Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire

davidftx <davidftx@...>

I just posted the following message to the Bexar County ARES Yahoo Group
and it contains some things that SARC members might be interested in.
Particularly note Larry Eblen's retirement.

Please plan to come to the meeting tomorrow night for the annual


November Bexar County ARES Membership Meeting

We had a good turnout at last night's November meeting at the La Fonda
near 410 and Fredricksburg Rd. They have a nice meeting room and were
very accommodating to the 25 or so of us who were there. The following
items were on the agenda:

Passing of the torch(es): EC Johnny Wallace, K5POP, announced that his
work situation has recently changed drastically and he notified DEC Norm
Fulkerson, AD5EF, a couple of weeks ago, that he needed to hand the
Bexar County EC job off to someone else. Norm contacted me a few days
ago about taking the EC job and I agreed to do it. So in Norm's stead,
Johnny announced that the new Bexar County ARES Emergency Coordinator is
David Freiberger, K5OLE.

Johnny has done a great job leading us through 2007 and is not going
away. He will remain an AEC working with STRAC.

I follow a series of very competent EC's who have helped shaped Bexar
County ARES into the vibrant (Joe Thompson's, W4CTH, fitting words)
organization it is today. ARES' involvement with the new COSA EOC was
first championed by Neil Martin, WA5SR, in the initial design phase,
further spec'ed by Don Perese, AC5XK, and then Johnny saw the walls
actually go up this year. I will now wear the EC hat as we move into our
dedicated space over the next 60 days. But the credit goes to
involvement of these former EC's plus Shane O'Neal, NS5D, and others who
represented Bexar County ARES during the design and construction phases.

Another important torch was passed this week. Section Emergency
Coordinator Jerry Reimer, KK5CA, announced that he was stepping down
after almost four years of guiding the Section's Emergency
Communications effort. His tenure started just after the Columbia
Disaster and included Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Jerry helped move the
Section towards adopting the Incident Command System and was
instrumental in STX being a leader in the deployment of Winlink as the
standard digital communications mode for ARES. Like most of us who take
our turn at one ARES helm or another, Jerry remains involved in the
organization as an important resource.

Ray Taylor, N5NAV, our South Texas Section Manager appointed Mike
Schwartz, KG5TL as Jerry's replacement as the Section EC. Mike has
served Ray and the Section as an Assistant Section Manager prior to his
SEC appointment Monday.

COSA EOC: Johnny Wallace gave a presentation regarding the status of the
new EOC and our space at Brooks City Base. He and I along with Bob
Rodriguez, K5AUW, and Teri Thomas, KC5BJI, got a walk through last week
before the facility was turned over to the city this week. Johnny and I
took some pictures and he shared his at the meeting. I will put a couple
of mine in the Photos section of this newsgroup later today.

Our space is finished out and is very nice. Twelve runs of LMR 400 coax
go from our office to a very nice Polyphaser protection setup just under
the roof, then into Andrews Heliax, and terminate at the antenna
platform on the roof of the building. The outstanding projects include
obtaining and mounting antennas and the actual move from Auditorium
Circle to Brooks which should occur after Thanksgiving. We will likely
do our own move and Shane is coordinating.

MS 150: Shane gave an overview of the logistics and successes of the MS
150 Bike to the Beach. Many San Antonio hams participated in providing
critical communications for this important event. Participating in such
opportunities are important to developing our skills as communicators
and working in a structured net environment. Volunteering for community
events of this scale and smaller directly relate to what we do during a
disaster and in some ways is better training than structured exercises.

DStar: We had a round-table discussion regarding DStar and its role in
emergency communications. Terry Platt, K5ADF, is a up on this subject as
anyone who was at the meeting and gave some basics about this digital
communications mode which supports voice and data. At the same time on
the same radio. It is being deployed in Houston and other cities in
Texas specifically for emergency communications. DStar is Digital Smart
Technology for Amateur Radio, an Icom codec for digital communications.
It or some similar digital voice communicaitons is coming down the pike
for us and has already arrived for others.

Calendar: Here are some upcoming activities of note.

November 11, Saturday. Shane could use a couple of more players for the
Windcrest Veterans Day Parade. Be at the Windcrest PD at 8:30 AM with a
440 MHz handie talkie or contact him at shane@...
<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bexarcountyares/shane@ns5d.com> .

November 12, Sunday. The San Antonio Marathon. Assignments have been
made but Teri Thomas could use a couple of back ups if you are
available. Call her to volunteer.

November 14, Wednesday. Larry Eblen at the National Weather Service is
retiring. Here is a nice Austin news article about Larry and his

Amateur Radio has had no better friend and supporter than Larry Eblen
over the years. His party will be at Rudy's Bar-B-Q 15560 I-35 North in
Selma at 1:00PM next Wednesday. Call 653-7839 to tell them you will join
the festivities.

December 4, Tuesday. The December ARES meeting would normally be held at
the Red Cross but Shane is working with James Mendoza to get us the big
tour of the COSA EOC. This may be our only opportunity to walk through
the facility as a group because the city will not have fully moved in
and locked it down by this date. This is an amazing complex and well
worth the time to tour it. Plan on the December meeting being at Brooks
City Base. We will advise if we need to move it back to the Red Cross.
Watch this newsgroup for details either way.

January 12, Saturday. San Antonio Radio Fiesta. This is the new
incarnation of the San Antonio Radio Club's Annual Swapfest and it has
moved to The Knights of Columbus Hall, 509 Schertz Parkway, Schertz, TX
78154. ARES will have a table with information and membership
solicitation. We will need a few volunteers. This is the South Texas
opportunity to pick up that piece that is missing from your antenna or
to buy a trunk full of stuff you didn't even know that you needed.
Contact J.C. Smith, N5RXS, for Early Bird tickets.

I want to thank Norm and the South Texas leadership for my appointment.
More importantly I want to thank each of you for being supportive of
Bexar County ARES and I hope I am able to serve the organization as well
as each of your have served our mission.


David, K5OLE

H 210-408-1564 C 210-710-8721 davidftx@...