Club Meeting Monday April 15th

Come one, come all to the April edition of the Frederick Amateur Radio Club, scheduled for Monday April 15th at 7PM.  We meet in the social hall of the Independent Hose Company at 310 Baughmans Lane in Frederick – parking and entrance both at rear of building.  After a short business meeting, we’ll review hidden transmitter foxhunting skills and tips, presented by our own Tony KC3MBE.  We’ll be able to use these skills at the foxhunt on Sunday April 21st – details here:

As always, visitors from the surrounding community are encouraged to join us – absolutely no need to be a member or licensed radio operator.  As always, joining us in person is best.  But if that’s just not possible, join via zoom here:

We hope to see you there!

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Tour de Frederick 2024

The Tour de Frederick 2024 bicycle extravaganza is on for June 8th and we’ll need volunteer amateur radio operators to ride in Support and Gear (SAG) vehicles, staff rest stops and assist at Net Control.  Many of the rest stops require only a handheld radio, although SAG works best with a full-powered mobile radio.  PLEASE don’t let lack of equipment prevent you from volunteering – we have spares and loaner equipment.  This is a great opportunity to get out and use our service in support of the local community – the funds for this go to the Boys & Girls Club here in Frederick County!

If you can help, please go here to sign up:

Please let me know if you have questions – you can email me at my address found on

Mike Forrence K3MMM

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Volunteer to support Northeast Endurance Team Challenge 2024 on June 22th

The Columbia Amateur Radio Association (aka CARA – web here: has been requested to provide communications support for the Northeast Endurance Team Challenge 2024 equestrian endurance event on the weekend of June 22-23, 2024 at the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area located in Elkton, MD.  This is a 24 hour event (7:00 A.M. – 07:00 A.M.) that includes 100 mile, 75 mile, 65 mile, 50 mile and 25 mile courses.

All support locations will require use of transportable VHF/UHF radios, antennas, power and HTs.  All stations are at remote locations that do not have power (quiet generator use permitted).  Some locations are near restrooms or portable toilets.  While most locations are accessible via paved or unfinished roads some locations are best accessed via vehicles with 4WD.

Yes, this is Field Day weekend!  We are going to do our best to provide volunteers who support this event with the opportunity to camp out and work Field Day from event support locations (i.e. during slow times).

Though several event support positions will require 18-24-hour support there are many positions that require less than 12 hours support, and a few positions that require less than 6 hours support.  Depending upon the number of volunteers who sign up and their availability – we will create support shifts for the positions that require more than 6 hours support so folks do not have to commit their entire Field Day weekend to this event unless they would like to do so.

We are working with the event organizers and Fair Hill staff to permit volunteers who support this event to arrive on Friday (June 21st) to camp out and set up stations, as appropriate, prior to the event.  Likewise, we are working to permit volunteers to remain at camp and/or support locations through 4:00 P.M. on Sunday (June 23) so they can work Field Day from their camp locations.  Additional information will be passed along as it becomes available.

We are currently expecting 175-225 participants along with their support crews.

Communication support will include:
Recording and conveying rider numbers to net control for general tracking purposes
Providing information regarding the general pace of activities
Advising when assistance (medical, horse transport, etc.) is needed
Conveying information to riders – as they pass, when necessary

In many ways, this is similar to a 24-hour ARES drill!

There will be pre-event information and coordination meetings (Zoom) on Tuesday evenings in June beginning at 7:30 P.M.  Zoom information will be passed to volunteers when they sign up.  Please plan to attend at least one of these meetings.

Please refer to the following Google Form to sign up ->

The CARA Lead for event is Andy Protigal (N3AWP) – see for email address.


Andy (N3AWP)

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Volunteer for Hike Across Maryland support

The Mountain Club of Maryland (MCM) will be sponsoring the Hike Cross Maryland on Saturday May 11th. This hike starts at Pen Mar Park in Highfield-Cascade MD and progresses south along the Appalachian Trail (AT), ending in Harpers Ferry, WV. As a club, our goal is to provide:

• 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:

• Ten checkpoint locations along the AT. Most of these locations are where the trail crosses a roadway, so access to checkpoints is fairly painless.
• Net Control operator first (6am to 1pm) and second (1pm to ~8PM) shifts. Net Control can be stationed at a home shack for one or both shifts.
• One or more backup net control operators, in order to give primary net control periodic breaks. Backup net control can also watch the APRS map to help know where sweep hikers are located, as well as assist in getting data into the shared info spreadsheet.
• Shared Spreadsheet Manager, ensuring that shared documents are current for both hiker progress and sweep location. This can be a home-shack volunteer.
• 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.


We expect to use the three UHF linked repeaters (Frederick (N3ITA), Thurmont (K3KMA), Clear Spring (N3UHD). At least one of these repeaters is accessible from many of the checkpoints via HT.

This is a GREAT opportunity, particularly for new ham operators, to get out and really exercise your license. We’re happy to pair you up with an experienced operator if you’d prefer – just put it in the note on sign-up form. It’s an event that you’ll certainly remember!

To volunteer, please use this link for the sign-up form:

As always, let me know if there are questions – my email address is valid on

Mike Forrence K3MMM

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