Apr 15

Spring is here and so is our public service event season.  We’ve got lots of events coming up, with something for everybody. No experience needed, just lots of enthusiasm.

April 18-19th – BPMS150 ride with 13,000 bicycle riders.  Too late to sign up for this, but 7 of the 40 SAG vans will be coming from San Antonio over to Katy, TX for the start this Saturday morning.  We’ll be picking up our vans in San Antonio at the CAPPS Van Rental location near the SA International Airport on Friday, then driving over to Katy later that day to stay overnight in our FREE hotel room.  Saturday night will also have us staying in a FREE hotel room.  Very little cash out of our pocket. All fuel paid for, hotel paid for, 2 free t-shirts per person, free foot and lots of friendship and fun.

These next  two events are the ones that we really need your help for, the Fiesta Wildflower 100 and the Tour de Cure ride.

April 26th (Sunday) – Fiesta Wildflower 100 Bicycle Tour.  Still needing few more hams to help staff the 9 rest stops along the route, but no SAG drivers are needed.  Last year 1,500 riders were registered.  Start and finish will be at Morgan’s Wonderland, near Wurzbach Parkway and Thousand Oaks, on the northeast side.  Event benefits Morgan’s Wonderland and it is an officially  recognized Fiesta event.  Last year the organizer gave us a $25 Valero fuel card (1 per rest stop) to help compensate for the cost of helping out.

May 9th (Saturday) – American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure Bicycle Tour.  We need hams for 9 break points, 10 SAG vans, plus a few other assignments.  We will have brand new routes and a new starting location this year due to the City of Selma passing an anti-bicycle ordinance.   The event has been relocated to the south side of San Antonio, at the Texas A&M University campus on South Loop 410, near Zarzamora.  Routes go east toward Floresville and the longer routes loop down to Pleasanton, TX, over to Poteet and back up to the University finish line.  Atascosa County Hams will be helping with the southern part of the longer route and we welcome their support!

If you want to volunteer, or need more info, please  contact Lee Besing N5NTG at info@SanAntonioHams.org or call/text him at 210-771-7075 (I work late hours, so no early morning calls please). Please leave a message with your name, number, callsign and events you want to help with.

Feb 11

Fellow GVARC members and other hams,

No, it isn’t a spelling error, it was plagiarized from WD5GWT to hopefully grab your attention to start going through your piles of ham stuff and pulling out unused antennas of any sort, superseded ARRL publications, hf. vhf and uhf rigs, meters, ‘scopes, computers, solder stations and such like.

Talk-In Repeater: 147.00- (103.5PL)

Location & Time: You will want to bring those items Saturday morning to GVARC’s swap meet at 0900 Saturday morning, February 14th, 2015,  at the New Braunfels Fire Training Facility, 1311 Industrial Drive here in New Braunfels.

GVARC had hoped to use Granzin’s overflow parking lot diagonally across from the main entrance, but it was discovered this morning that the lot now belongs to a local church.

GVARC requests that you bring only ham related stuff. That is to say, no kittens, puppies, sheep or Avon products. GVARC’s expectation is the honesty typically associated among hams. If you say something works, it should. If you don’t know, say so.

Here’s how is going to happen. Everyone is invited to join us for GVARC breakfast at Granzin BBQ Restaurant (660 West San Antonio Street, in New Braunfels, TX 78130) at 0730 or so Saturday, and then promptly at 0845, we will saddle up and ride over to parking lot where K5GST and his VE team administer GVARC ham exams.

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Feb 11

MS 150 SAG drivers – thanks again for all that you have done to support MS and ham radio!!  In case you didn’t notice from the calendar and the beautiful day out yesterday, Spring is approaching!!

BPMS150 2015 LogoThe  BP MS 150, traveling from Houston to Austin, is April 18 & 19.  If you like BIG, EXCITING events, this one is the king of events.  MS will arrange for you to pick up your SAG van in Houston, San Antonio or Austin (your choice) on Friday.

MS will arrange a hotel room Friday night near the Addicks Park and Ride in Houston.  Then Saturday morning at 5:30 we meet and hit the road with 13,000 bicycle riders and about 50 SAG vans and buses.

We overnight in LaGrange Saturday night and MS will find us a place to sleep – usually a motel room, sometimes a bunk house at one of the camps there. MS will provide us a supper Saturday night and breakfast Sunday morning in LaGrange.  Plus all the bananas you can eat at the break points. :-) We finish around 6: 00 pm Sunday, go home, and turn in the van Sunday night or Monday morning.  And you will have many grateful riders as you help them along on the ride.

Having done this for many years, I can tell you it is a LOT of fun and is very rewarding.  You are part of an event that will raise over $20,000,000 for MS, the biggest bicycle fundraiser in the country. – Charlie KC5NKK

If you would be willing to consider this event, let me know and please contact Susan and Steve Shirk and get on their email distro.  If you haven’t worked with them before, you will be delighted at how well organized they are and how appreciative they are of your contribution.

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Nov 29

Gary Stock WF5YGary Stock WF5Y aka Grumpy”

The local ham store he operated, Grumpy Shop, was closed at the end of September 2014.

Some of his inventory was purchased by Mark Lacey W5TXR, who is considering opening a new Ham Store up in New Braunfels (time period unknown).

As of 09/28/2014, San Antonio does NOT have a local Ham Radio store.

Nov 29

Friday December 5th 6:00 p.m. to Saturday December 6th 6:00 p.m. We still have multiple slots open for this event.

Especially 10:00 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Saturday. All license classes invited to participate.

Contact Louis – K5STX at k5stx@k5stx.net or by phone: 830-305-2889


Nov 29

This year the San Antonio
Rock and Roll Marathon
will take up 2 days. 

2015_LogoSaturday, December 6th, will feature the 10k race (new event), while Sunday, December 7th, will feature the normal bicycle tour, full marathon and half marathon races that the Ham Radio operators in San Antonio have long supported.

Due to the increased need for our services, we are especially looking for hams who are willing to work the timer clocks on both days.  The 10k Race route overlaps the top part of the marathon route to a certain extent.

View the full route maps here.

Assignments will be made mostly on a first come, first serve basis, with preference given to those who have worked a location in the past, or living nearby, etc.  Some assignments may require the volunteer to synchronize multiple clocks, such as one for the 1/2 marathon and one for the full marathon that are within a block or so of each other.  If we get lots of volunteers, that will reduce the need for double assignments.

Please contact Lee N5NTG to volunteer via email info@sanantoniohams.org or text message (210-771-7075). Remember to provide your name, callsign, contact info and which events you are available to help with. Please let Lee know if your radio can do both 2 meter and 440 UHF, or just 2 meter because we’re looking at using some alternative repeater frequencies to possibly minimize interference from idiots. Most locations will work fine with just an HT, but the southern most positions may need higher power.  If you have a preference or special need, please include that information.

Don’t forget that the clocks will need to be picked up on Friday evening.  Once you get  your assignment, please take time to locate your physical location during daylight hours, because trying to find your way in before sunrise can sometimes be a real challenge. Roads will be getting closed off hours prior to the start of the race, starting at the north end and working down south.

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Nov 27

8th Annual Christmas Party

THIS SUNDAY, November 30th @ 5:PM


This is what Amateur Radio is all about

Mamacita’s Restaurant & Cantina
8030 IH-10 west
San Antonio, Texas

Please RSVP n5xo@144200.net

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

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 »

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


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