Amateur Radio Operators Track Hurricane Fiona

ARRL logoFrom ARRL News:
09/22/2022 – The National Hurricane Center (NHC), the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN), the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Hurricane Net, and the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) all have been engaged in tracking Hurricane Fiona.Amateur radio operators have been reporting weather conditions since Monday, September 19, 2022, and have received positive feedback on their assistance. The VoIP Hurricane Net was active for 14 continuous hours on Sunday, September 18, for Hurricane Fiona, as it pummeled the southern and southwestern portions of Puerto Rico with catastrophic rainfall and flooding with hurricane-force conditions.

In the ARRL Puerto Rico Section, Public Information Coordinator (PIC) Angel L. Santana-Diaz, WP3GW, who lives in Trujillo Alto, reported a widespread blackout as the hurricane made landfall on the island. Still, he explained, there were ham radio repeaters that remained on the air with amateurs sharing reports of damage, including downed trees and power poles, and roofs ripped from homes. ARRL Member Pedro S. Labayen, KP4DKE, of Utuado, was mentioned in a Miami Herald article for reporting the significant damage to his rural and mountainous region of the island.

The NHC has issued advisories for Hurricane Fiona and Tropical Storm Gaston. Marine warnings are also in effect for the Caribbean and the Southwest Atlantic. As of 2:00 PM EDT (1800 UTC) on Thursday, September 22, the NHC reported that Hurricane Fiona is forecast to pass just west of Bermuda by late Thursday evening, approach Nova Scotia on Friday, and move across Nova Scotia and into the Gulf of St. Lawrence on Saturday. Fiona is a category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 130 mph (215 km/h) with higher gusts.

In advance of the hurricane, the Radio Society of Bermuda activated their Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) on Wednesday, September 21, at 1:43 PM ET and plans to have 14 active amateurs monitoring the hurricane network. Plans are to use local repeaters, unless there’s a power loss, then they’ll switch to simplex. They’re currently monitoring 14.283 MHz and will continue to monitor that frequency.

The HWN will be activated on Thursday, September 22, at 5:00 PM EDT/AST (2100 UTC) on the primary frequency of 14.325 MHz. Activation for the 40-meter net on 7.268 MHz will be at 7:00 PM EDT/AST (2300 UTC). The net will be on 20 meters for as long as propagation will allow and will remain active on 40 meters until it’s no longer required, or propagation goes away.

However, should Hurricane Fiona make direct landfall, operations will resume on Friday, September 23, at 9:00 AM EDT/AST (1300 UTC) to assist with post-storm reports and any outgoing health and welfare traffic, which would be directed toward SATERN.

HWN Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, offered some suggestions for amateur radio operators contacting the net.

“We look for reporting stations that can provide us with any measured or estimated weather information that we can relay directly to the forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Such weather information we look for is maximum sustained winds, wind gusts, wind direction, barometric pressure, and rainfall amount — how much over x-amount of time, storm surge, and damage,” Graves said. “Also, should you have any outgoing health and welfare traffic before, during, or after this event, we are happy to assist as we work closely with the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network.”

Graves also said, as a reminder, the HWN is available to provide backup communications to official agencies, such as Emergency Operations Centers, American Red Cross officials, and storm shelters in the affected area. They also collect and forward significant damage assessment data to government and non-government officials.

Amateur radio operators who want to monitor or participate in the hurricane nets should visit these two useful and informative links:

The Hurricane Watch Net – Useful Links

VoIP Hurricane Net

Special thanks to HWN Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, and ARRL PIC Angel L. Santana-Diaz, WP3GW for information in this article.

Merrimack Valley Amateur Radio Association

Jay Taft K1EHZ writes:


I write to introduce a new organization intended to support ARES®-related activities.

ARES® is a program of the ARRL®. It is not an entity that can own property or collect and spend money.

For these reasons many ARES® groups around the country started clubs that can own property and transact business to support ARES® activities.  Hillsborough County and Greater Manchester NH ARES® leaders have formed such a club.

Merrimack Valley Amateur Radio Association, callsign N1MVA, is a New Hampshire nonprofit charitable corporation. We are also applying to the IRS for 501(c)3 status.

