Topics

Supporting Charity Events

James Carter (KN4VZE)
 

Hello! My name is James and I am a new member here.

Over the past four years, I have very much enjoyed volunteering as a motorcycle marshal for the annual Bike MS event in Georgia.  2019 was my first year as "Motorcycle Mobile" and found that this added another dimension to my experience with this event.

My ride is a 2007 Ducati Monster S2R, fitted with a Ventura rack system to carry a Comet SBB5 half-wave antenna.  I operate an Anytone D878UV+ via a BlueTooth connection to a Sena 20S EVO headset and a wireless PTT button.

I am looking to connect with other motorcycle riders & HAMs who support community & charity events.
I would also like to grow the roster of motorcycle marshals to support Bike MS and another cycling event named "Spin for Kids" here in Georgia.
And, I have some questions :-D

- Is there a Georgia Chapter for M.A.R.C.?

- What rules/guidelines/requirements should be followed in order to support a charity event as a M.A.R.C. volunteer? i.e. how best to represent the club?

- Is there an EchoLink enabled repeater for the club Net meetings?

Best Regards,

James

Mark Kanzler
 

Hello James,  This is Mark, KE6ZRP commonly know as "zippy"
I run a 2016 Harley Ultra Classic with 2 Comet SBB5 antennas, one for my Icom 7320 dual band radio with Bluetooth module and a Sena 20S.  I have to reach up to switch between Rx and TX, but it is not really a problem, unless I am stopped and holding the clutch in!! I also run a TYT MD380 on battery power and use a Sena  SR10 Bluetooth adapter with the PTT on the left handlebar.  Most of our events here in So Cal we use analog repeaters, as only a few members have taken to DMR. We have many mountains around here with lots of repeaters and do not have much of a problem finding one or two that work for us.  But we also have a growing network called PAPA for DMR and analog. 26 repeaters and growing, Check it out. Unfortunately, I can not run both radios as the same time, the Sena20S does not seem to handle both.
    We had our monthly meeting just this past Saturday and your e-mail was mentioned.  We run a net on the Wednesday before the Meeting each month, and unfortunately, I can not reach the repeater being used.  I mentioned that we should consider maybe having a net using DMR a couple of times a year sand encourage members to check out DMR as well as what they are already using. I believe we will have a DMR radio (Anytone) as a prize at our Christmas meeting this year. I do have the 878 but not the one with Bluetooth.  Would like to know how well it works for you with the Sena 20S and the wireless PTT.  And if you could provide the talk group that you use most, I can program that in to my 380 the next time I am out riding and could listen out for you. A very popular talk group is SoCal, 31066 here in LA.  I use it to contact a fellow ham in Verona Italy often  IW3HTY Michael.

So answering your questions, I hope that our president will give a response. There have been other chapters of MARC besides Los Angeles, but I do not believe any are active right now.But I believe anyone that is interested could easily start a chapter.  It is all about helping the charities and promoting Ham radio on motorcycles. Check out the MARC webpage for ideas and "how to" articles.  I will work on one for Harleys, since they require special attention because of the vibrations inherent in them.

My Echolink node is down since I can not reach the repeater.  But I believe in April is a large MS event at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, and we have use DMR for a part of that event and would love to share the talk group with you so you can hear how we do it.  We have some great people at Net Control very experienced and cool under fire and you might enjoy listening how they do it.

Post any questions to MARC that you might have.  Also you can listen and participate to the Monday night PAPA net  hosted by a MARC member Michael AF6FB at 8:00 pm local time.  HE IS GREAT!!  He really know DMR and other digital modes.

Hope this helps, and WELCOME TO MARC!!

73

Zippy


Mark Kanzler, Ham on a Hog KE6ZRP Echolink node KE6ZRP-L, 2016 Harley Davidson Electra Glide


On Monday, November 11, 2019, 09:44:33 AM MST, James Carter (KN4VZE) <tegatai@...> wrote:


Hello! My name is James and I am a new member here.

Over the past four years, I have very much enjoyed volunteering as a motorcycle marshal for the annual Bike MS event in Georgia.  2019 was my first year as "Motorcycle Mobile" and found that this added another dimension to my experience with this event.

My ride is a 2007 Ducati Monster S2R, fitted with a Ventura rack system to carry a Comet SBB5 half-wave antenna.  I operate an Anytone D878UV+ via a BlueTooth connection to a Sena 20S EVO headset and a wireless PTT button.

