Simulated Emergency Test 2018

The Ohio Section of the ARRL will hold its annual Simulated Emergency Test (SET) starting on Saturday, October 6, 2018. The Central Ohio Traffic Net (COTN) will be operating starting at 0000 Saturday and ending at the conclusion of the session including 1915 Sunday (all times EDT, UTC-0400). We will be participating with a heavy schedule of special session nets where we move messages as we would in an emergency that impairs telephone and Internet service. This year, the Ohio Section's participation will be part of a larger seven-day exercise known as BLACK SWAN 18, a multistate and multiservice exercise that runs from Nebraska through Ohio.

The concept this year is to have COTN in operation, standing by for traffic to handle it as needed, maintaining liaison to other traffic nets and to the Ohio EMA station W8SGT. For example, the OSSBN liaison for a given hour will be monitoring the OSSBN frequencies (3972.5 kHz and 3968 kHz alternate). If a station has TEST PRIORITY traffic for W8SGT Columbus, the station will get on that frequency and list it, even if OSSBN is not in session, e.g.,

CQ W8SGT CQ W8SGT this is W6RRI with traffic: W8SGT 1 test priority.

The COTN OSSBN liaison station will hear that call and respond, e.g.,

W6RRI this is KD8UUB Central Ohio Traffic Net Liaison ready for W8SGT 1 test priority.

KD8UUB will then do the same on the COTN frequency, which should have a net control station on frequency. If W8SGT is on frequency, net control will direct the traffic there. If not but a W8SGT liaison is on frequency, net control will direct the liaison to take the W8SGT traffic so the liaison can make the delivery as soon as W8SGT is ready.

We're organizing our operating frequencies such that we have a session we're holding open for one hour at midnight, then starting at 6 A.M. and ending with the last session at 8 P.M. on Saturday and 7 P.M. on Sunday. Anyone checking in for 7:15 P.M. net will just be part of the 7 P.M. session, which will be open for the entire hour. That means we will have periods where stations are on frequency but no transmissions are taking place. Instead of closing the net and leaving the frequency, net control and other stations will continue to standby for any traffic to handle.

Net control will call the net at the top of each hour and hold the net open for the entire hour until the next hour's net control station performs a new session call-up. Stations checking in will be asked what time they will check out. Net control will acknowledge their intended checkout time and standby for business. Any station with TEST EMERGENCY, TEST PRIORITY, or TEST WELFARE traffic should indicate that when listing (as is true of real EMERGENCY, PRIORITY, or TEST precedence), and net control will attempt to move the traffic.

Liaison stations will need to monitor both COTN and the other net that they represent so that traffic on one that needs to move to the other can be received and relayed. Traffic will move according to precedence:

  1. EMERGENCY
  2. PRIORITY
  3. WELFARE
  4. TEST EMERGENCY
  5. TEST PRIORITY
  6. TEST WELFARE
  7. ROUTINE
A station that needs to leave the net before the stated time will just advise net control of leaving the net, and net control will dismiss the station. Any station joining the net can do so simply by calling net control. For example, if there's no business and the net is quiet when KE8EEO joins, the station can join as follows:

Net control, this is KE8EEO

or could use abbreviated procedure, e.g.,

This is KE8EEO.

Net control will identify and ask KE8EEO to check in—keeping in mind that a station calling might not know that there's a net going on, or what the procedure is.

KE8EEO this is K3AUX. Please check in to Central Ohio Traffic Net.

KE8EEO then proceeds with the full check-in.

This is KE8EEO/D/E, W8SGT Liaison, in through the top of the hour.

Net control will record the checkin, and in this case will direct KE8EEO to call any station on frequency with traffic for KE8EEO or W8SGT. Net control may also list all stations on the net.

KE8EEO this is K3AUX. Good afternoon we have you in digital with emergency power and W8SGT liaison. There is no traffic for your station or W8SGT. Stations on the net are K3AUX, KD8UUB, AB8MW, KD8TTE, and KE8EEO.

We have openings for net control, liaison, and relay stations, as well as players to act as friends and family of (simulated) victims who are sending welfare messages (e.g., "everyone ok but relocated to shelter because house flooded.") Please see our call for volunteers for detail.

Originating Traffic

Please follow these guidelines for originating traffic:

  1. Start the text of each message with the words TEST MESSAGE. Those are words one and two, and therefore are to be included in the radiogram check.
  2. Make the text of your message related to a widespread interruption of fuel and food supplies, looting, and relocation and sheltering taking place in response; this year's scenario calls for significant failure of civil services.
  3. Focus on WELFARE traffic, e.g., relocation of affected households.
  4. Use ARRL Numbered Radiograms where appropriate, e.g., ARL FIVE.

Please note: Special session times have been established. We'll hold a total of eleven nets on Saturday and nine on Sunday. Some sessions have been designated to focus on particular operational capabilities, e.g., simplex or digital traffic relay. See the schedule and special instructions for detail.

Please note: Net Control Stations have an additional reporting requirement during SET on top of the usual session report. We have special instructions for conducting nets during SET. Please see that you've read and understand these before SET. Also be sure that if an area of emphasis is noted for your session that you make every effort to follow that instruction, e.g., simplex operation, passing traffic with a digital mode, use of a backup frequency, etc.

Please note: participating stations will need to create radiograms ahead of the SET. See below for a list of stations in the Central Ohio area and beyond to whom you may direct traffic if you'd like to participate in the SET. If you'd like to try digital exchange, please prepare ahead of time.

Send Us Traffic!

Whether in the Ohio Section or not, we welcome your SET traffic. We are looking in particular for TEST WELFARE traffic from individuals out of the area reporting their status to individuals in the area. While happy to relay traffic for agencies, our focus is service directly to members of the public. Feel free to originate traffic and send it to any of our participating stations, shown below. If you are looking for ideas of what to send, consider the samples attached at the bottom of this page. You're welcome to start sending us traffic before the SET begins on October 6; if you're far away you might want to consider sending the traffic earlier in the week, so that the message will come to us during our special operating sessions on October 6-7.

J. HELLER
COLUMBUS OH 43209
614-398-0045

V. SIRIN
COLUMBUS OH 43209
614-398-0045

J. UPDIKE
COLUMBUS OH 43209
614-398-0045

E.M. FORSTER
COLUMBUS OH 43209
614-398-0045

F.S. FITZGERALD
COLUMBUS OH 43209
614-398-0045

Coordinating Nets

We are operating as part of BLACK SWAN 18.


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C. Matthew Curtin,
Sep 15, 2018, 5:07 AM
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C. Matthew Curtin,
Sep 15, 2018, 5:07 AM
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