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Happening Next

The Cruising the Coast Special Event is only a few days away. For more information visit the main menu link to the event page, or direct at


The next Club business meeting is scheduled for October 31, 2023 beginning at 7 p.m. at the existing venue location.

Tuesday night October 10/31/2023 is the scheduled for the business meeting.  The business meeting will convene at 7 pm, and is at the St. Martin Community Center, 15008 LeMoyne Blvd. where we normally have club business meetings.  If possible please attend this important meeting.

See the right sidebar MEETINGSon this page for directions and location details, or use the Directions link provided here.  All members are requested to attend if able.  Non-members Hams and the public are invited and welcome.  Directions.

If there candidates to be tested before the start of the Tuesday night regular business meeting, October 31, 2023, the candidates for test must have; picture ID, FRN number and $15.00 cash to cover the cost of the test materials.  Please contact Charles Hardt, 228-233-4140 or to schedule the test session.


Recent activities

The Jackson County ARA 2023 Hamfest took place Saturday September 16th.  Based on numerous comments the hamfest was enjoyed by many, if not most, attendees.  All tables were sold and there was a nice selection of new and used equipment for early Christmas shoppers.

And the prize winners are:

Grand Prize, Yaesu FT-891, Rod, W4NNF, Mobile, AL
2nd prize, TYT FT9800. Mark, W5LAC, Hattiesburg, MS







3rd prize, Baofeng Handheld Radio, Ron AD4IV, Ocean Springs


4th prize, Baofeng Handheld Radio, Name & Callsign N/A









Tower Auction Update

The club recently obtained a used Rohn 25 tower that was auctioned at the hamfest.  The tower bid winner was KX4RM, Mike from Irvington, AL.  The proceeds will be available to assist a local ham with a appliance need.


Calling all JCARA club members, non-members, and other interested groups and individuals. 

The JCARA Hamfest 2023 is coming September 16th.  See the Flyer

This is one of our current annual income sources.  We need and appreciate your involvement by helping us or simply attending.

Time:  One day event: Saturday, September 16, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. (Vendor doors open at 7:00 AM for setup)

VE License Testing:  VE Testing starts at 9:30 AM SHARP! Candidates need to bring their FRN number and $15.00 cash for each test taken.

Where:  Same location as previous years, the St. Martin Library/Community Center complex on Lemoyne Blvd.   See more directions / location information in this link.

What: Ole fashion swap fest, Numerous forums and demonstrations, Food, and Ham Operator comradery. Oh did we mention prizes?  Yes we’ll have some great prizes too!

Look for a Hamfest Flyer and more information in the link above this post and duplicated here for your convenience.  See the Flyer

If you can help, contact one of the board members A.S.A.P.  (See the link on the top menu of this page for a list of OFFICERS and contact information)

If you are a Ham Operator/non-club member, or other non-radio entity, but have an interest in radio technology we look forward to seeing you there!


 Recent Events and Club Activity:

A recent P.O.T.A. to remember.  One fine spring day, after weeks of “cabin fever” due to prolonged winter weather; Joe, W5DDX, Jim, W5SMN, Jerry WF5W (and Spouse Ellen) – a great representation of the Jackson County Amateur Radio Association, JCARA, lit up the Gulf Islands National Sea Shore park with RF to make HF contacts and and enjoy the comradery.



And …     Calling CQ, CQ, CQ DE W5DDX via the 5BVJY five band Vertical Antenna.  Watch the YouTube video for more information.  Oh, be sure to share the video to encourage Joe and others to give a second life to well used “parts and pieces.”  Thank you Joe for sharing with the rest of us.  Additional thank you to W5SMN, WF5W, W5DUI and WG5GK for the field video production and QA/QC services.


Club VE scheduled testing unavailable

The facility where testing occurs has become unavailable indefinitely due to renovation and functional upgrades.  The third Tuesday of the month is the club’s regular scheduled VE test time.   

However, if you are ready for testing, or you know of anyone ready for testing, we can test them via a prearranged/alternate date and time/location .  They do not have to wait for the third Tuesday of the month.

According to Charles Hardt, “We know we have a number of people out there studying for their upgrades and one gentlemen that I know of is studying for his Tech.”  If there are others, please have them get in touch with Charles Hardt via eMail at,or his cell 228 233-4140 to develop a special test session.  




What type of Ham Operator are we? 


Recently Gus, WG5GK came across this post on the subject matter of Good versus, shall we say, less than good Ham Radio operator practice.

With people receiving Amateur Radio licenses for the first or second time (after expiring) and listening on HF and VHF ham radio it can be confusing how to engage over-the-air.  If you are not sure what to say or how to act in a conversation read the articles listed below.  This is one person’s opinion but it is shared by many amateur radio operators.

