Saline  County  ARES

Saline County Arkansas

Saline County ARES Field Tests

Now, for a little perspective! The image below depicts the terrain we have to battle in the Ouachita Mountains, as well as the wilderness!

On Wednesday, January 11, 2016, The Saline County ARES team performed an extensive simplex test covering the Ouachita National Forest in Saline County to determine just what capabilities world be required if we needed to deploy to that wilderness region. The results were quite amazing, even to us!

The image below shows the area covered from State Route 7 to State Route 9 in the extreme Northern portion of Saline and adjacent counties. I realize the picture is difficult to see (because the covered area is so large). We can email you the image if you would like to use your embedded image viewer on your computer to view it in more detail - just send an email to and give us the instructions on where to send it. KT5H started at State Route 9, and headed West on Forestry Route 132, traversing his way across the top of the county to State Route 7, then back across on Forestry Route 114, all the while communicating with the Saline County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) via 2 meter simplex. The colored dots were recorded locations and signal strength reports at the EOC. Green Dots were full scale signal received from a 5 watt transmission; Dark Blue dots were slightly worse received signal (with some noise), but still from 5 watts transmitted; and the Red/Orange dots required more than 5 watts, but still fully readable. It should also be noted that in most instances, moving the rover vehicle a few feet (yes, we're talking maybe 2 feet) made a tremendous difference.

While many of you may be wondering why we did this on simplex, the answer is simple - If we were required to perform a Search and Rescue operation in this wilderness area, we could do so even if the many repeaters in the area were inoperable. Repeater coverage was also tested, but no need to record the information since they were all accessible all the time. (Yes, sometimes we needed to move a foot or two, but we could always access them!).

We strongly encourage all operators test their simplex coverage so they know what their equipment is capable of. ARES is a service to provide emergency communications, so we must prepare for the worst case scenario. If you needed to operate without the availability of a repeater, are you sure you can do so?  Frequently, our Saline County ARES nets switch to simplex to allow everyone the opportunity to check and see the reach of their equipment. You can join us any Monday evening at 7:00 pm on the 146.805 repeater in Benton, Arkansas to find out more!