Kendall Amateur Radio Society


 Community Activities 

Amateur Radio Organizations and Licensed Volunteers serve their communities by providing public service and emergency communication when and where needed during times of disaster or public need.  Amateur Radio has always provided a Public Service need when and where called upon.  Through programs such as ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) and RACES (Amateur Radio Civil Emergency Service) operators work closely with Public Safety Officials to provide a communication need that their organizations cannot fill.

June 25, 2022 Tour de Boerne Charity Bike Ride Support

Fourteen KARS members provided volunteer radio communications support for the 2022 Tour de Boerne bicycle ride through the hills and valleys north of Boerne, Texas, on Saturday, June 25.  Several areas of the ride’s three routes had marginal to no cell phone service.

Radio operators were located at the ride’s Command Center at the Don Strange Ranch, at the ride’s six rest stops, and in several of the “Support and Gear” vehicles.  The Support and Gear vehicles assisted riders on the course with bicycle repairs, first aid, and rides back to the Ranch for riders who found the distances and hills with the warm temperatures more than they could finish.

Marco (orange shirt) organizes riders before the start.  Command Center – From left, two Command Center personnel, and KARS Radio Operators Rick and Marsh.  One of the two base station radios at the Command Center  Network operations used the KARS 146.64 MHz VHF repeater in north Kendall County.  The repeater covers all of the ride’s three routes across Kendall County and southern Gillespie County.  The KARS Sisterdale 145.19 MHz VHF repeater provided backup for the primary repeater.  Two complete base stations provided redundancy at the Command Center.  Most operators out on the routes also had backup radios to ensure uninterrupted communications.

Marsh (left) and George operating Net Control in the Command Center. The six Rest Stops had water, ice, snacks, fruit, and shade for the riders.

Preparations for the ride began in April and included pre-running the three routes to determine the radio transmission power and antennas needed for reliable, clear communications.  Preparations continued with making volunteer radio operator assignments which fit their personal equipment, checking the volunteers’ equipment performance before the ride, and installing the two base stations at the Command Center the day before the ride.  All three routes started and finished at the Don Strange Ranch.  The 25.5 mile “Red” route went through Sisterdale and returned to the Ranch through Waring.  Although the Red route spent most of its time in the Guadalupe River valley it included plenty of elevation changes.  The 39 mile “Orange” route went to Comfort, River Bend Park, Waring, and Nelson City with a lot of hills.  The 62 mile “Blue” route went north into Gillespie County to Luckenbach and had the most elevation changes.

ARES is an organized group of amateur radio operators that can help out during an emergency with communication to any other amateur radio station in order to provide information vital to the overall operation of the emergency.  The ARES groups are divided up into regions and sections.  Be sure to look up what area you are in, identify the leadership for your area, and get involved in the training provided by that group.  For more information see

RACES is a group of amateur radio operators authorized by the FCC to handle emergency communications on special frequencies as defined in 47 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 97 subsection 407.  RACES Organizations are licensed and controlled by the FCC.  Special training is required to be a RACES member. Look for the nearest Civil Defense Agency in your area.  For more information see

Many local jurisdictions have groups of amateur radio operators that can be activated during an emergency with predesigned duties to assist Public Safety with their mission.  Check with your local amateur radio clubs for such groups. CERT (Citizens Emergency Response Teams) is one such group.  For more information see

No matter where your interest lies, your radio operating ability, your physical limitations, or you desire to help, seek out an organization in your area and get involved.  You will not only find it very rewarding, but you will help provide a service that in needed for Public Safety to accomplish their mission.  For more information see