Sunday, February 16, 2020

Emergency Communications Center - Dominica Amateur Radio Club Site

Dominica Amateur Radio Club Inc. DARCI
Restoring the Club Site after Hurricane Maria
January 2020

David and Gaynell Larsen - Directors of the "Foundation for Amateur International Radio Service" (FAIRS) visited Dominica to assist DARCI in late January 2020 and  here are some of our activities. Many have assisted DARCI in recovering from Maria . A lot of amateur radio work is still needed - if you would like to help give me a call 540-392-2392.

click on photo to enlarge
DARCI  club members holding
donated equipment in front
of club house
Club members David J79USA, Tony J73TP, Gilbert J72GPG, Clement J73CPL - holding talkies and other equipment donated by Jay Wilson at Disaster Emergency Response Association (DERA). Photo taken in front of restored club house.
The building is made from two shipping containers with a truss roof  and a nice room between the containers. The roof was also destroyed by hurricane Maria.

Inside club house used for meetings
and teaching ham radio classes.
Gaynell J79WW & Clement J79CPL.
You can see the 2 containers with roof overhead with the room between containers. The room is very useful for meetings and other gatherings.

Solar panels are on the roof for off the grid operation during storms and power outages. The battery backup charged by the solar panels is below ground in a hardened container. The club also just buried the main power connection to the grid for a better chance of main power not failing.

Outdoor shelter at DARCI
 received heavy
damage from Maria .
Wood was salvaged from this shelter and used to repair the roof of main club house. The repair of this shelter will have to wait until the club has funds to do the work

You can see that the outdoor shelter was also damaged along with part of the security fence being blown over.

New  beam antenna
just installed on tower
at club house.
Gilbert J72GPG is the maintenance officer and he and Tony repaired the rotator  and a new triband beam. New coax feed line was installed making the antenna system operational as new.  The tower did withstand the hurricane so it did not have to be replaced.

The 50 foot tower at the home of J73CPL where Gaynell and I stay while in Dominica was totally destroyed by Maria. We need some help to get a new tower and beam up at that location in Wotten Waven.

Adding a dipole
antenna to club

Gilbert with Gaynell J79WW holding the ladder for Gilbert to install a dipole antenna over the club house.

Operating Position  J73Z  at
 the club house in
the container.

Gilbert using his talents to repair the antenna rotator. This is also the operating position for club call J73Z. This is the container on the right side of building. The container on the left side is used for equipment and supply storage.

The club house also has bathrooms and  showers built into the building just to the right side of this container.

Clement J73CPL president of the
DARCI with three club members.

There is a lot interest recently from members of  the Dominica Association of Persons with Disabilities (DAPD) to become members of  DARCI  and assisting with emergency communications.  Several DAPA members have already joined DARCI and are helping to operate as net control for the regular morning mobile net.
The club has been asked to do some amateur radio training for DAPD in Dominica and I am sure this will result with more DARCI members.  These members can make significant contributions to the Radio club.

"by David Larsen"  Chantilly Farm owner, Computer Historian, and amateur radio operator -KK4WW   & N4USA .  I work out of one of the Tiny Homes at Chantilly Farm. A great place to work if you like the to be out in nature. I am 81 and ready to sell Chantilly Farm - I have a few more  projects I would like to do - if you have an interest to know more give me a call. 540 392 2392

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