Archive for September, 2017

The Great California Shake Out – 2017

September 27th, 2017

Register now: The Great California Shake Out – 2017

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:

When is it?  October 19, 2017 at 10:29 AM

Register!  Register now as an individual

As a Ham what can I do on Oct. 19th at 10:19 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 may 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.

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.

What have you got to loose?

Date change for October 2MCM Radio Practice

September 18th, 2017

Greetings 2MCM Radio Friends,

Please change your calendars to show our next radio practice will be October 21st, and not the 14th.

The reason: SF NERT is holding their October Citywide Drill on the 14th and I want to participate in the SF NERT Drill.

All of you who are NERTs should sign up, before Oct 10, for the Citywide Drill too.

This drill is for NERT graduates. You will need your NERT ID, green paraphernalia, and radio.

Here is the link to sign up for it:
Saturday October 14, 2017, 8:30 am-3:00pm (sign 8:30-9:00a) This is a drill of your Neighborhood Team’s Emergency Response.Bring NERT issued safety gear and wear appropriate safetyclothing/shoes, a response “go bag” with flashlight,water bottle, snack etc. This drill is scheduled to run through lunch., which will be provided. RSVPs for drill and lunch by October 10 for planning purposes Do you friends want to play the victim? Register here:


I hope to see you at the NERT Citywide Drill and the next 2MCM Radio Practice on October 21.   Aargh!  There are so many things to do.  But we need to practice and be prepared.  None of this happens in our dreams.

Let me know if you have any questions.


2MCM Radio Practice Sat. October 21

NERT Citywide Drill Sat. October 14 (pre-register before Oct 10)


Peter McElmury AA6SF

Recap: September 9, 2017 Radio Practice

September 18th, 2017

2MCM Radio Practice Friends,

I missed the radio practice because I was sailing my little remote control boat on the lake for a regional championship regatta.

David KK6JKC kindly took over the radio practice and here is his report of the morning’s radio practice:

We had 12 participants:
We organized 2 message-passing nets: Bravo and Charlie.  Everyone who was not a net control operator was able to check in to both nets and to send and receive messages on both nets.

Dana KM6JLT ran nets Alpha and Bravo, with Martha KM6HZS scribing and Jeff  KC9DPP Elmering.

Joan WA3TSS ran net Charlie.

Events of note:

An early question by Martha KM6HZS about making contacts at the W6PW 2m  QSO Party evolved into a distinction between tone transmitting and tone  squelch.  An incident during the radio practice helped bring this out, as John  N0ZEN and Jeff KC9DPP discovered their radios did not generate a tone of  196.6 Hz.  The workaround was to work without tone squelch, and we  observed this could come up in a mixed group of operators.  Oh right, it had.

Another issue, noticed by Sky AA6AX, was that while some people were
pausing after each group of 5 words, they did not wait for a “continue”
or “go ahead” signal to begin the next group.

Along the same lines, at one point someone asked for a fill “on line 4,”
which would be meaningless to anyone except the 2MCM, because the 5-word  grouping on the 2MCM message form is unique. The proper way to request a  fill would be “say again word after.”

We all gave Anne KK6DFR a round of applause, as today was her first day  on the air.

Feeding seagulls and pigeons provided QRN for many of us, as well as one Canadian goose who seemed to think it was a seagull.  (My note: QRN means “noise from natural sources” as opposed to QRM which means “man-made noise”.)

Betsy KK6JKF gave us a real puzzle when her radio refused to transmit on Channel Alpha.  After checking the frequency and tone, and trying an
alternate antenna, Betsy discovered her HT was transmitting off
frequency.  This prompted a discussion of offset, why it exists, how
Yaesu equipment calculates it automatically, and how to turn it off.  We
never discovered why it had been set on a simplex frequency in the first  place.  Those Yaesu’s can be touchy.

We managed to close the nets at 11:45 and finish the discussion right at  noon.  Several people observed that while Peter AA6AF was sadly missed,  even though he might be enjoying his time racing a boat, I had managed to coordinate a smooth and satisfying game today.

N0ZEN distributed his latest book, “Cut & Paste Zen.”  That was a nice
party favor.

Someone brought donuts to the radio practice, so all diets were effectively suspended.

Thank you David. I knew you would run an excellent radio practice.

Peter McElmury AA6SF