Re: [SEC-ARES] Upcoming Red Cross Drill in November

Greg Hidley

Hi Bruce,
From my perspective, VARA is a lower priority as most of us can already pass traffic through multiple sites using winlink via packet, software modems, telnet, and HF. A lot of initial work (setting up new or expanded gateways for another mode) and ongoing maintenance in an environment where many of us do not feel comfortable doing in person activities on site at Chapter that may make us vulnerable to Covid (did I mention we are mostly old folks)? And remote access to the Chapter network was never made available to any of the team to make this sort of thing easier to manage. I ran a packet repeater for years out of my qth and it got almost no usage. I took it down when my target site in Coronado went off line late last year. I for one am unwilling to run a full gateway and maintain it and its Internet access 24/7/365 (and I have only cellular data access here in Julian) ... or go to the effort to setup something "part time" and deal with bringing such services up and down whenever users want to test something.

The only advantage I see to VARA for Red Cross, even though it is the latest shiny object, is speed improvement. To me, that is an incremental improvement, and that alone may simply not be worth the effort.  

I am not against VARA, I think it is solid technology, and it is getting adopted  ... and maybe If we were starting from scratch, incorporating VARA might well make sense. 

Others may have other views on this .... this is just my 2 cents ... 


On Wed, Sep 16, 2020 at 2:02 PM Bruce <wa6dnt@...> wrote:

To Red Cross DST

It is hoped that San Diego and national DST members will be ready to pass written message traffic and forms, by November 14.

We need to get more Red Cross DST   stations on VARA-FM  on  P2P mode for message transfer.

We NEED to practice message and forms transmission using  Winlink VARA-FM  P2P mode.

I get the impression that the VARA-FM  P2P message capability is LOW priority with San Diego Red Cross -WHY?? 

I have experienced the speed, accuracy,  and efficiency of VARA-FM  P2P mode.  I am getting 28 Kbps, with the FT7900 and DRA50.

VARA-FM should be a high priority! This communications tool is NEEDED!

We now have the Palomar Mt 146.700 repeater to relay VARA-FM   P2P message traffic. We need to test this resource.  

To learn more: join:    The DRA50 modem is from "Masters Communications"

73 Bruce WA6DNT@...   WA6DNT@...   Cell 619-890-0789

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: [SEC-ARES] Upcoming Red Cross Drill in November
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 2020 17:43:52 +0000
From: Mike Walters W8ZY <w8zy@...>
To: sec <sec@...>, 1 @ SEC-ARRL <>



I want to get some word out on the upcoming Red Cross drill scheduled for November 14th.  This is a follow up from our drill in May and an attempt to apply the lessons learned there. More info will be coming soon and the hope is that you might use the fall SET to help generate messaging for this event.


Red Cross EmComm Fall Drill set for Nov 14, 2020

Red Cross is planning its Fall EmComm Drill for Nov 14th. 

Red Cross and ARES held our first nationwide radio drill May 30th and with over 1,000 amateurs from some forty states participating, it was considered a very-successful event.  Red Cross radio traffic and forms were passed all over the nation, including Hawaii and Alaska.  The Fall Drill will build upon this success and will incorporate lessons learned from the Spring Drill.

A few highlights:

       Parts A and B will be merged into a single activity (KISS)

       an IAP "cheat sheet" will be created in a simple to use checklist format

       less emphasis on a "national" IAP and more emphasis on local-level planning

       a Winlink Technical Support team has been created to provide training on a more widespread basis for all ops interested in participating in the Fall Drill, and a set of "standards of proficiency" has been developed.

       The emphasis will be on passing Red Cross forms via Winlink using the built-in templates

A series of "all hands" planning calls will be held on Microsoft Teams starting in late September.  For more information please contact wayne.robertson@....



Mike Walters, W8ZY






Sent from Mail for Windows 10


Join to automatically receive all group messages.