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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

Minutes from the KARS Monthly Meeting November 11, 2019

November 16th, 2019 Comments off

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

This month’s presentation was by Robert Powell, KF5GHD on the topic of batteries, loading, charging and building a power source. Lithium batteries will cover a range of applications, some of the parameters that need to be identified are: Type and size of load, what period of time needs to be covered and what size requirements do you desire, portable or larger stationary systems.

Roberts contact information is available and if there are enough interested parties a workshop session could be scheduled.

KARS Business

The Board of Directors meeting minutes were previously shared, a motion was made by Charlie, KT5BBQ and seconded by Tom, AE5TG… A majority show of hands accepted the minutes.

Upcoming Events

The Annual KARS Christmas Party will be held on December 9th at 7:30 pm at Rudy’s BBQ, located at 21799 Katy Fwy. Join us for a good time, bring the family, there will be door prizes and the drawing for the winning raffle ticket. Raffle tickets continue to be available so don’t miss the opportunity for a chance to win the “Shack in a Pack”!

Smoke Alarm Blitz Results from 11/9

Attempted 169 homes, Entered 58 – 34%, Installed 235 smoke alarms, Installed 59 CO alarms

Thanks to those who participated and helped make the community safer.

We have two new club members voted in:

Kurt G. Ristig, W7TL who holds an Extra license

Alexander Park, KI5GTT who also holds an Extra License

Alex received his Technician license on 10/10/2019. He then attended the KARS VE Session on 11/9, where he took and successfully passed both the General and Extra License Exams. Alex is 11 years old.

Treasury report: $4,386.02 current balance.

QRZ published the official Field Day numbers:

The Multi Group official results were: First Place for 10A stations and 6th total standing overall.

We had 27 members and one visitor in attendance.

Net Control 11/19 Bob WB3EWP

Net Control 11/26 Tom AE5TG

Meeting adjourned at 8:40 pm.

Categories: Uncategorized

NOT TO LATE TO WIN AN ELECRAFT KX3 ‘SHACK-IN-A-PACK’

November 12th, 2019 Comments off

A few raffle tickets are still available.  You can even buy them on line.

http://www.katyars.com/raffle/

Drawing will be held during the KARS December General Meeting/Christmas Dinner December 9 @ 7:30 pm.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity!

Categories: Equipment, For Sale

Wednesday Coffee at Jason’s Deli 7:30pm

October 29th, 2019 Comments off

This past Wednesday we had our 1st trial run at Jason’s Deli. I think we had a total of 14-16 show up for coffee. Everyone seemed to like the location and atmosphere as well as the food/drink choices.
I know a few commented if we moved here permanently they’d probably eat dinner here on Wednesdays. I know I as well as a few others had dinner during this test run.  We will try this location a few more times and bring this up for membership discussion and vote at the December meeting.

The only negative so far is they don’t offer decaf coffee, but on the plus side there are fountain drinks and tea for the non coffee drinkers.

At the board meeting everyone agreed we need to meet here a few more times to see how things work

For Wednesday 10/30 we will be meeting again at Jason’s Deli, 21953 F, Katy Fwy, Katy, TX 77450.

73
Jimmy Vance NA5D
president@katyars.com

Categories: Meetings

KARS Monthly Meeting October 14, 2019 Minutes

October 20th, 2019 Comments off

Minutes from the KARS Monthly Meeting October 14, 2019

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

This month’s presentation was by Jeff Hoke – Radio Communications Tech and troubleshooter for RFI complaints.

Jeff, with the help of a very informative PowerPoint presentation, outlined what RFI is, how and where it is generated and what it affects. Many of the complaints can be narrowed down to common items found in most households, cell phone chargers, touch activated lamps, faulty doorbell transformers and a list of other items in most homes. Outside causes of interference could be caused by pole mounted equipment, lightning arrestors, fuses and improperly routed open neutral or ground wiring.

Jeff is very willing to assist amateur radio operators tracing down such RFI interference and gave several helpful hints on narrowing down the problem and eliminating any household sources. He brought several pieces of specialized equipment he uses in the field to narrow down any CenterPoint sources of problems.

KARS Business

The Board of Directors meeting minutes were previously shared, a motion was made by Bob WB3EWP and seconded by Charlie KT5BBQ. A majority show of hands accepted the minutes.

Upcoming Events

November 9th, 2019

Next Smoke Alarm Blitz is scheduled. The previous Blitz was successful and many homes had their existing systems checked, restored to operation or units replaced by new ones.

November 9th is also the date for our next VE Examination. Those wishing to test for their license or upgrade can do so, you can go to the KARS website and contact any one of the board members to reserve your spot.

Raffle tickets continue to be available so don’t miss the opportunity for a chance to win the “Shack in a Pack”!

Wings over Houston is scheduled for October 18 through the 20th. A great event to assist with communication and get to see both static and dynamic presentations.

October 27th is the Fairfield Triathlon.

November 2nd – Hero’s ride in Waller at the VFW.

Rudy’s BBQ has been verified and reserved for the KARS Annual Christmas Meeting.

Next KARS meeting will be on November 11th.

We had 23 visitors and one new member voted in.

Welcome Russel Wilhelm III KI5GKZ !!

Meeting adjourned at 8:35 pm.

Categories: Meetings