MARA Activities


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 the Minden, LA, City Hall 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 8:30am-10:30am

ARRL Forum 11:30am-12:30pm


Great door prizes drawn throughout the day!

An HT given away each hour of the hamfest!

Note: Last year's prizes. Check later for updates
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-880H is one of the smallest, most compact dual band mobiles on the market. The small control head, when paired with Icom's innovative magnetic mounting bracket, allows it to fit into even the smallest of spaces, perfect for installation in modern vehicles where open dash space can be hard to come by. Additionally, the ID-880H is fully D-STAR ready right out of the box, giving you access to the worldwide D-STAR network with minimal effort.

Output power: 50W (U/V)
RX Frequencies: 118-173.995, 230-549.995, 810-999.990MHz
Memory channels: 1052
Modes: FM-W, FM-N, AM (analog RX only), D-STAR
Remote head capable: Yes
D-STAR ready

The ID-880H provides D-STAR DV mode digital voice and low speed data communications. GPS functions

GPS FunctionsThe ID-880H can display your position data and you can send that data to another station. Add a third party GPS, with a NEMA output and you are able to operate D-PRS mode, to send your position information to an APRS server. Free cloning software

Additional Features:

  • 16 channels DTMF memory (24-digit)
  • LCD and keypad backlighting
  • Built-in CTCSS/DTCS tone encoder and decoder (FM mode only)
  • Built-in noise filter (AM/FM mode)
  • Data and 9600/1200bps packet jacks on the rear panel
  • 2.5ppm frequency stability
  • Adjustable microphone sensitivity
  • Monitor function to listen to a weak signal
  • Auto repeaters function
  • Weather channel receive with weather alert

3rd Prize: (MUST be present to win.)
The FT-2900R provides 75 Watts of Solid RF Power with No Cooling Fan Needed! Four selectable power output levels are provided: 75/30/10/5 Watts. The power selection may be stored into memory, allowing you to conserve power while using strong local repeaters.

The large 6 digit backlit LCD on the FT-2900R ensure excellent visibility

The FT-2900R packs 3W BIG watts of Loud Audio with its own Internal Speaker for those noisy environments.

The FT-2900R's receiver front end features Yaesu's renowned Advanced Track Tuning RF input filtering, which affords outstanding protection from Intermodulation distortion.

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.

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-2900R may be configured to emit an alarm tone to get your attention quickly. With the "Weather Alert" feature enabled, the FT-2900R will scan the ten Weather memories, stopping only if the 1050-Hz tone is received.

The backlit MH-48A6J microphone allows direct keypad frequency entry, or keypad memory channel recall. On transmit, the MH-48A6J allows manual entry of DTMF tones for autopatch use, and the FT-2900R also includes a nine-memory, 16-digit DTMF Autodialer. Four user-programmable "soft" keys on the microphone may be programmed for easy control of a number of different features, and the [A]/[B]/[C]/[D] keys replicate the functions of the keys on the front panel of the transceiver, for maximum convenience while driving.

4th Prize: (MUST be present to win.)
This portable 2 cycle gas engine generator is ideal for camping, tailgating, hunting, etc.. Easy to pack along, this handy portable generator delivers power in a pinch.


  • 63cc air-cooled OHV gas engine
  • 5 hours run-time @ 50% capacity
  • Circuit breaker protection
  • One 120 volt grounded receptacle
  • Recoil start

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

Main Trading Company
Furnishing our prize radios

Palmetto Antennas, LLC

The SignMan of Baton Rouge

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 2017 - June 24-25

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.