Items of news for WICEN members including pictures and reports of events, and external articles of interest
Featured ArticleLoud and clear – digital HF radio communications from the Critical Comms website.
Digital radio switches on for Vic emergency services
Digital radio will be available for police and emergency services in regional Victoria from 2018.
This will eliminate key blackspots, as well as increasing security and audio clarity.
Victoria Police, Victoria State Emergency Service, Life Saving Victoria, Corrections Victoria and Country Fire Authority (CFA) brigades operating in outer metropolitan areas will transition across from outdated analog systems.
Battery storage — installation guidance for contractors
Communication Tower Best Practices from US Dept of Labour, FCC and Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Critical Comms white paper: Digital radio transmitter alignment: critical for optimal performance
Critical Comms white paper: Loud and clear – digital HF radio communications
Report into comms during South Australian storms
In response to communications problems encountered during the intense storms of September 2016, the Local Government Association of South Australia gathered interested parties for an analysis and discussion day in November.
A Review of WICEN HF Communication CapabilityJohn Morrissey VK3ZRX
During a recent event, some problems were experienced with the traditional lower HF band communications often used for WICEN events.
This paper describes what occurred, offers a summary of MF and HF propagation modes and propagation tools available to WICEN, examines some shortcomings in present WICEN practice, and makes some recommendations for exploitation of HF communications and for WICEN operator capability.
Emergency services need 21st-century comms
Guaranteed broadband spectrum allocation and ‘ownership’ of access is essential if emergency services are to meet their obligations, says the Police Federation of Australia.
An 8m amateur radio mast has some Ringwood North residents worried about health concerns and property values
BITTER opposition from neighbours has failed to stop plans for an 8m radio mast to be installed in a Ringwood North backyard.
Government commences review of ACMA’s role
The Federal Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has announced that the government will conduct a review of the ACMA to ensure that it is “able to effectively deal with challenges arising from a rapidly changing communications sector”.
South Australia’s GRN upgrade
Motorola Solutions has been awarded a $175 million contract to upgrade and maintain the South Australian Government Radio Network (SAGRN).
Country Fire Service goes digital
NSW, VIC, QLD, WA, SA & NT Ban Butane Cookers
Keeping Australia’s emergency volunteer legacy alive
Tait solution saves US county almost $1m
Unified communications – changing public safety
Getting Prepared for an Electromagnetic Pulse Attack or Severe Solar Storm
In the mid-20th century, electricity was regarded as a convenience. By the end of that century, electricity had become something that most people literally cannot live without for more than a few weeks.
Emergency + Smartphone App
Australia’s Triple Zero Awareness Working Group has developed a smartphone app for iOS and Android devices to:
– provide the caller with information about when to call Triple Zero
– provide the caller with information about who to call in various non-emergency situations
Is this the world’s craziest emergency dispatch system?
Detroit’s emergency services communications systems are so old and decrepit that front-line workers have taken to using bizarre workarounds to ensure dispatch messages are received.
Victoria looks to automate the dispatch of bushfire aircraft
Victorian firefighting aircraft are one step closer to being able to attend to fires faster after the state government went to market this week for a replacement to its existing dispatch system.
Major new US domestic HF network to be set up
Who says HF is dead? The US Department of Veterans Affairs intends to deploy a resilient emergency high frequency radio network to connect medical centres spread throughout the nation.
Defence gets $25 million upgrade to improve HF comms
The federal government has signed a multimillion-dollar contract with Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) to improve the military’s HF communications capability.
Lessons in Warrnambool Exchange fire: report
The outage, which lasted up to 20 days in some areas and affected at least 100,000 people, was estimated by the State Government to have cost the region almost $1 million a day – though the true financial impact may never be known.
Introducing Unified Critical Communications
Many organizations already use a range of wireless communications networks, including Land Mobile Radio (LMR), public carriers like 3G and 4G, WiFi and satellite to connect back office and the field. The most basic form of communication that any organization uses is its LMR network, which is essential for mission-critical and business-critical operation. Increasingly, mobile data is being used to proactively and efficiently address operational challenges. Dedicated broadband networks are on the horizon. Each network type has its advantages for certain applications and tasks, but with that additional choice comes confusion.
