Katy Amateur Radio Society (KARS), Katy, Texas

Recurring Events
KARS NetEvery Tuesday, 8:00 PMKARS RepeaterKT5TX 147.200(+) MHz Repeater, PL 141.3
KARS Monthly Meeting2nd Monday of Every Month, 7:30 PMHCESD Fire Station #422855 Franz Rd, Katy, TX 77449
Talk in on the Repeater
KARS VE Session (Licensing Exam)March 12, 2016, 9:30 AMHCESD Fire Station #4No Pre-registration Required
KARS CoffeeEvery Wednesday, 7:30 PMStarbucks547 South Mason Rd. Mason & Merrymount
KARS BreakfastEvery Saturday, 8:00 AMLocal RestaurantAl Caliente, 20210 Katy Fwy

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!

April 2016 General Meeting Minutes

April 16th, 2016 Comments off

KARS General Meeting Minutes Monday April 11, 2016

• Meeting called to order at 7:30 P.M.
• The Pledge of Allegiance was said.
• Roll call had 21 members and 1 non-member present.
• The BOD minutes were approved by voice vote.
• Treasurer’s report from Mike:

The insurance bill was due. The amount is $108.00. Charlie motioned to vote and Gerald seconded the motion. The membership voted and approved to pay the bill.

• Vote on New Members
Mike read the new membership applications.
A motion was made to suspend the by-laws and vote on new members. Mark motioned and George seconded. Nine members were voted on and approved.

• KARS Constitution and By-Laws Changes
Proposed changes to the by-laws we given to the membership for review.
There was talk to meet a new applicant at an event be it club meetings, BOD meetings, coffee, breakfast, etc…
Meeting the person at the event would need to be sponsored.
Full dues for the year would need to be paid at time of joining.
If they do not pay their dues, they are out.
The barrier for membership should be removed.
There was discussion for new members to be considered an associate member until voted upon at a general meeting.
Background on new member will be checked on the FCC ULS to make sure their license is current and no enforcement actions have been taking by the FCC.
The Board of Directors will write a new proposal at their next meeting on April 25, 2016.

• Public Service Events
BP MS 150 on Apr. 16-17, 2016
HCESD #48 Safety Fest on Apr. 23, 2016
CB&I TRI – The Woodlands Triathlon on Apr. 30, 2016
The Humble Bike Ride on May 1, 2016
The Ironman and the Hurricane Workshop are coming soon.

• KARS Club Shirts
Looking at different styles including T-shirt, long sleeve t-shirt, and polo
Pricing is also being evaluated. The price will go down if more are ordered.

• Net control operators are needed for the Tuesday night net. Ham Test Online fee will be waived for the General Test Studies if the Tech will serve as Net Control Operator. Also, Ham Test Online fee will be waived for the Extra Test if the person agrees to be a VE. The new question pool for the Extra Class begins on July 1, 2016.

• HCESD 48 Safety Fest
Dave Scott the chairperson for the event.
Club members wanted for the event.
Needs are for net and for communications.
Need to have an HT radio.
Event times are 10AM-4PM.
Sign up with Dave Scott.
Fire Department to tell us positions.
Dave will have an ICS for the event.
Club will set up an HF station.

• ARRL Field Day is June 25, 2016. A chairperson is needed for the event.

• Break

• Bob and Mike showed the K1N Navassa Island DVD on DX trip to Navassa Island.

• Meeting ended at 9:15PM.

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April ’16 Meeting – K1N Navassa Island DXpedition

April 6th, 2016 No comments
The April 2016 Meeting will be at 7:30 on April 11 at HCESD Fire Station #4, 22855 Franz Rd, Katy, TX 77449.
Bob Bently WB3EWP will give a video presenation on the K1N, Navassa DXpedition. This should be a very interesting presentation.
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March 2016 Meeting Minutes

April 6th, 2016 Comments off
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March ’16 Meeting – Power Supplies, Linear and Switching

March 3rd, 2016 No comments

The March 2016 Meeting was at 7:30 on March 14 at HCESD Fire Station #4, 22855 Franz Rd, Katy, TX 77449.

