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Next Radio Practice Sat. March 9

February 25th, 2019

2MCM Radio Practice Friends,

Yikes! Time Flies – and another radio practice!

Our next radio practice will be March 9, 2019, again at Spreckels Lake, Golden Gate Park, 36th Ave. and Fulton St., from 1000 hours to 1200 hours.

Our February 9th radio practice started out with Sunny skies. 

17 radio operators checked into the 2MCM Net, using the SFRC Sutro Tower Repeater. 

11 of us didn’t believe the weather reports and checked in from Sunny Spreckels Lake.

6 checked in from their cozy homes, including one from Corte Madera.

There were newly licensed ROs who connected quickly with experienced ROs. 

Then, at 1100 hours the sky went dark, I noticed a couple ROs leaving, and then it started to rain.

The Check-In Net Control operators Lorrie KJ6SFP & Peter KF7MFN were still taking check-ins.  The last one was from Dave, call sign not legible on the wet log.

Join me Saturday, February 9th at the Lake.

Experienced radio operators will be there to answer questions and help you with your radio and radio protocols.

Bring your radio with a fully charged battery, it’s operating manual, a clipboard, paper, pencil/pen.  Dress for the predictably unpredictable San Francisco weather – bring two layers, a hat and sunscreen.  Umbrella? 

I hope to see you at the Lake,

Peter McElmury AA6SF

P.S.  Check out the SF NERT website for the 3rd Saturday Training Day classes.

 March 17 NERT Training Day – Third Saturday
  Featured Trainings:
* Coordinators Corner – for Neighborhood Coordinators and those interested
* NERT Forms Fun – hands on included
* NERT Communications Team (NCT) continued training
RSVP’s appreciated

Hear Anne Kronenberg Speak

December 28th, 2016

2MCM Friends,

I am forwarding an invitation from Lawrence Lin, ACS Chiefto attend the Tuesday January 17th ACS meeting, beginning 1900 hours and ending 2100 hours.

Arrive early to get a parking space, (bring a friend & car pool?), and processed in by the Sheriff Deputies.

Location 1011 Turk St. Park at the metered spaces, free after 1800 hours. Check in with the Sheriff Deputies for a Visitors Badge.

From Lawrence Lin:

Anne Kronenberg will be speaking at our January 17 ACS General Meeting.  

Anne Kronenberg is currently the Executive Director of the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management.

I would like to invite the greater ham radio/disaster relief community in SF so please invite anyone who you think might be interested (e.g. 2MCM, NERTs, SFRC, others).  Please have non-ACS people RSVP via this link:  so that we can let the sheriffs desk know in advance.  

To learn about Anne Kronenberg, go to:
Anne Kronenberg is an American political administrator and LGBT rights activist. She is best known for being Harvey Milk’s campaign manager during his historic San …
I personally urge 2MCM radio operators to put this on their calendars to hear Ms. Kronenberg talk about DEM and disaster management.  Ms. Kronenberg is a big supporter of San Francisco’s NERTs and the ham radio community.
I plan to be there!
  Best Regards,
    Peter McElmury AA6SF

W6TP Repeater / UHF Change

April 20th, 2016

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


Recap: Best Practice on October 10th

October 12th, 2015

Greetings 2 Meter Radio Practice Friends,

Saturday there were 14 of us at Spreckels Lake gathering at the green pop-up tent used for the Command and Control Post. The weather was sunny and warm and all of us got to talk on our radios. David KG6CEL our Net Control operator for the Command and Control Post, assigned us into groups of two to run six Communications Posts (Comm Posts).

At 1000 hrs Peter AA6SF gave a briefing on what we were going to do. We were given a Communications Band Plan, instructions for the channels to use, ICS forms (213 message, 309 comm log, 214 unit log) and sent out to make contact with each Comm Post, send & receive messages, change channels; and we even used the WA6GG repeater to contact the SF ACS RO’s who were positioned way over at the Marina participating in Fleet Week.  The Comm Posts sent messages to Net Control, Net Control made contact with the Comm Posts to check on them, and give them new instructions and new channels to use.  I should mention that the six Comm Posts kept Net Control very busy.

