Welcome to the home page of the Katy Amateur Radio Society, (KARS). We are an active club in Katy, TX, located just west of the Houston area. If you would like to learn more about the fascinating hobby of Amateur Radio visit the ARRL website or please contact us via email.

The KARS Net is held every Monday at 7:30 PM except meeting nights on the KT5TX 147.200(+) MHz repeater, PL 141.3.

The KARS monthly meetings are held on the 2nd Monday of every month at 7:30PM at West I-10 Fire Station #4 on Franz Road, just east of Grand Parkway (99). Talk-in on the 147.200(+) MHz repeater, PL 141.3. Come join us!

The KARS VE Sessions are held on the 3rd Saturday of every even numbered month at 9:30AM at the West I-10 Firestation #4 on Franz Road, just east of Grand Parkway (99). No pre-registration is required.

The KARS group also meets every Saturday at 8:00AM at a local restaurant - On Most Saturdays we gather at Luby's at 485 S Mason Rd. (it does change occasionally).

Please come and join in the fun!

KARS Emergency Communications Draft Documents

December 18th, 2014 No comments

Please review these PDF files of KARS Emergency Communications documents prior to the January meeting.  These documents were approved by the KARS Board of Directors on December 16, 2014.

KARS Emergency Communications SOP draft 18Dec2014

West I-10 – KARS Emergency Communications Plan 16Dec14 draft

 

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KARS Minutes for November 10, 2014

December 5th, 2014 No comments

November 10, 2014. Regular monthly meeting.
West I-10 fire station 4, Franz Rd. Katy, Tx.

Meeting called to order by President Bob WB3EWP at 7:29 PM.
All in attendance stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
Seventeen members and three visitors (prospective members) signed in.
All in attendance introduced themselves.

Motion by Mark N5YUS and seconded by Dan K5DAF to accept the minutes of the October meeting as posted on the website. Motion carried.

The treasurer was not present when the president called for the treasurer’s report.
The minutes of the most recent Board of Directors meeting were read.

Old Business

Most of the old business was in the form of announcements with no club action required.

Assuming good weather, the club will assemble at West I-10 station 4 on December 6, 2014 to repair the HF antenna system. Scott KT5SR is in charge of procuring marine grade pulleys and line to be used in the work.

Discussion on the KARS 2 meter net took place The net is now held on Monday evenings at 2000 hours local time. Jerry KT5US volunteered to step up and coordinate the net going forward. Motion by Charlie KT5BBQ and seconded by Jack WB5KVV to once again make the net a directed net every time. Motion passed.
The KARS net is obviously not held on club meeting nights. Volunteers are needed to keep the net active!

The club’s annual Christmas Dinner and December meeting will be held December 8, 2014 at Midway Barbeque, 6025 Highway Blvd in downtown Katy. The festivities will kickoff at 6:30 PM.

Club website issues still remain. It appears that there is no club member who has both the working knowledge of websites AND the time to put in to managing the website. Hiring a person to handle the website management has been brought up and the cost factor there makes it not an option.

Boy Scout Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) was held at George Bush Park on October 18th by Gerald WA5IRC and others. None showed up. Mike KA5OXA had offered a scout Ham Radio Merit Badge to those Scout Troops.
Mike had contacted about 30 troops without a single reply.
Our interaction with scouting groups needs to be reviewed and evaluated before going forward.

Winter Field Day is scheduled for Saturday, January 24, 2015.
It will be held at Harris County Katy Park, 24927 Morton Rd. Scott KT5SR has reserved a pavilion on the north side of the park. We will assemble there soon after breakfast at Luby’s that morning.

Consideration of New Member Applications

The third and final call for new member application of Matthew Bleakley, KG5DSB, was made and he was not in attendance. If he is still interested in joining KARS, he will need to come to a meeting and re-apply. Aaron Lauritzen, KG5DYS, was not in attendance (first reading). Matthew Zurek KG5DYT (first reading) was not in attendance. Jason Welan AF5SR was not in attendance (second reading) either. In attendance were Jody Bustos, KG5DYU, Tom Watson WZ8Q, and Mary Baker, KG5EDX. Motion by Jerry KT5US and seconded by Charlie KT5BBQ to accept these applications by acclamation. Motion carried.
New Business

Del W5QQ talked briefly about working split frequencies on the HF bands. This is much like working in duplex mode on VHF/UHF. It allows and Extra Class licensee to talk on an Extra Class frequency and, for example, a General Class ham can communicate back on General Class allowable frequency.