Our main goals are

  • enhancing emergency communication infrastructure through fundraising
  • developing operator communication skills by supporting community events.

For example, a current MVARA project is a collaboration with the New England Digital Emergency Communications Network to connect two DMR repeaters with microwave links, as backup for internet connections, making DMR more resilient for emergency communications. This is a pilot project to demonstrate proof-of-concept before applying for funding for a larger deployment.

We also hope to expand the small microwave network among served agencies in Manchester, NH to Nashua and Concord. External funding for this project would also be the subject of an grant proposal.

We seek members interested in these kinds of activities.  Applicants need not be ARES® members nor reside in New Hampshire’s Merrimack Valley Region. ARRL® membership is encouraged so we can become an ARRL® affiliate club.

Those who join MVARA by December 31, 2022 will be designated Charter Members.

The membership application can be found on our website –

Questions or comments may be directed to me at


Ham Assistance Requested: 2022 Surftown Half Marathon – September 11 – Westerly, RI

Jim Creamer writes:

Westerly Amateur Radio Support


Sunday, 11 September 2022


13.1 mile run from Misquamicut West to Watch Hill and back thru Misquamicut to Weekapaug and back to Misquamicut.
5K run from Misquamicut to Weekapaug Breachway and back Misquamicut


Start – Westerly Wuskenau Town Beach, Atlantic Ave. Misquamicut, RI
Finish – Westerly Wuskenau Town Beach, Atlantic Ave. Misquamicut, RI
Net Control – TBD
Meet – Net Control


0530 – Net Control set up
0630 – Team Briefing (Staging Area at Net Control)
0710 – Atlantic Ave. and other roads Closed to vehicles
0715 – Race Line Up
0730 – Half Race Start (first wave)
0745 – 5K Race Start (first wave)
1100 – Race over (approximately)


147.315, + .6 MHz offset (CTCSS 110.9) (primary)
147.315 simplex (CTCSS 110.9) (secondary) (Repeater Output)
(Program your radios ahead of time and test if possible.)


Mobile radio or a good HT with a good antenna or mag mount antenna for those on the course,
Cell Phone, Course Map and Information Sheet, ICS 214 Log, Notebook & pen/pencil, Safety Vest,
Clothing appropriate for the weather.

Our Primary concern is safety on the course, ours and the competitors. We need to wear safety vests on
or near the road. If we are injured, we will not be of use to anyone. We will report injuries or illness to
911 if appropriate and then Net Control. Net control will report the information to the event
coordinator and if needed contact 911. Bib numbers only on the radio.

NOTE: There will be road closures. You need to arrive at the staging area early to avoid them

Ham Assistance Requested: Cystic Fibrosis for Life – October 1, 2022 – Holliston, MA

Dave Gilman K1DDH writes:

The 2022 Cystic Fibrosis Cycle for Life is coming up on Saturday October 1st, 2022 and I am in need of Amateur Radio Operators to volunteer for SAG (Support & Gear) operations and if there is sufficient quantity of volunteers we will also be staffing the rest stops.
For those who have not worked this event before, it is a charity bicycle ride starting and finishing in Holliston Massachusetts. Funds raised benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in their quest for a cure.
There are 3 routes. A 12 mile, 30 mile and 62 mile loop and 4 rest stops traversing several towns around Holliston.
If you are available to help out please fill out this form and I will be in touch with more details as the date gets closer.
Thank You,

Dave Gilman KC1DDH
Course Safety & Communications Coordinator

New England Wide SKYWARN Net Meets Weekly on NEDECN DMR System

New England SKYWARN Net collageJames Geschwindner, N1PZP, writes:

Calling all weather fans.

Every Thursday night there is a New England Wide SKYWARN Net which is held for the purpose of training and education and weather awarness in the New England Area.

The net meets at 7:30pm on the NEDECN DMR System Talkgroup #759 SKYWARN and also uses the K1QVC-L Echolink Node which requires authorization from the owner. Send an Email to Bill, NE1B.

