The "ARES/SKYWARN" channel of the New England Reflector is
the third of three integrated gateways on the reflector that digitally bridges
Users connecting to this gateway from either VoIP network are allowed to
interconnect with each other. The node number is identical and
accessible on both the networks of IRLP and EchoLink as 9123. It
can be found on EchoLink clients as conference *NEW-ENG3*. This is
a dedicated gateway for ARES and SKYWARN drills and activations in the six New England
gateway is configured to have transcoding disabled, meaning audio between
users on IRLP and EchoLink and visa versa are not re-encoded. The
audio codec for users connecting via IRLP and EchoLink is GSM.
Normally, the reflector owners prefer transcoding to have the added
benefit of exceptional audio quality between IRLP nodes using the UNCOMP
(uncompressed) codec. Since this gateway's use is decidcated to
emergency communications, reliability in addition to minimal CPU resources
and bandwidth is most important over the higher audio quality.
More details are provided below.
1) ARES ACTIVATIONS
This gateway provides a
vital link for New England's various Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) programs
on a primary basis concurrently with SKYWARN. For example, in
times of emergencies the Eastern Massachusetts
ARES (Regions 1 & 2) will activate and potentally utilize this gateway.
This provides a single point of contact to pass traffic and welfare
communications. Depending on the severity and epicenter of a real activation, other ARES regions
in New England may also utilize this gateway.
2) ARES DRILLS
Several drills operate
on this gateway on a weekly or monthly basis. These drills allows for
repeaters, simplex nodes and individual client users to test equipment
and auxiliary power in preparation for a real activation. The
drills are typically a directed on-air network (net). Below
is a listing of ARES drills currently scheduled:
All Times Eastern.
3) SKYWARN ACTIVATIONS
This gateway provides a
vital link for New England's SKYWARN program on a primary basis
concurrently with ARES. In times of severe
weather, the primary occupant is station WX1BOX
led by Rob Macedo, KD1CY and a team of volunteers become active from
the National Weather Service (NWS) in Taunton, Massachusetts.
WX1BOX informs hams of watches, warnings and forecast data, plus
provides a single point of contact via this gateway to collect reports
of SKYWARN criteria.
WX1BOX focuses on
collecting reports by hams in the area served by the Southern New
England Weather Forecast Office. This area includes most of
Massachusetts, Northern Connecticut, all of Rhode Island and Cheshire
and Hillsborough counties in Southern New Hampshire. Depending on
the severity of the weather event, NWS Gray, Maine (WX1GYX)
and other SKYWARN sections such as Western Massachusetts and Connecticut may also utilize this gateway.