MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – December 12, 2020
MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – December 12, 2020
Stillwater Amateur Radio Association
Virtual membership meeting held via Webex due to the COVID-19 and the unavailability of Boutwells Landing meeting room.
President: Joe KCØOIO
The meeting was called to order at 9:06 AM.
Joe KCØOIO welcomed all to the on-line virtual membership meeting using Cisco Webex.
Secretary’s Report: Dave N9JNQ
The general minutes from the November Membership and Board meetings are posted on the SARA website.
Please report any corrections or additions to: Secretary@radioham.org
Treasurer’s Report: Rich ADØSN
Beginning Total Balance: 11/01/2020 $17,524.04
Ending Balance: 11/30/2020 $4,941.96
Ending Balance: 11/30/2020 $12,224.51
Ending Total Balance: 11/30/2020 $17,166.47
Since the end of November, Rich has received $655.00 in dues income to be credited to the SARA account. There will be a December expense for liability insurance debited to the SARA account.
The income to the RBF account reflects the sale of the Icom 7200 that had previously been used for the Woodbury remote base station WØZSW. The expense to the RBF account is for the purchase of an Icom 7300 for use by the remote base station WØZSW.
Activities & Events
There will be a Board meeting on Thursday, December 17, 2020, at 6:30 PM. All are welcome to join in.
A virtual Eyeball QSO “Holiday Party” is scheduled for Friday, December 18, 2020, beginning at 7:30 PM. Everyone is encouraged to dig deep in the trunk and pull out their ugliest holiday sweater for the occasion.
Joe KCØOIO reports that the most recent Tech Topic Thursday will be added to the club YouTube playlist, with a link provided in the next email Broadcast.
Training and Education
Bob WØGAF reported that the General class is tentatively planned to begin in January 2021. He will be coordinating with SEMARC to provide a testing session for the class graduates. The class will be done virtually. More information will be forthcoming.
Joe KCØOIO reports that Metro Skywarn Spotter Training is in the planning stages, but it will take place virtually. Pre-session sign up is required and will be limited to 90 participants per session.
Tech Topic Thursdays – Mike KFØCCL
Mike KFØCCL has done a great job organizing and scheduling speakers for our Tech Topic Thursdays. Coming up in January will be a presentation by Tom WØTFG, a long-time ham who put together his first shack at the ripe old age of 13, entitled “Setting Up Your Shack.” Mike noted that Tom has built a shack that is hidden behind a bookcase (think Young Frankenstein “Put the candle back!”).
Mike also made a great “get” for the February Tech Topic Thursday – Martin F. Jue K5FLU, founder of MFJ, to discuss using the MFJ 259/269 antenna analyzers. Everyone be on their best behavior.
Mike is also working with Dick WØTLE to prepare a program for the March Tech Topic Thursday. Dick is an active ham, having over 38,000 entries on LOTW alone.
Thanks to Mike for picking up this responsibility and doing a fantastic job.
Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald Special Event – Dave WØOXB
The Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald Special Event took place November 6 through 8, 2020. Dave WØOXB reported that it could not have gone much better for the first time running distributed operations/stations. Dave shared some nice comments provided by contacts. Twenty-one folks took part in the event, with some family members providing logging. Our operators included Rich Barker W8VS out of Brighton, Michigan, and Brad VE3MXJ out of Thunder Bay, Ontario. The remote operations allowed SARA to double its contacts (and visibility) this year.
Dave noted that the certificate provided to contacts includes an In Memoriam to silent keys Bill VE3XT and Bill KDØOTB, both very active in past Edmund Fitzgerald operations out of Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.
Dave noted that we tallied a total of just over 2000 contacts this year, compared to 708 contacts last year (2019). Approximately 62% of the contacts were SSB; 33.5% FT8; and 4% CW. Over half the contacts were on 20 meters.
Bob WØGAF reports that 388 certifications have gone out from a total of 392, the remaining in need of some additional information.
Shel NØDRX provided a breakdown of the DX contacts – there were 87 Canadian contacts, and 32 additional DX identities, mostly on FT8. Shel noted that the remote operations were an advantage, with Brad VE3MXJ and Rich W8VS giving us big numbers. Using the digital mode FT8 added to our count.
Overall, another successful operation!
