Mar 21

The word I’m getting from the different clubs around the Ssn Antonio metro area, is that in compliance with the various emergency health declarations, all in-person club meetings and test sessions have been canceled.

Several clubs are experimenting with using various forms of Teleconference services, such as Freeteleconferences.com, Skype, or Zoom. One group was overheard suggesting they all get on their club repeater and hold a net.

<gasp!> What will they think of next?

As of this morning, I’ve been told by different VE groups that they will be unable to hold test sessions until the ban on social gatherings (greater than 10) has been lifted.

While ROOST holds their exams at their own clubhouse, they posted on Facebook this morning that they are suspending their 1st & 3rd Saturday VE exams for the time being.

SARC holds theirs on the 4th Saturday in even numbered months, so perhaps the crisis will be over before the end of April?

AARO holds theirs the 3rd Saturday of odd numbered months, which would have been today, March 21st.

GVARC holds quarterly exams in New Braunfels, but the facility normally used has been placed on usage restrictions, which prevents them from using it.

KARS normally offers test sessions after their monthly meetings, but since they can’t hold their meetings in-person, no exam sessions will be possible.

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Mar 16

http://www.arrl.org/news/dayton-hamvention-announces-cancelation-of-2020-show

For the first time in its 68-year history, Dayton Hamvention® will not take place this year, due to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak. The glum news was not entirely unexpected, given widespread cancelations of public gatherings and a national state of emergency. 

“The Hamvention Executive Committee has been monitoring the COVID19 pandemic. We have worked very closely with our local and state health departments. It is with a very heavy heart the Hamvention Executive Committee has decided to cancel Hamvention for this year,” Hamvention General Chair Jack Gerbs, WB8SCT, said in announcing the cancelation on March 15. “This decision is extremely difficult for us, but with around 2 months until the Great Gathering we felt this action necessary. More specific details regarding the closure will soon be posted. Thank you for your understanding in this time of international crisis.”

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Mar 16

As of 3/15, 2 clubs have announced that their membership meetings normally held on the third Tuesday each month, will be canceled or changed to Teleconference (using FreeTeleconference.com).

South Texas DX Contest Club has canceled their March 17th meeting that is normally held at Bobby J’s Hamburger restaurant in Helotes, TX.

Hill Country REACT Team normally meets on the third Tuesday at the Methodist Stone Oak Hospital on Sonterra & Hardy Oak, in the cafeteria. They always have teleconferencing set up for those members who cannot attend in person. But due to the Hospital implementing new restrictions on unnecessary / non-critical access into their building, the entire meeting will be held by Teleconference. Contact info@hillcountryreact.org for more details.

I’ve not been advised of any other cancellations by area clubs, but please use reasonable caution before attending any such gatherings. If you aren’t healthy or fall into the age brackets most affected by this virus, think about your options before going. We want all of our aging hams to stay with us for as long as possible and no, I did not just invite all of you to come live with me. Lol

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Mar 16

It is with great disappointment that I am announcing the official cancelation of the WCARC Swapfest that was to be held on March 21st.

This decision is being made due to the recent government announcements and recommendations regarding gatherings of 250+ people or more amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. Many venues have already shut down gatherings and churches have begun holding services online to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Our venue is one that has chosen to follow the CDC and government instructions and has also shut down their facilities for the next few weeks. It is in our best interest amid these announcements and closures to follow suit as well and honor our venue’s closure decision.

I am currently looking to potentially reschedule this event for a possible May/June timeframe. Announcements regarding a possible reschedule will come in the next few weeks as the greater Austin area monitors the progress of the COVID-19 virus.

Please watch your email inbox over the next several weeks for additional information regarding rescheduling and other information.

Jay Archibald (K5MBK)
Swapfest Coordinator
Williamson County Amateur Radio Club

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Mar 3

The March 5th meeting will be at the Boerne Police Station located at 124 Old San Antonio Rd in Boerne. 

The EMS building will be in use for the next 5 months with equipment setup for a paramedic class. 

We will be meeting at the Boerne PD through July and then back to the EMS Building in August.  Sorry for the inconvenience, but after all it is an EMS building. Meeting is from 7 pm to 9 pm. 

