June 22, 2017

Mayor declares Ham Radio Week

Henderson Mayor Pat Brack proclaimed June 19-25 Amateur Radio Week during a ceremony at city Hall Wednesday. RCARC President Kieth Ballow, KN5G, was on hand for the recognition and thanked Brack for the city's support.

The proclamation recognized local hams for their efforts in emergency communications, storm spotting and disaster preparation. The mayor noted how local amateurs have contributed to making Henderson a safer community.

The proclamation comes in advance of Saturday's annual Field Day exercise where local hams will operate a special station at the Rusk County Courthouse. Field Day is a national exercise involving thousands of ham across the country. It runs from 1pm Saturday, June 24th through 1pm, Sunday June 25th. The public is welcome to stop by and learn more about amateur radio.

June 07, 2017

Field Day is just weeks away!

Field Days is almost here and it is time to think about specifics!

The club has, once again, received permission to hold Field Day 2017 at the Rusk County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) which serves as the county's Emergency Operations Center or "EOC". There is a special provision in the ARRL Field Day rules that allow for EOC operations and would classify our station as an "F" station. Since last year, several power line transformers in the area have been replaced due to excessive RFI and we are hoping it makes a difference in the noise floor this year!

GUESTS WELCOME! If you've ever had any interest in ham radio, Field Day is the BEST time to see it first hand. Join us anytime during Field Day. You'll get a chance to see how much fun it can be to "work the world!"

Going over the rules, here are some thoughts:

Number of Transmitters: Field Day rules classify all participating groups by the number of radios they have transmitting simultaneously at any time during the event AND the type of operation (low power, off the grid, individual at home, at an EOC, etc.).  Some example classifications could be: 1A, 5A, 2B, 1C, 3F, etc.

Class Designation: Class F (EOC) stations are eligible for a "free" VHF station (doesn't count as an additional station) as long as it is used exclusively above 50 MHz. Some club members expressed the desire to have 6m station and this could be it!

GOTA Station: If we have at least two transmitters ("2F") or greater, we're also eligible for a FREE "GOTA" station, but it must use a DIFFERENT callsign. GOTA stands for "Get On The Air" and can be operated by new hams, unlicensed visitors (under the oversight of a control operator) and hams who have been inactive for a long time. To have this station, requires the commitment of one ham willing to set up and operate this station. If you're willing to take on this job, let us know!

Data vs Voice: Data QSOs are worth two points, (voice only 1 point) so the more data, the better. Many of us have the ability to work PSK and other types of data.

Conclusion: Thinking about all this, the best setup might be two HF stations (classification "2F"), with at least one, maybe both, capable of working data. This would allow a maximum of FOUR (Wow!) stations to be on the air at all times (with the free VHF/UHF and GOTA stations). Additionally, if each station stays at less than 150 watts we double our QSO score.

Bonus Points: As far as bonus points go, we should be able to get the following (each worth 100 pts.):

Publicity Bonus
Emergency Power Bonus (must test the generator at least once during event)
Alternate Power Bonus (if someone can bring a battery charged by solar and use it to make five QSOs)
Public location Bonus
Public Table Bonus
W1AW Bulletin Bonus (via PSK)
Educational Activity Bonus
Elected Official Visit Bonus
Agency Representative Visit Bonus

Additionally, we can get more points via:
GOTA Station (Varies based on number of contacts and operators)
Youth (20 points for each participant under 18 that makes at least one QSO, Max 100 pts)