The nomination committee is accepting candidates for the following 2015 open positions: Treasurer and Activity Director. If interested see any nomination committee member or board member.

Mike, KA5OXA, volunteered to take the responsibility of Public Information Officer/Coordinator. Motion by Mark N5YUS and seconded by Billy KF5YRJ to accept Mike’s generous offer. Motion passed by group.

Jack WB5KVV will contact the West I-10 station 4 public relations person to start a dialog concerning how we as a club can be better prepared to work with the fire department in the event of emergency or disaster.

Alfred Perez, N5VEV, is holding a Technician Class Ham Cram course on Saturday, November 22nd. It will be held at the Westlake fire station, 19636 Saums Rd. beginning at 8:00 AM and lasting until 3:00PM. Testing for all levels will follow immediately thereafter. Cost is $10 for the course and $15 for the test.
Charlie KT5BBQ is the club’s point of contact for this activity. VE’s are needed.

The Buddipole build day is set for Saturday, December 6, 2014. The start time is 9:00AM and the location is the West I-10 fire station #4. The cost is $40.00 for the materials. If interested, contact Tom AE5QB.
After the build day, we will repair the station’s HF antenna, weather permitting.

Notice is hereby given that the next Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, December 18, 2014 at
7:30 PM at West I-10 station 4. All are welcome to attend.

Public Service Calendar

November 15th: Passion for Humanity, Simonton
November 23rd: Bike the Bend for Literacy
December14th: 30K warmup for the Houston Marathon, Sugarland Town Center
January: Houston Marathon which is one of the largest needs of hams to assist with in the Houston area.

Break

The attendees enjoyed coffee and sweet treats during break time.

Presentation

Charlie KT5BBQ answered an 11th hour call to provide the club with a meeting presentation. He talked about his “Ham Equipment Go Box”. He showed the club his gear and how he designed it. He discussed why it is to a ham’s advantage to have such a setup and he showed pictures of him using it in field operations.

Hearing no further business to conduct, President Bob closed the meeting at 8:45PM.

Note: After conclusion of the meeting, the secretary was made aware that he omitted from the October minutes was the fact that John Wagner WA5VBP was voted into the KARS club. The secretary confirmed this after checking his handwritten notes of that meeting and apologizes for the omission.
Entered into record this 10th day of November 2014 by Brian Havran, recording secretary.

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KATY AMATEUR TADIO SOCIETY MEETING MINUTES

November 3rd, 2014 No comments

KATY AMATEUR RADIO SOCIETY MEETING MINUTES

October 13, 2014. Regular monthly meeting.
West I-10 fire station 4, at 22855 Franz Rd, Katy, TX 77449

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.
Seventeen members and four visitors signed in.

All in attendance introduced themselves.

Motion by Jerry KT5US and seconded by Mark N5YUS to accept the minutes as posted on the website. Motion passed.

Treasurer Scott KT5SR reported that the club has a balance of $3452.10 in the account. Since last month’s meeting, he paid $65 to Houston Amateur Radio Supply for the radio diagnosis and had no incoming monies. Scott reported that the club needs a new “Registered Agent” with the Texas Secretary of State. No formal action was taken on this item. Motion by Charlie KT5BBQ and seconded by Jerry KT5US to accept the treasurer’s report. Motion carried.

Minutes from the most recent Board of Directors meeting were read.

Old Business

Old business was mostly in the form of informative announcements with no club action required or taken.
No bids were received at the September meeting of thereafter for the KARS Kenwood TS-830 radio. It will be offered for cash sale at the end of tonight’s meeting. If it remains unsold, it will be sent to Houston Amateur Radio Supply for consignment sale and then if still unsold, it will be offered for sale at the March Rosenberg Hamfest. (See later entry.)

The KARS antenna at West I-10 station 4 is in dire need of repair. The towers are about 45 feet high which will require some serious laddering/manpower, etc. Needed is about 300 feet of replacement line and some marine grade pulleys along with general hardware items. The plan is to procure the materials first and then schedule the repair day with the Fire Captain to incorporate this event as a training exercise for the station crew.

The KARS net Is now on Monday evenings.
1st Monday — Directed Net
2nd Monday — Club meeting night
3rd Monday — Directed Net
4th Monday — Directed Net
Volunteers are needed to keep the net functional and viable.

Jack WB5KVV has reserved the banquet room at Midway Barbeque in downtown Katy for our annual KARS Christmas Dinner. It is to be held on Monday, December 8, 2014 beginning at 6:30PM.

