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

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.

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

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