Submit your Nominations for MARA Ham of the Year to the Secretary by Dec 1st
We have been asked to support the Boy Scout’s JOTA at the Scout Camp Gorsuch at Mirror Lake 22700 Camp Gorsuch Rd, Chugiak. It will be Oct 20-21ST, We’ll set the trailers Frida 1000 and operate Saturday and tear down Saturday evening around 1600. We need about a dozen folks or more to support this, excellent training opportunity. We will operate DMR and HF. We need trailer pullers, coordinate with Scott/KL7SLM, setup and teardown crews, coordinate with TJ/KL3IT folks to interface and training folks Equipment setup in Comm Trailer and to work with the kids to operate. Make sure the kids log books get signed and attendance list get completed. Possibly coordinate with Kathy/KL7KO to run packet, if it will work from the site. We are registered with the BSA and have the use of their call sign K2BSA/KL7. Suggested HF freqs are on their website. Please contact Don/KL7JFT so we can make sure we have enough folks on hand. Trailers need to depart no later than 0915 from MATCOM.
Ken/KL2HF would like to see the club get together and produce some instructional videos. If anyone has a subject that they think they would like to present or participate in, I would like to know about it and we can see if we can plan and arrange for a video recording on the subject.
We have two pan, scan, zoom video conference cameras, and there are some web cameras that can be used.
Not everybody can be in the same place at the same time so it would be nice to have some videos that Ham operators could go to for demonstrations and learning, plus it would make our club look really good.
The video with George Strother soldering coax cable is an example of what we might be able to do.
Looking for feedback. Contact Ken KL2HF
**SKYWARN TEAM ALERT**
Current PIREP Areas of Interest: Link
National Weather Service (NWS) is responsible for monitoring ice breakup conditions throughout Alaska to assess flood threats and navigational hazards. Ground observations, aerial reconnaissance, and remote sensing are sources used to assess ice conditions. Although ice jam flooding is most common during the ice breakup season, ice condition reports are welcome during freezeup and mid-winter as well.
We have relied for many years on observations of Alaska village residents describing the river ice condition in front of the village. Supplemental aerial observations from aircraft flying at low to mid-level altitudes have significantly enhanced the information on ice conditions. Since ice conditions can vary significantly along a river and can change rapidly during the breakup process, numerous observations are needed statewide to assess the status of breakup. It must be stressed that we are looking for reliable and objective reports.
The River Watch Program is a voluntary program that is...
- Asking pilots and village residents to provide reports of river ice conditions
- Requesting pilot observations that can be obtained without deviation from the normal route or flight level
- Stressing that river ice observations only be taken when it can be done safely
- Serving the purpose to assist the NWS in providing accurate forecasts, warnings, and navigation information
River and lake ice observations can be provided to the Alaska-Pacific River Forecast Center (APRFC) via:
- radio from aircraft to AFSS with observations for inclusion in a PIREP
- phone at 1-800-847-1739
- email report and/or photos to firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional information about the program and tools to download are available at the following links:
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:
If you haven't paid your 2020 membership dues, please get with John/KL1XM. Our dues is one of our main incomes to maintain the club equipment and activities. 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 Forms and you can go to the Donate tab and 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, with your ARRL membership, you also can get good equipment insurance, pod casts on various ham subjects, new equipment evaluations, construction projects, contest, and what ARRL is doing on our behalf with new legislation.
Another item of interest is that we are allowed to use our current meeting venue by donating to the food bank, non-perishable food or paper products. This helps out our Food Bank for the community. And thank you for your donation.
Chris/KL5BF, our VP is looking for ideas for programs at the meetings, so let her know what you would like to see or an idea we can put together. May 29th will be our last regular meeting due to summer activities. We take June and July off except for the MARA Annual Picnic will be in July. We have the Motley Picnic coming up 27-28th June. Field Day is that same weekend. Location has not been selected yet. The Motley Picnic will be at Tolsona Campground near Glennallen again this year.
Ok MARA Field Day in going on this year. Sean Mckenney/KL5NE will be in charge. https://www.arrl.org/field-day-locator . Please contact Sean to volunteer and give him a hand in setting up. This is great time practice portable setup and have fun contacting folks around world and lower 48.
Field Day is always the fourth full weekend of June, beginning at 1800 UTC Saturday and running through 2059 UTC Sunday.
Field Day 2023 is June 24-25. Check with Sean for his final plan.
Check Field Day (arrl.org) for all the rules.
The location I will be using is just north of the intersection of Glenn Highway and Palmer-Fishhook intersection on the east side of the road there is a large pull off that overlooks that Matanuska River, my thought is to set up in the grassy area and have some sign by the road that would indicate 'Ham Radio' or 'Ham Radio Field Day'.
For those who would like to run field day from home or other remote sites, look over the rules. You would need to be at least a general class to run the site. I would also recommend at least 2 people great time to get the family into the mix.
Everyone please take care and have fun.
MARA's annual picnic will be held at the Lake Lucille Rec Area on the 15th of July at 1000, it will be in Pavilion A. We will be having our usual Barbee, we need a grill and chief cook. We ask folks to bring a side dish, MARA will supply the Dogs, Cow, Buns, Condiments and Water. We will have door prizes. There is a very large field and play ground, good for flying drones if you are interested. There is a great dog park that the dogs will enjoy running and playing. Those that have ordered coffee cups in the past please stop by and pay for them and pick the up. If you are interested in a VE Session, contact Ken/KL2HF, other wise it will be the following Saturday. Bring a chair and if bad weather a picnic cover. We will have picnic tables in the Pavilion.
