Apr 6

Our regular volunteers already know to get their radios and batteries ready for operations when the month of April hits.  Actually many of the Ham Volunteers with Hill Country REACT never stopped being ready for events.   They worked events in January and March already, out in the Bandera, Texas, area at the Hill Country State Natural Park.  One event was the Bandera 100k Cross Country running event (24 hours) in January, followed by the Big Bend 50k out west. On March 5-6th was a horse ride endurance event (2 day) back in the Hill Country State Natural Area (state park).  There may have been other events in between that I missed.  Look for event posts by the REACT Team president, Louis Upton N5STX, elsewhere in this blog.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand.  We have lots of volunteer events happening between now and Field Day weekend.  This is just a short list of known events being held involving San Antonio and the surrounding area hams.  If someone wants to build up a list of contest, I’ll be happy to work with you on posting those dates as well.

April 15-17th – BPMS150 National MS Bicycle Ride (2 days).  At present time, 5 teams of SAG vans will depart on Friday, April 15th from San Antonio, to arrive that night in Katy, TX, outside of Houston, to start off the biggest bicycle tour in Texas the next morning.  The San Antonio contingent will be joined by other SAG Teams from Austin and these two groups will be swallowed up by all of the others coming from the  Houston area.  At last count, I think there were around 45 SAG Vans, 12 SAG Box Truck / Bus combos (Rental Moving Van with a School bus tagging along).  More info will be posted after the event.  Volunteer list is closed for this event due to the logistics, but rooms are provided for both overnights, plus the fuel doesn’t require out of pocket expense either. Hams use both 2 meter and 440 frequencies, plus APRS, to communicate.  Non-hams use provided MURS radios. Mobile radios with dual band preferred for usage.

April 21st – Battle of the Bands Festival – Hams are used to coordinate the bands and VIP arrivals.  See posting here.

April 24th – Fiesta Wildflower 100 Bicycle Tour – Hams are used to coordinate the rest stops along the route. Motorcycle Safety Marshals, some are hams, will be  used to spot problems or rider issues along the route.  See posting here.

May 7th – Area 20 Special Olympics Spring Games – This really isn’t a big ham radio event, since we mostly coordinate the commercial hand held radios at the event, but occasionally we’ve had W2IK out here with a special events station as well.  This is a one day event, running from around 7am thru 4pm, held at a local San Antonio area sports stadium.   Contact Lee Besing N5NTG at info@Sanantoniohams.org or via phone 210-771-7075 (voice/text).

May 7th – Bulverde’s 17th annual Run For The Hills race – Hams from Hill Country REACT with the help of other area hams, provide coordination for this 10k event which is held north of San Antonio, off Hwy 281 and FM1863, in Bulverde Texas. In addition to spotter positions along the route, volunteers also help coordinate the parking lot area to avoid confusion in the wee hours before sunrise.  This event is a Saturday morning event, over by noon.  Contact Charlie Land KC5NKK at 512-796-7565 (voice/text) or kc5nkk@hillcountryreact.org.

May 14th – San Antonio American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure ride.  – Ham are used to coordinate the rest stops along the route. Motorcycle Safety Marshals, some are hams, will be  used to spot problems or rider issues along the route.  See posting here.

May 29th – American Hero 25k Relay Run – Hams are used to monitor the turn around points on the looped race course that never leaves the  property for the University. Hours are 7am-1pm with free t-shirts provided for the volunteers. Contact Lee Besing N5NTG at info@Sanantoniohams.org or via phone 210-771-7075 (voice/text).

June 11-13th – Texas Water Safari.  Hams are used to provide communications from the start line on Saturday until the finish line on Wednesday, but most positions near the front are done much quicker.  Last year over 100 canoe teams  competed for this 100 hour, 262 mile river race (yes, it’s a timed race) from San Marcos, down thru Victoria and on to Sea Drift, on the Texas Gulf Coast.  This event is run 24 hours a day until the last canoe team has been accounted for, but each check point along the river has different operation hours.   Both voice and digital communication modes are used to pass the in/out team information to the next check point down the river.  Ham operators play a critical port in the safety of this event.   Volunteers are coordinated on the front end check points  of the race course by Erik Olson WB5ZJQ, while other check points are coordinated by Harvey Babb WB5MCT.  Contact Erik at 210-213-4098 (voice/text during non-business hours please) or WB5ZJQ@SARepeater.net  Contact Harvey at 361-676-0356 or Harvey.babb@gmail.com.


