Here’s The Chawed Rag for January 2022. 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 I hope everyone had a happy holiday season!
Winter Field Day is this weekend (last full weekend in January). We were hoping to continue the RWK WFD tradition (of freezing our butts off and making QSOs), but our plan for a WFD location fell through and we just couldn’t secure another location with just a few days notice. We could have gone back to the Richardson EOC, but that would be too much like summer and the point of WFD is to be off the grid. Hopefully next year…
Speaking of Field Day (the summer one), the ARRL had a survey to find out if the members want to make the temporary COVID rules of 2020 & 2021 permanent. The survey is closed, but feel free to express your feelings about it to your ARRL representative.
In other news, I’m excited to help kick off what should be a 3 month RWK program to learn CW. We as hams are no longer *required* to learn CW, but nevertheless it’s an intriguing desire for lots of new hams. We’re kicking off a semi-structured program that will get interested hams on their keys (or keyers). Read more below!
And finally (insert broken record sound 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. With over 300 members, if everyone in the klub sent just one contribution to the Chawed Rag each year, we would have plenty of content for each issue.
Thanks for being a RWK Member! – 73 de KD4C
Learn CW with LICW and RWK
By Chip Coker KD4C
There has been a growing interest in CW from some of the club’s new members. It’s no longer a requirement for getting your license, but there remains an allure to “knowing the code”.
Because of that, we’re going to kick off an organized program for the RWK members that want to learn CW. We’re going to partner with the Long Island CW Club (LICW) – they have a long history of knowing the best way to teach CW and hundreds of successful students – on learning the code. Then we’re going to have RWK practice sessions and “QSO nights” on the air to let the new CW students practice on the air in a low pressure, non-threatening environment. Hopefully, by summer we should have a new crop of CW ops to
free up the FT-8 airways enjoy the uncrowded CW sub-bands!
Kicking off the whole effort, we will be having LICW give the presentation at the RWK February Meeting “How to learn and have fun with Morse Code”. If you’re a non-CW licensee, you’ll see how knowing and using CW can add another interesting aspect to ham radio. If you’re an
old fart experienced CW licensee, hopefully you will get excited that there will be a new crop of hams that are interested in keeping the tradition alive. After the February Meeting, we will kick off the weekly LICW sessions and local RWK practice sessions, followed by some QSO Nights. We have plenty of old CW guns (I’m looking at you NN5T, KG5P, and NM5M and many others!) that hopefully will want to QRS and be involved in helping the new guys (and YLs) out.
For more details on how our RWK program is going to work (and to register with the LICW), please go to our special page on the RWK Website: https://www.k5rwk.org/learn-cw/
Michael Masterson WT9V Awarded the Annual RWK Warren Bruene Award for 2021
By Chip Coker KD4C
Huge congratulations are in order for Michael Masterson WT9V, the winner of 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.
According to Andrew Koenig KE5GDB (last year’s Bruene Award winner) who conducted the balloting this year, “the voting wasn’t even close. Michael received four times as many votes as the nearest person”.
It’s not hard to see why.
Michael has done so much for the club. Before being elected RWK Treasurer in 2021, he had a very active role with all the stuff behind the scenes that makes the club operate smoothly. He’s a support administrator with HamClubOnline (the system that we use to maintain club membership) and he’s helped us get the most from using HCOL. He’s also leveraged his IT systems background to help manage some of the repeater controllers. He has also been the friendly face that greets most members for in-person meetings (and twists your arm to buy a raffle ticket). Since being elected Treasurer, he’s done a great job of moving the club accounting to real accounting software.
And if that’s not enough, during the 2020 quarantine he got involved in conducting remote ham radio exams. He’s personally been involved in way over 1,800 license exams of new and upgrading hams. Shortly after I was elected President, I asked Michael “Hey, why can’t RWK have its own remote team?”. Michael made it happen, and it’s been a big source of new members for RWK.
He’s also just a really nice guy and is always a good sounding board for ideas and just jumps in an does stuff that needs to be done. Obviously, the members of the RWK have noticed this, based on the voting. So thank you Michael for all you have done and continue to do for the RWK! And well-deserved congratulations on such a deserved achievement.
Previous winners of the Bruene Award are Carl Soloman W5SU, Doug Kilgore KD5OUG, Grant Loughlin W5XJ, Danny Siminiuk K5CG, Bill Owens AD5EW, Hal Wolff N5BT (SK) and Andrew Koenig KE5GDB.
Oh, and who is Warren Bruene you ask? All will be answered on our Warren Bruene tribute page: Warren Bruene W5OLY (SK) and the Warren Bruene Award
Antenna Modeling Software for Ham Antennas
By Chip Coker KD4C
Have you always thought that antennas were “magic”? Well hopefully you understand that there is actual physics involved in the way antennas work, even if it’s not obvious to us. In the past, RF engineers had to perform complex calculations by hand to estimate the performance of even simple antennas, but now with the advent of computer modelling software, the average ham can create a fairly complex computer model of simple ham antennas and see in great detail the expected performance of the antenna. Is it perfect? No, but it’s surprisingly good…
Hungry Hams Lunch @ Sonny Bryan’s BBQ
We’ve been having decent groups for our weekly Hungry Hams Lunches every Weds at noon at Sonny Bryan’s BBQ on Campbell at UTD. Why not join us?
These ham radio related events are coming up soon.
CQ 160M Contest Jan 28-30
For those of you that don’t want to operate WFD (or just want to stay inside), this weekend is also the CQ 160M contest. If you’re a low-band lover, then you’ll want to take advantage of the crowds on 160 during the contest. Full info: https://www.cq160.com/rules.htm
SKYWARN Training 2022
We’re coming up on the spring weather season, and that means it’s time to refresh our knowledge of weather spotting skills. The Dallas/Fort Worth NWS office conducts annual training for storm spotting and the 2022 schedule has been posted and sessions are underway. Like the past two years, most of the training sessions are live virtual/online – both evening and Saturday morning times are available. So get trained (or refreshed)! The full schedule is available here: https://www.weather.gov/fwd/skywarn
Irving ARC Hamfest – Mar 5th
The Irving ARC is planning a hamfest on March 5th 8am-2pm at the bingo hall. Tickets ($5) are on sale and Tables are $10. They reserve the right to cancel up to Feb 28 (with full refund). Full details: https://irvingarc.org/hamfest/
RF Bits & Bytes
SMS Texting vs Morse Code
Since we’re talking about learning CW, this clip from Jay Leno’s Tonight Show from several years ago is appropriate:
(Thanks to HB Paksoy for the reminder)
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 (and outgoing DARC President) Bill Brady KF5ZBL talks about battery technology and shows some DIY batteries that you can easily assemble yourself to make a storage pack that is suitable for portable operation or emergency preparedness
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.
Jason Theriot K5SLO
Celeste Theriot KI5TBS
Chase Theriot KI5TDT
Elijah Beese KI5TGC
David Lipka AE0PH
Jim Tatum W5JRT
Chad Marshall KI5TID
Ivo Prikasky KD2YQU
RWK Membership – 331 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 firstname.lastname@example.org if interested. Have something to sell? Send a short description, photo, and offer price to us.
Icom IC-735 HF Radio – $300
Great starter radio! Easy to use 100W 160-10M all mode w/ gen coverage receiver. From SK Estate.
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.