Jun 25

This past weekend was the ARRL VHF/UHF Contest, and I normally dive into this contest with maximum effort, but with long time friends in town that we have not seen in 6 or 7 years and spending time with them all day Saturday, that left only Sunday and I need to do a quick trip to pick up some Antennas just south of Houston.

So Ruth and I thought it would be fun to operate Sunday as a Rover, so with her logging, and me operating we hopped into the truck and headed to Alvin Texas which is 186 miles away as the crow flies.

With the radio dialed in on 144.200 USB, we pulled out of the house.

Announced we were in the contest and roving.

We immediately worked KB2WDM in Schertz, followed by K5QE in Hemphill, TX. Marshal is 336 miles from our first contact location. With a single omni directional loop antenna built by Tom K5VH and 120 watts mobile we worked K5QE in EM31 and quickly knocked out additional contacts around the region.

On the Trip we made 17 contacts, working several stations in every grid on our drive {EL-09, EL-19, EL-29}.

Take Horizontal polarization with it’s reduced noise, good take off angle and Single Side Band with the ability to hear and pull intelligence out of a weaker signal and you get one of the reasons you can communicate at much greater ranges then possible with FM, and you will understand the fun and the thrill of what you can accomplish with VHF/UHF Weak Signal.
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Jun 20

 

Field Day 2017 is nigh upon us! June 24-25th. We will be operating for the full 24 hours, 1300 hours Saturday thru 1300 hours on Sunday. Members will be arriving earlier, around 0930 hours, to do some permitted preliminary setup and arrange for logistics.

All SARC members are encouraged to participate in Field Day. Yes, you can bring all of your own equipment, but you don’t have to bring all of your equipment or even any equipment.

We welcome visitors of any type. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t a club member or a non ham operator. Everybody is welcomed.

Our location will be at Shavano Park’s City Hall, outside in the parking lot.   The address is 900 SaddleTree Ct, Shavano Park, just off of NW Military Drive, north of De Zavala Rd, and inside Loop 1604.

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Sep 13

American Legion Amateur Radio Club Event

American Legion Legionnaires will honor their fellow veterans in a special on-the-air amateur radio tribute on Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11, 2016.

Members of The American Legion Amateur Radio Club (TALARC) will operate on the short wave bands starting at 9 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. EST [1400 – 2130Z], using the call sign K9TAL.

Any ham radio operators who contact the station are eligible to receive an attractive full-color commemorative certificate.

After working K9TAL, send a 9X12 inch self-addressed stamped envelope to The American Legion Amateur Radio Club, 700 N. Pennsylvania Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

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Jan 2
W2IK/Rover  January 2014 ARRL VHF Contest
On January 18 – 20th, W2IK  will go on the road (operating “Limited ROVER”) during the 2014 ARRL January VHF Contest. We will attempt to cover a few rare grid squares during this operation: EM00, RT 41 North Of Leakey, DL99, RT 55 South of Rocksprings, EL 08, La Pryor, DL98, West of La Pryor on RT 57, and DM90 at Rocksprings.  (Grid square operation in the following order but subject to change especially if we get any pileups) We will be operating on both 6 meter (horz. loop) and 2 meter (horz. beam) SSB.:).  Anyone who wishes to join us may do so by emailing: alonestaryank@aol.com   See what it’s like to operate vhf rover and hand out QSOs from rare grid squares. For further information about this contest, or if you wish to join in at home, see: http://www.arrl.org/january-vhf
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Dec 25

STRAIGHT KEY NIGHT! JAN. 1st

Every day is a good day to send CW, but January 1 is reserved for Straight Key Night. Enjoy CW as it has been sent and enjoyed since the earliest days of Amateur Radio. This 24-hour event is not a contest; rather it is a day dedicated to celebrating our CW heritage. Participants are encouraged to get on the air and simply make enjoyable, conversational CW QSOs. The use of a straight key to send CW is preferred. Beginners are encouraged to be a part of this event. Go as slow or as fast as you wish. Mistakes do not count! NO ONE will make fun of you, BUT, you will have fun! There are no points scored and all who participate are winners.
This is the perfect time to get started on working CW so you can get a feel for the mode and use it later during “Field Day” when most clubs need ops using this mode. Start a New Years resolution to work more stations using CW.
Straight Key Night is held every January 1 from 0000 UTC through 2359 UTC. All authorized Amateur frequencies, but activity has traditionally been centered on the HF bands.
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Sep 17

