From October 30, 2016 to November 1, 2016 members of the Bishop Amateur Radio Club participated in the Nationwide Communications Exercise, COMMEX 16-4.
This exercise simulated a total failure of traditional communications such as, telephone, cell phones and internet. “HAM” radio operators from every county in the country we asked to check in with MARS (Military Auxiliary Radio System) radio operators and relay the conditions in their county.
The goal was to give the Department of Defense and FEMA a snapshot view of every county in America if there was a catastrophic failure of traditional communications.
HF Amateur Radio does not require any infrastructure to communicate long distances because the radio signal bounces off the Ionosphere. All that is required is a radio, 12 volt battery and a wire antenna that can be thrown up in a tree. Communications were established using the 60 Meter band that is also used by the Military. There is a small piece of the 60 Meter band designated for Amateur Radio use.
BARC Radio Operators in southern Inyo County, Northern Inyo County, and Southern Mono County made contact with MARS Radio Operators in Nevada and Oregon. BARC partnered with the Antelope Valley CERT Team in Northern Mono County and a CERT Team Ham Radio operator also made contact with MARS Operators.
In November, Bishop Amateur Radio Club operators participated in the Statewide Emergency Hospital Drill. BARC Radio operators, working with both Inyo and Mono Health Departments established contact on the 40 Meter Band with Loma Linda Hospital in Riverside, California. Loma Linda Hospital has a Mutual Aid agreement with the Health Departments.
Persons interested in obtaining their Ham Radio License can visit the BARC website at www.n60v.com
Everyone is welcome to come to the monthly BARC meeting the second Tuesday of each month located at the Salvation Army on West Line Street, at 7:00 P.M.
There is no longer a Morse Code requirement for any Ham Radio License.