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Where in the World is . . . Côte d’Ivoire (TU) ITU Zone 45 CQ Zone 35

October 8th, 2019 Comments off

Where in the World is . . . Côte d’Ivoire (TU) ITU Zone 45 CQ Zone 35

Ivory Coast or officially The Republic of Côte d’Ivoire is a West African country with beach resorts, rainforests and a French-colonial legacy. Surrounded on the east by Ghana, on the west by Guinea and Liberia and on the North by Burkina Faso and Mali.

For more than three decades after its independence from France, Ivory Coast was known for its religious and ethnic harmony, as well as its well-developed economy.

The Western African country was hailed as a model of stability. But an armed rebellion in 2002 split the nation in two; a Muslim North and a Christian South. Since then, peace deals alternated with renewed violence as the country slowly edged its way towards a political resolution of the conflict. Despite the instability, Ivory Coast is the world’s largest exporter of cocoa beans, and its citizens enjoy a relatively high level of income compared to other countries in the region.

Abidjan, on the Atlantic coast, is the country’s major urban center. Its modern landmarks include, the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro It surpasses even St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, with an exterior area of 340,000 square feet Finished in 1990, its design is said to have been inspired by its Vatican City sibling, with a hefty dose of Renaissance and Baroque style. It can hold about 18,000 worshipers, though is very rarely full. North of the central business district, Banco National Park is a rainforest preserve with hiking trails.

The first Europeans to explore the West African coast were the Portuguese. Other European sea powers soon followed, and trade was established with many of the coastal peoples of West Africa. The absence of sheltered harbors along its coastline prevented Europeans from establishing permanent trading posts. The slave trade had little effect on the peoples of Ivory Coast, though s profitable trade in ivory was carried out during the seventeenth century, but it brought about such a decline in elephants that the trade itself virtually had died out by the beginning of the eighteenth century.

Only in the mid-nineteenth century did the French establish themselves firmly in Ivory Coast. Activity along the coast stimulated European interest in the interior. France wanted to maintain a presence in the region to stem the increasing influence of the British along the Gulf of Guinea coast.

In 1885 France and Germany brought all the European powers with interests in Africa to rationalize what became known as the European scramble for colonies in Africa. That conference set off a scramble for territory, primarily by France, Britain, Portugal, and Belgium. Eventually, Ivory Coast b ecame an independent nation in 1960.

The literacy rate in Ivory Coast is low. Only 48% can read and many children between the age of 6 and 10 are not enrolled in school. Likewise, the healthcare system is not well built out in the country. HIV Aids are prevalent in much of the population. Also, postnatal heath issues are a problem as well. Medical care is supplemented by Africa Mercy (www.mercyships.org), a fully equipped hospital ship that makes regular visits to Ivory Coast.

According to Club Log’s Most wanted DXCC list, Ivory Coast is listed at the 141st Most Wanted DXCC entity. QRZ lists a total of 93 Amateur Radio Operators. About 30% of these from various DXpeditions or temporary visitors. In 2011, I had a QSO with TU2T, the Italian DXpedition team and in 2017, I worked TU7C, a DXpedition sponsored by the Radio Club de Provins (F6KOP).

Reporting from the Dark Side,

Ron, K5HM

Categories: Articles

KARS Monthly Meeting Minutes September 9, 2019

September 22nd, 2019 Comments off

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

KARS Business

Motion was made by Tom AE5TG to accept the board meeting minutes, seconded by Mike, KA5OXA.

Volunteers are requested for the upcoming Tour de Cure Benefit ride, on September 21st to provide communications at the break points and support for SAG vehicles. Contact Jimmy Vance NA5D for details.

There is a ESD 48 Smoke Alarm Blitz scheduled for September 14th. Volunteers are needed to work with the first responders who will be going house to house to check smoke detectors, replace batteries if needed and replace failed units with new ones if necessary. Also installing carbon monoxide detectors.

Upcoming Texas QSO party is scheduled for September 14th and 15th.

Conversation was started concerning the location of the Annual KARS Christmas Party. Last year it was held at Rudy’s BBQ on I10 in Katy. That location is tentatively chosen for the 2019 event, other suggestions will be considered and put to a vote.

Clarification was discussed related to the “First Year Free” membership for new HAMS that join KARS. The primary intent is to provide that benefit up to the normal annual renewal date, which occurs in March of each year. Also the suggestion of requesting a $5.00 fee from new applicants. Topic will be brought up in next meeting.

VE Session Summary from September 7th, 2019.

