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Updated September 1, 2022

Geratol Net

   Getting bored with ham radio? Want to do something other than shoot fish in the barrel with FT8? Are you up for a real challenge? Check out the Geratol Net This net runs nightly from October through April to assist hams in achieving WAS with a twist—all contacts must be in the Extra Class portion of the 75-meter phone band with other stations having 2-letter Extra Class format callsigns.

   You’ll need three things to participate: a good 80m antenna, an Extra Class ticket, and a desire for a challenge. You don’t need a 2x callsign to participate.

   The net doesn’t start up again until October so you have time to string up an 80m dipole and upgrade to Extra. If you already have your Extra, you don’t have to wait until October to start making your contacts. You can grab some of the closer states now then catch the rare ones when the net resumes.

Ron Reeves, NN5R

Work the Birds

   At the July 14 meeting, Clint Bradford, K6LCS, showed MARS hams how to work amateur satellites with only your dual-band HT and a hand-held antenna. Something as simple as a home-brew tape measure Yagi will allow you to talk to those gadgets spinning around the earth. He has an extensive website brimming with virtually all the information you need to get started: Please check out the video of his presentation.

Field Day Wrap-Up

  Field Day Marshal Ron Reeves, NN5R, and his MARS team created a successful Field Day for 2022 hosting over thirty hams and visitors including several special guests. Working as 3A NTX under our club call KB5A, we racked up a worthy score (“it’s not a contest”); the final tally will appear in the December issue of QSTMeanwhile, please go here for the complete story and a photo gallery.

Hear and Understand

   At the June 9 meeting, Ken Mitchell, KD2KW, gave us an overview about how to learn CW. If you know nothing about Morse Code or want improve your skills and speed, he recommends CW Academy—no experience needed, and the course is free! The classes use the proven Farnsworth method and are led by experienced CW operators.

Click the PLAY button to watch the meeting video.
Or go here to download a PDF.

The Votes are In!

  At the June 9 meeting, the MARS Nominating Committee tallied the votes and announced the new Board of Directors for 2022-23.

  • President—David Gilpin, K5GIL

  • Vice-President—Andy Parcel, KE5KOF

  • Secretary—Mike Brown, W5MDB

  • Treasurer—J J Henry, N5IMS

  • Director—Tom Yenny, K5LOL

  • Director—Allan Batteiger, WB5QNG (continues 3-year term)

  • Director—Darrell Crimmins, KG5E (continues 3-year term)

  • Immediate Past President—Kevin Grantham, N5KRG

  Many thanks to the Nominating Committee for running the election. The new Board takes office on July 1. Congratulations to the entire Board.

Rainey AC5EZ

   At the May 12 meeting Ken Rainey, AC5EZ, gave us an overview of how and why to properly ground your equipment inside your shack. Ken is a member of the Lake Area Amateur Radio Klub (LAARK). Ken has been involved in electronics since a youngster and received his first formal radio training in the army (1961–69). He has a BA in computer science and math, and was first licensed in 1991.

   Please go here to view a video of Ken’s program. You can also download a PDF from the LAARK site: A companion program is about grounding outside the shack and can be downloaded here:

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