You might say the first 'phase' of Chaves County's Emergency Operations Center Amateur Radio Communications Room is complete. Chaves County ARES/Pecos Valley Amateur Radio Club members Dan Musgrave, Jim Tucker and James Tucker installed an Icom ID-5100A VHF/UHF/D-Star radio which PVARC President Garry Blosser had programmed last week. This first part of the project, which has been in the making for over a year, gives hams the ability to connect to other amateur stations and EOC's around the state in the event of a emergency, as well as pass messages into and out of the region to anywhere across the country. Chaves County Skywarn Coordinator Jim Tucker said, "The beauty of most of this system is it is completely independent of the internet." Tucker added, "With HF radio, we can contact Albuquerque, Santa Fe or most anywhere else in the state radio-to-radio without the use of the internet or repeaters." Tucker also noted that the state wide MegaLink is a network of linked repeaters that can also be used to communicate anywhere in the state and to some degree into Texas, Arizona, and Colorado.
Dan Musgrave, (WD8RMG), and James Tucker, (KI5GYL), (not pictured), install Anderson Power Poles on new radios at EOC..
Moving forward, the radio club's members are looking forward to putting some additional features in including DMR, (Digital Mobile Radio), as well as other accessories such as a desk, computers, dry erase boards and other support equipment.
Somewhat longer range plans include an ALE, or Automatic Link Establishment system which utilizes HF frequencies outside of the ham bands, but allocated by the FCC for use by local, state and government agencies for passing data and voice messages in and out of the area by a 'channel hopping' technology which automatically finds the best frequency, locks on it and alerts the receiving station that a calling station wants to connect.