FARC Parks on the Air (POTA) activation

The Frederick Amateur Radio Club will be hosting a Parks on the Air (POTA) club activation on Saturday April 8th, beginning at 10am. Please join us at one of these locations:

  • Gathland State Park
    Kerri KB3WAV/Ray KC3RW
  • Catoctin Mountain Park (Chestnut Picnic Area on Park Central Rd)
    Mike K3MMM/Justin AB3E

    ** Due to “increased security”, Chestnut Picnic Area is only accessible from the west, as Park Central Rd is temporarily closed from Thurmont Vista to Camp Greentop.  From MD 77, turn north on Foxville-Deerfield Rd, right on Monahan Rd, right on Park Central Rd. **
  • Gambrill State Park (near the Tea Room at High Knob)
    Sandy KB3EOF

Since we’ll be activating as a club, no registration is required to participate (but you could register at www.pota.app, if you want). We will be using the N3ITA/K3KMA/N3UHD 440 linked repeaters to communicate between sites and for talk-in.  ALL are welcome to join us at one of the parks – no amateur license is required.

If you can’t join us, please consider “hunting” (aka “chasing”) us – go to www.pota.app and look for our K3ERM spots – tune in and try to work us. ** NOTE that POTA does not allow duplicate spots, so we’ll use K3ERM/G for Gathland, K3ERM/C for Catoctin and K3ERM/L for Gambrill.  The /identifiers are for spotting only – any logs should only show the call sign. ** Also listen on the linked repeaters for possible simplex VHF/UHF operation. Questions?  Contact Justin AB3E via email found on qrz.com. We look forward to seeing you there!

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March club meeting

Come one, come all to the March 2023 club meeting on Monday March 20th at 7pm.  Members of the community, particularly those with an interest in amateur radio, are always welcome.  We meet in Independent Hose Company social hall, located in the rear of the fire company.  Address is 310 Baughmans Lane Frederick.  We’ll have a presentation by Dave, N3LSB: How to get there from here: characterizing your antenna reach. Please join us either in person (preferred) or via zoom here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85487265741?pwd=VFErODAzeUVVVVkwQytLN2NrbVJrZz09

Note regarding zoom: Your zoom-installed application MAY indicate you need version 5.10.3 or newer and only allow exit… The only way I was able to get it going was to uninstall my previous zoom version using the Windows control panel and then re-install the newer zoom version.

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AUXCOMM Training in Berkeley Springs

The Morgan County Emergency Communications Network is sponsoring AUXCOMM training on April 22-23, 2023, at the Blue Ridge Community Center, Berkeley Springs, WV. This is an advanced EmComm class that emphasizes operations in the Incident Command System (ICS). While the course is being taught in West Virginia, the class is open to all radio amateurs interested in learning more about the ICS protocols and agency interoperability, and there is no charge to attend.

The course prerequisites require all attendees to have taken IS-100, IS-200, IS-700, and IS-800 to participate. These prerequisites will familiarize you with the basics of the ICS system and are available free of charge online through www.fema.dhs.gov.

Space is limited and the deadline to register is April 8, 2023. To register, please contact Trenton Michael, KE8HMY, at ke8hmy@mcecn.org

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Red Cross Communications Exercise

On Saturday February 25th we will be joining the American Red Cross in a Winlink communications exercise.  The goal is to set up a temporary field station in Gaithersburg and send/receive Winlink exercise messages via stations both near and far.  We expect to meet at 7405 Lindbergh Drive in Gaithersburg around 9:30, get set up, and be on the air by 10:30.  You can participate in one of two ways:

  1.  Join us in Gaithersburg for the exercise.
  2. Act as a “far end” Winlink station, and reply to our drill messages.

If you are a regular FARC Winlink participant, you likely received a message from me last night via Winlink.  If you did NOT receive a message from me, please send me a message via Winlink – address to K3MMM and copy to Sandy KB3EOF.  We expect to have an HF radio deployed to receive incoming peer to peer messages – frequency and call sign will be sent via Winlink during the exercise.

We also plan to deploy an AREDN (amateur radio emergency data network) node as a part of this exercise.

Please contact me with questions.
Mike K3MMM

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