Recurring Events

September 21st, 2016 Comments off

Katy Amateur Radio Society (KARS), Katy, Texas

Recurring Events

Event Time Location Notes
KARS Net Every Tuesday, 8:00 PM KARS Repeater KT5TX 147.200(+) MHz Repeater, PL 141.3 plus EchoLink (KT5TX-R)
KARS Monthly Meeting 2nd Monday of Every Month, 7:30 PM Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital – Tiger Room A 23900 Katy Freeway, Katy, TX  77494
KARS Amateur Radio License Exam
July 11 
9:30 11:00 am
Westlake Volunteer Fire Dept, 19636 Saums Rd, Houston, TX 77084 NOTE: This testing session is dependent on the Harris County Shelter in place order being lifted.  Pre-Registration is required
KARS Coffee Every Wednesday, 7:30 PM Jason’s Deli 21953 F, Katy Fwy, Katy, TX 77450
KARS Breakfast Every Saturday, 8:00 AM Freddy’s Cafe 16830 Barker Springs #400 Houston, TX. 77084

Katy Amateur Radio Society (KARS) is an active club in Katy, TX, just west of Houston, dedicated to the fascinating hobby of amateur radio.

Please come and join in the fun!  Membership Application

Facebook Group Katy Amateur Radio Society on Facebook




Categories: Club Info

Where in the World is . . . Sri Lanka

March 22nd, 2020 Comments off

Where in the World is . . .

Sri Lanka (4S)

CQ Zone 22 IT Zone 41

IOTA AS-003

Sri Lanka, the name connotes a tropical isle with warm breezes and a life of ease.   

Officially, the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. The island nation is located off the Southeastern tip of India in between the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. During WW II it was part of the British Empire but achieved independence in 1946. Formerly, known as Ceylon it changed the name in 1972 to reflect the dominance of the ethnic Sinhalese population.

Its strategic location between East and West made Ceylon (Sri Lanka) a busy trading place along the Maritime Silk Road that flourished between Europe, India and Asia during the 2nd Century BCE and the 15th Century CE. After the death of Mao Zedong, the Chinese government made itself an important partner in East-West trade. It obtained long term leases over port facilities along the route including in Sri Lanka. But – I digress.

Figure 1Colombo

The country’s largest city and its commercial capital is Colombo; a name I can at least pronounce, while the legislative seat of government is Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, which I cannot.

The country’s trade in luxury goods and spices attracted traders of many nations to the island, creating the diverse population in Sri Lanka there is now. The Portuguese, whose arrival in Sri Lanka was largely accidental, would intrude into the country’s internal affairs by seeking to establish control over the maritime regions of the island in order to control its lucrative external trade.

The Portuguese possessions would later be taken over by the Dutch, and the Dutch by the British who would later extend their control over the whole island, colonizing it from 1815 to 1948. Resistance to the British was immediate. A nationalist political movement arose in the country in the early 20th century for political independence, which was granted in 1948; the country became a republic and adopted its current name in 1972. Sri Lanka’s recent history has been marred by a 26-year civil war, which ended decisively when the Sri Lanka Armed Forces defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 2009.

Figure 2 Ceylon Tea

In addition to the trade benefits between east and west, Sri Lanka is the world’s number two exporter of tea. Ceylon tea has been recognized as the cleanest tea in the world regarding pesticide residue.

Sri Lanka is one of only two South Asian countries rated “high” on the Human Development Index (HDI), with its HDI rating and per capita income the highest among South Asian nations. The Sri Lankan constitution accords Buddhism the “foremost place”, although it does not identify it as a state religion. Buddhism is given special privileges in the Sri Lankan constitution.

Sri Lanka is the 57th most populated nation in the world with roughly 21,670,000 people. The densest areas are in and around the capital. Sinhalese constitute the largest ethnic group in the country, with 75% of the total population. Sri Lankan Tamils are the second major ethnic group in the island, with a percentage of 11%.

According to QRZ, there are 320 licensed hams in the country. Sri Lanka stands at. number 183 on Club Log’s Most wanted DXCC most Wanted List,

There are several radio clubs sponsored by universities, along with The Amateur Radio Society of Sri Lanka (RSSL). which is the official representative to the IARU.

