ARES Simplex Exercise June 13

* Primarily for historical reference *
* Only registered users may post here, ALL comments are moderated *
Posts: 83
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:30 pm
First Name: Chuck
Last Name: Lewis
City: Huntsville
State: AL
Mail Zip Code: 35801
License Class: Extra
Location: Huntsville, AL

ARES Simplex Exercise June 13

Post by N4NM » Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:40 pm

The Alabama Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) will once again conduct a FM Simplex Exercise designed to encourage members to test their range on FM Simplex. This will be a two-hour exercise starting at 4:00PM Central until 6:00PM Central time on Saturday, June 13th.
This test is held during the ARRL June VHF QSO Contest to allow ARES volunteers to have the opportunity to contact more distant VHF contest stations, many of whom run high power and gain antennas. During last year's event, some ARES volunteers were able to make contacts over 200 miles away from their QTH!
During the event, stations will exchange call signs and "grid squares". You can also obtain your grid square from by looking up your callsign and then clicking on "details". Birmingham, Shelby, and Tuscaloosa are in EM63, Huntsville is in EM64, Montgomery is in EM62, & Mobile is in EM50. Find your grid square today & be ready for the exercise.
A typical QSO might go something like:
"CQ CQ CQ. This is WX4AL in EM62. Over"
"WX4AL this is N1LF. You are loud and clear in EM63. Over".
"Roger, roger, N1LF. You are loud and clear here as well. Thank you for EM63".
ARES groups are encouraged to man their local EOC's to test the range of our served agencies amateur communications. Other groups will want to set up "hill top" operations in high areas in your community and use Yagi (beam) antennas for greater range. If you're trying to work a VHF contest station, you may want to rotate your beam to the
"horizontal" position as most work done on SSB/CW is horizontal. The difference in polarization can cost you up to 20db of signal strength!
It's also the perfect chance to test your backup power supply, and mobile stations. During hurricanes and winter storms, prolonged power outages can mean that even repeaters equipped with backup power supplies will fail in a few days. It's important to know the range of your station on simplex, and practice using it often. All ARES members are encouraged to take steps to improve their simplex range.
Frequencies to be used for the exercise are:
Six Meters (50-54 MHz)
52.525 MHz
Two Meters (144 - 148 MHz)
FM simplex is allowed frequencies:
147.555 (This frequency is home of the "Triple Nickel Gang" Friday Night Simplex Net at 10PM Central. These guys are hardcore simplex fans!) Note: You cannot operate on the National Simplex frequency of 146.520 during this exercise.
1-1/4 Meters (222 - 225 MHz)
70 Centimeters (430 - 450 MHz)
So, lets program
52.525 / 146.550 / 146.580 / 147.555 / 223.500 / 446.000
Please send in detailed reports of your activities, and consider submitting your log to the ARRL Contest as well. We'll post an after action report on the state web site in early July. Join us for Alabama ARES Simplex Exercise 2009!
Les Rayburn, N1LF
ARES AL Section Emergency Coordinator

Posts: 348
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:47 pm
First Name: Alan
Last Name: Sieg
City: Madison
State: AL
Mail Zip Code: 35758
License Class: Extra
Location: Sullivan @ Browns Ferry in Madison, AL

Re: ARES Simplex Exercise June 13

Post by wb5rmg » Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:13 am

This is such a great idea ..!..

Not only does this help introduce folks to the annual summer VHF contest (Jun 13-14),
but it provides a valuable exercise for operating simplex, or point-to-point - to help us better understand who we can reach direct if/when we find ourselves without repeater/internet infrastructure. I encourage everyone to join in on this and keep a simple log to document who you can hear, and who can hear you. Typically the contest exchange may only use a four (4) character exchange for your grid square, but within the metro area around Huntsville - it will be even more meaningful if we use all six (6) characters in our exchanges and logs. This also helps us to become more familiar with the numbering convention, and where each of us live.

Example, many of us live in EM64, but my location is better described as EM64pq...
You can look up your complete grid information with assistance from

Even after the simplex exercise, stick around for the VHF contest. You might be amazed at how many stations you can work.
Enjoy /;^)
###### WB5RMG is Alan Sieg ## ######
ARRL/ARES Assistant Emergency Coordinator, Madison County Alabama