November 30, 2016

It's Thursday, which means it is net day!

The Rusk County Amateur Radio Club weekly net is tonight! All hams are welcome to participate in the net on the club's Henderson repeater at 146.78 MHz. Don't forget the 131.8 PL tone! You may also click on the Members tab and join us in the chat room during the net. So, grab your HT and join us at 7:30 pm for the net! NOTE: If this is the FOURTH THURSDAY, then there is NO net tonight, because it is our regular meeting night! You welcome to that as well!

November 23, 2016

It's Thursday, which means it is net day!

The Rusk County Amateur Radio Club weekly net is tonight! All hams are welcome to participate in the net on the club's Henderson repeater at 146.78 MHz. Don't forget the 131.8 PL tone! You may also click on the Members tab and join us in the chat room during the net. So, grab your HT and join us at 7:30 pm for the net! NOTE: If this is the FOURTH THURSDAY, then there is NO net tonight, because it is our regular meeting night! You welcome to that as well!

November 22, 2016

NTX Seeking Sec Manger Nominations

The ARRL's North Texas section is seeking nominations the Section Manager position. Nancy McCain was appointed in 2015 to serve out the unexpired term after the previous SM stepped down to due family and work demands. McCain sent out an email this week reminding members of the dates and noting that she is not a candidate for the position.

ARRL members may make find information on making a nomination by go to the ARRL website. It must be returned by close of business December 9, 2016. Ballots will be mailed in January.

McCain will complete the current term of office as North Texas Section Manager, which runs until March 31, 2017.

November 21, 2016

Got an opinion on the Tech exam?

If you have an opinion--good or bad--on any of the current technician exam questions, now is the time to speak up! The National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) reviews the question pool every three years to makes updates and changes. The next update is scheduled for release in 2018.

According to the ARRL, the NCVEC's Question Pool Committee (QPC) is now seeking comments on the technician question pool. The QPC will accept comments and suggestions from the Amateur Radio community via e-mail through March 31, 2017 at qpcinput@ncvec.org.

The NCVEC QPC will take all comments and suggestions into consideration as it updates the Technician question pool for 2018-2022. Input from the Amateur Radio community may include suggestions for new questions, changes to the topic areas, or changes to existing questions in any of the current Amateur Radio examination question pools.

November 18, 2016

Trains, Fred, High Noon and Today

What do these all four have in common? And what does it have to do with Ham Radio? Here's a little diversion for your day.

Today (November 18th) is the 133rd anniversary of the implementation of the "Standard Time" zones. And while it was important enough to change history, it wasn't completely "official." The United States wouldn't formally adopt "Standardized Time" until 1918. But back in 1883 it was the railroad companies that decided it was time to standardize time across the nation. Trains connection the east coast to the west, spanned more than 100 different local times (generally set by syncing clocks to high noon) which really took a toll on your watch stem, not to mention the frustration of printing an accurate timetable.

The whole story is here in interesting detail. And while the government wasn't legislating the new time, the U.S. Naval Observatory did agree to help track it by sending out a signal by which people and communities could set their clocks. But wait! Remember, this is BEFORE the invention of the radio. The USNO transmitted the signal by the only nation-wide medium available: the telegraph. Several years later, when wireless transmitters were avialable, the USNO began transmitting the now familiar tones over the air. You can here them day and night here.

Eventually, the USNO began building and maintaining the nation's "Master Clocks" which today keep everything on time. From GPS signals to cell phones to JT-65 mode ham radio contacts to the Internet and everything connected to it-it's ultimately all synced back clocks at the USNO. Here's some info about it as well.

Finally, who is "Fred"? You know that voice you hear when you listen to the time signal? It says, "At the tone, 2 hours, 34 minutes, Coordinates Universal Time." Well, that would be actor Fred Covington. Or at least his voice. It seems he recorded those prompts back in 1978. And even thou he died in the late 1990s, his voice lives on to this day.

So take some time (pun intended) and celebrate the day Standard Time began!

November 16, 2016

It's Thursday, which means it is net day!

