Waushara County ARES provide emergency communications services to our community, emergency management, fire and police department, and city officials for events, disasters, or any communication needs.
Restoring a Repeater in Waushara County
Volunteer Amateur Radio Operators restore vital communication link in Waushara County
By Waushara Argus News Staff on Wednesday, September 27, 2023
By George B. Lampere, Emergency Coordinator of Waushara County ARES
Ben Janke, owner of Ben’s Radio, a communications company in Ogdensburg, provided a 20-foot commercial-grade antenna that was installed on top of the Wautoma water tower with his partner Brad Wilson.
The antenna installed on the Wautoma water tower will improve communication across the county for amateur radio operators in the area to improve emergency response capabilities. The repairs, coupled with the installation of the new antenna has also saved thousands of dollars in potential replacement costs.
In a remarkable display of community spirit and technical expertise, volunteer amateur radio operators from across the region converged on Waushara County to revive a critical lifeline of communication. The mission: to restore a radio repeater that plays a pivotal role in emergency communication for amateur radio operators.
Known as the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), these amateur radio operators volunteer their time and equipment to provide essential communication assistance during emergencies and support public service events. The heart of their communication network, the VHF radio repeater, had lain dormant for years following a lightning strike that caused severe damage.
The lightning strike damaged the repeater, wreaking havoc on its circuit board and the antenna, rendering it inoperable. Unfortunately, the ARES volunteers lacked the funds to replace or repair the equipment, leaving a void in emergency communication for the region’s ham radio operators. As a result of this loss, many operators gradually left the hobby, leading to the disbandment of the ARES group approximately 12 years ago, with the radio repeater system fading into obscurity.
This year, George Lampere, AB9CQ, a seasoned amateur radio operator, took the reins to resurrect the Amateur Radio Emergency Services. During this effort, he stumbled upon the long-forgotten repeater and initiated a mission to revive it. George rallied support from ham radio operators in Waupaca, Iola, and Ogdensburg, all of whom possessed the technical know-how and equipment necessary for the task.
Glenn Harldson, N5IIA from Iola, dedicated several hours to repairing the radio, skillfully restoring it to operational status. Meanwhile, Ben Janke, N9NOJ, owner of Ben’s Radio, a communications company in Ogdensburg, stepped up by providing a commercial-grade antenna. Ben and his partner Brad Wilson installed the towering 20-foot antenna atop the local water tower.
After nearly a day of hard work to install and fine-tune the equipment, the dedicated crew successfully brought the repeater back to life. Operators from across the region were on hand to test the performance of the radio repeater and provide signal reports. This significant achievement means that amateur radio operators in the area can now communicate seamlessly anywhere across the county and into neighboring counties, bolstering emergency response capabilities.
The repairs, coupled with the installation of the new antenna, have not only revived vital communication but also saved thousands of dollars in potential replacement costs. This cost-effective restoration demonstrates the resourcefulness and dedication of these amateur radio operators.
With the revival of the repeater, the Waushara County Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) now has the capacity to provide SKYWARN services, playing a vital role in enhancing local safety by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service.
The dedication and expertise of the volunteer amateur radio operators within the ARES group cannot be understated. They maintain agreements with surrounding counties’ ARES groups and various government and non-governmental agencies to provide crucial emergency communication services when needed.
Amateur radio operators, often referred to as ham radio operators, exemplify the spirit of volunteerism by using their training, skills, and equipment to provide vital communications during emergencies. When storms or other disasters disrupt critical communication infrastructure, including cell towers and wired and wireless networks, hams step in to bridge the gap. Importantly, amateur radio can function independently of the internet and phone systems, offering a robust backup communication option that can be deployed rapidly in any location.
With the help of amateur radio operators’ dedication and commitment to both the hobby and their community, Waushara County now possesses an added layer of resilience in the face of emergencies, ensuring that communication remains a lifeline when it’s needed most.
For those interested in becoming part of the Waushara County ARES group or supporting their cause, please contact George B. Lampere, Waushara County ARES Emergency Coordinator, at 920-212-1466 or via email at AB9CQ1@gmail.com.
"Your involvement can make a difference in strengthening our community’s emergency communication capabilities."
Providing a Technician License Class
As Emergency Coordinator for the Waushara County ARES, George Lampere understood the need to develop an Amateur Radio Technician License Course for new prospective hams. The course will be happening at the Wild Rose Fire Station on 145 Grant Ave, Wild Rose, WI 54984. George will be the instructor and the students' Elmer (that's ham radio slang for mentor).
November 28 to December 1, 2023, from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM. Course fee: $ 40.00, covering the ARRL Ham Radio License Manual 5th Edition.
