Apr 6

Our regular volunteers already know to get their radios and batteries ready for operations when the month of April hits.  Actually many of the Ham Volunteers with Hill Country REACT never stopped being ready for events.   They worked events in January and March already, out in the Bandera, Texas, area at the Hill Country State Natural Park.  One event was the Bandera 100k Cross Country running event (24 hours) in January, followed by the Big Bend 50k out west. On March 5-6th was a horse ride endurance event (2 day) back in the Hill Country State Natural Area (state park).  There may have been other events in between that I missed.  Look for event posts by the REACT Team president, Louis Upton N5STX, elsewhere in this blog.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand.  We have lots of volunteer events happening between now and Field Day weekend.  This is just a short list of known events being held involving San Antonio and the surrounding area hams.  If someone wants to build up a list of contest, I’ll be happy to work with you on posting those dates as well.

April 15-17th – BPMS150 National MS Bicycle Ride (2 days).  At present time, 5 teams of SAG vans will depart on Friday, April 15th from San Antonio, to arrive that night in Katy, TX, outside of Houston, to start off the biggest bicycle tour in Texas the next morning.  The San Antonio contingent will be joined by other SAG Teams from Austin and these two groups will be swallowed up by all of the others coming from the  Houston area.  At last count, I think there were around 45 SAG Vans, 12 SAG Box Truck / Bus combos (Rental Moving Van with a School bus tagging along).  More info will be posted after the event.  Volunteer list is closed for this event due to the logistics, but rooms are provided for both overnights, plus the fuel doesn’t require out of pocket expense either. Hams use both 2 meter and 440 frequencies, plus APRS, to communicate.  Non-hams use provided MURS radios. Mobile radios with dual band preferred for usage.

April 21st – Battle of the Bands Festival – Hams are used to coordinate the bands and VIP arrivals.  See posting here.

April 24th – Fiesta Wildflower 100 Bicycle Tour – Hams are used to coordinate the rest stops along the route. Motorcycle Safety Marshals, some are hams, will be  used to spot problems or rider issues along the route.  See posting here.

May 7th – Area 20 Special Olympics Spring Games – This really isn’t a big ham radio event, since we mostly coordinate the commercial hand held radios at the event, but occasionally we’ve had W2IK out here with a special events station as well.  This is a one day event, running from around 7am thru 4pm, held at a local San Antonio area sports stadium.   Contact Lee Besing N5NTG at info@Sanantoniohams.org or via phone 210-771-7075 (voice/text).

May 7th – Bulverde’s 17th annual Run For The Hills race – Hams from Hill Country REACT with the help of other area hams, provide coordination for this 10k event which is held north of San Antonio, off Hwy 281 and FM1863, in Bulverde Texas. In addition to spotter positions along the route, volunteers also help coordinate the parking lot area to avoid confusion in the wee hours before sunrise.  This event is a Saturday morning event, over by noon.  Contact Charlie Land KC5NKK at 512-796-7565 (voice/text) or kc5nkk@hillcountryreact.org.

May 14th – San Antonio American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure ride.  – Ham are used to coordinate the rest stops along the route. Motorcycle Safety Marshals, some are hams, will be  used to spot problems or rider issues along the route.  See posting here.

May 29th – American Hero 25k Relay Run – Hams are used to monitor the turn around points on the looped race course that never leaves the  property for the University. Hours are 7am-1pm with free t-shirts provided for the volunteers. Contact Lee Besing N5NTG at info@Sanantoniohams.org or via phone 210-771-7075 (voice/text).

June 11-13th – Texas Water Safari.  Hams are used to provide communications from the start line on Saturday until the finish line on Wednesday, but most positions near the front are done much quicker.  Last year over 100 canoe teams  competed for this 100 hour, 262 mile river race (yes, it’s a timed race) from San Marcos, down thru Victoria and on to Sea Drift, on the Texas Gulf Coast.  This event is run 24 hours a day until the last canoe team has been accounted for, but each check point along the river has different operation hours.   Both voice and digital communication modes are used to pass the in/out team information to the next check point down the river.  Ham operators play a critical port in the safety of this event.   Volunteers are coordinated on the front end check points  of the race course by Erik Olson WB5ZJQ, while other check points are coordinated by Harvey Babb WB5MCT.  Contact Erik at 210-213-4098 (voice/text during non-business hours please) or WB5ZJQ@SARepeater.net  Contact Harvey at 361-676-0356 or Harvey.babb@gmail.com.

