The Karo-Echo Coordination Team: Don, NI6A, team lead. Fresh team members are solicited. Contact ni6a at arrl dot net
Job Duties: To coordinate radio frequency usage for radio disaster services in order to minimize interference on Ham, GMRS, FRS, and Digital Networks and establish a Message Center protocol to coordinate and maximize inter-operability between networks, as well as to titrate message precedence.
Communications Coordination encompasses two critical domains
1: Ham Radio Simplex Frequency Coordination
A: Ham Radio Simplex Frequency Coordination between all Karo/Echo CERT Areas and the EOC
B: Ham Radio Simplex Frequency Coordination with neighboring EMcomm (Emergency Communications organizations and ACS (Auxiliary Communications Systems) Outside of Kensington/El Cerrito
2: FRS/GMRS Frequency Coordination
Each CERT Area will cooperate by reporting their primary and secondary FRS and GMRS frequencies. Frequencies/channels should be staggered in order to avoid inter-area interference between adjacent CERT areas. Intra-area channel choices are relegated to the individual CERT area coordinators, but should be coordinated through KE's Coordinating body. Each Area shall do their own intra-area mapping in the attempt to establish 100% communication between FRS block stations and Ham radio dual station or GMRS/Ham dual stations for relay to the Area ICP without the need for relays, if possible.
The following CERT areas have applied for the following frequencies.
CERT AREA KEN6: FRS/GMRS Channel 6 primary and FRS/GMRS Channel 1 secondary. Status: Coordinated
CERT AREA EC1: Status: Pending
CERT AREA EC4: FRS/GMRS Channel 2 primary and FRS/GMRS Channel 7 secondary . Status: Coordinated
CERT AREA EC5: FRS/GMRS Channel 5 primary and FRS/GMRS secondary (TBD). Status: Coordinated
CERT AREA EC8: FRS/GMRS Channel 1 primary and FRS/GMRS Channel 6 secondary. Status: Coordinated
CERT Area EC9: FRS/GMRS Channel 15 primary and FRS/GMRS Channel 2 secondary Status: Coordinated
Channels 8-14 are restricted to 1/2 watt for both GMRS and FRS and are to be used intra-block (SAR, Triage, Fire Suppression, etc)
Channels 1-7 are for longer range comms such as inter-block comms to and from the AREA ICP where GMRS are allowed 5 watts and FRS 2 watts maximum.
Channels 15-22 are restricted to 2 watts FRS and 50 watts GMRS
Channels 23-30 are restricted for GMRS repeater inputs .
GMRS/FRS Mapping: Each CERT Neighborhood Area should be mapped so that block dead spots and hot spots are identified and remedial measures implemented.
Frequency Coordination between CERT areas (Inter-Area) through the use of Amateur Radio and GMRS Interfaces
The KARO/ECHO primary frequency 146.415 MHz with 146.475 MHz as secondary.
The assigned Contra Costa County OES frequency for KARO/ECHO CERT is 146.475 MHz simplex.
No GMRS inter-area coordination has yet been established.
Mapping: All operators should become familiar with propagation characteristics over local terrain. We know that the earth, steel concrete buildings, and large objects impede signal through put. Each location should get a good idea of these basic principles through mapping stations that they are able to establish direct contact and those which are marginal or out of range. Each operator must experiment in order to understand basic radio propagation principles. Beginners can practice at each net simplex check-in. Each HAM station should have the capability of contacting the EOC on simplex. Each FRS/GMRS station should strive to contact their Staging Area or ICP. If limited to FRS please map your own neighborhood block to establish maximum range. When range needs to be extended explore the possibility of installing an outdoor GMRS antenna and/or increasing GMRS power output.
Coordination with neighboring EmComm organizations
Communication and coordination is necessary in order to minimize interference and to arrange for mutual aid if needed, since, many disasters are local and not widespread equally among geographical regions. Mutual-aid can take the form of training exercises, skilled operators, and sharing needed resources such as water, food, medicines, generators, skilled nursing, rescue equipment etc. This is especially valuable if our local agencies are overworked and unavailable.
Ham Simplex Frequencies for West Co Co County
Local GMRS/FRS CERT Nets
Local Ham UHF/VHF and Area HF Nets -- All Times Are Local
National Traffic System
California Traffic Net 3906 LSB kHz daily at 1800 LSB (California, Arizona, and Nevada) National Traffic Net
Golden Bear Amateur Radio Net 3975 LSB kHz Daily 1900
Northern California Net (NCN) Daily at 1900 on 3533 kHz CW (Northern California and Nevada Traffic)
Northern California Net (NCN) Slow Speed Net 2100 Daily 3533 kHz CW (Northern California and Nevada Traffic)
Adjacent Alameda County Frequencies and Weekly Nets
NALCO ( Berkeley)
Frequencies ....... Offset/Tone ...... Weekly Net ....... Notes
147.480 ....... Simplex
224.900 ...........(-1.6Mhz) 131.8 ......Net Thu 18:45 ......Low-level ARES/RACES use (SECONDARY)
440.900 ...........(+5MHz) 131.8. .......Net Thu 19:15 .....Low-level ARES/RACES use (PRIMARY)
1285.55 ...........(-12MHz) 114.8 ................................ Low-level ARES/RACES use (RESOURCES)
BEcertainn (Berkeley GMRS CERT Repeater Network)
462.725 ...........(+5MHz) 88.5 ..........Net First and Last Tues of every month 1930 ....... Low Level CERT GMRS Repeater
ORCA ( Oakland )
Frequency .......... Offset/Tone ........ Weekly Net ....... Notes
146.88 ............ (-) 77.0 .................Net Thu 19:30
442.40 ............ (+) 77.0
147.585 ........... Simplex (PRIMARY)
146.565 ........... Simplex (SECONDARY)
ARCA ( Alameda )
Frequency ........... Offset/Tone ........ Weekly Net ....... Notes
444.575 ............ (+) 88.5 ............... Net Thu 19:00
146.505 ............ Simplex (PRIMARY)
146.535 ............ Simplex (SECONDARY)
3. Coordination with local NGOs to Aid Messenger Services
Local running, bicycling, Scout Troops, PTAs, service organizations, Neighborhood Watch, and Church organizations are potent resources for runners, scribes, crowd control, and CERT volunteers within the CERT areas. Be sure to include them as a valued resource.
4. Training in Efficient message center operations should be made available as well as FRS/GMRS and radio training classes. Since smooth Interoperability is key, all radio frequencies should be coordinated by the KAROECHO Coordination body.
Not only ham frequencies need to be coordinated in order to avoid interference; but also FRS/GMRS CERT frequencies. A message center model for each ICP must be established so that messages can be triaged/titrated and handed off from one service to the other be it by ham, FRS, GMRS, runner, or bicyclist.
Cert blocks and CERT Area ICPs must be COORDINATED as to frequencies or they will interfere with each other. Interference with neighboring CERT areas such as Berkeley, Albany, and Richmond on our borders can and should be avoided, through coordination.
El Cerrito Kensington CERT Disaster Staging/Gathering Areas (Unfortunately this information is no longer available)
Northern California Band Plans by NARCC (The Northern Amateur Relay Council of California)