Hamilton County

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In February of 2022, Hamilton County experienced a nearly complete outage of all commercial communications (telephone, cell phone, and Internet). In December 2023, damage to a fiber optic cable in Hope due to flooding cause an outage of phone and Internet service in the southern half of the county. Of course, Amateur Radio still worked. When (not if) this happens again, it would be great if more people could still be communicating. We need to be organized and prepared to help ourselves, our neighbors, and our communities across the county. We are looking for more people to get involved with emergency communications.

If you do not have an amateur radio license, we will help you get yours. The Northern New York Section is holding a 6-week online entry-level Technician license exam preparation course starting in February 2024.

The Hamilton County ARES/RACES Training Net currently meets at 8:00 PM on the Speculator repeater, and the Blue Mountain repeater. We are looking for more participants including net control stations on both repeaters. Alternate times and days are being considered to accommodate all who wish to participate.

Hamilton County ARES Training and Meeting Schedule:

Date Time Description
Every Monday except 3rd 8:00 PM ARES/RACES Training Net on the Hamilton County Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service Blue Mt. and Hamilton County Amateur Radio Club Speculator (Oak Mt.) repeaters. We are looking for net control and alternate net control stations on both repeaters. (You need not have to be able to hit both repeaters. A net session could also be held on the Long Lake repeater.) The schedule is open to change to accommodate participant schedules. As of November 2023, the primary activity is on Blue. Please contact if you would like to participate in ARES activities but can't do so on the currently scheduled day or time. No experience is necessary.
3rd Monday except December - In-person ARES/RACES Training may be held before or after the Hamilton County ARC meeting. Location and schedule is subject to change to accommodate participant schedules and interests. Please contact if you are interested in training or would like to participate but can't do so on the third Monday.
Any Day 5:00 PM Independent Training (Net operations and NTS voice message procedures): Check in to New York Public Operations Net on 3925
Any Day 6:00 PM Independent Training (Net operations and NTS voice message procedures): Check in to New York State Phone Traffic & Emergency Net on 3925
Feb-Mar - Entry-level Technician license exam preparation course presented by NNY Section. Self-study and online via Zoom
June 28-30 - ARRL/ARES FIELD DAYS nationwide emergency communications practice (details TBD) Public invited!!
Spring TBD - Online or in-person SKYWARN Weather Spotter Training
October TBD - ARRL/ARES Simulated Emergency Test
TBD - ARES basic communication procedures training for new members

At the end of every month, ARES members should report any independent training you engaged in to .

Amateur Radio Emergency Service: ARES (pronounced "air- eeze") is an organization of federally licensed radio amateurs (“hams”) sponsored by the ARRL who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment for public service communications when needed, and engage in a program of self-training and improvement to perform this mission.

ARES is focused on providing radio communications during emergencies, but is also available for and may be activated to provide non-emergency communications for planned events, or whenever communications support is needed.

ARES members range from entry-level radio operators to individuals with advanced technical knowledge and extensive radio communications experience. All licensed amateurs are invited to participate in ARES.

Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service: RACES (pronounced "ray-sees") is a radio service defined by federal regulations to provide communications during certain emergency situations. Hamilton County has a RACES program. ARES and RACES are complementary programs, with ARES being available for both emergency and non-emergency communications. In Hamilton County, ARES and RACES is essentially the same group of volunteers.

SKYWARN: ™ is a volunteer program with nearly 290,000 trained severe weather spotters. Spotters help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the NWS. You do not have to be an amateur radio operator to be a SKYWARN spotter, but amateur radio is a critical component of the Albany area SKYWARN program because when regular communications are inoperable, hams can still transmit reports to the NWS. The primary repeater used is the 147.375+ (100) KA2QYE machine in the Helderbergs southwest of Albany. Alternate is Gore Mountain.

If you are interested in joining Hamilton County ARES, please contact Emergency Coordinator . You do not have to be an ARRL or club member. No experience is necessary. If you do not have an amateur radio license, we will help you get yours.

The Hamilton County Amateur Radio Club supports emergency communications activity in the county, however, you do not need to be a club member to participate in ARES, RACES, or SKYWARN.

Training Resources