Advanced Communications
User Training
(ACUT)
New Hampshire Wing, CAP
Version 1.3
May 26, 2010
1Lt Tony Immorlica
Communications Training Officer
New Hampshire Wing
1
Advanced Communications User Training
(ACUT)
 CAP communication systems: standards and rationale
 Radio Basics:
 Familiarity with different radio modes (e.g. AM, FM, SSB)
 Radio Propagation and Frequency Bands (i.e. HF, VHF)
 Repeater Basics:
 Operation, use and restrictions
 Radio Operation –
 Model specific overview
 Calling Procedures
 Formal message preparation and handling
 Network operating procedures
It is assumed the student has read and is familiar with CAPR 100-1 and 100-3
2
ACUT Completion and Credit
 Prerequisite for this course: BCUT
 Successful completion of the ACUT requires passing an
open book test:
 Working knowledge of CAPR 100-1 and 100-3 is
assumed
 A passing score is 80%, corrected to 100%.
 No documentation is issued
 Trainee records accomplishment in personnel record
[CAPF 45 or CAPF 66]
 Instructor notifies Wing Licensing Officer of those
successfully completing ACUT training
3
CAP Radio Operator Authorization
Authorization is currently done in two phases:
1. Basic Communications User Training - BCUT

3-4 Hour Class on:
 Standard Operating Procedures
 Local Operating Procedures
 Entitles CAP member to operate a CAP Radio
 Issued a CAPF 76, Radio Operator Authorization by Wing or
higher headquarters
2. Advanced Communications User Training - ACUT




4-5 Hour Class
Pass the Advanced Communications User Test
Entitles CAP member to be assigned a call sign
Required as part of the Communications Specialty Track
NOTE: BCUT and ACUT will soon be replaced by a new Introductory
Communications Users Training [ICUT] course; release date is pending
4
Operation of CAP Radio Stations by
Unauthorized Personnel
 The operation of all CAP Radio Stations must
be under the direct supervision of a properly
authorized Civil Air Patrol radio operator.
 Pilots/co-Pilots must have taken BCUT
training as a minimum to operate CAP VHF
radios
5
CAP Radio Station Licensing
 CAP is considered a federal agency, thus its
Radio Stations are licensed by the National
Telecommunications and Information
Administration (NTIA)
 Public stations are licensed by the FCC
 Federal agencies are not allowed to use services
allocated exclusively to the public sector for their
business.
 This excludes the use of Amateur Radio and
Citizens Band for CAP business.
The regulation for all CAP Communications is CAPR 100-1
6
Assigned Call Signs
 Calls assigned to Individuals
 Call signs associated with Resources
 Aircraft
 Ground Vehicles
 Headquarters
 Tactical Call Signs
7
Aircraft Call Signs
 CAP corporate aircraft will use “CAP xxxx” (ex.
CAP 2869 pronounced “CAP twenty-eight sixtynine”) at all times.
 Member-owned aircraft may also use the CAP
call sign when on reimbursable missions.
 Flight Plans.
 The three-letter identifier “CAP” is used within the FAA computer
system in place of the spoken word “CAP.”
 For this reason, “CAP_______” will be used in place of the aircraft
tail number on flight plans.
 In the remarks section, the voice identifier “CAP________” must be
included as well as the tail number of the aircraft.
8
CAP Radio Tactical Call Signs
 At Certain Special Activities functional call signs may
be approved by the commander of the activity. These
would include
 SAR/DRA missions
 Encampments
 Incident Command System (ICS) operations
9
ES Mission Communications
 Communicators are needed for nearly all
ES missions in CAP, both SAR and DR.
 Scheduled radio check-in procedures
 Sending a position report
 Reporting a clue or a find
 Additional training is required to achieve
a Radio Operator emergency services
rating.
10
Out of Wing Operation
 Operation of mobile stations outside of the
wing in which they are licensed is
permitted.
 Operation on CAP frequencies in Canada
and Mexico is prohibited.
 Special limitations apply within 75 miles of
the Canadian border
 Check with the Director of Communications
before operating radios in those areas
11
Communicating with Other Agencies
Interagency operation on Non-CAP Frequencies
 CAP stations operating on non-CAP
frequencies must have written
authorization from the licensed agency.
