Amateur Radio Club: Connecting Across North Texas

North Texas ARRL Manager Steve Smith and Zogail Smith

Mike Moss

Robson Ranch’s Amateur Radio Club continues to grow, coming up on 40 members since our launch last fall. We continue to meet monthly, sharing ideas on home “HAM Shack” set-up, new technologies (like software-defined radios), and antennas.

The HAM Radio community is huge, from local clubs like your Robson Ranch club to larger associations, such as our Denton County Amateur Radio Association (DCARA), and is represented by a huge international organization, the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL), the largest organization of amateur radio operators in the world. ARRL comprises over 160,000 members divided into 71 sections, and the North Texas section manager spoke to our club this month.

Steven Smith, callsign KG5VK, accompanied by his executive assistant (his wife!) Zogail, spoke to our club about ARRL and some of the tools and online references for amateur operators. A multi-decade HAM operator himself, Steve shared his observations on the evolution of the hobby and some of the new ways that radio “contesting” has embraced and dealt with new technologies. Steve spoke to youth outreach programs and increasing adoption of digital modes. Capping it off, Steve raffled three excellent reference books for the members in attendance.

Recently, our members enjoyed some personal successes: Tim Battle and Mike Moss passed their tests to obtain their “General” license, the 2nd level license, which permits operating privileges in the High Frequency (HF) areas, and Bill Davis obtained his “Amateur Extra” license, the highest-level amateur license granted by the FCC! Our modest 40-person club has eight “Amateur Extra” licensees, an absolute gold mine of experience and knowledge, to help newer members grow in the hobby.

Looking forward, ARRL organizes an annual “Field Day” where operators around the world set up their gear in locations away from home base, often in state parks, campgrounds, or fields, and operate their gear in battery-powered modes, off vehicle power, or sometimes solar power. This year’s Field Day will be June 25 and 26 (Saturday and Sunday), and your Robson Ranch ARC is gearing up for Field Day operation here at Robson. We hope you’ll stop by to see us and learn a little bit more about this hobby.

Our club’s goals are: to promote amateur radio individually or at established community functions; to further the hobby of amateur radio; to render communications as a public service during impending storms or following severe weather; and to assist in disaster relief operations by providing communications when called upon by any official agency of the city, county, state, or government of the United States of America.

The Robson Ranch Amateur Radio Club meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 1 p.m. in the clubhouse.

If you are interested in HAM radio, have or want to get a license, and would like to join the club, contact Darrell Supak at [email protected] or Tim Battle at [email protected] Or you can request membership directly on GroupWorks (Robson Ranch Amateur Radio Club at app.groupworks.com/#/groups/4830).