Enter through the front door of the police department and there will be an open door to the right into the training room.  Please do not show up too early as the doors will not be open.

See ya’ll Thursday night. 

Rod K9ROD

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Jan 8

Reminder: Radio Fiesta is 2 days this year!

When:

  • Friday, 10 January, 1pm to 5pm,
  • Saturday, 11 January, 8am-2pm

Where:

Shertz Civic Center, 1400 Schertz Parkway, Schertz, TX 78154

View Event

Organizer: San Antonio Radio Club. See www.w5sc.org for more details.

Description: We are opening the doors from on Friday at 7:00 am to 12:00 pm for setup. and Doors open for customers at 1:00 pm till 5:00 pm.

On Saturday setup from 7:00 am to 8:00 am doors open for customers at 8:00 am till 2:00 pm at the Main Hall.

VE Testing starts at 1:30pm. RSVP requested at hamtest@gmail.com, but walk-ins are welcome. ARRL Test fee is $15. Usual drill, bring copies of your Photo ID and current license (if upgrading). Do you know your FCC FRN number? Send us an email to get more info.

Tables and tickets are being sold now through Eventbrite.

www.eventbrite.com/e/sarc-radio-fiesta-tickets-64629584828

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Nov 3

This Saturday, November 9th, SARC members will be able to celebrate the club’s Centennial in true radio fashion. This will be the forth and last Special Event operations during 2019.

We will be using the new station at San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology. http://samsat.org/

The station is set up in an office space at the Museum, and is supplied with equipment from the Museum’s warehouse and some donations from SARC members.

The Special Event day will proceed in three parts:

1. Setup, done by a volunteer team headed by Joe Bruno W5AUQ, which will begin at 7:45 AM at the storage facility. The setup team will move the club’s tower, beam, and rotator to SAMSAT on the club’s trailer. They will then set up the antenna system, connect it, and test it for proper operation.

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Oct 27

Clarification from the ARRL News Site. Looks like ham repeaters are welcome on state lands under the following proviso (requires hoops to be jumped through):

“Our contact in the California Office of Emergency Services suggests that, if any affected repeater is in any way involved with local emergency or government support activity, they should ask that agency to engage with CAL FIRE concerning the repeater. If the agency makes the case, there is a good chance that the repeater will be unaffected,” Tiemstra added.

http://www.arrl.org/news/report-causes-concern-and-confusion-in-california-s-amateur-radio-ranks

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Oct 16

DUKE CITY HAMFEST ALBUQUERQUE

The weekend of September 21, I attended the Duke City Hamfest, along with about 400 other amateurs. While well organized, this size of an event, isn’t large enough to attract first-line vendors often seen at Dayton and Visalia. Nonetheless, the organizers did a great job with the various classes, including two excellent talks by Rob Sherwood, NCØB. With these thoughts in mind, here are my observations and comments.

That whole world of vendors has dramatically changed. In days past, the vendors could come and with the help of the manufactures cover their expenses, maybe make a little money, and would continue to support their mutual customers. This was a win-win situation. With the advent of the $100 + per night per person room costs and high transportation costs, it has become too expensive for the manufacturers, much less vendors, to attend a hamfest. This is not an ideal scenario.

Another big change is the resale market. Once upon a time, amateur radio gear tended to hold its value over time, as long as it was smoke-free, and well maintained. Good, bad or indifferent, Icom changed that with the introduction of the IC-7300! At a street price of $1,495, it literally blew away the used market place. However, there is a hidden issue, applicable to any, used, solid-state transceiver—replacement parts!

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Oct 16

Remember the South Texas Hamfest and Electronics Expo this weekend,
Saturday, October 19th, 2019 at the San Patricio County Fairgrounds
Event Center, 219 West 5th Street, Sinton, TX 78387

The hamfest doors open at 8:00AM to 3:00PM.

Check the web-page for registration and table information as well as other activities planned.

https://southtexashamfest.org/

Please, drop by the ARRL table and say hello to West Gulf Director John, N5AUS, Vice-Director, Lee, W5LHC and South Texas Section Manager, Paul, KE5ZW.

Travel safe and hope to see many folks there.

Paul, KE5ZW

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