Welcome to the
AMATEUR RADIO CARAVAN CLUB
of New Mexico, Inc.
New !!! Small Magnetic Loop Antennas Fully Explained – The Amateur Radio Caravan Club was treated to a very comprehensive explanation by Terry Taylor K7XR on the small magnetic loop antenna (SML), As advertised, he covered the history of the SML, how and why he got interested in it, the steps he had to take to construct and modify his own SML and how it performs. Briefly, Terry was fascinated that it has been used by the military for years. Its advantage is that it ranges from 12 to 160 meters without a tuner, requires no or only short radials and is relative portable. Terry covered a LOT of information to digest in one sitting so has graciously provided his slides as a reference (click here). Our sincere thanks to Terry for a most interesting and educational program.
New !!! 2018 DCHF – Different Date, Different Place This Year. The 2018 Duke City Hamfest / ARRL Rocky Mountain Division Convention is coming up fast (September 21-23) at the Isleta Resort and Casino. This beautiful resort and convention facility is located 4.5 miles south of the Albuquerque Airport, just off of I-25 (Exit 215), on the historic Isleta Pueblo. The agenda includes an HF University, Amateur Satellite Academy, Emcomm College, W1REX Build-a-thon, VE License Review/Testing, an ARRL Forum, Wouff Hong and a SKYWARN class. Please check the DCHF website for a complete list of activities. See you there!
URGENT !!! Help Needed – The Amateur Radio Caravan Club has been asked to spread the word about two upcoming activities that need some ham radio volunteers:
1. Mt. Taylor 50K Trail Run - Kurt Coonrod is one of the race directors for the Mt. Taylor 50K trail run to be held on Saturday, September 29th. He says: “Because of the remote location of our run, we rely on Ham Radio volunteers for communication between aid stations. We have some radio support from the local SARs group and Emergency Manager, but they wish to be focused mainly on dealing with any emergency issues. We like to have other radio volunteers to communicate basic race related information. For various reasons, the radio volunteers I've used in the past, are unavailable. We have access to GMRS radios and will rely on those if needed but I would feel more confident having experienced ham operators. We only need to support a few locations. If you know of any other ham operators that might be interested in also helping us out, I would greatly appreciate it.” If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Kurt Coonrod at email@example.com or 505-239-9010.
2. VEs Needed at DCHF - Jim Kjader, AF5FH, is coordinating the ham licensing exams at the upcoming Duke City Hamfest and would like to get a few more volunteer examiners to help out on Saturday, Sept. 22nd (8 - 11 AM) in scoring exams. His reasoning is that they can already handle the scoring, say, 10 student exams but if 25 people show up to take the exam, that’s quite a pileup and additional VEs would be a big help in reducing the wait time for anxious students by speeding up the scoring process. If you are a VE and would like to volunteer, please contact Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-228-3704.
New !!! Ham Volunteers Needed at Balloon Fiesta – Again this year, amateur radio has been provided a booth at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (October 6 - 14). It will be in the 7- Eleven Balloon Discovery Center (a big white tent on the north end of the field). Before and after balloon launches, visitors pour into “our” tent wanting to see what there is to see. For us hams, who by our nature are communicators, this is a great opportunity to tell the public about our great hobby. Our part of the AIBF bargain is that we staff our special event station for all 9 morning and 5 evening events and tell how ham radio is linked to ballooning, e.g. chase crews, gas ballooning, etc. As a sweetener for volunteering, you will be given a FREE parking pass ($10 value) and FREE admission ($15 value) for the day(s) you volunteer. Last year, we were blessed by hams from every club in the area stepping up, and even from Valencia County. We need a repeat this year as this event has to be a group effort; no one club can carry the load alone. To volunteer, please contact Dave Johnson, N0LVA, at daveN0lva@gmail.com. For a printable list of available slots Click Here.
[Note 9/15/18: At this point our slots are about 80% filled so urge you to volunteer while there are still slots available. We are in need for about 17 more volunteers, mostly, for the Sat, Sun, Thur, Fri and Sat evening shifts. These shifts fit nicely for hams that have real jobs. You should report to the booth by about 4:30 PM in order to avoid joining the incoming traffic, you talk to the public about our hobby until about 9 PM. At that point the fireworks begin. That is your signal to close up the booth, get in your car and have a leisurely drive home. Or, after watching the fireworks, you can join the thousands of other drivers and be home by about 11:30 PM. Your choice.]
