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 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.


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.

Minden Amateur Radio Association - Hamfest 2014 - Dec 20

(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.


8:30am doors open. Prize drawing held approximately 2:00pm, with door prizes being drawn periodically during the event.

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.

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

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).

VE Testing - all levels, 9am to 11:30am

12:30-1:30pm ARRL Forum

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!

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 Kenwood TM-V71A is a true dual-band operation radio so VHF+VHF/VHF+UHF/UHF+UHF operation is possible. The detachable control head is easily connected with the optional remote cable.

General Features

  • High RF Power Output (50W)
  • 1,000 Multifunction Memory Channels
  • Dual Receive on Same Band (VxV, UxU)
  • EchoLink® MEMORY (Automatic Dialer)
  • EchoLink® Sysop Mode For Node Terminal Operation
  • Multiple Scan
  • Invertible Front Panel
  • Choice of 2 Backlight Colors (AMBER/GREEN) For The LCD Panel
  • 104-Code Digital Code Squelch
  • "FIVE-IN-ONE" Programmable Memory

3rd Prize: (MUST be present to win.)
The Worlds most popular SWR/RF analyzer just got incredibly better and gives you more value than ever! The MFJ-259C gives you a complete picture of your antenna's performance. You can read antenna SWR and Complex Impedance 1.8 to 170MHz.

Read Complex Impedance as series resistance and reactance (R+jX) or as magnitude (Z) and phase (degrees). You can determine velocity factor, coax cable loss in dB, length of coax and distance to a short or open in feet. You can read SWR, return loss and reflection coefficient at any frequency simultaneously at a single glance. Also read inductance in UH and capacitance in pF at RF frequencies. Large easy-to-read two line LCD screen and side-by-side meters clearly display your information. Built-in frequency counter, Ni-Cad charger circuit, battery saver, low battery warning and smooth reduction drive tuning and much more.

Super easy to use! Just set the bandswitch and tune the dial -- just like your transceiver. SWR and Complex Impedance are displayed instantly!

4th Prize: (MUST be present to win.)

Impressive audio output volume, long-lasting power, plenty of memory channels, rugged construction, rich in analog features - the T70A offers practical 2m/70cm dual band operation and ruggedness, updated for today's ham radio enthusiasts. 700mW loud audio

CTCSS and DTCS tone codes provide quiet stand-by and allow you to use tone-access repeaters. Pocket beep alerts you when a matching tone frequency is received. Tone scan detects the subaudible tone that is used for repeater access. Internal VOX function

The IC-T70A HD has an internal VOX (Voice Operated Transmit) function for convenient hands-free operation when used with a compatible optional headset and plug adapter cable. Also, the VOX level and VOX delay time are adjustable. IP54 and MIL-STD 810 rugged construction

Dust protection and water-resistance equivalent to IP54 provides reliable operation for practical outdoor operation. The IC-T70A HD tested to and passed MIL-STD 810 environmental tests.

Other Features

  • WX channel and WX alert function (USA version only)
  • Power save function
  • SMA type antenna connector
  • Automatic repeater function (USA version only)
  • 1750 Hz tone for European repeater access
  • TOT (time out timer) setting
  • Repeater lockout and busy channel lockout
  • PC programmable with optional CS-T70
  • Transceiver-to-transceiver cloning (Optional)
  • Direct keypad frequency entry
  • 16 DTMF autodial memories
  • Auto power off
  • LCD backlight
  • Wide/narrow channel spacing

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