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New Weather Spotting Network

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WhatsnOKC

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A storm spotter network is being developed on UHF which will eventually be statewide, liked through various PL tones. Currently, there are some licensing issues / interference being found with several of the sites. The Oklahoma City site is the only one online and the only one which should be listed at this time. The system is being built and used by Alltel radio technicians for trouble shooting their cellular sites. However, when there are storms, the focus shifts to weather. FOX-25 television plays an active roll in giving out radar reports on the OKC frequency. An application to become a member of the network is listed on the website below.

See http://www.k5rwx.com/emcom.htm for more details (again, the other listed frequencies are not operational at this time). At least 12 UHF repeaters are scheduled, with an upcoming Amateur radio repeater in Crescent (also under construction).

Emergency Communications Network Association, Inc. (Non Profit)
RX 463.900 91.5 PL TX 468.900 WQEU351 Oklahoma City Metro
 

mfolta1

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that will be excellent! i remember the buffalo link,,that was a tight wx net and i miss it. hopefully this new one will last forever....
 

peterjmag

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Yeah those were the days. I hope we get a repeater here in Tulsa. It will be nice to listen to wx reports without the local "okie" reports of rain and "heavy" lightning. I hope this system maintains a professional type usage. Looking forward to it! Thanks for the post!


P.J. Maguire
 

dbestfirefighter

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who gives the weather reports at FOX25? a ham (i hope)? or is it some stressed out weather producer. Why did you locate it at FOX? You should have at least tried it with a station that has more viewers. I dont know how informative it will be to the public if your target viewers are kids watching the Simpons or King of the Hill. JM2C
 
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CommShrek

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peterjmag said:
Yeah those were the days. I hope we get a repeater here in Tulsa. It will be nice to listen to wx reports without the local "okie" reports of rain and "heavy" lightning. I hope this system maintains a professional type usage. Looking forward to it! Thanks for the post!


P.J. Maguire
PJ, I am shocked. I can not believe that you of all people would come in here and complain about the local "okie" reports. :) :lol:
 

N5MRK

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I was thinking the same thing.... Thats exactly what ham radio is. Except ham radio is already established and is linked with the NWS. I don't see the difference or the need other than for the benifit of Fox 25.
 

WhatsnOKC

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Questions Answered

Cop_pmed stated:
"I am curious as to why the Crescent repeater will be a 2 meter when all the other repeaters will be 70cm?"

Crescent also will have a UHF commercial one. As I understand it, some other ham repeaters may be commissioned as space/time/money allows.


dbestfirefighter stated:
who gives the weather reports at FOX25? a ham (i hope)? or is it some stressed out weather producer. Why did you locate it at FOX? You should have at least tried it with a station that has more viewers. I dont know how informative it will be to the public if your target viewers are kids watching the Simpons or King of the Hill. JM2C

The weekend weathercaster, who is a ham, does. It was located at FOX after at least one of the other big stations turned down the opportunity to hub it for the time being. The hope is all of the OKC tv stations will eventually come online and play a part in sharing information. I realize this is somewhat unlikely but we can always hope. Currently, reports received over the frequency are relayed to the NWS via their web page or a phone call, but ham radio is also an option. When FOX25 gets busy, one of the volunteers on the radio frequency usually gives radar reports. The benefit is just as much to the NWS as it is to any TV station that volunteers - more information.


ShawnCowden posted:
"I though ham radio was suppose to do that ? Is ham ticket required ?"

No - and that's one of the reasons the network is being developed. They're looking for competent, experienced spotters who have taken the NWS spotter training course. You don't need to be an Emergency Manager or HAM radio operator, so this opens the field up to get a lot more storm damage reports in to the NWS that otherwise might be missed by someone who just went out and videotaped or witnessed it.


N5MRK posted:
"I was thinking the same thing.... Thats exactly what ham radio is. Except ham radio is already established and is linked with the NWS. I don't see the difference or the need other than for the benifit of Fox 25."

The NWS network is a liason network. It's not meant for individual storm spotters to give reports on. It is meant as a hub network to allow one representative from a storm spotter network to relay their reports to the NWS. This cuts down on the traffic the NWS meteorologist has to listen and respond to, especially when numerous spotters are reporting general observations and not a report which would qualify to be included in a LSR (Local Storm Report).
 

dbestfirefighter

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Hate to burst your bubble but KOCO has done that for years.... On the best 70cm machine in the state.......
 

rdale

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"You should have at least tried it with a station that has more viewers."

