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PLEASE NOTE:  We now have a Groups.io site for ARES - RACES members.
You may have to set up your password for total access.

Helicopter Training

Helicopter training is NOT a requirement to be a member of ARES - RACES; however, Greater Spokane Emergency Management -DOES- require helicopter training for any members who are called upon to deploy for an emergency.  This means if the county calls us up, we can only dispatch members who have had this training.  This doesn't mean the ARES - RACES group can't use you in some other important radio communicator position.  Please don't let this be a deterrent to your participation.  Those members who wish to be eligible to deploy, must get this training.  It is only held once or twice a year, depending on the need.

Helicopter training is good for two years.  Prior training done on-line is no longer valid, even if you took it recently, you will need to take this in-person course.

The next Helicopter training opportunity is Friday, March 16, 2018 at 1800 hours (6 pm) and will last a little over an hour.

Training will be held at:

Spokane County Sheriffs Training Center
6011 N. Chase Rd.
Newman Lake, WA  99025

Go-kit Night

The Spokane ARES - RACES group met at their monthly meeting this January to display various radio and personal survival Go-kits, also referred to as Go-boxes.  These are built by radio amateurs to put all needed equipment in one place so they can essentially "grab-and-go."  The idea is to take as little time as possible to deploy.  The group will also be holding follow-on sessions to help others configure and build their own.  Stay tuned for more information.

The presentation can be found in the downloads area.


IMG 20180118 191651282IMG 20180118 184548532 BURST000 COVER TOP


(I'll fix the photos later)

2018 01 13 Digital Workshop

This Saturday our primary track will be an Introduction to Scripting in Winlink Express. 
Scripting can be a powerful tool to expand your connectivity via the packet VHF/UHF infrastructure. It can greatly increase your geographical range and still get the message through when parts of the system are down. 
This workshop will be an introduction to the basics of the why, when, and how of using scripting in the Winlink environment. We'll build out a number of useful scripts, so bring your computer with Winlink Express installed. We'll have stations setup to demonstrate how scripting works in real life, and if you'd like to test it on your own radio, don't hesitate to bring your Winlink radio setup as well.
Additionally, if there is interest, we'll be happy to also run an Introduction to Winlink for New Users for those that haven't yet set up or used Winlink Express (or would like additional help setting it up). If you're interested in that session, please use the contact form and select WA7AQH. If we do this track, it will start at 1030.

2018 - January Update

Happy New Year to all our ARES - RACES members and those visiting our web site.

The January Meeting, to be held on Thursday the 18th, will cover Go-kits, Go-boxes and Mobile rigs.  If you have a mobile/portable radio setup that you have "ready-to-go" at a moments notice, please bring it to the next meeting.  You'll have an opportunity to show it off and for othes to see the different ways we all put these together.  We'll also go through some hands-on time to help others with their mobile setups.  Later at the February Second Saturday Digital Workshop, we'll have a few hours to help others build and install mobile rigs.  It should be a good time.

In the upcoming Second Saturday Digital Workshop for January, you can look forward to learning more about Scripting.  This is the ability to send your digital messages via more than one repeater by using "scripts" that help channel the message the way you want.  Anyone new to digital and specifically Winlink, please come on out and the instructors can help you get set up with Winlink for the very first time if needed, or help you with scripting.

The webmaster will hopefully be posting information soon regarding upcoming Amateur license classes.  For now, dates are as follows:

  • February 10th 2018 - Technician
  • March 17th 2018 - General
  • May 12th 2018 - Technician
  • August 11th - Technician
  • November 10th 2018 - Technician

License Classes are currently being held at the Fire Training Center.  A test opportunity will be given at the end of each class.  More info to come.

Times:  0800 - 1730 (5:30 pm), with a 45 minute break for lunch.


2018 December ARES Meeting CANCELLED

There is no meeting for 20 December, 2018.  Please ignore any automatic emails that say there is.  You should receive a meeting cancellation notice from the Goups.io email system.

Please pass this information along to all your ARES - RACES friends and tell them not to show up for the December meeting.

There is no meeting for 20 December, 2018.

SKYWARN 2017 Recap

SKYWARN Recognition Day

December 1 & 2, 2017

Dear Skywarn participants and ARES/RACES Members,

Mary Qualtieri, AA7RT and myself, Bob Wiese, W7UWC, would like to extend our thanks to all who participated and supported this year’s Special Event Station and a special thank you to Andy Brown and the staff at the National Weather Service Office in Airway Heights.  This is always one event many of us traditionally looked forward to each year since 1999. 

One of the highlights of Skywarn is the opportunity to use this special event as a learning tool for newer hams and we enjoyed that this year with several new members in our Spokane County ARES/RACES Membership.  They participated in every aspect of the day from helping set antennas to assembling radios, coax, grounding, and all the way through to operating.  Watching the joy on the face of a new ham make that first successful HF contact on 20 meters is priceless.  A healthy seed has been planted within several people that will grow and bear fruit for years to come. We also are thankful for a member from Lincoln County ARES/RACES joining us and supporting our operations on both days and the work of many who arrived to help remove the antennas Saturday afternoon and packing all the radio equipment to be loaded in various vehicles. 

While the contact numbers were down this year for various reasons, mostly local noise and some interesting fading of signals in the middle of an exchange or, as in one instance a poor barrel connector that took a while to find, (WHAT!  They NEVER go BAD) we are still happy with so many working hard and contributing to the success through everyone’s efforts. We operated VHF through HF including several data modes including EchoLink, IRLP and some I cannot spell.  

We learned some important lessons that include checking and tightening such connectors as mentioned above and learning to limit the social aspect a bit to be less of a distraction to operators and yet always being available to educate and answer questions and encourage support for the Amateur Radio Art.  Yet it must be understood that we never wish to limit productive networking among hams that will serve to make better operators. Making better operators is always the end goal of this and other operating opportunities that take place throughout the year.  

We are already looking forward to next year.  And we found a new Pizza resource that will be utilized next year. Thank you all again for your support, encouragement, good humor, and the fun of Skywarn

Best wished for a Joyous Christmas and Holiday season.


Bob, W7UWC

Mary, AA7RT

Created by PA4RM