HAMNET Report 30th June 2024

In a summation of the activities over the ARRL Field Day weekend, the ARRL letter reports it to have been a successful event, despite severe weather and extreme temperatures impacting much of the country. Social media posted hundreds of photos and stories from the US, and 2200 logs had been received at the ARRL by Wednesday evening.

As an example of the type of report in their local press, The Northwest Ohio VHF Amateur Radio Society (NOVARS) set up their equipment near McComb for a day of intensive practice and community engagement.

Evan Hartman, a key member of the NOVARS club, took the time to speak about the event and its significance. Hartman explained that Field Day is not only a chance for amateur radio operators to showcase their skills but also a crucial exercise in preparing for real-world emergencies.

The NOVARS setup near McComb was impressive, featuring a range of antennas, transceivers, and portable power sources. Club members worked in shifts, ensuring continuous operation and communication with other Field Day participants across North America. The event served as a friendly competition, with clubs earning points based on the number of successful contacts they made, the variety of methods used, and the difficulty of the setups.

Hartman also emphasized the importance in welcoming new people to the amateur radio community and talked about resources available to get that first “ham radio” license.

The camaraderie among the NOVARS members was palpable on Saturday as they worked together to solve technical challenges and improve their setup throughout the day. Despite the intense focus on the technical aspects, there was also a strong sense of community spirit, with operators sharing stories, tips, and encouragement.

Local residents were invited to visit the NOVARS site to learn more about amateur radio. Many took the opportunity to see the equipment in action and understand the critical role that these enthusiasts play in times of crisis.

Field Day 2024 proved to be a successful event for NOVARS and the broader amateur radio community. With numerous contacts made and valuable experience gained, the event reinforced the importance of amateur radio operators and their role in emergency preparedness.

Thanks to wfin.com/local-news for these extracts from their article.

Meanwhile, in England, The Halifax and District Amateur Radio Society (HADARS) once again played a crucial role in ensuring the smooth operation of the Cragg Challenge 2024. This event, which includes a series of physically demanding challenges, takes place on the infamous 8km climb, renowned as the longest continuous climb in England. The terrain presents significant communication challenges due to numerous blackout areas caused by the valleys and hills, making comprehensive communication coverage difficult.

HADARS, leveraging its years of experience, rose to the challenge once more. The society has a longstanding relationship with the Cragg Challenge, having supported the event for several years. Their involvement provides HADARS members with valuable air time on the amateur radio bands, allowing them to hone their communication skills in a real-world environment.

The primary role of HADARS during the event is multifaceted. They provide crucial support to motorcycle marshals and the ambulance service, ensuring that help can be dispatched quickly in case of emergencies. Additionally, HADARS is responsible for keeping event organizers updated with real-time information from the entire route. This real-time data is vital for the smooth running of the event, enabling organizers to make informed decisions swiftly.

To tackle the unique communication challenges posed by the Cragg Challenge, HADARS strategically placed checkpoints along the route. Moreover, HADARS operated a remote station at Mount Skip between Old town and the village of Midgley. This station offers a commanding view of the entire course, making it a pivotal part of the communication strategy. 

The society’s efforts not only support the safety and coordination of the event but also provide a valuable training ground for amateur radio operators, highlighting the practical importance of this engaging hobby.

Thanks to the Halifax Courier for that report.

Capetown.gov.za reports that The City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre (DRMC) successfully hosted the annual resilience programme for women and girls. The programme started last week and came to a close yesterday.

The Women & Girls Invisible Force of Resilience programme started on 18 June 2024 with 19 learners from a variety of schools attending.

The week long programme included learning about disaster management concepts such as disaster preparedness, how to identify hazards and how to be an emergency ambassador. 

The programme started off at the DRMC in Goodwood and moved to other venues for the remainder of the course.

Other topics and learning interventions covered during the programme included;

Early warning systems                                                                                              Neighbourhood resilience assessment                                                          Flood and fire mitigation                                                                              Plastic Pollution                                                                                          Impacts of Climate Change                                                                                     Waste management                                                                                          A Self-defence course                                                                                 Bullying in schools                                                                                                 Basic firefighting                                                                                                          First Aid  

(Apologies here for the formatting difficulties – I could not get the above section to behave)

The group also learnt valuable tips about disaster preparedness in the home, and that families should have a disaster preparedness plan, which includes how to take care of animals during a disaster. The South Africa Weather Service provided valuable insights on extreme weather events and early warning systems.

On Thursday, participants spent the day at the City’s Rondevlei nature reserve where they went on a hike and learned about the importance of biodiversity and ecosystems. The following day participants were put through their paces at the Smart Living Centre in Cape Town where they discussed climate change in the Western Cape, water saving and recycling, among others.

“I’m excited to see the level of interest and the willingness to learn. The knowledge and skills learnt during the programme will put participants in good stead one day to be better prepared to deal with real life disasters, but also to reduce the risks in their homes and communities. We hope that they will become ambassadors for disaster risk reduction and that they will share knowledge and increase awareness in their environment on the importance of resilience and preparedness,” said Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.

Participants who completed the programme received certificates during a ceremony at the DRMC Auditorium in Goodwood on Saturday, 29 June 2024.

This is Dave Reece ZS1DFR reporting for HAMNET in South Africa.