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Hams Helping Hams

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From right to left: Andrew Koenig, KE5GDB; Gerald Marchant, WB5NZV; David Lewis, AC5DL; Chris Gerke, K5SXD; Nathaniel Gerke; De’Borah Bankston Deaz, KB5OQX; Jim Gerke, K5JG; Ron Reeves, NN5R; Darrell Crimmins, KG5E; and Dave Lane, N5GDL. Thanks go to Samantha Gerke for making the photo.

  Earlier this year former club member De’Borah Bankston Deaz, KB5OQX, of Gladewater contacted MARS about the donation of almost 2,000 feet of commercial grade surplus 7/8-inch Heliax® transmission line. Her late husband Roger Bankston, W5IAB, had the coax hooked up to multiple antennas with the bulk of it flat on the ground.

Thousands of feet of Heliax®
Dave Lane, N5GDL, De’Borah Bankston Deaz, KB5OQX, and Ron  Reeves, NN5R, chat about the project.

  In return for the donation, all De’Borah wanted was some help in extending internet service to the ham shack located a few hundred feet from her home. Dave Lane, N5GDL, and Darrell Crimmins, KG5E, whose second home is nearby in east Texas, visited the site to evaluate the Heliax and to determine how best way to recover it.

  Darrell and Dave presented this offer to the Board of Directors at the April meeting, and it was agreed that we would accept the donation. Gary Rodgers, KI5X, donated a pair of 2.4 GHz WiFi bridges to link the two buildings.

  Dave contacted Gerald Marchant, WB5NZV, MARS member and secretary of the Denton County Amateur Radio Association (DCARA), who advised that DCARA would help collect, transport, and store the coax until it was needed.

Jim Gerke, K5JG, Nathanial Gerke, and Darrell Crimmins, KG5E, look over the stacks of transmission line.

  On Saturday, June 12, a group of volunteers went to Gladewater and rolled up the cable, which was no easy task. While one team worked to pull the heavy coax from the underbrush and roll it up, another team cleared trees to make a path and installed the radio link to extend internet service to the ham shack.

  About 4 o’clock the task was complete and everyone left pretty much exhausted, but satisfied. MARS extends our thanks to all, especially De’Borah’s family and the two volunteers from DCARA, Gerald, WB5NZV and Andrew Koenig, KE5GDB.

Andrew Koenig, KE5GDB, straps down the coils of coax.

  The Heliax will be made available to area clubs and individuals without charge for worthy projects. Contact Dave Lane or Darrell Crimmins for details.