(no title)

MARA Brochures & Procedures



New FCC RF Safety Rule for Ham Radio

If anyone is interested in joining the MARA Technical Group, please contact




This is an email group maintained on the io.groups site.  We will need your email address and phone number if you would like to join.

MARA Board


The MARA Luncheon and monthly meeting will be discontinued until the end of August due to summer activities

Click on link for map.

MARA Board

The Future of Ham Radio! Palmer Junior Middle School's Ham Club!

A budding group of young students have just taken up the torch of ham radio! Located a little farther than a stone's throw away is Palmer Jr. Middle School in—you guessed it— Alaska! All the way up north, fellow ham William Crume KL5LD, has gathered a group of the next generation and lit the fire of a modern-day radio renaissance. Not only has he been sharing his love of ham radio with the next generation, but he's also inspired these kids to take up the art of ham radio. So, to all the hams reading this, keep an ear open! With BridgeCom's SkyBridge MAX, you just may get a transmission from Palmer Jr. Middle School’s very own ham club!

Meet the Students! Or...Meet a budding Ham!

With dedicated guidance and a helping hand from BridgeCom University, KL5LD has assembled some of the finest young students to explore the art of ham radio! Equipped with the popular AnyTone 878UVII+ Handheld, students have already begun mastering contacts and making QSOs! Who might you connect with? Keep an ear out for these names on the airwaves! Robert P., Breahna S., Roman W., Mason S., Maddison J., Brigitta B., Dallin W., Lance S., and Parker J!

While some may not yet have their Technician License, having William Crume, KL5LD, leading the way means they’re well on their way to making YOU their next contact!

Spotlight on a Certain Young Achiever!

Over at Palmer Jr. Middle School's Ham Club, Lance S. has been the first one in his class to secure a technician license! Lance is a well-known student beloved by faculty and friends, and he is now a new beacon of inspiration not just for his peers, but for all those in the youngest generation wanting to get into ham radio!

His accomplishment reflects not only his dedication to the art but also the effective mentorship provided by the ham club’s leader! Lance’s progress is a testament to what young, motivated learners can achieve with the right support and an excellent mindset!

A Strong Partnership with BridgeCom Systems!

BridgeCom Systems was contacted by Mr. Crume a few weeks ago, and we just loved hearing firsthand how the latest generation of ham radio enthusiasts are thriving! We were so thrilled to see that Palmer Jr. Middle has not only taken the steps needed to become radio masters, but are doing it by training with Bridgecom University! In light of that, we decided that if anyone was going to help foster the next generation of hams, it'd be BridgeCom!

With a donated 878 Handheld, we're confident that the quality and features of our favorite Handheld along with BridgeCom University Training are more than enough to keep the kids in the ham loop!

The Future Looks Bright!

Under the leadership of William Crume and with our ongoing support, these students from Palmer are set to carry the torch of ham radio into the future! They are not merely participants in the ham radio hobby; they are pioneers, ensuring that the art and science of ham radio continues to flourish and adapt even in a digital age!

As these young enthusiasts advance in their skills and knowledge, they embody the spirit of innovation that BridgeCom Systems champions! Each new license they earn and every connection they make underscores the vibrant future of ham radio, proving that traditional hobbies like these have significant roles to play in our interconnected world!

AirWaves Communications Inc. Strengthens Portfolio with Acquisition of BridgeCom Commercial Handheld Radios 


MARA Board


 POTA & SOTA Portable Operations

There has been a lot of questions and interest in Portable radio operations that include operations from Parks and Summits around the state.  A few folks have be doing this and have found there is a little bit to it. Brandon/KL7BSC has become quite proficient in this process and would like to pass some of his experiences and challenges he has learned over the past years to the club.  Also ARRL now carries a reference manual in the library on POTO and Portable Operating for Amateur Radio. The below websites will be helpful also.


POTO YouTube

Radio Operating from the Summits

Activator: If I am in a POTA-approved park and making contacts then I am an activator. I submit my log of the event afterwards.
Hunter: If I am contacting an activator then I am a hunter. I can be anywhere to be a hunter. I don't need to submit a log; the hunter's log handles the credit.

Note that you can be an activator and a hunter if you are in a POTA-approved park and are contacting someone else at a different POTA-approved park. This is a lot of fun and is called a "park-to-park" contact.

POTA has an approved list of which parks count for the program. It varies a bit by country, but generally includes federal-level and state-level parks (or the equivalent in other countries). For the US, the national parks, national refuges, and national monuments are examples of federal-level parks that qualify. Here in Alaska the state parks also qualify, as do the state wildlife refuges.

The easiest way to find parks is with this site: Parks on the Air | POTA | Parks program for amateur radio. Click on the "Maps of Entities" button to go to the map. On the mapping page the "DX Entity" for us is "Alaska", not the United States. See the example below:

You can zoom and scroll the map to find yellow dots which represent POTA-approved parks. (Note that if you zoom out too far the dots disappear.) If you click on a dot the page tells you the name of the park:

If you click on the "More Info" link that takes you to a page with more information on that park.

