Speaker Topic for this Month:
“Los Angeles Marathon Amateur Radio Communications”
Deane Bouvier (N5DQ), Greg Powell (KD6AIS), Bob Dengler (NO6B)
Born out of the success of the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics, the first annual Los Angeles Marathon was run in 1986 and has had amateur radio support since the beginning. This presentation describes the support of hams over the years as things have changed and how we have adapted.
Deane Bouvier, N5DQ:
Deane had a 20-year engineering career in the U.S. Air Force and 18 years as an employee with Hughes Space & Communications (now Boeing Satellite Systems) and another 4 years as a consultant building communications satellites. In 1988, first year Deane was at Hughes, Scott Fraser, KN6F who was managing the LA Marathon amateur radio support at that time, asked for help from the Hughes Amateur Radio Club. The rest as they say is history.
Greg Powell, KD6AIS:
Greg has organized and led the amateur radio support since 2005. Greg took over from Scott Fraser who began the effort with the first Marathon. Over the years as the support requirements and course changed Greg has met the challenge by adjusting assignments with the variable number of volunteers who sign up each year.
Bob Dengler NO6B:
An RF microwave engineer for 34 years & licensed amateur since 1977, Bob built his first 2 meter repeater in 1981 & has been active in repeater engineering, construction & coordination ever since. He has volunteered in every LA Marathon since it began in 1986, when he was assigned to Medical Mile 19 while also fielding a portable repeater on 145.44 MHz deployed at Griffith. After 10 years the Marathon had its first permanent repeater system installed at the top of the Bank of America tower on 445.45 MHz. Bob later installed 2 meter & 220 MHz systems at the site, giving the Marathon complete course coverage along with linking capability. Changes in the course route combined with loss of the Bank of America tower site in 2010 created coverage challenges. Bob deployed the (now) 445.46 repeater as a portable unit in the Baldwin Hills in 2012, and in 2013 collaborated with Joe Oliveira WB6BJM to install a new repeater on 446.28 in the Hollywood Hills. This repeater provides 100% course coverage & is now the Marathon’s primary communications resource. Bob continues to work with Joe on expanding to other sites & the 900 MHz band, & also works with the GRONK Radio Network & Topanga Remote Base Association to provide additional repeater resources to the Marathon.