Next Radio Practice September 10, 2016

August 29th, 2016 by Peter No comments »

2 Meter Critical Mass Amateur Radio Practice

What: An opportunity to practice Ham radio communications

When:  Saturday, September 10, 2016, 1000 hrs. to 1200 hrs.                          

Where:  Spreckels Lake, Golden Gate Park

Who:  Licensed Amateur Radio Operators, any experience level, bring your radio and manual, paper and pencil.  And bring a friend!

Why:  There are not many opportunities to practice with your radio; so come to the Lake to practice, learn from an Elmer or be an Elmer.

How:  Use your radio, practice with other Hams; learn more about your radio and Amateur Radio Communications.

What’s more fun than being with other Amateur Radio enthusiasts of varying experience levels talking on the radio?

So, come on out.  Be an Elmer.  Ask an Elmer for help.  That’s what  Amateur Radio is all about.

Contact Peter McElmury at AA6SF@ARRL.NET for more details (type “2 Meter Practice” in subject line)

Go to website at 2MeterCriticalMass.com for more information.

Definition of Critical Mass:

  • Point of change: a point or situation at which change occurs
  • Necessary size or amount: the size or amount of something that is required before an activity or event can take place

Great California Shake Out

August 4th, 2016 by Peter 1 comment »

Subject:          The Great California Shake Out

When:            October 20, 2016 at 10:20 a.m.

What:             Join millions of people worldwide to practice Drop, Cover and Hold On

Where:           Wherever you are on this date and at this time

Why:               A great way for your family to be prepared to survive and recover from big earthquakes-wherever you live, work or travel

2 Meter Critical Mass Friends,

The Great California Shake Out of 2016 is almost here. I have again registered the 2 Meter Critical Mass Amateur Radio Practice as a Volunteer Radio Group whose members will plan, practice and participate in The Great Shake Out Earthquake Drills.

While 2MCM is not holding a group Drop, Cover and Hold On practice, we can practice on our own and participate on October 20th with our co-workers, our family, or on our own.

Do this for me:

* Go to: http://shakeout.org/california/howtoparticipate/

* Register to participate as an individual or for your entire family by picking a category. I registered 2MCM under Volunteer Radio Groups. And I registered my wife Pat & I under Individuals/Families.

* Search through the website for useful information on being prepared.

* Take a look at this printable 12-page booklet for the Bay Area: http://www.earthquakecountry.org/downloads/StayingSafeWhereTheEarthShakes_BayAreaEdition.pdf

* On Thursday October 20th at 10:20 am Drop, Cover and Hold On.

It is not official yet, but SF ACS may hold a net on WA6GG 442.050 (+) T 127.3 at 10:21 a.m. on October 20th for all radio operators who have “participated”.

I hope to see you at the 2MCM Radio Practice August 13th.  We will all get to talk on our radios, get help or help someone.

 

73,

Peter McElmury AA6SF

July 9, 2016 Ham Radio Practice & Celebration

July 20th, 2016 by Peter No comments »

July 9, 2016 Radio Practice & Celebration

Spreckels Lake Golden Gate Park San Francisco

James KG6CFC (Left) and David KK6JKC (Right ) at 2MCM Critical Mass Radio Practice July 9, 2016

Greeting 2MCM Friends,

For the June 11th radio practice there were 10 of us, it was sunny and I forgot to bring sunscreen. We talked first about sending and receiving messages; then everyone got an opportunity to send a message and to receive a message. Everyone needed to change frequencies a couple times.

Many thanks to all of you who joined me at the Lake that day.

For the July 9th radio practice there were at least 22 of us there. Several 2MCM Members came later near noon or just after noon to say hi and enjoy the company of fellow ham radio operators and the potluck lunch.

For the practice five members were assigned the role of Net Control, while the others were assigned the role of Radio Operators and given frequencies to contact the Nets, send a message and receive a message. The scene was of Radio Operators spread around Spreckels Lake, sitting or standing, a clip board in one hand and a radio in the other. The practice included changing frequencies four times, checking into three different nets, helping each other, and enjoying the sunshine. I brought sunscreen, but alas, forgot to put any on.

I give my heartfelt thanks to all of you for joining me at the Lake, for bringing food to the potluck, for being my friends, for helping each other, and for your commitment to becoming better ham radio operators.

July 9th marked the 72nd time we have met, all but one time at Spreckels Lake. A couple times we were in the rain, some in the bright sun, and mostly under cloudy skies that usually cleared by noon when we went home.

I almost always forget to take photos and a few of you sent me photos that I will post to the website. Twice my son Danny has shown me how to post photos, so I don’t have a good excuse.He helped me with the one above. If you took photos that you have not already sent me, please send them to me.

