Recurring Events

April 6th, 2021 Comments off

Katy Amateur Radio Society (KARS), Katy, Texas

Recurring Events

Event Time Location Notes
KARS Virtual Tech Session Every Tuesday, 7:00 PM Zoom Meeting Check video meeting information for access, or contact a member
KARS Net Every Tuesday, 8:00 PM KARS Repeater KT5TX 147.200(+) MHz Repeater, PL 141.3
KARS Monthly Meeting 2nd Monday of Every Month,  7:30 PM Westlake Volunteer Fire Department 19636 Saums Road, Houston, TX 77084

Zoom information under the Video Meeting Information tab, guests please contact a board member for access information

KARS Coffee Night Every Wednesday, 7:30 PM Jason’s Deli 380 S Mason Rd. Katy Tx
KARS Breakfast Every Saturday, 8:00 AM Freddy’s Cafe 16830 Barker Springs #400 Houston, TX. 77084
KARS Amateur Radio License Exam
November 20
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Boyert Shooting Center 1200 Mason Rd, Katy, TX 77450
NOTE: Please check under the Licensing Information tab for detailed information.
Until further notice Pre-Registration is required

Katy Amateur Radio Society (KARS) is an active club in Katy, TX, just west of Houston, dedicated to the fascinating hobby of amateur radio.

Please come and join in the fun!  Membership Information

Facebook Group Katy Amateur Radio Society on Facebook




Categories: Club Info

KARS BOD MEETING MAY 31ST

June 28th, 2021 Comments off

Minutes from the KARS BOD May 31, 2021

(Held on Wednesday June 2 due to May 31 being Memorial Day)

Original agenda:                                          

1. Apologies for absence

2. Treasurer report

3. Secretary report

4. Activities coordinator report

5. General discussion

Meeting notes:

In keeping with the continuing social distancing guidelines, our KARS board of directors meeting was conducted via Zoom. The original meeting was slated for May 31, but it being Memorial Day the meeting was moved to Wednesday June 2. The meeting started early at 7:20 pm.

  1. The original scheduled time for the meeting was 7:30 PM, but the meeting was started early and everyone was present at 7:20 PM.
  • The treasurer reported that the equipment insurance premium ($203) was paid. 
    • The liability insurance, which is separate, is $323.20 and is due in July. The liability insurance payment is cumbersome as we are unable to use PayPal to pay it.
    • Taxes were filed with the IRS before Tax Day, but no taxes were due.
    • Elmer accounts have been created on HamClubOnline.com and Jimmy Vance (NA5D), the Treasurer, will become an Elmer, too.
    • Money needs to be paid to Tidelands HAMfest for two swap tables ($15 each). Tidelands HAMfest will be on July 10.
    • Field Day will be on the 4th weekend in June (26th and 27th). Same rules as last year will apply, meaning that people can participate individually from home and have their results tallied and attributed to KARS. There will also be a contingent of members meeting in Cullen Park, after the breakfast, to set up radios and participate in Field Day. The park will not be reserved, unless there is a strong desire by the club members to do so. The reason is the park is very under-utilized.
  • The Secretary reported that the membership form for Jeff (Paul) Granstrom was still with the Treasurer, but during the Saturday breakfast we will organize a handover.
    • On Monday June 5 the Treasurer will walk the President and Secretary through the different features of HamClubOnline.com
    • The Secretary will go to the storage unit and make an inventory and take photos to assess possible items for the Tidelands HAMfest.
  • Due to the activities coordinator position remaining unfulfilled, there was no report presented.
  • General discussion
  1. A door raffle with prices will happen for the General Meeting in June, to increase the incentive to attend the monthly meetings at the fire station.
    1. A contact person was mentioned within CentrePoint as a potential speaker for the General Meeting.
    1. The BVARC Ice Cream Social for August is still on the agenda.

The meeting concluded shortly before 8:00 pm as the Technical Session was about to start and uses the same Zoom link.

