You can click on any of the photos below to enlarge them for more detail
Here are some photos from the Midland Hamfest, 16 March 2013
Rick, NJ5W and Debbie N5GHN entered their names for the prize drawing
Mike KB6JYF and Larry WB8LBZ outside at the tailgate
Bill, W5NPR (on the right), West Texas Section Manager and Dr. David Woolweaver, K5RAV, the West Gulf Manager at the ARRL table.
Here are some other photos from the inside of the Hamfest.
(Photos provided by Martin WB5LJO)
On Sunday, February 17, 2013, the El Paso hams again supported the Susan G. Komen "Race For The Cure" in northeast El Paso. (Photos courtesy of Martin WB5LJO and John KA5TRQ)
The Race started with a flyby with two airplanes using smoke to make the shape of the Susan Komen "Ribbon."
The weather was perfect, and over 9,000 people turned out for this big event! Ham radio operators were stationed approximately every quarter of a mile along the route to keep an eye on everything going on and provide communications and information back to the net control and race officials, keeping the event running smooth and safe!
And again this year, several of the hams set up a "High Speed Multi-Media Mesh" (HSMM-MESH) network with cameras to provide video coverage of the entire route, providing situational awareness to the race officials.
On Saturday, January 19, 2013, the 146.620 D-STAR Repeater was taken up to the mountain to the South Comanche Peak site. Doug AE5HE, Martin WB5LJO, Paul N5FAZ, and Reiner AE5RJ hauled everything up to the site, to include the repeater, a 50 amp rack mount power supply, duplexer, tools, etc. Reiner successfully widened the hole to allow one more feedline into the vault. The photo Martin took of himself while on the tower shows that the antenna has a good view. Notice the white tanks at the refineries to the southeast. In the view to the north, you can see can see Dyer street and the Sacramento mountains in the distance. The last photo is a view of our repeater site taken from Scenic Drive. (photos provided by Martin WB5LJO)
SKYWARN Recognition Day was held on Friday Nov 30 and Saturday Dec 1, 2012, at the National Weather Service office in Santa Teresa, NM. As shown in the photo below, several hams ran VHF and HF stations, contacting at least 43 other NWS stations around the country, as well as over 100 individual stations during the event, qualifying El Paso for a "Nor’easter certificate".
On Saturday, December 22, 2012, Martin WB5LJO and Paul N5FAZ took at trip up to Caballo Mountain (NM) to work on the 448.500 repeater that is tied into the Amigo Link and provides coverage along Interstate 25 in New Mexico between Las Cruces and north of T or C. Some photos from their trip are below.
On Saturday, May 20, 2012, the Sun City Amateur Radio Club (K5WPH) held it's annual BBQ dinner. Over 40 people showed up to enjoy some great food, and for a while, there was not enough room for everyone to sit! Some photos from from the BBQ are below.
On Friday, April 20, 2012, the Sun City Amateur Radio Club (K5WPH) had an enjoyable Program Night. Martin WB5LJO presented a "show and tell" discussion on MSD, the El Paso based manufacturer of after market, high performance ignitions and other items. They had a very good time. Some photos from this meeting are below.
On Friday evening, January 13, four people took at trip up to Caballo Mountain - Martin WB5LJO, Paul N5FAZ (who took photos), Brad KA5CDJ (who drove them up there and also took photos) and Sean KD6CUB.
Here's the story and photos contributed by Martin WB5LJO (click on any photo to enlarge):
We needed to repair receiver anomalies that have bugged us for a few months now up on Caballo Ridge, also known as Timberline Ridge, SE of T or C. The road leading up to the site runs mainly on the northern side where the Winter sun does not reach the road much. When it snows, the drifts are usually higher there and in turn take much longer to melt. What is difficult to really see in the photos, is the angle of the road. It’s better than 30 degrees. Yes, on a flat surface, any pick up might be able to cross, but at this angle, Brad’s Chevy along with any other truck has yet to make it past this point. Only a snow-cat has passed indicated by the tracks left in the snow.
