MCACS Annual Meeting — and Election of Officers

Our annual meeting was held on Sunday, February 10. The most important business at the meeting was the election of officers for the coming two-year term.

Ben Acton, our past Vice President, reluctantly made the decision to step off the board. For years, he has been a part of the leadership team, often serving as our primary liaison with OEMHS. For a variety of reasons, he feels that he can no longer devote sufficient time to continue in office. We all owe Ben a debt of gratitude for his years of service.

Tom Horne was elected Vice President, and Paul Fitzgerald was elected to the board. The remaining board members were unopposed and all were reelected. Your board members are listed on the “Contact Us” page of the website.

The rest of the meeting was devoted to a discussion about the future direction of the organization. A lot of thoughtful ideas were shared. I hope we can post a summary here in the coming days.

Winter Field Day

MCACS participated in Winter Field Day on January 25-26, 2019. The event was an unqualified success, and a lot of fun as well. For more information about the event, check out our Winter Field Day web page.

Upcoming Net Topics

ARES training nets are held on Tuesdays at 2000 local, usually on the MARC 146.955 (156.7) repeater.

wdt_ID Date Program Type Topic Radio Officer
71 02/26/2019 TBD ??? TBD
72 02/19/2019 TBD Notice a pattern here? We need YOUR ideas and engagement. Making a presentation doesn't have to be a huge burden. It can be a one-time commitment. TBD
74 03/05/2019 TBD Volunteer to become a net control operator. It's a great skill to develop, and MUCH easier than learning to play the bagpipes. TBD
73 02/12/2019 Presentation Recap of MCACS Annual Meeting TBD

Other Upcoming Events

wdt_ID Date Time Event Type Topic
26 03/20/2019 1900 - 1930 Armchair Exercise Maryland/DC Section monthly HF Hospital Radio Net, 3820 kHz. See details below.
24 02/11/2019 1900 - 2100 MCACS Board Meeting* --
18 03/11/2019 1900 - 2100 MCACS Board Meeting* --
30 02/10/2019 1900-2100 MCACS Annual Meeting See announcement above
21 02/19/2019 1900 - 1930 Armchair Exercise Maryland/DC Section monthly HF Hospital Radio Net, 3820 kHz. See details below.
31 04/25/2019 April-May timeframe Exercise We expect to be involved in two separate mass casualty exercises planned for the April/May time frame. Stay tuned for more details.

* Board meetings are held by teleconference and are open to members. We welcome your involvement. If you are interested in taking a more active role in the organization, or have ideas for the board to consider, please join us.  Contact any board member for access information.

Monthly HF Hospital Nets

Our ARES colleagues in Prince Georges County sponsor the monthly Maryland/DC HF Hospital Net on 3820 kHz LSB. Despite the name, all local amateurs are invited to check into the net from your home station. Most hospital EOCs in the DC/Maryland area are not equipped for HF operation. The concept of operations is as follows. In the event that a hospital needs to communicate with an entity outside of VHF/UHF range, the traffic will be passed to a nearby HF-equipped ham via VHF/UHF, then forwarded to the distant entity via HF radio. In other words, the home-based HF station serves as a relay point for the hospital traffic.We encourage such home-based hospital relay stations to equip themselves with Winlink capability so that record traffic can easily be relayed, but voice-only stations are welcomed to participate.These exercises are normally scheduled on the Wednesday following the third Monday of the month at 7:00 PM local time. (That’s because the PG ARES group has its monthly meeting on the third Monday of the month.) If the frequency is busy, tune  ± 5 kHz.

MCACS Exhibits At Emergency Preparedness Fair

On September 5, MCACS joined forces with several Montgomery County Amateur Radio clubs, to demonstrate our readiness to provide supplemental communications in disasters. The occasion was the Fourth Annual Emergency Preparedness Fair jointly sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and Johns Hopkins University at Shady Grove.

View of booth with MAIPN van in background. (L-R) KC3JFG, WN3R, and W3CID (doing double duty at the National Library of Medicine booth).

Our booth featured a voice/data flyaway (go-kit) station. The new MAIPN communications van was on display as well. Representatives of the Montgomery Amateur Radio Club, NIH Radio Amateur Club, Ashton Radio Amateur Society, and Damascus Emergency Communications Team were on hand to speak to the public about the role of Amateur Radio in emergencies.

The broiling weather, in the 90s with plenty of sun and high humidity, kept attendance down, but we saw old friends and made a few new ones. We also caught up with fellow exhibitors, including Montgomery County CERT, NIH Police, and the Red Cross.

AC3CJ at the mic of the IC-718 in the van.

Participants (in no particular order) included WN3R, W2LNX, W3TDH, W3EDS, NC3M, W3CID, and the entire Schofer family — KC3JFG, KC3FKH, and AC3CJ. Our event hosts were NCI staff members K3DXO and KC3DXM. WB2U was standing by at home to lend support. KB3AEV stopped by for a visit.  — KN3U

MCACS Email Reflector

All MCACS members are encouraged to subscribe to the MCACS email reflector, preferably using the email address you used to register on the MCACS website. (To confirm your email address of record, log in and click on the Basic Info link on the right side of this webpage.) Send KN3U an email to be added to the list.Many MCACS members are also members of one or more local clubs, some of which operate email reflectors for their members.  Keep that in mind when posting messages. Please do use the MCACS Reflector, but only to share to share information or questions related to the MCACS mission and activities. General announcements, equipment for sale, and the like, and not appropriate for this reflector, but may well be appropriate for one or more of the club reflectors.