This year marked the 40th annual running of the Marine Corp Marathon. As a new ham (KD2JFR), I felt like I needed to go watch and learn what the Amateur Radio Operator thing was all about. It turns out that the MCM was a great place to do that.
There are many reasons why hams are involved in the operations side of the MCM. The coordination that multiple radio networks provide is very cool to see in real life and with around 28,000 runners it doesn’t hurt to have some redundancy out on the course.
I was positioned at mile marker 15 with David W2LNX and one of his former students Kevin KC3ARU. David brought all of the radio equipment and let Kevin and me operate it.
Other than some HTs and a rather nice Yasueo radio, the ~20 ft dual band vertical antenna and the portable lead acid batteries were the highlights of David’s rig. The power density and capacity of the 12 volt 18 ah was very cool to see. After a full 8 hours of use — mainly monitoring — we consumed just over 2.8 ah.
All in all it was a great experience. A big thanks to the W3ART, WD5DBC and the rest of the hams who organize the operations early in the morning and behind the scenes every year!