Fitzgerald Crew 2012
Release to Listen Award 2013
New Radio Gear For Some SARA Members!
Fitzgerald Crew 2011
Ice Station WØJH 2014
2021 W0TBC Memorial Award
WØJH 2004
AGØH 2013
May 14th Fox Hunt! What Fun!
OXB Special Install

MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – April 8, 2023

MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – April 8, 2023

Stillwater Amateur Radio Association

The Membership Meeting took place at Boutwells Landing, Stillwater, MN, and was streamed via Zoom for virtual attendees.

Program:

Ask the Elmer

Back for another session was the always popular Ask the Elmer session, where questions of all kinds are asked and hopefully answered with a correct answer.  This session was especially relevant with the attendance of many of the participants in this spring’s Technician License class session.  Thanks for all the questions and knowledgeable answers!

President:  Joe KCØOIO

The meeting was called to order by Joe KCØOIO.

Business Session:

Secretary’s ReportDave N9JNQ

The general minutes from the Membership and Board meetings are posted on the SARA website.  Please report any corrections or additions to: Secretary@radioham.org.  Thanks to Collin KEØIYN for filling in for Dave N9JNQ as he recovers from a broken leg.  Lesson learned – stick to the groomers when skiing over the age of 60.

Treasurer’s Report:  Rich ADØSN

Beginning Total Balance:   03/01/2023     $18,841.49

  • SARA

Balance:                                                   $6,813.15

Income:                                                   $640.00

Expenses:                                                $97.33

Ending Balance:     03/31/2023         $7,355.82

  • RBF

Balance:                                                 $12,028.34

Income:                                                  $0.00

Expenses:                                               $0.00

Ending Balance: 03/31/2023        $12,028.34

Ending Total Balance: 03/31/2023       $19,384.16

The treasury is healthy, thanks to the membership.

Activities & Events

Board Meetings

The Board meeting will take place Wednesday April 19, 2023, at 6:30 PM via Zoom.

Tech Topic Thursdays/Eyeballs

Tech Topic Thursdays are open-ended at the moment due to the difficulty in scheduling rooms at the libraries.

The Eyeball QSOs are also having some room conflicts, so watch for the weekly Broadcast for location.  Reservations cannot be secured for the Stillwater Library until 90 days out, and the Lake Elmo Library has a 30 day window, and it is first come first serve, making it difficult to be definite about eyeball locations.

SARA Activities

Summer in the Parks will take place again this year, starting with New Ham Night on May 18 at Valley View Park.  Valley View has also been secured for June 8 (which will be Field Day Site Planning night), June 29, July 20, August 10 & 31.  Other weeks will be at local parks throughout the St. Croix Valley area.  Watch the weekly Broadcast for location confirmation.

Special Events

Tri-State Activation – White Rock – A White Rock activation is tentatively planned for early fall 2023.

Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald – This special event is scheduled for November 3-6, 2023.

Field Day – Field Day 2023 will take place on June 24 & 25 at Valley View Park in Oak Park Heights for the first time.  A site planning session will take place at the June 8 Eyeball session taking place at the park.  This will be a 2A MN operation, with SSB and CW/Digital operations and will be a Get On The Air (GOTA) Station.

SARA POTA Challenge

The year-long SARA POTA (Parks On The Air) Challenge for calendar year 2023 is underway and going strong. Bob WØGAF provided the standings.  Leading the Hunter category is Shane WØNKA, followed by Shel NØDRX, both with over 1000 hunter QSOs. This is great accomplishment considering we are only three months into the year, with the nice weather for activations ahead.  The breakdown by modes show Shane and Shel maintaining the lead with phones, with Joe WØGIB leading the CW category and Shane leading the digital category.  There have been a total of 8,817 hunter contacts, with 141 activations, 65 parks activated, and 7,625 activator QSOs.  Bob reports we have 42 participants so far this year.

For activations, Eliot KEØN leads the pack with 56 activations, and also leads with 3,123 QSOs.  Brian KB9TBB leads with 19 parks activated.

All this data can also be found on the SARA website and the SARA Discord site.

SARA POTA Activity Days are coming up this summer, taking place on Saturdays.  The first will be head Saturday June 10, following the same style as last year.  We will be meeting at Perkins in Stillwater for breakfast, and then splitting into groups for activations.  Some members may start from their home QTHs as they will be heading to more remote sites.  We will then end up at Acapulco Restaurant in Stillwater at 6:00 PM.

A SARA POTA Meetup is scheduled for august 12, 2023 at Wild River State Park in Almelund, MN.  We will set up in one park, have multiple operators, and use WØJH as a call sign.  There will be a picnic to boot!  Joe KCØOIO will be securing a picnic shelter at the park this week.

Education and Training

Technician License Class – A spring Technician License Class is just about wrapped up. Bob WØGAF reports that this has been a very engaged group.  The class will wrap up April 20 with the VE Session to follow shortly thereafter.  Bob thanked the instructors for their willingness to participate.

