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Updated May 14, 2020

MARS at a Distance

April 9, 2020

  In keeping with social distancing guidelines, the Club held its first general meeting via videoconference. 39 members and guests attended by internet and phone to learn, conduct business and socialize. For some this was a new experience, but we all got the hang of it early on.

  Andy Parcel, KE5KOF, presented an overview of “Amateur Radio Safety.” Highlights included tips to avoid accidents, RF safety, grounding and Field Day safe practices. [Please go here to download his slide deck.]

  While we hope we can meet face-to-face, it’s likely that we will do this again in May. Watch your email and check back here for the latest news.

President’s Corner April 2020

  We are all feeling the effects of the “Safer at Home” orders and as a result, the HF bands are hopping! If you have time on your hands, let’s get off the news channels with their endless loops and study for that upgrade you have always been meaning to do. Our resident Volunteer Examiner team leader is working with the W5YI group to come up with a virtual/remote test session protocol. It’s not ready yet but by the time you crack the books and take a few practice exams it might be. So, go for it! A General or Extra is within your reach!

  When’s the last time you have been on CW? Now is your opportunity to try out some modes you haven’t done before. Our last Play Day introduced FT8. I hope you are on that mode now racking up the contacts and awards. But a more conversational experience awaits on CW, PSK or RTTY. Some of the newer rigs have those modes built-in. Add a keyboard and away you go! Others work better with a computer and software such as fldigi and Ham Radio Deluxe and similar. But a basic paddle will get you on CW, and let you practice. So, let’s get out there!

Mobile Command Vehicle Gets a New Coat

April 1, 2020

  In 2019, Andy Parcel KE5KOF, Kevin Grantham N5KRG, and Russell Widener (not a ham) jointly purchased the Carrollton Police Department’s old Mobile Command Center (MCC) at auction. Andy and Russell are in the Carrollton Citizens Patrol organization. Andy and Kevin are in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch-Addison ARES/RACES group, Dallas County Medical Reserve Corps and Red Cross. Russell owns J & B Power Wash in Carrollton.

  The owners have outfitted the MCC with all manner of amateur, marine band, and aviation radios to support emergency operations as well as planned events such as the Dallas Marathon, Carrollton’s Festival at the Switchyard, Carrollton’s TEXFest and Winter Field Day.

  As in all ham projects, the MCC is a work in progress. Check out its new livery by clicking on the photos below.

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