The Big Bend Amateur Radio Club is based in Alpine, Texas and covers the entire Big Bend area of West Texas. The club is open to anyone interested in amateur radio activities.  Join us at our monthly meeting or on the air via one of our weekly nets.  Contact us by email.

License Exams Saturday 3-6

Test Session, Saturday, March 6th at the American Legion at 304 West Sul Ross in Alpine.   Testing will begin at 10:00 AM.   Masks will be required to enter the building.   If you want to take the Technician Test bring a government photo ID, and Fifteen Dollars ($15.00) in cash.  Those for General or Extra Class testing must also bring a copy of their current license.   There will be a charge for each test administered on Saturday.


Next Meeting Tuesday 3-9

The next club meeting is 3-9 at 7:30pm. Not sure if on the repeaters or in-person yet.

SkyWarn Training Thursday March 11
7:30pm via web site

This session of the SkyWarn training will be mainly WTX secion Hams and our club. An email has been sent to members with the meeting connection. A reminder will be sent the day before.

February Newsletter

The Bark, newsletter of the BBARC, is published monthly in PDF format and emailed to over 100 recipients. The latest issue is now available.  You don’t have to be a club member to receive the newsletter. Get added to the distribution list by emailing Scott KI5ANQ.

New Members

New Hams are on the 2m repeaters and taking license exams. Some of their basic questions can be answered in a new page on our web site. Here is a new web page for new members.

January Is Club Dues Month

Dues are $36 per year for individual or individual & spouse. Dues can be mailed to Bob Ward, WA5ROE at the BBARC mailing address:

Big Bend Amateur Radio Club, 1402 North 5th Street, Alpine, Texas 79830 

Dues can also be dropped off at the True Value Hardware store, including cash. Use an envelope with BBARC, your name, and call sign on the front. Ask any employee that you have something to put on Bob’s desk.

FCC Email Requirement

The new email requirement begins June 29. Just like the mailing address, each licensee and applicant must have an email address and respond to messages from the FCC. All license holders need to update their FCC database record with the email address. Getting a license back requires taking the technician test, which will liley be at the new $50 per test rate.

Prepare for the email requirement now with a permanent email address. An email address with an internet service provider becomes invalid when the service is changed. Many ARRL members have <call sign>@arrl.net as an email alias, forwarding messages to the regular email address. It is easy to set up with Edit Account on your ARRL profile. Make sure your User Name value is set to your call sign as the forwarding address becomes <user name>@arrl.net.

Similar, Hams will use another email service like gmail or outlook or yahoo with their call signs. Call signs are unique and permanent (mostly) and easy to remember.

2m Repeater Work

Doug N5HYD has been busy tracking down some symptoms in the 2m repeater system. The 82 repeater has new batteries and solar controller thanks to Ron K4AAA and Doug N5HYD going up Christmas Mountain the day after Thanksgiving. The symptoms persist, so the next step may be to swap out equipment and bring it back to the workbench for testing. One of the symptoms is all repeaters are transmitting with no audio except 82. This times out after 3 minutes or until someone keys up 82. The repeater has been taken off line at times to try to identify 82 as causing the symptom.

December 12, Doug N5HYD went to the 92 repeater for an inspection. He is looking at ways to cycle power to reset the VHF radio.

The six club repeaters are on mountain peaks. The wind and weather are hard on the solar panels, antennas, batteries, and electronics. Access to most of the sites requires coordination with the land owners, off road vehicles, good weather, and most of a day. The views are breathtaking, so opportunities to go to repeater sites are one of our best club benefits.