Wednesday, September 14, 2011

West Gulf Division September Newsletter

   --- McKinney ARC service at HamCom 2011
   --- Social Media and the West Gulf Division
   --- ARRL Launches Online Forms
   --- Austin Summerfest Report
   --- Bob Peters, W1PE/SK
   --- Howard Collier, WB5EKW new WTX SEC
   --- Itzel Bernier, KF5JAZ, Nominee for Young Ham of the Year
   --- Special Event Station K5B – Plano Balloon Festival
   --- Texas QSO Party Begins September 24th
   --- WGD Leadership Operates Works W1AW
   --- Planned ARRL Events
   --- Upcoming Hamfests/Conventions

News from David Woolweaver, K5RAV your West Gulf Division Director

--- McKinney ARC service at HamCom 2011

In the July Newsletter, we inadvertently misidentified the 2011 ARRL
National Convention/HamCom talk-in club.  We offer our sincere
apologies to all of the members of the McKinney Amateur Radio Club and
salute them for a job well done during the National Convention.
Members of the McKinney Amateur Radio Club (MARC) began on-site
preparation long before the opening of HamCom. Dave, K5EEN,
Communications Director and PIO, delivered the Communications Service
Unit (CSU) and, along with Neil, KE5BUS, club President, set it up near
the north main entrance to the Plano Centre. The CSU provides a quiet
location for directing the talk-in net along with multiple radios tuned
to the talk-in frequency and several simplex frequencies used to
coordinate parking. Everything was set up and ready for the first shift
on Friday morning at 5:30am. The Plano Amateur Radio Klub (PARK)
volunteered their repeater for the talk-in operation. Talk-in
operations ran from 6:00am to 4:00pm Friday and Saturday. McKinney Club
participants providing on-mic service were Neil - KE5BUS, Gary - K5GRY,
Clark - AE5WD, Bob - K5CRX, Linda - KE5YUC, Fred - K5QBX, and Walter -
Simultaneously, MARC volunteers were in place to direct and help with
ARRL reserved parking and Remote Parking. The ARRL reserved parking
section allowed the ARRL staff to park and enter the Plano Centre
expeditiously – especially those transporting display wares and
"free goodies!" MARC volunteers that helped make this possible were
Neil - KE5BUS, Sarge - KE5TPB, Fred - K5QBX, and Walter - AE5IT.
On Saturday morning, MARC volunteers were on-site by 5:30 AM to
facilitate the "tailgate" parking area. These volunteers kept the
tailgate area organized and collected the parking fees. For the 6:00 AM
to 8:00am shift, volunteers for the tailgate parking operation were
Brian -WA5M, Bob - K5CRX, Chuck - K7NWM and Jim - KD5JK; for the 8am to
10am shift,  the volunteers for the tailgate parking operation were
Rick - W5TUX and Kirk - KE5RBB .
Special thanks go to:
1)      Neil – KE5BUS for coordinating the club's activities at HamCom
2)      Brian – WA5M for coordinating the tailgate operation.
3)      Dave – K5EEN for transporting the CSU and keeping the generator
Founded approximately 50 years ago, and ARRL affiliated since 1968, the
McKinney Amateur Radio Club (MARC) is made up of approximately 125
licensed Amateur Radio operators and family members. The club promotes
education, community service and fellowship amongst the Amateur Radio
community. The club is affiliated with the American Radio Relay League
as one of its Special Service Clubs. The ARRL holds Special Service
Clubs to a high standard of community service and development of
Amateur Radio as a hobby and public service.  Since its beginning, the
club has expanded to include repeater sponsorship, a Communications
Service Unit (CSU) equipped with multiple communications capabilities,
a variety of educational efforts for the HAM community, participation
in many local events, and support for emergencies of several types. A
"can-do" spirit exists throughout the club as it strives to serve
Amateur Radio Operators and its local community.
--- Social Media and the West Gulf Division
Keeping up with the times, the WGD Leadership is trying out new methods
of social media communication.   We invite you to follow us on Twitter,
ARRL_WGD and on Facebook at ARRL West Gulf Division.
