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Idaho Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES)

Simulated Emergency Test (“SET”) 2018

Event Title: “Operation Idaho Amateur Radio Census”

Background: The American Radio League (ARRL) has promoted the concept of an annual Simulated Emergency Test (SET) for over 50 years.  ARRL Sections (in our case, Idaho) participate on a voluntary basis.  It has been our policy to conduct some sort of communications exercise each year, with involvement of local ARES/RACES groups and an attempt to include as many Idaho hams as possible.

Time Frame: 09/28/18 through 10/28/18.

Who Participates: All Amateur Radio operators in Idaho are encouraged to participate.   ARES County Emergency Coordinators (EC’s) may choose to exercise their ARES/RACES unit as a “group event”. 

How to Participate: First, read this document!  Then, accumulate Census data by making contact other Idaho hams by any available method, including on-air QSO’s, nets, club meetings, eyeball QSO’s, telephone, social media, e-mail. 

What We Are Testing This Year:

·        How participants organize to handle an unusual and unexpected communications assignment.

·        How many stations send a report

·        How many stations we can reach during the reporting period

·        How stations handle reporting in a different format (not ICS-213)

·        How the ARES “back office” manages the accumulated data


Publicity: The event is announced on the www.idahoares.info web page, is e-mailed to each Idaho ARES EC, and will be announced on the weekly Idaho ARES HF SSB and Digi Nets, through October 25.


Event Objective:

1.     For ARES/RACES groups and individual operators throughout the state – To complete and report a “Census” of all Amateur Radio Operators in your County.  We wish to collect the Call Sign and the following “Census data elements”:

·        Actual contact was (or was not) made with the station listed

·        Operator is an ARES and/or RACES Member

·        Operator has UHF/VHF Capability

·        Operator has HF Capability

·        Operator has been On-Air sometime during the past 90 Days


2.     For “Idaho ARES Back Office” – To accumulate a tally of all unique Amateur Radio Call Signs received during the Census and compare to the known total Amateur Radio operator count in the State.


Census “Data Element Score”: Each data element counts for one point.  (The “score” is simply an attempt to evaluate the capability and activity level of stations reported.  This is not a competition between reporting stations.)


How To Report:  You may send your report(s) in segments during the event period, or as a single report when the Census is completed for your County.  “Dupes” are OK.  Send your report(s) to Ed Stuckey (AI7H) as “Traffic” on the weekly Idaho ARES HF SSB or Digi Nets; OR e-mail to arrl.idaho@gmail.com


Report Format: Organize as follows (see example in following paragraph)

Line 1 – Idaho SET 2018 – (Date in YYYYMMDD format) – (Your County Name), Line 2 – This is an Exercise,

followed by a list of Call Signs and “Census number”, one Call/number per line

Last Line – 73, Sending Station Call sign.


Report Example: 

Idaho SET 2018 – 20180927 – Kootenai
This is an Exercise

73 AI7H


How the “Census Number” is calculated (examples):

Someone from the local ARES group contacts a local ham (K7XYW) by telephone (or in person) to obtain her Census.  K7XYW has HF and VHF Capability, but is not an ARES/RACES member.  She has NOT been on the air in the past 90 days.  The Census is calculated as 1 for making contact with K7XYW, 1 for VHF and 1 for HF.  The report for this station is:

K7XYW 3 

A local ham (K7XYX) has heard about the Census, is a member of the local ARES group, and provides his Census information during a local net.  K7XYX has HF and VHF Capability, and he has been on the air within the past 90 days.  The Census is calculated as 1 for K7XYX being an ARES Member, 1 for ham-to-ham contact, 1 for VHF, 1 for HF, 1 for On-the-air during past 90 days.  The report for this station is:

K7XYX 5 

The local ARES group is madly looking for local hams to be included in the Census.  They use call sign lookup web sites and find call sign K7XYY.  No info for the station is listed on the web page and the ARES members are too timid to go to his house for an interview.  Since no information is known about this station, the Census is calculated as Zero.  The report for this station is:



·        For ARES groups: you may be able to recruit new ARES members during this exercise.  Share your information about Idaho ARES, give them the link to the idahoares.info webpage, invite them to register!

·        It is OK to report stations from an adjacent County or Counties if they have not been locally contacted.  “Dupes” are expected.

·        Don’t forget to include yourself in the Census!

Questions? – Contact any of the following:

Ed Stuckey (AI7H), (208) 699-7743 or ai7h.id@gmail.com;

Richard Dees (W7BOI), w7boi@arrl.net

Dan Marler (K7REX), (208) 914-9839 or k7rex@arrl.net