MARA Activities


Field Day Activities

Field Day activities for the club are held in conjunction with the ARRL's annual Field Day in June of each year. This national event tests the skills in setting up temporary communication equipment for possible use in emergencies, and contacts are made to as many other stations as possible during the two days. It provides family fun and operating experiences for all who wish to participate.

Field Day 2018 - June 23-24

We usually gather around 3:00pm to 4:00pm on Friday to put up the antennas, operating tents, and general setup of the area. Some of us camp out on the site and make contacts with other stations to test our equipment. As always, a lot of fun during the Friday setup and evening.

Each year we have operated a 2A setup, which means two HF rigs. We have one SSB, one CW, a GOTA (Get On The Air) tent for inactive hams, young people, or those merely interested in amateur radio, and a 6-meter operation. (The latter two do not count in the 2A classification.)

Check with members for definite plans, which will be posted here closer to the field day time.

See a few photos of our Field Day.

Directions: Take the Minden/Sibley exit (Exit 47) off I-20 and proceed north until middle of town and then take Pine St north. This becomes Dorcheat Rd and will pass by the airport. Take a R at Caney Lake Rd (PAR 111) and proceed east. Turn R at Caney Lake Park Rd (there will be signs there to the Caney Lake Recreation Area). At the end of this road (T intersection), take a L and the entrance to the area will be on the R.


Annual Christmas Hamfest

This very popular event is held in December and draws participants, including dealers, from surrounding states and has gotten bigger each year. There is plenty to see and do for everyone, including testing sessions, great food, door prizes, and main prizes that any ham would love to win. This event provides a "hamfest fix" in a period of the year during which few hamfests are held.

Christmas Hamfest 2017 - Dec 16, 2017

(See a few photos of the Christmas Hamfest.)

Our Annual Christmas Hamfest is held at City Hall in Minden, LA, located on 520 Broadway St, Minden, LA.



  • 8:00am doors open
  • Prize drawing held approximately 2:00pm
  • Door prizes being drawn periodically during the day

Talk-In: 147.300 PL186.2 (NLA Link System)

Swap tables will be available for $10 per table for those who wish to sell merchandise.
(To reserve swap tables, contact Fran on our "Contact Us" page.)

Entrance tickets are $5 each (includes 1 prize ticket), available at door at the hamfest.
Prize tickets for the drawings are available at door or from club members and are priced: $1 each, 6-$5, 15-$10, 35-$20, 50-$25, 100-$50.

Tickets may be obtained from any member or contact Fran, KD5LKB, or Jerry, W5JLH (email addresses at 'Contact Us' on main menu strip, top of page).

Credit cards may be processed this year for payment of entry and prize tickets.

VE Testing - Registration for testing - 8:30am-9:30am

ARRL Forum 11:30am-12:30pm

Crafts & Gifts: Many tables loaded with crafts - wind chimes, candles, crochet, etc. - good source for wonderful Christmas gifts.

Those vendors who have agreed to participate this year in the hamfest include:

Main Trading Company
Furnishing our prize radios

The SignMan of Baton Rouge


Great door prizes drawn throughout the day!

1st Prize:
The new Icom IC-7300, 100w, 160m-6m employs a large 4.3" color TFT touch LCD which offers intuitive operation of functions, settings, and various operational visual aids such as the band scope, waterfall function, and audio scope.

Like on the high-end rigs, the waterfall shows a change of signal strength over a period of time and allows you to find weak signals that may not be apparent on the spectrum scope.

You no longer have to choose whether to listen to the audio or have the spectrum scope sweep for signals as the IC-7300's real-time spectrum scope offers the simultaneous operations found in some of the more expensive rigs! This means you can use either the spectrum scope or the waterfall to quickly move to an intended signal while listening to the receiver audio. The IC-7300's touch screen introduces a "Magnify" function. So, when you first touch the scope screen around the intended signal, the touched part is magnified. A second touch of the scope screen changes the operating frequency and allows you to accurately tune.

The IC-7300 employs an RF direct sampling system, where RF signals are directly convert to digital data. Then processed in the FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array), making it possible to simplify the circuit construction as well as reduce noise that can mask weak signals.

2nd Prize: (MUST be present to win.)
The ID-4100A is a D-Star mobile with big rig features.

Output power: 50W,15W, 5W (Hi, Mid, Low)
RX Frequencies: 118-174, 230-550MHz
Receiver Type: Dual conversion superhetrodyne

The ID-4100A's full dot-matrix display gives the user the ability to see a lot of information on the screen. For example, Repeater list or GPS position information are clearly arranged and easy to read.

The integrated GPS receiver shows your own position, course, speed and altitude on the display and can be used for exchanging position reports, D-PRS and searching for nearby repeaters.

3rd Prize: (MUST be present to win.)
The FT-2980 is an 80 Watt Heavy-Duty 144 MHz FM Transceiver. No cooling fan needed, a huge, easy-to-read display, and one-touch WIRES™ Internet Linking Access capability.

CTCSS and DCS Encode/Decode Built In
For easy repeater access, or silent monitoring of busy channels, both CTCSS and DCS (Digital Code Squelch) Encoder/Decoder circuits are built in. CTCSS and DCS configuration data may be stored independently in each memory channel. A "Split Tone" mode also allows operation on systems where CTCSS and DCS are used separately on the repeater uplink/downlink.

Extensive Memory System
The FT-2980R provides a total of 221 memory channels, including 200 "regular" memories, ten pairs of band-limit memories, and an instant-recall "Home" channel you can dedicate to a frequently-used repeater or simplex frequency. Memories can store repeater shift information, CTCSS/DCS data, power output level, scanning status ("Skip"), and Alpha-Numeric labels.

WX Channels
A special 10-channel Weather Band memory bank is provided in the U.S. version, allowing quick access to NOAA weather broadcasts. When the 1050-Hz "Severe Weather" alert tone is transmitted, the FT-2980R may be configured to emit an alarm tone to get your attention quickly. With the "Weather Alert" feature enabled, the FT-2980R will scan the ten Weather memories, stopping only if the 1050-Hz tone is received.