 The radio must meet all requirements for
use in that band under FCC or NTIA
 Some agencies are requiring that we use
encryption
 A copy of the FCC license or the federal
authorization must also be obtained.
12
Interagency Operations
• CAP has Memorandums of Understanding
(MOU) with a number of agencies
On file at National Headquarters
–
–
–
–
AF MARS,
American Red Cross,
Salvation Army,
US Coast Guard Auxiliary
On file at NH Wing Headquarters
– NH Office of Emergency Management
– NH National Guard
– NH Fish and Game
Frequencies for Interagency Operation are programmed into
CAP Radios as appropriate – see Channel Plans
13
Concept of Operations
 CAP communications relies heavily on VHF-FM (very high
frequency-frequency modulation) because VHF provides
excellent, dependable, short-range communications.
VHF is readily adaptable to ground and air mobile
operations. We are developing digital voice and encryption
options that may be used in this mode.
 CAP is also licensed to operate on specific HF (high frequency)
bands, and utilizes Single sideband modulation (SSB). This
affords long distance, even world-wide contacts – but is highly
dependent on frequency and atmospheric conditions
 Aircraft radios operate on 118 to 137 MHz using Amplitude
Modulation (AM). Radio certificates are issued through the FAA
Standardized National Channelization
and Programming Plan
 VHF-FM operations by CAP is governed by
the Standardized National Channelization
and Programming Plan that has been
mandated in the CAPR 100-1.
 Compliance with this plan is mandatory for all
corporate radios.
 All CAP assigned radio frequencies are
designated “For Official Use Only”
CAP Assigned Frequencies: FOUO
For Official Use Only
 What FOUO isn’t
 What is FOUO
 A designation that there
is sensitive information
 Used when frequency
documentation is
needed in the
document
 Classification
 For use on every single
document
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Frequency information contained in this document is
designated by the Department of Defense (DoD) as
For Official Use Only (FOUO) and may
not be released to anyone without the prior permission
of NHQ and CAP-USAF.
16
Encryption
 Encrypted P25 transmissions of any kind are
permitted ONLY if advance authorization is
granted in writing by the NTC.
 Only approved keys provided by the NTC will
be used when we encrypt.
 When working with other agencies, CAP
must conform to that agency’s rules and
procedures for using encryption.
Radio Basics
18
Basics of Radio: Modulation
 To send a signal via radio, the radio modulates or
superimposes voice on a radio frequency. AM, FM and
SSB are just ways of sending voice information.
 CAP uses
 AM – amplitude modulation
 FM - frequency modulation, and
 SSB – single sideband
along with some “P25” digital modes.
 Normally, we use:
 AM on Aircraft Bands
 SSB on HF
 FM on VHF and UHF
19
Frequency Modulation
FM
 FM is used by CAP for VHF radios in vehicles, aircraft,
walkie-talkies and base stations, for short range comms.
 The advantage is less static from ignition systems in
vehicles, and excellent audio quality.
 FM also has a “capture effect” where the strongest
station comes in over a weaker station. That is good
and bad.
 CAP also uses FM in the ISR UHF radios.
20
Single Sideband
SSB
 CAP uses SSB on HF
 SSB uses a very small bandwidth,
compared to AM and FM modes
 Used for L O N G Distance Comms
 HF Operation is specialized, but very
useful because it is very efficient
 Seek Special Training in HF, not included
in this course. Ask your Comm. Officer
21
Amplitude Modulation
AM
• Used in aircraft radios to communicate with ATC,
tower, other aircraft, airport operations, etc.
• Worldwide standard for aircraft communication
• Very old type of modulation first used in early
development of radio
• Tends to be noisy, easily interfered with. Allows
lots of static and ignition noise. Bad feature.
• Allows two stations to be heard over one another
– i.e. no capture effect as with FM. Good feature.
22
Basics of Radio -Propagation
 Radio propagation is a term used to explain how
radio waves behave when they are transmitted,
or are propagated from one point on the earth to
another
 There are many ways that waves propagate in
the atmosphere, including




Ground Waves
Sky Waves
Tropospheric Scattering
Line of Sight
 Propagation changes with frequency, time of
day, atmospheric conditions and sun spot activity
23
Ground Wave Propagation
 Surface or Ground waves follow the curvature of
the earth. Since the ground is not a perfect
electrical conductor, ground waves are
attenuated as they follow the earth’s surface.