The club sponsored the Greater Houston, Texas 2-meter FM Challenge on October the 4th. The goal was to introduce contesting to a larger group of hams who do not participate in contesting on the HF bands. Ron K5HM is still tabulating the results and he should have them by next month’s meeting.

The Texas QSO party was held September 27 and 28th.

The plans are being put together to completely rework/redesign the club’s website. More on that to come in the upcoming months.

Tom AE5QB has possession of the club’s portable generator. Tom reported that the unit does not have any output voltage regulation on it. The voltage output is a function of motor speed, which may not be desirable for club use. The question arose as to whether or not we need to look into buying a voltage regulated generator at this time.

Last month, a signup sheet for KARS shirts was available at the meeting. Only two people signed up. If interested in club shirts, see president Bob WB3EWP or secretary Brian AF5IT.

New Business

The club is holding membership applications for two hams: Mathew Bleakley, KG5DSB and Jason Welan, AF5SR. (Neither were in attendance tonight.)
Also, tonight came three applications for club membership: Jody Bustos KG5DYU, Mathew Zurek KG5DYT, and Aaron Lauritzen KG5DYS (who was not in attendance).

KARS will participate in Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) on Saturday October the 18th. It will take place on the East end of George Bush Park between 10 AM and 2 PM. A working ham station will be set up at the site. Gerald WA5IRC has sent out three email blasts to the local scout troops and received a very limited response as of this time.

The ARRL winter field day is January 24, 2015. KARS will be at the Harris County Katy Park. The event will be a day only activity.

Mike KA5OXA has offered a Ham Radio Merit Badge class to the Scouts of the Texas Skies District. This is penciled in for March of April of 2015. More details to come as the class approaches.

Tom AE5QB is teaching a Buddistick Build Day on Saturday December 6, 2014. Contact Tom if interested in attending.

Charlie KT5BBQ reported that he has been in communication with Alfred Perez concerning setting up a “Ham Cram” course to bring in newly licensed hams. He says that Mr. Perez has reserved on his calendar November 22nd for KARS. Charlie needs to confirm with him this day or release it for another group. Del W5QQ observed that most, if not all volunteer examiners will be at the build day that Saturday and a scheduling conflict may arise. It was pointed out that the test examiners are not needed at the Ham Cram all day–only at the testing time at the end of the course. That brought up the question of how long will the Build Day last? It seems that the Build Day may take all day and could conflict with ham testing which would be taking place at a different location. Tom AE5QB offered to move his build day back to possibly a day in December if the room at station 4 is available. Charlie will get back with Alfred Perez and report to the Board of Directors before their next meeting. (Antenna build moved to Dec. 6, 2015.)

President Bob WB3EWP called for volunteers to form the officer nominations committee. Volunteering were John KF5LOE and Mark N5YUS.

Scott KT5US reported on community service opportunities in the upcoming weeks. October 18th and 19th is Bike Around the Bay. Sunday the 19th is a Cystic Fibrosis bike ride in Cypress. November 1st and 2nd is Wings Over Houston at Ellington Field. Volunteers are greatly needed.
The Corpus Christie Hamfest is November 8th in Port Aransas.

Marshall K5MMD offered $20 to purchase the Kenwood TS-830 radio. No one raised his offer. Sold to Marshall.
Jerry KT5US offered $15 to purchase the mike that was used with that radio. Again, no one raised his offer. Microphone sold to Jerry.

Break

Those in attendance enjoyed coffee and sweet treats during the intermission.

Presentation

Jack Philley, WB5KVV, gave an interesting talk on the topic of issues relating to Acute RF Potential. He discussed causes and effects to the human body of RF radiation. Especially interesting was his information that the human body is most susceptible to RF radiation in the 70 to 100 MHz band (3 to 4 meters). This is due to the frequency of resonance of the human body. Jack discussed ways for people to control their exposure to RF potential and he gave sources where one could go to learn more about the topic.

Hearing no further business to conduct, president Bob closed the meeting at 8:58 PM.
Entered into record this 13th day of October 2014 by Brian Havran, recording secretary.

For Sale

October 17th, 2014 No comments

Yaesu 2900 2 meter mobile, with mag mount antenna.
ARRL Handbook
Technician Class Study Guide, with CD
General Class Study Guide, with CD
Hallicrafters S-53 receiver
Hallicrafters S-77
7844 Dual Beam Oscilloscopes (two)

Contact mark.tollett@gmail.com. Will accept any reasonable cash offers.