Reporting from the Dark Side,

Ron, K5HM

Categories: Articles

Minutes from the KARS Monthly Meeting March 9, 2020

March 16th, 2020 Comments off

The meeting started at 7:30 with the Pledge of Allegiance.

This month’s presentation was offered by both the Katy Area CERT Team, represented by Mary Payne, and HCESC 48, represented by Patty Areel.

We were given an in depth overview of the purpose, function and details that go into operating a successful Community Emergency Response Team. Volunteers are given specific training to cover various situations and provided basic tools to be effective in these situations. The primary key to this organization is that it is locally focused, teams in their own areas and neighborhoods aid in the event of natural disasters and assist First Responders to provide aid as efficiently as possible.

We were also given insight to the many facets and functions of HCESD 48. From emergency response, training, smoke alarm blitzes, free home safety inspections and being available to speak to local groups when requested. One of the most notable accomplishments is the vast inter-department interaction and cooperation that is one of their strongest assets. Teamwork and training go hand in hand in making our community a safer place to live. HCESD 48 has a program, called the Safe Sitter Program, that teaches anyone who works as a baby sitter. The course covers a lot of safety issues and has garnered national attention as one of the premiere courses to be offered anywhere.

In that same vein, the next Safety Fest is scheduled for October 17th, 2020 at Katy Mills. Another upcoming event is the next Smoke Alarm Blitz which is schedule for May 21, 2020. Volunteers will be welcome.

Club Business

The Board of Directors minutes were published, a motion was made and seconded to accept the minutes, a vote was held and the minutes accepted.

Upcoming Events – Scott Reeve KT5SR

March 22nd Red, White and Blue Bike Ride

April 4th Brazoria County ride sponsored by Schlumberger

April 4th Scout Fair

April 11th No Label Triathlon

General Announcement: George Graves, KI6G has stepped up to take the role of KARS President!!  Jimmy Vance, NA5D will fill in as acting Vice President for the time being and to assist in the transition.

March is officially the month membership dues are collected, you can pay online at the KARS website, using the PayPal link, or by mail, the address is on the website.

We continue to hear good progress reports concerning Charlie Lancaster, KT5BBQ and his improving health.

Meeting adjourned at 8:25 pm

Categories: Meetings

Where in the World is Uganda (5X) – CQ Zone 36 IT Zone 48

February 23rd, 2020 Comments off

Uganda, Officially the Republic of Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa. It is geographically a beautiful nation with snow-capped mountains and immense Lake Victoria. Its abundant wildlife includes chimpanzees as well as rare birds. Remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a renowned mountain gorilla sanctuary. Murchison Falls National Park in the northwest is known for its 141-foot-tall waterfall and wildlife such as hippos.

Uganda is a Sub-Saharan African country with one of the highest rates of poverty, the country remains among the poorest in the world. The number of Ugandans living below the poverty line is currently about one in five.

Figure 1 Idi Amin

The most remembered character in Ugandan history is probably Idi Amin. He enlisted in the Kings African Rifles as a cook in the British Colonial Army. He rose to the rank of Major and was appointed Commander of the Army after Uganda’s independence. He became aware that the nation’s president was planning to arrest him for misappropriating army funds, so he promptly launched a military coup and declared himself President.

Figure 2 Kampala, the capitol of Uganda

A min was president from 1971 to 1979. His eight-year regime was one of the most brutal in recent history. Amin ruled directly, shunning the delegation of power. He was noted for his abrupt changes of mood, from buffoonery to shrewdness, from gentleness to tyranny. He was often extreme in his nationalism. He expelled all Asians from Uganda in 1972, an action that led to the breakdown of Uganda’s economy, and he publicly insulted Great Britain and the United States as well as numerous world leaders. A Muslim, he reversed Uganda’s amicable relations with Israel and befriended Libya and the Palestinians; in July 1976 he was personally involved in the hijacking of a French airliner to Entebbe. Amin came to be known as the “Butcher of Uganda” for his brutality, and it is believed that some 300,000 people were killed, and countless others tortured during his presidency. Naming himself President for Life, his full title was “His ExcellencyPresident for LifeField Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular”. He never received the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) or the Military Cross (MC). He conferred a doctorate of law on himself from Makerere University as well as the Victorious Cross (VC), a medal made to emulate the British Victoria Cross.