We were warned by Paul, WD8IAW, to be aware of predators on the peak, mainly mountain lions and we did see some paw prints. This was a bit concerning although I was still a bit strung out from the truck possibly sliding down. We hiked up approximately a mile or so, dragging equipment such as tools, service monitor, parts, schematics and SOTA radio stuff. You see, Sean KD6CUB had intended to activate the site which he did. The moon finally did rise above the New Mexico Spaceport and the area started to feel a little more comfortable. The view from up there in the moonlight was awesome. You can see the city-light glow from El Paso as well as Las Cruces, Alamogordo, Silver City and even Albuquerque from this place. Luckily, there was no wind. Temps were in the twenties. While Faz and I were inside the warm building, Sean and Brad installed a 75 meter dipole complete with an extension mast and then Sean sat on the most comfortable dirt and tried to make a few QSO’s. Unfortunately, the band did not work for him running QRP although signals were quite good.
Some might ask, “Why go up at night?” Well, all the repeater work that we needed to do was inside. I’ve been up there day and night probably fifty times since 1976 and you can drive right to the site, we just did not expect that much snow. Next time, we will be ready and prepared (yea, right!)
Thank you, Brad. Your truck is fine. SO are you! Thanks for volunteering. Great pictures as well.
Sean, obviously, you carried a bunch up in your backpack. Notice, as previously mentioned, we were supposed to drive to this site. Why bring a backpack? Sean, knows how to prepare. He even bought TWO Dassani water bottles at McDonalds in Las Cruces just in case, hi.
Paul, N5FAZ for carrying stuff, actually getting the tweeker tool through the vent holes to realign the 420 receiver with difficulty and taking pictures, Neat tower shot against the black sky!
And those that continued to listen during the early morning on the UHF radio.
This is the crazy stuff that some hams do around here to keep this repeater stuff from failing completely. Sean recently walked up to the 10/70 site in the snowstorm to pull the plug on the exhaust fan that was suckin’ the snow onto the repeater rack. If he had not, it would have probably died. The next week, he took his daughter, Jaymee on a trek to N. Mt. Franklin and installed a new G6 antenna, bringing the old one down. This was his third weekend in a row. This has been quite an accomplishment.
73 and keep using your radio.
Here are some photos from Sean KD6CUB from his trip on January 1, 2012 up to the 146.88 repeater site to make some repairs. (you can click on any photo to enlarge it)
He and his daughter Jaymee hit the trail head at 7:45 AM and arrived at the top of the mountain at 10:45 AM. What a view!
As soon as he arrived at the repeater site, he immediately saw the problem - the antenna was laying on the ground. It looked like the support pipe (mast) had rusted most of the way through the threads and when the big winds hit, it snapped it off and ripped the coax out of the N-connector.
He replaced the coax from the duplexers up to the antenna instead of splicing it. He then replaced the antenna with a Hustler G6. He also topped off the battery with water, and left the remaining 1/2 gallon of distilled water in the cabinet for the next time it needs to be filled. He also left 3 crescent wrenches in the box so the next crew going up there doesn't have to carry any.
On a side note - the last visit to the site was logged in the logbook on site as 2006, and the battery was only refilled then too. That being said, just a heads up to everyone a battery will probably be the next thing that needs replacing up there.
There were reports from hams all over El Paso stating that the signal from the repeater was much stronger.He finished his repairs around 2:50 PM, and then set up his HF rig and activated the peak for a Summits on the Air (SOTA) activation, and worked hams all over the US and Canada before packing things up at 4 PM and heading down the trail and getting back to his truck (in the dark) around 6 PM.
He had an awesome day with Jaymee, who had a fun day helping him with the hike and all the radio work.
Thank you Sean and Jaymee for getting the 146.88 repeater back on the air!