EC Report for April 2019


The schedule for the month of April, 2019, was 1 Monthly F.C. EmComm Meeting, 4 Monday Night Nets, 2 Message Handling Practices, 1 EmComm & Coffee, and 2 Public Service Events.

Silent Key

Last month we lost our good friend and colleague, Hal Clover (AD9HC). Hal was the DEC for the Southern portion of the SJV Section. His celebration of life will be held Saturday April 27, 2019 at:

Grace Bible Fellowship

23059 Avenue 198

Strathmore, CA

The time will be 11:00 am.

ARES Traffic Practice

Fresno ARES/RACES is conducting an on-the-air Traffic Handling practice twice a month after our regular Monday night EmComm Nets. Brian has been sending a message using the ARRL Message Form. After the practice the copied message was emailed to Brian to check accuracy and log your time on ARES Connect.

The practice will continue after the nets so join us and have some fun.

Getting to know the Fresno County ARES Officers

Good evening everyone,

I had a thought and wanted to take a few minutes of your time (or less if you delete this) to introduce myself. I realize that I just started showing up to meetings in October of 2017 and checking into the net and seem to be rapidly taking over. I assure you, that's not the case. I'm a stay-at-home father to a set of two and four year old boys that keep me plenty busy. Many of the regulars to the training meetings know me, but that's about it. I would like to try and change that with this e-mail to all of the members, new and existing.

I'll start with a bit of my background. I'm a 20 year retired USAF veteran who was in Bosnia, Iraq (v2.0), and U.A.E. (keeping Iran in check). I did IT for 18 years, everything from running cabling, working T1 help desk, managing servers, network security, infrastructure (CCNA at 23), IT project management, training, standards and evaluation, and even three-star general direct support. The last few years were more managing of multiple offices, I ran T1 to T3 support, I ran the base post office, and then I worked with emergency managers developing plans for the base and running exercises. Several exercises were large-scale evacuations of personnel in Asia. I enlisted in Alaska, traveled the world through 10 duty stations, and then ended up retiring in Alaska.

I became a ham because of the emergency communications aspect. I currently hold a general but will test for extra this year. There are times it may seem as if I have no idea what I'm doing. And that's because I truly have no idea what I'm doing. I am currently only an active member of ARES, my boys and wife's schedule prevent me from being a regular member in any of the clubs. As time passes that will change, and with luck I'll bring more hams from the family into the fray.

As far as equipment goes I work primarily with Icom radios. I only purchased the IC-7300 brand new, all of my other radios are used. I have two IC-208H, one ID-5100A (the hum machine), one IC-706 MkIIG, and (now) one ID-51a plus. All of my other HTs are Baofengs and I have a large assortment. I'm fairly fast at programming all of the radios with either the Icom software or chirp. I'm not an Icom expert but I do have experience with the radios.

I'm the webmaster and training officer for the Fresno County ARES group. As the training officer I try to come up with clever (as clever as I can) ways to keep training engaging and interesting. I'm throwing a lot at the group and participation is welcome, but not required. For instance the winlink check-in, it's hit and miss. The message copy practice is generally well received. We will start doing PSK31 nets in May. I also do capability exercises once a quarter. Last quarter, in February, was a repeater failure exercise where we held the net on simplex. Next month I will have a Fresno-wide power outage simulation. This will not affect the repeater so we will continue the net as normal. This is on your honor, I'm not going to everyone's house to make sure they're on battery power.

I look forward to as many people possible participating in ARES events and training. Stretch your skills a bit, try new things. Everything that I present is another tool that can be used for emergency communications. I'm learning right along with a lot of you. The training I do is as much for me as it is for everyone that participates. If I'm doing something wrong please tell me. I'm not the be all end all when it comes to this. As you can see from my background I'm a jack of all trades, but certainly haven't mastered any of them.