 

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Apr 6

The 78th Battle of Flowers® Band Festival, will be held on April 21, 2016, and is entitled “Texas Traditions…125 Years!”

The location venue has moved back to the original Alamo Stadium (located at Trinity University, Hwy 281 and Hildebrand) now that the stadium has been remodeled.

Students from more than 30 high school bands from San Antonio and surrounding areas will join forces to present an entertaining musical evening that is undoubtedly one of Fiesta’s most popular events. Some of the highlights will include Herald Trumpets saluting Fiesta royalty, parades of high stepping bands with colorful flags and twirlers, and specially chosen feature bands performing their award-winning UIL shows for the crowd. At the end of the evening, all 4,800 musicians will perform together on the field in a spectacular crowd-pleasing finale set to fireworks!

The SARO Ham Club has coordinated communications for this event for longer than most hams can remember.  While members of the club are given preference for assignments, non-member hams are invited to volunteer as well.   This is an evening / night time event during the week on a Thursday night.   Volunteers need to be in place as early as 4:30pm and the event will last about 5 hours.   Hand Held radios with earphones / plugs will be needed for most assignments due to the noise.  Some assignments may require lots of walking or standing.  The hams coordinate the starting line of the bands entering the competition area, calling in the school names to the announcer ham shadow, plus coordinating the arrival of any Fiesta Royalty VIPs with the announcers as well.

Please contact SARO President MaryAnn Horn N5MYN via email N5MYN@SARepeater.Net or via phone (during non-work hours only please) at 210-380-6560 (voice/text).

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Apr 5

This year’s San Antonio American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure bicycle event on May 14, 2016, will once again start / end at the Texas A&M University, located on the south side of San Antonio, near Loop 410 and University Way /  Zarzamora Rd  (outside the loop).  The start/finish line will be on the interior road just north of the primary building cluster as usual.  There will be multiple distance routes, with the shorter length routes splitting off to return to the finish line sooner.  The 100+ plus mile route is the most challenging, heading out toward Elmendorf before dropping south to Pleasanton and then curving up thru Poteet and near Somerset before returning to the finish line.    Last year we had nearly 1,200 riders.

Members of the Atascosa County Amateur Radio Club were the first to volunteer to help us out once again. Thanks

Ham Radio operators are needed to staff 9-10 rest stops, plus provide net control back at the University.   We may use a personal vehicle or two as turtle vehicles (using APRS if possible), plus 10 primary SAG vans/trucks which need to be ham radio operator equipped or driven for this event.

Volunteers get a free t-shirt.  SAG Vans are provided and fuel is provided, so no money for fuel or rent will be out of pocket for the drivers. Rest stop volunteers do not get their fuel reimbursed, sorry.  But you get to test out your Ham Radio Go-Kit setup, or just use your mobile radio and test the life of your car’s battery.  🙂

This event is on a Saturday, May 14th, and will run from around 7am to 4pm for the longer routes.  Obviously the rest stops closer to the front, or on the shorter routes only, will get released much sooner.  This is a one day event, covering parts of Bexar, Wilson and Atascosa counties.

Assignments will be on a first asked, first assigned basis.   I am making the opportunity available to help run the net control station and to get some net control experience, for those who are tired of doing the same ole stuff each year.  Also on a first asked, first assigned basis.

For more information, or to volunteer, please contact Lee Besing N5NTG via email at info@sanantoniohams.org or by voice/text to 210-771-7075.  Note that my current working shift is at night, so do not expect me to answer the phone before noon most days.

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Apr 5

This year’s event will start / end at the Rolling Oaks Mall properties, located on the NE side of San Antonio, near Loop 1604 and Nacogdoches Road (outside the loop).  The start/finish line will be on the far north side of the property, furthest from Loop 1604.  There will be multiple routes with some overlapping areas to help keep it confusing.  🙂    Last year we had nearly 1,800 riders.  The routes go up toward Canyon Lake and over toward the Seguin area, so we cover 3 counties during this event.