We will soon be approaching our fiftieth net.

Each week we will try to have a brief presentation, as well as your observations which are not required to check in and, of course, questions and comments and a weather related trivia question. We also have a Facebook page called “THE NEW ENGLAND WIDE SKYWARN NET.”

Your net managers are James G, N1PZP and Kevin L, N1WSD.

FEMA, NTS Cooperation Lauded

NTS logo[Charlie Rocheleau, W1CPR, is a FEMA Communications Specialist in the MAssachusetts Task Force 1 (MA-TF1.]

Thanks so much for the follow up with our [radiogram] traffic.  The dedication and skill of the NTS members is without parallel.  I believe it to be a national treasure that must be maintained and strengthened during these very uncertain world events.  ALL of our traffic is sent HF using PACTOR and no infrastructure. 

We appreciate your hard work. 

During a lengthy meeting with Washington a few months ago, HQ asked us to investigate any and all methods of contacting team members during a catastrophic communications failure.  MATF ran tests with NTS a few months ago.  We put almost 250 radiograms through the system and they were extremely successful.  We learned some lessons and everyone got great practice.

The Alerts I sent out today were real world alerts as the task force MA-TF1 (FEMA US&R) is on stand-by for a deployment to Kentucky.  Steve Hanson, KB1TCE, runs a digital hub in Owls Head, Maine and has been my go-to person for injecting these messages quickly into the NTS system.

Best to you and your team,  and thanks for passing the traffic!

-Charlie Rocheleau, W1CPR



Winlink messages received at KB1TCE for insertion into DTN are forwarded to KW1U MBO for distribution through the DTN network. Having received an alert from W1CPR that 40 Priority messages would be coming this way, I alerted key MA traffic handlers to be ready and these folks did a fantastic job of getting them out. KC1MSN took a total of 11 off the board for EM2MN, W1RVY took and delivered one and I delivered one to Maynard and distributed most of the rest via First Region Net to K1UAF, WX1T and KC1KVY who either delivered or distributed further. W1LEM also took Cape Cod traffic off the board. Kudos to all the folks who helped get all 40 out in one day.
Marcia KW1U

Ham Assistance Requested: Tour de Cure New England Charity Ride – Lexington, MA

Jim Bradley, KB1JKJ writes:

Hi –

I am Jim Bradley, KB1JKJ, of the North Shore Radio Association. We have been asked to help ensure the safety of the riders and make this American Diabetes event a success. I am coordinating hams and we need your help.

This is a new post covid regional Tour de Cure New England Charity Ride starting in Lexington, MA at the office of Fractyl Health.

We need hams for sag and rest stops on Sunday, August 21, 2022. There are 4 routes; 15-mile, 30-Mile, 62-Mile, 100-Mile. All rides start and finish at the Fractyl Health parking lot in Lexington, MA. For more information on the routes >

SAG (Support and Gear) Drivers


Location: On Routes, beginning at Fractyl Health, 17 Hartwell Avenue, Lexington, MA 02421

Hours 5:30am – 4:00pm

  • You must provide your own vehicle which has the capacity to easily transport a cyclist and bicycle.
  • Pick up cyclists and bicycles for transport to the nearest rest stop or available bike mechanic.
  • Respond to calls and directions from the Command Center to aid cyclists who need road assistance. SAG drivers may be accompanied by mobile HAM radio volunteers.
  • Patrol route watching for injured riders, mechanical troubles, and signage problems. Relay information to the Command Center.

Please sign up here >

If you would like to be stationary at a rest stop please email me directly at

Our ham supported public service events are interesting and fun experiences. The communication load is light, but safety and support for the participants are always primary. If you are new to this facet of ham radio, and want to get more public service experience, this is an excellent opportunity to learn the ropes. If you are an experienced public service volunteer, we definitely need your help.

I will get the assignments and more details to you as before the event. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.


Jim Bradley, KB1JKJ

YuKanRun Triple Threat Half Marathon & 5K – Aug 7 – Rockport, MA

We are looking for operators to staff the YuKanRun Triple Threat Half Marathon and 5K on Sunday, August 7, 2022, Please be on Location at your Check Point by 8:00. Starts At Rockport High School. 24 Jerdens Lane. Rockport, MA 01966

Please let us know if you can staff a communications check-point for the event by August 3rd so I can plan staffing positions for the event.

