6 meter operation in Big Bend area

Hello to all interested in chasing grids on 6M. The K5N group is
planning a grid DXpedition to three of the most wanted grids in the Big
Bend region of Texas. We are planning to activate DL79, DL89, AND
DL88. Our plans are NOT completely final, but here is the best estimate
that I can give at this point.

Arliss-W7XU, Bill-N5YA, and myself-K5QE will depart east TX on July the
2nd and drive to Study Butte, TX. We believe that we will arrive late
on the afternoon/evening of July 3rd. However, it is quite possible that
we will not get there until mid-day of the 4th of July. We will
probably setup in the evening of the 4th, when it is not so hot. So, it
is possible that we will be on the air the evening of the 4th. If not,
we will finish setup on the 5th and then get on the air then. The RV
park supposedly has WiFi, but I have been told that it is “spotty”.
That probably means that it does not work….HI.

Dan-N5TM is planning to drive over on the 5th, but will not arrive until
the evening. Kyle-KA5D and Ivan-KG5UNR will arrive on the evening of
July 6th(Saturday).

After I am firmly established in DL89, Arliss and Bill are going to
drive down to DL88 and put that on the air. There will be NO cell or
Internet in DL88, so you will just have to watch out for them. I should
be able to post when they leave, but I will not be able to tell when
they actually arrive OR when they are able to get on the air.

I believe that Arliss and Bill will return to Study Butte on the 8th of
July to help us pack and move to DL79. Again, this is NOT the final
word on all this, it is just as close as I can estimate.

Assuming all of the above, we will move to Presido, TX on the evening of
the 8th. We will setup on the morning of the 9th. In Presidio, we will
have Internet, either via the RV park or via an AT&T hot spot. On the
morning of the 13th, we will tear down and begin the long drive home.

We have not decided on which calls we will use. Remember, we will have
two stations on the air at the same time. While I have secured our
traditional K5N call from July 6th to July 13th, we cannot use that call
for both places at the same time, because there would be mass confusion
about which grid folks were working. I have applied for the K5N call
from July 3rd to July 5th, so we could use that call for the entire time
we were down there. ARRL is being a bit slow on that, however. We have
not decided on the frequencies we will use. Some have suggested that we
just get into the pile and run FT8 on 50.313MHz. Others say that we
should adopt a frequency close to that but not right on .313. Of
course, we are hoping for a big Es opening while we are down
there…most especially for Arliss and Bill while they are in DL88. I
cannot speak for the DL88 crew, but when FT8 and Es are dead, we will
entertain the troops with meteor scatter using MSK144, most probably on

This is the best that I can come up with right now. Things can and
probably will change. Hopefully, the changes will be small.

73 es GL….the K5N Team


Big Bend ARC Turns in Good Field Day Score

Big Bend Area, TEXAS – Members of the Big Bend Amateur Radio Club didn’t break their own personal best when it came to the club’s 2016 Field Day score but they did turn in a respectable score…and had a lot of fun doing it.

This year’s score of 9,674 was almost a thousand points less than last year when the club finished in seventh place in Class 2A.

The big difference was the lousy conditions on 6, 10 and 15 meters. This year we had zero points on 6. The CW ops had about the same on 15 meters and zero on 10. They ended up with 1369 Qs. The SSB Station had almost exactly the same score as last year with 1309. The GOTA station had 331 Qs last year but just 42 this year.


All together, CW was down about 300 QSOs. The SSB station was able to make up for the lack of 6 meter Q’s but the result was about the same.

This year, Robin Ritche, KK5ROB, earned 40 GOTA Bonus Points but that was it. Last year we had 320 GOTA Bonus Points.

When it came to other Bonus Points they were the same with 1,400. There were two new categories, social media and a safety officer for which we got the points, but because the GOTA bonus was down the result was the same.

As usual, we had great food by Bob, WA5ROE, and Ike Roberts. Ritchie

Operators on the CW station included Dave, N5DO; Mike, W5POK; and visiting from Midland was Robert, W5AJ. On SSB we had Bill, KE5OG; Chuck, KA5PVB; Steve Cowell, KI5YG; Steve Ritchie, W5JSR; and Allen Moore, N5NYM.

Participating on the GOTA station, in addition to KK5ROB, were N5NYM on CW, and then Justin Coggins, Bryan Ritchie, Adrian Billings and Zane Billings.

Field Day June 25 & 26 – News Release

Contact: Bill Brooks




Amateur Radio “Field Day” June 25 – 26 Demonstrates Science, Skill, and Service

Members of the Big Bend Amateur Radio Club will be participating in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise, June 25 – 26 at the Double Diamond Ranch south of Alpine.

Since 1933, ham radio operators across North America have established temporary ham radio stations in public locations during Field Day to showcase the science and skill of Amateur Radio. This event is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend.

For over 100 years, Amateur Radio — sometimes called ham radio — has allowed people from all walks of life to experiment with electronics and communications techniques, as well as provide a free public service to their communities during a disaster, all without needing a cell phone or the Internet.

Field Day demonstrates ham radio’s ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location and create an independent communications network. Over 35,000 people from thousands of locations participated in Field Day in 2015.

It’s easy for anyone to pick up a computer or smartphone, connect to the Internet and communicate, with no knowledge of how the devices function or connect to each other,” said Chuck Dobbins, KA5PVB, Club President.

“But if there’s an interruption of service or you’re out of range of a cell tower, you have no way to communicate. Ham radio functions completely independent of the Internet or cell phone infrastructure, can interface with tablets or smartphones, and can be set up almost anywhere in minutes. That’s the beauty of Amateur Radio during a communications outage.”

Hams can literally throw a wire in a tree for an antenna, connect it to a battery-powered transmitter and communicate halfway around the world,” Dobbins added. “Hams do this by using a layer of Earth’s atmosphere as a sort of mirror for radio waves. In today’s electronic do-it-yourself (DIY) environment, ham radio remains one of the best ways for people to learn about electronics, physics, meteorology, and numerous other scientific disciplines, and is a huge asset to any community during disasters if the standard communication infrastructure goes down.”

Anyone may become a licensed Amateur Radio operator. There are over 725,000 licensed hams in the United States, as young as 5 and as old as 100. And with clubs such as the Big Bend ARC, it’s easy for anybody to get involved right here in the Big Bend area.

For more information about Field Day, contact Bob Ward at 432-837-2061 or visit www.bigbendarc.com.