What does the number of viewers have to do with the ability of a meteorologist to give radar reports?
 

dbestfirefighter

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Who said anything about ability??? It just makes sense to be networked to a TV station that has at least a decent market share of the viewing audience. So as to inform the public about severe weather faster..Im guessing thats what we are all doing by storm spotting right? Whether you talk to a net controller via NWS who inturn REQUEST an imediate broadcast bulletin to your local tv station's or just report to a tv station running a weather net. JM2C
 

N5MRK

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WhatsnOKC said:
The NWS network is a liason network. It's not meant for individual storm spotters to give reports on. It is meant as a hub network to allow one representative from a storm spotter network to relay their reports to the NWS. This cuts down on the traffic the NWS meteorologist has to listen and respond to, especially when numerous spotters are reporting general observations and not a report which would qualify to be included in a LSR (Local Storm Report).
Just seems pointless to me. Its kind of like putting another Walmart in a town that has 6 walmarts. Of course... i wouldn't doubt walmart would do such a thing... okay bad example.
 

K5MAR

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It's possible this could be a good thing, let's not dismiss it before it even starts. A lot will depend on the implementation.

I might have heard this being discussed on a ham repeater sometime back, by any chance is Bryan DeHart associated with this system? Can't remember his callsign, but as I recall he was one of the hams discussing it that day.

Mark S.
 

WhatsnOKC

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Yes Mark you probably did hear him talking about it. He was the primary radar contact on "the best 70 cm machine in the state." Now he's on the new EMCOM system, along with many of the spotters that were on the 70 cm machine mentioned above. The 70 cm machine is pretty quiet nowdays. I enjoy listening when he's on the radio -- he gives out a ton of detailed information that really helps make decisions on knowing which storm to watch, especially when there are numerous ones going on at the same time.

I don't think FOX cares who runs the network, they just are an active partner in it right now and probably see it as a source of information. I bet at least one of the other stations is listening in too.

Speaking of the "6 Wal*marts" theory, as far as I have heard from scanning, there are no organized, active storm spotter groups anymore in central Oklahoma. The closest thing to an organized network is down in southwest Oklahoma run by KB5LLI and the Southwest Independent Repeater Association, tied into the NWS network. Hobart and Altus EOC have done a substantial amount of hubbing over the years. For central Oklahoma, nowdays it's mostly quiet, even on the NWS net. You hear people acknowledge Norman, but not that many reports come in usually. In many events this past summer, it was quiet and in fact the repeater was either down or the PL tone changed and nobody knew it. You'll always hear more coming out of Southwest Okla. Sure there are ham radio groups in OKC that do it, but most of them are interested in general non-weather chatter, often talking about various topics even when storms are brewing. From what I can tell, there have not been any organized storm spotter networks of any substantial size reporting on the radio in Central Oklahoma since back when Bryan ran the Oklahoma County network in the 1980s and 90s. Hopefully, that's about to change.
 

dbestfirefighter

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"70cm machine is pretty quiet these days" unless you have a p25 radio... :) Let me propose a question...why is it he doesnt do radar updates at the the other stations anymore.....hummm. You will find out in due time.... Hope your project works out for the best.
 
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CommShrek

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dbestfirefighter said:
"70cm machine is pretty quiet these days" unless you have a p25 radio... :) Let me propose a question...why is it he doesnt do radar updates at the the other stations anymore.....hummm. You will find out in due time.... Hope your project works out for the best.
Hey if you know something share it with us. :)
 

rwhitman

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EMCOM NET Information

My name is Rick Whitman, K5RWX, I am the Director / President of The Emergency Communications Network Association, Inc. (sorry for the long name, you get lawyers involved for name rights and 501(c)(3) classification and you get a name that long).

I’ll try to answer some of the questions,

We had in mind the Buffalo Link when we started working on the network and decided to implement it on commercial frequencies so that emergency managers or whomever that did not have or want to get a ham license could use the net.

The Crescent repeater is on 2 meter because ORSI advised it would be easier to coordinate that band there and other areas we are looking at.

As for Fox 25 they were the first we contacted to give reports, any and all stations are welcome, but from previous discussions I am not sure the stations in OKC will work together again, I say this because we had them on the Oklahoma County Emergency Management net years ago, and the competition is getting to strong between stations.

I am a member of the Oklahoma County Emergency Management, unit 980, and have been for almost 20 years.

About the KOCO net, we are the people that started that net, same thing different location.

As for the station with more viewers, we are not going for ratings, we are running a radio network for public safety, we need people to give radar data, and a lot of the time the net may not be ran from Fox 25 on any TV station. Any reports that are in the severe criteria are reported to the National Weather Service.

FYI: Bryan DeHart’s new call is K5GSM.

We need any and all input, so any question or comments are welcome.
 
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