From the ARRL Letter...


Radio amateurs using voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) modes such as
EchoLink <> and IRLP <>are doing
an outstanding job of supporting forecasters tracking hurricanes. So says
WX4NHC Assistant Amateur Radio Coordinator Julio Ripoll, WD4R. The latest
example was during WX4NHC activations--in cooperation with the Hurricane
Watch Net (HWN) <> --for Hurricane Emily. Ripoll, says
VoIP-mode users have supported WX4NHC in collecting ground-level weather
data as well as relaying hurricane advisories to residents and agencies in
affected areas.

"The EchoLink and IRLP partnership created for hurricanes and severe weather
is unique," Ripoll told ARRL, adding that he's seen upward of 100 VoIP
connections during storm emergencies, many of which represent repeaters and
conference rooms "with untold numbers listening." Ripoll said VoIP modes
also have served to connect Red Cross headquarters stations, state emergency
operations centers (EOCs), National Weather Service offices and other

"The VoIP-WX Net <> has also added a large number of
Technician class operators who were not able to report on HF in the past,"
he noted. Although it has a defined and trained cadre of regular
member-operators, the HWN operates on 14.325 MHz--beyond reach of operators
lacking at least a General ticket. Ripoll said those connecting via VoIP
modes often do so using low-power VHF/UHF radios running on battery power
via an IRLP or EchoLink-equipped repeater.

Ripoll spotlighted WX-Talk Conference Net Manager Kevin Anderson, KD5WX, of
Texas, IRLP Reflector 9219 Net Manager Danny Musten, KD4RAA, of North
Carolina, and ARRL Eastern Massachusetts Section Emergency Coordinator and
SKYWARN Director Rob Macedo, KD1CY, for being "very supportive" of WX4NHC.

Ripoll reports that the VoIP Hurricane Net most recently generated "some of
the most important surface reports" as Hurricane Emily tracked over Grenada,
St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago. He cited specific information during Emily
that arrived via VoIP modes including a report from J73CI, relaying for
J39JQ, of a roof being blown from a hospital and damage to homes on Grenada
caused by strong winds. Other VoIP reports came via Julien Dedier, 9Z4FZ, in
Trinidad, of power outages. Reports relayed by the Trinidad EOC from Tobago
at one point indicated heavy rainfall and sustained winds of 60 MPH.

Reports such as these, Ripoll said, were "especially vital during the very
late evening hours, when there was a lack of HF propagation into the
affected area."

For additional information, visit the WX4NHC Web site

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