Always lots of good conversation when this club gets together. And two great presentations: Paul Bilke, KF5WGJ taught us about 3D printing and, in April, we learned about Bryan, TX broadcast and amateur radio history from Don Link, WB5CKO. If you can make it, we’d love to see you at our meetings. Your next opportunity is Saturday, May 21, 2022 at the American Legion Post 159.
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On the 29th of November, 1871, The City of Bryan was chartered. A 150 year history of railroads, agriculture, freedmen, immigrants, and Texas A&M University followed with The City of Bryan at “The Heart of The Valley”. Since 1954, The Bryan Amateur Radio Club has been a part of the Bryan society. With an initial focus on emergency communications, The Bryan Amateur Radio Club has promoted Amateur Radio in the Brazos Valley through radio activities, education, and community service.
Join us on the air as we help to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the City of Bryan. We will be sending out a QSL card for every contact made with our W5BCS special event station at the Brazos Valley Farmer’s Market on 13 November2021. Operating time will be 08:00 to 12:00 CST. 14.230MHz, if it’s available.
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If you couldn’t attend our August meeting, we missed you. Beforehand, the VE team administered license exams and there were five new Technician Class operators! See the minutes for more information about some of our discussions. After our meeting closed, there was an informative presentation by Ron Hambric, N5SBN and Jim Hanks, W5CYN. Ron set the stage for the importance of emergency messaging and communications and Jim gave us some details about how he maintains emergency messaging communications with his family and friends using Winlink. We’re grateful for Ron and Jim educating us about this specific use of amateur radio technology. Following are some web resources from Jim’s presentation:
Learn more about Winlink: https://www.winlink.org/
The KM4ACK YouTube channel to learn more about Winlink forms, Raspberry Pi in amateur radio and more: KM4ACK – YouTube
Th OH8STN YouTube channel to learn more about portable and low-power operations: OH8STN Ham Radio – YouTube
Need to know what carrier your friend or family use for their telephone service? You can enter their number here and find out: https://www.freecarrierlookup.com/
Then, you can send them text messages using WinLink or another email messaging service. Jim provided the email domains for many of the major US carriers:
|Mobile carrier||SMS gateway domain||MMS gateway domain|
We learned a lot! If you would like to share something with the club that is related to amateur radio, let us know! We’d love to help you get a presentation scheduled.
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In a recent net, we posed the question, “Have you ever operated amateur radio for an emergency?” for open discussion. Lee Lance (KK5QO), one of our members, was unable to be on the net, but shared his story after he saw the question in the minutes:
That was how I got interested with ham radio. Following Hurricane Celia, an announcement came over local radio asking people interested in helping out the hams to report to basement of Corpus Christi PD building. So I went down there and chatted with the one and only ham on duty. He’d been on air for over 48 hours by himself operating as net control for 2m and 10m nets. Since it was an emergency situation, no license was necessary to help out. So, I jumped at the opportunity!
After 30 minutes of training and 30 minutes on the air with him watching to see how I’d do, he announced that he was going home to get some rest, and I was suddenly net control for both nets! 10m net was N5MS and 2m net was N5MMS. Before he got back, I had vectored an ambulance to farm to pick up a patient in labor and guided a B-17 mosquito spray plane in over targets in various outlying small towns. What an experience!
Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be until 1979 that I’d get my license.
A couple years later, I enlisted in Navy and became Radioman-rated, but our class was the first not to get CW training since they were transitioning to Satellite Comms. One of our colleagues was a ham, and I began a course from National Radio Institute and finished it, but I still didn’t have my ham license.
I began teaching Industrial Arts (shop) electricity/electronics classes and finally got my license after class by BVARC (the Brazos Valley Amateur Radio Club) so I could add ham radio to class to motivate students. I got my Tech, and then General a couple months later.
My 13 year-old son went along to the Novice/Tech classes and got his, too. My wife got hers too, and when she asked if she could take the class my son said, “aw, mom, you can’t do that.” But she did! I got my Advanced while in GITMO and almost got Extra: I passed the test portion but couldn’t master the code speed, which was required at the time. My son recently upgraded to Extra, and now I’m studying again to take the Extra test.
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