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Ham Coffee Break

griffs grill photo   griffs grill map
A few HOTARC members have started a tradition. Come, and join us! At 9:00 AM each Saturday morning (if nothing else is scheduled) we're meeting for a cup of coffee and a chat (and brunch, anyone?) at Griff's Grill at the intersection of China Springs Highway and Wortham Bend Rd (beside Chevron gas station). The topic list is wide open! We're just getting together to "shoot the bull," and would love for as many Club members, other hams, and guests to participate as are interested.

If we expect large numbers, we'll call ahead for a table, so feel free to drop a quick email to Ralph W5RWR if you're planning to be there. That said, don't hesitate to come because you didn't send an email—if you find yourself able, we'd love to see you!

HOTARC Members Meeting

W5NCD Workshop photo
W5NCD Workshop map thumbnail

Driving: Route 1Route 2Route 3

HOTARC will hold its next Meeting of Members on Thursday, September 27 at 7:00 pm. The Club meets on the fourth Thursday each month at the W5NCD Workshop near the southern end of Chapel Road in far south Waco (12272 Chapel Rd, Lorena, TX). Our meetings include a few minutes of regular business, planning for upcoming special events, entertaining radio-related discussions, usually an interesting program or presentation—and, of course, plenty of friendly fellowship with other area hams!

Otherwise, do you have a question about our Club, about our amateur radio hobby, or about using your ham radio equipment? Look over our web site, and/or attend the next Club meeting—a great opportunity to get answers, or be pointed in the right direction to find an answer. Read the current HOTLINE (issued the weekend prior to the meeting) for more details about this month's meeting. Family members and visitors—especially those interested in becoming hams or joining the Club—are always very welcome!

Belton HamExpo


Our fellow hams in the Temple ARC sponsor the twice-annual Ham Expo held in the Bell County Expo Center located in Belton, Texas. The next Ham Expo will be held on Saturday, October 6th at 7:00 AM-12:30 PM.


From I‑35 take Exit 292 and drive west a few blocks to the Dome. Admission is only $5, and includes a raffle ticket for several door prizes (need NOT be present to win)! The ham-gear shopping opportunities—both new stuff from vendors and gently-handled stuff on the tailgates—are as good you'll find at any hamfest (outside of Dayton, maybe). For a small fee, you can even set up your own tailgate store and offer some of your own surplus equipment "for sale," but slots are limited, so register early!

Make plans now to get up early on this date and head down I-35 for ham deals and fun.

2018 Waco Wild West 100 Bike Tour   —   SATURDAY OCTOBER 20

Official Course Maps & Turn-by-Turn Instructions
WWW100 logo

HOTARC provides radio communications in support of this annual event sponsored by the Waco Bicycle Club that involves several hundred participants and volunteers. This year's WWW100 will be held Saturday, October 20, 2018, starting in Indian Springs Park in downtown Waco at 8:00 am. This day-long event accommodates riders of many abilities with courses of varied lengths: 9, 27, 52, 69, and 105 miles—all of which are supported by rest stops, SAG vehicles, and radio communications provided by HOTARC.

WWW100 course map

(Click image for larger map.)

Riders ready photo

This event requires many volunteers in the pace cars and at the many rest stops around the course. An amateur radio operator at each rest stop permits relaying of timely progress information as well as break-downs, injuries, need for supplies, and so forth. HOTARC-provided APRS trackers provide GPS position data for Net Control and others to track the movements and current location of significant vehicles in real time, such as the 100-mi pace car and SAG vehicles.

Although this event is well "planned," there are still plenty of surprises for us every year, and it is an outstanding training opportunity for a real disaster that would require radio communications from several remote locations—all reporting vital information back to and coordinating with a Net Control. Contact Clint Anderson AE5CA with questions about this event, and click the "sign up here" link above to volunteer to help.

For your information, here's how we configure the APRS trackers for special event tracking (nicely documented for the 2015 event), and the course map files (zip) used by the APRSIS program. (Note: Easy to install; not so easy to setup and use. Allow a couple weeks to learn!)

See our Special Events Archive for previous runnings of the WWW100 (aka WWWC).

HOTARC/BARC Amateur Radio Testing

ARRL-VEC patch

HOTARC and BARC (Baylor ARC) are pleased to support ARRL VEC Amateur Radio testing for the general public Saturday, October 27th at 10:00 AM in the Baylor University's Rogers Engineering and Computer Science Building, upstairs in Room 207.

At these test sessions, you can earn (or upgrade) your amateur radio license by simply passing a short multiple-choice exam. For some hints on preparing to pass your first ham radio exam, see our FAQ page.

Please bring with you to the test session, either:
For Your First License or For Upgrading Your License
 1) Testing fee of $15 (cash only); and
 2) Two current photo IDs.

 1) Testing fee of $15 (cash only);
 2) A current photo ID;
 3) Reference Copy How to get & print your FCC License
1. Click now for FCC ULS License Search.
2. Search your callsign; click it when found.
3. Click on Reference Copy link to start download.
4. Print the downloaded pdf.
or photocopy of
      your current FCC license; and
 4) Photocopy of any relevant CSCE * (from recent test session).

NOTE: Upgrading? We must have copies, as indicated above, for our records.

For further questions, or to let us know you plan to come,
contact Linda Hynan AC5QQ by email  OR  by phone:  254-666-4873.

*CSCE is an official proof of previously passed FCC exam(s), valid up to 1 year. If you already have your current FCC license, then we don't need the CSCE—just a photocopy or printed Reference Copy How to get & print your FCC License
1. Click now for FCC ULS License Search.
2. Search your callsign; click it when found.
3. Click on Reference Copy link to start download.
4. Print the downloaded pdf.
of the current license.
But suppose, for example, you recently passed a license exam, and have not yet been granted the new FCC license. If you come to take the next higher license exam, we'll need a photocopy of the CSCE as proof that you have passed the previous exam.

Contact us:  email address