Half-HAM 2023

The Mountain Club of Maryland (MCM) will be sponsoring a Half Hike Across Maryland (Half-HAM) on Saturday September 30th. This hike starts at Pen Mar Park in Highfield-Cascade MD and ends at the Washington Monument Park near Boonsboro. As a club, our goal is to provide solid communications, but also to use event as a test-bed for future full HAM events, determining how we can more closely integrate with the MCM team. In support of this event, FARC will be providing:

  • Communications between checkpoints and net control, then then on to MCM folks.
  • Communications with sweep hikers via Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS) HTs
  • Assistance and input with tracking hiker and sweep progress via shared spreadsheet
  • Sweep hiker tracking via Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS)

To support this event, we’ll need volunteers to cover:

  • Six checkpoint locations (Pen Mar Park, High Rock, Raven Rock Rd, Cowell Shelter, Boonsboro Mtn Rd & Washington Monument)
  • Net Control first and second shifts. First shift can be covered from a home shack.
  • Hilltop operator – mobile vehicle to shadow sweeps via accessible roadways. Vehicle will provide standard amateur capability, plus MURS with high-gain antenna, and APRS digipeater/iGate capability. Know that volunteer doesn’t necessarily need to provide all of this capability, as club or others will lend equipment for success.
  • Shared Spreadsheet Manager, ensuring that shared documents are current for both hiker progress and sweep location. This can be a home-shack volunteer.


  • We expect to use the three UHF linked repeaters (Frederick, Thurmont, Clear Spring). These repeaters are accessible from all of the checkpoints via HT.
  • I’d like to use digital data modes such as Winlink and/or FLDigi to update spreadsheet manager. Not strictly necessary from all checkpoints, but it would be good to see how we can integrate. This can also reduce voice traffic on the net and increase accuracy.
  • We MAY also offer to monitor a specific FRS/GMRS shared frequency, so if any hikers have their own radios, we may be able to communicate.

To volunteer, please use this link for the sign-up form: https://forms.gle/bezQoq1cfJyEr5ZL8

As always, let me know if there are questions.

Mike Forrence K3MMM

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