Category Archives: Event

BRARA / N4BRF Winter Field Points and Rules


  • All Amateur bands, HF, VHF, & UHF except 12, 17, 30 and 60 meters


  • CW, SSB, AM, FM, DStar, C4FM, DMR, Packet, PSK, SSTV, RTTY, Olivia, Satellite


  • 1810-1820
  • 3.530-3.550
  • 7.030-7.050
  • 14.035-14.055
  • 21.030-21.050
  • 28.030-28.040


  • Lowest 30 kHz of the US General Class Phone bands (160m- 15m)
  • 28.400-28.425MHz (10m)
  • 6m/VHF/UHF – not on nationally recognized simplex calling channels

Entry categories

  • HOME by nature of permanently installed antenna system or station components

Entry Class

  • 3


  • N4BRF 3H SFL (Call sign, Class + Category, Section)

QSO Points

  • 1 point per Phone QSO
  • 2 points per CW & Digital QSO

Mode and Band Multipliers

  • Count 1 multiplier for each mode operated per band

Power Output Multipliers

  • 2x: 100W or less

Bonus points

  • No Commercial power: 1500 bonus points
  • Remote: 1500 bonus points
  • Satellite: 1500 bonus points

Claimed Score Tabulation

  • (QSO Points x Power Output Multiplier x Band/mode multiplier) + Bonus Points

Log submission deadline and contents

  • Email before 0000 UTC March 1st

2020 Winter Field Day

Save the date 25 and 26 January 2020. 

You may signup early for a day, time and station to work by sending John.C N1QFH an email to:

Please specify:

  • Your callsign
  • Desired station to work 
  • Desired day and time slots 

Day and Time Slots

  • Any 1 hour block(s) from 2pm Saturday to 2pm Sunday
  • You may work as many hours as you can handle

Stations you may work

In HF Room

  • Station-1 ICOM-7600
  • Station-2 ICOM-7600


  • Station-3 Yaesu FT-1000MP (c/o Mike.S W2RT)

Below are some helpful links


Are you able to bring a food item for 2020 Winter Field Day?

Please email John.C N1QFH with the food item you can bring and THANK YOU!

2020 Orlando HamCation: Carpool travel plans

MEETING LOCATION (arrive by 5.45AM, depart 6am)

West Delray Regional Park
10875 W Atlantic Ave Delray Beach, FL 33446

Park in the lot by the shack. The annual Everglades Day will use most of the park for visitors to the Locachahee Reserve 4 miles north of The Shack.


Van Seating Plan

Though this will accommodate 14 people, we prefer to limit travelers to 10 to 12 people


PASSENGER LIST (Confirmed and Standby)

As of 2020-02-02

Email John.C N1QFH on VAN and SEAT you want




If you

  • Encounter an ISSUE with the above RESERVATION LINK
  • Do not get this RESERVATION REPLY in 2 days

Contact John.C N1QFH at

In all cases you will receive an email REPLY to your reservation.



  • Orlando Metro – DMR Brandmeister
  • 70CM DMR 443.1625(+) CC-11 TS-1 TG-311037 (DEFAULT 70CM FREQ) 
  • Orlando Analog
  • 2M 146.730(-) PL-103.5


  • 2M ANALOG 146.550 (DEFAULT 2M FREQ) 
  • 70CM DMR 441.000 TS-1 TG-99


With this large number of people traveling in 2 vans to Orlando, please try to pair up with someone to help ensure continuity in our group and let us know if you plan on attending any speaking lecture sessions that may last over an hour or two.

Everyone will be given the Passenger Contact sheet at departure time and we’ll do a radio check in the parking lot of all radios.

Once we have arrived at Orlando, at the top of each hour we’ll all check into the 2m simplex frequency 146.55. When we begin to feel we’re all ready to stage for departure, we’ll be making announcements on 146.55 of our status report and plans. This usually occurs between 2 and 3pm with departure hopefully no later than 4pm.

If anyone needs guidance or has a suggestion or question, please use 146.55.

