Kendall Amateur Radio Society



Copyright 2018 all rights reserved

President's Corner

Memorial Day and Special Events

It's a long Memorial Day weekend.  We owe a continuing debt of thanks and respect to all those who fought, and continue to fight, for our freedom and liberty in our armed forces.  We especially honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for this great country whose benefits we enjoy.  And to those who served, and are still with us, we thank you for your service.

I seldom get down to 40 meters, especially when the DX is so good on the higher bands.  But today I did.  I pointed my FT8 software to 7074 kHz but then left the shack for a bit to talk to my wife.  I returned a bit later and a familiar call caught my eye on the decoder screen:  K7UGA.  My first reaction was that I found the ghost of late Senator Barry Goldwater, who died in 1998.  I looked up K7UGA on and found that the call letters now belong to the Central Arizona DX Association (CADXA), of which Barry was a lifetime member.  The CADXA is sponsoring a special event station between now and June 3 to commemorate the senator, and the legendary USAF MARS station he ran, and the tens of thousands of phone patches the station provided servicemen during the Viet Nam War.  Here is a picture of the QSL card you will receive if you work them (k7uga.jpg, attached).  Instructions for obtaining a card are given on the QRZ page.

Also on the QRZ page is a photo copy of the letter issued by the Chief of USAF MARS. declaring that that Barry's two MARS call signs (AFA7UGA and AFA6BG) were to be permanently retired and never reissued.  The letter also pays tribute to his years of unflinching support of our military men and women for the duration of an unpopular war.  Check out the other historical memorabilia on the page, particularly his old QSL cards and information on the station.

I proceeded to work K7UGA on FT8, and then prepared a QSL card and SASE so I could get the special event card.  K7UGA and the MARS station have nostalgic meaning to me because a number of us hams got to tour it when I lived in the Phoenix area in the mid 70's.  I don't remember the details - it may have been under the auspices of the Motorola Amateur Radio Club, or it may have been a group put together otherwise.  Maybe our VP Steve Lazar remembers this too.  He and I both were there at this time.  I do remember the several Collins S-line stations, 10kW linears, and the 63-ft long log periodic HF antenna.  But I also remember all the personal memorabilia Goldwater displayed in his shack - awards, pictures with famous people, keys to cities, etc.  It was quite an experience at the time.

Doubtless there are/were other SE stations commemorating this day from various historical venues, war museums, battleships, etc..  I hope you got on and participated.

What's Coming Up and What's Going On

Field Day is almost upon us.  The rules changed this year and last I heard we were still trying to get a reading on whether we can operate as an EOC like we did last year.  County EC Rodney Vorndam K9ROD plans on bringing a Kendall County emergency command trailer to the our site again.   All participants should plan on coming to the June 7 meeting to find out what we settled on, and obtain a last minute of the plans for setup, tear down, number of stations, meals, etc. 

The program this month will be split up a bit.  Rodney attended a conference on emergency management and will be talking briefly about what he saw.  Rodney will then give a 20-30 minute talk on installing a mobile radio in your vehicle.  Last but not least, Al Walters K5NOFwill give us a final brief on Field Day as I mentioned above.

Steve Lazar W5SCL reports that we now have an APRS radio on the air at the Tower Road site.

Steve also came across an on-line repository of old 73 ham magazines from October 1960 to March 1972.  I especially got a kick out of the old ads.  Check it out:

And finally, after multiple attempts, our own Bob Rosier K4OCE has been inducted into the QRP Hall of Fame.  This is due in large part to Al Walters' persistence in getting Bob's impressive credentials to the forefront of the committee's attention.  There is no other ham on the planet who has done more for the QRP art than Bob.  To quote Al:

"It gives me great pleasure to tell you that Bob Rosier - K4OCE, has been inducted into the QRP Hall of Fame for 2018 by the Amateur Radio Club International (ARCI).  Bob is known throughout the Amateur Radio World as “Mr. QRP.” He has every QRP operating award given by MILLIWATT, CQ and the ARRL, and was the first operator to work QRP DXCC.  He has written a number of articles published in MILLIWATT, CQ and QST, to encourage others to try QRP.  His QRP home-brew transmitter helped the QRO World try QRP and experience the excitement of this segment of our hobby.  We are very proud to have Bob as a member of our Club."

Congratulations, Bob!

See you at the meeting on Thursday! 

73's and good DX,

Dave Moore, N7RF , President


Upcoming Conventions / Meetings

07Jun18:  KARS regular meeting 7pm - New Location (see above map)

23Jun18:  KARS Field Day Event - Come to the meeting for details

24Jun18:  KARS Field Day Event - Come to the meeting for details

03Aug18:  Austin Summerfest - Crowne Plaza Hotel

04Aug18:  Austin Summerfest - Crowne Plaza Hotel


May Meeting Minutes for the Record


KARS Meeting Minutes – May 3rd 2018


Opening:       16 Members were present to make a quorum; President David Moore, N7RF opened the meeting at 7:05 pm.  The Preamble of the Club’s Mission Statement was read by the President.

Members and Guests stated their names and call signs.  There were 16 members and 1 guest present.

Guest was Don Udel.  He is currently not licensed.

