Ham Radio El Paso Photos


You can click on any of the photos below to enlarge them for more detail



Bob (W5WOM) and Jan (KA5ZOO) Carrick took on the task of re-painting the logo on the Sun City Amateur Radio Club (K5WPH) early in June, 2018.

Here's some "before" photos showing what the front of the clubhouse looked like before and during the new painting.






Here's some "after" photos showing the finishing touches and final work.












The Sun City Amateur Radio Club (K5WPH) held their annual Italian Dinner on Saturday, April 21, 2018.

35+ people attended and enjoyed some fine homemade Italian food!

Photos courtesy of Martin WB5LJO

     

     

     

                            


The Sun City Amateur Radio Club (K5WPH) held their annual Christmas Party (Potluck Dinner and White Elephant Auction) on Friday, December 15, 2017.

Lots of great food, fun, and dozens of gifts auctioned off as a fund raiser for the club.

Bob W5WOM donated a really nice portable emergency power supply in an ammo can that he designed and built from the ground up.

 

   

   



On Saturday, December 2. 2017, the El Paso Amateur Radio Club (W5ES) honored Clay K5TRW for his 200th VE exam session as their VE Coordinator!

They celebrated with a huge chocolate cake, ice cream, pizza, snacks, and drinks.

A big congrats to Clay and “Thank You” for all your years of efforts teaching ham radio classes and administering exams!




The Sun City Amateur Radio Club (K5WPH) met for the annual "K5WPH Ice Cream Social" on Saturday, July 14, 2017 at the Dairy Queen on McCombs.  It was one of those overcast July afternoons, with rain on and off all afternoon, keeping the ice cream from melting too fast!



The Sun City Amateur Radio Club (K5WPH) held their annual Christmas Potluck and White Elephant Auction on Friday, December 16, 2016.  About 30 hams and their families attended, and Santa (aka Martin WB5LJO) auctioned over 30 Christmas presents for this fundraiser.



SKYWARN Recognition Day was held on Saturday, December 3, 2016 at the National Weather Service Office (NWS) in Santa Teresa, NM.

The Sun City Amateur Radio Club (K5WPH) held their meeting on Friday Night, December 2 at the NWS Office.  Reiner AE5RJ, Martin WB5LJO, and Sean KD6CUB erected and adjusted a 40 meter dipole in the parking lot and had station WX5ELP on the air quickly. 

The photos below (provided by WB5LJO) are of the dipole setup on Friday night and the radio operations all day Saturday.  Weather information from the local NWS office were shared with other NWS offices all around the country. 

   


The El Paso Ham Radio community held a cookout at Memorial Park on Saturday, August 27, 2016, to welcome special guests David Woolweaver K5RAV and John Stratton N5AUS, the ARRL West Gulf Division Director and Vice Director, respectively.

The cookout was sponsored as a joint effort by the El Paso Amateur Radio Club (W5ES) and the Sun City Amateur Radio Club (K5WPH), who provided the BBQ grills, burgers and brats, chairs, tables, canopies and drinks.  Others brought other various side dishes and desserts.

There were about 50 people present, and the weather was just about perfect!  

K5RAV and N5AUS passed out lots of ARRL goodies and prizes, and spent quite a bit of time talking to all of the hams.  The event was a great success, with lots of great food and many hours of fellowship!

A big thanks to everyone who worked so hard to plan this cookout and make it a great success!

     


                     




The Mesilla Valley Radio Club (MVRC) held their annual "Bean Feed" on Saturday, May 7, 2016.

Lots of folks showed up for the tailgate, and quite a few items were bought and sold!

 
 



The Worked All El Paso (WAE) Banquet was held on Friday night, January 22, at the Grand China Buffet. 

 

Paul Wilson AE5OJ is the WAE Certificate Chairman and served as Master of Ceremony for the banquet.

 

Awards were given out for the following categories:

 

First Place was Richard Denny, WB7A

Second Place was Luis Baeza, KG5HTY

Third Place was Charles Shook, WD5FVQ

Technician Award was Luis Baeza, KG5HTY

YL Award was Heidi Wilden, KE5BHT

There was no QCWA or Ambassador Award given



   




Mike KD5KC chose to operate QRP-Portable outside of El Paso County during Worked All El Paso (WAE) contest on Saturday, November 7, 2015. Below are his notes and photos from his trip.