For those with DMR radios we have access to the Orlando DMR Brandmeister repeater and we’ll be using the frequency defined above with TS-1 and TG-311037 which is the BRARA Net TG.

Please note as the day progresses, you may hear people being advised to QSY to various frequencies and TG’s. The fall back frequency will remain simplex 146.55.

If you do not hear anyone on frequency or need assistance, please text John.C N1QFH at 207.239.0268 or someone on your Passenger Contact sheet and let them know your status.

John.C N1QFH will be taking his PI-STAR and WiFi on the trip for those who have the codeplug to connect to The Shack pi-star on freq 434.300 CC-1 TG-311037 and the channel name is “HS-BRARA“. CLICK HERE to download N1QFH recent CodePlug.


Suggestion from John.H KE4IDW:

Bring snacks, meds, h2o. What ever you would bring for a day hike.

On the way up and back we stop at Fort Drum on the FL turnpike for BATHROOM BREAK ONLY

Food purchases are always a challenge given large crowds at this stop and this caused us a long wait time last year.


You can bring a food item for the ride or on your way to meet the VAN stop at WAWA’s just as you approach The Shack, they are open 24-7

Once we’re at HamCation, we have done a combination of LUNCH gatherings.

Please keep in mind at lunch time picnic tables are very difficult to obtain so it may be better for lunch folks to be in smaller groups.

Also it helps to have a person find a spare table and SAVE IT for the number of folks for that group

For these groups, a “POINT PERSON” needs to be named to announce on 146.55 simplex when and where at HamCation they want to meet for lunch.

Each group will need a TACTICAL CALLSIGN like “HOGS” or “HAMS” or “OLD FARTS” or ‘DINGBATS”, you get the idea.

And you have to remember what group you belong, no one will do that for you. For those with CRS like me, SOL.

Before we depart for our return to Delray, please take your bathroom breaks and purchase food items for the ride back.


On the trip up to HamCation, we’ll all be on 146.55 and will coordinate the final plans on LUNCH and GROUP NAMES to make the 3 hour ride pass a bit faster.


For confirmed PASSENGERs, payment for this trip must be completed

  • No later than Tuesday 28-January-2020 @ GCARA Monthly meeting

STANDBY passengers: if a reservation opens, we will connect with you on status and payment.

When paying you must include your NAME and CALLSIGN

There are two way to pay for this trip and we do not accept cash.

  • Personal Check ($30.00)
  • PayPal ($33.00)

PAY BY PERSONAL CHECK: Mail a check for $30.00 to

PO Box 480162
Delray Beach, FL 33448-0162

On the check please add “2020 HAMCATION with YOUR CALLSIGN”


You may use PayPal to pay for this trip.

These are the details we need:

  • Send Money to:
  • Amount: $33.00 (includes PayPal service fee)
  • Nature of the payment: “2020 HAMCATION with YOUR CALLSIGN”


See example after the PayPal payment is processed



  • Purchase your Hamcation Tickets ahead of time.
  • Check that your handheld radio works and battery charged 


Car pooling details follow:

  • Travel Date: Saturday 8-February 2020, up and back in 1 day
  • Depart Location: BRARA Shack PBC West Delray Park
  • Arrival at Shack:  5.45am
  • Depart Time: 6.00am SHARP
  • Vehicle:  ONE or TWO 14-person Chevy or Ford vans
  • Max travelers:  12 people per van
  • Payment: expected before departure, details to follow
  • Approx fee: $25 to $35 per person depending on number of travelers
  • Sign Up: first come, first server while available seats last (HAS BEGUN)
  • What to bring: your handheld radio, water, rain gear, power bars
  • While in transit:  perform radio checks and share cell phones
  • Break: FL Turnpike mile mark 185 Fort Drum service station
  • Arrival at Orlando:  approx 9.30am
  • Staying in touch: by RF and cell phone
  • Planned return: Meet at vehicle approx 2-3pm based on QSL on frequency
  • Pickup Location: at ticket booth so you need not walk to vehicles
  • Return trip departure: approx 2-3pm
  • Break: FL Turnpike mile mark 185 Fort Drum service station
  • Arrive at shack: approx 6-630pm

Cost Calculations

The cost per person estimates based on fuel, tolls, van rental, and passengers.

