The Texas VHF-FM Society was formed on August 8, 1965 in Austin, Texas. In the beginning the Society was to provide communications between the various groups in Texas doing repeater work. It was to also provide a network of parts and equipment for use in repeaters and associated activities.
In the early days of repeaters, there were few, thus there was little need for coordination efforts. However, as time marched on and the popularity of repeater operations increased, the need of frequency coordination became apparent. So in the early 1970's the Society took on the job of coordinating and setting standards for construction of repeaters and the band planning of frequencies for repeater usage in Texas. The Society continues today as a 700+ member strong, statewide organization that represents the concerns and needs of repeater trustees in Texas.
The Society is moving into the spectrum band planning of all VHF and above amateur radio frequencies in Texas. Society staff and coordinators are researching and planning the future spectrum management of voice, digital and video frequencies in Texas. Currently, Texas has over 1600 repeaters from 10 meters to 1.2 GHz coordinated. Texas has more repeaters than several other states and coordinating bodies combined.
Coordination is performed by the Frequency Coordination Committee. Mark Stennett, NA6M, heads this committee. He has seven coordinators on the committee that coordinates various bands and zones of the state. The Society's coordinators today use computers and email for carrying out their duties.
The Society uses its resources for coordinating repeaters and spectrum management in Texas so that there may be as interference free as possible VHF-UHF operations. This is quite a job and takes many hours of work and dollars to achieve. The coordinators are all volunteers and the funds used in their efforts come directly from the dues and memberships of the Society.
To become a member of the Society is easy. Membership costs only $15.00 per year or $300.00 for a lifetime membership. One can become a member by sending a membership form to the Society Treasurer with the correct amount of funds.
Persons who are trustees of repeaters are especially encouraged to become regular members of the Society, as the Society is the recognized repeater coordination body for Texas.
Persons interested in membership to the Society can contact the officers, directors or coordinators. The Society's mailbox address is: The Texas VHF-FM Society, P.O. Box 82666, Austin, Texas 78708-2666.
Walt was one of the early leaders of the Texas VHF-FM Society and was instrumental in developing the coordination standards and policies still in use today.
I am sorry to hear of Walt's passing. He and Ilene were always there (way back when) and the two of them always found the positive side of almost any issue.
My memories are all of the Walt I knew 25 years ago, but I am sure he always tried to find the brighter and correct side of most issues.
Back then, as I recall, he worked about 20 hours a week (or more) as frequency coordinator. It was a job he expressed that he had volunteered for, not knowing what he was getting into.
And if he had known, he certainly wouldn't have done it. But once in the position, he buckled down, knuckled down and did it.
And with devotion and the striving to make the Ham community a better place, Walt lended his talents unselfishly. He will truly be missed.
Glen Collier, K5GFC