Updated December 1, 2019
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.
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 shows its stuff to writers’ group
October 12, 2019
MARS ham Scott Taylor, N5NL, demonstrated amateur radio to his fellow authors, at a gathering of Writers in the Field in Mansfield. Scott’s demo was quite well-received.
Scott Taylor, N5NL (left) with Phil Golden at the radio table.
Welcome to Fall! Oh, the crisp days and cold clear nights! Yeah, me too. Oh well, buy the time of the meeting this Thursday it should be at least a little cooler.
We note with sadness the passing of one of our members, Rex Walthers, KE5ZYK/SK. Rex was a General Class ham and a member of MARS. He had been in ill health the past few years so you may not have seen him at meetings lately. Services were this past Wednesday. Rex was active in the community supporting the Carrollton Citizens on Patrol, a volunteer at the State Fair of Texas, participated in Denton County CERT, was an USAF Veteran (Vietnam) and an all-round good guy. Rex was a young 74 when he passed. We’ll miss him.