Tasmanian emergency comms in dire state
Tasmania’s emergency services agencies are stuck at an impasse in their efforts to streamline radio communications, meaning frontline staff remain unable to effectively talk to one another across networks, the state’s Auditor-General has found.
MARS Operators Complete “Exemplary” Simulated Disaster Response Exercise
Radio amateurs in the Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) concluded an unprecedented 48-hour marathon exercise November 5 that linked the continental US, Hawaii, Japan, Europe, and Canada during a simulated breakdown of normal communication systems, including the Internet. . .
. . .The exercise involved the transmission of hundreds of encrypted messages via HF radio. . .
23-10-2013 – Mark Cheeseman VK2XGK has sent these photos of back-burning operations near his home QTH west of Penrith.
‘Learned helplessness’ leaves people in major cities unprepared to cope in natural disasters
The curious case of Google’s missing Victorian fire data
Radio boost for Vic firefighters
New $24.6 million GPS radio system to make Victoria’s firefighters safer
AA Radio partners in $24.6m Digital Radio Replacement Project
80m ham radio band used for wideband video/data
Yagi – the man behind the antenna
The Yagi antenna can be found everywhere – land, sea and air. So who was the man who brought us this ubiquitous device?
Victoria kicks off $24.6m digital radio replacement
The Victorian Government has begun a $24.6 million project rolling out 6000 new communications radios for the state’s firefighters . . .
Oceus Demos High-Altitude Balloons on Band 14 for FirstNet
“…provide broadband coverage and communications services to first responders within the first 72 hours following an emergency or natural disaster.”
Vic Govt releases spatial data via web portal
Victoria’s upgraded State Control Centre
Radio: the digital decade
New spectrum for emergency services
Fire Services Commissioner Information Interoperability Blueprint
Rogue beer fridge caught by Telstra ‘robot’
How data analysis drives interference out of NextG network.
A beer fridge in north-east Victoria is the latest victim of an increasingly-sophisticated software “robot” employed by Telstra to identify things that interfere with its mobile network. . .
The Age: Emergency communications system blackout sparks fears
Inquiry to learn lessons from the Warrnambool exchange fire – Report
Telstra exchange fire cost spirals above $20m
CFA brigades to go digital
Radio to the rescue after quake
Website for public safety apps
Digital radio to the rescue
Feds urged to retain Telstra copper in NBN world
“The Victorian Government has urged its Federal counterpart to consider running Telstra’s copper and NBN fibre networks side-by-side until the latter proves its credentials to stay online in an emergency.”
Telstra exchange fire cost $408,000 a day
Fighting fires using radio communication article about updates to NSW RFS radio systems.
The Age – State risks worst fires since Black Saturday
West Mountain Radio Fall 2012 Newsletter contains an interesting article on “Battery Back-Up Power During An Emergency”
Winlink used to call for help for crew of Bounty replica sunk during hurricane Sandy
“…Faunt told the ARRL that the Bounty crew tried various methods, including a satellite phone, to call for help, “but we got nothing when tried calling out on HF. We tried calling the Maritime Mobile Net, but nothing was out there. We had Winlink on the ship that we used for e-mail and accessing the Internet to post to blogs and to Facebook, and we finally found an e-mail address for the Coast Guard. As a last-ditch effort, we used Winlink to e-mail the Coast Guard for help. Within an hour, we heard a C-130 plane, and later, a helicopter overhead.” According to Faunt, it was Walbridge, as master of the ship, who sent out the distress message…”
Radio delays hit firefighters
Radio network won’t be ready for fire season
NSW firefighters seek chunky phones
Illinois statewide simulated emergency test
Victoria’s First State Bushfire Plan developed with the Country Fire Authority, the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, the Department of Sustainability and Environment and the Fire Services Commissioner.
US FCC Paper: Uses and Capabilities of Amateur Radio Service Communications in Emergencies and Disaster Relief
Why Ham Radio is still Handy
Paul Whitaker VK3DPW has edited the US Earthquake forum from last year – ( 4 Hours) – down to 6 min. of clips that concern Amateur Radio in Emergency service use.
AA Radio delivers major installation project for Country Fire Authority, Victoria
Hams: We’re good in a disaster – UK Radio Society boss
Amateur Radio Club Drills for Emergency Preparedness
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