THIS IS NOT THE PAGE TO UPDATE. GO TO CLUB NEWS IN PAGES FOR UPDATES. THIS PAGE WILL DISCONTINUE BEING UPDATED AS IT WAS A TEST PAGE THAT ACCIDENTALLY GOT UPDATED SEVERAL TIMES. – PHILLIP
Fox Hunt Poll – Jerry Keisler (WA5KZA) has been running some local transmitter hunts – Fox Hunts – and he has asked us to poll the Club. Please click here, take the poll and help us to help you. The poll will close at 1700 today (Friday, October 27, 2023). You are offered the choice of YES or NO as to whether you are interested in or not. You taking the few seconds it will take to provide an answer helps us to validate the functioning of our poll. Please take it – thank you.
Board of Directors meeting – The board has set a meeting at High Cotton Kitchen on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at 0900. Members are welcome to come and observe if they wish.
“Unofficial” Call Sign list updated to v7 – The popularity of this list continues to amaze us. We added a couple of names and the page is just about filled up. You can download it to your phone, print it out and throw it on the desk in your ham shack or on the seat in your vehicle. Know who is making a call when you answer them. As always, if you see any errors or omissions, please let us know. Please click here for the latest version (v7).
Club Meeting October 28, 2023 – Tomorrow we will have our monthly meeting at High Cotton Kitchen (1260 Clarksville St, Paris, TX 75460). Many meet for breakfast prior to the meeting, we just ask that you please be there by 0900 if you plan breakfast. The meeting will start at 1000 sharp and we want the waitstaff cleared from the room before the meeting starts. Remember, gratuity is not included with your check. Please don’t forget to tip the great staff that helps us to pull these meetings off.
Free Stuff! – At the meeting a gentleman from Greenville (Allen Shutt (KE5VOH)) will be giving out 36 cases that we think would perform well as a “Go-Bag/Box”. For more information on them please see this forum post – Radio Go-Bag/Box Event. The event references the Fannin County ARC event at Coffee Mill Lake last weekend, but it was updated following the event. There are lots of pictures of these high-quality cases.
There has been a lot of Club activity in the last few weeks. Following is a recap:
Fox Hunt Poll – Jerry Keisler (WA5KZA) has been running some local transmitter hunts – Fox Hunts – and he has asked us to poll the Club to see what level of interest there is and what days of the week might interest people. So far only ten people have shared their thoughts with us. If you have not yet taken it please click here and take it now. Doing the poll does at least two things for us: 1) It informs us of interest or lack of interest in a particular subject, and; 2) It gives you a chance to let us know if the polling tool works OK. Please help us to help you and take the poll. The poll will be open until Friday evening prior to the next Club meeting.
Fannin County ARC “Radio Go-Bag/Box” event – On Saturday, October 21st, the Fannin County Amateur Radio Club (FCARC) hosted a “Radio Go-Bag/Box” event at Coffee Mill Lake recreation area. Our own Randy Holland (N5DDS) went, participated, took notes and pictures and sent them back to us. Please click here and check those details out.
Fannin County ARC “Autumn in Bonham” bike rally – The Fannin County Amateur Radio Club (FCARC) reached out to the RRVARC officers and asked if we could help them out with some additional radio operators for the Saturday, October 7, Bonham Area Chamber of Commerce Autumn in Bonham bike rally. They suspended the rally in maybe 2019 and this was to be the first rally in resumption of what will hopefully be an annual event. It was short notice, but we scrambled and got five people to go and help them. Please click this link and go read the debriefs of the event.
Map Build Assistance Request – We are trying to get a Google Maps project launched. You can customize layers in Google Maps and we have the ambition to use multiple layers combined with weather radar to provide everyone the ability to look at multiple layers of things like roads, APRS beacons, emergency providers (hospitals, fire stations, etc.). This is doable, we just need some help with it. Like everything with our Club, there are seemingly more tasks than people willing to help with the tasks. If this piques your curiosity please click Google My Maps – Assistance with Red River Valley ARC Area of Operations Map, give it a read and sign up to help out.
Call Sign List Updated – The “Unofficial Call Sign” list was recently updated. The latest is v6 dated October 3. As always, humans make mistakes. Please look it over and if you see any errors, drop a note to email@example.com. You can now go to the website and from any page hover over the “Library” button and then click the link “Unofficial” Call Sign List from the drop down menu. The latest copy can be obtained right now by clicking here.
