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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

Where in the World is . . . Brunei (V8) CQ Zone 28 IOTA OC-088

June 19th, 2019 Comments off

Brunei, officially known as the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace. OR Negara Brunei Darussalam in Malay. It’s located on the northwest coast of the island of Borneo. On three sides bordered by Malaysia and facing the South China Sea.

It’s a good place to live, with its principal product being oil. Considered a “fully developed” country by the IMF. According to Forbes Magazine it ranks as the fifth richest nation on the planet. The country has zero debt.

Brunei’s government is a constitutional monarchy. Under Brunei’s constitution, the Sultan is the head of state with full executive authority. Since 1962, this authority has included emergency powers, which are renewed every two years. The country has been under hypothetical martial law since 1962. The Sultan, Hassanal Bolkiah also serves as the state’s Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Defense Minister. As Mel Brooks observed, it is good to be king.

Petroleum was discovered in 1926. Oil and natural gas have been the basis of Brunei’s development and wealth since the late 20th century.

This is a devoutly Muslim nation; land of gold-plated mosques and wooden water villages, a nation so rich from its oil and gas resources that no one pays tax. It is a seven-hour flight from Melbourne but Brunei is little known and very much underrated for travelers. Brunei is clean and virtually free of crime with pristine rainforests, palm-fringed beaches and palatial resorts.

In this land of over 400,000, there are approximately 400 licensed amateurs. According to Club Log, it is 109th on the Most Wanted DX entity, List

Reporting from the Dark Side,  Ron, K5HM

Categories: Articles

2019 Field Day Operators: BVARC / TDXS / KARS / ECHO FIELD DAY SIGNUP SHEET

May 26th, 2019 Comments off
A few rules: 2019 Field Day Operators: The BVARC / TDXS / KARS / ECHO FIELD DAY SIGNUP SHEET is now live! It will be a Google Docs Spreadsheet which can be accessed via link above. Only one person can check into the spreadsheet at a time, so be there early to make your slot selections.
  1. Operating slots will be 1 hour.
  2. Operators will be able to select up to two (2) contiguous slots on the same band/mode.
  3. Operators will be able to select up to eight (8) slots per day, prior to The Event, providing Rule #2 is observed.
  4. At the end of your assigned operating slot, please relinquish it to the next operator; if that operator does not show up, you may continue to operate.
  5. If during your operating slot, you decide you want to quit, please try to find another operator to fill in the rest of the slot.
  6. The online schedule will be closed Friday, June 21, 2019 at 4:00 pm CDT.
  7. The online schedule will be printed out and brought to the Field Day site Saturday, June 22. There will be individual printouts for each mode. Operators may choose any open slots by manually writing their call in that slot.
  8. Any unclaimed operating slots after the start of Field Day will be open for grabs.
  9. Any scheduling issues/questions will be settled by N5XZ or the BVARC/TDXS Field Day Chairman.
Remember, if it is not your turn, there may be an open slot available elsewhere. I urge you to fill those in if you would still like to be active. I expect fewer open operating slots during the day and more at night. The goal also is to keep ALL stations operating continuously throughout the 24 hour period. (Note: if you have not tried RTTY or FT8 contesting, it is a hoot! Just ask Glen or me to show you how easy it is!). Please feel free to operate multiple bands and modes. The ultimate goal is to keep ALL stations active throughout the full 24 hour period!Please respond to me alone (not to the group) and feel free to email or call me if you have any questions or concerns. Please cross-post this to distribution systems for KARS and Echo. Hopefully, this will also be posted in newsletters by all groups.
Categories: Field Day

Kars Monthly Meeting May 13, 2019

May 19th, 2019 Comments off

Meeting started at 7:33 with the Pledge of Allegiance

The presentation that was scheduled for this month’s meeting has been postponed. The hospital has upgraded their viewing configuration, removing the projection machine and installing a large flat screen monitor. The original VGA connections are no longer available, now inputs are HDMI. The club will take steps to be sure the proper adapters are available prior to the next scheduled meeting.

The June KARS Club Meeting presentation will be a demonstration and basic instructions on the operation of the K3 equipment that will be used at the combined Field Day June 22nd and 23rd. If you are not familiar with this equipment which is very popular during contesting please attend and feel free to take notes.

I static demonstration of the new BuddiPole mast assembly was given by Jimmy Vance, which showed how the antenna had been adapted to securely fit the mast and facilitate the ease of setup and operation when the remote repeater is used.

The Smoke Alarm Blitz had been cancelled, a tentative reschedule date had been set for June 8th. This date would be in conflict with the scheduled Extreme Weather Conference to be held at the George R. Brown Convention Center on the same date. There may be some issues having enough volunteers to properly execute the Smoke Alarm Blitz.

A vote was taken to officially allow Katy Amateur Radio Society Club to participate in the upcoming Multi-Club Multi-Day Field Day activities. If the vote passed there would be a $250.00 participation fee. The motion was made to approve participation by N5KT and seconded by AE5TG. A show of hands, yay or nay indicated a majority approved of the participation.

Speculation is that, during Field Day the most promising modes of communication would tend to be CW and FT-8, given the inconsistency of the bands for voice communications. The bands to be used include 10m -15m-20m-40 m. Phone or FT-8

Group discussion concerning the Saturday morning KARS breakfast meetings. The suggestion was made to suggest several locations and, by majority vote decide which location would be the posted weekly Saturday location.

The suggestions were:

Lubys

IHop (if chosen time would be shifted to 7:30, before their normal traffic picks up

Rudy’s BBQ

Freddy’s

By show of hands vote Freddy’s was selected over the other options.

Treasury Report: $4600.07

Museum Ship Weekend is June 1st and 2nd. Checking on availability of the Battleship Texas for operation.

Meeting adjourned at 8:20 pm. There were 27 members and 1 visitor.

Categories: Meetings

Kars Monthly Meeting Minutes April 8, 2019

April 26th, 2019 Comments off

Meeting started at 7:32 with the Pledge of Allegiance

Presentation this evening was given by Andy McAllister W5ACM covering the balloon launch with occurred at the recent HamFest.

Andy went into great detail and description of the preparations and results of the above mentioned launches. Andy also had a very detailed and historical presentation covering the progress that has been made over the years in planning and staging the events by the South Texas Balloon Launch Team.

The next major launch event is scheduled on September 28th, 2019 to be held at the Intergalactic Spaceport at the Wharton Airport. Plans are for a 28# payload. Launch will be at 10:00 am. APRS tracking can be followed at 144.39 MHz

Meeting minutes from the Board meeting were accepted.

The Buddipole setup for the club portable repeater antenna has been ordered.

Texas Parks On The Air – No shelters were available to reserve for the event.

Next Smoke Alarm Blitz is scheduled for May 4, 2019. More details will be posted and volunteers are welcome.

The Safety Fest is scheduled, rain or shine, for April 13th. 6 to 8 volunteers to act as rovers are needed.

Treasury Report: Current Balance: $4601.31 after Buddipole Purchase of $309.17

We had 25 members attending, with one visitor, Keith, KA5BZM

Meeting adjourned at 8:34

Categories: Meetings