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Our annual SJCARS picnic on Lopez Island


MERT is On the Air!

At a club meeting earlier this year we were introduced to MERT, the Major Emergency Response Team. We invited them to take a Ham Class to increase their communications capability and minted several new Hams.

The San Juan Island plan has been to out-fit 5 outlying stations with 2m radios.

  • Cape San Juan
  • Little Mountain
  • Eagle Crest
  • Roche Harbor
  • Sunset Point (out-fitted a few years ago)

Thanks to Mike Sear, Jim Hooper and Craig Melvin for being the first station on the air!

Also thanks to the MERT Volunteers, Chief Brad Creesy and DEM’s Brendan Cowan for supporting this effort. We’ll work together to get the other stations on-line before winter. I know that Chief Marler (Silent Key) would be proud.


MFSK-32 is a digital mode supported in FLDIGI with interesting potential for emcom.  In addition to being a robust text mode for HF and VHF/UHF it can be used for pictures, graphics and HTML.

The link will take you to a YouTube presentation that was actually prepared for broadcasters but demonstrates the modes abilities.

This year’s ILLW (International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend) event, with the usual station set up at Lime Liln Lighthouse, was enhanced by Dan, N6AU, activating Cattle Point Lighthouse.  There was some concern during the planning stage that Cattle Point might not qualify as a lighthouse, but Dan’s submission to illw.net was accepted, and Cattle Point was assigned lighthouse number US212.  The logistics for Dan’s effort were more difficult than at Lime Kiln, because he had no AC power, and no vehicle access.  Dan reports:

A Small Report from N6AU/Cattle Point Light
Perhaps N6AU/GCM (garden cart mobile)









Weather on Sunday was cooler, but with fresh wind from the SW.  I had hoped to operated to the south of Cattle Point Light.  This area is exposed to the South, in 270 deg, flat, and within 100 feet of the lighthouse. Unfortunately, no antenna would stand in Sunday’s wind, so I had to move north of the light, perhaps 200 feet away.











Band conditions were good on 20m. The most fun for me was GM3TKV in Scotland and T4JR in Cuba.

I got on and off site in one trip each, and everything fit into the back of the Volvo.

Wonderful event.

73, Dan Drath

Report from Lime Kiln

This seems to have been one of our best ILLW events, second only to 2014.  Mike, N7TLL, arrived first, followed by Ed, KD7TUN, at about 8:10.  We were greeted by long time park volunteer Mary.  The pump house where we get AC power was already unlocked, and we began setting up.   Based on last year’s experience, we decided to use the 20M dipole in the trees again.  Mike launched a golf ball a few times with his shortened fishing pole, and we hoisted a dipole up about 40 feet above ground.

Mike, fishing pole, golf ball: ready to launch!

We hooked up my Yaesu FT-450, and Mike immediately made contact with several members of the Ohana net.  Hoop, K9QJS, arrived later and banged out a bunch more contacts until the cold brisk wind finally made home seem more inviting. The band was in pretty good shape, much better than Field Day.  We had the usual good interest from park visitors, including some other hams.  We managed to make 61 contacts, including 4 lighthouses (Dan at Cattle Point being one!) and an NPOTA station in Walla Walla.  We worked two mobiles, one in Oregon, and one in Hawaii (!!).  The big DX of the day was Hoop snagging JA2GZZ in Osaka, Japan.  We logged 17 states and 1 province (BC).  The details are:

States & provinces :  AK, AZ, BC, CA, CO, HI, IN, IA, KS, LA, MI, NM, NV, OH, OK, OR, WA, WI

Lighthouses:  US0022, Haceta Head, OR; US0031, Pt. Fermin, CA; US0033, Pt. Vicente, CA; US0212,, Cattle Pt, WA

NPOTA:  NS77, Whitman Mission, WA


Mike at the mike

Many thanks to Ranger Ted and volunteer Mary for making us feel welcome again!

Ed K.






APRS, ARISS, Echolink & ILLW…. Oh my…!


Remember Those Pesky Regs?

From the recent Ragnar Relay from Blaine to Langley:

“I received a “Notice of Violation” from an ARRL OO (Official Observer), for the participants in Ragnar on Day 1, for improper station identification. Apparently some participants were using their tactical call signs, but forgetting the 10 minute station ID rule.”

For drills and events where we use tactical callsigns, we are still required to ID with our call every 10 minutes.

I know, I don’t do it either …

A recap of Field Day and a presentation on a visit to the hamfest in Freidrichshafen, Germany were highlights of this meeting.


Here is the letter of recognition which SJCARS received from the San Juan County Council.



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