Network Control (VERN)

Everyone can serve as Network Control on the
CAVERN “directed network”…
  • VERN & CAVERN OVERVIEW
  • NETWORK CONTROL: FREQUENCIES
  • NETWORK CONTROL: WHAT YOU WILL NEED
  • NETWORK CONTROL: BASIC SCRIPT (WIP)
  • NETWORK CONTROL: EMERGENCY SCRIPT (TBD)

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VERN & CAVERN OVERVIEW

VERN = Volunteer Emergency Radio Network
CAVERN = Cobb Area Volunteer Emergency Radio Network

VERN stands for Volunteer Emergency Radio Network, a subproject of the Harmless Little Project, since 2014 a human rights technology research and development effort from the CryptoRights Foundation, Inc. (CRF). VERN goals include community organizing tools, rooftop hardware designs and software, including software defined radio components, that form a ‘Community Communications Toolkit’. We want any small-to-large community of people, from a family to a small nonprofit org, township or city, to be able to unite and organize themselves, for any public purpose, through a privacy-enhanced mesh radio network. Talking to each other can overcome more powerful, adverse external events.

CAVERN is the Cobb Area Volunteer Emergency Radio Network. The Cobb Mountain area is the prototype for the VERN system. CryptoRights is experimenting with radio transmissions on the mountainous terrain around Cobb as well as the community organization aspects as the Cobb area community wrestles with the aftereffects of major wildfire disasters and future dangers from fires and other natural trends and disasters. The first mesh radio prototype (alpha) nodes built by the Harmless Little Dev Team are being tested in the Cobb Area using components of the VERN project. And, because the first steps in creating a VERN in any community involve organizing the Community, CAVERN is developing protocols like regular and emergency Radio Check-Ins, educational and related public awareness events and programs as well as other outreach methods. Cobb area residents are learning how to use basic handheld radios to organize preparedness, rapid response and follow-ups after natural disaster emergencies like wildfires or powerful storms.


NETWORK CONTROL: FREQUENCIES

GMRS    FRS     USES
-----------------------------------------------------------
REPT15  Ch8     Receive EVERYTHING (CAVERN-programmed Retevis FRS ONLY)
REPT23  Ch9     Receive/Transmit EMERGENCY (GMRS) or Receive-ONLY (FRS)

NetCon: Rept15  (BTech, Talk/Listen)
        Ch8     (RT22, Talk/Listen)

NETWORK CONTROL: WHAT YOU WILL NEED

Checklist:
[ ] GMRS Radio
[ ] FCC GMRS License & Callsign (SEE: <fcc.gov URL or ask CAVERN for help>)
[ ] TUNE your Radio to <GMRS_Ch"REPT23"> or <FRS_Ch8>
[ ] BE ABLE to change your radio tuning to REPT23
    (FRS=Ch9) ONLY Emergency Traffic (T/R)
[ ] CAVERN Network Control Certification (SEE: <online tutorial>)

ADVISORY: 2019.09.14 To operate as Network Control (aka “NetCon”) and perform NetCon duties on the CAVERN network, your location MUST be able to reach the CAVERN Repeater #1 on the Hill above Hobergs. Even if you cannot reach the repeater, you can still be “NetCon” for nearby CAVERN operators in your FireWise Group, and relay all of your group’s members.

NETWORK CONTROL: BASIC SCRIPT

[ FREQUENCY: T-DCS = D071N ]

“[ SAY YOUR GMRS CALLSIGN 2x ]”

“Greetings…
this is a non-emergency announcement for anyone listening…
in a FEW MINUTES, we will begin:
the weekly radio check-in for CAVERN,
(the Cobb Area Volunteer Emergency Radio Network)
So… get your radios on, and your ears on…”

[ FREQUENCY: EMERGENCY T-CTCS = 103.5 Hz ]

“Hello again…
This is CAVERN Network Control.
This is the Official Radio Check-In for .
I am currently broadcasting on BOTH:
CAVERN’s custom FRS Channel 9 AND…
GMRS Channel 23 with T-CTCS 103.5 Hertz “

“QUESTION: Does anyone listening right now
have any emergency alerts OR
emergency alerts to relay (for someone else)?
NetCon will pause now for ANY emergency alerts.”

[ PAUSE for 10-15 seconds ]

[ IF there IS an EMERGENCY ALERT
–> CHANGE to Network Control’s “EMERGENCY SCRIPT” (see below, WIP)
If there are NO Emergencies… ]

Hearing no emergencies…
I am now switching Network Control broadcasts to
the non-emergency CAVERN channels, which are:

[ REPEAT CHANNEL/FREQUENCY INFO ABOVE ]

”OK… we are now switching to the NON-EMERGENCY FREQUENCY…
You may not not need to make any adjustments…”

[ FREQUENCY: (back to NON-emergency) T-DCS = D071N ]

“And… the CAVERN Radio CHECK-IN procedure will now begin…
Let’s start with a QUICK SUMMARY for new operators…
then some announcements…
then the network-wide check-ins.”

