Kendall Amateur Radio Society


Welcome to KARS

Welcome to the Kendall Amateur Radio Society (KARS). We are in the South Texas Section and located in Boerne, Kendall County, Texas around 30 miles NNW from Downtown San Antonio.  Our Club was formed in October 1980.  We have a paid membership of 40 and growing because we offer a variety of ham radio activities to amateur radio operators in the Texas Hill Country and the greater San Antonio area.  Also because we have 11 VEs, and routinely test from Tech to Extra.  Testing at KARS is open to any candidate.  Follow this link for more information.

ARRL Affiliation

We are an American Radio Relay League (ARRL) affiliated club and strongly support our National organization.  Our skills run from technology, to CW, SSB and Digital, working HF contests, chasing DX, 50 MHz, VHF and above.  Need help getting started in Amateur Radio?  Come see us.  We have Elmers willing to help in a variety of subjects shown below.  Come meet the subject matter experts.


We are not a repeater club, but we have one of the most capable system of repeaters in the Texas Hill Country.

KARS provides the following repeaters using the Club call KB5TX.  The VHF and UHF repeaters are Yaesu DR-2 analog/digital machines.

VHF: 146.64(-)  pl tone of 88.5.  DR-2 at about 1970 feet above MSL (110 feet AGL) on Tower Road.
VHF: 145.19(-)  pl tone of 88.5.  DR-2 at about 50 feet AGL at Fair Oaks Ranch.

UHF: 444.9 (+) pl tone of  88.5. DR-2 using the upper UHF antenna on Tower Road, with Wires-X.

KARS Net meets every Tuesday night at 7pm on the 146.64 repeater.  All are welcome.

Hot News

We will shortly install an UHF repeater at 150 feet AGL at the Volunteer Fire Department in Sisterdale, Texas.  We have the frequency pair and will announce the input frequency when the installation is complete.  An estimated coverage map and other details will then be posted on our repeater page at that time but the club and others should expect greatly enhanced coverage to the north and east.

KARS meeting on 1 July, 2021 will occur at the Boerne EMS building at  1175 N. Main.  See Meetings, Training and Testing below for more information. Face masks are optional.

For those wishing to test.  Please register beforehand.  Do not walk in and expect to be tested.  We need to know you are coming.  See "Meetings, Training and Testing" below.  The room will open at 6pm.  Only VEs supervising tests will be allowed to enter at this time.  Testing starts at 6:30pm.  Those wishing to test must arrive early and get your paperwork filled out.  Download your Form 605 from Forms and fill it out before if you can.  Because we have a meeting at 7pm, we can not offer the next test if you pass.

From ARRL, 28 April, 2021.  Bob, N6TV, has updated his presentation "Everything You Need To Know About USB and Serial Interfaces" for 2021. His presentation includes the history and evolution of serial ports, chipsets to prefer and those to avoid, how to use software tools to troubleshoot issues you might encounter, and how to best utilize the built-in USB to serial functionality that has been built into some modern rigs to support CAT, CW keying, and RTTY keying. This is a must read for anyone wishing to connect their radio and legacy equipment to a PC  and logging software, particularly a PC without serial ports.

The FCC is now requiring those wishing to test to register with the FCC first to to obtain their FRN (Federal Registration Number) prior to their testing session as we will now need this and can no longer accept your SSN.  Please log into the ARRL web page at which describes all requirements.  You do not need to be an ARRL member.

FCC to Require Email Address with Applications and on File. Log into the ULS License Manager System with your FRN and password to update your FCC license record.  See FCC to Require Email Address on Applications Starting on June 29, 2021 (

For the latest discussions, see our GROUPS.IO page here.

For Current Sunspot and Radio Flux improvement for Cycle 25, see

So now, we hope to develop ideas for the Membership to consider; e.g., a roadmap for Club growth and direction, keeping mind that while we have a multi-capability repeater system, we are a Ham Radio Club with members expert in a wide range of Ham Radio activities.  For example:

  1. Field day is an annual event for KARS.  Should we expand our contest activity to other annual events?

  2. Would the Club like to engage in Fox Hunting.

  3. We have members skilled in Satellite Communication.  Would the Club like to learn more about this?

  4. We have a member who is expert in First Aid.  Would the Club like to learn first aid?

  5. We have a number of members skilled in CW.  Would the Club like to learn CW as a club activity?

This website is current a/o 23 June, 2021.  Latest content:  Announcement of the Sisterdale UHF repeater to be installed soon.

