Welcome to the
AMATEUR RADIO CARAVAN CLUB
of New Mexico, Inc.
New !!! SOTA Presentation was Fascinating – George Yoakum WB5USB and Tim Keene K5DEZ, two dedicated Summits on the Air (SOTA) program participants, presented a fascinating, fact-filled program at the Amateur Radio Caravan Club’s July meeting. They started with a show-and-tell of the equipment that they use when climbing mountain peaks. Obviously, they are shooting for lightweight radio equipment such as a low-power QRP radio, a telescopic 15’-19’ mast, a wire antenna, lightweight coax cable & rope, a small battery, keyer, a 9:1 balun and a small, lightweight stool to sit on. All of this plus a couple of quarts of water and power bars in their backpack probably weigh 10-15 lbs. By reason of limiting weight, most participants prefer CW but the SOTA rules allow any mode. SOTA also assigns each peak so many points as compared to other peaks in that state. For example, a 10,000-foot peak in Colorado, home of many 14,000-foot peaks, may only rate 8 points (out of the maximum 10) while Sandia Crest in New Mexico (10,000 feet) rates the full 10 points. In other words, all the peaks in each state (or country) are assigned points in comparison to all other peaks in that state. Once a ham achieves 1,000 points, he or she can receive a personalized glass “paperweight” recognizing their achievement. After showing us their equipment, George then show us a collage of photos of various SOTA participants on summits using their equipment. You can go to SOTAwatch.org for more information on this hobby. In conclusion, our sincere thanks to George and Tim for a most educational evening.
New !!! Summer Radio Fun in the Park (July Activity) – A reminder from the Amateur Radio Caravan Club that the next Summer Radio Fun in the Park activity is scheduled to Friday, July 26th. We meet in Sister Cities Park (corner of McKinney and Harper NE which is NE of San Mateo & Academy). We set up our rigs for an evening of radio fun. We invite all hams, ham wanna-bees and even the curious to join us. We meet from about 4 PM (or earlier) until dark. Somewhere around dinner time the club even orders pizza. Bring your rig, maybe a folding chair and/or your questions. All are invited. Click Here for a flyer/map.
New !!! 24th World Scout Jamboree – Every four years, scouting organizations around the world to host a World Scout Jamboree. Typically, the locations shift from continent to continent. This year, it will be held in North America from July 22nd to August 1st at The Summit Bechtel Scout Reserve in West Virginia. Nearly 45,000 Scouts from over 160 countries will gather in the mountains to learn about other countries and cultures, to make new friends, and to experience new adventures.
A ham radio demonstration station NA1WJ (“North America 1st World Jamboree”) will be hosted by a team of amateurs from Canada, Mexico and the United States. Forty staff members have been allocated for the Amateur Radio team. Nearly all are licensed operators from 15 different counties. This station will be staffed approximately 18 hours each day operating using SSB, CW and the digital modes. Working the world will be a challenge using only 100 watts but they will be using directional antennas to enhance their signal. Thanks to a who’s who of radio equipment vendors, the station will be very well equipped. For a pretty good update on the World Jamboree’s ham radio demonstration station, click here.
SSB: 28.390, 24.960, 21.360, 18.140, 14.290, 7.190, 3.940
PSK-31: 28.120, 24.920, 21.080, 18.100, 14.070, 10.142, 7.080, 3.580
EchoLink: Conference *JAMBO* (node 832996). Please plan to connect via *JAMBO* conference for best results.
D-Star: WV8BSA, Module B, and Reflector 033A — note that during the Jamboree WV8BSA is locked to REF033A, the dedicated Scouting reflector, to avoid problems with linking and unlinking with each operator’s preferences.
CW: There will be limited operation on CW as time permits. See Scouting Frequencies.
QSLs: The current NA1WJ Jamboree Logbook can be found at Jamboree Logbook.
Times of Operation: The ham radio demonstration station plans to operate in the evenings to hand out as many QSOs as possible. However, demonstrations with Scouts will be happening in the daytime and that’s when we need contacts. This is where you come in. If you hear a young voice calling CQ CQ CQ NA1WJ NA1WJ please pick up your mic an talk to him/her. This likely will be their very first time on the air and just might create an interest in their becoming a ham radio operator in their home country.
