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The LASA Amateur Radio Club -- Spring 2017 

When the club was formed, LBJ High hosted an advanced academic program called the Liberal Arts & Science Academy (LASA). In 2007, LASA became its own high school co-located on the LBJ campus. While celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2014, the decision was made by club members to officially change the name of the club to reflect its operation as a part of the Liberal Arts & Science Academy High School.  As such, in April 2014, K5LBJ became the "LASA" High School Amateur Radio Club.  We continue to be proud of our callsign which represents our club's heritage and Texas roots.  Whether operating as LBJ or LASA High, we are K5LBJ.  Ultimately, we just want to be a leader in assisting new Hams to learn the excitement of the hobby.

Originally issued KE5BBZ, the LBJ High School Amateur Radio Club was formed in April 2004. (The Founding Students were Noah Kalish, KD5VDO, David Broockman, KD5ZNC.) At that time, we also became a member of ARRL's "Big Project", now known as the Education & Technology Program (ETP).

Over time, the Amateur Radio club provided an avenue to form an Amateur Radio class at LASA. Students are guided by their teacher, Ronny Risinger, KC5EES, and our Elmer, Joe Fisher, K5EJL. Many students have learned about this uniquely fun and important skill over the years.

We have enjoyed competing in the School Club Roundup contest. We were proud to be #1 in the High School category in 2006.

On October 19, 2008, our club was privileged to make contact with Richard Garriott, W5KWQ, while he was onboard the International Space Station. Many thanks go out to Mr. Garriott, NASA, and the many people involved in ARISS.

Our club was also featured on the cover of the September, 2010, edition of "Monitoring Times" magazine.

During the Fall 2010 School Club Roundup, K5LBJ's 13 student operators made 577 contacts with 47 states, 5 Canadian provinces, 13 countries, and 33 schools. This outstanding effort earned them the #1 ranking in the High School category in the Fall 2010 School Club Roundup contest.

 

 

We really enjoy the homebrew aspect of Amateur Radio. Our Spring 2011 project was to build a portable, HF vertical antenna. Inspired by the 'Minuteman 20,' LASA students set to work. Using PVC conduit for supports and coil forms and stereo wire for ground radials, they built a fine antenna. The goal was to build an antenna that would would operate on 17/20/40 meters. In its first test, the vertical reached Germany (5385 miles) and Sommerville, TX (64 miles). Student success!

In January 2012, K5LBJ was fortunate to host Nobel Prize winner and Amateur Radio operator, Joe Taylor, K1JT.

In Fall 2012, students decided to participate in the November Phone Sweepstakes contest.  They made 307 contacts with 81 of 83 sections.  Thus, in the November 2012 Phone Sweepstakes contest, K5LBJ placed 1st among schools in the West Gulf Division.  This garnered K5LBJ its first ever piece of "walnut" for the wall. 


The above code oscillator circuit was constructed by Jacob, KF5UVN, in Spring 2013. Jacob would soon go on to become very proficient at CW. He even purchased a 'Bug' and now runs 20 wpm+. The photo at right shows Jacob operating during the October 2013 "School Club Roundup".

Our February 2013 "School Club Roundup" operators included Elliott, AF5HH, and Makala, KF5TGG, working as a great team.

At present, we have a "Radio Room" (pictured above) which has an Icom 706MkIIg running through either an AT-180 automatic antenna tuner or a Palstar AT2K manual tuner. In 2012, we were able to add an Ameritron AL-811 (600 watt) amplifier. We also have a "Classroom Station" which has an ICOM 706MkIIG running through an MFJ Versatuner II. All of our antennas are located on the roof of our school.

In Fall 2013, the antenna farm includes a Cushcraft HF vertical antenna, a Gap Challenger (homebrewed) HF vertical, a Tennadyne T6 Log Periodic (installation underway), a G5RV dipole (mounted between push-up masts), and a Cushcraft VHF/UHF Yagi (in tripod with rotator). In addition, we have a helical antenna mounted for reception of the NOAA Weather Satellites (each day we capture NOAA-15 images and display them on a large computer screen in the school hallway).

