American Radio Relay League (ARRL) West Gulf Director John Stratton N5AUS and Lee Cooper W5LHC gave the SCARS (South Canadian Amateur Radio Society) members at the January meeting for a 2021 ARRL update. The West Gulf division represents the states of Oklahoma and Texas. John and Lee talked about what is new at ARRL headquarters, how to join the league, and why you should. ARRL has a new CEO, David Minster NA2AA, and a whole new Volunteer Monitors (VM) program headed up by Riley Hollingsworth K4ZDH. Lots of good information on past, current, and future ARRL activities.
Mr. Jim Lawrence, NA5RC has accepted the position of Emergency Coordinator (EC) for Fayette County in District 7 of the South Texas Section. District 7 is composed of Bastrop, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Milam, Travis, and Williamson counties. Mr. Ken Malgren, K7MAL, is the District 7 Emergency Coordinator (DEC).
Jim has developed a working relationship with his home county emergency management team and explains further, “I had an excellent meeting with Craig, FCEM”. “Craig is not yet a ham but he is on our Club FB page and is interested in getting his license”. “Craig is working on a grant for a CERT communications trailer and I explained the role of ARES”. “He likes the back-up capabilities ARES can provide in an Emergency”.
From Jim regarding his meetings with Fayette County officials: “Based on this meeting, there was a clear interest in progressing a relationship between area Hams and Fayette County Emergency Management”. “For this reason, I would be interested in developing an ARES presence in Fayette County to include a weekly net on 147.38 which, even unlinked, covers much of the surrounding counties”.
Mr. Lawrence is a semi-retired Telecom Engineer currently working on a communications project for a new facility in the Gulf of Mexico which will include HF SSB, Trunked VHF, trunked bridge to VHF Marine, and Aircraft, Radar, Racon, NDB, VoIP phones, & CCTV. Jim also had a career in Law Enforcement which included Houston P.D. and Travis County S.O. At TCSO he managed Special Ops.
Jim holds an Extra Class license that builds and pieces rather than buys off the shelf. His equipment is almost 100% Motorola now on repeaters to include new (old) Quantar and MCS2000 repeaters. Jim remarks “next up here in La Grange on UHF will be DMR”.
This appointment was effective February 1, 2021.
Jeffery A Walter – KE5FGA
ARRL STX SEC
Mr. Ric Sauer, KD0RMK has accepted the position of Emergency Coordinator (EC) for Medina County in District 6 of the South Texas Section. Ric was recommended by Mr. Sid Tschirhart, WD5H, current Medina County EC and (District) EC Mr. Ernest Reich W5FQA. District 6 is composed of Bandera, Edwards, Kerr, Kinney, Medina, Real, Uvalde, Val Verde counties.
Ric remarks that “moving to Texas was like starting over again”. It didn’t take long to find a local ham group. He started attending meetings. The people at the MCARC group made him feel welcome. Participating in several events and nets he has become friends with many of the members. “The shared camaraderie has helped make my new residence seem more like home”.
Mr. Sauer is a Senior Program Manager supporting the USAF cybersecurity division at Lackland AFB. He is also concurrently the deputy task lead for Applied Research Solutions supporting the San Antonio Texas team with over 300 employees locally.
He was also dispatched to Camp Shelby during hurricane Katrina. He was only on the ground for 4 days but had the opportunity to see amateur radio operators supporting the effort.
Ric served in the US Navy (Vietnam era Vet) as a Launch Supervisor on the USS James Monroe Poseidon Submarine. He spent most of the first 18 months in school learning electronics, digital fundamentals, and missile flight theory. During this time, he was exposed to what was the state of the art technology and decided to learn more about computers.
“Also, during the 70s I purchased my first CB radio. It was a used Tram D201 tube set. I learned very early in my radio experience that the antenna makes the radio. I installed a StarDuster Antenna on a 3-section push-up pole. I remember being able to talk from one end of Charleston SC to the other with my 4 watts”.
“I learned about amateur radio in high school. I had 4 years of electronics and was president of the radio club in my senior year. I had a few friends that were in amateur radio during my time in the Navy. The code kept getting in the way of my continued interest. In 2012 I had a good friend invite me to a meeting to talk about ham radio. I found out that the code requirement no longer existed. A few weeks later I took my Technician test and passed. It didn’t take long for me to realize the difference between Technician and General Class. A couple of years later I was at a hamfest in St. Louis. I saw the room where they were doing testing. I walked in and took the test. I was the first one done and just assumed I did not pass. I was ready to walk out and was told that I needed to sign some paperwork and that I could start using the new privileges as soon as it appeared in the ULS. Before I left the hamfest, I purchased more coax and an HF antenna”.