Joe KCØOIO announced that the 17th Annual Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald is scheduled for November 5-7, 2021. Get it on your calendar!
Ice-olation Station WØJH – Joe KCØOIO
The next special event on the SARA calendar is the Ice Station on-the-ice operation scheduled for February 13-15, 2021. Due to COVID, distributed operations will be used again. More to come in an upcoming email Broadcast. There will not be a WØF call sign used for this operation. The event has already been included on the ARRL web page.
SARA Nets & Ragchews – Dave WØOXB & Joe KCØOIO
160 Top Band Evening Round Robin Ragchew continues on a nightly basis.
The Monday morning 75 meter net has made its seasonal shift from 8:15 AM to 9:00 AM. The net can be found at 3.856 MHZ.
The SARA WØJH 2 meter repeater noon hour “Lunch Room” runs through the noon hour Monday thru Friday.
Two-meter Tuesday (TMT) can be found on the SARA repeater, operating 7:00 – 8:00 pm, with a 160 meter afterglow at 1.966 beginning at 8 pm.
The Wednesday night 2-meter net, hosted by Rick KØBR, continues its long run, beginning at 9:00 pm.
The Digital Net has returned Sundays at 7 PM CST. The net can be found at 3.584.15 MHz on your radio dial using USB unless the NCS indicates otherwise. This past Sunday evening featured RTTY, with a lot of reminiscing of RTTY days of the past.
New to the list is SARA Emergency Power Day, which will be held the first Tuesday of every month on Two Meter Tuesday and the 160 meter afterglow. Operating emergency power (generator, solar, wind) will provide you with extra credit for the session. Upcoming dates are January 5, February 2, and March 2, 2021.
M.A.P.: Dave WØOXB
Dave WØOXB reports that six to seven antennas have been raised this year, with one more on the calendar if the weather holds out. Keep in mind, M.A.P. provides services other than antenna construction, including setting up shacks, getting on digital modes, etc.
Please contact Dave WØOXB or a SARA officer if you need help, antenna or otherwise.
New Ham Resource Team: Brian NØBJE, Holly KEØRZZ, and Mark KEØQQN
This group is an outreach program providing help to newly licensed and veteran hams alike. The KDØOTB Memorial Station and two Yaesu FT-70 HTs are available to members who need help getting on the air. Give Brian N0BJE, or any of the Team, if you need services.
Washington County ARES: John KAØHYR
John KAØHYR reported that the Minnesota Section Manager is changing at the end of December. The new Manager will be Benton Jackson KØBHJ.
John thanked Brad VE3MXJ for the invitation to participate in the recent Thunder Bay, Ontario ARES Zoom meeting.
The ARES net takes place on the 3rd Wednesday of each month on the 147.180 repeater at 6:30 PM. The repeater is running well. There is expanded coverage with the 147.180 repeater, which is running at the Newport site (PL 74.4) and the Forest Lake site (PL 100). This system covers the entirety of Washington County.
Check the web site regularly for current events, net schedule, and other items of significance: www.mnwashcoares.net.
John encourages everyone to keep their batteries charged!
DX News: Mike NØODK
There are a number of contests coming, including two this weekend. This includes the ARRL 10 Meter Contest,
CW and phone, running 0000Z December 12 through 2359Z December 13, which is ongoing this weekend. Also check out the SKCC Weekend Sprintathon running this weekend from 1200Z December 12 to 2400Z December 13.
Coming up is: the RAC Winter Contest, CW and phone, running 0000Z to 2359Z December 19; the ARRL Rookie Roundup, CW, running 1800Z to 2359Z December 20; and the ARRL RTTY Roundup, running 1800Z January 2 through 2359Z January 3.
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.
Remote Base Project (RBP): Pat WAØTDA
Pat WAØTDA reports that the remote bases are all running well. The Icom 7300 is in place and running for the WØZSW station. There was a short off-line period for a Windows 10 update. More information can be found in Pat’s update in the SARA Signals newsletter.
Thanks to Bill NØCIC for all his efforts to keep the WØEQO remote site up and running at the Park Rapids, MN, scout camp.
If you would like access to the remote stations, go to RemoteHams website to download the program, and contact Pat for permission to use the three remote base stations available.
