Jun 25

This past weekend was the ARRL VHF/UHF Contest, and I normally dive into this contest with maximum effort, but with long time friends in town that we have not seen in 6 or 7 years and spending time with them all day Saturday, that left only Sunday and I need to do a quick trip to pick up some Antennas just south of Houston.

So Ruth and I thought it would be fun to operate Sunday as a Rover, so with her logging, and me operating we hopped into the truck and headed to Alvin Texas which is 186 miles away as the crow flies.

With the radio dialed in on 144.200 USB, we pulled out of the house.

Announced we were in the contest and roving.

We immediately worked KB2WDM in Schertz, followed by K5QE in Hemphill, TX. Marshal is 336 miles from our first contact location. With a single omni directional loop antenna built by Tom K5VH and 120 watts mobile we worked K5QE in EM31 and quickly knocked out additional contacts around the region.

On the Trip we made 17 contacts, working several stations in every grid on our drive {EL-09, EL-19, EL-29}.

Take Horizontal polarization with it’s reduced noise, good take off angle and Single Side Band with the ability to hear and pull intelligence out of a weaker signal and you get one of the reasons you can communicate at much greater ranges then possible with FM, and you will understand the fun and the thrill of what you can accomplish with VHF/UHF Weak Signal.
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Jun 25

2ND Annual HAMSTER Lunch and Learn Event

JULY 1ST 2017

Welcome to the HAMster Weak Signal Group Lunch and Learn. The purpose of this event is to bring a large group of HAMs together for some education and fun. We want to introduce you not only to the HAMster Group, but also to VHF/UHF Dxing. If you have never experienced the trhill of working stations on 2 metersa nd up 500, 1000 or even 1,500 miles, with daily contacts in the 100 to 150 mile range, then come join us.

Join us for Hot Dogs, Chips, Soda and VE Session with VHF/UHF training classes. Special Weak Signal Training by FLEX Radio, and the HAMster Group.

Flex Radio will be on hand to demonstrate the new products and advantages for VHF/UHF Weak Signal/EME/Meteor Scatter.

License Testing available for new hams or upgrades to your license will be held at 2pm. $15 per test taker. Please contact Pat AD5BR at HAMTEST@GMAIL.COM for details and to RSVP for the test session (not same address as used to register for the Lunch and Learn).

Raffle and Swap Meet
RAFFLE TICKETS $5 EACH OR 5 FOR $20

1ST PLACE: YAESU FUSION RADIO
2ND PLACE: K5VH 2 METER SSB OMNI ANTENNA
3RD PLACE PRIZES AND DOOR PRIZES WILL BE AWARDED AS WELL

TRAINING AND LUNCH IS FREE

Saturday July 1st 2017
8:am Kick-Off to 3:Pm

Event to be held at the American Red Cross, 3642 E. Houston St, San Antonio, Tx. (Please use the Houston St side entrance to enter the building.)

RSVP to: N5xo@144200.net
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Feb 7

Morning all!

Event: AERC Heart of the Hills Endurance Ride

Dates: 5th and 6th March 2016

Location: Hill Country State Natural Area – Bandera

Times: 0700 hrs to 1700 hrs – assignment times very based on Checkpoint.

Help is needed on both days, but, if you can only work one of the other, your assistance is greatly appreciated.

Operators will be responsible for tracking the progress of Horse/Rider thru the course at 4 different checkpoints.  We also handle in health/welfare information and other task as submitted by the event coordinator/manager.

3 checkpoints should be able to contact net control with ht and a gain antenna.  One checkpoint is a little more challenging requiring a mobile unit, possibly crossband.

Comms will be VHF simplex.

RMS Express/Packet will be utilized during the event.  Packet not required to participate.

Most checkpoints are easily accessible by car or truck.  One will require a truck with moderate clearance.

If your are interested please contact Charlie Land at charlesdland at gmail dot com or Mike Perez at mikerey01 at yahoo dot com

Event is coordinated by Hill Country REACT – membership not required to participate.

Thank You,

Louis Upton – K5STX

Hill Country REACT – Team # 4804 – President
Tejas Trails Communication Group – Cactus Rose and Bandera 100k Ultra-Marathons – Coordinator

Rocky Raccoon Communications Group – Tejas Trails Liaison

 

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Jan 7

For everyone that I have not had a chance to talk to this year so far, I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a very safe and happy New Year and that the new year brings good things for everyone.

Four Years Ago…

WeakSignal_Hamsters_GroupThe Unclub put up our first repeater January 2012 at the San Antonio American Red Cross on 443.025 with a PL tone of 82.5, taking the knowledge we had gained over the years developing premier VHF/UHF Simplex stations to operate DX and applying it to our repeater, we developed a repeater that had impressive range on 70cm opening a communication link covering most of Bexar County and fantastic coverage East well past Seguin out IH 10 and strong coverage on 37 heading towards Corpus Christi.

We were selected to be part of the Yaesu Fusion Beta Team and helped develop and debug this new Digital Format, enjoying over a year advance experience with Fusion Radio’s and Repeaters before it was released to the general public.

Less Than Two Years Ago…

November of 2014 the plan was formed to built a Regional Fusion Repeater Network supporting Analog and Digital Communications covering Austin, Texas Hill Country {Wimberly, Marble Falls, Boerne, Kerrville, Pipe Creek, Bandera, Tarply, Hondo, Dilley, Pleasanton, Floresville, Seguin, New Braunfels} allowing you to travel through out the region and carry on a continuous conversation.