There is a ton of information on our web site, please check it out. Everything from daily FEMA reports, training that we've done, Santa Clara training slides, relevant news and information, event calendar, and a San Joaquin Valley wide net schedule. If you have questions regarding Fresno County ARES, the web site, ARES training, or Icom radios please don't hesitate to ask.

I hope this is helpful and might get more people actively involved. Maybe open a dialogue as to what ARES means to you. Please don't be intimidated, if I can pull this off I promise you anyone can.


//K6OGR - Brian

EmComm Website

We are now posting events and meetings on the calendar as well as posting articles on the home page. There is a lot of new information and links added to the site as well thanks to our Webmaster Brian (K6OGR). Check us out at

FC EmComm Website Report

Here are the website, Facebook, and ARES Connect reports for March.


- 104 visits

- 273 page views

- 70 direct visits

- 25 redirects from successful search returns

- 3 redirects from social media

Top 5 most visited pages:


Meetings and Nets

Additional Documents

ARES Training

Contact us


Facebook page:

6 Page views

0 Page previews

27 People reached

26 Post engagements


ARES Connect:

New members: 1

Net participation:

- Winlink Check in

-- 5 Average participants

-- 7 Peak participants

- Weekly net

-- 16 Average participants

-- 15 Peak participants

- Message copy practice

-- 10 Average participants

-- 11 Peak participants


- 132 participants

- 113.75 hours


//K6OGR - Brian

FC EmComm FB Page

We have a Fresno County EmComm presence on Facebook. There you can find posts related to local events and emergencies. To access it, search for on Facebook, or you can click on the Facebook icon at the bottom of the web site at It is just a page so there is no membership to join. To keep up to date you just need to like and follow.

Upcoming Emcomm Service Events

As you know we assist CARP with their Public Service Events and use them as a training venue. We have one coming up in May, this is the Kirch Flat Ride. Please consider helping with these events, they are not only a great training venue but a lot of fun. After you sign up, please go to ARES Connect and check the events on the calendar so you will get your time logged onto ARES Connect when you participate.


May 4, 2019 – FCC Kirch Flat Bicycle Ride – Sign up

June 22, 2019 – FCC Climb to Kaiser Bicycle Ride – Sign up

September xx, 2019 – Tour de Fresno Bicycle Ride

October 5, 2019 – North Fork Grizzly Century (not confirmed)

October 12, 2019 – FCC Bass Lake Double Century Bicycle Ride – Sign up

November 16, 2019 – FCC Raymond Gravel Grinder Ride ¬- If you are interested and want to sign up for one or more events please go to the CARP Website ( and go to their sign up link.

NVIS, What is it?

I was looking around on the web and found the following information on NVIS and it looked interesting so I am passing it on.

Near vertical incidence skywave

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Near vertical incidence skywave, or NVIS, is a skywave radio-wave propagation path that provides usable signals in the range between groundwave and conventional skywave distances—usually 50–650 km (30–400 miles). It is used for military and paramilitary communications, broadcasting,[1] especially in the tropics, and by radio amateurs for nearby contacts circumventing line-of-sight barriers. The radio waves travel near-vertically upwards into the ionosphere, where they are refracted back down and can be received within a circular region up to 650 km (400 miles) from the transmitter.[2] If the frequency is too high (that is, above the critical frequency of the ionospheric F layer), refraction fails to occur and if it is too low, absorption in the ionospheric D layer may reduce the signal strength.

There is no fundamental difference between NVIS and conventional skywave propagation; the practical distinction arises solely from different desirable radiation patterns of the antennas (near vertical for NVIS, near horizontal for conventional long-range skywave propagation).

Frequencies and Propagation

NVIS radiation pattern

While the groundwave (blue) cannot propagate, the refracted skywaves (red) achieve HF coverage within the common first hop (~500km).

