That guy Jay

Him again!!!

Somehow he managed to sneak into the shack and make 160 QSO during the July 2019 NAQP RTTY Contest:






I don’t care how he keeps doing that; but … thanks Jay! πŸ˜‰

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Meeting reminder

Reminder: July’s meeting will be on the 23rd, at 7 PM. Are we excited yet??? πŸ™‚

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Our apologies…

… to anyone who may have shown up for today’s meeting. A last minute change in the President’s schedule, and the Secretary who was on the road for a medical trip may have left some people waiting in the parking lot… Life happens πŸ™

Next meeting should be Tuesday, July 23.

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2019 ARRL Field Day wrap-up








The preliminary total score is 198 thanks to a handful of bonus points.

Operator: K5WW

Visitors: AB5JK, KD5BUC

Lessons learned: most equipment still works πŸ™‚

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May 28, 2019 meeting minutes

The meeting was called to order at 7:30 UMH time.

Attending: Jim AB5JK, James WW5XX and Erik K5WW. Excused: Dave WA6YJW (we hope you made it home OK!)

Treasurer’s report: $924.38 as of today, after last month’s expenses and collection of dues.

Main discussion point: Field Day. We decided to have Field Day at the club shack again this year, due to possible severe weather and accessibility concerns. K5WW will take care of the announcements. For those who don’t know: ARRL Field Day is always the 4th full weekend of June. This is your way-ahead-of-time invitation! πŸ™‚

The President suggested that the repeater/tower work be put on the back burner (no pun intended) until the weather gets a bit cooler again. In other words: we’ll need a few volunteers around December πŸ˜‰

Meeting was adjourned at 8:30 PM. Next meeting is Tuesday June 25th.

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May 2019 meeting

Coming up. Tuesday the 28th at 7 PM. Lots of things to discuss. You’re invited!

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Emergeny Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday is this weekend

Now’s the time to stock up on generators and hatchets! πŸ˜‰

From the Texas Comptroller website:

April 27 – 29, 2019

You can purchase certain emergency preparation supplies tax free during the 2019 Emergency Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday. There is no limit on the number of qualifying items you can purchase, and you do not need to issue an exemption certificate to claim the exemption.

This year’s holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, April 27, and ends at midnight on Monday, April 29.

These emergency preparation supplies qualify for tax exemption if purchased for a sales price:

  • Less than $3000
    • Portable generators
  • Less than $300
    • Emergency ladders
    • Hurricane shutters
  • Less than $75
    • Axes
    • Batteries, single or multipack (AAA cell, AA cell, C cell, D cell, 6 volt or 9 volt)
    • Can openers – nonelectric
    • Carbon monoxide detectors
    • Coolers and ice chests for food storage – nonelectric
    • Fire extinguishers
    • First aid kits
    • Fuel containers
    • Ground anchor systems and tie-down kits
    • Hatchets
    • Ice products – reusable and artificial
    • Light sources – portable self-powered (including battery operated)
      • Examples of items include: candles, flashlights and lanterns
    • Mobile telephone batteries and mobile telephone chargers
    • Radios – portable self-powered (including battery operated) – includes two-way and weather band radios
    • Smoke detectors
    • Tarps and other plastic sheeting

These supplies do not qualify for tax exemption:

  • Batteries for automobiles, boats and other motorized vehicles
  • Camping stoves
  • Camping supplies
  • Chainsaws
  • Plywood
  • Extension ladders
  • Stepladders
  • Tents
  • Repair or replacement parts for emergency preparation supplies
  • Services performed on, or related to, emergency preparation supplies

Additional Charges Affect Purchase Price

Delivery, shipping, handling and transportation charges are part of the sales price. If the emergency preparation supply being purchased is taxable, the delivery charge is also taxable. Consider these charges when determining whether an emergency preparation supply can be purchased tax free during the holiday.

For example, you purchase a rescue ladder for $299 with a $10 delivery charge, for a total sales price of $309. Because the total sales price of the ladder is more than $300, tax is due on the $309 sales price.

