ARRL

North Texas Section - American Radio Relay League

ARRL North Texas Section News

North Texas Section October 2019 Newsletter

Oct 25, 2019


Greetings fellow North Texas Amateur Radio Communicators:

  • Club Visits by your Section Manager
  • Clubs Earn money by recruiting New ARRL members
  • Notes from Section Emergency Coordinator, Greg, K5GTX
    • West Gulf Division SET November 9
    • SKYWARN Nets Serve a Critical Role
  • Notes from the Public Information Coordinator
  • New Hamfest in Parker County, November 2nd
  • Section Manager Travels
  • Time to think about Winter
  • 2020 is around the corner
  • Staying in the Know between SM Newsletter issues
  • Embrace the Use of 60 Meters  

Club Visits by your Section Manager

I am still aggressively (but no road rage) traveling to club meetings. If I have not yet made an appearance at your club, it is not because I won't it is just a matter of time and distance to travel.

I realize Christmas parties for many clubs are on the horizon, and I hope to attend at least a few of those. Invitations are welcome, but please realize I will RSVP only the ones I can attend.

I have met many wonderful people at these meetings, always receive great hospitality and good questions.

Clubs Earn Money (Yes, this is a reminder from last months Newsletter)

ARRL affiliated clubs can earn $15 for each New ARRL member they sign-up. With a small amount of paperwork, ARRL affiliated clubs earn $15 for each New ARRL member they sign-up and a couple of dollars if they get members to renew their ARRL membership. Details are on the ARRL website.

Notes from Section Emergency Coordinator

The Fall 2019 West Gulf Division SET is on November 9, 2019, from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. 

All ARES groups in Texas should be preparing for the West Gulf Division SET.  Contact your Local EC to see how you can participate. Specific information about frequencies, reporting criteria, and the coinciding national COMMEX 19-4 will be posted on the Groups.io and ARRLNTX sites soon.

Scenario:  An unusually cold and powerful Arctic Air Mass has descended deep into South Texas. This storm has produced blizzard conditions in Oklahoma, North, and West Texas, ice accumulation in Central Texas, and heavy rains into the Rio Grande Valley. The combined effects of the storm system have resulted in widespread power outages throughout the Region. Local Shelters are open throughout the region.

Primary Division/Section Objective: 

Assess the ability of the Amateur Radio Service (ARS) throughout the Division to respond to a major event and exchange supporting information throughout the Division.

Secondary Division/Section Objective:

Communicate with Region 6 Army MARS during COMMEX 19-4 by providing requested information on 60 meters

EC/DEC Objectives:

At the discretion of ECs and DECs. Recommended objectives:

  • Assess ability to stage deployable ARO resources
  • Assess the ability to gather, consolidate, and report Critical Infrastructure Assessment to local served agencies/partners
  • Assess ability to service local served agency/partner requests

NOTE:  SITUATIONAL AWARENESS information is to be shared with Emergency Management organizations within each section, district, and local jurisdictions and forwarded to the TEXAS STATE OPERATIONS CENTER (SOC).

SKYWARN Net Serves a Critical Role

Recently, severe weather occurred across North Texas, including an EF-3 tornado in the Dallas Area that caused over 2 Billion Dollars in damage.

SKYWARN Nets are a critical part of the Amateur Radio Service. Clear, concise reports of weather that meet the minimum criteria specified by the Net Control Operators saves lives. Many municipalities listen to our nets and notify their citizens of dangerous conditions as a direct result of those reports.

I cannot stress enough, that we must be professional, calm, clear, and concise when making storm reports. Listen to the Net Control Operator’s instructions. Listen. Reports that do not meet the NCS minimum reporting criteria will prevent legitimate, critical reports from being aired. Listen. Know where you are. Listen. Remember that the NWS may not know your local area, so use Major Cross Streets when giving your location. Listen. Keep your reporting clear and concise. Listen. Think about what you are going to say BEFORE YOU KEY THE MIC! AND LISTEN! 

There are several great recordings of SKYWARN nets on YouTube, including ones posted by KD5UMO, Collin County (2014 McKinney Tornado), K5CCL, Henderson County.  

Thank you to everyone who attends the yearly SKYWARN training and participates in the nets. You play an important part in the safety of your community.

