Announcements

New and Special Announcements

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Sometime around Thursday, February 14, the strong winds of a winter storm took down the tower at Benson Ridge.  A guy wire bolt snapped causing the tower to fall into the trees.  Martin WB5LJO and Paul N5FAZ went up on Saturday, February 16 to investigate, and found the fallen tower.  They braved the cold and high winds and disconnected what they could, and also called to have the power disconnected.


A follow-on work party was quickly scheduled on Thursday, February 21, attempting to beat the next winter storm that was expected that weekend.  A team of 5 volunteers consisting of Martin WB5LJO, Paul N5FAZ, Steve KF5VZG, John KG5WTR, and Rex N5ZRF spent most of the day working thru freezing temperatures and ice and snow to pull the tower out of the trees, take it apart, and salvage the antennas.  Most of the antennas were not damaged or are salvageable.


So Benson Ridge is off the air until another tower can be installed, hopefully this summer.  This means the WTRA 145.23 repeater that provides Amigo Link coverage into Cloudcroft and down highway 54 is gone, as well as the 145.27 IRLP repeater, the Jacks Peak Amateur Radio Association (JPARA) repeater, the Civil Air Patrol repeater, and the Benson Ridge APRS digipeater and weather station.


Another work party is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, March 9.  The weather should be a bit warmer by then.  That work party will involve cleaning up the guy wires, other site clean-up, and bringing down the tower down off the mountain.


If you can volunteer for this work party, please contact Martin WB5LJO during the evenings on the Amigo Link or during one of the evening nets, where this work will be discussed in more detail.


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The 64th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Hamfest and ARRL West Texas Convention (better known as the “Midland Hamfest”) is coming up on Saturday, March 16th, at the MLK Community Center, 2300 Butternut Lane, Midland, Texas.


The website with the latest information and downloadable event flyer is https://hamfest.w5qgg.org/


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The El Paso Amateur Radio Club (W5ES) is holding their annual Irish Dinner on Friday, March 22 at 6 PM at the W5ES Clubhouse, 2100 San Diego Ave El Paso, TX.  Come out and join in on the belated St. Patrick’s Day celebration.  They’ll have Irish stew with soda bread and all the trimmings!


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The “Texas State Parks On The Air” is coming up again on the weekend of 13 & 14 April 2019.  Website with the rules and information is https://www.tspota.org/


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The ARRL West Texas Section Manager, Harlon Durham, W5WI, is reestablishing the “Section Amateur of the Year” Award.

 

Please send him your nomination of individuals you feel has done a great job in all aspects of amateur radio or contributed to the advancement of knowledge.  This nomination may be for someone who is a great Elmer, someone who provides many hours of volunteer service to the community, someone who is very active in youth programs or someone who is the sectional guru for digital or other operational modes.  In other words, someone who gives to the hobby in many ways.  All clubs have one or two folks who rise above and beyond the call.

 

There are many worthy hams in West Texas.  Please nominate someone.  A person’s name and call sign and a brief description of why you are nominating this person is all you need to send him.  He will have a committee review the nominations and make a selection. 

 

Please email your nominations to Harlon W5WI by March 31, 2019.  His email is w5wi@arrl.org

 

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Finally, don’t forget Daylight Savings Time starts on Sunday, March 10.  Set your clocks an hour forward on Saturday night and lose an hour of sleep Sunday morning.

 

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