I am trying something new with an EARS newsletter. My goal is to improve club communication. The plan is to publish a newsletter weekly but I may need some help to do so. If any of you are able to help, please let me know.
Steven Christy, N5ZQ
Ham Holiday – July 26-27, 2024!
Preregistration for Ham Holiday 2024 is now open!!!!
Ham Holiday 2024 will be on Friday, 26 July and Saturday, 27 July at Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC). Preregistration tickets are available on the Ham Holiday website at hamholiday.com/tix.
More information on prizes, forums, special drawing, and other Ham Holiday 2024 activities will be announced over the next few months. Please visit hamholiday.com regularly for all of the updated info!
EARS membership runs on an annual basis so it is time to renew your membership if you have not already done so. Renewing is as easy as completing the membership form on the Membership Form page. You can either pay at that time using a credit card via PayPal or you can mail in a check.
If you have any questions, they can be directed to the membership coordinator, Chris, KD5OOJ, at email@example.com.
New Members and New Hams
This week I would like to use this section of the newsletter to briefly discuss public service opportunities in amateur radio and specifically with EARS.
Public service in amateur radio is a great way to help the community and practice emergency communication skills. It is also a good opportunity to test your radio skills. EARS helps with several public service events annually: St. Patrick’s Day Parade, LibertyFest Parade, Cycle 66, Cowboy Christmas Parade and more. While some events are fairly small and great “starter events” to get your feet wet (St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Cowboy Christmas Parade), others are much larger with many more moving parts (LibertyFest Parade and Cycle 66). One of the largest events in the area is the OKC Memorial Marathon where usually around 100 amateurs are needed.
The requirements to help with these events can vary. Most of the time you are able to volunteer even if you have no experience. Just be sure to let us know when you sign up that it is your first time. We will be sure to place you with someone else so that you can learn. A handheld (HT) is frequently sufficient but occasionally a mobile radio may be required on events where you may be stationed a good distance from the repeater.
Typically one or more repeaters will be designated for the event. These will be communicated in advance so you can have time to make sure they are programmed into your radios. It is common to have a primary repeater and at least one backup in case of any issues. Larger events such as the marathon may have repeaters for specific communication such as water and ice or sag vehicles. It is a good idea to test the repeaters prior to the event to ensure you have them programmed correctly. Make sure to ID with your callsign and then the word “testing” as discussed last week.
All of these public service events communicate using a net. If you have listened to or participated in the EARS Monday night information net, these nets are very similar. They are all directed nets where a net control station is in charge and all communication goes through net control. If you need to talk to a specific station, you call net control and ask permission to go direct with that station. Communicating this way keeps all of the traffic orderly. As I stated earlier public service events are good practice for emergency communication. Emergency communication also requires that all of the traffic happens in an orderly manner so that it can be handled as quickly and efficiently as possible.
This all brings me to another type of net that EARS uses on an as-needed basis: Weather Spotting or Skywarn. When severe weather occurs in the Edmond area you may hear a weather net on the EARS repeaters. During a weather net the net control station will take severe weather reports from around the area. These reports are then sent to the National Weather Service (NWS) and they use the data to help confirm what they see on radar. The NWS spotter program is called Skywarn.
In order to help with the weather net it is highly recommended that you participate in one of the Skywarn training courses. Training details are in the topic below.
Please consider helping with some of the EARS public service events. The St. Patrick’s Day parade is coming up soon and it is a great parade if you have never helped with one before. The signup link is farther down in this newsletter. The OKC Memorial Marathon is coming up in April and they need a large number of amateurs to help. Lastly, please consider taking the Skywarn training so that you will be equipped to help in that way as well.
I would like to leave you with a few links to other websites and a couple of videos that cover these same topics.
Public Service: https://www.onallbands.com/public-service-why-ham-radio-operators-help-out-in-their-communities/
ARRL Public Service Info: https://www.arrl.org/public-service
Skywarn and Amateur Radio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20DgFGk82PU
If you have any questions about the above info or about anything radio (or EARS) related, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to help.
NWS Weather Spotter Training – Skywarn
Believe it or not severe weather will be here before we know it. That means that the National Weather Service will be holding their annual weather spotter training soon. They recently released the schedule. There are 3 online sessions and the closest in-person sessions are Tuesday, February 20th in Norman and Thursday, February 29th in Guthrie.
The recommendation is to take the class at least every other year. If at possible, please consider attending the class. Even if you have taken it before, you may learn something new!
A link to the full training schedule is below.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
The Stockyards City St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be here before you know it. The date this year is Saturday, March 16th. It is a great starter parade if you have never helped with one before. I highly recommend it. Usually the reporting time is 8am and the parade is over by 11am.
The signup form is live on the website at the link below. Please check your calendar and consider helping!
I am sure all of you are aware that EARS is an entirely volunteer organization. That means we alway need volunteers. There are many tasks to get done and the more we share the load, the more this club will be able to do!
Below is a summary of just some of the events and activities in which the club participates:
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Cowboy Christmas Parade
Cycle 66 Bike Race
Monthly Siren Test
Weekly Information Net – 52 Net Control Volunteers
Monthly VE Test Session
Bi-Monthly Club Dinner – 5 Dinners
Technician License Class – Spring and Fall
Field Day – Also One of the Club Dinners
Severe Weather Spotting
This list does not include all of the administrative and management function of the club. The website needs frequent updates, this newsletter needs to be written, etc.
What does all this mean? It means We Need You! If you are able to help in any way, please let us know. Even if you are unsure how to help or where you might best fit, please let us know and we will work with you to find the best fit.
If you are willing to help, please contact us at email@example.com. That will send a message to both myself, Steven, N5ZQ, and Clay, WA6LBU and we will be in touch!
