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Socorro Hamfest Coming Up - The Socorro Amateur Radio Association will be hosting the Socorro Hamfest on Saturday, October 15, 2016 (8 AM to 2 PM).  It will be held at the NM Fire Fighters Academy in Socorro, NM again this year.  It’s a small but very friendly event offering half-hourly prizes, commercial vendors, a silent auction, breakfast & lunch offered, tailgating, a swap meet plus some fantastic prizes.  Their Hamfest banquet at 6 PM is on Friday, October 14th at a local restaurant.  Dave Jorgensen WD5COV will be speaking about his recent adventure with the VP8 DXpedition to South Sandwich and South Georgia Islands   There also will be a Ham's Tour for the nearby Very Large Array (VLA) on Friday, October 14th (1 PM).  For more information and directions, go to SARA's web page at http://www.socorroara.org/hamfest.html.  For their Hamfest flyer click here.  They always put on a fun event. 

Note:  At our recent Caravan Club meeting, it was proposed by club secretary Neall W5NED that interested members meet at the Heights Cumberland Presbyterian Church (where we hold our meetings) and caravan the one-hour drive down there.  By 2 pm, the hamfest is over so we can be back in Albuquerque before dinner.  If you are interested, email Neall at w5ned@arrl.net.  Bring your rigs so we can talk on the way down.

New !!!  Corn Feed Filling and Well Attended – The Albuquerque Radio Caravan Club held its annual Corn Feed at lunchtime in Montgomery Park under perfect weather.  We had about 20-25 hungry hams join us for this popular event.  It started out with Steve KD5RHR setting up his radio early with he and a few others making a some contacts before the food arrived at noon.  In addition, Dave KE5VSC demonstrated his metal detector in the park and found…not much.  At noon, all play stopped and we turned our attention toward the purpose of our outing…Moriarty-grown, freshly cooked sweet corn as well as potluck offered by our participants.  Pizza seemed to be the most popular offering (4 ea.) with others bringing tacos, chili, lasagna, meatballs, ambrosia salad, deviled eggs, breads and a berry pie.  In addition, one of our newest members, Guylaine AG5FR, blew us away with a very generous six buckets of KFC cooked three different ways.  Can’t beat fried chicken and sweet corn for a picnic!  After lunch it was time to set back, visit for awhile and then head for home to well earned naps.   


Urgent !!!  Ham Radio Booth at the Balloon Fiesta Needs Volunteers - The High Desert Amateur Radio Club (HDARC) will have a tent at Balloon Fiesta this year, thanks to the cooperation and assistance of Balloon Fiesta.  We would like to invite members of the Caravan Club to operate with us. We will have a tent on the north end of the field with “HAM RADIO” on the roof (if all goes well).  The tent will house VHF and HF radios, literature and maybe other activities.  Your duties will be to contact others on the air and tell them about the Balloon Fiesta and/or meet and greet the Fiesta visitors walking by our tent.  You will have time during your shift to slip away to watch the balloons, get a bite to eat and/or visit the many booths.  We would also like to invite the ScatNet to operate from the field in the mornings.  This really is a fun event so we encourage you to join us in this public service.

We invite you to display your club banner when you are in the tent. As an incentive (and courtesy of Balloon Fiesta) we will make available FREE parking and gate passes for operators.  As you can imagine, the morning operators need to be on the field (or at least in the parking lot on the north end which is close to our location) at 4:30 am.  The evening shift should arrive about 4 pm in order to beat the traffic. We leave morning events between 8 and 9 AM and evenings when the fireworks start in order to beat the traffic.  If you are interested please contact John Scott, KF5ROL, at creightonpharmd@comcast.net or at 228-0023.