Ric has been married for over 35 years and has two sons. He enjoys the outdoors, even in the Texas summer. He is also a cancer survivor, a strong believer in community, team perseverance, and being passionate about life.
This appointment is effective January 17, 2021.
Jeffery A Walter – KE5FGA
ARRL STX SEC
After 41 years, Ham-Com has decided to close its doors in lieu of the restrictions in place for COVID-19 and the rising costs of putting on a show. The decision was not made lightly, but the safety and wellness of our volunteers, vendors, clubs, presenters, and attendees is our paramount concern.
Read the complete letter from Bill Nelson, President of Ham-Com Inc.
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has received schedule confirmation for an ARISS radio contact with astronauts.
This will be a direct contact via amateur radio between students at the Tecumseh High School, Tecumseh, OK, and astronaut Shannon Walker, amateur radio call sign KD5DXB. Both onsite and remote access will be provided to the student body at the time of the contact per Covid-19 guidelines. Amateur radio operators, using the Tecumseh High School Amateur Radio Club call sign K5THS, will operate the ham radio ground station for this contact. Students will take turns asking Walker their questions. The downlink frequency for this contact is 145.800 MHz.
The ARISS radio contact is scheduled for December 4th at 12:33 pm CST (Tecumseh), (18:33 UTC, 1:33 pm EST, 11:33 am MST and 10:33 am PST).
The public is invited to watch the live stream at; https://youtu.be/7qe_UXGdA6o
Download the full press release here; ARISS News Release No. 20-24 - Tecumseh OK
Mr. Mike McCue W5ATN has accepted the position of Emergency Coordinator (EC) for Milam County in District 7 of the South Texas Section. This appointment was recommended by Section Manager (SM) Mr. Stuart Wolfe. Mike replaces Stuart, now the STX SM, who had served as EC since May 10, 2017.
I became interested in amateur radio during a drive back from Ardmore OK in 2004. We had just completed SAG support for the SAM's Club MS150 from Frisco (near Dallas) to Ardmore.
Mike Hardwick N5VCX placed an HT in my van for me to listen to for our 10 van conga line trip drive back to Dallas. I have been hooked since. I must also give a tip of the hat to Susan KB5ICO, Chuck N5GCQ, and David N5SRC.
I couldn’t wait to mimic my public service friends by purchasing an ICOM 2720 and the study material for my technician license. I was several months of listening to conversations and police frequencies before deciding it was time to take the test. The test was administered by Mr. John Moore KK5NU and his VE team.
My friends told me to join a club. The push to join ARES came from Mr. Dale Walker AA5DW (SK) at a Northwest Amateur Radio Society (NARS) meeting. I joined and met Mr. Ken Mitchell KD2KW, who was a member and the D14 Emergency Coordinator. He pointed me to Mr. Hal Merritt KD5HWW who was the EC for the Northwest quadrant (now unit) for Harris County. Somewhere along the way Hal dropped a W from his call.
I'm KF5END/Ted. I have officially been a HAM since January 2010 when I passed my Technician exam. Over the course of the next year, I passed the General and Extra.
I have always been around electronics and have owned a scanner since the late ‘80s. I never had any interest in CB and did not know what a HAM was until a HAM explained it to me.
I spent many summers at my grandmother’s and would always run across various tubes, capacitors, resistors, and other various components. I always enjoyed playing with them but did not have any real idea what they were, other than their names. My grandfather had passed before my arrival and I later learned that he was a EE and often worked on radios and televisions, though no one can verify if he was ever a HAM.
Does your club have a club call sign?
Is it used for Field Day, QSO parties, other contests, Special Events, like JOTA, Schools on the Air, Hamfest Talk-in, or on your club repeater(s)?
To set this up just have a Club officer fill out the on-line form and submit it to the ARRL. If your club doesn't have a call they will get the club's initials and 3 numbers.
I am an ARRL ETP instructor for the ARRL Teachers' Institute and a Curriculum Development Specialist with the CYBER.ORG based in Bossier City, LA; an education non-profit funded by a federal grant that trains teachers in cybersecurity, computer science, and related topics. I became an ARRL Life Member in 2014. I have also been serving as ARRL Education Assistant Section Manager for South Texas (STX) since Spring 2017. Prior to that, I was Education ASM for North Texas (NTX) from 2013-2017.
Even if you're not in my ARRL Section and you're looking for ways to get amateur radio into a classroom, I'm always happy to help!
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