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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 .



New !!!  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.


New !!!  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)


Kjader Pulls ‘em In – At the Amateur Radio Caravan Club’s July 8th meeting Jim Kajder AF5FH once again attracted a large crowd for his presentation on “Getting Started in Digital Radio”.  He covered most of the major digital modes, including offering a short audio clip of how each sounds on the air, the hardware and software required, the frequencies and any other information needed in…Getting Started in Digital Radio.  He also pointed out that for those becoming hard of hearing digital radio offers a way to make contacts using text instead of sound.  During his talk Jim noticed that many in the audience were furiously taking notes so he graciously offered to send us his entire presentation (click here).  Thanks so much, Jim, for a very informative evening!


New !!! Summer Fun Event a Modest Success – The Amateur Radio Caravan Club held it’s second of three Summer Radio Fun in the Park activities on Friday evening, July 22nd at Sister Cities Park.  The results were rated "modest" because only one person got on the air.  The rest of us worked on antenna projects.   Terry K7XR set up his CW rig, including his homebrew antenna, and operated for an hour or so.   John AC5VB brought his brand new BuddiPole antenna seeking (and getting) help in learning how to tune it.  David KE5VSC brought an balky old scanner purchased years before but couldn’t get it to work.  John N5UVQ tested his initial design of a reel for his antenna radials and found it needed further work.  Pete KE5WTM brought his new tripod, mast and MFJ 20-meter “HamTenna” dipole system to be tuned.  The initial setting resulted in a frequency too low.  After numerous trips between the antenna analyzer and the antenna (great exercise!) to move the stingers into the base, the butt end of the stingers were entering into the loading coil sections of the antennas.  This can cause heat damage and since we had no way to cut the stingers while in the park, we quit for the evening.  We also had several visitors stop by to watch and learn.  By then six pizzas arrived so our attention quickly switched to dinner.  Yum!  Afterwards, the evening temperature was cooling, we had taken our radio projects as far as we could and we each had full belly so we sat around for some good ‘ol ragchewing.  A most enjoyable evening!


A Modest But Enjoyable Field Day Again This Year – The Amateur Radio Caravan in partnership with the Albuquerque Amateur Radio Club participated in the ARRL’s Field Day on Saturday, June 25th at Montgomery Park in Albuquerque.  Always trying to learn from previous Field Days setups, we limited our stations to three:  a 20 meter/GOTA station using a BuddiPole dipole antenna (Don W5FHA), a digital station using a MFJ telescopic vertical antenna (Terry W7RNF), and a CW station using a homebrew vertical antenna (Terry K7XR).  Unfortunately, propagation was pretty spotty so contacts were few.  However, this was offset by about 35 people attending so most of us were in ragchewing mode most of the day.  At 6 PM, the group shifted in potluck mode and enjoyed an impressive array of delicious choices brought by our hams.  Yum!

Some highlights:

  • A Navajo family stopped by about 11 AM announcing that they are selling Navajo tacos and a soda for $8 down the street as a fundraiser so their granddaughter can travel to Fresno, CA with her drill team.  This served as an impromptu lunch for several of us and we found the taco to be delicious and filling.

  • We had a ham and his wife stop by.  They were from Rolla, Missouri traveling to California and found our Field Day activity on the ARRL website by searching for “field day activities along I-40”.  We chatted for awhile; they tasted their first ever Navajo taco, and then headed back to I-40W.

  • A young man joined us who had become interested in getting into amateur radio after hearing us on his scanner.  He was at a loss on how to get his license so we quickly gave him our club membership application and the names of several online sources that should get him started.

  • Terry W7RNF from Mesa, AZ, stopped by.  His wife was in town for a business conference and he had no interest in being stuck in that conference.  So he joined us at Montgomery Park, set up his rigand,  like the rest of us, tried to make some contacts.  Pleased to meet you, Terry!

  • Teenagers Emily KG5NZO and Mitchell KG5NZN dropped by, with their grandfather Terry KS5Z, to get on the air.  Both were new hams:  Emily had just received her General license the day before Field Day and Mitchell his Technician license about 3 weeks before.  Don W5FHA loaned the teens his radio for most of the afternoon as their grandfather coached them.  It was rewarding to see them lose their “mike fright” as the afternoon progressed.



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;  Scott N5SQR;  Mark W5MHG

Site Last Updated:   26 August 2016