Categories: For Sale

Meeting Sep 2014

October 6th, 2014 No comments

Here are meeting minutes from september 2014:

Minutes. Sept 2014

Categories: Club Info

TEXAS QSO PARTY

September 17th, 2014 No comments

Texas QSO Party

It’s that time of year again when the world works Texas, and Texas operators try once again to put all 254 counties on the air. In the last few years we’ve come close with several years above 250 but we haven’t, in recent memory, put all 254 in the submitted logs. Therefore, I hope everyone is making plans to participate again this year on the weekend of September 28-29. I’ve volunteered to again keep track on the web of who is going to be operating from where by publishing the Active Stations Map – available on http://www.txqp.net/– and to do that we need your input.

Once your plans are finalized, please send Chuck Sanders a note (the sooner the better and preferably no later than the Wednesday before the party) with the following information and he will add your operations to the map.

Fixed Stations:
1. Your call
2. Modes of Operation: CW Only, Phone Only, Mixed
3. Bands of Operation: HF only, HF+6m, HF+2m
4. Days of Operation: Both days, Saturday Only, Sunday Only
5. The county you will be operating from

Mobile Stations:

1-3 same as above
4. Saturday counties in the order you plan to activate them
5. Sunday counties in the order you plan to activate them

In listing the counties please use the full name of the county, not the abbreviation.

If the information is available early enough, the Active Stations Map can be a great tool for seeing where activity is currently planned and where more activity is needed. If you are a mobile and have flexibility in your route, check the Active Stations Map from time to time to see where additional activity is needed.

Please talk up the TQP in your club meetings. Questions can be directed to Chuck Sanders, NO5W or to Keith Dutson, NM5G through the http://www.txqp.net/ website.

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Kars meeting minutes aug 2014

September 7th, 2014 No comments

Here are meeting minutes:Minutes August 2014

Categories: Club Info

KARS Meeting Minutes Aug. 11, 2014

September 7th, 2014 No comments

KATY AMATEUR RADIO SOCIETY MEETING MINUTES

Regular monthly meeting held August 11, 2014
West I-10 Fire Station #4, Franz Rd., Katy, Tx.

Meeting called to order at 7:29 PM by President Bob WB3EWP. All in attendance stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. Twenty-five members and three visitors signed in.

Minutes of the July meeting were available online and there were some copies on the tables as well. Motion by Mark N5YUS to accept and second by Jonathan KA8KPN. Motion carried.
Treasurer Scott KT5SR gave the treasury report and said that there is $3547.10 in the bank with no payments outstanding and he is not holding any monies for deposit. Motion by Christian KG5AKF and second by Mike KA5OXA to accept the treasurer’s report. Motion passed.

Old Business

Tom AE5QB is the official VE liaison person per an email from ARRL dated 7/31/2014. He takes over from Sachiko W5IDF who recently resigned the position.
An update on the Joy Lancaster radio room at West I-10 Station #4 was given. The Kenwood TS-140 has been repaired and is in place in the room along with a power supply and an MFJ tuner. The dual VHF/UHF band Yaesu FT8800 is also in the room and is up and running. That now brings up the question of what to do with the old Kenwood TS-830. The repair estimate is $210.00. The best guess estimated value of the radio is $250.00. Houston Amateur Radio Supply asks a 20% sales commission. Questions in front of the club are: Do we fix it up and keep it, do we fix it up and sell it and, if so, how, or do we sell it as is and, if so, how, when, and where? After a vigorous discussion, Del W5QQ moved to sell it as is. Seconded by Jack WB5KVV. Motion passed. Bob WB3EWP will go to Houston Amateur Radio Supply and pick up the radio in the coming days. Club members will have first chance to buy the TS-830.
Phil KJ5OW is the new coordinator for the weekly net. He asked that the net be moved from Tuesday night to Monday night. His idea is to have a formal net on the first Monday of the month, no net (meeting) on the second Monday, a Swap Meet on the third, and casual conversation/rag chew on the remaining Mondays of the month. Phil KJ5OW made a motion to move the weekly net from Tuesdays to Mondays. Seconded by Jerry KT5US. Motion passed. This will be in effect August 18, 2014.

