Category Archives: Administration

Leaving Meetup

For a couple of years now, W5HRC has used the website Meetup.com for planning and scheduling our events. Recently the club leadership voted to not renew our subscription for a variety of reasons. A couple of reasons are this, primarily the cost over the past year has doubled. We saw tremendous value in Meetup when the cost was just $90 a year.
Last year, they doubled their prices to $180 for a 12 month term. In order for us to justify the expense, our cost-to-member/new member rate must be at a point where we are not losing money or just throwing around money as an attempt to grow. Meetup.com did not provide this over the past year, and no longer provides the benefit it once did.

You may have noticed if you are a Meetup.com user, the W5HRC group has been removed. This is not a problem for those that want to participate with the club, because we have, for the past year, been using other methods for sign-ups for our club events. We will continue to do this. This allows us to host events, have anyone that wants to participate, participate, without the need for creating an account on a third-party website. Your information is now all internal, self hosted, and secure. We have a set of online forms that we have been using lately that allows us to more efficiently use whatever data we need as hosts.

There is a second reason we have now left Meetup. We are a club of diversity. We have people from all backgrounds and walks of life, all ages, young to old. Our membership is made up an incredible group of individuals, new Hams to those that have been one for 50+ years. Regardless of your personal feelings of the political world, W5HRC is not a club that promotes civil disobedience. We do not promote any criminal activity. With that said, Meetup has begun a protest movement under the name #Resist. You have a right to protest, and we support your right to do it, but you can turn on the news just about any day and see the ongoing #Resist protest that frequently turn to destructive riots. Many of these groups are made up of what have been called professional protesters or professional anarchist.

We will continue to be a club of service. We serve the City of Hurst and surrounding neighboring cities, Tarrant County RACES and other events in the area. We can have our personal opinions towards politics or other social issues, but the club as an organization will remain neutral due to being a community service club.

Meetup data will be removed from our website but for every event we used Meetup for, an alternate sign-up method has and will continue to be provided. We may find other social calendar websites to use at a later date, but that is an area to be explored in the future.

HurstARC Repeater Outage

We have known for a while now that we should expect to have our main repeater taken offline for water tower maintenance. The time has now come. We were informed recently that work would start on December 23rd with dismantling our antennas and coax on the TCC water tower. This date has been pushed up one week.

We expected to shift everything to our backup repeater on Saturday December 17, but the City has signed, sealed, and delivered the work orders and the work officially starts December 16th. VP David, KD5YDU, and President Chris, KD5HIY, have taken the main repeater offline and shifted all operations to our backup machine. The main repeater and associated equipment have been removed from the shack for the safety of the equipment during construction. (Accidental falling tools, etc)

What to expect:

  • The 2 meter foot print will be temporarily reduced drastically (hoping for one month, but two is not out of the question)
  • The [backup] repeater will identify as W5HRC/B
  • The repeater should still be able to serve the HEB area as needed, other areas may be on the fringe or non-existent
  • The repeater has an extremely short squelch tail (you may not think you are even making it. (We will tweak it over time))
  • Tone is the same at 110.9 Hz input and output.
  • The backup repeater is a Fusion repeater, so:
    • Input can be either digital or FM
    • Output will always be FM regardless of input

We are excited about the renovations to the water tower and getting our equipment back online. We have plans for our repeaters next year, and many other good things happening.

Information on our repeaters can be requested by emailing:

440 Echolink Now Offline

There have been some issues regarding Echolink and the computer it was running on. I first noticed some problems with audio during our last Sunday 440 net (10/30/16), when people tried to check in over Echolink, and you could hear the carrier, but no audio.

After doing some testing on the future 2m Echolink project, I discovered that our 440 repeater was not passing audio from Echolink. I messed with the computer for nearly thirty minutes Thursday night, and had no success in getting the audio to properly play on the 440 machine. It turns out, that Microsoft changed the audio subsystem in Windows 10, and many people have been having issues with it and Echolink.

Why did we upgrade the computer. We didn’t do it willfully. It upgraded during the time when Microsoft was really pushing the 10 upgrade, and changed it at some point to basically do an auto-install. We came in one Saturday morning and discovered the computer had upgraded. The audio issue wasn’t discovered immediately though.

I say all of this in order so you now know the reason I made the decision to take Echolink offline until a fix or correction can be made. I promise to make this a priority and get this resolved as soon as I can. Echolink for the 2m repeater is being tested and I really really hope to have it online by Thanksgiving.

[UPDATE] The Echolink node is now back online and ready for use.