Siren Test Monitoring is back starting this Saturday.

The GIS team at the Williamson County EMA have put together an updated Siren Test Monitoring system. This system will look familiar to some of you and is now ready to be used.

We will restart the monthly siren test monitoring this coming Saturday, November 4th at 1PM local and you can find these and future events on the WCARES event calendar.

There will typically be an announcement on the WCARES repeaters at noon (an hour before the siren test) to confirm whether the testing is going ahead or has been cancelled for that day.

Update: The siren test is on for today (Saturday Nov 4, 2023) – there is still time to sign up to monitor one of the sirens. Go to the Events calendar and click on the “SIREN TEST MONITORING” event.

WCARES Antenna Party – then and now

The WCARES Antenna Team helped Robin, K4IDK install antennas back in 2013. In 2023 they were back to help take them down. Pictures then and now courtesy of Jon, KK4AIZ.


Jeff WAJ & Jeff DWP are at the window, Don is in the black shirt and the roof crew are Don, Dennis and Jeff WAJ.  Robin is in the red shirt.

2013 – website updates     August 2023

Recent updates to the WCARES website include June (updated), July and August meetings presentations (PDFs and videos) and a couple of additions to the Portable Ops page.

You can find WCARES presentations here:

Library & Special Interests --> Presentations
Link to WCARES presentations

and the Portable Ops page here:

Library & Special Interests --> Special Interests --> Portable Ops
Link to Portable Ops

August 2023 In-Person & Virtual Monthly Meeting: Nano VNA’s and HT for New Hams

Nano VNAs – W4DML
Doug Miller (W4DML) gives a first-rate presentation on Nano Vector Network Analyzers (VNA’s). He tells what they are, what you can do with them, where to purchase one, and gives a demo that uses a Nano VNA for an antenna analyzer, bandpass filter analysis, and coax testing.

HT for the New Ham – K9QJS
This presentation by Hoop, K9QJS is specifically for new hams with an HT, to help them improve their signal and their reception. Hoop promises at least one new piece of information for even the most experienced HT operators.

Click here for a PDF of Hoop’s presentation.


July 2023 In-Person & Virtual Monthly Meeting: POTA – Parks On The Air

Parks On The Air

w/ Jeff Standifer (WB5WAJ)

Jeff Standifer (WB5WAJ) provides an excellent overview of the Parks On The Air program. Jeff is a long-time POTA participant and shares his experience with those who may want to give POTA a try.

Recorded on July 15th, 2023 at the monthly WCARES meeting.

Portable Ops August 2023 – Liberty Park

Portable Ops music at Liberty Park, August 8 2023.

Important: Commercial Interests Petition FCC for High Power ( 20 kW ) Allocation on Shortwave Spectrum

The ARRL has highlighted a recent petition by commercial interests for high power ( 20 kW ) data transmission in bands across 2 – 25 MHz and immediately adjacent to spectrum allocated to amateur radio (20 kW, frequency agility techniques across 2-25 MHz with a potential maximum bandwidth of 50 kHz.)

From the petition (RM-11593) and the ARRL page, the petitioners appear to represent high-speed stock trading interests.

The main FCC page for this petition is here:

and the PDF of the petition is here:

The ARRL Legal Counsel David Siddal and the ARRL Lab are preparing the League’s response to this petition. It should be filed next week.

Comments on this filing are due by July 31, 2023 and reply comments by August 15.

Please read the petition and consider filing thoughtful comments before July 31.

Some of the more interesting comments already filed include:

WCARES Field Day 2023 & Tape Measure Yagi build photos

WCARES Field Day 2023 – Update 2 HamDash, 2nd SSB, GOTA, Tape Measure YAGI

Update 2  – be sure to check out the introduction to HamDash in Paul’s June Monthly Meeting video.

Update – we have added:

  • a second SSB station so there are additional time slots available and
  • a GOTA station so bring your family and friends.

And: Build an antenna for Fox Hunting June 24th

During Field Day, at the Public Safety Center. Dave Matthews (KI4PSR) will be hosting a “Tape Measure Yagi” antenna-building exercise. Tape-measure Yagi antennas are great for Fox Hunting events. If you would like to participate in this kit build please get in touch with Dave.

Dave will have kits for the first dozen participants. The cost is anticipated to be around $28 for the parts. Please bring cash to pay Dave for the parts.

The Antennas will be great to have for the upcoming WCARES Fox Hunt later this year. Fox hunt participants do not need to be licensed to the antennas as it is a receive-only event. So this is a great way to get kids, XLS, XYLS and friends to participate.

Field Day is always the fourth full weekend of June, beginning at 1800 UTC / 1300 CDT Saturday and running through 2059 UTC / 1259 CDT Sunday.

Field Day 2023 is June 24-25.

Again this year, we will be operating from the EOC for SSB and CW or your QTH or other designated location for any Digital mode in order to minimize interference on the bands.

And again we’ll use the aggregate scoring as WCARES-TN.

For all the details please read the WCARES Field Day Rules for 2023 which you can find here. This document includes the link to sign up for an operator slot or slots! at the EOC for CW and/or SSB.

Be sure to also read the ARRL new rules which you can find here along with everything else about Field Day here.

June 2023 In-Person & Virtual Monthly Meeting: Field Day, HamDash and digital troubleshooting

Paul KM4PT discussed Field Day and along with Cliff N4CCB introduced the group to HamDash:

Troubleshooting Digital Modes
Hoop K9QJS presents a framework for solving problems with digital modes… which can encompass operating system, soundcard, transceiver, and software issues.

If you’ve ever had your system working perfectly only to have it fail for some mysterious reason, this presentation is for you!

A PDF of his presentation is available here and the video is here (Recorded on June 17th, 2023 at the monthly WCARES meeting):