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ARRL North Texas Section News

Radio Rabbits Join ARES and Provide Communications Support

Jul 2, 2017


Members of the Atlanta Rabbits Amateur Radio Club joined ARES (Amateur Radio Communications Service) when they provided communications support at the Daingerfield State Park over the weekend.


Answering the Call

"Jerry, I just got a request from the [Texas Parks and Wildlife Service] for communications support for a 5k run this weekend.  Can you help me out?"  Morris County and Cass County Emergency Coordinator Danny Richard KG5ESG asked.

"THIS weekend?" Jerry Goodson W5BFF answered with a question.

"Yeah, I know it's short notice." 

It was short notice.  It was only four days until the event.  The Atlanta Rabbits Amateur Radio Club had just finished participating in the annual ARRL Field Day event the previous weekend, and weren't even finished unpacking from the big weekend.  

Joining ARES

The members of the Atlanta Rabbits Amateur Radio Club had previous expressed interest in joining the ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) organization in the past, but the previous Cass County Emergency Coordinator wouldn't allow it without "extra strings" attached, because of the minor ages involved.  Richard was appointed to the position in mid-June by the new ARRL North Texas Section Manager Jay Urish W5GM.

The Atlanta Rabbits Amateur Radio Club members and the Morris and Cass County Emergency Coordinator
L to R: Ladonna KG5GMC, Kyle Wayne N5KWG, Cody (Boogie) N5GNR, Dylan (Bubba) N5APP,
Jerry W5BFF, and Morris County and Cass County Emergency Coordinator Danny Richard KG5ESG

Laughing Out Loud

On the evening before the race, Richard met with the radio rabbits to plan position assignments and layout of duties and responsibilities.  After going over the race route and position assignments, Jerry piped up, "Now, Danny, how are these boys going to participate in an ARES function if they're not ARES members?"

Richard wasted no time.  "Boys, raise your right hands.  Do you solemnly swear to do what I say when I say it?"

We had a good laugh, and then he told us we were all now officially ARES members.

Working the Race

Armed with handi-talkies, members of the Atlanta Rabbits Amateur Radio Club were assigned tactical call signs and peppered throughout the race route.  Dylan N5APP was stationed at the start and finish line, and relayed all communications to race officials.  Jerry W5BFF was Net Control who operated at the command base.  Champion EMS had an ambulance stationed there in case of any illness or injury during the race.  Ladonna KG5GMC was stationed at a "T" intersection where she directed racers when to turn and when to continue straight.  Cody N5GNR was stationed at the loop at the end of the one detour "leg" to ensure runners followed the correct route.  Kyle Wayne N5KWG was stationed at the turn-around with a State Park Police Officer.   Richard KG5ESG was the "floater" who patrolled the route with a park ranger.  

Daingerfield State Park Superintendent Steve Killian expressed his gratitude to the radio rabbits, and credited a large part of the success of the race to the communications support they provided.

HF Operations

The radio rabbits set up an HF (high frequency) station to demonstrate some of the communication capabilities to event attendees.  Contacts were made with contest stations working 13 Colonies and Canada Day.


Daingerfield State Park Superintendent Steve Killian makes a 3rd-Party contact with Terrance White KJ4ZMV in Indiana at the KA5AHS station on 40 meters as control operator Jerry Goodson W5BFF looks on.

Killian stopped by where the Atlanta Rabbits Amateur Radio Club had their HF station set up.  After observing operations, Killian sat down at the microphone and spoke with Terrance White KJ4ZMV in Indiana.  Killian told White about the activities happening in the park over the weekend, to include the 5k run, cook-off, and dance.

"It's amazing at how easy it is to connect the park to the rest of the world through ham radio even if cellphones and the internet go down," Killian said.  "I'm really impressed that kids these ages are involved in ham radio," he said, referring to the members of the Atlanta Rabbits Amateur Radio Club.  

This article originally appeared on the Atlanta Rabbits Amateur Radio Club Website: www.ka5ahs.org