New !!! Socorro Hamfest – The Socorro Amateur Radio Association has announced their Socorro Hamfest will be held on Saturday, October 19th (8 AM – 2 PM) at its traditional site – the NM Fire Fighters Academy, 600 Aspen Street in Socorro. This is always a popular event for Albuquerque hams as it is an easy drive down I-25 to Socorro (82 miles/1 hr, 15 min) and they can be home in time for dinner. [Note: Due to a parade on California Street in Socorro on Saturday AM, it is strongly advised that we exit I-25 at the southern end of Socorro (Exit 147) to avoid the parade traffic ]. Click Here for a map from I-25 Exit 147 across Socorro to the Hamfest.
Activities begin on Friday, October 18th with a Ham’s Tour of the VLA (1 PM) followed by a banquet/awards ceremony that evening at 6 PM. Harald“The Lightning Guy” Edens, Director, Langmuir Laboratory, will be the guest speaker at the banquet. The hamfest also offers a tailgate/swap meet, demo of nanoVNA, ARRL forum, state ARES meeting, VE exam (ARRL VEC), lots of prizes on the hour and half hour and more. For more information and map, go to their website www.socorroara.org/socorro-hamfest-2019. For a flyer to post on your refrigerator Click Here. Hope to see you there!
New !!! Ham Radio Represented at the 2019 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta – For the third year, amateur radio staffed a booth inside the AIBF’s 7-Eleven Balloon Discovery Center at the north end of the balloon launch field. Before and after each balloon launch thousands of visitors head to the Discovery Center to explore what it has to offer. The High Desert ARC did an excellent job in coordinating the booth again this year. In order to staff the booth with six volunteers for 9 morning and 5 evening shifts is a MAJOR accomplishment. That’s 86 slots! No one club could fill that many slots by itself. Thanks to hams from all over the Albuquerque/Rio Rancho area for stepping up. A special thanks to Dave N0LVA for ramrodding this event. It required a lot of hours coordinating this event with both the AIBF and the ham volunteers. Well Done !!!
This year, we again focused on VHF/UHF and 40 meters in the booth. Using FT-8 on 40 meters, we were successful in making digital contacts nation and worldwide. On Wednesday morning Jim NM5JH conducted the ScatNet in the booth followed by Bruce NK5W with Rusty’s Raiders. On Friday AM, Bob N5JH ran the ScatNet onsite followed by Bruce again on Rusty’s Raiders. Due to the background noise in the tent, it was a miracle that any of these net controllers could distinguish one call sign from another. Thank goodness for headphones! On Friday, the temperature plunged to near freezing but the crowds (and volunteers) still came. Bob brought his D-Star rig to demonstrate its capabilities. Also, on Friday, Pete KE5WTM experimented with showing kids how to spell and send their names in Morse Code. They first would translate their name into code on paper and then “send” it using a code oscillator. This turned out to be very popular; we may want to expand this next year. All in all, our volunteers seemed to have a great time playing radio and discussing our wonderful hobby with our visitors from all over our nation and the world.
New !!! Summits on the Air (Part II) – The Amateur Radio Caravan Club was honored to have George Yoakum WB5USB and Tim Keene K5DEZ return to provide our audience with more information on Summits on the Air (SOTA). This time, Tim started by explaining how to register as a CHASER so you can listen for and chase hams on or very near area mountain tops. He also told us how to make QSOs, mainly using CW as most SOTA participants are using less than 5 watts. On VHF/UHF, he also mentioned that you are not allowed to use repeaters in this process. George followed by explaining how to ACTIVATE a summit. This means that you will be on a summit with your radio seeking chasers. In order for activators and chasers to find each other, they typically use a website called www.sotawatch.org on which both are registered. Activators post info about their future summits on the site and the chasers attempt to contact them while they are on the summit. George and Tim also displayed their lightweight SOTA gear (QRP radio, wire antenna, tiny battery, clipboard with paper and a small stool to sit on). This facet of amateur radio can be a fun way to get some exercise and be radio active at the same time. Thanks, gentlemen, for an educational evening.
1. October is a good time to renew your club membership before our new fiscal year begins on November 1st.
2. The High Desert ARC, a sister club in Albuquerque, has an article entitled “A Perfect Space Station Contact” in the November, 2019 issue of QST (page 78). It tells about how the HDARC partnered with Albuquerque Public Schools to be chosen to contact the International Space Station as it passed over on October 18, 2018. Check it out!
New !!! 2019 DCHF Was a Huge Success – The Duke City Hamfest, thanks to its hard-working planning committee, created the best DCHF yet. The event was again held at the Isleta Resort on the Pueblo of Isleta south of Albuquerque. All attendees agreed that this was a first-class facility and are looking forward to returning next year. There was lots of space for all activities (registration, forums, banquets, commercial vendors, indoor tailgaters, club tables, craft classes…). The outdoor flea market (tailgate) attracted 16 vendors and an impressive crowd. And the food? The resort staff served the tastiest meals in DCHF memory.
Friday morning began with three all-day forums (AMSAT Academy, EmComm College and HF University 2.0). Registration opened at 8 AM followed by 18 forums throughout the day. At 5 PM, the mixer began with a cash bar followed by a plentiful finger food. The resort staff kept the food coming! NM Section Manager Bill Mader, K8TE, was the evening speaker. An impressive beginning of the weekend.
Saturday found the outdoor tailgate crew open for business as 6 AM thru noon. This was followed by Rob Sherwood, NC0B, speaking during the breakfast banquet at 7:30 AM. The rest of the day including 32 forums on a WIDE variety of topics. This was also the big day for all of our commercial vendors who offered the crowd an impressive variety of wares. At 5 PM, the Saturday banquet began with a cash bar followed by a delicious buffet and lots of great fellowship. The banquet’s speaker was Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, former special counsel to the FCC Enforcement Bureau. For those with some energy left after a full day, the Wouff-Hong Ceremony was held from 10 to 11 PM.
Sunday began with the farewell breakfast banquet at 7:30 AM. Registration and the commercial vendors/indoor flea market opened for their final day. There were also 12 forums held in the morning. At noon, the Hamfest closed with the ever-popular final raffle was held with lots of prizes won.
In conclusion, our sincere thanks to chairman Pete Spotts and his hard-working board and many volunteers for arranging an outstanding Hamfest/convention. We also want to especially recognize the Isleta Resort’s staff for doing a first-class job for helping us every step of the way. (Note: Below are probably way too many photos of the event but we wanted to give those that could not attend a feel of what they missed).
Corn Feed - A Delicious Success – The Amateur Radio Caravan Club held its annual Corn Feed in honor of all the locally-grown sweet corn readily available at this time of year. We met at Montgomery Park for a noon-time potluck with the club firing up its corn cooker to boil fresh sweet corn onsite. Slathered with butter and maybe a little salt and pepper, it couldn’t be beat. Yum! Earlier, though, Terry K7XR set up his CW and magnetic loop antenna and the Ham brothers (David & Ken) got on digital FT-8 using their vertical antenna. Both were successful making a few contacts. Our thanks to everyone for bringing their delicious food and for the club furnishing the corn. A great club outing.
Winterfest is a Success – The Amateur Radio Caravan Club held its annual “Winterfest” banquet at The Cooperage on Saturday, January 12th and it was a resounding success. We had about 40 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.
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
Website Committee: Pete KE5WTM; Bob N5JH, Mark W5MHG
Site Last Updated: 17 October 2019
Copyright © 2013, Caravan Radio Club. All rights reserved.