Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (VOADs) in South Carolina

In a typical disaster situation a county EOC might ask you to deploy to a VOAD site and establish emergency comms to the county EOC and state EOC. Your go box, portable antenna’s and your knowledge of all the possible methods to establish those comms links are essential. Here is a list of every VOAD in South Carolina. Many VOADs on this list would not deploy until after the comms infrastructure was back online. But others would deploy right away and they may ask for a comms link back to the county or state EOC. This is where ARES can engage and make a difference.

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

On May 3 2023 the FCC RF Exposure rules are in effect

Effective 5/3/2023 the FCC RF exposure rules are in effect. Under the new rules, every radio amateur is responsible for determining that their station does not cause exposure that exceeds the FCC MPE limits to any person, either in their homes or outside of them. This is required for handheld, portable and mobile operations. The FCC does not require that the results of a stations exposure analysis be submitted. But you should keep a record of it just in case a complaint is made on your station.  This applies to the amateur radio hobby and amateur radio emergency services. As ARES volunteers we routinely setup our radios in or around the public. If a complaint is made the FCC will ask you for your RF exposure analysis.

As of May 3 2023, every station must be assessed for exposure before it is operated.  No exceptions.

ARRL provides an RF exposure calculator at RF Exposure Calculator (arrl.org) More information on how to use it can be found in QST magazine May 2023 on page 64. Thanks to the ARRL and QST for providing this.

Another suggestion is to use FCC Bulletin 65, supplement B, table 4 prepared by ARRL & W5YI.  The disadvantage of using this method is the assumptions used create an overly conservative result. Which means you might be putting up yellow caution tape in an uncontrolled space and not need to.

Helpful tip from Dan WD4NG

Dipole Radiation Pattern. youtube

Many of us use a dipole as part of our Emcom go kits. A dipole antenna is very popular.

Click to see a short 6 minute youtube video that shows us the radiation pattern of a dipole antenna and shows the actual location the antenna is transmitting at.  This is very interesting and it might help you next time you setup your Emcom portable dipole antenna.

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

Local ARES net menu tab

If you would like your ARES net added to this list please send an email to Pete K4LLE at pete.emmel.k4lle@gmail.com with all the info and I will get you on the list.

Winlink Power User Tricks

The Wavetalkers did a session Sunday on shortcuts for Winlink.
They covered Group Addresses, how to create and use,, how to save templates with your information, How to check for new messages before you actually download the messages (display list of messages), how to set a default template, how to set auto Telnet settings and other tricks.
Thanks goes to Lloyd M. Mitchell, KO4L