ALASKA AMATEUR RADIO PICNIC – 2023
Sponsored by The Alaska Motley Group
June 25th to June 28th - Tolsona Wilderness Campground
ALASKA MOTLEY GROUP PICNIC – 2023
Mile173 Glenn Hwy, tolsonacampground.com/ - Phone 822-3900
This will be the 41st annual Motley Group picnic. There are typically 60 to 80 attendees, most of whom are members of the Motley Group, Snipers Net or Alaska-Pacific Emergency Preparedness Net, but all amateur radio operators and their families are welcome to attend.
Fish, hike, chat with other Hams, and participate in as many of the following scheduled activities as you choose.
THURSDAY, 1700 hours - EARLY BIRD GET-TOGETHER - Bring snacks to share and beverage of your choice. Dee Bowns, the Motley Group historian, will provide an opportunity for you to page through photo albums and recall people and events from previous years. Your photos are welcome.
FRIDAY, 1130 hours - LADIES LUNCHEON - Campground pavilion - Potluck.
FRIDAY, 1700 hours - BAKED POTATO BAR & CHINESE AUCTION
The Motley Group will provide potatoes, and participants provide toppings to share.
Topping ideas: butter, sour cream, bacon, chili, cheese, diced veggies (raw or cooked), etc.
Bring food and item(s) for Chinese auction - “gag gifts" always welcome.
SATURDAY, 1100 hours - SNIPERS NET MEETING - Net Control & Sweep Operators.
SATURDAY, 1300 - 1500 hours – AMATEUR RADIO WORKSHOP - An open-forum discussion of antennas and other Ham radio related items. Show & tell one of your radio projects.
SATURDAY, 1300 - 1500 hours – LADIES BOARD GAMES AND CARD GAMES
SATURDAY, 1700 hours - THE MOTLEY PARTY - Potluck dinner, awards presentation, door prize drawings, and outcry auction. For outcry auction bring equipment you would like sold at auction. Motley Group will keep 25% of the sale price, or you can donate the item and the Motley Group will keep 100%. You can specify a reserve price if you choose.
SUNDAY, 0900 hours - FAREWELL BREAKFAST - Pancakes, syrup and butter provided. You are welcome to contribute precooked meat, scrambled eggs, fruit, pastries, etc.
DOOR PRIZES AND AUCTION ITEMS - There will be over 1200 dollars worth of new radio equipment and accessories available as door prizes and auction items.
Camping fee is $35 per night for RV sites, which includes water and electricity. Showers and laundry available in campground. This is a discounted rate for Motley Group picnic attendees.
If you have not reserved a site, do so NOW. "Tell them you are with the Motley Group."
Larry, AL7LW - Manager, Alaska Motley Group
Here is a good chance to work some cross band with the military on the 13th of May
The US Department of Defense (DoD) will host this year's Armed Forces Day (AFD) Crossband Test on May 13, 2023. This annual event is open to all licensed amateur radio operators and will not impact any public or private communications. For more than 50 years, military and amateur stations have taken part in this event.
The AFD Crossband Test is a unique opportunity to test two-way communications between military communicators and radio stations in the Amateur Radio Service (ARS), as authorized in 47 CFR 97.111. These tests provide opportunities and challenges for radio operators to demonstrate individual technical skills in a tightly controlled exercise scenario.
Military stations will transmit on selected frequencies and will announce the specific ARS frequencies monitored. All of the times are Zulu (Z), and all frequencies are Upper Side Band (USB) unless otherwise noted. The frequencies used for the test will not stray outside the confines of the exercise.
A complete list of frequencies, time periods, QSL cards, and other information can be found at DoD MARS - Armed Forces Day.
AFD is a time of honor. It will be celebrated on Saturday, May 20, 2023. The first AFD was celebrated with parades, open houses, receptions, and air shows. Today, many events and activities take place and may include multi-service military displays in areas open to the public, various educational activities that teach children about the armed forces, and large parades with local celebrations.
OK coming up on Saturday, April 29th at 1800 will be a presentation on HamWAN at WASI Class Room. The club is looking into possibly setting up a network around the valley to start with, to give us an internal internet. This is a modern, multi-megabit, IP-based, digital network for amateur radio use. It can be tied into the regular internet if available but continue to work if it is lost. There are several additional features it could provide to work with outside agencies or activities
Currently Puget Sound has quite a network established. The MARA working group will have equipment on hand and discuss the pros and cons of the system. HamWAN for any additional info on the presentation.
Our date is set for 09 Sept. Setup time is 0900 open from 1000-1600. The location will be the Big Lake Lions Club, at 2942 Lions Cir, Big Lake. Tabitha/KL4FZ has complete our door prize request letter to give to the vendors and businesses to request door prizes soon. Remember they are tax free. Check with the Treasure for Tax Receipts to give to the vendors.
We will be inviting the ARRL Northwest Director or Assist. Director, depending on their schedule He will be bringing a lot of new ARRL and Ham radio info with him and wants to get our opinions on various items. Lets hope he can make it. We are currently looking for presentations to put on the schedule. Coordinate with Hamfest Coordinator to get on the schedule.
Entry is $5.00 at the gate and 1 door prize tickets, additional door prize tickets will be a $1.00 max of 10, Tables are $10.00 reserve them thru John/KL1XM. The Barbee will be $5.00 ea.
We need volunteers to help on various tasks for the hamfest. Please contact Hamfest Coordinator to assist. We will need VEs to conduct testing at 1300-1400, will need folks at the gate, and the MARA Country Store, setup and tear down crews. Folks can bring side dishes and deserts if they desire. Please turn door prizes into Prior to the Hamfest to John/KL1XM.
We now have a page where we will list members personal websites. If you would like to have your page listed send an email to email@example.com and I will add it to the Members Websites page for you.