Friday, January 03, 2020

Our use of Spectrum is again under attack

FCC Formally Adopts Proposals to Remove Amateur 3-GHz Band, Invites Comments

At its December 12 meeting, the FCC formally adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in WT Docket 19-348 and invited comments on its plan to remove “existing non-federal secondary radiolocation and amateur allocations” in the 3.3 – 3.55 GHz band and relocate incumbent non-federal operations. The FCC said it’s seeking comment on appropriate “transition mechanisms” to make that happen. ARRL has indicated that it will file comments in opposition to the proposal. The amateur 9-centimeter allocation is 3.3 – 3.5 GHz

Our use of the Spectrum is again under attack

If we sit by and don’t speak up in defense and or support the ARRL through donations to the Spectrum Defense Fund, we will again loose frequencies that we are using.
While I know many of you do not personally use the 3.5 GHz band
Many of the clubs and organizations in larger Metropolis areas do use this band,
They use it to help protect you and I during Severe Weather by the way of  Mesh Networks known as AREDN,  you may live in an area where 3.5 GHz is in use by fellow amateurs to help protect you, your loved ones and your property and not even know it.

The Bottom line is they are after more of our Spectrum
without Spectrum to operate we will all be off the air

There are several ways you can help prevent this……

File Comment on the notice of proposed rule making on the FCC website

If you file comment and I encourage you to do so,
be professional in your comments, no rants and definitely no cuss words
Stick to the facts as you know them.

Donate to the ARRL Spectrum Defense Fund, even small amounts will help
please donate what you can reasonably afford and/or encourage your Ham Club to do the same

For more info go to the ARRL website  Regulatory & Advocacy Tab

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

January 2020 ARRL North Texas Section Newsletter

Happy New Year fellow North Texas Communicators!

Events This Month:

The ARRL North Texas Section Convention will be held at the Cow town Ham fest
Date 17-18 January 2020  Friday from 3 PM - 7 PM  and Saturday from 7 AM - 3PM
Complete Details may be found at
This is a great ham fest, with a great flea market and seminars, I look forward to seeing you all there. 

The CW OPS Group is Celebrating it's Tenth Year
with an on the air event throughout January.
More info may be found here on their website
CW OPS members pride themselves in slowing down when someone wants a QSO, so don't be shy.
Non members are welcome to join in the fun and work member stations that will be signing with CW10 before or after their call sign, There will also be members such as myself using a One x One Call signs, mine is K5N.     

Don't forget to take a glance at National news headlines from the ARRL website by clicking on the News and Features Tab Near the Top of  the page.
In fact if you have not visited the ARRL.ORG website in awhile I encourage you to do so, and browse around it, you might find something new you were over looking.

Awards from the ARRL and Certificates of Merit from your Section Manager:

Certificates of Merit from your Section Manager:
In the last two newsletters I called for your help in providing me info of those in your community that deserve recognition for what they are doing for their fellow amateur radio ops and or their community, I received one such nomination and promptly created a certificate and citation letter to accompany the certificate of merit. We have over 4,480 ARRL members in North Texas, I am sure you all can help me find more than one deserving person in two months.

Submitting someone from your local club or even a non club member
is not hard to do.  Just drop me an email with a half a dozen bullet points
on what they do that merits a certificate from their Section Manager
If,  I get over whelmed with Nominations I will pick several, each month
and get the certificates mailed.  I will give priority to nominations from Club officer/members,  that does not mean you can't nominate who you want if they are a member of the league.

I will announce last months Section Manager Certificate of Merit recipient at the Cow town ham fest.

ARRL Awards:
We should have many of our fellow North Texas ARRL members getting nominated for awards that are provided by the League each and every year, details may be found on the ARRL website with a simple search  string "Nominations Solicited for 6 ARRL Awards"
It would be great if club's in our section would each form a nomination committee
to get select amateurs from their club or community nominated for these awards.
I know folks this kind of stuff takes time,  but if we don't nominate someone,  none of us will get recognition that we all deserve. Pay it forward, one day you may get an award.

