Wednesday, July 10, 2019

ARRL North Texas Section Manager News Letter

North Texas Newsletter July 2019
July 12, 2019

·        Over 22 ARRL FD Site Visits by Section Officials & The West Gulf Division Director
·        Notes from Katherine KT5KMF, our SYC
·        Ham of The Year Nominations – Winner to be Announced in September
·        New Public Information Officer Appointed Brent Boydston KF5THB
·        Notes from Greg Evans K5GTX our SEC
·        Division Director & Section Manager Round Table Visits with Club Leadership Starts
·        The 90 Days of Danger
·        The 2 Meter spectrum is not currently at Risk
ARRL FD Site Visits
I have received several emails from North Texas members expressing thanks to the Section management Team, for the efforts made to visit so many Field Day sites this year.  I visited 11 sitesJohn Stratton our West Gulf Division Director, visited several sites, as did many of the ARRL NTX Section Officials.  Next year, Iam starting my visits from the North West to the South East edge of our Section.
Notes from Katherine KT5KMF our Section Youth Coordinator
As I type this, it’s hard to believe that this year is already halfway over. In just a few weeks, I’ll be back at marching band two-a-days! I hope my sousaphone has managed to lose a few pounds in the last year!

Saturday, June 15 was one of this year’s two ARRL Kids’ Days. I set up both my new ICOM IC-7300 and vertical antenna, hoping to both try them out and make contacts with kids. In the several hours I was on, I only heard one kid, but was unable to reach him. I did, however, make contact with several participants in the West Virginia QSO Party and the Battleship Alabama! Due to current band conditions, should we consider having more than two Kids’ Days per year?

The next weekend was Field Day. Our Section Manager, Steve (KG5VK), my dad (K5WFR) and I visited a total of 6 different clubs’ Field Day sites. We started at the Plano Amateur Radio Klub, but were delayed by a storm with a lot of lightning that left us stranded under the pavilion. When the storm was over, we headed to the Richardson EOC to meet the Richardson Wireless Klub. There I met Mac Cody (AE5PH), the club’s satellite expert, who showed us his “battlestation” and let me try it. Unfortunately I couldn’t make any contacts, but it was still really interesting. Then we visited the Garland Amateur Radio Club, where we met Mr. Belt (W5TGF), a 93 year old founding member of the club. After that we headed to the Sachse Amateur Radio Association. John Briggs (KC6TVF), gave us a tour of their CERT trailer, which was really cool (both from the air conditioning and their setup!). It was dinnertime for their club, but I made sure to go over to the restaurant to say hello to their other members. Next we headed to the Lucas Amateur Radio Club. While we were there, I managed to make a few QSO’s on their 40 meter station. Finally, we traveled to the McKinney Amateur Radio Club site. Unfortunately, we arrived later than expected, and most of the members had already left. However, we got there just in time to watch them get to 200 QSO points. Overall, the Field Day tour was a great experience and I really enjoyed meeting so many hams. I’m looking forward to next year!

This month I visited the McKinney Amateur Radio Club (MARC) and the Grayson County Amateur Radio Club (GCARC). While I was at the MARC meeting I made sure to thank them for the special award I received from them at the Dallas Regional Science and Engineering Fair. I was also surprised to run into our Section Manager there. At the GCARC meeting, one of their members, Lee Sly (N5SLY) did a presentation on FT8. He and other club members were very interested to hear about the science fair projects I had done using this digital mode. GCARC member James Frank (KW5CW), also mentioned me in their club newsletter. Thank you to both clubs for welcoming both me and my driver (aka Dad or K5WFR). Next month I hope to visit the Sachse Amateur Radio Association (SARA), the Lucas Amateur Radio Club (LARC), the Richardson Wireless Klub (RWK), and the Denton County Amateur Radio Association (DCARA).

I want to say congratulations to Lee (N5SLY) on upgrading to Extra! (He did it outdoors in a storm at McKinney’s Field Day!)  He made me feel very welcome at the GCARA meeting and I’m glad I could encourage him to go for it!

I’m still working on some ideas to get youth exposed to amateur radio. If anyone has any ideas to share or information relating to activities that they would like to spread the word about, please email me at

73 and have a great July!