I began this several days before by looking at the roads just beyond the El Paso/Hudspeth County line. I wished to stay near Montana Ave (62/180) because it was closer to El Paso than going out I-10. I used several mapping programs I have to look for a place where the road would allow a view of El Paso. Most of the places on the main roads were shadowed by higher mountains in between. The place I used last time was a pull-off on the north side of 62/180 at the top of Pow-wow canyon. It worked fine for the 100 watt mobile station, but I knew it would not be suitable for a 5-watt portable. The rest-stop at the county line was just too low to be useful.

As you come through Pow-Wow Canyon, to the south east there is a ridge overlooking the canyon about 600 feet over the highway and about 1400 feet above El Paso. It looked like the perfect location, except that the main road approaching it was behind a locked gate. That would stop many, but this is why I got this new JEEP, to take me places the old JEEP wouldn't go. There was another road up, not in very good condition, barely a two-track in some places and overgrown or washed out in some in other places. My mapping program said it was two miles up and maximum grade was 19%. Well within the JEEP capabilities. This is a map of the trail as I took it to reach the summit. The red line was the track to the top. The blue line on the left is the El Paso/Hudspeth County line. I was clearly outside El Paso County by .030 miles as I mapped it.
This is an elevation profile of the trip up.  Of course the trip down was the same only in reverse. 
When I reached the end of the pavement I slowed for the turn.  Once off the main dirt road, I stopped to shift to 4-low, disconnect the sway bars and lock the rear axle.  My new jeep has electronic sway bar disconnects, just press a button and the suspension has about double the travel.  I probably didn't need to do more than use 4-hi, but a chance to play is a chance to play!  I couldn't resist.

It took me about 20 minutes to crawl to the top.  The jeep has a 60:1 crawl ratio in Lo-Lo, so just let it idle over the rough stuff at a walking pace.  The automatic transmission will shift on its own of course, but it is designed to be shifted manually too, so I would set it to first gear in the rough, and slap it to third gear for a little more speed on the better areas.  Low-range and hi-gear is about 25 mph max, but lo-range lo-gear is about 1.5 MPH, literally a crawl at idle speed.  I picked out a flat spot where the view over El Paso was good and parked right there.  This is what the JEEP in-dash Android navigation computer showed when I parked.  The dark mountain in the rear is Cerro Alto near the Hueco Ranch.



This is the view I had looking toward El Paso.  The mountains way out in the distance washed out almost as gray as the sky are the Franklins. North Franklin Mountain is just over 30 miles from the summit location.


Once at the top, I got out and surveyed the area.  It was flat enough, so I set up my camp-chair, set up the antenna, booted up the logging computer, and assembled he radio and mic.  I was on the air in under 10 minutes.  The 10m band was in good shape, lots of signals from the Eastern US, the Caribbean and Central and South America.  So I started tuning around looking for El Paso stations.  It was actually kind of difficult to find El Paso stations, plenty of strong signals on the band.  But I did pick them off one by one.  My first was at 1907 UTC, it was WB7A.  When I told him I was outside El Paso county and counted as a Texas State Contact AND multiplier, he was happy.  That was pretty much the universal feeling, when they learned I counted as a new state - Happy Happy.....

There were several stations that I tried to break into for a contact.  But they just didn't seem to hear me.  W5ES with AE5OJ at the mic had a pile-up going, and never heard me calling.  After about 10 minutes I gave up and moved on.  W5AAM-Tony was in there too.  But as has been the case this past year, what he used to hear on 10m no workie no more.  After several calls I again moved on.  El Paso contacts were getting thinner.  I got contact # 14 at 2117 UTC, 130 minutes after I started.  I tuned up and down the band, tried calling CQ El Paso, asked K5WPH if there was another operator available in the station, NOTHING!  I didn't really PLAN to do 15 El Paso contacts.  I would have done more if they had heard me, or less.  But to quit at 14 just seemed wrong and I didn't want to quit one short of the 15.  So from 2117 to 2153 I tried and tried with no luck. 

I finally got desperate and gave a call on the Amigo Link asking if anyone was on 10m that I had not worked yet and could listen for me.  There was a long silent pause after my call . . . . then Ed-KD5MFS came back.  He said to call him on 28.440.  So at 2154 UTC I made El Paso contact #15.  There were also a few DX contacts in there, like P40MH.  Sometimes I just can't resist.  We don't even own an amplifier anymore, who needs it when skill and 5-watts gets it done.  <grin>.