Summary of Presentation by Brian AF5IT:

Sooner or later every ham wants or needs to set up a mobile radio in a base station configuration.  Doing so will require a power supply which converts the 120 volts AC power to 12 to 14 volts DC power.  There are primarily two types of regulation used in today’s commercially available power supplies:  Linear and Switch Mode.  The linear regulation supply constantly draws AC current and regulates on the DC side of the step down transformer by using a transistor as a variable resistor.  Output current draw adjusts base bias on the transistor allowing for constant voltage output.  Any unused power is dissipated off as heat.  Advantages:  less parts, easier to troubleshoot.  Disadvantage:  not too efficient

The switch mode supply regulates by rectifying AC power, using that filtered, but unregulated, voltage to power an oscillator IC chip whose output drives a switching transistor.  In the transistor collector circuit is the primary of a transformer.  The on and off action of the transistor causes current to go and stop through the transformer, resulting in a magnetic field which is felt by the secondary and creates current flow in the secondary circuit.  This waveform is a square wave running at around 15Khz.  The wave is rectified and filtered and sent to the device needing power.  Output voltage fluctuation is detected and feedback to the IC chip which adjusts its output frequency and/or duty cycle, adjusting the voltage across the transformer primary.  Power is only drawn for the AC supply when needed.  Advantages:  Highly efficient, cooler running.  Disadvantage:  many parts and may be victim of domino effect failure.

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Free Equipment from wb5kvv

February 22nd, 2016 No comments

I recently made a sweep of my ham shack and found some items that I want to find a new home for. All are in working condition as far as I know, except the 2 meter receiver kit, which is still in the wrapper.

I plan to bring the items to the March KARS club meeting, and offer them free to any member who wants them, first come first serve. If there are any items left over, I plan to bring them to the hamfest, place them on the KARS table, and donate any proceeds to the club.

The current list includes:

  • CW Pixie QRP transceiver (1 watt)
  • External speakers (2)
  • Shortwave converter by Ramsey (converts AM band to Shortwave)
  • Shortwave converter by MFG (converts car radio to shortwave)
  • 94 feet of twin lead , 300 ohm
  • LED learning kit
  • Electronics beginner learning kit
  • Headphones with AM FM receiver
  • SDR dongle with software disk
  • 2 meter receiver kit (still in wrapper, not yet built)
  • Aircraft receiver kit (assembled and working)
  • 10 meter receiver kit (assembled and working)
  • LED dual blinker pc board (assembled and ready to blink)

Free to KARS members only, on a first come first serve basis.

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February ’16 Presentation – Software Defined Radio

February 9th, 2016 No comments

Monday, February 8, 2016 , at 7:30 PM
West I-10 Fire House at 22855Franz Rd, Katy, TX 77449

SDR Clip

KF5CZO gave a presentation, a high level overview of SDRs, software defined radios.

KARS – Software Defined Radio Presentation.pdf

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January Presentation – RF Propagation, Introduction and Overview

January 20th, 2016 No comments

RF Propagation, Introduction and Overview

Monday, January 11, 2016 , at 7:30 PM
West I-10 Fire House at 22855Franz Rd, Katy, TX 77449




WB5KVV gave a presentation on RF propagation.  He covered different types of propagation, considerations and special cases.

RF Propagation 101 Jan2016.pptx

handout RF Propagation 101.doc

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Technician Radio Class

December 29th, 2015 No comments

Technician Radio Class

Katy Amateur Radio Society will offer a Technician Amateur Radio License Class over four Saturday morning sessions.  Classes are February 13, February 20, February 27 and March 5.  Classes will be Saturday mornings from 9:30am-11:30am at HCESD 48 Fire Station No. 4 at 22855 Franz Road.   

Class will be based on the HamTestOnLine program.  The web-based training materials will be offered at a discounted price of $15.00.  Additional topics covered include: using your handi-talkie, digital communications, public service opportunities, and other areas of ham radio.

The VE Exam for the FCC Amateur Technician License will be held March 12.

Class space is limited to 30.