We only meet once a month for only two hours. The rest of the month is up to us to find opportunities to use our radios and help each other.

73 Best Regards,

Peter McElmury AA6SF

2MeterCriticalMass.com

 

Next Radio Practices

May 25th, 2016 by Peter No comments »

Greetings 2MCM Friends,

Please mark your calendars with two dates:

Saturday June 11, 2016 – Radio Practice at Spreckels Lake

Saturday July 9, 2016 – Radio Practice at Spreckels Lake

Why?

June 11, 2016 marks six years of 2 Meter Critical Mass radio practices.

July 9, 2016 will be the start of the seventh year of 2 Meter Critical Mass radio practices.

Who would have imagined six years going on seven?

Please join me at both of these historic radio practices. All of you have helped make this happen.

Over these six years we have done a lot of talking on our radios, learned from others and helped others learn how to use their radios.

I still have a lot to learn and I still want to do a lot more talking on my radio.

The truth is Critical Mass for talking on a radio really only requires two radio operators. But it is sure more fun when there are a lot of you at the practice.

After the July 9 radio practice we will have a pot-luck lunch to celebrate!

Bring something something to share. I will bring paper plates, plastic forks, spoons, knives and napkins. I have two tables; you might want to bring a chair for yourself.

Even if you cannot make it at 1000 hours, come at 1200 hours for lunch and the fellowship.

As always, Best Regards and I hope to see you at the Lake,

Peter McElmury (AA6SF@ARRL.NET)

W6TP Repeater / UHF Change

April 20th, 2016 by Peter No comments »

The Telephone Pioneers have made a  change to the W6TP repeater.

The UHF CTCSS has changed; what we often refer to as PL.  (CTCSS = Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System).  I have been told that this is a temporary change to eliminate interference problems that recently cropped up until another solution is found.

What they changed: The Squelch Type has been changed from TONE (the little T you see on your radio’s display screen) to Digital Code Squelch or DCS.  The DCS Tone Mode is 114.

You may want to refer to your radio’s Operating Manual and go to the section for CTCSS Operation.

In summary: The UHF/70cm frequency itself did not change.  It is still 443.100 MHz.  The Repeater Shift is still positive (+).  But the CTCSS Tone Mode is now DCS and the DCS Tone Code is 114.

Be advised that older radios may not have a DCS Tone Mode.  This indicates it is time for you to buy a new radio.  Do not use the UHF frequency if you cannot change to DCS.    . . .  As many of you know, I like the Yaesu FT 60R, and its still the same price it was 8 years ago.  

If you have an “older” radio, the VHF/2Meter frequency still  works and you can use it without making any changes.  It remains 146.790 MHz, Repeater Shift negative (-), Tone 114.8Hz.

I hope to see you at the next 2MCM Radio Practice, Saturday May 14th.  

We are going to continue where we left off last month and organize as a group of volunteer radio operators working a Marathon/Special Event.  Don’t be late.  We will start at 1000 hours and finish by 1200 hours.

We are still having fun, learning new stuff and talking on our radios.

Best Regards,

Peter McElmury AA6SF

 

Next Radio Practice Sat. April 9, 2016

March 27th, 2016 by Peter No comments »

2 MCM Radio Practice Friends,

Our next radio practice will be Saturday April 9, 2016, at Spreckels Lake in Golden Gate Park, 36th Ave. and Fulton St., from 1000 hours to 1200 hours.

At this practice we will continue to provide amateur radio operators an opportunity to practice using their radios.

For this practice the main topic and radio practice will be: working as a volunteer radio operator at a special event such as a marathon, walk-a-thon or parade. We will discuss and practice how the Net Control Operator works, what Aid Station ROs do, what to bring, and different situations that might occur during a marathon or similar event.

We will talk on our radios.

If you have never participated as a volunteer radio operator at a special event, this will be a good opportunity to practice operating your radio.

For those of you who have experience we need you to join in and help the others at this radio practice.

Coincidentally the San Francisco Radio Club is providing radio communications on Saturday May 21st for the Bay Area Brain Tumor Walk. The SF Radio Club needs radio volunteers for this special event. Contact Robert Klahn at AD6I@kint.org to volunteer. You can ask to be paired with an experienced radio operator. The walk location is Crissy Field and this will be a great opportunity to use your radio and help your community. For info on the walk go to: http://events.braintumor.org/bay-area-brain-tumor-walk/

Mark July 31st on your calendars for The San Francisco Marathon. The SF Radio Club will also be proving radio communication for this special event.

I look forward to seeing you at the Lake .

