Nov 29

This year the San Antonio
Rock and Roll Marathon
will take up 2 days. 

2015_LogoSaturday, December 6th, will feature the 10k race (new event), while Sunday, December 7th, will feature the normal bicycle tour, full marathon and half marathon races that the Ham Radio operators in San Antonio have long supported.

Due to the increased need for our services, we are especially looking for hams who are willing to work the timer clocks on both days.  The 10k Race route overlaps the top part of the marathon route to a certain extent.

View the full route maps here.

Assignments will be made mostly on a first come, first serve basis, with preference given to those who have worked a location in the past, or living nearby, etc.  Some assignments may require the volunteer to synchronize multiple clocks, such as one for the 1/2 marathon and one for the full marathon that are within a block or so of each other.  If we get lots of volunteers, that will reduce the need for double assignments.

Please contact Lee N5NTG to volunteer via email or text message (210-771-7075). Remember to provide your name, callsign, contact info and which events you are available to help with. Please let Lee know if your radio can do both 2 meter and 440 UHF, or just 2 meter because we’re looking at using some alternative repeater frequencies to possibly minimize interference from idiots. Most locations will work fine with just an HT, but the southern most positions may need higher power.  If you have a preference or special need, please include that information.

Don’t forget that the clocks will need to be picked up on Friday evening.  Once you get  your assignment, please take time to locate your physical location during daylight hours, because trying to find your way in before sunrise can sometimes be a real challenge. Roads will be getting closed off hours prior to the start of the race, starting at the north end and working down south.

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Nov 10

DSCF1493Ham Radio Operators are still needed to set up and coordinate the starting of the official timer clocks at every mile marker along the route.

This year’s event coordination is being done by ham radio as usual. Lee N5NTG is the coordinator for the ham radio operators working the San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon on Sunday, November 17th.

AARO is the ham club sponsoring the communications for this event, and we’d like to help them out. All volunteers will get a free t-shirt, and yes, they do have the larger sizes as well.

Typical Duties of the Hams:

  • Friday, November 15th – Hams will be picking up their timer clocks at 6pm from Alamo Dome Parking Lot “B” (off Cherry Street, north of Caesar Chavez, aka Durango). There will be a briefing for all volunteers, t-shirts and extra maps will be passed out, and timer clocks distributed.
  • Saturday, November 16th – Hams should locate and verify their assigned locations during daylight hours, and compare available routes with the Marathon route and closure lists. The actual mile marker location should have a written description provided to you, but the street should be marked with either paint or orange duct tape looking arrows.
  • Sunday, November 17th – Hams should be at their assigned locations, way before the race is scheduled to start. Wear your event t-shirt for identification and put your placard in the window to help you with local law enforcement. Remember there will be a bicycle ride prior to the event, so the route will be closed earlier than you may think.

DO NOT PARK DIRECTLY ON THE ROUTE. Park your vehicle nearby in a safe spot, but the road itself must remain open from curb to curb. You can park on a sidewalk, driveway (with permission of property owner, if available), nearby parking lot, etc.. Use good judgment when choosing your parking area as close to the timer clock position as possible. You may need to walk a short distance to your clock to be ready to flip the on switch when announced.

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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
Jan 30

We are fortunate that the Ham Radio community has members willing to help with multiple other non-profit or public service type events through out the year. 

Here is a (not so) short list of the major 2013 events that hams from the San Antonio metro area can usually be found helping with. Contact links for future events are included, but contacts for past events aren’t included since it’s too late for this year.  If you know of an event that ought to be on this list, please contact the webmaster by email.

  • January 12-13 – Bandera 100k Endurance Run – coordinated by REACT
  • January 12 – San Antonio Radio Fiesta  Hamfest (Schertz)  – coordinated by SARC
  • January 19-21 – Big Bend 50 Run (Big Bend National Park)
  • March 2 – MS Walk  – coordinated by SARO – Contact N5MYN
  • March 2-3 – Heart of the Hills 36 hour Ride (HCSNA – Bandera) coordinated by REACT – Contact K5STX
  • April 19-20 – CASI Ladies State Championship Chili Cook-off (Seguin) coordinated by REACT – Contact K5STX
  • April 20-21 – Houston’s BP150 BikeMS (Houston – Austin) (2 days) – Contact N5NTG
  • April 25 – Fiesta Battle of the Bands –  coordinated by SARO – Contact N5MYN
  • April 28 – Wildflower 100 Bicycle Ride (1 day, San Antonio) – coordinated by REACT- Contact N5NTG
  • May 4 – Special Olympics Spring Games Region 21 coordinated by REACT  – Contact N5NTG
  • May 4 – Run for the Hills 5k Run (Bulverde) – coordinated by REACT– Contact K5STX
  • May 11 – ADA Tour de Cure Bicycle Ride (1 day, San Antonio) –  coordinated by REACT – Contact N5NTG
  • May 26 – 3rd Annual American  Hero 25k Run / Relay / Concert  – coordinated by REACT – Contact N5NTG
  • June 8 – Texas Water Safari (Canoe race from San Marcos – Gulf Coast) (5 days) – Top of route assignments coordinated by SARO– Contact WB5ZJQ
  • July 4 – Canyon Lake Fourth of July Parade (Startzville) coordinated by REACT – Contact K5STX
  • September 7 – Children’s Transplant Bicycle Ride (Helotes – Boerne) coordinated by REACT- Contact N5NTG
  • October 12-13 – BikeMS – Valero Alamo Ride to the River Bicycle Ride (2 days) – coordinated by SARO- Contact N5NTG
  • October 31 – Canyon Lake Halloween Event (Sattler) – coordinated by REACT – Contact N5NTG
  • November 2-3 – Tour de Gruene (New Braunfels / Canyon Lake) – – coordinated by GVARC – Contact K5GST
  • November 9 – Universal City Veterans Day Parade (date may change to Nov 2) coordinated by REACT – Contact N5NTG
  • November 17 – San Antonio Rock & Roll Marathon (date change updated 01/26/2013) – coordinated by AARO – Contact N5NTG
  • December 6-7 – National Skywarn Recognition Day (24 hrs, New Braunfels NWS Office)  – coordinated by NWS – Contact K5STX
  • December 14 – Canyon Lake Christmas Parade (Sattler, TX) – coordinated by REACT- Contact K5STX

