Monday, October 31, 2011

WX5ASA tower site work

A tower crew added sections to a tower that was damaged in the Ice Storm.
Fred Cramer, K5FW, geared up for Action.
There goes the crown.
Dale Town, N5VX (left), Fred Cramer, K5FW, (center), and Chico Gallegos, AF5IB participated in the event.
Just ONE of the repeaters on Walsh Mountain used by the Altus Skywarn Association.
Is that Steve Grayson, KE5BPL, working on a guy wire?  

Even more photos are at the Altus Skywarn Association Facebook Page.  Thanks to Ron Roman, KD5CYW, for these photos.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

ARRL Webinar November 3

This is an important webinar for Public Information Officers and
others in the Amateur Radio Emergency Services arena.

Please register for the event.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oklahoma Scouting Hams make news

News from station WB5BSA during JOTA is going viral.

The Daily Oklahoman will have an expanded multimedia feature online of the
ISS contact to appear sometime this week.

Ham Nation is interested too.  Ham nation is an amateur radio podcast hosted
by Bob Heil (K9EID) and Gordon Cooper (WB6NOA).

They would like to interview about the ISS contact we made and the Barbed
Wire antenna we used to make the QSO as well as interview one of the Eagle
Scouts that worked QSO's from our station, Carey McCachern KF5IXE.

You can download the podcast later from iTunes or

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

News from K5RAV

  --- Lawton Public Schools Support Amateur Radio; Two Men’s Dream
   --- Are You Covered?  Is Your Club?
   --- ARRL Centennial Celebration Committee
   --- Leadership Change in NTX Section
   --- ARRL Foundation Scholarship Season
   --- Paul Gilbert, KE5ZW New Assistant Director for Public Safety
   --- ARRL On-Line Auction Starts October 19
   --- Social Media and the West Gulf Division
   --- Planned ARRL Events
   --- Upcoming Hamfests/Conventions

News from David Woolweaver, K5RAV your West Gulf Division Director

--- Lawton Public Schools Support Amateur Radio; Two Men’s Dream

KF5CRF, Viking Radio Club along with Radio in the Park is a continuing
process that to this point has taken a little over two years to develop
into a regular on-air event.  This was hardly an accident as Clifton
Harper, KE5YZB and cohort Paul Goulet, KC5CYY would tell you.  It all
began as an effort by two individuals who saw a need to bring Amateur
Radio to the youth.  Clifton began the Viking Radio Club at Eisenhower
Middle School and attempted to teach amateur radio but was limited on
time with his students.  Paul had been endeavoring to reach the youth
at a local park by setting up a station and getting attention.  The
opportunity was irresistible.  Clifton needed more time and Paul wanted
more participation.  Clifton and Paul talked about the possibilities
they could achieve and decided it was going to happen.  Clifton told
Paul, “We are coming.” To which Paul responded, “Great which
Saturday?”  However Paul was shocked to learn it wouldn’t be just
an occasional Saturday, but every Saturday.  With few exceptions the
Vikings have been present in the park learning about amateur radio,
developing confidence and becoming comfortable talking on the radio.

Growth was a continual process as interest was ignited and new members
joining the club became a regular occurrence starting with around
twenty the student involvement is now about fifty.  Students learned
and developed and one sixth grade girl received her Technician license
and soon after her General and is today currently working on her Extra,
her name is Itzel, KF5JAZ.  The club has been commended by an official
observer and Itzel was nominated for Young Ham of the Year and received
an A1 operator recommendation as well.  The club has made much progress
with many more goals and achievements looming on the horizon. A
tremendous opportunity for growth came to the club in May of 2011 when
Clifton, who had researched laws and regulations for over a year,
developed a curriculum for a communications class and made a proposal
to the local Education Improvement Council.  The Council, who controls
local curriculum, unanimously approved the proposal and the
superintendant allowed the class to become part of the local
curriculum. This meant that students interested in amateur radio could
take a regular class as an elective and receive five hours a week of
intensive study. The club still meets weekly for those students who are
not able to take the class and Paul meets with the club and stays around
for the class to work with the students.    Radio time in class is
regulated to allow for learning of FCC regulations and electronics
along with Code and studies from the ARRL manual, so students are
encouraged to continue their education at the park on Saturdays where
they receive a great deal more time on the air.

Something not to be overlooked is the strong bonds and associations
with local hams and hams across the county.  Two local clubs, W5KS and
WX5LAW support the efforts and goals of the program every chance they
can.  Paul learned that the International Organization OMIK was working
to expand youth involvement in amateur radio and he joined them.  They
often help the club while it is on the air and many members regularly
talk with KF5CRF members. Another group that supports us on the air is
K8DAR Boys and Girls Club of Menominee (Wisconsin).  They have the same
goals as Viking Radio but with many more years of experience behind
them.  Often we talk and exchange ideas and work together on the air
with our students.