You are encouraged to view the web article titled “The Five Types of Operators You Don’t Want to Be”.  The Five Types of Operators You Don’t Want to Be

And we all should be eager to review the counterpart web article titled “The Five Types of Operators You Should Want to Be”. 

Ham Radio 101: Five Types of Operators You Should Want to Be




A JCARA Flash  BOTA Event – and captured by a YouTube video blogger.

Recently while attending the monthly Club meeting, someone opined that a fishing trip was something that several club members had previously voiced interest in doing.  The group expressing interest all thought it would be a great idea to combine fishing with a B.O.T.A. (Beaches On The Air) Ham Radio activity.  Approximately 3 weeks later [02/25/2023] the Broadwater Beach B.O.T.A. was on the air.

People that came to, and participated in, the B.O.T.A. included: W5DDX Joe, WF5W Jerry, WG5GK Gus, W5BBD Barbara, AE5MU Austin.

Jerry, WF5W arrived first and registered the group. W5DDX brought his Yaesu FTDX10, M90 microphone, external tuner, power Supply, Laptop, table, chairs, and tent. Oh yes, the fishing equipment, bait and maybe a few cold ones to share.

WG5GK, Gus came with the generator and extension cord, the Hustler 5BTV vertical antenna. Barbara W5BBD arrived with breakfast and wet a line for fishing while the others set up the equipment. Austin, AE5MU arrived a little later and helped with setup as well.  All the participants had a great time manning the fishing poles and activating this B.O.T.A.

Propagation conditions were great.  The contacts made included, Canada, Switzerland, and French Polynesia.

Interestingly a YouTube blogger passing by, spotted the group and was curious to investigate.  [The blogger’s post can be viewed at:] WG5GK, Gus and AE5MU, Austin managed the fishing poles while W5DDX, Joe was being interviewed.  Later, after the interview the group broke down the equipment.  Joe W5DDX stayed on fishing and ended up catching 2 beautiful “Sail Cats” that he and Barbara W5BBD had for dinner Saturday and Sunday.




A Winter Field Day 2023 Report From the [Club] President

The Jackson County ARA Winter Field Day (WFD) 2023 event is complete.  We will see pictures and comments in the following days on our Jackson County ARA Facebook ( and our club website (  If you took pictures at WFD please email them to Alan ( and Joe (  I have seen a few pictures already posted by W5DUI on Facebook.

We had a total of 6 stations during Saturday’s event.  All of us were setup our radios in tents on Alan’s (N5OYL) property.  We had vertical, horizontal, and portable HexBeam antennas to use during the event.  We had new HF radios and radios with patina.  The newest radio was the Yaesu FTDX-10 and the oldest was a Kenwood TS140S.  We made many contacts that kept us busy day and night.

Oh!  Our host fed us well.  They prepared a large pot of Cheese Chicken and Rice, then shared with the team Saturday afternoon.  Unexpectedly our host fed us bacon and chicken nuggets for breakfast on Sunday morning before teardown of all the equipment.  We started teardown a bit early Sunday morning.  We stopped making contacts at 9:00 AM and by 10:30 AM we were all packed up.  Good thing because it started to drizzle by 10:30 AM. 

I forgot to also mention the Bonfire.  We had a bonfire Saturday night.  Scrap lumber and tree branches were piled in a 10 foot circle and 4 foot high.  When the fire was fully engulfed, we play songs from our cellphones.  Some of the songs were “Light my Fire” by The Doors and Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” and “I am the god of Hell Fire”.

I also failed to mention we had 3 campers.  Jim (W5SMN), Austin (AE5MU), and myself Gus (WG5GK) spend an overnight working radio and finally sleeping a few hours in our tents and camper.  It was a bit cold but with propane heaters, and electric heaters running off generators we were not too cold.  I have learned the next outdoor event we have decided to purchase electric blankets.  They use much less power than a space heater.

All of us want to thank our camp event hosts Alan (N5OYL) and Marcia (and Cameron) for providing the space to our club for the WFD event.  It was an excellent location, and it was also close our club repeater.  We appreciate it.

Tomorrow night (Tuesday) is our first club meeting for the year.  The meeting will last beyond 8:00 pm to about 8:30 pm.  We will shut down the meeting at 9:00 pm.

A couple items on the itinerary are:

                Club Dues – $16 per person or $24 per family

                Three obtainable and measurable goals for 2023 – I ask every individual to provide 3 goals for our club to accomplish for 2023.  We will need to state the goal, how it will be completed, and a measure of success for the goal.  Once we have heard everyone’s goals, we will have a discussion and decide in January’s meeting what direction our club wants to take.

                 Collect a fresh list of names, callsigns, emails, phone, etc.  This information will be kept confidential.

