Why is Ham Radio Still Important?

In an age where communication is often taken for granted, it’s easy to overlook the importance of Ham Radio.

I often receive questions like: “Why do I need Ham Radio when I have a cell phone?” or “Didn’t the internet kill Ham Radio?” While these modern forms of communication may have shifted the attention away from Ham Radio, by no means did it make it unnecessary. In fact, during a disaster, it’s very likely that these modern forms of communication will be the first ones to fail.

The number one reason for preparedness minded people to consider Ham Radio is its reliability during times of crisis. Since the early 1900s, this form of communication has reliably made it through every major crisis, disaster, and emergency situation with flying colors. When all other forms of communication fail, Hams are often the ones who are called upon to help communicate in and out of the disaster zone.

When the grid goes down, the Ham Bands will still be alive and very active.


There will be a new Technician Class starting in February. The first meeting will be held at the MAT-SU regional hospital conference room on Feb 20th 2019 at 7pm. Contact John Mears, AL7LA johnmears@gmail.com for more information.


Thanks to all those folks that came out for the Winlink training session   The next class will be 16 Feb from 1000-1400 at Bushmaster Operations, contact Don/KL7JFT if you can attend.   It will deal with the equipment needed, training on the Club Go Boxes and antenna.  This will mainly be VHF Packet Ops, but will answer any question you may have on HF radio requirements.  As for the computers folks learned how to go to www.winlink.org and set up an account and load RMS Express, Airmail and ITS propagation program.  Remember RMS Express will run telnet as well as RF so you can get it installed on your computers and set up your account before the next class.  As for equipment, you will need a VHF radio that has the correct cables for connecting to your computer and radio, either an internal or external 1200 Baud TNC, power supply or battery and portable antenna.  If you do not have serial ports on your laptop, then you will need Serial to USB adapters either with a good prolific chip or FTDI chip.  This varies depending on whether you are using Window 7 or Window 10.  There are 4 YouTube videos on the Winlink Web site that will give you some Winlink back ground.  Feel free to call me if you have any other questions on the subject.

License Testing for this month will be held at Fire Station 65 680 N. Seward-Meridian Parkway Saturday the 26th at 1900.  Please contact Ken Hudson/KL2HF if you would like to set for a test or if you’re a VE, if you can assist.

MARA Pre-Meeting luncheon is scheduled for Thursday 24 Jan at 1130 at Marcello’s in the Value Village Shopping Center.  See you there.

Anyone interested in ordering club coffee cups let me know.  Need a few more before the order is submitted.


Thanks for your support.

Don Bush





To all 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)


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 Tabitha or Pam.


Contact Tabitha at tabithainak@gmail.com (best way), or text or phone 907-414-2281.

Pam at pam.whitehead@gmail.com, or 907-376-9281.