November 2013 – Meeting Synopsis

At the last meeting on Monday, 18 NOV 2013 quite a few things were covered. Here is a short synopsis:

The club voted to provide $200.00 to MADXRA to help offset some of the recent expense that they have had to get the 147.060 repeater back up and operational, as we make a good use of it.

The next meeting will be the annual Christmas Party get together, at the Golden Corral on Spectrum Drive. More information to follow on that I am sure.

Curtis Campbell, KB3WHX, may be moving shortly, so now eveyone is aware of that.  Nominations of officers was completed, with Brian Rozelle, AB3RW being nominated for President, and Emmett Bonner, WA4UWD being nominated for Secretary. Mark Whitmore, AB3KS is willing to stay on as Treasurer, and Ben Nardi was not at the meeting, but we assume he’ll continue on as the VP.

The vote will be at the first regular meeting in January.

I will still stay on as a member, and help to keep the web site running, and train others to do so.

Keith Elkin, KB3TCB noted the HSMM-MESH activity around the Ham Sphere, and provided the informational link below.

That’s all for now,

Curtis – KB3WHX


November 20, 2013 · KB3WHX · No Comments
Posted in: Meeting

ARES Simulated Emergency Test – 05 Oct 2013

Look out, here comes “Chessie”!

This year’s statewide Simulated Emergency Test (SET) will be held next Saturday, Oct. 5th, from noon until about 1330.

Hurricane “Chessie” will be tracking through the region with hurricane force winds, widespread power outages, and heavy rain. All radio operators in Frederick County will be asked to provide reports on the probable conditions that might occur in their neighborhoods. These reports might include power outages, wind damage (trees down, roofs off, possible tornadoes, etc.), flooding of nearby creeks and streams with roads impassable, etc.

We will begin the scenario using the FARG 146.730 repeater, but will switch to 146.580 simplex later in the exercise as the repeater antenna is knocked down and some report relays will probably be needed. In a normal Skywarn activation we would be using the MADXRA 147.060 in stand-alone mode, but this machine will be used to relay messages from Western Maryland via the Target system.

Emergency power is encouraged and this is a great opportunity to test your systems. If you have a Skywarn spotter number, let us know, but this and/or ARES membership is not a requirement to participate. Put the word out to your ham buddies who might not otherwise hear about this and copy this message to other local reflectors.

Disasters don’t discriminate – all hams are welcome. The net will begin at 1200 on 146.730 operating from the K3ERM ARES station at Red Cross in Walkersville.

Let’s have some fun with this!


Jeff Fishman KB3FIO Fred. ARES Emergency Coordinator

October 1, 2013 · KB3WHX · No Comments
Posted in: ARES, ARES Scheduled Event

Skywarn Picnic @ NWS Sterling LWX

Hello all,

Just a reminder that the annual Skywarn picnic will be in the early afternoon tomorrow (Saturday) starting at Noon.  The quarterly SKYWARN meeting will be at 11am just before the picnic.  The plan is for the rain to hold off until later in the day, so I think we’ll be all right.

If you want to bring a food item, feel free – it’s potluck. I’ll bring the grill stuff, some drinks, and a few extra things.

Chris Strong

- – -

Sorry for the late update, but this will be held at the NWS Sterling Office. Which is located just west of the North end of Dulles International Airport located a little off Virginia Route 606


September 20, 2013 · KB3WHX · No Comments
Posted in: SkyWarn, Weather

Skywarn Training Classes

After a hiatus of almost a year the Baltimore/Washington National Weather Service office has announced two Skywarn Basics I classes for September.  On Monday September 16th at 7:00 P.M. a class will be held in Towson, MD.  On Wednesday September 25th a class will be held in Washington D.C.  As always with Skywarn classes offered through the Baltimore/Washington office the classes are free and open to the public, and preregistration is required.  Additional details on the classes are available at  Feel free to use the comments section of this post to arrange car pools to either of the training classes.

For those not familiar with Skywarn it is a program that allows the general public to supplement the radar and other remote observations the weather service collects with on the ground reports during times of severe weather.  In the Baltimore/Washington region there is active HAM participation in the Skywarn program, with the primary repeater being the 147.300 Bluemont, VA repeater, and a number of additional local repeaters designated for regional subnets.  There have been several occasions over the past six months when the National Weather Service activated Skywarn and was actively soliciting reports of local conditions during severe thunderstorms.  While any member of the public can become a Skywarn spotter volunteer amateur radio operators are especially valuable as they are able to transmit real time reports to the National Weather Service even when phone lines and cell phone systems are down or overloaded.  More information on HAM participation in Skywarn can be found at

While the National Weather Service will generally accept reports from any member of the public those from trained and registered Skywarn volunteers (also known as spotters) are given additional weight.  One example of this is that the weather service will not generally speaking issue a tornado warning based on a sighting of a funnel cloud unless the report comes from someone who is trained in recognizing severe weather which includes trained and registered Skywarn volunteers as well as certain officials with local emergency management agencies (the National Weather Service may also issue a warning based on radar indications without a local report).