Introduction  The seed for Amateur Radio was planted in the 1890's, with Marconi experiments in wireless telegraphy. Soon he was joined by hundreds; now thousands worldwide.  This page tells you what we are about 132 years later.
Radio Choices Many new to Amateur Radio wonder what radio to choose after their hand-held.  Here is information about Yaesu, Icom and Flex, along with links to others.  There is more about Flex in the Presentations folder.  Think about your first station as making an investment toward the future.  Try to make it a foundation upon which to grow.
Station Design for HF to 50MHz Our members operate stations from simple to elaborate.  We can give you ideas for yours and help you with your station design.
Station Design for VHF The Hill Country has many locations that are good for VHF and UHF.  With proper antennas and low loss coax, one can work much further than could be imagined.
QRP Want to get started in QRP?  We do that.  KARS past President, Bob Rosier - K4OCE, recently inducted into the QRP Hall of Fame, tells you how.
Weak Signal World & Digital New modes like FT4 and FT8 seem to be the fastest growing segment of our hobby.  See this page for FT4 and FT8 updates from Dave Moore, N7RF.
Space See the Presentations Folder for information about ARISS --  Amateur Radio on the International Space Station.  The ISS call sign is presently NA1SS.  Downlink frequency:145.8 MHz.  Astronaut: Shannon Walker KD5DXB.  See  for latest information.
Contesting and DX This page encourages one to get on HF and to work contests. You will find an ARRL link to nine pages of information how to begin contesting along with all the do's and don'ts.  This page also provides some "how to" ideas about contesting and working DX, plus how to find who is on the air and find current propagation reports.  
Software LoTW & Club Log This subject discusses Ham software, how to get the rare one in the log and then how to get the confirmation.  We can help you get started with LoTW and Club Log.
Repeaters The 444.9 and 146.64 are both DR-2 repeaters located ten miles north of Boerne on Tower Road.  145.19 is a DR-2 repeater located at Fair Oaks Ranch. Click on "Presentations" to see the roadmap developed in 4/2018 and followed to get to where we are today.
Field Day

The COVID-19 pandemic-modified ARRL Field Day rules from 2020 will continue this June with the addition of a power limit of 150 Watts imposed on Class D (Home Stations) and Class E (Home Stations-Emergency Power) participants.  See ARRL to Extend Field Day Rule Waivers from 2020, Add Class D and E Power Limit  But, after checking with ARRL, we can also engage in a normal Category #A operation using the Club call sign KB5TX.

DIY (Do It Yourself) Our presentations folder became crowded, so we stripped out a collection of "Do It Yourself" projects developed by various members of KARS.  Informational items remain in "Presentations & Discussion."  Latest addition in DIY shows how KARS member Gavin, KI5MCD installed his Yaesu FT-857D in his Jeep Wrangler.
Presentations & Discussions We have frequent programs on a variety of amateur radio subjects.  Those most recent: Corky Sarvis, WB5CIT about Station Grounding. Don Udel, KI5AIU, "What is Winlink (and why should I care?)"  Marsh Pronneke, WA5UBO, "KB5TX repeater update 2021" about building re-construction and current status.
Meetings, Training and Testing We normally meet the first Thursday of each month.  Register beforehand.  Find directions at the link. We also provide direction, mentoring and when you are ready, testing before the general meeting.  See this page for tips how to prepare.  We have 11 Volunteer Examiners and can test from Tech to Extra.   See Training, Meetings and Testing for requirements, and then call Brad Peace - N5PBP.   Follow the "testing" link for phone number and/or email address to make an appointment.  You do not need to be a member of our club to test.  We are open to all.
Links Here are links to various websites of interest.  New content, a compilation of various HP test articles and various Tektronics books on how to use various items of test equipment from Steve, W5SCL.   If you want to hear how ship to shore CW was done just 25 years ago, check out the Maritime Radio Historical Society
Community Activities We have a strong association with Kendall Co. EMS, the Kendall County Sheriff's Department and other organizations.  See our communication plan for interoperability with local agencies.  
Swap Meet Two antennas have been sold from the Swap Meet page.  Want to list something?  Send text and picture to the webmaster,
Administration Our home page  became cluttered so we consolidated a bunch of stuff into a new "Administration" folder.  See this file for KARS membership application. Meeting agenda template. Mailing, email address and current list of Officers and Directors. Script for the VHF net. Constitution and By-laws.  History of KARS.
Ideas for Improvement Please direct your flaming arrows at the webmaster.  A web site lives or dies depending on its content.  Judging from the hit-counter, we must be doing pretty well.  Your ideas are welcome.

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KARS -- P.O. Box 1732 -- Boerne, TX 78006

For more information, email