. To learn how the packet signal was routed to the RMS gateway in Lima, (read artcle).

05/14/10  DELSTAR WEST Repeater System On the Air from Fair Acres

Delaware County's second dedicated emergency communications D-STAR repeater system, W3AEC, became operational at 1500 hours on Friday, May 14th. The repeater system is located atop the Fair Acres Geriatric Center in Lima,  approximately 300 yards from the 911 Center on Route 352. The system consists of three separate Icom repeater modules linked to a multi-port controller. A 70cm digital voice repeater operates on 440.05625 Mhz with a 5 Mhz positive offset. A 23 cm digital voice repeater operates on 1255.5500 with a 12 Mhz positive offset. A 23 cm digital data repeater operates on 1299.9000 Mhz.

(04/25/10)  March for Babies and MS Walk Kick Off 2010 Public Service Season

Delaware County ARES-RACES had a busy weekend April 24-25 as it provided event communications for the March for Babies on Saturday and MS Walk on Sunday. A total of 16 radio operators volunteered their services, providing significant and highly visible contributions to the success of two major charity events. The teams manned six radio positions including a net control station and checkpoints spaced throughout the 4.5 mile course. Volunteer radio operators included K3RF, KB3ACE, KB3SUM, W4RFJ, KA3TEJ, N3NUL, N3JIZ, W3BIG, N3OFR, K3DLX, W3JY, KA3BMS, KB3UGG, AA3EO, N3RLX and KB3UGE.

(04/21/10)  Installation of  DELSTAR WEST Repeater scheduled for May 3.

W3AEC, our second D-STAR repeater system, will be installed at Fair Acres in Lima on May 3rd. The system will be identical to the one installed at DCMH with a digital voice module on 440.05625 Mhz with a positive 5 Mhz offset, a digital voice module on 1255.5500 Mhz with a positive 12 Mhz offset and a digital data module on 1299.9000 Mhz.  We anticipate the system will become operational on that date or shortly afterward. As with our system in Drexel Hill, the W3AEC D-STAR system will become a gateway to the internet. With the antennas being installed on the top of the 14-story high-rise at Fair Acres, we anticipate the RF footprint will be extensive.

(04/10/10)  DELSTAR EAST has New Call

The FCC granted a new vanity call to Delaware County ARES-RACES for use with our D-STAR repeater system at DCMH. The call sign is N3AEC, a companion to W3AEC, which will be used for the D-STAR repeater system to be installed at Fair Acres. The mnemonic device for remembering which call applies is this:  The "W" in W3AEC refers to its location in WESTERN Delaware County. The "N" in N3AEC refers to its location in eastern Delaware County "NEAR PHILADELPHIA." DELSTAR EAST will be programmed with the new call sign on Saturday, April 10.

(03/25/10)  DELSTAR EAST Repeater System On the Air

The first dedicated ARES-RACES repeater system in the history of Delaware County became operational on March 25th, 2010 at 1050 hours. The system, known as DELSTAR EAST, is located atop Delaware County Memorial Hospital in Drexel Hill. The digital repeater system features Icom 440 and 1200 Mhz Digital Voice (DV) repeaters and an Icom 1200 Mhz. Digital Data (DD) repeater. The system is temporarily using the call sign KB3UES until a new vanity call is authorized by the FCC. The 440 DV repeater operates on 440.04375 Mhz with a plus 5 Mhz offset. The 1.2G DV repeater operates on 1255.5250 Mhz with a plus 12 Mhz offset. The 1.2G DD repeater operates on 1299.7 Mhz. Power output is 25 Watts on 440 and 10 Watts on 1.2G. Antennas include a Celwave omni on 440 and a Comet Omni on 1.2G. The system was funded entirely by Delaware County Memorial Hospital and was designed and installed by Jeff DePolo, WN3A, of Broadcast Sciences. This system, along with the one soon to be installed at Fair Acres in Lima, will form the backbone of a dedicated digital repeater network in Delaware County that will enhance Amateur Radio emergency communications within the region.

