Oct 8

ms150_2009_alamo_to_the_river2Here is the video you’ve all be waiting for. The video is about 9 minutes in length, with some narration and sound tracks left untouched.  Some titles added to explain what is going on, or to inform the viewer about all the work the ham radio operators are doing.   Would have liked to have included some photos or video of the ground to air lightening strikes at the Finish line, but we’re working with what I shot myself.

I inserted only a few still photos in the video, but not many, so if you want to see the photos, please visit the earlier posting made to this blog.  I’m willing to post more photos taken by other hams, if they send them to me.  <hint, hint>

Here is the video, courtesy of YouTube.com where it is hosted.


Oct 5


2009 ALAMO RIDE to the RIVER

The first BikeMS: Ride to the River is over and it was quite the event.  As you all know, Saturday started with rain and it continued all day.  The weather deteriorated all day forcing a multitude of changes such as the closure of the River Road Century Extension, the move of the Lunch location, the move of Breakpoint 4, and the re-routing of the course into New Braunfels. 

100_2508All of these major changes were forced after the start of the ride and all of them were made very smoothly.  These changes went smoothly in no small part to you, the Amateur Radio operators.  You reported to your locations on-time and prepared to provide communications. 

 The flexibility of the Amateur Radio community is it’s hallmark and you proved that again this weekend.  My thanks to the Breakpoint Operators, the Shadows for the officials, the medical team and safety team.  By providing essential communications under adverse conditions you helped to make this ride both successful and safe.

 As Saturday’s weather continued to worsen with extreme rain, fog and ground lighting strikes, the ride was cut short.  The SAG and Motor Marshal Teams were fantastic, getting hundreds of riders off the course in these extreme conditions.  Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 26

This morning, a few dozen hams gathered at the American Red Cross HQ on the east side of San Antonio, TX, to get their briefing, packets and their free t-shirt, for next weekend’s BikeMS Valero Alamo Ride To The River.  Most of those who missed the briefing, will be given their materials when they pick up their SAG vans or on site at their assignment the day of the event from Milton (SAG 5) N5HMJ.

Here are a few photos taken this morning….

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Sep 21

I put together this video after the 2009 La Vernia Wildwest Hammerfest.  Probably missed some items, but here it it.  Featuring some well known ham radio operators and hundreds of bicycle riders who came out that day just so I could try and make this video.


Sep 19

Around 5:30am on Saturday morning, 09/19/2009, way before the chickens even thought about waking up, there were a bunch of crazy folks talking on the 147.04 repeater, all saying they were heading toward LaVernia for some bicycle event. 

The San Antonio Repeater Organization (SARO) organized the hams for this event, which was billed as the 2nd annual event, even though it was the 3rd year.  Seems that last year (2008) the event got canceled due to a pesky hurricane that was threatening to hit the gulf coast of Texas, and that hurricane was going to use up the law enforcement resources needed by the event, plus the threat of extremely bad weather might have endangered the riders.

Originally, Gordon K5SUZ was slated to coordinate hams for this event, but due to the death of Liliane KC5AQP a couple weeks prior, he asked Eric WB5ZJQ and Lee N5NTG to take over the operation.   We were a bit short handed today, after a couple of last minute cancelations and no-shows, but we all pitched in and some did double duty to cover rest stops until we could shift another ham over to that location.  We had 10 SAG vehicles, but only 6 had hams riding in them, so we used cellular phones to try and coordinate the other 4 drivers.   We had 5 rest stops and 10 Motorcycle Marshals.   

Net Control was ran by the Manley Family, with Charles KD5EXS and Charlie W5BRC were most frequently heard as NCS, with Barbara KB5RLF covering their occasional need to take breaks.

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Jul 24

100_2040About 4 dozen hams showed up for the summer membership meeting of the San Antonio Repeater Organization tonight.  The venue was Martha’s Mexican Restaurant, on the corner of Huebner Road & Babcock Rd, on the NW side of San Antonio. 

Reports were made on the status of the various repeaters, what needed fixed and what needed upgraded.  Reports were made on a few past events, but the focus was more on what was coming up in the next few events regarding public service.   

A presentation was made by the La Vernia Wildwest Hammerfest bike ride to be held on September 19th, asking for SARO’s support.   They brought t-shirts from last year’s (canceled) event, to offer to those who would have worked it, had Hurricane Ike not caused a cancellation.

Heavy discussion held regarding the new requirement by the National MS needing volunteers to undergo a background check for criminal and drivers license records.  Most discussion focusing the the ability to do credit checks even though that type check wasn’t being paid for by the National MS.  The local BikeMS will be held October 3rd and 4th, running from San Antonio thru Seguin to New Braunfels, and back on day 2.  GVARC ham club has offered the use of their repeater system for this event, plus will try to get some ham volunteers to help work it.

Jul 21

Don’t forget that SARO is holding their quarterly membership meeting this Friday at Martha’s Mexican Restaurant (Corner of Babcock Rd & Huebner) on the NW side of San Antonio. SARO president Erik Olsen reminds members and visitors that they “need not buy a meal or drink” if they choose to attend, but aren’t interested in eating.  Meeting starts at 7:30pm, but feel free to come early if you want to eat prior to the meeting, rather than during the meeting.  Visitors are always welcomed.

Program this time will be fairly short, primarily dealing with past events (like field day) and the two major upcoming public service events that SARO is responsible for coordinating, i.e. the LaVernia Wild West Hammerfest bike ride in September and the BikeMS event in October.  Come learn more about how to volunteer for these events. 

One note:  2009 BikeMS volunteers are being required to submit for a background check, no credit check involved, just criminal background check.  Those volunteers who worked the BPMS150 Houston to Austin ride last April have already had their checks completed and do not need to have it done a second time within 12 months.

More info @ SARO’s website, www.sarepeater.net

May 24

field_day_2009_logo_customby Shane O’Neal NS5D

Field Day 2009 is nearly upon us, and preparations are underway to make this the largest, most successful Field Day event in San Antonio’s history. This is thanks to the participation of AARO, SARC, ROOST, SARO, Hill Country REACT, QCWA and many other organizations and individuals, operating jointly under the banner of Bexar County ARES.

Field Day 2009 is expected to draw record numbers of operators and will feature many different bands and modes of operation, including PHONE, CW, SSB, PSK-31, FM and ATV as a Class “A” station. The total number of transmitters to be operated has yet to be determined, but will number at least six.

Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 25

During their April 24, 2009 meeting of the members, the San Antonio Repeater Organization (SARO) was presented a plaque in recognition of the club’s service in support of the BikeMS Bike to the Beach event held last October.

Tony Ralf KE5ZT (National MS Society) presented the plaque to SARO club president Erik Olsen WB5ZJQ during a special presentation at Martha’s Mexican Restaurant.

Mar 25


It is with great sadness that I report that Gil Mathis AA5XH passed away this morning around 2am (03/25/2009) at a local hospital.  Gil was 76, having been born on December 25, 1932.  He had been admitted to the hospital on February 16th after showing signs of a stroke.  He was transferred to rehab, where he suffered another stroke and was diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer. Cancer was found in his left lung and had spread to other parts of his body.

Gil was retired from the U. S. Army and later from a career at Industrial Communications as a service technician. He was a longtime member of the San Antonio Repeater Organization, where he was loved by all. He was a currently serving Director for the San Antonio Radio Club as well. Gil was very active in public service events such as the (formerly called) BikeMS Bike to the Beach and Tour de Cure.   Gil earned his Extra Class ham license in February 1992 and his prior call was KI5MO.

Read the rest of this entry »


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