The K5LBJ "Satellite Crew."  These students completed the satellite tracking/communication station during the Spring 2014 semester

 

 

In Fall 2013, we were fortunate to receive grants to install a complete satellite station (A+ Credit Union provided financial support for the tower and rotators, while the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) funded coax, and the ARRL ETP program provided the computer interface.  Finally, the Austin Amateur Radio Club (AARC) funded an Icom 910H radio for satellite work.)  During Spring 2014, students assembled the EL/AZ rotator, tripods, building cables, and installed the computer interface to prepare us for working satellites, including the ISS.  On September 19, 2014, K5LBJ mades its first solo satellite contacts through SO-50 (W5PFG, N8RO, NX9B, and WI9I).  After a few weeks of working with packet software, on October 14, 2014, K5LBJ successfully digipeated its first message through the Int'l Space Station (acknowledged by XE1MEX).

 

 

  A screen capture image of the UISS log showing the Oct. 14, 2014, K5LBJ message being digipeated via ISS.  The ARISS.net map showing stations whose signal digipeated via ISS.  K5LBJ is the "little, red school" in TX.  XE1MEX acknowledged the message and is also shown.

 

During the Fall 2014 School Club Roundup, K5LBJ's student operators made 959 contacts (40 of which were CW) with 48 states, 7 Canadian provinces, 49 countries, and 47 schools. This outstanding effort earned them the #1 ranking in the High School category in the Fall 2014 School Club Roundup contest. SCR is the students' favorite activity of the year, and the October 2014 contest will be remembered as one for the ages.  Ten meters was "wide open."

  Jacob, KF5UVN, Club President of K5LBJ for 2014-2015, works the October 2014 "School Club Roundup," while Mirah assists with catching the call to log it.

  Demaree came by AFTER schoool AFTER dance practice to work a few stations during the October 2014 "School Club Roundup."  LASA students are very dedicated.

K5LBJ's satellite tracking/communication station brought new excitement to our club in February 2015.  On Feb. 23rd/24th, the Russians on board the International Space Station were beaming Slow-Scan TV (SSTV) images to Earth.  The images were in celebration of what would have been Yuri Gagarin's 80th birthday.  The LASA High School Amateur Radio Club received some great images from SPACE! 

SSTV images received by K5LBJ from the Int'l Space Station (Feb.23/24, 2015).

 

In Spring 2016, students turned their attention to FUNcube (AO-73).  They began in earnest to receive telemetry data and send it to the satellite's administrators.  Of course, students were captivated by the "Fitter" (FUNcube Twitter) messaged relayed by the cubesat.  With an e-mail, students were happy to soon see the LASA Jaguars being recognized worldwide via a FUNcube Fitter message.

The above message was received via the FUNCube satellite on January 14, 2016 by K5LBJ.

During the Spring 2016 School Club Roundup, K5LBJ's student operators made 915 contacts with 48 states, 5 Canadian provinces, 10 countries, and 41 schools.  But, just as important as running up the QSO count, good operating manners are practiced by K5LBJ.  Rebecca ("Becks"), one of K5LBJ's outstanding YL operators, was heard by an Official Observer doing a great job of running stations.  It made her (and the Club's day) to receive a postcard on February 17, 2016, from the Official Observer recognizing K5LBJ's "EXCELLENT radio signal quality/operating procedure as a fine example for all radio amateurs." 

"Good Operator Report" received from an Official Observer (Feb. 2016) Front of Postcard explains the Official Observer program.

 

The LASA Amateur Radio Club -- Spring 2016 


-73- K5LBJ

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Students usually operate before school (7:30-8:00 CST) or during lunch (normally 1:00-2:00 p.m. CST). If you would like to arrange a sked, feel free to call the "Radio Room" directly at 512-414-7047.

If you make a contact with us, please QSL. We love to look at them and be reminded of all the wonderful places/people we've made contact with.

Note: �The physical address of K5LBJ is 7309 Lazy Creek Drive, Austin, Texas 78724, however QSL correspondence should be directed to the club's trustee at the license address.

The 2013-2014 members of K5LBJ stand upon the school's roof which is emblazoned with the club callsign.

 

7904638 Last modified: 2017-02-16 04:50:57, 16297 bytes

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