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Updated July 18, 2020

New Officers for 2020-2021 Confirmed

   With the re-balloting for the Director position completed, here is the Board of Directors for 2020-2021.

President – David Gilpin, K5GIL

Vice President – Tom Yenny, K5LOL

Secretary – Dave Lane, N5GDL

Treasurer – J J Henry, N5IMS

Director – Allan Batteiger, WB5QNG

Director – Steve Darrah, KD5YPB

Director – Dave Lewis, AC5DL

Immediate Past President – Kevin Grantham, N5KRG

   Many thanks to all who have stepped up to serve the club.

Capturing Metal Moons

   At the June meeting via Zoom, Tom Schuessler, N5HYP, explained the ins and outs of amateur satellites. With a video, he showed how he tracked and successfully made a couple of QSOs from the comfort of his front yard.

   His “Driveway Portable” setup was run entirely on battery using a Yaesu FT-847 with a dual-band Yagi (Arrow 146/437-14BP) mounted on a camera tripod. Tom notes that anyone with an amateur license, and that includes Technicians, can work satellites.

   Please go here to download his presentation on PDF, “Introduction to Satellite Operation” and “AMSAT’s Future on the Microwave Bands.” Be sure to visit the AMSAT® website:

Go to the ARRL FD Site
Field Day 2020

  At the June meeting the Board decided to cancel the MARS group event for 2020. Citing the ongoing pandemic, the low number of signups and a last-minute fee, the Board felt it was not the best use of our time and money.

  However, the club can still participate. If you plan to setup from your home or another QTH, you can specify MARS as your club and we will earn an aggregate score. More details about how to submit your log will come soon. Meanwhile, download the logging software from or and become familiar with the program.

  Many thanks go to Field Day Marshall Ron Reeves, NN5R, for his efforts. Because of his excellent organization, FD 2021 is well on the way.

President’s Corner

June 8, 2020

   Here we are with the temperatures easing up past 100 degrees. That reminds me it’s time for ARRL Field Day!

   Ron Reeves, NN5R, has been working on Field Day for us. He has a great location – two large air conditioned room where we can set up stations far apart, with screens, to establish social distancing, two large open spaces for antennas and a pecan grove for wire antennas. Plus, access to the roof for verticals.

   I fully understand that due to Covid-19 you may wish to do Field Day from home. That’s fine! You will probably operate as a 1D station. In the past, 1D stations didn’t earn points but this year they do! And, Ron is working to take advantage of a new ARRL rule that if you operate 1D under your call sign, but list KB5A (the MARS club call sign) as your affiliated club, the club gets credit for your points too! If you use the same logging software as the club, you will be able to see the running totals for everyone and for the club as the event proceeds. Ron will be providing more details.

What I Did on My Virus Vacation

  Randy Johnson, W5WZY, is not letting a pandemic stifle his amateur radio pursuits. Read how he turned some extra radio gear into a DX “powerhouse.”

Go now to read the full story.

Media Hits

   On the May 20 podcast of Twit TV’s Ham Nation, show co-host Gordon West, WB6NOA, mentioned an email from Allan Batteiger, WB5QNG, about his success with remote testing. Over 185 new and upgrading hams have tested with Allan’s VEs over the past four weeks. Gordon congratulated the W5YI VEC team and efforts to field more remote VE sessions.

   On the same podcast (about 22:30), John Hill, KF5VO, explained how Winlink Wednesday gives hams the opportunity to keep their WL messaging skills sharp. MARS’ own KB5A‑10 gateway was shown on-screen as an example of the check-in template.

   Go to to view or download the episode.

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