One Year Ago…

2015-08-14_ARRL_Affiliation_LetterIn January 2015, I gained approval and a 50 year Lease at $1 per month} for a commercial communication site that provided us with a fantastic location and in March of 2015 the 147.120 Repeater came on the air, providing fantastic coverage through out Bexar County, up to Pipe Creek/Lake View, out to New Braunfels and well south of Bexar County and out towards Hondo.

In August 2015, The Hamster Weak Signal Group became an official affiliated club with the ARRL, despite being an “Unclub”. This helped us obtain more affordable liability insurance that was required  by some commercial tower sites.

Fast Forward To January 2016…

I am happy to announce that our plans for the repeater linking Bandera, Tarpley, Medina, Kerrville, etc., is now moving forward at a fast pace……We are just days away from working out the agreement on the locations and hope to have all of those detailed finalized by the end of this week or first part of next week.

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Jan 7

It was brought to my attention that a couple of local hams have been making up lies about a third ham, claiming that this 3rd ham operator was in trouble with the FCC over his operating procedures and sloppy repeater operations (repeaters not in compliance).

They even tried to get the American Red Cross and other repeater locations to ban Greg from those sites, and almost persuaded another repeater trustee to back out of a linked repeater (Yaseau Fusion) project.

So I reached out to the ham being accused of these behaviors or actions and asked for his side of the issue.

Greg Lewis, N5XO, has supplied me with copies of  two letters from the FCC disputing the claims of these other operators, plus three MP3 recordings from over the air, showing proof that these two hams have indeed been bad mouthing him and making unsubstantiated accusations over the air.

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May 24

The Skywarn Operators at the Austin-San Antonio NWO are in the process of updating our files and call-up list. Recently we have found the EC’s, Skywarn Coordinators and Net Controls have changed drastically in the various counties we serve.
It has also been found that several repeaters used in the past to contact and monitor Skywarn operations have changed or are no longer functioning.
If someone from each county could please e-mail me the contact information, frequencies and other pertinent information for ARES and Skywarn it would be greatly appreciated.
Also be advised that we have created a Facebook page and Twitter account to help get the word out. Feel free to like or follow to stay up to date with our operations.
Thank You, Louis – K5STX
e-mail to wx5exw at gmail dot com

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Nov 27

UNUSUAL SUSPECT & HAMster Group
8th Annual Christmas Party

THIS SUNDAY, November 30th @ 5:PM

GREAT FOLKS – AWARDS – GOOD FOOD – GREAT TIME

This is what Amateur Radio is all about
{FELLOWSHIP AND FRIENDS}

Mamacita’s Restaurant & Cantina
8030 IH-10 west
San Antonio, Texas

Please RSVP n5xo@144200.net

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Nov 13

The HAMster Weak Signal Group was founded Spring of 2013 and is based on the same UNCLUB PRINCIPLES that the Unusual Suspects operate under. Where the Unusual Suspects are a diverse group of individuals who have many key interest and the group caters to those interest and encourage activity in many areas, the HAMsters Weak Signal Group is a dedicated group with a sole devotion to PROMOTING AND ENCOURAGING WEAK SIGNAL OPERATION ON VHF/UHF/SHF.

We as a group promote and encourage SSB activity on 50MHz through 1296MHZ. We encourage SSB activity on those bands, contesting and chasing grids and QSL Cards on these bands.

If as a HAM you have never experienced the thrill of working a station on VHF/UHF/SHF 1,100 miles or more, you do not know what you are missing.

We are fortunate to have some very seasoned experienced operators such as Bill W3XO who has forgotten more than most of us will every learn about VHF/UHF operating, Marshall who when they defined Elmer had his photograph in the dictionary and who runs one of the finest VHF/UHF/SHF Multi-operator contest stations I have every seen as members.

We hold a weekly net on 144.205 SSB Horizontally polarized every Sunday Evening at 7:PM, we also hold daily conversations on 144.205 starting in the morning and running off and on through out the day.

We sponsor and promote Roving during contest, Remote operations to rare Grids to activate them along with a host of other activities.  

If you have an interest in learning how to build a station to work as far away as Florida, Mexico and other points of interest on 2 meters, 23 cm,  70cm, etc…..this is the group for you. METEOR SCATTER, EME, TROPO AND A HOST OF DIGITAL MODES.

Taking part  in a VHF/UHF contest will open up as much excitement as working that rare DX country on HF. JOIN US ON OUR SUNDAY EVENING NET: 144.205 SSB @ 7:PM

Check us out at  www.144200.net Greg Lewis N5XO

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Feb 24

WeakSignal_Hamsters_GroupHAMSter Weak Signal Net

0:00 UTC / 6:pm Central Time
144.205 USB

The HAMster Amateur Radio group is about promoting this exciting area of our hobby from 50 Mhz to 1296 Mhz. The goal is to bring Experienced Weak Signal Operators and Weak Signal “rookies” together. To encourage and promote weak signal operations, contest activity and contact weekends.

Our weekly net has enjoyed checkin’s through out San Antonio, and Kerrville, Alice, Nixon, Houston, Cureo, Dallas, Schertz, Boerne, Seguin.

Let’s keep expanding that coverage areas

If you have not yet experienced the thrill of making contacts, 700, 1000, 1400 miles on 2 meters and up, or daily 2 meter and up contacts of 100, 200 and 300 miles….then you are not operating Weak Signal SSB.

The HAMSter group is about experiencing those thrills and encouraging and promoting others to learn more about this exciting aspect of our hobby. Read the rest of this entry »

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