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.

MARA  ARRL Field Day 2019 Saturday July 22nd  10AM to Sunday June 23rd at 10AM


Fellow Club Members,

Field Day is ham radio's open house. Every June, more than 40,000 hams throughout North America set up temporary transmitting stations in public places to demonstrate ham radio's science, skill and service to our communities and our nation. It combines public service, emergency preparedness, community outreach, and technical skills all in a single event. Field Day has been an annual event since 1933, and remains the most popular event in ham radio.
Our Field day will start Saturday June 22 at 1800 Z or 10:00AM local time, and end Sunday June 23 1800 Z 10AM local time.  The field day site is Trunk Road Park and Ride Parking lot just off the roundabout and just off the Parks Highway. We will set up the Club Communications Trailer and Antenna trailer with generator. Now is the time to get some quality radio time with great equipment. You will not need a higher class license to operate on the phone bands, we will have control operators there so even unlicensed members and visitors can operate.


There will a pot luck with hamburgers and hot dogs provided by the club and other food provided by club members. Please bring a food item you can share with others.  There is always more food than we can eat.

There will be Radio and friends and lots of fun.  Please don't leave after the pot luck meal. We need operators and loggers to help make contacts. Please don't say you have no experience, this is the way you get experience.  There will be a sign-up sheet at the station, Please make plans now to spend a few hours at the trailer operating a radio. There will be plenty of help to get you started.  We need to man the station with 3 operators and a safety officer for 24 hours so you see we need your help.  Email me at mikeeppler@gci.net if you'd like to sign up for some time now, or call me at 376 5554.

73's Mike KL7ILA


Comm Center Training

MARA’s next training coming up on the schedule will be Comm Center and HF equipment training, in preparation for Field Day on the 22-23 June.  The training will be on how to set the trailers up, assemble the equipment and training on operating, maintaining logs and extended operation.   Currently we are scheduled to have Field Day and Fire Station 61.  The training schedule is being firmed up currently.  This training applies to all Valley hams who want to learn and participate.  This is a great opportunity to see and operate different equipment, to possibly help decide what you would like as you upgrade your license.  Some of the operating training will be a various ham’s stations to give you various view points and tips on how it works.  Contact Mike Eppler/KL7ILA or Don/KL7JFT.


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)


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.