Newsletter – The Chawed Rag

The RWK publishes a monthly on-line newsletter, “The Chawed Rag”, for members and others interested in the Klub’s activities. The latest issues are below and you can find the back issue archive here!

  • The Chawed Rag – December 2021
    Volume 51 Issue 4 – December 2021

    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

    President’s Update

    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.

    Upcoming Events

    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

    KD4C @14:43 on 12-31-2021

    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).

    Read full article and see pics ->

    2021 Richardson Christmas Parade

    by Chip Coker KD4C

    Most of the crew assembled just before the Christmas parade

    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.

    Read More and Picture Gallery ->

    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 2021roughly 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:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ku4WfaJ-LvM&t=61s

    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.

    Upcoming Events

    You can always view the RWK Calendar to see our monthly events.

    https://k5rwk.org/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.

    Weekend Foxhunts

    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:

    Fox#1: http://www.kd4c.com/foxhunt-log/

    Wheatley: https://sites.google.com/view/wheatley-website/home

    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.

    For Sale

    The Klub has a few ham assets available for sale to Klub members at a deep discount. Please email president@k5rwk.org if interested. Have something to sell? Send a short description, photo, and offer price to us.

    Heathkit SB-200 Linear Amplifier – $350

    Heathkit SB-200

    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.

    Support RWK

    Set up AmazonSmile and the Klub will receive a small percentage of your Amazon purchases. We’ve received over $800 to date cause you guys buy lots of stuff!

    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.

  • The Chawed Rag – November 2021
    Volume 51 Issue 3 – November 2021

    As promised (and on schedule!), here’s The Chawed Rag for November 2021. Thanks to all of you that sent me notes on the September relaunch – I appreciate the thanks and the feedback. 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

    President’s Update

    Greetings RWK and Happy Thanksgiving!

    I’d like to thank everyone that participated in our annual Show&Tell Night. I really think the quality of the projects that were shown were outstanding. Proof that we have more than our fair share of tinkerers. If you missed it, see the right column for the highlights and a link to the recording.

    Given all the challenges of the past year, one of the things that I’m most happy about is the RWK VE Team. Even with all the isolation, we’ve been able to keep getting new hams licensed and existing ones upgraded, thanks to remote testing. We started remote testing just before March 2021 and in the eight months since, we’ve held 35 test sessions and gotten 125 licenses issued (84 Tech, 30 General, 11 Extra) – many from the local area.

    Based on that success, I’m happy to announce a new benefit for RWK Membership – Free License Testing! If an RWK member wants to upgrade, the RWK VE Team will pay the testing fee to W5YI VEC (note that this does not cover any fees that the FCC may charge in the future). And for you Extras out there, sorry we can’t upgrade you further, but you can be a part of the VE Team – just send a note to WT9V if you’re interested.

    Also, the DARC has asked us to help supply volunteers for the Annual Turkey Trot event on Thanksgiving Morning. If you’re interested, please see the DARC website for more information and a signup page. The Dallas Marathon is coming up the second week in December and they need volunteers as well. It’s always a big event and can be a lot of fun. Go to DallasRACES.org to sign up.

    Finally, it started as a side conversation at a Hungry Hams Lunch over a month ago. Tim Bratton K5RA was there and I happened to sit next to him. I don’t know Tim that well but I did know that he’s a long-time member of RWK (since 1973!). I mentioned what I had heard about the Klub’s history with Field Day and he started spouting callsigns and names. Long story short, but Tim has done a fantastic job documenting RWK’s history with Field Day and you can read it below. Thanks Tim! And for others of you that have been around awhile, I want you to share what you remember of the Klub’s history.

    Thanks for being a RWK Member! – 73 de KD4C

    Richardson Christmas Parade

    The Richardson Christmas Parade is on for this year. It’s the 49th Annual (not sure if that counts last year)! It’s on the West Side this year – Saturday December 4th at 9AM.

    We’re providing communications support for the parade staff as we have in the past so we need your help. Bob Perkins W5RLP is this year’s coordinator and he’s looking to fill positions for the parade – Net Control, Start, Finish and points in between. Reporting will begin at 6 to 7 am and finish at about noon but not all positions will require the full period. Basic radio requirement is an HT (ear piece and safety vest recommended). More details and assignments will follow.

