W5SFA Main Page

Last edit: 3/28/2023 by N5RWK


March 2022 Announcements 

The next club meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 29 at the Cielito Lindo Mexican Restaurant in Bellville, in the private back room.  As usual, dinner at 6 and meeting at 7. We will be talking about balloons as well as Pi-Star hotspots and how they work. All are welcome!  

Club meetings are always 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: 

KF5ZRT/A, a Zacktek package, is closing in on 3 times around the earth!  You can monitor its status at this link  <= Note: Loads slow.

Three more balloons were launched on March 25, call signs were W5SFA, KF5ZRT and WA5IWB/F.  Unfortunately, KF5ZRT and WA5IWB went down prematurely in Mississippi and Alabama respectively.  However, W5SFA, a U4B package, is alive and well.  It has crossed the Atlantic and is currently over Africa at 12,000 meters.  For current status see this link < Note: Loads slow.

The Belton HamExpo will be held April 14-15 at the Bell County Expo Center.  It's a great time to get rid of surplus equipment (or acquire more).  For more information, see https://tarc.org/hamexpo-schedule/

 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 our XLX 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.  For an overview and some basic instructions on how to set up a hotspot see this PDF file.

The Wires-X link on the Bellville repeater has been retired, since the XLX server has replaced this functionality.  The XLX server has been moved and is now housed in the Bellville shack.  

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: 


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