Nov 24

On Sunday, November 29th, members of the Bexar Operators Group will conduct HF communications tests using NVIS antennas along two evacuations routes on RT 37 and RT 10.  These tests will allow us to determine the best bands and locations to deploy should there be a hurricane striking the coastal area. Unlike our earlier tests and drills, the locations we will be operating from will be further east of the locations used (Seguin and Three Rivers). We will be using areas such as near George West, Mathis, Schulenburg and Columbus. If you are an HF operator in the San Antonio or Austin area who would like to participate as a local receiving station, please email us at:  for frequencies  and times. Be a part of this unique and important test without leaving your home.

73  Bob  W2IK – W5BOG

Sep 17


In the spirit of, as Lee, N5NTG, put it: “….it struck me how much the “turf boundaries” between clubs has shrunk, …… I think that “shrinking” is a good thing to be happening” 

In the spirit of cooperation, the Bexar Operators Group has offered to underwrite and offer their “2010 Jump Team Boot Camp” to members of the Chaparral Amateur Radio Club (which happens to also be the Guadalupe County ARES group).

This would be the third “Jump Team Boot Camp” given by the Bexar Operators Group. It would be a two-day (not three day) deployment event at a site with no facilities north-east of Austin. This “Jump Team Boot Camp” will concentrate on amateur radio and the ways and means to get a communications jump team operational should there be a need to deploy some distance from your home and communicate in the aftermath of a disaster. This session is planned for the weekend of  March 20-21st, but we are open to other weekend dates within this Spring time frame.
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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 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.

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Aug 31

Here are a few photos provided by Ray KE5KHN, taken during the Hurricane Drill while out at the Seguin Westbound IH-10 Rest Stop at the 619 mile marker.

Ray says…

I was the rookie of the bunch and what I learned most, was that I have a lot more to learn regarding antennas, HF, and emergency communications procedures.  I really enjoyed the experience and the camaraderie of the fellow HAM operators working together for the same cause.
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Aug 31

Photos provided by Bob W2IK covering the operators stationed near IH-37 South and Hwy 181 exit, monitoring contra flow, plus the Floresville RV Park on Hwy 181.

Bob, W2IK – NNN0KSI – NNN0GBY2, Bexar Operator Group and NMC MARS) reported from Floresville on weather conditions, traffic flow and relays information from MARS into the REACT ham system. He also acted as a MARS relay station when propagation conditions prevented communications between a few MARS stations.
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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.

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Aug 20

Looks like all current hurricane path predictions have Hurricane Bill veering north up along the Alantic eastern seaboard of the USA, instead of west into the Gulf of Mexico.  Guess Bill learned that the ham operators in Texas were prepared to respond to his visit, and decided to go look for better hunting elsewhere…  🙂

stormpulse_logoActually, based on the track shown on it would seem that Bill doesn’t even want to visit the eastern portion of the USA, except perhaps for a quick brush past the state of Maine?

Hurricane Bill Advisory 22 08-20 at 4pm ET

Hurricane Bill Advisory 22 08-20 at 4pm ET

Aug 17

stormpulse_logoOne of my favorite tracking sites is which lets you choose which storm to track, and can see how far away it is in miles from some city (like San Antonio or Corpus Christi, etc.).

Currently as of 08/17,  this tracking authority apparently does not envision a high chance of Hurricane Bill coming to Texas, but instead predicts that it will be heading toward the eastern US coast.  Bill turned into a Hurricane status as of the morning of 08/17.

Of course, the true official hurricane forecast site is always the National Hurricane Center from the National Weather Service.


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