Ham Radio operators are needed to staff 8-9 rest stops, plus net control back at the Mall.   We may use a personal vehicle or two as turtle vehicles (using APRS if possible), but the primary SAG trucks will not be ham radio operator equipped or driven for this event.

Last year, the organizers provided a $20 Valero fuel gift card to the ham working each stop (1 for each stop), to reimburse the volunteer for fuel used during the event.  This fuel card was not payment for services rendered.  In addition, free t-shirt and possibly even a free Fiesta Medal could be available.

This event is on a Sunday, April 24th, and will run from around 7am to 4 or 5pm for the longer routes.  Obviously the rest stops closer to the front, or on the shorter routes only, will get released much sooner.

Assignments will be on a first asked, first assigned basis.   I am making the opportunity available to be net control, to get some net control experience, for those who are tired of doing the same ole stuff each year.  Also on a first asked, first assigned basis.

For more information, or to volunteer, please contact Lee Besing N5NTG via email at info@sanantoniohams.org or by voice/text to 210-771-7075.  Note that my current working shift is at night, so do not expect me to answer the phone before noon most days.

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Apr 5

The Alamo Area Radio Organization is pleased to welcome Juan Hernandez of Yaesu America KG6HKA Technical Support Specialist as our guest speaker for the April membership meeting.  The date and location has been changed to accommodate both the speaker and the venue capacity.

The April meeting has been changed to the first Wednesday of April, April 6th at 6:30pm.  Please come early to eat before the meeting starts.

This a special event with limited seating (120 seats) and will be held at a Blanco BBQ on 13259 Blanco Road, San Antonio, TX and starts at 630 pm.

AA5RO will return back to Mamacita’s Mexican Restaurant next month, on the regular 2nd Wednesday at 7pm.

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Apr 5

If you find web links from SanAntonioHams.org leading to bogus pharmacy drug sites popping up in a Google search, don’t trust them. They are not legit. Someone from another country has managed to hack into the ColdFusion code on the server where the main site is hosted, foisting some bogus web links upon us. I’m working with the hosting service to get those removed.

The news blog area was NOT affected, only the front hard coded portion of the site. These guys were very devious, and it screwed up some of the valid pages also.

– Lee N5NTG Webmaster.

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Feb 7

Morning all!

Event: AERC Heart of the Hills Endurance Ride

Dates: 5th and 6th March 2016

Location: Hill Country State Natural Area – Bandera

Times: 0700 hrs to 1700 hrs – assignment times very based on Checkpoint.

Help is needed on both days, but, if you can only work one of the other, your assistance is greatly appreciated.

Operators will be responsible for tracking the progress of Horse/Rider thru the course at 4 different checkpoints.  We also handle in health/welfare information and other task as submitted by the event coordinator/manager.

3 checkpoints should be able to contact net control with ht and a gain antenna.  One checkpoint is a little more challenging requiring a mobile unit, possibly crossband.

Comms will be VHF simplex.

RMS Express/Packet will be utilized during the event.  Packet not required to participate.

Most checkpoints are easily accessible by car or truck.  One will require a truck with moderate clearance.

If your are interested please contact Charlie Land at charlesdland at gmail dot com or Mike Perez at mikerey01 at yahoo dot com

Event is coordinated by Hill Country REACT – membership not required to participate.

Thank You,

Louis Upton – K5STX

Hill Country REACT – Team # 4804 – President
Tejas Trails Communication Group – Cactus Rose and Bandera 100k Ultra-Marathons – Coordinator

Rocky Raccoon Communications Group – Tejas Trails Liaison

 

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Feb 5
On or about April 25, 26, and 27th,  W2IK and members of the Bexar Operators Group will travel to West Texas to activate a special events station at Fort Davis National Park AND Big Bend National Park.  A special QSL certificate will be mailed to stations contacting each of the locations noted. Please send a large SASE to the callbook / QRZ address of W2IK.  (PO Box 6731, San Antonio, TX 78209.) We will be operating on 40 and 20 meters using a special vertical antenna designed by W2IK.
National Parks on the Air

National Parks on the Air

Throughout 2016, Amateur Radio will be helping the National Park Service celebrate their 100th anniversary. Hams from across the country will activate NPS units, promote the National Park Service and showcase Amateur Radio to the public. For more information, check out the ARRL website.