AS OF 16-DEC-2019

2019 Winterfest Boat Parade

The Winterfest Boat Parade will be held on Saturday, December 14, 2019 and we are looking for volunteers to staff the positions up and down the 12 mile Parade route.

This email is only going out to those who worked last year to give you the first opportunity to work the position you had last year.  If you volunteered this past year and would like your same assignment, please let me know as soon as possible.  If you are unable to volunteer this year, please let me know so that I can open up that spot.  Another email will go out toward the end of this week to fill the remainder of the positions.

I will need the following information:

  • Your full name and call sign
  • Snail mail address (for Winterfest invitations)
  • Cell phone number
  • Position you worked last year OR position you would like to work, pending availability

When I receive your email, I will reply and acknowledge that I received it.  If I do not reply, please send it again as your email may have been “eaten” in Cyberspace.

Your assistance is so appreciated – we can’t do this without you!  THANK YOU in advance!

Parade dates to mark in your calendar:

Monday, December 9, 2019 – Install antennas at the Riverside Hotel (9:30 am to approximately 1:00 pm)  If you can help, let me know.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 – Training meeting with this year’s updates and Dinner for those working the parade (5:00 pm until approximately 8:30 pm)  All are required to attend.  (If you are unable to make it, let me know in advance)

Saturday, December 14, 2019 – Parade Day!  Parade starts at 6:30 pm.  Arrival time depends on your assignment.

Looking forward to another great Winterfest Boat Parade!  THANK YOU once again!


 Carol Sjursen, KJ4AWB
Winterfest Boat Parade Communications Chair
Broward County ARES Assistant Emergency Coordinator
Broward County RACES Officer
954-803-6338 (Mobile)
888-491-7613 (eFax)

Thank you for volunteering for the .  Your assistance is greatly appreciated!

Some of you have asked about ARES vests which help identify you as a ham operator on the bridges as well as other locations up and down the 12 mile parade route.  If you wish to order a vest (not mandatory, but suggested), you can order them directly from Mike Spivak at Mike’s Electronics.  Most of us have ordered the second selection below with the pockets.  Mike’s address and phone number are at the end of this email.

We are still in need of ham operators for the parade.  If you know of anyone who may be able to help out, please have them get in touch with me so that I can give them an assignment.

I will send additional emails as time gets closer.

Remember the following dates:

Monday, December 9th antenna installation at the hotel – contact me if you are able to help (9:30 am to noon or 1:00 pm) – thank you to those who are already helping out that morning

Wednesday, December 11th – mandatory training dinner – pick up of your credentials – details to follow

Saturday, December 14th – Winterfest Boat Parade

Thanks again for all of your support!


Carol Sjursen, KJ4AWB
Broward County ARES Assistant Emergency Coordinator
Broward County RACES Officer
954-803-6338 (Mobile)
888-491-7613 (eFax)

If the vests were to be ordered by individuals from ARRL the shipping cost would be around $12.00 each. There are two types of vests. They are available in five sizes MEDIUM, LARGE, X-LARGE, 2X-LARGE and 3X-LARGE

ARES Deployment Vest (Mesh) $16.00 ea. + $1.12 FL sales tax TOTAL $17.12??

Mesh vest with large front and back reflector panels. Imprinted with “AMATEUR RADIO EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS” on one side and the ARES logo on the other.

ARES Deployment Vest with Pockets (Solid) $25.00 ea. + $1.75 FL sales tax TOTAL $26.75

Neon vest with front pockets and front and back reflector panels. “AMATEUR RADIO EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS” on one side and the ARES logo on the other.

All orders must be paid in advance.

Best regards,


1069 NW 53 STREET
P 954-491-7110
F 954-491-7011

2019 Holiday Party Directions to Greenbriar Clubhouse

The BRARA Holiday Party will be held at the Greenbriar Clubhouse.