 As frequency decreases, ground losses become
lower
 VLF (very low frequency) and LF (low frequency) are
mostly used for military communications, especially with
ships and submarines.
24
Skywave Propagation
 Skywave propagation, or “skip”, results from refraction of
radio waves in the ionosphere
 .
These layers are directly
affected by the sun, and its
varying activity (sunspot cycle)
determines the utility of these
modes
 Forecasting of skywave modes is of considerable
interest to amateur radio operators, commercial marine
and aircraft communications, and shortwave
broadcasters.
 A sudden ionospheric disturbance is often the result of
solar flares. Flares can disrupt HF radio propagation.
25
Line-of-Sight Propagation
 Above HF (30 MHz) most propagation is
line of sight – “if you can see it, you can
hear it”
 In some cases, VHF signals can be
received from reflections off of structures,
terrain, etc. increasing range
 Ground plane reflection effects are an
important factor in VHF line of sight
propagation.
26
Effect of Antenna on Propagation
 Two important factors for antennas:
 1. Directivity – function of antenna design
 2. Placement – height above ground and attitude
[horizontal or vertical]
 Antennas can be “omni-directional” [whips,
vertical antennas] or “directional” [beams,
requiring a rotator to point in a desired direction]
 Height above ground and attitude determines
the “take-off” angle and thus impacts skip
distance
27
Propagation - Summary
 Generally, you need not be overly concerned
about propagation but should be aware of the
limitations and advantages
 Hints… if you have trouble making contact:
 When operating VHF
 Move to higher ground or move your location
 Your handheld antenna should be held vertically
 When operating HF
 Change frequency
 Wire antennas close to the ground favor more local [e.g.
NER] reception
28
Basics of Radio: Spectrum
Wideband and Narrowband
 Radio spectrum is a national, albeit limited resource.
 Spectrum is governed by national policy and international agreements
 Most countries institute tight radio regulations for application of radio
spectrum.
Wideband
Signal
[used
prior to 1
OCT 09]
Narrowband
Signal
The amount of spectrum a particular signal occupies is a function of how
the RF carrier frequency is modulated to transfer meaningful information
Wideband on a Narrowband System
 Attempting to utilize a narrowband system with a
wideband only radio is a potentially dangerous act.
Plus, the Narrowband system will have extremely
degraded performance.
 Doing this cause harmful interference and presents a
serious safety situation to aircrews and other ground
teams.
 Attempting to access this system will cause dangerous
interference to not only the system you are attempting
to access but the adjacent channel users.
This should not be an issue if you use
only CAP assigned radios
CAP Radio Equipment
and Operation
31
Frequency Bands used by CAP
 VHF – Very High Frequency - is only capable of
line-of-site communications
 Buildings, mountains, leaves may interfere
 Higher an aircraft, the wider coverage
 2500’ AGL has an effective radius of 50 Miles
 HF - High Frequency - is capable of world wide
communication
 Strongly dependent on frequency, antenna, time
of day
32
Types of radios
 EF Johnson
 Base Radio
 Mobile Radio
 Portable
 Motorola
 HF
 ALE
 ICOM
 Aircraft Radios
 Aircraft use two types:
 AM – used mostly by
pilots to communicate
with Air Traffic Control
 FM – used primarily by
Mission Observer to
communicate with
Mission Base
 ISR
33
Air-band vs. CAP Radios
What’s different
 Authorization
 Air-band Radios are licensed by the FCC through the FAA
 Pilots operate under a radio certificate tied to tail number
 CAP mission base has a blanket authorization to operate
 CAP Radios are licensed by the NTIA through the Air Force
 CAP Radio Stations must be under the direct supervision of a properly authorized Civil
Air Patrol radio operator [i.e. have had BCUT as a minimum]
 Modulation
 Air-band: AM
 CAP: FM
 CAP radio transmissions may also be digital [P25] and encrypted
 Frequencies
 Air-band: open and disclosed to public
 CAP: designated “For Official Use Only” –
 Cannot be publically disclosed, should not say “on the air”
 Not available through the Freedom of Information Act
34
Model Specific Information
 These next few overview slides go into basic radio
functions and operations for the:
 E.F. Johnson - 5300 Series Mobiles
 E.F. Johnson - 5100 Handhelds
 Technisonic - TDFM-136 FM Aircraft Radio
 Tait - T-2020 Mobiles (Analog Only 100 Channels Maximum, Mission
Support Radio)
 NAT - NPX-136 Aircraft Radio (Analog Only 100 Channels
Maximum, to be replaced with Technisonic TDFM-136)
Manuals for most of these radios can be downloaded at
https://ntc.cap.af.mil/comm/downloads.cfm
Before operating any of these radios, seek
specific instruction and read the manual!
