Santa Clara County ARES/RACES
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Weekly SPECS/SVECS Packet Practice

Notice    |     General    |     Simulated Outages    |     Message Format    |     Setup    |     Message

 

Use the Packet Notice

We recommend that you read the web page below to familiarize yourself with the weekly packet practice procedures. After that, use the summarized version of this information in the SCCo Weekly Packet Practice notice found in the XSCPERM mailbox on all SCCo BBSs.

Outpost will automatically download any new XSCPERM notices each time it connects to one of the SCCo BBSs. We recommend you save those notices in your Outpost Archive folder for reference when the Internet is not available. Each week, simply open the SCCo Weekly Packet Practice notice in Outpost to see a summary of the information below. Then create and send your message.

 

General Information

Weekly packet packet is more than a typical amateur radio net check-in. Our weekly packet practice incorporates several real-world activities to help ensure our operators and equipment are always ready. The weekly practice is conducted by the two main emergency communications service groups in Santa Clara County:

Practice closes promptly at 2000 hours (8pm) on Monday (for SPECS) or Tuesday (for SVECS). It is best not to wait until the last minute to send your message since forwarding your message across the BBS network does take a short but finite amount of time.

Practice messages may be sent up to six days prior to the Monday or Tuesday deadline.

Everyone is welcome to send a practice message for either or both nights.  Using multiple different sources to send your message(s) is encouraged: from your assigned primary BBS, from your assigned secondary BBS, from another BBS in the SCCo network, from another BBS on the AMPRnet, from another BBS on the BBS Network, from Winlink, from e-mail.

 

Weekly Rotating Simulated BBS Outage

Each week, we simulate a different BBS outage.  The BBS will not actually be disabled.  We will simply avoid using it for practice messages that week.  The purpose is to verify that both the network and our user community can easily deal with a catastrophic failure and still get the message through.

The scheduled for simulated outages is as follows:

Net Day Simulated Outage
First Monday or Tuesday of the month W1XSC
Second Monday or Tuesday of the month W2XSC
Third Monday or Tuesday of the month W3XSC
Fourth Monday or Tuesday of the month W4XSC
Fifth Monday or Tuesday of the month none

Note: In the event of a real outage, the simulated outage schedule is suspended for that week.

Do not use a BBS for weekly packet practice the week it is being simulated as down

Examples:

You consult the "SCCo Packet Tactical Calls" bulletin and determine that the primary and secondary BBSs used to receive "SCCo Packet Practice" are W2XSC and W4XSC, respectively.

Example 1: It is the first Monday or Tuesday of the month. Your primary BBS is W1XSC.  Therefore, your BBS is simulated down and you can't use it to send a message. The recipient's BBS (W2XSC) is unaffected. So, you connect to your assigned secondary BBS to send your message to PKTMON@W2XSC or PKTTUE@W2XSC.

Example 2:  It is the second Monday or Tuesday of the month.  Your primary BBS is (W1XSC) is unaffected. The recipient's BBS (W2XSC) is simulated down so it cannot be used to receive messages. Therefore, messages will be received on the secondary BBS (W4XSC). So, you connect to your assigned primary BBS and send your message to PKTMON@W4XSC or PKTTUE@W4XSC.

Example 3:  Is is the second Monday or Tuesday of the month. Your primary BBS is W2XSC. So your BBS is simulated down. The recipient's BBS (W2XSC) is also simulated down. So, you connect to the assigned secondary BBS and send your message to PKTMON@W4XSC or PKTTUE@W4XSC.

Confused?  Think of it like this:  You have a primary e-mail account on Yahoo and secondary/back-up account on Google.  Your friend has a primary e-mail account on Google and back-up account on AOL.  If Yahoo is down, you can't use it to send your message, so you use your Google account. If Google is down, neither you nor your friend can use it. So you send your message from your Yahoo account to your friend on his/her AOL account. 

Ask questions on our packet discussion group.

 

Monthly Rotating Message Format Schedule

Please use the designated message format according to the schedule below. If you have difficulty with PackItForms, or if you are from checking in from another county, you can use a plain text message. But for Santa Clara County users, the use of PackItForms is critical to EOC operations and is strongly recommended when indicated below.

Month Message Format
January Plain Text
February PackItForm:  XSC ICS-213 Message Form
March PackItForm:  XSC EOC-213RR Resource Request Form
April PackItForm:  XSC OA Municipal Status Form
May Plain Text
June PackItForm:  XSC ICS-213 Message Form
July PackItForm:  XSC EOC-213RR Resource Request Form
August PackItForm:  XSC OA Municipal Status Form
September Plain Text
October PackItForm:  XSC ICS-213 Message Form
November PackItForm:  XSC EOC-213RR Resource Request Form
December PackItForm:  XSC OA Municipal Status Form

 

Setup

 

Practice Message

Weekly practice messages can be sent using simple text messages or one of the PackItForms. The use of PackItForms according to the above schedule is strongly encouraged for Santa Clara County users.

BBS:

From:

To:

Subject:

Form Type Field Name Set Field To
ICS-213 Subject Practice <CallSign>, <FirstName>, <City>, <NetDate>
EOC-213RR Incident Name Practice <CallSign>, <FirstName>, <City>, <NetDate>
OA Municipal Status Jurisdiction Name <Select your city>
OA Shelter Status Shelter Name Practice <CallSign>, <FirstName>, <City>, <NetDate>
Allied Health Status Facility Name Practice <CallSign>, <FirstName>, <City>, <NetDate>

Message Body:


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This page was last updated 20-Aug-2019