5 – New Technician Licensees

2 – New General License Upgrade

Extra License upgrade

The KARS raffle ticket sales are off to a good start. You are encouraged to purchase a ticket for a chance to win an Elecraft KX3 complete “Shack in a Pack” radio system. Buy a ticket!!

Treasury report: $3,849.44 current balance.

3 new members were voted in by majority show of hands. Welcome to KARS!!

There will be a “Meet the Candidate” meeting at TranStar on September 28th,, 2019 to meet and listen to the ARRL candidates in the upcoming election.

The ARRL ballots should be arriving between September 15th and October 10th, 2019.

Guest speaker was John R. Stratton N5AUS. Topic was ARRL, present and future of HAM Radio.

John gave a detailed presentation and summary of the history of ARRL and emphasized the importance of the organizations responsibility to protect the frequency allocations that are presently in place. John also stressed the importance of member involvement at the local community level and active participation in groups and clubs whose presence in the community provides a meaningful service in situations that require positive methods of communication.

One of the things that was highlighted was the necessary line of communication between ARRL and the local clubs and organizations. These local groups are the first line of visibility and recruitment needed for the continuing participation in amateur radio. Community events, EmComm testing and drills are important, as is the recognition by the communities that such volunteer services are available and can provide lifesaving communication in times of disasters and emergencies.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:23 pm.

Categories: Meetings

LUFKIN TAILGATE SWAPFEST

September 7th, 2019 Comments off

The LUFKIN TAILGATE SWAPFEST is Saturday October 12th starting at 8 AM to 2 PM. There will be folks selling used equipment and accessories there. Bring your own tailgate or table if you have items to sell or swap.

The Swapfest will be at the Grace Baptist Church on Highway 69 in Central, TX just north of Lufkin. The address is 5181 US Highway 69 N, Lufkin TX  75904. GPS Coordinates are 31.399856, -94.792511.

Please contact our coordinators Terry W5PCJ at w5pcj@hotmail.com or talk with Chris WS5JET for further info.

Thanks for your interest and hope to see you there.

Categories: HamFest

Where in the World is . . .  Tierra Del Fuego (LU/CE8) 

August 26th, 2019 Comments off

Where in the World is . . .  Tierra Del Fuego (LU/CE8)  CQ Zones 12, 13 ITU Zone 16  IOTA SA-008

The Land of Fire can be considered the end of the world. It is the roughly triangular archipelago off the southernmost tip of the South America, across the Strait of Magellan. The archipelago consists of the main island, Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, and a group of many smaller islands including dangerous, Cape Horn. In the days of sailing ships rounding Cape Horn was deemed particularly dangerous due to the contrasting currents from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans meeting here. During his circumnavigation Magellan discovered the strait named for him that makes up the northern boundary of the island.  To find out more read the complete article.

Reporting from the Dark Side,

Ron, K5HM

Categories: Uncategorized

KARS Monthly Meeting August 12, 2019 Minutes

August 18th, 2019 Comments off

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

This month’s presentation was an in depth explanation of the APRS System (Automatic Packet Reporting System) by Michael Deaver, KG5JBJ.

Michael went into detail about how the system works, what type of communication devices could take advantage of this tool and how it is in use worldwide in various situations. It provides accurate GPS location tracking which is very valuable, especially during coordinated events and useful in disaster situations. The PowerPoint presentation can be found on the KARS website, along with many other informative presentations that have been shared at KARS monthly meetings.  http://www.katyars.com/karspresentations/

Dave Scott WD7RZA has completed the alignment of the new KARS 442.3500 repeater and it will shortly be installed at the hospital location. Some maintenance will also be done to the antenna systems at the same time. Updates will be posted to the website and the Facebook page.

August 17th will be the practice ride for the Tour de Cure, the Tour de Goya ride. It is a short event that begins and ends in the Brookshire area. There are several volunteers that have signed up and anyone who would like to participate to help and observer how ham radio plays an important part in local community events is welcome to attend.

A motion was presented to accept the board meeting minutes by Bob WB3EWP and seconded by Tom AE5TG. Motion was approved and minutes accepted.

A new club membership application was submitted by Verdi A. Wahjosoedibjo N5VW. A show of hands vote by attending members approved the application and accepted. Verdi was accompanied by his daughter who has also expressed an interest in ham radio and is planning to take her Technician exam next VE session. Welcome to the Katy Amateur Radio Society!!

The next VE Session is scheduled for September 7, 2019. Details can be found at the KARS website, along with what items you need to bring.

