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President’s Corner

March 12, 2019

  We have a very special presentation to one of our members for the March club meeting on the 14th. Please plan to attend. It’s a lifetime achievement award.

  With all the excitement around Winter Field Day, the great presentations at the club meetings, fun Play Days, and the various hamfests, it’s easy to let time get away. But don’t let it! We have the Texas State Parks On The Air (TSPOTA) coming up and then it’s time to start thinking about Field Day.

  In the near term (as in, this Friday) we have a Science Technology Engineering And Math (STEAM) event at the Carrollton Public Library, Josey Ranch. It’s in the same big room where we will have Play Day on Saturday. It’s for 6- to 12-year-olds and it’s a Spring Break activity. We’ve been invited to set up tables and demonstrate amateur radio. Remember, there is no lower age limit for a license – as long as you can read and answer the questions, you can become a technician! I’ve read about 8- and-10-year-olds who have obtained their licenses and are routinely on the air. Maybe we can encourage some like-minded youths on Friday! Contact Steve Darrah for more information.

  We’re slated to have a very interesting presentation on the new Northwest Digital DRAWS™ board – this is a dual-radio interface board that plugs into a Raspberry Pi and has a variety of interesting uses. It has two six-pin mini-DIN connectors that can connect directly to the DATA jack on many mobile and base radios. You will definitely want to hear about it.

  Have you put up an AREDN™ node yet? We need omnidirectional nodes up all over Carrollton and Farmers Branch to create a mesh network for communications during widespread outages. You can put up a Ubiquiti PicoStation™ M2, or go for the fancier (and higher power) Bullet™ M2 with an external omnidirectional antenna. Don’t worry initially about being an internet gateway – you can add that later if you want – and don’t worry initially about whether or not you can hear other nodes. Let’s everyone put one on the air and see what kind of a mesh we can build!

  It’s getting to be election time again for the club. Every year we elect four officers and one (of three) directors. Some of the incumbents will not be running again, at least for the same position, some due to term limits, do this is the time to step up and become part of the direction-setting for MARS. Just send me an email at while we pull together a nominating committee and we’ll put your interest forward. This is a wonderful time in the history of MARS and you should be an officer, director or committee chair. Think about it and send me an email.

Kevin Grantham N5KRG

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