EF Johnson 5300 Series Mobile
1 - Power Switch / Volume
The On /Off and Volume control
knob is located on the left under
display screen; push the knob for
on/off, rotate for volume control.
2, 6 & 8 – non functional
4 - Zone / Channel
Selector Knob
Push in to
alternate between
Zones and channel
selection. Rotate
knob to scroll up
5
6
or down within the
3
channel / zone
2
bank.
5 – Squelch On/Off
7 – Scan
5+9 – hold and rotate 4 to
change display angle
1
7
9
8
4
3 - The light above the Hi / Low power switch shows
RED when you transmit, GREEN when the
frequency is in use.
EF Johnson 5100 Series Handheld
6
1
2
2
5
15
16
17
4
7
11 18 12
10
1
3
14
13
8
2
5
4
6
1 – Power On / Off and Volume
2 – Channel Selector
3 – Antenna Connection Port
4 – Keypad LOCK Button
5 – Not Programmed
6 – Transmit / Receive Light
7 – Speaker Mic. Connection
8 – PTT Button
9 - Speaker
10 – Microphone
11 – Not Programmed
12 – Not Programmed
13 – Not Programmed
14 – Not Programmed
15 – Not Programmed
16 – Not Programmed
17 – Light
18 – Up / Down Zones
9
Technisonic Model TDFM-136
Aircraft VHF FM Radio
1 – On / Off – Volume
2 – Channel Display
3 - Display Brighter
4 – Display Dimmer
5 – Channel Memory Scroll
Down
6 – Channel Memory Scroll Up
7 – Enter
8 – Guard Select Switch
9 – Transmit Select for Main
[upper display] or “Guard”
[lower display]
2
1
3
5
9
8
7
6
4
Notes:
• To select and view CAP channel designators, push tone
pad Button “1/CHAN” NOT “ 7/FREQ.”
• Audio for both upper and lower displayed channels will
be heard simultaneously
TAIT T-2020 Mobile
1 - POWER SWITCH and Volume Control
2 -Channel Selection, use keypad to the right of the display
screen. Channels 1-16 are the common simplex
channels and mobile repeaters ( to be assigned by CUL).
For Channel 1 thru 16 selection (refer to channel chart) can
be obtained by pushing a number button on the key pad
AND the “enter” key.
Example
I want channel
10, press (1)
and (zero) then
(ENTER). For
Ch 2, Press ( 2)
and (enter)
3 - Channel Up
4 – Channel Down
5 – ENTER Button
1
2
5
3
4
National Airborne Technologies
- NPX-138
1
5
2
4
1 - On / Off
2 – Channel Up / Down – (Toggle Left or Right)
3 – Squelch (Press In)
4 – Screen Brightness
5 - Always Leave on (ID)
3
Repeaters
41
Voice Operating Modes
 Simplex
Simplex vs. Duplex
 Transmit and receive on
the same frequency
 Buildings, terrain,
altitude
 Duplex
Transmit on one
frequency and receive on
another
Single Frequency One Station at a
Time
R
T
Two Frequencies One Station at a Time
 Repeaters – Duplex mode
 Used to extend coverage and
get over obstacles
Repeater increases the range of mobile
stations due to its high profile location
42
Inside the Repeater
Repeater will turn on its transmitter only if
the Tone Decoder hears a repeater specific
tone
Transmit
Frequency
Tone
Repeater
Receiver
Tone Decoder
The Tone Decoder
“listens” for tones on
the incoming signal
Voice
PTT
Repeater
Transmitter
Receive
Frequency
“Mike Button”
The Tone Decoder
“presses” the Push
To Talk (PTT) button
to turn on the
transmitter.
