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

2023 BOY SCOUT JOTA SETUP (COMPLETED)

jota_joti_2023_badge

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 20-21ST,   We’ll set the trailers Frida 1000 and operate Saturday and tear down Saturday evening around 1600.  We need about a dozen folks or more to support this, excellent training opportunity.  We will operate DMR and HF.  We need trailer pullers, coordinate with Scott/KL7SLM, setup and teardown crews, coordinate with TJ/KL3IT folks to interface and training folks Equipment setup in Comm Trailer and to work with the kids to operate. Make sure the kids log books get signed and attendance list get completed.  Possibly coordinate with Kathy/KL7KO 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 0915 from MATCOM.

MAP

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

MARA HamWAN Presentation (COMPLETED)

OK coming up on Saturday, April 29th at 1800 will be a presentation on HamWAN at WASI Class Room.  The club is looking into possibly setting up a network around the valley to start with, to give us an internal internet.  This is a modern, multi-megabit, IP-based, digital network for amateur radio use.  It can be tied into the regular internet if available but continue to work if it is lost.  There are several additional features it could provide to work with outside agencies or activities

Currently Puget Sound has quite a network established.  The MARA working group will have equipment on hand and discuss the pros and cons of the system. HamWAN for any additional info on the presentation.

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

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.

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)

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/