• 24 Apr 2013 10:57 | Bill Laakkonen (Administrator)
    For many years we have supported the March of Dimes "March for Babies" and are invited again this year to provide support for the event. Due to delays of personnel changes at the March of Dimes, we just received the invitation this morning- short notice- but we would like to help. Members may register to help here.

    Renewed interest in our participation comes in the wake of the events at the Boston Marathon- and the role of support played by Amateur Radio. We hope to *never* be needed in an urgent way, but cell phones are generally not in operation immediately after a major event.

    If you would like to know more about what happened in Boston and learn how ham radio affected this- have a look at Gary Pearce's interviews with hams who were there- and if you enjoy the videos- please consider supporting Gary's effort to bring HamRadioNow to the world by making a donation.

    Also see W3ATB's blog post here

    Part 1

    Part 2

  • 26 Mar 2013 22:23 | Bill Laakkonen (Administrator)
    Hey There- Here is a link to the hamfest photo album on Facebook (you don't need a FB account to view them) 

    Also you should find a slide show from Picasaweb below.

  • 26 Mar 2013 10:15 | Bill Laakkonen (Administrator)
    We had a blast at the hamfest this year and hope you did too. If you were there or not, we thought you might enjoy this overview walkabout, some friends remembered, Kits for Kids (of all ages), and an angel or two...

    Please Like and Share- look for the "Thumbs up" and "Share" icons in the top right corner of the video player- got comments? Click on the "comments" link below. Thanks to all who participated!

  • 16 Mar 2013 21:28 | Bill Laakkonen (Administrator)
    We are pleased to announce the major prize winners for the 2013 Stuart FREE hamfest. The grand prize ticket was drawn by Carl Hererra of Thanks to all who came out to the hamfest- we still have Gigabytes of photos and video to sort through- and should post some video and photos of the event soon. Right now we all need REST. :-) 
    K1JCL John Leonard- he's seems to be wondering if he really won!
    Our Grand Prize Winner seems to be a little shocked that he won this great radio! Congratulations John! John was kind enough to include his phone number on his tickets- he came back to the Fairgrounds to pick up his prize. We won't tell you what he said on the phone when we called... but we suspect he thought we were fooling him. Enjoy that new radio John.

    • Grand prize: John Leonard, N1JCL, of Hobe Sound, Florida
    • Second prize: Bill Carrigan, K3DC, of Palm Bay, Florida
    • Third prize: Lu Vencl, KA4EPS, of Deerfield Beach, Florida

    Our thanks to all of you who support our hamfest to make this free event possible! We hope to see you all again next year.

    Martin County Amateur Radio Assocation
  • 14 Mar 2013 10:16 | Bill Laakkonen (Administrator)

    This year at the Stuart Hamfest we have some simple Electronics Kits for Kids of all ages to put together to have a souvenir of the hamfest. The kits are a donation from Nightfire Kits. A three dollar donation to the club is appreciated. Ben, KK4FNW has volunteered to help with the assembly. 

    Here is the assembly manual in PDF.

    Below is the assembly video:

  • 13 Mar 2013 15:11 | Bill Laakkonen (Administrator)
    Want to know about the Hamfest? Ask Grumpy!

    Grumpy Ham says "In My day hamfests were..."

    Grumpy Ham Stuart Hamfest On Vimeo

    Grumpy on Stuart Hamfest's FaceBook Page- Like and Share please forward this to your friends.

    Grumpy on (or watch below)

    And don't forget to SHARE and post your comments answering... "In my day, hamfests were..."

    Check out the video below:

    Grumpy Ham tells it like it is! Stuart Hamfest from MCARA on Vimeo.

  • 09 Mar 2013 16:55 | Bill Laakkonen (Administrator)

    Here is the Video promoting the Stuart Hamfest. More details on the hamfest at - March 16th starts at 8AM- Tailgaters get in a 7AM. Did I mention it's FREE?

