SC Midlands ARES Training Net

The South Carolina Midlands ARES Training Net meets each Thursday at 8:30 pm local time on the 330 repeater (until further notice) that’s 147.330 MHz with a positive offset and a PL tone of 156.7 Hz. All amateur radio operators are welcome and encouraged to check in. You need not be a member of ARES.  

If you cannot check in by radio, you are welcome to check in using this Zoom link: Meeting ID: 431 422 9704 Passcode: 3iEyQj

Richland ARES and CERT business

Archived notes from recent nets:

SC Midlands ARES Training Net notes for 2.2.23

SC Midlands ARES Training Net notes for 1.19.23

Important near-term dates

Saturday, February 11 
(8:45) 9 AM – 4 PM Quarterly ARES/AUXCOMM training hosted by SCEMD
When it comes to training, this is as good as it gets. You do not want to miss this excellent opportunity!

Saturday, March 11

Statewide Commex (Communication Exercise) Morning, + some part of the afternoon.

We will be interacting with the SEOC during this exercise over SCHEART repeater network. We’ll need operators who will simulate working at the EOC or a shelter, or hospital.

This is a big deal exercise intended to help us practice what we will be doing in an actual activation. Please make yourself available as we will be spending time planning and practicing in advance of this exercise.
Locations. TBD – Probably from home.


Fire Station Net recap

Saturday morning, December 3rd, a combined group of SC Emergency Management Area 3 ARES members and Richland CERT members deployed at fire stations across Richland and Calhoun counties to set up amateur radio stations and practice emergency communication skills.
A variety of communication methods were employed by participants including VHF/UHF, HF, DMR and Winlink.
It’s important to practice these skills so that we can provide communication in the event conventional communication systems (telephone, internet) should fail.
Many thanks to all the guys who participated.
Also, big thanks to Marcas Houtchings, David E. Bagwell Jr., and the fire station guys who were kind enough to coordinate and host us at their station.
Click on any picture twice for a larger view.



Fire Station Net – Saturday, New date 12.3 (9:30 – Noon)

If you are interested in setting up and operating your radio at one of these locations, please contact KN4KRZ at    Details are available here: Gmail – Fire Station Net


Documents for Fire Station Net

Print, review, bring along


ICS 205    ICS 205 Fire Station Exercise – Page 1 of 2                    ICS 205 Fire Station Exercise- Page 2 of 2

Fire Station Net Exercise Guidance documents

12.3 Fire Station Net Worksheet Rev.12.2.22

Fire Station Net Supplemental Notes Rev. 12.2.22

Fire Station Net Readability Rev.12.2.22

Bring along a few blank copies of these

ICS 214 Activity Log FILLABLE pdf

ICS 213RR Resource Request FILLABLE pdf

ICS 213 General Message FILLABLE pdf

Notes from 9.15.2022 SC Midlands ARES Training Net – Linked here:

SC Midlands ARES Training Net notes for 9.15.22

Notes from 9.8.2022 SC Midlands ARES Training Net – Linked here:

SC Midlands ARES Training Net notes for 9.8.2022

From National Weather Service

NWS spotter refresher training For those of you who have not taken the spotter training in a while and feel you may have forgotten some of the aspects of the training, we have uploaded a video to our YouTube page which serves as a short refresher:

Storm Spotter Facebook page Thanks to all who have expressed interest in the Storm Spotter Facebook page. Due to Facebook’s restrictions with the number of invites you can send at a time, it is difficult to send invites to our large list of Storm Spotters. If you are interested in joining the Storm Spotter Facebook page, please follow this link: So far, we have 50 Spotters on the page and once we get more folks into the group we will start to post in it!

WINLINK – For anyone struggling getting started with Winlink, the first 10 minutes of this video can help you go from Zero to Winlink Telnet Installing Winlink & Creating Your Account

August 27 Test Net results 

Want to join ARES? Here’s a link: ARES Membership – South Carolina Amateur Radio Emergency Services (

Want to help in with emergency communications in your county EOC? Contact your county Emergency Manager or your county ARES EC.  For Richland CERT, scroll down to find an application.

As members of ARES, 3 important documents that all of us need to be familiar with: 

1) ARES Membership – South Carolina ARES ( Registration Form– To join ARES, this is where to start. If you have not already, please complete the registration form. A lot of us, me included, didn’t do this when we started, so we need to catch up. Please send a pdf file to your EC and keep a copy for yourself.

Notice: This form includes a place to indicate bands and modes you can operate. Of course, that can change over time as you acquire new skills and/or new equipment. So, periodically, it’s a good idea to update this information for yourself and the EC.

2) ARES Plan (  The ARRL ARES Plan 7/1/22 – This is the current ARRL guidance document which describes what I’m expected to do as EC and what we are expected to do as individuals and as a group as members of ARES.