I am looking to connect with other motorcycle riders & HAMs who support community & charity events.
I would also like to grow the roster of motorcycle marshals to support Bike MS and another cycling event named "Spin for Kids" here in Georgia.
And, I have some questions :-D

- Is there a Georgia Chapter for M.A.R.C.?

- What rules/guidelines/requirements should be followed in order to support a charity event as a M.A.R.C. volunteer? i.e. how best to represent the club?

- Is there an EchoLink enabled repeater for the club Net meetings?

Best Regards,

James

James Carter (KN4VZE)
 

Hey Mark,

Thank you for the quick response :)

The Sena 20S EVO supports three bluetooth channels: Phone #1, Phone #2 and GPS.  Phone #1 takes priority over Phone #2, but GPS is always audible in the background.  The GPS channel is also audible when connected in bike-to-bike intercom mode.  So far I have paired the Anytone 878 with the GPS channel and my iPhone with Phone #1 channel.  I went for this setup to avoid the need for the Sena SR10 Bluetooth bridge and any wires or cables for a remote PTT button.

To transmit I press the wireless PTT button (velcro-ed to by left handle bar grip), wait one second to give the radio a chance to spin up, and talk.  I was surprised & delighted that even when paired to the GPS channel the Sena will share the microphone with the radio.  I did have to increase the BT MIC gain a little.

Caveats are that when using Phone #1 or bike-to-bike intercom I can only monitor the GPS/Radio channel as the Sena has grabbed the microphone.

It may be possible to pair two radios to the Sena 20S EVO, using Phone #1 and GPS channels.  Then you should be able to monitor both radios at the same time.  I think that using one radio with the SR10 and the Anytone directly via bluetooth would do the trick.  In this way the the SR10 will manage PTT for the first radio on Phone #1 channel and the AnyTone PTT will fire up the GPS channel.  Just don't active both PTTs at the same time.  You may tear a hole in space & time ;)

I need to upgrade the firmware on the AnyTone 878.  Occasionally, when operating over bluetooth (either in my car or using the Sena 20S) it will broadcast a strong carrier with no voice.  The most current version of firmware claims to resolve this issue.  One other issue I faced was an intermittent disconnect/re-connect of the wiresless PTT.  I've been experimenting and it seems to only happen with the battery of the AnyTone 878 is starting to taper off.  Always seems good on a freshly charged battery.  I may invest in the battery saver accessory.  And I'll keep following the release notes for the firmware, it may come up as a known issue.

When riding the motorcycle, I think I would prefer to use a Toggle-to-Talk switch than a PTT.  This would enable me to operate the clutch while transmitting.

I haven't used DMR yet, so I registered for an ID this morning and I'll configure my Anytone 878 for the SoCal talk group that you mentioned and give it a go.  I have been playing with EchoLink and IRLP.  EchoLink is easy to use from my iPhone and really handy for my local club net evenings as I am too far from the club repeater to transmit.  IRLP is very interesting.  I can hit an IRLP enabled repeater from my place of work, but not from home.  Same for DMR.  So I am looking around for digital mode hotspot devices for home.

It sounds like there is an opportunity to establish a Georgia Chapter if one does not currently exist.

Thank you very much for the information and the warm welcome  :-D  I am going to dive into setting my radio up for DMR with the goal of connecting to PAPA net.

Best Regards & 73

James

John Beckwith
 

James,

Good stuff!!!    

Out here - I believe Mark and I are the only ones using Sena BT to work our radios - at least he is the only other one I’ve been working with.   Mark has the 20S and I have the 20S EVO like you (his has a flip up antenna, ours does not.).   

You mentioned using a PTT to key your radio.   I tried the RC4 with no luck.   I’m paired with a Yaesu FTM-350 and I reach up and touch the phone button to key the mic - then, touch it again to un-key - much as you mentioned - “Toggle to Talk”.   So, curious, which remote are you using?

We’ve also found, like I believe you describe, once we pair intercom’s - we can no longer use the radio.

When you say you pair with the GPS channel - that is new information for me.   I hadn’t gone through the manual enough to pick up on that element of using the Sena.  And how does the remote PTT know to key the GPS/Radio - vs your iPhone?