I packed up the gear, checked to see I didn't drop or forget anything, then started back down.  The JEEP has Downhill Assist.  Just press a button, and the JEEP takes over the descent control.  Keep your feet off the pedals, control speed by manually selecting a gear, and steer it down.  The JEEP watches for slipping wheels and applies brakes to the wheels with grip while releasing the slipping ones.  Off-roading has never been this easy.

The trip from my home on the west side was I-10 to Trans-Mountain Road, across Fort Bliss on loop-375 to Montana, and Montana out to the turn off, then crawling on 4-Wheel Drive was 106 miles round trip.  The JEEP averaged 18.9 MPG for the trip. I am pretty pleased with that too.

It was fun.  Now the question is, what do we try next year?

Vy73 - Mike - KD5KC
El Paso, Texas - DM61rt
W5-SOTA Association Manager
NA-SOTA info: http://na-sota.org/




The Sun City Amateur Radio Club (K5WPH) held a Halloween Party during their "5th Friday" event on Friday, October 30, 2015.

Below are some photos of the Hams that attended and their costumes.  (Photos provided by Martin WB5LJO)

   

   




The Sun City Amateur Radio Club (K5WPH) supported the "Jamboree On The Air" (JOTA) on Saturday, October 17, 2015.
Webelo Scouts from Pack 598 worked on getting their Radio Merit Badge during the JOTA by visiting an amateur radio station, learning about the various types of equipment, how it's used, what types of licenses are required to operate an amateur radio station, and carrying on a 10 minute QSO.  (Photos provided by Larry WB8LBZ and Martin WB5LJO)

     

   

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The El Paso Amateur Radio Club (W5ES) held their annual "Oktoberfest Celebration Dinner" on Friday, October 23, 2015.  Below are some photos of folks enjoying great German food!


   


   




The Texas QSO Party happens the last full weekend of each September.   The object is to contact other hams in as many Texas counties as possible.

As you can imagine, Hudspeth County (east of El Paso) is sparsely populated, with very few hams.
Martin WB5LJO and Paul N5FAZ crossed the county line on Saturday, September 26, 2015 to set up operations in Hudspeth County.
The photos below (provided by WB5LJO) are of their mobile setup, with the sun setting to the west and the full moon rising to the east. 

Notice the wire from the antenna mount to the barbed-wire fence on the rear.  Better ground counterpoise…maybe?




Martin WB5LJO provided the following information and photos of work being done at the Sun City Amateur Radio Club (K5WPH) clubhouse on Saturday, May 30, 2015:
Finally had a Saturday to play at the clubhouse!!!

While conducting my yearly excursion up the tower to straighten out the TA33 reflector, I had a Grackle give me a hard time. It actually flew through the tower when I was climbing down. Wish I would have gotten that shot!  I guess she (I presume) didn’t like me being in her space. Maybe too close to a nest.

Then the rest of the day was spent resurrecting and mounting this Cushcraft R9 verticle.  After Faz printed out the instruction manual, Ed, Toby and I managed to find the correct placement of all the gadgetry.  Now it’s mounted on the chain-link fence with guys. Works pretty good.

During this time, Sean was busy placing down tiles in the restroom corridor. Really looking nice. REAL bright back there.

     

  



The El Paso Amateur Radio Club (W5ES) hosted their annual "Worked All El Paso (WAE) Banquet" on Friday night, 23 January 2015, at the Luby's Restaurant.  At least 17 hams registered for the 2014 WAE Contest.   Awards were presented for various categories.  (photos provided by Clay K5TRW)

     

     

   

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The Sun City Amateur Club (K5WPH) held an impromptu “Hurricane Party” on Wednesday night, September 17, 2014.  This was intended to be a fun little social event, where everyone was to bring flashlights, lanterns, candles, and light foods, and enjoy an evening of company at the clubhouse, while simulating being there during a hurricane (no lights, etc).

 

At least 22 people showed up, and soon the clubhouse was lit up by lanterns, candles, and LED lights.  Sean KD6CUB and his daughters were making several batches of Jiffy-Pop popcorn on a portable stove.  Others brought pizzas, deserts, and other goodies, and enjoying the evening of conversation, fun, and playing radio.

 

Then around 8 PM, the remnants of Hurricane Odile showed up, bringing lots of lightning and torrential rains.  Soon the parking lot was flooded.  If the power went out, nobody noticed, and nobody cared.