Urgent !!!  Late Addition to Public Service Opportunities

 OCTOBER 9, 2016 - Cystic Fibrosis Ride for Life.  This is a 100 mile bike ride that goes around the Volcano Vista area in/near Albuquerque.  It starts and stops at the Hispanic Cultural Center on 4th and Bridge.  Looking for all positions, station operators and SAG drivers.  Please include availability and any preference (no promises, but an effort will be made to accomodate preferred assignments).  This event is being coordinated by Ron Guerrero KF5MTU: (505) 358-8809 or email ron@ronguerrero.com


New !!!  Albuquerque Says “Goodbye” to the Lein’s – It is with great sadness that the Caravan Club (and many others) say “Goodbye” to Don and Sarah Lein.  Don’s job is being transferred to Orlando, Florida.  Don, KE5WTP, has been the club’s outstanding treasurer for several years.  He has worked hard to get our books in compliance with federal and state regulations, made the necessary reports on time to keep us out of jail, has upgraded the club’s website so hams can now join and pay their club dues online.  He is also our membership chair who maintains the list on our website.  Sarah, KF5OBA, is a very special lady that willingly steps up when help is needed…be it in her family, church, Scout troop or amateur radio.  You may not recognize her name but she and Don have been instrumental in negotiating those delicious meals that we’ve enjoyed at the Duke City Hamfests at very reasonable prices for the past few years.  Keeping amateur radio in the family, their son Donald III, KF5HXG, has also earned his license.  We will really miss them.

Before they leave, though, Don is training John Niemi, KG5KHG, the club’s newly elected treasurer so our books will be left in good order.  Our sincere thanks to John, a tax accountant, for stepping up for this important job.

Sarah and Don Lein

Sarah and Don Lein

New !!!  Alma Ripley Presents a Fascinating Program – The audience at the Amateur Radio Caravan Club’s September 9th meeting were treated to a fascinating program by Alma Ripley on how ham radio is helping Albuquerque students prepare for college and their careers.  She mentioned that this was an updated version of her presentation at the ARRL’s National Centennial Convention 2014 in Hartford, Conn.   Alma, the vice principal at Carlos Rey Elementary School, first described the various federal acts designed to help ALL students succeed in the sciences and mathematics.  She then went on to discuss PARCC vs. Smarter Balanced testing and then how Albuquerque is incorporating ham radio and high altitude balloon experiments in its middle and high schools.  She explained that these teachers, who were typically education majors in college, don’t have the technical knowledge that hams do so they depend on us to help mentor their students. Finally she made a plea to the ham community for volunteers to help keep “her” kids interested in the sciences and math.  This could be something as simple as answering CQs from a school amateur radio club, to teaching students to solder (who in turn teach their teachers to solder), to instructing students how to read, record and analyze data, to help launch rockets on “Rocket Nights”, to helping students design and manufacture high altitude balloon payloads, to helping them to launch, track and retrieve these balloons…and more.  You will find that working with young people is as rewarding to you as to them.  Attached is Alma’s volunteer list of needs in case you can spare a few hours helping our future scientists and engineers succeed (click here).  As you can see there are lots of opportunities to help.


Opportunities for Public Service.  

Looking for an excuse to use that 'new' radio you got at the HamFest ?  The Tour of the Rio Grande Valley and the Duke City Marathon are both in the near future and in need of volunteers.  For more information please check out the Public Service page in the Activities section or (click here)


New !!!  Summer Radio Fun in the Park:  A Success! – The Amateur Radio Caravan Club hosted its final of three Summer Radio Fun in the Park activities for 2016 on Friday, August 26th.  We had about a dozen participants, great summer evening weather and plenty of delicious pizza.  Oh, and we got to “play radio” to boot.  Terry was there with his CW rig and homebrew vertical antenna, Neall brought his new Mountain Topper QRP CW and backpacker antenna and others just came by to watch, ask questions or to visit.  David even brought his metal detector… to see if he could find any lost ham gear in the park?


Technician Licensing Class Being Offered – The El Malpais VE Group will be conducting a technician licensing class during November 4 – 6, 2016.  It will be held in the community room at the Albuquerque Police Department’s Northwest Area Command (on Ellison NW one block west of Coors Bypass, just north of Cibola High School).  Classes over that weekend are:  Friday, Nov. 4th (6 – 9 pm), Saturday Nov. 5th (8:30 AM – 5 PM) and Sunday, Nov. 6th (8:30 AM – 5 PM).  Testing will begin at 4 PM on Sunday.  If you pass the exam you will be a ham all in one weekend.  There is no cost for the class but you will need to have a Technician License Manual.  On Sunday (4 PM) there is a $14 fee for the FCC exam payable to Frank Warren (check or cash).  Frank is the El Malpais VE Coordinator and handles all the paperwork.  You will also need to bring a picture ID and one other ID to confirm your identify…no ringers allowed.