Apr 10

Spring_Is_In_The_AirSpring is in the air, and that means our public service events have started up again, just like Spring flowers.

Help is needed for all of these events.  Contact person will be listed for each event below. Don’t wait to be asked, volunteer now!

  • April 19th – Bexar County ARES – HT Rodeo. See link to story already posted.  Pre-register by sending your name and call sign to HTrodeoRSVP@gmail.com.  Only those pre-registered by April 12th will be able to participate in the weeklong Roundup event leading up to the rodeo. Details on how to participate will be return emailed. Bring your HT to the event -preferably charged up and ready to rodeo!
  • April 27th – Fiesta Wildflower 100 Bicycle Tour.  This is a one day, Sunday event, starting / ending at Morgan’s Wonderland, near Wurzbach Parkway & Thousand Oaks, on the NE side of San Antonio.   Routes go up toward Canyon Lake and over past New Braunfels toward Seguin.   Hams are needed to staff around 9-10 rest stops, plus net control. We’ll have motorcycle marshal support on the course, but no active SAG support (unless the organizer changes their normal operations).  Rumor has it that the event organizer will be reimbursing fuel expenses by the hams and motorcycle marshals who support the event.  I’m still trying to confirm that rumor (that I got from one of the organizers).Please contact Lee Besing N5NTG direct via email at info@sanantoniohams.org with “Fiesta Wildflower 100” in the subject line. Cell contact is 210-771-7075 (voice / text okay).
  • May 3rd – Bulverde 5k/10k Senior Citizens Run.  This is a half day (morning) event held in Bulverde, Texas, starting / ending at the Bulverde Senior Citizens Center next to the Fire Station on Cougar Bend & FM1863. Around 8 hams are needed for this event.  Hill Country REACT is coordinating the event. This is a mobile /  HT event using a local repeater.Please Contact Charlie Land KC5NKK via email using kc5nkk@hillcountryreact.org with “Bulverde Run” in the subject line.
  • May 10th – American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure.  This is a one day Saturday event, with the start/finish at Retama Park (loop 1604 & IH-35). We expect 4 different routes this year, instead of 5, but the coverage area is still spread out.  We anticipate having around 9 break points, plus 10 SAG vans that need Ham teams to drive / navigate. We’ll also have the Safellite Auto Glass cars helping out on the shorter routes as usual.     We need hams for break points (rest stops), SAG drivers and net control help.  We normally have APRS coverage for this event, but that hasn’t been locked down yet due to personal health issues affecting our usual APRS team from Austin. No background check or DMV check required, but drivers will need to provide copies of their current valid drivers licenses.Please contact Lee Besing N5NTG direct via email at info@sanantoniohams.org with “Tour de Cure” in the subject line. Cell contact is 210-771-7075 (voice / text okay).
  • May 25th – 4th annual American Hero 25k Relay Run.  This annual event has a new location on the south side of town. This is a one day Sunday event. The start / finish will be at the Texas A&M University – San Antonio Campus, near south Loop 410 and Zarzamora (Address is on University Way).  Unknown route at this time, but it will be a 5k looped route, that the participants will run 5 times. Since it’s a relay run, some of the runners will be relay runners while others run the full length.   Last year it lasted until around 2pm.   This will likely be a simplex mobile to mobile or HT operation since repeater coverage in that area is very skimpy.  See http://americanhero25krelay.org/ for event details.  I expect to need about 8-10 hams to cover the route.Please contact Lee Besing N5NTG direct via email at info@sanantoniohams.org with “American Hero 25k Relay” in the subject line. Cell contact is 210-771-7075 (voice / text okay).
May 16

This will be the 3rd annual American Hero 25k Relay Run to be held in San Antonio and it will be held at a new location from previous years.

