On October 5th the Wayne County ARES group participated in a statewide Simulated Emergency Test (SET).
The scenario involved a three day statewide powder outage that would require radio operators to be deployed to every police/fire station in the county as well as the two hospitals. These operators would be expected to relay simplex radio traffic back to the EOC located in Wooster.
At 9:40am a text message was sent to all ARES members using the Wireless Emergency Communication system. The message requested members to check in to a simplex net on 146.550 at 9:50AM for further instructions.
At 9:50AM a total of seven members “checked in” to the net and were directed to the various locations in Wayne County and told to check-in via radio upon arrival.
The Wayne County EOC is located inside the Wayne County Justice Center that is also the home of the Wayne County Sheriff’s office. The location is in downtown Wooster and is 915 feet above sea level.
The two meter radio that was used is a 50 wat Yeasu 400XD using a Diamond triband vertical that is mounted on the roof of the Justice Center. The antenna height is roughly 1015 above sea level.
The topography of the county made simplex communications difficult to the northern part of the county. I suspect that contact could be made if larger antennas could have been put into use at these agencies. There are several workarounds that could also be used in a true emergency but each of them would involve the relay of traffic back to the Justice Center.
Both hospitals in the county had excellent coverage from the parking lots. These facilities are also equipped with 2 meter radios and roof top antennas that would be used in a “real” event.
All locations with the exception of our most northern agencies, had good simplex coverage.
For the most part our members seemed to be somewhat surprised at how good the simplex coverage across the county actually was. It seems that we spend most of our time on repeaters and seldom venture into the world of simplex.
Using HF on 80 meters seemed to make contacting W8SGT in Columbus easy. This was done via an ICOM 7300 via a fan dipole mounted on the roof of the Justice Center.
All radios used in the test were battery powered.
A map of the coverage is attached. Please note that good coverage is represented with “green lines” and no coverage is represented by black lines. The Fredericksburg fire department line is pink due to it being a weaker signal that the others.
Wayne County EC