Bellringer Ride 2023
The Bellringer 2023 ride is coming up on Saturday October 21st and we’re looking for volunteers to work rest stops and Support and Gear (SAG) vehicles.  This ride starts at Georgetown University and runs NW through Montgomery and Frederick Counties, circles through Middletown, then ends in Urbana.  We’re working in conjunction with the Montgomery ( and the HacDC clubs (
It looks like the Frederick County locations include a rest stop and finish line at different locations in Urbana, plus rest stops at Valley Elementary School near Jefferson, and one in the heart of Middletown.  We’re still working out the logistics and would be happy to have additional folks involved in the planning as well.
So, if you can volunteer in any capacity, we’d sure appreciate it.  The sign-up form is here:
As always, let me know if there are questions.
Mike Forrence K3MMM
Read More
Frederick Amateur Radio Club September 2023 meeting

The Frederick Amateur Radio Club will meet on Monday September 18th at 7pm in the social hall of the Independent Hose Company, located at 310 Baughmans Lane in Frederick.  Parking and social hall entrance is at the rear of building. This month our speaker is Jim (W1DF) from nearby Gettysburg, who is an ARRL and CQ Magazine multi-Honor Roll DX’er. He has been active chasing DX since the late 70’s. He has volunteered to present a program at the September meeting  that he calls “DX’ing 101.” Topics he’ll cover will be:  What’s DX?; Why DX?; What’s needed to chase DX?; Types of countries; Tools available; QSO confirmation; and Awards.

Joining us in person is always best, but if not possible, please join via Zoom – link here:

The Frederick Amateur Radio Club invites ALL members of the community to join us – no need to be a member.  If you’re a ham or simply want to know more, please stop in.



Read More
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:

As always, let me know if there are questions.

Mike Forrence K3MMM

Read More
Hagerstown Tailgate Fest 23

Just a reminder that the Hagerstown Tailgate Fest is Saturday September 9th.  If able, please support this event. This will take place at:

Maugansville Bible Brethren Church
17904 Binkley Ave,
Maugansville, MD 21767

Details here: TailgateFest 2023 (

Read More