Membership News

by Deb KK7DEB on 2020-05-01

I would like to welcome two new members: Walt KJ7BHL and Dave N7DML. Walt is on the Alpha team, and Dave is on the Charlie Team. We now have 111 active members, and we logged 173 volunteer hours in April.

WebSDR

by John KI7LYP on 2020-04-25

Are you locked down and looking for things to do? Visit WebSDR.org and listen in on hams all over the world. With WebSDR you will be able to take control of receivers worldwide and tune in on all of the bands in all of the regions. Someone not interested in ham radio (that can’t be us!) activities? Then tune in to the European stations and brush up on your French language skills.

It’s as easy as starting up your computer and going to www.websdr.org.

  • Scroll down the main page and you will see ham stations from all over the world.
  • Pick a region
  • Pick a station
  • Pick the band you would like to listen to

It’s that easy! You’re in control. Scan the waterfall (now you know what that purple thing up there is called!) and pick out the strong stations as they will be the brighter vertical lines. You can also try the weaker stations as shown by the faint lines. Or maybe the whole band is quiet with no lines at all – just change bands and keep going! Hear something rare or exotic? Create a log on your favorite SDR site and log in your treasure.

Want to practice your CW? Tune down to the low end of the 40CW band and find a station; they are always there! Want to practice more later? Then just start the audio recording and play it back at another time.

So, while locked in, stay out of the cookie jar and junk food, and go play in SDR land!

Pulling out a little hiking wisdom today:

When you’re lost, stay where you are.

Since we can’t go anywhere anyway, why not use the time to recharge in whatever way makes sense for you? Sleep in – or stay up – until your favorite net. Dust out the ham shack. Hug a housemate or reach out over the air waves and 73 someone.

We don’t have to solve any problems today; we’re right where we’re going to be for a while. Let’s use this universally imposed time out for extreme care of self and connection with others.

We hope all of our members are safe and healthy. These are unprecedented times for everyone and following the stay-at-home, social distancing, and face covering guidelines will slow the spread of the nasty COVID-19. Let’s all help keep the number of cases low in Oregon!

Our next on the air meeting is April 23 and we will practice sending pictures using SSTV both via computer software and acoustic coupling via your phone. Watch for an email from Ralph AG7FE with details and instructions. We will meet on MC1 (146.840) at 7:00PM.

The Winlink net check in worked well last month and we will be doing that again for April. Details and a reminder will also be emailed out a few days before the meeting date.

It seems a lot more folks are at home and practicing their ham radio skills, which is good, but remember that the local repeaters are open to all. If you are thinking of operating a net with several friends or team members you will need permission from the repeater owner to do so. And we never operate simplex on a repeater frequency when the repeater is operational. The MC2 (147.280) repeater is operated by the Hoodview Amateur Radio Club, and the MC1 (146.840) repeater is operated by the Portland Amateur Radio Club.

The ARRL has sent out ballots for the Oregon Section Manager position. We hope you will take a few minutes and vote for the candidate of your choice.

Membership News

by Deb KK7DEB on 2020-04-01

Despite our current situation, we still tallied 279 volunteer hours in March, and our active membership count is holding steady at 109!

I first became interested in Amateur Radio while in the Boy Scouts and converted an old military aircraft receiver, BC-454 I believe, to 12VDC as they were 24VDC and you needed a power supply. It received 80m only. Then high school, college, and the military intervened and although I maintained my interest in electronics in the military and as a systems engineer in computer programming, I didn’t get back to ham radio until 1987 while commuting into Los Angeles with nothing to do in traffic.

I purchased an Icom 02AT 2 meter handheld and started listening. I went to a ham swap meet and met a few people who had a rag chew net during the morning and evening commute time and they encouraged me to get my license. One of the fellows became my Elmer, Bob K3ZGA, and he got me prepared for the written and CW portions of the Technician test.

I started doing radio stuff with the folks on the BOMB Squad (Best of Mt. Baldy 147.21) in between work, family (two high schoolers, Boy Scouts) and various other activities. I picked up a Kenwood TS-440, R-7 Vertical, and j-pole on VHF/UHF. I also had an Icom 901 tri-band mobile in the car as 220 is very popular in California.

My current call sign is from a ham radio friend from Califronia whom I remained in contact with until he became a Silent Key a couple of years ago, W6JNM (Just No Money). I respected him as a ham, father, foster father and veterinarian. I hope to honor his service in the 7 area.

In 1992 we moved to Michigan and then to Florida, and for the next ten years I did very little radio. In 2002 we moved to Oregon. I set up my station and got on the air infrequently until I started doing some off-roading with a LandRover club and met a couple of people who had ham licenses. Then I got my next door neighbors’ young adults involved in getting their ham licenses to use with the off road group.

I retired someplace along there, have never succeeded in getting my wife or sons interested in ham Radio, nor the four granddaughters, and was looking to get more active. I believe someone at HRO introduced me to Deb Provo, who in turn introduced me me to Steve Hall.

Steve was putting together the West Slope team for MCARES and it was all good from there. That got me going to earn my General and then Extra, plus start getting on the HF bands again and start working my CW again. I surprised the heck out of my Elmer, Bob, who at this time is living in Florida and one of the better CW operators around.

I really enjoy kit building and all these new digital modes along with traditional HF and VHF/UHF. With all of my Elmers in MCARES – Deb, Eli, Joe, Steve, Ken, John, and all of you who have contributed to my enjoyment and growth in this avocation – I have become active and excited about all aspects of amateur radio again and look forward to paying back as much as I can to our group and new amateurs!

The March 7 “Cascadia Slips a Bit” field exercise was a great success. We had 45 members willing to brave the cold and rain to send Winlink messages from all parts of the county. The digital go kits got a good workout and the quad gateway (Frankengate) continues to prove that it is a valuable asset.

Nine field stations were deployed for this exercise.

This exercise was done to hone our ability to send and receive local Winlink without the internet. The VHF to HF gateway allows us to also send Winlink messages out of the area to other parts of the country where internet still works.

Thanks to everyone who participated and a special thanks to the teams that deployed early to set up special equipment.

We received safety vests as part of the last UASI grant so if you need a vest or your current vest has seen better days let me know. I will bring one to the next meeting for you if you email me. We have a limited supply and hope to supply vests to our new members when they complete their ARRO training.

The new digital kits (photo above) are almost complete! The new design will make the kits lighter and easier to pack around. The batteries have been upgraded to two 35AH batteries for a total of 70AH for each kit. You can see the whole kit at the next ARES meeting.

Membership News

by Deb KK7DEB on 2020-03-05

Welcome to our newest members, Robert KI7KYE and John KI7YBL, both on the Delta Team. We now have 109 active members. We logged an amazing 476 volunteer hours in February – great job, everyone!

The Multnomah County ARES website was migrated to a new hosting provider this evening. No problems were encountered during the migration, and all testing of the site has been successful. If you do notice any problems, however, please send an email to webmaster [at] multnomahares [dot] org and I will investigate.

March 7 Team Drill

by Web Manager on 2020-02-27

We will have a field drill involving all MCARES teams on Saturday, March 7 from 09:00 to 13:00. All MCARES members are asked to participate if possible. Your team leader should be in touch with you prior to the drill, to discuss location and any other details specific to your team’s role. Please be sure to thoroughly read the drill guide and ICS-205 before the drill, and direct any questions to your team leader.