Club email list maintenance – If you are reading this and have not received any email from the Club recently, please drop a note to firstname.lastname@example.org. We have recently done some work on our email list and want to make sure that nobody’s address was inadvertently purged.
November & December Club meeting Dates Changed – At the last Club meeting the members present decided to deconflict the November and December Club meeting dates to get them away from the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. The new dates are Saturday, November 18 Club meeting and Friday, December 8 (6PM) Christmas Party.
December 2 Testing – The last testing session of the year will be on Saturday, December 2. For details please click here.
December Christmas party – Friday, December 8 (6PM) at Magel’s Grill (3805 NE Loop 286, Paris, TX 75460). A deposit has been made and we hope to see a bunch of you join with us for the festivities.
W1AW Event – On Friday, September 22 (0845) Club members and others interested in ham radio are gathering at the home of Club member and ARRL North TX Section Manager Steven Lott Smith (KG5VK) and his wife Zogail Smith (KB5KBE). They will be operating HF and making contact with Club member Gary Sorensen (K9AIA) who is on a consulting contract in Connecticut. Gary is 30 minutes away from ARRL headquarters and the historic W1AW museum. If you have not been getting the email invitations and want more detail, please contact email@example.com and tell us what you need. We want to encourage all of you to attend if able.
Upcoming solar eclipse – On Tuesday, September 19, the City of Paris conducted a seminar on the total solar eclipse that will occur on April 8, 2024. The seminar was at Love Civic Center and was about 45 minutes of presentation and then Q&A. The presentation discussed the experiences of those that were in the last big one nearly two decades ago. Think tens of thousands of people pouring into the area to experience it. Paris is going to be right in the center of the path so community leaders are expecting a days-long onslaught of curiosity seekers. The Club leadership is in preliminary discussions with Lamar County emergency preparedness personnel and will keep the group updated as the plan firms up. For updates please go to this forum post – Solar Eclipse 2024 – RRVARC Planning & Preparation.
Kim Ledbetter (KI5VLH) – Kim is home and continues to improve. He is a walking, talking, living and breathing miracle and an inspiration to all of us. He is meeting with his cancer doctor soon to map a strategy for beating his cancer once and for all. Please email or call him. He enjoys the contact.
“Unofficial” Call Sign List – This list started off as a one-off, but it has proven very popular. We moved it, it is now right under the library menu on the website. Please go look for it, v5 is the most recent one, and if you are not on it, your name or call sign is misspelled; anything that is wrong, please email and we will get it updated promptly.
Cindy Penry (KD5CCB) apron – Club Secretary Phillip Beall (W5EBC) recently stopped into Home Depot and noticed a very – very – festively “ham radio” decorated smock being worn by our own Cindy Penry. Way to go Cindy!
Jerry Keisler (WA5KZA) – Jerry has run a couple of “fox hunts” in the last couple of weeks. He has asked everyone to come to the meeting Saturday prepared to tell him what you want to see in a fox hunt. With the arrival of cooler weather there is a nice opportunity to do some of these and have it be fun all the way around.
Vicki Ross (KG5YWO) – Can collecting for the Club – Vicki asked us to let everyone know that she is going to once again miss the Club meeting because she will be working at Harbor Freight 0745-1315 Saturday. She knows some of us are overflowing, so she offered that she will drive her truck to Harbor Freight and anyone that takes their cans to the meeting can swing in there and drop them in her truck bed. Her truck is a blue 2011 Ford Ranger and she always parks on the left facing the building when you pull into the lot.
Johnny Thomas (WB5JT) – At the Club meeting on Saturday, September 23, Johnny is going to do a presentation on the NanoVNA-H4. It is one of the newest latest and greatest devices for tuning antennas, “sweeping” cables and all manner of other testing.
Charles Bouton (AD5PG) – Charles is our latest ham, an Extra, to join the Club. We got an application, letter and check for $24 from a guy that lives in El Paso, Texas. It turns out he has relatives and his deceased wife is interred in the Paris area. He is coming here for about a month and had hoped to make our September 23 Club meeting, but a doctor appointment was changed and he will not be here until the following week. While in the area he hopes to make contact with some of us via the repeater and as he put it, he doesn’t believe in “repeater fairies”. Repeaters take money to build and maintain and hence his $24 in dues money. When Mr. Bouton shows up on the repeater, everyone please give him a warm welcome.
