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Cook County Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®)

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This is the home page of Cook County Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®).



 Next ARES Events  
  ARES events only. See complete calendar below for other events,
  including public service events run by other groups.
  Key:     ARES Nets and Meetings    ARES/Operating Activities    Public Service Events    Training/Seminars/ WX Spotter Classes
Sat Oct 21 0800 Public Service: Summit Hill Haunted Hustle 5k Walk/Run (Will County ARES)
Wed Oct 25 2100 Cook County ARES Net  SARA Repeater, 146.88 MHz
Thu–Sat Nov 02– 05 1200–1200 Illinois Statewide ARES SET
Note that SET is scheduled for November, instead of the usual October.
Wed Nov 22 2100 Cook County ARES Net  SARA Repeater, 146.88 MHz
Wed Dec 27 2100 Cook County ARES Net  SARA Repeater, 146.88 MHz


   Quick Jumps

ARES Calendar of Activities and Public Service Events
Emergency Frequencies--Northeast Illinois and Statewide
Invitation to Join ARES
ARES Registration Forms
Severe Weather (Skywarn®) Training 2017
Chicago-Area and Illinois Nets, including ARES, Skywarn, and Public Service
Cook County ARES Net--4th Wednesday every Month
Schaumburg ARC Emergency Communications and ARES Net
ARRL Field Day--Illinois and Chicago-Area Field Day Operations
Illinois Statewide Simulated Emergency Test (SET)
Skywarn® Recognition Day
Further Reading about ARES and Public Service
Ham Radio Classes in the Chicago Area
Contact Cook County ARES


ARES Calendar of Activities and Public Service Events

  Key:     ARES Nets and Meetings    ARES/Operating Activities    Public Service Events    Training/Seminars/ WX Spotter Classes
Day Date Local Time Event
Sat Oct 21 0800 Public Service: Summit Hill Haunted Hustle 5k Walk/Run (Will County ARES)
Wed Oct 25 2100 Cook County ARES Net  SARA Repeater, 146.88 MHz
Sun Oct 29 1000 Public Service–Annual Sycamore Pumpkin Festival Parade–Sycamore
Thu–Sat Nov 02– 05 1200–1200 Illinois Statewide ARES SET
Note that SET is scheduled for November, instead of the usual October.
Wed Nov 22 2100 Cook County ARES Net  SARA Repeater, 146.88 MHz
Fri Dec 01 1800 Skywarn Recognition Day
Sat Dec 02 0000–1800 Skywarn Recognition Day
Wed Dec 27 2100 Cook County ARES Net  SARA Repeater, 146.88 MHz

Detailed Information on Public Service Events and Operating Activities*:

Date/Time Event Location Contact and Additional Details
Sat 2017/10/21
0800–1200
* Summit Hill Haunted Hustle 5k Walk/Run

Benefits Summit Hill Educational Foundation/Summit Hill School District 161
Tinley Park

Union Creek Pavilion
Hilda Walker School
19900 80th Ave.
  • For general information about the event, visit this link.
  • For additional information or to volunteer, contact Jerry Watts K9LOT, Will County EC
    • E-mail: here; or
    • Tel: 815-276-5085 C
  • Communications provided by Will County ARES
Sun 2017/10/29
1000–1600
* Sycamore Pumpkin Festival Parade Sycamore
Downtown
  • For additional information or to volunteer, contact Bob Yurs W9ICU, DeKalb County EC and Kishwaukee ARC Event Coordinator:
    • E-mail: here
    • Tel: 815-895-7584
  • Communications provided by:
    • DeKalb County ARES
    • Kishwaukee ARC
Updates pending.
 * Events marked with an asterisk are run by organizations other than Cook County ARES and are advertised here as a service to the event organizers and to ARES members interested in public service activities. Information is believed accurate, but you should contact event organizers directly to learn of any changes and to let them know you are available to assist.

Invitation to Join ARES

To All Radio Amateurs:

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) is a voluntary organization of licensed amateurs who have registered their capabilities and equipment for providing emergency communications as a public service to the community. The purpose of the ARES is to furnish communications in the event of natural disaster, when regular communications fail or are inadequate. Sponsored by ARRL®, the ARES functions at the local level to meet local communications needs.