    If you are interested and haven’t already volunteered (and thanks to those that have!), please sign up using this form: https://forms.gle/U3GCsAGGHdGTRBaN9

    If you have any questions email Bob Perkins at rlperk2@gmail.com

    Info on the parade: https://www.cor.net/departments/parks-recreation/community-events/christmas-parade

    Fall Contest Update

    By Jon Suehiro NN5T

    Just a reminder that there are several big contest events coming up in the next few weeks.

    CQ Worldwide DX Contest – CW     

    When: 0000Z, Nov 27 to 2400Z, Nov 28 (Friday, Nov 26 18:00 CST ~ Sunday, Nov 28 18:00 CST)

    CW version of CQ WW, if you want to work DX on CW and feel the world, set Thanksgiving event so you can sit in your shack without interruption.  Of course, you can schedule the break to watch the football games.  Exchange is simple RST + CQ Zone, so concentrate to copy the call sign in the weak signal condition.  Comfortable headsets are must.

    ARRL 160-Meter Contest

    When: 2200Z, Dec 3 to 1600Z, Dec 5 (Friday, Dec 3 16:00 CST ~ Sunday, Dec 5 10:00 CST)

    Objective: For Amateurs worldwide to exchange information with W/VE amateurs on 160-meter CW.

    Usually the 160 condition peaks around this contest.  If you have never operated on 160, run any wire as long as, and as high as possible and drop the ground wire (120’ long if possible) within the back yard and see if antenna tuner accepts your setup.  This is the CW world-wide event, but start to work North America stations first.  Band will be packed and big guns have great years so you can try with your small pistol.  Read about ‘gray line propagation’, you have to be experienced to know how low band is excited.  If the condition is good, signals from Europe or JA will come up from nothing to S-9 level and disappeared in just the matter of 10 minutes.  Be a fan of excited 160 meter.

    RWK Field Day History

    By Tim Bratton K5RA

    RWK Field Day 1972

    What exactly is the American Radio Relay League Field Day??  Is it a radio communications and emergency preparedness exercise?  Is it a radio operating contest?  Is it a vehicle to experiment with new technology?  Is it an activity to promote amateur radio?  Is it an outdoor activity like camping?   Is it a social event?  Answer: it is all of the above.  Each Field Day activity is whatever the participants want it to be.

    First held in 1933, Field Day is an operating event with enormous popularity.  If you research the history of Field Day, you can find many local club groups that have participated for decades.  One east-coast ham received a plaque in 2017 for participating in Field Day for fifty continuous years.  That man loves Field Day and so do a lot of other people! 

    In 2020, even with the COVID pandemic keeping people at home and away from group activities, ARRL Field Day had 18,886 participants and 10,213 entries.  In 2019, a year more representative of Field Day activity, over 36,400 radio operators from all 83 ARRL/RAC sections and several DX countries participated in the Field Day event. 

    In 2019, there were over 3,100 entries whose stations made over 1.1 million QSOs in the 24-hour event.  Class A (stations set up in the field running on emergency power) had 1110 entries.  Class D (home stations, commercial power) had 769 entries.  Class E (home stations on emergency power) had 452.  Class F (Emergency Operating Center (EOC) stations) had 196.  Class 1A (one transmitter Class A) had 142 entries.  Class 2A had 358 entries.  Class 3A had 309 entries.  Class 4A had 141 entries.  Over the years, the maximum number of simultaneous transmitters for any club has typically ranged from mid-teens to mid-twenties.  Since 1963, the Richardson Wireless Klub or Richardson Amateur Radio Club has operated in Classes 1A, 2A, 3A, 2F, and 3F. 

    Read full article and see yearly results ->

    ARISS Operating SSTV In Early December

    By Chip Coker KD4C (source AMSAT)

    One of the easiest ways to get started with amateur satellites is to start with maybe the most known and prominent one – the International Space Station (ISS). It orbits around 250 miles overhead and the orbit period is around 90 minutes, which means that you can hear more than several passes per week, and since the ISS is in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), you can hear it with a handheld and usually don’t need any special antennas.

    Read full article ->

    RF Bits & Bytes

    History of the Ham Radio Callsign

    Mike Ritz W7VO has a short video presentation of the History of the Ham Radio Callsign, and it contains some very interesting historical tidbits. He presented at a recent QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo and it has now been made available to all (with a corresponding write-up).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Su76QvChuEU

    Is Ham Radio Doomed?

