Welcome to Cupertino ARES/RACES

This site is operated by and for Cupertino Amateur Radio Emergency Service (CARES) members interested in emergency preparedness and amateur radio communication. Visitors are welcome to check us out.

What's News!

A fresh look at generators and batteries

Dr Richard Wheeler

Posted by Jim  KN6PE, 3 Jan 2019

Every so often, you attend a meeting and listen to a topic where, as you look around the room, everyone is leaning in to listen attentively to something new and exciting. This was the case at tonight’s CARES January 2019 general meeting.

We had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Richard Wheeler / AI6RW discuss his work on extending the operating time of radios during electrical power blackouts after an earthquake. This topic was very relevant given that Cupertino Citizen Corps just wrapped up its 2018 Earthquake Exercise this past December.

This was not just another topic on batteries and generators. Richard walked us through his work looking at gasoline and propane generators, comparing 2 different propane generator models, generator efficiencies, Lithium generators (battery systems), solar charging, and the conclusions he reached on the combined use of low-cost propane generators with Lithium generators.

This brief introduction does not do his work justice. Instead, check out his presentation titled Goal Zero Lithium Power Stations for all the details!   

Cupertino family, fun, and fireworks!

Creekside pre-fireworks festivities

Posted by Judy KK6EWQ, 6 Jul 2018

Independence Day in Cupertino brings hundreds of families together every year to watch a great fireworks show, and it provides an opportunity for Cupertino CARES, CERT, and MRC to work side by side in partnership with Cupertino Recreation and Public Works, the County Sheriff's Office, and County Fire.

This year we staffed road closures, parking lots, first aid stations, and viewing venues. We identified and reported safety issues, lost children, and illegal fireworks. We assisted the deputies with crowd movement and safety. With Comm 469 stationed next to the sheriff's command post, CARES was able to provide quick and accurate communications between the volunteers and the command post about dangerous activities, residents' concerns, crowd sizes, and crowd movements throughout the event. And finally, we all enjoyed the show!   

Field Day / Preparedness Fair Mashup

Posted by Darryl KI6LDM (photos by KK6FPI), 24 Jun 2018

Field Day 2018 is now in the books. This year, we combined our Field Day with the City's Preparedness Fair which worked out quite well. We certainly did see more foot traffic this year than in previous years, with plenty of people interested in what CARES was about. Some even expressed interest in getting an amateur license, while others wanted to renew their license that had lapsed.

Some of the highlights were:
--- We set up 3 HF antennas and 3 stations, a GOTA station, information table, the Comm 469 (City's Public Safety Comm van), and a MESH network.
--- We operated as K6KP, 3F SCV, making 53 contacts. Band conditions were decent for Field Day with 40 meter NVIS contacts as far as Oklahoma, Arkansas North Texas and even South Texas.
---- On 20 meters, we made contacts with Utah, Colorado, as far north as Alberta Canada, and as far west as Hawaii.
---- The MESH network was quite a hit as Sid KJ6ZKU and Sunny AG6GR demonstrated making Mesh phone calls from one IP phone to another.
---- We sent NTS traffic to the ARRL section manager and passed 14 additional NTS messages.

At the end of the day, our submitted ARRL Field Day score 1356!... not bad for a couple of hours of fun in the sun!

Thanks to the 19 CARES members who helped out with setup, operations, greeting the public, and tear down. Same time next year?   

Setting the stage with a simulated wildland fire threat

Posted by Jim  KN6PE, 13 May 2018

Given the incredibly tough wildland fire season that California experienced late last year and recognizing that such a risk is real given that Cupertino sits up against foothills that have not burned in over 100 years, it seemed like an obvious scenario to run as the backdrop for our Spring Field Communications Exercise.

We deployed eight field teams made up of Cupertino ARES and CERT members into the field to perform a city-wide Ember/Smoke Watch. Cal Fire also deployed their COMM 1629 giving us a chance to see how we would interact with this key player in fighting wildland fires. Simulated reports of smoke and other fire threat-related events were passed into the EOC where a comprehensive SitStat was developed.

See the After Action Report for a summary ouf our findings. Also, special thanks to Santa Clara County Fire Department and Cal Fire for helping us develop the scenario and confirming our response assumptions.   

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Upcoming Activities

23 Mar 2019, Preparedness Fair
Memorial Park, behind Quinlan Community Center, 10:00am to 3:00pm   

13 Apr 2019, Pop-Up Packet Practice
SCCOo RACES opportunity for field packet practice. 9:00am to 12:00pm, Location TBD,   More Details...

20 Apr 2019, Big Bunny 5K
CARES support for this annual family friendly 5K run/walk. 8:00am to 11:00am, Cupertino City Hall.   More Details...

4 May 2019, Spring Communications Exercise
Save the date!   

22 Jun 2019, Field Day
National Amateur Radio event that promotes emergency communications preparedness. Location TBD, 8:00am to 5:00pm.   More Details...

4 Jul 2019, Fireworks Event!
CARES, CERT, and MRC support for Cupertino's annual Fireworks event. 4:30pm to 11:00pm.   More Details...