Best regards,

Peter McElmury AA6SF

Seven of us at the lake Sat. March 12th

March 13th, 2016 by Peter No comments »

IMG_2375There were seven of us at Spreckels Lake Saturday March 12th. Yes it was a little cold, and it sprinkled on us a couple times, so we moved under the cover of a big tree.  While we didn’t talk much on our radios, we did talk a lot about radio communications.  It takes more than one short get together to learn about the many aspects of Amateur Radio Communications.  I urge you all to find opportunities to use your radios.  Use Radio Nets, NERT meetings, SFRC meetings, and radio meet-ups of your own making.  Invite me to join you and even help you organize a radio practice in your neighborhood.  I will join you when I can.  I still have a lot to learn about amateur radio.

I want to thank Chris, Sylvia, Barb, Isaac, David, and James who is new to 2MCM, for joining me at the lake.   We are no longer suffering from cabin fever.  I was careful to not fall in the lake while taking the photo.

For some radio opportunities, check out:

Marin Amateur Radio Society website (w6sg.net) for list of Public Service events.

San Francisco Radio Club (sfarc.org) for two public service events – March 21 Brain Tumor Walk-A-Thon at Crissy Field, and July 31 SF Marathon.

Our next 2MCM Radio Practice will be April 9th .

Take care, do a good turn every day, and use your radio.

Best Regards,

Peter McElmury AA6SF

2MeterCriticalMass.Com

Sat. February 12, 2016 – Next Radio Practice

February 29th, 2016 by Peter 1 comment »

2 MCM Radio Practice Friends,

Our next radio practice will be Saturday March 12th, 2016, at Spreckels Lake in Golden Gate Park, 36th Ave. and Fulton St., from 1000 hours to 1200 hours.
At this practice we will continue to provide amateur radio operators an opportunity to practice using their radios; sending, receiving, changing frequencies.  There will be someone to answer your questions.
Last month for our February 13th practice there were fourteen of us. The weather was clear and sunny. Everyone got an opportunity to use their radios to send messages and listen to how others send messages.
For the March 12th practice we will again talk about message handling and maybe even talk about squelch and tone; and get answers to questions.
** Regarding questions, I am  asking everyone to bring one question about a ham term or piece of equipment.
Mark your calendars, charge up your radio’s battery, bring paper and pencil and join me at Spreckels Lake.
All radio operators are welcome to this practice and exercise.  Invite a friend to join you.

Best regards,

Peter McElmury AA6SF

Sat. February 13, 2016 – Next Radio Practice

January 24th, 2016 by Peter No comments »

2 MCM Radio Practice Friends,

Our next radio practice will be Saturday, February 13, 2016, at Spreckels Lake in Golden Gate Park, 36th Ave. and Fulton St., from 1000 hrs to 1200 hrs.

Check-in will be by radio, at the lake, using 146.550 PL 100 simplex.   This frequency may not be monitored after check-ins.

At this practice we will continue to help amateur radio operators practice using their radios, practice sending and receiving messages, answer questions and introduce radio topics.

At our January 9th practice the Sun broke through the clouds about 0900 and we had a very pleasant morning at the lake talking on our radios.

Mark your calendars, charge up your radio’s battery and join others and me at Spreckels Lake.

All radio operators are welcome to this practice and exercise.  Invite a friend to join you.

Don’t miss this radio practice opportunity.

This is an independent radio practice and exercise.  All are invited to join me.

Best regards,

Peter McElmury AA6SF

Saturday’s 2MCM Radio Practice

December 13th, 2015 by Peter No comments »

Barb, Sylvia, Barbara, Glenn, Noel, Wassim, Richard & Jim,

Thanks for joining me at Spreckels Lake Saturday. The weather was beautiful, sunny and warm.
All of you seemed to indicate the practice was worthwhile. I got a little confused handing out and changing the assignments and frequencies; but the eight of you took it in stride and kept up the pace sending and receiving messages. Thanks again!

So now I ask the eight of you and all of the 2MCM Members:
What would you like to do next time?
What one or two things would you like to be covered at the next or future radio practices?
Over the past five years, besides talking on our radios, we introduced quite a few “esoteric” radio subjects. The last few practices this year have been mostly about the practical use of our radios – sending and receiving and “fidgeting” with our own radio to make it work.
I would like to keep doing this: using our radios. And your helping each other with their radios.
But you may have a particular radio subject of interest and I would like to know what that is.
Antennas for the home or car? Mobile and base-station radios? You tell me.
There is still a lot I don’t know and there are some of you who I would like to see at the Lake a little more often.
Join me at Spreckels Lake and help me and others learn more about Amateur Radio.

The next 2MCM Radio Practice will be January 9th, 2016.
2016 is a big year for me. In July I turn 70 years young. Yikes!

Best and warmest regards to all of you,

Peter McElmury AA6SF ( AA6SF@ARRL.net )
2MeterCriticalMass.com