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of New Mexico, Inc.


New !!! Winterfest is a Success – The Amateur Radio Caravan Club held its annual “Winterfest” banquet at The Cooperage on Saturday, January 14th and it was a resounding success.  We had about 30 people attend…all enjoying good food and great fellowship.  It was a golden opportunity to relax and just visit over a delicious meal.  Our sincere THANKS to our hard-working Special Events Coordinator John Tribou, N5UVQ for arranging this very enjoyable evening.


Winter Tailgate at New Location – The 146.580 Simplex Group has announced that it will be hosting their annual Winter Tailgate Swapfest on Saturday, January 28, 2017 (sunrise to noon) at a new location.  It will be held in the southeast parking lot of the CNM Advanced Technology Center, 4800 Alameda Blvd NE…but you enter the tailgate on Jefferson St. NE. This new site is across the street from TransCore, our longtime former tailgate site.  As always, there is no admission charge and no vendor space fee.  Hope to see you there!  Click here for flyer.



New !!!  New Mexico Techfest Call for Papers – The third annual New Mexico Techfest will be held on Saturday, February 25, 2017.  At this point they are calling for papers to be presented.  Registration ($10) will be opening soon...and be forewarned that seating capacity is only 80 seat and it fills up quickly.   For more information, click on their website http://www.rmham.org/wordpress/new-mexico-techfest.


Updated Membership List Now Posted – The Amateur Radio Caravan Club has updated and posted its membership list effective January 1st.  Please click here to see if you are on the list.    If your name is missing and you are sure that you renewed please contact John Niemi, KG5KHG, our treasurer/membership chair, to address your situation.  Otherwise, the club offers a convenient way for you to join online.  Bottom Line:  We want you in our club!!!  And remember your support helps pay for the operation and maintenance of our repeaters on the Sandia Crest.  We NEED you!


December Meeting Focused on ‘Summits on the Air’ – The audience at the Amateur Radio Caravan Club meeting on December 9th were fascinated by the program presented by Randy Diddel (pronounced Die-dell)”, K5RHD, on “KX3, Alex Loop Antennas and Summits on the Air”.  Randy began by introducing us to the SOTA program, its rules, points system and awards.  He cited that participants must be a reasonable walking distance from their vehicle and their rig must be self powered.  There are three classifications in SOTA – Activators (on the summits), Chasers (chasing activators), and SWLs (short wave listeners).  Points and awards are awarded in each class.  Points earned (1 thru 10) are typically rated according to summit elevations.  Randy is one of a few in New Mexico that have earned 1,000 points and thus awarded the status of “Mountain Goat”.  He has pretty much mastered traveling light as he ascend summits.  He primarily uses an Elecraft KX3 QRP transceiver, an EARC 6-40 meter end fed antenna atop a 31’ Jackite fiberglass pole, and a lightweight Bienno  LIFePO4 12 volt, 4.5 amp lithium ion phosphate battery (1/3 the weight of a comparable closed cell battery). [At this point he confessed that he no longer uses his Alex Loop antenna but has not yet updated his PowerPoint title.  He finds the Alex Loop much heavier and more temperamental than the above antenna].  Finally he shared SOTA’s credo: “How much can you do with so little?” and expressed his deep appreciation to SOTA chasers with their towers and beam antennas because they are able pull in their weak signals from mountain tops.  Overall, an outstanding program.  We sincerely thank Randy for sharing it with us. (For a list of links from Randy's program click here).


New !!!  New Mexico Techfest Call for Papers – The third annual New Mexico Techfest will be held on Saturday, February 25, 2017.  At this point they are calling for papers to be presented.  For more information, click on their website http://www.rmham.org/wordpress/new-mexico-techfest.


Chuck Palmer Memorial Tailgate a Success – Area hams gathered early on November12th for the annual Chuck Palmer Memorial Tailgate sponsored by the High Desert Amateur Radio Club.  The day started out in the chilly high 40’s but soon developed into a beautiful day.  An estimated 20-25 sellers brought an impressive array of radio equipment to sell.  While a respectable crowd attended the tailgate not too many removed their wallets from their pockets, i.e. lots of looking but not much buying.  Conversely, the burrito wagon, while not offering traditional breakfast burritos, did offer tasty breakfast tacos, corn chip pie and other treats.  Something a little different from our standard fare but mighty delicious. 

A related tale:  To illustrate what great people amateur radio operators are, one of our local hams arrived at the tailgate with a large plastic bin full of equipment to sell - one item of which was an older laptop computer.  A boy, I’d say about age 10-12, spotted the laptop and asked how much it cost.  It was quickly apparent to the gathering crowd that the seller and the boy were equally eager to make a deal.  When the seller asked the boy how much money he had, the boy professed to not having any at the moment as he was waiting for friends to show up.  Both parties were obviously disappointed so a stranger, another ham, pulled a dollar bill out of his wallet and handed it to the boy.  He immediately handed the money to the seller who equally quickly told the boy that he now owned that laptop.  The boy had a very big grin on his face as he proudly left with his new purchase.  The seller also smiled as he watched that future ham walk away.


East Mountain Simplex Net Meets on Saturdays- For hams living on the east side of the Sandia Mountains and experiencing problems in making radio contacts, help has arrived. He or she can now chat with the many other fellow hams living locally.  The East Mountain Simplex Net now meets at 7:00 PM every Saturday evening on146.55 MHz simplex (no offset, no tone).   Some, however, may need to use an external antenna to increase their range.  All hams are welcome to join in.