Those are established groups but we cannot leave out hams from around
the world that have discovered us and support us by checking into the
Saturday Outreach events each Saturday.   Stations as distant as South
Africa have been heard trying to make contact with the park station.
Although most contacts are new, there are dedicated handfuls that
regularly check into the net and commend and encourage the students to
continue on and get their license.  Imagine the pleasant surprise and
feeling of self worth and accomplishment when a student replies they
already have and volunteers their actual call sign.

Time invested is great, but Clifton and Paul are in it for the
duration, knowing this makes parents feel better about their child
getting involved in the program.  With us there, parents don’t need
to make a radio purchase right away or worry about an antenna.  With a
radio at school and a regular outreach program students and parents do
not have those concerns.  Our aim is to let parents know that we will
continue to be there so that if it proves to be a fad, they have only
invested time and gas.  The key we have found to make all this happen
is to provide an opportunity.

(Editor’s note – This article was prepared and approved for
publication by the Lawton Pubic School Board of Education and per their
requirement, no edits have been made.)

---  Are You Covered?  Is Your Club?

On May 1, 2011, the ARRL began a new partnership with Hays Affinity
Group to provide its ARRL-sponsored Equipment Insurance and Club
Liability Insurance plans. Hays -- who took over from Marsh Affinity
Group Services -- serves as the program administrator to provide
equipment insurance to ARRL members that choose to elect coverage.
Hays has introduced new policies for both plans, underwritten by the
Hanover Insurance Company.

Not only is equipment protection coverage through Hays Affinity Group
slightly less expensive than it was with Marsh; it’s easier to enroll
in the plans. You can sign up online and even schedule your equipment
online, too. With Hays Affinity Group, you can have all your radio
equipment covered, even the computers, hard drives and printers in your
shack. You can also elect to have coverage for your towers and antennas,
up to $15,000 of replacement cost. All losses are settled on the
replacement cost value you have stated for your equipment. In addition,
any newly acquired equipment during the policy term, up to a value of
$2000, will be covered, once scheduled, until your next policy renewal
without any additional premium. All this -- and more -- with only a $50
deductible ($25 for repair claims).

In addition, Hays will also provide club liability insurance to ARRL
Affiliated Clubs for those clubs that wish to take advantage of that
program.  This comprehensive general liability policy provides coverage
for lawsuits resulting from bodily injury and property damage at ARRL
Affiliated Club-sponsored activities. This includes concession stands,
dances, banquets, parties, auctions, raffles, picnics and meetings, to
name just a few. Coverage would also apply for official Club
participation, for instance participating in a community-sponsored
event. Plus, in addition to the policy limits described below, this
plan also pays the court and legal costs of defense for covered claims.
 The club plan reimburses expenses for first aid to others at the time
of an accident. And, an owner of a premises used or rented by the Club
can also be named as an additional insured.  To learn more about
Affiliated Club benefits visit

--- ARRL Centennial Celebration Committee

Preparations for the 2014 ARRL Centennial Celebration are under way
with ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN announcing the appointments of
the planning committee.  Joining President Craigie on the Committee
from the Board are Hudson Director Joyce Birmingham, KA2ANF; Dakota
Director Greg Widen, K0GW; West Gulf Director Woolweaver, K5RAV; New
England Vice Director Mike Raisbeck, K1TWF; and Pacific Vice Director
Jim Tiemstra, K6JAT.  Representing ARRL Staff will be PR Manager, Allen
Pitts, W1AGP; Membership & Volunteer Programs Manager Dave Patton, NN1N;
Steve Ford, WB8IMY Production & Editorial Manager; and CEO Dave Sumner,

From the July 2011 Executive Committee Meeting report, Craigie noted
that “While we shouldn’t live in the past, it is only right to take
note of the accomplishments of the League’s first century.” She
further noted, “Without the success of the League’s first century,
we wouldn’t be talking about raising funds for a second century. Or,
chances are, talking about ham radio at all.  Ideas for marking the
centennial should be sought from the Board, the Staff, and the general

Director Woolweaver looks forward to participating in the planning for
the 2014 Centennial Celebration and welcomes your input.  You’re
encouraged to contact him at with your ideas.

