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.

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.

SkyWarn Training March 11
7:30pm via web site

Mark your calendar, this session of the training will be mainly Hams and our club. An email will be sent to members with the meeting connection. This is a Thursday.

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

The COVID virus ended all of the race events in 2020, so the club income dropped off. January is the month to collect dues. The dues are more important to the club for 2021 as the virus continues to cancel events.

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 have something to drop off for Bob.

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. Choose something permanent, not your internet service provider. Many people have <call sign>@arrl.net. This uses email forwarding, and 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. The birdie beaks mean “fill in the value.”

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.