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Minutes from the KARS Monthly Meeting March 9, 2020

March 16th, 2020 Comments off

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

This month’s presentation was offered by both the Katy Area CERT Team, represented by Mary Payne, and HCESC 48, represented by Patty Areel.

We were given an in depth overview of the purpose, function and details that go into operating a successful Community Emergency Response Team. Volunteers are given specific training to cover various situations and provided basic tools to be effective in these situations. The primary key to this organization is that it is locally focused, teams in their own areas and neighborhoods aid in the event of natural disasters and assist First Responders to provide aid as efficiently as possible.

We were also given insight to the many facets and functions of HCESD 48. From emergency response, training, smoke alarm blitzes, free home safety inspections and being available to speak to local groups when requested. One of the most notable accomplishments is the vast inter-department interaction and cooperation that is one of their strongest assets. Teamwork and training go hand in hand in making our community a safer place to live. HCESD 48 has a program, called the Safe Sitter Program, that teaches anyone who works as a baby sitter. The course covers a lot of safety issues and has garnered national attention as one of the premiere courses to be offered anywhere.

In that same vein, the next Safety Fest is scheduled for October 17th, 2020 at Katy Mills. Another upcoming event is the next Smoke Alarm Blitz which is schedule for May 21, 2020. Volunteers will be welcome.

Club Business

The Board of Directors minutes were published, a motion was made and seconded to accept the minutes, a vote was held and the minutes accepted.

Upcoming Events – Scott Reeve KT5SR

March 22nd Red, White and Blue Bike Ride

April 4th Brazoria County ride sponsored by Schlumberger

April 4th Scout Fair

April 11th No Label Triathlon

General Announcement: George Graves, KI6G has stepped up to take the role of KARS President!!  Jimmy Vance, NA5D will fill in as acting Vice President for the time being and to assist in the transition.

March is officially the month membership dues are collected, you can pay online at the KARS website, using the PayPal link, or by mail, the address is on the website.

We continue to hear good progress reports concerning Charlie Lancaster, KT5BBQ and his improving health.

Meeting adjourned at 8:25 pm

Categories: Meetings

Minutes from the KARS Monthly Meeting February 10, 2020

February 18th, 2020 Comments off

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

This month’s presentation was a very informative explanation concerning Call Signs and Vanity Call Signs, explained by Jimmy Vance, NA5D. With the use of PowerPoint slides he covered how the globe is divided into areas and highlighted those areas we have in the United States. When first obtaining a license, the operator is given a random call sign, the region based on the address given. Many people are comfortable with the call sign, however, as license class is upgraded there is the opportunity to apply for what is called a “Vanity Call”. This is a specific call the operator would prefer or might even be an inactive call sign from a family member. The list of available calls can be found online by searching the FCC website or others, such as AE7Q.com or RadioQTH.net. You can find out if the call sign is available and on what day applications will be accepted. Application does not guarantee assignment, on that day, in a 24 hour period, all the qualifying applications are put into a “pool” and one is randomly selected.

Visit the websites if you are interested in a vanity call, maybe with initials or some other personalization.

The minutes from the Board Meeting were presented, a motion by Tom Greathouse was made to accept them and was seconded by Jack Philley. A show of hands voted to accept the minutes.

Planning is firming up for the upcoming Greater Houston Hamfest, to be held on March 6th and 7th, 2020 at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds. 4310 Texas 36 Rosenberg, TX 77471. Tickets are available on line, buy them there and save some money for those items you can’t live without!!

KARS will have two tables set up for anyone who has any items to sell, be sure to plainly mark them with your name and the asking price. These tables will have to be manned, you can work out arrangements with other club members to timeshare that responsibility so everyone gets to enjoy the Hamfest. Another table will be set up for club literature.

Building B will house the Makers Builders, an interesting display of projects. There will be VE Sessions available for anyone wishing to get their license or upgrade their license.

Kit building day was a success, there were many clock kits assembled, some completed and working, others are works in progress. KARS hopes to continue this event. Many thanks to those who assisted in this and especially Jack Philley for obtaining the kits.

There are still positions open for President and Vice President, we are looking for nominations for the voting that will be held at the next meeting. Nominees will have the full support and backing of all the club members.

Treasury Report: $6,022.16

Dues are payable at the March meeting, you can pay at the meeting or go through the KARS website and pay online through PayPal.

Meeting adjourned at 8:05 pm

Categories: Meetings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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