Official Newsletter for the
Heart O’ Texas Amateur Radio Club
Waco, Texas


Volume XLII, Number 5

May 2017


Digital Amateur Radio Modes

By Drew Dickenson, KE5UBO

Have you heard fellow operators talking about “The Digital Modes” and wondered what they are referring to? Do you know digital-ham.pngabout some radio modes and want to expand to others? Do you wonder “How would I get started?” and “What equipment would I need?”

Come by the meeting on Thursday and get questions like these answered! We will cover topics like USB sound cards, TNCs, computer control, software packages, and, of course, some of the different digital modes you may hear on the air.


President’s Corner


The month of May is soon coming to an end, and that means that Field Day is just around the corner! At this month’s meeting we will work on finalizing plans for Field Day. One thing already in the works: we a kd5dzu-2017b.pngplanning a hearty dinner wonderfully prepared by several members on Saturday night after a hard day in pulling the contacts out of the pile ups. You don’t want to miss this event!

There are some things we have to do in order to get ready for Field Day. The first and most important is to get our Club’s communications trailer back together and working properly after its recent overhaul. We need several members working together to accomplish this. So I will be asking for volunteers this week. When we are finished let’s meet for lunch at a local restaurant to celebrate.

New wrinkles for this year’s Field Day: Several members want to try to achieve a Satellite contact this year. And after our CW power house retires for the night, there are plans to change the CW station over to a digital station. I am excited to announce that this meeting’s program will be presented by Drew KE5UBO. He will discuss and show several digital modes that we may try to use during this year’s Field Day.

I hope to see all of you there. There might even be a surprise for those that show up.

Kindest regards,

Lynn Gustafson, KD5DZU
HOTARC President



HOTARC Field Day 2017

Hewitt Park, Hewitt, TX

Saturday June 24, 1 PM to Sunday June 25, 1 PM

Mark your calendars!!



For the Record


HOTARC Meeting of Members
April 27, 2017

President Lynn Gustafson, KD5DZU called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the W5NCD Workshop Meeting Room.

Bill Feltenberger, KD5UEW opened the meeting with a prayer.

17 members; and 1 visitor present: Alyssa Gustafson.

Last Meeting Minutes. A motion to accept the Minutes of the March 2017 meeting was made by Bill Feltenberger KD5UEW seconded by Dwan Needham KE5JWY, and unanimously approved.

Treasurer’s report. A motion to accept the February Treasurers Report was made by Bill Feltenberger KD5UEW and 2nd by Arthur Brown K5RMI; motion approved by membership.

The Treasurer Reports...


Heart O’ Texas Amateur Radio Club
Treasurer’s Report, April 2017

Beginning Account Balance                                 $ 10,756.78


Dues                                         $30.00

WWW100 Donation                 500.00

Education Committee              50.00

Auction Income                       275.00

Interest                                        0.10

TOTAL Income                    $ 855.10


Trailer registration                                 $122.50

PayPal                                                            2.66

TOTAL Expenses                                  $ 125.16

Ending Account Balance                                       $ 11,486.72

Uncleared activity (as of 5/16/2017)
Skywarn refreshments $22.49, Trailer jack repair $243.56, ARRL liability insurance $300.00
Amount in account:                                                $ 10,920.67
       (incl. Flower Fund: $135.26)

Submitted by
Norris Martin, KB5SLI
HOTARC Treasurer

Committee Reports:

·         ARES: Ed Hynan KC5NI reported that little is going on, however, expect a lot of activity with the forthcoming weather season. If you are interested in being a member of ARES, contact Ed at or 254-722-4578.

·         Trailer Committee: Lynn Gustafson KD5DZU is soliciting a Trailer Committee Chairman and reported that the trailer is still at Lloyds. The trailer jack was found to be bad and must be replaced. Cost is quoted for $260.00. Bill Feltenberger, KD5UEW moved to pay the $260 for the trailer hitch which was seconded by Ed Hynan KC5NI. Motion is approved by membership.

·         Repeater Committee: Clint AE5CA absent but Lynn reported all repeaters are in same shape as reported in previous meeting.

·         Website: John Chamberlain AC5CV reported website working fine.

·         D-Star: David Bush KC5UOZ indicated nothing new to report; repeater is not working satisfactorily.

·         Education Committee: Bill Feltenberger KD5UEW reported that the two registered for class choose not to have the second half of class, but did test along with two other walk-ins. After testing there were three new Technicians and one advancing to General Class.

·         Public Relations: Dwan Needham KE5JWY reported letters were sent to key organizations announcing the Field Day Event. More points of contact were recommended by Lynn and other members. Lynn recommended we have a banner or something at the entrance of the Hewitt Park announcing the Field Day Event and solicited someone to take lead on making that happen.

Old Business

·         Field Day 2017. Lynn KD5DZU reported Clint Anderson AE5CA is lead on Field Day. Lynn led a discussion regarding meals needed for Field Day. Dwan Needham is lead on food logistics. Each member invited to bring their own ice chest of drinks. Additional discussion regarding the various activities to be operating at Field Day. John Chamberlain AC5CV noted that a special email list ( will be activated for members to use for Field Day coordination. Lynn identified the need for an HF dipole for 80 meters, but interest is also for 10/15/20/40m.

·         HOTARC Audit. Dwan Needham KE5JWY reported that the audit is completed and found that all transactions were satisfactory. Drew Dickerson KE5UBO moved to accept to the Audit Committee Report and seconded by Dan Hapenney AG5HF, and accepted by the membership. (Note: Dwan recommended that, for future audits, the PAYPAL accounts be explained before audit commencing.)

·         DSTAR Module. Lynn reported that there is nothing new to report.

