November 15, 2019
Dinner and a Prize
This year’s Christmas Party and Raffle is December 12. As in years past, dinner tickets will not be sold at the door. If you plan to attend you must make a reservation.
Visit the EVENTS page to make your reservations now. While you’re there, buy a handful (or a bucket full) of raffle tickets.
Next Regular Meeting
Thursday, January 9, 2020
(Christmas Party in December)
Amateur Testing 6:00 PM
Meeting 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Tom Yenny, K5LOL, will give a presentation about HTs he has owned. Any member who has an HT that is 19 years or older should bring it to tell us about.
Moving into the Fall Season, the airwaves are alive with contests and rare DX! I hope you had an opportunity to log Pitcairn Island. They made an outrageous number of contacts of nearly every mode, and they were actually quite easy to get—with a little patience, that is.
There is hope. The Space Weather reports show some new cycle sunspots emerging. While short lived, they indicate that activity—and thus HF propagation—will be improving. Let’s hope it’s a robust cycle!
If you are not already a General or Extra class, now is the time to take a class or break out the books and get ready!
I’m amazed at what you can get for your dollar in HF radios. I recently purchased a Xiegu G90. This is a 20 watt 160–10m all-mode SDR transceiver. Yes, that’s right. It even has a panadapter display. Very cute. It’s only 5 inches wide, which is the same width as the power supply I’ll put with it. There is even a special SignaLink cable that fits it. I’m still learning it but can’t wait to put it on the air!
Did you participate in the ARRL West Gulf Division Simulated Emergency Test (SET) this past weekend? It was easy and fun. Keep watching for those kinds of events and join ARES/RACES if you haven’t already.
I look forward to seeing you at Trivia Night!
73, Kevin N5KRG
MARS Works the Switchyard
November 2, 2019
This year’s Festival at the Switchyard saw a good number of interested fans visit our booth to learn about amateur radio.
Liz Brown, K5EMB, Dave Lichtenwalter, N2DL, Ron Reeves, NN5R, and Tom Yenny, K5LOL, joined event organizer Steve Darrah, KD5YPB, in the early AM to set up the booth. Mike Brown, W5MDB, produced a slide show highlighting key activities of the ham hobby.
As in years past, the “Kid Code Key” was a hit with youngsters. A rough count revealed over 150 potential hams tried their “fists.” Liz mentioned that some were repeats from last year who made a point to visit us again. Kevin Grantham, N5KRG, David Lewis, AC5DL, James Jernigan, KG5WVL, and Ken Wendel, W5RPS, all took a turn explaining the intricacies of Morse code. A special thanks goes to James for returning later in the evening to help wrap the booth.
This year we enjoyed a special visit by our North Texas Section Youth Coordinator, Katherine Forson, KT5KMF. Katherine worked the Kid Code Key table, encouraging our visitors to check out amateur radio. Thanks go to “Drivers” Pat and Bob Forson, K5WFR, for Katherine’s transportation.
Andy Parcel, KE5KOF, as a member of Carrollton’s Citizen Patrol, provided support from the off-premises HQ.
Steve thanked all who volunteered to work the event. This is our best opportunity to show off amateur radio to the public. Planning for next year’s booth starts now. Contact Steve for your best ideas about how to promote ham radio. Meanwhile, check out the photo gallery from the Switchyard.