Central Mississippi Amateur Radio Association

Telephone: 601-345-1654 ○ E-mail: CentralMSARA@gmail.com

Next Association Meeting

Next club meeting is Tuesday, February 14th at 7:00pm. The program will be Back to Basics - Using a Multimeter in the Ham Shack. Regular license testing will be available at this meeting. NOTE: The February meeting is at the normal location (Rankin County EOC).

CMSARA Supports Natchez Trace Century Ride, 2016

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Cheryl KE5WAC & Pat KF5TNV

On a Spring morning in Ridgeland Mississippi, which showcased rare Spring like temperatures, a collection of cyclist gathered at the water’s edge of the Ross Barnette Reservoir.

More than was anticipated, more than had ever gathered before: approximately 700 riders massed at the Starting Line to begin a journey that would span two counties, traverse portions of a historic scenic parkway, enter the heart of small towns, exit through winding rural roads that kiss a river bend, and then return to its point of origin.

This was the Natchez Trace Century Ride – 2016. Once again, the Central Mississippi Amateur Radio Association (CMSARA), with the help of the Jackson Amateur Radio Club (JARC), were on hand to provide tactical radio communications for the 25, 50, 62 and 100 mile course participants and coordinators. (more…)

N5DU Does APRS for CMSARA Attendees

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Mike N5DU

Another great program was given to CMSARA in April! Past-President Mike McKay N5DU talked about APRS. A long time enthusiast for the Automated Packet Reporting System, Mike has served as a key expert on APRS, advising several clubs in the area on the deployment and operation of APRS digipeaters, iGates and trackers. He gave critical information about how Yaesu has enhanced the APRS implementation in their new line of Fusion transceivers and HTs. A modest debate about how well or poorly Icom’s DSTAR digital APRS has been implemented. All in good amateur radio fun, of course.

Mike’s program slides are available here. Video of the talk will be posted on the popular CMSARA Youtube Channel as soon as production has been completed.

CMSARA Supports the Susan G. Koman Race, 2016

Sixteen times before, crowds have gathered in support and still…no cure. So on 9 April 2016 crowds converged on the grounds of the Old Capitol Museum and War Memorial to pursue that elusive goal.

Once again, the Central Mississippi Amateur Radio Association (CMSARA), an official sponsor, was on hand to provide tactical radio communications for the 10K, 5K and 1 Mile events and their coordinators.

Ten radio operators, strategically located along the race routes, were expertly directed by the talents of veteran Net Control Station Operator – Mike McKay (N5DU).

From the steps of the Old Capitol to the New Capitol, South, continuing through the heart of the city and then West on Pearl Street, amateur radio operators transmitted reports ranging from the simple to the critical. From the needs of water resupply, to Law Enforcement to better safeguard the race participants from wayward auto traffic, to tracking the last runners on the course, CMSARA radio operators provided time-critical, logistic information to race coordinators to ensure the overall safety and success of this important charity event. By Federal law, amateur radio operators do not charge for their communications as they donate them as a public service. (more…)

March Program: Gordo’s Got Game on ARES!

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Gordo WB8NOA

Over 40 amateur radio enthusiasts crowded the ad hoc meeting place for the March meeting of CMSARA. Due to the Tuesday election, the Association moved it’s meeting to a conference room at the City of Brandon Municipal Building to welcome one of the most influential amateurs in the U.S. Gordon West WB8NOA brought his best “game” via Skype to educate those in attendance on the “care and feeding” of ARES teams. For an hour, Gordo demonstrated key procedures and issues facing ARES teams in California and around the U.S. using actual radio QSOs from emergency situations. Moreover, he shared with the crowd his suggestions for improving emergency radio teams as they grow and mature. 