June Tailgate Well Attended – Ken KO5Y and Mark W5MHG did a bang-up job in organizing the first of two tailgates for this summer (the 2nd is on August 3rd). The day started out with Mark and Bob N5JH hosting the ScatNet onsite. Ken also raffled off a dual-band, 75 watt mobile radio. Attendance was good with many vendors presenting an impressive array of radio equipment. Sadly, there appeared to be more lookers than buyers. However, you couldn’t beat the weather and fellowship as we all enjoyed visiting with old friends and making new ones as we placed faces with voices that we had talked to on the air. Our thanks to Ken and Mark for a wonderful event and we look forward to the next tailgate.
Field Day was an Enjoyable Day – The Amateur Radio Caravan Club met again this year at Montgomery Park in Albuquerque to participate in the ARRL’s Field Day. This is an activity where hams test their rigs in a remote location. Preparations started early with Mark W5MHG and Bob N5JH conducting the ScatNet from the park from 7 to 8 AM. Soon others arrived to set up their rigs. By noon (local) when this event officially began, we had six rigs present but only four were participating (the fifth only listened and the sixth shared an antenna and air time with one of the four others). We were active on 20 & 40 meters in various modes, including CW and FT-8 digital. When the 20-meter band became too crowded, one rig switched to 15 meters which was surprisingly open and uncongested. Perhaps the highlight of the day was the premier of Don, W5FHA’s newly built “Go Kit”. He had put a lot of thought into its design before purchasing and assembling the kit into two sturdy bins plus a compact Buddipole antenna. He reported that it worked well without any issues. Our unofficial tally for the day was about 150 contacts with FT-8, of course, contributing the most.
About 5:30 PM, our active hams began tearing down their rigs in preparation for our traditional potluck dinner at 6 PM. Attendance was lighter than usual but the food was delicious. Unfortunately, a heavy wind also arrived at dinner time so we had to hang on to our plates as we ate. However, the wind died down after dinner so we spent the rest of the evening visiting with each other until about dusk when we all headed for home. Great day of ham fellowship enjoyed by all !!!
Summer Radio Fun in the Park Well Attended – The first of three Summer Radio Fun in the Park activities on Friday, May 24th was the best attended in memory. We had 20 people showed up with three hams setting up their rigs early to make some contacts. Unfortunately, Mr. Propagation never showed up. Ron, WA5OZW, was the most successful…but he only made three contacts (Utah, Alabama and “I forget where”) using PSK31 on 20 meters. Our diehard CW guru, Terry, K7XR, using his brand-new homebrew loop antenna couldn’t eke out a single contact - very unusual for him. Neall, W5NED, just getting into CW using his new QRP radio system, was also skunked. We had plenty of other hams stop by, though, including several new hams, to observe, to ask questions and learn, or just to ragchew. Given the perfect weather, the evening was far from a bust. For dinner, we ordered SIX large pizzas, courtesy of the Caravan Club. After which we opted for sitting back and enjoying some great fellowship. We thank all who chose to join us. [Note: due to Field Day in June, our next Summer Fun activity will be on July 26th - the 4th Friday in July].
New Mexico QSO Party Well Attended – The Amateur Radio Caravan Club participated in the New Mexico QSO Party again this year from the visitor center of the Petroglyph National Monument in west Albuquerque. Throughout the day we had lots of club member – and visitors – check out what we were doing. While one ham was searching for contacts, others were observing or explaining to visitors what our wonderful hobby is all about. Jeremy, W7JS, who is moving to Albuquerque from Cheyenne, WY, stopped by for the day to meet some local hams and to check out a ham radio operation in New Mexico. We also had a whole family stop by with one daughter trying her luck on the air. Finally, Jean, KG5ZRU, one of our newer members, arrived seeking help with her HT. She explained that she could hear contacts on her HT but for some reason, no one could hear her. Mathias, K0WBG, figured out that the wrong PL tone was programmed and quickly fixed that. This enabled for her to make her very first contact ever…with Bruce, NK5W, who promised to send her one of his coveted First Contact certificates. She was all smiles and then stuck around for us to explain HF radio and a lot of other info that she wanted to know. Congratulations, Jean!