The ARES has a long history of public service going back to its formal inception in 1935. Since that time, the ARES has responded countless times to communications emergencies.

Experience has proven that radio amateurs respond more capably in time of emergency when practice has been conducted in an organized group. There is no substitute for experience gained before the need arises.

The ARES in each locality operates under the direction of the Emergency Coordinator (EC), whose function is to direct the activities of the ARES to maintain a state of readiness.

To register in the ARES, send the detachable registration form above directly to your EC, or to ARRL Headquarters for forwarding to your EC. League membership is not required for registration. Registration does not require the possession of any specially designed equipment. All amateurs can be of assistance to the ARES. There is provision in the ARES for every amateur regardless of class of license, equipment owned, or personal circumstances.

Won't you join us in providing this essential Amateur Radio service?

Richard Palm, K1CE
Field Services Manager

ARES Registration Forms

Illinois Nets, including ARES, Public Service, NTS, and Skywarn® Nets

Cook County ARES Net

The Cook County ARES Net meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 9:00 PM local time on the SARA repeater (146.88 MHz R-600 PL107.2). All amateurs with 2-meter privileges and an interest in emergency and public service communications are welcome, without regard to ARES membership, ARRL membership, or county of residence. The net features a brief training session each month designed to improve each participant's competence in emergency communications. The net also includes announcements regarding emergency and public service communications. Suggested reading material for each training session will be available here or via e-mail.

Schaumburg ARC Emergency Communications and ARES Net

The Schaumburg Amateur Radio Club Emergency Communications and ARES Net meets on the first Thursday of the month at 8:20 PM local time on the SARC repeater (145.23 MHz R-600 PL107.2). If the repeater is unavailable, the net is conducted in simplex on the repeater output frequency. All amateurs with 2-meter privileges and an interest in emergency and public service communications are welcome. The net features a brief training session each month designed to improve each participants competence in emergency communications. The net also includes announcements regarding emergency and public service communications. Suggested reading material for each training session is available here or via e-mail.

Illinois and Chicago-Area Field Day Operations

ARRL® Field Day 2017

June 24 and 25, 2017

ARRL® Field Day is the largest Amateur Radio emergency communications exercise, and is held annually in late June. (More info from ARRL.)

Amateur radio operators (or "hams") numbering in the tens of thousands, throughout the US and Canada, will demonstrate their emergency communications capabilities by trying to contact as many other stations as possible over a 24 to 27 hour period, using emergency power sources and temporary stations and antennas erected in the field for this event. Many hams participate in this event as part of a local amateur radio club or emergency communications volunteer group. Some clubs/groups operate at the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) of a government or other served agency, instead of building stations in the field.

Field Day is not just for experienced hams. Visiting a club/group Field Day operation is a great way for new hams to learn more about emergency communications and to meet other hams in their neighborhood. And Field Day is an excellent introduction to ham radio for the general public.

We encourage all amateurs to participate in this fun and educational emergency communications exercise. Most clubs/groups will be delighted to welcome you as a visitor, even if you're not a member of the group, and even if you're not a licensed ham.

2017 Updates pending through Field Day weekend, 24-25 June, 2017

Maps and additional information on club/group Field Day operations in Illinois in 2017 are available at the Illinois and Chicago-Area Field Day Directory:

A Thumbnail Map of Northeast Illinois Field Day Locations Another Thumbnail Map of Northeast Illinois Field Day Locations

Field Day Directory

And while you're planning to visit one of these Field Day operations, please consider bringing along a friend or neighbor who might enjoy learning about amateur radio. Kids love Field Day because there's always something going on!


ARRL Field Day 2018

June 23-24, 2018

ARRL Field Day is always the fourth full weekend in June.

In 2018, ARRL Field Day will be held over the weekend of June 23-24. The Illinois and Chicago-Area Area Field Day Page for 2018 will be posted around April 2018.

