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 email@example.com. 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 Mark Allan/KL2EC & Paul Williams KL7ES
Wasilla and Houston Area Ray Hollenbeck/KL1IL
Palmer & Butte Area VACANT
Sutton/Chickaloon Lou Friend/KL4NK
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 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.
Portable Operations Work Shop (COMPLETED)
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 (COMPLETED)
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
Winter Field Day (Completed)
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.