Salt Lake County ARES Updates

What is ARES?

ARES is the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, a project supported by the ARRL to facilitate extending emergency services to our communities.  ARES is divided into Sections and smaller groups, and our own local groups is called the Salt Lake County ARES (or SLCo ARES).

Our own Dan (N7XDL) is the new EC (Emergency Coordinator) for SLCo ARES.  He has asked that the following information be posted on the MARC web site.

Time Reporting

The ARRL used to provide a mechanism for reporting volunteer hours associated with ARES via their ARES Connect utility.  This tool has been discontinued, but ARES members still need to be able to report their time to the ARRL.  SLCo ARES is using a Google Form to input the information.  The form can be found here:  https://forms.gle/sWk5Q1qR2xRi7eyv6

Please enter your data PRIOR to the last week of the month, every month, so that the data can be compiled and submitted to the ARRL before the end of the month.

Standard Load and Radio Configuration Files

SLCo ARES has spent a great deal of time working on the Standard Load.  While individual clubs will be maintaining their own versions of it, the basic template is maintained by SLCo ARES.  They are also setting up a repository of standard load files and radio configuration files.  These files will be stored in a Google Drive (at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1N5DF663VUrLslCVH4nj1glAFu5acBKc0?usp=sharing) for general access.

Please send any standard load files you have or have generated in any format (ideally CSV, RT Systems files, or CHIRP radio image files) directly to Dan (N7XDL) or Rian (KF7QGY) for inclusion in this repository.  NOTE, we are not including Dan's or Rian's e-mail addresses here to help limit their spam exposure... if you do not have their e-mail addresses, please use our Contact Form to ask for them and we will be happy to let you know.  You can also find their e-mail addresses on QRZ.com.

Load files should be named according to the following standard to simplify classification:  <Make>_<Model>_<Date>.<Format>.  For example, a CSV file for a Yaesu FTM-400 DR mobile radio that was produced on 7 July 2021 would be named Yaesu_FTM400DR_070721.CSV, while a CHIRP image for an AnyTone AT-5888 UV III produced on 21 June 2021 would be named AnyTone_AT5888UVIII_062121.IMG.

WinLink Training

ARES recently sponsored an introduction to WinLink.  The presentation and associated chat text are available at the following links:

Presentation:  https://youtu.be/bl4aFN-sJjY

Chat Text:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jQBXnpiZxArKo5erTpLv8KmdAYelkYXF/view?usp=sharing

There will also be a four week training series starting in August.  You do NOT need to be an ARES member to attend.  The training will be provided over Zoom and is being coordinated by Oliver (K6OLI) from the Los Angeles Northeast District ARES in conjunction with Utah ARES.

In order to attend, you must first sign up at https://forms.gle/affxfCuNij7K7fMu6.  Once you have signed up, you will be added to a mailing list to receive the Zoom link(s).  The first session will be on 30 June 2021 at 7:00 PM MDT.  If you have any questions, please contact the Utah Section EC Tyler (N7UWX).  (Again, use our contact form if you don't know Tyler's e-mail address.)

And Finally...

SLCo ARES suggests that you read and heed the following article by Lucy Jones of the Los Angeles Times:  Earthquake Preparedness Tips

Account Cleanup

FYI, I have noticed an excess of what appear to be fake accounts on the club web site.  These have not caused much of a problem due to the requirement that comments must be vetted before being made public and that only authorized users can make new posts or edit pages, but in the interests of keeping our user database clean I have deleted several (about 28) accounts.  These accounts had not registered a call sign, had either never logged in, only logged in once, or had logged in way more times than they should have been able to based on the account creation data.  Quite often, these accounts had e-mail addresses in Russia or had other commonalities that indicated they were likely to not be valid.

If I purged your account and you are an actual person who wants to be part of the web site, please feel free to recreate your account AND notify me via our contact form of your interest.

If you have registered an account and you have a call sign but did not enter it when you created your account, please use the edit link (scroll down near the bottom) to update it.  If you are a member of the club and you can NOT access the Member's Area then please use the Contact Us page to let me know and I'll adjust your membership category accordingly.  Note that you do NOT have to live in Murray to be a member of the club... you can become an Affiliate Member, but you do have to have given some personal information (mainly name, address, phone number) to the club secretary.  Again, you can use the  Contact Us form to let us know and we will make sure you are put in touch with the club secretary.

Parade Update

Looks like the N7MRY repeater is back online, so we will plan to use it as our primary for the parade tomorrow.  See the current parade route here.

You can also download it in PDF format (which can be zoomed).

