past & future

2023-12-30 Saturday Fox Hunt in Hillsboro

Dale Hunt's having a bunny hunt (this one's designed for beginners) on a Saturday instead of his usual Sunday.

Saturday 30 December 2023 from 11 AM to 3 PM, at Tanasbourne Town Center (East of NW 185th, between Cornell Road and Highway 26).  From highway 26, take the NW 185th exit (between Beaverton and Hillsboro), head South to Evergreen Parkway, turn Left at the light, then pull into the lot on the LEFT for the Best Buy store.  We’ll be close to Evergreen Parkway, away from the building.
GPS:   45.53758339952477, -122.86397384549493   (far more precise than needed!)
I had a request for a more introductory training / practice transmitter hunting session for relative beginners (although everyone is welcome) in the break between Christmas and New Years, similar to what we did last year.
I’ll provide an introduction to transmitter hunting, and talk about simple equipment, starting around 11 AM.  You will have a chance to see (and use) various types of equipment, as well as mounting methods for mobile beams.  There will be multiple 2m transmitters available to search for around the parking areas, either on foot, or in a vehicle if you want to test your installation.  (But you know they won’t be very far away!)  Some equipment will be available for loan, although folks may have to work in groups if we don’t have enough to go around.  If you want to borrow some specific equipment, please let me know in advance. 
Since we will be almost entirely on paved areas, your shoes shouldn’t get muddy, even if it is wet.  Current weather forecast looks reasonable, but one never knows…  Those who notify me in advance that they plan to attend can be notified if we have to cancel due to weather 
Feel free to bring you own equipment to try out, too.  If you want to set out a transmitter, either your own or one of mine, let me know so we can coordinate frequencies.
The event runs from 11 AM to 3 PM, with most of the instruction part at the beginning.  Yes, I know this runs through lunch for most people - you can stop for lunch (there are many restaurants / fast food outlets in the area) or eat while walking around the parking lot, or whatever else fits your dietary needs.  We will pick up the transmitters at 3 PM, or earlier if everyone is done.
I recommend that beginners watch the video of my talk to the Portland ARC back in August 2021 to get an introduction, to save me a bit of explaining.  There is a link on this page:
I’m also willing to consider special requests, whether about specific types of equipment, setting out a transmitter for 80m, a further 2m transmitter for mobile hunting, etc.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Hope to see you there!
- Dale WB6BYU       971-226-9628

2023-07-21-22  CARS Summer Campout

The Cascade Amateur Radio Society is holding their summer family campout on July 21-22. In years past it's been held on Field Day weekend, but this year we changed it so that people can more easily enjoy multiple events.

Here's a flyer with more information.

Sign up here if you plan to come so that we'll get enough food for everyone!

Yes, it's a ways away for those of us in Cowlitz County & beyond, but it's a great chance to enjoy the company of the hams and ERC folks from down south.

2023-06-25 Net on 145.13 repeater

On June 25, we will be conducting our 20:15 net on the 145.13 repeater instead of the usual 147.26 repeater.

This repeater was installed by the Cowlitz County ACS group on Rainier Hill, a site with existing UHF repeaters known to reach from Chehalis to Camas. It will be interesting to test 2m coverage across the county through there.

It's a Yeasu Fusion repeater, supporting both FM and C4FM operation. -600kHz TX offset, 114.8Hz PL tone. The info for this and 10 other repeaters serving Cowlitz County can be found at:

2023-06-03 Ride to SEA-PAC! ($10)

Mercury Mount St. Helens is offering $10 rides (Saturday only) for anyone who wants to go to SEA-PAC.  More information and sign-up at

2023-02-11 Ridgefield EmComm Workshop

Emergency Communications Workshop

When: February 11, 2023 from 0900-1215

Where: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
21720 NE 29th Ave, Ridgefield, WA 98642
(from I-5 take the Battle Ground exit, drive east to 29th Ave; building is on SW corner)

Cost: None

Who: Anyone interested in emergency communications, especially amateur radio operators, but also GMRS and others.

Program: The program will include 9-12 seminars presented in three periods of 50-minutes each.

Confirmed seminars include:

Questions? Send questions to

PS. It would help greatly if you plan to attend to let us know so we have a approximation of attendance.

2022-11-19 Puget Sound Repeater Roundabout

Want a good excuse to try working up to 109 repeaters north of you? The Puget Sound Repeater Roundabout is for you! It's a two-day event that starts at midnight this Saturday, November 19th.  It includes repeaters in the Olympia area and even the Baw Faw repeater that anyone should be able to hit.

For your convenience, they provide a CHiRP file with all the repeaters, corresponding to a list they have on their website that shows locations; also, they've plotted them on a map.

See their website for more details. There's also an introductory Zoom mtg w/ Q&A Tuesday, Nov 15th @ 7PM

2022-09-24 Ridgefield Preparedness Expo

9:00-12:00 "Two Weeks Ready" emergency preparedness event for children & adults

More complete info can be had @

2022-06-25 Field Day 2022

ARRL Field Day is here again!  This year's official event is June 25-26, but you'll find some Sabbath-observing groups camping overnight June 24-25. For more information about Field Day, see posts from 2011 and 2012.

LCARA is likely to have their club house open for a while, but I don't believe that they have an organized event this year.

CCARC is holding their usual Field Day activities by SEH America, near NE 112th Ave & 39th St in Vancouver.
The "Come & See" public event is Saturday 12:00-16:00, w/ a GOTA station and displays by emergency/communications/public svc organizations.
Tailgate swapmeet from 10:00-14:00.

I hear that the Columbia Amateur Radio Association (CARA) is going to be setting up at Trojan Park, but as of the Wednesday before, there's no solid info on their web site.

