211010 & 211017, the "EMCOMM Hub" on Keller at 2000 hours, Sunday, "Techniques and honorable mentions that take root in the campsite," with Rick, KK6CTT


  Mission Statement for the "EMCOMM Hub" on Keller: 

"Provide a networking environment that fosters sound Keller Peak Repeater practices with respect to emergency communications and preparedness."

o  All amateur radio operators are invited to participate.
o  To follow along you can find tonight's outline at hub.rivecg.net along with many past topics/information for reference.

  For operational guidance; always refer to the KPRA guidelines found here:  http://kpra.net/guidelines.html

NOTE:  If you would like to be a featured guest who has an organization that meets the net criteria and you would like to highlight it in a subsequent net, please open a dialog with Rick, KK6CTT at rngr86@...  Please put "EMCOMM Hub" in the subject line for easy identification.


  • Facilitate education and training that draws willing amateur radio operators to serve as stewards of the Keller Peak emergency communications community.  Become "The Hub" of information that prepares us to efficiently recognize and adjust to situations where proper handling of priority and emergency traffic is necessary.
  • Allow groups and individuals who participate in emergency communications and preparedness to share their experiences while providing opportunities for operators to volunteer with the organizations that provide the best fit.
  • Establish sound practices within the Keller Peak Repeater Association that recognizes and addresses the "greater good" principle in the eventuality the repeater becomes "The Hub" of emergency communication operations.
  • Flow of the net will include the following but will remain flexible:
    • Any updates from KE6RYZ, Dennis concerning the repeater.
    • Guest speaker(s) sharing personal, agency or organization information (see "scope of this net"):
      • Personal experience due to an event or personal knowledge based on work/volunteer experience.
      • Governmental or Nongovernmental organization (NGO) viewpoint.
      • Or, the club frame of reference.
    • Public Service Announcement:
      • Wrap up with something relative to the group that ends the net on a positive note.
Frequently heard courtesy tones on the repeater:
  • Dah Dit Dit Dit (- . . .):  "B" signifies the repeater is running on back-up power:
    • "Routine" QSOs should be avoided.
    • Brief "Priority" and "Emergency" traffic may be passed which may include directing operators to another repeater or simplex net.
    • Net controllers please refrain from conducting roll calls and use the net to share or exchange only important information.
  • Dah Dah Dit (- - .):  The "G" tone identifies power is derived through onsite generator backup power:
    • "Routine" QSOs should be avoided.
    • Brief "Priority" and "Emergency" traffic may be passed which may include directing operators to another repeater or simplex net.
    • Net controllers please refrain from conducting roll calls and use the net to share or exchange only important information.
  • Dah Dit Dah (- . -):  The "K" tone signifies the repeater has dropped and is awaiting the next station.
  • Dah Dit (- .):  The "N" signifies the repeater is in "net" mode.  This may include automatically or manually linked reflectors/nodes.
  • IRLP and EchoLink Check-ins:  Call, Name & Location
  • RF Check-ins:  Blocks of 5 calls:  Call, Name & Location
    • We will:
      • Check-in participants as we get comments, questions and suggestions.
      • Ask for check-ins at the end of the net (time permitting).

I.    Announcements:
  • Licensing and testing:
    • Amateur License Testing, every 2nd Tuesdays of the month 0800, $15 Exam fee
      • American Legion Post 426, Yucaipa, 12167 California St. TO REGISTER send Email to wd6h@...
  • Join W6LIK and the Joint Seal Beach ARES/VA on Monday, 11 OCT 21, 1830, for an open Zoom meeting with You Tube sensation from Ham Nation, Josh Nash.  Josh will discuss "Grab and Go Portable Ham Radios".  Josh is always a show stopper...  Hope you and your friends can join us for this evening.  See you then, Midge W6LIK
  • Great ShakeOut Plans?
    • West Riverside County ARES:
      • 21 OCT 21, 10:21, check-in net on the Moreno Valley RACES repeater on Box Springs.  449.300 (-) 103.5 PL.
      • 23 OCT 21, 0900-1030, information continues to trickle in.
        • All operators welcome to participate
        • Will provide and example of "meeting" on Keller, providing status and moving to a resource net based on area and activity.
        • Other operational expanded exercise tasks.
  • Local Tech Net on the W6JBT Repeater:  https://w6jbt.org/
    • Each weekday morning the “Tech Net” is held from 0700-0800 on the W6JBT repeater or Echolink at W6JBT-R.  This net is designed to bring local hams together to talk about radio issues, new products; questions and answers about everything “ham."
  • Looking for more net time?  We've had some good reports of a welcoming repeater further west that holds two weekday nets at 0900 and 2100 hours on the Catalina Repeater:  http://www.cara.radio/
  • Of course, there are the several Keller Peak nets featured here:  https://kpra.net/nets.html
  • Any other announcements?  Please send them to Rick, rngr86@... if you would like to make an announcement during the net.

