Archive for September, 2010

Meeting Minutes 13 SEP 2010

September 19th, 2010 No comments

Minutes: Katy Amateur Radio Society

Date: September 13, 2010

  1. Introductions
  2. Call to Order – Dave Land acting President while Joe Peet is unavailable.
  3. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
  4. Old Business
    1. Minutes of August 9, 2010 listed on the KARS website
      1. Del Partridge and Charles Lancaster motion to accept. Club votes and accepts minutes as read.
    2. Treasurer’s report – current account standing is $ 2163.34. Paul Glosch and Mike Smith motion to accept. Accepted.
    3. Other old business – Chris reports modest changes to the By-Laws and Constitution will be discussed by the Board and may be presented at the next business meeting in October.
  5. New Business
    1. New Members – Charlie Lancaster, Paul Glosch motioned two members to join. Club voted in two new members: Richard J. Hind, KF5IIU, and Charles P. Finlay, K5CPF, as full members. Richard and Charles provide personal introductions to the club.
    2. KARS Corporate Status – The Secretary discovered that Katy Amateur Radio Society Inc is not in good standing because returns have not been filed for at least 3 years. To bring us into good standing, returns have to be filed and a Letter of Good Standing needs to be received from the tax authorities. Upon receipt, this is to be forwarded to the Corporations Bureau in the Secretary of State at which point KARS will be back in good standing. According to Article III, Section 4 of the Club Constitution, expenditures in excess of $100 require club authorization. To empower the officers to correct the corporate standing issue, necessary funds need to be reserved. Chris W5OIL motions that up to $500 be reserved to pay necessary expenses and arrears from unpaid franchise taxes. Phil Burrow seconds. The club votes in favor of the resolution.
    3. Fire Station Radio Room Project – Dave Land provides an update to the Joy Lancaster Ham Radio Station at the Franz Road Fire Station. Donations required – Power Supply 20A or more, 2 DC distribution boxes, 1 HF tuner with SWR meter and balanced line input, coax input, rated at least 150W, 2 AC distribution power strips, 2 small desk lamps. Paul Glosch and Charles Finley both will donate lamps for the station. Dave Land will donate the DC distribution boxes.
    4. Tom AE5QB – performed some research on communicating with the ISS from Thronton Middle School off Fry Road, one of which is required is the sponsorship of a club. Tom wishes the club to sponsor a project. Del offered his experience in promoting this kind of an activity. Bruce KK5DO may be an excellent resource for the project.
    5. Charlie Lancaster – Katy ISD disaster drill October 11, a meeting will be held tomorrow. Coordinating through Memorial Hermann and AEC ARES Hospital Coordinator – Memorial Katy, Hermann TMC, Christus St. Catherine, Methodist, Memorial Rehab, Transtar, Ft. Bend EOC, West I-10 Fire Department and possibly Sugarland Hermann and Methodist. Students will participating despite the fact that October 11 is Columbus Day, a school holiday. Those on hospital support teams can expect communication from Charlie – he will be sending out an Incident Accident Plan. Next, since the FCC has changed the rule to allow employee operators, Memorial Hermann is interested in putting together a technician amateur radio course that will be open to the public. Charlie would be interested in speaking with any volunteers who could help put a course together. Chris points out that this is a great opportunity to bring new members into the club. All VEs are encouraged to contact Charlie Lancaster.
  6. Reminders
    1. Net control volunteers – Sachiko Peet (W5IDF) announced that net control volunteers have been scheduled through mid-October.
  7. Awards
    1. Awards presented to those who performed Net Control functions for the first time.
  8. Refreshments


KF5ENT Paul Glosch

KF5CZO Owen Morgan

KT5BBQ Charles Lancaster

KJ5OW Phil Burrow

AD5KB Bernie White

WA5NSF Larry Doyle

W5QQ Del Partridge

KD5FX Dave Land

AE5QB Tom Maxwell

N5TGL Michael Smith

KT5USN Stephen Manning

W5IDF Sachiko Peet

W5OIL Chris Haase

WB5KVV Jack Philly

KD5VXP Chris Mann

KA5KPN Jonathan Guthrie

KD5SBI Julie Guthrie

K5CPF Charles Finlay

KF5IIU Richard Hind

WB5FFD Ron McDonald

KARS Activity Newsletter

September 19th, 2010 No comments

Hello KARS members!
It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post, the preparation for a new QTH has been cramping my hobby style a bit. I’ll try to keep up my weekly posting schedule, but I may not always be able to.  Some of the future ones might be a bit short, but just bear with me for a while.  It might be kinda spotty here until November.

Several of us got a chance to meet Steve (KF5IJD) at our weekly Skeeter’s breakfast.  His work schedule prevents him from joining the net and our monthly meeting, but he’ll be making the Saturday breakfasts.  So if you see a new face, be sure to introduce yourself.  Welcome, Steve and thanks for coming out!

I definitely appreciate it when members send me news items for the newsletter.  Problem is I don’t always get to them as soon as I should!  Dave (KD5FX) provides this tip for finding cheap insulators.  Tractor supply has quite a bit of stuff for electric fencing, and they have insulators there that will work for ham radio.  He found some fiberglass reinforced nylon insulators, $7.49 for 10.  If you need to order online, or just check them out you can get more info here.

Also, I’ve got the website getting indexed finally!  We had some code in the meta tags of the front page that was keeping us out of the search engines.  I’ve submitted sitemaps to google and bing, and we are showing up as either the top result, or in the top 4 results for most searches related to us.  Hopefully this will drive a bit more traffic to this site, and help some of the folks who are looking for an amateur radio club in the Katy area find us.