  • This plan references Levels 1, 2, and 3 expectations and includes responsibilities for ARES Staff positions.
  • It’s important for ARES members to be familiar with the content of this plan in order for us to understand and successfully execute the mission of ARES.

3) ARRL-ARES-STANDARDIZED-TRAINING-TASK-BOOK  The ARES Emergency Communicator Individual Task Book – This is where each of us document and track our ARES training referenced in the ARRL ARES Plan.

  • Please print a copy of the task book and update it to reflect training you have completed.
  • Notice that each item is coded R = Required, O = Optional, E = Encouraged.
  • As you complete an item, please enter the “Completion Date” in the appropriate column. There is also a column for the EC, or DEC to sign off each item. We can do that when we are face-to-face at monthly club meetings, monthly breakfast (Ham and Eggs), or whenever there’s an opportunity.

What I’d like to see as EC for Richland: 

(This is, admittedly, the Richland EC perspective. Other County ECs may see things differently. Contact your County EC for guidance.) 

As for ARES training, in summary: 

  • If you haven’t already, please complete the ARES Registration form and send a copy to me. Please review and update this record periodically to keep it current.
  • If you haven’t already, please print and update a copy of the ARES Emergency Communicator Individual Task Book. Next time we are face-to-face I’ll review and sign off items you have completed.
  • If you are new to ARES, work to make progress to complete Level 1.
  • If you’ve completed Level 1, work to make progress to complete Level 2.
For anyone interested in pursuing ARES Level 3 or AUXCOMM, please contact me to discuss these options.  

ARES Level 3 – For those interested in ARES Leadership — This level of training prepares ARES participants to take on leadership positions such as EC, AEC, ADEC, DEC, ASEC, and SEC, and other designated positions in the ARES program.

AUXCOMMFor those possessing a strong desire to be heavily involved with emergency communications.

AUXCOMM is not simple. We want people to understand the obligations they are signing up for should they choose this path.

Other things available to supplement and improve our emergency communication skills: 

Local nets – Nets are typically how we connect with others during an emergency. Local nets provide an opportunity to learn and practice emergency communication skills. We have nets on VHF repeater, Simplex and HF providing multiple ways to connect and practice our radio skills. Just as important, nets provide us with a good way to learn the names, callsigns, voices and locations of those we’ll likely be working with during an emergency.

  • SC Midlands ARES Training Net – Thursday at 8:30 PM, on 147.330 MHz, (+) offset, PL Tone 156.7 Hz.
  • SC Statewide ARES HF Training Net – Every Tuesday at 6:00 PM on 3.990 (+/-) LSB
  • Central SC CARC Simplex Net – 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month on 146.400 MHz


Message traffic – Be a sender or receiver of ICS-213 messages in local nets, or practice on your own.

Learn and practice Winlink – If you want help with Winlink, please send me a note @ Help is available. Resources to help with learning and practicing are available here: SC Midlands ARES Training Net – South Carolina Amateur Radio Emergency Services (  (Scroll down to find Winlink references)

Net Control Station (NCS) – Learn to run a net by covering as NCS occasionally, or you can participate in the NCS rotation. You’ll want to practice and be ready if called upon to run a net during an emergency.

AEC/EC – Consider becoming a Couty ARES Alternate Emergency Coordinator (AEC) or a County ARES Emergency Coordinator (EC).

CERT business

– While ARES membership is not required to be in the CERT group, the emergency communication skills you learn and practice in ARES most certainly apply to everything you would do as part of the CERT group.

Richland radio room – Dates depend on timing of installation and setup of equipment (radios and antennas)

– Amateur radio familiarization – including radios being added to the radio room

– Other radios familiarization (LGR, PAL 800, other communications systems)

Friday, July 29 – CERT group members have an opportunity Area-51

Amateur Radio Emergency Communications opportunities available to you

This is the handout from the July 11 CARC monthly meeting.:  Amateur Radio – July 11 CARC Handout_1

Thanks, David, for sharing this link to SC Interoperable Communications Public Safety Training: South Carolina Interoperable Communications (



Basics – Good for new or seasoned radio operators

This is an excellent (and short, 35 minutes) presentation for anyone interested in Amateur Radio, and especially Emergency Communications (ARES, RACES, AUXCOMM)

Linked here:

Comm Academy, April 9, 2022

This is happened Saturday, April 9. The topics (listed above) certainly relate to the hobby and emergency communications. Here’s a link to learn more: Comm Academy

The presentations from the 2022 Comm Academy are accessible by following this link: Comm Academy 2022



SC Winlink Tuesday 2 PM – 10 PM (or any part of that, even 2 or 3 hours) This will continue, and the weekly Google spreadsheet will remain available. Learn and practice Winlink. A number of stations are available to contact and use as relays in digipeater mode. Scroll down for additional information about Winlink related resources. For help, please contact Mark, KN4KRZ @

SC Statewide ARES HF Net – Tuesday at 6:00 PM on frequency 3.990 (+/-) LSB SC Statewide ARES HF Net

