Ham radio operators connect world
Pictured are W5SFA Radio Club president Roger Klein and vice president Gil Franke.
Posted: Thursday, September 29, 2016 12:00 am
The Sealy News
The San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site was used as a special event location for an amateur radio station on Sept. 24-25. W5SFA Radio Club members operated ham radios to commemorate the 193rd anniversary of the founding of Austin’s Colony in Texas in 1823. Over the weekend, residents frequented the site off and on and the radio club was even visited by a group of school children from Spring Branch Independent School District.
“Austin County is probably not the most popular county for ham radio,” said Roger Klein, Stephen F. Austin Radio Club president.
Although that may be true, Klein said many ham radio operators want to connect with Texas, generally during the Texas QSO party, which lends the opportunity for Texas amateur radio operators and amateur radio operators around the world to make contact.
According to the club’s website, each year, at the end of September, the party aims to connect all 254 Texas counties and its looked at as one of the briefest points through the year where that might actually be possible.
Klein said his club used this opportunity “not only to make contact but to raise awareness about Stephen F. Austin.”
The club website carries a web link to the San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site as an informal relationship helping one another.
Bryan McAuley, site manager at San Felipe de Austin, said the radio club usually uses the historic site for once per year. During the Texas QSO party, they use Stephen F. Austin State Park, but obviously that wasn’t an option this year because flooding earlier this year, which shut down the park temporarily.
McAuley said the radio club brings with it a “cultural component” because of the wide area contact it can make. This past weekend, he said the radio club linked up with radio operators in Argentina and Brazil and helped put Austin County on the map for South Americans, at least for a few days.
The San Felipe de Austin State Historic site is located on FM 1458, 2.2 miles north of IH-10, Exit 723. Visitor center hours are from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is free. The public is invited to come by and see the amateur radio operation, which will be onsite on Saturday, Sept. 24 and Sunday, Sept. 25.
More information can be found at the club web site, www.w5sfa.org.
Thursday, September 29, 2016 12:00 am.