The Ugandan Shilling is the national currency. A US dollar is worth about 2,700 Ugandan Shillings. Transparency International has rated Uganda’s public sector as one of the most corrupt in the world. In 2016, Uganda ranked 151st worst out of 176 and had a score of 25 on a scale from 0 (perceived as most corrupt) to 100 (perceived as clean). According to the United States Department of State’s 2012 Human Rights Report on Uganda, “The World Bank’s most recent Worldwide Governance Indicators reflected corruption was a severe problem” and that “the country annually loses 768.9 billion shillings ($286 million) to corruption.”

According to QRZ, there are 78 callsigns licensed; with about 10% being licensed to foreign licensed holders. Acording to DX News, M0KRI is due to activate 5X1RI will be active in Uganda for two weekends in July – Mid August 2020.

Reporting from the Dark Side,

Ron, K5HM

Categories: Articles

Minutes from the KARS Monthly Meeting February 10, 2020

February 18th, 2020 Comments off

The meeting started at 7:30 with the Pledge of Allegiance.

This month’s presentation was a very informative explanation concerning Call Signs and Vanity Call Signs, explained by Jimmy Vance, NA5D. With the use of PowerPoint slides he covered how the globe is divided into areas and highlighted those areas we have in the United States. When first obtaining a license, the operator is given a random call sign, the region based on the address given. Many people are comfortable with the call sign, however, as license class is upgraded there is the opportunity to apply for what is called a “Vanity Call”. This is a specific call the operator would prefer or might even be an inactive call sign from a family member. The list of available calls can be found online by searching the FCC website or others, such as AE7Q.com or RadioQTH.net. You can find out if the call sign is available and on what day applications will be accepted. Application does not guarantee assignment, on that day, in a 24 hour period, all the qualifying applications are put into a “pool” and one is randomly selected.

Visit the websites if you are interested in a vanity call, maybe with initials or some other personalization.

The minutes from the Board Meeting were presented, a motion by Tom Greathouse was made to accept them and was seconded by Jack Philley. A show of hands voted to accept the minutes.

Planning is firming up for the upcoming Greater Houston Hamfest, to be held on March 6th and 7th, 2020 at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds. 4310 Texas 36 Rosenberg, TX 77471. Tickets are available on line, buy them there and save some money for those items you can’t live without!!

KARS will have two tables set up for anyone who has any items to sell, be sure to plainly mark them with your name and the asking price. These tables will have to be manned, you can work out arrangements with other club members to timeshare that responsibility so everyone gets to enjoy the Hamfest. Another table will be set up for club literature.

Building B will house the Makers Builders, an interesting display of projects. There will be VE Sessions available for anyone wishing to get their license or upgrade their license.

Kit building day was a success, there were many clock kits assembled, some completed and working, others are works in progress. KARS hopes to continue this event. Many thanks to those who assisted in this and especially Jack Philley for obtaining the kits.

There are still positions open for President and Vice President, we are looking for nominations for the voting that will be held at the next meeting. Nominees will have the full support and backing of all the club members.

Treasury Report: $6,022.16

Dues are payable at the March meeting, you can pay at the meeting or go through the KARS website and pay online through PayPal.

Meeting adjourned at 8:05 pm

Categories: Meetings

Minutes from the KARS Monthly Meeting January 13, 2020

February 1st, 2020 Comments off

The meeting started at 7:30 with the Pledge of Allegiance.

This month’s presentation was conducted by Jack Philley – WB5KVV – covering the topic of “The Decibel”. The discussion covered the many uses for the unit of measurement called “The Bel” and how it relates to amateur radio as a tool for measurement against known standards. From RF radiation levels, antenna gain, coax loss and received signal levels, each is compared to a base value. Along with Jack Philley’s PowerPoint presentation there was an interesting YouTube video that demonstrated how RF transmit power levels relates to the received signal levels. It detailed how much transmitted RF power would have to increase to raise the received signal level.

There have been articles in QST magazine as well as tutorials on the ARRL website that help explain decibels and how they are calculated.

Membership renewal fees are due in March, they can be submitted via PayPal on the Katy ARS website as well as at the monthly meetings.

