This month’s meeting will be online via Zoom and is one week early, on Thursday, November 16. We do not have a December membership meeting, however the Leadership team will meet to plan for next year. If you have suggestions for trainings for 2024, please email leadership [at] multnomahares [dot] org. We value your input!

We hope you will join us for the SKYWARN Recognition Day on December 2 at the Portland National Weather Service office.

Multnomah and Clackamas County ARES have been asked to partner in supporting the National Weather Service (NWS) SKYWARN Recognition Day. Last year we had a fun time, and the NWS staff are great to work with. The tour of their facility is really interesting. The event is scheduled to take place Saturday, December 2 at the Portland Weather Service office located at 5241 NE 122nd Avenue in Portland.

Operations will start at 8:00 AM and end at 4:00 PM. The Multnomah ARES Mobile Communications Unit will be set up in the parking area for operations, so you will be warm and dry. The goal is to make contacts with other participating NWS offices and SKYWARN members. Contacts will be made using HF, VHF, and Winlink. It is anticipated that two local repeaters will be used during the event.

Each 2.5 hour shift will include a radio operator and a logger. The operator and logger may switch off during their shift. Volunteers will also be needed to help with set up and take down before and after operating hours. Tours of the NWS office will take place at scheduled times during the day.

Members are encouraged to sign up for shifts.

We hope you can join us. Let’s show our support for the NWS SKYWARN program!

This month’s meeting will be in person at Portland Community College, SE 82nd Ave and SE Division St, in the Community Hall meeting room. This will be the last in person meeting for the year.

We will switch to Zoom for the November 16 (one week early), January, and February meetings. We do not have a December membership meeting, however the Leadership team meets for planning for next year. The holidays are a busy time for us all. Eli and Dylan will be teaming up to give us a refresher traffic handling and forms course for the October meeting.

We hope you will join us for the Shakeout exercise on October 19 and the AREDN/mesh demo on the 21st. See your email for details on both of these events. We have been contacted by the Portland office of the National Weather Service (NWS) to help again this year with their SkyWarn 2023 event. We are working on details and it looks like this will be December 2 unless there is a government shutdown happening at that time. Please save the date as this was really fun last year and very much appreciated by our local NWS folks.

Fall has definitely arrived! It is a good time to check your go kit and include colder weather gear and rain protection. Check your batteries to make sure they are fully charged or perhaps needing replacement.

On Saturday, October 21, MCARES, PBEM, and Cascade Amateur Radio Society (CARS) are presenting an AREDN mesh networking demonstration and hands-on training event. Hosted by PBEM at the ECC facility at 9911 SE Bush St, the event will run from 09:00 to 12:00. We will set up in the parking lot just south of the ECC building, and also use some of nearby Ed Benedict Park. There will be two presentations with the same content at 09:15 and 10:30, under a canopy in the parking lot. The rest of the event is drop-in style. The presentations will show what you can do on the mesh network, different node types, and how the equipment works.

If you’d like to set up a mesh field station during the event, you will need:

  • your own laptop, tablet, or phone with a browser (Firefox works fine);
  • optional umbrella or cover to protect your laptop in case of light rain;
  • an ethernet connection to your device using either a built-in jack or dongle;
  • your own somewhat long ethernet cable.

Everyone who comes should bring a laptop to go on the mesh, even if you do not want to set up a field station. You will have full mesh access via normal WiFi without needing to do anything more than bringing your laptop.

We will provide the mesh equipment and power supply ready for you to practice with. Please bring a folding chair for the presentation, and for later use if you’ll be setting up a field station.

If you already have flashed AREDN software onto one or more mesh node devices, bring them and try them out. If you’re not sure about a particular device, bring it along and we can help you evaluate it. If you don’t have any mesh equipment, this session will help you choose what to purchase.

Stay as long as you like to explore the various mesh services available. We will demonstrate file servers and other services like live chat and email. Anyone with a Winlink account will be able to and is encouraged to send and receive Winlink messages over the mesh.

Assuming that no actual emergency arises during the event, PBEM staff may also be able to provide brief tours of the ECC and radio room for interested participants.

We will need volunteers at 08:00 and at 12:00 to help us set up the canopies and disassemble things afterwards. Your lending a hand with that will help expedite the event.

Contact Roger Wirt (KI7RW [at] ARRL [dot] NET) with any questions.

An anticipated AREDN mesh orientation and demo is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, October 21. Mesh antennas have now been installed at enough high places to provide ad hoc access in various parts of Multnomah County. What it takes to connect, and how we can expand the network with additional nodes, will be among the topics addressed at the October 21 meeting, so please mark that date on your calendar if you’d like to learn more about AREDN mesh systems and how portable arrangements may be useful to ARES. More information will be provided as the date approaches.

This month’s meeting will be in person at Warner Pacific University, SE 68th Ave and SE Division St – a new location for us as our usual meeting space at Portland Community College SE is not available. I will send a detailed map next week.