Newsletter: Pat WAØTDA & Dave WØOXB
The deadline for the January issue of SARA Signals is January 3, 2021. A continuing thanks to Pat WAØTDA and Dave WØOXB for their work on the newsletter.
Website Update: Collin KEØIYN
Collin KEØIYN has been busy addressing updating WordPress and addressing website security to provide privacy to SARA membership application data. The SARA website no longer uses the www tag, and having the security SSL certificate, the website address is now https://radioham.org.
Collin and Joe KCØOIO report that the new online application and membership renewal system, with the PayPal option, appears to be running well. Twenty-seven members have paid their dues via the website without problems. Thanks to Bob WØGAF for setting up the application process on the website. We will be adding a question regarding ARRL membership to the application.
Repeater News: Doug N9TOW
Nothing to report.
North of the Border Report: Brad VE3MXJ
Brad VE3MXJ, SARA’s sole long-time (10 to 11 years) international member reported that, as the local Thunder Bay EC for ARES and a participant in the Amethyst District ARES (active on the Ontario/Manitoba border area), he has been busy with Zoom meetings. Brad thanked John KAØHYR for his active participation in the recent Thunder Bay ARES meeting.
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.
SARA Dues: Joe KCØOIO noted that 2021 dues, which run from January 1 through December 31, can be sent to the club address:
Stillwater Amateur Radio Association
1618 Pine Street W
Stillwater, MN 55082
The online application and PayPal payment option is also available at the SARA radioham.org website.
Shel NØDRX reports that, for 2020, there are 117 paid members. As of December 5, we have 78 members paid for 2021. We are on track with last year’s rate of payments.
Officers election: 2021 Club officer elections shall take place at the January 2021 Membership Meeting.
Collin KEØIYN made a motion nominating the slate of candidates as follows:
President: Joe Heitzinger KCØOIO
Vice President: Bob Jensen WØGAF
Secretary: Dave Iverson N9JNQ
Treasurer: Rich Smith ADØSN
Director 2021 – 2022: Zack Zaccagnini AAØU
George KØGCP seconded the motion. Joe KCØOIO queried three times whether there were any other nominations. Hearing no other nominations, the motion nominating the slate of candidates passed by show of hands.
Equipment Donation: Dave N9JNQ reported on the recent equipment donation to SARA from the wife of former club member Jerry KBØOHI, a silent key who passed about three years ago. Mike NØODK collected the gear from Jerry’s QTH, and passed it on to Dave, who cleaned and inventoried the equipment. Dave reported that the equipment cleaned up well, and that most is in working condition. The equipment includes a nice Yaesu FT840 with a hand microphone and an MD-100 desk microphone. Dave prepared a list of equipment that he submitted to Joe KCØOIO for consideration by the Board. Some of the equipment could be kept by the club for loan or other use, and that which is not sold to members or otherwise disposed of, Dave will list on various ham-related websites and on-air nets for sale. All proceeds will be deposited into the SARA account.
On the motion of Keith AGØH, seconded by Shel NØDRX, the business portion of the meeting was adjourned at 10:09 AM.
Build a Mesh Mobile Tower Fleet by Erik Westgard NY9D.
The second time is the charm! Due to technical difficulties, the program was canceled last month, but went off without a hitch this month.
Erik gave us a summary of the mesh system used for medical communications at the annual Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. The organization and the medical staff appreciate the system that allows for good communications in a situation that is not conducive to such communications by other means. Erik then provided a brief overview of the mesh network in use in the Twin Cities area.
Of special interest was the discussion of the “Tower Trailer Fleet,” how they have been acquired, their interesting paint jobs and associated tactical names, and the “Proposed Silly Trailer Rules.” There are currently eight tower trailers in the fleet, with more on the way.
Last, Erik gave an overview of future of the mesh network and its use by hams in public service. There is ongoing discussion to have the service embedded in state and local agencies, such as EMS, hospitals, counties, NGOs, etc. The system has the ability to provide direct service to address:
–Aid stations /medical support/ medical command centers
–Duties as assigned (food distribution, IT support etc.)
All it takes is for the state and local authorities to recognize the benefit from using these volunteer services.
Thanks much to Erik for the informative presentation.
The program was concluded at 10:50 AM.
Meeting attendance: 24