May 31, 2019

Winlink Node Changes Frequency

The packet Winlink node in Henderson has permanently changed frequencies. The node, designated W5CWT-10, has moved from it's original frequency of 145.07 MHz to it's new frequency at 145.01 MHz.

The change was made to help strengthen a growing network of packet stations in East Texas. The node is can now be used as a digipeater to connect to others stations, including the N9JN-10 Winlink Node in Tyler.

To use the Henderson station as a digipeater, simply specify it as W5CWT-7. The node is located in the OEM building in downtown with the antenna approximately 40 feet in the air.

April 23, 2019

SKYWARN class set for this Thursday

The National Weather Service in Shreveport, LA will provide free SKYWARN training in Rusk County on Thursday, April 25th, 2019. The training will be held at the Henderson Civic Center, is free and open to the public.

 NWS staff will teach both Beginner and Advanced SKYWARN levels including basic storm identification, storm mechanics, severe weather indicators, spotter safety and best practices. The "Advanced" level will include topics on radar products and in-depth meteorology.

The training is required for all active ARES storm spotters in North Texas.

April 22, 2019

ARES Helps When Storm Ends 5K Race

Rusk County ARES members were on hand last Saturday when weather forced organizers of Henderson's annual Resurrection Run 5K to call the race in the middle of the event. Then the decision was made, amateur radio operators sprung into action. It was something even race officials weren't really expecting.

"When we asked [hams] to help out, I thought, 'they won't much since we never have anyone get hurt,'" said Kayla, who oversaw race preparations. "But wow! We couldn't have done it without you!"

Before the race began, ARES members were deployed to several locations along the race route to report on runners' progress and unexpected emergencies. One operator was assigned to a mobile unit driven by a race official. The National Weather Service had predicted severe weather during the day and fortunately all ARES members were trained storm spotters.

The first hour of the race was relatively eventful until a band of thunderstorm moved into the area. The net control station, run by Eric, KR5G, kept an eye on lightening strikes using equipment on loan the Rusk County Office of Emergency Management.

Finally, when the sky lit up with a strike within less than a half mile, race officials made the call; the race was done. Instantly, operators reported in on the location of runners, nearly half of which were still scattered along the race route.

The mobile unit was dispatched to pick up anyone with special needs or runners who were in open areas and most exposed to danger. Within 15 minutes, all the runners had been alerted to the danger and many had been brought back to race headquarters. 

February 28, 2019

ARRL members elect new NTX SM

KG5VK
ARRL members in the North Texas Section have elected a new Section Manager (SM). Steven Lott Smith, KG5VK, who lives near the town of Ben Franklin, received 714 votes to 576 for Ken Mitchell, KD2KW, of Oak Point.

Smith has been president of the Key City Amateur Radio Club in Abilene, and of the Shreveport Amateur Radio Association in Louisiana. Smith will pick up the reins from current SM Jay Urish, W5GM, who opted not to run for a new term after serving for the past 2 years.

Smith was one of four new ARRL Section Managers elected in the just-concluded winter election cycle. Section Manager election ballots were counted on February 19 at ARRL Headquarters. Smith begins his term on April 1.

February 06, 2019

Listen to Rusk County online!

Thanks to the efforts and equipment of Jon (NU5G), anyone can monitor the N5RCA repeater as well as current events in Rusk County online! For just over a year now, the Rusk County public safety scanner feed has been streaming.

Jon has dedicated a computer for the feed and has added an N5RCA live scanner feed as well. The feeds stream 24/7, have a short 30-45 second delay, and are archived for 180 days.

There are several iOS and Android scanner apps that can be used or you can listen via a web browser here:

Rusk County Public Safety

https://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/27331/web

  • Rusk County Sheriff Primary
  • Rusk County Fire
  • City of Henderson Police dispatch
  • City of Henderson Fire


N5RCA 146.7800 MHz Rusk County Skywarn Repeater

https://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/29952/web

  • N5RCA 146.780 MHz Repeater

February 04, 2019

New 2-Meter Fusion Repeater tested

Keith (KN5G) has been putting together a new Fusion (C4FM) repeater. The repeater was purchased with club funds nearly two years ago. The club had planned to replace its current analog repeater with the new digital system. However, engineering issues with the new repeater delayed worked for sometime.

Now, Keith has the repeater on the air for experimental purposed and to test the range of the system and the effectiveness of the duplexes. The repeater is currently located west of Henderson, although Keith said he is considering relocating it in town for further testing.

The repeater can be access on 145.250 MHz with an offset of -0.6 MHz and a PL tone of 131.8. If can be used in both analog FM mode and digital C4FM (or Fusion) mode with a compatible radio.