--- Leadership Change in NTX Section

On October 5, ARRL Membership and Volunteer Programs Manager, Dave
Patton, NN1N announced the Jay Urish, W5GM had resigned and that he had
appointed Walt Mayfield, KE5SOO to complete Jay’s term in office.

Urish was originally elected to office in April 2009.  He ran unopposed
in the last election and began serving his second term in April 2011.
Jay, a network engineer by profession, sighted a number of reasons for
his resignation but emphasized that it was time that he focused in on
continuing his education.  Torn between his professional ambitions and
his love for amateur radio, he felt the NTX Section would best be
served by someone who could devote more time in Section matters and
continue to foster positive growth in the community.

Tapped as Jay’s successor, KE5SOO steps in with a firm background on
Section matters.  As NTX SEC, Walt had worked closely with Jay on many
matters within the Section and looks forward to serving the NTX
Section.  Having recently completed his degree in Occupational Safety
and Health, Walt is focusing in a career of Emergency Management.  He
is also the current President of the Denton County ARC.  Originally
Elmered by his Father-In-Law, Gary Burchett, KD5QFB.  Walt and his
wife, Sarah KF5AUD, oldest daughter Mary Kate KE5UEG, son Matthew
KF5HHL, and Molly and McKenna live in Krum.

--- ARRL Foundation Scholarship Season

The ARRL Foundation is now receiving scholarship applications for the
2011/12 scholarship season.  Each year the ARRL Foundation awards more
than 70 scholarships that have been funded entirely by the generosity
of radio amateurs and friends to young hams that are pursuing higher
education. The awards range from $500 to $5,000.

All applicants must submit a full application and transcript to be
considered (other rules may apply to specific scholarships).  The
application period for all ARRL Foundation Scholarship opened October
1, 2011 and will close promptly on February 1, 2012.  Awards are
usually announced to the winners by letter in mid-May.   Applicants
should review the scholarship descriptions as some awards have specific
geographic criteria or requirements as to course of study.

Governed by a nine member volunteer Board of Directors, the ARRL
Foundation is devoted to providing valuable programs to serve the
Amateur Radio community.  To learn more about the ARRL Foundation or
its scholarship program please visit their website at

--- Paul Gilbert, KE5ZW New Assistant Director for Public Safety

Director Woolweaver announces the appointment of Paul Gilbert, KE5ZW as
the new Assistant Director for Public Safety.  Paul has been an amateur
radio operator since 1984 and currently holds an Extra Class license
with interests in HF, digital, satellite, ARES, MARS and repeater

He has worked for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) as an
Engineering Specialist II in the Radio Operations Office in Austin,
Texas, for the past 8 years with duties including the oversight of a
wide range of programs for TxDOT such as FCC/FAA licensing needs, the
HF SSB Emergency Communications System, tower site management and
replacement program, co-oversight of agency VHF / UHF / 800 radio
assets along with TxDOT’s Emergency and Interoperability
Communications needs, a product evaluation and system development
program. Additionally, he serves as the American Association of State
Highway Transportation Officials’ (AASHTO) Texas Public Safety
Frequency Coordinator and TxDOT’s member of the Texas Radio Coalition
and represents AASHTO as an Ex-Officio member of the TIA P-25 Steering
Committee and Users Needs Subcommittee.

Currently a member of the Travis County ARES, Texas RACES and Texas
ARMY MARS, Paul currently resides in Cedar Park, Texas, with his wife
of 37 years, Barbara, KC5GFR.

--- ARRL On-Line Auction Starts October 19

The Sixth Annual ARRL On-Line Auction will be open for preview
beginning at 10 AM EDT on Friday, October 14, and will open for bidding
at 10 AM (EDT) on Wednesday, October 19. According to Advertising
Manager and ARRL On-Line Auction Coordinator Deb Jahnke, K1DAJ, there
is a large assortment of ARRL Product Review items, including a Yaesu
FT-DX5000D HF and 6 meter transceiver, an Ameritron ALS-1300 HF power
amplifier, a Ten-Tec 599AT Eagle HF and 6 meter transceiver, a Kenwood
TS-590S HF and 6 meter transceiver and an Elecraft P3 panadapter, as
well as a wide assortment of books, including ARRL Handbooks from the
1920s and 1930s.  The 2011 ARRL On-Line Auction runs through 11:59 PM
EDT on October 26.

--- Social Media and the West Gulf Division

Keeping up with the times, the WGD Leadership is trying out new methods
of communication.   We invite you to follow us on Twitter, ARRL_WGD and
on Facebook at ARRL West Gulf Division.

--- Planned ARRL Events for K5RAV and N5AUS

Director Woolweaver, K5RAV and Vice Director Stratton, N5AUS are
planning to attend the following upcoming events:

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 matters.