When planning an event you want to keep in mind that not all sites are the same. As an example, if you set up at the Palmer Hay Flats the Cottonwood Creek parking lot is pretty open and usually not crowded. That's a good place to set up larger antennas or have a big group. On the other hand, the Rabbit Slough side is a much tighter site. You'll have to work hard to avoid annoying bystanders with coax, generators, antenna wires, and the like.
Same thing goes for types of parks. I always run a small, lightweight station and have never had an issue with state park rangers. Typically a ranger will stop by to check in, I smile and do ham radio outreach for a few minutes, and they leave happy. That's a lot harder at the federal facilities though - their rules are a lot more strict.

One last point to keep in mind is that Alaska hams are not active enough yet to reliably provide contest or event contacts. To do an activation you have to reach hunters in other states (or, if you're hunting then you have to reach activators in other states).
You also have to find a place to set up where you can get a good antenna on the air. As an example, the South Rolly Campground in Nancy Lake State Recreation Area is a nightmare for operating: the trees are so thick it's like being in a Faraday cage. On the other hand, some of the turnouts and picnic areas are really good locations.
Lastly, you also have to take into account other time zones. Don't expect to make contacts if you start calling CQ when the west coast goes to lunch.

Brandon Clark, KL7BSC



KL7EC via aircraft insertion.

KL7EC Sean (KL5NE) Doug (KL7DUG) and myself drove north and rode snow machines out to a never activated park, Minto Flats K-9700. We camped there over the weekend in -16 degree weather. The first day was a little slow but made up for it the next morning. Follow along on our journey!

KL7EC decided to go out and camp the day before winter field day. I wanted to get setup and do a POTA activation. The temperatures started falling fast. Time to Hunker down! The next morning it was -34 degrees. Thanks for watching and hope to catch you on the air! 73

While 10 meters is open in Alaska, KL7EC to go out to Rocky Lake K-7222 to activate. The problem is a blizzard warning was issued at that time. I attempt to outrun and stay ahead of it so I can get the park activated. Thanks for watching! 73.

Brandon/KL7BCS website.



***  Paying your Dues & Donating to the Club ***


If you haven't paid your current membership dues or would like to donate to the club, please get with John/KL1XM, our Treasure or follow the below procedures. Our dues is one of our main incomes to maintain the club equipment and activities. The dues are $24 Dollars a year for individual or family. We are also a 501c3 non-profit club so it is all tax deductible. The web site has an application form for you to fill out under the Forms Menu and you can go to the Donate tab listed to the left to pay by PayPal or Credit Card, if you like. For any other club donations we will provide you a Tax Receipt. Also with all the benefits available thru ARRL, you may be interested in joining it also. You have the choice of 2 magazines now, one for new hams "On The Air Magazine and the QST Magazine, with your ARRL membership, you also can get good equipment insurance, pod casts on various ham subjects, new equipment evaluations, construction projects, contest, ham reference books, ham products and what ARRL is doing on our behalf with new legislation.


This is a great way to get practice and learn how to run  nets.  You will learn how to handle rosters, run packet traffic and help in distributing the load among our current Net Controls.  Please contact Don/KL7JFT for additional information or review the Operations Section of the MATSU ARES Website,


To all Alaska Hams with a call sign License Plate

The State DMV is sending out yellow cards to those people needing to re-register their plates. The card indicates you can register online. However, for those that have ham radio plates you can't do it online. It has to be done at a DMV office. I have included below what one administer sent me.

I would advise that those re-registering their plates to take what Karina Garces-Pellon sent to me so if there are any questions, you have some backup. She is from the Anchorage DMV

I’ve included our Vehicle Transaction Application (Form 812) for the renewal, you will need to

  • State on form 812 that you’re requesting Amateur Radio Exemption by checking the box “Other” and writing in the Amateur Radio (AR)
  • Make the following statement in the Affidavit section on the application “This vehicle meets the requirements outlined in AS 28.10.421 (d) (8) (A) & (B) and I qualify for free registration under this statute.”
  • Copy of current FCC License
  • Folks need to understand they need a 5 Band HF radio installed in the vehicle with Antenna and power connection.

Click here for the Vehicle Transaction Application (Form 812)


For older vehicles, Claude N7FXX reports, since it’s an older vehicle he bypassed the “free” renewal and changed categories to “old” and “vanity” so now I’m permanent, no renewal. Cost me a little up front but now all seven of my legacy vehicles are “P” designated.

Came across your website and saw a note about updating license plates. Thought I would send a photo of my fathers
plate when we lived in Ketchikan. Now the plate is attached to the front of my pick-up truck in Vermont.


Here is the rest of the story, We lived in Ketchikan in the late 50's and early 60's. My father was in the US Coast Guard and I was in my early teens. Alaska was a territory when we moved there. My father was a "Ham" radio operator and had his call sign on our Alaska plate, KL7VFO. We moved from Ketchikan in the early 60's. My father is gone now (WWII veteran) and I have the plate attached to my truck, here in Vermont. Thanks for the time to tell a little of my fathers story who was a lifelong Ham Radio operator.

Mike Chesley

Bristol, Vermont



MARA members, if you know of a member who needs cheering up because they have lost a loved one, or are laid up with illness or injury, or if someone is in the hospital, please let one of us know. We would love to send a ray of sunshine in their direction.


Help us spread the cheer. Donations are always appreciated and can be made at the general meeting or directly to Sheila/KL3SRO


Contact Sheila at  okfam@hotmail.com  (best way), or text or phone (907) 631-2356.