Adam and Jeff with be presenting an overview of the 3 ultra marathons that we provided communications for this summer. We will also have instructions and a demonstration of using acoustic coupling for SSTV (slow scan TV) using your cell phone and radio.

Fall is in the air! We will be moving to online Zoom meetings for at least January and February, and possibly November.

A reminder: The new 2023 Regional Template has been posted to the website. There are several important changes to the Multnomah County frequencies and we hope you will get your radios programmed soon. The County and Cities EOCs are all updated as well as all the MCARES go kits. If you need help programming your radio, contact your team leader.

This month’s meeting/BBQ/raffle will be in person at Wilshire Park at NE 33rd Ave and NE Skidmore St. Grill master Bob KG1BOB will be serving up the best burgers and dogs in town. We will have chips, watermelon and cold drinks. Feel free to bring family to enjoy an evening in the very shady and forested Wilshire Park. If you feel inspired, bring a side dish to share. There is plenty of parking on Skidmore Street.

The new 2023 Regional Template has just been posted to the website. There are several important changes to the Multnomah County frequencies and we hope you will get your radios programmed soon.

We have completed the third and final ultra marathon communications event at Mount St. Helens. We really appreciate all of you who have helped out!

There are more opportunities to volunteer with our friends at Go Beyond racing as they do a few races that are out of our area. The sign-up sites are:
Oregon 200
Mountain Lakes 100

I look forward to seeing you all at Wilshire Wilshire Park. This event is one of my favorite gatherings each year!

This month’s meeting will be in person at the Community Hall at the Portland Community College SE campus. I will send more details next week for those who may not have been there yet. Our annual BBQ meeting will be on August 24 at Wilshire Park on NE 33rd Avenue and NE Skidmore Street in picnic area “A”.

We have just completed the second Ultra marathon communications event at Mt. Hood. We have one more coming up on August 5 and 6 near Mt. St. Helens. These are so much fun, as well as rewarding and such great training for our members. If you have not yet volunteered for one, we encourage you to give it a try! We will partner you with an experienced operator. The race directors really appreciate our help keeping the runners safe, and being in touch with the aid station staff is paramount. We really appreciate all of those who have helped out!

The new MCARES Starlink satellite antenna went on its first outing last weekend! Deep in the woods of Mt. Hood national forest it found its buddies up in the sky and performed flawlessly. It was a valuable resource for an internet connection and internet phone service. One use case example was an injured runner’s wife wanted to inform other family members of his status and we were able to let her connect to our Starlink to make that call. This is another awesome communications tool for the MCARES trailer!

The 2023 Regional Template has just been released by Kent Powloski. There are several important changes to the Multnomah County frequencies, and our template master, Joe WA7FWC, is working on our local template. He should have his work completed very soon and we will let you know when it is available on our website. Thanks, Joe, for all your hard work!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the February 26 Winlink from Home exercise! We had 43 members participate. Team leaders reported mixed results in the success rate so we will schedule a redo of this exercise in April. Stay tuned for that date.

The March 23 meeting will be at our new meeting location at Portland Community College, Southeast campus (SE Division and 82nd Ave). We will send building details and parking instruction prior to the March meeting.

The Ultra Marathon planning team has set a target date of March 31 to send out a Signup Genius for all three summer marathons. Take a look at the dates and try to save a few to your calendar.

  • June 24: Wy’East Wander Mt. Hood near Parkdale
  • July 15-16: Mt. Hood Trail Run
  • Aug 5-6: Volcanic near Mt St. Helens

We will need your help to staff the various needed positions! Thanks!

For those who may not already know, the USS Blueback submarine is part of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, located on the east side of the Willamette River just below the I-5 bridge here in Portland. The submarine is moored in the river right in front of the museum. The Blueback was decommissioned in 1990 and brought to the Museum in 1994.

The radio room on board the sub has been inactive for the past several years primarily due to the pandemic. The person in charge of the radio room (called the “CHOP” in the Navy) has decided to step back from that role. OMSI has been looking for new leadership to reactivate the station and carry on operations. Several MCARES members who have been working as volunteers at OMSI – Bob Cady W7JNM, Ken Cone K7BXI, and Steve Hall W7SRH – learned of the desire to reactivate the station and have decided to take this on.

Bob, Ken, and Steve recently met with the OMSI submarine staff and the outgoing “CHOP” (station manager). They were able to reactivate the station which included testing the antennas to ensure they were functioning properly, bringing power back to the radio equipment, and locating station documentation. They are also learning about how radio room operations might fit into or conflict with submarine tours.

The new radio team is in the process of developing an operations schedule to include several special events and some form of educational opportunities for those interested in amateur radio. If appropriate, the team will seek authorization for other MCARES members to visit the station and participate in these events. An update will be provided when the station operating schedule is finalized.

Photo credit: Steve Hall W7SRH