Texas A&M University W5AC The Texas A&M Amateur Radio Club, College Station, Texas
College Station, Texas, U.S.A. • Brazos County • EM10tp

W5AC Shack Information


The W5AC shack has recently moved. Our current operating capabilities are not as extensive as listed below and we hope to be back to normal soon. Information on the new shack will be provided as it becomes available.

Click here to see pictures of the shack.


Shack Location (updated Fall 2016)
Bldg 8900 (Aggie Map Link)
Latitude 30 d 37 m 47.2512 s, which is
30.62972 d North
Longitude 96 d 20 m 36.3480 s, which is
96.3434 d West
ITU Region 2
ITU Zone 7
Grid square EM10tp
CQ Zone 4
Mailing Address (updated Fall 2015):
Texas A&M Amateur Radio Club
Student Organization Finance Center
Texas A&M University
125 John J Koldus Student Services Building
Mail Stop 1236
Slot #427
College Station, TX 77843-1236
Phone: (979) 324-1211

We are in Brazos County, Texas.


VHF/UHF

The repeater is the club's primary means of on-the-air communication, and is located in the Oceanography and Meteorology (O&M) Building. VHF equipment in the shack includes a Kenwood model TS-711A 2 meter all-mode base station (donated by Donald Foster, Class of '36, KA5OGA) and a Kenwood TS-600 6 meter all-mode base station.

To work satellites, we use a Yaesu FT-726R VHF/UHF all-mode satellite station.

Our UHF (70 cm) radio is a Kenwood TM-441A.

The shack has an AEA PK-232MBX for RTTY, AMTOR, and CW encode/decode (to be used on VHF/UHF). It can run up to 1200 baud, and the MBX designation indicates it has a mailbox feature. It is on loan from Kurt Freiberger WB5BBW. We also have a KAM (Kantronics All-Mode) Terminal Node Controller (TNC). The VHF desk has three different amplifiers, each capable of FM or SSB operation, as well as a Realistic Pro-2005 scanner.

HF

HF gear includes a Kenwood model TS-930S with automatic antenna tuner, a Kenwood TS-940S (donated by Donald Foster, Class of '36, KA5OGA) with automatic antenna tuner, and an Icom IC-751.

For HF we also have Drake and Henry amplifiers, and 2 external antenna tuners. For digital modes (including RTTY and packet), we have a software solution running on a PC on the HF side of the shack.

Miscellaneous

The shack has a massive collection of past issues of QST and other magazines, as well as a library of various amateur radio books. Our QSL card collection, going back no less than 80 years, covers our walls and fills our filing cabinets!

We now have a NOAA Weather Radio receiver (with alarm) in addition to numerous maps of the area, which may prove useful for Skywarn storm-spotting (or TAMMSSDA stormchasing) in the future. Mike KZ5M has also donated an old television to the shack, so we can keep up with local news broadcasts - just in case. The W5AC shack can be used as a backup communications center if there is an emergency in our area (note from our history that "our area" is pretty big). NOAA Weather Radio also broadcasts Amber Alerts.

The shack has ample desk space, a comfortable couch and an old AM/FM radio for those times when one just can't get good studying done anywhere else.

Our Pentium announcing DX spots on 145.590 MHz, "EGOR," has been dismantled after a nearby lightning strike damaged it.


Antennas

W5AC has several types of antennas on the roof. Height of the antennas ranges from around 40 feet Above Ground Level (AGL) for the TVRO satellite dish to about 100 feet AGL for the top of the HF tower.

VHF tower:

The VHF tower array is pointed in the horizontal plane with a remote rotor.

  • Hustler model G6-270R 2 meter/70 cm dual-band vertical on top of the tower
  • Cushcraft 22 element 2 meter vertical beam
  • 2 meter horizontal beam
  • 6 meter 5-element horizontal beam
Satellite array near the VHF tower: (down for repairs but will be back up very soon)

This array is pointed anywhere in the sky with a Kansas City Tracker, or "KCT", to follow satellites (especially Orbital Satellites Carrying Amateur Radio) automatically.

  • 2m cross-polarized beam antenna
  • 70 cm cross-polarized beam antenna
  • 2.4 GHz "barbecue grill" dish (internally downconverting to 2 meters before feeding to the shack)
  • Cushcraft model A449-11 70 cm horizontal beam (attached on this tower below the array;
    can turn, but does not "tilt" like the others)

HF tower:

This array is pointed in the horizontal plane with a remote rotor.

  • Hustler model G6-270R 2 meter/70 cm dual-band vertical on top of the tower
  • Mosely Pro-57B 7-element horizontal beam for 20m, 17m, 15m, 12m and 10m
Other antennas:
  • Cushcraft R5 vertical for 20m, 17m, 15m, 12m and 10m, located near the VHF tower
  • Dipole for 160m and 40m (with apex and feed point on top of the HF tower)
  • G5RV antenna covering 80m through 10m strung between the VHF and HF towers
  • Diamond D-130 discone, for the scanner
  • TVRO (television receive-only) satellite receiver and dish*

* With this, we can receive and thus rebroadcast NASA Select TV Audio on 2 meters during shuttle missions. However, NASA Select rebroadcasting on 147.540 MHz is inactive for the forseeable future as NASA TV has changed its schedule format. Also, the lightning strike that disabled "EGOR" also damaged the TVRO equipment.


© W5AC, The Texas A&M Amateur Radio Club