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Kenneth Finnegan on Triathlon Communications

In an actual disaster there’s no script - Kenneth Finnegan W6KWF (twitter | blog)

This talk is interesting for the scope and obvious professionalism and how the group has without apology used a mix of commercial and amateur radio equipment and frequencies to support a large sporting event. Our skill sets need not be limited to only that which our Certificate of Proficiency allows; we are radio communicators who can always use the right tool for the job at hand.

The APRS configuration is of particular interest to VECTOR.

  • 20 APRS trackers, a variety of personal and club owned, many Bionics MicroTrak All-In-One.
  • 40 second beacon interval; not using the standard local APRS frequency allowed for this; devices configured for time-slotting.
  • 3 i-Gates linked back to a separate APRS console not linked to the Internet (not unlike what VECTOR has done at Incident Command Post for Celebration of Light).

Finnegan is well known for writing his MSEE thesis on Examining Ambiguities in the Automatic Packet Reporting System. He is also a maintainer of the Aprx package.

His thesis is an interesting read - you will undoubtedly learn something about APRS you didn’t know (and that writing a standard early on in the life of APRS would have been nice!); see the following video for his defense of his thesis:


Packet Radio Party & Activity Round-up

Here’s Stuart, Jeff, Erland, Andrew, August, Patsy (at the back!), Tyler, Nick and Patrick (behind the camera) on Wednesday evening working away configuring personal laptops with packet radio clients for members so they can practice and participate at home.

Many learning and practice opportunities have been held in the lead up to our Exercise SWEEPER on May 3; check your inbox for other happenings in the next few weeks.

Packet radio setup party

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Exercise SWEEPER 2018 Scenario

On Thursday May 3 VECTOR members and Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services Fire Prevention Officers will join other teams in Metro Vancouver and the mid-Island region in activating emergency communications for Exercise SWEEPER 2018.

Exercise, Exercise, Exercise

This is the scenario for Exercise SWEEPER 2018

Ice Storm image

In the early morning hours on Thursday May 3 a supercooled Arctic front plows headlong into a moisture-laden Pacific Ocean airstream directly over coastal areas in Southwestern British Columbia. What would be just another rainy spring morning has instead become an unprecedented ice storm - in May - with movie-sized impacts the likes of which have never been seen here in Vancouver. Where is The Rock when you need him?

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CBC Fault Lines

CBC Vancouver seismologist Johanna Wagstaffe produced in 2016 a multi-part radio series entitled Fault Lines. The program explores earthquake scenarios for British Columbia and will cause you to think hard about personal preparedness. Continue reading (200 words)...

Winter Field Day

VECTOR members will again participate in Winter Field Day. Held each year on the fourth full weekend of January (this year 27 & 28 January 2018) the purpose of Winter Field Day is to provide North American radio operators with an opportunity to exercise in less hospitable conditions than late June. Continue reading (200 words)...