 

It was a unique and fun event, and other Hurricane Parties will probably be scheduled the next time another hurricane is scheduled to pass thru the area.  (photos provided by Martin WB5LJO)


     

                          

                                                                     




After the Alamogordo Hamfest on Saturday, August 30, 2014, a group of hams traveled up to the Benson Ridge repeater site (near Cloudcroft, NM) to do some cleaning and preparing the site for the winter.

The photos below of the work party include Jeff K5VU attacking the moths with a shop-vac, everyone gathered around Martin's (WB5LJO) truck solving the world's problems, and a group photo.   They also cleaned up the walls and the equipment in the building.  (photos provided by Martin WB5LJO)

     



The Sun City Amateur Radio Club (K5WPH) held their annual Auction on Saturday, August 16, 2014.  About 50 people attended the auction, which was another great success!

Bill Roberts (W5NPR), the ARRL West Texas Section Manager, was also at the auction and presented Sean KD6CUB with the West Gulf Division “Ham of the Year” award, and presented Lew KB5HPT with the West Gulf Division “Excellence Award”.  These awards were announced at the HamCom and the West Gulf Division Convention in Plano this past June.  (photos provided by Memo K5FZH)


      




The Sun City Amateur Radio Club (K5WPH) held their annual "Ice Cream Social" at the Dairy Queen in Northeast El Paso on Saturday, July 19, 2014.  At least 17 hams and their friends and families spend a couple of hours cooling off and enjoying the company and ice cream!

     




The Sun City Amateur Radio Club (K5WPH) set up a Ham Radio Station and Display at the El Paso Museum of History (downtown), just in time for the “Kid’s Pallooza” on Saturday, March 29.

There were over 3,000 people attending the Pallooza, and an estimated 300 that came in to see the Ham Radio display, which included an HF station, VHF/UHF radios, antennas, and lots of demonstrations of making contacts around the world!  Here are some photos of this event (photos provided by Ed KD5MFS)

     

   

   


     


     
     


     




The amateur radio community supported the annual Susan Komen "Race For The Cure" on Sunday, March 2, 2014 at Biggs Field.  They provided both HamNet video coverage and general communications across the entire course.  They got there before sunrise, rode out a brief rainstorm, worked the entire race, and then met at the Cattle Barron's restaurant for a nice lunch afterwards.  Here are some photos of the event (photos provided by Memo K5FZH)

     

     

     




The West Texas Repeater Association (WTRA) held a "Fox Hunt" on Saturday, February 15, 2014.

The first team to find the transmitter was Sean KD6CUB and his daughter Jaymee, and their co-pilot, Richard AF5NY.  They also had the shortest mileage.

The second team to find the transmitter was Ed KD5MFS and Memo K5FZH.

The third team was Martin WB5LJO and Paul N5FAZ, who also had the second shortest mileage by approximately 0.2 miles.

Mike KB6JYF, Randy WB5NHP, and Brandon KF5LUM, hid the transmitter.  They chose the location under the shade of the Interstate 10 spaghetti bowl freeway interchange.

Here's some photos of this event (photos provided by Memo K5FZH)

           


        



At the Sun City Amateur Radio Club (K5WPH) Program Night on Friday, January 17, 2014, Reiner AE5RJ conducted a very informative presentation to a full house on antenna analyzers.  (photos provided by Memo K5FZH)



        

        



The Sun City Amateur Radio Club (K5WPH) held their annual Christmas Party on Friday, December 20, 2013!  The food was great, and the auction was fun and hilarious!   Santa Claus (aka Martin WB5LJO) did a great job again running the auction.  Here are a few photos showing kids of all ages having fun at the party.  (photos provided by Jerry K9CMU and Memo K5FZH)


         

                   
                                   


There was a record turn-out at the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Santa Teresa, NM, for the annual "SkyWarn Recognition Day".   Lots of hams spent Friday night and most of the day Saturday, December 6 and 7, 2013 making contact with other NWS offices around the country.  (Photos provided by Memo K5FZH and Jerry K9CMU)

              
          

              

              

              

    



SK - Earl Harris, K5FTE 

Long time El Paso ham Earl Harris, K5FTE, became a silent key on Tuesday, November 26 2013, due to complications from a surgical procedure.

Earl was a ham for more than 53 years.  Over the years Earl was active on VHF/UHF and heavily on HF.  Of late, he was on a quest to achieve "DXCC Honor Roll" status, having confirmed more than 312 countries worked. 