The address of the clubhouse is 10525 180th Place S. Boca Raton FL


Directions If Your Starting Point is North or at Clint Moore Road:
(ie Clint Moore Road, Atlantic Ave (Delray), Boynton Beach Blvd, etc)
– Take US 441 (State Road 7) south.
– Pass the traffic light at Clint Moore Road
– At the next traffic light (one block south of Clint Moore Road), turn right onto Boca Chase Drive into the Boca Chase Sub-Division. There is a waterfall fountain on the northwest corner. The entrance way is has a median with 2 lanes on both sides.
– Continue with Boca Chase Sub-Division Instructions below.

Directions If Your Starting Point is South of Clint Moore Road:
(ie Yamato Road, Glades Road, Palmetto Park Road, etc)
– Take US 441 (State Road 7 north.
– Pass the traffic light at Yamato Road.
– Pass the blinking traffic light for the fire station.
–   At the next traffic light (one block south of Clint Moore Road), turn left onto Boca Chase Drive into the Boca Chase Sub-Division. There is a waterfall fountain on the northwest corner. The entrance way is has a median with 2 lanes on both sides.
– Continue with Boca Chase Sub-Division Instructions below.

Boca Chase Sub-Division Instructions:
– After entering the Boca Chase Sub-Division, continue down Boca Chase Drive.
– At the second right, turn right onto 180th Place S. The is a sign on the corner for Waterberry Homes and Greenbriar.
– The road will curve 90 degrees to the left.
– Continue down 180th Place S. The Greenbriar Clubhouse is located after the 3rd right (after 105th Avenue S.) on the right side. It is the building with a pyramid looking roof.
– Park on the street in front of the clubhouse. Please do not park on the grass or in the driveway of the clubhouse.
– There is additional parking in the tennis court which are located right after 180th Place S. Curved to the left, on the left had side. You will have to walk to the clubhouse (about 3 blocks).

Greenbriar Clubhouse Address: 10525 180th Place S.
Greenbriar Clubhouse Phone: 561-488-1923

BRARA 2019 Holiday Party Potluck Dinner

NOTE: The General Member Meeting held at PBC Library at West Boca branch is cancelled for the Tuesday 3-DEC-2019 date only and this Holiday Potluck Dinner is in place of that Member Meeting.

Thursday 12-DEC-2019 Holiday Potluck Party

Approximately 6pm to 8pm with setup at 5pm

Boca Chase Greenbriar Clubhouse
10525 180th Place S. Boca Raton FL     (near Clint Moore and RT441/SR7)



An appetizer, main dish, drinks, deserts or a cash donation.

Before commiting to an item, please review the 2019 Holiday Party Potluck Signup List.

Attendees who do not bring an item are asked to make a donation to help offset our costs.

Suggested amounts:  $15 per person     $25 per couple     $10 per child under 14



Please let us know no later than  

Monday 9-Dec-2019

We will need helping hands to setup and cleanup.

Our obligation is to ensure the clubhouse is properly cleaned for our security deposit refund.

John.C N1QFH EMAIL: TEXT 207-239-0268

Thank you for your kind offerings.

de N4BRF

MARCO mini Dxpeditions by Jay Garlitz AA4FL

Adventure is a more appropriate way to describe the DX trip BRARA member Jay Garlitz was just on. The Medical Amateur Radio Council holds its annual business meeting at Xenia on even years but on odd years the location is the choice of the President. Holding that office and being odd I crafted a four day business meeting in Tampa this year followed by an eight day cruise out of their port. Four ports of call were made by the Carnival Miracle and it was a miracle MARCO was able to get through the logistics needed to operate DX on land in three ports.

Twelve cruise cabins held fifteen hams and nine spouses who embarked with all the documentation needed to hold special operating events in Belize as V31D, at Roatan Isle of Bahia in Honduras as HQ9D, and on Grand Cayman as ZF2D. All we needed was kismet that local plans, the weather, customs, cruise ship tenders, propagation, security, getting back on ship in time for departure, and Murphy would all cooperate. With the cruise ship only being in port 7-9 hours in each location; but when debarkation/embarkation, tender time, transport to operating location, and station set-up/breakdown was factored in; that meant only 3-5 hours of radio operation at each special event location!