    OK, this is a bit of a clickbait headline, but you can hear our friend Jason Johnston KC5HWB’s take on whether Ham Radio is Dying…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTG7ZkJLUrs

    W5RLP Foxhunt Antenna Holder

    Photo: KG5RQZ

    Bob Perkins W5RLP has utilized the latest in PVC engineering to create an antenna holder for tape measure foxhunt antennas!

    Last Month’s Program

    If you missed last month’s RWK General Meeting, you can always watch the video available from the RWK website.

    We had four presenters for this year’s Show&Tell:

    • A Nearly Homebrew Receiver for HF and above – Eric Silverthorn NM5M
    • A 3D printed Speaker and Radio Containment Box – Logan McWaters Ki5NON
    • Dual band APRS Digi and Tracker – Andrew Koenig KE5GDB
    • Demonstration of the Morserino32 – Nick McCarthy K5NJM

    Upcoming Events

    You can always view the RWK Calendar to see our monthly events.

    https://k5rwk.org/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.

    Ryan Hambacher W5RNK

    Jeffrey Waite KI5SDS

    Mike McKenna KF5BYF and Kamden McKenna (11) Not Yet Licensed

    Rees Bowen KA5RTB

    RWK Membership – 326 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.

    Weekend Foxhunts

    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:

    Fox#1: http://www.kd4c.com/foxhunt-log/

    Wheatley: https://sites.google.com/view/wheatley-website/home

    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.

    For Sale

    The Klub has a few ham assets available for sale to Klub members at a deep discount. Please email president@k5rwk.org if interested. Have something to sell? Send a short description, photo, and offer price to us.

    Heathkit SB-200 Linear Amplifier – $350

    Heathkit SB-200

    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.

    Dual-Band 2M/440 Mobile TYT TH-8600 – $90

    Almost new, with box, mic and power cable. The bright display is nice in a car. These radios are still for sale and are $135 new, so here’s a chance to score one for 30% less.

    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.

    Support RWK

    Set up AmazonSmile and the Klub will receive a small percentage of your Amazon purchases. We’ve received over $800 to date cause you guys buy lots of stuff!

    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.

  • The Chawed Rag – October 2021
    Volume 51 Issue 2 – October 2021

    As promised (and on schedule!), here’s The Chawed Rag for October 2021. Thanks to all of you that sent me notes on the September relaunch – I appreciate the thanks and the feedback. 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

    President’s Update

    Greetings RWK! It’s hard to believe that we’re 3/4 done with 2021. I’m excited by some of the things that we have in work for RWK, but it seems that they’re proceeding more slowly that we had hoped, and that 2021 hasn’t quite picked back up to a normal-paced year. Regardless, we’re hoping for more normality in 2022.

    Speaking of 2022, we’re coming up on the annual elections for RWK officers. For those of you that are new, here’s how it works. During the next couple of weeks, the Nominating Committee will be soliciting people that are interested in being an RWK officer (President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer) for 2022. Myself, Michael and Phil have agreed to serve again in 2022 (if re-elected). Landon N5AET has been Vice President for 2 years and is covered up with school and work and is ready to hand the VP role over to someone new, so we’re actively looking for someone that can fill his shoes. If you’re interested in more information about the VP role, contact Landon, Andrew, or myself. If you’re interested in any of the other officer positions, contact Andrew KE5GDB who will be coordinating the election. The way the election of officers works is that a “slate” of officer candidates will be offered to the membership by the Nominating Committee (which does not contain any current officers). If there are multiple candidates for a position, then elections will be conducted through HCOL. Results will be announced in December and new terms begin in January.

    Independent of officers, we are still looking for some additional help for other things the Klub is trying to kick off. See the right column for the specific list and contact me for more information.

    Something that might be more fun: I’d like to organize a very informal Parking Lot Swap-Meet sometime in November. The current thinking is that it would be 4 hours on a Saturday morning in the parking lot of the Saint B church. We would charge $5 per parking space (with half going back to the church) and you bring your own table or other display surface (tailgate?). We’ve had some correspondence with the North Texas Microwave Society and they are interested in participating as well. There wouldn’t be a requirement to be a member of either club to participate, but we don’t want it to get too big and attract unwanted attention. I really need someone to volunteer to finish organizing this, coordinating with the other parties, and helping to get the work out. Any volunteers?