Mentor Fest
Mentor Fest this year will be held on the Third Saturday of April
April the 18th, this is an all day event that you should plan on attending.
If your a Mentor, if you do presentations I really would like to have a conversation with you

Now !!!  Telephone 318-470-9806  Email KG5VK@ARRL.ORG

New....  Hella Ham's Flea Market/Side Walk Sale

Starting February 29, 2020 at the Hella Shrine in Garland.
This will be an ongoing event each month of the year that has a 5th Saturday
Just like February 2020 has a 5th Saturday on the 29th
Shriner Clowns that are Ham Radio Ops,  hoisting a side walk sale
what could be more fun !!!

ARRL NTX Section Manager

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Tower Safety

Watch this Video

Amateur Radio Tower Safety Presentation for the Billerica ARS

It could save you life or the life of your favorite tower climber
It is chock full of solid information and is based on facts.
Click here for the Video

Now how many of us want to change the tide of the numbers lost to tower accidents?


Saturday, December 14, 2019

Louisiana QSO Party 2020

2020 Louisiana QSO Party (LAQP)

The 2020 Louisiana QSO Party will run from 14:00 UTC, April 4, 2020 to 02:00 UTC, April 5, 2020

Louisiana Stations work everybody. Non-Louisiana Stations work Louisiana Stations. Multipliers - by BAND and MODE - for Non-Louisiana Stations are the 64 Parishes in Louisiana.

Three (3) new CATEGORY-OVERLAY: have been added: WIRES, TB-WIRES, and POTA. Stations can compete with other stations with similar antennas or those operating Field Day style from a park, campground, or wildlife refuge.  

For complete updated Rules please see

Please make plans now to get on and operate.

Finaly Tower Number 1 at the new QTH

Top 4el M2 40 Meter at 140 ft
Lower Beam M2 6El 20m Long Boom at 125 ft

CWOps 10th Anniversary Celebration

CW Operators’ Club 10th Anniversary Celebration

January 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of the CW Operators’ Club (CWops). 

In our ten years of promoting the use of CW in amateur radio communications, we’ve grown to more than 2,400 members worldwide. To honor our members’ devotion to CW and the efforts of many volunteers toward promoting its use and educating new devotees, we’re celebrating with a month-long on-air event in January, 2020. 

To learn more about CWops, visit our Website at

All radio amateurs are invited to participate in our Celebration. Certificates will be awarded in various categories including certificates for working at least 25 members of CWops.

CWOps Members work everybody. Non-CWOps Members work only CWOps Members.

A number of unique Special Anniversary Celebratory Calls—e.g. K3CWO, GB10CWO or K5N, will be active during the celebration. 

Complete rules and QSL information are available at

Look for CWops members and special event stations near 28 kHz up from the bottom of each band. We also suggest using the CW Club RBN Spotter at

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

What is a SET and why should I participate....


Nov 3   

What is SET?  SET stands for Simulated Emergency Test.  It’s an opportunity for participating ARES/RACES members and served agencies to practice those skills called upon during an actual emergency.  Objectives for a SET can vary from turning on and testing equipment up to and including staging a mock emergency with full deployment of assets from multiple agencies.

Why do a SET?  It is a great opportunity to knock the dust off plans, test them out, and identify future training opportunities.  Participants have a chance to figure out what works and do not work.  And most importantly, renew working relationships. 

Why should you participate?  Our partners and served agencies – from local through national; have expressed interest in continuing to improve our relationships and understand the role that Amateur Radio can play.  After all, when it does hit the fan, we will have to stand together in support of the mission to serve our communities.

What is the goal of the WGD Fall 2019 SET?  In a single word, communicate.  While the Division has had SETs in the past, we are breaking new ground by creating a coordinated effort to consolidate and share local situational awareness with our partners at the local level up through the Division level.  The sharing of information is important because it will help the section and division leadership coordinate resources within the division.  What we learn from this exercise will help all of us in the future.