Greg Evans, K5GTX
ARRL NTX SEC

Notes from the Public Information Coordinator

October and, more importantly, Halloween is just around the corner.  Is your group providing a "trick or treat night CommNet" to ensure all the things which "go splat in the night" are minor splats?  Yes, Great.  Be sure to post it to your group's Facebook page with the appropriate hashtags.  NO? "Golly gee whiz Beaver, I wonder why none of the cool kids ever stop by." Still the 31st is a way's off, and a quick call to the local law enforcement or even a self-help effort can set it up in short order.  Actions are the key to having Public Information.  Folks want to know about what happened, not what might have happened.  

November and our Thanksgiving tradition provide a great opportunity to show our gratitude by saying, "Thank You."  

Many clubs host a Holiday gathering, and that would be a great time to invite some of those who provide the tools and supplies (we often take for granted) to enjoy our shared hobby.  Of course repeater owners/trustees are the first to come to mind.  For some, their club owns/operates the favored repeater, but for others, this is operated by a ham (or hams) who is less active in the club.  Needless to say, most everyone smiles at being appreciated.  I dare say that some have gone for years, providing and maintaining a local repeater, without a card of thanks.

There are those in your served agencies or in those agencies with whom your clubs operate for the community, who deserve a club baseball cap and a warm handshake.  So invite the local sheriff, commissioner, American Red Cross director, or another person with whom your group coordinates when the challenges need taming, to share a drum-stick and cranberries; even just the invitation will go a long way to passing the gratitude.

When you've sent your invitations, don't forget to send your press releases as well. Here's a start:

Local Ham Radio Group celebrates "Local Person(s)" for __ Years of Community Service.  

"The  Zappem Good Radio Club honored five local community servants for the collective 125 years of taking care of their neighbors.  John Marconi was thanked for providing a repeater which carried storm-spotter reports for the last XX years.  Sally Tesla, the ___________ of the local Red Cross has assisted the local community since 201X."  So forth and so on.

When you get published, don't forget to send me a copy as well so that we can toss you up in a big canvas tarp here in the NTX newsletter.

Brent Boydston, KF5THB
NTX PIC

Parker County Hamfest & Emergency Preparedness Expo, ARRL HAMFEST

Date: 11/02/2019
Location: Cornerstone Community Church
2233 East Highway 199
Springtown, TX 76082

Sponsored by Amateur Radio Club of Parker County & Tri-County Amateur Radio Club

Section Manager Travels 

Early this month my wife and I traveled to Newington, Connecticut so I could attend the Section Managers Indoctrination Seminar.  After that, we swung up to New York to spend a few days with family. It was a short fast-paced trip, and I learned a lot while at ARRL Headquarters. I enjoyed operating W1AW for 30 minutes on Sunday before we departed for New York.

Time, to think about Winter

It looks like we are going to have just a couple of weeks of Fall, and it will soon be old man winter.  Consider now looking at disconnecting garden hoses, adding insulation to any lines that you added, and get winterizing done. It has been a while since North Texas got hit by a hard winter,  a blanket in the car or truck is a good idea as are gloves, etc.

The New Year, 2020 is around the corner

My Goals are to visit even more clubs next year than I have so far this short year (this is my Seventh month in office as your SM). Just, last month I visited over 13 different clubs, put new tires on the truck recently, and plan on trekking out even more.

I want your help recognizing those in our section with awards, each year, the ARRL Solicits Nominees for many awards. To find the awards, visit the ARRL website and look for “Nominations Solicited for 6 ARRL Awards” under news. Please take a look at those and see if you know someone that has earned an award,  let me know.

Now is a good time (always is) for me to say thank you for being who you are and being a member of the greatest fraternity of brothers and sisters that I know of, Amateur Radio Operators and ARRL members.

Speaking of the ARRL, a new Magazine that some of you have heard about "On The Air" from the ARRL and should hit the streets on or before January 2020. 

Staying in the Know between SM Newsletter issues  

  • ARRLNTX.ORG  http://arrlntx.org
  • ARRLNTX at Groups.io  https://arrlntx.groups.io/g/section/topics  
  • FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/groups/ARRLNTX/ 

Embrace the Use of 60 Meters

60 Meters is a channelized band, and most modern radios can use 60 meters.  Why embrace 60 meters, because DOD / FEMA use it in other words, it allows us to communicate directly to them.

73,

Steve Lott, KG5VK