No on-ship operation was pursued other than 2m HT use. So why tackle this less than ideal operating task? The bonding experience for a group of medical hams was invaluable and the publicity generated could be a boon to membership growth. We were crazy enough to try and succeed but we did bring our own Psychiatrist along just in case! Each DX location has a different set of operators as members also enjoyed the holiday operation but there were enough time slots for all that desired them. Planned times of operation were off 1-2 hours in UTC as the published cruise literature did not state that Tampa time was being used for arrival and departure in each port rather than going by local time.. NFDXA members were on standby and many worked us, with some of the best signals heard!

V31D was activated at a rental unit about 8 miles north of port up the coast, just off the water. The station was set-up on the rooftop under cover of a three story building with dipoles gently sloping down to trees on the property. HF1 was an ICOM IC-706/markIIg for 20m phone and CW operation. Station two was an ICOM IC-7000 primarily used for FT8 on 17m. Our co-hosts were a former mayor of Belize City and a former jet pilot in thee Belize forces, and they were of great help in planning. Ropes were pre-positioned in the trees for antenna support and help on the ground as present for getting the antennas hung in place. We quickly got on the air in an early to mid morning start, for almost five hours of operation. Propagation on 20m was poor and noise levels high until it was closing time when conditions were improving. FT8 on 17m was active with signals decoding throughout. After getting the operators familiar with the equipment at this first port of call we made 114 QSO’s with hams in 19 countries.

HQ9D was a short operation. The QTH was a diving and eco lodge 35 minutes from port, necessitated as the port is on the south side of Roatan at the base of a mountain. The NW coast location on the water we chose afforded great take-offs for NA, SA and Europe. The equipment used was the same as on V31D but operating time was less than three hours. The shack was set-up on the balcony of a second floor cabana facing the water. Lodge staff assisted with the antenna placement. The top floor of the building had a yoga studio perfect for hanging the antennas from, in Zen. Propagation was better and afforded us 122 contacts in 6 countries.

ZF2D was a much different operation. We had the use of the guest station of ZF1EJ, the Cayman Island Radio Club. We brought along our IC-7000 for 17m FT8 but had two of his radios for 20m CW and 20m SSB, Three stations were on the air at a time and each had its own tower and multiband antenna that one would salivate over! A log periodic at 100 feet and a Pro-67 at 70 feet were accompanied by a C3 somewhere in the 50 foot range, Station owner Eden ZF1EJ operates from 630 KHz to 6m and has an impressive antenna farm well beyond the antennas we used. Phil ZF1PB and John ZF1DJ spent the day with us as well. In four hours of operation we made 315 Q’s in 24 countries.

With the experience of planning these expeditions one fact is abundantly clear, it is much better to fly to a Caribbean Dx location and rent a super station. HQ9X is available on Roatan and sleeps ten (was not available for our visit). ZF1EJ allows visitors to use his guest shack, J6 has a great rental that sleeps six and has a fully equipped station, a location I am headed to for CQWW phone this year. With these plus more DX turn-key rentals available, there are opportunities for us OMs, OBs and YLs to take BRARA DX trips.

Auction Guidelines and Rules

1. All auction proceeds are for the benefit of the Boca Raton Amateur Radio Association, a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization.

2. All bidders must be current members in good standing of BRARA. All classes of membership are eligible to bid on and acquire items.

3. All items will have starting bids below the BRARA Board of Directors’ good-faith estimate of the item’s fair market value.

4. Bids shall be in whole dollar amounts, and must exceed the current bid by ten percent of the current bid, rounded to the next whole dollar.

5. The winning bid shall be the highest bid placed on the BRARA website by midnight on the 14th day following the start of auction for that item.

6. Winning bidders will be notified by email at their preferred email address in the BRARA membership listing, and will have 7 days to contact a BRARA officer to arrange for payment and pickup of the item. No item shall be released until paid for.

