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.

Alaska River Watch and Fire Status

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

For Fairbanks AOR:

For Anchorage AOR:

 

BOY SCOUT JOTA

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 16-18th, but they normally only do it for one day.  We’ll set the trailers Friday at 1000 and operate Saturday and tear down Saturday evening around 1700 if they don’t want to work Sunday.  We need about a dozen folks or more to support this, excellent training opportunity.  We could operate DMR if HF is a bust.  We need trailer pullers, setup and teardown crews, folks to interface and training folks to work with the kids to operate.  We normally make up certificates for the kids for operating.  Possibly coordinate with Tim or Ray 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 0800 from MATCOM.

State Wide Quarterly COMEX

COMEX OP ORDER

TOMORROW IS THE SECTION EXERCISE   IT WILL BEGIN AT 10AM
1.  INTERNET IS FAILING ALL OVER ALASKA CASCADING LIKE A SET OF DOMINOES
2.  EACH CARRIER WILL FALL IN THE ORDER OF EVERY 10 MINUTES STARTING AT 10:15  WITH:  GCI, VERIZON, ATT, ACS  IN A CASCADING FAILURE OF THE SYSTEMS.

IF YOU HAVE HUGHES NET IT WILL BE OPERABLE DURING THE EXERCISE!  THOSE WITH HUGHES NET NEED TO BE AWARE OF THE STATIONS THEY ARE CONTACTING AND IF THEY ARE IN A FAILURE MODE.   STATIONS IN THE LOWER 48 MAY CONTACT STATIONS IN ALASKA AS LONG AS THE STATIONS THEY ARE TRYING TO CONTACT HAVE OPERABLE INTERNET OR HUGHES NET.

AL7N WILL BE OPERATING THE CW CIRCUIT AND ANY OTHER STATION THAT HAS CW LIKE KL7JFU TO MOVE OR RELAY TRAFFIC.

POSSIBLE TRAFFIC MESSAGES:
1 STATION HERE IS REPORTING NO OPERATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS BESIDES RADIO
2 KODIAK HAS ACTIVATED COAST GUARD TO PROTECT ANCHORAGE AREA
3 DELTA JUNCTION NEEDS AIR EVAC OF INJURED HUNTERS
4 NORTH POLE NEEDS 3 GENERATORS TO POWER EMERGENCY SHELTERS
5 JUNEAU NEEDS TO GET MESSAGE TO EIELSON TO SEND F-35'S TO INVESTIGATE AIR INCURSION BY FOREIGN ENTITIES.

6  FEEL FREE TO COME UP WITH YOUR OWN MESSAGES!

AND SO ON

PLEASE PLEASE START AND END EVERY MESSAGE WITH EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE.  SOME OF THIS MAY BE CONSTRUED AS REAL.

I OPERATE ON HUGHES NET BY BATTERY POWER SO ANY STATION THAT HAS HUGHES NET MAY CONTACT ME.   THE RMS IN FAIRBANKS IS ON HUGHES NET
I AM ALSO ON WINLINK

ANY OF THE RMS OPERATORS...IF YOU HAVE HUGHES NET PLEASE SET YOUR SYSTEM ON HUGHES NET.

 

LINDA

--

Linda AD4BL
SEC ALASKA

The Angry Moose Exercise will be held on 9/18 from 0900-1400.  Comms will be per the ARES Comm Plan on the ICS 205 found on KL7JFT's ARES website.  The scenario will be lost of internet through the state.  It is available in Canada and the Lower 48.

This is an RF only exercise. The internet has failed. A cyber attack has taken down the whole system but radio still works. Messages will be sent by voice, Winlink Peer to Peer, or CW. Relays will be utilized.

We will be sending some canned messages ahead of time for you to use but please do originate some of your own.

Please send a copy of all the messages to AD4BL. KL7JFU will be taking messages to transmit to the SEOC, should it ever become operational. All traffic destined for the SEOC will go thru KL7JFU to determine if they are to be accepted or not.

You may use radiograms or ICS forms in Winlink for all formal traffic. This will be a test of our ability to operate outside the internet systems. I suspect that we will be needing to operate this way in the coming future if things keep going the way they have been.

This is a team effort and the various teams around the state need to work together to get the traffic where it needs to go. With our cross border stations we also can get traffic to the lower 48, so be thinking how we will utilize them to get the traffic out of Alaska.

We have come a long way in the past 10 years but we have more growing to do and I am very thankful for the hard work you have put into this system.

The KL7JFU Comm Center will be activated at KL7JFT's Bushmaster Operations.  Come up on either 147.33, primary/147.30 secondary. Primary HF will be on 3920.

Prepare to send, receive or relay message traffic via Winlink P2P Primary, voice secondary.  Coordinate HF freqs with Net
Control.  Templates or forms used will be ICS 213 or ARRL Msg Form.  These are part of the Winlink Template.  If sending via Voice, let Net Control which you are using.  RMSs are operational outside the state.  Check these systems periodically for traffic holding for you.

