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Updated December 12, 2022

Patrick Ware WI5J/SK

   We just recently learned of the passing of Patrick Ware, WI5J, on his 70th birthday, February 3, 2022. Patrick was a former President of MARS.

   Current President David Gilpin, K5GIL, recalls that he was a great storyteller and loved ham radio. When David passed his Technician exam, he notes that Patrick signed his Certificate of  Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE).

   The hams of MARS extend our condolences to Patrick’s family. Please go here to read his obituary.

Top Ten Signs You Might Not Be Ready
for a Communications Callout

10. Your deployment gear is an HT with a rubber duckie and a discharged battery.

  9. To participate in a callout, you have to take apart your home or mobile station.

  8. You’ve never set up and used a 2-meter deployment antenna.

  7. All your coax is run through the attic, is buried in the backyard, or is hanging from an antenna in the backyard.

  6. You don’t remember the last time you powered up your deployment gear but you’re pretty sure it was recent—maybe the year before last.

  5. You don’t remember how to program your deployment gear to operate on anything other than the local repeater.

  4. You set up your gear for Winlink one time and got it to work but you haven’t used it since, and that was 2 versions of Windows ago on your old laptop.

  3. The served agency wants to use ICS-213 and you don’t know what that is. Maybe someone else in the group has an extra you can borrow.

  2. You’ve brought your gear out in the past but you’ve never been able to use it without help from someone else.

And the number one sign you might not be ready for a Callout….

  1. Drills and training nets are a waste of time. I’m ready for the real thing.

If one or more of these reasons hit too close to home:

• Spend some time getting yourself and your gear ready for a callout.

• Talk to someone on the repeater using your Go Box and your deployment antenna.

• Find and read your rig’s manual and practice changing your rig’s operating parameters.

• Participate in an ARES® or RACES net from your Go Box in the backyard.

• Take your Go Box to the park and send Winlink® Wednesday or Winlink Thursday messages from there instead of from your home.

• Bring your Go Box to play day and send formal messages by voice and Winlink to another ham who has brought their Go Box.

• Don’t have a Go Box? Practice using someone else’s setup or build your own.

• Need help? Ask someone and practice— now—before the callout.

  —73 Ron Reeves, NN5R

radio shack cage antenna
QRM from the President’s Shack

October 2022

  My buddy Al Sutherland, KG5MSD, works for a cellular infrastructure company in Plano. In 2017 he donated a lot of surplus RF jumpers and connectors that we sold at Ham-Com, adding over $400 to the MARS bank account. During the pandemic, Al saved more stuff for us. He donated another batch that we sold at the DFW Ham Radio Expo in June.

  Recently Al’s bosses wanted him to “clean out the warehouse.” he had two pallets of some custom-built duplexers and attenuators that were left over from several projects from the past 10 years. Al asked me to try to find homes for them. I took pictures of an example unit and sent emails to a few MARS members that are well-connected in the NTX Amateur community.

  Tom Yenny, K5LOL, forwarded my email to several of his contacts. Once word got to the North Texas Microwave Society, requests started pouring in. All 30 of these surplus units have found their way to amateurs in North Texas and elsewhere! The components will be used in ham projects instead of ending up in the recycle bin. MARS has made a lot of friends by sharing our bounty with other hams. Special thanks to Tom for making the contact.

  And this brings up another bit of QRM. I hope this story is an example where getting involved pays dividends! Apathy and inaction drags down groups. MARS is your ham radio club, so we need you!

  We have lots of different ways for you to be involved. Make a suggestion for a future topic; consider making a presentation or helping Andy Parcel, KE5KOF, find a program.

  We’ll have a future “show and tell” meeting, so when we do, bring your recent ham project and show it off! Consider running for a MARS officer or director position. Help Andy on NeWAIN, or Winter Field Day, or TSPOTA, or Summer Field Day. This will help keep MARS the place for Amateur Radio Fun in North Texas.

  —73 David Gilpin, K5GIL

Trio Treks for Texas QSO Party

   Hearing the contest call for field operations, Ron Reeves, NN5R, Kevin Grantham, N5KRG, and Tom Yenny, K5LOL, ventured forth to Fort Richardson State Park in Jack County, just south of Jacksboro. Fort Richardson has a few air-conditioned cabins. They rented one that had a big back yard for wire antennas. On Friday, September 17, Ron was first to arrive. He secured the cabin and scoped out the antenna layout.

   Kevin was next to arrive just before dark due to work challenges. This revealed a major logistical planning failure. Kevin brought two of the tables and three of the chairs, so Ron had nowhere to set up his equipment! Nothing to do but head into Jacksboro for dinner.

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