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.

Spring is in the air, which means we are looking to get out of the house and operate from the field again. Please plan to join the Saturday March 27th GPS Food Drive-Drive. This is our second year running this mobile event that takes you around the county to different locations and to our food collection site. All the food collected goes to a local food bank for distribution to those in need. Really great fun! Watch for the email with details.

Matthew AF7PV has been leading the monthly first Tuesday Digital Net for many years. He is retiring from the net but will still be with us on the Bravo team. Bob W7JNM has graciously stepped up to take over as net control. Joe WA7FWC will help out as technical support. Our thanks to Matthew for his years of service. Without this net many of our SSTV skills would have withered as the need to practice and test our equipment is such an important factor.

It feels like we are turning a corner with COVID-19 as more folks get vaccinated. It is looking like we might be returning to something a little closer to normal soon. YAY!!

Membership News

by Deb KK7DEB on 2021-03-10

Welcome to our newest member, William (Bill) KJ7TVE, who is joining the Delta team! This brings our active membership count up to 100.

Our members logged a combined 273 volunteer hours last month.

What a wild week of weather! Just when we were thinking we would escape a cold and snowy winter we get the polar vortex slipping our way. Depending on where you live the snow and ice kept travel near impossible. Out here in East County we had temps in the low 20s and blowing snow causing drifts up to 3 feet high. Today the freezing rain has coated everything with almost an inch of ice. I love the snow but now I am looking forward to far less weather drama. Good old gentle Oregon rain with temps in the 40s and 50s sounds good to me now.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Sunday special Resource/Information net. We had 78 checkins and several emails from members who were out of town and unable to check in. It is great to practice how a net like this may evolve in the event of a major disaster.

A special thanks to Dylan N7LYD who has taken the job as MCARES Training Manager as of January. Dylan has been leading the new member trainings and has been doing a great job.

We are sorry to report that Echo Team member Jim Masog N7JFC is now a silent key. Jim had been fighting a long battle with cancer for the last several years. Jim lived less than a block from Gresham Fire Station 74 and it was his mission to take care of the ham radio equipment there. He knew all the fire fighters and was there for ARES exercises. He volunteered with the US Forest Service and he and his wife, Louise, spent many, many hours patrolling the forest service back roads. You might remember him as the guy with the old military jeep who always stopped by at our annual camp outs. We will miss him for sure!

Membership News

by Deb KK7DEB on 2021-02-09

Welcome to our newest members, John KJ7FWU (Alpha Team), Jim KJ7DMV (Bravo Team), Scott KJ7MBS (Charlie Team), and David KJ7DLN (Supporting Member).

We’re now up to 99 active members, and we logged 163 volunteer hours last month.

Electrical Father of the Trailer

It’s with both joy and sadness that we remember John Bartlett, KF7ZWX, who passed on November 25th. From the first time he pulled up to a meeting with his antenna porcupine search and rescue truck, John made a huge impact on Multnomah County ARES over the 7 plus years of his membership. An electrician by trade, John was a man of many, many talents. He was an electronics engineer, a machinist, a programmer, and an educator. A carpenter, patent holder, father, a counselor, and a friend.

Warm and generous of spirit, John was one of our best Elmers and was able to illuminate the complexities of radio and electronics with a quiet passion that was welcoming and infectious. His soldering classes were stuff of legend – who has eight soldering irons and all the accessories handy to set up at a moment’s notice? Two hours with John and you were soldering like you’d been at it for a decade. He could de-solder a feedline connector in seconds; it was like watching a magic trick.

In one of his most incredible efforts for ARES, John put in hundreds of hours over months designing and installing – and personally donating much of – the entire electrical system for the ARES Communications Trailer. It’s an amazing, professional quality system that is simultaneously complex and

simple, a truly inspired design that has been replicated in similar units up and down the west coast. It took an incredible amount of time and effort – John was one of the most generous men. Ever. On the Mike Team, he was an ocean of Zen in the middle of the chaos of a drill. The man was unflappable and always smiling, first to volunteer and last to leave, every time.

We will miss him, and his dog, Puggles, deeply, and send our condolences and warmest thoughts to Katherine KQ7TBR and his family.

Membership News

by Deb KK7DEB on 2021-01-07

We logged 149 volunteer hours in December, with an impressive total of 2,949 hours for 2020.

A big welcome to our new members, Isabelle KD2NMP (Charlie Team), Harriet KJ7RZV (Delta Team), and Michael KI7QIB (Bravo Team). We now have 96 active members.