DECEMBER 17TH @ 6:30 PM – 8PM
PAPA DANTE’S RESTAURANT
8607 FM 1976, CONVERSE, TX 78109
We will be holding our Annual Awards presentation, enjoying good Italian food and having a great time with each others company in typical Unusual Suspect Spirit. Our Christmas Parties have always been a GREAT time for all, so you will hate yourself if you miss out on the fun.
Please confirm you will be coming and how many in your party. Remember the Unusual Suspects are about FAMILY and AMATEUR RADIO. Family members young and old are welcome.
Please RSVP because we need to give the restaurant an accurate head count prior to the event.
The 2013 AARO Christmas/Holiday Party will be held Wednesday, December 11th at Grady’s BBQ on Bandera Road across from the Jefferson State Bank near Leon Valley. Dinner starts at 6:30pm, activities start at 7pm.
Admission price is $15 per person before the event, $17 at the door. Your $15 includes one raffle ticket. Additional tickets will be on sale. There will be some really nice prizes again this year (Door prizes include 2 Baofeng HT’s for the grand prizes).
Attendance is not restricted to members of the AARO ham club.
Thanks for your continued support of the AARO group.
73’s and Happy Holidays.
Stan Waghalter, Treasurer
Dear Friends of Bill Reichert,
As some of you may have heard by now, it is with very sad hearts that we let you know of the passing of our father. He was our knight and will be missed beyond words, but it is also our faith that he is surrounded by God’s love and grace and now reunited with our mother who went on before him. Dad was with his family when he died at about 5:15 a.m. on Friday, November 22, 2013, and we don’t think that’s a coincidental date or time, as our mom also died on a 22nd and our dad was the founding Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 515, which he loved and devoted much of his life to.
We want people to know that our dad “fought the good fight” (2 Timothy 4:7); he put forth a long and valiant recovery effort after his heart attack and major heart surgery last December 2012. Just to live into one’s 70s, 80s, or even 90s is to survive, and our dad lived all of his life with a congenital heart problem. Even so, he got a lot of mileage with his heart: Getting through A&M’s Corps of Cadets, the Korean War, the military, engineering sites out in the field, camping all over the country with the Scouts, and square dancing – and all with a compromised heart, though one with plenty of love.
Even when he had his heart attack last December and called 911 for himself, he still wasn’t down. With few options and the information he had been given at the time, he chose to go for an intensive heart surgery and not only survived the surgery, but also several weeks in ICU, and then slowly but surely, he started his physical recovery and got better, step by step, at age 82, and all while still having a compromised heart. Our dad was a very strong man even up until the very end when he realized “it was time,” which also takes a whole lot of mental and spiritual strength and courage.
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.
Local Time: 1800 hrs Friday December 6th to 1800 hrs Saturday December 7th, 2013
This annual event is always the first Friday / Saturday of December each year. Ham Operators, operating from their local National Weather Service Offices around the country, are trying to contact as many other NWS offices as possible during a 24 hour period that runs from 6pm CDT Friday until 6pm CDT Saturday. Modes used include HF Voice, EchoLink, and IRLP.
Access is limited at the local NWS office due to space constraints and the fact that the meteorologists are actively working in the same room, so the noise level and disruption factor is a concern.
Operators are scheduled to work in groups of no more than 3 in multiples of 2 hour shifts!
All classes of licensed Amateur Radio Operators are encouraged to participate. This is a great opportunity for Technician class operators to get some HF time in the early morning shifts with a General or Extra class on the roster!
Visitors are limited to those who RSVP before the event! No drop in visitors! Please, if you would like to come by just to visit, you MUST be on the roster!
To volunteer for a 2 hour shift or more, Contact event coordinator Louis – K5STX at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com! Sign up early, the based slots go fast!
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.