The most reliable frequencies for NVIS communications are between 1.8 MHz and 8 MHz. Above 8 MHz, the probability of success begins to decrease, dropping to near zero at 30 MHz. Usable frequencies are dictated by local ionospheric conditions, which have a strong systematic dependence on geographical location. Common bands used in amateur radio at mid-latitudes are 3.5 MHz at night and 7 MHz during daylight, with experimental use of 5 MHz (60 meters) frequencies. During winter nights at the bottom of the sunspot cycle, the 1.8 MHz band may be required. [3] Broadcasting uses the tropical broadcast bands between 2.3 and 5.06 MHz, and the international broadcast bands between 3.9 and 6.2 MHz. Military NVIS communications mostly take place on 2–4 MHz at night and on 5–7 MHz during daylight.

Optimum NVIS frequencies tend to be higher towards the tropics and lower towards the arctic regions. They are also higher during high sunspot activity years. The usable frequencies change from day to night, because sunlight causes the lowest layer of the ionosphere, called the D layer, to increase, causing attenuation of low frequencies during the day [4] while the maximum usable frequency (MUF) which is the critical frequency of the F layer rises with greater sunlight. Real time maps of the critical frequency are available. [5] Use of a frequency about 15% below the critical frequency should provide reliable NVIS service. This is sometimes referred to as the optimum working frequency or FOT.

NVIS is most useful in mountainous areas where line-of-sight propagation is ineffective, or when the communication distance is beyond the 50 mile (80 km) range of groundwave(or the terrain is so rugged and barren that groundwave is not effective), and less than the 300–1500 mile (500–2500 km) range of lower-angle sky-wave propagation. Another interesting aspect of NVIS communication is that direction finding of the sender is more difficult than for ground-wave communication (i.e. VHF or UHF). For broadcasters, NVIS allows coverage of an entire medium-sized country at much lower cost than with VHF (FM), and daytime coverage, similar to mediumwave (AM broadcast) nighttime coverage at lower cost and often with less interference.


An NVIS antenna configuration is a horizontally polarized (parallel with the surface of the earth) radiating element that is from 1/20th wavelength (λ) to 1/4 wavelength above the ground. Optimum height is about 1/4 wavelength, and high angle radiation declines only slightly for heights up to about 3/8 wavelength. [6] That proximity to the ground forces the majority of the radiation to go straight up. Overall efficiency of the antenna can be increased by placing a ground wire slightly longer than the antenna parallel to and directly underneath the antenna. One source says that a single ground wire can provide antenna gain in the 3–6 dB range.[7] Another source indicates 2 dB for a single wire and nearly 4 dB for multiple ground wires.[8] Ground wires are more necessary when using lower dipoles over poor soils as without them considerable energy goes into heating the ground.

Depending on the specific requirements, various antennas (i.e. Sloper, T2FD, Dipole) can be used for NVIS communication, with horizontal dipoles or inverted V dipoles at about 0.2 wavelengths above ground giving the best results on transmit and at about 0.16 wavelengths on receive, according to military sources and an extensive study by Dutch researchers. [9] [10] Very low antennas are much inferior on transmit, less so on receive, where both noise and signal are attenuated.

Significant increases in communication will obviously be realized when both the transmitting station and the receiving station use NVIS configuration for their antennas. In particular for low profile operations NVIS antennas are a good option.[11]

For broadcasting, typical antennas consist of a dipole about 1/4 wavelength above ground, or arrays of such dipoles.[12] Up to 16 dipoles can be used, allowing strong signals with relatively low power by concentrating the signal in a smaller area. Limiting the coverage may be dictated by licensing, language or political considerations. Arrays of dipoles can be used to "slew" the pattern, so that the transmitter need not be in the center of the coverage footprint. Broadcast NVIS antennas usually use an extensive ground screen to increase gain and stabilize the pattern and feed impedance with changing ground moisture.

