The AARC and Anchorage ARES participated in the ARRL Simulated Emergency Test (SET) on Saturday, October 7. We had a limited focus this year due to our focus on our anticipated move to the FCC building, but we did manage to get a few good things accomplished and learned a few lessons.
A main effort was to fully operate the club station on backup power. This was let by Dave Webb, N9AIG. For a couple weeks prior to the event, Dave worked with TJ Sheffield, KL7TS and Keith Clark, KL7MM, to evaluate all of the equipment power loads throughout the facility. This drove a plan to power the place with one of our trailer-mounted generator sets, heavy duty extension cords, and several spider power distribution boxes. We also evaluated our ability to operate on several battery banks on the site. The generator worked as planned, and by and large our power distribution scheme worked as we hoped, but we did certainly find a need to improve our backup DC power banks.
We were unable to deploy anyone to the Alaska State EOC (SEOC) for the exercise, so instead “relocated” the SEOC comm function to the club station. We ran Winlink traffic on the MESH network, 1200 baud packet on 2 meters, and 9600 baud packet on 220 and 440. HF conditions were actually good for a change during the day and we successfully ran HF pactor traffic to Fairbanks direct from the club station, and also remotely used the ANMC HF RMS Gateway as a means to run traffic to Fairbanks. Finally, Keith “rolled” the MTV to a local school parking lot to simulate deployment to congregate care center and passed traffic back to the club station for relay to the SEOC on simplex voice.
All in all, we had a good event with much learned about traffic handling and routing. The MESH network performed as desired, and our linking of all of the various Winlink RMS gateways over the MESH worked great to help move traffic smoothly and simply. We look forward to our next SET, hopefully operating from the FCC building!