Nov 13

The HAMster Weak Signal Group was founded Spring of 2013 and is based on the same UNCLUB PRINCIPLES that the Unusual Suspects operate under. Where the Unusual Suspects are a diverse group of individuals who have many key interest and the group caters to those interest and encourage activity in many areas, the HAMsters Weak Signal Group is a dedicated group with a sole devotion to PROMOTING AND ENCOURAGING WEAK SIGNAL OPERATION ON VHF/UHF/SHF.

We as a group promote and encourage SSB activity on 50MHz through 1296MHZ. We encourage SSB activity on those bands, contesting and chasing grids and QSL Cards on these bands.

If as a HAM you have never experienced the thrill of working a station on VHF/UHF/SHF 1,100 miles or more, you do not know what you are missing.

We are fortunate to have some very seasoned experienced operators such as Bill W3XO who has forgotten more than most of us will every learn about VHF/UHF operating, Marshall who when they defined Elmer had his photograph in the dictionary and who runs one of the finest VHF/UHF/SHF Multi-operator contest stations I have every seen as members.

We hold a weekly net on 144.205 SSB Horizontally polarized every Sunday Evening at 7:PM, we also hold daily conversations on 144.205 starting in the morning and running off and on through out the day.

We sponsor and promote Roving during contest, Remote operations to rare Grids to activate them along with a host of other activities.  

If you have an interest in learning how to build a station to work as far away as Florida, Mexico and other points of interest on 2 meters, 23 cm,  70cm, etc…..this is the group for you. METEOR SCATTER, EME, TROPO AND A HOST OF DIGITAL MODES.

Taking part  in a VHF/UHF contest will open up as much excitement as working that rare DX country on HF. JOIN US ON OUR SUNDAY EVENING NET: 144.205 SSB @ 7:PM

Check us out at  www.144200.net Greg Lewis N5XO

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Nov 13

“And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make”
The Beatles

Please forgive me for a little bit of nostalgia by starting off this e-mail with Beatle Lyrics. But they are very apropos for this e-mail. The lyrics simply state that what you get out of something equates to what you put into it.  Me myself and I have personally discovered what I put into Amateur Radio equates to me getting even more out of it.

For almost all of us starting off in Amateur Radio we can find some one to thank for assisting us with this wonderful hobby. For me originally it was the 70 year old man who seemed older than the hills to my 10 year old mind, but never before or since had I met anyone with so much patience in helping a very annoying little neighbor kid. We became introduced twice originally once as I was delivering papers on my route and one summer afternoon….I saw him in the yard and asked him what those antennas were for {he had what seemed to me at the time a 500ft tower with dozens of antennas}, he showed me his shack, his wife offered cookies and lemonade and I proceeded to ask 40 million questions {and yes the rest of the papers on my route that evening were very late}.

That fateful day, followed by science class on Marconni and a ready source of old model T-Spark coils…..and a friend as insane as me….had us building crude versions of spark gap transmitters and using the AM radio as our receiver. It never occurred to us we were destroying anyone in a 5 mile radius….ability to listen to the towns only station and watch television {those were the days when moms blender and a VW beetle would do the same}. Once again introductions were made to the kindly gentleman down the road and this time in made it his goal to get me on the air properly, I think he felt I needed focus for that energy.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Nov 12

Hi Ya’ll

The next regularly scheduled GVARC sponsored test session will be held on 22 Nov 2014 at the New Braunfels Fire Dept Training facility at 1311 Industrial Blvd, Suite A, New Braunfels, TX 78130 at 1000.

Come one, Come all! You don’t need an appointment. Walk Ins are allowed. Bring your original license with you if you have one and preferably two copies, however, we can usually make copies on site if we need to. Last time in Sept there was a problem and since I leave the copy tasks up to Darren/WD5GQT I will have to check with him to see if the problem has been fixed or is fixable before the 22nd.

Also bring two forms of ID, here we usually get your drivers license and in the Texas of Today your CHL is usually the number two choice. If you are not licensed to carry I can accept many different forms of identification as a second ID. I have had to resort to using a birth certificate as the only means of ID before so if there is a question in this area please contact me. I can afford to be somewhat liberal in this area.

