MARA Hamfest

The MARA Ham Fest will be held at the Boys and Girls Club in Wasilla again this year. It will be on Saturday May 11th. The Address is 3700 Bogard Rd.

Setup Starts at 0900 and the ham fest will go to 1700.

There will be a barbee $5.00 donation, entry fee is $5.00 donation, table rental will be a $10.00 donation and contact John/KL1XM to reserve it.  We will have the Northwest Director

Michael Ritz / W7VO presenting ARRL information,  Craig/KL4E & Dan/KL7DR demonstrating and discussion Satellite Operations.  We’ll have VE testing at 1400.  If you like please bring a side dish to embellish the barbee. If you just have a couple items and don’t want a table the MARA country store will be operational an if the item is sold we would like a 10% donation to the club.  Also Club T-shirts, decals, patches and order coffee cups will be on hand.

The big item this year are the raffles we have going on.  MARA is raffling off a Kenwood TM-V71 dual band 2 meter rig and a Tigertronics TNC.  The raffle is going on currently and the drawing will be at the Club Picnic on July 26th . the tickets are only $5.00 and only 300 printed.  Contact you club officers if you would like to buy one or sell some.

The EARS club is also having a raffle for a round trip from Anchorage to Fairbanks for 2.  They are $10.00 each and there are only 300.  Contact any of the EARS Club officers to purchase.

Ideas for General Meetings

Lou/KL4NK, our VP is looking for ideas for programs at the meetings, so let him know what you would like to see or an idea we can put together.  May 31st will be our last regular meeting due to summer activities.  We take June and July off.  We have the Motely Picnic coming up 29-30th June after field day.  Location has not been selected yet.  Byers Lake Campground is shut down due to beetle kill and down trees.  We will let you now on the location later.

Ham Call Plates

To all hams with a call sign License Plate

The State DMV is sending out yellow cards to those people needing to re-register their plates. The card indicates you can register online. However, for those that have ham radio plates you can’t do it online. It has to be done at a DMV office. I have included below what one administer sent me.

I would advise that those re-registering their plates to take what Karina Garces-Pellon sent to me so if there are any questions, you have some backup. She is from the Anchorage DMV

I’ve included our Vehicle Transaction Application (Form 812) for the renewal, you will need to

  • State on form 812 that you’re requesting Amateur Radio Exemption by checking the box “Other” and writing in the Amateur Radio (AR)
  • Make the following statement in the Affidavit section on the application “This vehicle meets the requirements outlined in AS 28.10.421 (d) (8) (A) & (B) and I qualify for free registration under this statute.”
  • Copy of current FCC License
  • Folks need to understand they need a 5 Band HF radio installed in the vehicle with Antenna and power connection.

Click here for the Vehicle Transaction Application (Form 812)

December Update

Hopefully folks survived our little shake and things are getting back to normal.  If you did have any significant damage, please check the MATSU Emergency Services Facebook or web site to get assistance on getting things repaired if required.  MATSU ARES and hams around the borough and southcentral were quite busy for a while.  Lose of commercial services mainly centered around roads and electric outages.  With building and dwelling damaging varying up and down the area.  We activated nets around the south central area in Anchorage, Kenai, and MATSU and began collecting reports.  After folks checked out their homes, vehicles and family situation, mobile units began checking out their neighborhoods, local business and what resources were available.  We did not lose the internet and land lines in a lot of areas.  Cell service had various outages.  Texting appeared to work when phone calls would not go thru in some areas of the cell system.  Water problems varied around the borough depending on how deep your well was and several other factors.  The highways and road system took a lot of hits and we received very accurate reports on where the problems were and how bad.  Our units checked bridges and rail crossings, where gas and groceries were available, alternate routes round the road problems.  Our schools took some hits, luckily only minor injuries occurred throughout the areas.  We established Comm links on the Ak Pacific Net (14.292) to the North West, Saturn Communications Coordinator out of Calif, who relayed into to this HQ in Washington DC.  We establish our local HF net on 3920, and received reports from Cordova, Valdez, Kenai Area, Tok, North Pole and Fairbanks.  Local VHF nets on 147.33, and 147.30 were established.  Backup systems on 146.67, 146.85 and 147.18 were on line if needed.  Winlink was established on VHF and HF receiving and sending traffic in and out of the area.  Hams throughout the borough assisted in obtaining information as well as Chugiak, Eagle River, Anchorage, Homer, Sterling area.  Our Comm trailers were checked and were ready to go if needed.  Due to no loss of internet or land line, the borough did not activate us for back up comes but really appreciated the information that was collected and passed on to them once the EOC was setup.  I want to thank everyone who assisted and in the true Alaska sprit, neighbor helped neighbor.


