Santa Clara County OES, California

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County-wide Communications Exercise



Activation Number XSC-15-04T
Overview Dust off your go kits, brush up on procedures, and practice an end-to-end field deployment!

Open to all amateur radio operators interested in emergency communications. Everyone MUST sign up in advance.

Individuals who do not have a current DSW registration with Santa Clara County ARES/RACES can register when they arrive at the drill.  Registering for DSW during check-in at the drill may delay check-in by as much as 20 minutes, so plan accordingly.

Purpose A county-wide communications exercise designed to practice mobilization, deployment and demobilization of amateur radio operations.  The activities are varied and have been designed to provide fun and education while, at the same time, developing experience with operating according to the standard procedures required for emergency operations.

Attendees have the option to sign up for various types of assignments. Click on the links below for more information about the type of assignment/activity and the equipment required:

The net control positions have a strict schedule to ensure we have net controls on all the nets.

For the other activities, you can spend as much time at each activity as you want.  Plan on a minimum of about two hours per activity.  Attendees can participate in up to two assignments as long as they check-in at staging prior to 09:00.

All sign-ups should be done on-line, as far in advance of the event as possible, so the event staff can plan for the right number of attendees.

Some activities require minimum qualifications.  For example, Net Control assignments require the participant to be at least an MIT.

Sign-Up To participate in this drill, you MUST sign-up in advance.  To sign-up, use the Training and Event Database and sign up for one or two activities.
Drill Location

Drill Location
Ed Levin County Park
3100 Calaveras Rd
Milpitas, CA 95035

Note: You do NOT need to pay the entrance fee. The fees have been waived for this event.

Map showing the surrounding area and staging location

Thomas Brothers Guide:  page 794 grid G5

GPS Coord of entrance: 37* 26' 52.19N / 121* 50' 54.95W


Saturday, April 18, 2015  (rain or shine)

Weather Average daytime temperatures in April: High temp: 69 F; Low temp: 48 F. Sunny to partly cloudy with 4% chance of precipitation.
  • Resource Net Opens:  07:00
  • Staging Opens: 08:00  (please do not arrive earlier unless specifically scheduled)
  • If participating in two activities: Sign-in at Staging no later than 09:00
  • If participating in one activity:  Sign-in at Staging no later than 10:30  (unless specifically scheduled)
  • We hope to complete all activities by approximately 14:00.
Forms Be sure to start your ICS-214 Unit Activity Log prior to leaving your home.  A list of the ICS forms required for your go kit can be found on the Operations page of this web site:  Operations > Forms and Signs > ICS Forms used in Communications > These are ICS Forms you should have in your Go Kit.
Travel to Drill

If you are a registered DSW, you are expected to use the Resource Net. Follow standard Resource Net procedures.

If you are NOT a registered DSW, simply check-in at Staging. The Resource Net is for registered DSWs only.

Resource Net The following repeaters will be linked together for the drill and will function as the resource net:
  • AA6BT:  146.115 (+) 100.0  (Main; located in East San Jose)
  • W6ASH: 145.270 (-) 100.0  (North; best for North end of the county and near the park)
  • N6NAC:  444.625 (+) 110.9  (South; best when South of San Jose intersection of Hwys 85 & 101)


  • Program all three repeaters into your radio memory so you can easily switch between them while driving. 
    • If you are coming from the southern end of the county, you will need to switch from N6NAC to AA6BT approximately when you reach the 85 and 101 intersection in South San Jose.
    • You will need to switch to W6ASH as you appoach the park area.
    • If you are coming from the northern end of the county, you can probably stay on W6ASH the whole way.
  • Remember that linked repeaters require you to insert extra delay.  Leave plenty of space before keying up.  Pause after keying up, before speaking.
  • Prior to departure from home:  Check into the resource net. When called, tell net control your starting mileage (last three digits of your odometer) and your street location. (Your odometer does not have a decimal point. If you see a decimal point, you're looking at your trip odometer.  We don't use that because it can be reset.  Switch to your odometer and provide the last three digits to net control).
  • While traveling:  Stay tuned to the resource net and respond to health and welfare checks by net control. When called, give your mileage and street location.
  • Upon arrival at the drill: Stay in your vehicle and contact net control. You will be told to switch to the staging net and the frequency will be provided. Do not exit your vehicle until you have successfully checked into the staging net. If you are unable to reach the staging net, return to the resource net and inform net control.
  • If you do not yet have a current county DSW registration, net control will not be able to officially activate you and you will not be covered under the DSW program until you reach the drill site and complete your DSW registration.
Net Usage Everyone is required to be on the proper net at the proper time. The Resource Net is used for travel to and from the event. The Staging Net is used whenever you are not on an assignment.  Assignments may involve other nets.  Primary staff members will be on the command net.  Be sure you always check-in and check-out properly when moving from one net to the other. Always pay attention to the net control operator for whichever net you are on and answer promptly when called.
Training Info Additional information on the disaster server worker program, resource net procedures and net types and usage can be found in the Fundamentals of Emergency Communications training course materials. If you have not taken this course, you are advised to review the course presentation prior to the drill.

ALL participants must bring the following minimum equipment with them, on their person. 

  • Driver's license or other State-issued identification card
  • Amateur Radio License
  • HT (2m minimum; 2m/440 dual-band preferred) with sufficient batteries to operate for the time you are there
  • Clipboard, note pad, pens/pencils
  • All ICS forms required for your Go Kit (see Operations > Forms > ICS Forms used in Communications)
  • Lunch
  • Sufficient water for the time you are there
  • Sturdy, closed-toe shoes (wear)
  • Long pants (wear)
  • Sun protection (hat, sunscreen, etc.)
  • Be sure you have a backpack, fanny pack, shoulder bag or some other hands free way to carry your equipment. That goes double for your radio - you need a radio harness, belt clip, or something to hold it.

See the Assignments section above for additional equipment suggestions.

MACs and MITs participating in MAC evaluations will have other equipment requirements, depending on the qualification level of the evaluation.  Consult the MAC handbook for a list of the required equipment for each MAC qualification level.

Check-In After checking into the Staging Net from your vehicle, walk to the Staging Area to complete the check-in procedure.

Mutual Aid Communicators (MACs) and MACs in Training (MITs) can request evaluations for the following MAC program qualifications:  F3, F2, N3, N2, P3, P2.  We may offer MAC equipment evaluations if sufficient staff is available.

Lunch There is no specific time defined for a lunch break.  The drill will run continuously.  But attendees can stop and take their lunch break in between assignments or whenever it is convenient.
Check-Out After you have completed each assignment, return to the Staging Area for re-assignment or check-out.  Be sure to fill out an evaluation form so we can capture your feedback.
Travel Home Check in to the Resource Net from your car, prior to leaving the park. If you prefer not to be tracked back home, notify net control when you check in. Alternatively, you can check out of the resource net at any time on your way home if you decide to go somewhere else.


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This page was last updated 09-Aug-2017