Earl was born and raised in El Paso and was an aircraft electrician who worked on F-4 Phantom combat aircraft at Danang Air Force Base during the Vietnam war. 

He was retired from the Socorro ISD as a cafeteria manager. 

This photo below was taken by Martin WB5LJO at Western Playland at the first Hamfiesta back in Mid ‘90s. 

Along with Earl, were other good El Paso hams, Mac, NK5T and Bob, W6AKP, also SK



73, we’ll miss you voice on the bands, Martin wb5ljo


On Friday, November 15, 2013, after an unfortunate cancellation of the scheduled program at the K5WPH Clubhouse Tech Night and with only a 10 hour warning, Mike KD5KC presented his program on worldwide SOTA (Summits on the Air) operations. He did a great job……THANKS!  Great turn out…over 32 people signed the register. (photos provided by Martin WB5LJO)

     

  


The West Texas Repeater Association (WTRA) held a “Fox Hunt” on Saturday, 9 November 2013.  The Hunt started at the K5WPH Clubhouse, and Ed KD5MFS hid the transmitter at the Chamizal Park, where a cookout was held afterwards.  There were a total of 22 participants split over 6 vehicles...a lot of 1st timers.  A big thanks to Doug AE5HE for donating the Kenwood 2 meter radio with the Fox beep sender and battery in an ammo box. 


Winners of the Fox Hunt are as follows:

1st team in was lead by Mike KB6JYF, and included Randy WB5NHP, Brandon KF5LUM, Juan KF5WFG, Amparo KF5WFF (Juan & Amparo are 1st timers).

1st team of all 1st timers went to Charlie and family (Charlie is still working to get his Tech ticket).  It’s great to see the enthusiasm from Charlie and his team (family).

Shortest mileage went to Mike KB6JYF and his team also.  
 (photos provided by Martin WB5LJO)


            

                

             

On Friday, October 18, 2013, the Sun City Amateur Radio Club (K5WPH) had a 2 meter quad antenna building party, which turned out to be quite successful.  Thanks to Sean KD6CUB for providing all the required parts and to Larry WB8LBZ for bringing his antenna analyzer tied to a spare Dell.  (photos provided by Martin WB5LJO)

     

     



On Tuesday, October 8, 2013, Martin WB5LJO and Paul N5FAZ decided to take a trip up to the 444.200 repeater site to replace the antenna, as the weather forecast was predicting windy days later in the week.  The new antenna was donated by Jim KF5JUG.

Night time is the right time to climb mountains, towers and hang antennas!!!!!!!!!!   The repeater is happier now!  (Photos provided by Martin WB5LJO)
 
     




On the weekend of September 14 & 15, 2013, a work crew helped erect an antenna for Jim KF5JUG.

Thanks to Gerald, KF5NHF for the use of a heavy duty, super crane.  W5HFN, Hans and KC6EDU, Herb built the “HEX-BEAM” antenna, in record time.  Nice install of the Glenn Martin aluminum tower on the two story home. Good view all around.  Works great.  (photos provided by Martin WB5LJO)

 
   
 
   
 

 
Hans W5HFN worked for several weeks building a new tower/antenna at his house in far East El Paso.  The antenna is a K4KIO Hex Beam, 6 to 20 meters, with the highest measured SWR less than 1.6.  The antenna was finally erected on Friday, August 2, 2013, with the help of Bob W5BLA and Ed KD5MFS.
 
     
 
     
 
    
 
     
 
     
 
     
 
     
 
     
 
     

 
Sometime in January 2013, the battery in the 146.88 solar powered repeater on North Mt. Franklin died, and the repeater went off the air.   Floyd N5RWZ donated a new battery, and was working on a plan to get a helicopter to take the new battery to the site, but those plans didn't work out.  Then Had K3FQE offered to take the battery to the repeater site and replace it.  Sometime early in April 2013, he took a new battery up to the repeater site on his ATV, getting about two-thirds the way up, and hiking about the last third with the battery on his back!  He worked into the evening replacing the battery, doing some overall check-ups on the repeater, and then hauled the old battery down.  He took these great photos of the repeater.  A big thanks to both Had K3FQE and Floyd N5RWZ for your efforts to get the 146.88 back on the air!  (photos provided by Had K3FQE)
 
          

          
  
        
 
      
 
 
         
 
       
 
 
        


Sometime on 6 or 7 April 2013, during all the windstorms, the 444.200 repeater stopped transmitting.  Martin WB5LJO brought some high powered binoculars to the WTRA meeting that Wednesday night at the W5ES clubhouse, looked up at the repeater site on South Mt. Franklin and saw that the antenna was not on the tower.  He and some others went up to the site on the following Friday, 12 April 2013, and found that the antenna had blown off the tower and was down the side of the mountain.  They retrieved the antenna, repaired it, and reinstalled it, and now the 444.200 is working again.
 
