A new Marion County Law Enforcement Center was built in 2006-2007, on the East side of Knoxville, Iowa.  Being post 9/11, the Marion County Emergency Coordinator incorporated this new facility to house the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for any major disaster that might occur in Marion County.

 The Pella Amateur Radio Club was invited to become an active part of this plan, which we immediately accepted, and the following is what we did:

We have had good luck with the Comet CX-333 antenna so we got another one for this project.  Having three bands available on one antenna will give us the ability to expand further into the spectrum, if the need arises.

 Our antenna is mounted on the facilities 90 ft tower and the base of the CX-333 is mounted at 50 ft.

 Underground conduit at the base of the tower, brings all the coax into the facility.  Obviously, there are appropriate drip-lines and grounding.

All of the coax (LM400) comes into room 139, inside the facility.  Our coax is attached to a lightning surge protector, which is secured to a heavy-duty grounding block (right photo).

 All of the coax, for other operations, goes to the appropriate communications equipment, in the 19” rack.  Our coax goes up into the ceiling and direct to our control point in the EOC.

This is the EOC, which is nothing more than a large room with lots of tables, chairs and a kitchenette.  The one thing that makes this room unique is that there are electrical outlets mounted every six feet and each outlet is accompanied with data access plate, each with four ports.  These will access either telephone or Internet. Pictured is Curtis Van Vark, KB0BHR, testing out the new equipment.

This photo shows Dennis Hoffman, KA0UKA, testing the new installation during one of our own simulated emergency tests.

Due to the nature of this facility, we were not permitted to do much of the work.  We basically just told the contractor what we wanted and then finance the project. We were permitted to install the faceplate to the antenna, in the EOC and that was about it.  A Communications Company was required to install the antenna, lightning protection and run the coax.  This actually made the cost three times higher, than if we did the entire project ourselves.

The bottom line is that the system is purchased, installed, and operational. We are fortunate to have several service organizations, in our county, which are more than happy to finance a project of this nature.