SKYWARN Recognition Day 2006 and VoIP Operations Update #3A

Hello to all….

….Updated to confirm VE4WWO for its 1300 UTC time slot. Also, Hams on the system may ask NWS offices to make contact with other NWS offices that maybe on the system during a NWS office’s designated time slot. NWS offices, at their discretion, can allow Amateurs who want to make contact with other NWS offices during their time slot, if they so desire when requested by a station or at their own discretion. Remainder below is unchanged….

Here is the latest update on SKYWARN Recognition Day. 3 NWS offices have been added to the schedule. Please see the update below:

SKYWARN Recognition Day 2006, which will be on Saturday December 2nd, 2006 from 0000-2400 UTC, will feature VoIP operations on *WX-TALK* EchoLink Node: 7203/IRLP reflector 9219 as in past years along with NWS offices making contacts via HF/VHF/UHF, PSK-31 and other digital modes. We currently have 13 NWS Forecast Offices confirmed for various 1 or 2 hour time slots including WX4NHC, the National Hurricane Center in Miami Florida. Here is the schedule as of Monday 11/26/2006:

Time in UTC NWS Office Call-Sign
0000-0100: WX1BOX
0100-0200: WX2PHI
0200-0300: WX4MLB
0300-0400: WX2ALY
0400-0500: Open
0500-0600: WX9GRB
0600-0700: WX0GLD
0700-0800: WX0GLD
0800-0900: Open
0900-1000: WX7PHX
1000-1100: Open
1100-1200: Open
1200-1300: Open
1300-1400: VE4WWO
1400-1500: WX2PHI
1500-1600: WX1BOX
1600-1800: WX4NC (2 hour time slot and time slot is from last year)
1800-1900: WX2ALY
1900-2000: WX4MLB
2000-2100: K0MPX
2100-2300: WX4NHC (2 hour time slot is from last year)
2300-2400: W4IAX (NWS Mobile, Alabama)

The contact from VE4WWO reports that there maybe issues with their IRLP node that may not allow them to do net control so they have been listed as tentative.

The following NWS offices have been contacted and have shown interest in being on the system for a possible time slot:

NWS Sterling, Virginia
NWS Honolulu, Hawaii
NWS Brookhaven, New York

Other NWS offices have contacted as well but its not clear if there is interest in participating on the system. This will be updated as things change. Its also possible that other NWS offices will be monitoring and participating on the system much like last year where various NWS offices got on to the system during open time slots or when NWS offices had exhausted making contacts on the system. If you are a NWS office SKYWARN Coordinator interested in utilizing a time slot for Net Control duties, please contact me and CC: Matt Mehle.

A few technical reminders for folks interested in making contacts with the NWS Forecast Offices:

-The system allows both EchoLink and IRLP connections. For EchoLink users, you connect to the *WX-TALK* Node: 7203 conference system. For IRLP users, you would connect to IRLP reflector 9219.

-If you are using EchoLink, the RF node or PC that you’re using must have EchoLink conferencing disabled. If it is not disabled, the system will automatically kick the node or PC off of the system. The reason this occurs is to prevent unintentional interference from a conferencing station that may not know the node is connected somewhere else. This will keep traffic moving on the net and reduce interference considerably.

For more information on VoIP Technical Configuration Tips, please go to our web site at where we have a link to that information on the main menu of the web site. This announcement will also be on the web site.

For those that want to do listen-only, New England IRLP reflector channel 9129 and the *VKEMCOMM* Node: 270177/IRLP reflector 9508 will be utilized for those that just want to listen to the event.

The New England Reflector system, IRLP reflector 9123, EchoLink Conference *NEW-ENG*, Node #:9123 will also be available for usage as required. NWS Taunton Amateur station, WX1BOX, will be on the system looking for contacts and stations and can designate the use of that system to other NWS offices on an informal basis. From NWS Taunton, we will be able to monitor both VoIP systems during our timeframe for operations during SRD.

Event information on SKYWARN Recognition Day can be found at and can also be found in the December issue of QST on page 66.

Below is the ARRL Letter Annoncement of SKYWARN Recognition Day:


The 8th annual SKYWARN Recognition Day (SRD) special event will take place Saturday, December 2, 2006. SKYWARN Recognition Day is an event co-sponsored by the National Weather Service and the American Radio Relay League, and it is the National Weather Service’s way of saying “thank you” to Amateur Radio operators for their commitment to helping keep their communities safe.

During the 24-hour special event, amateur radio operators will visit their local National Weather Service (NWS) office, set up Amateur Radio stations, and work as a team to contact other hams across the world.

“Ham radio operators volunteering as storm spotters are an extremely valuable asset to National Weather Service operations since they are cross-trained in both communications and severe storm recognition”, says Scott Mentzer (N***QE), organizer of the event and Meteorologist-In-Charge at the NWS office in Goodland, Kansas.

In typical warning operations, it is the direct communication between mobile spotters and the local NWS office which provides vital ground truth information. Spotter reports of hail size, wind damage and surface-based rotation in real time greatly assists the radar warning operator since that information can be correlated with Doppler radar displays. The result can range anywhere from a more strongly-worded statement to convey a greater sense of urgency, or the issuance of a tornado warning a few minutes earlier than would otherwise have been possible.

