September 19, 2019

Six new amateurs earn their tickets!

(L-R) Bryan, Robert, Gary, Jessie, Clay
and Karan all passed their tests!
Six new Hams earned their tickets Thursday afternoon! Karan, Jessie, Robert, Gary, Clay and Bryan all passed their technician exams on the first try.

The examination session marked the end of a six-session class hosted by the Rusk County Amateur Radio club. The students had put in several hours of hard work both in the classroom and at home studying their materials.

Keith, Michael and David served a VEs for the testing session and were the the first to congratulate the news amateurs! Now the group is anxiously waiting for the FCC to issue their callsigns.

August 21, 2019

ARRL Director's race set for Fall

From the ARRL: The race for the ARRL Director's position including Texas has been set for this fall.

In the West Gulf Division, incumbent John Stratton, N5AUS, faces a challenge from Madison Jones, W5MJ.

In Divisions where more than one candidate is seeking the same position, full members in that Division in good standing as of September 10, 2019, will have the opportunity to cast ballots. Official paper ballots and candidates’ statements will be mailed no later than October 1, 2019, to members who are eligible to vote.

Completed ballots must be received at the address on the envelope provided by noon Eastern Time on Friday, November 15, 2019, when ballots will be counted at ARRL Headquarters and successful candidates announced.

The full article is on the ARRL Website here

August 07, 2019

Send Text Message via Winlink

Winlink provides a relatively simple way to send email over amateur radio. First, use Winlink Express to create a "Winlink Message" and post it to the "Outbox" in the software. Then, using your computer connected to a TNC (either a physical one or a software-based one) you simply log into a Winlink gateway over an RF path. Both VHF and HF gateways exist giving users a variety of options.

From there, the message is routed either to another callsign within the Winlink system to the Internet to be delivered to a standard email address. To send a text message, simply substitute the telephone number and carrier domain for the recipient.

Each carrier has a slightly different domain and possibly a different format. For example, to send a text message to a Verizon phone, simply address the email to the A sample address would be:

Other Carriers:

  • AT&T - (SMS)
  • Boost Mobile - (SMS)
  • Cricket - (SMS)
  • Sprint - (SMS)
  • T-Mobile (SMS and MMS)
  • U.S. Cellular - (SMS)
  • Verizon - (SMS)
  • Virgin Mobile - (SMS)
The Winlink system treats these messages like any other email. Remember, most carriers will truncate the message at 140 characters, so keep the subject and message short.

July 04, 2019

Field Day a success at the EOC

The RCARC club members organizes another successful Field Day this year at the County's Office of Emergency Management building. The club was able to use our new radio room, located just off of the Emergency Operations Center. Members also used our newly acquired Icom 7100 radio.

Several visitors also stopped by the Field Day site with three students (ages 9 through 12) even making some contacts on the air. When the dust settles, the club had racked up approximately 1,300 points. Thanks to all who participated in this years event!

July 03, 2019

A New Ham in Rusk County!

Congratulations to Matthew on passing his technician license exam this past Thursday evening. Matthew has been attending the club meetings for a few months and studying for the text.

He showed up this month ready to test. Following the meeting, Keith, our local volunteer examiner team leader, put together a testing team and administered the exam. And of course, Matthew passed. Let's welcome Matthew to the hobby.

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

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

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

N5RCA 146.7800 MHz Rusk County Skywarn Repeater

  • N5RCA 146.780 MHz Repeater