I 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.ORG – Rowena KF5JCZ
- January 11-12th – Bandera 100K Run at Hill Country State Natural Area (state park) 24 hour event over 2 days – Louis K5STX
Another Section Of Our 200 Page
“Jump Team Boot Camp” Training Manual
AFTER SITE SURVEY: Assembling Your Tent Structures
by Bob W2IK
Setting up a tent can seem like a complex task especially for any first-time jump team member.
Tents are a vital piece of Em-Comm gear, for sure, but many frustrated jump team members have cursed their tent as they’ve tried to set it up in the dark or during inclement weather without proper preparation.
However, once you’ve set up a tent several times, it becomes a familiar routine that can easily be repeated even in the most difficult Em-Comm conditions, and once you’ve mastered setting up one kind of tent, it will then be easier to set up other kinds of tents, be they simple or complex.
Remember that your tents (structures) are just as important as setting up your communications gear. After all, you will be living and working in them for many days. Here are some basic steps that will help you set up your tent structures quickly and efficiently.
Practice setting up your tent before you go to your duty site to deploy. Setting up your camping tent at least a couple times, directions in hand, before twilight is a good idea as you’ll never know what time of day (or night) you’ll be doing it for real. While some camping tents have simple designs, like family tents, other tents have complex designs, like dome tents, which will not be easy to assemble when it’s dark and you’re involved with other jump team duties.
The Texas QSO Party occurs on the last full weekend in September. The 2013 dates are the 28th and 29th of September. Operating times are from 1400Z on SATURDAY to 0200Z on SUNDAY and from 1400Z to 2000Z on SUNDAY. (This break of times is to ensure safety of the mobile operators and keeps them from driving/setting up in the dark.) Operation on all bands except on 60 meters, 30 meters, 17 meters, and 12 meters is permitted. Stations may work the entire contest period. Be sure to submit your scores by October 31.
This is a great chance to work your fellow Texans and it’s fun, too! Just read the rules at: http://www.txqp.net/ and try to work as many stations in Texas as you can. BUT WAIT! You are in Texas, too, so try to work as many states and countries as you can. Just call: “CQ Texas QSO Party”. Each new state or country counts as a multiplier.
Another small portion of our 200 page “Jump Team Boot Camp” training manual - Next Class Is Scheduled for April 2014
(Be sure to read earlier blogs concerning other aspects of emergency communications and the blog about the upcoming “Jump Team Boot Camp” , a 3 day “get down and dirty” training course.)
by Bob Hejl W2IK
In 1998, I was airlifted via National Guard helicopter to supply emergency communications out of a medium size town in upstate New York. The town had been cut off in every way from the outside world due to an ice storm. Talk about improvising! Talk about pressure! I was lucky enough to find some very helpful people who went out of their way to make sure my communications deployment was successful.
We took turns siphoning fuel from trucks so the two generators could be kept running to supply lights, power to run the boiler system for heat and radio power at the local school which acted as a shelter and gathering place where news could be disseminated. Many of the local homes had wood stoves or fireplaces for heat, but there were some that did not and although many who didn’t were invited into neighbor’s homes, about 100 opted to stay at the shelter.
Since many people were hanging out in the area outside the school, I even suggested that if we had some empty 55 gallon drums we could get some heat from wood burning just like you’ve seen in depression movies. (outdoors, of course) A few minutes later several drums were there, in place, fueled with wood and lit. Neighbors who hadn’t seen or talked to each other in a while were standing around these lit barrels trading stories and getting caught up on “local news”. It made everyone feel as if it were one big winter block party! Everyone in the town contributed what they could to help their neighbors weather this event.
I kept in constant contact, via 40 meters, to the state capitol, giving them updates, requests and getting news and answers to questions. The ground was frozen solid so using stakes to erect an antenna was impossible. I had to lash my antenna’s center pole (using bungee cords) to a truck body while keeping the antenna ends secured with cement blocks. After almost a week, the roads were again open but through it all I improvised whenever there was a problem which needed a solution.