VE Session held January 11th report:  6 tested – 5 passed

The next Soldering Workshop will be held on February 1st. You can order a digital clock kit from Jack Philley or bring a project kit of your choice to the session.

Upcoming HamFests

Orange, Texas February 21st, 2020

Greater Houston HamFest March 6th and 7th, 2020

Winter Field Day is schedule for January 25th and 26th, 2020. KARS members are invited to bring out their field gear and antennas to set up and communicate with other Field Day stations. The club will set up at the Cullen Park pavilion off Groschke Road, near the West Houston Airport.

Katy Amateur Radio Society Annual Club Elections will be held at the February monthly meeting. There are several positions open for nominees. Please contact Jimmy Vance or any other board member if you are interested in keeping our organization growing.

Treasury Report: $6,024.16

Houston Marathon is coming up on January 18th and 19th 2020. The No Label Triathlon is scheduled for April 11th, 2020.

New KARS member voted in:

John W. Holmes K4VMG Extra Welcome to the club John!!!

Board meeting minutes were presented, motion was presented by Charlie, KT5BBQ and seconded by Darrell, KC5JAR, voted and accepted into records.

A motion was presented for club to purchase two tables at the Greater Houston HamFest, motion by Charlie, KT5BBQ, seconded and voted aye to purchase two tables.

Meeting adjourned at 8:35.

Categories: Meetings

Where in the World is . . .Democratic Republic of Congo (9Q) CQ Zone 36 ITU Zone 52

January 20th, 2020 Comments off

Never has one country had so many names! The Democratic Republic of the Congo  also known as DR Congo, the DRC, DROC, Congo-Kinshasa, or simply the Congo and before that it was the Belgian Congo and still earlier it was the Congo Free State. Can you say that all in one breath?

Where is it? In Central Africa. Right next to the Republic of the Congo. It is a country located in Central Africa. It was formerly called Zaire (1971–1997). It is, by area, the largest country in sub-Saharan Africa. With a population of over 84 million, the DRC is the most populous officially Francophone country, the fourth-most-populous country in Africa. The Eastern DR Congo has been the scene of ongoing military conflict since 2015. So not a good place for a DXpedition or a vacation.  To read more go here…

Reporting from the Dark Side,Ron, K5HM

Categories: Uncategorized

FREE Amateur Radio Exam Study Program

January 2nd, 2020 Comments off

http://www.n3fjp.com/amateurstudy.html

This is a free Amateur Exam Study Program offered by N3FJP.

Scott offers all most another 100 applications for contesting or logging (some of which interface with other software packages).

http://www.n3fjp.com/index.html

http://www.n3fjp.com/purchasepackage.html

 

Categories: Tools

2020 HamFests in Texas

December 30th, 2019 Comments off

The following Texas HamFests have been listed in ARRL or other notifications:

Radio Fiesta 2020, 10-January, Schertz Convention Center, 1400 Schertz Parkway, Schertz, TX 78154, San Antonio Radio Club, https://w5sc.org/

Cowtown HamFest 2020, and ARRL North Texas Section Convention, Forest Hill Civic and Convention Center, 6901 Wichita Street Forest Hill, Texas 76140, January 17-18, 2020 (Fri 3 pm – 7 pm and Sat 7 am – 3 pm), http://www.cowtownhamfest.com. Talk In Frequency 146.94 MHz, Tone 110.9.

2020 Greater Houston HamFest, Fort Bend Fairgrounds, Rosenberg, TX, Brazos Valley Amateur Radio Club, Saturday 07-March (Setup – Saturday, 6 am – 8 am; Main event – Saturday, 8 am – 2 pm), http://houstonhamfest.org/.
(Date for year 2021 is 06-March)

2020 HamCom, 12- and 13-June (12-June 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, Saturday, 13-June 8:00 am – 5:00 pm), Plano Event Center, 2000 E Spring Creek Pkwy, Plano, TX 75074 (https://sites.google.com/hamcom.org/ham-com).

Other Noteworthy Ham Conventions

W4DXCC (DX and Contest Convention), September 25-26, 2020, Pigeon Forge, TN, MainStay Hotel and Conference Center.

