Aug 24

Ham radio operators in Texas, mostly in the affected area and out towards San Antonio and Austin where shelters might be set up, or charging their batteries for their handheld radios and getting their radio gear ready for possible deployment.

In the San Antonio area, the Bexar County ARES group will be coordinating all ham communication deployments at the city counry emergency operations center and the public shelters likely to be set up by the city of San Antonio and the American Red Cross. No shelters were open as of the time I wrote this post. (Aug 24, 2017 at 2100 hours)

Ruth Lewis is the counry EOC for the ham operations and will be working closely with the local city, county, and state officials.

Listen to the 147.18 repeater for manpower updates and the 146.94 repeater for local Skywarn operations as the storm hits town on Saturday.

If the mega shelters are opened in San Antonio, it will probably be for a few days through early next week until they can safely return back to the coast in the flooded areas.

The highways coming from the coast, especially Highway IH-37 from Corpus Christi, is going to have extremely heavy traffic.

I have not yet heard of the state activating the hurricane plan which would turn the various highways into a one-way direction coming from the coast up to San Antonio.

I will post more information as it becomes available to us.

There is no need to self deploy yourself at this time. We need to make sure there’s a place for you to help the cause, rather than causing the problem.

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May 24

The Skywarn Operators at the Austin-San Antonio NWO are in the process of updating our files and call-up list. Recently we have found the EC’s, Skywarn Coordinators and Net Controls have changed drastically in the various counties we serve.
It has also been found that several repeaters used in the past to contact and monitor Skywarn operations have changed or are no longer functioning.
If someone from each county could please e-mail me the contact information, frequencies and other pertinent information for ARES and Skywarn it would be greatly appreciated.
Also be advised that we have created a Facebook page and Twitter account to help get the word out. Feel free to like or follow to stay up to date with our operations.
Thank You, Louis – K5STX
e-mail to wx5exw at gmail dot com

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Nov 29

Friday December 5th 6:00 p.m. to Saturday December 6th 6:00 p.m. We still have multiple slots open for this event.

Especially 10:00 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Saturday. All license classes invited to participate.

Contact Louis – K5STX at k5stx@k5stx.net or by phone: 830-305-2889

 

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Oct 9

Local Time: 1800 hrs Friday December 5th to 1800 hrs Saturday December 6th, 2014

This annual event is always the first Friday / Saturday of December each year.  Ham Operators, operating from their local National Weather Service Offices around the country, are trying to contact as many other NWS offices as possible during a 24 hour period that runs from 6pm CDT Friday until 6pm CDT Saturday.  Modes used include VHF/UHF,HF, Internet Enhanced (EchoLink, and IRLP) and various digital modes..

Access is limited at the local NWS office due to space constraints and the fact that the meteorologists are actively working in the same room, so the noise level and disruption factor is a concern.

Operators are scheduled to work in groups of no more than 3 in multiples of 2 hour shifts!

All classes of licensed Amateur Radio Operators are encouraged to participate.  This is a great opportunity for Technician class operators to get some HF time in the early morning shifts with a General or Extra class on the roster!

Visitors are limited to those who RSVP before the event! No drop in visitors!  Please, if you would like to come by just to visit, you MUST be on the roster!

To volunteer for a 2 hour shift or more, Contact event coordinator Louis – K5STX at k5stx@k5stx.net or k5stx@hillcountryreact.org!  Sign up early, the based slots go fast!

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Jul 11

Fellow hams:

My name is John Ralston, K0RVB, Net manager for the San Antonio Area Rainfall Net. At the risk of sounding dramatic, I send you the following official communication.

It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that Sunday, July 13th, 2014, will be the last day for the rainfall net.  This decision did not come easily, was not made quickly and involved a great deal of communication with the National Weather Service and board members of the net’s sponsor, the San Antonio Radio Club.

nwscocorahsThe decision to end the net was based solely on our data presentation to the NWS and how they receive their main data stream for daily rainfall amounts. Their main source of receiving daily, timely rainfall data is from CoCoRaHs, a web based reporting model, giving the NWS real time data on a 24 hr model from 8a to 8a.

I encourage each of you to sign up with CoCoRaHs, at http://www.cocorahs.org/ if you have not already done so. Our rainfall reports can still be utilized by the NWS by reporting through the website.

Read the rest of this entry »

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May 26

skywarn_noaa_trainedHere is a link to a movie trailer I made from video and photos of my Skywarn Spotting Activities over the past year.

The movie, music and titling was all done on my iPhone 5 using iMovie… it’s simple easy to make you just drag and drop the files you want. it creates the audio, transitions and titling for you.

This version has been updated to remove reference to a specific local ham club and local ARES group at their request.

I hope you enjoy watching it, as much as we did making it.

Matthew Rottman K5NON
MPR Photography
Bicycling for the Heck Blog

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Apr 20

Never to early to put it on the calendar!

Local Time: 1800 hrs Friday December 5th to 1800 hrs Saturday December 6th, 2014

This annual event is always the first Friday / Saturday of December each year.  Ham Operators, operating from their local National Weather Service Offices around the country, are trying to contact as many other NWS offices as possible during a 24 hour period that runs from 6pm CDT Friday until 6pm CDT Saturday.  Modes used include HF Voice, EchoLink, and IRLP.

