Winter Field Day

TW1AW to be on the Air for Winter Field Day

Are you interested in trying a winter Field Day.  MARA will be participating in Winter Field Day this year.  We are planning to setup at Finger Lake Campground off Bogard Road. Talk-in Freq, will be 146.43, Valley Simplex. Contact our coordinator, Chris Hamman/KL5BF if you would like to participate.  We need a list of folks who want to get into the campground by 25 Jan. Operators will be setting up as individual stations in tents or campers.  Setup time will be 0800 and on the air by 1000.

Members of the Warren County (New York) Amateur Radio Club (W2WCR) will activate Maxim Memorial Station W1AW for Winter Field Day 2021 over the January 30 – 31 weekend. Winter Field Day is sponsored by the Winter Field Day Association (WFDA), which believes that emergency communication is important throughout the year. Winter Field Day is open to radio amateurs worldwide. The WFDA’s goal is to help enhance operating skills and to prepare participants for all environmental conditions. Winter Field Day runs for 24 hours. Station set-up may start no earlier than 1900 UTC on the day before the event and may not take any longer than 24 hours in total. Expect activity on all amateur bands except 12, 17, 30, and 60 meters. All modes that can handle the required exchange are welcome; this does not include FT8. Entry categories include indoor, outdoor, and home.

Full details are on the Winter Field Day website.

Winter Field Day MARA Slide Presentation

ARRL Staffers to be On the Air from W1AW for Straight Key Night

Craig/KL7H, reports that tomorrow night's (New Year's Eve) Nationwide ARES Net, Maybe the Net participants could enticed to grab their old J-38 keys (link: J-38 Keys ( and start cranking out dits and dahs after the Net is over.

Special Bulletin 16  ARLX016
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  December 30, 2020
To all radio amateurs

ARLX016 ARRL Staffers to be On the Air from W1AW for Straight Key

Members of the ARRL Headquarters staff will put W1AW on the air for
Straight Key Night (SKN). Set some time aside on New Year's Eve and
New Year's Day to take part in this annual ARRL tradition.

Information on Straight Key Night can be found at, .

SKN begins at 0000 UTC on January 1, 2021 (New Year's Eve in US time
zones) and wraps up at 2359 UTC. Not a contest, SKN is dedicated to
celebrating amateur radio's Morse code heritage. Bring out the
brass, get on the air, and enjoy casual CW contacts, preferably
using a straight key (hand key) or a semi-automatic key (bug).
Activity traditionally centers on CW segments in the HF bands (W1AW
will focus on 80, 40, and 20 meters).

Submit via email your SKN list of stations contacted and your votes
for "Best Fist" and "Most Interesting QSO" by January 31 to, .


The Section Exercise will be Dec 5 from 0900 to 1400

The scenario is to follow Santa as he travels across Alaska.  All modes will be allowed also relays.   We will use WinLink, voice, CW and any other method that works.   All messages will begin and end with EXERCISE, EXERCISE so we don't upset any folks who might see the messages.  Please use radiogram or ICS formats.

I would appreciate any messages being copied to my station when possible.  While this is a fun exercise it is also very important as we will be testing all our methods and links.  We will also have new amateurs on the system who might need your assistance.  We may also have new amateurs trying out new pieces of equipment.  This is a prototype for how we will operate in the event of an actual emergency.

KL7EDK AND KL7JFU will be the hubs.  All traffic intended for the SEOC will go to KL7JFU  - NO EXCEPTIONS.  KL7JFU will act as the SEOC and only the SEOC will have the authority to activate any military units so all requests for military assistance will need to go to KL7JFU.

All H/W traffic will go to the Special Opps group manned by AL7N either via CW or Winlink.  These can be real messages to friends and families.

If sending real traffic please write:  complete address, phone number, and email address and sign with your full name, callsign, and location so there is a better chance of getting them delivered.

If sending messages to "agencies" please write a complete address, phone number and email address and add your phone number and email address to your signature.

You may put messages that indicate that Santa needs assistance with the reindeer, sled etc.  Or Mrs. Claus needs to get a message to Santa somewhere along his route and include the message.  Keep it clean!!  We would appreciate weather forecasts and reports that Santa is likely to encounter or for the military should they need to be activated.  You might want to arrange a "filling station" for the reindeer along the route.  It will be a long ride.

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.



Summer Solstice Qtry State Wide Comex (Completed)

20 June, we completed our Quarterly Alaska Comex, from 0900-1400.  We received, sent and originated msg traffic by Winlink and VHF/FM voice.  Bushmaster Operations cleared all traffic. Had 17 hams check into the Phone net 5 on HF & 17 on the local repeaters & 2 on DMR.  The exercise was support of the borough and forestry fire suppression teams. All traffic was handled on Winlink RMS and P2P, using VARA, Pactor, Packet, & using the Eagle Packet Network (145.01) down to Homer and places in between.  The RMS stations were KL7EDK, KL7GRM, WL7CVG-10 & KL7JFT-10 on various frequencies. We generated Health & Welfare, County Status & Windshield reports & Sitreps.  We had request for equipment, rescue, both animal and human. We used ICS213s, text msgs. Our long haul was P2P to AG6SV/Ken the Saturn Communications Coordinator. The DMR network used the AK TG 3102 thru our local repeaters. We had hams from Tok, Big Delta, Northpole, Fairbanks, Anchorage, Sterling, Eagle River and throughout the Matsu Valley. A big thank you to all the hams who participated.  Start studying and practicing for next Quarter.



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.



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.”






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.