March 20, 2017

Hospital repeater gets new mount

The antenna on the roof of EMTC Hospital in Henderson has been leaning a little for past year. After being upgraded and put on the air as the W5ETX's Henderson repeater by the ETECS Group in Tyler, a storm blew through and knocked it about 20 degrees off center.

This week, according to ETMC's facilities director and fellow ham, Thomas Moss, crews were on the roof working on another project and took advantage of the opportunity to straighten the antenna and re-secure it to the equipment building.

The repeater is currently off the air while the work is being done and Moss says he hopes to have it back up and running by early to mid April. The W5ETX repeater is linked by RF to other W5ETX repeaters in Tyler, Hawkins and Edom, providing easy coverage across most of East Texas.

March 01, 2017

N5L Special Event Station Planned

Rusk County amateurs are planning on commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the New London School Explosion with a special event station. Club members plan to operate the station (designated N5L) on March 18, 2017 from 8:00 am to 6 pm at the New London Museum. (Visit our Special Event Page for more details)

Thanks to the generosity and cooperation of the museum, the station will be operated from within the London Museum and Tea Room, across the highway from the school site. The station will run concurrently with events commemorating the 80th anniversary of the explosion. The station plans to be active on both SSB and PSK on the 40, 20 and 15 meter bands. We plan on erecting an antenna using a large tower already located at the site.

A QSL card and a Certificate will be available for all stations completing QSOs with N5L. To receive a printed QSL card, please send your own QSL card along with a SASE (at least 3.5" x 6") to "Attn: N5L QSL" and the club's address below. For a printed certificate, please send $1 and a SASE (at least 8.5" x 11") to "Attn: N5L Certificate" and the club's address below.

February 27, 2017

Skywarn Class set for February 28th

Rusk County residents will have an opportunity to refresh their storm-spotting skills (or learn them for the first time) this week.

The National Weather Service will be in Rusk County on Tuesday, February 28, 2017. The class will run from 6 pm - 9 pm at the Rusk County Sheriff's Department Training Room, 210 W Charlevoix St, in Henderson. (Click link for a map).

The free training will include both Basic and Advance level training sessions and is open to the public. Hams, along with local EMS, firefighters and first responders are encouraged to attend.  Rusk County Office of Emergency Management is organizing the classes, so if you plan to attend, please RSVP emailing Patrick Dooley at patrick.dooley[at] so he can get a head count.

February 23, 2017

RCARC February Monthly Meeting

The RCARC met tonight, Feb 23, 2017, and 9 members were present.

The special event on March 18, 2017 at the New London School Museum commemorating the 80th anniversary of the explosion was coordinated with the members to have a Special Event Station [N5L] for this day.

February 09, 2017

HAM Breakfast

Breakfast Get Together !
Join us this coming Saturday morning, Feb. 11, at Denny's for a HAM breakfast and fellowship.
We will meet at 9:00 a.m. at the Denny's in Henderson, TX. Bring your appetite and be ready to share some tall tails with fellow amateur radio operators!

January 29, 2017

Local Ham couple on Texas Reporter!

In case you missed it, here's a clip of an interview with John and Jo Ann Keith of Gilmer. It looks like the clip aired back in November, 2016.

John and Jo Ann are probably familiar faces and have been to our club on a number of occasions and talked about several topics, including the National Traffic System.

What you may not have known is how they met and how Ham Radio has kept them together! Enjoy!

December 21, 2016

The Rusk County Amateur Radio Club and family members will gather for a Christmas Dinner Thursday evening, December 22, starting at 6:30 p.m. at Sal's Italian Restaurant, in Henderson, Texas. Bring a big appetite and join us at Sal's for some great Italian food and fellowship!
The dinner is dutch treat so members and their families will pay for their own meal.

We will not have a business meeting in December, just the Christmas Dinner.

Sal's Italian Restaurant:

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

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!