--- ARRL Launches Online Forums
To assist ARRL members in communicating with one another and with ARRL
staff on topics of common interest, three forums have been established
on the League's Web site. Visit to chat with
fellow hams about contesting, awards and technology. Additional forums
are planned once we have gained some experience with these three.
Guest members and others can view the threads, but in order to
participate in the conversations or ask questions you must be logged in
as a member.  All users should read the Rules before they participate.
--- Austin Summerfest Report
Special thanks to the Austin Summerfest committee people and others
that worked so hard to make this another successful convention.
Summerfest registrations this year were almost the same as last year,
approximately 600 attendees.  Considering the state of the economy, the
price of gasoline, the worst Texas drought in many of our lifetimes and
other negative factors; we are thankful that so many of you took the
time and trouble to join us again here in Austin for the ARRL State
Convention and the Summer Meeting of the Texas VHF-FM Society.
The ARRL Forum was a standing room only crowd of over 100 people who
had an opportunity to listen and interact with ARRL Chief Technology
Officer Brennan Price, N4QX who spoke on the challenges facing our
community in both the technical and legal areas.  He also spoke of some
of the upcoming agenda items pending for the upcoming WTRC 2012.
These are the folks that do the advance planning, organize the
necessary volunteer workers and materials to make it all come together
and make it an enjoyable experience for all:
Hospitality Room:  The Schmidt Family: Darlene WD5DAR , Jeff N5MNW and
Lori KM5MQ and their volunteer helpers.
Ballroom Swapfest & Dealers Area:  Kees Talen K5BCQ, Marty Porter ex
N5SXV and Wayne Heikkila KB5RSP
The Motorcycle Special Events Team of Texas (M-SET) that furnishes
Ballroom Security
Convention Registration:  Cliff WB5DYA and Leonor White
Audio/Visual Services:  Don Weiss K9UI, William Pittman KC5NKE and Alex
Feeney KF5JDZ
Crafts & Skills Session: Sandy Talen
Austin Summerfest Webmaster: Jim Kinter K5KTF
Registration Volunteers Organizer: Skip Glueck, K5ZUA
Convention Badge Printing: Jim Seippel N5SHK
Mailing List Manager: Jon Penner N5MHI
The ARRL VEC Exam Team: Gene Hinkle K5PA, Liaison and whose team
examined 25 candidates and the session produced 6 Technician Class, 8
General Class and 6 Extra Class licensees.
But we would be remiss in not recognizing, Joe Makeever, W5HS the
Chairman of the Austin Summerfest and his friends, Ed Golla, K3AHS the
Summerfest Treasurer and Don Weiss, K9UI the Summerfest Secretary.
These gentlemen have served continuously for the past 28 years,
insuring that Amateurs experience a top-notch event in Austin each
Your support helps to insure that they can continue to hold the Austin
Summerfest Convention each summer for future years.  A special thanks
to all that stayed at the Marriott Hotel or the SpringHill Suites and
gave the Summerfest folks the room-nights necessary to keep the hotel
meeting room and ballroom rental expenses to a minimum.  Yours is a
significant contribution to the ongoing success of the Austin
Summerfest and it is very much appreciated.  Mark the Austin Summerfest
down on your Hamfest calendar for August 3rd and 4th, 2012.
--- Bob Peters, W1PE (SK)
Robert Peters, W1PE, became a silent key Tuesday, July 26 after a long
illness.  He was 68 years old.  He was born at Bangor, Maine in 1943
and grew up in that city, but had lived with his wife, Jane in
Mesquite, Texas for almost two decades.
Bob held various amateur call signs for more than 50 years. He was
first licensed in 1958 as WN1JNN. Among the calls Bob held were K1JNN,
N4TRU and KK5FJ. He also held a Netherlands call in the 1960s while
serving at NATO headquarters with the U.S. Army Signal Corps.  Bob
joined the Army in 1966. Because of his amateur radio qualifications,
he was sent to the Signal Corps Schools at Fort Monmouth, NJ.  He
served in various capacities with the Signal Corps in Vietnam.  During
his military service Bob was in charge of several Army MARS stations in
country and ran thousands of phone patches for GIs. He was later
transferred to SHAPE headquarters in Belgium and honorably discharged
in 1978.