For more information, contact us at Tax Help, or call 1-800-252-5555.

(KS5TX: thanks for the heads up!)

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April 23, 2019 meeting minutes

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM local time.

Attending: Gary K5QOW, Jim AB5JK and Erik K5WW.

The Treasurer reports $1,000 in the sock box, after he paid his dues early and rounded up the amount to an even $1,000.

K5WW was reimbursed the $117.62 that he paid last month for the new web hosting plan for .

K5QOW paid his dues, and added a $10 donation. K5WW paid dues for himself and KU5Z; and Richard N5YPJ paid his dues by proxy.

Jim demonstrated several pieces of newly acquired hardware, among which Agilent and Rigol spectrum analyzers. Really nice equipment, with millions of different uses, at a rock bottom price – nice! Clearly, those who didn’t go to the Belton hamfest missed out on quite a few good deals πŸ™‚

The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 (ish) local time. Next one: May 28 at 7 PM at our regular watering hole. (bring your own water)

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April 2019 meeting

We had a great, productive meeting in March, with plenty of attendees.

But we could use even more this month; because there will be lots of stuff to do! πŸ™‚

March 23 at 7 PM at the Uvalde Memorial Hospital’s Education Room. You’ll be there, right?

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Say it ain’t so!!!

From the Bad News Department at the ARRL:

Solar Cycle 25 Predicted to be Similar to Cycle 24

Scientists predicting the sun’s activity for Solar Cycle 25 say it’s likely to be much like that of current Cycle 24, which is declining and predicted to bottom out in 2019 or 2020. Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel experts said Solar Cycle 25 may get off to a slow start, but is anticipated to peak between 2023 and 2026 with a sunspot range of 95 to 130. This is well below the typical average of 140 to 220 sunspots per solar cycle. The panel expressed high confidence that the coming cycle should break the trend of weakening solar activity seen over the past four cycles. The Solar Cycle Prediction Panel forecasts theΒ number of sunspots expected for solar maximum, along with the timing of the peak and minimum solar activity levels for the cycle. The outlook was presented on April 5 at the 2019 NOAA Space Weather Workshop in Boulder, Colorado.

“We expect Solar Cycle 25 will be very similar to cycle 24: Another fairly weak cycle, preceded by a long, deep minimum,” said panel co-chair Lisa Upton, a solar physicist with Space Systems Research Corp. “The expectation that Cycle 25 will be comparable in size to Cycle 24 means that the steady decline in solar cycle amplitude, seen from cycles 21 – 24, has come to an end and that there is no indication that we are currently approaching a Maunder-type minimum in solar activity.”

The solar cycle prediction gives a rough idea of the frequency of space weather storms of all types, from radio blackouts to geomagnetic storms and solar radiation storms. In addition to its effects on Amateur Radio signal propagation, space weather can affect power grids; critical military, airline, and shipping communications; satellites and GPS signals, and can even threaten astronauts through exposure to harmful radiation.

Solar Cycle 24 reached its maximum in April 2014, with a peak average of 82 sunspots. The sun’s northern hemisphere led the sunspot cycle, peaking more than 2 years ahead of the southern hemisphere sunspot peak. Given that the sun takes 11 years to complete one solar cycle, this is only the fourth time that US scientists have issued a solar cycle prediction. The first panel convened in 1989 for cycle 22.

For Solar Cycle 25, the panel hopes for the first time to predict the presence, amplitude, and timing of any differences between the northern and southern hemispheres on the sun, known as hemispheric asymmetry. Later this year, the panel will release an official sunspot number curve showing the predicted number of sunspots during any given year and any expected asymmetry. The panel will also look into the possibility of providing a solar flare probability forecast.

“While we are not predicting a particularly active Solar Cycle 25, violent eruptions from the sun can occur at any time,” said Doug Biesecker, panel co-chair and a solar physicist at NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC).

Visit the SWPC to obtain the latest space weather forecast. Read more. — Thanks to NOAA


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