Those of us who needed experience using their radios were helped by their more experienced teammate.

When it was about 1130 hrs Net Control called everyone back to the Command and Control Post location for a debriefing.  It was mutually agreed we should do this again.  Everyone got to talk and receive, learn a little more about their radio, be helped and help another RO.  

This all took place in only two hours (1000 hrs to 1200 hrs).

Our next Radio Practice will be on November 14th.  We will  join the SF ACS (Auxiliary Communications Service) for their quarterly drill and training event.  The 2 Meter Radio operators will meet at Spreckels Lake and operate from there.  Put this date on your calendar – November 14 – so you don’t miss out on another opportunity to use your radio.

Thanks to everyone who joined me at Spreckels Lake Saturday.

Best Regards,

Peter McElmury AA6SF



Scheduling conflict for August 8th

July 23rd, 2015

2MCM Friends,

Oh Drat!

I have been alerted to a huge conflict on August 8th. Outside Lands will be in full swing Saturday the 8th.

There is no way we can meet at our usual place in Golden Gate Park.

I know.  I should have checked the GGP calendar.  I didn’t.

So.  We change the location or change the date?

I apologize for this scheduling problem. 

Shortly, I will let you know what the change will be.  Location or date.


Peter McElmury AA6SF

Next Radio Practice: Saturday. August 8, 2015

July 23rd, 2015

Greetings 2 Meter Critical Mass Radio Practice Friends,

Our next radio practice will be Saturday, August 8, 2015.

Golden Gate Park, Spreckels Lake, 36th Ave. and Fulton St.

Mark this date down in your calendars, now!

We are all going to learn how to participate in a 2 Meter QSO FM Party amateur radio contest! (translation: lot of talking, listening, frequency changing and fun. QSO — A conversation between two radio amateurs.).

Robert, AD6I, with the help of others, will explain what a QSO Party is, the rules, the procedures; and then we will get to practice, practice, practice.

And what is even better, later, on Saturday, August 29th, the San Francisco Radio Club is sponsoring a real 2 Meter FM QSO Party that we can all participate in from our homes or wherever we are; using just our 2 meter HT radios!

Take a look at the attachment, ( ) and don’t worry; everything will have been explained to us at the 2MCM practice on August 8th; so by the 29th, we will have already “worked” a QSO Party! Or I should say Partaay!

For those of you who have not been able to come to the 2MCM Practices for a while and those who have not had much radio practice lately, this is the time to come to a 2MCM Practice.

Now, regarding the attachment:

Page 1 is the SFRC’s official announcement. Everything on it will be explained to us.

Page 2 & 3 are the contest rules. These will be talked about, so we will understand them.

Print out all three pages and bring them with you. Read them before the practice.

Also bring the standard clipboard and tablet of paper, and pencils/pens.

Arrive by 1000 hrs.

As an added bonus, Joe WA3TSP, the creator of an easy to use contest logging program, written just for this particular contest, will be at our practice to explain it. The program will be available to all of us. Reporting your contacts to the contest administrator is not required, but it is a part of the event experience and will be made easier with this program that he wrote. The SFRC will issue Certificates to participants who submit a log!

I look forward to seeing you at the Lake,

Peter McElmury AA6SF

2MCM Radio Practice Sat. July 11, 2015

July 10th, 2015

Our next radio practice will be Saturday, July 11, 2015.

This practice will be different from all the others.

At this practice on Saturday the 11th, you will have the opportunity to participate with the SF ACS (Auxiliary Communications Service) volunteer radio operators in their quarterly radio drill and exercise.

The ACS Chief has given me very few details:

·      For this drill and exercise we will assist ACS as if a disaster had occurred and amateur radio communicators are needed.

·      2MCM radio operators should report to Spreckels Lake from 0900 hrs. to 0930 hrs.  Late arrivals will be given assignments.  Arriving during this period is preferred.

