Recurring Events

April 6th, 2021 Comments off

Katy Amateur Radio Society (KARS), Katy, Texas

Recurring Events

Event Time Location Notes
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 Zoom+F2F Members can click the Video Meeting Information tab, guests please contact a board member for access information

F2F at Westlake Fire Station, 19636 Saums Road, Houston, TX 77084

KARS Amateur Radio License Exam
9:30 11:00 am
NOTE: Testing sessions are still taking place. Please check under the Licensing Information tab for the latest information. Until further notice Pre-Registration is required
KARS Virtual Coffee Every Wednesday, 7:30 PM Zoom Meeting Check video meeting information for access, or contact a member
KARS Breakfast Every Saturday, 8:00 AM Freddy’s Cafe 16830 Barker Springs #400 Houston, TX. 77084

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 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.

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

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

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

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