  "Techniques and honorable mentions that take root in the campsite," with Rick, KK6CTT  

II.  After years of camping, hiking and working in the US Army as an Infantry Troop; not all disciplines and equipment transition over to survival and preparedness readiness.  Or, do they?
  • Preparedness plans:  Checklists!  Guidelines to get you started.  As easy as visiting a local outdoor store or researching on line.
    • Great camping, hiking and hunting lists can be found at just about any reputable outfitter
    • Examples:

  • Excel spreadsheets are great for sorting your list but your naming convention will be refined as you get better at making your own checklist(s).
    • Naming game:
      • Grouping like items
      • Use descriptions to keep items grouped so that it makes sense as you are putting gear together
      • Titles, "one each," will matter!
  • Does "tactical" have a place in your camping/survival/preparedness plan?
    • You can get all the "high-speed, low-drag" books and manuals you want but until you realize what it is you are reading there is a learning curve.
    • Quote by Ranger Ganey, "I read the dictionary, so what is the sense of reading books, I know all the words already!"
    • Move from base to base which we affectionately call a patrol base, I mean "campsite," right?
    • Selecting the PB in TC 3-21.76, The Ranger Handbook:
      • Site selection. The leader selects the tentative site from a map or by aerial reconnaissance. Characteristics of a PB includea site that is easily defendable for short periods of time, away from natural lines of drift, away from high-speed avenues of approach, provides cover and concealment from both ground, and provides little to no tactical advantage to the enemy. The site’s suitability is confirmed and secured before the unit moves into it. Plans to establish a PB include selecting an alternate PB site. The alternate site is used if the first site is unsuitable [one is none, two is one, three or more evens the score] or the patrol unexpectedly evacuates.
    • What this means to you:
      • We chose a site based on the traits of the site, good or bad, and we mitigate risks and decide whether a site can properly support our intended purpose.
      • "Natural lines of drift"
        • Will people walk through your camp to get to the latrine?
        • Will your site be bothered by unnecessary traffic?
        • Up wind of the toilets?
        • Shade or no shade throughout the day?
        • Will it support the task you plan to accomplish?
          • Ham radio?
          • Barbecue?
          • Rest & Relaxation?
          • Secure gear?
          • Protect from the elements...
      • Ham radio for example:
        • Does the area have a good ground/terrain that will support communication?
        • Does the area provide LOS?
        • Can you establish communication before continuing to improve the position?
        • How long will you stay:
          • Water source
          • Sanitation
          • Hygiene
          • Safety concerns
      • Occupation considerations continued:
        • Can you control traffic, maintain security of your area?
        • What can you do for security measures
          • Active
            • Somebody in camp
            • Close up items as necessary
          • Passive
            • "dog-leg" or "fishhook"
            • Rope or tape off area
            • Location, location, location...natural aspects terrain/vegetation
      • "Priorities of Work"
        • Latrines/showers
        • Water
        • Communication
        • Power concerns
          • Sun/solar tracking
          • Generator run times, safe operating and noise considerations
        • Supports food and food preparation
          • Table
          • Overhead cover, shade or lack of
          • Fire pit
          • Level area
          • Wildlife considerations
  • Honorable mention gear:
    • Solo fire pit, "Ranger"
      • To be safer and to comply with the many "regulations" concerning fires and "no ashes left behind," we chose to treat ourselves to the stainless steel fire pit.
      • Based on providing good airflow and gasification fuel burning, it really is a nice unit.
    • Goal Zero "Light-a-Life" USB powered
      • Like most GZ products, a great product with a price that reflects in higher cost
      • Run off a USB power pack; this two-light tent system was run for a few hours over the course of a week long trip and the power pack remained at four (max) led status
    • Kilimanjaro USB lantern (internal battery)
      • A great USB charged battery run lantern much like the GZ solution
      • Will be disappointed if the battery cannot be exchanged at EOL
    • "E-Tool" also known as the entrenching tool
    • Camp Chef butane stove
      • Ease of operation and availability of fuel is great
      • Caution when using larger pots and pans
      • Small grill did not work well with Stanley cook set until a rock was used to provide a stable resting place
    • Coleman propane stove
      • An old standard that worked fine off of the 1-lbs propane canisters
      • Classic Coleman product...they just work
    • Stanley cook set:
      • Works well with the smaller backpacker's camp stove but it's narrow base causes concern when the burner grill is too open a platform
      • Convenient way to heat water with two cups that nest within the stainless cook pot
    • Water conserving method of washing things:
      • A simple spray bottle
  • What's your favorite tool or piece of equipment?
  • What's your unique technique?
  • Do you have a checklist?
    • What helped you develop your checklist and what is unique to the way you set it up?