I also just made another great discovery today.  My hearing is on the wane (too many years in helicopters and on motorcycles I guess) and even the Sena headset is not enough at speed.   So I was wondering if there was somehow a way to connect/adapt stereo headphones to my Sena?   Well, it turns out - the 20S EVO has a Headphone Jack.   I can plug headphones directly into my Sena.   It works great I plug a little pigtail into that jack and connect headphones to the pigtail after I put the helmet on.  This will make a big difference for me - especially if I use sound canceling headphones….:-)). Interestingly - It’s hard to find decent quality “just plain” headphones - with only 3 conductors (TRS - Tip Ring Sleeve).   Most are for phones with microphones and are 4 conductor (TRRS).   And some of those don’t play we’ll with a 3 conductor jack.   But I found a nice little pigtail on Amazon that converts from male TRS to female TRRS - problem solved.   And that little pigtail fits nicely into the Sena jack.   I’m good to go now….:-)

As for DMR - I bought an Anytone “look alike” - the B-Tech 6X2 - same hardware as the 868 (no BT) - but with slightly different software.   After playing with it for a couple of weeks, getting on the SoCal group Mark mentioned, listening to Michaels Monday net - I ended up returning it to Amazon.   Just don’t feel like I’m going to use it enough (yet?) to warrant the cost - which wasn’t bad.    I also gave the Yaesu Fusion System a try - but I’m not using that much yet either.   So still undecided about digital.  It’s coming I’m sure - but just not quite here yet for me.   But Mark and Michael rave about it and it’s certainly different - and clear.  Just not for me - I’m not much of a “rag chewer” so getting on the radio to talk for the sake of talking…. well…….:-)   


So I’m off to play with Phones 1 and 2 and GPS to see how it all works.   And maybe try a remote PTT again.

Again - welcome to MARC - look forward to hearing more about your trials and tribulations…..

John, N6JCB
Westchester, CA
jbeckwit47@...
http://www.johnbeckwith.net
https://john-beckwith.smugmug.com

On Nov 12, 2019, at 5:06 AM, James Carter (KN4VZE) <tegatai@...> wrote:

Hey Mark,

Thank you for the quick response :)

The Sena 20S EVO supports three bluetooth channels: Phone #1, Phone #2 and GPS.  Phone #1 takes priority over Phone #2, but GPS is always audible in the background.  The GPS channel is also audible when connected in bike-to-bike intercom mode.  So far I have paired the Anytone 878 with the GPS channel and my iPhone with Phone #1 channel.  I went for this setup to avoid the need for the Sena SR10 Bluetooth bridge and any wires or cables for a remote PTT button.

To transmit I press the wireless PTT button (velcro-ed to by left handle bar grip), wait one second to give the radio a chance to spin up, and talk.  I was surprised & delighted that even when paired to the GPS channel the Sena will share the microphone with the radio.  I did have to increase the BT MIC gain a little.

Caveats are that when using Phone #1 or bike-to-bike intercom I can only monitor the GPS/Radio channel as the Sena has grabbed the microphone.

It may be possible to pair two radios to the Sena 20S EVO, using Phone #1 and GPS channels.  Then you should be able to monitor both radios at the same time.  I think that using one radio with the SR10 and the Anytone directly via bluetooth would do the trick.  In this way the the SR10 will manage PTT for the first radio on Phone #1 channel and the AnyTone PTT will fire up the GPS channel.  Just don't active both PTTs at the same time.  You may tear a hole in space & time ;)

I need to upgrade the firmware on the AnyTone 878.  Occasionally, when operating over bluetooth (either in my car or using the Sena 20S) it will broadcast a strong carrier with no voice.  The most current version of firmware claims to resolve this issue.  One other issue I faced was an intermittent disconnect/re-connect of the wiresless PTT.  I've been experimenting and it seems to only happen with the battery of the AnyTone 878 is starting to taper off.  Always seems good on a freshly charged battery.  I may invest in the battery saver accessory.  And I'll keep following the release notes for the firmware, it may come up as a known issue.

When riding the motorcycle, I think I would prefer to use a Toggle-to-Talk switch than a PTT.  This would enable me to operate the clutch while transmitting.

I haven't used DMR yet, so I registered for an ID this morning and I'll configure my Anytone 878 for the SoCal talk group that you mentioned and give it a go.  I have been playing with EchoLink and IRLP.  EchoLink is easy to use from my iPhone and really handy for my local club net evenings as I am too far from the club repeater to transmit.  IRLP is very interesting.  I can hit an IRLP enabled repeater from my place of work, but not from home.  Same for DMR.  So I am looking around for digital mode hotspot devices for home.

