April 1, 2020
President’s Corner April 2020
We are all feeling the effects of the “Safer at Home” orders and as a result, the HF bands are hopping! If you have time on your hands, let’s get off the news channels with their endless loops and study for that upgrade you have always been meaning to do. Our resident Volunteer Examiner team leader is working with the W5YI group to come up with a virtual/remote test session protocol. It’s not ready yet but by the time you crack the books and take a few practice exams it might be. So, go for it! A General or Extra is within your reach!
When’s the last time you have been on CW? Now is your opportunity to try out some modes you haven’t done before. Our last Play Day introduced FT8. I hope you are on that mode now racking up the contacts and awards. But a more conversational experience awaits on CW, PSK or RTTY. Some of the newer rigs have those modes built-in. Add a keyboard and away you go! Others work better with a computer and software such as fldigi and Ham Radio Deluxe and similar. But a basic paddle will get you on CW, and let you practice. So, let’s get out there!
Our next club meeting is on Thursday, April 9th. We’re going to try a conferencing app called Zoom. You can go to zoom.us and get the client installed beforehand, if you want. There are clients for Linux, MacOS, a bunch of different Windows versions, iPhones and iPads, Android and Chromebook devices. You can choose to enable your video camera if you like, or disable it, but please upload a recent picture—it helps to know who is speaking. I expect this will have some bugs and glitches and QRN and QRM, but it should be fun. We are going to try to have a presentation and conduct our business meeting, so please plan to attend. We will send out links and the meeting ID and so forth a bit closer to the event.
Mobile Command Vehicle Gets a New Coat
April 1, 2020
In 2019, Andy Parcel KE5KOF, Kevin Grantham N5KRG, and Russell Widener (not a ham) jointly purchased the Carrollton Police Department’s old Mobile Command Center (MCC) at auction. Andy and Russell are in the Carrollton Citizens Patrol organization. Andy and Kevin are in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch-Addison ARES/RACES group, Dallas County Medical Reserve Corps and Red Cross. Russell owns J & B Power Wash in Carrollton.
The owners have outfitted the MCC with all manner of amateur, marine band, and aviation radios to support emergency operations as well as planned events such as the Dallas Marathon, Carrollton’s Festival at the Switchyard, Carrollton’s TEXFest and Winter Field Day.
As in all ham projects, the MCC is a work in progress. Check out its new livery by clicking on the photos below.
Next Regular Meeting
Thursday, April 9, 2020
Meeting venue TBD.
In the new era, thought itself will be transmitted by radio.
MARS Seeks Nominations
President Kevin Grantham, N5KRG, has appointed David Lewis, AC5DL, Andy Parcel, KE5KOF, and Ken Wendel, W5RPS, as the nominating committee for the upcoming election of officers in June.
The positions of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and one Director are on the ballot for 2020–2021.
According to the By-Laws, “Any Full or Lifetime member twenty-one (21) years of age or older who has been a member of MARS for at least twelve (12) consecutive months and who possesses a current FCC Amateur Radio license shall be eligible for election as an officer or Director.”
If you would like to be considered, or wish to nominate someone, please send an email to nominations@KB5A.org. Someone on the Committee will contact potential candidates to explain the duties of each office.
The Committee will present the list of nominees to the Board in May. During the May club meeting, additional nominations will be taken from the floor. The Board will submit the final slate of candidates to the voting Membership prior to the conclusion of that meeting. The complete slate will also be published to the Membership within seven days.
The Board of Directors has the responsibility to carry on the business of MARS, so having qualified candidates is extremely important to ensure the future growth of our club. Please give this your most thoughtful consideration.
Field Day 2020 Still a Go
So far, ARRL Field Day is still on the calendar. You can use this stay-at-home time to check out your go boxes and fix things that need fixing.
As mentioned earlier, FD Marshall Ron Reeves, NN5R, has located a couple of potential sites for a club activation.
And we need volunteers: Electrical Coordinator, Antenna Farm Coordinator, Antenna Setup Leads, Operations Coordinator, Station Leads, Reporting Coordinator, Meal Coordinator, and two Chefs. Ron has broken down the tasks so they will be easy to do.
Want to operate? Sign up to bring your favorite rig/antenna and operate your favorite mode. If you plan to eat, you’ll need to sign up in advance and bring cash for each meal. This year, the cost of the meal will be split among those eating.
Reserve the date and let us know you’re coming—even if you’ve already talked to Ron. Go now to the EVENTS page and click the link.
Questions? Shoot Ron an email, NN5R@arrl.net.