February Board Meeting
EARS holds a monthly board meeting on the second Tuesday of each month. The next board meeting is Tuesday, February 13th at 7pm. The meeting is in classroom A at Edmond Fire Station 5. Fire Station 5 is located at 5300 E Covell Rd which is just East of I-35.
We look forward to see you there!
February Club Dinner
The February Club Dinner is Thursday, February 15th at 6:30pm. It will be at Panang 5 which is at 3325 S Boulevard on the SW corner of 33rd and Boulevard. These dinners are always great social events.
I look forward to seeing all of you there!
Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon
Please read the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon info below from Gayland and consider volunteering if you are available.
Registration is open for volunteering for the communications unit that supports the Oklahoma City Marathon. Last year we had more than 70 amateur radio operators supporting the nearly 19,000 runners over a two-day period. Amateurs helped with logistical tasks, such as providing information on locations of the head and rear of the races, supported delivery of ice and water to the various water stops, provided communications at each of the medical stations, gave real-time information to relay team members readying to make their exchanges, and in general provided another set of eyes and ears for the Marathon operations leaders as well as the public safety responders.
The Marathon events we support will be on Saturday April 27th and Sunday April 28th. We’ll need folks on Saturday to support the 5K race, Senior Marathon and Kids Marathon; and then a full contingent of communicators to support the full/half marathons on Sunday.
Register to volunteer for either or both days by going to the Marathon website at https://okcmarathon.volunteerlocal.com/volunteer/?id=76852&job_name=Auxiliary%20Communications . When you’re asked for a password or code, enter 20HAM24 ; this takes you directly to our communications section of the volunteer registration. If you have a preferred location to work or preferred hams to partner with, there’s a place for you to enter that as well.
For planning purposes, this year’s pre-event meeting will be on Monday evening, April 22nd, at the Oklahoma City Fire Training Center (more details to come).
Please feel free to share this far and wide among your fellow hams; this event requires as many people as we can provide. And yes, we’ll be making recruiting visits to the various clubs shortly.
Thank you for your participation in last year’s event and we’ll hope to see you this year too!
WX5MOR / Gayland
2024 Auxiliary Communications Unit Leader
firstname.lastname@example.org cell 405-834-6304
Field Day 2024
Field Day 2024 was a topic of new business at the January 9th board meeting. The board voted unanimously to hold Field Day at Fire Station 5 this year. We have reserved the same space we have started using for board meeting which is at the main building right next to the station. This space is large enough for both the Field Day operations and the dinner. The best part is that it is air conditioned!
I know June is a ways off but we need to start our planning now. If you are able to help in any way, please contact myself, Steven, N5ZQ (email@example.com) and let me know!
2024 Green Country Hamfest – April 12th& 13th in Claremore, Oklahoma
Pre-Reregistration is OPEN!
2024 Green Country Hamfest – April 12th& 13th in Claremore, Oklahoma.
Only 30 minutes from Tulsa!
Claremore Expo, 400 Veterans Parkway, Claremore, OK, 74017
Talk-in on: 147.09+
Free Parking!!! – Low Cost ON-SITE RV Parking!
Terrific Prizes! Fantastic Forums – Learn something new! See
Flea Market – Great Bargains!
Free Test Table – Check It Before You Buy It!
On-site VE Testing Get or upgrade your license!
Advance admission is $8.00.
Preregistered Tables are $15.00 each.
Commercial booths are $50.00 each.
Tickets are $10.00 at the door.
Tables are $20.00 at the door.
Order early and save!
Online Preregistration Closes
March 31, 2024
Several Commercial Tables remaining
and Flea Market Tables remaining
Children 12 and under are Free!
Friday open to public at 4 PM to 9 PM
Saturday open to public 8 AM to 3 PM
Setup Friday 12:00PM.
Setup at 7:00AM Saturday until 8:00AM.
More info at http://www.greencountryhamfest.org
Space (Solar) Weather is important is impacts our radio communication. While the greatest impact is usually on HF frequencies, it can also impact VHF, UHF and even higher frequencies. The video below comes from a YouTube page that is updated frequently with new space weather reports. I encourage you to watch her channel for updates when you can as it is very educational.
Here are a few links to other websites that may be of interest.
- CORA (Central Oklahoma Radio Amateurs) – https://coraok.org
- Ham Holiday (OKC Hamfest) – https://hamholiday.com
- ARRL Oklahoma Section – https://ok.arrl.org
- South Canadian Amateur Radio Society (SCARS)
- DMR Info – https://w5nor.org/okdmr/
- They have lots of other good info on their website such as modes of operation, weather/emergency info etc.
- EARS Information Net – Every Monday at 8pm
- Technician Class – Starts Tuesday, January 30th at 6:30pm to 8:30pm and runs for 9 weeks
- February Board Meeting – Tuesday, February 13th at 7pm at Edmond Fire Station 5, 5300 E Covell
- February Club Dinner – Thursday, February 15th at 6:30pm – Panang 5 at 3325 S Boulevard
- Skywarn Weather Spotter Training – Thursday, February 29th at 6:30pm – Meridian Technology Center at 3025 S. Division Street in Guthrie
- EARS Licensing Testing – Saturday, March 2nd at 8am – Sign Up on License Testing page
- Edmond Siren Test – Saturday, March 2nd at 11:30am
- Stockyards City St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Saturday, March 16th – Signup Form Now Live!
- Green Country Hamfest – April 12th and 13th
- Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon – April 27th and 28th
- All Ham Dinner – May 9th at 6pm at Golden Palace Buffet at 1224 South Air Depot Boulevard
- Ham Holiday – July 26th and 27th