I.    The little power system that could:
  • A Miady 16Ah LiFePO4 battery in a box originally from Staples with Anderson powerpole connectors, Renogy 10A Wanderer charge controller, mated to a 30 watt Newpowa solar panel.
    • (L) 30 watt solar panel
    • (R) Battery box with USB multi-port; headlamp, cell phone; charging battery and harvesting solar power.
    • It's all about the power management.
    • (L) 14 volt of solar in
    • (R) .8 amps into the battery; usually topping out at approximately 2.4 amps charging set to "Li" and 14.2 volts charge.
    • Screen toggles from PV voltage and amps; BATT voltage; and then setting for USB/accessory time on/off and amp draw.
  • Miady LiFePO4 battery system:
    • (L) Protective case (repurposed CD carrier)
    • (C) Battery box with dual 12v socket at 9 o'clock, 15 and 20 amp fused links with Renogy Wanderer charge controller
    • (R) Anderson powerpole connectors done as inexpensively as you can get with just bracket holding the pair in place
    • ~12 foot from ground to base of antenna.
    • Sitting at 7,500' of broken terrain this camp on a semi-high spot.
    • Pulley in kit makes for a good halyard throwing weight.
    • (C) Radio in black case with cables and mic; green bag has Ed Fong roll-up J-pole and extra connectors.
    • (L) Owner's manual, Nifty condensed book, radio, power cord and hand mic with contents of green bag along right edge of photo.
    • (R) Radio in operation with first contact on 146.520 calling frequency and the information needed to go through list of frequencies (proximity search for area) and programming in of frequencies.
    • Proximity search on Repeaterbook helpled to give a decent knowledge of repeaters that should be LOS.
    • Good to know where you are in relation to the other sites.
    • QRP with Ed Fong...72 miles...Location, Location, Location!
    • 18 miles to nearest repeater
    • 54 miles to mid-range repeater
    • Both systems, AZ & NM are linked to several repeaters and provide a wide area of coverage from most repeaters that were accessed.
    • Only minimal 2m simplex was heard while "scanning" once repeaters had been saved into the memory.
    • Confident we could raise a distant station whenever necessary.
  • What advantage is there working QRP?
  • What is necessary for a successful "mission" when tasked to establish communication?
  • Equipment considerations?


I.   Update to a stove issue:
  • This is an issue I have run across over the years; the grill or burner surface works for small based but not large base pots and vise versa.  In this case both the Coleman and Camp Chef burner grills are built for a wider based pot and present a cooking safety issue.
  • A flame diffuser, had the potential to fix the problem but fell far short; flame was not enough to heat water in over 10 minutes in the same Stanley pot depicted earlier.
  • Sometimes the gimmicks sound or look good but they fall short and you wouldn't know if you did not work through these issues from time to time.


Keller Peak EMCOMM Hub invitation to all operators:

You are all invited to a demonstration of what we have been talking about for over a year.  "Gather the troops" after a significant notional earthquake using Keller Peak getting check-ins, evaluating resources and providing information in this Great ShakeOut drill supported by the West Riverside County ARES.  This drill is an exercise for all interested amateur radio operators.  Sequence of events:
  • 0855-0900:  Announce Situational Emergency Test or "SET."
  • 0900-1030:  SET (start to finish)
  • 0900-0910:  Open SET net at 0900 local, providing a description of "notional" significant earthquake under the Great ShakeOut theme; provide general information concerning the local area nets that will be taking place on the flier above and instructing personnel who would like to check into a local resource net to change frequencies or remain on Keller and join the Keller check-in attempting to gather all able and willing operators to check-in
  • 0910; 0920; 0930:  Station ID & announce "Situational Training"
  • 0910-0930:  Attempt to contact "Green," "Yellow" and "Black" (will explain colors)
  • 0940; 0950; 1000:  Station ID & announce "Situational Training"
  • 0930-1000:  Continue check-ins and work to promote the opportunity to send an NTS message
  • 1010; 1020; 1030:  Station ID & announce "Situational Training"
  • 1000-1030:  Complete check-ins and check to see if CARA group has any information to relay
  • 1030:  SET complete
  • 1030-1200:  NCO sends rollup of net to "WCARES" via Winlink or other format
National Traffic System

All amateur operators who are interested may participate.