December 31, 2014

2 Meters SSB Contacts

2 meter band opens up with clearing weather.

The 2 meter band was in pretty good shape on Wednesday morning from 5:30 to 7:30 a.m.. Made a few Single Side Band contacts on 144.200 MHz., from the DFW area all the way down to near Houston. You never know who you might work when the conditions are good on 2 meter SSB.

73 and Happy New Years to everyone !

December 28, 2014

Digital Modes on 2 Meters

Well, we did have some success this past Saturday morning using PSK-31 on 2 meters. Rob, KC5RET and I were able to make a 2 meter, PSK-31 contact between Henderson, TX and Woodville, TX.

The path according to QRZ, was only 106 miles but it is a great start. There are more amateurs out there that we normally do not get to talk to, that are active and interested in 2 meter weak-signal work, be it with voice or digital modes.

This past Saturday morning we used the Rusk County Amateur Radio Club's chat page to coordinate with each other in real-time, which worked very well.

N5SSH, Frank in Laredo, K3TD, Tad, in George Town, KG5UN, Ed, in Abeline, and KA5DWI, Art, in Arizona, also joined the effort and checked in via the chat page.

I appreciate everyone taking the time to check in and increasing the activity on the weak-signal portion of our 2 meter band.

Wouldn't it be great if we had enough active 2 meter stations on the air each Saturday morning to be able to get on and make some SSB and Digital mode contacts with surrounding and distant stations for a few hours each week?

The "Sidewinders on Two" group is a collection of amateur operators, with an Internet presence, who are interested in 2 meter, weak-signal work, especially SSB Voice. I found this group and began to check into some of their 2 meter, SSB nets a couple of years ago. You can find out more about them and what activities they participate in at the Widewinders website and on the SWOTRC website.  

The various SWOT groups hold 2 meter SSB voice nets on most evenings of the week. Several are close enough that we can check into them from the local Henderson area with modest SSB stations and horizontal antennas.

73 and Happy New Years!
Keith - KN5G

December 27, 2014

Celebrating 2014 with fish and friends

Rusk County Hams celebrated another year of amateur radio fun by devouring a load of catfish two days before Christmas. Twenty-five people attended the party, held at Hushpuppies in Henderson and included club members as well as family and friends.

After an evening of fellowship and remembering the past year, a few awards were handed out including New Ham of the Year to Lester Davis and Rarest QSO to James Pike (watch for him on the repeater!).

All agreed that the evening was most enjoyable! More photos of the Christmas Party are posted on here.

December 20, 2014

Saturday Morning, 2 Meter, PSK

Digital Modes on Two Meters:

Well, it wasn't a roaring success but we had several stations on the air this morning. We leveraged, (high-jacked), the Rusk County Amateur Radio club's chat page to coordinate our efforts and that seemed to work really well. We had N5SSH in Laredo, WD5RP in Arlington, KG5UN from Abilene, KD0TEL from Kansas City, myself, KN5G, KZ5S and AF5RI, all located here in east Texas on the chat.

Unfortunately we were never able to make a PSK contact with the outlaying stations. KZ5S and AF5RI were as strong as garlic on PSK,of course, being as close as they are to me.

KG5UN and WD5RP were able to work each other on USB voice and I could just hear them down in the noise from here in East Texas with my horizontal beam pointed west towards them, so they can claim a contact for this morning!

Anyway, just wanted to share a quick report and tell everyone that took the time this morning to try and check in, THANKS for their time and effort.

One of these Saturday morning we are going to catch some propagation and actually make some PSK-31 contacts!

73 and Merry Christmas!


December 18, 2014

Take your Humor where you find it !

"Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying",
as the saying goes. Well, this morning I noticed this cryptic warning sticker on one of my Amateur Radio related devices. I suspect many of you will have this same or similar device in your collection of radio gear and like me, may have glanced at it without actually bothering to read it.

So, here's your challenge for the day, if you choose to accept it.

Decode the text on this warning label and tell us all what it is really trying to say, and secondly, What device do you think this label is found on?

Sorry, no prizes for the correct answers, but as Amateurs, we normally all like a challenge, so get to looking at your equipment and see if you come up with a similar warning label !

You can give us your answers during the Thursday evening net this evening, so remember to check in, starting at 7:30 p.m.


December 09, 2014

Featured Shack: KF5UNL

Today we get a chance to peak in at Lester's (KF5UNL) shack, and especially at his brand new IC-7200.  Here's his story: 

"I had a desire for many years to be a Ham Radio Operator but something always came up more important at the time. I was very excited when I learned that the process had been made easier so I studied and passed my Tech level then my General a month later. My goal is to pass my Extra License this winter. 

"I started out with a FT 840 Yaesu radio and a FT 2900 Yaesu 2M radio. Later I purchased an TS430S Kenwood which was just as exciting as the first radio purchase. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the above radios for different reasons but this hobby takes on a life of itself in a good way. 

"I have grown to a stage of getting interested in digital and 6M work which the other HF radios required a few extra pieces to accomplish this task. I researched many radios in my price range and found an IC 7200 ICOM that fell in the range of what I wanted to accomplish. I wanted everything as compact as possible so the adjoining pictures are my accomplishment.

"I am finding Amateur Radio to be more than I had hoped or expected. My only regret is that I didn't pursue this journey sooner!"