Category Archives: Ham radio

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:  https://meet.jit.si/WA5WRLake

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#

Note:  

1.  if you want to see additional dial-in numbers:  https://meet.jit.si/static/dialInInfo.html?room=WA5WRLake

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):  https://meet.jit.si/WA5WRLake#config.startSilent=true

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”.  

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.

“White Rock Hams” is Two Years Old

In September 2019, six White Rock Hams had lunch together at Verona’s on Garland Road. Since that first meeting, we have grown into an ARRL affiliated club with forty members representing all quadrants of the lake area and east Dallas community.

When COVID disrupted our in-person events, a weekly on-the-air net became the focal point for the club. Nets continue on “White Rock Simplex,” 147.52 MHz each Wednesday at 7 PM, with seven lake area stations taking turns serving as net control. We regularly have check-ins from throughout east Dallas and indeed the entire DFW area.

As we begin our third year, the future is bright for White Rock Hams!

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Quarterly Meeting Aug 11, 2021


The club will hold its quarterly meeting Wednesday August 11 at 7 PM via Google Meet. Members will receive the invite URL via groups.io.

After a very short business meeting, we will introduce our guest speaker.

Have you heard of FlightAware?  One of our club members provides real-time data to this aviation tracking service. Gary, AF5XZ will tell us all about it. 

There will be a brief check-in on 147.52 MHz for those that can’t join in on Google Meet.

Field Day 2021

Field Day 2021 is in the books! Dallas CERT invited the club to participate in their first Field Day activity and it really came together. The White Rock United Methodist Church allowed us to use their parking lot, and the site was busy all day with both hams and visitors. Many thanks to Robinson, KG5UVN, and Melissa, KI5GRH, for leading this activity, and to the many White Rock Hams that helped make it a big success. It was such a kick to hear WA5WRL, our club callsign, on the air working stations around the country for the first time!

Guy, K1GBD, provided an RV that hosted one of our stations.

Lots of help erecting the antennas.
The antenna farm.
Dave, K5YR working stations on the short wave bands using the digital mode FT-8
The six meter VHF band provided a rare opening to other parts of the country and Gary, AF5XZ and Tony, NT5TM jumped on the band.

Club News and Upcoming Net 6/23/21

Hi all! Field Day weekend is coming up fast.. are you ready?
– Welcome to our newest member, Gail, KI5NMY from University Terrace. With this neighborhood addition, we now have 18 neighborhoods represented on our roster. FYI, Little Forest Hills still leads with 7 members, but Lakewood is a close second at 6. 
– Dallas CERT Zone 2 will be hosting a Field Day setup in the parking lot of the White Rock United Methodist Church Saturday June 26 from 2 to 7 PM. Many of our members are also active in CERT and all WRLARC members are invited to stop by and say hi. The location is at Old Gate Lane and Diceman Drive in Little Forest Hills. Learn more about Field Day
– Join us for a our weekly simplex net at 7 PM tomorrow 6/23. David, KG5VSR from Old Lake Highlands will be our net control.
– Last week’s net saw our first Maritime Mobile check in, as Dave, K5YR was on the lake in a kayak during net check in time!
– And don’t forget to keep a radio on White Rock Simplex 147.52 MHz during Field Day… let’s keep in touch.