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 coyotearc.net .

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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March 26, 2019 meeting minutes

The meeting was called to order at 7:15 PM.

Attending: Jim AB5JK, Gary K5QOW, Doug KC5TRQ, Manuel Lorenzi and Erik K5WW.

The Treasurer crunched the numbers and reported $983.93 in the sock box.

K5WW reported that after 3 years with our current web host it’s time to renew our web hosting plan for the CARC website. Rather than renewing our plan with the current host for close to $400 for 3 years, it was decided to go with a new host for $117.95 for 3 years. K5WW will set it up and makes sure the transition goes as planned; and will be reimbursed. The motion was approved by all attendees. Jim added that in the future we can move our website to the web host he already uses for EchoLink and AllStar, at no extra cost.

News from the electrical noise front: the electric coop is willing to help us out; but can’t commit to a specific date yet. Reason given was that they’ve been dealing with lots of outages and damages due to bad weather, back in the home office area; and has to dedicate their finest to those tasks. More news later.

AB5JK mentioned that – once we get around to getting the repeater antenna changed and all other antenna related work is finished – he will configure an autopatch system on our repeater. We sure haven’t seen that in this part of the world in a long time; so that will be a very nice addition!

Next meeting: April 23, 2019 πŸ™‚

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March 2019 meeting

March 26, 2019 at 7 PM CDT. πŸ™‚

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February 2019 meeting minutes

The meeting was called to order at 7:20 PM.

Attending: Jim AB5JK, Manuel Lorenzi and Erik K5WW. Dave HP1/WA6YJW checked in via Echolink.

Treasurer’s report: $1,038.01 on the positive side.

The Club’s TS-2000 was repaired and returned to us. Repair cost plus return shipping: $106.99. That, plus shipping to AVVid, was paid for in part by the proceeds of the donated IC-730 (thank you, Dave!) plus an extra $54.08 that K5WW was reimbursed for.

About two weeks after receiving the MFJ-5008, following several days of rainy, humid weather without interference K5WW was able to pinpoint the exact location of the noise source at the shack, on a warm, dry and windy day. The ultrasonic receiver made that easy. In less than 15 minutes the problematic insulator on the utility pole was found; and the electric co-op was contacted again.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:50 PM, after which we all went to the shack for a visit and to have Jim double-check Erik’s findings πŸ™‚

Next meeting: March 26.

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February 2019 meeting

Tomorrow, Tuesday February 26 at 7 PM.

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Rest in peace and happy birthday

Exactly one decade ago KE5YZA was born!

KE5YZA - our very first callsign

Our very first callsign


KE5YZA faithfully served us for a couple of years; but had to be cancelled eventually…

Happy Birthday, and Rest In Peace πŸ˜‰

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January 22, 2019 meeting minutes

(edit: 2019, NOT 2016!)

The meeting was called to order as soon as everyone sat down.

Attending: Jim AB5JK, visitor Mr. Lorenzi and Erik K5WW.

After the traditional New Year’s toast by the President we got down to business.

The Treasurer reports having done the laundry, and that there is $1,200.05 in our sock after the purchase of the new repeater antenna (to-be-installed). The new total is $16 more, thanks to James WW5XX paying his dues early and a small donation.

Jim reports that the new Pi3s are almost ready and that Allstar and Echolink are now being hosted on a much faster cloud server, and that the new software and hardware combo sounds much better! For the time being visitors to our nodes will be redirected to Jim’s; but that will change soon.

K5WW sold the Icom IC-730 that Dave WA6YJW donated to the club a while ago. The net profit was a little over $105. That money will be spent on the repair of the Kenwood TS-2000 that had it’s RS-232 port damaged a few months ago. K5WW will be sending that one to Clif at AVVid this week.

The never-ending electrical noise at the shack has gotten worse in recent times. It’s become so bad and strong that it’s still possible to find the general location of the source to within one block; but due to the strength it’s now totally impossible to locate the origin. A number of calls to AEP in 2018 resulted in nothing so far. K5WW suggested purchasing an MFJ-5008 ultrasonic receiver to help pinpointing the source and to make AEP’s folks lives easier to get them to take action. That suggestion was approved and the hardware will be ordered.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:57 PM, after which Mr. Lorenzi got a tour of the KN5S shack.

Next meeting: February 26.

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