Minutes:        The minutes were read by the Secretary, Rod Vorndam, K9ROD

A motion to approve the minutes was made by Chuck Lloyd and second by Rod Vorndam.  Minutes approved by the membership.

Treasurer’s Report:           Report was read by Ron Wood, KF5SIJ.  A motion to approve the report was made by Starr Center, and approved by the membership.

Committee Reports

                        Newsletter:  Starr Center, KI5SC newsletter chairman asked for content from anyone wishing to contribute. He asked that everybody please read the article about a Raspberry Pi project, authored by Joe Kohler.

                        License Testing: VE’s reported one person tested, and one person passed.  That person was Brian Reilly who is a member of the Sisterdale Fire Department.

                        Web Page:  Al Walters, K5NOF continues to update the Club’s web page this month. He is always adding new content and anyone that has something to contribute please contact him. Be sure to check regularly for updates.  The “Swap Shop” page for members to post for sale items is active.  Al stated he only needed a word document and the pictures separately, and he would take care of the rest.

                        Repeater:  Steve Lazar was absent so Al Walters gave the update.  Al talked about the survey that Steve took and the results.  The club was in favor of upgrading the current Fusion Repeater to a 2DX, wanted a powerful analog FM repeater, agreed that an APRS machine was needed, and the Club moves the 146.640 repeater as soon as possible to the new site on Tower Road.  Ken Nichols offered his repeater to the club as is ( a Fusion 2DX with internet capability ) for the sum of $500.00.  A motion to buy the repeater was made by Al Walters and seconded by Rod Vorndam.  The members voted and unanimously agreed to buy the repeater. Payment for that is being taken care of this month.

                        Membership:  Anyone needing an application for membership, please see the Secretary, Rod Vorndam, K9ROD for an application.

Unfinished Business:         Al Walters briefly talked about Field Day coming up.  It looks like we will be in the “F” Category. This involves an alternate EOC on site which will be provided by Rod Vorndam. We will talk more about this in the June meeting.  Al will provide the BBQ meet for the Saturday meal, but everyone else needs to bring something to complete the meal. Saturday night will be pizza and Sunday morning will be breakfast tacos. More to come at the June Meeting.

                                    Membership dues are due and Ken Nichols has volunteered to call on those members that have not paid their dues.

New Business:         Ken Nichols had a show and tell on a loop antenna, and a blue tooth flexible neck camera.

                        Dave Moore talked a little bit about the JT8 digital mode he has been having fun with. JT stands for Joe Taylor the inventor of that digital mode and other similar to it. We had the raffle since Rod Wood was present.  The drawing was for $45 and Don Udel was the winner.  He donated the money back to the club.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:08 pm

APRS Digipeater

The KB5TX APRS Digipeater was placed on the air from the tower road site effective 21 May. Currently we are running an ICOM IC-2100 with an output power of 25 watts and the TinyTrak 4. Our antenna is about halfway up the tower for an estimated height slightly over 1700 feet. We switched from the Erricsson radio to the icom due to receive sensitivity and once this is resolved we will revert to this as the main APRS radio.

We have replaced the orginal antena feedthroughts (left) – cables into the repeater shack- with “professional grade” feedthrus( right). We have populated one of the feedthrus and the remaing 5 will be used for the additional antennas planned for this site.

ARES Activity

The ARRL publishes a monthly ARES - E news email.  All should consider subscribing to this free report with all of the latest on ARRL ARES activities across the nation and in our section here in S.Texas.  It has been reported elsewhere that ARRL is going to announce some changes in the ARES program.  We’ll publish them as they become available.

June Meeting Presentations

Rod will make two presentations at the meeting.  He will us a synopsis of what he learned at the Emergency Management Conference including some photos from the event. He will also give us some tips on installing a mobile radio in your vehicle.

Al is going to bring us up to date on preparations for our upcoming Field Day, Saturday June 23rd and Sunday June 24th.

Reverse Beacon Website

Steve Lazar found the following link to a Reverse Beacon website:

This is interesting for us microwave types

Might be good link for web page

Steve W5SCL

Boerne Berges Fest

Steve also came across this information for those familiar with the event

It is June 15th to the 17th, Father’s Day weekend.

Radio Sphere 50MHz and Above

[This is from an email in another news group about six meters today, June 3rd…..FYI - Editor]

Been working on my stack of three element 6m LFAs and I finally got the temporary setup done. Yes temporary on push-up poles until I get the towers up where I will get my 6m nine element up (just refitted my 6M2WLC with a homebrew hairpin v M2 T block), and this baby stack of 6m three element LFAs (from Innovantennas).

Right now at this minute there is a major 6m opening to Europe most of it being done on FT8. I worked France and Italy using FT8 which are new band slots but decided to wait and see if the band continues to improve and people slide down to CW and phone. We have had a very early start on 6m for DX this season due in large part to this weak signal mode (WSJT-X 1.8). It is cool mode for testing propagation and your signal but I prefer CW and phone.

Anyway without getting too philosophical here it is the season to have fun! The magic band is open and whether you love digital or hate it the time is now. Been calling CQ DX also on CW but no takers yet.

Happy Hunting on the Magic Band!


Keith , Nz5f

American Meteor Society


More Radio News


Rodney sent the following news item about the Governor’s proclamation declaring Texas’ Amateur Radio Operator’s Week.