It sounds like there is an opportunity to establish a Georgia Chapter if one does not currently exist.

Thank you very much for the information and the warm welcome  :-D  I am going to dive into setting my radio up for DMR with the goal of connecting to PAPA net.

Best Regards & 73

James

James Carter (KN4VZE)
 

Hey John :-D

To pair the radio with the 20S EVO on the GPS channel, I followed the instructions here. Click on "Bluetooth Pairing" and then click the "+" symbol next to "GPS Pairing".   The same steps also work for the 20S.

My remote PTT is paired with the radio.  Pressing it causes the radio to active the Sena's microphone via the bluetooth connection.  The Remote PTT shipped with the Anytone D878 and I see them also ship it with their mobile units like the D578.  I am not sure if it is proprietary to Anytone or if it works with other devices.  It most likely is proprietary.

Does your Yaesu FTM-350 pair directly with your Sena 20s EVO?  Or are you using the Sena SR10 Bluetooth hub?  I did a quick search but did not find anything about remote PTT support for the FTM-350.  It looks like Yaesu intended for users to operate the PTT via the remote control head when using a bluetooth headset.  So I think it is pretty cool that the Sena "talk" button actually acts as a toggle-to-talk button.

I will experiment with using the "talk" button on the Sena to open the microphone, although this may only work when paired on the Phone #1 or Phone #2 channels.

With regard to Digital modes.  As a freshly minted HAM I am keen to explore this hobby.  And as a software engineer I am fascinated by the digital modes & protocols.  I got licensed specially to support Bike MS events in Georgia, but I was blown away by all the other stuff I can do with a license.  I upgraded to a General class license within a couple of months of passing the Technician exam.  Recently I learned about Summits-on-the-Air, an informal competition involving making contacts from mountain tops.  So I am also researching portable operation.

I've figured out that I need to acquire a digital mode hotspot, as I am too far away from any digital mode repeaters...and I only have a 6w hand-held ;)  I can use EchoLink to join in my local HAM club's Net meetings.  And I am trying to figure out how I'm going to be able to use IRLP to join in the M.A.R.C. Net meetings, short of parking up on a hill with line of sight to downtown Atlanta :-D  So I like to idea of being able to participate in specific events over long distances, using only basic equipment.

I've been looking for ways to grow the pool of motorcycle volunteers to support Bike MS and at least one other cycling event here in Georgia.  I've created a mailing list and a blog to try to keep folks informed about opportunities to volunteer.  And I've had some business card printed that me & my co-volunteers can hand out to other riders we meet who express an interest.
https://subscribe.motorcycle-volunteers.org
https://blog.motorcycle-volunteers.org

Is there a M.A.R.C. chapter in Georgia already?  If not, would it be possible to create one?

In terms of HAM support, both of the events I am supporting are partnered with either a local HAM club or county ARES organization to provide repeaters & operation Net Control.  At the last Bike MS event I was the only "motorcycle mobile" and got assigned the call sign "motorcycle one".  I thought that was pretty cool :) . This year I talked a few friends into helping out with the event.  My 17 year old son joined us on his (rebuilt) KLR250 for his first event and we were able to field seven motorcycles to support five routes over two days.  My wife also signed up as a volunteer.  It was a good feeling to volunteer as a family.

I would appreciate any assistance you can offer to connect me with other folks in the South East who are interested in supporting events as motorcycle marshals.

I am in the process of fine tuning my antenna mount on the Ducati.  I noticed that you chaps had some low profile 1/2 inch pipe mounts.  Any chance I could purchase a couple of those from you?

Best Regards,

James

John Reynolds
 


Thanks for the information.  This is how we all learn.  One does the hard part then passes the good on to everyone else.




John F. Reynolds President MARC Rialto, CA

-----------------------------------------

From: "James Carter (KN4VZE)"
To: main@marchq.groups.io
Cc:
Sent: Wednesday November 13 2019 4:37:52AM
Subject: Re: [marchq] Supporting Charity Events

Hey John :-D

To pair the radio with the 20S EVO on the GPS channel, I followed the instructions here. Click on "Bluetooth Pairing" and then click the "+" symbol next to "GPS Pairing".   The same steps also work for the 20S.

