Nov 23

Due to lack of response, W2IK and the Bexar Operators Group (W5BOG) have decided to cancel the 2011 Jump Team Boot Camp  for emergency communicators. It takes a great deal of lead time and planning to run this program, reserve the wildlife refuge area, line up the two Army survival specialists, check out several tons of jump team gear, etc. With no inquiries, usually by now the reservation list would be almost full, we can only assume no one feels this training is needed so we will also retire from offering it in the future.

Bob  W2IK

Oct 8
 W2IK and The Bexar Operators Group (W5BOG) located in San Antonio, Texas, will sponsor their 5th annual “Jump Team Boot Camp” in 2011, commencing on April 8th (Friday morning) and running through the 10th (Sunday evening).
This year’s “Boot Camp” will concentrate on the ways and means to get a “Jump Team” operational should there be a need to deploy far from your home and communicate in the aftermath of a disaster where nothing is standing.
Just like the other “Jump Team Boot Camps” I’ve taught, this will be an actual drive-and-operate operation and NOT a desktop drill. This is the “no bs, real deal” of emcomm training and is as close as it gets to an actual disaster. The only emcomm boot camp in the country!
You will get very dirty. You will test your personal limits.
You will leave with self-confidence in dealing with extreme emergency communications work.
 ECs and AECs from any group are especially encouraged to attend so they can bring valuable information back to their group(s) and so they are aware of what any of their members will be facing when you ask them to deploy to an extreme disaster area.
This boot camp will also be of great help if any EC or group wishes to create their own “Jump Team” from scratch. I will also be available after this event should any attendees require additional help in forming their own Jump Team and I will even meet with your group to get you started or review your Jump Team plans. (This offer ONLY  for those who have attended this boot camp.)  
Participants for this session will meet at a central staging area in San Marcos, TX.   Pre-deployment maps will be given out at this time, although due to the nature of real emergencies along any caravan route, driving directions may change due to “flooding” and other concerns so each vehicle must be equipped with 2 meter (simplex) capabilities.
Sep 14

David Freiberger K5OLE on top of the American Red Cross Bldg working on one of the antennas

Our friend, mentor and leader, David Freiberger K5OLE is gone. He passed away this afternoon after a very long battle, first with cancer, then with complications from the treatment of it.

J C Smith, N5RXS, will update us with the funeral arrangements when he can.

I’m attaching a photo of my friend, doing what he loved.

Shane NS5D

Additional info will be posted here as provided.  We encourage other hams who knew David, to post comments on this article to share your thoughts, memories, etc.  

David was recently the Bexar County EC (Emergency Coordinator), stepping down only due to his health issues, and was a former president of the San Antonio Radio Club. He was active in the STXDXCC Club as well.  His cheerful attitude helped a lot of hams do their jobs better.

Webmaster for

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Sep 7

Last week Joe Gadus, KD5KTX resigned as the Public Information Coordinator for the South Texas Section. I was sorry to receive this resignation as Joe has done a fantastic job in the Section both as a Public Information Officer and as the Public Information Coordinator.  During his tenure as PIC he pursued the creation of a new position in the section, that of  an Assistant PIC and signed up five excellent PIO’s to fill those slots. With the five assistants in place to help him they, as a team, have grown the South Texas Section list of ACTIVE Public Information Officers to over 21. This is very likely the largest active group of PIO’s in any single section in the league.  

Joe also was one of the very first to be recognized formally by the ARRL as one of three PIO’s of the year last year.  His PR efforts within the section have been everything I could have hoped for in both a PIO and PIC.  I want thank Joe for his time and dedication to the position.

In finding a replacement for the PIC job I found myself with the enviable task of having several very qualified volunteers that have offered their services to the section. It made the decision a tough one as I would have felt comfortable in appointing any of them and knowing they will do a great job. 

Having said that, I would like to announce the appointment of Mike Manshack, AD5OG, as the new Public Information Coordinator for the South Texas Section.  Mike has been active as a PIO and as an Assistant PIC and has done a great job in recruiting new PIO’s,as well as working with the local ARES and Clubs to get media coverage for their events. I feel comfortable that the entire PIO  team will continue to excel while working with Mike.

Please join me in congratulating Mike on his new role.

Lee, W5LHC

Aug 7
Be a part of this first of it’s kind competition!  Rick Palm of the ARRL ARES E-Letter says of this event: “this is a cool idea!” and is including info about it in the August ARES E-Letter. He will be sent the results for possible ARRL publication. Your last chance to sign up. Get a team together.
When: September 5, 2010
Where: South Texas park. Park location to be announced before the competition to pre-registered teams.  This is not a spectator sport event.
Teams: Teams, made up of 4 people each, will compete to see which team can set up an operational communications (Jump Team) site and make 5 HF contacts in the least amount of time and in the proper manner.
May 22
Emergency Communications Team Competition 
No, not a tug of war!
When: September 5, 2010
Where: South Texas park. Park to be announced before the competition to pre-registered teams.
Teams: Teams, made up of 4 people each, will compete to see which team can set up an operational communications (Jump Team) site and make 5 HF contacts in the least amount of time and in the proper manner.
Competition: Teams would be required to properly:

Erect a 6 man sleeping tent and a “toilet tent” (this includes ground tarp and rain tarp.)