Date: September 7

Time: 9:30 am – 11:00 am

Cost: $15

Venue:  Westlake VFD ESD47, 19636 Saums Rd, Katy, TX

KARS Raffle tickets have been printed and are available, you can go to the website and use the link to purchase online and use PayPal option.

Treasury Report: $4680.73

The meeting was adjourned at 8:23 pm.

Categories: Meetings

Where in the World is . . .Duhacsek Park KK5W 10A STX GOTA-K5DX FD 2019

July 26th, 2019 Comments off

In the beginning, the site was without form and void, but we could see it had potential. It wasn’t much really. Just a little 50-acre greenspace donated to the City of Sugar Land, Texas by Walter and Virginia Duhacsek. The property included the Duhacsek homestead; a midcentury single-story residence though empty of furniture, could be used for group activities. 

After three years of negotiations with the city, we got permission to use the park for our field day activities in 2018. Last year was a trial run for 2019.

At 0000 UTC Friday the transformation began. Four Houston area clubs came together for Field Day 2019. Dubbed the Quad Club Mega-Field Day it included amateurs from the Brazos Valley Amateur Radio Club (BVARC), Texas DX Society (TDXS), Katy Amateur Radio Society KARS) and Houston Echo Society.

To read the complete article follow this link

Categories: Articles

Minutes from the KARS Monthly Meeting July 8th, 2019

July 10th, 2019 Comments off

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

Our guest speaker for the evening was Mike Urich, KA5CVH. Mike has been involved in all aspects of Emergency Communications, from manning stations during natural disasters, aiding search, rescue and recovery events, holding training and instructional classes and being very involved with the ARRL community. He is an excellent liaison between the needs of the first responders and those in the HAM community who wish to contribute their time and expertise.

Highlights of the presentation included the basic information concerning training, what equipment is needed and what would work best for certain situations. One key thing is that, in emergency remote operations the rule is: Keep it simple. UHF/VHF FM, 20/40/75 meter SSB are the most commonly used and recommended.

Much information can be gleaned by visiting the website: HarriscountyARES.org

Mike brought several examples of his portable operation kits. Start simple and keep it affordable.

A motion was made to accept the meeting minutes, Bob, WB3EWP made the motion and Mike, KA5OXA seconded the motion, and it was passed with a majority vote.

Some Quad Club Field Day statistics:

10A operation, 4 stations SSB, 4 stations CW and 2 various digital modes.

Extra points for a solar powered station

Contacts 3,883 total contacts for a 15K point score.

There were 3 Tri-band antennas, 2 40m beams, two beverage antennas, two manlifts, 65’ and 45’, a 50’ tower on a trailer and the Fort Bend Emergency Communications Trailer was on site.

A storage unit for the clubs equipment has been located and will be finalized. It is on Franz road near Station 4, which is a good central location for the Katy area.

Discussion for the next KARS Raffle, where it was proposed to offer a Elecraft KX3 “Shack in a Pack” for the prize. Tickets will be $20.00 each and sales will be started soon to allow ample time for interested parties to participate. The raffle will be open to all.

A motion was made by Mike KA5OXA to approve the raffle and the club purchase of the radio and was seconded by Tom, AE5TG. A majority show of hands passed the vote. Elecraft does offer a discount to participating clubs.

VE testing on July 6th: 6 tests administered, 4 new Technician Class and 2 upgrades to General Class.

The Meeting adjourned at 8:35 pm.

Categories: Meetings

Where in the World is. . . Easter Island (CE0) CQ Zone 12, ITU Zone 63 IOTA SA-001

June 26th, 2019 Comments off

Mysterious Easter Island. Think giant statues built by native peoples. They were immigrants from Polynesia, who first arrived by canoe somewhere around 1200. That’s 1200 AD, not time for lunch.

The natives named their island Rapa Nui (Great Rapa) or alternatively “Navel of the World”, which can also be translated as “the end of the land.” It was named Easter Island by the first European who landed on the island on Easter Sunday in 1722. The island was claimed by Chile in 1888 and the inhabitants were subsequently given Chilean citizenship.

The statues, called MOAI were sculpted from hardened volcanic ash, which is not very durable. Some MOAI are over 80 feet tall. So far, nearly 900 statues have been discovered. Some MOAI face the ocean and islanders differ as to how they got there.  One island tradition says they “walked” there. Others, suggesting the people may have used a series of ropes and log rollers. Some widely publicized “experts” at one time suggested extraterrestrial beings were somehow involved.