AS-2259 antenna

AS-2259 NVIS Antenna

A military NVIS antenna is the AS-2259 Antenna,[13] which consists of two V-shaped dipoles: The four dipole wires also serve as guy rope for the antenna mast. An alternative configuration consists of a transmitting loop antenna which is configured for maximum signal transmission upwards.[14]


1. ^ Broadcasting in Band 7 (HF) in the Tropical Zone, International Radio Consultative Committee, International Telecommunications Union, Geneva, 1969

2. ^ The Emergency Communications Antenna, By Stephen C. Finch, AIØW

3. ^

4. ^ "An analytical study of HF communications between provincial PREOC-s and the North Shore Emergency Management office at VE7NSR" (PDF).

5. ^ "World Ionospheric Map". Commonwealth of Australia Bureau of Meteorology.

6. ^ Brown, Jim. "Planning Antennas" (PDF). Jim Brown, K9YC. Retrieved 30 April 2017.

7. ^ Hawker (2005), pp. 89

8. ^ NVIS Antennas

9. ^ G. E. Barker, J. Taylor, and G. H. Hagn, “Summary of measurements and modeling of the radiation patterns of simple field antennas in open (level) terrain, mountains and forests,” U.S. Army Electronic Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, USA, Spec. Tech. Rep. 45, December 1971.

10. ^

11. ^ Space Challenged NVIS Antenna

12. ^ Broadcasting in Band 7, page 39

13. ^ AS-2259 Antenna Manual

14. ^ Hawker (1999), pp. 33

• Antony Wedgwood, G0TJD; Goldstein, J. A. (April 2001). "Near Vertical Incidence Skywave". The Vintage and Military Amateur Radio Society Newsletter. 16: 7–11. Bibcode:1995nrl..reptS....W.

• Hawker, Pat (1999). Technical Topics Scrapbook 1990-1994. Potters bar,UK: Radio Society of Great Britain. pp. 33–34, 64–65. ISBN 978-1-872309-51-4.

• Hawker, Pat (2005). Technical Topics Scrapbook 2000-2004. Potters bar,UK: Radio Society of Great Britain. pp. 61, 89–90, 109–110, 126, 143, 154. ISBN 978-1-905086-05-4.

• Walden, M. (March 2008). "Extraordinary Wave NVIS Propagation at 5 MHz". RadCom. 84 (3): 57–62.

We Need Your Input!

We have started our Steering Committee up again. We are looking for ideas for projects, training events, etc. that would promote interest and participation of our members. If you have any ideas, please email me. We will do our best to make this a more interesting, efficient, and enjoyable organization.

EmComm Meeting

Agenda for

April 25, 2019

Pledge of Allegiance


Old business

1. SATERN Update – Dan, AE6X

2. Monday Night EmComm Net– Gary, KI6OYW

3. ARES Connect

4. Message Handling Practice

5. Old business: none on docket

New business

Training Agenda:

Using Fldigi and ARES – Brian (K6OGR)

New business


EmComm meeting place: Hinds Hospice Building at 2490 W. Shaw Ave. Fresno. The time is 19:00 hr. please arrive a little early for we have to be escorted in for this is a secured building.

Net Control Staff Needed

We are looking for volunteers to take a turn as net control on Monday nights. This is not a difficult task. We will provide the preamble and net roster. This is a great way to enhance your skills running a net for emergency situations. If you are interested, please contact Gary (KI6OYW) at 559-269-1340 or email

Our Calendar

Don’t forget the Monday Night EmComm Net at 19:30 hr. on the 147.15 MHz Pl 141.3. We have some good information and camaraderie. On the third Friday of the month there is the EmComm & Coffee located at Denny’s, 39 W. Herndon Ave (North East corner of Blackstone and Herndon) 07:00hr. And last but not least the EmComm Meetings are held on the Fourth Thursday of month. Our next meeting will be April 25, 2019 at 1900 hr. at the Hinds Hospice Building, 2490 W. Shaw Fresno.

Best of 73’s


Fresno County ARES EC/ RACES Officer