My remote PTT is paired with the radio.  Pressing it causes the radio to active the Sena's microphone via the bluetooth connection.  The Remote PTT shipped with the Anytone D878 and I see them also ship it with their mobile units like the D578.  I am not sure if it is proprietary to Anytone or if it works with other devices.  It most likely is proprietary.

Does your Yaesu FTM-350 pair directly with your Sena 20s EVO?  Or are you using the Sena SR10 Bluetooth hub?  I did a quick search but did not find anything about remote PTT support for the FTM-350.  It looks like Yaesu intended for users to operate the PTT via the remote control head when using a bluetooth headset.  So I think it is pretty cool that the Sena "talk" button actually acts as a toggle-to-talk button.

I will experiment with using the "talk" button on the Sena to open the microphone, although this may only work when paired on the Phone #1 or Phone #2 channels.

With regard to Digital modes.  As a freshly minted HAM I am keen to explore this hobby.  And as a software engineer I am fascinated by the digital modes & protocols.  I got licensed specially to support Bike MS events in Georgia, but I was blown away by all the other stuff I can do with a license.  I upgraded to a General class license within a couple of months of passing the Technician exam.  Recently I learned about Summits-on-the-Air, an informal competition involving making contacts from mountain tops.  So I am also researching portable operation.

I've figured out that I need to acquire a digital mode hotspot, as I am too far away from any digital mode repeaters...and I only have a 6w hand-held ;)  I can use EchoLink to join in my local HAM club's Net meetings.  And I am trying to figure out how I'm going to be able to use IRLP to join in the M.A.R.C. Net meetings, short of parking up on a hill with line of sight to downtown Atlanta :-D  So I like to idea of being able to participate in specific events over long distances, using only basic equipment.

I've been looking for ways to grow the pool of motorcycle volunteers to support Bike MS and at least one other cycling event here in Georgia.  I've created a mailing list and a blog to try to keep folks informed about opportunities to volunteer.  And I've had some business card printed that me & my co-volunteers can hand out to other riders we meet who express an interest.
https://subscribe.motorcycle-volunteers.org
https://blog.motorcycle-volunteers.org

Is there a M.A.R.C. chapter in Georgia already?  If not, would it be possible to create one?

In terms of HAM support, both of the events I am supporting are partnered with either a local HAM club or county ARES organization to provide repeaters & operation Net Control.  At the last Bike MS event I was the only "motorcycle mobile" and got assigned the call sign "motorcycle one".  I thought that was pretty cool :) . This year I talked a few friends into helping out with the event.  My 17 year old son joined us on his (rebuilt) KLR250 for his first event and we were able to field seven motorcycles to support five routes over two days.  My wife also signed up as a volunteer.  It was a good feeling to volunteer as a family.

I would appreciate any assistance you can offer to connect me with other folks in the South East who are interested in supporting events as motorcycle marshals.

I am in the process of fine tuning my antenna mount on the Ducati.  I noticed that you chaps had some low profile 1/2 inch pipe mounts.  Any chance I could purchase a couple of those from you?

Best Regards,

James

John Beckwith
 

James,

More Good stuff.

A little about our events - We work 4-6 events a year here in the SoCal area - from a few dozen riders to over 2000, depending on the event.   For the smaller events we typically provide all the course comms as well as the SAG’s.   For the largest one - we also work with ARES type groups who generally provide some SAG’s as well as comms at the rest stops themselves.  For the larger events, our Net Control sits next to theirs.  For the smaller events, we just try to have our NC close to the organizers in case we need to work with them in some way.   Years ago we might have 15-20 motorcycles on the course.  These days we’re lucky to have half a dozen.   But we still get the job done.   We typically have someone up front with the fastest riders so we can let the organizers know when their first riders will be arriving at the finish.   We also track the tail-end charlies so we know where they are.  Beyond that, we just motor around the courses (typically 3-4 different length courses) watching for folks who need help.   Most of us carry patch kits, spare tubes and pumps for those who need only that kind of help.   Beyond that, if someone needs a lift to the next rest stop or is done for the day, we contact NC and they dispatch a SAG to pick up the rider.

As for my radio - the 350 doesn’t have any kind of remote, but it pairs directly with the Sena and that works pretty well.  I’ve also used the FTM-10 (no longer available and hard to find) but it would lose the BT connection.   The 350 is reliable.   Personally, I’m having more problems with my hearing, so the last couple of events I plugged wired headphones into the speaker out and that worked well.   Being able to plug directly into the Sena will be nice as well.