    I hope we can pull it off – I think it would be fun and all of us have stuff that we need to find new homes for, and it would give us a chance for an eyeball QSO or twelve…

    – – –

    Thanks for being a RWK Member! – 73 de KD4C

    Show & Tell Night 2021

    You’re invited to present a recent project or area of interest at the November 8th RWK general meeting on zoom!

    If you’re willing to share, please fill out this form.

    Presenters will be given 5 to 10 minutes depending on the number of submissions received.

    Interested, but not sure what to present? Here are a few possible topics:

    • explain how you set up a station (HF, mobile, portable, etc.)
    • show off an assembled kit, project, piece of gear, or collection
    • share designs for a future project
    • tell us about your participation in contests, RACES or volunteer events
    • talk about an area of the hobby you love (AM, FSQ, VLF, Scanning, antenna design, fox hunting, etc.)
    • share tips or best practices for operating, traffic handling, net control, QSLing
    • present a list of amateur radio resources you use (websites, podcasts, Youtube channels. etc.)

    Please spread the word to other area hams, and let me know if you have any questions.

    73, Landon Elfenbein N5AET@live.com

    Solar Propagation – What You Need To Know

    By Jon Suehiro NN5T

    You see this image on RWK home page – https://www.k5rwk.org/ .

    But what does it mean? You also hear about Solar Cycle 25. What do you need to know about the current propagation and solar conditions?

    Read full article ->

    Richardson Christmas Parade

    OK, it looks like the Christmas Parade is on for this year. It’s the 49th Annual (not sure if that counts last year)!

    We’ve been contacted by the City again so I’m sure we will want to assist as we have in the past. It’s on the West Side this year – Saturday December 4th – but not sure what other changes have been made. We will find out soon and I’m sure we will be back next month to solicit your help with the parade.

    https://www.cor.net/departments/parks-recreation/community-events/christmas-parade

    Project of the Month – October 2021

    A Knight To Remember

    By Joe Hodgkins KI5O

    Knight T-60 Transmitter

    With wonderful consideration from Doug KD5OUG and direction from Grant W5XJ, I was fortunate to take into possession an incomplete Knight T-60 Transmitter.

    Upon receipt of the contents in an original Knight box, I found the following correspondence provided by Doug with Michael Harllee:
    Read full article and see photo gallery ->

    Upcoming Contests Through the End of 2021

    By Jon Suehiro NN5T

    ARRL sweepstakes

    The rest of the year tends to be a busy time if you are into “Radiosport” or contesting. There are several of the better contest events that are coming up in late October, November and early December that you should prepare for. Here is a list of each event from October until the end of the year and Jon’s take on each.

    Read full article ->

    FCC RF Exposure Rule Change

    By Chip Coker KD4C

    RF Exposure

    By now, you may have seen or heard that the FCC published a change to their regulations in December 2019 that changes the Rules on RF Exposure evaluations. In short, in the past the Amateur Service had been exempt from having to perform an RF Exposure evaluation on Amateur Radio stations and equipment. The December 2019 Report & Order eliminated that categorical exemption for the Amateur Service and adopted a 2 year period for compliance. That 2 year period is coming due in December of this year.

    Read full article ->

    RF Bits & Bytes

    Characteristics of Ham Bands

    Shawn KI5PXG passes this find along:

    https://www.electronics-notes.com/articles/ham_radio/ham-bands/hf-amateur-frequencies.php

    “This is a compendium of the HF bands and tells you some of their characteristics. It’s succinct, but still delivers great rule-of-thumb information about when and how you can use each band, as well as how far you can expect to reach.  It’s a wonderful and accessible resource for n00bs but still a good reference for the more experienced ham.”

    Bent Dipoles

    Antennas are rarely perfect – many of us have had to bend a wire to make it fit within our property line! Someone wise once told me “You can do almost anything to the last third of a dipole, cause there’s not a lot of RF current there to screw anything up”. My experience has mostly confirmed his wisdom. BTW I can neither confirm nor deny that the wise one was L.B. Cebik W4RNL, who I had the pleasure of being a fellow club member with in Tennessee, and may have climbed his tower a time or two. I digress.

    Well here’s a very good summary (with modeling to back it up!) on the effects (or lack thereof) of doing all sorts of strange things to wire antennas: https://www.qsl.net/kk4obi/Bow%20Tie%20Dipole.html

    Last Month’s Program

    If you missed last month’s RWK General Meeting, you can always watch the video available from the RWK website.