Access is limited at the local NWS office due to space constraints and the fact that the meteorologists are actively working in the same room, so the noise level and disruption factor is a concern.

Operators are scheduled to work in groups of no more than 3 in multiples of 2 hour shifts!

All classes of licensed Amateur Radio Operators are encouraged to participate.  This is a great opportunity for Technician class operators to get some HF time in the early morning shifts with a General or Extra class on the roster!

All equipment is on-site and set up except for headphones!  Highly recommended!

Visitors are limited to those who RSVP before the event! No drop in visitors!  Please, if you would like to come by just to visit, you MUST be on the roster!

To volunteer for a 2 hour shift or more, Contact event coordinator Louis – K5STX at k5stx@k5stx.net or k5stx@hillcountryreact.org!  Sign up early, the based slots go fast!

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Sep 17

If you’re bored and you know it, charge your batteries, dust off those emergency go-kits sitting in the garage, and get your radios programmed to work these upcoming events.  Even if you aren’t bored, it’s still that time of year anyway.

radio_critterI know more help is really needed for the two upcoming bike rides on September 21st and October 12-13th. I’m pretty sure that all of the other events will be grateful for some extra ham help as well.

Where available, I have listed email address links for the contact person. If you don’t see a contact link, or are unsuccessful in contacting them, please feel free to contact me direct for more info or help. – Lee N5NTG

  • September 21st – OLPH Wildcat Ride and Run – Jeremy KE5ELI
  • September 28-29th – Texas QSL Party
  • October 5th – Belton HamExpo
  • October 5th – BikeMS150 San Antonio Training / Briefing meeting for hams / volunteers at 10am – Lee N5NTG.
  • October 12-13th – BikeMS150 San Antonio. 2 day event. SARO Ham Club. Charlie KC5NKK
  • October 19th – JOTA at the McGimmsey Scout Park. SARC Club – Bob K5AUW
  • October 19th – Alamo Area Law Enforcement Explorer Competition (AALEEC) at SW High School – Dave W5QS
  • October 26-27th – Cactus Rose Run (36 hour 5:30am Sat -5:30pm Sun) – Bandera Hill Country State Natural Area (100 mile). REACT Team – Louis K5STX
  • November 2nd – UC Veterans Day Parade. REACT Team – Lee N5NTG
  • November 2-3th – Tour de Gruene – GVARC ham club. Mike WQ5C
  • November 17th – San Antonio Rock & Roll Marathon – AARO – Lee N5NTG
  • December 6-7th – National Skywarn Recognition Weekend – New Braunfels NWS Office – 24 hour event (6pm-6pm) over 2 days – Louis K5STX
  • December 14th – Christmas Parade at Canyon Lake / Sattler – REACT – Wade W5ERX
  • January 11th – San Antonio Radio Fiesta – (Schertz TX) SARC Club – W5SC.ORGRowena KF5JCZ
  • January 11-12th – Bandera 100K Run at Hill Country State Natural Area (state park) 24 hour event over 2 days – Louis K5STX
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Jul 21

boot_camp_logoSITE SURVEY – An Important Detail For Longer-Term (over a day) Emergency Communications Deployment

TAUGHT AS PART OF OUR “JUMP TEAM BOOT CAMP” session  by Bob W2IK

How and where you erect any operating, sleeping and cooking structures is very important. This also includes areas for erecting any antennas. This is why when you get to a location and decide upon a general area,  you first must do a site survey. This is especially true if your team does a full-scale tent deployment and not a deployment using existing free-standing buildings. One of the most important things to consider is: Will this emergency intensify, such as will there be additional rains or wind in the short-term future while you are deployed? Even if you do choose to use an existing building, you need to do site survey.

The Camp SiteThreat Assessment –

  • Will there be drainage for additional rains or will your operation be flooded out or will you have to sleep in soaked sleeping bags like I had to do once in the 1980s in the Virgin Islands because the team leader decided on the wrong area for placement of the communications team?
  • An existing building may become flooded or cut off from access or evacuation.
  • A road to any building may become a river that will flood out any building when you least expect it.
  • Always choose an area which is on higher ground than the surrounding plain and NOT near any stream or river or their associated flood plains. You can usually tell about where the flood plain is by observation. Along streams there will be what’s known as a “debris line”. On flat terrain, this could be hundreds of yards from the stream itself. This is the highest area that has been recently flooded. Stay FAR AWAY from any debris line, as the emergency you might be deploying for, will have greater flooding potential than the average heavy rain.
  • Areas near a dry creek bed should be avoided because a dry creek bed can be flash-flooded and you along with it. I have seen one of these creek beds flood out to a half-mile wide river in a matter of minutes. High winds can cause trees to come crashing down when already saturated roots give way so keep away from large trees. Yes, they may make handsome places to string up an antenna, but at what cost? Read the rest of this entry »
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Jul 5

JUMP TEAM BOOT CAMP 2014 (April 4th-6th)
A maximum of 8 attendees only!  

4 Spots already taken..

This is a FREE course, With 200 page training manual written specifically for this class.

boot_camp_logoW2IK and The Bexar Operators Group (W5BOG) located in San Antonio, Texas, will sponsor their 6th annual “Jump Team Boot Camp” in 2014, commencing on April 4th (Friday AFTERNOON) and running through the 6th (Sunday AFTERNOON).

Our “Jump 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” we’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 so bring extra clothes! 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.

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