We use the word “Chapters” loosely - There was a time when we have several folks in other areas that were active - the SF Bay Area, Texas and the upper Midwest.   I haven’t seen postings from anyone other than Tim up in Wisconsin (I think?) and Jerry down in Texas.  I haven’t heard from anyone in the SF area for quite a while.  We do have paid members scattered throughout the US, but only you in the SE.   So, you’re welcome to form your own “Chapter” as you see fit.   We really don’t have any formal way to create chapters, but, if you want to call yourself a Chapter, be my guest.  It would be great if you enlisted a couple more folks and shared with the rest of us what you’re up to.

I do see probably a couple of contributing factors in our loss of members - For starters - Like all Ham organizations - age.   We’re all getting older and the hobby is just not as attractive to the younger folks - for any number of reasons.   Secondly we’re not offering a lot of reason to join.   In the past we had a lot of technical articles in the Newsletter and people sharing their rides and experiences, but we’re not getting much of that anymore.  The two are pretty much self generating - less people means less articles of interest - less articles means less interest for people to join.  So, a few of us do the best we can and the chips will fall where they may.

You mention Summits-on-the-Air - there are many, MANY contesting events in ham radio.   I’m not much for those kinds of activities, but I’m sure you can track down many more - through ARRL and other sources.   Find a couple of Ham clubs in your area and I’m sure folks will put you on to other contests.

As for the antenna mounts - our President has those so I’ll defer to him to work with you on getting you what you need.   If you don’t hear from him, give me a holler and I’ll step in.

And joining the SoCal net - one of our members was offering an Echolink connection, but apparently that is currently down.   So there’s no way to get into our analog net at the moment.   (Our president runs a brief net on the Wednesday before our monthly SoCal meeting - which is the 2nd Saturday of the month.)  As Mark indicated - maybe we’ll just try a one time digital net via DMR and see how that goes.   Even though I no longer have a DMR radio - I have a Zumspot hotspot and connect to DMR talkgroups via that and my Yaesu FT2DR.   (I’m in the middle of writing an article for the newsletter on that subject, so stay tuned.)

In the meantime - write up some articles on your experiences - becoming a ham, mounting your radio on your bike, work with your events etc.   Send those to the newsletter editor and let’s get some fresh content going.

Take care and thanks for all the good info...

John, N6JCB
Westchester, CA
jbeckwit47@...
http://www.johnbeckwith.net
https://john-beckwith.smugmug.com

On Nov 13, 2019, at 4:37 AM, James Carter (KN4VZE) <tegatai@...> wrote:

Hey John :-D

To pair the radio with the 20S EVO on the GPS channel, I followed the instructions here. Click on "Bluetooth Pairing" and then click the "+" symbol next to "GPS Pairing".   The same steps also work for the 20S.

My remote PTT is paired with the radio.  Pressing it causes the radio to active the Sena's microphone via the bluetooth connection.  The Remote PTT shipped with the Anytone D878 and I see them also ship it with their mobile units like the D578.  I am not sure if it is proprietary to Anytone or if it works with other devices.  It most likely is proprietary.

Does your Yaesu FTM-350 pair directly with your Sena 20s EVO?  Or are you using the Sena SR10 Bluetooth hub?  I did a quick search but did not find anything about remote PTT support for the FTM-350.  It looks like Yaesu intended for users to operate the PTT via the remote control head when using a bluetooth headset.  So I think it is pretty cool that the Sena "talk" button actually acts as a toggle-to-talk button.

I will experiment with using the "talk" button on the Sena to open the microphone, although this may only work when paired on the Phone #1 or Phone #2 channels.

With regard to Digital modes.  As a freshly minted HAM I am keen to explore this hobby.  And as a software engineer I am fascinated by the digital modes & protocols.  I got licensed specially to support Bike MS events in Georgia, but I was blown away by all the other stuff I can do with a license.  I upgraded to a General class license within a couple of months of passing the Technician exam.  Recently I learned about Summits-on-the-Air, an informal competition involving making contacts from mountain tops.  So I am also researching portable operation.

I've figured out that I need to acquire a digital mode hotspot, as I am too far away from any digital mode repeaters...and I only have a 6w hand-held ;)  I can use EchoLink to join in my local HAM club's Net meetings.  And I am trying to figure out how I'm going to be able to use IRLP to join in the M.A.R.C. Net meetings, short of parking up on a hill with line of sight to downtown Atlanta :-D  So I like to idea of being able to participate in specific events over long distances, using only basic equipment.

