September 15, 2021

Not Your Grandfather’s Pocket Watch

  For over 50 years, Geochron® has manufactured the world’s only mechanical geographic chronometer. The much-beloved timepiece typically has an honored place in ham shacks all over the world.

Patrick Bolan KJ7ZSU

  At the September 9, 2021, general meeting, owner Patrick Bolan, KJ7ZSU, gave us a history of Geochron, walked us through his factory, and demonstrated the latest creation, the all-digital Atlas 4K version 2.0. Some of the new features include overlays of special interest to amateur radio operators.

  Please go here to view a video of his presentation.

Random QRM from the President’s Shack

September 2021

“When all else fails… Amateur Radio works!”

  When we can travel for fun again, I highly recommend a visit to the Computer History Museum (CHM) in Mountain View, California, The CHM is on the site of the former headquarters of Silicon Graphics (SGI). A few years ago, I took the time to visit the museum. While the displays are self-guided, taking a guided tour is well worth the investment.

  While surrounded by components of the legendary computers ENIAC, ILLIAC, IBM and VAX, my docent had everyone in our tour group reach into their pockets and pull out their iPhone or Android and hold it up. He said, “Folks – you carry in your pocket a computer way more powerful than the sum of all the computing power in this Museum!” It did hammer home how far we have progressed with technology.

  And with the rise of “the cloud” and high-speed networking we now have way more computing power than a CRAY –  or the Thinking Machines featured in the movie Jurassic Park—in our pockets!

  However, a “smartphone” isn’t very smart when its cellular network—or WiFi connection—is unavailable.

  On Monday, August 30, one of our Corgis had a routine vet appointment. I knew that our vet grew up in New Orleans, so I asked how her family fared hurricane Ida. She was appreciative of my concern and said, “It’s been almost impossible to contact all of them by cellphone. The coverage is spotty and the few towers that are functioning are completely overloaded. I can’t get a call through. But after trying all night I finally received some texts and they are all okay.”

  Another example: after the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013 the cellphone networks in downtown Boston were completely saturated.

“When all else fails… Amateur Radio works!”

  Many awards were bestowed on the Boston area Amateur Radio operators and clubs for their tireless efforts keeping vital communications alive in the wake of the bombing. The Marathon net became the disaster net and was operational for over 24 hours straight.

  In every major weather event, Amateur Radio is always that early important lifeline. The internet has plenty of recent news stories about how Amateur Radio has helped provide important communications for hurricane Ida including damage reports and other message handling in areas without power or cellular service.

  Even though fall is approaching we are still within the peak hurricane season, and fall can also bring its share of severe weather to North Texas. It is a good time to double-check your gear: HT batteries, battery backup power source for home rig, antennas (HT, mobile, home). If you have HF capabilities, practice listening to various traffic nets as good exercise for a real event.

  It’s an honor and a privilege to be a licensed Amateur Radio operator and as such be given the ability to assist with vital emergency communications in times of need.

“When all else fails… Amateur Radio works!”

  73, David Gilpin, K5GIL,

Review: Chameleon Tactical Delta Loop

—Kevin Grantham, N5KRG

  Chameleon Antennas makes a variety of portable antenna kits based on military models. With few exceptions all of the components are made in the USA. Various components are combined into different kits with different performance characteristics. One of the newest antennas they have produced is the inverted delta loop, model CHA TDL. This antenna won a US Army HF Low Power contest recently—details are on the Chameleon Antenna™ website.

  Andy Parcel, KE5KOF, and I decided to try this antenna out. We already had many of the pieces—Andy has the Tactical Dipole kit and some extra bits, and I have the Multi-Purpose Antenna System (MPAS).

Next Regular Meeting

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Meeting 7:00 PM

John Kruk, N9UPC, will give us the latest developments from Yaesu.

The meeting will again be virtual via Zoom. Watch your email for the invitation.

Net Without An Interesting Name

Thursdays 7:00 PM CT

145.210 Repeater

Go now to the EVENTS page for more exciting information!

Play Day

Play Days are usually on the third Saturday of each month.

October 16, 2021 • 10:00 AM ≈ 3:00 PM CT

Please go to the EVENTS page for details and important safety information.

Farmers Branch
Next scheduled nets

ARES® Training

10 October 2021, 8:00 PM CDT

145.210 Tone 110.9

RACES Training

17 October 2021, 7:45 PM CDT
145.210 Tone 110.9

Please go to the ARES/RACES PAGE for more information.

Extra License Study Group

  The group meets by Zoom each Thursday at 8:00 PM CT.

  If you wish to join, send your name, call sign, and your club name (if applicable), to Beat the FCC license fee—get your Extra soon! Good luck to the new candidates!


The Old Man was born, invented a silencer and rocked a new hair style.

Born in 1901, this young woman became the youngest female (at 15) to be granted a wireless license.


She designed all her own instruments, including a ¼-kilowatt spark-gap transmitter.

“I think wireless telegraphy... is a great deal more interesting than telephone and telegraph work....”


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Support the Metrocrest Amateur Radio Society
Amazon Smile

Shop AmazonSmile at no extra cost to you. A portion of your eligible purchases will be donated to the Club.


On your phone simply follow the instructions below to select “Metrocrest Amateur Radio Society Inc” as your charity and activate AmazonSmile in the app.

1. Download the Amazon app to your phone

2. Open the app, select the main menu (=) and tap on “AmazonSmile” within Programs & Features

3. Select “Metrocrest Amateur Radio Society Inc” as your charity

4. Follow the on-screen instructions to activate AmazonSmile in the mobile app

Tom Thumb’s Good Neighbor Program

Use your Tom Thumb Reward Card to benefit MARS. Here’s how:

1. Download and print the registration form here:

2. Fill out the form with your Reward Card number, the MARS charity number 14223, your name and phone number.

3. Sign, date and take the form to your store’s courtesy booth.

Kroger Community Rewards Program

MARS is registered with the Kroger Community Rewards Program. To set up your card, log in to your Kroger account, Search for Metrocrest Amateur Radio Society, Inc. – or – RD792 and click Enroll. New users will need to create an account which requires some basic information, a valid email address and a Rewards card.

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