“My name is
[INSERT YOUR FIRST NAME HERE]
and I am a|the
[ INSERT YOUR RELATED FUNCTIONS HERE, e.g.: ]

    • “the chair of the Cobb Area Council or CAC”
    • “a member of the CAC’s communications committee”
    • “a CAVERN Operator from Group 3 or ‘Bottlerock”
    • “a VERN researcher from CryptoRights…”
    • etc.
      and
    • [coordinator or other role]

…for the Cobb Area Volunteer Emergency Radio Network
— or CAVERN for short.”

“The purposes for this Volunteer Emergency Radio Network is to:
ORGANIZE the community’s preparedness for ‘event communications’
PRACTICE radio communications and
MAINTAIN a state of readiness
so that we are prepared to talk to each other
in the event of an emergency.

“To Keep Up with CAVERN’s Development, please…
SUBSCRIBE your email to the Announcements mailing list:
BROWSE to HTTPS :// LISTS . CAVERN . MOBI
that’s L-I-S-T-S dot CAVERN dot mobi.”

“We’ll send out Announcements about the new CAVERN website, the blog, calendars of CAVERN’s community events, and the research and development CryptoRights is doing on a radio mesh network for our future deployment.

“CAVERN’s operators meet on the radio for these check-ins…
every Saturday at ONE PM
AND every Wednesday at SIX-THIRTY
on Channel 15
which is Channel 8 on CAVERN’s pre-programmed 2-Watt RT22 radios)
or Channel 15 on the powerful 5-Watt B-Tech GMRS Radios
which require a basic FCC license fee
OR (for you radio geeks),
462 dot 550 Megahertz.”

“Anyone with an FRS radio of any kind is welcome to participate.
You are not required to have a CALLSIGN to join us.
However, if you DO have a GMRS license,
then please say your CALLSIGN twice, when I call your group.”

”An Important Administrative NOTE…
This is a DIRECTED NET
in which all communication is directed by a Network Control,
a function which I will be serving today
but which all CAVERN volunteers
should be comfortable doing in the future.

You can practice being a Network Control informally,
any time there are more than 2 people in a radio conversation.”

“The Check-In is basically a ROLL-CALL
It works like this:
If you have something to say…
alert net control, using a word or two.
For instance:
YOU SAY: “Net Control, Betty”
NetCon REPLIES: “Go ahead, Betty”
YOU (Betty) can then begin speaking.

“Single words are best for addressing Net Control.
Words like “Question”, “Comment” or “Relay” help NetControl to
queue you for your turn with the appropriate priority.
If you say: “Network Control, Fire Alert”,
then you are likely to be the one speaking soonest.”

“NOTE that, unlike CB, the word “Break” is reserved
only for dire emergencies.
Sometimes, if the situation demands it,
we will check in by neighborhood or even by street.”

I will soon call for everyone to check in…
I will call for responses by CAVERN’s SIX FireWise groups.”
For information on the Firewise Group Structure,
please go to WWW.CAVERN.mobi

Before we begin the Check-In…
We’ll do ANNOUNCEMENTS…

Are there any announcements anyone would like to share?
Please say twice your CALLSIGN or CAVERN ID…
If you do not have either of those…
you can get a CAVERN ID through Network Control
or you can get a GMRS License from the FCC for $70
ask how via email to ‘NetCon [at] CAVERN dot mobi’ “

Within each Group, ONE through SIX…
please Check In, first by Group and
then in order of your CAVERN ID number,
starting with whoever is Group ONE’s number 1, then #2, #007, etc.
Please reply with your FIRST NAME and then wait…
wait for Network Control to acknowlege you
so we can continue to check the next operator in.”

“OK, now for a quick CAVERN Project announcement from
the Cobb Area Council’s Communications Committee
AND
CryptoRights, the local Conn nonprofit
responsible for the CAVERN project:

[ BEGIN ANNOUNCEMENTS HERE…

+ (Cobb Area Council's) Communications Committee
+ Next CAC Meeting Date?
+ CAVERN Announcement List is at LISTS.CAVERN.MOBI
+ CryptoRights 'Harmless Little Project' / CAVERN updates
+ Other…?

“OK!
NOW… we’re getting to the actual Check-Ins…
Here are TWO EXAMPLES of check-ins:
NOTE: (‘Geyserville‘ is a fictional group, only as an example…)

    "This is CAVERN Net Control,
     calling for Group 55 Checkins from Geyserville,
     Go ahead…"

    -> "NetControl, this is Clark at Geyserville One."
    "Acknowleged, Geyserville One, you're checked-in, Clark."

    -> "Net Control, I'm Geyserville Four, aka Sally."
    "Acknowleged, Geyserville Four, you're checked-in, Sally."

