Here’s The Chawed Rag for December 2021 (it’s still December, right?). I’m still interested in what everyone thinks and what else you would like to see. Also, we always need your content so snap some pics of your latest tinkering or if you have seen something that has really helped you in ham radio, send it this way. – KD4C
Greetings RWK and hope everyone had a happy holiday season!
Boy how things can change in less than a month. At the December meeting we were actively discussing having a President’s Dinner (in some form) and discussing when we would be resuming in-person meetings after the Delta variant ran it’s course from Sept-Dec. Then Boom! A new variant shows up and goes from nothing to #1 in less than 2 weeks. We heard reports from PARK of fully vaxxed people getting infected after a small gathering, so I made the tough decision to once again cancel plans for a President’s Dinner in January. Hopefully we can have a member dinner when levels have gone down. On a personal note, I write this while under quaratine with mild symptoms. I’m fully vaxxed and received a booster shot in October and was still infected, so I can personally verify the contageousness of Omicron and that the vaccination is not 100% prevention.
Winter Field Day is coming up (last full weekend in January) and we had hoped to continue the RWK WFD tradition (of freezing our butts of and making QSOs). There’s still a possibility and we are working on a quasi-outdoor location that is easily accessible, has power and bathrooms, and offers some protection from the elements. Normally it would be an ideal location regardless of the weather, but we plan on making a final call closer to the event (when we can check the 10 day forecast). If temps are going to be mild and we can keep the doors open and/or operate outside, then there’s still a good chance. But if there’s another weekend like the past few days (Sunday – Thursday) and it’s too cold to operate unconfined, then we’ll probably have to cancel in-person operation. In the mean time, we will be polling to determine how many members are interested in operating under those conditions.
On a more positive note, I’d like to thank the RWK Officer and Directors that are completing their 2021 terms and returning to normal life. VP Landon Elfenbein N5AET and Danny Siminiuk K5CG both have donated hundreds of hours to the RWK over the past years and helped get us where we are today. They both deserve some earned obscurity before we hit them up for something else! Thanks Danny and Landon! We really appreciate it!
And in that regard I’d like to thank Robert (Bob) Perkins W5RLP who was nominated and has been elected as RWK Vice-President for 2022. Bob has the important (and somewhat thankless) job of trying to keep you people entertained! He’s (with lots of help) in charge of selecting the programs that you see in our General Meetings that we have throughout the year. We’re all trying to do our best to present things that are of interest to you as members and to help you to learn more and enjoy ham radio. If you have suggestions about things you would like to see, please let Bob know.
Finally, sorry for being late with this (last?) month’s CR. The scheduled date was right after Christmas and life (and maybe a new radio) gets in the way. Look for January’s edition back on schedule. And (insert broken record here) please share any interesting ham-related stuff you’ve been doing with the club. Doesn’t matter how raw or badly written, we’ll make you look good and help you show off what you’ve been doing.
Thanks for being a RWK Member! – 73 de KD4C
RWK January General Meeting
Please join us next Monday (January 10th) at 7pm for our General Meeting. In lieu of our traditional President’s Dinner, we will be having a virtual meeting on Zoom and our own RWK member (and outgoing DARC President) Bill Brady KF5ZBL will get us up to speed on Battery Technology for Ham Radio and examples of some of the (more than six by my count) projects that Bill has done for portable and emergency power. Bill is a great presenter and I guarantee that you will learn something you did not know!
Remember that we will have our traditional RWK Social Hour and Beau’s Korner Mentoring starting at 6pm and RWK After Hours after the formal meeting is over.
These are coming up this weekend and next.
Ham Radio University – Saturday Jan 8
Ham Radio University is back for 2022! At my count over 20 different forums spread across Saturday. Check the list and learn something. HRU is free to register and a requested $5 donation if you enjoyed it.