How do you participate?  At the local level, ARES members will work with the Emergency Coordinators (EC) or Assistant Emergency Coordinators (AEC) in support of their local exercises.  These exercises may range from a staging of resources, local facility situational assessment, to training.  During the SET, partner agencies and ECs are asked to consolidate a Situational Assessment Report (example ICS-213 is here).  The assessment is a report of whether power is on, water, and sewage is operating.  Transmit the reports via Winlink or voice nets to the District Emergency Coordinators (DEC), the SEC (Winlink Address ARES-NTXSEC), and to the designated State Operations Center Winlink Address KT6CCG).  Traffic should also be sent using the HF nets between the cities/counties up to the regional entities using the Regional HF Nets, State ARES Nets, and HF Digital stations. 
Army MARS will be supporting the SET.  MARS operators are an integral part of the interoperability plan for amateur radio.  MARS Operators will be monitoring 60m Channel 5 (5403.5 kHz).
We strongly encourage participants to send reports via radio using winlink; however, sending via Telnet as an alternative is acceptable.  But it is important to test sending the reports using the radio because, during an event, the internet may not be available.
More information is available on the ARRLNTX.ORG website.

Anything Else?  ECs, DECs, SECs, and participating agencies are asked to send an after-action report no later than 20 November.  Include information about you and your teams participated in the exercise, what worked, what didn’t work, future training opportunities, and lessons learned. 
Thank you for participating.  I look forward to hearing all of you on the air!  Please have fun!

Greg Evans, K5GTX
sec @ arrlntx . org

Friday, October 25, 2019

ARRL North Texas JOTA activity

How we operated at the Lewisville JOTA 2019 event K2BSA/5
Dale Finley, kb5nft
Our Lewisville Amateur Radio Club “Digital JOTA” area consisted of several different modes of operations. The primary area was designed to allow scouts to see, send and hear PSk/RTTY/CW modes with as much hands-on as possible. So, we set up 2 “Back to Back” laptops running Fldigi software (no radio transmissions with antennas and actual radios were used)  so that scouts with a minimum amount of training could hear and send & receive messages on screen.  This gave them the opportunity to sit next to each other so that one scout could train the other scout then “hand-off” to other scouts. 

After I showed Garrett Mayes from troop 2819 a brief “how to use Fldigi…” he then trained Ben Olden from troop 838 and they exchanged messages using PSK back and forth. Then Ben Olden trained Ben  Bowman and they exchanged messages from laptop 1 to laptop 2.

Stephanie, Ben Bowman’s mom joined in and Ben explained to her how to send and receive PSK messages… SNAP, the picture was taken.  Ben’s mom and I talked about how teenagers tend to not talk very much to their parents… Ben’s mom said, “Now I have a way to communicate with my son”.
Our Fldigi setup was designed with external speakers and USB dongle microphones on old laptops so that the scouts could hear as well as see their messages. All acoustically coupled. It is also possible to use an iPhone app, called PSKer on phones or tablets that can be used with minimum portable setup. Or PSKer and a laptop, etc.

An MFJ code oscillator was used to show them CW. We had a sample coding sheet that they could write their name and use the straight key to send their name and simple messages… And, it is possible to use this method with an App on an iPhone/Android and demonstrate different ham radio modes.  On the back of the sheet is a “How to get a ham license”, in 3 easy steps…

A second area was setup with Echolink connected to JOTA-365. It was very busy.  A third area with DStar was setup and Reflector 33A was so busy we couldn’t “break-in” so I drew a block diagram on a white board explaining how ham radios are linked over the internet.

In a forth area, Ferris Watson, WT5B had his Raspberry Pi setup and was explaining how the Pi could be used with ham radio… He was also decoding the Fldigi messages we were sending in the “Back to Back” setup area. One scout, Max, was interested in the Raspberry Pi,  because he could play Minecraft on the Pi.

Our display table explained “EOM” on how to Educate (teach scouts),  Operate a radio setup, and Mentor the scouts.  With licensed hams standing by as control operators and mentors, this method worked very well with our “Digital JOTA” setups.  
My goal was to help fulfill as may Radio Scouting Merit Badge requirements as possible.  I believe we started these scouts on a “radio journey” and hopefully this “STEMulized” them not only to get the Radio Scouting Merit Badge but to assist them in getting a ham radio license.
de kb5nft

Ben Bowman and his Mother Stephanie
at the Lewisville Amateur Radio Association
JOTA station K2BSA/5  in North Texas
October 19, 2019

Scouts at North Texas JOTA event
Ben Bowman, Ben Olden and Garrett Mayes (L/R)
Back row left, Steven Lott Smith KG5VK ARRL NTX SM
Back row right, Mike Reitz  W5EVT Scout Master and ARRL NTX ASM for Scouting