Oct 9



Hill Country State Natural Area – Bandera, TexasBandera_2014_buckle

When:  10th and 11th of January 2015


It is that time of year, to start marking your calendars and making preparations for the 13th Annual Bandera 100k Ultra-Marathon held at Hill Country State Natural Area in Bandera County.

Tejas Trails Communication Group – Coordinated by Hill Country REACT and supported by Highland Lakes Amateur Radio Club, Chaparral Amateur Radio Club, Crew 317 and many dedicated Amateur Radio Operators from San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Kerrville and other locations throughout the state, have supported and provided communications for this event the past 10 years.

This event typically requires 15 – 16 Amateur Radio Operators in a situation that is similar to what an Emergency Communications Operator would experience in a disaster zone. Remote operations little to no permanent infrastructure.Bring it, work it, enjoy it!
UHF, VHF and Packet communications are involved in this event. And with some hard work between now and then, possibly HSMM-Mesh!

This is a fun event with challenges. The participants of this event, are of a type you will not encounter at most other events we deal with throughout the year. Over the years, we have made some lasting friendships among the event management, participants and operators that come out to help. This is one event, where your hard work and efforts are truly recognized and appreciated from top to bottom.

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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

Feb 13

March 15 and 16th 2014
Hill Country State Natural Area – Bandera, TX

2 day Equestrian Endurance Competition

Hill Country REACT and other area Amateur Radio Operators will be providing radio, safety and tracking support for this event. Typically participation is 75 – 100 riders/horses.

The events typically start around 07:30 hrs and we are usually in from the field around 15:00 hrs, sometimes earlier, sometimes later. Lunch and Dinner will be provided both days.

We have 5 positions to monitor throughout the event and provide tracking information back to net control. Comms is typically 2 meter simplex, so a mobile/portable unit with 20 watts or more and possibly a elevated antenna for 2 positions will be suggested.

This is a fun event and volunteer appreciation amongst the event management and participants is great.
Camping is available at the Chapa’s Group Camp which is the event central.

We could use a few more operators to fill some slots and enjoy the great Texas Hill Country.
Contact Louis – K5STX at k5stx at k5stx dot net to volunteer or get more information.

Note: I you have previously told me you were not available and I have replied back, Thank You!

Dec 15

I’m trying to catch up on my reports, so here is the report and photos from the October 31, 2013 Canyon Lake Halloween event held in Sattler, Texas.   There is about 2 miles of solid candy, both side of FM2673, all the way from the north end of Sattler, down past River Road, past First Victoria Bank (Now called Prosperity Bank), down to Old Sattler Road.  Businesses and community organizations stake out an area along the road, set up their tents, tables, signs, music and most importantly, their candy to pass out. Normal hours are 5pm-8pm, with setup starting around 4pm or so.  The ending hour is flexible, as folks start running out of candy to distribute.

Hill Country REACT Team members have been helping with this annual event for the past nearly 20 years.  The Canyon Lake Chamber of Commerce donates about 80 pounds of candy to the REACT Team to distribute. We display the Chamber’s sign as well as the REACT identification. All members are wearing the REACT Uniform.   A local ham, Carlos KE5DFK, likes to join us and usually brings another 10-15 pounds of candy to share with the kids.

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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 25

Title: 2013 AERC Heart of the Hills Endurance Event
Location: Hill Country State Natural Area – Bandera, Texas
Link out: Click here
Description: The AERC Heart of the HIlls is a 25 and 50 mile equestrian endurance event that test the horse and rider.
Hill Country REACT as well as members of other organizations have provided Amateur Radio Communications, Safety and Tracking for the last 3 years. Amateur Radio has become and important part of this event due to the remoteness and terrain, and our familiarity of the facility. In being able to consistently and accurately track the competitors at various checkpoints, we have become more than just a safety net!

Any licensed Amateur Radio Operator with interest in Public Service and Emergency Communications are invited to assist with this event. Events like this are the best way to test equipment and hone skills that would be useful during a disaster deployment.

This years event will be two days, with the major emphasis and need on Saturday March 2nd, as the largest group of competitors will be on this day. Sunday March 3rd will be the same course for the most part, but the expected group is smaller.

Communications for this event is typically VHF simplex voice and the utilization of a event specific packet spreadsheet utilized for tracking.

We need 8 – 12 operators for Saturday March 2nd and 5 – 8 on Sunday!

For more information or to sign up, contact Louis – K5STX at k5stx@arrl.net

Thank You!
Start Date: 2013-03-02
Start Time: 06:00
End Date: 2013-03-03
End Time: 15:00

Jan 23

The January 23rd Hill Country REACT meeting has been cancelled.
Our next meeting will be on the 27th of February 2013

Thank You,

Louis Upton – K5STX
Hill Country REACT President

Nov 3

Title: Bandera 100K Ultra-Marathon
Location: Hill Country State Natural Area – Bandera, Texas
Link out: Click here
Description: 12th Annual Bandera 100k Ultra-Marathon held at Hill Country State Natural Area in Bandera County.
Communications over the last 8 years has been covered by Hill Country REACT and several other teams and individuals. The Amateur Radio community plays a valuable role during the event, providing real time tracking and safety for the participants and crews. Over the years, our role has increased from basic communications relays to an integral part of the timing, scoring and tracking of the participants.
This 24 hour event typically requires 15 – 16 Amateur Radio Operators in an environment that is similar to what an Emergency Communications Operator would experience in a disaster zone. UHF, VHF and Packet communications are used during this event.
Interested operators should contact the Communications and Safety Team coordinator – K5STX, Louis Upton at k5stx@arrl.net or 830-305-2889
Start Date: 2013-01-12
Start Time: 06:00
End Date: 2013-01-13
End Time: 07:00

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.

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