Success at the Switchyard

1 November 2014

MARS and Carrollton-Farmers Branch-Addison ARES/RACES participated in this year’s Festival at the Switchyard in old downtown Carrollton. Volunteer hams gathered on November 1 to show off amateur radio. Spearheaded by Steve Darrah, KD5YPB, the event attracted a lot of interest from young and old alike.


“MARS is involved because the club is the most visible group of ham radio operators in Carrollton,” Steve explained.  “ARES/RACES is involved because this is the Emcomm group that deploys equipment in response to a need presented by our served Agencies.”


We had three stations demonstrating Winlink, PSK and HF phone. Arnold Krusemark, K0YVI, Granger Spain, AF5BG, and Jens Jensen, AF5MI, made several phone QSOs, while Mike Brown, W5MDB, made 5 PSK contacts, including one to Japan. All was made possible with rigs and antennas on loan from Steve, Mike, Granger, Jerry Roehrig, K9KBH, and Dave Gilpin, K5GIL.


Bill Krueger, AE5BK, Andy Parcel, KE5KOF, Kevin Grantham, N5KRG, Jens Jensen, AF5MI, and Lars Anderson, KN5UTE, were also on hand to promote ham radio. Robert Reuscher, NR5AR, hosted the online sign-up sheet on the ARES/RACES website.


A big hit with the younger crowd was the “Kid Code Key.” Aspiring hams translated their names into Morse code and sent them using the high-tech sight and sound modulator. Liz Brown, K5EMB and Louisa Weigler worked the literature table with Bill and Jens and explained the process to the potential hams. Liz estimates more than 100 tried their fists for the first time.


“This was our best opportunity for the year to present amateur radio to the public,” Steve said. “I think we did a great job showing off the hobby.”


Based on this year’s success, we expect the MARS-ARES/RACES booth to be even better in 2015. Many thanks go to all who made this event possible.


73 Mike, W5MDB

Photos courtesy M D Brown ©2014

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