The Ridgefield Stake Hams of the Church of Jesus Chrost of Latter-Day Saints are holding a brief Field Day activity on Saturday from 11AM-2PM at the stake center on 219th St.

Find more sites w/ the ARRL Field Day Station Locator tool. If you're running a site, register it so others can find you!

2022-06-05 Nets testing 145.130 repeater

For the next 3 Sundays, our usual 2 nets (Longview/Woodland) will be consolidated into a single net on this repeater:

Please check in, and let us know how your path to that site compares to the 147.260 Longview and 147.300 Woodland repeaters.

2022-04-16 "Last Chance" Exam Session

Testing for all 3 license levels (Technician, General, Amateur Extra). Get your license or upgrade -- 3 days before the FCC's $35 application fee kicks in!

Other locations hosting exams this day:

See  calendar entries for details. If you can't find the info you need, contact Charles Boling.

2022-04-09 "Last Chance" Ham Cram starts

Technician license class packed into 4-5 hours over 2 days. 1st session is Saturday, 2nd is Wednesday.

Update: Also offering the 1st half on Tuesday.

See  calendar entries for details.

2022-04-08 General License Class (Vancouver)

The Clark County Amateur Radio Club is offering their 2-weekend General Class amateur radio license class series on April 8,9,15,16. See the calendar entries for details.

2022-03-11 Tech License Class (Vancouver)

The Clark County Amateur Radio Club is offering their 2-weekend Technician Class amateur radio license class series on March 11,12,18,19. See the calendar entries for details.

2022-03-04 General License Class (Zoom)

Herb Weiner, AA7HW, a member of the Cascade Amateur Radio Society, is teaching an Amateur Radio General Class License class via Zoom on Friday, March 4, from 4 - 7 PM Pacific Time, continuing on Saturday, March 5, from 8 AM - 2 PM. The class is free and open to all.

For more information, or to register: .

2022-01-22 Tech License Class (Castle Rock/Kelso)

Rick Ouzts is teaching a 3-part Technician license class, based on an old ARRL video in our collection. For more information about the class, call Rick at 274-8207.  To watch the videos outside of class, email Charles at a d 7 u f @ w 7 m s h . o r g  or phone him at 673-2258 x1.

2022-01-19 Tech License Class (Kalama)

Charles Boling is teaching a 6-part Technician license class series, with an electronics emphasis. For more information, email him at a d 7 u f @ w 7 m s h . o r g  or phone him at 673-2258 x1.

2022-01-13 Tech License Class (Longview)

Jeff Edgecomb and Loyd Huggins are teaching a 4-part Technician license class series on January 13,14,20,21 at the 30th Ave. building. See the calendar entries for details.

2022-01-08 Memorial: Randy Greeley

The memorial service for Randy Greeley is being held at 2:00 PM at the New Life Fellowship Church / 2441 42nd Avenue, Longview, WA

2022-01-07 Tech License Class (Vancouver)

The Clark County Amateur Radio Club is offering their 2-weekend Technician license class series on January 7,7,14,15. See the calendar entries for details.

2021-11-06 - Longview Stk CommEx: Earthquake Simulation

(posted 2021-10-13)

All Longview Stake members are asked to participate in this Saturday exercise.
ERC radio operators are especially needed!

It will exercise unit emergency communications plans, simulating a post-earthquake scenario where power and phones are unavailable.

The exercise starts starts at 9:00. For more details:
Download the "Plan" and other documents below.

Check back for updates!

2021-10-17 WA State ERC Coordinator Called

Dave Carleton, K7DSR, ECS for the Spokane storehouse region, has been asked to coordinate activities throughout the state [Official title: Emergency Communications Coordinator (ECC)]. This is a welcome development that will improve collaboration between groups and increase training opportunities.

2021-09-25 - ACS CommEx: Flood simulation

(2021-09-24) Cowlitz ACS held an exercise this morning, detailed in the document below. I was disappointed at the low turnout -- we certainly could've used some more people! We only had 4 rovers. Nevertheless, those that participated had their hearts and energy into it, and the exercise was executed pretty well. I (Charles) operated from home (I figured that if we were simulating a flood, I could get away with claiming that a swollen river & landslides kept me from leaving), and kept two radios busy monitoring the repeater, logging simplex signals & status reports, and occasionally playing w/ packet (mostly APRS).

ACS put a lot of work into planning this exercise, it was a fine opportunity to hone our skills, and I'd sure like to see more MMSH members taking advantage of it the next time!


2021-09-17 - ERC Seminar: GMRS, etc. (Video / handouts)

Links to the video & handouts from the seminar are now being distributed to everyone who registered for Wednesday's seminar.

It's not too late to register! Sign up to be able to access the recording of the seminar and the other materials.

If you want to be notified of future seminars (and aren't already on the list), you can subscribe to the notification list by sending an email to:

2021-09-01 - ERC Seminar: GMRS, etc.

We're co-sponsoring a seminar (via Zoom) about using GMRS and other technologies in church-led  emergency communications. Some of the covered topics apply to ham radio too.

WHEN: Wednesday, Sept 15th, at 7:00 PM PDT.

For more details about the seminar, or to register, visit:

Registering allows you to attend the live seminar, and will give you access to a recording and handouts afterwards.

All are welcome. Questions can be directed to:

2021-08-31 -  Google Sites is dead; Long live Google Sites!

Google "Classic Sites" officially retires tomorrow, so Mercury Mount St. Helens has moved to the new version of the web hosting platform.  Some features are gone (e.g. RSS feeds, automatic pagination of blog-style sections), some are about the same, and there are a few new capabilities to be used.  Nearly all of  content of the old site is still available, though slightly mangled in places.  Plans for new content and tools abound, so stick with us and watch the site grow.

Older posts (2010-07 -- 2021-08)

Old site

Old site (converted) -- ugly; use when the other link stops working.