The Rusk County Amateur Radio Club weekly net is tonight! All hams are welcome to participate in the net on the club's Henderson repeater at 146.78 MHz. Don't forget the 131.8 PL tone! You may also click on the Members tab and join us in the chat room during the net. So, grab your HT and join us at 7:30 pm for the net! NOTE: If this is the FOURTH THURSDAY, then there is NO net tonight, because it is our regular meeting night! You welcome to that as well!

November 12, 2016

Nov and Dec Meeting Dates Set

The Rusk County Amateur Radio Club has modified it's monthly meeting plans for November and December due to conflicts with holidays. Although the club typically meets on the fourth Thursday of each month, the club voted to move November's meeting to Tues, November 15th. The meeting will still be at the Central Fire Station at 7pm.

The club also set it's annual Christmas dinner for December 22nd. The meal, which everyone is invited to attend, will be held at Sal's Italian Restaurant at 414 US-259, in Henderson. (Map) The club has reserved the meeting room beginning at 6:30pm.

November 11, 2016

Club elects new officers for 2017 term

RCARC Officers 2017
The United State Presidential election is not the only only election going on this fall. The Rusk County Amateur Radio Club also recently held its annual officer elections, bring a familiar face back to the led position. Keith (KN5G) was elected president of the club during the officer selection in October. Keith served as the club's original president, serving two years before stepping aside, as required by the club's constitution.

Along with Kieth, Michael (WX5WMS) will serve as Vice-President, Danny (KG5OSD) will serve as secretary, Craig (AF5RI) will serve as treasurer and David (W5CWT) will serve as the club's public information officer. 

Outgoing president, David (W5CWT) said he was happy to see some old and new faces in the officer's roles.

"I think these new officers definitely have the bottom-line desire to promote Amateur Radio in the area and will serve the club and it's members well in that capacity," he said. The new slate of officers will assume their roles January 1st, 2017.

October 27, 2016

Day Trading in Amateur Radio Callsigns

The FCC is inviting comments on a Petition for Rule Making (RM-11775) from a Nevada radio amateur that seeks changes to the rules governing the Amateur Radio Vanity Call Sign Program. Christopher LaRue, W4ADL, of North Las Vegas, is proposing that any licensee obtaining a vanity call sign be required to keep it for the full license term.

LaRue contends in his petition that excessive and frequent vanity call sign filings are hampering the ability of other qualified licensees to obtain vanity call signs in one of the more desirable 1 x 2 or 2 x 1 formats. LaRue said that since the FCC dropped the fee to file for a vanity call sign, some applicants are taking advantage by regularly obtaining new call signs, thereby keeping them out of circulation.

The petition can be found on the web in PDF format here.

"Some are changing call signs almost monthly, just to keep the newer code-free Extra class operators from obtaining a shorter call sign," he said in his petition. "I even saw an older operator that said he does it all the time and has not even owned a radio in over 6 years. When I looked him up, he has had 16 different [call signs] in 18 months."

LaRue said his proposed minor rule change would require any licensee applying for and obtaining an Amateur Radio vanity call sign "be required to keep it for the duration of the license, which is currently 10 years." He said this would "alleviate a lot of the stress on the ULS system and manpower requirements" at the FCC. "It will also keep inactive amateurs from changing call signs regularly, thereby tying up call signs for 2 years after dismissal of said call."

Interested parties may comment using the FCC Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) at, https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/ . Comments are due within 30 days of the October 26 posting date.

October 04, 2016

Hat entered in "Paint the Town Pink"

The Rusk County Amateur Radio Club entered a custom-designed hat in Henderson's 2016 "Paint the Town Pink" cancer event. The fundraiser is organized by the Henderson Fire Department and co-hosted by the Henderson Chamber of Commerce and ETMC Henderson. The event will be emceed by David (W5CWT).

The club's hat, designed and donated by Craig (AG5RI), will be one of nearly 30 hats modeled by city and county officials before being auctioned to the highest bidder. Each table can tip their servers as well as the hot models. All the funds raised by the event are distributed by the fire department to local residents who have a loved-one battling cancer.

Paint the Town Pink is from 5:30-7:30pm, Tuesday, October 4th at the Henderson Civic Center. The event is free and includes a hot dog supper.