The ARRL NTX Ham of the Year will be announced this September
We had numerous really good nominations and three packages that made the decision very tough.  I will announce the winner in September.  Thanks to everyone that took the time to send in a nomination.

Greg Evans our SEC
We are in the middle of the summer with high temperatures both here and in the Gulf of Mexico.  Already, we have an 80% chance of our second named storm of the season this week. 
Personal and Environmental Safety:  It is HOT!  It is important to stay hydrated during the summer.  Even short stints outside can result in Heat Exhaustion or Heat Stroke.  Take it seriously!  The heat was the third highest cause of weather-related deaths following floods and tropical storms in 2017. 
Event Information:  Do you have an event, exercise or meeting coming up?  Please send information about it, including dates, times, website information, and any support needs/requirements to eventsignup (it’s a complicated email address, so just click the link to send the email).  We will post it in the Section’s Event Calendar.    
Fall SET:  We have begun planning the Fall SET for October 12.  The exercise will be a large scale event, and I hope that all of you can participate.  
Emergency Coordinators:  We have several vacancies for Couty EC positions, some of which have vacant for over a year.  I want to fill those positions.  Please visit the ARES section on our website at to find more information.  If you have a nomination or would like to apply for those positions, please send an email to and the District Emergency Coordinator for the area. 
Clubs, Counties, and Agency ICS-217a:  The ICS-217a (click on the link to download from FEMA) is used by emergency management to identify communications resources, such as the equipment in a communications kit/trailer before an incident occurs.  Communications equipment is identified with frequencies, channels, talk groups, tones, modes, and authorized users.  When responding to an event, it is very important to have this information readily available.  It has been a long time since we have updated the section ICS-217a.  I ask that every club, Emergency Coordinator, and Served Agency, please provide a current ICS-217a.  On the ICS-217a, identify repeaters, communications trailers/kits, including the callsign, frequency and tone information and the use of that equipment; i.e., Skywarn Nets, Club Repeater, Communications Support Trailer, etc.  We will combine the information in a master ICS-217a that will be available on the Section website. 

Division Director & Section Manager Round Table Visits with Club Leadership Starts this Saturday 
As announced at HamCom by the West Gulf Director
We will begin the Round Table Meetings with ARRL Affiliated Clubs from ARES District 5
Designated Club Officials in District 5 have already been sent their invitation to attend these meetings
More Round Table meetings will follow with invites and locations for ARRL affiliated clubs within other Districts.

Our New Public Information Officer
Brent Boydston, KF5THB has been appointed as the North Texas Section PIO.  Brent would like any input from members and clubs emailed to him  Brent is a long time ARRL member and a very energetic and active amateur radio op.  Please help me welcome Brent to the ARRL NTX Section management team.
The 90 Days of summer has already proven to be deadly
During the 4th of July week, five people that lost their life to drownings in the Texoma area.

So I will repeat in part my message from last month of the 90 Days of Summer….
Summer is a lot of fun, kids are out of school
, and there are a lot of outdoor activities.  We have the heat now, with heat advisories almost daily, stay hydrated! Keep an eye on those around you, and pay attention to the Heat and its effect on your body and others, know the signs of Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke.
Watch out for kids near water.  It only takes a minute for a child to drown being distracted with your nose in a cell phone when you should be monitoring children in or near water is cause for disaster. 
Do you know CPR?  You should; you may save the life of a stranger or a loved one.
While our Spectrum is always at risk - for now, 2 Meters is Safe
There has been a lot of chatter that our 2-meters band has already been taken.  That is mostly Fake or Greatly exaggerated “news.

Yes, there was a news release that
 “No Strong Opposition to 144 – 146 MHz Reallocation Proposal at CEPT Meeting”  But so many people failed to read beyond the headlines that a panic unfolded.  If you watch some of the Video’s on the Internet, you would think we already lost the battle.  This is simply not true.

Our Spectrum has always been and will always be under some threat of reallocation. Any IARU member can ask for allocation to change; however, that does not suggest that anything will ever come of it. Especially when asking for a primary user to be made secondary.  It behooves us all to act responsibly and not spread falsehoods.  Continue your support for the ARRL so they can protect our spectrum.  The formal CEPT meeting where all member Societies, the ARRL, and other IARU organizations, are invited to the table is next month (August).  Those that proposed reallocating 2 meters will be shocked into the realization that they need to go elsewhere