2015 Portland Disaster Relief Trials Success

by Brian KE7QPV on 2015-09-13

The 2015 Portland Disaster Relief Trials event on October 17 was a stunning success, and the DRT event organizers were very pleased with the services provided by Multnomah County ARES! We had a lot of technical challenges in front of us this year, with the inclusion of not one, not two, but THREE digital modes we’ve never used before in an event, and I’m very happy to report that they all worked extremely well!

Winlink proved to be an efficient means of transmitting rider reports, and supplied the leaderboard volunteers with a constant stream of accurate rider information, while allowing the voice net to concentrate more on tactical traffic.

EasyPal worked flawlessly, providing the PBEM communications trailer with nearly two dozen high quality still images from the checkpoints. It was very exciting to be able to see, in near real-time, photos of the action out in the field. A special thank you goes out to Adam KF7LJH and Nate N9VCU for making that all happen.

The Broadband-Hamnet wireless mesh network link between checkpoint 4.1 (Water Feature) and the PBEM communications trailer worked amazingly well, and allowed us to display a real-time video feed from the checkpoint. Many thanks to Michael AE7XP for supplying the hardware and making it all work.

The event was a huge success not just because we were able to provide the rider reports needed by the DRT staff, but also because we gained valuable experience with digital modes that are new to many of us, and demonstrated their value and potential use in disaster response. Thanks to all the volunteers who made this possible. I hope you will consider volunteering for the DRT Communications Team again next year!

Brian Cochrane – KE7QPV
DRT Communications Organizer

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