Volunteers Providing Emergency Communications for Multnomah County, Oregon

Membership News

I would like to welcome two new members: Walt KJ7BHL and Dave N7DML. Walt is on the Alpha team, and Dave is on the Charlie Team. We now have 111 active members, and we logged 173 volunteer hours in April.


Are you locked down and looking for things to do? Visit WebSDR.org and listen in on hams all over the world. With WebSDR you will be able to take control of receivers worldwide and tune in on all of the bands in all of the regions. Someone not interested in ham radio (that can’t be us!) activities? Then tune in to the European stations and brush up on your French language skills.

It’s as easy as starting up your computer and going to www.websdr.org.

  • Scroll down the main page and you will see ham stations from all over the world.
  • Pick a region
  • Pick a station
  • Pick the band you would like to listen to

It’s that easy! You’re in control. Scan the waterfall (now you know what that purple thing up there is called!) and pick out the strong stations as they will be the brighter vertical lines. You can also try the weaker stations as shown by the faint lines. Or maybe the whole band is quiet with no lines at all – just change bands and keep going! Hear something rare or exotic? Create a log on your favorite SDR site and log in your treasure.

Want to practice your CW? Tune down to the low end of the 40CW band and find a station; they are always there! Want to practice more later? Then just start the audio recording and play it back at another time.

So, while locked in, stay out of the cookie jar and junk food, and go play in SDR land!

Managing Stress at Home

Pulling out a little hiking wisdom today:

When you’re lost, stay where you are.

Since we can’t go anywhere anyway, why not use the time to recharge in whatever way makes sense for you? Sleep in – or stay up – until your favorite net. Dust out the ham shack. Hug a housemate or reach out over the air waves and 73 someone.

We don’t have to solve any problems today; we’re right where we’re going to be for a while. Let’s use this universally imposed time out for extreme care of self and connection with others.

News from Around the County

We hope all of our members are safe and healthy. These are unprecedented times for everyone and following the stay-at-home, social distancing, and face covering guidelines will slow the spread of the nasty COVID-19. Let’s all help keep the number of cases low in Oregon!

Our next on the air meeting is April 23 and we will practice sending pictures using SSTV both via computer software and acoustic coupling via your phone. Watch for an email from Ralph AG7FE with details and instructions. We will meet on MC1 (146.840) at 7:00PM.

The Winlink net check in worked well last month and we will be doing that again for April. Details and a reminder will also be emailed out a few days before the meeting date.

It seems a lot more folks are at home and practicing their ham radio skills, which is good, but remember that the local repeaters are open to all. If you are thinking of operating a net with several friends or team members you will need permission from the repeater owner to do so. And we never operate simplex on a repeater frequency when the repeater is operational. The MC2 (147.280) repeater is operated by the Hoodview Amateur Radio Club, and the MC1 (146.840) repeater is operated by the Portland Amateur Radio Club.

The ARRL has sent out ballots for the Oregon Section Manager position. We hope you will take a few minutes and vote for the candidate of your choice.

Membership News

Despite our current situation, we still tallied 279 volunteer hours in March, and our active membership count is holding steady at 109!

Website Hosting Migration

The Multnomah County ARES website was migrated to a new hosting provider this evening. No problems were encountered during the migration, and all testing of the site has been successful. If you do notice any problems, however, please send an email to webmaster [at] multnomahares [dot] org and I will investigate.

March 7 Team Drill

We will have a field drill involving all MCARES teams on Saturday, March 7 from 09:00 to 13:00. All MCARES members are asked to participate if possible. Your team leader should be in touch with you prior to the drill, to discuss location and any other details specific to your team’s role. Please be sure to thoroughly read the drill guide and ICS-205 before the drill, and direct any questions to your team leader.

Membership News

Welcome to our newest members: Eugene W1PRM joins the Delta team; John KJ7DMD and Sam KK6HXG join the Bravo team. That brings us to 106 active members! New member training started February 8 and concludes on the 22nd. We hope to announce new ARROs at the February meeting.

Winter Field Day

What a great success the day was! We had sixteen ARES members, six very enthusiastic visitors, and one adorable Golden Retriever puppy named Cora.

We deployed the OCF dipole high in the trees (nice job, Ralph!) and were making contacts in Alaska, Hawaii, California, Georgia, South Carolina, Michigan, and all places in-between.

One of my favorite highlights was Bob Fischer who made his first HF contact and was literally jumping for joy and had to step away from the radio to still his racing heart! The excitement on his face is a priceless memory.

Featured Member Profile: Rochelle AE7ZQ

Having experienced a few earthquakes while living in San Jose and realizing Portland, too, was located in earthquake country, Rochelle took a weekend PCC class on preparedness. The one thing she took away was that ham radio would be the only way to communicate during and after a disaster.

A simple search pulled up McARES, and so the journey began with a new volunteer organization. She has a Yaesu VX-8R handheld and a Kenwood D710 at her home station that runs a Winlink gateway.

“It’s impossible to be bored – especially on the Mike team! There is always something to learn and something fun to do with ham radio.”

In fact, Rochelle is now the new coordinator for Connected, the MCARES newsletter. She hopes you enjoy the new format!