ARRL Sections - West Texas

West Texas

West Texas

Contact Information

Section Name:
West Texas
Bill Roberts, W5NPR
Daytime Phone:
Evening Phone:

Basic Information

West Gulf

West Texas Section News
September 3, 2014
News From Around West Texas


Sorry about the delay!  I meant to send out the West Texas News before Labor Day weekend, but time got away from me.  I did have a wonderful August from a rain standpoint.  I had 9 days in August with measureable rainfall with a total of 5.01 for the month.  My total for the year now stands at 8.55 inches, still a little below average, but it couldn’t look better at my house 7 miles west of Alpine.  Hoping for more in September.


---HR4969  - The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014---

The following was sent out a few days ago by West Gulf division director David Woolweaver, but as an additional reminder, I am including it here as well:

Attention all West Gulf Division members. Amateur Radio needs your

Time is running out on the window of opportunity to contact your
Congressman regarding HR4969. The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014 is
the best chance to date to obtain relief from overly restrictive CC&R
regulations. As a point of reference, the West Gulf Division has over
33,000 HOA’s and more are being created every month.

HR4969 was recently introduced into the 113th Congress by Congressman
Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) as sponsor and Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT) as
co-sponsor. This bipartisan effort would direct the FCC to extend the
"reasonable accommodation" provisions for Amateur Radio antennas to
include all types of land-use regulation, including deed restrictions
and restrictive covenants.

For more detail go to:

Please go to the URL above and prepare a support letter for HR4969.
When addressing the letter to your Representative, make certain you
have included their name and mailing address in the header. Add your
full name, callsign, and address to the bottom of the letter, and
please make certain you have signed your letter. Letters that have not
been signed have little benefit.

If you wish to write and sign your letter then send the signed copy to
the ARRL as an attachment (PDF or scan) to an email, please send them
to with the words "HR 4969 letter" in the SUBJECT field
of the email. If you wish to mail your letter via the USPS, follow the
directions below.

To expedite delivery of your letter once you have printed it out and
signed it, you should mail your letter to:

Attn: HR 4969 letter campaign
225 Main St
Newington, CT 06111

We are frequently asked why the ARRL asks that letters be mailed to
ARRL for delivery instead of simply mailing them directly to the
Congressional offices. The answer is two-fold. First, since the 9/11
attacks and subsequent security threats, all incoming mail to
Congressional offices is first diverted to a holding area outside of
Washington DC. Once at that facility it undergoes a series of scans to
test for a variety of problems. Only after it passes the security tests
is it forwarded on to Capitol Hill for delivery. The delay in delivery
is generally in the 5-7 week range. By mailing the letters to the
ARRL, we are able to have the letters hand-delivered to the various
congressional offices in a timely manner.

The second reason is just as important. When our Washington team
delivers letters to a Congressional office, it provides them an
opportunity for at least a brief face-to-face meeting with some of the
key staff members in each Congressional office they visit. Each
in-person meeting is another opportunity for the ARRL’s story to be
told – and is another chance to answer questions that may arise.

I will personally be visiting Congressional offices on September 15, 16
and 17. Your letter will make the impact of my visits much more
significant. As a constituent, your comments hold great importance.

If you now live in a HOA or might, in the future, move to a HOA, this
bill holds great promise for your future ability to operate amateur
radio. Please act today. Log on to
Prepare your letter as per instructions on the website and mail or
E-Mail it tomorrow to the ARRL address above.

---SOTA Activity Announcement---

September 13th & 14th is the annual "Summits-on-the-Air" 2014 Activity

North America SOTA Activity Weekend is a casual event involving tiny battery-powered radios on mountain summits. It is not a contest but is intended to introduce "Summits on the Air" to newcomers with home stations who try to work summit operators during one or two days. There are no rules regarding power levels, modes or number of bands worked, but please be courteous when more than one station is trying to talk to a SOTA operator on a summit. The SOTA operators have just climbed mountains as high as 14,000 feet; they use low power; and they don't receive on split frequencies.
Check to spot who is on which mountain. Summits are
numbered, and you can hover your cursor over the number to see the name and point value for each summit. Expect the website to show activity near 7.032, 7.185, 10.110, 14.342, 18.095, 18.155, 21.350, 24.905, 24.955, 28.420, 146.52, 446.00, and 61 Khz up from the bottom of 20, 15 and 10 meters CW. Participants are invited to collect points toward certificates and trophies offered by the twelve-year-old international SOTA group ( As we learned in past years, this is a barrel of fun for both hill climbers and home operators.


---Annual Balloon Bash Held in Alpine Labor Day Weekend---

The skies around Alpine took on a variety of colors as 10 hot air balloons took to the air as part of the Annual Balloon Bash.  Activity began early Saturday morning at the Alpine Municipal Airport with hundreds of spectators watching the balloon launches.  Big Bend Amateur Radio Club provided communication support with net control operations from their Communications RV, spotters at the launch site and radio operators in the field tracking the balloons and providing support to the balloon ground teams.  Activity continued Sunday morning.

Sunday evening the Balloon Glow was held, with the balloons providing fire color in time to the music.  BBARC provided a concession stand with hotdogs, popcorn and cold drinks.

Wind speeds increased on Monday morning, forcing the cancellation of all
launches on the final day of the event, although the weekend as a whole went well.

As an added attraction, on Friday morning before the actual beginning of the Balloon Bash, two balloons launched from the school ground of Alpine
Elementary School.  This provided students with an up close and personal
observation of hot air balloons.

---Lubbock Amateur Radio Club to Host Hamfest October 18th---

The Lubbock ARC will host a hamfest on October 18th.  It will be located at the Noble Stidham Memorial Club House at 1110 98th Street in Lubbock.  The club house is just west of US Highway 87 Lamesa Highway.  They have a good facility and the weather in October should be great.  Make plans to attend!


---Silent Keys---

Frank Rouke WD8EFB and Stanley Shaw K5ZL, both of the El Paso area,
became Silent Keys in early August.

On behalf of myself and everyone in the West Texas Section, I extend
condolences to the family and friends of Frank and Stanley.



---Section Emergency Coordinator Report---

The Section Emergency Report for July was unavailable for inculsion in this
newsletter, but will be posted on the Website when available.

------------------------------------------------------------------------- Central States VHF Society Sun City ARC K5WPH El Paso ARC W5ES West Texas Rptr Assn, K5ELP New web site in El Paso Big Bend ARC, Alpine TX Midland ARC, Midland TX Lubbock Contest Club United States Skywarn SCARC's WX Sta Flare/MUF info Aurora, sun spots, CMEs Internet Radio Linking Project  Shows status of all reflectors Summits on the Air San Angelo ARC Abilene ARC

Thanks again for all you do for the West Texas Section.  Hope to see you soon.

ARRL West Texas Section
Bill Roberts W5NPR
Section Manager


West Texas Officials