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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.
Homeland Security Threat Level
  Key:     ARES Nets and Meetings    ARES/Operating Activities    Public Service Events    Weather Seminars/Training
Sat Oct 01 0830—
1130
Illinois Statewide Simulated Emergency Test (SET)
Wed Oct 26 2100 Cook County ARES Net  SARA Repeater, 146.88 MHz
Wed Nov 23 2100 Cook County ARES Net  SARA Repeater, 146.88 MHz
Fri Dec 02 1800 Skywarn Recognition Day
Sat Dec 03 0000–1800 Skywarn Recognition Day
Wed Dec 28 2100 Cook County ARES Net  SARA Repeater, 146.88 MHz


   Quick Jumps

ARES Calendar of Activities and Public Service Events
Invitation to Join ARES
ARES Registration Forms
Severe Weather (Skywarn®) Training 2015
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
Contact Cook County ARES


ARES Calendar of Activities and Public Service Events

  Key:     ARES Nets and Meetings    ARES/Operating Activities    Public Service Events    Weather Seminars/Training
Day Date Local Time Event
Sat Oct 01 0830—
1130
Illinois Statewide Simulated Emergency Test (SET)
Sat Oct 09 0600--1500 Public Service: Chicago Marathon
Sat Oct 22 0800 Public Service: Hilda Walker 5k Trick or Trunk Race
Wed Oct 26 2100 Cook County ARES Net  SARA Repeater, 146.88 MHz
Wed Nov 23 2100 Cook County ARES Net  SARA Repeater, 146.88 MHz
Fri Dec 02 1800 Skywarn Recognition Day
Sat Dec 03 0000–1800 Skywarn Recognition Day
Wed Dec 28 2100 Cook County ARES Net  SARA Repeater, 146.88 MHz

Detailed Information on Public Service Events*:

Date/Time Event Location Contact and Additional Details
Sat Oct 22

0800--
TBA
* Hilda Walker 5k Trick or Trunk Race Tinley Park

Hilda Walker School
19900 80th Ave.
  • Jerry Watts K9LOT
  • E-mail: here

Communications provided by WillComm.
 * 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 2016

June 25 and 26, 2016

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

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.

2016 Updates Pending

Maps and additional information on club/group Field Day operations in Illinois in 2016 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 2017

June 24-25, 2017

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

In 2017, ARRL Field Day will be held over the weekend of June 24-25. The Illinois and Chicago-Area Area Field Day Page for 2017 will be posted around April 2017.

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

Severe Weather (Skywarn®) Training 2015

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 through mid-April.

The classes are about 1-1/2 to 2 hours and feature a multimedia presentation and talk by a NWS meteorologist. 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. Most classes are free of charge; an exception is the DuPage Advanced Weather Spotter Seminar.

Severe Weather Spotter Training by Other NWS Offices

Tom Skilling Tornado and Severe Weather Seminar at Fermilab--28 March 2015

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. As of 2015, in a departure from past practice, only a single presentation is offered beginning at 1200. The presentations run about four hours. In 2015, the seminar is to be offered free of charge but tickets must be requested online via Fermlab's ticket vendor web site. Because seating is first-come, first-served, it is wise to arrive well in advance. The event is to be live-streamed on the WGN TV web site, and following the event, recorded video of the seminar can be viewed at WGN's site.

For more information, visit:

Illinois Statewide Simulated Emergency Test (SET)

1 October 2016 (Saturday)
0830—1130 Local Time

SET: An Opportunity to Test Emergency Communications Capabilities

ARES units throughout Illinois will participate in a statewide Simulated Emergency Test (SET) on 1 October 2016.

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.


The following update about the 2016 Illinois Statewide SET exercise was posted by Section Emergency Coordinator Brad Pioveson W9FX on 30 September 2016:


Tomorrow is our annual Simulated Emergency Test. I intentionally have not written much detail about this one. If you were paying attention, however, about a month back, you saw the premise upon which this exercise is based. I referred to a novel, written by William Forstchen, called 'One Second After.' That novel, a work of fiction, details the struggles of the residents of a small town after something completely unforeseen has happened. The US, in the novel, has been attacked and HEMP devices have wiped out all of our modern technology. No electricity. No solid state devices working. It's a one hop journey from 2016 to 1965. Only 'ancient' tech devices, in the novel, actually can be coaxed into service. We're talking cars that predate computerized ignition systems, tractors, non-inverter generators, and radios that used tubes instead of transistors, much less PIC's and IC's.