MARA members or MATSU operators let Don/KL7JFT know if your are going to participate..

13th Annual Emergency Preparedness Expo

MARA will be participating in the Annual Emergency Preparedness Expo will be held on September 25, 2021 from 10am to 3pm at the Menard Sports Complex.  Setup will be at 0900 and teardown at 1500.  We will need about 10-15 volunteers.  Please contact Don/KL7JFT at dbush@gci.net

 Pandemic protocols, as appropriate, will be in place. Hand sanitizer stations, and optional face masks will be available, especially for those not fully vaccinated. As many activities as possible will take place outdoors, weather permitting. The goal of this Emergency Preparedness Expo is to serve the needs of the community by providing all-seasons safety and disaster preparedness information and training at no cost to all residents and visitors.

This free, family-friendly event will feature:

  • Interactive games and activities
  • Disaster preparedness kit demos
  • Disaster services displays
  • Informative presentations
  • Direct to consumer sales
  • Door Prizes
  • First 100 adults through the door will receive a free preparedness kit

We will be setting up the Comm Center and Support Trailers, demonstrating Ham Radio Operations, training our newer folks and exchanging information wit the public.

MARA 2021 HAMFEST

Our date is set for 11 Sept.  Setup time is 0900 open from 1000-1600. The location will be the Big Lake Lions Club, at 2942 Lions Cir Big Lake.  Map below.

The Vice ARRL Northwest Director, Mark Tharp/KB7HDX has confirmed his attendance.  He is also a DXCC checker, so if you have QSL cards you would like to submit for that award, he will be able to do at the hamfest.. He will be bringing a lot of new ARRL and Ham radio info with him and wants to get our opinions on various items. We have Satellite presentations and VHF/POTO/SOTA and Winter Field presentations on the schedule.

Entry is $5.00 at the gate and 1 door prize tickets, additional door prize tickets will be a $1.00 with max of 10, Tables are $10.00 reserve them thru John/KL1XM, we still have tables available but are filling up quickly. The Barbee will be $5.00 ea. A special door prize will be an ICOM 2720H Analog, dual band VHF/UHF transceiver, just completely refurbished by the factory. 50/35W output and removable faceplate. Full band receive, Ham band transmit. 1 door prize ticket per person for $5.00. It is programmed with all the local frequencies/repeaters. Please note: for all door prizes you must be present to win. The grand door prize will be a round trip tickets for 2 on the train to Denali and back, starting at Anchorage.

We need volunteers to help on various tasks for the hamfest.  Please contact Chris/KL5BF to volunteer.  Will need VEs to conduct testing at 1300, will need folks at the gate and the MARA Country Store, setup and tear down crews. Folks can bring side dishes and desserts if they desire. Remember if you need a letter or tax receipt for your door prize you’ve collected, let us know. Please turn in all door prizes into Pam/KL3PAM.  Pandemic protocols, as appropriate, will be in place. Hand sanitizer station, and optional face masks will be available, especially for those not fully vaccinated.

Interactive MAP TO HAMFEST

MARA 2021 ANNUAL PICNIC

MARA's annual picnic will be held at the Lake Lucille Rec Area on the 17th 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.

Map to Lake Lucille Park

2021 Motely Picnic

Motely Picnic for June planning is out. Larry/AL7LW reports:

MOTLEY PICNIC FLYER

Greetings, Amateur radio operators:

The 39th annual Alaska Motley Group picnic will be held at the Tolsona Wilderness Campground June 24th thru 27th.

The campground owners are now accepting reservations.  Look at the website (www.tolsonacampground.com ) and call or email now to reserve your space.

RV campsites are $30 per night for picnic attendees.  Inform the campground owners the size of your RV and that you will be there for the Motley Group picnic.

All campsites are along Tolsona creek and include electricity and water and there are showers, laundry and other amenities.

All Ham operators are welcome; tell your Ham friends.

Motley Group moderators are encouraged to "talk it up."  I would like to see 100 attendees; our record so far is 83.

Later this spring we will be distributing a picnic flyer outlining planned activities.

73,
Larry, AL7LW

Portable Operations Work Shop

This year we are resuming our in-person workshops with two PORTABLE OPERATING WORKSHOPS planned. The first will take place at 1000 on Saturday, May 1st at Finger Lake State Recreation Site in Wasilla.

This won’t be your grandpa’s dry ham radio lecture either. We will be getting hands-on under field conditions and setting up a variety of stations (including HF). This is fast-and-light field radio at its best, and will be held rain or shine. POC is Brandon/KL7BSC and the VHF UP GROUP

See just how portable a backpack HF station can be. Learn to set up a single-operator portable VHF contest station. Or if local parks are your thing you can see how a combined HF-VHF Parks on the Air activation works. Don’t miss out!