FEMA RECCWG Region 4 & Region 6 May 31-June 1 Communications Outage Exercise.

ARES,  RACES,  AuxComm or ANY Amateur Radio Station is requested to participate in the FEMA Exercise involving  Region 4 (Southeast) and Region 6. This takes about 5 minutes and since South Carolina is NOT in one of the 4 disaster areas hit, the “ground truth” you will share with the requested Winlink Form can be sent in via  TELNET or Amateur radio.

SC ESF-2 is going to integrate the reports into a dashboard and FEMA will get copies of the mapped data along with a communications log.


WHEN: Tuesday evening, May 31st, from 6:00 PM EDT until 4:00 PM EDT Wednesday afternoon, June 1st.


Click here for the PDF with all of the instructions on how to participate in the exercise.



Sat. Jun 04, 2022 10:00-15:00

South Carolina Emergency Management Division
West Columbia SC

Gabe Turner  CW2 (SC)

Communications Manager

CLICK to register for the June training event.


2022 CommEX Results

Rollup from  3/19/22  Exercise

27 Counties represented Total

11 actual EOC's and 2 County trailers deployed  (Beaufort and Cherokee)

1 Municipal EOC (Myrtle Beach EOC)

5 Hospitals

1 Nursing Center (Saluda Nursing Center)

73 resource requests processed via radio

209 winlink messages received.

Unsure on total number of actual traffic received but will compute that total next week.

Lots of simplex nets also took place today.

These are the preliminary results there may be a few I missed, 
will confirm next week when I go through all the paperwork.


Gabe Turner CW2 (SC)

Communications Manager

RF Line-of-Sight Map

Online tool we can use to see if we have clear line of sight for simplex operation.

Take a look: https://www.scadacore.com/tools/rf-path/rf-line-of-sight/

EmComm Power, Solar & Battery

Batteries,  solar panels and solar charge controllers.

Which is best for EmComm ?

RF Quiet solar charge controller, Series vs Parallel panels, PWM or MPPT, which is best ?

View Vimeo Video: https://vimeo.com/669261305

Provided by the RatPack group.

Suggestions to live by:

-> Never plug a solar panel directly into a battery <-

-> Make sure the solar charge controller is configured to MATCH the battery chemistry <-
-> Make sure the voltage settings MATCH the battery manufacturer recommendation <-

-> Always plug the battery into a solar charge controller BEFORE the solar panels <-

Difference between ARES, RACES and Auxcomm, in South Carolina

FCC Licensed Amateur Radio Operators who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment, with the local ARES leadership, for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes. ARRL/ARES provides basic training curriculum and exercise opportunities. The list of agencies a volunteer might end up serving is long but could include a County EOC/CERT, Hospital radio room, Red Cross ERV/Shelter, Nursing Home radio room, NWS office.  Once you register with an agency your training & credentialing will be completed with them.

Who decides when ARES will be activated?

That would be the agency ARES volunteers are serving.  ARES is a registered trade mark for the ARRL.  The roles in emergency communication is really defined by the agencies, state, county, local government or NGO they serve as volunteer communicator.  Without these served organization ARES has no role to support.

Leadership is provided by the county EC and the state SM
Click on the LEADERSHIP DIRECTORY tab above for contacts.


Amateur Radio Operators that  have registered with their EOC for volunteer communications service should the President of the United States order the shutdown of all amateur radio transmissions per FCC rule 97.407 ***
RACES operators are allowed to transmit only by order of the EOC they volunteer for.
Each RACES volunteer must be endorsed by the respective county or state EOC.

Leadership is provided by each EOC / RACES Officer, county or state.


AUXCOMM:  is not an organization, it is a training standard.

An all inclusive term used to describe the many organizations that provide various types of communication support to emergency management, public safety and other government agencies as described in themselves. This includes but is not limited to Amateur Radio, Military Radio, Citizens Band Radio, DMR, DMRS, FRS, SatCom, Skywarn and many others.
Members of Auxcomm all have the title of Auxiliary Communicator.
Auxcomm is a position specific specialist certification.

Leadership is provided by the State EOC/DEC and the state EMD
Click on the LEADERSHIP DIRECTORY tab above for contacts.

The above information is specific to South Carolina, a home rule state, some states have organized these three groups differently. An example is some states may not organize RACES with the county EOC.  Check with your local EOC for direction.


EC = Emergency Coordinator

SM = Section Manager

EM = Emergency Manager

EOC = Emergency Operations Center

DEC = District Emergency Coordinator

EMD = Emergency Management Division

ARES = Amateur Radio Emergency Service

RACES = Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service

NGO= Non-Government Organization

*** It has been reported that FCC part 97.407 was removed from law at some point in the past. This was investigated and found to be an opinion. FCC 97.407 is still in effect as of Sept 2021 here is the link if you would like to check for yourself.


SC Emergency Management Division AUXCOMM program for Amateur Radio Operator volunteers

View Video: https://vimeo.com/590153252
Download Video: https://vimeo.com/user107547861/download/590153252/f697f7a109
Documents: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5y3ibk6b1zquux9/AAAq5sKztpxikh1pIDgxlMkAa?dl=0

“There is a lot to like in this talk.  Most of it is role model/best practice”

Erik Westgard NY9D


The insurance question is at time stamp 53:40


South Carolina is a home rule state: Home rule in the United States generally signifies a shift of governing power from the state to county or municipal governments to implement principles of local self-government. … Several states grant some degree of home rule to local governments organized under the general law.

—> Provided by RATPAC…Radio Amateur Training Planning and Activities Committee  8/19/2021

Integrating Amateur Radio DMR into a State Communications Plan


View Video: https://vimeo.com/586961385
Download Video: https://vimeo.com/user107547861/download/586961385/f71194f2a6
Documents: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/xpk08dm5nw69a0l/AACiHHyaaMqr0ANPy2BcasKma?dl=0
—> Provided by RATPAC…Radio Amateur Training Planning and Activities Committee 8/12/2021

EmComm (Winlink HF & FM) Training group

While this group of folks is not associated with ARES they are committed to emergency comms specifically Winlink ICS traffic. So if you need some training and practice this group is the place to spend your free time.

EmComm-Training Group

When to self ID

Riley Hollingsworth is the ARRL guy managing the Volunteer Monitor program and he has cleared up a few things about when you must self ID.  This applies to operating on amateur radio frequencies ONLY.  If you are operating on a frequency outside of the amateur radio bands you will follow the direction given by the local leadership.

You must self ID once every 10 minutes if:

  1. You are using your own callsign
  2. You are using a club callsign, like W4CAE or K4EMD
  3. You are using a special event tactical callsign, like the ones used for Harbison 50K or Tour De Cure
  4. You are using an ARES/Auxcomm tactical callsign, Like LEX EOC or State EOC

Of course you will self ID sooner if the event coordinator directs you to. In some events you might be asked to self ID on every transmission you make. An example would be “Net Control LEX EOC message body goes here K4LLE

You must self ID every 60 minutes if:

You are using an FCC issued 1×1 special event callsign. An Example is K2L. It is also suggested that instead of every 60 minutes you self ID every 30 minutes just to be on the safe side. You should always follow the direction of the event coordinator.

FCC article on FCC issued 1×1 callsign, CLICK

There is no need to say “for ID” just say your callsign