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 6

The 78th Battle of Flowers® Band Festival, will be held on April 21, 2016, and is entitled “Texas Traditions…125 Years!”

The location venue has moved back to the original Alamo Stadium (located at Trinity University, Hwy 281 and Hildebrand) now that the stadium has been remodeled.

Students from more than 30 high school bands from San Antonio and surrounding areas will join forces to present an entertaining musical evening that is undoubtedly one of Fiesta’s most popular events. Some of the highlights will include Herald Trumpets saluting Fiesta royalty, parades of high stepping bands with colorful flags and twirlers, and specially chosen feature bands performing their award-winning UIL shows for the crowd. At the end of the evening, all 4,800 musicians will perform together on the field in a spectacular crowd-pleasing finale set to fireworks!

The SARO Ham Club has coordinated communications for this event for longer than most hams can remember.  While members of the club are given preference for assignments, non-member hams are invited to volunteer as well.   This is an evening / night time event during the week on a Thursday night.   Volunteers need to be in place as early as 4:30pm and the event will last about 5 hours.   Hand Held radios with earphones / plugs will be needed for most assignments due to the noise.  Some assignments may require lots of walking or standing.  The hams coordinate the starting line of the bands entering the competition area, calling in the school names to the announcer ham shadow, plus coordinating the arrival of any Fiesta Royalty VIPs with the announcers as well.

Please contact SARO President MaryAnn Horn N5MYN via email N5MYN@SARepeater.Net or via phone (during non-work hours only please) at 210-380-6560 (voice/text).

May 1

Members of SARO and other hams helped out again at the annual Battle of the Bands Festival, sponsored by the Battle of Flowers Parade organization.   SARO was the coordinating club for communication shadows at this event.

The following 7 hams worked this event…

  • Joe Bruno, W5AUQ – Announcer Shadow
  • Eric Olson, WB5ZJQ – Dignitary Entrance Shadow
  • Sharon Olson, KB5KZD – Band Starter Shadow
  • Wendell Peters, AA5VN – Producer Shadow
  • MaryAnne Horn, N5MYN – Operations Shadow
  • David Besing, KD5MTJ – Medical Shadow
  • Lee Besing, N5NTG – Security Shadow

I took some photos and video of the event, but haven’t had time to do any editing of the video.  But I did find out the organizers posted the full length video from the event on YouTube (was supposed to be on Ustream.tv), so you can now watch it there. I’ve been told that I was spotted in the video out on the north end of the field taking my own videos. I was wearing my lime green / orange reflective vest and dark pants that day.

Here is the video from YouTube…

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