1985
CQ—CQ—CQ from LDS Radio Group
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“CQ—CQ—CQ from LDS Radio Group,” Ensign, Feb. 1985, 78–79

CQ—CQ—CQ from LDS Radio Group

The Mercury Amateur Radio Association (MARA) is looking for LDS amateur radio operators to prepare for emergency service to fellow Saints and neighbors.

MARA President Allan Packer of Salt Lake City (call letters WA7BKD) said that during natural disasters or other emergencies in their areas, MARA ham radio operators make themselves available to help local priesthood leaders keep contact with other Saints and with Church leaders in Salt Lake City or in other regions of the Church. They may also help meet communication needs of state and local governments or private individuals.

During a hurricane in Hawaii a few years ago, for example, MARA operators on the mainland kept contact with the islands longer than any other amateur shortwave radio net. Following an Idaho earthquake in late 1983, MARA members again served as emergency communicators for priesthood leaders. Then the state’s Emergency Management Office asked if it could join the MARA net because its own communication system was not providing the coverage needed.

Net

Hour

Time Zone

Day

Freq.

Mode

Manager

International

0415Z

UTC**

Fri

14.287

SSB

K7BFI

George

International

0600Z

UTC

Sat

14.287

SSB

K7BFI

George

Pacific

0800Z

UTC

Mon

7.294

SSB

N3CMD

Julian

Pacific Intermountain

0800

PT*

Sat

7.228

SSB

W6SLR

Paul

Northwest

2100

PT*

Mon

3.915

SSB

N7BCY

Mel

Northern California

2130

PT*

Tue

3.985

SSB

KB6LI

Warren

Southwest

2000

MT*

Thu

7.228

SSB

KC7OZ

Mary

Northern Plains

2100

MT*

Tue

3.967

SSB

KCORR

John

Midwest

1200

UTC

Sat

3.955

SSB

WB9ARB

Kent

Northeast

2145

ET*

Mon

3.913

SSB

N3CMK

Roy

Arizona Nevada

0700

MST

Sat

7.228

SSB

W7SBZ

George

Western RTTY

2030

MT*

Wed

3.625

RTTY

VE6JG

Bide

In times of emergency, radio amateurs have some advantages over commercial communication networks because they have so many broadcast bands and frequencies available, explained MARA vice-president George Oates (K7BFI). The amateurs also are valuable for their resourcefulness—“the ability to make something work when nothing else does,” Brother Allan Packer added.

He explained that the organization has about two hundred members in the continental United States and Canada and in locales throughout the world, including Hawaii, Guam, Tahiti, Western Samoa, Central and South America, South Africa, England, Finland, and Japan. MARA has mailed materials to several hundred Church members who are amateur radio operators, but the organization believes there are other LDS amateurs of whom they are unaware. MARA would like to contact them.

Members get a quarterly bulletin. Past issues have included a series of articles on emergency operations and equipment.

MARA not only provides an opportunity for amateurs with a common bond to train for emergencies, it also serves as “a clearinghouse for information” about setting up local emergency communication systems, Brother Packer said. That way, what has been learned in one area can be applied in another.

To give members a chance to meet, exchange information, and learn from each other, MARA has scheduled its first world convention June 20 to 22 this year at a recreational site near Crater Lake in Oregon, Brother Oates said. Those interested can contact Mercury Northwest net manager Mel Martin (N7BCY), West 242 Loertscher Road, Shelton, Washington 98584, USA, (206) 426–9461.

LDS amateurs interested in the Mercury Amateur Radio Association should contact Preben Nielsen (K7KMZ), secretary, 4902 Wallace Avenue, Salt Lake City, Utah 84117, USA. Or they may tune in to the weekly Mercury radio nets on the 20-, 40-, and 80-meter amateur bands. (See p. 78 for a listing of frequencies, times, and net managers.)