A portion of an email I sent to a local (Texas) ham who had been talking about learning the code and doing some contesting:

One of best times I ever had was at the old ROOST location, about 9 years ago, when we were doing a CW contest.
We were on 160 meters very late one night when all of a sudden the electronic keyer  went out! I quickly went out to my car and came back with an old 1950’s Romanian straight key (I still use this key now and then). Now , mind you, we were doing a CW contest with the keyer at about 35-40 wpm. The fastest you can do code with a straight key is about 25 wpm. Although it slowed down our rate, it was fun to see Jon, the president of ROOST at that time, shake off his “rusty fist”. I usually use a straight key, so I just hummed along. It was really enjoyable.
If you ever see Danny, WA5KRP, at any meeting, ask him abt the time we did a CQ WW WPX (SSB) contest at his house, I was taking a break, laying down while others took their turns at making contacts and logging. He could not get over how I kept shouting out the callsigns of the other stations while he was having problems getting their calls correct. It’s just a matter of getting used to it. The best “filters” you’ll ever have in ham radio are your ears. The only way you become adept at it is by jumping in and contesting.
Quite a number of hams increase their copy speed during Field Day where they can act as a back up logger in the CW tent. They’ll first pick up a letter or two and it builds from there. They can get this done by sitting next to the person doing the copying and hearing as he copies the call. The exchanges during a CW contest are very short. There is a rhythm to it.  It isn’t like rag chewing on CW like I used to do.
 You’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll pick it up.   Back when you had to know code, a lot of novices would try their hand at the “ARRL Novice Round-Up” . By the end of the contest they usually had increased their speed and comprehension to the point where they could pass the 13 WPM general test. This was the reason for the contest in the first place! 
(You can also try “Straight Key Night” on new years day.)
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Dec 28

Every day is a good day to send CW, but January 1 is reserved for Straight Key Night. Enjoy CW as it has been sent and enjoyed since the earliest days of Amateur Radio. This 24-hour event is not a contest; rather it is a day dedicated to celebrating our CW heritage. Participants are encouraged to get on the air and simply make enjoyable, conversational CW QSOs. The use of a straight key to send CW is preferred. Beginners are encouraged to be a part of this event. Go as slow or as fast as you wish. Mistakes do not count! NO ONE will make fun of you, BUT, you will have fun! There are no points scored and all who participate are winners.
 
Straight Key Night is held every January 1 from 0000 UTC through 2359 UTC. All authorized Amateur frequencies, but activity has traditionally been centered on the HF bands. For contest information contact contests@arrl.org
Bob – W2IK
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Dec 25

On January 23rd at 1600 UTC, W5BOG, the Bexar Operators Group, will go on the road (operating ROVER) during the 2011 ARRL January VHF SweepStakes. We will attempt to cover a few rare grid squares during this operation: EM00, RT 41 North Of Leakey, DL99, RT 55 South of Rocksprings, EL 08, La Pryor, DL98, West of La Pryor on RT 57, and DM90 at Rocksprings with a quick stop at EL09 at the “look out” North of Leakey. (Grid square operation in the following order but subject to change especially if we get any pileups) We will be operating on both 6 meter (horz. loop) and 2 meter (horz. beam) SSB.:  EL09 (1600 utc), EM00 (1730 utc), DM90 (1930 utc), DL99 (2100 utc), DL98 (2300 utc),  and EL08 (0030 utc).  Anyone who wishes to join us may do so by emailing: alonestaryank@aol.com   See what it’s like to operate vhf rover and hand out QSOs from rare grid squares.

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Sep 23

This weekend, join hundreds of hams as they work all the counties in Texas during the annual TEXAS QSO PARY. Check out: http://www.txqp.net/  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: http://sanantoniohams.org/blog/?p=821

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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).

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