August 29, 2013 · AB3RD · One Comment
Posted in: SkyWarn

A.R.E.S Coverage of Gran Fondo National

Frederick ARES has been asked to provide communications support for the Gran Fondo National Championship Bike Race to be held on Sunday, Sept. 22nd, from 0800 to 1600. This is a 100 mile event that winds through Frederick County, and we will need to man 4 checkpoints and 2 SAG vehicles using one of the local 2M repeaters.

For more info, go to:

If you would like to participate for a few hours that Sunday, please send me an email.

As always, ARES membership is not required to volunteer. More details to follow after Labor Day.



Jeff Fishman KB3FIO

Fred. ARES Emergency Coordinator

August 24, 2013 · KB3WHX · No Comments
Posted in: ARES Scheduled Event

MD QSO Party – 10 AUG 2013 Update

KB3FIO, KB3WHX, KB3WLJ, AB3RW, & N3ZJ enjoyed ourselves, making contacts in the ebb and flow of the MD QSO party on Saturday.

Sundays activities may be curtailed somewhat due to availability of folks.  We will start at Noon and continue till 4-ish, but that is subject to availability of folks.

Hope to see some folks there between noon and 4.


August 11, 2013 · KB3WHX · No Comments
Posted in: ARES, ARES Scheduled Event

August 10th & 11th – MD DC QSO Party

Frederick ARES and the Frederick Amateur Radio Club will be participating in this weekend’s Maryland DC QSO Party from our new station location at the Frederick County American Red Cross Chapter House in Walkersville. This is located at 2 East Frederick Street in Walkersville, MD.  Talk in will be provided on 146.640 PL 156.7.

We will have at least 2 station positions (HF and VHF) in operation, and operators are needed. Any licensed ham may participate.

The contest goes from noon to midnight on Sat., and noon to 8 PM on Sun. Due to some scheduling issues, we anticipate starting at approx. 2:30 PM on Sat., and operating as long as we have operators. Sat. is the primary operations day and the Sun. schedule depends on sign-ups and building availability.  It is quite likely that someone will be there for us, starting at noon on Saturday.

This is a “fun contest” and definitely not as hard-core as Field Day. We will certainly be making lots of contacts as hams who contact our “club” station get extra credit.

More Details at at:

Please let me know if you would like to participate. Thanks.


E-Mail Link Here:   Jeff Fishman KB3FIO



August 4, 2013 · KB3WHX · No Comments
Posted in: ARES, ARES Scheduled Event, Contests

Berryville Hamfest

Considered by many to be one of the best HamFests in our area the Berryville Hamfest, sponsored by the Shenandoah Valley Amateur Radio Club, is scheduled for Sunday August 4th 2013.  The Hamfest is held at the Clarke County Ruritan Fairgrounds in Berryville VA, about a 45 minute drive from Frederick.  Additional details are available at

July 16, 2013 · AB3RD · One Comment
Posted in: HamFests

Become a HAM, easy!


Would you like to become an Amateur Radio operator? It’s not difficult to do. Amateur Radio operators, often called “hams,” are licensed by governments around the world to use specific ranges of radio frequencies. The entry-level license in the United States, the Technician class, is all that is necessary for local routine and emergency communications. To obtain this license, you need only pass a 35-question multiple-choice written licensing exam for which all the possible questions and their answers are public information. You need not be a US citizen, though you must have valid photo identification, and there is no lower or upper age limit. Knowledge of Morse code is no longer required for any US Amateur Radio license. Though the license itself is free, there may be an examination charge of up to $15. License renewals, required every ten years, are free for most hams and do not involve an exam.

Information about becoming a ham radio operator is also available from the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the national association for Amateur Radio in the United States.

With this in mind, N3FJP has created an Exam Prep Kit – Windows Based, that will run you through the questions you are going to see on the test.  It is a FREE program, and available here: HAM_Test_Prep_N3JFP

July 7, 2013 · KB3WHX · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: Membership, News, Presentation

Field Day 2013 – After Action Report

Field Day 2013 was largely a success in my view.  We had several inquiries about what and how we do things, visits by ARRL and FEMA representatives. Also several visiting former or prospective new HAMS.

While we will not win any contesting awards, nor were we seeking to, we did have over 150 contacts, and got to show the public what we do.

We did have plenty of literature from the ARRL and ARES ready to hand out, so information was available.

We carted in the trailer tower, and that setup went quickly, and the antenna was raised up to about 32 feet, which was tall enough to clear surrounding buildings. The vertical worked well.  Also setup was the Carolina Windham long wire.

Lessons learned:  Due to some technical glitches, the networked logging computers, we not quite operational, so different bands were used on the radios, and one logged by software, and one by paper, and were then combined.  We will work on the issues, and have a full setup ready for next year.

Photos available, and you can send more to me if you have them and I’ll post them. Available photos can be found here:


June 27, 2013 · KB3WHX · No Comments
Posted in: ARES, Field Day, News