In addition, Doug AE5HE established the internet link for the D-Star repeater.
 
(photos provided by Martin WB5LJO)
 
     
These pictures were taken on the way down from the mountain, and are views of the final sunset on ASARCO from Comanche Peak.
 
 
 

 
Here's some photos from the "NorthEaster Parade" which took place on Saturday, 30 March 2013.  The El Paso hams assisted with communications during this annual parade, followed by a nice lunch at the nearby Taco Cabana!  (photos provided by Martin WB5LJO) 
     
     
 
 
 
 

Here are some photos from the Midland Hamfest, 16 March 2013
 
Rick, NJ5W and Debbie N5GHN entered their names for the prize drawing
 
 
Mike KB6JYF and Larry WB8LBZ outside at the tailgate
 
 
Bill, W5NPR (on the right), West Texas Section Manager and Dr. David Woolweaver, K5RAV, the West Gulf Manager at the ARRL table.
 
   
 
 
 
 
Here are some other photos from the inside of the Hamfest.
 
(Photos provided by Martin WB5LJO)
 
 

 
On Sunday, February 17, 2013, the El Paso hams again supported the Susan G. Komen "Race For The Cure" in northeast El Paso.  (Photos courtesy of Martin WB5LJO and John KA5TRQ)

The weather was perfect, and over 9,000 people turned out for this big event!  Ham radio operators were stationed approximately every quarter of a mile along the route to keep an eye on everything going on and provide communications and information back to the net control and race officials, keeping the event running smooth and safe!
 
   
 
   
 
 
 
And again this year, several of the hams set up a "High Speed Multi-Media Mesh" (HSMM-MESH) network with cameras to provide video coverage of the entire route, providing situational awareness to the race officials. 
 
 
 

On Saturday, January 19, 2013, the 146.620 D-STAR Repeater was taken up to the mountain to the South Comanche Peak site.  Doug AE5HE, Martin WB5LJO, Paul N5FAZ, and Reiner AE5RJ hauled everything up to the site, to include the repeater, a 50 amp rack mount power supply, duplexer, tools, etc.  Reiner successfully widened the hole to allow one more feedline into the vault.  The photo Martin took of himself while on the tower shows that the antenna has a good view.  Notice the white tanks at the refineries to the southeast.  In the view to the north, you can see can see Dyer street and the Sacramento mountains in the distance.  The last photo is a view of our repeater site taken from Scenic Drive.  (photos provided by Martin WB5LJO)
 
 
    
    
    
 

  
On Saturday, December 22, 2012, Martin WB5LJO and Paul N5FAZ took at trip up to Caballo Mountain  (NM) to work on the 448.500 repeater that is tied into the Amigo Link and provides coverage along Interstate 25 in New Mexico between Las Cruces and north of T or C.  Some photos from their trip are below.
 
 
     
     
 
 

On Saturday, May 20, 2012, the Sun City Amateur Radio Club (K5WPH) held it's annual BBQ dinner.  Over 40 people showed up to enjoy some great food, and for a while, there was not enough room for everyone to sit!  Some photos from from the BBQ are below.
 
  
 
   
 

On Friday, April 20, 2012, the Sun City Amateur Radio Club (K5WPH) had an enjoyable Program Night.  Martin WB5LJO presented a "show and tell" discussion on MSD, the El Paso based manufacturer of after market, high performance ignitions and other items.  They had a very good time.  Some photos from this meeting are below.
 
 
 
  
 
 

 
On Friday evening, January 13, 2012, four people took at trip up to Caballo Mountain - Martin WB5LJO, Paul N5FAZ (who took photos), Brad KA5CDJ (who drove them up there and also took photos) and Sean KD6CUB.
 
