13th Annual Santa Watch Net

This year MAARS is trying something new on Christmas Eve. We are going to participate in the Santa Watch Net from 5pm to 8pm. The Happy Hour net will move to 4pm to make room for this.

Well BOYS and GIRLS of ALL ages, for the 13th year in a row, the DoDropIn Radio Network is pleased to host the Santa Watch Net. As in years past, David N3NTV in Mobridge will be tracking Santa’s flight around the world. And Santa call sign ” N1S ” aka Number One Santa will have his radio with him. Santa LOVES talking to children, so third party traffic is always welcome during the Santa Watch Net. THe Santa Watch Net will begin at 1800 hours ET and run for about 3 hours. We want to thank Darryl for the use of his RF link for Santa to connect to the DoDropIn. Have the little ones around so they can chat with Santa on his flight. So once again, Christmas eve starting at 1800 hours ET on the DoDropIn Radio Network.

MERRY CHRISTMAS from everyone at the DoDropIn Radio Network!

MAARS August 23 Update

I hope everyone is having an enjoyable summer.  I know this is turning out to be a busy summer for me.  Most of it has to do with the our repeater system.  On May 30th UWM notified us that they hired Higgins Tower Service to remove the Tower at Sandburg hall.  We had to coordinate with Higgins to remove our antenna from the tower and lower it to the roof. On July 5th we switched to our temporary antenna located on the roof at 260 feet so our antenna on the tower could be removed. The N9LKH UHF repeater on 443.550MHz has limited coverage because it’s antenna was moved to a temporary location on the roof.  

The tower was scheduled to be removed on July 29th by helicopter. Higgins used most of the month to prepare the tower to be dismantled. They removed all excess antennas and feedlines first. Then they replaced the leg bolts between tower sections to make sure they would come apart quickly while the helicopter was waiting to lift up a tower section. When the day came to dismantle the tower it went very efficiently and was done within 3 hours. I am working on some pictures and a video to for a future meeting program. 

Our plan is to stay at UWM and transmit from the roof of Sandburg hall. The first project is to replace the temporary antenna with the one removed from the tower. In the future we hope to move the transmitter to another higher location while we keep UWM as the main site for the repeater. The move to another tower has some significant installation costs and we need to raise some funds to be able to pay for the project. As you travel around please take note of the repeater coverage and let us know if it is the same or worse. 

I was talking with Randy KB9JMH on the way to work one June morning. I noticed he was really noisy into the repeater. After some investigation it was determined that our South remote receive site wasn’t working. I took a trip to the site to and found our link antenna was snapped off the tower and laying on the ground. All we can figure is it was snapped off by a tower crew doing work on the tower. We are coordinating to have the antenna replaced sometime in August. The good news is the radio equipment is fine.

On August 12th we will again hold our annual picnic at Greenfield Park Area 2. This year we will again do this as a joint picnic with our friends at MRAC. The clubs provide burger, brats, and  water. We also provide the plates and condiments. The picnic starts at noon and we ask you bring a food item to share. We will again have the HT toss contest. This have been a very popular event. MRAC is planning on doing a foxhunt in the park as another activity. If you plan on attending the picnic please email picnic@513repeater.org

July 1st starts the new membership year for the club. Your dues help us fund the operation and maintenance of the repeater system. We know that we will have some future costs coming up with a move to another tower location for transmitting.  You can visit the club website and renew by PayPal or print out a form and  mail it to the P.O. Box. http://www.513repeater.org/about/membership-applications/

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