Archive for the ‘Recap’ category

Next Practice Sat. June 9th

May 16th, 2018

2MCM Radio Practice Friends,

Next Radio Practice:

Our Next meeting will be:  Saturday, June 9th, 2018, at Spreckels Lake, 36th Ave & Fulton, from 1000 hrs to 1200 hrs.    Bring a clipboard, paper, pencil/pen, your radio’s operating manual and your radio with battery fully charged.  Everyone will use their radio, ask questions and help each other.  Dress for the unpredictable San Francisco weather – bring two layers, hat and sunscreen.

Here is a RECAP of the Saturday, May 12, 2018, radio practice:

At our last radio practice there 13 of us at the Lake.  The sky was blue, a little windy and again the Sun was shining.

Everyone checked into the the Alpha Net, participated in a discussion about sending & receiving messages and received their team assignments.  There were enough of us to have 3 Teams each with a Net Control Operator and 3 Radio Operators.  The Radio Operators sent two messages to their Net Control Operator and their NCO in turn sent two messages to each team member.  The subject of the pre-written messages was “Month of May History”.

Oh, one more important thing to mention –  the 25th of May is the annual and internationally celebrated “Carry a Towel Day”;  a day to celebrate the life and work of Douglas Adams.

For details go to:

Also check out:

And for “Towel Day on the International Space Station” watch:

73 & 42,

Peter McElmury AA6SF

Next Practice & RECAP April 14th Practice

April 29th, 2018

2MCM Radio Practice Friends,

Next Radio Practice:

Saturday, May 12th, 2018, at Spreckels Lake, 36th Ave & Fulton, from 1000hrs. to 1200hrs.      Bring clipboard, paper, pencil/pen, and your radio’s operating manual.  Everyone will use their radio, ask questions and help each other.  Dress for the unpredictable San Francisco weather – two layers, hat and sunscreen.

Here is a RECAP of the Saturday, April 14, 2018, radio practice:

Saturday April 14, 2018, at our radio practice there were again 17 of us at the Lake.   The sky was blue and the Sun was shining.

Peter KF7MFN and Joe KM6HIW took check-ins on the Alpha Net.

David KK6JKC led a discussion about sending and receiving messages.

Peter AA6SF gave out the team assignments. We had enough for four teams, each with a Team Net Control Operator and three Radio Operators.  The teams were Bravo, Delta, Foxtrot and Golf

The ROs in each team helped each other with programming their radios and conducting radio checks.

Each Team NCO opened up their channels by reading a script calling for their team members to check in.

The Radio Operators checked in with their Team NCOs and announced they had traffic to send.

The ROs proceeded to send messages to their NCO and the NCOs sent messages in return to their Team ROs.

The pre-written messages were about “April is Earth Month” & April 22nd is Earth Day around the world.

The two hours went by quickly.

I hope to see you at the next Radio Practice, which will be May 12th.  Mark this date in your calendar now so you don’t forget.

I look forward to seeing more of you for this practice.


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

Recap April 8 Radio Practice

April 19th, 2017

The rain stopped Saturday around 0950 hours, the sun came out, the sky became a beautiful blue, the Canada Geese were landing on the glistening lake.
And we reached Critical Mass for our radio practice.
Enough for Team Bravo to have three Radio Operators and a Net Control Operator.
The Team Bravo radio operators took turns each sending three pre-written messages to Net Control and Team Bravo Net Control sent a message to each of the radio operators.
Thank you Diana, David, Will and Richard for your good work!

Our next 2MCM Radio Practice will be Saturday May 13, 2017.
I hope to see you there at the lake.

Peter McElmury AA6SF

July 9, 2016 Ham Radio Practice & Celebration

July 20th, 2016

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


Saturday’s 2MCM Radio Practice

December 13th, 2015

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 ( )

Recap: November 14th Practice

November 16th, 2015

2 Meter Critical Mass San francisco Spreckels Lake

These Four Wilmas joined me at Spreckels Lake for our Communications Exercise.  On November 14th at Spreckels Lake there were twenty of us sending messages that were relayed by Packet Radio to the Auxiliary Communications radio team as part of their own quarterly drill.  This 2MCM radio practice was even better than the one we held in October.