For more info about the above list of public service events, or to volunteer for an event, please click on the CONTACT link for the specific event, or contact

We’ll work on getting all of these events, plus any others as they get listed, into the calendar on this website.  In the meantime, if you want to voluteer, don’t be bashful! It’s lots of fun, and a different way to make new ham radio friends!  If you know of an event that wasn’t listed here, but should be, please contact us to get it added into the calendar.

Nov 13

Here is the list of hams who worked the marathon at what mile markers.    Dave Espinoza W5QS started out really early (before 4am) at the start line, acting as Net Control until 9am.  Lee Besing N5NTG was at mile marker 4 at 6am, and assumed Net Control duties at 9am, and continued until the race ended at 3:30pm when Lee was the last vehicle to cross the finish line. Literally the last person and vehicle, playing the Porky Pig tune “That’s all folks!”…

Here is the list…

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Nov 12

Okay, it’s time to unveil the full length, 140 minutes, runners video that we took at Mile Marker #4 on Camden Street.   It has minimal editing, mostly to add titles at the front / back, and a running date / location stamp during the video.  All sound is original once the video portion begins.  (The video file itself was more than 2gb in size, and it was only 640×480 screen size.)

I’ll be posting more info about the race itself, who the volunteers were from AARO and other ham volunteers, etc., in another post.

This post is just for the runners.    This is the view from Mile Marker #4 on November 11, 2012, starting around 7:45am, after all the bicycle riders are gone.  You can see the approaching lead vehicles, watch the guy and my son, David KD5MTJ, relocate the mile marker and clock closer to the curb, and hear all the spectator comments (uncensored) in the background.  The video with the bicycle riders is found here

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Nov 12

The following video was shot at Mile Marker #4 along the route of the 2012 San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon, and is for the Bike Tour part of the event only, no runners in this clip.   The Bike Tour, with about 1,000 riders, started at 6:45am, before the 7:30am main start for the Marathon.

Ham Radio Operators from the Alamo Area Radio Organization (AARO) and other volunteers, staffed every mile marker along the routes to ensure the timing clocks were started accurately at 7:30am when the net control (Dave W5QS) gave the count down over the radio.  This year’s event started without a hitch, other than some timing clocks had dead batteries or other malfunctions, but the operational end of from the ham radio operator perspective went fairly smoothly this year.

We’ll be posting more videos and photos later this week, as we find more “free time” to do the editing. This was the short one, so be warned!

Aug 20

Don’t be bored, volunteer for some upcoming public service events!

We’ve got a series of public service events happening in the next few months, surely one of them will tickle your fancy?  Hams are needed for all of these events.

  • September 8 – Tour for Children bicycle ride
  • October 13-14 – BikeMS Valero Ride to the River
  • November 3-4 – Tour de Gruene race / ride
  • November 3rd – Universal City Veterans Day Parade
  • November 11th – San Antonio Rock & Roll Marathon Race
  • December 8th – Canyon Lake Christmas Parade

Here are the details about each event….  Scroll down!

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Nov 7

Once again, the AARO Ham Club has been tasked with providing Hams to assist the San Antonio Rock & Roll Marathon on Sunday, November 13, 2011

We don’t have much time to get this organized, but we need volunteers at every mile marker, and a few other odd ball locations along the route.  We need about 2 dozen (minimum) volunteers to staff each of the assigned positions.

Duties include picking up the timing clocks prior to the event, (See #3 below for details), then being on-site at your assigned location prior to 6am, ready to turn them on when Dave Espinoza W5QS gives us the countdown over the radio.  We’ll send out exact locations for those of you who sign up to work the event.

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Aug 16

Hams have the opportunity all year round to use their communications skills & equipment to help out the community & have fun while doing it.  SARO is very active in these events, and helping out with others. There are three major bike tours originating near San Antonio, plus the big daddy of them all that runs from Houston to Austin on the third weekend of April. To keep up on what’s happening in the local  ham world, stay tuned to

If you know of any ham related events not included in the list below, please contact Lee N5NTG at  Better yet, why not register as a user on this site, then ask Lee N5NTG to bump your status up so you can directly post your own articles and photos?

Coming up Fall 2011, to a start line near us, will be the following events/ opportunities:

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