MARA 2024 Field Day & Annual Picnic

Field-Day-Rules

Ham Radio Field Day Saturday June 23ed 

Ok MARA Field Day in going on this year.    https://www.arrl.org/field-day-locator .  We are looking for a MARA Ham to volunteer to coordinate it and plan the operation.  Contact Ken/KL2HF or Shelia/KL3SRO This is great time practice portable setup and have fun contacting folks around world and lower 48.  We will be having the MARA Annual Picnic during field day.  Everyone is encouraged to bring their go kits to practice with, checking hookups, power connections and antennas.  We will be having our annual Barbeque, so please bring a side dish and a picnic tarp if we have bad weather.   Setup will start at 1000.  Check over the field day rules and turn in copies of your log book after the exercise to Don/KL7JFT.  Check the KL7JFT web site for, SOPs, and portable setup procedures.

Field Day is always the fourth full weekend of June, beginning at 1800 UTC Saturday and running through 2059 UTC Sunday.

Check Field Day (arrl.org)  for all the rules.

Four Field Day Generators - YouTube

ARRL Field Day Safety - Ham Radio Q&A - YouTube

The location I will be at the Menard Center Pavillon at the SW corner of their main parking lot.

 

Everyone please take care and have fun.

 

Don/KL7JFT

MATSU DEC

MARA Producing Training Videos

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

2024 Motely Picnic

 

ALASKA AMATEUR RADIO PICNIC – 2024

Sponsored by The Alaska Motley Group

Aug 2nd to Aug 4thTolsona Wilderness Campground

ALASKA MOTLEY GROUP PICNIC – 2024

Mile173 Glenn Hwy, tolsonacampground.com/ - Phone 822-3900

This will be the 42nd  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

http://www.tolsonacampground.com

 

Alaska River Watch and Fire Status

**SKYWARN TEAM ALERT**

State Fire Status

River Watch Program

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 nws.ar.aprfc@noaa.gov

Additional information about the program and tools to download are available at the following links:

Program background:

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 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

Weather, Flooding, and Storm Damage Reporting

 

ICS COURSES

We have mentioned the basics requirements at our meetings and news letters for folks interested in Emergency Communications.

It was brought to my attention that it makes sense to complete them in the following order, not numerical order…..

“The recommendation is that folks begin with ISC 700 then 800 then 100 then 200 and finally 144.”

700 https://training.fema.gov/is/courseoverview.aspx?code=IS-700.b

800 https://training.fema.gov/is/courseoverview.aspx?code=IS-800.c

100 https://training.fema.gov/is/courseoverview.aspx?code=IS-100.c

200 https://training.fema.gov/is/courseoverview.aspx?code=IS-200.b

144 https://training.fema.gov/is/courseoverview.aspx?code=IS-144

Please let me know if any of you want a classroom setting so I can schedule that with our trainer

Please send a copy of our completion certificate to Don Bush/KL7JFT MATSU DEC, to put in your training file.

Pay your Membership Dues On Line

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.

Ideas for General Meetings

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.

Winter Field Day 2024 (Completed)

2024 Winter Field Day

As we have all read on other posts, Brandon has done a wonderful job in the past getting this event off and running..

This year we are going to be assisting the Palmer Jr. Middle School (PJMS) get their club and station off the ground and open up ham radio to a whole new bunch of youngster.  So how better to accomplish this but to have a great ham get together to show them how much fun this will be for them.

The equipment has been selected and funding as been provided by a school grant.  MARA will be the Elmer to help them get their licenses build their station and train them in the use of ham radio.

So to demonstrate one aspect and introduce them to a new hobby, we will be conducting Winter Field Day on Jan 27th at 1000 in their building and parking lot.  Their counsellor will be William Crumb, KL5LD.  A new technician and and their math and science teacher.   So let Ken/KL2HF know if you like to participate in the operation.  You don't have to have any equipment.  This  is a great opportunity for the new hams to a basic setup and equipment they may be interested in.

We've provided a link to the Winter Field Day site so folks can see what the whole system is like to conduct one..

Winter Field Day

THINGS TO PONDER

Things to ponder and prepare for emergency situations.  Keep your fuel tanks to at least 3/4s of a tank.  Have your go boxes, put together and ready to go.  Emergency rations, water, medications, warm clothing and things for your pets.  If you have a fire place is it working, do you have wood, when was the chimney last cleaned?  Do you have an emergency generator with spare fuel?  Have spare batteries for flashlights and small items on hand.  Have a bag with your radios ready to go.  Please give some thought to getting operational on Winlink and both VHF and HF as your license permits.  You will want to have spare water filters on hand, also air filters for your vehicles, in case we have volcanic activity.  Join our ARES Net on Thursday nights at 2000 on either 147.33 or 147.30.  This will allow you to test out your equipment and antennas.  We have various themes each week to evaluate your capabilities.  HT and Cross banding, Mobile operations, checking radio paths from Red Cross and Salvation Army locations, radio go boxes. Pet emergency plans, backup power.  Let’s help each other and be ready for the next possible event.  If you need assistance, check out the club web page, were we list our Elmers.