Full info and to register: https://hamradiouniversity.org/
Cowtown Hamfest – Jan 14-15
The Cowtown Hamfest is back this year, next weekend Friday Jan 14th and Saturday Jan 15th at the FOREST HILL CIVIC AND CONVENTION CENTER in South Fort Worth. TALK IN 146.94 TONE 110.9
Full info: http://www.cowtownhamfest.com/
ARRL RTTY Contest – Jan 8-9
By Jon Suehiro NN5T
‘The “RTTY” Contest is a misnomer because you can operate “ANY’ Digital Mode in 24 hours on 80/40/20/15/10. Full rules: Complete ARRL RTTY Roundup Rules (PDF)
Contest begins at noon CST on Saturday and ends at 6:00 pm CST on Sunday.
Conditions may still be unpredictable depending upon Sunspot and Solar Storm. But Sporadic E is possible and is completely independent to the F2 condition. So listen and move the band up and down to the best place for you.
The exchange is the signal report and state / province. So you don’t have to ‘CQ RI’, ‘CQ WY’, ‘CQ DE’, they will be calling you for one day 5 band WAS !
Make sure your app is updated and functionality checked (the worst is unexpected in Windows update), update the country (or so called “entity”) list, and warm up your fingers before contest begins to re-visit your software.
The reason for DIG operation other than RTTY becoming Unlimited is due to ‘Multi’ decoding capability in the software. If you will be operating FT4, FT8 and MSK144, don’t forget to turn on ‘Special operating activity’ and ‘RTTY Roundup message’ with RTTY RU Exch: TX (or wherever you are) in Settings.
This is for everyone, have fun. K5RWK de NN5T 599-TX, 73
The RWK Warren Bruene Award for 2021
By Andrew Koenig KE5GDB
By now you should have received a ballot from our Ham Clubs Online (HCOL) system for the annual RWK Warren Bruene Award for 2021. This award is the RWK’s highest honor and is awarded to the RWK Member who has really made a difference in the RWK. The award is traditionally presented at the annual President’s Dinner in January but we will have to make alternate arrangements this year.
Previous winners (Carl Soloman W5SU, Bill Owens AD5EW, Doug Kilgore KD5OUG, Grant Loughlin W5XJ, Danny Siminiuk K5CG, Andrew Koenig KE5GDB, and Hal Wolff N5BT (SK)) are not eligible (and votes cast for them will be disregarded). The election is conducted in secret by a previous winner or winners and results are secret until revealed at the meeting. Everyone that is a current RWK Member (and has a valid email in HCOL) is eligible to vote. In the event of a tie, the award committee will break the tie. A committee member may contact you for more detail on your nominee if necessary.
So please find the ballot email and vote to nominate the RWK Member that distinguished themselves in service to RWK, what they accomplished, innovation they brought, and how they contributed to keep RWK great. Thank you for your consideration and for taking the time to recognize your nominee.
Oh, and who is Warren Bruene you ask? All will be answered on our Warren Bruene tribute page: Warren Bruene W5OLY (SK)
ARISS SSTV 2021 Year-End Event
By Chip Coker KD4C
It was great to see all the interest and activity around the Year-End ARISS SSTV event from Dec 26-31. These events are typically done 2-3 times a year and are fairly well advertised in advance.
In the November Chawed Rag, I showed how easy it is to receive SSTV from the International Space Station. Well it looks like several people had fun chasing passes and receiving images.
Here’s a sample (and more available in the full post).
2021 Richardson Christmas Parade
by Chip Coker KD4C
RWK fielded a team of 25 volunteers on December 9 to provide communications support for the COR Parks Department’s 49th Annual Richardson Christmas Parade. I wanted to say “thank you” for to all the volunteers that assisted with the parade. I know it was a big hunk of time out of your weekend and I’m glad that you chose to spend it with the RWK.
The parade is very important to the City and I’m glad that we as a club can do our part to start earning our “keep” for the things that the City provides the club (namely some valuable rent-free equipment real estate). It’s important that we make a good, professional showing and provide a quality service to the Parks Department, and I think that we did that this year.
2021 RWK VE Team Results
by Michael Masterson WT9V
As 2021 comes to a close, it’s appropriate that we look back and see the impact that the RWK Volunteer Examiner (VE) Team has had on the community, the club, and ham radio in general. Overall I think we should be pleased with the results:
- The VE team conducted 42 exam sessions and gave 150 exams to 133 people.