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Jan 7

For everyone that I have not had a chance to talk to this year so far, I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a very safe and happy New Year and that the new year brings good things for everyone.

Four Years Ago…

WeakSignal_Hamsters_GroupThe Unclub put up our first repeater January 2012 at the San Antonio American Red Cross on 443.025 with a PL tone of 82.5, taking the knowledge we had gained over the years developing premier VHF/UHF Simplex stations to operate DX and applying it to our repeater, we developed a repeater that had impressive range on 70cm opening a communication link covering most of Bexar County and fantastic coverage East well past Seguin out IH 10 and strong coverage on 37 heading towards Corpus Christi.

We were selected to be part of the Yaesu Fusion Beta Team and helped develop and debug this new Digital Format, enjoying over a year advance experience with Fusion Radio’s and Repeaters before it was released to the general public.

Less Than Two Years Ago…

November of 2014 the plan was formed to built a Regional Fusion Repeater Network supporting Analog and Digital Communications covering Austin, Texas Hill Country {Wimberly, Marble Falls, Boerne, Kerrville, Pipe Creek, Bandera, Tarply, Hondo, Dilley, Pleasanton, Floresville, Seguin, New Braunfels} allowing you to travel through out the region and carry on a continuous conversation.

One Year Ago…

2015-08-14_ARRL_Affiliation_LetterIn January 2015, I gained approval and a 50 year Lease at $1 per month} for a commercial communication site that provided us with a fantastic location and in March of 2015 the 147.120 Repeater came on the air, providing fantastic coverage through out Bexar County, up to Pipe Creek/Lake View, out to New Braunfels and well south of Bexar County and out towards Hondo.

In August 2015, The Hamster Weak Signal Group became an official affiliated club with the ARRL, despite being an “Unclub”. This helped us obtain more affordable liability insurance that was required  by some commercial tower sites.

Fast Forward To January 2016…

I am happy to announce that our plans for the repeater linking Bandera, Tarpley, Medina, Kerrville, etc., is now moving forward at a fast pace……We are just days away from working out the agreement on the locations and hope to have all of those detailed finalized by the end of this week or first part of next week.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Jan 7

fiestalogoThe San Antonio Radio Fiesta is scheduled for Saturday, January 9, 2016 at the Schertz Civic Center, 1400 Schertz Pkwy, Schertz, Texas.

As everyone knows the weather was not in our favor last year, but we had a good turnout considering.

The Schertz Civic Center offers more floor space and tables in the exhibit hall. We will have a meeting area that will seat approximately 180 people, plus a meeting area for VE testing. With four programs scheduled plus the winter meeting of the Texas VHF Society (hopefully), we believe our attendance will increase.

– Rowena Archer, KF5JCZ, Event Chairman

Radio Fiesta CrowdSAN ANTONIO
RADIO CLUB

The Amateur Radio Fiesta will be Saturday, January 9, 2016.

  • HOURS: 8:00 am to 2:00 pm on Saturday.
  • LOCATION: Schertz Civic Center – 1400 Schertz Pkwy, Schertz, TX
  • TALK IN FREQUENCY: 146.940 (-, 179.9)
  • Amateur Radio Fiesta set up:
    • Friday Night – 4 to 9 pm
    • Saturday – Set up starting at 6:30 am with the doors opening at 8 am.
  • Admission Ticket: $10 at the door
  • Dealer Tables: $14 at the door, if available
  • Flea Market Tables: $10 at the door, if available
  • Tailgate Spaces: 1 free with purchase of an admission ticket to hall, (extra tailgate space) $5 each
  • Extra Prize Tickets: $1 each or 12 for $10

Also, If you want to join, or renew your membership, with the San Antonio Radio Club, you can save $3 by paying at the Radio Fiesta. Look for the SARC table near the front entrance. Dues: $12 for entire family by Jan 9 ($15 after). Sign up every ham in your family for one low price! Cheapest club rates in town (compared with those groups who charge annual dues)!

For additional information on our great programs and schedule of events, please view our PDF Flyer at http://w5sc.org/2016%20webpage%20flyer%20B.pdf.

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