    Alan Wolke W2AEW, Applications Engineer for Tektronix, gave an interesting overview of the mysterious but very powerful NanoVNA and how this inexpensive device can be of use to all of us in ham radio

    Even the most non-technical ham can appreciate how to put this ~$60 device to use in tuning antennas

    Upcoming Events

    You can always view the RWK Calendar to see our monthly events.

    https://k5rwk.org/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.

    Josh Barfield KG5IKE

    John Abbott KF5FWK & Kathleen Abbott KF5UEI

    John Andrews KI5RZJ

    RWK Membership – 319 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.

    Weekend Foxhunts

    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:

    Fox#1: http://www.kd4c.com/foxhunt-log/

    Wheatley: https://sites.google.com/view/wheatley-website/home

    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.

    For Sale

    The Klub has a few ham assets available for sale to Klub members at a deep discount. Please email president@k5rwk.org 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 photos.

    Dual-Band 2M/440 Mobile TYT TH-8600 – $90

    Almost new, with box, mic and power cable. The bright display is nice in a car. These radios are still for sale and are $135 new, so here’s a chance to score one for 30% less.

    Dual-Band 2M/440 Mobile – Yaesu FT-5100 – $90 OBO

    Older model Dual-band Yaesu mobile with lots of buttons and minimal menus. Dual RX. Easy to use. High Power (50/35). From SK Estate.

    Support RWK

    Set up AmazonSmile and the Klub will receive a small percentage of your Amazon purchases. We’ve received over $800 to date cause you guys buy lots of stuff!

    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.

  • The Chawed Rag – September 2021
    Volume 51 Issue 1 – September 2021

    Greetings! It’s been a minute, but welcome to the new and improved RWK Chawed Rag. When I accepted the job of RWK President, one of the tasks that I took on was to “reinvent” The Chawed Rag for the year 2021. The goals were 1) Make the CR more “accessible” (which means that you would have to go through fewer steps to actually read an issue), Make the CR more “timely” (commit and stick with a “fourth Monday” publishing schedule – which I’ve missed!), and 3) Make the CR more “content rich” with more articles and information. Being that this is 2021, I also wanted to integrate the CR content with the RWK Website, so that the CR itself and articles are individually available on the website (and searchable) and you don’t have to dig through a pdf to find something that you read a few months ago.

    So we’re almost there. This is the work-in-process towards that goal. You will see some short pieces below, but the longer ones will have an intro “tease” paragraph and a “Read Full Article” link to the actual post on the website. The ultimate goal is to have the bulk of this be in a formatted email (similar to a bunch of email newsletters that you probably receive already). You can read the tease paragraph and decide whether you want to “read more”. We’re not there quite yet, so bear with me for a bit longer.

    Now, what we need from you: we need to know what you’re “up to” in radio. New antenna? Worked any rare DX? Have a radio for sale? Write a paragraph or two and take a photo with your phone. We don’t need pages-long articles and there is no longer a “first here” rule. It just has to be of general interest to the RWK membership. Seen a good YouTube video on a ham radio subject? Let us know and send us the link. Oh that’s right, the new and improved CR can also include video and audio content. If it’s of interest to RWK members, we’ll consider including it.

    Thanks for your patience, and it’s good to be back!

    President’s Update

    It’s been a strange year. Even with the vaccine and the end of official quarantine, it still feels a little like life in slow motion. During the summer, it was good to see fellow hams at the weekly lunches and at the three in-person meetings that we had, and hopefully we can get back to that soon.

    As hams, we should be good at communications, and thankfully radio has very few limits and certainly shouldn’t be affected by a virus. So the question remains Why are the repeaters so quiet?

    I’ve had more than one new ham say “I’ve listened to your repeaters and don’t hear much” and I’d like to know why that is. I know that less people are doing the traditional morning and evening drives to and from work, but that doesn’t explain the evenings or weekends. I can’t believe that everyone has become shy all of the sudden. I do know that activity breeds activity, so I wish we all could be more like KD5OUG who throws his call out most every time he is in his car. The RWK has a reputation as a friendly club and I want us to live up to it. So the next time you’re in your car or just in the shack, throw your call out. And the next time you hear a call that you don’t recognize, introduce yourself and say hello!

    – – –

    Question for the Klub: Richardson High School has a club station license. The trustee is a ham that taught there from 2018-2019 but no longer is there. Does anyone know anyone in the science faculty at RHS or has a kid at RHS that can get us a lead at the school? We would like to find out if there’s any interest in restarting the RHSARC and getting more high school kids interested in radio. If you know anything, please let me know.