7. If the winning bidder fails to make timely arrangement for payment and pickup, the item may be offered to the second-highest bidder, reposted as a new auction, retained in BRARA inventory, or disposed of by other means, at the discretion of the BRARA Board of Directors.

8. Items which receive no bids may be reposted as a new auction, retained in BRARA inventory, or disposed of by other means, at the discretion of the BRARA Board of Directors.

9. A good faith effort will be made to include any condition issues affecting item value in the item’s description at time of auction posting.

10. All transactions are final. Payment by the bidder constitutes a donation to BRARA and shall not be construed as a retail or private purchase.

11. All bidders agree to accept full responsibility for any item or items acquired, and to indemnify and hold BRARA harmless from any adverse events arising from participation in the auction, including any adverse events arising from the acquisition, ownership or use of any item acquired.

12. The BRARA Board of Directors reserves the right to make case-by-case exception to and/or to amend these rules at any time. No case-by-case exception shall be construed as an amendment to or cancellation of these rules in whole or in part.

Capability: Member Silent Auction

For the past months our club has been recipient of many donated radios and related gear and hardware. Each donated item has been examined for functionality and appraised with a value. The appraised value was used to calculate the asking price. In all cased the board has decided to discount the asking price by 33.3% to derive the discounted price.

As a benefit of being a member, you will be able to look over these for sale items and place an online bid.

Please see the below example where an appraised item of $500.00 is being sold with an asking price of $400.00. The discounted price is $266.80 and the current BID is for $276.80. In this example each item appraised over $100.00 will make the next bid increment by $10.00. If that value is lower than $100.00, the next bid increments by $1.00. The next BID amount for this example will be $277.80 which is $10.00 higher than the previous bid.

At this time, the final bids on these for sale items will be announced at our monthly meeting. Please note some of the logistics for the online bidding may need to be adjusted as we gain more experience with this process.

Each month at a board meeting the next group of items to be sold will be announced to members. When a member logs on to our website and navigates to TOOLS > FOR SALE, these items will appear and the bidding shall begin. With all final bids, the winner shall pay by check or cash and all sales are final.

When this capability in enabled hopefully in March, may you find the best deal and enjoy your prize.


The first step is to logon. Navigate by hovering on TOOLS and clicking FOR SALE.

When FOR SALE is clicked, the list of items for sale and bid history are presented as two TABS.

The “For Sale by Bid” Tab 

Lets review each section

Action Item Details provides some high level information about the item that include where available and applicable the model, serial code and manufacturer.

The Pricing Details is the next section and shows all the value, pricing and bidding details. Depending on the appraised value, the next bid is automatically incremented by $1.00 or $10.00 to arrive at the next bid price. if you HOVER on the Discount you will be shown the percent discount and if you HOVER on Current Bid you will see how many bids have been placed.

The ACTION section is where all the activity occurs. To bid on an item, click Place Bid. If you click on View PICs, the list of pictures will be shown and you may scroll through those as needed.  If the item for sale has an associated link for further technical information, click on Tech Details.

When you click on Place Bid the following information appears. You may hover on the amount and  use the arrow up or down to make the dollar amount change. Or you may directly enter the amount into the bid. The bid will never go lower than the earlier bid.

If you are OK with this bid, click on SUBMIT and a new confirmation popup window will give you one more chance to confirm or cancel. Or by clicking CANCEL will return to the above PLACE BID options.

When confirmation popup window appears, you may click OK or CANCEL.

If CANCEL is clicked, no bid is placed and no further action is necessary.

When OK is clicked, all the relevant item and member information is recorded in our database.

The “My Bid History by Date” Tab

The second tab My Bid History by Date shows the items that user has placed bids.

This tab shows the exact same information as the For Sale by Bid tab and is a history of the bids in descending order by date.  One difference is in place of ACTION now appears an Inventory section.

The status, inventory Asset Tag, number of placed bids and the current bid are shown. Also the Tech Details is also displayed and behaves as the 1st tab for this button.