(02/24/10)  Wide-band D-STAR Digital Data Frequencies Coordinated

The Area Repeater Coordination Council (ARCC) for EPA / SNJ has recommended frequencies for wide-band digital data (DD) operation for Delaware County's two ARES  D-STAR repeater systems. The KC2UYT system, designated as High-speed Data East and located atop Delaware County Memorial Hospital in Drexel Hill, will use 1299.7 Mhz. The W3AEC system, designated as High-speed Data West and located atop the Fair Acres building in Lima, will operate on 1299.9 Mhz. These two high-speed digital data links will greatly enhance emergency communications via Amateur Radio within Delaware County and adjacent communities.

(02/12/10)  Final Assembly Made on Portable EmComm Kits

Volunteers from Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties met at Rose Tree Fire Company in Media Friday, February 12 to complete assembly of 12 portable emergency communication kits provided by a grant from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Antiterrorism Task Force.  The kits feature an HP notebook computer, Yaesu FT-857 HF/VHF/UHF transceiver and pactor III modem enclosed in a waterproof Pelican case. The units were designed by Jeff DePolo of Broadcast Sciences, who supervised assembly of the units.  The construction team included First District EC Bob Famiglio-K3RF, ADEC Roger Jordan-W4RFJ, Doug Priest-W3CF, Bill Henderson-WM3L, Jim Harris-WA3NOA, Brian Faux-N3QGO and Bob Wilson-W3BIG.  Each county ARES-RACES unit will receive 3 of the kits with the exception of Chester County, which already has similar systems. The kits will greatly enhance portable operations and promote interoperability in the region.

(02/02/10) Bob Famiglio - K3RF Named 2009 Firefighter of the Year for Rose Tree Fire Company No. 1.

Delaware County's own Bob Famiglio - K3RF was named 2009 Firefighter of the Year by Rose Tree Fire Company in Upper Providence Township. Bob wears many hats, including Delaware County ARES-RACES member, First District Emergency Coordinator, practicing attorney and firefighter. Bob serves as a lieutenant with Rose Tree Fire Company and is frequently called out at any hour to battle fires in and around Media. His dedication to public safety is exemplary and we in DelCo ARES are proud of his accomplishments.

(02/01/10) Frequencies Issued for New D-Star Repeater Systems

The Area Repeater Coordination Council (ARCC) for EPA / SNJ has issued frequencies for two new D-Star repeater systems to be operated by Delaware County ARES-RACES. The W3AEC repeater system, to be located atop Fair Acres Geriatric Complex in Lima will have digital voice and data repeaters operating on output frequencies of 440.05625 Mhz with a + 5 Mhz offset and on 1255.5500 Mhz with a + 12 Mhz offset. The KC2UYT repeater system will be located atop Delaware County Memorial Hospital in Drexel Hill and will have digital voice and data repeaters operating on output frequencies of 440.04375 Mhz with a + 5 Mhz offset and on 1255.5250 Mhz with a + 12 Mhz offset. Plans are to have the new D-Star repeater systems operational and on the air sometime in the Spring.

(01/28/10) Auxiliary Communications Services (ACS) Program becomes effective January 22, 2010

On January 22, 2010, PEMA Director Robert P. French signed the Pennsylvania Auxiliary Communications Services (ACS) Program Directive D2020-1. This directive formally established the Pennsylvania Auxiliary Communications Services (ACS) Program, which includes the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) as an inherent component of the program, within the Pennsylvania Emergency management Agency (PEMA) to provide official auxiliary emergency communications in support of established state, county and local public safety communications systems.

With the signing of Directive 2010-1, two items become immediately effective statewide. First, in order to comply with NIMS policy on the use of common terminology,  Auxiliary Communications Services, or ACS, will be the generic term used to refer to all government-sponsored volunteer communications programs in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, whether the program includes RACES or not and regardless of the name used to identify a specific jurisdiction's program.  Secondly, the title of ACS Officer will replace the title of RACES Officer, or RO, in all jurisdictions. The changes do not require or suggest that any personnel changes occur. The duties and responsibilities of current RACES Officers will not change. Only the position title will change.