New Business

Tom AE5QB has been talking to a group of near 50 people who are interested in becoming amateur radio operators. Del W5QQ recently gave them a presentation on many of the wonderful virtues of ham radio.
Paul W5PAG recently submitted his resignation as Activities Coordinator for the club. Jack WB5KVV has offered to step up and temporarily fill the position. Mark N5YUS moved to accept Jack as temporary Activities Coordinator. Seconded by Ron K5CE. Motion passed.
The Atlantic Division of the ARRL is sponsoring a webinar on HR4969, the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014. The webinair will be held on August 13, 2014 from 8:00PM to 9:30PM.
The Board of Directors minutes were read.
Jack WB5KVV is looking for a location for us to hold our Christmas Dinner. The early front runner is Midway Bar-Be-Que in Katy.
The KARS 2 meter simplex activity is scheduled for August 24, 2014 starting at 7:00PM. Jack WB5KVV is heading up this activity.
Scott KT5SR reported that there is not a lot happening in the way of volunteer opportunities this month.
We, as a club, need to set up a comprehensive emergency preparedness program. We will need to determine who are the primary operators, where they will operate from, and who are the backups.
It is not too early to start thinking about Summer Field Day 2015. It appears that we will be class 3A once again.

Break

We enjoyed cookies and other sweets along with coffee during the break time.

Presentation

Tom AE5QB gave a presentation on the Buddi Pole antenna as invented by W3FF Budd Drummond. Ron K5CE brought in his commercial version. Tom showed us how we could construct our own and save money. A ham could build his own Buddi Pole antenna for about $35 give or take a few dollars. Tom lead off his presentation with a primer on radio waves and a brief discussion on a few early pioneering scientists in the field of radio wave transmission.

Hearing no other business to conduct, President Bob WB3EWP closed the meeting at 9:12PM.

Entered into record this 11th day of August 2014 by Brian Havran AF5IT, recording secretary.

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Greater Houston Texas 2-meter FM Challenge

September 5th, 2014 No comments
Categories: Uncategorized

Emergency Communications In A Zombie Apocalypse

September 4th, 2014 No comments

Emergency Communications In A Zombie Apocalypse – What Will You Do When The Cell Phones Go Out? This is an in-depth class based on the very well received presentation given at the Greater Houston Hamfest 2014.

By now it should be clear to everyone that a Zombie Apocalypse (Z.A.) can happen at anytime.  When the cell phones go out, how will you: Find shelter, food and water? Locate other survivors? Find weapons and ammo caches? Find out who’s willing to swap lighters for fresh peaches. Keep informed of the movements of zombie hordes?
The answer of course is Ham Radio! This fun and interactive class takes a humorous look at how to prepare your communications for the coming Z.A. or any disaster.

  • What are the best radios to have
  • How to power your radio gear
  • How you can get a zombie to pedal a stationary bike that has a generator attached forever
  • If you’re single, how to use your radio to find a non-infected date
  • If you’re married and have kids, how to keep your teen from dating a zombie
  • Can your Ham radios skills be used to make a directed energy weapon out of stuff your likely to find lying around after a Z.A.? YES!
  • What if the zombie hordes tear down your antenna? You’ll learn how to build a backup emergency antenna out of just coax. You can even take your antenna home with you!

Feel free to forward this to anyone who might be interested!

Class: Emergency Communications In A Zombie Apocalypse
Date: Saturday, September 13th 2014
Times: 9:00am – 4:00pm with a 1 hour lunch break
Location: Westlake Volunteer Fire Department
Address: 19636 Saums Road Houston, TX 77084
Talk In: 147.200(+)141.3 (Ham radio)
GPS: 29.800768, -95.716287
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/xXmwZ
Questions:
 perez.alfred@gmail.com
Requirements: The only requirement is that you register.  You do not have to have your Ham license to benefit from this class.
Open To: Everyone and anyone who is interested.

Materials Cost: $10

Instructor: Alfred Perez – N5VEV, EC-001 Cell: 281-919-9877 GV: 832-380-5867   24/7 Emergency Contact Accepts SMS – Text Messages

Follow Alfred On Twitter: https://twitter.com/TxEmMgmt
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/alfred-perez/90/801/42b

Registration:  Click Here To Register If that doesn’t work, cut and paste this link to register: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1wYs49pylkZ76Uix87RDspE7xmqh9FEA5GYy1-nM9Qts/viewform?usp=send_form#start=invite

Would you like to offer this class to your group? Contact Alfred Perez at perez.alfred@gmail.com for more information.

Would you like information on upcoming classes related to Ham radio, emergency management or disaster preparedness? Sign up for the  training mailing list: http://eepurl.com/2rMYX

 

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