43
NER REPEATER LOCATIONS
There are 64 NBFM Compliant Repeaters In the CAP North East Region
Geographically Defined Restrictions on
CAP VHF Frequencies*
 Because of the international agreements between Canada
and the U.S., CAP must restrict its operations on certain
CAP frequencies when within 75 nm miles of the
international border.
 Operators entering those areas should make themselves
aware of any restrictions in effect.
 Aircraft Operations are restricted to channels Air 1 or
CAPGUARD ONLY and are limited to 3,000 ft AGL.
 We are permitted to operate up to 12.5KFT ONLY WITH USAF
MISSION AUTHORIZATION
*
Note: Restrictions do not apply to other interagency
communications such as Fish & Game, Forest Service
Aircraft use of Repeaters
 Primary mode of operation should be simplex
 Only use the repeater if simplex is not possible.
 Within 75 miles of the Canadian border use of
CAP VHF assigned frequencies prohibited above
3000 ft. AGL
Note: Aircraft may use repeaters when on the ground
46
NH Wing Communications
47
NHWG VHF Communications
 NH Wing maintains 6 VHF repeaters at fixed locations plus
two portable units
 Location of the fixed repeaters were chosen such that all
squadrons have access to at least one
 Derry, Laconia, Ascutney, Lebanon, Littleton, Keene,
 In addition we have:
 “Portable” – repeater currently based in Portsmouth
 “Highbird” – utilized by aircraft assigned by the IC*
 VHF Frequencies [Channels] are programmed to show
the repeater location [Tag], not the frequency
* Requires an ACUT qualification
48
CAP VHF Radio Frequencies
 CAP Frequencies are FOUO
 Thus, CAP radios are programmed to display the
specific designator for each programmed channel, for
example
Designator:
 CC-1
 CC-2
 AIR-1
 AIR-2
 CAPGUARD
 TAC-1
Function/Usage:
Command/Control 1
Command/Control 2
Air/Ground 1
Air Ops 2
Calling Channel
Tactical 1
49
CAPGUARD
VHF
 A Guard channel is a common VHF channel monitored
by all units to allow short-term contact, regardless of
what other operational channels the station may be
using.
 The channel designated “CAPGUARD” [FORMER
LABEL WAS GUARD 1] is restricted to use ONLY for
calling and then immediately moving to another
channel.
All CAP stations should maintain a constant
listening watch on CAPGUARD
to the maximum extent possible.
NHWG VHF Channels / Zones
 EF Johnson RS5300 Radios operates on 16 Zones, each
having a 16 Channel capability
 NHWG uses Zones 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7
 Remaining zones are used nationally
 Use of Zones:
 Zone 2 – primary analog channels
 Zone 6 – duplicate of Zone 2 in a digital mode [more secure]
 Zone 3 – Northeast Region repeaters
 Zone 4 – NH Forestry
 Zone 7 - Coast Guard and Weather Channels
 Zones/Channels to be used for a specific mission will be
assigned by the Incident Commander
51
NHWG VHF Channel Plan
VHF Channel Plans vary with different radio models
Zone 2
The following example is for : EF Johnson series RS5300 radios. Each “Zone”
has 16 channels and the radio has 16 zones for a total of 256 channels!:
Channel
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
CC1
CC2
AIR 1
AIR 2
CAP GUARD
TAC 1
DERRY
LACONIA
ASCUTNEY
LEBANON
LITTLETON
KEENE
HIGH BIRD
PORTABLE
Fish and Game
SANFORD
Command and Control
Command and Control
Aircraft Channel
Aircraft Channel
Universal Calling Channel
Ground Channel
NHWG Repeater
NHWG Repeater
NHWG Repeater
NHWG Repeater
NHWG Repeater
NHWG Repeater
Airborne Relay Station
NHWG Repeater
Used for Liaison only
Used for Fire Patrol
 Aircraft Radios do not use Zones
 – channels are numbered sequentially from 1 to ~256
 You must become familiar with the Channel Plan in the radio you 52
are operating!
