Advanced Topics for 2024 – 11 Jan 2024

Last night we met to discuss what we want to do for the Advanced Topics classes in 2024.  As you may (or may not) know, MARC has a so-called "Advanced Topics" class on the second Thursday of each month.  These classes are intended to reflect more advanced and/or esoteric topics.  Historically, I've presented something about amateur radio that I found interesting... a technology or subject that is related to amateur radio and is more involved than just chatting on the repeaters (or even via HF).

For 2024, I want to continue this model, but extend it.  I want to spend several classes on each topic, starting with an introduction and background, but moving to a hands on session where we (the club members) actually DO something with it.  This may include things like configuring equipment, building antennas, etc. and ALSO includes taking that configured equipment, antennas, etc. out and actually USING it.  I want the Advanced Topics classes in 2024 to be more about DOING than just being SHOWN something.

To this end, I suggested three sample topics that I am interested in and that I thought would fit into this model fairly well.  The topics I put forward were Winlink, 10m operations, and AREDN.

I know we've done some classes on Winlink before, and we participated in the multi-club Winlink Workshop last year that was very well attended.  I want to do that one better... starting with an overview and background on Winlink one month, then having a mini-workshop the following month where we actually get our equipment configured and working, and finishing it up with us taking our gear out and actually using it to send messages, process forms, etc.

For 10m, I suggested a similar model, but concentrating on what you need to get on 10m.  That basically includes a radio and an antenna, so one class session could be on actually building (or modifying existing CB) antennas.  This series would culminate with us getting onto 10m and participating in Paul's 10m weekly net.

And for AREDN, the club has a bunch of hardware that was donated by a ham who was moving.  We could spend a session learning about it, another session configuring the hardware, and a final session hauling the gear out into the real world and setting it up to see how we can make it work.  I think we may be able to leverage UVARC's people as they have been using AREDN effectively in Utah County.

After presenting these three topics, I opened it up for discussion from the group about other topics that may be of interest.  We came up with another fifteen (!) possible subjects.  I'm going to do a little research on these, since many of them will require some level of investment in hardware and/or software (antenna parts, while often inexpensive, are not free).  Once I have some idea of what's involved, I'll put together a little survey for people to register their interest.  If you have an idea for another topic that isn't on this list, please let me know and I'll add it.

Without further ado, here is the list of potential topics for MARC Advanced Topics classes for 2024 (and likely beyond):

  1. Winlink
  2. 10m operations
  3. AREDN
  4. Software defined radio (both receive AND transmit, and what to do with the things you receive)
  5. NVIS (Near Vertical Incident Skywave antennas, how they work, building them, using them)
  6. mounting antennas (mobile and fixed base)
  7. SKYWARN/weather monitoring (to include CWOP and building your own weather station, weather telemetry on APRS, etc.)
  8. APRS in depth (using APRS in events, digipeaters, building a digipeater, getting club assets on APRS as objects)
  9. Digital Voice modes (this we broke out into three sub-topics since there is probably enough in each to spend at least a couple of classes on)
    1. D-star
    2. DMR
    3. YSF
  10. radio astronomy
  11. high altitude ballooning (build a balloon and launch it!)
  12. EME (Earth-Moon-Earth, from what do we need to actually do it, to let's actually do it!)
  13. satellite operations (what satellites are working, build a dual-band yagi, make contact with someone via satellite)
  14. digital (data) modes
    1. packet (build our own packet station)
    2. vara HF/vara FM
    3. PSK31
    4. FT8/JS8
  15. time and clocks (how does GPS work, what about atomic clocks, why do we care about accurate time)
  16. amateur radio crossovers with other hobbies (model rocketry, RC aircraft, drones, aviation, etc.)

Again, if there are other topics that interest you, that are not on this list, send them to me and I will add them to the list.  There are so many things we can do with amateur radio... we have only scratched the surface!

Other topics suggested after this list was first posted:

  1. QRP (low power, 5W or less on HF)
  2. Learning Morse Code (I know we're not going to learn the code in a session or two, but we can cover various techniques and tools for learning and maintaining proficiency in code.)

Introduction to Amateur Radio – Getting Started With Ham Radio Series – Basic Topics – 7 DEC 2023

This post kicks off the Getting Started with Ham Radio series with episode one, Introduction to Amateur Radio.  This series will be presented during the MARC "Basic Topics" class on the first Thursday of each month for the next several months.  This episode introduces amateur radio, and is aimed at the non-ham who is interested in learning about amateur radio.

Download the slide deck here:  Introduction to Amateur Radio

Or review the slides right now:


MARC SOG – General Meeting – 19 October 2023

Dan (N7XDL) reviews the Murray ARC's Standard Operating Guidelines, which were based on the SLCo ARES SOG.  The guidelines were discussed and future changes considered.  A copy of the guidelines will be presented for comment by the club members and suggestions will be incorporated as deemed necessary.

Slides:  Slides in PDF


NOTE, a draft copy of the document has been created in Google Docs and a "comment" link has been sent to the marc-members mailing list.  If you are a member of the club and you are not on the marc-members mailing list, use the Contact Us link to request a copy of the link.

Upcoming Emergency Alert Test on 4 OCT 2023




On Wednesday, October 4 at 14:20 hours ET (12:20 hours Mountain), every TV, radio and cellphone in the United States should receive an electronic warning tone of an emergency alert, accompanied by a notice similar to the following:

“This is a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, covering the United States from 14:20 to 14:50 hours ET.  This is only a test.  No action is required by the public.”

This test is being run by FEMA to ensure the system is in working order on a national scale.  Local agencies will be participating with FEMA in conducting this test.  This test is being conducted to make sure the national alert system is still an effective means to warn American citizens about emergencies, natural catastrophes, attacks and accidents at the national level.

Salt Lake County ARES will conduct an emergency check-in net immediately following the announcements sent from FEMA.  The check-in net will be conducted on our primary SLCo ARES repeater, 146.700 MHz (100 Hz PL Standard Load ARES1 channel 72).  All stations wishing to participate on this net may do so using normal net-control protocols.  We will also be using our simplex frequency of 147.540 MHz (ARES3 channel 74) to simulate the use-case of the repeater going down during the net.  If you do not hear net control on the repeater this means that we have moved to the simplex frequency.

Any questions about this event, please contact Dan Lundwall via email,

MARC Attending Sandy ARC Meeting This Month

As you may have heard on our net and on the marc-announce mailing list, we have cancelled the club meeting scheduled for 20 July due to a personal conflict.  Fortunately, the Sandy ARC has planned our same agenda for the following week, 27 July 2023, and we have been invited to attend.

If you want to get online with Winlink, this will be a great opportunity!  The meeting will be on 27 July 2023 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM and will be held at the Sandy Fire Department Station #31, located at 9010 S 150 E in Sandy.  Please park in the North parking lot.

The primary goal of this meeting will be to get Winlink Express (the client software) installed and get people configured with at a minimum of telnet access into the Winlink system.  Those who are more motivated and have the equipment will be encouraged to get at least one RF mechanism (VHF Packet, VARA FM, ARDOP, and/or VARA HF) set up and tested.

If you plan to attend, please e-mail Jan (KD7ZWV) [you can also use our Contact Form] your name, call sign, and what equipment you have and can bring.  You'll want (at a minimum) a Windows PC/Laptop to run Winlink Express.  If you have a radio and some kind of interface (e.g. SignaLink or DigiRig, or a radio that has a built-in soundcard), bring that, too!

We have talked about Winlink in a previous class... you can watch the old presentation (from September 2021) here:  Winlink Overview.