W5SFA Main Page

Last edit: 9/6/2022 by N5RWK


September 2022 Announcements 

The September club meeting will be held on Wednesday evening, September 28.  We will meet at the Cielito Lindo Mexican Restaurant in Bellville, same as last month.  Dinner is at 6 pm, and the club meeting follows at 7 pm.  All are welcome!

I expect we'll have a balloon update.  Our launch took place at 9:46am on Saturday, September 3.  See the video here.  Although the launch itself was successful, unfortunately the balloon was never heard from again.

We're continuing to collect dues for the 2022-2023 year.  You can mail a check to Kat Croker (use membership application link below, it has her mailing address.)  $20 for an individual, $21 for a family.

Club meetings are held on the lAST Wednesday of the month (except for Nov & Dec)


New members are welcome!  You don't need to be a radio expert, all you need is to have an interest in radio communications.  For your convenience, you can complete the following application form and mail it to the address above, or bring it to the next club meeting.

                  Membership Application (PDF) 

Club Events: 

See https://www.zachtek.com/product-page/wspr-tx-pico-transmitter for details about the hardware.  We'll be able to monitor the balloon's progress from our rigs.  Some balloons have circumnavigated the globe multiple times, and have stayed up for months.  

Update 8/26:  We've successfully done a "tethered" launch to test the transmitter and antenna.  See photos here.  We'll have more info to share at the club meeting, and may even have a launch date.

Update 8/29:  The balloon launch has been scheduled for next Saturday (September 3) at 9:30 am.  As is typical with most of our gatherings, there is a high probability of a dining event afterwards (a launch lunch)

Update 8/30:  There has been a change of venue for Saturday's balloon launch.  Turns out Holt Park isn't a good launch location, so launch will be at N5RWK's place in New Ulm.  The launch is still scheduled for 9:30 am on Saturday morning, weather permitting.  All are welcome.  If the sky is overcast, we will likely have to reschedule the launch.

Update 9/3:  The balloon was launched, but was never heard on WSPR.  We will try again.  Balloon Launch Video

The Fall Belton Hamexpo is coming up, September 30-October 1.

 VE Testing News: 

Our group is affiliated with W5YI-VEC for administering tests.  If you are a prospective ham, or already a ham looking to upgrade your license, send an email to info at w5sfa.org for information or to schedule your test.

Note that the FCC is now charging a $35 fee for new licenses, renewals and vanity calls.  License upgrades and changes of address are exempt from this new fee.

There is now an online Technician Class license class video available on Youtube.  Copy this link into a new page in your browser:  

Repeater News: 

The Bellville repeater system (C4FM on UHF and Analog on VHF) are now connected to a multiprotocol server on the internet.  This allows DMR users to communicate on the repeater system via a hotspot/internet connection.  It also allows users with Yaesu C4FM digital radios to connect to the repeater via a hotspot, enabling long-distance communication via the internet.  Hotspots are a small, inexpensive transceiver typically based on a Raspberry Pi with an RF board and connects to the internet usually with a wifi connection.  
Note that the Columbus repeater is Digital C4FM only, FM analog will not work!  The Columbus repeater has a DG-ID of 01.

 Club Officers for 2022-2023: 

President:          Bev Cucuzza, KB8PRC

Vice-President:  Ray Chislett, W5RAC

Secretary/Treasurer:  Kathy Croker, KB5ITB

 W5SFA Weekly VHF Net: 

The Stephen F. Austin Radio Club weekly net meets every Tuesday at 7:00 PM on the Club's Bellville VHF repeater (analog FM) or the UHF repeater (C4FM digital).  See the REPEATERS link to the left for frequencies.  All licensed hams are welcome to participate.

Net Control Schedule:

1st Tuesday:  N5RWK Roger

2nd Tuesday: KG5NCL John

3rd Tuesday: KE5FN Jim

4th Tuesday:  KF5ZRT Gary

5th Tuesday (if there is one):  N5RWK Roger


 Stephen F. Austin Radio Club List serve (reflector) information: 


HITS: 11260    
since Jan. 28 2020