High Frequency (HF) Operations

An HF Tactical Communications Network can provide coverage over distances ranging from less than 50 miles to more than 1000 miles. In this type of network, other elements come into account which includes: Operating Frequency, Type of Antenna used and its configuration, Power Settings, Band and Atmospheric Conditions.

Network requirements may dictate which links will be provided between Fixed-Permanent locations, Field Stations, Quadrant and Regional locations.

Oregon ARES/RACES utilizes this concept when conducting scheduled Statewide HF Nets on various Amateur HF Frequencies. This is primarily done using Voice Communication between station locations around the State, who's operator's use different Antenna Configurations, with distances that can range from a few miles up to 300 miles to cover the entire State.

Electronic HF Email Network technologies is also becoming increasingly important in ARES/RACES Communications. While a majority of served agencies are more and more adapt to email and the Internet, it was only time when the ARES/RACES community fell in-step with this technology to their advantage.

Amateur HF Email utilizes a Global System called Winlink2000, where fixed Station Locations called "Gateways" occupy and scan, a number of Amateur HF Frequencies. These stations monitor the airwaves for incoming HF Pactor connect request. Once a connection is established, the email is handed off to the Gateway, and simultaneously "ported" over to the Internet to a Dedicated Message Server. This HF Email operation provides for the "Last Mile" for stations where no Internet exist, such as a remote Field locations or a disaster area that suffered infrastructor damage, with the need to send message to locations that have internet capability.

Oregon ARES/RACES Leadership encourages the use of HF Tactical Communications, both as for Voice communications as well as HF Email capabilities. An annual test of HF Operations is usually scheduled for the Oregon Section Simulated Emergency Test (SET). However other opportunities of periodic exercises across County and District boundaries should be conducted in cooperation with local emergency management coordinators, and or other section ARES®/RACES units.