I hope you are enjoying our somewhat mellow summer weather. No massive extreme weather so far is certainly good news. Let’s hope we can continue on this path.

We are working on our annual fund raising raffle as we collect donations from our members. You should be seeing more about this soon.

We have scheduled our August field exercise for the morning of Saturday the 13th . We will have each of our teams out with their team go kit practicing set up and learning the process of cross-band repeating and digipeating. Stay tuned for more information as we work on the drill plan.

Field Day was really fun up at Larch Mt. The weather was great and we had a really good antenna up high in the trees. A few of our members made the trek up the hill and Robert Quinn, our Multnomah County Emergency Management liaison, rode his bike up from Corbett. Way to go Robert!

The Hoodview Amateur Radio Club had several members onsite and we all enjoyed meeting new folks. Unfortunately the HF bands were not very friendly and our contacts were mostly on the western side of the US and Canada.

Hello Multnomah County ARES Members,

This coming weekend is the ARRL Field Day, June 25 and 26!! If you’re not familiar with Field Day, it’s one of the most fun ARRL events of the year. Hams all over the world gather outdoors to participate in a fun HF/VHF contest, hang out with other hams, and perform outreach to the public. For many of us, it was the first time we ever got on the air!

This year, Multnomah ARES will be joining the Hoodview Amateur Radio Club‘s annual Field Day celebration. They will be at Larch Mountain again this year and we’re looking forward to blasting some radio waves with them up there. If you haven’t been to Larch Mountain, it’s beautiful. The Sherrard Point trail is short but fun, and leads to a pretty amazing viewpoint.

Here’s a google maps link to Larch Mountain with directions. We’ll be set up in the parking lot outside the Larch Mountain Trail trailhead.

The Field Day contest starts at 11 AM, Saturday the 25th and runs through 11 AM Sunday the 26th. The MCARES trailer will be arriving on site around 9:00 AM on the 25th and will remain there through the event. If you’d like to get some great field experience and help the Hoodview team raise a few antennas, plan to arrive around 9 AM. All are welcome – and encouraged – to come operate, make some contacts, and hang out!

We’re having a Potluck Saturday night!!! Deb will be bringing her incredible Field Day Spaghetti – a perennial favorite! Please feel free to bring a dish and enjoy some great company and a pleasant evening.

We hope you can find the time to visit next weekend even if it’s just for a little bit during the day. It’s been too long since we’ve been able to meet up face to face (in small groups). If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Thank you! Have a great week!

Deb KK7DEB, Adam KF7LJH, and Carrie K7CAC

The June 23 monthly meeting will be online via Zoom. Our guest speaker, David Okrent in Seattle, will be presenting “Propagation and the Ionosphere” which we hope will be useful a few days before Field Day.

The GPS Food Drive was another fun event this year. We donated 310 pounds of food to the local SnowCap food bank and they were extremely appreciative. Thank you all for participating on an especially cold and wet Sunday in June. It was great to have 24 of our members involved and always great to see everyone in person.

Field Day 2022 is Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26. We will be joining Hoodview Amateur Radio Club at Larch Mountain just east of Corbett. The MCARES trailer will be there and we hope you will join us for some HF fun. GPS coordinates are 45.528405, -122.085900.

Our other next adventure is the Mt. Hood 50 marathon on July 9 and 10. It looks like we have all the positions filled and we are looking forward to some better weather and a new experience for our members. This is our first time organizing this type of event. Carrie and Adam have done a great job and will be recapping the event at our July 28 meeting.

The May 26 monthly meeting will be online via Zoom. The recent rise in covid-19 cases in Multnomah County has us all concerned so caution is the best policy at this time.

Thanks to all who have signed up to help with Walk MS this Saturday. It looks like the weather is taking a turn for the better and it should be a fun and dry event.

Planning is underway for the “3rd annual GPS Food Drive-Drive.” The date was changed to Sunday, June 12 to avoid conflict with the Rose Festival Grand Floral parade. Stay tuned and save the date; there will be more information coming your way soon.

We bid farewell and a safe journey to Matthew AF7PV as he moves to inactive status. He will be biking from the east coast to the west coast this summer and then will be off to England this fall. We hope he lands back in the Portland area someday.

The April monthly meeting will be online via Zoom. We are planning for the May meeting to be in person at Portland Fire station 2 training center. After two long years it will be great to meet in person again! Stay tuned as these plans are somewhat fluid as we monitor the COVID situation.

The safety of our members is always our highest priority. We have added new speakers to some of our meetings and we will be back on Zoom for the June meeting. We have scheduled David W7DAO, who is located in Seattle, to talk about propagation and the ionosphere. This is great subject matter prior to Field Day the following weekend.

Spring and Summer MCARES activities are taking shape with WALK MS on May 21 and the new Mt. Hood ultra-marathon on July 8 and 9. (Members: Check your email for the sign up.) We have also scheduled our annual GPS Food Drive for June 11. Unfortunately the spring statewide ARES SET (Simulated Emergency Test) has been canceled.

Several of our members have been asking for MCARES apparel such as t-shirts, polos, sweatshirts, and callsign name badges. We are working with our suppliers on updating prices and will be offering an online order form very soon.

It is certainly fantastic to see the number of COVID-19 cases dropping in Oregon. The indoor mask mandate has been lifted and we are looking into meeting in person sometime soon. We have scheduled a few speakers for our monthly meetings who live far away and only do their presentations online so we will need to take that into consideration as we proceed. Stay tuned!