At anytime that you have a concern or just want to say hello, contact
Director Woolweaver at

-- Upcoming Hamfests and Conventions

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 Nacogdoches 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

Monday, October 17, 2011

W5MPC coming to Oklahoma

Next weekend is the Texoma Hamarama in Ardmore, OK Oct 21-22.
 2011 ARRL West Gulf Division Convention

ARES-OK Program is at 9am Saturday

Mike Corey, W5MPC - ARRL Emergency Prepardness & Response Manager will be there and speaking on Saturday also.

See you there,

Mark Conklin, N7XYO
Oklahoma Section Emergency Coordinator
Amateur Radio Emergency Service
Follow me on Twitter @N7XYO

Thursday, October 13, 2011

GSPARC Balloon Launch Saturday 8am

This aeronautical chart showing the expected flight path.
Great Salt Plains Amateur Radio Club (GSPARC) is launching a high
altitude balloon this weekend.

Launch time is set for 8am Saturday October 14.  The payload includes
APRS and an HF beacon. Expected landing is 1130 later that morning.

One can monitor flight progress via the internet or RF. The APRS
frequency is 144.39.  You may also watch the flight via* or look for it on or

Thanks to Dave Locke, KC5SII for this information.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Boy Scout Jamboree on the Air

Communications folks, making sure that you are aware that this weekend is the Boy Scout Jamboree on the Air.  This is a yearly worldwide event that introduces youth to amateur radio, and also allows Scouts to connect/fellowship with other Scouts in far-away places.

There are numerous JOTA activities around.  Here in Oklahoma City, there will be activities at John Nichols Scout Ranch including having radios on-the-air for Scouts, an electronic fox-hunt (radio detection/direction-finding); and a hands-on demonstration of radiosurgery.  The day will end at John Nichols with attempting to make voice and visual contact with the International Space Station.

I know there is also a JOTA event going on at Dripping Springs Scout Camp near Arapaho, one over around Shawnee, and I think there are a couple of other places in the state.

For those of you who are hams, here are the freqs:
Operating Frequencies
The following frequencies are those established by the World Scout Bureau for use during the JOTA weekend.
Amateur Band
80 meters
3.69 & 3.94 MHz
3.57 MHz
40 meters
7.19 & 7.27 MHz
7.03 MHz
20 meters
14.29 MHz
14.06 MHz
17 meters
18.14 MHz
18.08 MHz
15 meters
21.36 MHz
21.14 MHz
12 meters
24.96 MHz
24.91 MHz
10 meters
28.39 MHz
28.18 MHz
These are "calling frequencies". After contact has been made, you should move off that frequency (either above or below) to continue your contact and allow others to use the calling frequency.
Note: D-STAR reflectors REF019A and REF019C will also be active for JOTA weekend.
If you have the opportunity, go by and say "hi" to the Scouts at one of the events, take some gear and help some Scouts, and/or monitor some of the freqs and make contacts.

(If you're not around Boy Scouts, there is also a merit badge for "Radio" that they can earn.  Here's a great opportunity to be an "Elmer" (mentor)!)

 Thanks to Gayland Kitch, WX5MOR for this information.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Southwest Oklahoma Repeaters

A number of repeaters have been restored to operation, thanks to the efforts of a number of Southwest Oklahoma amateur radio operators,:

146.79 is a wide area coverage split site repeater.
444.300 is part of the Lawton Independent Repeater Alliance system
147.345 is located near Granite, OK

These repeaters join  145.390,  146.715147.285442.050, and 444.650 in supplying amateur radio communications in addition to Echolink and IRLP from the area.

Steve Grayson, KE5BPLMark King, KY7D, and Dale Town, N5VX completed the trek to Navajo Mountain north of Headrick, OK to complete the work.  KE5BPL and N5VX are Amateur Radio  Emergency Services officials in the area.

Initial tests produced good results from a handheld in Altus to WX5LR in Sayre.

In addition to the standalone wide coverage repeaters, Southwest Oklahoma is blessed to have four linked systems.  Two are on VHF and two are on UHF.

Friday, October 7, 2011

ARRL Legislative Action Request to Members in Oklahoma

My name is Dan Henderson, N1ND and I am the Regulatory Information Manager for the ARRL, working at the ARRL headquarters in Newington CT.  I also am the staff liaison for the Legislative Action – Grassroots program.  It is in this capacity that I am contacting you.

As you are probably aware, the ARRL continues its attempts to obtain PRB-1 protection for those amateurs who are restricted because of conditions, covenants and deed restrictions.  These CC&Rs in most cases severely constrain Amateurs from erecting even modest antennas and support structures.

