Top left: Improvised equipment.
Top right: One receiver and four handheld radios brought by a Ham from Shenzhen; two sets of radio relay communication equipment;
Bottom left: Operators in communication with Hams in the disaster areas.
Bottom right: Command Group checks positions on the map.
Aerials, microphones, and maps marked with radio station locations filled a room less than 100 square meters. 12 Ham members from different provinces not only offered their hand-held phones, vehicle phones and short wave stations free, but were also on call as needed to transport equipment to disaster areas to set up emergency sub-stations.
The Emergency Command Center of Sichuan Amateur Radio Communication was set up on May 13 in Sansheng Town's Modern Art Museum, considered to be safe even in the event of an aftershock. This was the toughest and busiest period for the emergency radio station and they earned the support of Sichuan’s Radio Administration.
The Command Center control station used the call sign BY8AA. Fortunately they had Sichuan Radio Administration's permission to use any amateur transmission frequency as they could be relied on not to interfere with air traffic communication.
Because authorities in Hanwang Village, Mianzhu City, could not contact their superiors, several Hams – including Liu Hu and Liu Xu – Sichuan Radio Administration staff, and another relief radio helpers went to the front line with a Communications Relay and some hand-held phones to help with relief communication work.
On May 14, the Command Center moved back to Chengdu City. Short of phones and needing a sub-station, Hams removed spare parts from their own radio equipment to support relief work. Some Hams from other cities drove or came by air to bring equipment in response to requests on the internet. In no time at all the Command Center had almost everything it needed.
Henan Outdoor Relief Union, made up of 39 professional relief workers in two groups, arrived in Leigu village and Beichuan County respectively on May 14. The leader Guo Hu (call sign BG6IFQ) told how they brought professional radio equipment to support communication in Beichuan County. A Communications Relay covering a network radius of 25 kilometers was set up to collect the latest news from the front line. This was a great help to Rescue Command Center in making strategic relief decisions. Henan Outdoor Relief Union also went into the mountains to help find victims and guide them down from the hills.
On the night of May 15 communication engineer Yi Benxun (call sign BA6BK) from Shenzhen City arrived in Chengdu to help, armed with 4 hand-held units and medical supplies.