Please contact Mike Brannan at KA5OXA@arrl.net or 281-782-3046 to reserve a space.

 We can respond to your questions via the contact below.

Katy Amateur Radio Society        P.O. Box 200, Katy, TX  77492-0200

Public Information Officer:          Mike Brannan    License:  KA50XA              Phone:  281-782-3046

Email:  KA5OXA@arrl.net              Home address: 23006 Greenrush Dr., Katy, TX 77494

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December Monthly Minutes

December 24th, 2015 No comments


December 14, 2015. Special Christmas Dinner meeting.
Spring Creek Barbeque, I-10 & Westgreen Blvd., Katy, TX

Meeting called to order by President Bob WB3EWP at 7:32 PM.

Twenty members and sixteen visitors were present. Everyone introduced themselves. All enjoyed a fine barbeque dinner as served by the Spring Creek folks.
One visitor, Mark Lorie, KG5JBJ submitted an application for membership. This will be placed on the January meeting agenda.

Motion by Mark N5YUS and seconded by Tommie KG5FMY to accept the minutes of last month’s meeting as posted on
the website. Motion passed.

The Treasurer’s report was given by Mike KA5OXA. Motion by Mark N5YUS and seconded by John AK5AK to accept the treasurer’s report. Motion carried.

There was no Board of Directors meeting in November to report on.

Old Business
Our weekly net continues on Tuesday evenings at 8:00 PM on our repeater, 147.200 Mhz, +600KHz offset, and PL tone of 141.3Hz.

A date to install the new VHF/UHF antenna and replace the 450 ohm ladder line is needing to be set. District 48 fire department has just received delivery of its ladder truck which would be very helpful in doing this activity.

The KARS club repeater has been successfully moved to a site on top of the Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital. The antenna is approximately 140 above ground and offers a much larger coverage area. A big “Thank You” goes out to Darrell KK5LG for working with ESD 48, the West I-10 fire department, the attorneys and the court to get our repeater out of station #2. The KARS treasury funded the cost of the move and is accepting donations to offset the costs. See Mike KA5OXA if you can help.

New Business
A vote on two applications for membership as previously submitted to the club:
Ben Keel KF5ZRN and George Graves KG5KOB. Motion by Mark N5YUS and seconded by Scott KT5SR to accept these applicants into membership of the club. Motion passed.

KARS is offering several Technician level ham classes throughout 2016 using the Ham Test Online curriculum. Access to the online class is $15.00 through the club instead of the regular cost of $24.95 per student. We do need a minimum of five student per session. Optional classroom work will be one to two hours of mentoring and clarification for four weeks on Saturday mornings leading up to the test. Have a family member, friend, neighbor interested in becoming a licensed amateur radio operator, then invite them to attend the class. Mike KA5OXA is heading up this training.
A nomination committee has been formed in advance of 2016 club officer elections. We will be electing a new President, Vice President, and Secretary for 2016. Voting is during the March meeting.

The next Board of Directors meeting is set for Tuesday, December 22, 2015 at 7:30PM at fire station #4 on Franz Rd.
The next club monthly meeting is Monday, January 11th at 7:30 at fire station #4 on Franz Rd.

Hearing no further business to conduct, President Bob closed the meeting at 7:54PM.

Entered into record this 14th day of December 2015 by Brian Havran, recording secretary.

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December 10th, 2015 No comments


November 9, 2015. Regular monthly meeting. Harris County ESD #48 Fire Station 4, Franz Rd. Katy, TX

Meeting called to order by President Bob WB3EWP at 7:30 PM.
All in attendance stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
Eighteen members and two visitors signed in. Everyone introduced themselves.

Motion by Mark N5YUS and seconded by Bruce W5BCA to accept the minutes of last month’s meeting as posted on the website. Motion passed.

The Treasurer’s report was given by Mike KA5OXA. Motion by Gerald N5KT and seconded by Charlie KT5BBQ accept the treasurer’s report. Motion carried.

The Board of Directors minutes for October 27, 2015 were read.

Old Business

Our weekly net continues on Tuesday evenings at 8:00 PM on our repeater,
The frequency is 147.200 MHz +600kHz with a PL of 141.3.

