2018 WØTBC Memorial Award-NØDRX
2023 Simonet Memorial Award
SARA Work Party 2
Ice Station WØJH 2014
Ice Station WØJH 2014
Split Rock Lighthouse 2012
SARA Work Party 3
2014 SARA Officers
SARA Work Party 1
2019 SARA Executive Officers

MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – February 10, 2024

MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – February 10, 2024

Stillwater Amateur Radio Association

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

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.

Treasurer’s Report:  Dave KØAIF

Beginning Total Balance:   01/01/2024     $17,894.63

  • SARA

Balance:                                                   $6,896.08

Income:                                                   $443.00

Expenses:                                                $584.95

Ending Balance:     01/31/2024         $6,754.13

  • RBF

Balance:                                                 $10,998.55

Income:                                                  $0.00

Expenses:                                               $0.00

Ending Balance: 01/31/2024        $10,998.55

Ending Total Balance: 01/31/2024       $17,752.68

The expense represents the purchase of audio-visual equipment; the income is mostly dues.

Activities & Events

Tech Topic Thursdays/Eyeballs

The Eyeball QSOs are generally taking place at the Stillwater Public Library.  There may be some conflicts with the upcoming Technician Classes, so watch the Weekly Bulletin for updates on locations.

Board Meetings

The Board meeting will take place Wednesday February 21, 2023, at 6:30 PM via Zoom.

Special Events

Ice Station WØJH 2024 – Ice Station WØJH will once again take place this upcoming Presidents Day weekend on the shore of Lake Elmo thanks to the hospitality of Dave KØAIF and Anne KØVOB.  The special event will run from Saturday February 17 through Monday February 19.  The hours are roughly 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM, with Saturday setup starting between 9:00 and 9:30 AM.  We will be operating from the shore of the lake due to the lack of safe ice on the lake.  The site is not handicapped accessible.  You may want to bring a chair, but nothing else is needed other than your coffee or drink of choice.  There are plans for an evening after-glow, with the possibility of mincemeat pie.

For anyone interested, a group will be heading over to the site right after this meeting to do some site planning, all are welcome.

SARA POTA Challenge – The year-long SARA POTA (Parks On The Air) Challenge for calendar year 2024 is underway and going strong. Bob WØGAF will provide the standings during the Program.

MN POTA Day – Minnesota POTA Day will take place June 8, 2024, coinciding with the Minnesota Free State Parks Day, so all activators are encouraged to activate from a Minnesota state park, although any qualifying park is fine.  The Minnesota POTA Day website is up and running.  We will be posting a request on the website that any activators who are interested in being a mentor to new POTA folks submit their location so that they can be found during the activation.  Remember that this is not a contest.  The SARA POTA Day is run on the same weekend, so there will be some SARA specific activities underway as well.

POTA T-Shirts – Dave KØAIF has taken the initiative of designing and ordering unique, one-of-a-kind Minnesota POTA T-Shirts.  He is ready to place the order, so if you have not yet ordered a shirt from Dave, you need to contact him by tomorrow evening, February 11.  They run small, so order one size up.  Unfortunately, the sizes end at 3XL, so there is no 4XL available.  Dave stated that the price will probably be a bit over $20.00 per shirt.  Note that this is not a club project, Dave has taken this project on as his own and we thank him for it!

Education and Training

Technician License Class – A spring Technician License Class is on the schedule and will begin Thursday February 29, 2024, at the Stillwater Public Library, from 6:00-8:00 PM.  Bob WØGAF reported that we have six people so far signed up for the class.  Three new instructors will be participating in this years’ classes, and Bob thanked both them and all the instructors for their willingness to participate.

Bob reported that four people have expressed interest in an Amateur Extra license study group.  If you are interested in the study group, contact Bob or talk to him after the meeting.

The St. Paul Radio Club is also sponsoring an Amateur Extra License study group, although this one will be virtual.  It is scheduled to take place Sunday afternoons.

Keep in mind that there is a new question pool coming out this summer, so if you participate in a study group , you will want to take the test before mid-summer.

Metro Skywarn Training Session – Metro Skywarn will conduct an in-person training session on Saturday March 2, starting at 10:00-1:30 AM at the Stillwater Public library.  The class is good for new certification and for renewal of your current certification.

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.  Keep in mind that  M.A.P. is available for more than just antenna raisings, contact Dave WØOXB with any issues you may have.

•New Ham Resource Group, found at newhamhelp@radioham.org, is SARA’s outreach & mentoring program providing technical support and loaner equipment.  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.  Remember gear is available for loan for those without a means to get on the air.  Contact Brian or Shane WØNKA if interested in borrowing some gear.

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 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 CQ WPX RTTY DX contest is ongoing this weekend.

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.  Brian KB9TBB was up at the WØJH and did some antenna tweaking, and the antenna seems to be tuning up well.  Pat received a $25.00 contribution from one of the WØEQO non-SARA member users, which he will send to the club Treasurer for deposit.

ARES and Public Service:

Joe KCØOIO announced that Joe W3QLC has stepped down from the Washington County ARES Emergency Coordinator (EC) position.  So Washington County ARES is looking for a new EC, if you or anyone you know has interest.  Check http://www.mnwashcoares.net/ for the latest information on Washington County ARES.

