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BRATS Help Keep MS150 Safe and Smooth!

The BRATS stepped up this year in the face of declining volunteerism overall, helping deliver over 400 pounds of ice and 20 gallons of water to rest stops, manning rest stops when necessary, assisting with 8 tire changes, and SAGging 12 cyclists. The BRATS team drove over 2,500 miles, and had a blast doing it.

We also invested heavily in APRS trackers, and changed settings to guarantee more frequent position updates. We were able to track one bike mobile, the supply trucks, and three additional non-ham SAG vehicles, in addition to all of our vehicles, providing a much more complete route picture.

In response to complaints from the local club (seriously, what amateur radio club asks how much you're being paid to volunteer?) the BRATS brought along our own repeater. With some unanticipated filter issues we ended up running simplex, but 100w simplex through a 17' 9 dB antenna provided great coverage for the entire event. As bad as the Yaesu Fusion DR1X repeaters are, they do include good filtering, and we'll be making some upgrades to our portable repeater equipment in the offseason.

The BRATS trailer tower and antenna setup for the MS150 Chesapeake Challenge

The BRATS trailer tower and antenna setup for the MS150 Chesapeake Challenge

A very special thanks to K0RYX, N3GXH, and K2GZL for all their help in cleaning up our tower trailer and prepping it for the journey, and for helping put together our equipment package. And thank you to our awesome team that shows up year after year assisting this and our other events, including Bob WA3SWA, Jim KB3SKN, Floyd K5KNK, Cameron KW0TTR, and Brent K2AGR.

No thank you would be complete without recognizing Jason KC3FET for all of his time and efforts spent with the Society before and during the event to make sure it was a success.

Thank you all and we'll see you in the fall for the MS Challenge Walk!

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WB3DZO Field Day Information

2017 Amateur Radio Field Day will be held from 2pm Saturday, June 24 through 2pm Sunday, June 25 at a private residence not far from Randallstown, Md.  This is our third annual Field Day event.   As usual, we will be operating and logging contacts as WB3DZO.
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BRATS Tower Trailer Restored!

A few BRATS volunteers took it upon themselves to restore our 50+ year old 50' tower trailer to it's original condition! See the incredible before and after photos below!

The BRATS acquired the tower trailer sometime in the 1980's from Baltimore City Civil Defense. The tower trailer has been used by the BRATS for over 30 years to provide support during public service events and Amateur Radio Field Day.

Over the past few years, the BRATS have identified a growing number of concerns with utilizing repeaters operated by other clubs during public service events outside of the Baltimore area. This prompted the need for the BRATS to build a 175W portable repeater which will utilize the tower trailer to provide paramount coverage and reliability during public service events.


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Special thanks to Shane K2GZL, Oryx K0RYX, and Lizard N3GXH for the hard work and dedication it took to restore the tower trailer! Here's to another 50 years!

If you're interested in volunteering with the BRATS, please let us know by visiting our Public Service page!

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It is with great sadness that we pass along the silent key notice for long-time BRATS member Charlie Schnepf WB3LKB. Charlie retired from WMPT, and was a go-to guy for many years for his expertise in audio, video, and ATV. Charlie also created the Clipper database used to track BRATS membership for many years.

Viewing will be Sunday at the Schimunek Funeral Home at 9705 Belair Rd, Nottingham, MD from 3PM to 5 PM and 7PM to 9PM.

The funeral is at Epiphany Lutheran Church, 4301 Raspe Ave. Baltimore, Md 21206 on Monday June 12th at 11AM.


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WB3DZO Portable Repeater test success!

N3GXH, K0RYX, and KB3PLX traveled to Easton, MD on a rainy Saturday for a quick proof of concept/trial run of the portable repeater for the upcoming MS150. Using a smaller 30' pole tower, the group was able to show only marginal gaps in coverage over most of the course.


Oryx K0RYX checks the wattmeter as we fire up the amplifier

Portable site for repeater test

Portable site for repeater test

Using the 30' tower, coverage matched very close to the software predictions. When we upgrade to the 50' trailer tower, we expect no issues for the event. For Saturday, the course covers Black Walnut Point, on the southern tip of Tilghman Island, to Cordova Park, and 100 miles of road in between.

Repeater coverage

To volunteer, please click here or on the Public Service tab above!

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MS Walk Saturday, May 6, Padonia Park Club

The MS 5k walk will be this Saturday, May 6, at the Padonia Park Club. For more info please click on on our public service form.

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Tour de Cure volunteers needed

AERO is looking for volunteers for the Tour de Cure on Saturday, May 6. Please click here for more info!

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BRATS 2017 Public Service updates

2017 Events
April 8 - Hunt Valley - MS 5k Walk
May 13 - BRATS Balloon launch
June 17-18 - MS 150 Chesapeake Challenge, Easton, MD
June 24 - Susan G. Komen Promise Ride, Annapolis, MD
October 20-21 - Jamboree on the Air, Baltimore Harbor
October 27-29 - MS Challenge Walk, Cambridge, MD

Please contact to volunteer!

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Amateur Radio Licensing Course

The Montgomery Amateur Radio Club is offering a free amateur radio Technician license class at the Rockville Memorial Library for six Sundays on March 26, April 2, April 9, April 23, April 30, May 7, 2017 from 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM. More information about this class is at
We will be meeting at the
Studio i Makerspace
Rockville Memorial Library, second floor
21 Maryland Ave
Rockville, MD 20850
Maps & Directions
This is a great opportunity for you to get your amateur radio license. To learn more about amateur radio, also known as ham radio, go to

or watch the Discovering Amateur Radio video

You can register for this free class by sending an email to .

Thank you,
David Bern, W2LNX
MARC Education committee

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