Nov 4

The 2015 Veterans Day parade will be held in Universal City on this Saturday, November 7th. Ham radio operators are needed to assist the Universal City Police Department with crowd and traffic control (mostly just moving the pre positioned barricades into place when the police order Pat Booker Road to be shut down when the parade is about to start).

We’ll be using a 2 meter frequency, HT recommended, but there will also be some commercially licensed HT radios available for those who don’t have one, or are not a licensed ham yet. Reflective vests recommended. Might need rain gear, depending on the forecasts.

We’ll meet at the UCPD HQ, located in city hall on Universal City Blvd by 9am. Free donuts, coffee and juice will be provided. Briefing starts at 9am, with the volunteers moving to their assignments along Pat Booker Rd by 10am.

Parade route runs south on Pat Booker towards Randolph AFB, turning either left or right (varies each year) on Byrd.

Many of us gather afterwards at a Mexican restaurant for lunch (not free, sorry) located near Universal City Blvd, next to a motorcycle shop.

Coordination by Hill Country REACT Team, contact Lee Besing, N5NTG, at (210-771-7075) or

Oct 8
UC Parade

UC Parade

Date: 01 November 2014 – Important, they moved the parade up one week this year due to multiple large events around the area on the following weekend.

Title: Universal City Veterans Day Parade

Location: Univeral City, Texas
Description: For more years than we can count, HIll Country REACT and radio operators around the region have provided support for this Patriotic Event.

Ham Radio Operators provide a valuable service during this event by assisting the Universal City Police Department in shutting down the parade route (Pat Booker Rd.) in preparation of the parade.

We meet at the U.C.P.D. in the morning for a briefing and assignments (City Hall is located on Universal City Blvd). After that we proceed to our assigned stations and await the call to setup our barricades.

FREE DONUTS, COFFEE, ORANGE JUICE, and maybe even some milk, courtesy of UCPD.

During the parade, we try to make sure no vehicles enter the route that could disrupt the parade. Afterwards, we meet for  lunch at a nearby Mexican Restaurant on Pat Booker Road and visit for a bit.

All licensed radio operators are invited to participate.
For more information of to be added to the roster of volunteers for this event, contact Lee Besing – N5NTG – Event IC
Start Time: 08:30
Date: 2014-11-01
End Time: 12:00

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
Jul 7

Once again, the members of Hill Country REACT, along with support from other area ham radio operators, has successfully organized the Canyon Lake 4th of July Parade in Startzville, Texas.  This annual parade is sponsored by the Canyon Lake VFW Post 8800 (Startzville).  This year, there were about 40 entries, some small and some not so small.  The parade route stretches from the west end of Startzville to the eastern side of town near the VFW post location.  It starts on Old Cranes Mill Road and runs for about a mile or so until it reaches the de-staging area.

The following volunteers helped put on this year’s parade…

  • Wade Bolling W5ERX  – IC / Coordinator REACT
  • Lee Besing N5NTG REACT
  • David Besing KD5MTJ REACT
  • Nick Sellers (non ham volunteer)
  • Daryl Mai W5MAI REACT
  • Joe Bruno W5AUQ REACT
  • Richard Graham N5RAG
  • Dave Eggebraaten AF5IA


Jul 1

IMAG2105Hey Guys,

Its that time again…time for the 4th of July Parade in Startzville (Canyon Lake).  Hill County REACT has provided staging and communications for this event each year and would like to invite you to help us out. It is a good experience in event communications and it is a whole lot of fun!

This event will be on the morning of the Thursday the 4th at 8AM and last until about 12 pm. Just a short event.  We’ll provide talk-in on the REACT 444.450 repeater (located near Canyon Lake) and run on a simplex 2 meter frequency for the actual event (contact Lee below to get frequency before parade).

We will be meeting at Startz Cafe:

0630 – Breakfast at for those who can attend) 0800 – All volunteers meet for assignments

Startz Cafe is located at: 10350 Startz Rd  Canyon Lake, TX 78133 Canyon Lake, Texas 78133

Please let me know if you can help.