Figure 1 Moto Nui

For unknown reasons, a coup by native military leaders called matatoa had brought a new cult based around a previously unexceptional God Make-make. In the cult of the birdman, a competition was established in which every year a representative of each clan, chosen by the leaders, would swim across shark-infested waters to Motu Nui, a nearby islet, to search for the season’s first egg laid by a manutara. The first swimmer to return with an egg and successfully climb back up the cliff to Orongo ( a village on the tip of the island), would be named “Birdman of the year” and secure control over distribution of the island’s resources for his clan for the year. The tradition was still in existence at the time of first contact by Europeans but was suppressed by Christian missionaries in the 1860s.

Easter Island is one of the world’s most isolated inhabited islands. It is Easter Island is located more than 2200 miles west of the Chilean coast. It is closer to Antarctica. Its closest inhabited neighbor is the Juan Fernandez Islands, 1,150 miles to the east.

The climate is subtropical. The warmest months are January through March, when the average temperature is 73 °F, and the coolest months are June through August, when the average temperature is 64 °F. Average annual precipitation is about 49 inches.

Easter Island boasts no natural harbor, but ships can anchor off Hanga Roa on the west coast; it is the island’s largest village, with a population of roughly 3,300. In 1995, UNESCO named Easter Island a World Heritage site. It is now home to a mixed population, mostly of Polynesian ancestry and made up of the descendants of the Long-Ears and Short-Ears. Spanish is generally spoken, and the island has developed an economy largely based on tourism.

Numerous DXpeditions, large and small have made their way to Easter Island to activate CE0. Almost forty are listed in QRZ. According to the Clublog DXCC Most Wanted list, Easter stands at No. 103 slot out of 340.

Reporting from the Dark Side,

Ron Litt, K5HM

Standby for Next Month’s Monster Article!

Where in the World is. . Duhacsek Park?

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Categories: Articles

Field Day 2019 Photos

June 24th, 2019 Comments off

Field Day 2019 Photos

See who you recognize…

Categories: Field Day

KARS Monthly Meeting June 10, 2019

June 19th, 2019 Comments off

Meeting started at 7:31 with the Pledge of Allegiance

Motion was made to accept the minutes of the Board of Directors meeting. Motion was seconded and voting approved the acceptance.

Discussion was open to investigate obtaining a storage facility for the club inventory. Since the unit would include items such as radios and other electronics a climate controlled unit would be preferred. A unit of either 5’X5’ or 5”X10’ would be sufficient to store all the items. A motion was made by Bob Bentley to authorize the search, seconded by Tom Greathouse and passed with a show of hands. Price range to be somewhere in the $30 to $50 per month.

Discussion was started about the next raffle for the Annual Christmas Party. Last year’s raffle of the ICOM 7300 was a success and comments were offered for the next raffle to possibly offer a different radio. Some suggestions were an ICOM 7610 or possibly an Elecraft product. This would pose a bigger investment by the club, which could be offset by offering tickets earlier. Some manufacturers offer a discount to amateur radio clubs as an additional incentive.

Presentation this evening was given by Ron Litt (K5HM) outlining the procedures for K3 radio operation and logging during the Field Day activities scheduled for June 22nd and 23rd, 2019. Ron went into detail how the operators would be able to make the contacts and log the contacts using the N1MM software which will be linked to the radio. All the stations will have computers networked to keep accurate information as contacts are being logged and recorded. There will be three modes of operation available across multiple bands, CW, SSB and FT-8. Ron explained the two main methods of operation, Running and Search and Pounce. Since it is a contest the number of contacts is very important. Finding an open frequency and calling CQ, waiting for stations to reply is Running. If contacts fall off or the band is not cooperating then searching for signals and attempting contact that way is Search and Pounce. Due to the quality of the Field Day setup and the various antenna arrays that will be in use, our location should be one of the strongest in the bands and we can use that to our advantage.

One new member was voted in. Brian Webster of Katy, TX, KI5CJO. Welcome to the Katy Amateur Radio Society Brian!

We have Net Control volunteers for:

6/18/2019 Scott Reeves KT5SR

6/25/2019 Bob Bentley WB3EWP

7/2/2019 OPEN

7/9/2019 Raul Ramos KD5RR

7/16/2019 OPEN

7/23/2019 OPEN

Treasury report: $4,644.73 with pending expense of $250.00 for Field Day Participation.

Meeting adjourned at 8:40 pm.

Categories: Meetings