“Okay… now for our Check-Ins today…
this is CAVERN Network Control…
Questions will be welcome AFTER the Group Check-Ins…”

”PLEASE START with your
FIRST NAME and
GMRS CALLSIGN or
CAVERN ID (if you have one)

“Starting with Check-Ins from Firewise Group 1…
…which is Boggs Mountain and…
South of Boggs,
East of Highway 175, including
Gifford Springs,
Jones Creek Crossing and
Blackrock.”
“Group 1 Operators by CAVERN ID order… First name, please…”
[ Group#1 LOG
NAME CALLSIGN CAVERN_ID NOTES
Xxxxx XXXXNNN GROUP # static/clear
]

“OK, Net Control here, starting with Checkins from Firewise Group 2,
A quick sidenote here: anyone in Middletown is in Group 99.
–> We’ll talk more about ‘Group 99’ at the end of this Check-In…
MEANWHILE… Group TWO is Cobb Mountain, including:
Downtown Cobb,
West of Hwy 175, through Whispering Pines and
South to Socrates Mine Road.”
“Group 2 Operators… First name, please…”
[ Group#2 LOG
NAME CALLSIGN CAVERN_ID NOTES
Xxxxx XXXXNNN GROUP # static/clear
]

“OK, Net Control again…
We’ll now go to Checkins from Firewise Group 3.
Group 3 is the entire Bottle Rock corridor, including:
the High Valley and Glenbrook areas.
Anyone able to hear us in Kelseyville is also welcome.”
“Group 3 Operators… First name, please…”
[ Group#3 LOG
NAME CALLSIGN CAVERN_ID NOTES
Xxxxx XXXXNNN GROUP # static/clear
]

“OK, Net Control back with you,
We’re going to do TWO GROUPS TOGETHER this time

This will be Checkins from Firewise Groups FOUR and SIX…
Group 4 is Hobergs, including:
Summit Road, Adams Springs Road and the Hill above.
Group 6 is Mt Hannah, including Salminas.

“Group 4 and 6 Operators… First name, please…”
[Group#4+6 LOG
NAME CALLSIGN CAVERN_ID NOTES
Xxxxx XXXXNNN GROUP # static/clear
]

OK, Net Control again…
We’ll now go to Checkins from Firewise Group 5.

Group 5 is Siegler Mountain, including:
Loch Lomond, Ridge Road and the Seigler Springs area.
Anyone able to hear us in Lower Lake is also welcome.
We do Group 5 last because we usually rely
on a CAVERN volunteer with a GMRS License
who RELAYS Check-Ins from the other side of Mt. Siegler.”

“Group 5 Relay Operator…
Please ID Yourself here
Then check your neighbors in,
Then RELAY their First Names and Callsigns or CAVERN IDs, please…”

“Network Control, monitoring for RELAY.
Everyone listening:
There may be a short slience here while Group 5 checks in with their designated Relay. When you hear us talk about ‘the Mesh’…
that mesh is being designed to solve this
‘going-around-mountains’ problem.

[ GROUP 5 RELAY OPERATOR…
CHECKS IN MULTIPLE CAVERN OPERATORS… ]

[ Group#5 LOG
NAME CALLSIGN CAVERN_ID NOTES
Xxxxx XXXXNNN GROUP # static/clear
]

“GREAT! Now, we’ll listen for Check-Ins from Group 99…
Group 99 is everyone way far away
anyone who can hear us and check in from any distance.
that includes Middletown, Lower Lake, Clearlake, Nice, Berlin,
London, Lakeport, Upper Lake, Fremont, Tahoe and Austin, Texas.”

“Is there ANYONE beyond Cobb Mountain in Group 99 who we missed?
Anyone from anywhere in or out of Lake County want to say HELLO?”

{{{ Mel? WHAT IS “Ladoga area. output of 462.550” ??? }}}

”ARE THERE any CLOSING QUESTIONS or COMMENTS”
…END BY SAYING SOMETHING/ANYTHING
POSITIVE… ]

Hearing no more questions or comments…
This concludes the CAVERN check-in…
:
CAVERN is the Cobb Area Volunteer Emergency Radio Network,
During FIRE SEASON, and throughout the other months of the year,
CAVERN meets here for Radio Check-Ins:
Every Wednesday evening at 6:30 PM
AND
Every Saturday afternoon at 1 PM”

“We tune our radios to:
FRS Channel 15,
Which is Channel 8
on CAVERN’s pre-programmed Retevis RT22 FRS radios
OR
GMRS Channel 15
OR
462 dot 550 Megahertz with No Tone Squelch.”

“In the event of an emergency or an alert siren test
please meet here to receive and share information.

“You can also monitor this frequency
using a privacy code > on 103.5 kiloherz
OR simply
Channel 9 to monitor ONLY emergency alerts on CAVERN FRS radios.

“If you have followup comments or,
you were not able to be heard today,
please send email to
for radio questions
OR
for everything else…

“ATTENTION CAVERN OPERATORS
Thank you to Everyone for participating in this check-in
You have helped the Cobb Area community to take
one small step closer to full communication readiness.”

“Any final comments from anyone before we close the net?”

“Hearing no more comments…
CAVERN Network Control is now out of service…
This frequency is now free once again for Normal Public Use.”

[ MONITOR FREQUENCY FOR ANOTHER FEW MINUTES ]

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NETWORK CONTROL: EMERGENCY SCRIPT

TBD — WIP

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AUTHORS: Mel M. (v01m), Dave D. (v02d,v03d,v04d,v05wp).

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