Program Committee:

The March program will be on AREDN, the Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network, presented virtually by Orv Beach W6BI. This program will begin following our Business meeting as Orv is located in California to accommodate the time difference.  The April presentation will be by Pat WØYES on his POTA activities.  Pat is one of the top POTA activators in Minnesota.  The May program will be a virtual presentation by Adrian Ciuperca KO8SCA, a noted DXpedition participant.  Adrian was one of the members of the recent Bouvet Island DXpedition.

As all spring programs have been secured, the committee is now considering fall programs.  If you have any ideas or suggestions, you can contact committee members Dave N9JNQ, Zack AAØU, or Mike N9MA.

Club Business:

There was no new club business to report.

Local Activities:

  • The St. Cloud Cabin Fever Reliever Hamfest is scheduled for Saturday February 17, 2024, from 9:00 AM-1:00 PM at the St. Cloud Armory, 1710 Veterans Drive, St. Cloud, MN.
  • The South East Metro Amateur Radio Club (SEMARC), our fellow amateur radio club in Washington County, MN, is holding its next meeting on February 27, 2023 at the St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, 7000 Hinton Avenue South, Cottage Grove, 55016.  See the SEMARC website for more information on the club and its activities.

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.  There is a link to the preferred hat, shirt, and jacket design in the Weekly Bulletin.

50/50 Raffle:

The sale of raffle tickets brought in $106.00.  The winner donated the winnings of $53.00 back to the club.

On the motion of Bob WØGAF, seconded by Jim KIØB, the Business Meeting was adjourned.

Program:

SARA POTA Challenge Awards for 2023

To the thrill of the crowd, the well-dressed Bob WØGAF, Brian KB9TBB, and Joe KCØOIO hosted the second annual SARA POTA Challenge Awards Ceremony for the 2023 contest period.  Stickers, mugs, patches, and flags, along with suitable-for-framing certificates were handed out to winning participants.

To start out, Dave KØAIF and Anne KØVOB were awarded specialty cups for their POTA efforts.

Statistics for the 2022 Challenge are as follows:

  • 44,811 hunter QSOs
  • 921 qualified activations
  • 473 parks activated
  • 35,343 activator QSOs

POTA Rangers are anyone who participated and hunted at least one park.  There were 62 members who achieved this level, which is almost one-half the club membership.  A 2023 SARA POTA Challenge sticker is awarded to all Rangers.  Additional POTA stickers are available for $1.00.  2022 stickers are still available if anyone wishes to add one to their collection.

In the Park Hunters Leaders category (less that 1000 hunter contacts), the award winners are:

  • First place Split Rock Award:  Dan KCØDWZ at 995 contacts.
  • Second place Itasca Award:  Rich ADØSN at 926 contacts.
  • Third Place Blue Mounds Award:  Ray KFØEKD at 761 contacts.

In the Park Hunters Legends category (1000 and over hunter contacts), the award winners are:

  • First place Yellowstone Award for top QSO count:  Dave WØOXB at 6417 contacts.
  • Second place Yosemite Award for >2000 QSOs:  KFØIEX, W3QLC, WØGAF, WØADL, NØDRX, WØNKA.
  • Third Place Blue Mounds Award:  NØEBQ, KE9D, KB9TBB, KEØN, KFØDQU, W2SAD, KØAIF.

The new Mode Master Awards for the highest count in each mode, goes to:

  • CW: Bob WØGAF at 1,608 contacts.
  • Digital:  Aaron WØADL at 2,253 contacts.
  • SSB  Dave WØGAF at 6,411 contacts.

The Park Activator Awards go to:

  • Denali Award, for anyone placed in the top three of any activator category:  KCØOIO, WØADL, KB9TBB, KEØN.
  • POTA Explorer Award, for anyone who completed one or more park activations:  35 winners.

Joe ended the awards ceremony with closing remarks, highlighting the his amazement at the popularity and the participation in the POTA Challenge by club members.  It was quite the success once again.

Bob finished up with a rundown on the 2024 POTA Challenge standings for the month of January.  The leaders category is off and running with WØGAF leading the pack at the moments.  The Master Mode hunter leaders are NØDRX for phone, Bob WØGAF for CW, and Pat WAØTDA for digital.  The Activations are led by Brian KB9TBB and Dave WØOXB.

Club totals for January are 3,041 hunter QSOs, 46 qualified activations, 40 parks activated, and 1,712 activator QSOs.  In all, a great start to the year.  Brian reports that the numbers are running about 50% better than this time last year.

Contact Bob or Brian if you need information on how to start participating in POTA.  And please pass on any ideas for improvements to the SARA POTA Challenge that you have, they are greatly appreciated.

Joe announced that the Minnesota Ham Radio Group is holding a POTA Master Class, led by Sean Ihde WIØO, at the Ft. Snelling State Park on March 2, 2024, from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

Last, Joe announced that the upcoming Thursday Eyeball on February 15 will be a Q & A session on POTA.  It will be streamed and recorded for uploading to the club YouTube Channel.

The meeting was therein adjourned.

Meeting attendance: 28; Virtual: 7