MARC Hams are Heroes in Telluride for HR100!

Reprinted by permission. Copyright © 2017, Telluride Daily Planet.

Montrose Amateur Radio Club. Stan Joslin, Kathy Joslin and Dick Schultz — members of the Montrose Amateur Radio Club — man their station at Telluride Town Park during Saturday’s Hardrock 100 endurance race. (Photo by Andre Salvail/Telluride Daily Planet)

By JUSTIN CRIADO, Senior Staff Writer

Ham’s Heros

When the zombie apocalypse hits, what will you do?

Will you scramble to arm yourself, or collect supplies and hunker down in a remote location? What about finding other survivors? How will you reach them? A common characteristic of zombie invasions is the destruction and total failure of communication systems: cell phones, land lines, Wi-Fi, everything.

That’s where the Montrose Amateur Radio Club comes in. In case of any emergency (undead or otherwise), the club is capable of operating outside the power grid, making it the only plausible communication system this side of messenger pigeons.

“That certainly is true. Here in Montrose County we cooperate with the Montrose County Emergency Management,” club member Lew French said. “We are prepared to communicate on behalf of the the county with the state’s emergency operations center if the normal lines of communication go down.”
Amateur radio operators, or hams as they’re referred to, can connect with people from all over the world using the shortwave system.

“It’s a way to communicate through the air without using any infrastructure,” French said. “You can operate your radios off of 12 volt batteries.”

French became interested in ham radios during his high school days in the 1960s, when he listened to stations in Germany, the Netherlands and Great Britain.

“Every country had a shortwave radio station,” he said.

Later, as a member of the Army Signal Corps, French used his ham radio skills as a radar repairman. It wasn’t until he retired from the Forest Service 14 years ago that he got his ham license and joined the Montrose club. The club, founded in 1956, currently has around 60 members.

“Hams pride themselves on being very self-sufficient,” he said. “When I’m out and about, I have a ham radio in my truck. There are places where cell phones do not work, but ham radios certainly will.”

Other than providing emergency support, the club helps out at events like last weekend’s Hardrock 100 Endurance Run. The race’s route is remote (the run wends its way through 100 miles of San Juan Mountains), and the hams help track the runners from various positions between Silverton and Ophir. (They do the same for contestants in the Imogene Pass Run.)

French said it is relatively easy to obtain a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license. A beginner’s license involves a 35-question test and nominal fee. There are two more levels of licensing, which, if obtained, allow operators to transmit on additional frequencies. The Montrose club provides study guides and administers the tests.

Currently, there are over 727,000 ham radio licenses in the FCC’s Universal Licensing System database, an “all-time high” in the United States, according to the latest American Radio Relay Association (ARRL) information.

“For the first time in the ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator Department (VEC) program’s history, we have conducted more than 7,000 amateur radio exam sessions in a year, an important milestone,” ARRL VEC manager Maria Somma said in a press release.

French said that there are 100 license holders in the Montrose area, but not all of them are active.

Although the club has a substantial number of members, he said the toughest demographic to reach is teenagers (the club’s sole teenage member recently moved away).

“It is difficult to have young members, teenage members,” he said. “We would like to do more to get the young people involved.”

There are plans to distribute ham radio materials to area high schools from Ouray to Olathe (French said that Montrose High School used to have a ham radio club).

The Montrose club meets on the third Friday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Olathe Community Center. Current members are mainly from Montrose and Delta counties, but can be from anywhere in the region, French said.

For more information, visit the montrosehamradio.org or call 970-417-6142.

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ISS Sends SSTV—Jim Adams Records

Jim writes: “The International Space Station is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. I downloaded this Slow Scan TV image as it flew overhead on 145.800 MHz FM using an ht and Arrow handheld antenna. Copied the recording to my computer and used an SSTV program to decode. Times for passes can be found on amsat.org.”
 

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HR 100 – Telluride Photos from Dick Schultz


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Club Members Provide Comm for Hard Rock 100 Mile Run

Club members Royce, Dave, Bill, John, and Tom pose in front of the club trailer at the Ouray Aid Station. Royce and Bill continued on up the hill to staff the Governer’s Basin Aid Station. Photo courtesy K2PJ.

 
 
Every year our club provides communications support for the Hard Rock 100 Mile Endurance Race. These hardy hams staffed the Ouray and Governor’s Basin aid stations. The club trailer, shown in the picture, was used at the Ouray aid station. This race is considered an “elite class” race and people come from all over the world to participate. The race officials were delighted we were there to provide essential communications, and showered us each with a tee shirt, hoodie, and all the food we could eat.

Other club members participated at other aid stations.

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Conquering the High Rockies to Ready Repeaters

Club member Chris DePuy, WBØITG, and helper KB5ITS, climbed snowy peaks to get the mountain repeaters working for the upcoming Hard Rock 100 run that starts 14 July 2017. Chris supplied these photos:

Kendall Repeater Towers

 
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Club Member Steve Schroder, KIØKY, Stars on Ham Radio Now!

Club member Steve Schroder, KIØKY, is the guest of honor on Ham Radio Now Episode 330, and explains AUXCOMM.

See the show by watching this video of the Ham Radio Now episode.

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Field Day Pictures from Jim Adams

16 photos from Jim Adams.

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Field Day Pictures from Dave Casler

In video format (10 minutes):

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Field Day THIS Weekend—Come One, Come All!

Here’s a map to MARC’s Field Day site. From Downtown Montrose, go west on Highway 90 (the western extension of Main Street), turn south just across the river onto Chipeta, watch carefully for the sign to Sunset Mesa Road, turn up the hill on Sunset Mesa Road, and watch for the sign to the MARC Field Day site. This is a dirt road accessible by any vehicle. Field Day is Saturday, 24 June 2017, and Sunday, 25 June 2017. Come Saturday morning to help set up. Operations start at noon on Saturday and end at noon on Sunday, followed by tear-down. Come regardless of your license class, as you can operate on any band under the supervision of control operators. We’ll be using KØIIT, our club callsign.

Map to MARC 2017 Field Day Site

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Tailgate Party — Jim Adams Photos

Jim sent these along from the 3 Jun 2017 tailgate party held at the Lions Pavilion at Confluence Park in Delta. Great event! Jim reports there were about 75 people there.

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