I've been looking for ways to grow the pool of motorcycle volunteers to support Bike MS and at least one other cycling event here in Georgia.  I've created a mailing list and a blog to try to keep folks informed about opportunities to volunteer.  And I've had some business card printed that me & my co-volunteers can hand out to other riders we meet who express an interest.
https://subscribe.motorcycle-volunteers.org
https://blog.motorcycle-volunteers.org

Is there a M.A.R.C. chapter in Georgia already?  If not, would it be possible to create one?

In terms of HAM support, both of the events I am supporting are partnered with either a local HAM club or county ARES organization to provide repeaters & operation Net Control.  At the last Bike MS event I was the only "motorcycle mobile" and got assigned the call sign "motorcycle one".  I thought that was pretty cool :) . This year I talked a few friends into helping out with the event.  My 17 year old son joined us on his (rebuilt) KLR250 for his first event and we were able to field seven motorcycles to support five routes over two days.  My wife also signed up as a volunteer.  It was a good feeling to volunteer as a family.

I would appreciate any assistance you can offer to connect me with other folks in the South East who are interested in supporting events as motorcycle marshals.

I am in the process of fine tuning my antenna mount on the Ducati.  I noticed that you chaps had some low profile 1/2 inch pipe mounts.  Any chance I could purchase a couple of those from you?

Best Regards,

James


James Carter (KN4VZE)
 

Thank you John.

Your description of running an event aligns very closely with my own experiences with Bike MS over the past four years.

Thank you for sending the layout for the club business cards.  I think I'll combine them with my own and have https://subscribe.motorcycle-volunteers.org on one side and M.A.R.C. on the other.  Kill two birds with one stone.

I'll pursue setting a MMDVM hotspot at home and see if I can get connected with Mark via DMR for a test.  In the meantime, if the status of the EchoLink node changes, please let me know.

I can produce some content for you.  I need to anyway for https://blog.motorcycle-volunteers.org

I've heard a lot of folks talk about the average age of amateur radio operators is steadily increasing.  For me, volunteering as a motorcycle marshal was the gateway to getting licensed.  And I have heard of some local schools running HAM for S.T.E.M. classes & clubs.  My son didn't pass his technicians exam and I hope he'll have another go, now that he has experienced riding as a marshal.  And his best friend also took his technicians exam with us and passed.  So I hope he will continue with it.  There is hope.

Best Regards,

James

James Carter (KN4VZE)
 

Hey John/JCB,

Do you have a list of firm/provisional dates for events that M.A.R.C. will support in SoCal for 2020?

Best Regards,

James

John Beckwith
 

James,

Thank for the reminder - I’ll gather all the dates I can and get them posted on the website.  I’ve got some, but let me pull them all together.

Thanks again,

John
jbeckwit47@...
https://john-beckwith.smugmug.com


On Dec 1, 2019, at 3:54 PM, James Carter (KN4VZE) <tegatai@...> wrote:

Hey John/JCB,

Do you have a list of firm/provisional dates for events that M.A.R.C. will support in SoCal for 2020?

Best Regards,

James

John Beckwith
 

To follow up - Here’s what I have right now - and I posted them on the calendar on the MARC website:

ADA LA ride - October 18, 2020

MS150 lrvine, CA to Carlsbad on Day One and on to San Diego on Day Two - October 24th and 25th, 2020.

MS Los Angles ride - Now a 2 day ride starting from the Santa Monica, Ca airport on Saturday going up the coast to Ventura.   Return to the Santa Monica airport on Sunday. May 16th and 17th, 2020

Hope this helps,

John, N6JCB
Westchester, CA
jbeckwit47@...
http://www.johnbeckwith.net
https://john-beckwith.smugmug.com

On Dec 1, 2019, at 3:54 PM, James Carter (KN4VZE) <tegatai@...> wrote:

Hey John/JCB,

Do you have a list of firm/provisional dates for events that M.A.R.C. will support in SoCal for 2020?

Best Regards,

James

James Carter (KN4VZE)
 

Thanks John/JCB :-D
 
I've added these to the list of events to the motorcycle volunteers mailing list (https://subscribe.motorcycle-volunteers.org) and I've provided a link back to the M.A.R.C. event calendar.

Cheers!

James