For Further Reading on Amateur Radio Emergency and Public Service Communications, Including ARES

Severe Weather (Skywarn®) Spotter Training and Seminars
2017 Season

Severe Weather Spotter Training by the National Weather Service Chicago (Romeoville) Forecast Office

The National Weather Service (NWS) offers severe weather spotter training classes at dozens of locations throughout the Chicago forecast office's county warning area (CWA) in Northeast Illinois and Northwest Indiana. Classes are offered from January through April.

The classes are about 1-1/2 to 2 hours and feature a multimedia presentation. Most classes are presented by a NWS meteorologist, but a small number of classes are presented by a trainer from the host agency. Most classes are open to the public, but some host agencies limit participants or require pre-registration. Contact the host agency well in advance to learn of any restrictions and to register. Basic spotter classes are free of charge. An independent-study online class is also available.

Severe Weather Spotter Training by Other NWS Offices

Advanced Seminars and Spotter Training

The Milwaukee NWS office typically offers a small number of advanced spotter classes. Longer severe-weather-related seminars are offered by other organizations, though NWS personnel may appear at these seminars. Not all seminars include spotter training. Check the event announcement or consult the organizer to learn if it will be provided. Some advanced seminars impose fees and require pre-registration.

  • Central Illinois Weather Net Severe Weather Seminar
    Eureka IL
    4 March 2017, 0830-1615
    Fee and Advance Registration required.
     
  • Du Page Advanced Severe Weather Seminar
    Wheaton
    11 March 2017, 0830-1500
    Fee and Advance Registration required.
     
  • Dark Skies Mid West SSTRC Inc. Severe Weather Seminar
    Madison WI
    25 March 2017, 0800-1630
    No charge. Pre-registration not required.
    Event information pending: http://midwestdarksky.com/
     
  • Advanced Spotter Training
    New Berlin WI
    22 April 2017, 1300-1600
    No charge.
    Event information pending: http://www.mke-skywarn.org/schedule.htm
     
  • Milwaukee Area Skywarn Association Danger in Dairyland Seminar
    Greenfield WI
    Date TBD (probably 22 April 2017)
    No charge. Pre-registstration not required.
    Event information pending: http://www.mke-skywarn.org/april23seminar.htm
     

Tom Skilling Tornado and Severe Weather Seminar at Fermilab--8 April 2017

Tom Skilling presents an annual Tornado and Severe Weather Seminar at Fermilab. Although not spotter training, many people interested in tornadoes and other severe weather phonomena find the seminar informative and enjoyable. In 2017, only a single presentation will be offered beginning at 1200. The presentations run about four hours. This seminar is to be offered free of charge. Unlike recent years, no tickets are required. Because seating is first-come, first-served, it is wise to arrive well in advance. It is expected that the event will be live-streamed on the WGN TV web site, and following the event, recorded video of the seminar will be available at WGN's site.

For more information, visit (update pending, awaiting official announcement links):

Illinois Statewide Simulated Emergency Test (SET)

2 November 2017 (Thursday), Noon (local time)—
5 November 2017 (Sunday), Noon (local time)

SET: An Opportunity to Test Emergency Communications Capabilities

ARES units throughout Illinois will participate in a statewide Simulated Emergency Test (SET) during the 73‑hour beginning at Noon, local time, 2 November 2017 (Thursday).

The Simulated Emergency Test (SET) is an annual opportunity for amateur radio operators and emergency communications groups to exercise and test their emergency communications skills and equipment while interacting with served agencies, NTS nets, and other ARES and EmComm organizations.

Stay tuned for additional details To Be Announced

EmComm Round Table for All Interested Hams

Third Saturday of the Month--0900 AM
Hoffman Estates P.D.

Bob Langsfeld WB9TZC hosts an EmComm Round Table meeting for hams interested in emergency and public service communications on the first third Saturday of most months.

The Em Comm Round Table is a public service and emergency communications amateur radio operators interest group. The meeting is open to amateur radio operators and members of clubs, ARES, and RACES. Participants share experience and network with one another. The format typically includes "hot wash" of past events, a posting of upcoming events and coordinator contact information, a brief presentation on a selected topic, followed by a round-table discussion on the presentation topic and any other topics participants wish to raise.

