Chaves County Emergency Management and Chaves County ARES/PVARC have had a long-time working relationship and the EOC amateur radio project began to take shape several months ago as Southwestern Wireless technicians installed two amateur radio antennas on Roswell's communication tower at RFD's Station #3 on Wilshire Blvd. Newly installed antennas include a G5RV inverted V and a dual band VHF/UHF antenna.
Several area hams met at the fire station on Friday November the 15th to test the antennas to see what they would do. Initial tests of the HF wire with an analyzer showed several areas of resonance. Gerald Cox, (W0COX), pictured below, hooked up his Yaesu FT-891 to the G5RV and began to notice favorable conditions. Jay Miller, (W5WHN), was contacted by phone to attempt a radio contact from his home in Albuquerque. Though away from home, Jay was able to monitor his home station via remote link. He reported receiving the Yaesu at 3 to 4 S units on 80 meters, 5 to 7 S units on 40 meters and at 9+ S units on 20 meters.
The dual band antenna check revealed some apparent issues. Dan Musgrave used his analyzer which indicated an unusable SWR's across the entire two meter and 70 cm portions of the spectrum. A known good Anytone dual band radio was then hooked up to the antenna which could not bring up any of the local repeaters, nor could it receive the Roswell NOAA weather radio broadcast station. Technicians will be notified to address the issues.
Dan Musgrave, (WD8RMG), checks antennas with an analyzer as James Tucker, (KI5GYL), looks on.
Part of the initial EOC project was to include utilization of the S.E.C.U.R.E. frequencies allocated by the FCC for use by states' Departments of Homeland Security. Plans are still being ironed out to use those frequencies to communicate between New Mexico counties and the EOC in Santa Fe. Those frequencies lie outside the ham bands and require operating agencies to hold a special station license. EM Karen Sanders was briefed on the findings of our testing and future updates will be reported as they occur.