Next Radio Practice Saturday, December 10, 2016

November 20th, 2016 by Peter No comments »

Greetings 2MCM Radio Practice Friends,

Our next radio practice will be Saturday December 10, 2016 at Spreckels Lake.

For this radio practice we will participate with the NERTs who are putting on a Staging Area Drill at Washington High School, just up the hill.

Our role will be to act as a NERT Field Team sending reports to the Staging Area. Some of our messages may be relayed by them to the Battalion 7 radio operators, and we will likely get replies to our messages.

At Spreckels Lake we will use a NERT Tactical frequency, to be given out Lakeside, and the NERT Staging Area radio team will use a NERT Battalion frequency for sending messages to the Battalion Chief.

What fun! And what a good way to practice sending radio messages!

At the Lake we need to be ready to start sending messages by 0930, or earlier!

I will write messages using the ILCAN format so all of you can start sending as soon as the Staging Area Communications group is set up.

So as to not inundate the NERT radio operators with our messages, we will practice sending messages amongst ourselves, using a different frequency, to fill in the time.

Everyone will get a chance to send and receive messages. There will be experienced radio operators to answer questions. Bring your fully charged radio, a clipboard, paper, pencils, and your radio’s operating manual.

If you are a NERT – I urge and recommend you sign up for the Drill at Washington HS. They will need radio operators for their drill, and getting experience working with the Incident Command System is very important. Those of us at Spreckels Lake will appreciate your being at the Staging Area to take our messages.

Here is the link to RSVP for the NERT Staging Area Drill to copy/paste:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nert-graduates-staging-area-command-post-drill-registration-29089187543

Best regards. I hope to see you at the Lake!

Peter McElmury AA6SF

2MeterCriticalMass.com

Next 2MCM Radio Practice

November 5th, 2016 by Peter No comments »

Greetings 2MCM Friends,

Our next radio practice is Saturday November 12,  from 1000 hours to 1200 hours at Spreckels Lake.

I apologize for the late notice. The month has flown by for me.

Hopefully you already have this date marked on your calendar, as we have been meeting on the 2nd Saturday of the month for the past 3 or 4 years.

This Saturday we will continue our practice with nets, net control and sending/receiving messages.  New and experienced radio operators will work together.  We will talk on our radios.

If you have questions about your radio or nearly any aspect of ham radio communications someone will be there to help you.

Please bring your fully charged radio, paper, pencils and dress for the predictable weather, whatever that might be.

Best regards.  I hope to see you at the Lake.

Peter McElmury AA6SF

2MeterCritcalMass.Com

The Great California Shake Out

October 10th, 2016 by Peter 1 comment »

Register now: The Great California Shake Out

http://www.shakeout.org/california/register/

Drop – Cover – Hold On

The Great California Shake Out

What is it?  Join millions of people who will Drop, Cover and Hold On.

Learn all about it at: http://www.shakeout.org/california/

When is it?  October 20, 2016 at 10:20 AM

Register!  Register now as an individual

As a Ham what can I do on Oct. 20th at 10:20 AM?:   First Drop, Cover and Hold On. Then tune your radio to the WA6GG repeater 442.050 MHz ( + ) 127.3Hz .  Listen for an ACS Net that will be activated and follow the Net Control Operators instructions for reporting.

Shake Out Volunteer Radio Groups in San Francisco County:  Currently there are only two Volunteer Radio Groups registered in San Francisco:

* The 2 Meter Critical Mass Amateur Radio Practice Team.  That’s US!!!

* SF Auxiliary Communications Service.  www.SFACS.net

Are you ready for the Big One?  Do you know what to do? Have you updated your plans, supplies?  Find answers at The Great California Shake Out website.

It is better to be prepared months too early than seconds too late.

Next 2MCM Radio Practices

September 25th, 2016 by Peter No comments »

Greetings 2MCM Friends,

Please mark your calendars with these two dates:

Saturday October 8  1000 hrs. to 1200 hrs. at Spreckels Lake

Saturday November 12  1000 hrs. to 1200 hrs. at Spreckels Lake

October 8th: During our radio practice we have been asked to each send a short message from Spreckels Lake to the SF ACS radio operator set up at the Marina Greens during Fleet Week.  For this we will use the repeater on Twin Peaks.

And we will continue our practice with nets, net control and sending/receiving messages.  New and experienced radio operators will work together.

November 12th: As part of our radio practice we have been asked to participate with SF ACS for their quarterly radio drill.  We will set up multiple “staging areas”, send messages to ACS radio operators and receive replies to those messages. New and experienced radio operators will work together.

Please join me for both of these radio practices.

Best Regards. I hope to see you at the Lake.

Peter McElmury AA6SF

2MeterCriticalMass.com

Next Radio Practice October 8, 2016

September 19th, 2016 by Peter No comments »

2 Meter Critical Mass Amateur Radio Practice

What:     An opportunity to practice Ham radio communications

When:    Saturday, October 8, 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. 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 detail& (type “2 Meter Practice” in subject line)

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

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