2013 Route Map American Hero 25k Relay RunWheatley Heights Sports Complex is a brand new facility on the east side of San Antonio, near Houston & IH-10. This facility is on the opposite side of IH-10 from the American Red Cross HQ (shown in picture with a red cross.)

The aftermath of the 1998 flood that caused the evacuation of the American Red Cross, was the prompt to get a $7.5million grant to build this complex, using funds from private and public sources, including tax money from the Hotel & Rental Car tax fund.  This area was devastated by the flood and all of the houses were destroyed.  The city purchased the property from the owners and relocated them out of the flood plain. There are signs near the parking lots warning about this area will be subject to flooding.

You can click on the photo on the right for a full size image of the proposed route layout.  Or click on  the WheatleyHeightsSportsComplex_Markupphoto on the left that I “borrowed” from the Wheatley Heights Sports Complex website  and added some directional arrows and markers over the actual facility.

This location is so new, less than a year or two old, that even Google Earth doesn’t have an updated areal photo showing the existence of this sports complex.

We only need a handful of hams since the route is out & back. If you want to volunteer, please contact Lee N5NTG at info@sanantoniohams.org or call 210-771-7075 (voice/text).

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 info@sanantoniohams.org.

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.

Apr 3

The 2nd Annual American Hero 25k Relay Run will be held on Sunday, May 27th, at Brackenridge Park in San Antonio, Texas.   Last year, hams helped with this last minute organized event, from Alamo Stadium, with the course being down into Brackenridge Park.  Due to planned construction at the stadium, and perhaps the need to avoid causing the traffic confusion into the Zoo area that morning, the routes have been changed and the start / finish will be at the Koehler Pavilion inside Brackenridge Park.

Contact Lee Besing N5NTG by email at info@sanantoniohams.org or by calling 210-771-7075 to volunteer.  Free t-shirts and food from the Spaghetti Warehouse.

May 29

Here is a short 1 minute video that I took when the runners left the Alamo Stadium on their first lap.
Hams working event today were Lee N5NTG, Dave WQ5S, Ray AE5HN, Mike W5ZAP, and Richard KF5KWP (Zoo Security monitoring). Only about 500 runners out there today for this first annual event. Not too bad for a first time effort.

May 23

American Hero 25k Relay

Alamo Stadium (near 281 & Hildebrand)

Event will be held at the Alamo Stadium, with the 5k route leaving the north entrance of the stadium, crossing east under 281 into the Zoo entrance and thus over to Brackenridge Park. Route will be run 5 times, thus the relay. Free food for all ham volunteers at the stadium, courtesy of Spagetti Warehouse. We have about 6-8 points needing covered. HT radios okay, or operate out of your vehicle.

Map of stadium here

Map of 5k route here

Hill Country REACT Team coordinating event. Contact Lee Besing @ 210-771-7075 or info@sanantoniohams.org to volunteer or get more info.

Tour de Cure Hams Still Needed for Saturday, June 4th.

Rest Stop Hams & finish line hams only. All Driver positions filled.

Contact Lee Besing @ 210-771-7075 or info@sanantoniohams.org

to volunteer or get more info. This is a 2 day event, starting at the Retama Park, ending in San Marcos on Day 1 (Saturday). Rest Stops are all east of IH-35, mostly between 35 & 10, and out toward Seguin. Won’t be in New Braunfels this year. Route has changed from last year.

Texas Water SafariTexas Water Safari – June 11-12th

The Texas Water Safari is a canoe race from San Marcos to Seadrift 265 river miles and is in need of a Amateur Operator(s) to volunteer for the Hochheim check point.  This check point is located where the Guadalupe River crosses Hwy 183 northwest of Hochheim.  This check point is dificult to operate from and will test most any amateur’s ability.  Hochheim is operational from 9:00 p.m. Sunday (6/12) through 10:00 a.m. Monday.  You will need a radio capable of working voice on both 2-m and 440 MHz with an antenna and at least a 20 foot push up pole.  Packet is a big plus. The provided software will run on any Windows machine that runs Microsoft Excel and a serial port for connection to your TNC.

If you are not capable of working the entire time maybe we can find some to take the second shift.  If you are interested please contact Eric WB5ZJQ at 210-647-3180 or e-mail: wb5zjq@arrl.net