MARC General Meeting, July 2020

Unfortunately, our fearless leader (hi, Dan!) was unable to join us this evening, so we did not have any formal training.  Instead, those club members who joined the meeting had a great round table discussion about a few different topics.

The first topic we discussed was about the legal issues of some of the newer digital modes.  This was brought up in the context of using VOIP systems to communicate over a mesh network and, in particular, allowing non-amateur operators use such VOIP systems in a distributed network environment without an operator present.  This topic has been talked about on several threads on the AREDN site, in particular non-ham-use-of-voip-mesh, part-97-interpretation-ip-phone-deployment-over-mesh, and who-can-use-mesh.  The general feel among the club is that a control operator should be present, but it is a gray area.  I'd love to have some people comment here on what they think.

Our second topic was how do we get more people involved in the club!  We have about 25 official club members, but it seems that the same ten or so are the only ones who appear on the weekly zoom meetings.  Why don't the rest of the club members join in?  Are they intimidated by the technology?  Do they not have the resources (computer and internet connection)?  Do they just not know how to get on?  We would love to have more people attending the Thursday evening club meetings.  If you haven't attended, consider trying to attend the next meeting in August (the 6th).  An e-mail with an invite to the meeting will be sent out prior to the meeting (usually the day before).  If you have not been getting the invites, please e-mail Jan (KD7ZWV), leave a feedback message, or comment on this post.  If you are not comfortable getting the zoom software working, let us know and we will help you out.

Our third topic was along similar lines... how do we get more people (who are not currently members) interested in getting involved with amateur radio?  Particularly younger people!  Several suggestions were raised, including:

  • reaching out to the local scouting groups in Murray, offering assistance in getting scouts to sign off their radio merit badge and others that are related to amateur radio (such as communications, digital technology, electronics, and emergency preparedness
  • reaching out to the school district to get in touch with science teachers at the junior and high school level as well doing events such as "talk with the ISS" at elementary schools.  find an advisor at the high school interested in reviving the school's amateur radio club as an auxiliary of the MARC
  • making sure amateur radio is represented at city sponsored CERT training events
  • get some more articles published in the Murray Journal talking about what we do as a club, why we got interested in amateur radio, what can be done with it, etc.
  • put together a flyer that can be posted at local schools, the public library, the boy's and girl's club, local hospitals, malls, etc.
  • identify barriers to entry such as cost of equipment, identify inexpensive solutions and make them available to get people involved in digital modes (what would you do if your cell phone or the Internet didn't work?  how would you talk to your friends and/or family?)
  • reach out to local prepper groups to teach them about operating their radio equipment legally

If you have any suggestions or contributions to these topics, post a comment on this thread!



MARC Advanced Training 9 July 2020 – What’s Next?

We had a rousing discussion via Zoom for the Advanced Training session.  The meeting was broken up into two parts.  In part one, we discussed a variety of topics regarding what kinds of things we want to cover in future Advanced Training classes.  In part two, we talked about the pending Salt Lake County ARES "basic load" of radio frequencies, particularly what frequencies MARC wants to put into the "club specific" portion of the load.

Upcoming Class Topics

  • backup/emergency power
    • Solar panels (portable and permanent mount, charge controllers, etc)
    • Batteries and charging/maintenance
    • Cabling, power loss and heat
  • go kits (vhf/uhf, hf, “shack in a box”, ultra-portable, etc.)
    • Security of equipment
  • antenna modeling with software
  • packet radio
  • running a traffic net
    • Procedures, forms, etc.
    • Equipment, using your go kit, portable antennas, power, etc.
    • Shelter 
  • HF operations/procedures
  • Mobile radio installation, don’t break your car or your radio
    • HF, VHF/UHF
    • Grounding, cabling, antennas
    • Mobile CW?
  • Grounding and bonding, electrical/lightning (not the same)
  • Practical/advanced DMR
    • Demos, experimentation
  • Other digital voice modes
    • System Fusion
    • D-Star
  • HF Digital Modes
    • Packet
    • PSK31
    • FT8
    • FT4
  • Radio over Internet
    • IRLP
    • Echolink
  • Field day/Contesting
    • Techniques for handling pileups, etc.
  • Controlling your audio
    • Speakers, mics, parametric equalization, etc.
  • How to get more participation in the advanced class
  • Logging
    • Paper logs vs. Software
    • LOTW
    • QRZ
    • QSL cards
  • Antennas
    • Stealth
    • Building various antenna types
      • Pringles can yagi
      • Dipoles
      • Beam antennas
    • Safety (tower, electrical, etc.)

SLCo ARES Basic Load - MARC Frequencies

These are the frequencies that have been suggested for the "club specific" section of the SLCo ARES basic load.
Memory LocationReceive FrequencyTransmit FrequencyOffsetShort NameTone ModeTone ValueDescription
16147.16147.76PlusMARC-PRI2mTONE127.3 HzMurray Amateur Radio Club 2m Primary
17224.64223.04MinusMARC-220TONE156.7Sammie's 220 Repeater
18146.44146.44SimplexMARC-2mSNoneMARC-2m Simplex
19223.44223.44SimplexMARC-22SNoneMARC-220 Simplex
20224.9223.3MinusMARC-FDTONE156.7MARC - 220 RPTR MURRAY FD
22146.62146.02MinusFarnsworthNoneFarnsworth Peak Repeater
23147.12147.72PlusIntertieTONE100Farnsworth Peak Repeater Intertie
24440.???445.???PlusMARC-440TONE100MARC 440 REPEATER
25447.9442.9MinusCurry PkTONE114.8Curry Peak
26147.14147.74PlusButterfield PkTONE127.3Butterfield Peak
27449.425444.425MinusNelson PkTONE100Nelson Peak - IRLP Linked to Western Reflector
28146.74146.14MinusHuntsmanTONE114.8Huntsman Cancer Inst (Linked to 448.100), Taylorsville ARC

If you have suggestions for changes to this section, additional repeaters or frequencies, or anything else about the SLCo ARES basic load, please send them to Dan (N7XDL).

MARC Basic Topics Training 2 July 2020 – Emergency Communications

Dan (N7XDL) talked with us about emergency communications, a topic near and dear to all of our hearts.  Part of the presentation included a couple of videos from Josh Nass (KI6NAZ) from his Ham Radio Crash Course youtube channel.  Josh has a playlist of videos related to emergency communications, and the we were treated to the first two videos with Dan's commentary and our own comments along the way.

The first two videos are embedded here, but you should still check out the whole playlist as there is a lot of good information there:


Other things we discussed included CERT training here in Murray, maintaining a good communications plan, and being prepared.  Dan also has some additional resources that I will be adding to this post over the next few days, including the Salt Lake County ARES communication plan and recommended radio channel load.  Stay tuned for more details!