Identifying Your Transmit Frequency
VHF
 On your initial VHF transmission, use the Alpha
designator for the channel/frequency you are
using
 – ex. This is Abenaki 45 on TAC-1
 DO NOT use channel numbers
 these may be different for different model radios
 DO NOT say frequencies
 these are FOUO
 DO NOT say “on VHF,” “on FM, “ or “on Foxtrot
Mike”
 stations may be scanning or monitoring several
different channels simultaneously
53
CAP HF Channel Plan
 All operations are simplex
 Frequencies are designated by two alpha
characters
 First letter denotes primary usage
 A = National
 N = Northeast Region
 NE Region frequencies
 NA, NB and NC
 Frequencies can be found on-line
 Password protected, FOUO
54
HF - ALE
 Automatic Link Establishment
 Suite of HF frequencies
 Constant scanning, and sounding at regular intervals
 Other stations here the sounding, and remember
which frequency it was heard on
 When an operator calls a station, the unit goes to the
frequency it last heard the best quality signal for that
station
 If it can’t establish a link, it will start searching the
other frequencies in the suite
Search and Rescue
Aircraft Communications
 Air-Ground Communications on aircraft
frequencies
 Aeronautical Search And Rescue Stations
(SAR) Operate on two Aircraft Frequencies




122.9 MHz - TRAINING Only
123.1 MHz - ACTUAL Missions Only
121.5 MHZ – ELT and Emergency
121.75 MHZ – Training
56
Operating Procedures
57
PROWORDS
Prowords are a special set of words used for
clarity and brevity in communications.
Some of the most commonly used prowords are:









THIS IS
ROGER
OVER
OUT
WAIT
SAY AGAIN
CORRECTION
WILCO
AFFIRMATIVE
Preface to your call sign
Last transmission received OK
I’m done, go ahead
I’m done, bye
I will be back in a few seconds
Say that again
Oops! I really meant to say
ROGER and I will comply
Yes
58
Phonetic Alphabet & Numbers
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
Alpha
Bravo
Charlie
Delta
Echo
Foxtrot
Golf
Hotel
India
Juliet
Kilo
Lima
Mike
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z
November
Oscar
Papa
Quebec
Romeo
Sierra
Tango
Uniform
Victor
Whiskey
X-Ray
Yankee
Zulu
Pronunciation
of Numbers
1
WUN
2
TOO
3
TREE
4
FO-WER
5
FIFE
6
SIX
7
SEVEN
8
ATE
9
NINER
0
ZERO
59
I SPELL / FIGURES / INITIALS
 Use “I SPELL” for pronounceable words
 Example: LODI
 “I SPELL LODI LIMA OSCAR DELTA INDIA LODI”
 Use “FIGURE(S)” AND “INITIAL(S)” for non-words
 Example: N516F
 “INITIAL NOVEMBER FIGURES FIVE ONE SIX INTIAL FOXTROT”
CORRECTIONS
 Use proword “CORRECTION”
Example:
“… Turn right at next corner … CORRECTION Turn left at next corner…”
60
SENDING NUMBERS
 Use Prowords “FIGURES”, “DECIMAL”, “TIME”, “INITIALS”
Digit-by-Digit Not
“Seven Fifty”
750
“FIGURES SEVEN FIVE ZERO”
Niner
Not Nine
849
“FIGURES EIGHT FOUR NINER”
Decimal
Point
14.5
“FIGURES ONE FOUR DECIMAL FIVE”
Z Time
1635Z
“TIME ONE SIX THREE FIVE ZULU”
Initial And
Figures
E21
“INITIAL ECHO FIGURES TWO ONE”
One Figure
and Initial
3-A
“FIGURE THREE DASH INITIAL ALPHA”
61
Calling Another Station
 To Establish Contact
 “Abenaki 11 THIS IS Abenaki 85 on Derry* OVER”
 Response
 “Abenaki 85 THIS IS Abenaki 11 OVER”
 If the station does not answer after a second call:
 STATION NOT HEARD, THIS IS Abenaki 85 OUT.
 This lets other stations know the frequency is available.
 No need to use call signs until communications
are complete
 On Closing the Contact
 Abenaki 85 OUT”
Always end a transmission with OVER or OUT
NOT BOTH!
*Say the Alpha designator for the channel you are using on initial call
62
Nobody Hears Me!
Choose a Good Communications Site.
 High ground (the higher the antenna,
the better).
 VHF is line of site.