New !!! Corn Feed Was Small But Fun – The Amateur Radio Caravan Club held its annual Corn Feed in Montgomery Park at noon on Sept. 8th. The guest of honor, of course, was freshly-boiled SWEET CORN. Attendance this year was below average but was made up by above average fellowship. The activities began mid-morning with Neall W5NED and Terry K7XR setting up their rigs and getting on the air. Both successfully made contacts in Europe. David KE5VSE brought his metal detector and soon drew a crowd watching him seeking lost treasure in the park. At noon, the corn and the club’s corn cooker arrived. One crew set up the cooker while another shucked the corn. Soon the water was boiling and the corn immersed for 8-10 minutes. By that time, hungry hams had arrived bringing a variety of food offerings. A food line quickly formed with people filling their plates and slathering butter on their ears of corn. After lunch, the group set back to enjoy some ragchewing before heading home for their naps. Our sincere thanks to John N5UVQ for providing the tables and chairs and to Mathias K0WBG for coordinating this special event.
New !!! August Tailgate a Popular Event – After a rainout in June, a second shot at holding a tailgate was held on August 11th at the American Legion Post 49 in Albuquerque and this time the weather was perfect and the crowd showed up. This midsummer event, I’m told, was the brainchild of Mark W5MHG and Ken K05Y when they realized that the Duke City Hamfest had been moved to September and “there was nothin’ goin’ on in the summer”. It was a team effort: Mark found the site and the lady with a key to the gate while Ken marketed the event and set up the raffle for two radios. The rest is history. There were numerous vendors with equipment for sale but it appeared that the crowd was more interested in “window shopping” and ragchewing. Ken’s "5/30" raffle ($5 per ticket/30 tickets total to be sold) resulted in Jim AF5FI winning the 2 band mobile and Andy the 4 bander. Congratulations to both. Mark even flew his drone (briefly) for the crowd. Finally, David KE5VSE was on scene to conduct the ScatNet that morning. Thanks for Mark and Ken for arranging this event.
New !!! NM QSO Party Results Are In – Brian Mileshosky, N5ZGT, has posted the results from the New Mexico QSO Party held last April. This is the contest where hams around the world try to contact as many counties as possible in New Mexico while we shoot to contact as many counties, states and countries as we can. It’s a crazy event with some hams driving all over the state stopping in the low-population counties and/or on county lines to score points. As you may recall, the Amateur Radio Caravan Club set up its station on the patio of the Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque. We operated from 8 AM to about 2 PM when propagation left town. Go to www.newmexicoqsoparty.org and click on Results to determine how you or your club ranked.
New !!! Bill Mader Named ARRL Section Manager – At the July Caravan Club meeting Bill Mader K8TE announced that effective July 1st he was appointed the ARRL’s newest New Mexico Section Manager. Most New Mexico hams have known Bill as an avid DXer/contester, presenter of a wide variety of amateur radio-related programs at area club meetings and as the chief instructor of numerous day-long "HF Universities" at Duke City Hamfests. His radio knowledge is unmatched, his enthusiasm and humor entertaining and now NM hams are privileged to welcome Bill as our new section manager.
Field Day a Modest Success – The Amateur Radio Caravan Club hosted its annual Field Day activity again on June 23rd in Montgomery Park in NE Albuquerque. We like that spot because it offers lots of grass and shade trees. We met about 9 AM to set up our rigs. We were gratified by all the hams that showed up to help set up…and learn. Turns out that we were able to set up rigs on four different bands. Don W5FHA set up his BuddiPole antenna and got on 20 meters. He also installed his solar panel to supplement his batteries. Mathias K0WBG - and later John N5UVQ - got on 40 meters using Neall W5NED’s 18-foot mast and Pete KE5WTM’s 40-meter Hamtenna dipole. Terry K7XR borrowed Neall’s multi-band end fed wire antenna to set up a CW station. Finally, although it doesn’t count during field day, Richard N5XZZ set up a demonstration VHF station using his “go kit” in a suitcase, a solar panel and his homebrew J-pole antenna that he and Kermit KB5HA had built. This field day was obviously a team effort.
At noon (MDT), field day officially began with all HF stations on the air. In viewing the log sheets about an hour later, only Terry, on CW, was making any contacts and had about a half page filled in…and even he, in desperation on occasion, resorted to using a microphone (gasp!). We were able to hear lots of “CQ Field Day” out there but for the most part were unable to connect.
Finally, the grand finale. By 5:30 - 6 PM hams and spouses were arriving with food and at 6 PM we began our traditional potluck dinner. The variety of food offered was awesome and soon everyone was busy eating amid dinner conversation. After that, the crowd sat back and enjoyed more ragchewing, then packed up their gear and leftovers and headed home after a wonderful day of "playing radio".