Here's the story and photos contributed by Martin WB5LJO (click on any photo to enlarge):
 
We needed to repair receiver anomalies that have bugged us for a few months now up on Caballo Ridge, also known as Timberline Ridge, SE of T or C.  The road leading up to the site runs mainly on the northern side where the Winter sun does not reach the road much. When it snows, the drifts are usually higher there and in turn take much longer to melt. What is difficult to really see in the photos, is the angle of the road. It’s better than 30 degrees. Yes, on a flat surface, any pick up might be able to cross, but at this angle, Brad’s Chevy along with any other truck has yet to make it past this point. Only a snow-cat has passed indicated by the tracks left in the snow.

We were warned by Paul, WD8IAW, to be aware of predators on the peak, mainly mountain lions and we did see some paw prints. This was a bit concerning although I was still a bit strung out from the truck possibly sliding down.  We hiked up approximately a mile or so, dragging equipment such as tools, service monitor, parts, schematics and SOTA radio stuff.  You see, Sean KD6CUB had intended to activate the site which he did. The moon finally did rise above the New Mexico Spaceport and the area started to feel a little more comfortable. The view from up there in the moonlight was awesome. You can see the city-light glow from El Paso as well as Las Cruces, Alamogordo, Silver City and even Albuquerque from this place. Luckily, there was no wind. Temps were in the twenties. While Faz and I were inside the warm building, Sean and Brad installed a 75 meter dipole complete with an extension mast and then Sean sat on the most comfortable dirt and tried to make a few QSO’s.  Unfortunately, the band did not work for him running QRP although signals were quite good.

Some might ask, “Why go up at night?” Well, all the repeater work that we needed to do was inside. I’ve been up there day and night probably fifty times since 1976 and you can drive right to the site, we just did not expect that much snow. Next time, we will be ready and prepared (yea, right!)

 
             
  
 
              
  
 
              
 
                  
 
 
              
 
Thank you, Brad. Your truck is fine. SO are you!  Thanks for volunteering. Great pictures as well.

Sean, obviously, you carried a bunch up in your backpack. Notice, as previously mentioned, we were supposed to drive to this site. Why bring a backpack?  Sean, knows how to prepare. He even bought TWO Dassani water bottles at McDonalds in Las Cruces just in case, hi.

    
 
Paul, N5FAZ for carrying stuff, actually getting the tweeker tool through the vent holes to realign the 420 receiver with difficulty and taking pictures, Neat tower shot against the black sky!
 
    

And those that continued to listen during the early morning on the UHF radio.

This is the crazy stuff that some hams do around here to keep this repeater stuff from failing completely.  Sean recently walked up to the 10/70 site in the snowstorm to pull the plug on the exhaust fan that was suckin’ the snow onto the repeater rack.  If he had not, it would have probably died. The next week, he took his daughter, Jaymee  on a trek to N. Mt. Franklin and installed a new G6 antenna, bringing the old one down.  This was his third weekend in a row.  This has been quite an accomplishment.

  
73 and keep using your radio.

Martin, wb5ljo



Here are some photos from Sean KD6CUB from his trip on January 1, 2012 up to the 146.88 repeater site to make some repairs.  (you can click on any photo to enlarge it)

He and his daughter Jaymee hit the trail head at 7:45 AM and arrived at the top of the mountain at 10:45 AM.  What a view!

 





 



As soon as he arrived at the repeater site, he immediately saw the problem - the antenna was laying on the ground.  It looked like the support pipe (mast) had rusted most of the way through the threads and when the big winds hit, it snapped it off and ripped the coax out of the N-connector.
 
        

He replaced the coax from the duplexers up to the antenna instead of splicing it.  He then replaced the antenna with a Hustler G6.  He also topped off the battery with water, and left the remaining 1/2 gallon of distilled water in the cabinet for the next time it needs to be filled.  He also left 3 crescent wrenches in the box so the next crew going up there doesn't have to carry any.
 
 
  

On a side note - the last visit to the site was logged in the logbook on site as 2006, and the battery was only refilled then too.  That being said, just a heads up to everyone a battery will probably be the next thing that needs replacing up there.

There were reports from hams all over El Paso stating that the signal from the repeater was much stronger.

He finished his repairs around 2:50 PM, and then set up his HF rig and activated the peak for a Summits on the Air (SOTA) activation, and worked hams all over the US and Canada before packing things up at 4 PM and heading down the trail and getting back to his truck (in the dark) around 6 PM.

He had an awesome day with Jaymee, who had a fun day helping him with the hike and all the radio work.

Thank you Sean and Jaymee for getting the 146.88 repeater back on the air!





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