Bob always said that he owed any success he had in his life-both
business and personal- to amateur radio.  Bob was a long-time member of
the ARRL, Quarter Century Wireless Association, and the ARRL Diamond
Club. He served as an officer and always-ready volunteer to the Dallas
Amateur Radio Club, the Mesquite Amateur Radio Club, Army MARS and as a
past Director for HamCom.  He was passionate about AM radio and
continually collected (and horse-traded) vintage amateur gear.  Bob's
baritone voice, instantly recognizable, was a staple of the Texoma
Traders Saturday morning AM nets for many years.  Bob will be sorely
missed.  The family requests any donations be made in Bob's memory to
the ARRL Diamond Club or the Boy Scouts of America.
--- Howard Collier, WB5EKW New WTX SEC
WTX SM W5NPR Bill Roberts is pleased to announce the appointment of
Howard Collier, WB5EKW as the new Section Emergency Coordinator for
West Texas.  Howard joins the WTX team following the retirement of J.T.
Caldwell WA5ZFH, who graciously served in the SEC capacity since
February 2008.
WB5EKW began his Amateur radio adventure in 1971 and is now an
extra-class licensee who finds all modes of operation fun and
educational.  Grounded in early advance technology, Howard spent years
in electronics and communications work with the US Navy, Odessa
College, and Texas Tech.  His technical history has unfolded on a
variety of electronic components that include MRI/CAT scan imaging
systems, digital x-ray, mobile telephone systems and he also spent time
at Texas Instruments designing and building machines that would build
transistors and integrated circuits.
Located in Abilene and now retired, Howard devotes his time mentoring
local high school students in science and physics projects; including
the design and construction of robots and the launching of high
altitude balloon capsules featuring voice synthesizer Amateur radio and
APRS data, cameras and microprocessor control data collection.  Active
in the Abilene radio community, Howard participates in ARES, RACES and
Skywarn and looks forward to integrating new technologies into
emergency communications.  Howard also enjoys gardening, working on
wild animal rehabilitation and ham radio, with a great emphasis on
ARES, the American Red Cross and just plain having fun!
In making the announcement, Roberts stated that he looks forward to
working with WB5EKW, and hopes to capitalize on his technical skills to
improve ARES operations in the WTX Section.  He also stated that he will
miss working with WA5ZFH, describing his services to the section as
being above and beyond the call of duty.  In addition to the daily
demands of the SEC position, WA5ZFH, served during the one of most
severe drought periods in West Texas history, which also created the
most severe fire seasons in West Texas history.  His commitment to the
WTX Section is appreciated, and he asks all Amateur radio operators in
the section to voice their appreciation to WA5ZFH for a job well done.
--- Itzel Bernier, KF5JAZ, Nominee for Young Ham of the Year
Itzel Bernier, KF5JAZ began her amateur radio journey at age 11 in
August 2010.  Intrigued after attending the first Eisenhower Middle
School Viking Radio Club (KF5CRF) meeting, Itzel's curiosity prompted
her to gain permission from her parents to join KF5CRF and attend weekly
meetings.  The club sponsor, Clifton Harper, KE5YZB, and teacher at
Eisenhower Middle School saw her enthusiasm for amateur radio grow so
much, that he allowed her to come to school early to get extra tutoring
and radio time in his classroom, an opportunity she readily accepted.
Her commitment to learning about amateur radio quickly became apparent
outside of school, too.  Itzel became a regular participant at Saturday
Parks on the Air events.  One of the stated goals of being in the Viking
Radio Club is to pursue a Technician License.  Itzel did pursue her
license to the point that she often was in Mr. Harper's classroom
during lunch.  The drive, focus and talent possessed by this young lady
are part of her character.
What a casual observer could not easily miss is her sense of dedication
to the team.  Itzel is not only driven by personal success, team
dedication drives her, as well. While the WGD congratulates Kaitlyn S.
Cole KS3P on her award as the Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the
Year™, Itzel is one of those rare individuals that truly inspire
confidence, hope and a sense of well being in all of those with whom
she interacts.  We congratulate Itzel on her accomplishments and look
forward to many years of her engagement in Amateur Radio!
--- Special Event Station K5B – Plano Balloon Festival
Celebrating the 31st annual Plano Balloon Festival, members of the
Plano Amateur Radio Klub (PARK) and area amateur radio operators will
be QRV as K5B during the Plano Balloon Festival, September 16-18th.