We are starting to get our meeting programs together and ready for this next year.  Please send your suggestion for programs or if you have a programs you would like to share, to our VP Craig/KL7H the program coordinator.  Our January program will be on upcoming programs.

With the first of the year here our Club Dues are due.  Please check with the Treasure John/KL1XM to make sure you are up to date on your contact info. You can get a copy of the club application on the www.kl7jfu.com website and email to him and you also can pay your dues thru the website.  You can join ARRL thru the club as well, remember ARRL supports ham radio throughout the US with programs like LOTW, training material, reference books, contesting, building projects, new equipment evaluations, lobbying for frequencies and tower ordinances, equipment insurance and supporting club activities.  Please let the treasure know if you have renewed your ARRL dues else ware so we can keep the roster up to date.  Thank you for your support.

Folks interested in joining MATSU ARES, contact me at dbush@gci.net.  Our ARES website is located at www.kl7jft.org that has all our Emergency Operating Plans, SOP and other useful emergency information and the ARES application.  If you have completed any of the ICS courses, 100, 200, 700, 800, and 144 please send me a copy of your certificates.  Also if you are interested in the Skywarn  program, you can contact me for information and requirements.  Anyone interested in joining CERTS and getting training, contact Tabitha/KL4FZ.

This may be interesting you: 14 Essential Knots for Every Survival Situation You May Encounter! This is the link: http://www.survivaldispatch.com/14-essential-survival-knots/ — You never know when you will need to use a rope and if you do need it these knots become mighty important.

We have Emergency Coordinators for various areas around the borough.  Feel free to contact them to let them know you are available to assist during emergencies.  They can give YOU additional guidance for your area.  We due need a replacement for our Palmer EC, please contact Don/KL7JFT

MATSU Borough District Emergency Coordinator  Don Bush/KL7JFT

Trapper Creek & Petersville Area  Hal Morgan/KL0WX

Caswell Lake, Talkeentna & Willow  Paul Williams KL7ES

Wasilla and Houston Area   Ray Hollenbeck/KL1IL

Palmer & Butte Area  VACANT

Sutton/Chickaloon  VACANT

DMR Radios

OK what is DMR Radio.

Digital mobile radio (DMR) is a limited open digital mobile radio standard defined in the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) Standard TS 102 361 parts 1–4[1] and used in commercial products around the world. DMR, along with P25 phase II and NXDN are the main competitor technologies in achieving 6.25 kHz equivalent bandwidth using the proprietary AMBE+2 vocoder. DMR and P25 II both use two-slot TDMA in a 12.5 kHz channel, while NXDN uses discrete 6.25 kHz channels using frequency division and TETRA uses a four-slot TDMA in a 25 kHz channel.

DMR was designed with three tiers. DMR tiers I and II (conventional) were first published in 2005, and DMR III (Trunked version) was published in 2012, with manufacturers producing products within a few years of each publication.

The primary goal of the standard is to specify a digital system with low complexity, low cost and interoperability across brands, so radio communications purchasers are not locked into a proprietary solution. In practice, given the current limited scope of the DMR standard, many vendors have introduced proprietary features that make their product offerings non-interoperable with other brands.

The ham versions of the Anytone, TYT,Retevis, BTECH, Ailunce, Yaesu and Alinco and a few other brands are Tier I and II.  And both Analog and Digital. The ALMR radios that the state is using and some municipalities are Tier III.

Some of the radio are Type 90 approved and work for ham also.  Prices vary 100-300 dollars.  There are some mobile version out there as well that go for 300-600 dollars.

My brand is the Anytone from Bridgecom.  This training and support they provide is top notch and no question goes unanswered.  They have several videos out on U-Tube and they have training courses at Bridgecom to take you thru the radios, programing and use.

Building your first code plug is a little daunting but their videos and support sites get you thru it, plus you can get with a buddy and share.

We currently have 4 Repeaters operational in Alaska, South Anchorage, Homer, Fairbanks and Wasilla. We organize or various groups of contacts into groups called Talkgroups and have one for Alaska, but there are several that include the lower 48 and the world.

These radios can be used on RF or thru internet/WiFi and cell phone hotspot connections.  We are experimenting in the Valley using them simplex and repeater coverage areas to see how they compare to standard Analog simplex and repeaters.

This is just the beginning.  Folks who are interested and/or are working this mode, lets put out heads together and see if we can getting going.

Don/KL7JFT