Author Archives: richcasey

About richcasey

Retired Corporate Communications manager for a Fortune 500 defense and electronics contractor. Lifetime amateur "ham" radio guy, callsign N5CSU. Life member ARRL.

Rocky the Radio Fox is loose!

UPDATE : 1130 AM Sunday. Rocky lost his marbles (EPROM failure) so is off the air. Dave will let us know if he can resuscitate him

Rocky the Radio Fox is hanging out at White Rock Lake this weekend, courtesy of Dave, K5YR. Rocky is located within one mile of the shoreline in a public space (not on private property).

Rocky’s frequency is 146.565 MHz FM. He transmits once every 60 seconds between 8 AM and 8 PM on Saturday 7/30 and Sunday 7/31. 

When you find Rocky, follow the QR code next to the transmitter and log your find in the database using the 6 digit “Hunt Code” found on the card near Rocky. If you can’t do QR codes, use the web address on the card near Rocky’s location to log into the database.

White Rock Simplex Nets Continue

Each Wednesday at 7 PM, hams from White Rock Lake neighborhoods and surrounding areas check in to our simplex net, which is now approaching its three year anniversary. “Simplex” means there is no repeater used to boost a ham’s signal across the city; each signal has to “stand on its own.” Since some members use low powered hand held transceivers whose signals may not reach all participants, net members are encouraged to relay in the callsigns of any weak signals.

All area hams are welcome to check in via radio. If outside of the Dallas area, hams can also check in to the net via Echolink at WA5WRL-L.

Radio Comms for Native Plants and Prairies Day

The WRLARC provided communications support for the Native Plants and Prairies Day held at the White Rock Lake Bath House Cultural Center on Saturday May 7, 2022.

Radio operations were held on VHF simplex, 147.52 MHz. Since all support was within 1/2 mile of the Bath House, 5 watt HTs worked great for portable operations. An Event Operations Center (EOC) was established in front of the Bath House building using a 10 watt transceiver and vertical antenna. Club members provided shadow comms and rovers for the staff that managed the event.

Thanks to all the club members that participated!

Virtual Club Meeting March 23, 2022

There will be no net tonight, but join us for our virtual meeting. We’re going to use a different provider than we have in previous meetings. It’s called Jitsi, and Randy W5WXY has been using it the past two years. He describes it as the most user friendly he has ever encountered.  Here’s the scoop from Randy.

It’s FREE, with NO time limit, NO “permission” or password requirement, and there is NO need to download anything or add an extension to Chrome (although, it always asks if you want to).  Furthermore, there is NO special account requirement.  I think it works with all the usual browsers and prefers Chrome. 

You can use your computer, iPad, tablet, cell phone, or even a landline.  For example, you can use a computer which doesn’t have a camera or microphone but allows you to see the video, and use your landline for the audio (special phone numbers and ID number are provided below).

When using your computer, etc. browser, there are only 4 things to do:

1.  click on (or copy and paste) this link:

2.  IMPORTANT: when prompted, click “ALLOW” to use your microphone and camera.
3.  Type in your name & call sign.

4.  click on the “X” in the upper right corner of the box to remove it from asking you to install an extension (if you are using Chrome). 

When using your phone (or cell phone to avoid using data) to join the meeting and be able to listen and talk (without video): Dial (512) 647-1431 You also have to enter the following ID (including the pound sign): 4210548946#


1.  if you want to see additional dial-in numbers:

2.  if you want to watch on your computer without hearing the audio (to avoid feedback if using your landline to listen) here’s one more link (I chose not to bold, because it may be a very uncommon occurrence):

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE….  You are free to use this link and system  anytime and from anywhere, and it’s easy to send the link to the person you want to invite, so keep it in your “favorites” or “bookmarks”.  

Spring 2022 Weather Outlook 

from the Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador Newsletter

The Spring 2022 Seasonal Outlook, issued by the Climate Prediction Center calls for continuing above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation across North and Central Texas. Drought conditions have intensified across the state this winter, and with La Niña expected to persist through at least the spring months (March – May 2022), drought conditions are unlikely to improve before summer. 

Winter Field Day January 29-30

Winter in Dallas is always interesting, with temps somewhere between 20 and 75 degrees. Unless the weather is REALLY bad, we will again head out to Dreyfuss Club Point at White Rock Lake this Saturday January 29 to operate portable ham radio equipment. David, KG5VSR, will be our event chair, and will begin setup late morning, with on the air activities beginning at 1 PM until late afternoon.

While the ARRL Field Day weekend in June is the “official” event, a more casual Winter Field Day has grown in popularity since it was first held in 2007. The purpose of Field Day is to test our readiness (and our equipment) and have some fun!

This would be a great time to meet the folks behind the voices you hear on our simplex net each week. Bring your radios to test, or just come on out and say hi!

More info on Winter Field Day is online.

Winter 2021-2022 Weather Outlook

From the Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador Winter 2022 Newsletter

“The Climate Prediction Center is expecting La Nina conditions this winter. The winter 2021 (December, January, February) seasonal outlook calls for above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation across North and Central Texas. The outlook does not project snowfall as snow forecasts are generally not predictable more than a week in advance.

“One additional note, for those with any interest in the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), recently the Climate Prediction Center issued a La Niña Advisory with La Niña favored to continue through winter 2021-22 (~95% chance) and then transitioning to ENSO-neutral during spring 2022 (~60% chance during April-June).

“Drought conditions have returned to the region, and with La Niña expected to prevail throughout the cold season, additional drought development is anticipated during the winter months.”

Source: National Weather Service Fort Worth