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     This site last
updated 02/26/2005


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The first link
of the West Texas Connection was implemented in 1984 by Jim Jeffrey, WA5QMJ
(SK). Jim became known as the father of the West Texas Connection and, with
help from Gareth Pollard, W5CDM (among others) built the system into one of the
first and finest linked systems in the United States.

There are currently 14 locations
covered by the Connection and the covered area includes the home QTHs of over
1,500 amateurs. The primary "hub" controller is located at Odessa and
secondary control hubs are located at Notrees and Big Spring.

The repeater at Mount Livermore
(one of the highest points in Texas) is solar powered and has been worked from
points as far away as Odessa, a straight-line distance of 140 miles.

A detailed history of the West
Texas Connection can be found in the six 1996 issues of the WTC Newsletter.


West Texas
Connection, Inc., is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of five
members:


 

 



The
Sunday Morning Net is held at 9:00 o’clock every Sunday. The net
provides a weekly check of the Connection to ensure that all sites are
available in case emergency communications are needed. It also identifies
stations throughout the system that can be called upon if needed.

The Sunday Morning Net format
includes an initial call for check-ins from mobile stations so they can get in
before destinating. Then, regular check-ins are taken until about 9:30 at which
time Net Control makes amateur related announcements. Announcements include
schedules for upcoming Hamfests, club meetings, training sessions, etc. They
also include national ham news when appropriate. After the announcements,
check-ins resume.

The Sunday Morning Net is
open and informal so all amateurs are welcome. 

At this time we do not have a Net
control operator. If you are interested in this job on a rotation basis. Please
email
 Fred Coonce K5WTC



 


Site Information

Big Spring

Kent/Balmorhea

 

Odessa

 

Colorado City

King Mountain

 

Sterling City

 

Dark Canyon

Lamesa

 

Tarzan

 

Ft. Stockton

Midland

 

 

 

Hobbs

Notrees

 

 

 



.

Big Spring 147.04+/442.10+

Big Spring is a
secondary hub for the Connection and therefore has a lot of equipment. The site
is about 8 miles south of Big Spring and is maintained by B.John, KE5PL.
Equipment there includes a VHF repeater on 147.040, a UHF repeater on 442.100
and a UHF link radio that connects Big Spring back to the Odessa Hub. Mobile
coverage is good from Midland to well-past Coahoma on IH 20.

Colorado City 444.85+

The UHF repeater
at Colorado City is the eastern-most site of the Connection. Installed in 1996
by Fred, K5WTC. The antenna is a DB 420, top mounted at 425 feet and mobile
coverage on IH 20 is provided for the entire county of Mitchell. Home stations
can easily reach from Big Spring and Sweetwater. Clayton, N5IJD (SK) assists with
the site.

Crane 146.80-

The Crane
repeater is maintained by Coy, WB5WYI(SK) and is located on the east side of
Crane. The antenna is at 200 feet and coverage along US 385 extends from the
Caprock between Odessa and Crane to McCamey , 21 miles south.

 

Dark Canyon 147.12+

This is a rather
remote site located in the vicinity of the Carlsbad Caverns area of New Mexico.
It’s mountain top location at 7240 ft. and antenna at 100 ft. AGL often allows
mobile coverage of about 75-100 miles and it links directly in the the Notrees
secondary hub 120 miles away. The equipment is maintained by Mark, N5SOR.

Photos of damage to
tower in June 1998.

Ft. Stockton 146.68- 
444.800+

The repeater at
Ft. Stockton is located 12 miles south of town and is maintained by Albert,
WB5FWR (SK). This was one of the very first links in the West Texas Connection.
Excellent coverage with the antenna at 160 ft. above the site elevation of
about 3100 ft. on the tower owned by Albert and Mark, N5SOR.

Click for large picture 

 

 

Hobbs 146.78-

After being
served by a simplex dump for awhile, the Hobbs site received a full repeater in
April 1997. The site is about halfway between Hobbs and Seminole where the
local  elevation is about 3100 ft. The antenna is at 440 ft and mobile
coverage extends to Brownfield and near Andrews in Texas. In New Mexico,
coverage includes Lovington, Eunice, and Jal. The equipment is maintained by
Mark, N5SOR.

Kent/Balmorhea 444.050+

This site is
sometimes referred to as McElroy. A mountain top site north of Balmorhea with
an elevation of 7020 ft. makes for outstanding coverage in the area where IH 20
and IH 10 come together. Coverage is generally from about Sierra Blanca to
about Ft. Stockton on IH10 and about Monahans on IH20. This coverage area is
almost the same area covered by the Mt. Livermore repeater and you may have to
switch between the two repeaters when one drops in certain areas.