The Saturday SSTV exercise went very well and many great pictures were sent in. Thanks to everyone who participated. We had 37 members willing to spend a few hours to help with this drill. This is one of the many skills that makes ham radio so much fun as there is a lot more that we can do than just talk on the radio. If you have not yet had a chance to look into Slow Scan TV you should talk with your team leader for a demonstration and ask what equipment is needed. All of our MCARES go kits have the needed components.

The Walk MS volunteer sign up form has a whopping 27 members signed up so far. We appreciate that you are so willing to help out with this public service event. May 21 is a ways off so we will keep you updated on the progress of this event.

I think Spring is my favorite time of year as we see the plants and trees come back to life after a cold and gray winter. The return of the warm sunshine is especially appreciated by my 2 cats who just love to bask in the rays coming through the windows. With COVID-19 winding down it feels like Spring takes on a new meaning.

Thanks to everyone who participated in our No Frill New Year Drill. It was a great opportunity to try out the new Winlink mapping option. The information gathered showed both the sitrep and local weather information on the map with real time data. Pretty cool stuff. It also points out our need to know our GPS coordinates both from home and in the field. I have written my coordinates on a sticky note at my radio station and I have a new GPS app (free) on my phone. Hopefully you can do or have done something similar.

We have news that the Multnomah County EOC that is located at the Juvenile Justice Center will be dismantled by June 1. We are hopeful that we can move the K7MCE-10 Winlink gateway to the Multnomah Building at 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd, at least until a new EOC is formalized. Years ago there was an HF and VHF/UHF amateur radio station there and the antennas are still on the roof so we are hopeful that they are still useable or fixable. We will keep you posted on this change as things develop.

It is time to dust off and tune up your mobile and portable radio equipment as this year we hope to practice much more from the field. We have committed to providing communications for the Mt. Hood 50 marathon this summer (July 9 and 10) and we will soon be recruiting MCARES members to help. Our annual GPS food drive will also be on the list of activities. Time to get out of the house!

Happy New Year!

MCARES will start 2022 with a switch to Zoom video conferencing for all of our online meetings. This will allow for team leaders to have Zoom team meetings.

The leadership team met in December for a very productive planning session for 2022. We have added a few outside speakers and some MCARES members to present trainings at our monthly meetings. Bob W7JNM will start the year with “SSTV” followed in February by Joel N7LF with “Emergency Power.” The March meeting will feature Frank Sebastion K7KNS, the EC from Pierce County, Washington, who will talk about “Radio Communication at Special Events.” We are pretty excited about these changes. I will talk about other updates at the January 27 meeting.

The red MCARES trailer has moved to the west side of the river! Charlie team members will transform the trailer into a cozy operating station for use during exercises or incident deployment. The county is in the process of ordering replacements for the equipment that was stolen, and this trailer will be very well stocked with VHF/UHF and HF equipment. We will continue to keep you informed as this project progresses.

Winter Field Day is January 29 and 30. You can learn more by visiting www.WinterFielDay.com. Unfortunately our participation will be home based this year due to the recent COVID spike. I am hopeful we can add this back to our fun events next year. I hope you will join us for the “No Frill New Year Drill” this Saturday and the Thursday, January 27 Zoom membership meeting.

A reminder that our November membership meeting will move to the third Thursday, November 18, to avoid conflict with the Thanksgiving holiday.

As this year nears the end it is time to reflect on our past accomplishments. In 2021 we focused heavily on Winlink usage and training. I believe we can say a very high percentage of our members are pretty darn good at it now. If you are feeling confident about using Winlink, check out the training page on our website.

The VHF/UHF Winlink certification is a great way to acknowledge all of your hard work. Contact your team leader who can arrange for the practicum part of the certification. Each team leader has a go kit available to lend out if you do not yet have the needed equipment. We would love to have all of our members certified!

Each December the leadership team turns into the planning team for the next year. This year, December 5 is the chosen date for that meeting. We would like to hear from you if you have any training topics you would like in 2022. Email leadership [at] MultnomahARES [dot] org with your ideas and requests.

Our build workshops have been very popular in the past and we are hoping to bring this back next year. COVID has been a major disruption in many ways and we hope next year to be able to meet again in person and do more in the field.

Thanks for all the support as I assume my new role as MCARES Emergency Coordinator. Join me in welcoming Matthew AF7PV as our newest AEC (Assistant Emergency Coordinator). Matthew has been with MCARES since 2015 and is a member of the Bravo team. He will continue as the MCARES Station Chief at the PBEM ECC. Thank you Matthew for joining the leadership team!

The Fall SET “Where’s Waldo” was a booming success, we had 40 members participate and our intra county field team made several voice and Winlink contacts with our neighbor counties. Our thanks to Joe, Linda, and Dave for setting up the field station at Nansen Summit. WOW! Adam reports a record 39 packet connections and 27 Vara connections at his KF7LJH Winlink gateway.

A special thanks to our two roving Waldos, Matthew and Gary, for driving around and sending in GPS coordinates. We really appreciate all of our members who participated by sending in their reports as it helps us all to keep our skills and equipment alive.

The second MCARES trailer, the “Red Beast,” will be moving to the west side of town soon. We have permission to store it at the old Jerome Sears Armory on Multnomah Boulevard. The county is in the process of replacing the stolen equipment and it is our hope to turn the trailer into comfortable operating space for west side operations.

A reminder that our November membership meeting will move to the 3rd Thursday, November 18, to avoid conflict with the Thanksgiving holiday.