Wade (W5ERX)


Note from Lee N5NTG

If you aren’t doing anything for the morning of July 4th, why not come up to Startzville (south of Canyon Lake) and meet the group of ham operators from Hill Country REACT who are coordinating the parade that day.  We’re meeting at 6:30am at Startz Cafe and rolling out to the staging area around 8am. Parade kicks off at 11am after the fly over by the Confederate Air Force (or whatever their new politically correct name is now.)

Once the parade starts off, I’ll be bringing up the rear of the parade in my mini-van, and all the hams along the staging area will get in their vehicles and jump in line in front of me.  We bring up the rear of the parade, helping to block the road from behind, preventing the frustrated tourists and residents who forgot about the parade and got trapped at the end of the road leading up to Comal Park.   We can pair up any non-hams with a ham or you can just hang out and watch the parade.

If you’ve got family, bring them along and enjoy. It’s a good small town parade without all the stuck up noses of a big town parade.  The residents line up along the 2 mile route cheering it on and they really appreciate our help.

Lee Besing, N5NTG
210-771-7075 (cell)


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 4

Saturday was the 43rd Annual Veterans Day Parade in Universal City Texas, and the ham radio operators from Hill Country REACT and other volunteers were there to help the UC Police Department manage the parade route.   Our “job” was to move the barricades or police crime scene tape into place, blocking selected major streets, side streets, and parking lot exits.  Our “job” was NOT to direct traffic, but to call in by radio whenever we had a “runner” that bypassed the barricades once they were in place.

This year, we had aerial maps of the route, to help the ham operators assist any drivers who didn’t know the back roads / alternate routes.  It’s amazing how many local residents ignore the big banners crossing Pat Booker Road for a month before the parade, or the posters placed at local businesses, and then get upset because they forgot to allow time to leave early before the parade, or to figure out an alternate way of getting from point A to point B during the parade.

This year we had about 2 dozen volunteers, mostly  ham radio operators, including 7 motorcycle marshals, to assist the UCPD.  I’ll get a full listing posted here later, but it’s already 1:40am in the middle of the night, and I still need to be up at 5am to go help out with the Tour de Gruene at my assigned location on River Road, just south of Sattler, Texas.

Here is a 28 minute video posted to by your’s truly, that I took during the start of the parade as the entries left the staging area onto the main route.  The route went down Pat Booker Road, from UC Blvd, almost all the way to Randolph AFB and FM78.  A map of the route is shown at the start of the video.  Enjoy!

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!

Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 7

The annual 4th of July parade was held in Startzville,Texas, on the south side of Canyon Lake.

As usual for the past 20+ years, the members of Hill Country REACT, with assistance from the HCHams (Hayes / Caldwell County Hams), and a few others, managed the staging area, got everybody lined up in the right order, and merged in the units (like the USAF Band, the horses, & the local dignitaries) when the parade started around 11am.

The parade started with a fly over by the Combined Air Force (used to be Confederate Air Force) based in San Marcos.

We did shoot some video of the parade, with quality of questionable focus, using a new HD Vehicle DVR Recorder mounted inside the front windshield of my van.   Even though I had washed the van the night before, it sprinkled on the way up that morning before dawn, and perhaps some neighborhood birds decided to add their deposits on the way up as well. (Note to self: Wash the window before shooting video thru it next time!)   With the glare of the sun, sometimes the focus wasn’t as sharp as I would have preferred, or expected had I used a real video camera mounted outside the glass.  I’ll post that edited video later on, for those who care to watch it.  It’s clear, just slightly not as clear as I’d prefer, or maybe it’s just my eye glass prescription needing tweaked.  🙂

Here is a list of hams and other volunteers working on behalf of REACT for this event, followed by a gallery of photos taken by either myself or Jake Creamer.

Read the rest of this entry »

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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