TARS makes the ARES E-Letter

hFlorida and Georgia Operators Support Rural Bike Ride Across State Border

On November 9, twenty-four operators from the Tallahassee (Florida) Amateur Radio Society (TARS) and the Thomasville (Georgia) Amateur Radio Club (TARC) provided communication support for the Capital City Cyclists (CCC) 35th annual Spaghetti 100 Bicycle Ride. The Spaghetti 100 funds the Kids on Bikes program, which teaches hundreds of elementary school children how to ride a bike and ride it safely in traffic. It also helps to support the Trips for Kids chapter, which takes disadvantaged youth on bike rides on local trails.

The hams used one of the TARS VHF repeaters to provide communications for safety and logistics, as well as for the medical and mechanical teams. The ham radio support was vital for this 100 mile route on the back country roads of northern Florida and southern Georgia where cell phone coverage is very sparse. “When All Else Fails” came to mind when the land line at the location serving as the ride’s headquarters was out for several hours leaving Amateur Radio as the only communications service for some areas. “In addition to the thanks given by most of the bicyclists as they passed by, event sponsors expressed their appreciation for the work of the ham radio volunteers and were impressed with the capabilities of Amateur Radio,” Communications Coordinator Stan Zawrotny, K4SBZ, said.


TARS Annual Holiday Party

The TARS annual Holiday Party is being held at the Longhorn Steakhouse on Thursday, December 5, 2019. It will start at 6:30 pm for hors d’oeuvres and such, and 7 pm for the dinner. The meal will have a variety of selections for a cost of $27, or about $35 with tax and tip

Due to limited seating an RSVP is required. Contact Gerry Gross to RSVP: wa6poz@arrl.net

Election Results

Elections were held at the November 7, 2019 meeting. The officers for next year are:

President – Don Pace – KK4SIH

Vice President – Todd Clark – KN4FCC

Secretary – Tom Brooks – K4TB

Member at large – Phil Fusilier – KA5USN

Treasurer – Doug Ferrell – KD4MOJ

Military Auxiliary Radio Service (MARS) COMEX 19-4

By way of introduction, my name is Joe Bassett, operations officer (S3) for the Florida Army Military Auxiliary Radio System. My amateur call is W1WCN. My AMARS personal call sign is AAR4WZ and billet call is AAA4FL3. This email is a courtesy announcement to all Florida amateur radio emergency and disaster operators regarding an upcoming national MARS exercise. MARS leadership encourages you, in your leadership role, to freely and liberally disseminate the following throughout your sphere of influence (ARES, RACES, radio clubs, etc.)

The exercise will take place during November and emphasize “…a high level of coordination with amateur radio…and facilitate amateur radio stations reception of a digital 60 meter DoD broadcast.” Messages of interest to the amateur radio community will be broadcast from WWV. In particular, amateur radio participation will take place 16-17 NOV 2019. This participation will include reception of HF messages, interactivity with MARS stations on 60 meters, HF nets and local VHF/UHF nets. MARS stations will identify themselves with MARS call signs on 60 meters. All contacts on other amateur frequencies will be using their amateur call signs.

The primary exchanges between MARS and amateur stations will be County Status Reports. MARS stations may contact amateur stations and request information concerning local infrastructure. Amateur stations are encouraged to participate. A sample of the information is included below. Responses from amateur radio stations should reflect actual conditions. NO SIMULATED, EXAGERATED, OR SIMULATED INFORMATION SHOULD BE TRANSMITTED.

Broadcasts transmitted on 60 meters and from WWV will utilize digital mode M110A. These broadcasts will be of interest to amateur radio operators interested in participating in the exercise. Software (MS-DMT) is available to the amateur radio community for decoding of M110A. MS-DMT is available for download with installation information athttp://www.n2ckh.com/MARS_ALE_FORUM/MSDMT.html.


Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions that you have, but please be patient. Further information will be forthcoming.

Grace and 73,

Joe Bassett – W1WCN



Spaghetti 100

It’s time again for one of TARS’ most important community service events – The Spaghetti 100. This year it will be held on Saturday, November 9th starting at 7:00 am and running until the last rider reaches the finish line in mid-afternoon. 

This iconic 100-mile ride starts at the Miccosukee Community Center and rides into the scenic back country of North Florida and South Georgia.  The route takes riders through historic Thomasville and Boston in Georgia and then through Monticello in Florida. 

TARS is instrumental in providing communications and safety support for the Spaghetti 100. There are a total of 34 posts along the route to be filled. In addition, we provide transportation and communications for the event’s Medic and communications for the Mechanic. Because the route travels through areas with little or no cell coverage, we also provide backup communications for the rest stops, SAG and other ride officials. Reports from the posts and from “Tail-End Charlie” keep ride officials up-to-date on the positions of the riders. 

We need your support to fill all the posts, Medic, Mechanic, Tail-End Charlie and Net Control positions. Requirements are an Amateur Radio License (any class), transportation, and a 2‑meter rig. The rig can be a mobile unit or an HT with at least 5 watts of power. At least a mag mount antenna is recommended, although an extended-sized HT antenna will work in most locations. 

No experience is necessary. You will receive comprehensive instructions on what to do.

You do not have to be a club member.

This is a great opportunity to get out in the fresh air before the colder months arrive. You will be gaining skills with your equipment, in network communications and emcomm operations. Your community service will be appreciated by all the riders that pass your post and by the Capital City Cyclists organization.

Oh, and did I mention? There is a free spaghetti dinner at the end of the ride!

Send an email now with your name, callsign, email address and cell phone number to Stan Zawrotny at K4SBZ.Stan@gmail.comto sign up for this fun event. Full details and assignments will be emailed a few days before the event.

Notice of Election

The Election of Officers of the Talkahassee Amateur Radio Society Board of Directors will be conducted at the November 7th meeting.  This will be the last club business meeting of 2019. The new Board will assume office on January 1, 2020.

All Board positions are open for election.  This is the most important meeting of the year. Please attend, and consider running for office.

November TARS Meeting Speaker

The program for the November 7 TARS meeting will be a presentation from Mr. Paul Coley, CEO of Scent Evidence, a company that trains dogs for search and rescue operations.  Mr. Coley will talk about his work and the way amateur radio can be used to support search and rescue operations.  Please join us!