When a large tornado struck the
small community of Saragosa
in this area on May 22, 1987, the Kent/Balmorhea repeater was the source of the
first reports and became a primary communication link during the early public
safety response. Well known West Texas ham, George Toone, WB5FBJ described the
tornado scene from here immediately after the strike. The use of the Connection
during the incident led to a service award being presented to Jim Jeffrey,
WA5QMJ (SK) by the National Weather Service.

King Mountain 444.700+

Located atop the
small mountains near US 385 between Crane and McCamey, this site has a mobile
coverage area with a radius of almost 50 miles. The equipment is maintained by
Mark , N5SOR.


Lamesa444.75+

On May 16, 1998 the antenna at
Lamesa was placed at about 250 ft. and oriented to favor the north.  Early
tests showed mobile coverage to Big Spring, 45 miles away.  This site
comes into the link to provide more coverage, especially for Skywarn, to the
north toward Lubbock.  The site is maintained by Fred, K5WTC and Mark,
N5SOR.

Midland 146.90-/443.275+

The Midland
repeater was moved and freq changed. The repeater is located South of Midland.
This site is maintained by Rod , N5XXO

The UHF Radio was
interfaced with a RC210 controller on May 17 ,2005 Full Time.  Thanks Rod.

Notrees 442.50+

The Notrees
secondary hub links Dark Canyon, Andrews, and Hobbs sites to the primary hub
south of Odessa. The UHF repeater at Notrees provides wide coverage to the
north and west with an antenna at 350 feet. AGL. The Notrees site is maintained
by Rod, N5XXO and Mark, N5SOR.

Odessa 145.41-/444.10+

Click on the pictures to see them
larger.  In the picture on the left, Mark (N5SOR) checks vital snack
inventory at the Odessa/Pleasant Farms site.  The group on the right were
at the site to do some clean up.  Pictured are (l-r) Bill (ex N5POB), Les
(N5KOA) and son, David, Joe (WA5VYK), Tom (KC5ETW) and (kneeling), Mark
(N5SOR).

Home of the West Texas
Connection, the Odessa primary hub is actually about 8 miles south of Odessa
near the community of Pleasant Farms. Jim, WA5QMJ (SK) and Gareth, W5CDM bought
the land and erected the 300 feet tower specifically for amateur radio
projects. The site contains a VHF and a UHF repeater. The site was sold to a
commercial interest in 1996 but thanks to Gareth, remains the Connection hub
with permission secured conditional to the sale of the property. The site has
battery backup and is maintained by Rod, N5XXO.

 

03/01/98  The 146.70 site
is OUT OF SERVICE

We lost the site in North
Odessa.  Until a new site is found, the 146.70 machine will be out of
service
.

A second Odessa site was added to
provide better handi coverage in the northern part of Odessa. The satellite
receiver near 42nd Street and West County Road shares tower space with the
local West Texas Amateur Radio Club. This site is maintained by Rod, N5XXO.

.

Sterling City 146.64-

Downtown Sterling
City is the site of this repeater and it, too, provides valuable Skywarn
spotter coverage even though the area is sparsely populated. The site is
maintained by Dow, N5FTL and B.John, KE5PL.

of
1997.


 


West Texas
Connection maintenance and related out-of-pocket expense are shared by a
relative few, but capable and willing, hams. Monitoring the Connection on
almost any weekend will find one or more sites getting attention from
volunteers. Their time not spent repairing equipment is often spent doing
preventative maintenance. The West Texas Connection is a tribute to them.
Thanks guys – Jim would be proud.


West Texas Connection, Inc. is a nonprofit organization
dedicated to public service and education. Comments and donations can be sent to:

West Texas Connection
902 Overton Dr
Weatherford TX 76086

OR, send comments to Les, N5KOA
Member:
Click on image to go to the ARRL Web Site


 


 


West Texas Clubs & Information:

West Texas Amateur Radio Club

Midland Amateur Radio Club

Texas
Repeater Look-up

Big Spring Amateur Radio
Club

LG Networks Inc

San Angelo Amateur Radio Club

Dyess AFB Amateur Radio Club

Armadillo – The National Radio
System of Texas

QRZ Callbook Lookup

ARRLWeb ARRL’s Home Page

National Skywarn Web Page

Click for the Midland NWS Office Page

Current
Radar Image of West Texas

Midland
4-day Forecast

FCC
Database Lookups

Ector County 9-1-1

 

 

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