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May 5, 2015 8:10 AM ET

Archived: Improve emergency communications capability

iCrowdNewswire - May 5, 2015
Improve emergency communications capability

Our ham radio repeater system stands ready to provide communications during disasters and emergencies. Willing landowners have given us the opportunity to expand the coverage area in San Mateo and Monterey County, and we’re raising money to make it happen


The WB6ECE Repeater System (more info at http://www.wb6ece.org) is supported by ECE Repeater Group, Inc. a 501(c)(3) organization that is building the infrastructure which stands ready to provide communications in emergencies and disasters. We are making significant progress towards creating a system for ham radio operators to seamlessly communicate using handheld and mobile radios from every corner of our 5 county region (San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey).

This system can be used (and has been used in the past) to help coordinate large animal evacuation from wildfires, pass health and welfare messages for folks evacuated to Red Cross shelters and firefighters on the fire line, provide communication to search and rescue teams, and coordinate getting supplies to areas impacted by earthquakes. In addition, ham operators use the system to train for emergencies as they support events such as bike races, relays, and marathons.

We have been given the opportunity to expand this system to areas that have very limited amateur radio repeater coverage – a site overlooking La Honda and Loma Mar in San Mateo County, a site covering the mid Carmel Valley and Cachagua valley in Monterey County, and a site covering the south Salinas Valley and San Antonio Valley in Monterey County. We are also actively working on finding additional locations, including a site near Big Sur and two sites in San Benito County.

While we do have much of the hardware needed for each of these installations (radios, duplexers, controllers), some new equipment is needed – several of the sites will need solar panels and batteries, as no utility power is available and outdoor-rated cabinets, as there is no existing shelter – and we need a few more antennas and microwave radios to link these sites to the rest of our system. The remaining equipment for each site will cost between $1000 and $2000, and each expenditure is approved by our board of directors.

Your tax-deductible contribution will help us to purchase the remaining equipment we need to get these sites on the air this summer, so that we are ready for anything nature brings in the future.

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