If you are a first timer testing for a new license, bring your ID and we will take care of the rest. As always one test will costs you $15 and if you pass that one you can take the next test in the sequence without paying a second time. If however you fail an element and wish to take it over using another version of the test we have on file you would need to pay another $15. Usually that isn’t a problem.

This is also a call for certified ARRL VEs who can help out. Please drop me an email if you can help so I can plan accordingly.


Gary S. Tangrady
USAF Retired
k5gst01@gmail.com

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Oct 22

The South Central Texas Meet, Greet And Swap Fest Is Back! October 25th 2014 That’s right it’s that time again for all of us radio enthusiasts to get together to eat some Bar-B-Que, swap/sell, and talk about the hobby.

So how much does it cost?

• Admission: FREE
• Bar-B-Que Plate: FREE
• Tables for the swap: FREE (may have to bring your own)

That’s right we had a such a great time last year getting to meet everyone that this year there will be no charge for anything. The only money you will spend will be for whatever you buy at the swap tables.

What about Prizes? Your attendance will automatically enter you into the prize drawing. All you have to do is make sure you get your hand stamped when you arrive to get your prize ticket. You must be 18 or older to enter into the drawing, and you must be present to win. Prize details coming soon! We are accepting donations to help with the prizes, drinks, and cleaning supplies Donating is OPTIONAL, and is not required to come to the Meet and Greet. If you are interested in donating you can email Don at: donpritchett81@yahoo.com

When and Where? Saturday October 25, 2014 8:30 AM until 12:30 PM Food will be served at 10:30 AM Raffle is at 11:30 AM Niemietz Park, 608 W FM-78, Cibolo, TX 78108 (Do not use google maps,they are off.)

For more information visit us at: www.bigradiotx.com

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Oct 9

Local Time: 1800 hrs Friday December 5th to 1800 hrs Saturday December 6th, 2014

This annual event is always the first Friday / Saturday of December each year.  Ham Operators, operating from their local National Weather Service Offices around the country, are trying to contact as many other NWS offices as possible during a 24 hour period that runs from 6pm CDT Friday until 6pm CDT Saturday.  Modes used include VHF/UHF,HF, Internet Enhanced (EchoLink, and IRLP) and various digital modes..

Access is limited at the local NWS office due to space constraints and the fact that the meteorologists are actively working in the same room, so the noise level and disruption factor is a concern.

Operators are scheduled to work in groups of no more than 3 in multiples of 2 hour shifts!

All classes of licensed Amateur Radio Operators are encouraged to participate.  This is a great opportunity for Technician class operators to get some HF time in the early morning shifts with a General or Extra class on the roster!

Visitors are limited to those who RSVP before the event! No drop in visitors!  Please, if you would like to come by just to visit, you MUST be on the roster!

To volunteer for a 2 hour shift or more, Contact event coordinator Louis – K5STX at k5stx@k5stx.net or k5stx@hillcountryreact.org!  Sign up early, the based slots go fast!

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Oct 9

 

Location:

Hill Country State Natural Area – Bandera, TexasBandera_2014_buckle

When:  10th and 11th of January 2015

Description: 

It is that time of year, to start marking your calendars and making preparations for the 13th Annual Bandera 100k Ultra-Marathon held at Hill Country State Natural Area in Bandera County.

Tejas Trails Communication Group – Coordinated by Hill Country REACT and supported by Highland Lakes Amateur Radio Club, Chaparral Amateur Radio Club, Crew 317 and many dedicated Amateur Radio Operators from San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Kerrville and other locations throughout the state, have supported and provided communications for this event the past 10 years.

This event typically requires 15 – 16 Amateur Radio Operators in a situation that is similar to what an Emergency Communications Operator would experience in a disaster zone. Remote operations little to no permanent infrastructure.Bring it, work it, enjoy it!
UHF, VHF and Packet communications are involved in this event. And with some hard work between now and then, possibly HSMM-Mesh!

This is a fun event with challenges. The participants of this event, are of a type you will not encounter at most other events we deal with throughout the year. Over the years, we have made some lasting friendships among the event management, participants and operators that come out to help. This is one event, where your hard work and efforts are truly recognized and appreciated from top to bottom.

