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T-CEP Disaster Radio Team Field Day a Success
July 17, 2014 - By Coleman Garside
The 24-hour contest was a notable accomplishment for local Topanga radio operators.
PHOTO BY COLEMAN GARSIDE
From left, Bryce Anderson with a deputy from the Lost Hills Sheriff's Department
during the DRT Field Day June 28-19 at Summit to Summit.
TOPANGA, CA Over the weekend of June 28-29, as part of a continuing tradition of service to the community, T-CEP participated in the annual 24-hour American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Field Day contest that was both a test of the emergency communications abilities of the Disaster Radio Team (DRT) and the interaction with local agencies such as the Lost Hills Sheriffs Department.
On the eve of the contest, DRT volunteers and others set up the entire Field Day site at Summit to Summit.
It featured four radio stations, a complete emergency power setup, several computers and all the necessary components to keep the team operational during the contest or any other emergency.
That Saturday morning, around 11 a.m., the Radio Team was working in full swing. Last-minute checks of the extensive setup ensured that all the gear was 100 percent functional for whatever the situation could throw at it.
Throughout the day, the DRT heard and made contact with hundreds of stations across the nation, including some notable stations in Texas and Oklahoma on the 6M (meter) band. As daylight gave way to night and radio conditions changed, most of the stations switched to HF frequencies and the contacts started to roll in.
The graveyard shift picked up the 20M band and made several contacts, as well as a few rare locations, including Hawaii, The Virgin Islands and the ARRL Headquarters.
At dawn, the conditions changed again when a heavy fog rolled in but the volunteers finished strong, making several contacts on the UHF/VHF bands, as well as 15M on the HF band. The total tally for T-CEP in the 2014 ARRL contest was nearly 250 contacts with other stations across the nation.
The entire contest was a good demonstration of proficiency by the T-CEP Disaster Radio Team and the rest of the nation. It provided a realistic practice for all the volunteers and strengthened their ability to work and adapt in an emergency situation. T-CEP would like to thank some of the people who helped make this year a success; Lt. Williams, Sgt. Wright and the Lost Hills Sheriffs Department; Chief Ranger Young and Mountains Recreation and Conservation Trust (MRCA) for access to the location; Jennifer Baer (Owner of Café Baer), Ari Bialo, Mike de la Garrigue, and many others for their hard work.
For more information regarding the Disaster Radio Team, contact T-CEP at (310) 455-3000; t-cep.org.