Things to ponder and prepare for before another situation arises.  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.


MARA will be having our before the meeting lunch at Marcello’s in the Value Village shopping center in Wasilla, Thursday the 20th ,at noon.  Real good Italian, Greek and American food.  See you there.


Our next Comex will be “Where’s Rudolph?” It will be on the 22nd of Dec. MATSU will activate Bushmaster Operations and train on Winlink, go kits and message formats used with our supported agencies like the ICS 213.  Please contact Don at if you can attend.  Our training for the next few months will be building teams to deploy to support borough operations from various locations as needed.  We will be interfacing with our CERTs teams also.  Dates and locations will be sent out after the first of the year.


The MARA Christmas party will be held the 28th of Dec at the Wasilla Boys and Girls Club at 3700 Bogard Road.  This will be a potluck, please bring a side dish or desert.  We will be having he famous Chinese Auction, gifts $25.00 or less, please no boat anchors.  Setup will be at 1830.  See you all there.


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 Lou/KL4NK the program coordinator.  Our January program will be Alaska Shield.  This is the state’s major emergency drill, that’s held every 2 or 3 years.  It will be in the April time frame 2019.  We should be getting our technician class together just after the first of the year, contact John/AL7LA if you know of someone who wants to take the course.


With the first of the year coming up 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 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 ordnances, 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  Our ARES website is located at 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, please send me a copy of your certificates.  Also if you are interested in the Army Mars  program, you can contact me or Ron/KL7YK 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: — 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.


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  Jim Wardman/AL4W

Sutton/Chickaloon  Lou Friend/KL4NK


This is a few items to look into and take care of.  I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  Enjoy a safe and enjoyable holiday season.




2018 Sutton Emergency Preparedness Fair

Saturday, June 16 will be the Sutton Emergency Preparedness Fair.  We will be setting up both trailers.  This will be a dress rehearsal for the MARA Field Day.  We need folks to show up at the Sutton Library about 0900, tear down will be around 1600.  We will be training folks on tower installation, generator ops, beam and wire antennas, and equipment operations. This training will be critical for a good field day operation.  Please contact Don/KL7JFT if you can attend.



2018 VHF Contest

There will be a VHF Contest being held on Saturday June 9th 2018. There will be folks up on various VHF frequencies. Home stations and rovers will be around the state trying to make contacts. The rover route for the Hune VHF Contest is still on.

From Brandon KL7SBC

For my first time roving here I’m planning to go from
just outside of Soldotna, up through Anchorage, and then to the Talkeetna area on the first day.
One of my stops on day one will be at the Mount Baldy trailhead, from which I have reached Ed with 5 watts and a whip antenna on two meters. I should be able to hear all the way down into the peninsula, and all the way up past the valley, so keep an ear on the FM and sideband calling frequencies if you’re around on that day. I decided to also go ahead and push up to Fairbanks on Sunday of the contest. If you know of any operators up in that area please pass the word along that I will be coming in to radio range sometime in the morning and early afternoon. I still have to wrap up building my gain antennas and then get them mounted
on the truck, but everything should be ready before the contest. I’m planning to operate on 2M, 6M, and 70 cm for this run. I had hoped to also run gear on 220, but wasn’t able to pull everything together in time.
If you’re interested in making a few contacts don’t hesitate to send me an e-mail. Also, don’t forget that as a Rover you can reach me from more than one place for credit. If I contacted you and one grid square you can
contact me again in a different grid square and it is good to go for the rules.

