Sep 12


Details on the new “W5BOG ECOM TEAM” and what emergency events it plans to support, either short or long term, and contact persons will be posted for possible activation of this team.

We operate as a small part of a greater TEAM.  We are NOT “waiters”.  We DO NOT SERVE anyone. 

We WORK WITH other agencies in the “team spirit” concept to support them by supplying emergency communications. We also work alongside other emcomm groups to help fill any gaps.  All team members have actual “hands on” emergency communications experience. No room for b.s. in our group. We get the job done because we know what we are doing.

Our ecom van (see above) comes fully loaded with both HF and VHF/UHF stations and can operate as a self-contained, stand alone emergency communications post anywhere we might be needed.

We also work with NAVY-MARINE CORPS MARS (Military Affiliate Radio System) system and support their needs in emergency communications.

Any person with a sincere interest in helping their community may join. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A LICENSED AMATEUR RADIO OPERATOR to be a part of our team and help. On the job training!

Contact: if you wish to join.

We do not exclude anyone who is a member of any other emcomm group.  Keep tabs on our progress at:

Sep 11

Today marks 8 years ago that the United States was attacked by terrorists. 8 years ago, today, amateur radio stepped up to the task of supporting the relief efforts during this most trying time. Below is the story of what one ham, who now resides in San Antonio, did to help his country.


Sep 5

Conducted : AUGUST 29, 2009
Written by: Bob Hejl – W2IK – W5BOG – NNN0KSI – NNN0GBY2 NMC MARS STX ECOM 
Report Released: September 4, 2009

The joint exercise as conducted by Navy-Marine Corps MARS, REACT and Bexar Operators Group on August 29, 2009 also encompassed other groups who wished to test inter-service communications during the scenario of a hurricane hitting the Texas gulf coast just north of Corpus Christi.

These other groups included / covered:

  • Guadalupe County OEM
  • Hays County Sheriff’s Office
  • Caldwell County EOC
  • San Marcos Police Department
  • Nueces County EOC
  • National Weather Service – Corpus Christi
  • National Weather Service – New Braunfels
  • Central Texas Medical Center
  • Chaparral Amateur Radio Club
  • Hays/Caldwell Hams Amateur Radio Club
  • Hays/Caldwell ARES Guadalupe VOAD
  • Lockhart Police Department
  • Driscoll Children’s Hospital – Corpus Christi
  • One Army MARS Station
  • Guadalupe Valley Amateur Radio Club (provided the VHF repeater)

If we left out any additional groups who participated, please contact us with the proper details. – Bob

We were testing out the MOU’s between REACT and NMC MARS as well as intercommunication skills. The exercise began at 11 AM local time with three phases: Pre-Land Fall (testing evacuation communications) , Land Fall (testing up to date weather conditions and storm damage) and Post Land Fall (evacuees returning to their homes, damage assessment, etc) In the spirit of cohesiveness, the operation was a success.

Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 29

On Saturday, August 29th, there were a few of us who got up when the chickens did, to get our radios and portable antennas ready for a South Texas Hurricane Drill.    Some operators chose locations that were pre-set up and air conditioned, others like me chose to “rough it” in the great outdoors without any AC.   Fortunately for us, the weather cooperated and it didn’t storm on us, nor did it get as hot as recent days.   My van’s thermometer (sitting out there in the sun on black asphalt) got up to 102, but it wasn’t that hot inside our very shaded shelter area.  We should have brought a box fan with us, but we didn’t think about that until we were already there and set up.

Hill Country REACT Team was tasked with staffing the state rest area located on west bound IH-10 at the 619 mile marker.  To convert that description into plain English, this was the last major rest stop on IH-10 for folks coming west from Houston or the coast, prior to Seguin or even San Antonio, TX.  This rest stop has been used in previous (actual) evacuations to monitor traffic flow on the interstate, so that emergency officials (primarly in San Antonio) could be given advance notice of mass arrivals.    We only truly needed to run 2 meters VHF capability here, but we experimented with a couple of HF antennas as well.

Today, three members (Lee N5NTG, Gary K5GST, Ray KE5KHN) of our REACT Team set up as part of a much larger drill, a drill that saw at least 2 ARES groups, our REACT Team, the Bexar Operators Group, South TX Navy-Marine Corps MARS, an Army MARS station, 2 National Weather Service Offices, multiple county EOC’s both near SA and down by the coast, etc.

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Aug 23

In a recent posting by W2IK, the upcoming drill on Saturday, August 29th, was discussed in rather general terms.   Since that time, we’ve increased the scope of this event somewhat.    We’ve added one ARES group (Hayes / Caldwell County) to the mix, and have room for more if other groups want to  participate.

