Dec 10

An amateur radio operator from Australia, VK4ION, recently posted on her website a story about reading W2IK’s Emergency NVIS antenna construction plans and with some adaptation building her own portable ENVIS antenna system for emergency communications. Her website, VK4ION Emergency N.V.I.S. antenna, shows in detail, with many pictures, her construction of this antenna along with NVIS theories on how low antennas are perfect for local (under 400 mile) emergency communications. A photo of her ENVIS antenna is shown below.

Her report included comments such as when it was used during their “field day” operation it was the “hit of the show”. On her website is also a link to W2IK’s 4 part website on building the original antenna including the adapter for 80 meter and MARS operation. This antenna is the only NVIS antenna posted in the NAVMC MARS websites.

Bob W2IK

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 10
Under the direction of Mike, AB5EB, another JOTA (Jamboree On The Air) operation is scheduled to take place this October 16th, around 10 am until the afternoon, at the Community Resource and Rec Center (125 Mabel Jones Dr, Canyon Lake, TX‎) near Overlook Point at the Canyon Lake Dam in Texas to show scouts what amateur radio is all about. Planning will show the diversity of amateur radio as scouts talk to other scouts from all over the world. The amateur radio operators, featuring Mike, AB5EB, Bob, W2IK, The Bexar Operators Group and several other amateur radio operators are ready to set up and operate several stations  using several modes, such as voice, morse code (CW), and digital communications. Additional hams who would like to be a part in helping out scouts should contact Mike at: 
Other events will be  offered such as one of W2IK’s “McGyver” antenna building sessions where scouts build actual antennas from scrap materials and use them to make contacts.
HF operating frequencies include 40 meters (around 7.280) and 20 meters (around 14.260)
 A merit badge class given by Mike, AB5EB is also planned. Mike wants this JOTA to be even better than the event held last year at this location where over 70 scouts and parents attended. Stay tuned as the planning cements into another great JOTA event!
Everyone is invited to attend. Scouts, would-be scouts, hams, would-be hams and any interested parties. Bring the family and make it a great weekend event.
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 23

This weekend, join hundreds of hams as they work all the counties in Texas during the annual TEXAS QSO PARY. Check out:  for details, rules and very valuable resource pages. This year, W2IK will join a long list of operators in working as a mobile station, transversing counties to gain points and give out county QSO’s. Check in the resource pages to see who will be operating in each county. W2IK/M will be “running” mobile from: Bexar,  Wilson,  Karnes, Live Oak, Atascosa, McMullen, LaSalle, Dimmit, Maverick, Kinney, Uvalde, Zavala and Frio counties in that order. 

He will be operating in the 40 and 20 meter bands and only using SSB. Remember…. each contact from a mobile can count as a new multiplier. Have fun. Get those counties in your logbook. Also see: “Little Contests For Little Guns” at:

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.
Jun 5
UPDATE : The Bexar Operators Group (W5BOG) has decided to operate from two locations during this event rather than be a rover station. On Saturday, we will be operating from the rest area on RT 37, in the southbound area, about 15 miles north of the town of Three Rivers. Anyone is welcome to join us. Look for the antennas. We will be operating on 6 meters, 2 meters and maybe 70CM all on SSB. Our grid square will be: EL08VP – ALSO: On Sunday we will operate from the very rare grid square: DL 99XF.
The ARRL June VHF QSO Party Rules

1.Object: To work as many amateur stations in as many different 2 degrees by 1 degree grid squares as possible using authorized frequencies above 50 MHz. Foreign stations work W/VE amateurs only.  

2. Date and Contest Period: The second full weekend in June. Begins 1800 UTC Saturday, ends 0300 UTC Monday (June 12-14, 2010).

Mar 3

Below are a series of pictures from the Bexar Operators Group 160 meter CQ WW SSB contest. 

We traveled to the Calliham Unit of Choke Canyon State Park, about 15 miles west of the town of Three Rivers, which is about 80 miles south of San Antonio.

After checking in, we went to our screened shelter (cabin) only to find that they all had been completely refurbished since our last visit. All the cabins had large air conditioners and two beds! No more blowing up our queen sized air mattress or lugging our window AC unit in the summer.




As you can see, they allow pets, and our two dogs quickly staked out a bed they wanted. I began the task of setting up the radio gear while my XYL, KD5YTN, Krissy, completed her chores of getting the rest of the camping gear out of the truck and assembled.  

We had a problem and had a tough choice to make. It was a very windy day on Friday, with gusts over 25 mph. We decided to wait and see if the wind would die down, as was predicted for Saturday. So, we erected a 160 meter dipole antenna to work the first half of the contest. I would have preferred a loop, but we had neither the real estate nor the time to plot one out and set it up.
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Jan 13

Reprinted from the CQ / WorldRadio Online Newsroom:

Some ham radio activity from Haiti is beginning to be heard, following yesterday’s devastating earthquake.

Father John Henault, HH6JH, in Port-au-Prince, made contact late Wednesday morning with the Intercontinental Assistance and Traffic Net (IATN) on 14.300 MHz, the IARU Global Centre of Activity frequency for emergency communications. Based on relays monitored at W2VU, Father John reported that he and those with him were safe, but had no power and no phone service. He was operating on battery power and hoping to get a generator running later in the day. He asked the station copying him, William Sturridge, KI4MMZ, in Flagler Beach, Florida, to telephone relatives with information that he was OK.

The following frequencies are in use for earthquake-related traffic and should be kept clear unless you are able to provide requested assistance:

  • 14300 (IATN),
  • 14265 (SATERN);
  • 7045 (IARU Region II) and
  • 3720 (IARU Region II) kHz.

Additional frequencies may be activated on different bands at different times of day, so be sure to listen carefully before transmitting to make sure you are not interfering with emergency traffic.

Dec 24

This is the model of the balloon we will be flying

On February 26th (2200Z) until February 28th (2200Z) The Bexar Operators Group, W5BOG, will be operating from the Choke Canyon State Park, located in Calliham just west of Three Rivers, Texas, in the sheltered (cabin) area.

We will be testing a balloon launched vertical antenna about 126 feet high. It will be stabilized by four guy-cords. A special based-loaded antenna balun (4:1) has been obtained for easier antenna matching. The ground radial system will have at least 4 full sized wires with possibly more.

We will also make a determination, based upon weather conditions and the number of people assisting, to use this vertical just for transmit and use a “beverage antenna” for receive and/or increase the vertical antenna height to 252 feet so we can better compete during this “top band” event.

Two, 9 foot meteorological balloons have been purchased for this experiment, just in case we screw up with the first “flight”.    Helium tanks will be purchased close to the flight-date.    Pictures of the step-by-step antenna setup and station operation will be taken for article submission in either “QST” or “CQ” magazine.  


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