·         Generator Repair. Lynn reported that the generator repair has not happened yet. This generator will be needed for Field Day.

New Business

·         Building Trackers. Larry Bush W5NCD has offered the use of the Workshop to help members build their own tracker. Lynn will send an email to members interested in the construction class announcing the date.

·         Direction Finding Antenna. Lynn is organizing a construction class to build a Direction Finding antenna for use in Fox Hunt events. Lynn will send an email to members interested in the construction class announcing the date.

Other Discussions

·         HamCom. Check the HOTARC web site for info about this upcoming hamfest.

·         Amateur Radio Story. Lynn shared a special story about the use of Ham Operations linking family members in Japan.

Motion to adjourn by Bill Feltenberger, KD5UEW was recognized by Lynn KD5DZU at 7:53 pm.

Post Meeting Program

A special presentation was provided by Norris Martin KB5SLI about the mystery of the Wood Pecker (Russian Duga-3 OHR). The presentation was a YouTube video: (Russian with subtitles)

Another informative YouTube video: (English)

Submitted by
Dan Hapenney, AG5HF
[Aggie5 Have Fun]
HOTARC Secretary

Hurricane Watch Net (HWN)

by Ed Hynan, KC5KNI
McLennan County Emergency Coordinator

Hurricane season begins on 1 June and ends on 30 November. It is during this time that Hurricane Watch Net (HWN), the primary wide-area amateur radio hurricane response and information source, is activated. The HWN serves as “eyes and ears” for the National Weather Service, and relays official weather bulletins to those monitoring the Net in affected areas. The Net also serves as a back-up ares_logo_hi_rescommunication link between NWS forecast centers, EOCs, and other disaster relief efforts. As with our local Bakers Dozen Weather Net, we provide real time confirmation of severe occurrences to the NWS. The HWN does the same over a wide area.

The HWN is activated for all hurricanes that are a threat to land in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific. The Net will normally activate when a hurricane is moving towards land at a range of 300 miles. The National Hurricane Center may occasionally request activation for a tropical storm or a storm that is over 300 miles from land.

Once activated, the HF HWN has the following primary functions:

Image result for hurricane watch  net1. Disseminate hurricane advisory information to marine interests, Caribbean island nations, emergency operations centers, and other interests in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific.

2. Obtain weather information from reporting stations and observers who are not part of the routine network for the National Weather Service.

3. Function as a back-up wide-area communication link for the National Hurricane Center, emergency operations centers, and the National Weather Service, and other vital interests involved in the protection of life and property before, during, and after hurricane events.

4. Relay initial damage assessments to the National Hurricane Center.

The HWN and the operation at W4EHW at the National Hurricane Center in Miami are staffed entirely by volunteers. Net operations are usually conducted on 14.325 MHz, although when band conditions warrant the Net moves to 3.950 MHz. Standard operating procedures, operating tips, reporting forms, and tips on taking observations can be found at:


I Remember...

by Bill Feltenberger, KD5UEW
HOTARC Vice President

I am dealing with a new Technician Class licensee. I am very excited for her, and I can almost see some excitement in her. I can hear it in her voice! This causes me to remember when **I** was new in Ham Radio.

To that end I ask myself, and would ask this question of others: “Do you remember being new?”

1.      Do you remember not being able to find a list of frequencies to use?

2.      Do you remember wondering when to key the mike or what to say?

3.      Do you remember not having anyone to ask a question?

4.      Do you remember a Ham showing up and telling you how to say your call sign phonetically?

5.      Do you remember that same Ham calling you to see if there was anything he could do to help you get started?

6.      Do you remember the reaction of your heart when you heard someone on the radio calling your call sign?

7.      Do you remember showing up a field day and having someone show you how to make your first HF contact.

There are folks in our Club, and some that have gone Silent Key, that had a big effect on my enjoyment of this hobby. I choose to remember the good, and forget the bad. I choose to be thankful for those that have helped me.

Now, to the point: “I **DO**remember”. So, what am **I** doing for that next group of new hams?



The HOTLINE is the monthly newsletter of the Heart O’ Texas Amateur Radio Club (HOTARC), Inc., a nonprofit corporation, chartered by the State of Texas and principally located in Waco. It is permissible to use any of the original material contained herein, provided proper credit is given to the source.
Edited and Published by John Chamberlain AC5CV, AC5CV@arrl.Net

HOTARC 2017 Board of Directors

President: Lynn Gustafson KD5DZU

Vice Pres: Bill Feltenberger KD5UEW,

Secretary: Dan Hapenney AG5HF

Treasurer: Norris Martin KB5SLI,

Past‑Pres.: Clint Anderson AE5CA,

Director (2017): Paul Collins KG5DHS,

Director (2018): Terry Williams KD5KJU,

Director (2019): Ed Hynan KC5KNI,

Club Repeaters

145.15 MHz (input at –600 kHz, tone 123 Hz)

146.98 MHz (input at –600 kHz, D-Star)

442.875 MHz (input at +5.0 MHz, tone 123 Hz)

VE Testing

We will have no testing in June. Check back for a July test date, at which you will need to: Bring: 1) testing fee of $15 (cash only); 2) a photo ID (two for first-time licensees); and for already licensed amateurs: 3) Reference copy or photocopy of current license; and 4) photocopy of any relevant CSCE. Contact: Linda Hynan, AC5QQ at 254‑666‑4873 or


Meeting Notice

HOTARC will hold its Annual Meeting of Members at 7:00 pm on Thursday May 25 at the W5NCD Workshop, 12772 Chapel Rd in Lorena. Meetings generally last about 75 minutes consisting of fellowship, general Club business, and an interesting program and discussions. Visiting hams, family members, and prospective hams are welcomed!

Are you making your plans for Field Day?!