Categories: HamFest

2 Nights Before Christmas – Ron Litt, K5HM

December 18th, 2019 Comments off

Two nights before Christmas and up at the shop,

Santa was checking his sleigh for the big hop.

His APRS was already on line,

So, the gang down at NORAD could track him 5 – 9.

The new HF rig was tuned up on 20.

He knew that 100 watts would be plenty.

“I’ll be on VOX for this flight”, he said in his head.

I have to be able to look straight ahead.”

So, sideband it is for the big night tomorrow.

I hope the CW guys won’t be too full of sorrow.

The two-meter rig was already encoded,

With every repeater that could be uploaded.

They’ll know when Santa’s near; they won’t be surprised,

And make sure the kids have all closed their eyes.

He stopped for a moment then gave a big start,

When he suddenly realized he was missing a part.

“Of course!”, he shouted. “its my laptop PC!

I won’t get far without it on my knee.”

“Its got my log and my list and my flight plan too,

Though I always have Rudolph to guide me through.”

He pulled out his wallet once more to check,

That his FCC license was there for the trek.

“Well, it looks like I’m ready”, they heard him declare,

“I’ll be single op unassisted for the entire affair.”

“I better get some rest now before the big night,

So, I can be ready for the long flight.”

And they heard him exclaim as he walked off to bed,

“CQ, CQ, CQ . . . QRZed?”

Merry Christmas Y’all

73,  Ron, K5HM

Categories: Articles

Awards to Win – Ron Litt, K5HM

December 18th, 2019 Comments off

WAZ, DXCC, WAS, IOTA; certificates of achievement that are clear testimony to your operating prowess. Chasing awards is a niche segment of amateur radio; some might call it a cult, to aspire to capturing every possible certificate.

After reading up on various awards available, I learned of several unique awards that fill in some blank spots. For Example:

WOTA – Wal-Marts On The Air. Requires proof of QSO’s with amateur radio stations operating from at least 400 Wal-Mart locations. Individuals or clubs may activate an individual Wal-Mart location at any time and notify WOTA authorities by registering the activation in the WOTA worldwide data base. The WOTA committee will issue a unique WOTA number for the location. Each QSO submitted for credit must be a current activation at the time of contact. There are over 6,600 Wal-Mart locations worldwide. Good Luck.

Contact with Sam’s Club locations do not count for WOTA credit. The WOTA committee is contemplating offering a separate award for Sam’s Clubs on The Air (SCOTA) later this year.

FFOTA (Fast Food On The AIR) announced in 2013. There are special endorsements for MDOTA (McDonalds On The Air), JIBOTA (Jack In the Box On The Air) and KFCOTA (you can probably figure this one out for yourself).

Academy Award Award – Given for contact with hams in cities where a movie filmed in that location won the Academy Award for Best Picture. The same city cannot be used multiple times. Only one city per film. Sorry, extraterrestrial locations such as Remulak, Vulcan and other mythical locations cannot be used for this award. In addition to the certificate, each award includes a package of microwave popcorn.

Special 78th anniversary Commemorative Casablanca Award – Commemorates the 78th anniversary of the Humphrey Bogart film. The award is earned for contacts with hams in the area of the former French Morocco whose first names are: Rick, Ilsa, Victor, Louis, Heinrich, Sascha, Carl or . . . Sam (as in “Play it again Sam”)

Ring of Fire Award – This award is given to hams who have contacted portable operations located on the rim of at least five active volcanoes. Considering the element of danger for the expedition operators, this is the only award in the world that is reciprocal. A person may earn this for themselves by going to five different volcanoes and contacting at least one other amateur before running for their life. Note – There is no power limit for this award although Ring of Fire expeditions favor lightweight QRP gear in order not to hinder their need for a rapid departure!

And, my personal favorite:

The Next Year Award – This is the most prestigious of all amateur radio awards because the standard of achievement is quite high. Off hand, I can’t recall a single person, who has won this award. It is given to amateurs who have delayed, put off or deferred making or completing any changes in their equipment, operating skill, club participation or license class. The amateur eligible for the award must apply themselves. Of course, by doing so, one is automatically disqualified for the award, having accomplished something in the process.

Good Luck Award Hunter!

Categories: Articles