(Yes, I know the photo in this post is of a 70cm repeater. It is actually a picture of NU5G's Fusion repeater.)

February 03, 2019

RCARC elects new officers for 2019

The Rusk County Amateur Radio Club has elected new officers for the 2019 term. The election was held at the club's October meeting. With several of the 2018 officers ending a second term, most were replaced by new faces.

The new officers include Michael Searcy (WX5WMS) as President, Eric Smith (KR5G) as Vice President, Dana Ashby (AG5DA) as treasurer, Craig Roquemore (AF5RI) as secretary, and Danny Burrows (KG5OSD) as public information officer. The new slate of officers took on their roles on January 1, 2019.

October 15, 2018

Program a Baofeng by Hand

I have always avoided learning how to program my Baofeng handi-talkies by hand because it was just too easy to plug them into a laptop and use the CHIRP programming application to program them with.

But, if you don’t have a laptop handy or you can’t find your programming cable, these directions should walk you through the steps to program a Repeater’s Frequencies into your handi-talkie. There are a lot of different versions of the Baofeng radios out there so your’s menu numbers may be a bit different. You will just have to give it a try and see.

Remember, the basic keystrokes for changing menu items is:
 [MENU] [Use Arrow buttons to chose menu item] [MENU] [Use Arrow buttons to chose value] [MENU] [EXIT]

Baofeng Programming:

  • Switch to Frequency Mode:
  • In top line, press the numbers on the keypad to set the repeater’s X-mit Freq.
  • Menu 13: Select the CTCSS tone to transmit
  • Menu 25: Select Offset Shift, + or -
  • Menu 26: Set Offset, 000.6000 for VHF, (005.000) for UHF
  • Press PTT to test  (Freq. should shift by 600 KHz, in the correct direction)
  • Menu 27: Store programming into Memory Channel Number
  • Press *  (Reverse Freq. will be displayed)
  • Menu 27: Store in Memory Channel Number (Same as above)
  • Switch to Channel Mode:
  • Tune to programmed Channel Number


  • Test programming by pressing PTT


  • NOTE: Menu 28: Will delete programming in Channel Number if you made a mistake and need to start over. It's a good idea to delete a menu BEFORE trying to write to it, just in case it was already assigned once before.

Give it a try. If it works you can copy and past these steps into your NOTES application on your iPhone or iPad. Android probably has a similar application where you could store the notes for later use.


Keith
-.- -. ..... --.

October 09, 2018

Roger Newell, AC5VX, SK

Our sympathies go out to the family of Craig (AF5RI), one of our club members, on the passing of his brother-in-law and fellow ham, Roger Newell (AC5VX).

Many Rusk County hams knew Roger from his frequent visits to local radio events and hamfests. If Craig was talking about new technologies, a new radio or some amazing radio experience he had, the conversation usually began with, "Well, my brother-in-law Roger..."

Roger's family is planning a graveside service this week. Details are available at Crawford A Crim's website.

Roger's wife (Craig's sister) has asked, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Rusk County Amateur Radio Club to help promote the hobby that was such a big part of Roger's life. Donations made be made at any branch of Texas Bank or by PayPal.

October 06, 2018

RCARC joins with BSA for JOTA!

We have a great opportunity to help out the Boy Scouts AND showcase Amateur Radio! The Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) is the 3rd Weekend in October and is a three-day ragchew event for scouts across the country! But they need our help to get on the air. Here's more about JOTA: http://www.arrl.org/jamboree-on-the-air-jota

The Henderson Boy Scout leadership CAME TO THE RCARC, requesting our help in getting their kids On the Air! We met with the leaders tonight and worked out some of the details.

What we will do: 

We will set up one (maybe two) HF station(s) at the OEM for Saturday, October 20th, 10am - 4pm. We will be ready for both voice and data (PSK and maybe FT8). The scouts (ages 5 thru 18) will come and go (with leaders) and spend some time talking on the air with other scouts as well as learn about ham radio.

What we need...VOLUNTEERS!!!

  1. Volunteers to help set up Friday afternoon from 5:30-7pm. We'll put up one or two antennas as well as setup the radios and do some on-air testing.
  2. Volunteers to serve as control operators for the scouts from 10am-4pm. We can work in shifts of 1-2 hours or so, depending on how many we have available.
  3. Volunteers to greet folks and talk about how much fun it is to be a ham! ANYONE can do this!! Don't be shy! 
  4. We've the equipment worked out, we just need folks willing to help! This could be an EXCELLENT opportunity to showcase ham radio. Let's not disappoint them!