Archive for August, 2017


August 22nd, 2017

2 Meter Critical Mass Radio Practice Friends,

This Saturday, August 26, 2017 the San Francisco Radio Club is hosting their 3rd Annual 2 Meter QSO Party.

QSO = a radio exchange that usually consists of an initial call, a response by another amateur radio operator at an amateur radio station, and possibly a report of some kind. A contact is often referred to by the Q code QSO.

Party = a social gathering of invited guests, typically involving eating, drinking, and entertainment. Or an amateur radio operator having fun talking to another ratio operator and exchanging information.

If you are interested, please read the long message below:

The San Francisco Radio Club has two pdf files; one with a logging sheet to use for the QSO Party, and the other with the rules for the event. The rules are really pretty simple.
Use this Link to SFRC 2M FM QSO PARTY (you may have to copy paste):

What is a QSO Party?
An opportunity to use your radio by talking to other hams in the City.
We will become better radio operators by using our radios and this is chance to do just that – use our radios. And have some fun.

Why participate?
We are serious about becoming better radio operators, and helping others, too.
We need to be ready . . . . . when needed.
There are not many opportunities in San Francisco to use our radios or to help others.

Who should participate?
That’s easy. All of us with Amateur Radio Licenses should participate.
We all need to use, and practice using out radios.
And we need to help others do the same.
Critical Mass takes a minimum of two radio operators.
Join in on the fun.

Where do I participate?
From anywhere is the City, or outside the City where your radio can make contact with other ROs in the City.
Drive to the top of a hill, a park or the grocery store parking lot.
If you move around you need to know the zip code you are in for your report.
See the zip code list below.
Try from inside your apartment or house.
Going out on foot with you radio and clipboard with the log sheet might be fun.
Go to a place high in elevation if you can.

When is the QSO Party?
The time period for the QSO Party is 10AM to 2PM local time, Saturday, August 26, 2017.
If you are busy take your radio with you using one or all of the four channels when you can.
Someone mentioned checking in on the quarter hours.
Take your clip board, a list of the suggested frequencies (channels), pen/pencils & the Log Sheet.

How do I participate?:
Go to the SFRC website (SFARC.ORG) and look at and print the log sheet and rules.
Submitting the log sheet is recommended but not required.
But do keep a log sheet of your contacts.
Note that the time period for the QSO Party is 10AM to 2PM local time. (use your smart phone alarm featue?)
Be ready to use one or all four of the suggested radio frequencies ( most of us who are SF NERTs already have them programmed into our radios).
Tune into them and listen for someone to talk to.
Or if the channel is quiet, say your call sign a couple times, say you want to make a contact for the 2 Meter QSO Party. Talk for a minute or two and then listen for someone to reply. Still no one? Start over and do this two or three times.
After you make a contact, exchange your call sign, zip code and give your signal report (use 5 9 for simplicity) and write all this down in the log. Help each other with the exchange. Take your time.
Ask for repeats if needed, and keep up the conversation for a few minutes to keep the channel busy for others to hear you. “How about those Giants?”
If you hear two ROs talking, wait for them to finish their exchange of info and during a pause, say Break & your Call Sign.
One of them will recognize you, then tell them you want to exchange the QSO Party info, with both of them. Don’t be bashful.
You will get the hang of it after a couple contacts.

I apologize for the long message. If you read it all through then you are probably serious about participating.
I hope to talk to you on Saturday the 26th.

73 and good luck,
Peter McElmury AA6SF


Neighborhood Zipcodes
» 94102 – Hayes Valley
» 94103 – SoMa
» 94104 – Financial District
» 94105 – Embarcadero South
» 94107 – Portrero Hill
» 94108 – Chinatown
» 94109 – San Francisco
» 94109 – Nob Hill
» 94109 – Russian Hill
» 94110 – Mission District
» 94111 – Embarcadero North
» 94112 – Ingleside
» 94114 – Castro
» 94115 – Pacific Heights
» 94115 – Western Addition
» 94116 – Outer Sunset
» 94117 – Height District
» 94117 – Cole Valley
» 94118 – Richmond District
» 94121 – Outer Richmond
» 94122 – Sunset District
» 94123 – Cow Hollow
» 94123 – Marina District
» 94124 – Bay view
» 94127 – St Francis Wood
» 94129 – Presidio
» 94131 – Twin Peaks
» 94132 – Lake Merced
» 94133 – North beach
» 94133 – Fisherman’s Wharf
» 94595 – Walnut Creek
» 94601 – Oakland

Practice at Presidio Main Post Lawn Aug 12, 2017

August 10th, 2017

2 MCM Radio Practice Friends,

This is a reminder with additional information.

The August 12, 2017 Radio Practice will be held at The Presidio of San Francisco Main Parade Ground.

Outside Lands Music Festival that weekend prevents us from meeting at Spreckels Lake.

We are going to use our radios and use several different channels / frequencies – which more practice using our radios.

We will help each other. Escape the chaos of Outside Lands and come to the Presidio!

Specifically, for this practice, we will use our radios simulating the SF Radio Club’s 2 Meter QSO Party radio event. Don’t let this scare you off.  Our radio practice will be a low stress opportunity to make contacts on multiple frequencies with multiple stations (hams). We are going to help each other and the more of you that join me at the Presidio the more we will learn and the better the practice.

On a personal note: During my senior year at SF State University, Class of 1972, I made and presented a photo essay of the ecological importance of the US Army’s stewardship of the Presidio of San Francisco, in comparison to what the City of San Francisco was doing with its property. I concluded, in 1972, the US Army had been doing a better job.   The Presidio means a lot to me. It is still a beautiful place that my wife and I drive through every week.

Please join me Saturday for another radio practice.

Park at the South end of the Main Post Lawn, the corner of Sheridan Ave. and Anza AVe.  Look for my red pickup truck.

Bring a bunch of quarters or a DR/CR card to buy a parking ticket to put on the dashboard.

Also bring a folding chair, clipboard and tablet of paper; and your fully charged radio.

Come early.

All experience levels will benefit from this radio practice. Elmers and Wilmas are especially important to help mentor the rest of us.

Here is a link to a map that will help you find your way to the practice location:,-122.457748,557m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en

I will be driving in using the Arguello Blvd. entrance.

Start: 1000hrs    Finish:  1200hrs

Give yourself extra time to get there.

I look forward to seeing you at the Presidio,

Peter McElmury AA6SF