Membership Meeting Minutes – April 11, 2015
Stillwater Amateur Radio Association
1618 Pine Street West
Stillwater, Minnesota 55082
President: Joe KCØOIO
The meeting was called to order at 9:00 AM.
Secretary’s Report: Steve KAØOBI
The minutes from the March 14th, 2015 meeting were approved as published.
Treasurer’s Report: John N5JLZ
Beginning Balance: 3/1/2015 $2,897.41
Ending Balance: 3/31/2015 $3,102.61
Education and Training: Bob WØGAF
Spring Technician Classes end April 23, 2015 and will be held at Boutwells.
Spring Technician VE Session – April 30, 2015 at Boutwells from 6 to 9 PM. Looking for one additional VE for this session.
New Ham Hands-on Skills & Demo – scheduled for May 21st from 6 to 8:30PM at Pioneer Park, Stillwater. Topics to be discussed include: programming radios, using repeaters, operating simplex, checking into formal nets, and using common protocol on VHF & UHF.
Activities & Events: Dave WØOXB
Thursday Night Eyeball Sessions – Held every Thursday at 6:00 PM CDT at the Stillwater Public Library.
Field Day 2015 is scheduled for June 27th to 28th at Autumn Hills Park, Oak Park Heights.
Mobile & Portable Operating Show ‘N Tell – scheduled for Saturday, June 13th from 9 to 10:30 AM at Autumn Hills Park, Oak Park Heights. Event will include assembling mobile and portable stations, erecting and matching antennas, grounding, and hints, tricks and tips.
White Rock Tri-State Special Event – planning for September, exact date TBD (either 11th -13th or 18th – 20th).
SARA Mentor Project – Need volunteers to mentor one or two new hams and get them on the air and more involved in the hobby.
Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald 40th Anniversary event – scheduled for Oct 30th to Nov 1st at Split Rock State Park, Beaver Bay, MN.
Handihams: Pat WAØTDA & Dave WØOXB
HEART (Handiham Equipment Assessment Repair & Tracking) – volunteers are needed now to help.
Radio Camp – August 18th – 24th at Camp Courage, Maple Lake, MN. VE session will be held on Sunday, Aug 23rd in the Woodland Dining Hall.
Handihams will be at Dayton Hamvention May 15th -17th in Booth 330 by Flex Radio.
Washington County ARES: John KAØHYR (not present)
Project Day is scheduled for Saturday, April 25th from 9:30 AM till Noon at Woodbury High School, Room 248. For more information go to email@example.com.
Washington County Prairie Island Reception Center Drill on June 10th and FEMA graded exercise on July 22nd.
Public Safety Whole Community Expo – May 2nd – from 10 AM to 2 PM. For additional details go to their website at www.mnwashcoares.org.
Digital Net: Joe KCØOIO
SARA DigiNet will be on summer hiatus.
2 Meter ragchew will be on Wednesday night at 9 PM CDT. 147.060 MHz.
1.966 KHz Round Robin Ragchew – 8 PM CDT every night except Tuesday and Thursday.
River Valley Slow Speed CW Net – has had promising testing results on 15 & 6 Meters and poor results on 80 & 40 Meters. Watch for future test runs this Fall.
Newsletter & Website: Pat WAØTDA, Dave WØOXB, Peter NØGRM, & Keith AGØH
Deadline for articles for the newsletter is the last Saturday of the month. Always looking for new contributors.
DX News: Mike NØODK (not present)
Check www.NG3K.com for the DX & Contest Calendar. SARA still offers an outgoing DX QSL service – contact Bob WØGAF for details.
Good of Association: Joe KCØOIO
Upcoming Meeting Programs:
May – Mike Tabbert KCØIQW – Broadband HamNet
Oct – Mike Paskeuric NØODK – Fun with DXing
Future program ideas include: SSTV & EasyPal, fresh look at APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System), Maidenhead Grid Squares, hamming with smartphones and tablets.
Hamfests coming soon:
April 18th – Brainerd Hamfest in Brainerd Armory – 0900 to 1300
May 2th – ARAC Swapmeet in Superior, WI
May 15th -17th – Dayton Hamvention
June 6th – TwinsLAN Tailgate Swap fest at 3M Ctr (date may be changed for security issues)
SEMARC Meeting – April 28th – at Zion Lutheran Church, 8500 Hillside Trail S, Cottage Grove.
ADA Tour de Cure – Saturday, May 30st – see Joe KCØOIO if you can volunteer.
2015 Ironman – Sunday, April 26th 6 AM to 6 PM. The repeater will be in use for this event.
The business part of the meeting adjourned at 9:34 AM.
Program: Lyle Koehler KØLR, What We Mean By Software Defined Radio
Lyle gave a well-organized overview of SDR and some great demonstrations of inexpensive ways to experience this technology.
Software-defined radio (SDR) is a radio communication system where components that have been typically implemented in hardware (e.g. mixers, filters, amplifiers, modulators/demodulators, detectors, etc.) are instead implemented by means of software processes.
Unique Features of SDR include: Waterfall and panoramic spectrum display, point and click tuning, completely configurable filters, multiple simultaneous receivers, and audio/RF recording feature.
Negatives for some people: Not a ‘single box’ radio, computer required, non-traditional user interface, too many choices, might be necessary to read the manual, accessibility, and cost.
Special uses for SDR: VHF/UHF band monitor (with transverter), IF panadapter, and “IF DSP” for existing transceiver.
Demos: RTL-SDR dongle, playback of DX contest on 20 meters, and “SDR-enhanced” IC-706.
SDR Resources: QST product reviews, “Cheap and Easy SDR” – QST Jan 2013, Wikipedia, and RTL-SDR.com.
Examples of SDR Radios: Flex $700 – $7,500, Apache Labs(ANAN) $1,000 – $4,300, Fun Cube dongle $210, Soft Rock Lite kit (HF, RX, single band) $21, RTL-SDR dongle (RX 24-1700 MHz) $15.
Meeting was adjourned at 10:30 AM.
Meeting attendance: 24