Statewide ARES VHF Net: Sunday night at 8:00 PM Columbia 146.715 Tone 91.5

SCHEART ESF-8 Training Net: Thursday morning at 9:00 AM Columbia 146.715 Tone 91.5

Standardized Task Books Please devote some time to work on your training and get your standardized task books signed off. Many of the items can be done online. Some of the items ECs/AECs can help with. Task book linked here: Microsoft Word – ARRL ARES STANDARDIZED TRAINING TASK BOOK V1.2.1.docx

Links worth knowing about

National Weather Service – 7-Day Forecast 34N 81.05W (

Skywarn – Skywarn Storm Spotter Program (

Space weather – From

RATPAC Radio Amateur Training Planning and Activities Committee available online here: RATPAC (

Winlink Global Radio Email

We continue to focus on Winlink as a key skill for emergency communications. At this time, we anticipate our next interim exercise, tentatively scheduled for March 5, will include passing traffic using multiple Winlink modes.

Why Winlink? Voice is not always the optimal communication option.  Consider: you’re on a noisy HF band requiring repeats and/or relays, or you have a long list of supplies needed for an evacuation shelter, or you want to send a photograph from a disaster scene to emergency management. Winlink is a practical and reliable option in these instances.

 Winlink learning resources 

There are many online resources available to help users learn Winlink.

Two of the better resources are linked here:

Winlink-Workshop-WK1-WK11- Zoom-Series – RATPAC              WaveTalkers Guide: Winlink

Winlink practice opportunities

a) Send messages to yourself, or another operator’s station. Practice attaching forms (from Select Template) or photographs. Note, the total size of a Winlink message after compression including all file attachments may not exceed 120 kb.

b) On any day of the week, you can send messages to the group in Florida W4AKH Winlink Net.

c) On Wednesdays, you can send messages to the Winlink Wednesday group Winlink Wednesday.

d) On Thursdays, you can send messages to the Winlink Thursday group Winlink Thursdays

SC Winlink Tuesday – SC locals

We have a number of station operators who are fairly new to Winlink and who want to develop or practice their VARA FM skills and determine who can reach whom and via which relay stations.

How you can participate … 

For anyone interested in this effort, any of you/us can leave your station set up as a digipeater on Tuesdays, not for the entire day, but sometime between 2:00 PM and 10:00 PM, or any portion of that – even if it’s only 2 or 3 hours. This is also an opportunity for stations to practice Winlink VARA P2P, but that would require some coordination between participating stations. 

We have developed a sharable Google spreadsheet where users can post the days and specific hours they plan to operate using Winlink VARA FM. See the .pdf “SC Winlink Tuesday.” Some stations operate 24/7. Others operate “Ad hoc” – less than 24/7. The” SC Winlink Tuesday” spreadsheet is a handy tool to know who is operating as a digipeater and who you can connect with for testing and practice purposes.  

Link to .pdf SC Winlink Tuesday

If you would like to have access to the “SC Winlink Tuesday” spreadsheet please send a note to Mark, KN4KRZ, at so I will share the file with you.  

 VARA FM Stations

Located in Chapin, W1GTT-10 and W1GTT-5 (digipeater) are available 24/7 on frequency 145.530 MHz. 

Located in E. Columbia, W1GTT-11 and W1GTT-6 (digipeater) are also available 24/7 on frequency 145.530 MHz.

Other stations are listed here: Vara FM Stations – South Carolina Amateur Radio Emergency Services ( For additions or corrections to this list, please notify Pete, K4LLE at 

Richland ARES CERT 

Congratulations to the first group of Richland ARES members to join the Richland County Communications Emergency Response Team (CERT). An important role for ARES is to help with emergency communications of “served agencies.” Richland County Emergency Services is certainly a served agency that we want to be able to help when the need arises.

With guidance from David E. Bagwell Jr., W4DZF, this group has completed established prerequisite requirements to work in the Richland EOC and assist with emergency communications. We look forward to learning to operate communication systems in the Richland EOC and we are exploring other opportunities to collaborate with Richland County Emergency Services. If you are interested in joining this group, there will be additional opportunities. Please contact Mark, KN4KRZ, at

Pictured (Left to right): W1GTT, W4GWH, KN4KRZ, KK4HTR, W1MRC, KM4RCN, K4AJJ


How to join the Richland County Communication CERT:

1) Complete and submit the application (CERT Application linked below) Forward the completed application to:

2) Attend the FEMA online class IS 317.a, linked below / Provide a copy of a completion document.

3) Pass the background check.

4) Attend the RC CERT /EOC Training at the RCEOC (3) hours. Feel free to share. We will set a class date as soon as we get some applications back.

D.E. Bagwell Jr.                                                                                                                                                                                                Division Captain, Richland County Emergency Services Department

Link to CERT application: CERT Application