Gordo complimented CMSARA’s motto of “We Do Stuff” as exemplary, saying that it’s important to keep engagement among ARES teams to keep their abilities sharp. By “doing stuff,” ARES teams have fun, the key to continual engagement. (more…)

Working Amateur Radio Satellites

The former Editor of the AMSAT Journal, Russ Tillman K5NRK, and his long-time partner, Eddie Pettis N5JGK presented “Amateur Radio Satellites: An Introduction and Demo of AO-85” to a packed house at the February meeting of CMSARA. A tour de force of experience, Russ and Eddie taught attendees about the origins of how amateurs got satellites included on NASA missions, how NASA benefited by adopting ham radio technology, and how easy it is to get started working the “birds”. A demonstration in the parking lot was conducted with Eddie Pettis narrating the activities. At least one new ham committed to getting into the world of satellites during the program. Others may indeed follow! Our Vicksburg ARC neightbors were given a standing ovation at the end of the presentation. (more…)

Emergency Communications Operations in CMSARA

January’s Association meeting featured emergency communications in Central Mississippi. Those in attendance heard about substantial statewide programs offered in each of the Magnolia State’s 82 counties by the MSU Extension Service. Tom Ball (MSU Extension Service) overviewed his program’s direct collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security, MEMA, and other first-responding agencies. The ARRL ARES District Coordinator for West Mississippi, Robert Hayes KC5IMN, gave an overview of the progress and struggles he has experienced since his appointment a year ago. He mentioned the Rankin County ARES team as a “shining light” in both his District as well as the State at-large. Finally, Brian Grantham of the Rankin County EOC represented the schedule speaker, EOC Director Bob Wedgeworth. He gave a succinct description of what his organization does in the facility shared with the MSU Extension Service, the location where CMSARA holds it’s monthly and special meetings. The Rankin County EOC is particularly supportive of it’s collaboration with the ARES team supported by CMSARA. (more…)

CMSARA Donates Yaesu Fusion Repeater to Magnolia Intertie

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Mike WM5A Presiding at January 2016 Meeting

At their January 2016 meeting, President Mike Flanagan WM5A announced that since the December meeting, he and the Association’s Board of Directors had raised funds to donate a Yaesu Fusion DR1X Repeater to the Magnolia Intertie Inc. “We had to do this in a hurry in order to make the December 31, 2015 deadline for the $500 deep-discount program that Yaesu has graciously offered the Intertie,” said Mike WM5A. He was recently appointed to the Magnolia Intertie Board of Directors and chairs a new Emergency Communications Working Group they are creating in the near future.

“Due to the generosity of groups like the Central Mississippi Amateur Radio Association,” said Mike McKay N5DU, Secretary-Treasurer of the Intertie, “we were able to order seven Yaesu Fusion repeaters in December.” Intertie President Frank Howell K4FMH added, “CMSARA joins the Scott County Amateur Radio Club in supporting the emerging Backbone Radio System as SCARC donated a Yaesu Fusion repeater that is now operational on a commercial tower south of Newton along the I-20 East corridor. (more…)

Catching Waves…on the Oscilloscope!

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Tom AE5I

Tom Brown AE5I gave Part 2 of his oscilloscope series at the November CMSARA meeting. It was a tour de force of many types of scopes with examples of all! He went “off computer” without slides this time but annotated pictures of each piece of equipment are in the offing and will be posted in an updated version of this post on the CMSARA website. Keep your horizontal and vertical in adjustment to CMSARA.org!

Here is a slideshow of the event using pictures from our official photographer, Bob Bullock K5RWB:

and the video is available here:

CMSARA Members Support MS-150 Bike Race

#wedostuffAt least eight members of the Central Mississippi Amateur Radio Association worked the 2015 MS-150 Bike Ride for Multiple Sclerosis fund-raising. A two-day, multiple course event, CMSARA members handled Net Control, rest stop stations, and other communications duties to support the bike riders and coordinators for the event. Including Mike McKay N5DU, Bill White, K5BLL, Rusty Yates KG5FSA, Don Porter AF5QD, Robert Errington KF5IZ, Bob Bullock K5RWB, Mike Flanagan WM5A, Dana Pierce KF5WDL, and Brian Castleberry AG5BC, CMSARA has worked with the Jackson ARC to provide amateur radio communications and logistical support services free-of-charge to the MS-150 operational staff.

Scenes from the event taken by Bob Bullock K5RWB, Public Information Officer for CMSARA, are shown below…

© 2014-2017 Central Mississippi Amateur Radio Association

Contact CMSARA at:


P.O. Box 892

Telephone.: 601-345-1654

Brandon, MS 39043-0892

Email: CentralMSARA@gmail.com