The course covered the following topics:
1. Welcome to Amateur Radio
2. Radio Signals Fundamentals
3. Electricity, Components, and Circuits
4. Propagation, Antennas, and Feed Lines
5. Amateur Radio Equipment
6. Communicating with other Hams
7. Licensing Requirements
8. Operating Regulations
The instructor's aim was to guide students into obtaining their Technician License and gettting them on the air.
The License exam will be scheduled at a later date to provide students with time to read and review the material. The exam has 35 questions, and a passing score is 74%.
This was a great learning experience offered in Waushara County! The class was limited to a class size of 20 students in order to provide adequate training to each student in attendance.
This educational course was one more way to provide communication services to Waushara County!
George B. Lampere
EC - Waushara County ARES/RACES
Amateur Radio Station - AB9CQ
Waushara County Technician Class
at Wild Rose Fire Department
November 28, 2023 to December 1, 2023
Successful Amateur Radio License Course by Waushara County ARES
George B. Lampere, AB9CQ Waushara County ARES Emergency Coordinator With immense pride and excitement, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the participants who attended the recent Amateur Radio Technician License Course organized by the Waushara County Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES), with invaluable assistance from Dan Berkeris, AC9JA, Cody Lund, KD9QXL, and Carol Young, KD9WRY, from the Waupaca County ARES Group. Held at the Wild Rose Fire Department from November 28th to December 1st, this four-day course stands as a testament to the dedication and commitment of each individual who engaged in gaining vital skills in radio communication and emergency preparedness. Our commitment to fostering a community of knowledgeable and skilled amateur radio operators was at the heart of this educational initiative. Guided by a comprehensive curriculum and conducted at the Wild Rose Fire Department, the course covered essential aspects of amateur radio, ranging from signal fundamentals to equipment handling and safety protocols. Throughout the program, our emphasis on safety and responsible communication practices was paramount. Beyond technical expertise, participants embraced a culture of reliable and effective radio communication, aligning perfectly with the community-focused spirit of the Wild Rose Fire Department. Looking ahead, participants are set to reconvene in January for a focused test preparation session ahead of their licensing examination. Eager to solidify their knowledge, these individuals are on the cusp of obtaining their Amateur Radio Technician Licenses, granting them access to a broad spectrum of frequencies and modes to serve the communication needs of Waushara County and beyond. Amateur radio operators are pivotal in augmenting communication capabilities, especially during emergencies and community events. Their skills and preparedness bolster community resilience by ensuring reliable communication channels, particularly in times of crisis. The collaboration between Waushara County ARES and the Wild Rose Fire Department in hosting this course embodies our shared commitment to nurturing a robust amateur radio community. It's a testament to our collective dedication to fortifying communication infrastructure and enhancing emergency readiness within Waushara County. I extend my heartfelt appreciation to the Wild Rose Fire Department for their support and partnership in making this course a resounding success. Together, we have paved the way for a more adept and prepared group of amateur radio operators ready to make significant contributions to the community's communication landscape. In the future, we intend to hold more amateur radio classes. If you want to obtain a license or join the Waushara County ARES group, please contact George Lampere at 920-212-1466 or via email at AB9CQ1@gmail.com.
Winter Field Day 2024
Winter Field Day can be worked from the comfort of a home or in a remote location. Participation can be done alone or with friends, family, or whole club.
Amateur radio operators may use frequencies on the HF, VHF, or UHF bands and are free to use any mode that can transmit the required exchange.
Winter Field Day is sponsored by the Winter Field Day Association to promote the practice portable emergency communications in winter environments as the potential for freezing temperatures, snow, ice, and other hazards present unique operational concerns.
Winter Field Day is formatted to help increase participants' level of preparedness for disasters and improve their operational skills in subpar conditions.
With this being the first year for the Waushara County ARES to participate in Winter Field Day, surrounding county ARES groups offered to support the Waushara County ARES and promote Amateur Radio in Waushara County at the Waushara World War II Memorial Building in Wautoma. The Waupaca County ARES/RACES communications trailer was in the parking lot. Guests were invited to stop out and check out what Amateur Radio has to offer while also getting your chance to "Get-on-the-Air" with FCC Licensed operators mentorship.
Winter Field Day is an EMCOM communications exercise. held on the last full weekend in January. Winter Field Day which was open to participants worldwide.
Winter Field Day ran from 1 pm CST on Saturday, January 27th through 1 pm CST on Sunday, January 28th, 2024. Band conditions vary during daytime and nighttime hours. This exercise provides ARES members the opportunity to understand what a deployment would be like for the 24-hour operational period.
Waushara County ARES EC's Appreciation Message
Winter Field Day Comments