ARRL VHF Contest Page

Click Here for the 2018 June VHF Travel Plan

Sunshine Committee

MARA members, if you know of a member who needs cheering up because they have lost a loved one, or are laid up with illness or injury, or if someone is in the hospital, please let one of us know. We would love to send a ray of sunshine in their direction.


Help us spread the cheer. Donations are always appreciated and can be made at the general meeting or directly to Tabitha or Pam.


Contact Tabitha at (best way), or text or phone 907-414-2281.

Pam at, or 907-376-9281.

Mars Comex

The next MARS/Amateur Comex will be 20-23 Feb. As we have in the past we will be looking to contact Hams for information about the status of critical resources in their areas. This is a short series of questions to determine the operational status of things like Water, Transportation, Communications, Power, Sanitation and Medical. The responses are for real world actual status. Basically if the MARS Member asks the status of Water in your area the normal day to day response is Operational. Of course if an item is damaged for any reason and it actually failed, then report that.

The MARS Stations will come up on area repeaters for example, using their Ham Calls they will make a statement like this “This is KL7YK, I am a MARS Station looking for input for the DOD Drill”.

We will also be looking for Hams outside of the population centers on HF, using 3.920 LSB. Same idea as above, you should hear a like statement on air from a MARS Member.

Also you can send Winlink msgs to Use the ISNAP form found in the Global directory of Templets or send a WinLink msg to kl7jft for the Alaska Form.

Our operational window starts on 20 Feb and runs until 23 Feb. So we will be active during the week. Perhaps take a few minutes out of your week to monitor some of the area repeaters. In Anchorage the wide area Repeaters are at Grubstake 147.33, Site Summit 147.30 and of course the Military Club Repeater on 146.67. Someone locally will be monitoring as well for Hams so if you like you can come up on air and ask for a MARS Station. The exchange takes less then 2 minutes to complete. MARS Stations will be consolidating the Ham contacts into a formal message through DOD Channels. HQ Army MARS is generating QSL Cards for those Hams who participate as well to be mailed out after the drill ends. Hopefully those will be in your hands by the end of Mar, but being this is the government it may be months.

This is nationwide and statewide, we have members in Bethel, Kodiak, Fairbanks, MatSu, Anchorage and elsewhere. So this is the invite to our Amateur Partners to join us in exercising communications paths not only in Alaska but worldwide.

Why involved Hams? You live in the areas that could be effected by a disaster thus would have firsthand knowledge of what not working and needs attention sooner than later. Amateur Radio Operators are considered a trusted source for this information. The info itself is going to FEMA planners so they will know where the biggest problems are and where they should be sending support first. Due to the delays that come up on Amateur long haul bands from poor propagation to just too many operators using the spectrum, this information gets stalled getting to those who actually need it.

Using federal HF Channels we avoid that congestion anyway. These DOD drills involve both MARS Members and Military Comm Units. Nationwide there are quite a few Guard and Reserve units operating in these drills. We ask that you only provide input to Alaskan MARS Stations even if you do copy say an Idaho Mars/Ham station calling. Sending Alaska info to outside of Alaska will just confuse things.

MARS Operators are Hams first, we are all licensed operators just like you. Every contact with a Ham will be on Amateur spectrum using Amateur Call Signs. So no one need worry about the FCC getting excited. Its all above board.

If you’re interested in more information about the MARS Program please contact Don Bush KL7JFT or myself as well as the online resource like:

About US Air Force MARS

There are still two programs but we are effectively interchangeable as far as our mission. We operate joint AF-Army MARS all the time.

I can be reached at ron.keech@armymarsregiontenorg, Don Bush can be reached at for any Army MARS related questions.

AF MARS contact in Alaska is Pat Patterson at


I spoke of the basics at our January meeting and need to clarify and provide links to each one.

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 and then 200.”





Please let me know if any of you want a classroom setting so I can schedule that with our trainer


Shelia Olson, KL3TP, MARA President