Erect an operations area (canopy) with chairs and tables and radio gear.
Erect a food prep canopy with tables, chairs, stove, cooking supplies.
Erect one 40 meter “Inverted V” antenna with coax back to the operations area with proper hazard flagging.
Apr 20

During tonight’s Bexar County ARES  Training Net,  Lothar briefly mentioned the garage door problems those of us living near the intersection of 151 and Potranco Road (San Antonio, TX) are having.    As Lothar correctly stated, the issue is a conflict between a new radio communications tower put up at the NSA facility being built on Military Drive and garage door openers in the vicinity.

The NSA tower works on the LMR 390 Mhz frequency, which is shared with older garage door openers, including, as it turns out, my own. As NSA has stated in public, they believe they have the legal basis for operating on this frequency, and do not intend to stop operating on this frequency.   So, for those of us with garage door openers operating at that frequency, it means that your remote may not open your garage door until you are very close to it. In my case, I actually had to park in my driveway, get out of my car, and activate the remote standing two feet from the garage door. A bit of an inconvenience.

The Genie GIRUD-1T Universal Dual Frequency Conversion Kit alleviates frequency issues from the recently implemented Land Mobile Radio (LMR) communications system. The LMR system is used by military bases across the U.S. and was implemented as part of the nation’s Homeland Security efforts.

Most newer garage door openers operate on the 315 Mhz frequency to avoid this conflict. So if you are having these issues and would like some resolution, you can do one of two things: 1.) Purchase a new garage door opener that operates at that frequency, or 2.) Install a converter which will allow your existing garage door opener to operate on the new frequency.

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Mar 2

The National Weather Service in New Braunfels has announced they are moving their regional Skywarn Net away from the 147.14 repeater to the newer 444.450 UHF repeater that is located just south of Startzville, with an antenna up at 1670 ft above sea level.  That repeater has a tone of 114.8 and a POSITIVE offset.  The 444.450 repeater has very wide regional coverage, equivalent to what the 147.14 repeater used to be.  We’ve had folks from as far south as Wilford Hall on Lackland AFB in San Antonio, or north to south Austin on 6th Street.  Of course those contacts were made using 50 watt mobile or base radios.

This repeater will soon be hooked up via an IRLP node, but the trustee Wade W5ERX is still working out the bugs for that.   This repeater is being sponsored by the Hill Country REACT Team.

This Skywarn net is NOT to be confused with the local Skywarn Nets in San Antonio or Austin on the 146.94 repeaters.  In San Antonio, that repeater has a PL tone of 179.9 and a negative offset.  The Austin repeater has no PL tone required, but does have an output tone.

In San Antonio, most of the time, you will find one of the AEC’s (Assistant Emergency Coordinator) from the Bexar County ARES group running the local Skywarn Net, and the repeater has a tone that goes off periodically, sort of a beep, just to let you know something serious is going on even if you don’t hear anybody talking at the moment.

If the Net Control operator asks for specific types of reports, don’t call in with reports of “It’s not raining over here”, or “I just saw on TV that such and such was happening…”.  Don’t clutter up the frequency with chatter.

Feb 18

HAITI: ECOM Operatoins appear to be slowing down somewhat.  The hospital ship USNS COMFORT is no longer accepting trauma patients, at the request of the Haitian government, and is preparing to return to the U.S.

The University of Miami Mediashare Operation has beem moved from the International Airport to another area, so that the airport could open for regular commercial traffic.

Our MARS volunteers continue to provide support to the effort and will, for a while yet.   Keep them in your thoughts, as they are in a less secure area now that they have moved off the International Airport.

Jan 27

By Vincent T. Davis – Express-News

“Ham radio operator Bob Hejl has responded to several disasters in the United States and overseas, yet he feels sidelined from helping Haitians who were devastated by the earthquake that struck there two weeks ago.

Hejl volunteered for deployment with the Amateur Radio Emergency Services in New York but wasn’t called this time. He’s resigned to listening to the scant radio signals being transmitted from Haiti as rescue operations there scale back.

Hejl is one of many ham operators across the nation who were willing to lend their equipment and expertise to aid the Jan. 12 earthquake victims. Red Cross training and hundreds of radio hours since the Alaska earthquake of 1964 have prepped him for short-notice calls to broadcast his call sign, W2IK, from the mobile equipment he keeps ready for emergency deployment.”

For the full article, including quotes from several other local ham radio operators, go to:




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