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).

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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

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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.


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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



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