Looking forward for another successful year with the Jackson County Amateur Radio Association (JCARA).


Gus Kastrantas, WG5GK

President, Jackson County Amateur Radio Association




...more WFD photos; a short slide show  JCMSARA WFD 2023

[The Slide Show is a PDF file.  From Adobe PDF Reader select View: Full Screen Mode: to start slide show.  Press ESC key to exit slide show, then exit the Adobe Reader App]




Also see Linux Classes Offered.  Details on the Classes are available on the Training page. 

Link to Linux Classes



The JCARA 2022 December Meeting and Christmas party

The Meeting/Party was held Tuesday December 13, 2022, at the Country Gentlemen Restaurant in Gautier.  It was a packed-out crowd.  Approximately 33 members, family or friends attended. Good food and outstanding fellowship was had by all.

A brief meeting was convened, after prayer and pledge to the flag was completed, several amateurs were presented with Certificates of Appreciation, and Congratulations for support and service to the club activities in 2022.  Other awards were given to recognize and thank members for their “extra effort” service to the club and the community.

A roll call of our family of amateurs who have health issues, and a list of Silent Keys, or their (passed away) spouses, was read.  The reading was followed by a moment of silence.  Afterward the meeting was adjourned.

A 50/50 door prize drawing afforded two attendees cash that was sufficient to cover the dutch treat dinner!    See several pictures of the meeting attendants below.









Officer Election Results for 2023 Board of Directors.

The Jackson County Amateur Radio Association held its annual officer elections yesterday, in accordance with the bylaws.  The Officers for 2023 will be:

Gus. WG5GK,  President

Joe, W5DDX,  Vice President

Jerry, N5MES, Treasurer

Jim, W5SMN,  Secretary

Charlie, N2PKW,  First Past President

Congratulations and thank you to each for your service to the club in 2022. We look forward to even greater accomplishments in 2023.

A special thank you to outgoing secretary Teresa, KF5PPK, for keeping us well document in 2022. 


Recent  Events….

  • No Club activities scheduled for December except for the Christmas party.
  • JCARA Annual Christmas Party, in December.  A note from the Club President.

         Our December club meeting has been rescheduled from December 27 to Tuesday
         December 13 (starting at 5:30-6:00pm). This is due to the meeting occurring in the
         middle of the holiday week. Instead of our traditional club meeting we will have a brief
         meeting and an End of Year Celebration (Christmas Party). The meeting location in
         December has also changed to the Country Gentleman Restaurant located in Gautier.    
        The club has reserved a private section at the restaurant. All are invited to attend
         including spouses, family, and guests. I will need a count of people planning to attend
         the Country Gentlemen Restaurant. Dutch Treat.

                    73, Gus, WG5GK

  • No additional VE testing scheduled for 2022.
    • VE tests were conducted at the Hamfest
    • According to Charley, N2PKW, we are available for special request testing, the week after Thanksgiving and the first two weeks of Dec.
    • Otherwise VE tests are currently scheduled to resume at the regular time in January 2023.
  • An early look into 2023
    • Winter Field Day for 2023 is January 28-29th.


Also see Linux Classes Offered.  Details on the Classes or Training page.  Link to Linux Classes

Hamfest Flyer ________________________________


Are you Ready for Amateur (Ham) Radio?  Amateur Radio is ready for you!

Have you been considering adding Amateur Radio to your portfolio of readiness assets?  Then read the notification regarding upcoming free online training available soon.  This class will prepare you to take the entry level Technician license exam. 

A free, weekly, live, Amateur Radio Technician Class Licensing course on Zoom will begin on Thursday, Sept  8, and will run through Thursday, October  20  (7 sessions).    The three-hour sessions will start at 6:30 PM Eastern Time.  These are the classes that we have been holding for years sponsored by the National Electronics Museum.  Those wishing to sign up should email me at Thanks. 73, Rol Anders, K3RA


Renew, Obtain or Upgrade your Amateur Radio License Opportunity

The Jackson County Amateur Radio Association will provide testing for your Amateur Radio license on the 3rd Tuesday of each month starting at 6:00 PM.

Testing will be held at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Jackson County Campus, Career Technical Education Building, Room 26A, 2300 US-90, Gautier, MS 39553

GPS Coordinates     30.394521, -88.647288  /  30°23’40.3″N,  88°38’50.2″W


You will need the following items ready and available before testing …

  1. Your FRN number.  If you do not have an FRN number, register with the FCC and obtain an FRN.

( )

  1. Government issued ID card.
  2. Your Amateur Radio License if you are testing for General or Extra class license.  Not needed for Technician class license testing.
  3. Fee of $15.00, cash only.

For more information contact Charles Hardt at:



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