Chattanooga Amateur Radio Club

"Discover the magic and camaraderie of Amateur & GMRS Radio!"

Skywarn Nuts & Bolts

Don’t forget to join us in the Chattanooga Regional TN-AL-GA Skywarn Net.  Learn about weather, storm spotting techniques, radio operation, emergency procedures, and being ready when bad things come along…a different training topic each week.

Time Tweak to Net Start Times.
Due to several requests, we are tweaking the start times of the Skywarn Net.  The idea is that during training nets, many wish to listen/participate in both sides (Ham & GMRS) as topics may vary somewhat from time to time.  So let’s give it a go.

Please note that nothing is changing with the Skywarn Net start time for Amateur Radio.

Join us every Tuesday Night (weather permitting):

  1. 7-8 PM for the GMRS Skywarn Net
  2. 8-9 PM for the Amateur Radio Skywarn Net on the CARC 146.610 Repeater (Tone 107.2 Hz)
  3. Click the following link for full information on all area Skywarn repeaters.  CLICK HERE.
  4. Activations occur as needed.  If you’re serious about Skywarn, please make sure you sign up for our Skywarn Mailing List AND be sure to check that you will install the Telegram App on your smartphone for instant notifications of Skywarn activations and other information.

To keep Skywarn productive, safe, and even a little fun, we have some simple, nuts & bolts ground rules that must be followed:

The basic rules of engagement for Skywarn in this new scenario of Ham & GMRS Radio are as follows:

  1. Remember–Storm Spotters are NOT storm chasers.  We do not support storm-chasing activities.
  2. You do not have to travel anywhere to be a storm spotter…stay where you are (work, home, etc.).  Wherever you are there is timeless wisdom in the ACES Weather Spotter Safety Program.  Read it!
  3. Use of FCC-assigned Callsigns (Amateur & GMRS) is required consistent with FCC rules.  No one is exempt from this requirement.
  4. Do not repeat the obvious or give a weather forecast.  Everyone already knows that, and it takes time away from important weather observations that may be coming in.
  5. Severe weather reports must be firsthand accounts based on the spotter’s awareness, training, and their own eyes & ears.  He said, she said, or they said weather reporting is not acceptable.
  6. Anyone can report weather conditions to the Skywarn Net Controller(s) by any means available, but primarily by radio or Echolink assuming the reporting operator is a Licensed Ham, or Licensed GMRS operator.
  7. Skywarn orientation or training is highly recommended, but not mandatory.  The basic value of such is that everyone speaks the same lingo when the adrenaline kicks in during a real weather event.
  8. Ham or GMRS radio operators do not have to be members of our club or any other club to participate in Skywarn.
  9. GMRS radio operators do not have to be members of our club or any other organization to participate in Skywarn.  However, as NGGMRS is technically a private network, once the Skywarn Net or event is over, NGGMRS membership is required to have permission to use the NGGMRS network for more than occasional use.
  10. NGGMRS members are very used to saying their tactical callsign and their FCC GMRS callsign so don’t fret if they continue to do so.  FCC-wise, the minimum is to use their GMRS/Ham Callsign.  Typically, that would result in something like “Net Control, this is Chat 40, WQOF749 with a spotter report”.
  11. NGGMRS will schedule the 7-8 PM timeslot every Tuesday for the GMRS TAG Skywarn Net rather than only for actual weather events.  This helps get day-to-day network users accustomed to that timeslot being reserved.
  12. Echolink access to the TAG Net is a bit of a backdoor for hams that have Internet access but no repeater access due to distance or a down repeater.  In the case of GMRS users, there is no backdoor per se since NGGMRS Zello access during a Skywarn event is not available since it would not be connected to the NGGMRS Northern Core because it is isolated during a Skywarn event.

Saying What Should Not Need Saying.
Whether you personally participate in Skywarn or even like it, it is a sanctioned activity by the CARC, NGGMRS, and the National Weather Service.  We welcome positive, courteous participation by licensed radio operators; however, Skywarn serves a higher purpose so interfering with it will be considered a malicious act and there are more ways than you can imagine of being tracked down and identified for FCC enforcement actions.  We encourage you to come and support what we do…you may even help save a life.