Member discipline – Some of you have maybe heard that there was a member disciplinary matter before the Club leadership. We can confirm it and can tell you that facing likely expulsion the member tendered their resignation.
100th Birthday – This one has zero, absolutely nothing to do with ham radio. But there was recently a Stars and Stripes article about U.S. Army Veteran Ethelyn Szad Bell, a resident of the Clyde W. Cosper Texas State Veterans Home in nearby Bonham, asking to get 100 birthday cards for her 100th birthday. For more details please click this link to a forum post on the topic. A card will be circulated at the Club meeting on Saturday.
Repectful Radio Behavior – We have a Club member who ran the Monday evening information net a while back. The next day he interpreted some conversation between a couple of people on the repeater to be…critical of how he had performed. This member has not been to a Club meeting since. Missing him a couple of officers reached out, discovered what had happened and have talked with him a number of times. We have reassured him that this was not his fault, that we value him and that we want him to continue to be a member of the Club. Honestly, he is on the fence and may not be back. The conduct that lead to this situation is, in a word, unacceptable. We want to take the time to remind everyone:
- We want to encourage people to do net control.
- There are no FCC hard and fast rules for conduct of information nets beyond call sign announcement.
- There are technical suggestions, recommeded “best practices”, but those are recommendations only.
- If you hear someone participating on the net and they depart from those recommendations and you have a question or comment, keep it to yourself until later. You can later pick the telephone up and call the person and ask them about it or get in touch with a Club officer. If it is as simple as “That isn’t how I would do it.” OK, that is your opinion. Others may not share your opinion and we are not going to have members feeling criticized because they do not conform to another persons personal preferences.
- The officers are not going to tolerate people trying to police our repeaters, scolding people on operating technique or talking unkindly about someone. If you wonder if this is directed at you, then it probably is. Correct yourself before we have to get in touch about it.
The Club officers work very hard on member recruitment and retention. When we lose members because of the tacky or cliqish behavior of others, they can anticipate a telephone call from one or more officers calling their behavior out. We simply are not going to tolerate it.
That is a lot of info for you to absorb. As always, if you have any questions please call, text or drop the officers an email. We work for you and we want to make the RRVARC the best club you could ever want to be a member of.
We have quite a bit of news to update the Club with, so here we go:
Net time change – During the Monday, February 6, net, the participants discussed and agreed to modify the net time going forward. Starting on Monday, February 20, the Club net will change from 8PM to 7PM. This change was made in hopes of picking up a few extra participants for whom the previous time was a little too late for their participation. We will try the new 7PM time and see how participation pans out.
Club meeting – Our next Club meeting is Saturday, February 25 at High Cotton Kitchen. Pre-meeting breakfast at 0900, meeting starts at 1000. With the recent balloon issues and learning that a top offensive military EMP threat is by balloon delivery, Phillip Beall (W5EBC) has agreed to do a repeat presentation of EMP Shield. If you are unaware of the amateur radio component to the balloon stories, please click this link and read the forum post on the topic.
Board of Directors (BOD) meeting – A BOD meeting has been set for Saturday, March 11. The officers are obliged to schedule a BOD meeting at least once per quarter. The meeting will be at High Cotton Kitchen and is tentatively set to begin at 8AM. The draft agenda includes the following: Copyright/Trademark/Registration of Club logo, business relationship development (i.e. corporate sponsorship), 50th Anniversary preparation, alternate/supplemental north tower site, virtual 903 phone number, recent new domain registrations. Action may or may not be taken on these items.
Logo professionally recreated – The Club logo was an original creation of Jerry Keisler (WA5KZA). We recently had a professional graphics artist recreate it in high-resolution and reflecting Jerry’s updates from last fall where he incorporated 50th Anniversary (1973-2023) verbiage. This new logo will be able to be uniformly utilized with consistent color and clarity, even allowing for very large displays. This new logo was accepted by the leadership, presented at the last Club meeting and approved by the membership. The officers are exploring options so the logo has all legal protections.
