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 2015 - Dec 19, 2015

(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 $5 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 Troy, W5AU (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 12:30-1:30pm

DXCC Card Checker - ARRL Appointed DXCC Cardchecker, Bobby Baker, WM5H, will be present at a table to check your DX cards for awards.


Great door prizes drawn throughout the day!

An HT given away each hour of the hamfest!

1st Prize:

Tailor-made for DX'ing, the new Kenwood TS-480SAT HF transceiver raises the bar on portable performance. Yet its separate control panel is perfect for base station use. The 100W TS-480SAT boasts a built-in antenna tuner.

General Features

  • 100W model with built-in Antenna Tuner with the TS-480SAT
  • TX/RX 16-bit AF digital signal processing
  • Separate LCD control panel with speaker
  • Continuous RX: 500kHz (VFO: 30kHz) to 60MHz
  • TX covers all Amateur bands 1.8MHz to 50MHz
  • Other features include a TS-950 class quad-mixer
  • PSK31 compatibility
  • Packet cluster tune (with TM-D700A)
  • PC-based control
  • Optional IF filters

2nd Prize: (MUST be present to win.)

The FT-7900R provides 50 Watts of power on the 144 MHz band, and 40 Watts on the 430 MHz, and is designed for simplicity of operation along with high performance in the receiver section. The FT-7900R is ideal for the active Ham who has a need for simplex, repeater, or FM satellite operation on both bands.

The FT-7900R provides receiver coverage from 108 to 520 MHz, and 700 to 999.99 MHz (cellular blocked), so you have available a wide range of monitoring excitement, including AM Aircraft, Public Safety, Government, Business, and, of course, Amateur communications. The synthesizer steps appropriate for the operating band are automatically selected, too!

Five front panel keys allow complete transceiver configuration status to be stored for convenient one-touch recall. So you can set up favorite frequencies in each operating band, including the receive-only bands, and then recall them with a single touch of a button!

A special memory bank on the FT-7900R allows instant recall of the ten NOAA Weather frequencies. What's more, you can enable a special "Severe Weather Alert" feature that will sound an alarm when a NOAA station transmits the special alert tone during a severe weather alert broadcast.

3rd 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

4th 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.

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

Grapevine Amateur Radio

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 2015 - June 27-28

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.