Field Day 2019

by Webmaster on 2019-06-19

Join Multnomah County ARES on the waterfront at Willamette Park in Portland for Field Day this year! The event will run for 24 hours, from 11:00 AM on Saturday, June 22 until 11:00 AM on Sunday, June 23.

What is Field Day?

Field Day is ham radio’s open house. Every June, more than 40,000 hams throughout North America set up temporary transmitting stations in public places to demonstrate ham radio’s science, skill and service to our communities and our nation. It combines public service, emergency preparedness, community outreach, and technical skills all in a single event. Field Day has been an annual event since 1933, and remains the most popular event in ham radio.

From the ARRL’s Field Day web page (

For licensed radio operators, we will have two HF stations set up for the duration of the event. We will also be running a Get On The Air (GOTA) station on Saturday until 9:00 PM so folks who don’t have an amateur radio license can give the radio a try with help from a mentor.

Location & Directions

Our Field Day site is at Willamette Park, 6500 SW Macadam Ave, in Portland. We will be operating from the covered “Picnic A” area near the south end of the park. The red location pin on the Google map below is directly over the picnic shelter (zooming in and turning on the aerial view will help orient you). There is also a park map available here.

If you’re driving, find your best route to SW Macadam Ave, then head east onto SW Nebraska St, and then turn right (south) onto SW Beaver Ave / SW Idaho St. Continue past the large parking lot. Picnic A is located just northwest of the small parking lot near the end of the road. Parking fee information can be found on the Portland Parks & Recreation website.

If you’re taking Trimet, the #35 Macadam/Greeley bus is probably the best option. Get off at SW Macadam & Nevada (stop ID 3620 if southbound or 3622 if northbound), then head east on SW Nevada St. Where the street turns right, you’ll find a footpath that will lead you into the park. At the end of the path, turn right onto the road and continue toward the parking lot. The picnic shelter should be visible on your left.

Come one, come all to Field Day 2019!

Join us at Willamette Park Saturday, June 22 from 11:00 AM until Sunday, June 23 11:00 AM for fun and fellowship at picnic area A. Three portable HF stations will be making contacts near and far. If you have not tried HF yet now is your chance, no special license class needed. The GOTA (Get on the AIR) station does not even require a ham license so bring a friend who may be interested. See our field antennas high in the trees and watch our portable stations make and log contacts with the thousands of hams on the air across the country and the world. No RSVP is needed so just stop by.

Congratulations and welcome to our two new assistant emergency coordinators (AECs). Carrie K7CAC and John KI7LYP have agreed to take on these important roles.

The annual ARES raffle will begin at the June 27 meeting. Take a look at all the goodies we have for you and bring a little cash to purchase tickets for the items you would like to have. The raffle money supports our ARES trailer and BBQ items for both Field Day and the Go-Kit parking lot show and tell. The drawing will be at our August meeting and tickets are $5 each.

Our THANKS to Multnomah County Emergency Management, who had a little money in their year-end budget, for purchasing propane generators for each of our teams. The Team Leaders will now have generator power to charge their team’s batteries, laptops and everything else needed for extended field operations. This is a giant step forward and much appreciated by all of us at MCARES.

All-Team Drills

by Nathan NA7EE on 2019-06-04

We will be running training exercises for MCARES on Sunday, July 21 and Saturday, August 17. I hope for maximum participation on these dates, as the plan is for full drills to maximize training value. That said, I do not expect everyone to make both dates, although it would be great to participate in both if you can.

For now, I just wanted to give everyone a heads-up for these upcoming drill dates.

Our goal in all we do as ARES volunteers is to get the job done as accurately and efficiently as possible. A simplex net that covers a large geographical area is a particular challenge. Our monthly second Wednesday simplex net gives us the chance for net control and other net members to learn how to keep it simple and quick.

After a brief preamble, net control calls for checkins by team. As net control, after acknowledging the stations I hear, I ask the station with the strongest signal for any callsigns they have heard that I didn’t recognize. After acknowledging those stations, I then ask the relay station to call for any other team members who have not checked in or been recognized to try again. Before moving on to the next team I make one more call for any station to relay in any other stations they may have heard that I have not recognized.

All net members should copy all stations they hear and mark each callsign when it is recognized by net control. Not only is this good practice for when it’s your turn to be net control, it also means you will be ready if you are the station net control asks for relays. By marking callsigns when they are recognized, you won’t be relaying in stations already checked in and you will be able to relay in for that last call for any missed stations.