(01/23/10) Ham-in-a-Day Class Scheduled for Saturday, March 27

The next Ham-in-Day licensing course, sponsored by the Penn-Del Amateur Radio Club, is scheduled for Saturday, March 27th from 0830-1730. The course is an excellent way to break into the exciting Amateur Radio hobby. The class is taught by Hal Frantz, KA3TWG, who has a phenomenal success rate in licensing new Amateur Radio operators. The class will be held at Maximillians located at 3001 Naamans Creek Road in Boothwyn, PA. A $40 course fee includes instruction, morning refreshments and the license exam fee. More information on the course is available here:  Ham Radio License In a Day Flyer March 2010.pdf

(01/07/10  Atlantic Division Webinar on Legal Issues Affecting Amateur Radio a Successful Event

The ARRL's Atlantic Division presented an informational webinar dealing with legal issues affecting Amateur Radio clubs and organizations on Wednesday, January 6th at 9:00 p.m. The one hour and fifty minute program, hosted by Atlantic Division Director Bob Edgar, N3LLR, covered many interesting topics including liability issues, incorporation of organizations, statutory immunity under the Federal Volunteer Protection Act and other subjects. Panelists included three prominent attorneys within the Amateur Radio community. Chris Imlay, W3KD, general counsel to the ARRL was joined by Bob Famiglio, K3RF and Mike Lazaroff, K3AIR. The program was intended to assist club officers in dealing with important legal matters affecting their organizations.

(12/16/09)  Fred Field, N3OFR, Assumes Leadership of Response Team Alfa

Fred Field, N3OFR, a seasoned member of Delaware County ARES-RACES, has assumed leadership of Response Team Alfa, the unit's primary field communications team. Fred, who serves as the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management Coordinator for Concord Township as well as a first responder with Concordville Fire Company, has the experience and skills to make the team a top-notch emcomm resource. Fred has been a dedicated team member and has served during countless public service events at Ridley Creek State Park and elsewhere.

(12/16/09)  Ray Jones, KB3NFE and Lori Jones, KB3PRF Leave Delaware County

Delaware County ARES-RACES will miss two outstanding volunteers who served with distinction. Ray and Lori Jones, KB3NFE and KB3PRF have moved their family to South Jersey. Ray served as AEC for Operations for nearly two years and had also served as webmaster for delcoares.  Ray and Lori were fixtures at nearly every public service event and exercise conducted by the unit. Ray and Lori's dedication were unmatched and they both directly contributed to the success and viability of everything Delaware County ARES-RACES has accomplished. They will be missed by all. We wish Ray and Lori the greatest success in their new home and careers.

(12/16/09)  New EmComm Equipment Received

The communications equipment from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Anti-Terrorism Task Force grant has been received and is being integrated into operational status with Delaware County ARES-RACES. The equipment includes three D-Star repeaters for operation on both the 440 Mhz and 1.2G bands along with all necessary hardware including power supply, duplexers, triplexers, filters and antenna. Additionally, the first part of the portable emcomm kits has arrived. These kits include Icom ID-1 D-Star transceivers, Yaesu FT-857 HF/VHF/UHF transceivers, SGC auto-tuners, 26AH AGM batteries, power supplies, West Mountain PwrGates, HP laptop computers with portable printers, loop Yagi antenna arrays and all necessary cables enclosed in tough, waterproof Pelican cases. An Icom ID-800H D-Star transceiver was also included and has been installed at the ARES radio room. Training sessions on the new equipment will be scheduled as soon as possible.

(12/16/09)  New ARES-RACES D-Star Repeater to be installed at DCMH

Armand Alessi, KC2UYT, Director of Safety and Security at Delaware County Memorial Hospital, has announced that all of the equipment for the new D-Star repeater system to be installed at the Drexel Hill medical facility has been received. The new repeater will be installed shortly and will serve as an emergency communications hub in the eastern region of Delaware County. This repeater system will be identical to the ARES-RACES system that will be installed at Fair Acres. The two systems will provide a voice and data network dedicated to emergency communications in Delaware County.

(12/16/09)  New DelCo ARES-RACES Website

Delaware County ARES-RACES has a new look on the web. The website has been reworked and has a different look. We are indebted to past webmaster Ray Jones, KB3NFE, who managed the site for a few years. Ray and his family recently moved to New Jersey and his service will be sorely missed.