    Thanks for being a RWK Member! – 73 de KD4C

    RWK History

    By Chip Coker KD4C

    At a recent RWK Hungry Hams lunch, I had a conversation with Tim Bratton K5RA about the Klub’s history. I’ve been attempting to document some of the history of the RWK and trying to find some of the details of the early years of the RWK. This kicked off a trip down memory lane for Tim and Dave Cummings WA5TET, where they started spouting callsigns and names and who worked where. I knew none of this and almost pulled out my phone to record it. Instead, Tim agreed to go back and find some old QST listings and document some of the things that he remembers and try to canvass the people that are still around.

    1969 Field Day entry from QST showing K5RWK/5 as the Richardson Amateur Radio Club. That year we scored sixth place in Class 2A

    One of the things that Tim remembered (and I had heard this from others) was that the RWK (in those days it was the Richardson ARC) scored very highly in multiple Field Days. He has found QST listings that show RWK as top 10 ranked for several years in the early 70s (#1 in Class 2A in 1971!).

    Another interesting tidbit is how the Klub ended up with the K5RWK callsign. William (Bill) Baugh had the K5RWK callsign up to 1968, when he died prematurely, and somehow the klub got that call assigned to a club station license. Before the club had K5RWK, it appears that they competed in FD using various members’ callsigns and that there was no club station license (we have been unable to find a club license for the Richardson Amateur Radio Club in old callbooks). In 1969, it appears that the klub competed as K5RWK but entered as the Richardson Amateur Radio Club.

    We would love to know what you know about the early years of the RARC/RWK. Please drop a note to Tim or me (KD4C) and we will continue to update you with what we find. I’ve started a RWK History page on the website to capture and share this history: https://www.k5rwk.org/rwk-history/

    ARRL VHF Contest Experience

    By Ken Hansen, N2VIP

    I am not a Contester – sure I participate in Field Day, but rarely do I make a point of participating in other contests, I rarely find myself with sufficient time to participate in any meaningful way. But with encouragement from a few friends, I committed to participating in a recent contest. With a very modest setup – an Icom IC-705 QRP radio, an external 9 amp Bioenno battery, and an Elk dual-band Log Periodic beam on a 6′ tripod on a second floor balcony in NJ (Maidenhead Square FN20io), I went forth and worked the recent ARRL VHF Contest. Read Full Article ->

    FCC License Fees Update

    Due to recent congressional actions, the FCC announced earlier this year that they will be charging $35 for new licenses, upgrades, vanity grants and renewals.  Administrative updates (such as address changes) will not require a fee. We have been awaiting notice from the FCC about just when this fee would go into effect, due to the interaction with the Volunteer Examiner program. Reports from people that have been on conferences with the FCC about this suggest that the fees won’t be implemented before the new year, and there will be a 90 day notice before the fees will go into effect. Keep that in mind if you are planning on upgrading or applying for a vanity callsign in the near future. – Michael WT9V

    Project of the Month – September 2021

    Product Review: DIY Mini Spot Welder

    By John Slaughter WB5HSI

    Recently I was faced with trying to repair a battery-operated device and had the usual problem of how to make connections to the battery.  Normally a spot welder is used to weld nickel strips to the battery terminals.  While it is possible to solder to a battery, it is not recommended and with Li-ion batteries there is the real risk of uncontrolled discharge and fire due to the flammable electrolyte.

    Read Full Review ->

    K5RWK Repeater Updates and Improvements

    By Chip Coker KD4C

    As we mentioned earlier in the year, we’ve been hard at work planning some improvements to the K5RWK repeater systems. There are three separate activities in work.

    1. Improvements to the main Palisades repeater site
    2. Relocation of the UHF 443.375 Repeater to East Renner
    3. Replacement of the DMR Repeater at the UTD site

    Read Full Article ->

    Katherine Forson KT5KMF Receives the 2021 ARRL Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Award

    Katherine Forson KT5KMF Receives the Hiram Percy Maxim Award

    The recipient of the 2021 Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Award is our own (well, partly) Katherine M. Forson, KT5KMF, of Plano, Texas. A Technician in 2013 at the age of 9, a General in 2017, and an Amateur Extra in 2018, Katherine’s enthusiasm resulted in her appointment as the North Texas Section Youth Coordinator in 2019. Katherine and “driver” led our foxhunts for “Wheatley” for over a year, but she’s done far more than that. Read more about her award ->

    Don Bowen K5LHO – SK

    Don Bowen K5LHO

    We were saddened to hear of the passing of Don Bowen K5LHO on August 13, 2021, after a short illness.

