Macoupin County ARES Net
Macoupin County ARC Net
Okaw Valley Net
W9VEY Memorial Net
Bill Ogle, W9FJ Retires as Macoupin EC
Last month Bill Ogle, W9FJ celebrated his 94th birthday!
Congratulations Bill and happy, happy birthday! Earlier in the
month, at the February K9MCE club meeting, and after serving 15
years as Macoupin County ARRL Emergency Coordinator and ARES net
control, Bill decided it was time to turn over the reins and to hang
up his spurs as EC and ARES Net Control.
For fifteen years, W9FJ served Macoupin County citizens as the
ARRL Emergency Coordinator. Bill is also known as the voice and net
control behind the weekly, Thursday night ARES (Amateur Radio
Emergency Service) net on 147.480 simplex.
At the club meeting, Macoupin County EMA director, Jim Pitchford,
N9LQF expressed his deepest thanks and gratitude to Bill for all of
his faithful service to the citizens of Macoupin County.
For readers new to Amateur Radio, The Amateur Radio Emergency
Service® (ARES®) consists of Amateur Radio licensees who have
voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment for
communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes.
Every licensed amateur, regardless of membership in ARRL or any
other local or national organization, is eligible to apply for
membership in ARES. Training may be required or desired to
participate fully in ARES. The local ARES Emergency Coordinator can
Last month, Ron,
KO0Z visited the Montgomery County Amateur Radio
Emergency Corps meeting and presented the idea of
forming a tri-county SkyWarn Net. KO0Z wanted to know if
there would be any concerns using the 146.82 repeater
for SkyWarn nets during severe weather events. Members
in attendance didn’t think there would be any concerns ,
outside of the repeater needs more maintenance, and
said, "that’s one of the reasons for the repeater!" With
that in mind, Ron would like to establish a SkyWarn net
using the Montgomery club’s repeater.
The rationale is that the St. Louis NWS office uses a
link into the WS9V repeater system. It relies on traffic
passed on this system because it covers virtually all
the Illinois counties included in the St. Louis office’s
area of responsibility. Obviously, idle chit-chat and
non-threatening weather related traffic need not be on
the WS9V repeater during weather alerts. Hence, the
popular phrase you may have heard, "If it don’t spin,
don’t turn it in." Having spent ten years as a SkyWarn
net control at the St. Louis office that adage is not
quite right. There are times when you’ll hear the NWS
net control ask for weather related information from a
particular part of a county. Often times, the request
comes from the meteorologists because they’ve received a
severe weather report from some other source, or the
area is question is beyond the "resolution" of the
WSR-88D Doppler radar. As you may know, the Doppler
radar, due to curvature of the Earth, is unable to
resolve what is going on at the altitudes where tornadic
development is more pronounced which in our case happens
to be in Macoupin and Montgomery counties. Therefore,
NWS net control is interested in confirming that only
light rain is falling at such and such a location to
verify that they checked their system and to get ground
That’s where the 146.82 SkyWarn net will come into
play. Amateur Radio operators are encouraged to report
rain, wind , and hail reports of any size on the net.
Events DO NOT have to be of a severe nature only.
SkyWarn net controls will monitor both the 146.82 and
the 444.450 repeaters. Theoretically, if the SkyWarn Net
gets regular weather reports from Amateurs throughout
our tri-county area on either repeater, and if the
information is current, when NWS Net Control asks for a
report from a particular area, pertinent information can
be quickly and accurately passed to the NWS by QSYing to
the WS9V/R system!
So who can be a SkyWarn member? If you’re a licensed
Amateur Radio operator, and if you’re reading this
article, and you have an interest in weather and public
safety, then YOU can be a member. Interested hams pse
contact KO0Z at email@example.com or catch him on the
444.250 repeater system.
Remember: YOU are SkyWarn!
Ron, KO0Z Newly Appointed Macoupin EC
Late January, while returning back from visiting grandchildren in
Missouri, Macoupin County EMA director, Jim Pitchford, N9LQF
contacted Ron Ochu, KO0Z and told him that Bill, W9FJ wanted to
retire as Macoupin County ARRL EC (Emergency Coordinator). Jim’s
next question was would KO0Z consider filling-in for Bill as the
next Macoupin County ARRL EC.
Ron agreed to take the position, but he has big shoes to fill.
KO0Z plans to build on the firm emergency communications foundation
that Bill and Jim have built and maintained in Macoupin County.
Ron, KO0Z just picked up a Cushcraft 4 element 2 meter beam to
put on top of his tower to increase his 2 meter simplex
communications ability throughout the county.
KO0Z plans to update Macoupin County ARES member-ship at the
March meeting. Plans also include creating a positive ARES ID badge.
Contact Ron Ochu, KO0Z at 217-481-5821 or firstname.lastname@example.org with
comments or for more information.