Operation Earwax: LCSA Deployment Exercise 23-24 June

evought's picture

This month, the Lawrence County Sheriff's Auxiliary will have its first field deployment exercise, Operation Earwax, timed to coincide with the National Amateur Radio (Ham) Field Day. The purpose of the exercise will be group training and operational test of field equipment (communications, power, etc).
The exercise will be conducted as if it were a deployment for an actual emergency in that the phone tree will be activated Saturday morning, volunteers will deploy to the staging area (Spirit of '76 Park in Mount Vernon) without knowing their final destination. At the staging area, personnel and equipment will be checked in and sorted for deployment. An advance team will be sent to scout the route and site, communications will be established, and then the convoy will proceed to the deployment site.
The assumption for this exercise is a worst-case deployment where no facilities or utilities are expected at the deployment/work site. We will be expected to prepare the site, pitch tents, truck in water, food, power, and provide our own communications. In some deployment situations, we may very well be colocated with another organization (such as a Red Cross shelter), but we must know that we can provide everything when we have to.
The exercise will take all day Saturday, Saturday night, and all day Sunday. Sunday services will take place at the encampment. We will have an informational booth at the Spirit of '76 park staging area on Saturday morning.


Post Type: 


evought's picture


We have a ~100 amp hour AGM (Non-spillable Marine Deep Cycle) battery, a 45-watt solar panel kit, a portable 18-amp-hour power pack with a 400-watt inverter, DC/USB power output, and aligator clamps to daisy-chain to a larger battery or battery-bank. We have parts to make another power pack (20 amp-hour battery, 400-watt inverter, and connectors).
We also have access to a pair of small-electronics-charging 2.5 watt solar panels with a pack of adapters and a Briggs and Stratton gas-powered 5 kW generator which has not been used recently (and will certainly need tuning if it is used).
The plan is that we wire the 45-watt kit to the AGM Deep Cycle and clamp the battery pack to the deep cycle with the solar charger, deep cycle, and power pack inside the HQ tent. We then run most of our loads (1 2m mobile transceiver, 1 CB mobile transceiver, 802.11g router, charging handsets and small electronics, HQ tent lights, laptops when needed) off of the power pack. This should be plenty of power through the exercise given that the radios will be mostly listening. If we run low, we can then take the deep cycle outside, charge it off of the generator, and continue to run the same loads off of the power pack temporarily with no interruption.
If we can finish constructing the second power pack (or obtain another one), then we have the ability to rotate them if needed or run another set of light loads elsewhere (say, a laptop in a staff tent). For the future, we should also obtain a second deep cycle so that we can charge-one/use-one when our usage outpaces the 45-watt solar panels (high load or overcast conditions).