While National Weather Service offices utilize the real-time reporting of severe weather events to assist in warning operations, hurricanes and tropical storms have shown us that ham radio operators are equally important during the recovery phase of natural disasters.
There are countless stories where ham radio worked in tandem with more conventional technology to relay emergency traffic.

SKYWARN Recognition Day will be held on December 2, 2006, from 0000 UTC to 2400 UTC.

The object is for all radio amateur stations to exchange QSO information with as many National Weather Service Stations as possible on 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6, and 2 meter bands plus the 70 centimeter band. Contacts via repeaters are permitted.

The exchange should include call sign, signal report, location, and a one or two word description of the weather occurring at your site (“sunny”, “partly cloudy”, “windy”, etc.). NWS stations will work various modes including SSB, FM, AM, RTTY, CW, and PSK31. While working digital modes, special event stations will append “NWS” to their call sign (e.g., N***A/NWS).

We hope to hear many Amateurs on VoIP and all other modes that will be utilized during SKYWARN Recognition Day 2006. Thanks to all for their continued support for the VoIP Hurricane Net as well.

Director of Operations for the VoIP Hurricane Net 1
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Recording of the 11/4/06 Net on Australia Fire Weather Uploaded to the Web Site

Hello to all…

As stated in previous announcements via email and on the web site, Tony Langdon-VK3JED, gave a presentation on the Weather and Bushfire Threats in Southeast Australia for the 11/4/06 edition of the VoIP Hurricane Weekly Prep Net which meets weekly at 0000 UTC Sunday which is Saturday Evening for much of North America. Below is a link to the Power Point presentation:

Summer Weather and Bushfire Threats in SE Australia

You can also reach the Power Point presentation at the following link:

Summer Weather and Bushfire Threats in SE Australia via vkradio web site

A recording of the net can now be heard via the following link:

VoIP Weekly Net Australia Fire Weather Presentation Recording

You can also get to the presentation and net recording by clicking the VoIP WX Net Presentations archive link from the main menu. Thanks to all for their continued support of the VoIP Hurricane Net!

Director of Operations for the VoIP Hurricane Net 1
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VoIP Hurricane Weekly Prep Net and Daylight Savings Time

Hello to all….

We completed Daylight Saving Time this week. The VoIP Hurricane Net will continue to be at its time slot of 0000 UTC. This means the local time for the net will be 0000 UTC minus 5 hours in 24 hour time versus minus 4 hours in 24 hour time like it was previously in US time zones when we were in daylight savings time. Internationally, it may differ depending on your location.

To give a couple of examples, for folks participating on the East Coast of the US, the net was at 8 PM EDT. Instead, the net will now be at 7 PM EST. For those in other time zones in the US, the net will be an hour earlier than it was previously. For international time zones depending on where you’re located, it could be an hour later or an hour earlier.

Many will now ask why we don’t simply keep the same local time for the net. The reason we are not doing that is while the US has fallen back an hour, other parts of the world are entering spring and have “sprung” their clocks ahead. Therefore, we keep the time of the net in UTC so that everyone internationally can have a better chance of participating based on an internationally recognized time verus locking the net into a local time zone that may not be good for other areas that check-in regularly.

I realize this always bring confusion but regardless of what we do, I think there will be confusion here. Hopefully, this note will help dispel confusion for those who want to participate in the weekly net and hear Tony-VK3JED’s talk on Australian Fire/Summer Weather in an El Nino pattern for this week’s net.

The Yahoo calendar, which also has its limitations, has been updated to reflect the Eastern Standard Time net start of 7 PM EST. The VoIP WX Net web site will be updated similarly as well.

Hopefully, we will get many check-ins on the net and people will adjust to the time change for the net correctly. Thanks to all for their continued support of the VoIP Hurricane Net!

Director of Operations for the VoIP Hurricane Net 1
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Presentation for This Week’s VoIP Hurricane Net

Hello to all….

Given the quiet Hurricane Season of 2006 in the Atlantic, it has given the net management team some additional time to focus on initiatives that the net management team as put together and worked on for the past year. All of you have seen the efforts made in PR, Web Site reorganization, Net Control recruitment and solicitation of stations from the affected area of hurricanes to participate in our net. Another piece of that work is to do more presentations on the weekly net to generate interest.

Tony Langdon-VK3JED, our VoIP Hurricane Net Technical Coordinator, will be doing a presentation for this week’s net on the Australia High Fire Danger and Summer Weather given the El Nino pattern. Some of Australia’s worst fire weather comes from El Nino patterns. Tony will walk us through that scenario and the issues associated with it.

The Power Point presentation will be posted on the VoIP Hurricane Net web site prior to the net. The net will be recorded and archived on the web site.

This will be the first in a series of presentations that we hope to do roughly on a monthly basis. For December, a presentation may not be done because of planning of activities on VoIP for SKYWARN Recognition Day.

I hope many will check into the net this Saturday. Also, with daylight savings time, the time of the net will change locally as the net will remain at its time slot of 0000 UTC. A separate note will be put out on that fact shortly.

Thanks to all for their continued support of the VoIP Hurricane Net!

Director of Operations for the VoIP Hurricane Net 1
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