As for the contest, using our IC 7300 transceiver and Hamtenna dipole antenna we first tested 40 meters and then 20 meters seeking contacts. Sadly, we were only able to make 6 contacts, of which 3 were from out of state. By 2 PM, we decided to give it up and go home. Neall, W5NED, kindly crunched our numbers (it didn’t take long) and, even with multipliers, the club scored only 72 points. No plaque this year!
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.
Socorro Hamfest is Well Attended – Many of the Amateur Radio Caravan Club traveled to Socorro, NM, to attend the Socorro ARA’s Hamfest / NM State Convention on Saturday, October 20th. It was an easy 90-minute drive mostly on I-25. Arriving about 8 AM and looking west we were treated a beautiful sunrise on “M” Mountain. Upon entering the New Mexico Firefighters Academy campus we were impressed by the large number of outdoor tailgate vendors already set up and in business. Entering the building we were greeted by the prize table. It contained an impressive number of Icom radios as major prizes plus another table stacked with lesser prizes for drawings every hour and half-hour. The crowd was said to be larger than those for the last two years. We certainly can’t complain about the indoor vendors either. There was even a student from nearby New Mexico Tech offering to test our handheld radios. There is a future electronic engineer, for sure! To top off the event, there was a food wagon onsite offering a wide variety of delicious food items at prices lower than what we are used to in Albuquerque. All in all, a superior event. Our sincere thanks to the folks in the Socorro Amateur Radio Association for all their hard work in hosting this event.
Ham Radio Represented at the 2018 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta – For the second 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 84 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 John KF5ROL and 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 !!!
We focused on VHF/UHF, 20 meters and 40 meters in the booth. 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 Joe K5STI on Rusty’s Raiders. However, between the PA announcements outside, parents and kits talking inside the tent plus us hams discussing ham radio with visitors nearby, it was a miracle that any of these net controllers could distinguish one call sign from another. In fact, the noise level in the tent was so constant that we rarely could make contacts using SSB on either HF band; we needed headphones. Thank goodness for the FT-8 digital mode on 40 meters. We were very successful in making digital contacts worldwide. 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.
DCHF/RMDC Was a Huge Success – This year was New Mexico’s turn to host the Rocky Mountain Division Convention and the Duke City Hamfest, due to its advance planning and hard work, came through with an outstanding event. The event was held at the Isleta Resort & Casino on the Pueblo of Isleta south of Albuquerque. All attendees agreed that this was a first-class facility and are looking forward to returning for the contracted next three years. There was lots of space for all activities (registration, forums, banquets, commercial vendors, indoor tailgaters, club tables…). Outdoors, there were about 70 spots for the outdoor flea market (tailgate) as well as for a successful launch of Valley High School’s near space balloon. 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 9 AM followed by 11 forums throughout the day plus the outdoor flea market from noon to 5 PM. At 5 PM, the mixer began with a cash bar followed by a plentiful (and delicious) buffet. The resort staff kept the food coming! ARRL Emergency Services Coordinator Mike Corey KI1Uwas the evening speaker who explained ARRL’s involvement during the “Hurricane Season of 2017”. An impressive beginning of the weekend.
Saturday found the outdoor tailgate crew open for business as 6 AM thru noon. This was followed by Dave Jorgenson WD5COV speaking on DX/contesting during the breakfast banquet at 7:30 AM. The rest of the day including 31 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 the ever-inspirational Bob Heil, K9EID, owner of Heil Sound. For those with some energy left after a full day, the Wouff-Hong Ceremony was held from 10 to 11:30 PM.
Sunday began with the farewell breakfast banquet at 7:30 AM featuring the results of the near space balloon flight (which landed, as projected, near Moriarty, NM). Registration and the commercial vendors/indoor flea market were opened for their final day from 8 AM to noon. There were also 11 forums held in the morning. At noon, the ever-popular final raffle was held with lots of prizes won.
In conclusion, our sincere thanks to chairman Bill Ripley 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).
[Another Note: For those interested in downloading the DCHF speakers’ presentations, many are now available on the DCHF website. Click Here ]
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: 13 July 2019