Get Involved With Us

Nothing is as frustrating as getting your Technician License and not having a clue what to do next, or who is available to help you get started.  We are here to help.  Our goal is to take small groups of new HAMs, put you together with or without a radio (we have some radios you can borrow to get started) and get you exposed to the mysteries of the HAM radio. We can also help you determine a good starter radio to get you on the air and making contacts.



We're looking for ham radio operators or potential licensees who like to spend time outside. Our primary events revolve around providing radio support for long distance trail races, tracking runners for safety and providing communications in case of emergency. Without the support of the ham radio community, many of these races would not be able to take place. If you are new to ham radio, we'll help train you to learn the best practices for event support, which also translates very well to emergency communications. It is a great way to learn valuable skills while also volunteering for a fun, welcoming community. We especially need people who can hike several miles while carrying radio equipment for some of our more remote posts. This is not a requirement to be a part of this group however.


NUT 50k/100k (North Umpqua Trail, Roseburg)
Mountain Lakes 100 mile (Olallie Lake)
Mount Hood 50 mile (Timothy Lake)
Volcanic 50 (Mt St Helens)
Wy'east Wonder 50k/50 mile (Mt Hood)

Timberline Marathon (Mt Hood)


We are also recruiting ultrarunners to get ham radio licenses to both provide radio support at aid stations and to provide radio support as sweepers. We are building a database of radio sweeps to be shared with any local radio groups who are providing radio support with backcountry events.  Please contact us if you would like to access our resources for radio sweeps.


A "net" is a regularly scheduled radio chat on a specific frequency at a specific time. If you have a radio already, join us for some practice. There is no better way to get over your fear of broadcasting on the radio waves with other ham radio operators.  We meet on Sunday nights at 8 pm on 146.84 (Camas, WA repeater). You'll find our net schedule on our calendar.


An Elmer is ham radio term for someone who provides personal guidance and assistance to would-be hams. PDX Ultra Hams is extremely lucky to count many Elmers in our ranks, folks who are willing to teach you everything they know about radio operations, from troubleshooting bad coaxial cable to learning how to set up a mobile radio unit. Participating with our event communications team is a fantastic way to learn the proper procedures for radio operations while also picking up the technical skills you'll need. If you are new to ham radio operator, we'll pair you up with someone who has experience so that you can maximize your learning. We highly encourage you to get involved with these events. Our schedule is here.

Here is a sample of how the nets that we run when supporting remote events operate.

Nets operated during a marathon are directed nets. This means that:

1. Net Control is the controlling authority for the net.
2. All communications are controlled by Net Control.
3. No communications occur with other stations that are not cleared by Net Control.
4. All stations that check into the net must remain in the net until released by Net Control.
5. All stations are to use their tactical call sign during the net.
6. When initiating a contact between stations, the word “over” is not necessary.
7. During an exchange, the word “over” must be used if the transmitting station is expecting a response.
8. At the end of an exchange, the word “out” must be used to signify that no response is expected, and the exchange is complete.
9. When you close a conversation, you must sign with your TACTICAL call sign followed by your FCC call sign.

In essence, we strive to follow procedures that have been established by the National Traffic System.  We have a good pool of experienced HAMs to draw from, and would be very happy to give you the level of exposure that will get you where you want to be headed.  Use our contact page and let us know what we can do for you.


Figuring out what you need to get started in ham radio can be a little confusing at first. Finding an experienced ham to help you navigate the many options you have for radios is very helpful. We have a lot of experienced operators who are willing to share their knowledge. Post your questions on our Facebook page: 

Your radio needs will vary by application. Ultrarunners who want to sweep with radios will be looking for a different kit than someone who wants to backpack an aid station setup into the field. Operators who want to drive up or run net control will need different equipment. Your at-home setup may vary entirely.  We can help you determine a setup that works for you.