 Stay away from interference
generators
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High power lines
Power Transformers
Underground Cables
Computers (even in the field)
Other radios on different frequencies
63
Nobody Hears Me, STILL!
Common Problems & Solutions
 Operator Failure! (This is the most
common cause!)
 Make sure you are following normal procedures and briefings.
 Check the radio
 Is the radio turned on, correct channel, and volume up?
 Is the battery good? (Replace with a charged battery)
 Switch to a repeater, if available
 Ask for a relay (from aircraft if available)
 Move to higher ground or another location
64
Message Handling
Message Traffic
 Categories of Traffic
 Formal Traffic
 Administrative Traffic
 Informal Traffic
66
Sending A Formal Message
 Originator writes message of CAPF 4
(Message Form)
 Operator sends the message over the
appropriate net (local, wing, region, etc. - Whichever assures
fastest delivery)
 When transmitting the message the
operator speaks slowly and clearly so that
the receiving station has time to write the
message completely.
 When finished, ask if fills are needed and
provide them.
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CAP Radio Message Form
 Elements of CAP Form 4
 Precedence
 Routine
 Priority
 DTG "TIME" or "DATE-TIME GROUP"
 FROM
 TO
 INFO
 TEXT OF MESSAGE
68
Message Body & Record Time
Body or text of message
Originator states the message clearly and briefly
Radio Station Operator Information
Fill in time of:
 receipt
or
 transmission
69
Header Information
 Originator of Message (From)
Name of the headquarters of the originator, a slant Bar (/). And
the originator Office symbol, name and / or duty.
Example:
From: HQ NHWG /CC
From: Amitrano Squadron /Capt. Dolittle, Safety Officer
 Addressee (TO)
The unit and name and/or office symbol of the addressee.
Example:
To: HQ Northeast Region / CC
To: All Units NHWG
 Copies To (Information)
All additional units and/or personnel who the originator desires to
receive a copy of the message.
70
Date-Time Group
16 0218Z APR 98
Date
Time
Month
Year
Date and Time in ZULU
ZULU - Designates that time is UTC
(Universal Coordinated Time)
Z = EST + 5 hours
Z = EDT + 4 hours
71
Draft Message
Draft this message on some scrap paper first, then when you
have stated it in a short, clear and concise fashion, transcribe
it onto a CAP message form.
It is Thursday, 2 June 1998 at 10:00 AM, Eastern Standard
Time. You operate the Condor Composite Squadron Radio
Station, Abenaki 141, in the New Hampshire Wing. A few
minutes ago your squadron commander, Captain Smith,
asked you to send a routine message to the Wing Director of
Operations requesting he schedule orientation flights for 10
cadets of your squadron for one day on the weekend of 12/13
July if possible.
72
Passing the Message
Later that same day (2 JUN) you
participate in your Wing's VHF/FM Net
at 7:00 PM (EDT).
You check into the net and “with traffic” with the net control
station, Abenaki 15, your Routine message for Abenaki 4.
Abenaki 4 has also joined the net.
Soon the Net Control Station (NCS) directs you to send your
routine message to Abenaki 4. You do, and he accepts it.
The NCS closes the net at 2329 Z (Log the net closed time.)
After receiving the message completely and getting any required
fills, the receiving operator acknowledges with "I acknowledge
receipt of your 010340Z APR 04 (or whatever the DTG is), OVER".
73
Repetitions
Before an operator can give a receipt for a message. he must have
correctly received the complete message.
When any portion is missed, the operator must ask for a “fill”.
When words are missed or doubtful, repetitions will be requested by the
receiving station(s) before receipting for the message as follows: the
prowords SAY AGAIN in conjunction with
"ALL BEFORE ______", "ALL AFTER ______",
"ALL AFTER ______ and ALL BEFORE",
"WORD BEFORE ______" or "WORD AFTER_"
In complying with requests for repetition the transmitting station will
identify the portion being repeated as follows:
"I SAY AGAIN ALL BEFORE ______",
"I SAY AGAIN ALL AFTER ______",
"I SAY AGAIN ALL AFTER and ALL BEFORE ______", etc.