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Oct 9

Title: Tejas Trails – Cactus Rose 100/50 Ultra-MarathonCactusRoseBuckle
Location: Hill Country State Natural Area – Bandera County, TX
Link out: Click here

Description:  Public Service Event coordinated Hill Country REACT and supported by  Highland Lakes Amateur Radio Club and other Amateur Radio Operators from around the state.
Amateur Radio Operators provide voice and data communications between Race Central and 2 remote check points along the course.  As this event has grown substantially since it’s inception, reliable communications for Safety and Logistics has grown in importance.  Amateur Radio Operators are challenged during this 36 hour long event, having to provide everything to keep their stations up and running, with no permanent infrastructure to support communications.

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Oct 8
UC Parade

UC Parade

Date: 01 November 2014 – Important, they moved the parade up one week this year due to multiple large events around the area on the following weekend.

Title: Universal City Veterans Day Parade

Location: Univeral City, Texas
Description: For more years than we can count, HIll Country REACT and radio operators around the region have provided support for this Patriotic Event.

Ham Radio Operators provide a valuable service during this event by assisting the Universal City Police Department in shutting down the parade route (Pat Booker Rd.) in preparation of the parade.

We meet at the U.C.P.D. in the morning for a briefing and assignments (City Hall is located on Universal City Blvd). After that we proceed to our assigned stations and await the call to setup our barricades.

FREE DONUTS, COFFEE, ORANGE JUICE, and maybe even some milk, courtesy of UCPD.

During the parade, we try to make sure no vehicles enter the route that could disrupt the parade. Afterwards, we meet for  lunch at a nearby Mexican Restaurant on Pat Booker Road and visit for a bit.

All licensed radio operators are invited to participate.
For more information of to be added to the roster of volunteers for this event, contact Lee Besing – N5NTG - Event IC
Start Time: 08:30
Date: 2014-11-01
End Time: 12:00

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Sep 4

Hi all. It is with a heavy heart that I make this post.

David Floyd, WD5IEH, passed last night. His obituary link can be found here…

www.meaningfulfunerals.net/home/index.cfm?action=public:obituaries.view&o_id=2666866&fh_id=13043

He was a big part of the Lonestar Link system that used to be called the WD5IEH link system that linked repeaters in a large area in south Texas. He was also an honorary member of the Coleto Creek Amateur Radio Club (CCARC) because of his generous donations and help when we sat up our Yorktown repeater. He has done a lot for the hams in this area and will be missed. He was also a big part of keeping communications going for the Texas Water Safari. It was the Lonestar Link system that made voice communications possible from the start to the end of the race.

I will post more info here when it is available. Please Keep David’s family in your thoughts and prayers.

73 WD5IEH, from W5DWT

Jimmy Podsim, W5DWT
(announcement via Facebook)

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Aug 19

La Vernia Wild West Hammerfest Bicycle Ride

September 13, 2014 – La Vernia, Texas

The La Vernia Wild West Hammerfest Bicycle Ride welcomes visitors to our beautiful little country community while encouraging the sport and enjoyment of cycling. Join hundreds of avid cyclists and experience the gently rolling hills and peaceful back road beauty while riding in the La Vernia Wild West Hammerfest.  This route is located just east of San Antonio and can be reached easily by taking Rigsby Road (Hwy 87) east from Loop 410, on the east side of San Antonio.

La Vernia Wild West Hammerfest Bicycle Ride

The La Vernia Wild West Hammerfest is open to riders of all ages and abilities and is hosted by the Greater La Vernia Chamber of Commerce.

Our rides are 34, 53 and 65 miles plus a 10-mile Family Ride and a free Kiddie Ride. This is a fully-supported cycling event with rest stops and SAGS. A portion of all proceeds will benefit the La Vernia Veterans Memorial Project.

Ham Radio operators are needed to provide communications support at break points, start/finish line, Turtle and SAG support.  This event is no longer associated with the CFF group which had temporarily taken over the operation of this ride.  We’re back to the original group who was much easier to deal with during the organization and operation of the event.

Royce Taylor KA5OHJ is coordinating the Ham Radio communications for this year’s event.   Please contact Royce at ka5ohj1@juno.com or by calling him at 210-707-8125 to get more information and to volunteer.

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