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Updated April 1, 2024

Dr. Bob Heil K9EID/SK

      MARS is saddened to learn that pioneering sound engineer and amateur radio legend Dr. Bob Heil, K9EID, passed away on February 28. Surrounded by his family, Bob lost a courageous battle with cancer. He was 83.

       We were fortunate to have Bob as a guest speaker back in June of 2021. Please go here if you want to download his presentation. It is a large file, so please be patient.

Tinker Toys for Amateur Radio
David Strickland, KG5LRL

      At the February 8 meeting, David Strickland, KG5LRL, explained in great detail how he’s configured the software in his shack and how his rigs are connected to make operating easier. He referenced many useful sources and you can download the links here: KG5LRL’s Tinker Toys. Meanwhile, check out the video of his talk.

Winter Wrap Up

        On Saturday, January 27, hams converged on the Farmers Branch Bob Phelps Fire Administration Building to set up radios and antennae to play Winter Field Day (WFD). Operating under our Club call KB5A, we set up 3 HF and one VHF station.

        We set up a Wolf River Coil vertical, a nifty DX Commander portable multiband vertical, and a Chameleon LEFS-4010 end fed deployed as a flat top stretched across the driveway. Coax feeding the Chameleon and DX Commander was flown across the driveway as well. We watched somewhat anxiously as Farmers Branch FD Quint 133 drove under the array but there was room to spare.

        Logging was handled by N3FJP’s Winter Field Day software. We used the David Duke KM5YQ/SK Memorial Field Day Server, which is a Raspberry Pi setup donated to MARS by his estate.

        Andy Smolenski, KI5YLX, set up his Yaesu FT-891 and snagged lots of digital QSOs using JS8Call. He worked phone as well and even grabbed some 80 meter stations. Andy Parcel, KE5KOF, was on phone with his FT-891. Kevin Grantham, N5KRG, brought his Icom IC-7000 in his all-singing go box and shared phone operations with Kim Walter, KI5ZOT. Mike, W5MDB and Liz Brown, K5EMB, set up their 2 meter station. Mike sent out 26 Winlink® messages to stations all across the US and received 21 replies. Liz worked on the antenna team and deployed signage. Gregory Maddra, KG5CKX, was on hand and Irving ARC President Ken Hansen, N2VIP, stopped by to say hello.

        Many thanks go to Andy Parcel who volunteered to manage our antenna farm and be our band monitor to make sure we didn’t blow up our radios. Thanks go as well to Kevin for contacting Farmers Branch Emergency Management Coordinator Luke Parten, KI5WJM, to secure permission to use the training room.

        We’d also like to thank Ron Reeves, NN5R, for getting this WFD event rolling, and to Steve Darrah, KD5YPB, for letting us use his grounding plate and station band flags. Ron and Steve weren’t able to attend but we’re looking forward to seeing them next year.

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