Station Assignments:

StationLocationOperator(s)
1Fashion Place Mall
6100 S State St
(net control)
Dan (N7XDL)
Gordon (KE7LWB)
2Zion's Bank
5600 S State St
Sam (KG7MLL)
Ragnar (N7LCR)
35300 S State StHenry (KI7ZLS)
4Murray Park Main Entrance (State St)Paul (AE4KR)
5Murray City HallDave C (KI7IHU)
6Murray Park North Entrance (Vine St)Neil (KF7PKX)
Dave O (KF7PKW)
7Murray Park (near Park Center)Sherwood (KF7YCT)
Max (KJ7WLV)

Frequency Assignments:

PriorityChannelFrequency
1N7MRY223.96 MHz
negative 1.6 MHz offset
PL Tone 103.5 Hz
2Ensign Pk147.16 MHz
positive 0.6 MHz offset
PL Tone 127.3 Hz
3Simplex146.440 Mhz
4Simplex145.540 MHz
5Simplex145.740 MHz
6Simplex146.480 MHz

Upcoming Murray City Parade

Once again, MARC has been asked to assist Murray City with communications during the upcoming Murray Fun Days parade on 3 July 2021.  We have participated in this event before (in 2019... there was no parade in 2020).

This year, we will be following the same parade route as previous city parades and will once again have seven stations that will need amateur radio operators.  Some people have already identified their preferred station, but several are still up for grabs.  You can see the parade route to the right (click on the image for a larger version).

Note that we are planning to use our 220 MHz repeater this year instead of the simplex frequencies that we used before.  If you would like to participate but do not have a radio capable of operating on the 1.25m band, the club does have several radios available for check out.  Note that these radios have not been used or maintained in two years (thanks to COVID-19) and may need a little TLC to get them working effectively again.  If you want to use one of these radios, contact Sam (KG7MLL).  They are currently stored in the station 83 radio room, but we will be pulling them out, dusting them off, and bringing them to the club meeting next week.  We think there are four radios available that work.

Alternately, you might look into purchasing a tri-band HT.  Amazon has a few...

Mirkit x BaofengRadio UV-5R MK3X 5 Watt Power 2021 2100 mAh Li-ion Battery, Tri-Band Radio Mirkit Edition and Neck Strap Lanyard Mirkit Ham Radio Operator  $45.75


BTECH UV-5X3 5 Watt Tri-Band Radio : VHF, 1.25M, UHF, Amateur (Ham), Includes Dual Band Antenna, 220 Antenna, Earpiece, Charger, and More Two-Way Radio  $79.89


Baofeng UV-S9X3 5 Watt Tri-Band Radio : VHF, 1.25M, UHF, with 2200mAh Large Battery,Includes Dual Band Antenna, 220 Antenna, Earpiece, and More Amateur (Ham) Two-Way Radio… (Black)  $32.99

and some mobile radios with 1.25m as well...

BTECH Mobile UV-50X3 50 Watt Tri-Band Radio: VHF, 1.25M, UHF, Amateur and Commercial Radio $399.89

BTECH Mini UV-25X4 25 Watt Tri-Band Base, Mobile Radio: VHF, 1.25M, UHF Amateur (Ham) $143.86

(NOTE:  these are affiliate links... any proceeds from purchases made using these links go directly to support the operation of the Murray ARC web site.)

You may also find better deals on eBay... I know I got an AnyTone AT-5888 UV III  on eBay for a comparable price to the offering on Amazon, but the eBay one also included a separation kit (to allow mounting the head separately from the radio body).  Look around and you'll probably find some good deals.  Please feel free to leave links to them in the comments here!

Meeting 3 June 2021 – Election Results

We held elections for the board positions at the club meeting last night.  If you were not there, you didn't get a vote.  We also experimented with Zoom-casting and recording the meeting in the new location at the fire department.  It seemed to go well.