To help address this situation Senators Joe Lieberman (CT) and Susan Collins (ME) in 2009 introduced Senate bill 1755 - the
"Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act ," - into the US Senate.  This bill directs the US Department of Homeland Security to undertake a study of how CC&Rs affect Amateur Radio operators' ability to support emergency and public service communications. The goal of this study is to provide a factual study documenting these impediments and report back to Congress.  In late 2009, the US Senate unanimously passed S 1755 and sent it to the House of Representatives for their consideration.  The House did not take up the bill last year and S 1755 died.

PRB-1 states that local governmental jurisdictions
must reasonably accommodate such communications and must constitute the minimum practicable regulation to accomplish the state or local authority's legitimate purpose. The ARRL has long championed extending the PRB-1 protections to include CC&Rs. While the "Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Act" is not the last step in obtaining that extension, it is the next step, hopefully bringing us closer to our goal.

After the new Congress convened in 2011, Senators Lieberman and Collins again introduced the
"Amateur Radio Emergency Communications  Enhancement Act," which has been designated S 191.  The bill has been approved by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.  However, under the rules of the US Senate, any Senator may put a "hold" on a bill, which keeps the bill from being referred by Committee to the full Senate.  At this time, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn has placed a "hold" on S 191.  His concern is that the bill may be used as a way for the Amateur Radio community to seek some kind of grant or public funding.  Although ARRL officials have assured him this is not the case, the hold remains in place.

We need your help!  Below you will find a draft sample letter, addressed to Senator Coburn, asking him to release his hold on S 191, so that it can be considered by the full Senate.  We need you, as a resident of Oklahoma and constituent of Senator Coburn, to make your voice heard!

After reading the draft letter, I ask you to do the following:

1) Add your name and mailing address to the bottom.
2) Print and sign the letter (unsigned letters are not effective).
3) Send your signed letter directly to the ARRL's Washington representation firm, Chwat & Co either by

     US Mail - Send to:            John Chwat
                                              Chwat & Co.
                                              625 Slaters Lane
                                              Suite 103
                                              Alexandria, VA 22314

      Fax - Send to:                703-684-7594

We ask the letter be sent to Chwat & Co for a reason:  It allows our Washington team to hand-deliver them, which also affords them the opportunity to meet face-to-face with the Senator or his staff.  This "face time" allows an additional opportunity to get our message across to them.

The Senate has been gaveled back into session and now is the time to act. I hope that you will send your letter to Senator Coburn in the next few days.

If you have any questions on this issue, please contact me at  I will be pleased to try to answer them.  THANKS for your attention to this matter.  You CAN make a difference!


Dan Henderson N1ND

United States Senate
172 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Coburn:

We thank you for your service in the United States Senate and appreciate your efforts to curtail federal spending and provide more accountability to government.

However, we understand from the ARRL, the national organization for Amateur Radio
which represents over 700,000 Amateur Radio licensees (including almost 9,500 in
Oklahoma), that you have placed a “hold” on S.191, the “Amateur Radio Emergency
Communications Act,” a bill that requests a report from the Department of Homeland
Security (DHS) on how Amateurs can provide emergency officials with additional
volunteer help in disasters and severe weather events – assistance that helps save lives
and property. You are aware of Amateur Radio's volunteer activities in Oklahoma to
help government agencies and charitable relief organizations save people's lives when our state has experienced disasters such as tornados.

S. 191 passed out of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Committee last April, and is pending on the Senate Floor. The same bill passed
under unanimous consent in the US Senate in the 111th Congress.

We understand that you feel this bill might be an effort by our Amateur Radio
community to seek funds or grants from DHS. That is not the case. We are very much
interested in the DHS completing this study on how we can become a more effective
volunteer resource to public services agencies. One of these recommendations may
impact the use of antennas to communicate in times when cell phones or other methods
are not available. S. 191 will allow us to better integrate the Amateur Service with
emergency management in Oklahoma – and across the US.

We respectfully request that you please release your hold on S.191 so that it may be
considered by the full Senate and be referred to the House.



Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Good Morning Hams!

I would like to thank everyone in the section that helped and participated in the SET this past weekend. Everyone involved, both volunteer and management alike, did an excellent job. You have shown that ARES is alive and well in Oklahoma. We still have a lot of work to do before we are able to cover the state like we need to, but we're on the right track.

Again, thanks to everyone for their assistance in making this the best section SET in years!


Kevin O'Dell, N0IRW
Oklahoma Section Manager

News from the American Radio Relay League