You will need to have the Ham Radio License Manual for Technician to study.  It is the 3rd Edition which also contains all of the current test questions.  You can purchase one from ARRL and elsewhere for about $29.95 + shipping.  As an ARRL instructor, Jim Hunter, NM5JH, can get them for $24 with no shipping.  If you want him to order one for you, please send a check to 9805 San Bernardino Ct NE, Albuquerque, NM 87122-3213 as soon as possible so you have time to study.  Also, once you notify Jim that you will attend he will send you a class syllabus and some websites where you can take practice test.  The class will cover every question on the test with some background to help you pass the exam and operate your radio.  Jim Hunter can be reached at 505-897-2939 (H); 505-259-3551 (cell) or hunterabq@centurylink.net .



2016 Duke City Hamfest Completed – From all reports, Amateur Radio Caravan Club members thoroughly enjoyed the 2016 Duke City Hamfest.  From beginning to end, club members pitched in to help make it a success. 

Some DCHF highlights: 

  • Thursday afternoon – Club members helped haul supplies to the meeting site (Albuquerque Marriott Pyramid Hotel), set up tables and ran cables. 

  • Friday - The Hamfest opened with an impressive number of vendors, an all-day HF Academy, and a full array of forums.  That evening there was a mixer where attendees could visit with the vendors while enjoying snacks and an open cash bar.  It was MC’d by Chip Margelli, K7JA, noted DXer and part of the winning team on the "CW versus text messaging" segment that aired on Jay Leno's Tonight Show. The grand finale was a live auction for a very special ‘R390A receiver’ in mint condition and valued at up to $3,500.

  • Saturday – The day started at 6 AM with the outdoor tailgate.  We counted 23 vendors this year plus lots of hams buying, selling…or just greeting old and new friends.  This was followed by the DX/Contesting breakfast, VE testing, a video forum with Bob Heil, K9EID, and many more interesting forums.  The day ended with our traditional Saturday night banquet.  Chip Margelli ably served as our master of ceremony and our featured speaker was Jay Bellows, K0QB, the ARRL’s International Affairs vice president.  Also speaking were Brian Mileshosky, N5ZGT, ARRL’s 2nd Vice President; Dwayne Allen, WY7FD, Rocky Mountain Division Director; Ed James, KA8JMW, NM Section Manager, and Bill Ripley, KY5Q, Chairman of the DCHF.  The meal was outstanding and the fellowship even better.

  • Of special mention here are the young people involved in Albuquerque Public School’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program.  They displayed many of their projects at the Hamfest and were fully prepared to discuss them with all comers. The highlight on Saturday was their launching of two high altitude balloons with payloads that they had designed, fabricated and tested.  Once launched, they staffed a command center at the hotel to track each balloon’s route and to download live data each was measuring plus on-board photos.  Of course, they also had a chase crew out there tracking each balloon so they could retrieve the payloads.  The students that I talked to showed amazing knowledge about what they were doing and all confessed that they wanted to become engineers or scientists because of what they were learning today.

  • Sunday – The day started with a New Ham/Youth Breakfast with Chip Margelli, K7JA, the featured speaker.  After breakfast came several forums to finish up the Hamfest.  At 1 PM the closing activity was the final prize drawings…and there were plenty of really nice prizes to win.  At that point the 2016 Hamfest was over and planning for next year’s event began.


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 New Net Honoring "Dee" Diedrich, KC5JBO (SK) - We have a new 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 - 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 to show club unity by proudly wearing their shirts during public events such as meetings, Field Day, Summer Radio Fun in the Park, booths at the Expo NM, etc.  Our hard-working Special Events Coordinator John Tribou N5UVQ coordinated the initial order to lower the cost (about $32 ea.).  He is now taking requests for a future consolidated order so if interested, please contact John.  The sooner he receives about 20 new requests the sooner he can place the next order.  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;  Marlan NL7UJ;  Mark W5MHG

Site Last Updated:   18 September 2016