Newly elected board members are the following:

  • President:  Gordon Anderson (KE7LWB)
  • Vice-president:  Jan Peterson (KD7ZWV)
  • Treasurer:  Sherwood Preece (KF7YCT)
  • Secretary:  Brad Olson (KJ7RPV)

In addition, several other positions and people were proposed:

  • News Letter Editor:  (proposed) Karen Kezerian (KC7NQP)
  • News Letter Staff:  Ragnar Bjorge (N7LCR), Dan Lundwall (N7XDL)
  • Web Master(s):  Jan Peterson (KD7ZWV), Max Walker (KJ7WLV)
  • Training Committee:  Dave Carr (KH7IHU), Jens ??, Stan Lawrence (KE7SL), Dan Lundwall (N7XDL), Ragnar Bjorge (N7LCR), Jan Peterson (KD7ZWV)
  • Activities Director:  TBD
  • Net Control Coordinator:  Brad Olson (KJ7RPV)

A recording of the meeting is included below:

Returning to In Person Meetings

As was announced on the net this evening, the club is returning to in person meetings starting this week with the meeting on 3 June.  Along with the return to meetings is a new location!  We will now be meeting at Murray Fire Department Station 81 in their beautiful conference/training room!  I will update the Meeting Schedule and Location page accordingly.  If you are vaccinated, please feel free to not wear a mask to the meeting.  If you are not vaccinated or have extenuating circumstances that involve you wishing to continue wearing a mask, please wear one and don't feel embarrassed to do so.  We want everyone to be comfortable and feel safe.  We will be maintaining some amount of social distancing during the meeting (no group hugs).  Sorry, Ragnar, but pants at least will be required... do not wear just a Speedo.

This week's meeting is doubly important as we will be having elections for new club officers.  As you (hopefully) know, our fearless leader, Dan (N7XDL) has accepted the position of Emergency Coordinator for Salt Lake County ARES and is unable to fill both positions with the care and support that they both require.  Since our by laws call for new club officers every two years, and the current board has been serving for three years now (thanks to COVID-19), it is past time for us to have these elections.

At this point, I don't know if we will be supporting the Zoom sessions during the in-person meetings.  I would like to continue doing so, but I need to check out the venue and determine what support there is for video conferencing from Station 81.  I will be doing so this week prior to the meeting on Thursday, so watch your e-mail boxes for an update.  If we can't support the Zoom sessions, we will still look at continuing to record the meetings for presentation via YouTube on the club web site.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.  It will be great to see you all in person once again!

“Advanced Topics” Meeting – 13 May 2021

Okay, we didn't really have an advanced topics meeting this week.  Instead, several of us got together at the repeater site and helped clean up the area.  This mainly involved removing trash and getting rid of weeds and other overgrowth.  Pictures of the event have been added to the Club Repeaters page.

Basic Topics Meeting – 6 May 2021

We had a different kind of meeting today.  In lieu of training, we discussed several things that will be affecting the club moving forward.

For starters, we used the new Murray repeater located at the Murray Animal Shelter for our check-in net this evening.  The repeater sounded great and nearly all checkins were totally clean and full quieting.  Please take a look at our Club Repeaters page for more information about the new repeater.  While this repeater has a power output of only 40W, it has an effective radiated power of around 300W due to the gain antenna and the antenna's placement at the 180 foot level of the tower that was on this site.  This repeater provides an excellent resource for 1.25m communications across the entire Salt Lake valley.

To show our thanks for Murray City for sponsoring this repeater, Dan (N7XDL) proposed that we take our next scheduled club meeting next week, 13 May 2021, starting at 6:30 PM and meet at the repeater site to clean up the area.  Please bring weed whackers, rakes, work gloves, saws, and whatever else you think you might need to help out.  Dan will be sending out an announcement via e-mail to the club membership regarding this scheduling change.  I will be deferring my discussion of the legal ramifications of our favorite Chinese radios until the following week's general club meeting.

Dan was also talking with Joey (KI7BQM), who is the Murray City emergency manager and our fire department representative.  Joey informs us that Murray City will be adding some amateur radio equipment to the city owned communications truck, including a dual band antenna mounted on the extendable mast.  We will do a little presentation on that vehicle at a later date.

Murray City has also started their CERT training again, and will be putting on a special class for MARC members.  There will be no charge for this training, which will consist of five sessions, typically about two hours each.  Personal equipment for CERT response will also be available for purchase, but is not required.  Additional information about this series of classes will be made available when it gets a little closer.

On to a more personal note, Dan, our fearless leader and the founder and president of MARC has been selected to be the new Salt Lake County ARES Emergency Coordinator.  Dan expects this to take quite a bit of his time and is concerned about impacts it may have on the operation of MARC.  He will be sending out several surveys over the next couple of weeks to get feedback from the club membership about how this should be handled, including things such as a change in the board of MARC and who and how the monthly training sessions will be handled going forward.

Please watch for these surveys and respond in a timely fashion.

Thanks to everyone who participated in tonight's meeting.  We had sixteen people in attendance, which, while not a new record, is still a good turnout.  We would love to see some of the less active members start attending these Zoom sessions until such time as we are able to meet in person again.