74
Communication Nets
Communication Nets
• Purpose of Nets
– Pass Traffic (information) from Wing or Higher
Headquarters to subordinate units
– Pass Traffic (information) from subordinate units to
Wing or Higher Headquarters
• Categories of Traffic
– Formal
– Informal
– Administrative
• A Formal Net is established to control the flow of traffic
on a single radio channel. There are two primary net
types in CAP
– Directed Nets
– Free Nets
76
Net Control Station (NCS)
 Controls and directs the flow of radio
traffic within their Net
 Is primarily responsible for net discipline.
77
NCS script
 Each wing has its own Net script
 Roll call
 a list of call signs
 by Group, in some wings
78
Radio Net Operation
• A Formal Net is established to control the
flow of traffic on a single radio channel
• The Net Control Station (NCS) maintains net
discipline by controlling who is talking
• The NCS must be contacted first for
permission to contact another station
• Sample Net Check-in (Abenaki 14 is the
NCS):
– “Abenaki 14, THIS IS Abenaki 404 with no
traffic, over”
79
Formal Nets
Directed Nets
 In this net, stations obtain permission from the net
control station (NCS) prior to communicating with other
stations.
 The net is often started with a roll call. The purpose of
the roll call is to determine which members are
monitoring the Net.
 Each station identifies itself, as called, with its CAP
assigned tactical call sign
 Following roll call, transmission of traffic occurs.
Free Net
Net Control Station (NCS) authorizes member stations to
transmit traffic to other stations in the net without
obtaining prior permission from the net control station.
Free net operation does not relieve the control station of
the responsibility for maintaining circuit discipline
80
Radio Nets - Contacting Another Station
Abenaki 14
NCS
1
Abenaki 401
2
3
Abenaki 404
• All transmissions must receive permission from the
Net Control Station (NCS)
1 - “Abenaki 14, THIS IS Abenaki 401 with traffic for Abenaki 404 OVER”
2 - “Abenaki 401, Contact Abenaki 404 with your traffic, OUT”
3 - “Abenaki 404, THIS IS Abenaki 401, OVER”
81
Break-in Procedures
 Only emergency or urgent traffic justifies
break-in procedures.
 A station wishing to break in will transmit
at the pause with his/her station call sign.
 The word "Break" is not used as a breakin proword. This proword is used solely
to separate message text from other
portions of the message.
82
Distress and Emergency Signals
MAYDAY
PAN PAN
SECURITE
Distress
Urgency
Safety
}
Supersedes all
Priority or
Routine Traffic
Operator Responsibility
#1
#2
#3
LISTEN
Be Prepared to Assist
Do NOT Transmit Unless Your
Services are Needed
83
PROHIBITED Operating
Practices
 Violation of Radio Silence
 Personal Conversation
 Transmitting in a Net without permission
of NCS
 Lack of identifying call sign
 Excessive tuning and testing
 Use of Amateur Radio or Citizens Band
frequencies for CAP business
84
Safety Concerns
 Route wires and cables out of traffic areas
 Properly ground all equipment - Make sure it is the path of
least resistance.
 If you see a 110VAC plug with the 3rd prong missing, get the cord
replaced before using the equipment.
 Lightning precautions
 Have lightning arrestors on all antennas
 During electrical storm, disconnect antenna from equipment
and connect to ground
 Locate antenna away from electrical wires and people.
 If you touch a HF antenna when someone is transmitting, you
will get RF burns
 Make sure your antennas are secure
 On a roof, make sure the roof has limited access, and that no
one can accidently trip or run into it
 On a tower – make sure only authorized people can access
the tower (commercial sites are pretty good about that, but
what about your home?)
85
Mission Skills
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Sending a Position Report
Steps to regain communications
Reporting a find
Reporting a Clue
Employing Appropriate Frequencies
Conducting Scheduled Check-ins
Choosing a good Communications Site
Knowledge of Plans and Procedures
Message Handling Procedures
Communications Safety Procedures
86
Communications
Awards, Activities and
Programs
•The Communicator Badge
•The Senior Communicator Badge
•The Master Communicator Badge
See CAPR 100-1 for more details
Cadet Eligibility for
Communicator Badge
 Cadets are encouraged to pursue
each level of the communicator
badges. To do so, cadets must meet
all of the training requirements listed
in the appropriate section of CAPP
214 with the exception of the portions
specifically intended for the senior
member training program.
88
Questions
89
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CAP Basic Communications Users Class