The meeting is held at the Hoffman Estates Police Department, 411 W Higgins Rd., Hoffman Estates. The meeting begins at 9:45 AM 9:00 AM. Participants gather in the lobby of the Police Department and are guided to a meeting room.

For more information:

Note: This meeting is organized by Bob Langsfeld WB9TZC, but is not an official activity of Hoffman Estates EMA or Cook County ARES.

Skywarn® Recognition Day

Friday 2 December 2016 1800 CST through
Saturday 3 December 2016 1800 CST.

Skywarn Recognition Day is a FUN amateur radio operating event to celebrate the contributions that volunteer SKYWARN radio operators make to the National Weather Service (NWS).

Amateurs visit National Weather Service offices throughout the U.S. to set up ham radio stations and operate during the 24-hour period of the event. The goal for these stations is to contact as many other stations, including other NWS offices, as they can. Other amateurs participate from home, club, mobile, or portable stations. They try to contact as many participating NWS offices as possible. Certificates are available to participants who contact a threshold number of other stations.

Although Skywarn Recognition Day is intended principally as a fun operating event, EmComm-focused amateurs can use this as a great learning opportunity, because Skywarn Recognition Day is a great emergency communications exercise. In some cases, operations at NWS offices are like a winter Field Day, in which visiting hams set up several additional stations and antennas to supplement the stations permanently installed at the office. And maximizing the number of participating stations contacted requires operating skills similar to those needed in an emergency.

The National Weather Service is an important served agency for amateurs throughout the region. Can your station communicate directly with the Romeoville forecast office via simplex? If you now expect to use one of NWS' selected liaison repeaters, and that repeater is out of service, will you be able to use one of the other repeaters? Skywarn Recognition Day will give you an opportunity to find out.

How to participate:

  1. Review the Skywarn Recognition Day information at
    http://www.weather.gov/hamradio.
  2. Make contacts with WX9LOT, the station at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Romeoville, IL on as many of the repeaters listed below as you can. See "Special Note" below.
  3. Make a simplex contact with WX9LOT on one or both of 2m and 70cm.
  4. If you have HF privileges, make contacts with WX9LOT and as many other participating Skywarn Recognition Day stations as you can on HF.
  5. If you want a certificate or QSL cards from participating NWS Skywarn Recognition Day stations, follow the instructions at
    http://www.weather.gov/hamradio.
  6. To sign up to participate in Skywarn Recognition Day at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Romeoville, visit:
    http://www.weather.gov/lot/skywarn_signup

Skywarn Recognition Day is held on the first Saturday of December--in 2016, that's December 3. The event runs from 0000 to 2400 UTC (i.e., the event begins at 1800 CST on Friday and runs through 1800 CST Saturday).

Special Note

Following list is from prior years. 2017 Update Pending

WX9LOT at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Romeoville makes a special effort to contact hams in the 23 counties of the NWS Chicago County Warning Area (CWA) on the 2m and 70cm bands. Repeaters typically used include:

RepeaterOutput FrequencyPLOffset
Valparaiso, Indiana147.105 Mhzpl 131.8+
FishFAR--Schaumburg442.900pl 114.8+
FishFAR--Gilberts442.925pl 114.8+
FishFAR--Joliet442.925pl 114.8+
FishFAR--Chicago442.975pl 114.8+
FishFAR--Gilberts146.925pl 100.0
Dupage Radio Club442.550pl 114.8+
Kankakee, Illinois146.94 Mhzpl 107.2+
Grundy County, Illinois442.325 Mhzpl 114.8+
Ogle county, Illinois147.165 Mhzpl 146.2+
Corrections from NB9R and AB9MZ applied.

Ham Radio Classes

Become an Amateur Radio Operator

It's easy to become a licensed amateur radio operator. Most new hams obtain the Technician class license, which is the most basic of the three amateur radio operator licenses now available in the United States. Prospective Technician licensees must pass a 35-question test on the fundamentals radio, electronics, safety, and operating rules. All of the test questions are published, and study aids are widely available. It's not uncommon for elementary-school students to pass the test. Tests are offered by volunteer groups throughout the Chicago area, several times each month. Many people find classes offered by clubs or emergency communications groups a good way to learn about amateur radio and prepare for the test.