·      ACS members will receive instructions of their own for the drill.

·      The ACS Drill will last until about 1400 hrs.

·      Our participation in the ACS Drill will last until about noon, or later if you can stay.

·      We might hold a hotwash of our own at the lake to discuss what we did.

·      All 2MCM participants will check in to our own Spreckels Lake Resource Net, either as you travel to the lake, or upon arrival at the lake.

·      Our 2MCM Resource Net will be set up at the lake to take check-ins on 146.550 PL 100, beginning at 0900 hrs.

·      Assignments will be given at the lake by the Resource Net Control Operator.

·      Be prepared to leave the immediate Spreckels Lake area with your radio equipment, including:  A clipboard, paper, pencils, a little food, a little water, and dressed appropriately.  Charge your battery the night before, and/or bring a spare battery.

·      You will send, receive and relay messages.

·      You will work in teams of two.

·      Please no NERT or ALERT clothing or identification.

·      As 2MCM radio operators, we have no affiliations. 

·      Please RSVP to me if you are going to participate, to help with planning. 

·      However, your RSVP is not required to participate.  

·      Please join us for this special 2 Meter Critical Mass Radio Practice


Peter McElmury AA6SF

HF Opportunity – Museum Ships Weekend, June 6 & 7

May 26th, 2015

2MCM Friends,

If you have a General or higher FCC license and a little HF experience, you might want to consider volunteering to take a shift aboard the USS Pampanito World War II submarine, during the Annual Museum Ships Weekend, June 6 & 7.

Time is running out, so contact Michael K6MLF at: to volunteer for a shift.  Include your call sign, FCC license level and how much HF experience you have.

To learn more about the Museum Ships radio event go to:

To learn about the USS Pampanito go to:

Also, check out this youtube video taken on board the submarine:’s Michael K6MLF in the dark blue USS Pampanito hat, Rem K6BBQ (cinematographer) in the tan hat, and me, when I was KI6NYQ, in the emerald green hat with the 3-leaf clover on the back, having a hard time with a DX contact.  I had the camera and was “filming” while Rem K6BBQ was on the radio.  There is a rare recording of Marvin, who always said “the boat was his”.  May he Rest in Peace.  He is truly missed on board The USS Pampanito.

From Michael K6MLF: The USS Pampanito Amateur Radio Club is looking for a few good SSB and CW operators!  The Annual Museum Ships Weekend is coming up soon: June 6 and 7! Want to stand a two-to-four-hour shift in the submarine’s radio room, connecting with stations around the world? Contact Michael K6MLF. Even if you cannot make it aboard, you can earn a certificate for contacting at least 15 ships.

Next Practice; Sat. April 11, 2015

March 29th, 2015

Greetings 2 Meter Critical Mass Radio Practice Friends,

Our next radio practice will be Saturday April 11, 2015, from 1000 hrs. to 1200 hr., again at Spreckels Lake in Golden Gate Park (36th Ave. and Fulton St.).

That’s the second Saturday of the month. Most of our practices in 2015 will now be held on the 2nd Saturday.

Try not to miss this practice as we are planning an exercise where everyone will get to use their radio and have some mysteries explained.

As always there will be someone to help you, or you can be that person to help someone. You can be an Elmer, or as I just learned – the ladies call themselves a Wilma when they are helping another ham.

Two new activities for the practice:

1.)   Beginning at 0930 check in on the Travel Net as you travel to the lake. Use 146.550, PL 100.0, simplex. Check in even if you are not coming to the practice. No need to reveal your location. Just say “Good Morning, Check in only”.

2.)   When the practice is over and as you leave, tune your radio to 146.520, simplex, no PL, and see/hear who you can make contact with as you are headed to your next destination. 146.52 is the 2M National Calling Frequency. Say your call sign once or twice and someone might hear you.

Bring your radio and the operator’s manual, charge up the battery, bring paper and pencil, and bring your questions about operating your radio. Someone will be there to help you.  I learn something every time we meet.

Best Regards,

Peter McElmury AA6SF