    Here is the Video promoting the Stuart Hamfest. More details on the hamfest at - March 16th starts at 8AM- Tailgaters get in a 7AM. Did I mention it's FREE?
    I have the video URL embedded here as it seems that YouTube links in our email system are getting clobbered. We apologize for any email you may have received without a link.
  • 05 Mar 2013 09:24 | Bill Laakkonen (Administrator)

    Note: Martin County has a FREE SKYWARN training class in Indiantown, May 04 2013. You may register online for the free class now.

    To predict severe weather, forecasters rely on radar, satellites and computer models. But they also receive help from people gazing out their windows.

    Maurice Dake has frequently called the National Weather Service to report strong storms, hail and flooding. Once he relayed a report of a tornado blowing a truck off Interstate 95 in northern Palm Beach County.

    "That's a problem in Florida," said Dake, of Lake Worth, a retired electrical engineer. "Tornadoes can occur so quickly and move so quickly that you only have a short period of time to report them."

    Dake is one of about 3,000 weather spotters in South Florida, trained to be on the lookout for tornadoes, strong storms and other severe weather. Read story
  • 01 Mar 2013 12:12 | Bill Laakkonen (Administrator)
    This is some amazing video of a solar event from last July. If you were visiting our table at the Hamcation, the fellows at the table to our right were passing out a card with a time lapse image of this and it has a spot of the earth drawn to scale. I can see smudges where several people tried to remove the little dot of earth. This is a "medium" sized flair. 

  • 23 Feb 2013 12:53 | Bill Laakkonen (Administrator)

    Want to join SKYWARN? Here is your chance to get training for free- you do not need to have a ham radio license to join or help- but it helps.

    SKYWARN Class 2011

    SKYWARN members, please check your SKYWARN spotter card- are you due for a renewal of your skills? Are you registered in the correct county? Just want to brush up on your skills?

    Here is the FREE Class Registration URL registration is free to all (members or not), allows us to have proper staffing, and also provides reminders so you remember to join us. See you there!

    Weather Watching and MARTIN COUNTY SKYWARN

    Free Class

    Saturday May 4th

    9:45 am-12:00 noon

    Family Worship Center, 15285 S.W. Indianmound Drive
    Indiantown, FL, 34956 off State Route 710/Beeline Hwy/Warfield Blvd, north on SW Citrus Blvd, left on SW Indianmound Dr., ½ mile on right.

    The class is open to the public

    Please register for the free class using the "Register" button here . Questions? Contact Ron Tagg,, 772-631-5846 (Church Office, 772-597-2423)

    This SKYWARN Spotter Training class, taught by a National Weather Service meteorologist, will give you all the info needed to become a registered spotter for the NWS Center-Melbourne.

    NWS Website:

    See also, Martin County SKYWARN

    Family Worship Center Location Map URL: or

    Why SKYWARN is needed

    The National Weather Service uses sophisticated radar and other equipment to provide emergency information to those in the path of severe weather.

    But sometimes, nothing beats the information that comes from someone in the middle of it.

    Often the NWS centers need trained observers to be their eyes and ears in the field

    Typical reports include 

    • Tornadoes, waterspouts, funnel clouds 
    • Winds that blow down trees, power lines and/or damage buildings 
    • Dime-size hail or larger 
    • Flooding of homes, buildings or major roadways, including direction and distance from a town
    • Time event occurred
    • SKYWARN spotters give their spotter number to provide authenticity. 

    Why spotters? 

    Radar equipment has limitations:
    • Curvature of the earth means the radar beam is high above the earth’s surface- at 100 miles details below two thousand feet are limited. 
    • The beam is cone shaped widening as it travels which means it offers less detail at the limits of around 100 miles. 

    Quick facts 

    • Lightning is the top cause of weather related deaths in Florida with 10 fatalities and 40 injuries on average per year, the highest in the U.S. 
    • Lightning and rainfall are not included in severe thunderstorm criteria, which are winds of 58 mph or greater and/or hail 3/4 inch or larger. 
    • The 10,000 square-mile area that includes Florida has the most tornadoes per year in the nation at a rate of 8.4, most are small but they can still cause damage. 
    • Flooding becomes dangerous due to stranded or flooded autos.

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