Getting Started in Ham Radio -  A new page has been added to the Activities section titled Getting Started in Ham Radio.  Thanks to Pete Stine for this write up to help those interested in becoming a licensed Amateur Radio Operator.  (click here)


Click on the play button below to listen to an early SCATNet.  Net Control was performed every weekday by Vern (W5CSY).

A Net Honoring "Dee" Diedrich, KC5JBO (SK) - We now have a net honoring our longtime friend Landis "Dee" Diedrich aka "The Voice of Amateur Radio in Albuquerque".  The JBO.40Net is held each Tuesday from 6:30 to about 7:30 PM on 146.40 MHz Simplex (yes, simplex so there is no offset, no tone).  Come join the fun.  You may need an external antenna in some areas to check in.  For more info go to the website of our very own Mark Goodrum at www.w5mhg.com . 

Caravan Club Shirts (& Hats) - The Amateur Radio Caravan Club has officially adopted a very nice polo-style tan colored shirt.  Each individual shirt will have the club logo (see top of this page) on its left side and our first name and call sign on the right.  Our goal is for club members show club unity by proudly wearing their shirts during public events such as meetings, Field Day, Summer Radio Fun in the Park, Corn Feed, etc.  Our hard-working Special Events Coordinator John Tribou N5UVQ has found a local vendor so no longer needs to order shirts from Wisconsin.   This new vendor, Turbo Threads 1503 Golf Course Rd SE in Rio Rancho, offers the exact same shirt for about $25 plus an optional ball cap with club name and logo in front for about $12 and your name embroidered in back, above the adjuster, for about $3 more.  John is now taking requests for an initial consolidated order for this new vendor so if interested, please contact John.  After that, individual members can order shirts/hats directly from Turbo Threads.   The shirts come in sizes S, M, Lg, XL, XXL plus Regular and Long shirt lengths.  Ladies sizes are also available.  Please contact John at n5uvq@arrl.net for more details. 

Let Us Tell You About The Amateur Radio Caravan Club

The Amateur Radio Caravan Club is one of the oldest amateur radio clubs in New Mexico. It was established in the 1950s by ham radio operators who shared a passion for the challenges of installing huge, tube type, separate receivers and transmitters in vehicles and then enjoying mobile QSOs as they caravaned to various locations as a club. While installing a modern mobile rig  is not quite the challenge, today's Caravan Club members still enjoy QSOs from the road using the Club's repeater on Sandia Crest.

The Amateur Radio Caravan Club meets monthly year around at the Heights Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 8600 Academy Road NE (corner of Academy & Moon NE) from 7 to 9 PM.  Actually we start gathering around 6:30 PM to watch the coffee brew and to do a little ragchewing.  We encourage you to park at the rear of the church and enter through the single door in the back, walk down the hallway to our meeting room.  Our meetings offer an interesting program on some facet of amateur radio each month followed by an intermission and then a short business meeting.  We are always finished by 9 PM.

During the summer, we focus on outdoor activities.  From May thru August, the club hosts its Summer Fun in the Park program for one evening per month where hams meet at Sister Cities Park in northeast Albuquerque, set up their rigs and get on the air.  Others are welcome to stop by to observe, ask questions or to just visit.  In June, we co-host our ARRL-sponsored Field Day activity where hams worldwide, limited only to emergency power, try to contact one another.  In July we meet for our "Summerfest" dinner at a local restaurant to share delicious food with old and new friends.  August brings the Duke City Hamfest, New Mexico's largest hamfest, in which the Caravan Club is fully involved.  In September we host our annual Corn Feed, a potluck luncheon in a local park where the club provides freshly-cooked sweet corn.  Yum!

In October we conduct our election of club officers.  In January we also host our annual "Winterfest" dinner at the Cooperage restaurant in lieu of competing with all the Christmas parties held during December.  April is a busy month with the New Mexico QSO Party contest where hams worldwide are trying to contact us hams in New Mexico.  This is followed by the Caravan Club hosting its annual Spring Tailgate at the end of April where hams meet to buy or sell radio equipment and maybe swap a few lies.


Ongoing Caravan Club Services

The ARRL Audio News is broadcast on Saturdays at 8:00 PM and Amateur Radio News Line on Sundays at 8:10 PM on the club's 145.33 and 444.000 repeaters.  Please tune in and listen to what's going on in Amateur Radio.  Our sincere thanks to club member Mark W5MHG for recording and retransmitting these interesting broadcasts for many year now as a public service.  Thanks, Mark !

Don't forget the Caravan Club Net on Sunday nights starting at 9 PM on the club's two repeaters.  Our officers conduct any club business followed by hams checking-in from throughout the western U.S.  This net is hosted by Roy KD5GBY, our long-time net controller.  Thanks, Roy!

Amateur radio clubs are a good support for Hams and we would welcome the opportunity to help you in any way that we can. We invite you to come to a meeting, talk to us on our Sunday night Net, and join the Amateur Radio Caravan Club! 



Please sign our log, explore our site, and consider joining our growing club. 73


Copyright © 2013, Caravan Radio Club.  All rights reserved.

Website Committee:  Pete KE5WTM;  Mark W5MHG

Site Last Updated:    12 January 2017