Muscatine County ARES - Amateur Radio Emergency Service
Mobile EmComm Trailer - Emergency Operations Center ARES ID# 139IAØ1
The Muscatine & Louisa County Amateur Radio Emergency Service has purchased of this piece of equipment.
The trailer was built over 34 years ago and was in a terrible state of disrepair, mostly because of it's age. Many modifications and upgrades have been done and are planned for this very useful tool to tailor it to the needs of the Muscatine & Louisa County Amateur Radio Service.
The plan is to repair the sub-floor and put down new flooring. In the short time we have had the unit we have done a lot of modifications and upgrades to it. Radio operations benches have been installed,and the radio equipment is in working condition. A generator that is capable of running this unit is desperately needed.
We have came a long way, but need all the help we can get to finish this very useful piece of equipment.
Here is a link to our GoFundMe page.
This trailer will allow the ARES team and Muscom to work together in times of man-made or natural disaster. We currently have HF, VHF & UHF amateur radio capabilities in the Muscom communications truck.
Other additions to the trailer include a weather station, weather alert radio, CB radio, DMR, GMRS radio, FRS radio capabilities, the addition of desktop computers and a flat-screen TV for use to monitor local media or the radar, dedicated radio equipment to communicate directly to our served agencies such as The American Red Cross and The Salvation Army, as well as maps of the county and city. A portable radio repeater has been built that will be useful either in the trailer, on on-location as needed.
GMRS and FRS channels will be use in communicating with other citizen group such as CERT and individuals that do not have an amateur radio license. Here is a listing of the frequencies we will be able to communicate on in the GMRS/FRS band:
*Note: 20kHz Authorized Bandwidth.
The MCARES team is also in the process building a AREDN mesh network that will be able to supply the mobile EOC with the needed connectivity for access to a remote file server, keyboard to keyboard, VOIP phone, video conferencing, and a multitude of other digital communications capabilities. This combined with the HF Go Box which allow long range intra and interstate communications will allow our team to carry out a variety on communications tasks. A special 60 meter vertical antenna has been built to allow us to operate more efficiently on the interoperability frequencies that are shared between amateur radio, the MARS - Military Auxillary Radio Service and local/state government.
A recent national interoperability exercise called Operation: Black Swan which took place on October 7-8, 2018 proved that the MCARES team was able to perform when it was called upon by Iowa State ARES and Iowa Army MARS to move traffic to the HQ for the exercise in the state of Ohio when all other area station could not get through due to poor propagation.
New lettering is in the works as well as the addition of the MCARES logo. Team members and local amateur radio operators have been donating the needed items to help with this huge undertaking. Community help is welcomed and very much needed. If you have ever heard the phrase, "When all else fails, amateur will get through", then you can understand that when all means of commercial communications such as phone, cell and internet fail, we will be there to provide communication for our served agencies.
Help us help you. Contact the Muscatine & Louisa County ARES Emergency Coordinator to see how you can help us complete this very important task in the interest of our community, county, and the surrounding neighbors that we can help in their greatest time of need! C Scott Richardson - NØMRZ - EC