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Ohio Section SET Coordination Instructions

posted Oct 4, 2017, 3:01 AM by C. Matthew Curtin
Note that COTN will have a significant role to play in this year's SET, as it is the gateway for incoming traffic to the State EOC station W8SGT.

From: Stan Broadway N8BHL, Section Emergency Coordinator, ARRL Ohio Section

To: All Ohio Section SET Participants

Subject: Ohio SET 2017 Coordinating Instructions.

Date: 4 OCT 2017


The Ohio Section will conduct the annual Simulated Emergency Test (SET) on the standard SET weekend—first full weekend of October—this year, October 7-8, 2017. This year is an exciting SET, where we’re part of a larger exercise known as BLACK SWAN 17. We will enjoy participation with the Iowa, and Illinois Sections, and support from amateur stations as far west as Alaska, and as far east as Europe. In addition, we have participation from other organizations including the Ohio Military Reserve, Indiana Guard Reserve, MARS stations, SHARES stations, and many others.


Our scenario is a series of severe weather events: storms of various types, with more detailed information to be released during exercise play, and the aftermath of intense storms. With the amount of activity anticipated, the Ohio Section has organized a specific set of coordinating instructions.


  1. Pay attention to regular section nets up to and during your local SET. Information will be coming through that will help you to develop an understanding of what is happening throughout the area of operation, as well as additional operating instructions as needed. Local nets should ensure that they maintain liaison with nets such as Ohio Emergency Preparedness Net (W8SGT) as well as the Ohio Single Sideband Net (OSSBN).

  2. Background information that may help to influence local play will come from the BLACK SWAN Exercise Director. You may get information about the larger exercise and regular bulletins from https://sites.google.com/view/blackswan.

  3. For activation, be prepared to take the following actions:

    1. Copy the information bulletin from OHDEN. Do not attempt to check-in.

      1. The latest bulletin will be transmitted at five minutes past the top of every hour, e.g., 8:05 A.M., 9:05 A.M., etc.

      2. Additional transmissions may be made, e.g., more frequently during intense check-in periods, or when new bulletins are issued.

      3. The bulletin will include a situation report for exercise play as well as operating instructions for participating stations.

      4. Each bulletin will have a unique identifier, e.g., INFO 1 for the first information bulletin, INFO 2, for the second, etc.

      5. Stations may request retransmission by calling net control.

      6. Bulletins will be transmitted as plaintext formal traffic, first in MT63-1kL and then in Olivia 8-500. Record for your after-action report which mode(s) you copied the transmissions.

    2. Check into the state HF tactical net. W8SGT will be operating at the State of Ohio EOC and will be running a directed voice net per procedures of the HF Emergency Preparedness Net. Be prepared to check in to indicate your activation, to identify which information bulletin you’ve copied, and to pass information per instructions, e.g.,


W8SGT: This is W8SGT, net control for the Ohio SET HF tactical net. Any stations in District 7 for the net. OVER.


W8THV: W8SGT this is W8THV, Franklin County, District 7. Operating at Franklin County EOC. We have INFO 3. OVER.


W8SGT: W8THV we have you in at 0912 local. Roger INFO 3. W8SGT.


W8THV: W8THV.


    1. Your instructions will include development of a situation report and delivery by radiogram.

      1. The radiogram is to be originated from the operating station at your site and to be directed to W8SGT COLUMBUS OH 43235 with a precedence of TEST P.

      2. Central Ohio Traffic Net will maintain OSSBN liaison and conduct numerous sessions and monitor its operating frequencies to traffic, including for W8SGT, for local batch delivery.

      3. Be sure to include the time of origin. We want to measure latency introduced by relay.

      4. Use the parts of the radiogram that indicate when traffic was relayed: this built-in accountability is critical for establishing how quickly traffic relays through the system, and where traffic gets delayed or stuck.

      5. During the day, OSSBN will meet three times and keep sessions open until all traffic is passed.

      6. If you have TEST P traffic when a net is not in session, you may call on the 3972.5 kHz (3968 kHz alternate) frequency to request relay of test priority traffic via OSSBN operators.

      7. For example, the net meets at 1030, 1615, and 1845 local time. If you have traffic at 1130, the 1030 session may well still be running. If so, simply check in and follow instructions of net control. If you have traffic at 1245 and there is no net in session, you may call for immediate relay, e.g.,


W8THV: OSSBN, OSSBN. This is W8THV with test priority traffic for W8SGT in Columbus. Requesting relay, OVER.


W8OMR: W8THV this is W8OMR. Your signal is 55. I am ready to copy one test priority for W8SGT in Columbus, OVER.


[W8THV then passes the traffic to W8OMR just as if directed by net control.]


    1. Undertake actions per your local plan. Be aware that additional information will be coming in the form of injects that you can get from new bulletins, as tactical information, or over the traffic nets. Some participants will be operating straight through the 48-hour window. Others will work shifts over the 48-hours.

    2. If you don’t have a local plan or aren’t sure what you should be doing, by all means, see the BLACK SWAN 17 EXPLAN template from the web site. There are thirteen objectives identified there. Most, perhaps all, can be applied in your case.

      1. Receive activation notices from served agencies

      2. Activate volunteers per SOP

      3. Establish communication nets per SOP

      4. Originate third-party traffic for served agencies

      5. Originate third-party traffic for members of the public

      6. Relay third-party traffic

      7. Deliver third-party traffic to served agencies

      8. Deliver third-party traffic to members of the public

      9. Handle tactical communication for served agencies

      10. Operate station on emergency (non-grid) power

      11. Use digital modes for tactical or formal traffic

      12. Conduct hot wash

      13. Submit AAR/IP

    3. If you are capable of operating on 60 meters, you may wish to copy traffic from or exchange traffic with participating U.S. Government stations on channel 4. Listen for stations calling for BLACK SWAN to ensure you’re hearing an exercise player.

  1. In preparation for SET, OHDEN is operating during BLACK SWAN 17 Build-Up period:

    1. One hour each evening at 1945L on 3585 kHz

    2. Distribution of OPBULLs

  2. Any stations looking to generate traffic may originate radiograms to any of the “Traffic Destinations” listed on the BLACK SWAN 17 web site. https://sites.google.com/view/blackswan/2017/traffic-destinations

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