The event will only last 3 hours of radio time (11am – 2pm Saturday), compressing several days into 3 hours.  What fun!   We’ll be using local VHF freqs for operations near SA and another freq for local CC comm, plus a 40 meters net for the group, and MARS’s HF freq for their internal operations.  We’ll be using the NWS office in New Braunfels KD5UMW and Drisocoll Childrens Hospital W5DCH as net controls.

Event:  Hurricane “Albert” is expected to make landfall just north of Corpus with maximum winds at 130 mph.

  • Hour 1 – Pre-Landfall – evacuation of residents in coastal cities in path of storm. Problems with evac routes and major side routes.  Status of Shelter fill rates, etc.
  • Hour 2 – Landfall – Loss of power, high winds, property damage noticed, major flooding and high surf conditions.  Problems with evac routes and major side routes.  Status of Shelter fill rates, etc.
  • Hour 3 – Post-Landfall – Sending in teams to evaluate damage, return residents, status of evac routes being returned to normal use, power failures in area, comm failures in area due to towers blown or power failures, etc.  Wrap up.

Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 16

Later this month on August 29th, the combined talents of Navy-Marine Corps MARS, REACT, National Weather Service, Bexar Operators Group and others will work together during a hurricane drill. Information will be passed using both MARS EEI and standard text messaging when a “hurricane” landfalls on an area just north of Corpus Christi. We will also have coastal hospitals and Skywarn personnel working the event.  The drill is scheduled for the morning of Saturday, August 29th.

This will be a test of various MOUs and our ability to communicate with each other in case a real weather event should erupt.

This is NOT just some “table top” drill, as stations will actually deploy along the coast and along evacuation routes from both Houston and Corpus Christi. In addition, there will also be stations up and running at two National Weather Service offices (New Braunfels & Corpus Christi).  And now it looks like “someone invited” Tropical Storm Bill to come help make our drill be a bit more realistic. 🙂

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Aug 9

The Bexar Operators Group (W5BOG) is in the final stages of acquiring a 1994 Chevy Van/Bus for their use as a general communications and/or emergency communications vehicle. This 18 passenger bus will be converted into a go-anywhere communications van which will also be used for casual outings and “in the field” communications experiments. This “green” bus runs on propane. It will be fitted with complete VHF and HF  operating areas, propane stove, sleeping accommodations and “bathroom”. Special antennas will be used and a portable generator and solar panels will supply energy.    It is hoped to have the vehicle “up and ready” in a few weeks.

Ecom Bus

Jul 25

Bexar O G  glow greenInformation about the Bexar Operators Group, including what they have done and their planned events, can now be found at their new site: Bexar Operators Group – Home  

This club is an active amateur radio group and not a social club. Up coming events include participation in this year’s JOTA event which will focus on operating “green” with solar panels and wind turbines.

We also sponsor the annual “Jump Team Boot Camp”. All types of antenna testing and field operations are done in order to make members better operators in both contests and during emergency conditions.

This webpage also includes two links which will get you to W2IK’s old AOL webpages (45 of them) that were thought lost. Between the two you should find them all!

For further info, contact us through our new web page or at:

Jul 20

boot_camp_logo_smThe Bexar Operators Group has closed the availability of our late October, three  day “Jump Team Boot Camp” session as we have reached both our limits of registered applicants and  filled a short standby list.

I did turn away a few people, such as a father and son team from the mid-west who wanted to “audit” (just watch) the event. This boot camp is only for the “doer” and all participants are expected to do everything so they can be prepared for any real emergency event.

Some slots were filled by hams from North Texas, Army MARS and hams from the mid-west. There were no hams from South Texas who wanted to attend. I may have to make some minor adjustments to the timing of the event in order to accommodate people coming in from out of state and so the personnel teaching survival skills can be available. 

I probably will have a few of the special 200+ page session guides available after the event, replete with any additions made during the event, for sale to others.


Jul 2

boot_campThe much shortened version of my full 3-day Jump Team Boot Camp which was offerred for a July date  has been cancelled due to not enough interested parties signing up.

This was to include such sections as site survey before structures are erected, sheltering and how/where to properly put them up, station operating posts, antenna building and erection, power generation, food support/dining areas, message handling, troubleshooting your station, propagation, water purification, basic survival techniques, creating a complete EmComm cache of gear to have on the ready, etc.

All participants would have been exposed to every phase so they would have been able to “do it all” from scratch in case of an emergency, with session taught by a team of experienced communicators and also survival experts from the military.

Note: My full 3-day boot-camp is still being held in late October. We will go through the same  steps needed to set up and run a complete emergency communications complex at a location where nothing would be standing and included will be a comprehensive book/guide enabling people to start their own emergency communications jump team in their area.

Bob W2IK


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