So, that's the scenario you're going to find if your local ARES group participates in tomorrow's SET. If you have a radio that's solid state and attached to any wiring - ground, antenna feed line, AC line, etc., it's not going to be useable for tomorrow's SET. It's been wiped out by a High altitude ElectroMagnetic Pulse burst, along with the Internet, the telephone, including cellular systems, AC power and natural gas systems.

If you have a rig that's not connected to any wiring and is shielded (ideally, stored in a grounded, metal container), it's fair play in the SET.

The objective of the exercise isn't so much about what you communicate once you get on the air. It's about HOW you get on the air. It's about having to force yourself to think outside 'the box,' and figure out what you'd have left in your toolkit after such an event.

Yes, I know that it's an easy matter to say, "Well, my rig will survive because . . ." and then list myriad reasons why your KenYaeCom rig won't be affected by an HEMP burst. Let me suggest that you go back and read Dennis Bodson's (W4PWF) 4 part series (published in QST - August thru November, 1986, inclusive) on EMP and amateur radio gear. Bodson was in a unique position to write this, as he had been involved in testing various 'modern' (of the time) ham rigs by subjecting them to EMP fields in a laboratory. In 1986, computers weren't built into ham rigs, incidentally, making the rigs we use today that much more susceptible to pulse damage. Oh, and Alpha Delta or other gas-discharge lightning surge arrestors will NOT protect your rigs from an HEMP wave. The HEMP waves' rise times are orders of magnitude faster than the rise time of a lightning strike. They'll blow right thru lightning protectors.

Likewise, it will be easy to claim that your rig was shielded and put it on the air even though it wasn't. That's between you and your conscience. If, however, I have been successful in stirring a few neurons and causing folks to stop and think about the very real threats we, as a nation, face today, and, perhaps, make some basic preparations, this exercise will have been successful.

The Illinois ARES HF Net will be on the air beginning at 0830 tomorrow morning. As usual, we'll be on 3.905 Mhz +/- a few kHz or 7.230 MHz +/- a few kHz. If band conditions are poor, I may try to slide up to one of our 5 MHz channels to test propagation around the state. The net will secure by no later than 1130. If you're able to get a rig on the air, tomorrow will give you an opportunity to find out how well it works under simulated emergency conditions.

Oh, and if you haven't read 'One Second After,' I strongly recommend that you borrow or buy a copy. After you've read that one, I also recommend Forstchen's follow-on, 'One Year Later.' After I read 'One Second After,' I bought and keep a spare HF rig in a rubber-lined, metal case. The rig, a tuner, and, enough goodies to get on the air all fit nicely into one of Menard's 'briefcase style' toolboxes. The rig is a Yaesu FT897D and an external LDG tuner. You can do the same with one of your older rigs, a plastic garbage bag and a 10 gallon metal trash can.

73, Brad, W9FX


The following initial announcement about the 2016 Illinois Statewide SET exercise scenario was posted by Section Emergency Coordinator Brad Pioveson W9FX on 21 August 2016:


The annual SET is coming up on 01 OCT. The scenario will be loosely based on the novel, 'One Second After,' by William Forstchen. If you haven't read the novel, I strongly urge you, as a volunteer emergency communicator, to get a copy and take the time to read it. It's a chilling look at one possible future for our society. Our Illinois ARES SET scenario is based an incident of unknown origin that results in the loss of all solid-state based technology including the electrical utility, landlines and space-based communications systems. We will 'wake up' to learn, on that Saturday morning, that only those pieces of tech equipment that were shielded, can be utilized for communications. Power for those devices that survived will have to be either provided by batteries, generators (old fashioned ones, not inverters!), or tractors or old cars that don't rely on solid state devices in their generators or voltage regulators (i.e., no alternators). Your lawn mower, for instance, if it's electric start and has charging capabilities for a battery, might be a good source for battery power.

At any rate, that's the basis for the exercise. It's intended not to keep people off the air, but, to make us all more aware of how we might be able to, technologically, 'survive' as communicators in a truly worst case scenario.


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. 2016 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.

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: 2016-09-30 13:51:39 NRO