    Don was one of the earliest members of the RWK, held many leadership positions in the club, including treasurer for many years. Don was voted “Director Emeritus” in 2019 in honor of his long-time RWK service.

    Don had a very long career with several area companies and then “retired” and worked part time for UTD for another 20 years. Don and his wife Gwen K5JRT are long-time residents of Canyon Creek. Read Full Article ->

    Last Month’s Program

    If you missed last month’s RWK General Meeting, you can always watch the video available from the RWK website.

    We had a repeat visit from Dr. Ed Fong, inventor of the popular dual-band 2M/440 antennas. Ed explained how the antennas work and how it was a challenge to fit 220MHz into the design to create a tri-band antenna.

    Several people in the Klub have Ed Fong antennas but he has offered another group purchase if there is sufficient interest.

    Upcoming Events

    You can always view the RWK Calendar to see our monthly events.

    https://k5rwk.org/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.

    Andy Ulrich KI5ROD

    Ryan Watts KI5RRL

    Chris Nichols K5PSK

    Eric Robertson W5MWM

    Nick Strain KI5RTX

    RWK Membership – 322 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.

    Weekend Foxhunts

    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:

    Fox#1: http://www.kd4c.com/foxhunt-log/

    Wheatley: https://sites.google.com/view/wheatley-website/home

    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.

    For Sale

    The Klub has a few ham assets available for sale to Klub members at a deep discount. Please email president@k5rwk.org if interested. Have something to sell? Send a short description, photo, and offer price to us.

    Starter HF Radio – Alinco DX-SR8T – $275

    This would make a great starter radio for a new General. All bands, All modes, 100W. Entry level features. Radio sold for $500 new. From SK Estate.

    More Info: http://www.alinco.com/Products/ham/hf/DX-SR8/

    Dual-Band 2M/440 Mobile – Yaesu FT-5100 – $90

    Older model Dual-band Yaesu mobile with lots of buttons and minimal menus. Dual RX. Easy to use. High Power (50/35). From SK Estate.

    Support RWK

    Set up AmazonSmile and the Klub will receive a small percentage of your Amazon purchases. We’ve received over $800 to date cause you guys buy lots of stuff!

  • Chawed Rag – November 2020

    Chawed Rag – November 2020

    The November issue of The Chawed Rag is available, featuring articles on:
    – Wi-Fi or the Wild West – A Brief History of Technology and Computers
    – “From the desk of Dick Morgan, K6RAH”
    – Leadership Corner by Treasurer Danny Siminiuk reflecting on his tenure as Treasurer of the RWK.
    – Technical Article – 12 Resistor Cube Problem

    The full issue is available here

Share your experiences

The RWK is constantly looking for content to publish in The Chawed Rag. If you have an article, technical subject, project or fun story you would like to contribute, please submit it to the editor at editor@k5rwk.org.

To submit an article to the Editor for consideration, please put your article into a single Word Document, or if that is not possible, collect all of your article’s components into a folder and create a zip archive of all of it.

Then simply email the Word Doc or zip file to editor@k5rwk.org.

If your file is too large to send by email please feel free to upload the files(s) to our Public Upload folder and follow up with an email to the Editor notifying him/her of the upload.

Why “The Chawed Rag?”

Ham radio operators love to talk! In addition to the potential emergency communications services or special event communications provided to their communities, hams enjoy chatting with fellow hams on the air. Hams exchange information about their locations, radio equipment they use, antennas, tuners, etc.

Additionally, hams often discuss the weather and exchange personal and family information. With regular communications, they develop on-the-air friendships. Such discussions are characterized as “chewing the rag” with a friend or several friends over a network or a roundtable. That is the origin of this newsletter’s strange name.

Rag chewing with fellow hams is something that you must experience to appreciate. Ham radio is fun!  Nothing beats a nice round table discussion on the repeater or on 3.890 AM if you have HF and 100 watts of carrier. If you want to explore amateur radio, contact one of our board members and join us at one of our monthly meetings. Our monthly meetings are free to all. You are always welcome…no license required. Just keep any political or religious discussions for off line!