- We tested people from 28 different states, most from TX, with GA, AL and CA tying for second place.
- We saw 102 people pass Technician, 35 upgrade to General, and 13 upgrade to Amateur Extra.
- 24 of the people we tested went on to join RWK.
- RWK has VEs that are in 8 different states (mainly through our cooperative affiliation with the other leading VE teams).
- We’ve also had 9 VEs join the club as a by-product of being a part of the online testing team, people that we’d never have met otherwise.
I’d like to thank the RWK Volunteer Examiners that have committed so much time in 2021 – roughly calculated to be well over 600 hours! – to the VE process – hopefully the above stats show what your contributions have meant to the RWK and to ham radio!
Lee Norup K5WXR – SK
I’m sorry to report news from the Denton Club that Lee Norup K5WXR is a Silent Key. Lee was a fixture in DCARA and joined RWK during the pandemic in 2020. He joined several of the Wednesday zoom lunch sessions prior to the resumption of in-person Hungry Hams lunches. Many of you would know Lee if you’ve ever listened to the 147.12 Repeater on Sunday afternoons – we link to the W5NGU repeater in Denton for the “Digitally Speaking” net that was Lee’s creation and where he served as NCS until his recent illness. Please keep his wife Lori in your thoughts and continue to support the Digitally Speaking net that Lee loved.
RF Bits & Bytes
3DA0RU & 7P8RU Eswatini Lesotho DXpedition
This Russian DX Team was active from both eSwatini (3DA0RU) and Lesotho (7P8RU). They made a combined total of 180K QSOs. Many in the club was able to work them on various bands and modes. Here is their story:
Last Month’s Program
If you missed last month’s RWK General Meeting, you can always watch the video available from the RWK website.
Our own Don Weeks N5SKT will get us up to speed on Parks on the Air (POTA). POTA has taken the HF bands by storm and as of 2021, more than 8,000 hams have registered on the POTA website, and over 2 million contacts have been logged.
You can always view the RWK Calendar to see our monthly events.
RWK New Members
We have several new members for the month, including some new hams that our VE Team tested recently. If you hear them on our repeaters, please say hello.
David Spence KI5SOZ
Jonathan Cogan KI5SOW
Mike Curran WW9P
Jeremi Wood KI5SXX
Mark J Miller KI5SZQ
Matt Conlan KN8X
Brent Cheatham KI5TCV
Roger McEntarfer N9QCL
RWK Membership – 333 Active Members
To check your renewal date and Renew your RWK Membership, go to https://www.hamclubonline.com/ and select Pay Club Dues from the menu.
RWK holds at least one foxhunt every weekend and many weekends there are two foxes available to hunt. A monthly prize drawing is held for klub members that successfully find the fox.
You can always “watch” the hunt in real time by viewing the foxhunt logs:
To read more about foxhunts and learn some hunting tips, see our foxhunt page: https://www.k5rwk.org/foxhunt/
Interested in Helping the Klub?
The Klub needs YOU! We are looking for members that want to help with the following:
- Website content updates
- Ham Activities (Field Day and Public Service events)
- New Ham Coordinator
- Foxhunt Data
Contact KD4C for more information.
The Klub has a few ham assets available for sale to Klub members at a deep discount. Please email email@example.com if interested. Have something to sell? Send a short description, photo, and offer price to us.
Heathkit SB-200 Linear Amplifier – $350
These amps were very popular and many of them are still in use and work very well. This amp is from a SK estate and looks to be pristine, but probably could use some recapping and the other things that a 30 year old amp needs. It’s wired for 220v. Contact me for detailed photos.
Legal Limit Tuner – MFJ 989C Versa Tuner V – $225
This world-famous 3 KW MFJ-989C VersaTuner V features two massive transmitting capacitors and a roller inductor with a three digit counter. Super heavy duty balun for balanced lines. Built-in Antenna Switch and 300W Dummy Load. Cross-needle meter. From SK Estate.
We also are members of Kroger Community Rewards, so if you shop at Kroger, we can get $! Here is information on how to sign up.