The repairs to the exterior wall of Fire Station #4 have finally been completed. A date to install our new VHF/UHF antenna will be set soon. This will need to be coordinated with the fire department (ladder truck, etc.). It was pointed out that District 48 fire department does not own a ladder truck at this time.
Our ladder line to the HF antenna had snapped in multiple places. Two hundred feet of 450 Ohm ladder line has been supplied to KARS by a club member. Both activities need to be scheduled simultaneously.

Photo documenting for a KARS member album continues. Pictures are able to be taken during break time.

The club is holding applications for two prospective members:
Ruben Caparos, KG5IOO was not in attendance at this meeting. (Third reading). Nick Magoulianos, KG5IOP was in attendance and voted into membership of the Katy Amateur Radio Society.

Death certificates for Marshall Dues, K5MMD, and Jerry Cammack, KT5US, were submitted to the ARRL to be listed in their Silent Key column as reported by Mike KA5OXA.

The club has been given an opportunity to move the club repeater from its current location behind West I-10 station 2 which is elevated to approximately 70 feet above ground to a site on top on the Memorial Herman Katy Hospital which would be about 140 feet high. The new antenna has been installed on the hospital roof. By court order, ALL equipment in several firehouses still cannot be removed until a final settlement is reached. Both parties, West I-10 fire department and Harris County ESD #48, are not due back in court until late May 2016. Our repeater is still operating from station #2. Moving the KARS repeater to the Katy hospital roof will make it more useable over a wider area. The KARS treasury is funding the project and seeking donations to assist with this costly effort. Several members have stepped up by making donations for the antenna change. See Mike, WB5OXA, Treasurer if you can help.

Information for a repeater rack was received from Tommy, KG5FMA.
The information has been passed onto Darrell, KK5LG.

New Business

Our information has been updated for our ARRL Club Affiliation.

KARS is considering offering ham classes using the Ham Test Online curriculum. We would sell access to the online class to the students for $15.00 each. Our class room work would be one to two hours of mentoring and clarification for four weeks on Saturday before the VE test. Mike KA5OXA is heading up this training.

A nomination committee was formed tonight to select members willing to run for the offices of President, Vice-President, and Secretary. The election will be held during the March 2016 meeting. Chosen to be on the nomination committee were Mike KA5OXA, and Brian AF5IT. A third member needs to be added before the committee can begin its work.

The KARS Breakfast Bunch has left Luby’s on Mason Rd. in Katy and currently meets at the Corner Bakery & Café. It is located on the southwest corner of I-10 and Greenhouse Rd.


The next VE examination will be held here at Fire Station #4 on Saturday, November 21, 2015 beginning at 9:30 AM. VE examiners are always needed. Want to become a VE examiner? See Mark, N5YUS, for the easy steps to do so.

Our next Board of Directors meeting is Tuesday, December 22nd at 7:30 here at station #4.

Our next monthly meeting is Monday December 14th and is this year’s Christmas Dinner at 7:00PM. It will be held at Spring Creek Barbeque, 21000 Katy Freeway at Westgreen Boulevard. (located on the northwest corner of I-10 & Westgreen Blvd.) Spouses and/or family are welcome to attend.

Public Service Events and Opportunities

Pearl Harbor Memorial Service at the Battleship Texas on Saturday, December 5, 2015.
The station NA5DV would be set up and operating on the ship. The Patriot Guard Riders will have a flag line leading up to the ship.

The CyFair half marathon happens on Sunday, Nov 15th. Sid Sherwood is in charge of the ham communication for it.


Tea, coffee, and sweet treats were enjoyed by the attendees during break time.
Thanks to all for keeping the refreshments self sustaining.


Scott KT5SR, discussed Amateur Radio Emergency Service or ARES for short. He explained its purpose, structure, people and leaders, and operation. Scott urged all of us to join the Harris County ARES organization.

Hearing no further business to conduct, President Bob closed the meeting at 9:25PM

Entered into record this 9th day of November 2015 by Brian Havran, recording secretary.