Special Audible Signals


VERN • Special Signal Tones

Network Control and Group Leaders (with a GMRS radio+license) could use additional audible DTMF tones to indicate certain conditions on a Volunteer Emergency Radio Network. These tones are sent using the radio’s numeric keypad as described here for the two basic signal tones.

A standard GMRS radio, the BTECH GMRS-V1

NOTE: FRS radios generally have no keypad and are NOT able to produce tones.


SPECIAL SIGNALS

For Network Control & Group Leaders ONLY, three (3) additional special audible signals are proposed. Most VERN operators will not send these but could hear them.

(3) Danger Level Signal

Keys                                                  Name                                      
 ###  ###  ###  ###  ###            Danger !
 
###  ###  ###  ###  ###  ###  ###  ###  ###  ###   HEY !!

• Press “pound” key 3x rapidly (a ‘triple-tap‘)
• Pause for one (1) second between each ‘triple-tap’
Repeat ‘triple-taps’ 5x-10x (more indicates higher danger)
• 10x = highest possible danger level (catastrophe: almost never used)

NOTE: These signals are sent by Network Control
   —> Only to the Emergency Alert Channel (FRS 9, GMRS 33)
—> Only when there is useful incident info to broadcast.
   —> Followed by:
            A brief incident summary.
            More info on Main VERN Repeater channel (FRS 8, GMRS 23)

(4) Group Leaders / GMRS “Gather” Signal

Keys                                                  Name                                      
  88 33 77 66                                 Group Leaders Gather

• ‘Musical’ tone for NetCon/Group Leaders to call all GMRS operators*
Press & Hold each key Twice (2x) holding for a half second each
Pause 1 second between pairs

NOTE: Spells “VV EE RR NN” for Volunteer Emergency Radio Network operators. Variations on this are still being proposed and refined.
* GMRS operators are the network‘s backbone, leading the groups and relaying other people who cannot be heard: this calls them together for something important.

(5) Test Signal

Keys                                                  Name                                      
 218  218  218                                  Start Test / End Test

Used by operators to: test the Repeater and train on using signals.
Press each key Twice (2x) holding for a half second each press.
Pause 1 second between pairs.
Preceded by saying “START Test Alert” out loud.
 • Followed by saying “Test Alert END” out loud.


Member Benefits

#1 • CAVERN Member Benefits Package

As the 2020 fire season draws to a (hopefully quick) close, it gives us all time to participate in a discussion about public safety and radios around Cobb Mountain. Especially relevant —while things are fresh in our minds after a few nearby fires recently grew into the first “gigafire”— is what have we all learned we still need to do?

An idea has been floated on the CAVERN Talk list to bundle different PDF information sheets together into a CAVERN Member… Booklet? …Package? As a benefit of being a CAVERN volunteer/member, you get the collected wisdom of the Community assembled in one convenient PDF package that you can print pages from for your refrigerator or bulletin board.

What pages/chapters/sections/etc do you members of the CAVERN community think the Member materials package should contain? Is a PDF file enough? Should we also organize things like bumper-stickers, tee shirts, lawn signs, etc?

Here are a few Example Ideas:
 + CAVERN Channel Guide (1pg Guide/128 channels/Printable)
 + CAVERN Member DB (Members’ firstname+callsign/all 6 Groups)
 + User Guide for <radio model> (1pg/Printable)
 + GMRS Licensing Guide (upgrade from FRS/listen to GMRS/talk)
 + RS Codes (how to describe someone’s signal quality on air)
 + Audible Signal Tones (basic ops, emergencies & special uses)
 + Emergency Radio Instructions (what to do/emergency radio stuff)
 + Pandemic Radio Guide (radios & public health)
 + Network Control Script (what I read if I need to lead)
 — Anything else to add, Cobblers?

Please make your suggestions in a Comment (below).

#2HELP

PLEASE, WILL YOU HELP assemble any of these 1-page documents, using information already available on the https://CAVERN.mobi website?

#3 • PARTICIPATE

CAVERN has three low-volume mailing lists at lists.CAVERN.mobi

(1) The most basic is “Announcements” which sends out general CAVERN info (meetings, news, etc) 1-3 times a month.

(2) Next is “Alerts” which ONLY broadcasts urgent emergency info like evacuations, ongoing fire threats, power outages, sudden lightning storms, etc. If things are going well, you’ll almost never get anything from Alerts, but you have to be subscribed to get the important stuff!

(3) Last but not least is “Talk“, the general conversation list to which any subscriber can post their information, questions or advice. If you have a CAVERN radio, but you’re NOT on the “Talk” mailing list yet,
just click here to become part of the conversation.

Webcams over the Fires

Various mountaintop/tower cameras —with views over the Kincade and other fires— are accessible at: http://www.alertwildfire.org/northbay/

191029: Kincade Fire seen from Cobb Mtn tower cam.
191027: Kincade Fire from Mt St Helena webcam.
Oct 2019: a CalFire Air Tanker dropping retardant over the Kincade Fire in Lake County, CA. (Carol Leigh Photography)