October 22, 2020

W5RPS Plants an Aluminum Garden

October 22, 2020

   In early October, Ken Wendel, W5RPS, spent some time doing a little RF landscaping that would improve his signals while meeting the demands of his neighbors. The result was a beautiful aluminum alloy sculpture pleasing to the eyes and to his rig. Please go here to read all about his Backyard Stealth Project.

C4FM in the House

October 15, 2020

  MARS has replaced the 444.075 MHz repeater with a brand-new Yaesu System Fusion machine. The 5 MHz offset and 110.9 Hz CTCSS tone remain the same. The system is set to automatically determine if the signal is analog or digital so you can still use your analog rig. Thanks go to Allan Batteiger, WB5QNG, Dave Lane, N5GDL, and Ron Reeves, NN5R, for making it all happen.

The Other MARS

  Bill Swan, K5MWC, shared with the club his vast knowledge of the Military Auxiliary Radio System at the October 8 virtual meeting. MARS provides contingency communications support on behalf of the men and women of the Department of Defense and other U.S. Government users in support of their important and diverse national security missions whenever, however, and wherever required. He explained the group’s mission is not limited to emergency situations. Go now to download Bill’s presentation (PDF).

Club Launches Raffle for 2020
Yaesu FTM-300DR

  Go to the RAFFLE PAGE now to buy your tickets. The drawing will be held during the December 10 meeting.

  There’s not going to be a Christmas Party this year, but there will be a raffle! The club has chosen a Yaesu FTM-300DR Dual-Band C4FM Mobile Transceiver. This state-of-the-art rig features a color display, band scope, built-in Bluetooth®, GPS, and much more.

October 2020

President’s Message

   I’ve had a couple of MARS members mention, “It seems to be very quiet lately, there’s not much going on.”

   We are still stuck in COVID-19 limbo. A lot of us don’t want to venture out much yet. Our face-to-face meeting venues are still not available. Whataburger is now open during breakfast hours and we’ve heard of a few folks showing up for Hams & Eggs on Saturday, but most of us are not quite ready for a non-social-distancing face-to-face QSO just yet.

   So, we’ve settled into a pattern. Maybe we are just complacent, or we are just waiting for better days ahead.

   The weather has turned very nice lately! Here are some ideas to break out of the rut—safely—to take care of some ham radio chores you’ve been putting off.

  • Inspect your feedlines. Those cute squirrels in the backyard might have decided to nibble on your coax!

  • Check out your grounds. Look for corrosion.

  • Tune up your vertical. Get out that can of DeoxIT® and tube of DeoxIT® L260 grease and touch up those aluminum element joints.

  • Drag out one of those speaker tripods and set up that old 6m or 2m Yagi or Moxon in the backyard and play on VHF SSB or digital.

  • Or even (scary thought) clean up the Shack!

As for me, I have a (new to me) pickup. I’m going to use the nice weather to install the dual bander in the truck, run the coax to the antenna mount, and all the rest.

   That’s it for now. 73 David Gilpin, K5GIL

FCC Proposes New Fees

   On Wednesday, August 26, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would subject the Amateur Radio Service to new fees.

The FCC is proposing an across-the-board fee of $50 for new, modified and renewal licenses in the personal radio services, which includes Amateur Radio.

Vanity license applications would incur the $50 fee as well. Please see paragraphs 24 and 25 on page 9 of the NPRM which can be found here:

   Comments are now open through the FCC Electronic Comment System under proceeding 20-270. To post your comments, please go to:,DESC

Next Regular Meeting

Thursday, November 12, 2020

   Ron Reeves, NN5R, will talk about Tower Safety, -or- “How to avoid that sudden stop.”

  We will meet by teleconference using your computer, tablet or phone. Watch your email in-box for instructions about how to join the meeting.

Remote License Exams Continue

  Allan Batteiger, WB5QNG, is still offering online exams through W5YI. Please visit for detailed information.

Play Day on Hold

   Play Day is postponed indefinitely until we can get together.

Farmers Branch
Next scheduled nets

ARES Training

8 November 2020, 8:00 PM CDT

145.210 Tone 110.9

RACES Training

15 November 2020, 7:45 PM CDT
145.210 Tone 110.9

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

Édouard Eugène Désiré Branly

Let’s call it “radio.”

Brant Rock Station

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   You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here; they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat.
   —Albert Einstein

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