It is a sad day that it has been reported that Hap/KL7UP is now a Silent Key.  Karl A Wurlitzer, better known to his friends as Hap, passed away from a short illness.  Hap was an avid ham and long time member to various nets around the state, AP Net, Snipers Net, Bush Net, Motely Net.  He was Located at Hatcher Pass, 3,000 ft. elevation above timberline, in the Southern Talkeetna Mountains.  Within the Independence Mine State Historical Park.  About 25 miles by road from Palmer or Wasilla, Alaska.

Hap ran a 100 watts to a dipole or a Windom.  He managed and ran the Hatcher Pass Lodge which ran off the grid using a 12 Kw Kubota diesel generator. Operator Hap.  Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1937.  He will be missed.

Statewide Quarterly Comex

HARVEST MOON Quarterly Statewide COMEX Results

Not too bad folks we are getting better.  We will continue training handling traffic, equipment use and setup, and logging requirements.  One thing we could do is maybe pick an evening and do some training and discussions on Zoom in regards to this.  Thank you so much for being there, your support is appreciated.

Even with bad HF conditions, we were able to pull off the exercise.  HF opened a bit after noon.  We used VHF 2 Meters, 220 MHZ, UHF/70 CM, HF VARA, voice and FM to pass the traffic, using mainly the ICS 213s.  The Comm Center was manned by Don/KL7JFT & Carol/KL2FA.  I had outlying stations in Matsu off Knik Taft/KL4BH(Fire Station 6-2), Kathy/KL7KO in Anchorage, Jim/AL4W in Palmer(Palmer EOC), Brian/KL4A (CAP PIO liaison) at Trail Lakes,  Bridgit/KL4B on Lazy Mountain, Rich/KL7RCS liaison to the Win system in Meadow Lakes, Jameson/KL4TK, roaming in Wasilla.  We has some good training and added to our emergency group.

We connected with Juneau, Kodiak, Tok, North Pole, Palmer, Wasilla, Homer, Soldotna, Kenai, Eagle River, Chugiak and Anchorage.  We had a few check ins on 3920 and 2 check ins on DMR TG 3102.  Dave/KL7EB, the Section Manager checked in on 147.30 for an exercise update.  We had a total of 9 check ins on 2 Meter, 5 check ins on HF, and 2 on DMR.

Traffic handled by KL7JFU Comm Center

194 Winlink messages, incoming, originated, outgoing, relays and acknowledgments. We ran 3 Winlink Stations, 1 2 meter, 1 220, and one HF.  The Comm center was ran off Battery and Generator power for the entire exercise.  We monitored 3 local repeaters and 3920 on HF and TG 3102 on DMR Repeater.  We also had the KL7JFT-10 RMS up, the KL7JFT-5 APRS IGATE up, and the Eagle Packet network from Matsu to Homer up.  Received an additional 7 msgs after close of exercise for a total of 201.

Message templates received and work quite well were the ICS 213, County Status Report, Winlink Check in report and Weather report.  In Matsu we like to have our stations submit the last 3 so we know their status and condition and who and what we have at the remote locations.  Stations without Winlink do this with a paper forms they carry in their go boxes as well has message blanks.


Items noted during the exercise.  Stations need to know their lat long in order to plot their positions more accurately.  Stations need to know how to get the weather from their nearest airport or NOAA and thru Winlink.  If all else fails, this is where the weather spotter training comes in on our SKYWARN Program.  Also folks need to keep a Comm Log and the ICS 214, which is their time sheet for the operation.  Our upcoming training will including logging and msg ops.





Exercise Scenario:  Hunting season is upon us with hunters all around the central part of the state are the field and isolated.  Weather has changed and severe blizzards are occurring, weather has closed in and planes are grounded.  Winds up to  50 MPH.  There is a lost musher in Anaktuvuk Pass area.  Hypothermia is a major concern and planned pickup of hunters requiring air extraction can not be accomplished.  Fairbanks Memorial Hospital is the nearest facility and Covid procedures are in affect.  The SEOC is coordinating rescue efforts with the Air National Guard.  Report any information that will be helpful in rescue of the hunters.



Alaska River Watch and Fire Status

Alert Yentna to Willow Area Reaching Flood Stage

State Fire Status

Current River Watch Flood Map

Discussions have begun with the Alaska Weather Forecasting offices.  There are some disturbing facts that may affect Alaska severally as breakup begins and spring continues. It is noted the ground is still frozen, the temperatures are rising and now the storms coming in are mainly rain and could become heavy.  So as happens every year, the ice breaks up and begins to flow down river, blocking areas and causing flooding.  Since the ground is still frozen and snow is melting in the mountains and low lands, there is no place to go except into the rivers, rising the levels.

As I had put out earlier we have been asked to assist the Fairbanks and Anchorage Weather Forecast offices by submitting reports of what we have observed.  As hams scattered around Alaska and near a lot of river and streams we would be the first to observe the water rising.  So as discussion continue with the various forecasting offices, we need to prepare for 2 things.  One lets take notice of the level of the water in are area, either driving around, at home or while flying.  First of all be very careful, we don't need to travel a lot yet until we get control of this crazy virus.  2nd, if your area has flooded in the past, its going to flood this year like the worst flood we have had in the past.  Get your important items packed in waterproof containers.  Some times zip log bags, Tupperware and storage containers can save our pictures, important papers, books and electronics.

