From a Cook County ARES training article 01/26/2011 by Neil R. Ormos
Modified and adapted on 12/2020 by Earl Pack, AE5PA.

Over the years amateur operator will generally acquire multiple radios, particularly as one servers in emergency communications and public service event activities and sees the need for different radios with different capabilities for these various activities. Typically these radios are mutli-band with frequency capabilities in the VHF and UHF bands. One might have a base station, a mobile radio in one or more vehicles, and a few HTs.

Following are some suggestions for managing programmed memory channel to maximize your readiness and versatility in emergency communication and public service events.

  1. Allocate memory channels you are most likely to use in emergency communication responses and public service activities into ‘banks’ according to your served agency and/or public service activities. For example agency A in memory locations 10-19 and agency B in locations 20-29.
    1. Program the principal channels used by each agency or event into a specific bank of memories. Some agencies use common frequencies so this may mean you have duplication of channels but the convenience and speed of access could make this a smart plan. Radios today generally have hundreds of memory channels so this is not a problem.
    2. Another option is to program each frequency only once and keep a spreadsheet of the programmed channels with your radio. Then you can simply identify the event specific frequency and write down the associated memory channel on the incident action plan for the event you are working. This option may make it a little slower to switch from one channel to another.
  2. If you have APRS capability, program in the digipeater frequency.
  3. If you have Winlink capability, program in the various packet station frequencies you may be called upon to utilize.
  4. Allocate memory locations for public service, impromptu, or temporary activities.
  5. Use the lower-numbered channels as much as possible so that the memory locations can be the same on all radios, even those radios that have fewer memories.
  6. Once you have this planned out, program all of your radios the same way. This way you only have to remember one channel plan for all of your radios. Having compact groups that are well organized makes it easy for you to find what you need quickly. It also makes it easy to change to a different radio if there is a technical problem or failure.

The Harris County ARES web site has a “Frequencies” link at the top of the screen. This link takes you to:

  • Regional HF Nets
  • Local Nets
  • Frequencies used by the units for weekly nets and in the event of a deployment.
  • Two meter repeaters within 100 miles or so of Houston
  • All repeaters within 100 miles or so of Houston
  • Harris County digital frequency
  • Harris County programing guide
  • South Texas EOC’s

That concludes tonight’s training. Are there any questions, comments or suggested additions to this material?

Thanks, this is (callsign) clear to net control.