While CAARA’s repeater performance has greatly improved the northern regions of this course may still experience some difficulty with communications especially with low-powered HTs, so we’ll be looking for higher powered equipment to staff those areas

Please let us know what type of equipment you plan to use (ie: Mobile; HT; ¼-Wave Mag-Mount; OEM Rubber-Duck; etc.) so we have a better idea of where to locate you along the event course per the potential of your equipment.

The course will be open and supported By CAARA. for Four hours .Runner safety is everyone’s top priority.
Local EMT crews and ambulances will be available for three hours to help.

Thank you in advance for your participation!


5K Race
An aid station with water will be available near mile 2. Water and refreshments will be served at the finish as well.
Half Marathon
There will be six aid stations with water approximately every two miles. RiteFuel sports drink and energy gel will be available on course as well. A portable restroom will be available along the course near miles 4.5 & 8.

YuKanRun Triple Threat Communications Team.  
Rockport, Mass  
Last Updated: July 20,3:10 pm  
Event date: Sunday, August 7, 2022  
On Location: 8:00 am – 9:00 am  
Starts: 5K Run = 8:00 am Half Marathon Run = 9:00 am  
Frq: W1GLO Repeaters 145.130 – PL:107.2 Back up: 443.700 + PL:107.2  


If you are interested in helping, please contact Fred WA1ESU by email    or calling 978-423-9710

Ham Assistance Requested: Vermont 100, Vermont Overland and Vermont 50

Rob Mather N1XSS writes:


We are getting close to the Vermont 100, 30 hours of running and lots of radio activity. I am still looking for volunteers for aid stations and a few shuttle drivers. If you have helped in the past, we would welcome your help again. If you have new members in your club or group, please be sure to share this information with them. This is a great learning opportunity for all. If you can spare some time on July 16th or 17th, please let me know. This is a great event for a Great Cause!

Thank you

N1XSS Rob Mather



C- 802-591-7277

Save Some Dates!

Welcome to 2022 and Summer Activities are back and scheduled.

  • Covered Bridges ½ Marathon Sunday June 5th
  • Vermont 100 July 16th – 17th
  • Vermont Overland August 27th
  • Vermont 50 September 25th

Please let me know if you are available to assist with our Public Service Events.

We start with the Covered Bridges ½ Marathon on June 5th a nice road course for runners starting at Suicide Six Ski Area in Pomfret continuing through Woodstock and Quechee Villages and finishing at the Polo field in Quechee VT. The Covered Bridges ½ Marathon is a benefit for local charities and youth groups in the area. July 15th is the start of the Vermont 100 a 100-mile trail course covering some of Vermont’s most beautiful trails and landscapes. We have been asked to assist with the Vermont Overland this year on August 27th, this is a 54-mile Bike event supporting the Reading/ West Windsor food shelf and Ascutney Outdoors. I am looking for someone to be the coordinator for the Vermont Overland. We finish the year on September 25th with Vermont 50 a 50-mile bike and trail run, both the Vermont 100 and 50 are Benefits for Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sport.

If you have helped in the past and are able to support the Amateur Community and these wonderful charities, please let me know.

If you would be kind enough to share this email with your groups and fiends that would be great. For all our events we get enjoy our hobby, provide a valuable service to our communities and we get to have some fun all at the same time.

Thank you

N1XSS Rob Mather



C- 802-591-7277

Rhode Island Club Awarded ARDC Grant

RI Emergency Mesh Network screenshotRICOMU, a Rhode Island ARRL Affiliated Club, was awarded an ARDC grant of $83,000 for upgrades and expansion of the Rhode Island Emergency Mesh network, according to RICOMU President Gil Woodside, WA1LAD.

The project will include additional Yaesu Fusion repeaters linked through the RIEMN , new and upgraded mesh nodes, cameras and all the other accessories and equipment needed for the project to succeed.