I have been putting out info and links as to where you can go to get weather spotter training and begin training for our new ALASKA SKYWARN program we are developing.  Harry/AL6F works for the Fairbanks weather office (KL7FWX) and they have a complete ham station, with Winlink established. for emergencies.  Harry is heading up our SKYWARN program.  Carol and I have taken the weather spotter training several times and just completed it on line again, but if you haven't, go to the links I provided on the MARA ARES website www.kl7jft.org and take the course.  There is a great reference book and a small test at the end. That is step one.  Next will be the SKYWARN courses that goes further into what it's about.

SKYWARN is very critical in the lower 48 where they have hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding.  Well all we have is earthquakes, flooding and snow and wind storms.  So with our unique capabilities and scattered like we are we can pass this valuable info onto the weather forecast offices to help them do their job better and could help save your neighbor and friends.  Now you may not want to be an official spotter, that's fine, but at least you have a little knowledge that would help you to help us.

To start, safely go to your near river and streams where you've seen flooding in the past and will probably see again and put in a marker, or put a surveying tape on a tree at the edge, something for a starting reference and log in the time and date, location, (lat and long if you have it), and check it about the same time each day. Driving back and forth to the store or work once we get back to it, check it and keep track of what you find.  Maybe you have an old broken measure tape fasten it to the marker or tree so you can use binoculars from a safe distance to see how the levels have changed.  Is there ice flowing are trees or ice blocking the river or stream. Do we have erosion picking up that may affect a house, neighborhood, or road?  It doesn't take you long and it is very important.

Start monitoring the VHF and HF nets and pass info along to the Net Control or get a message to me, Don/KL7JFT or Harry/AL6F.  Hear are some links that you can use to find out about flood warnings:

River Watch Program

River Summary

Interactive River Map

Now to report weather or flooding go to these sites and please email KL7JFT and AL6F or if you have any questions.

RFC/River Forecast Center

For Fairbanks AOR:

For Anchorage AOR:


Chignik Bay & Sand Point Tuesday Night Earthquake

Bushmaster Operations was activated last night, the 21st to support Earthquake and possible Tsunami on the Aleutian Chain to affect Homer and Cook Inlet area,  last night around 2300 by the SEOC.  KL7EOC/KL5T alerted us to the earthquake.  We establish nets on 3920, 147.30, 147.33, Winlink, 223.6 and DMR/AK TG3102.  KL7JFT started logging in contacts from Valdez, Homer, Anchor Point, Big Delta, & Kodiak.  We had supporting stations coming up on the VHF net.  KL4B verified that HF Winlink was available to KL7GRM and KL7EDK. KL4RCS maintain contact with Public TV and Radio to feed us information.  Kodiak/WL7R got us the coordinates of the earthquake and details.  It 7.8 ;75 miles SW of Chignik Bay, Secondary quake happen at Sand Point, 6.1.  The Tsunami was to hit between 2230 and 2320 in the Kodiak and Homer Area and possibly come up Cook inlet. KL2T reported the siren had went off on the Homer Spit and evacuations began.  WL7R reported the same in Kodiak.  KL7GRM Winlink was operational and he brought up the Eagle Packet Node for backup.  KL5T monitored the 147.30 net with KL4E's assistance out of Eagle River.  All stations maintained a good watch from their areas, propagation was excellent on 3920.  As conditions changed the NCs were kept in formed. at about 2330/0100 the outlying stations began to report the Tsunami warnings were being closed down.  KL7EOC/KL5T reported the SEOC closed down the nets and would work the support issues on the chain thru their channels.  The next morning reports were compiled and submitted.  At the request of AG6SV/Ken, the Saturn Comm Coordinator, reports were forward to him, which were further sent to FEMA, Salvation Army HQ and Washington D.C.  Operations secured at 0100 the 22nd.  All stations used excellent net procedures and discipline, A "Well Done" to everyone.  Thanks for the support.   Don/KL7JFT MATSU DEC


MARA's annual picnic was a great success at the Lake Lucille Rec Area,   The barbee was great, thanks to our Chief Cook, John/KLIXM.  We had some great salads, cookies, baked beans and chili.  We had door prize drawings, all the kids had a great time, as well as the pups. Everyone cooperated on keeping their distance and keeping things clean, thank you for that.  Pictures have been posted on the MARA Facebook.  If you have any to add please send them to Don/KL7JFT.  We had some excellent discussions and future plans are in the works.  Thanks to John/KL7LL up from Washington State for the unique gifts.  Remember those who participated in the last ZOOM Meeting and won a door prize, we still have it for you as well as the folks who ordered coffee cups   Our VE Testing was a smashing success. We had 12 folks test, the youngest was 11, who passed.  Of the 12, 9 passed. 4 new techs, 4 upgrade to general and 1 to extra.  One of our applicants passed the tech and general.  Congrats to all.  The weather wasn't too bad, we had extra shelters erected, which helped everyone to keep there distance.  Thanks TJ/KL3IT for coordinating the dogs and cows, top notch meat.  73s & 88s everyone.

Map to Lake Lucille Park

MARA 2020 Field Day

Now that MARA Field Day is over, as previously mentioned, it was an individual or family Field Day event.  Folks operated from their home or portable stations, with or without emergency power.  The rules were modified a bit so that class 1D can contact other class 1D station as well as any other station as before..  If you participated in Field Day please include your association with MARA/KL7JFU in your tally sheet to show the club's aggregate score.  Also please send KL7JFT a copy of your sheet.

2020 Field Day Packet(1)

Field Day is Over Now What?