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!

SOTA-POTA Saturday 13th MAR

Hello group,

Don't forget that this Saturday Alaska VHF+ is doing another Parks on the Air activation, and this time it will also be a Summits on the Air attempt at the same time.

Weather permitting, I will be hiking up a peak called The Hideout, just north of Skilak Lake. The plan is to be on the air for the 2 M SSB net at 0930 and make a few contacts there. I will have a good antenna but will be running QRP, so keep an ear out for a weak signal in the background.

If you can't hear me on VHF then keep an ear on 20 M FT8 around 1030. I'll be switching to that band and mode to make contacts outside of Alaska, but locals should be able to pick me up too.

For Summits on the Air this peak is "KLA/KM-456". It is within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, and counts as K-0149 for that program.

Brandon Clark, KL7BSC

https://brandonclarklabs.com/

MAR STATEWIDE QUARTELY COMEX

The Section Exercise will be in MAR 13th 2021 (TBD) from 0900 to 1400

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 ARRL radiogram. NOTE: Winlink does have a race template to use. You can report in and out times, number of dogs,, dog drops, any requests, and team scratches.  Let Race HQ, know the name of your Dog Race and the number of entries.

Linda/AD4BL/SEC would like all messages copied to her 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 and trying out new pieces of equipment.  This is a prototype for how we will operate in the event of an actual emergency managing dispatches, support convoys, and the like.

KL7EDK AND KL7JFU will be the hubs.  All traffic intended for the RACE HQ will go to KL7JFU  - NO EXCEPTIONS.  KL7JFU will act as Race Central and will have the authority to activate any air or ground support request for assistance.

All H/W traffic will go to the Special OPS group manned by AL7N either via CW or Winlink.

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.

 

Winter Field Day

Results of Winter Field Day

As we have all read on other posts, Brandon has done a wonderful job reporting on the event.  It was a great turnout for it.  As he mentioned we had probably about 10 people onsite at our peak, there was possibly even more I think.  Over the course of the day, I think we had between 25 and 50 people there.  Ham's of all levels were there and even non-ham's.  MARA members and nonmembers alike.

Of the stations on the air, Bridgit was onsite running and powering her full digital rig from her Prius using a dipole at the parking lot, Brandon was actually in a tent on the lake with his rig operating full digital as well, and I wound up in the SE corner of the lot with my heated tent and running strictly voice and the primary location of all training going on for hams.

As the stations shutdown and dispersed, I wound up staying a little while longer and trying to make contacts, playing the bands but eventually decided at 1630L to shutdown and go warm up at home.

WE really appreciate ALL that participated in both setup: Kevin Early (WL7BZ), I believe Rob one of our newly minted hams from the last test session, and forgive me I do not remember who all was there.  Last but not least, for George showing up and helping me to finish up the teardown.  Setup and teardown is the hardest part, but assistance with that was GREATLY appreciated!  My thank you to all that I have mentioned and those who were there that I did not mention - I apologize to those whom I may have omitted.

I explained to my wife (non-ham... yet!) about the satellite ham work and that really caught her interest, so she returned with me back to the site and watched and learned as did my neighbor Kevin Early about how to do AMSAT work during the first pass from 2012L to 2027L and we made enough contacts to cover both Bridgit and I operating as a team as well as for Brandon operating independently, so we got our extra 1500 points for each team for the satellite work.

After Craig had left around 2030L after the first pass, and we decided to not attempt any of the other passes at Finger Lake.  The remaining three of us left the site shortly after.  I was on my way home when another non-ham call at 2040L wondering where we were.  I had to explain that satellite contacts are only 15 minute windows.  Apparently a few others were onsite expecting to observe our operation.  We apologize to anyone who was expecting to see the satellite contacts, but based on report from Craig, we had more contacts during the first pass than he achieved at his home during the second pass.  I also apologize for not being there running the MARA equipment after dark, but temperatures we dropping and I really did not feel up to being out onsite as the temps were projected to be nearly -9F that night.

All photos are posted on the MARA Club Facebook page.

Winter Field Day MARA Slide Presentation

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.

Don/KL7JFT

MATSU DEC

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

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.