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!

Too many questions, not enough frequencies

ICS 205

Posted by Jim  KN6PE, 6 Oct 2017

How do we handle the expected interference on TAC1 during a bay-area wide event? What should we do with the desense issue between the resource and message nets? And, how do cover multiple field teams deployed to different ICPs?

These were just some of the questions that were discussed during the CARES October General Meeting. With the replacement of the Citys' Public Safety Comms Vehicle only a few months away, this seemed like a good time to address these questions. This topic, and some of the recommendations presented, prompted plenty of discussion and ideas on how to proceed. And with these ideas in hand, this may form the basis for our field test later on this year.

See the October 2017 presentation for details. And stay tuned for more information on how we will proceed.   

County Comm Ops and MAC Program Update

Posted by Jim  KN6PE, 11 Sep 2017

The September 2017 CARES meeting kicked off the CARES 2017/2018 year, and the leading presentation was on the state of the County Comm work to get access for receiving alternate 9-1-1 messages from the field.

As a recap, Cupertino, Saratoga, and Los Altos Hills contract with Santa Clara County for all Sheriff, Fire, EMS, and dispatch services, but we cannot easily pass 9-1-1 traffic to County Comm because (i) our PSAP is located in San Jose, and (ii) DSW restrictions prohibit us from traveling outside our city. We are in the middle of attempting to fix that. See the County Comm Operations update for details.

Because of the DSW restrictions, we need CARES members signed up as County MACs to respond to County Comm. County RACES has a terrific program for Mutual Aid Communicators that fills that need. And this is where you come in.

See the MAC program presentation and what it takes to get signed up.   

2017 ISA Exercise checks out several new processes

Alternate Response Plan Equipment

Posted by Jim  KN6PE, 18 May 2017

We typically perform the Infrastructure Safety Assessment (ISA) about every other year. CARES uses these exercises as a chance to test new procedures and tools, and this year was no different.

There were a few important changes for this mission that we wanted to check out, the first being a different ISA assignment process. Unlike past exercises where assignments were centrally made, we recognize the fact that our members are distributed throughout the city, and reducing the travel time to receive an assignment is important for our Served Agencies. Our new ISA Field Assignment process worked well.

The second big change was a test of our Alternate Response Plan equipment. In the event that our Public Safety Comm Vehicle is our of service, do we have the communications equipment in place to cover the response? With the city's help, a solution was defined, purchased, and deployed during the drill. The result was we were on the air from a non-standard location with solid communications with all field units. This new equipment capability can also support an ICP within the city whenever communications with the EOC or other field units is required.

The After Action Report is still in progress; watch for that to be posted for more details.   

Emergency Response Go-Kits

Posted by Jim  KN6PE, 3 Feb 2017

Go-Kits are the tools of the trade during all of our response activities. Yet, they are also a reflection of our personal style on how we respond to the field. The parts we assemble, how we store them, power them, and use them help ensure our success during a deployment.

At our February General Meeting, we reviewed Emergency Response Go-Kits with the added twist of doing a deeper dive into some of the areas that needed more elaboration, specifically coax connectors and cower connectors. As usual, the resulting discussion did not disappoint!

Thanks to the members who participated in the show-and-tell, shared their experiences and kits, and what worked and didn't work for them. With this added input, we will definitely update to the presentation (will re-post later) to share with the membership.

See the Go-Kit presentation here, and watch for a re-post within a few days.   

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Upcoming Activities

2 Feb 2023, Exercise Drill Prep
Topic: Prep for the January Alt911 Field deployment, 7:30pm, Zoom   

18 Feb 2023, ALT911 Exercise
Field deployment with packet and voice message passing, 8:30am to 12:00pm   

25 Feb 2023, County Quarterly Comm Drill
CARES plan is TBD. 09:00 to 13:00.   

2 Mar 2023, General Meeting
Topic: TBD, 7:30pm, Zoom   

6 Apr 2023, General Meeting
Topic: TBD, 7:30pm Zoom   

4 May 2023, General Meeting
Topic: TBD, 7:30pm, Zoom   

1 Jun 2023, General Meeting
Summer Event Planning -- ARRL Field Day, 4th of July. 7:30pm, Zoom