The sun has been waking up a bit more lately.  I’ve uncovered a few tidbits from the ARRL’s solar update:

The average daily sunspot numbers dropped nearly 23 points to 15.6 this week, and geomagnetic indices were quiet. The average daily solar flux was 78.1, but the latest prediction from USAF and NOAA calls for rising solar flux values. The September 17-23 projection has solar flux values at 85, 85, 86, 86, 86, 87 and 88, which is well above last week’s average. Solar flux hasn’t been to 88 or higher since August 7 (90.5), and before that July 21 (89.1).

By the way, the bulletin didn’t mention this at the beginning of September, but the monthly averages of daily sunspot numbers have risen the past few months. For June, July and August, the average daily sunspot numbers for each month were 18, 23.1 and 28.2; so far in September, the average for the first 16 days is 29.6.

The autumnal equinox occurs Wednesday, September 22 at 11:09 PM EDT (0309 UTC on September 23). With the northern and southern hemispheres bathed in equal amounts of light, expect better worldwide HF propagation, although solar activity continues at a low level that does not support an MUF into the higher frequencies over most paths.

So that’s pretty good news.  I’ve been watching the active regions image from the SIDC and there is quite a bit of activity to see, with more expected to come around the eastern limb of the sun.  You can check out the image here.  I’ve also found another pretty good solar conditions and HF propagation site.  It’s located at  Lots of good info, commentary and images to look at.

On the Fire Station Ham Station (FSHS) front, we have received permission to install two temporary towers on the south fence of the fire station.  The towers need to be powerwashed and touched up a bit prior to installing them.  Del (W5QQ) has donated a 12v power supply, so our one remaining piece of the puzzle is an antenna tuner.

As always, if you know of an activity that I’ve missed, or would like to have included, please email me at and I will make sure that information gets distributed.  Also, if you would rather not be included on this email distribution, please let me know and I’ll remove your name from the list.

Volunteer Opportunites:

Boy Scout JOTA:

The Boy Scout JOTA is going to be held October 16 – 17.  We actually don’t have anything planned for this, so if anyone is interested in participating, let me know.

Houston Triathlon/Duathlon:
We have an urgent request for HAM help from NW ARES EC Sidney Sherwood for the upcoming Houston Triathlon/Duathlon on Sunday September 26th.  This is a fine opportunity for Katy Amateur Radio Society HAMs to do what we do best, help out in times of need.  Mr. Sherwood needs about 35 volunteers from 4am to 11:30am – See details below.
Please contact Sid at:
Sidney J Sherwood III
EC NW Unit Harris County
P.O. Box 55941
Houston, Texas 77255-5941
713 304-0149 home/cell

Wings Over Houston Oct 22nd – 24th
A commitment of two days, Saturday and Sunday is requested, Friday is optional, and one day service is acceptable for open slots.    They are going to need quite a few operators, and it’s a great chance to be part of a very fun event.  For futher information, please contact George Lavendoski (KD5AYF) at

Please email me if you have any others you want me to list in the newsletter.


The Texas QSO party is coming up Saturday September 25th and 26th.  Not sure if anyone wants to get together and do some sort of activity for this?  Possibly set up some antennas at the firestation?  Let me know, or please voice your ideas in the comments below.

Texas QSO Party: 1400Z, Sep 25 to 0200Z, Sep 26 and 1400Z-2000Z, Sep 26
Mode: All
Bands: All, except WARC
Exchange: TX: RS(T) + County, non-TX: RS(T) + (state/province/country/MM region)
Find rules at:


10/02/2010 | HamEXPO
Location: Belton, TX
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: Temple Amateur Radio Club

10/08/2010 | Paris Texas Hamfest
Location: Paris, TX
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: Paris Texas Radio Group & Red River Valley ARC

10/16/2010 | Lufkin Hamfest 2010
Location: Lufkin, TX
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: Deep East Texas ARC & Nacogdoches ARC

11/13/2010 | NCTECH 2010 Hamfest
Location: Azle, TX
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: Tri-County Amateur Radio Club

Closing Notes:

The weather is cooling down a bit, so that is definitely nice.  The sun is on another active swing, so with the onset of fall and an increase in solar activity, the HF bands should be doing really nice this winter.  I’ll also need some cool weather to put up antennas at the new QTH.  All of you folks who have volunteered to help will be remembered!  I’m also thinking of doing winter field day at my place.  Anyone who is interested, let me know in the comments below.

Remember, the KARS net is held each Tuesday evening at 8:00 PM local time. The nets are held on the club repeater, KT5TX with an output frequency of 147.200(+) and a PL of 141.3.  We are also transmitting tone, so you can use tone squelch if you have it.  We have a pre-net “Elmer session” which starts at 7:30pm.  Feel free to bring your technical questions and we’ll do our best to answer them.  We also get together each Saturday at Skeeters for breakfast around 8 am.  Skeeters is located on the NE corner of Mason Road and Highland Knolls. You are cordially invited to attend and enjoy the food and fellowship.


Categories: News

KARS Meeting Reminder

September 11th, 2010 No comments

Next meeting is this Monday, 9/13
at West I-10 Fire Station #4 on Franz Road, just east of Grand Parkway (Hwy 99). Talk-in on the 147.200(+) MHz repeater, PL 141.3. Come join us!
Come at 7:10 or so if you want to see Charlie’s (KT5BBQ) new mobile setup, he’s got everything from VHF to HF installed in his new truck now.
Meeting will start at 7:30 PM, we’ll discuss our plan for the new Fire Station Ham Station and there will be a program on APRS. If you don’t know what that is, come and find out!

Categories: Uncategorized