Our NM QSO Party Results - The Amateur Radio Caravan Club participated in the annual New Mexico QSO Party where hams all over the world try to contact as many New Mexico counties as possible while we in turn try to contact other counties in our state as well as outside. The weather for the previous few days had been cold and extremely windy. With great hopes of a break in the weather we arrived at the Petroglyph National Monument’s visitor center to a cool 40 degree morning temperature and a “breeze”. Fortunately we remembered to dress WARM. We had a respectable number of club members come to participate and some visitors stopped by. Unfortunately the bands didn’t do the same. Using an Icom 7300 transceiver and an MFJ “Hamtenna” dipole antenna we began on 40 meters until 10 AM and made just ONE contact…in Rio Rancho in nearby Sandoval. We then switched to 20 meters until 2 PM when that band died completely. At that point we called it a day. Sadly our 24 contacts (really!) won’t win any prizes but hopefully our members who participated from their shacks at home can bail us out.
New !!! 2018 DCHF – Different Date, Different Place This Year. Planners for the 2018 Duke City Hamfest / ARRL Rocky Mountain Division Convention have announced that it will be held on September 21-23, 2018 at the Isleta Resort and Casino. This beautiful resort and convention facility is located 4.5 miles south of the Albuquerque Airport, just off of I-25 (Exit 215), on the historic Isleta Pueblo. Preliminary plans include an HF University, Amateur Satellite Academy, Emcomm College, W1REX Build-a-thon, VE License Review/Testing, an ARRL Forum, Wouff Hong and a SKYWARN class. Please check their website often for updates.
New !!! 37th Annual ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference – Rocky Mountain Ham Radio, New Mexico will be hosting the 37th Annual ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference during the weekend prior to the Hamfest. It will be held on September 14-16 at the Sheraton Albuquerque Airport Hotel in Albuquerque. For all the details, click here.
New !!! Winterfest is a Success – The Amateur Radio Caravan Club held its annual “Winterfest” banquet at The Cooperage on Saturday, January 13th and it was a resounding success. We had about 38 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 new hard-working Special Events Coordinator Mathias Gibbens, K0WBG for arranging this very enjoyable evening.
Amateur Radio Well Represented at the 2017 Balloon Fiesta – As the world famous Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta draws to a close, we can declare that more Fiesta visitors than ever before were exposed to ham radio. For the first time we had a booth in the 7-Eleven Discovery Center tent which attracted tens of thousands of visitors. The High Desert ARC, who arranged for this booth, invited radio clubs from throughout the area to share in this endeavor. The response was overwhelming as hams far and wide stepped up to tell the public about our hobby. We had three rigs set up, a Flex 6500, an Icom 7000 and a VHF/UHF radio. On Wednesday AM, Jim Hunter NM5JH was onsite to conduct the ScatNet, followed by Bruce Campbell NK5W with Rusty’s Raiders. Several young people got on the air, probably for their first time ever. We had many, many visitors from out of state and country stop by for a chat. All in all, a huge success. We are already scheduling a debriefing on November 4th at Mimi’s Restaurant to begin planning for next year. Kudos to the High Desert ARC for ramrodding our ham radio presence again this year; we all enjoyed participating.
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 & Coats- 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, Corn Feed, etc.
Local Vendor – The Caravan Club has found a local source for club shirts, hats and coats. It is Turbo Threads, 1503 Golf Course Rd SE in Rio Rancho or (505) 999-1234. You can order items directly from Turbo Threads.
Club Shirts - A very nice polo-style tan colored shirt. Each individual shirt will have the club name and logo on its left side and your first name and call sign on the right. These shirts sell for $21 or $24 depending on the number of X's in your shirt size. The shirts come in sizes S, M, Lg, XL, XXL plus Regular and Long shirt lengths. Ladies sizes are also available.
Club Ball Caps - Ball caps are tan colored with the club name and logo embroidered in front ($9) or $12 if you wish your name and call sign embroidered in the back above the adjuster strap.
Club Coats – A club coat is also available from Turbo Threads:
Port Authority “Legacy”, Catalog # J764 (regular), TLJ764 (tall) and L764 (women’s), khaki/nutmeg color. This model has a thin lining and comes with a hood. Cost is around $58-$60.
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. September 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; Bob N5JH, Mark W5MHG
Site Last Updated: 20 September 2018