Mel Toye (K5KEY) Technician Class – Mel now has sufficient enough interest to set a Technician class. He is working on a date right now and we will announce it once we know. If you know anyone that has been wanting to get licensed, please ask them to email Mel and give him their contact info.
March Officer Elections – At the March 25 Club meeting we will be electing three general board of director members. When we adopted the new Constitution in 2022 we staggered the terms of the officers by setting up the initial term of office for the three general board members at one year. This election will be for a full two-year term. In subsequent years we will have an election at each March meeting, alternating president, vice president, treasurer and secretary in even years and general board members in odd years. Please plan to attend and participate in your Club elections.
This is likely our final update for the year and there is a lot of info to cover.
Please mark your calendar that the next Club meeting is on Saturday, January 28th. That is also the same day as Winter Field Day. We know you can’t be in two places at once, but we do hope you will do one or the other.
Club meeting – At the January 28th Club meeting there will be two presentations/activities. Dan Beard (KB7JZI) will continue with his table-top fox hunt. There were a lot of laughs during the start of that engagement at our last meeting and we expect more when it is continued. And Steven Lott Smith (KG5VK) is going to update us on ARRL happenings.
Winter Field Day – In a first in many years we will have Club members conducting Winter Field Day exercises. Charles (WA5VHU) and Cindy (KD5CCB) Penry initiated things and will be at the Doctor’s Creek Unit at the Cooper Lake State Park at Jim Chapman Lake for Friday the 27th through Sunday the 29th. There is a forum write up on the subject at this link. Please go read up on it at the forum link, post any questions and/or comments you may have and join in the action!
Charles also scored the W5W 1X1 Special Event call sign for the function. Getting a Special Event Coordinator issued 1X1 is something the Club has been doing at Summer Field Day for the last few years. When the process of looking into that was initiated the alphabet was scanned for something easy. There are 750 total 1X1 signs in the pool. W1W-W3W were taken so we selected W4W. It had nothing to do with anything other than being the next available call sign. But some rightly pointed out that our Club is technically in Call Sign Zone 5. They thought our use of W4W was confusing and that W5W was more logical since that aligned with our Club geographically.
When Charles reserved the W5W 1X1 for Winter Field Day he investigated if it was still available for Summer Field Day and surprisingly it was. The Club relinquished the W4W 1X1 and will now use W5W at both 2023 events. Going forward the Club officers will also attempt to reserve it for future events.
In the summer of 2022 Charles really stepped into the breach to get Club Field Day activities up and running. Recognizing that he has the technical skills, energy and willingness to take the position on, Club President T. Wayne More has appointed Charles the Red River Valley Amateur Radio Club WB5RDD Field Day Coordinator. Please thank Charles for his willingness to help out with the important tasks associated with that position.
Yaesu announces end of FTM-400XDR & FT818 Production – Leo Salas (N5JEP) informs us of this sad notice. While we have not seen anything official from Yaesu, there are stories on the topic all over the Internet. Please click here and read Leo’s forum post on the topic.
Erroneous Dues Notices – In an effort to keep Club expenses down we use as many free or very low-cost website tools as we can. One downside to that is that free can have a lot of limitations. An example of one of those limits is dues administration. The membership website tool will only do membership for one year at a time. Some members have paid for more than one year and then are confused when they get an erroneous dues reminder. If you get an erroneous automatic dues reminder from the website, one you know is not right, please disregard it. As the Club budget improves and allows for such things, we will upgrade that feature of the website. In the interim dues is managed manually. We try and update the site monthly, but those erroneous automatic notices may still be sent. If you have any questions please call or drop an email to Club Secretary Phillip Beall (W5EBC) or Club Treasurer George Haneke (NV7Z).
Unofficial WB5RDD Call Sign List – Thanks to all for pointing out errors and omissions on previous versions of that list. We have updated it to incorporate your input and believe it to now be accurate. If you spot any other errors please let us know! And if your copy does not say v4 at the top, please click on this link and download the latest.
Please be safe and have a wonderful New Year’s celebration. We believe 2022 was a really great year for the Club and looking forward to our May 2023 50th Anniversary we believe 2023 will be even better!
RRVARC WB5RDD Officers