They will be operating PSK31 and CW on 20m. Phone frequencies plus or
minus QRM: 7.255, 14.255, 21.355 and on the club repeater, WD5ERD on
147.180 + PL 107.2 and via Echolink at K5PRK. QSL with SASE to K5B.
Electronic QSL cards will be available via  More information
will be available on our website at  To learn more
about the Plano Balloon Festival visit
--- Texas QSO Party Begins September 24th
The Texas QSO party is sponsored each year by the Northwest Amateur
Radio Society to encourage contacts between Texas amateur radio
operators and amateur radio operators throughout the world. This event
is also an excellent opportunity for county hunters to add to their
list of Texas counties worked.  The 2011 event is scheduled from 1400Z
on SATURDAY, September 24 to 0200Z on SUNDAY. September 25 and from
1400Z to 2000Z on SUNDAY, September 26.  Stations may work the entire
contest period.
One of the planning goals each year is to have operators in each of the
254 counties in Texas. This is the best - and in fact it may be the only
- opportunity to make contact with operators in some Texas counties. For
more information on operator density in Texas, see the Where are all the
Hams website.
TQP mobile operators, be careful and have a good time. Fixed station
operators, get on the air and look for the mobiles! Regardless of how
you like to participate, get on the air, make some contacts, and have
fun!  For all of the information and rules on the Texas QSO Party visit
their website at
--- WGD Leadership Operates W1AW
Staying for a personal day in Newington, after the summer Board Meeting
concluded in July, gave Director Woolweaver and Vice Director Stratton
the opportunity to again call "CQ West Gulf Division" from W1AW.
Thanks to the generosity of Regulatory Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND who
volunteered to open W1AW to them on Sunday, the WGD team operated on
14.238 MHz USB, making 320 contacts over the course of nearly five
W1AW, also known as the Maxim Memorial Station was dedicated on
September 2, 1938 and contains articles of historical value to Amateur
Radio.  Much of today's ARRL Headquarters as well as the City of
Newington grew up surrounding the W1AW facilities.  To learn more about
W1AW, its rich history and current transmitting abilities, visit
--- Planned ARRL Events for K5RAV and N5AUS
Director Woolweaver, K5RAV and Vice Director Stratton, N5AUS are
planning to attend the following upcoming events:
K5RAV - ARRL Executive Committee Meeting, Dulles Airport, Washington,
D.C., October 1st.
N5AUS – HamEXPO 2011, sponsored by the Temple ARC, Belton, Texas
October 1st.
K5RAV and N5AUS - Texoma Hamarama, West Gulf Division Convention,
sponsored by the Texoma Hamarama Committee, Ardmore, OK, October
K5RAV – NCTECH 2011, sponsored by the Tri-County Amateur Radio Club
and DiRECT ARC, Azle, TX, November 12th.
ARRL Convention and Hamfest events are a great place to visit with the
Division and Section Leadership!   Each event will also include an ARRL
forum where you can receive additional insight into Division and Section
At anytime that you have a concern or just want to say hello, contact
Director Woolweaver at
-- Upcoming Hamfests and Conventions
10/01/2011 | HamEXPO 2011
Location:  Belton, TX
Type:  ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor:  Temple Amateur Radio Club
10/21/2011 | West Gulf Division Convention (Texoma Hamarama)
Location:  Ardmore, OK
Type:  ARRL Convention
Sponsor:  Texoma Hamarama Committee
10/22/2011 | 13th Annual Coastal Bend Hamfest
Location:  Corpus Christi, TX
Type:  ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor:  South Texas Amateur Radio Club
10/22/2011 | Lufkin Hamfest 2011
Location: Lufkin, TX
Type: ARRL Lufkin, TX
Sponsor:  Deep East Texas ARC and Nacogodoches ARC
11/05/2044 | Enid Hamfest
Location:  Enid, OK
Type:  ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor:  Enid Amateur Radio Club
11/12/2011 | NCTECH 2011
Location:  Azle, TX
Type:  ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor:  Tri-County Amateur Radio club and DiRECT ARC
ARRL West Gulf Division
Director: David A Woolweaver, K5RAV

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