Hielke Buddelmeijer

KARS Secretary

KI5JYX

Categories: Uncategorized

Kars BOD Meeting April 26th

June 2nd, 2021 Comments off

Original agenda:                                          

1. Apologies for absence

2. Treasurer report

3. Secretary report

4. Activities coordinator report

5. General discussion

Meeting notes:

In keeping with the continuing social distancing guidelines, our KARS board of directors meeting was conducted via Zoom. The meeting started at 7:40 pm 

  1. The VP joined late, but the other three board members were present from the start.
  • The treasurer reported that the new higher rate for the storage unit was paid ($72) and we are not getting the discount. The storage unit still needs to be cleaned out. Taxes are due after the MS 150 ride.
    • A few people still need to pay their membership fees.
    • We have 91 paid members out of 119 entries in the database (but 115 is a more accurate number)
  • The secretary reported on two potential new members, Michael Hunt and Miciah Hecker
  • Due to the activities coordinator position remaining unfulfilled, there was no report presented.
  • General discussion
  1. The Net Control script was updated by the President. Older files were archived.
    1. During Net Control on 4/27 the President will ask for suggestions on topics for the monthly presentations during our General Membership Meetings.
    1. We still do not have an activities coordinator. The suggestion was raised to perhaps re-purpose that position/description and establish something more relevant for the club. It was also suggested that if we do not fill that position within a reasonable timeframe the BoD will jointly come up with some activities for the club.
    1. The very first Virtual-In-Person (VIP) general meeting worked well. We need to work on capturing the activity within the fire station. The reception of members via Zoom into the fire station was great.
    1. The President raised the possibility of two members that could be asked to serve as Elmers. He was going to speak with them to see if they are interested.
    1. It was agreed the BoD needs to be kept in the loop on testing activities. The email for testing on the website diverts directly to the testing coordinator (Gerald), but there is some uncertainty if and when we will have further testing.
    1. A door raffle with prices will likely start in June, to increase the incentive to attend the monthly meetings at the fire station.
  • Other business
    • The Treasurer said he was thinking of a tailgate event at Cullen Park. TDXS had done one recently and we could potentially coordinate with them.

The meeting concluded shortly before 8:20 pm.

Hielke Buddelmeijer

KARS Secretary

KI5JYX

Categories: Uncategorized

KARS Monthly Meeting March 2021

April 21st, 2021 Comments off

Minutes from the KARS Monthly Meeting February 8, 2021

In keeping with the continuing social distancing guidelines, our KARS meeting was conducted via Zoom.  

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

The meeting started off with an announcement that there were two slots available for Net Control on March 23 and 30.

Members were advised that membership dues are due by 1 April.

We did not secure a room for our face-to-face monthly meetings and the board and membership expressed the desire for a hybrid setup where members have the choice between joining in person and joining online.

We had a new member, George T Richards (WA9GUS; General Class) who was voted on by the members present. There being no dissenting votes he is now an official member of Katy Amateur Radio Society.

The working group lead by Louis Orlando (W5BWV) was asking for members to email their suggestions on membership recruitment and retention.

The treasurer reported that not all members had paid their dues yet and gave an update on the storage shed. The price was to increase to $72 in February, but we had countered with a lower offer. No news yet on that being accepted. The 5×10 storage unit is climate controlled.

The suggestion of an ice cream social with Brazos Valley was raised to establish potential collaborations.

The option of a DMR repeater for KARS was raised, but with the new one in Richmond that covers most of Houston there was not much to gain.

The meeting ended with a presentation by John Thurmond (K5JBT) on microprocessors. He showed what was possible with just a handful of dollars in equipment and a copy/paste code from freely available websites. During the presentation he showed how easy it was to create a light that would differ in brightness depending on the strength of the Rx signal. Specific equipment that was mentioned was: Pi Zero; Arduino ($30), Arduino Nano ($20), the Arduino Starter Kit ($36), and the Raspberry Pi Micro Controller (Pico RP2040 for $4). John showed that you don’t need advanced programming skills, and that there is a huge library that you can tweak to your particular purpose.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:30 pm

Hielke Buddelmeijer KI5JYX

Secretary KARS

Categories: Uncategorized

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.

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.

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

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