What We Do


Organized in 1997, primarily to meet emergency communications needs of Alcona County and immediate surrounding areas. Since its inception, it has grown from 12 members to more than 50 active amateurs – mostly new licensees. the group now includes all aspects of emergency and community communication services including ARES, RACES, and the National Weather Service (NWS) Skywarn Spotters. All of our operating expenses are covered by community donations or various county agencies.

We support many projects, events and emergency communications call-ups. Our recent involvements include:

  • Backup Communications for the County (inoperative systems due to power outages)
  • National Weather Service Skywarn Spotter Network
  • Special Population Notification (Emergency Event notification for Adult & Nursing Homes, Parks, Schools, etc.)
  • Alcona County Fair Communications and Special Event Station
  • Amateur Radio/Electronics Classes with testing for Alcona County School students
  • Search & Rescue Assistance
  • Coast Guard, Auxiliary Coast Guard, Sheriff’s Office Marine Division Assistance
  • Alcona County Wide Cleanup Days
  • Various Festivals with Special Event Stations

Our major project was the Emergency Communications and Command Unit a 19 foot fully insulated, heated & A/C, tandem axle trailer complete with generators, 13.8v DC, exterior awning, 5 operating positions (all modes including public service bands with computer systems for packet, etc.) and a separate conference/command room. Click to view photos of the completed project.

The project was initiated in the spring of 1999 with Phase I (Trailer & Related Basic Equipment) completed in August of 2000. Phase II (Communications Equipment, Electrical Hardware and Interior Furnishings) has begun by a group of volunteers under the direction of a Project Manager with partial activation of the trailer in June 2001. The trailer has been used at various events and functional tests (Harrisville Sunrise Side Festival, County Fair, Lighthouse Days, FEMA Simulated Emergency Test, etc.) since its partial activation.

An important aspect of a small community like ours is cooperation in getting the job done. We all wear many hats from volunteer fire fighters to the American Red Cross and understand the importance of teamwork. We know our customers and their needs and they know Amateur Radio and our capabilities.

When visiting the “Sunrise Side” be certain to check into our nets. Use our open repeaters — (147.040 MHz, up 600 KHz, 123.0 Hz PL), or Packet nodes on 145.090 MHz or stop by and join us at one of our events.

Other amateur radio repeaters located in Alcona County include:

  - 145.490 MHz, down 600 KHz, 100.0 Hz PL, WB8ZIR/R, located just south of Hubbard Lake; Also an Alpena receiver, use a 123.0 Hz PL

  - 442.0125 MHz, up 5.0000 MHz, DMR system, W8JJR/R, located in Lost Lake Woods just north of Lincoln

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) about the Amateur Radio Emergency Service