One key to keeping it efficient is for net members to NOT try to relay each scratchy station as it comes in. Be patient and wait until net control asks for relays. I have heard helpful minded stations offer relays before being asked and this can be confusing to net control and cause undue delays. Remember that what may be very difficult for you to hear may be perfectly clear to net control and that net control will ask for relays. Wait for that request. Another key is for net control not to agonize over each scratchy signal. Just recognize the clear ones first and then ask for relays. That’s what the relay stations are for.

This is a different procedure than the weekly net on the MC1 repeater. There, net control can ask a station with a poor signal to make adjustments and try again. If the signal is still not readable, net control can ask other stations to listen on the reverse and then ask the scratchy station to try once more. Then if someone did pick it up on reverse, they can offer the relay. Relays are not held to the end of each team’s checkins.

One last note: If you try to tune into the simplex net and cannot hear net control intelligibly or at all, don’t give up. Wait until you hear someone ask for your team’s relays. If you are on Delta, Echo or Mike teams, you will be waiting longer than those on the Alpha or Bravo teams. And of course Charlie Team is right there in the middle and often has the most relays thanks to those west hills.

Weekly Net News

by Deb KK7DEB on 2019-05-25

The changes to the weekly Wednesday night net have gone well so far. Checkins are now by team instead of by callsign suffix. This encourages members to learn to recognize their team members. Also, training gems, traffic, and announcements are before checkins, so please try to tune in on time at 7:00 PM

Training News

by Eli W7ELI on 2019-05-21

Fifteen members have completed the IS-800 class and sent in their certificates. Thank you! We hope to have all active members complete this class by Halloween.

Membership News

by Deb KK7DEB on 2019-05-16

Join me in welcoming our newest members. Kim K7IMA will join the Delta Team and Dave KI7WXK has joined the Charlie team. This brings our active member count to 108. I recently saw the official State ARES roster and Multnomah County ARES continues to have the largest membership in the state!

Thanks to all our members for a great turnout for the Spring Statewide ARES SET! We are working on correcting the technical issues we had for the SET but overall we did receive a good number of Damage Assessment forms via Winlink and the portable digipeater really helped with the process. Ralph AF7FE and the Alpha team had their hands full at the County EOC. They were able to complete all the state required tasks. Way to Go Alpha Team! We had an amazing 48 simplex net checkins on Friday and 36 operators on Saturday.

The Walk MS event was held at the Oregon Zoo this year and was quite a change from the past. Brian KE7QPV did an amazing job organizing and adjusting to the new needs of the event organizers. There were over 2000 walkers this year and our 23 ARES operators were flawless in keeping the flow of communications on track and providing eyes and ears for safety for the walkers. The Walk MS organizers expressed a deep appreciation for the service that we provided.

Walk MS 2019 Communications Team

The group photo above was taken after some of our “Shadow” operators were dispatched so Carrie, Rochelle, and Matthew are not in the photo. Also missing is sweep operator Robert, and net control Neil. Adam, our Communications Leader, was the photographer. Great job everyone!

Now we look forward to SeaPac on May 31 and June 1 where the MCARES trailer will be on display. Please let leadership know if you would like to sign up for a shift at the outreach table next to the trailer.

June 22 and 23 is Field Day at Willamette Park. We hope you will be visiting and operating with us this summer. More details will be coming soon along with an opportunity to sign up to work a station or bring a dish to the Saturday pot luck.

Weekly Net News

by Deb KK7DEB on 2019-04-29

At our April 11 leadership meeting we decided to make some changes to the weekly Wednesday night net. Checkins will be by team instead of by call sign suffix. This encourages members to learn to recognize their team members. Also checkins will follow training gems, traffic, and announcements so please try to tune in on time at 7:00 PM. Our net manager, Rachel KI7NMB, will update the net scripts and announce when these changes will go into effect.

Training News

by Eli W7ELI on 2019-04-23

The on­line FEMA class IS­-800 is now a federal requirement. We have gone through our records and almost half of our active members have sent in their completion certificate. We will be sending a separate email with a list of call signs of the certificates we do have. If your call sign is not on the list, please take the class and send in your certificate to eliza [dot] pride [at] gmail [dot] com. We know this is not a fun task, so we are giving you until October 1, 2019 to get it done. We will send periodic reminders for the procrastinators among us.