NSEA Public Service Radio Communications Projects

Updated:  March, 2015



Each year North Shore Emergency Association conducts two major communications projects:



Multiple Sclerosis Society – "Bike MS Tour de Farms"

For 2015: Saturday & Sunday, June 27th & 28th


This 2 day project is a major annual fundraising event for the Illinois M/S Chapter.  Bike-a-thon routes through scenic parts of DeKalb, Kane, Kendall and LaSalle Counties include options from 35 to 175 miles for participating riders.  The ride will again this year be organized around the NIU Campus in DeKalb, Illinois.  Routes on Saturday are to the north and on Sunday are to the south.  Last year almost 2,000 riders participated.


As you can imagine, this event poses substantial logistical challenges.  Numerous rest stops are set up along each of the routes both days, complete with food, water, bicycle repair, and medical supplies, among other materials.  A complete lunch stop is operated each day.  Pick up vehicles are coordinated all along the route each day to provide transportation for riders needing assistance.  Roving pa­trols check for problems all along the route, such as problems with signage, traffic, disabled riders, persons in distress, physical problems such as damaged pave­ment, etc.


NSEA provides communications command and control logistics for the M/S Society for both days of the event. Our primary area of responsibility is to assure that communications are established and maintained at each rest / water / lunch stop.  Radio communications are intended to enable MS to remain in constant contact with all facets of the operation, report problems, dispatch instructions and solutions, etc.  In recent years M/S has furnished us with 2 rented mini-vans for rapid NSEA response to critical situations. We may also have a GMRS equipped airborne unit in operation.


Volunteer Radio Operators are need at various times both Saturday and Sunday. Aid stations open from early morning (5:30 to 10 AM) and close from late morning to mid/late afternoon, depending on the progress of the riders.  In addition, volun­teers are needed at Net Control to man GMRS radios and coordinate with M/S staff around NIU and net control operators of other radio systems/channels.  The ride will officially open at 7 AM and close not later than 6 PM each day.  (On Sunday it usually ends much earlier.)


Even if you only have a few hours available on one day, you can be of great help.  And we try to have enough volunteers to provide relief for anyone wishing a break.  If you would like to make a weekend of it, hotel/motel/housing information is also available.


Net Control will be at the NIU Convocation Center.  In addition to our GMRS ra­dios and public safety scanners, M/S will also be operating 5 different trunked radio systems / channels for their own internal use at the same location.  Thus, for example, if a SAG vehicle is needed to pick up a disabled rider, when this is reported on the NSEA GMRS net, operators at net control can turn to the adjacent M/S radio operator on the SAG trunked channel for direct and immediate dispatch of the SAG vehicle.


Several different GMRS radio systems will be available for this project.  We set up our own temporary repeater (mobile relay) system on 462.650 MHz and have permission from operators of several other systems to use their repeaters as well.  Current frequency plan is:


Sat :   Main channel - .650, tone 107.2

          Backup, Belvidire repeater - .625, tone 114.8

          Direct channel - .675, no tone or 141.3


Sun :  Main channel - .650, tone 107.2

          DeKalb area repeater - .625, tones 177.3, 179.9

          Backup, Morris Repeater - .700, tone 97.4

          Direct channel - .675, no tone or 141.3





Sample Route Maps (from 2010)


More information about the event may be found on the Illinois Chapter MS web site at:







Evanston Fourth of July Celebration

For 2015 - Saturday, July 4th


The midwest's largest celebration on the 4th is put on each year in Evanston.  This includes the region's largest parade on Central Street in the afternoon and band concert and fireworks display in the evening at the lakefront.  NSEA volunteers will be providing communications command and control for the Fourth of July Association.


Assignments typically include parade assembly area coordination, "tag" operators with key Association supervisors and public safety officials, parade route sectors and zone marshal assistance, parade route roving patrols, etc.


A temporary repeater is set up for Parade route communications on 462.650 MHz, and parade assembly area communication are conducted on 462.675 Mhz direct.


Parade assignments run from about 10:30 AM in the parade assembly area to about 4:30 PM when the parade is scheduled to conclude.  Evening lakefront assignments run from about 6:00 or 6:30 PM to about 9:25 PM when the fireworks are scheduled to conclude.


A copy of our Communicator Instructions from 2013 may be clicked for more specific details and radio procedures.


Radio Operators willing to give of their time for any part of these constructive public service projects may email info@NSEA.com.  Project coordinator is member Randy Knowles, KAA 8142, Randy@NSEA.com (847) 533 – 9449.