Upcoming Amateur Radio Classes in the Chicago Area


 

Ham-in-a-Day/General-in-a-Day

Date:12 November 2017, 1000—1700
Class Sponsor:Will Couty ARES and Wilmington ESDA
Location:Wilmington ESDA
Contact:Jerry Watts K9LOT
E-mail:here
Tel:815-276-5085

Emergency Frequencies--Northeast Illinois

Default Communications Emergency Frequencies by County

District County/ARES Unit Default Communications Emergency Meeting Frequency Default Resource Net Frequency for Mutual Aid Responders
4 Cook 146.88 R-600 PL107.2 SARA ❄ Same.
4 —Elk Grove Village    
4 —Hoffman Estates/Schaumburg    
4 —Melrose Park    
4 —Palatine    
4 Dupage    
4 Lake (IL) 147.18 R+600 PL127.3 LCRACES ❄ Same.
3 Boone    
3 McHenry    
3 Dekalb    
3 Kane    
3 Kendall    
3 Lasalle    
3 Grundy    
3 Kankakee    
IN Lake (IN)    
WI Rock (WI)    
WI Walworth (WI)    
WI Kenosha (WI)    
WI Racine (WI)    

Notes:

  • TheDefault Communications Emergency Meeting Frequency is the intended as a frequency where amateur operators can meet in a communications emergency of sufficient scope to disrupt the ordinary activation plans of local and county Emcomm groups. Obviously, any activation instructions an operator actually receives take precedence over this published default frequency.
  • TheDefault Resource Net Frequency for Mutual-Aid Responders is intended as a frequency where amateur radio operators available to offer mutual-aid support may expect to find a resource net (or may seek further instructions).
  • The ❄ symbol next to a repeater frequency indicates that when the repeater is inoperative, activities will be conducted in simplex mode on the repeater output frequency.

Statewide Amateur Radio Interoperability Frequencies

Band Frequency (MHz) Mode Notes
80m 3.905 LSB Primary
40m 7.230 LSB Secondary
2m 145.610 S 1200 bps packet Winlink
2m 146.520 S FM IL2A, Nationwide Calling
2m 147.525 S FM IL2B
2m 147.570 S FM IL2C
70cm 446.000 S FM ILUHFA, Nationwide Calling
70cm 446.400 S FM ILUHFB
70cm 446.700 S FM ILUHFC

Source: Illinois Interoperability Field Operations Guide (I2FOG), May 2016 Edition.

VHF and UHF frequencies marked with "S" are intended for use as simplex frequencies. It is recommended that when programming radios for interoperability channels, the radio be set to to receive using carrier squelch (i.e., disabling tone squelch and DCS), and to transmit the predominant local tone (PL, CTCSS) for the band. (The predominant tones vary regionally. For Cook County, they are 107.2 Hz on 2m and 114.8 Hz on 70cm.) This combination optimizes compatibility with other operators who may not be transmitting the correct or any tone and who may have their receivers set for tone squelch.

Contact Cook County ARES

For more information on how you can be a part of ARES in Cook County, Illinois, contact:
   Neil Ormos N9NL
District Emergency Coordinator, ARES Region 4
(Cook, DuPage, Lake Counties)
2700 S. Briarwood Drive West
Arlington Heights    IL    60005-4603
Tel:   +1 847 477 7104
E-mail: ares1 at-the-domain N9NL.com

Outside of Cook, DuPage, or Lake Counties? Visit the Illinois Section ARES page at http://www.qsl.net/ares-il/ to find the ARES unit serving your county.

 

 


Trademark acknowledgements:  
  • Amateur Radio Emergency ServiceARES, and A R R L  are registered trademarks of American Radio Relay League, Incorporated, 225 Main St., Newington CT 06111.
  • Skywarn  is a registered trademark of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 1401 Constitution Ave NW, Washington DC 20230-0001.


 

Page Version: 2017-10-11 13:39:25 nro@tiger1