by KG8CW on December 22, 2018


We are looking ahead to 2019 with training starting every 2nd Wednesday of the month.  Odd months will be held in Manistee and even months here in Benzie Co.  We will focus on communations for both C.E.R.T. and R.A.C.E.S on current equipment by both.  We should be able to get everyone up to speed on the how’s and how to’s for each of the radio we use.

Exercise are important because they tell us what’s not working before were thrust into a real life emergency and have to learn on the fly.  When communications goes down, its the real time lag that we are picking up.  Real time meaning catch up and restore.  Please attend all the scheduled exercise to help bring us up to full speed.

K8SGZ Glen has put together a great portable digital system.  It uses low cost tables ( or in my case a current 49 dollar windows tablet) and uses FLDIGI to get data to and from using VHF/UHF on or off repeaters.  We will be testing to see if it will work in HF as well.

Winlink is expressing opinion about bandwidth for digital on HF.  There’s a motion or 3 to get rid of data or confine it even worse.  Please support the maintaining and expanding data on HF for the current winlink system.    You can check it out at                    https://winlink.org/FCC_Action.

Please forward any names of interested ham’s that would join the ARES/RACES ranks.  We have lost several operators due to attrition and need to reinforce our team.

A special thanks to everyone on the team for a good 2018.

KA8RMA, Jarred has stepped up to be Field Day 2019 Chairman.  If you remember we did not hold FD in 2018.  Please welcome Jarred and offer those things that will assist him in making this year a success.


73, Mike, KG8CW





Going on in 2017

by KG8CW on August 30, 2017


I hope everyone’s summer has been a nice one.  We were knee deep in cherry hauling this year and it was a gruelling 7 weeks.  The weather has been cool and wet.  I understand the apples are ready some 3 weeks early.  The tree’s on the way downstate were turning.  As we head towards fall there are a few things coming up.

First is the S. E. T. which is used as training for us to use and become proficient with our equipment.  All the Benzie locations have Yaesu FTM 400’s and if your not running one then you need to brush up before hand.  We will have a refresher class after breakfast in October and will cover all the fusion radio’s.  There is a refresher class on MI-Cims which is for RACES only members to understand the changes that have been implemented.  Lastly towards the end of the year is the  final meeting held as a Christmas Dinner with spouses invited.  Remember to check into the Wednesday night net.  This is a weekly update on dates and times for events known and impromptu that may interest you.

Cyrstal Mountain repeater has been working normal this year after the power supply was replaced after a long winter of noise.  Benzonia still limping along and in need of work.  Frankfort works and will remain at POMH unless something comes along.  With these three repeaters we can cover and double cover most of Benzie county which is why we have redundancy built in.

Remember to let Dave KJ4KFJ know if you would like to volunteer for call out’s like missing person’s, over due boaters and the like.  They had a successful missing persons find this year and as RACES we can man the Comm Post for CERTS.

Until next time, 73

Mike, KG8CW


Crystal Mountain Repeater

by KG8CW on December 3, 2016

The Benzie County 147.040 has been moved to Crystal Mountain.  The Foot print as of press time is mobile’s can work it from Glen Arbor, North of Elk Rapids around M-48, Cadillac, Manistee and Traverse City downtown.  This is a big increase from are distorted covered up signal from the Water Tank in Benzonia.  The Cell antenna’s have covered up half of the antenna and injected a mixed amount of noise into the system.  It did not help our feed line was damaged and the shield broke 3/4 the way around.  We will refurbish that site with a dual band antenna that is above the Cellular antenna’s and new 1 1/4 hardline.  We will use the Fusion UHF repeater, linking it to Crystal and Frankfort.  We will use the Benzonia site for WIRES which is a internet access point for the radio’s.

Mike, KG8CW



2 0 1 6 a Look Ahead

February 3, 2016

Hello I would like to thank you! the folks that make the ARES/RACES program move forward here in Benzie County, MI.  This Past Year saw many events that people stepped up to chair or operate in.  This is the blood that makes the group tick. I would like to welcome two new members of the […]

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