Metro Skywarn Training Session – Metro Skywarn will hold an in-person training session for Saturday March 6, 10:30-1:30 AM, to take place in the River Room at the Stillwater Public library.  The class is good for new certification and for renewal of your current certification.  Advanced registration is required, either in person or online.  For online registration, got to metroskywarn.org and follow the link.

Member Support/Assistance Initiatives:  M.A.P. &  New Ham Resource Group (NHRG) & More

•M.A.P is readily available for antenna projects and member-to-member assistance.

•New Ham Resource Group, found at newhamhelp@radioham.org, is SARA’s outreach & mentoring program providing technical support and loaner equipment.  Remember gear is available for loan for those without a means to get on the air.  Remember that the NHRG is available to all members, not just new hams.  You can contact Brian KØPU, Dave WØOXB, or Mark KEØQQN with any inquiries.

Joe KCØOIO informed the Tech Class students attending the meeting that free SARA membership is given for the rest of the calendar year upon passing the Tech exam at the upcoming VE Session and membership entitles members to the SARA assistance programs benefits.  These benefits include help in raising antennas and the NHRG radio loaner program, as well as members-only access to SARA’s group.io and SARA’s Discord server site.

Groups.io – Remember that the SARA email reflector group is now online at https://groups.io/g/StillwaterMNAmateurRadioAssoc.  This reflector is available to SARA members only, so you should apply at the groups.io site and you will be given access by the site moderator.

SARA Discord Server – The “Stillwater Amateur Radio Association” Discord server was recently established by Brian KB9TBB and is available exclusively for SARA members. The admin team is Brian KB9TBB, Shane WØNKA, and Collin KEØIYN.  To join, click on this link: https://discord.gg/Z9A8NsCCXh 

DX News:  Mike NØODK

The contest season is winding up for the big contests, although there are plenty of smaller contests taking place.  Also a number of DXpeditions are taking place.  Get the latest DX news by subscribing to the ARRL DX News www.arrl.org/contest.  Also check out www.ng3k.com for DX.  For contests try the WA7BNM Contest Calendar contestcalendar.com, it always current.

Remote Stations: Pat WAØTDA

Pat WAØTDA reported that remote stations are up and running.  Pat is planning to do some antenna maintenance on the WAØTDA station this spring/summer, as well as preparing the WØZSW station for its upcoming move to western Wisconsin later this year.  Both of these stations are routinely disconnected when thunderstorms approach, as well as when Pat is out of town for a few days.  The WØEQO remote station in Park Rapids, MN is operating well, with low noise and no tuning problems.

Newsletter: Pat WAØTDA & Dave WØOXB

The May issue of the SARA Signals Newsletter will be the last of this season.  The deadline will be May 6.  Thanks to Pat WAØTDA and Dave WØOXB for getting it out.  During the summer months keep an eye on the weekly Broadcast for updates on club news.  Joe KCØOIO thanked Brian KB9TBB for his interesting POTA travelog published in the April newsletter.

ARES and Public Service:

Joe W3QLC reported on upcoming ARES events, including possible activities in anticipation of Lake St. Croix Beach flooding this spring.  The big activity is the upcoming Prairie Island REP Drill scheduled for June 7 and the FEMA-graded exercise scheduled for June 28.  Check http://www.mnwashcoares.net/ for the latest information.  The Cottage Grove High School is one of three designated evacuation reception centers in the event of an emergency activation.  ARES provides the communications expertise to the public entities due to the experience hams have with radio operations.

Meeting Programs:

The May 13 Membership meeting program will be a virtual presentation by Mike Walker VE3MW, a frequent contributor to the podcast Ham Radio Workbench, on Flex Radio.  Mike works for Flex and is an expert on SDR radios.

Program ideas should be forwarded to the Program Committee members Dave N9JNQ, Mike N9MA, or Zack AAØU.

Club Business:

None to report.

Local Activities: 

  • The MN ARC Club Leaders are organizing to attain the ultimate goal of hosting the ARRL Dakota Division Convention in the Twin Cities area for the first time since the early 2000s.  It is tentatively planned for October 14, 2023, with the location to be determined, although some members of the organization are pushing for the Minneapolis Convention Center, which may be a reach.  Bob WØGAF virtually attended the last meeting representing SARA, which took place last Monday.
  • The South East Metro Amateur Radio Club (SEMARC), our fellow amateur radio club in Washington County, MN, is holding its next meeting on Tuesday April 25, 2023 at the Zion Lutheran Church, 8500 Hillside Trail South, Cottage Grove, 55016.

Wearables:  Do not forget that SARA-labeled hats, shirts, jackets, and other wearables are available from www.hamthreads.com.  SARA members will receive a discount on all orders.

New Business:

None to report.

50/50 Raffle:

The sale of raffle tickets brought in $38.00.  The winner of the $19.00 donated the proceeds back to the club.

On the motion of Greg KØGW, seconded by Joe W3QLC, the Business Meeting was concluded.