SARA Work Party 2
Split Rock 2013
The Joe Simonet WØTBC Memorial Award
Ice Station WØJH 2014
Fitzgerald Crew 2011
Ice Station WØJH 2014
SARA Work Party 3
New Radio Gear For Some SARA Members!
Split Rock Lighthouse 2012
Fitzgerald Crew 2012

MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – February 11, 2023

MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – February 11, 2023

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 at 9:29 AM 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:  Rich ADØSN

Beginning Total Balance:   01/01/2023     $19,039.37

  • SARA

Balance:                                                   $7011.03

Income:                                                   $508.00

Expenses:                                                $483.16

Ending Balance:     01/31/2023         $7,035.87

  • RBF

Balance:                                                 $12,028.34

Income:                                                  $0.00

Expenses:                                               $0.00

Ending Balance: 01/31/2023        $12,028.34

Ending Total Balance: 01/31/2023       $19,064.21

The largest expense has been for the POTA Challenge award purchases.  Thanks to the membership for approving this expense.

Activities & Events

Tech Topic Thursdays/Eyeballs

We are looking at topics for Tech Topic Thursdays.  A session on “This is Discord” will tentatively take place either February 23 or March 3 at the Lake Elmo Public Library, as the Stillwater Public Library is unavailable to us for our Eyeballs.  This program will address the club’s new Discord server site.  A session on logging programs is being considered, with a presentation date to be determined.

The Eyeball QSOs are having some room conflicts with the planned Technician Class, which starts March 3, at the Stillwater Public Library.  The classes will take place at the Stillwater library, with the Eyeballs most likely moving to the Lake Elmo Public Library.

Board Meetings

The Board meeting will take place Wednesday February 15, 2023, at 6:30 PM via Zoom.

Special Events

Ice Station WØJH 2023 – Ice Station WØJH will once again take place this upcoming Presidents Day weekend on the frozen surface of Lake Elmo thanks to the hospitality of Dave KØAIF and Anne KØVOB.  The special event will run from Saturday February 18 through Monday February 20.  The hours are roughly 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM.  We will be operating from the lake as well as from the club trailer just off of the lake. Both will have heat.  Joe KCØOIO will be sending out an email broadcast to members reminding them of the event along with a map to the location, parking options, etc.  If you can not make it to the event, try to work us.

Field Day 2023 – Field Day takes place this year on the weekend of June 24-25, 2023.  This year the SARA activities will take place at Valley View Park in Oak Park Heights, MN.

SARA POTA Challenge – The year-long SARA POTA (Parks On The Air) Challenge for calendar year 2023 is underway and going strong. Bob WØGAF will provide the standings during the Program.

Education and Training

Technician License Class – A spring Technician License Class is on the schedule and will begin Thursday March 2, 2023.  Bob WØGAF thanked the instructors for their willingness to participate.

Metro Skywarn Training Session – Metro Skywarn has announced 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.  There is no need to register; just show up.

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.  Due to the weather, we are in the antenna planning and designing mode, with a number of members talking about their need for an antenna raising, which will begin in the spring.  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 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.  Brian noted that the NHRG is still looking for donations of current VHF mobile 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 was recently established by Brian KB9TBB and is available exclusively for SARA members. The admin team is Brian KB9TBB, Shane WØNKA, and Collin KEØIYN. Joe KCØOIO reports that there is lively activity on the site. The SARA Discord Server is open to all current SARA members.  To join, click on this link: https://discord.gg/Z9A8NsCCXh 

DX News:  Mike NØODK

The 3YØJ DXpedition to Bouvet Island is currently underway.  Bouvet Island is #2 on the most wanted DXCC entity.  It was reported that the participants are on the island, but the weather is poor, leading to only being able to operate a couple radios barefoot, having been unable to bring the generators to shore.  There is scuttlebutt that they may need to abandon the DXpedition due to poor weather.  Comment was made that there have been a lot of deliberate QRM and pirates operating to disrupt the event.

The CQ Worldwide RTTY DX contest is ongoing this weekend.  The SKCC sprint is also underway this weekend.

The ARRL International DX CW contest is scheduled for next weekend, February 18-19, 2023.  Check the ARRL website for details.

Newsletter: Pat WAØTDA & Dave WØOXB

The February issue of the SARA Signals Newsletter is now available.  Thanks to Pat WAØTDA and Dave WØOXB for getting it out.  The deadline for submittals for the March edition is March 6, 2023.

Remote Stations: Pat WAØTDA

Pat WAØTDA reported that remote stations are up and running  Pat noted that he has added new users in the past week.

ARES and Public Service:

Joe KCØOIO announced that Joe W3QLC, the new Emergency Coordinator (EC) for Washington County ARES, will most likely join us next membership meeting. Check http://www.mnwashcoares.net/ for the latest information.

Club Business:

Local Activities: 

  • Dave WØOXB announced that he has been in contact with Mayor Rudy of White Rock, SD, and there is a possibility of a White Rock Special Event in late September/early October.  Dave notes that there are a number of POTA possibilities near by that could be activated.
  • 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 November 11, 2023, with the location to be determined.  The next meeting is scheduled for February 13, 2023.  Joe KCØOIO may not be able to make this meeting and is looking for someone to volunteer to handle SARA’s representation in the organizing activities.
  • The St. Cloud Cabin Fever Reliever Hamfest is scheduled for Saturday February 18, 2023, at 9:00 AM at the St. Cloud Armory, St. Cloud, MN.
  • The Midwinter Madness Hamfest is scheduled for Saturday 18, 2023, from 8:00 AM-12:00 PM at the Buffalo Civic Center in Buffalo, MN.  It is sponsored by the Maple Grove Radio Club.
  • The South East Metro Amateur Radio Club (SEMARC), our fellow amateur radio club in Washington County, MN, is holding its next meeting on Saturday February 28, 2023 at the Zion Lutheran Church, 8500 Hillside Trail South, Cottage Grove, 55016.  SEMARC-sponsored VE sessions typically are held the third Saturday of each month at 9:00 AM at Zion Lutheran Church.  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.  Mike N9MA was sporting a new camo SARA seed cap, bucking the club-stylistic trend.

New Business:

None to report.

50/50 Raffle:

The sale of raffle tickets brought in $49.00.  Randy KDØVKB was the winner of the $24.50.

On the motion of Greg KØGW, seconded by Bob WØGAF, the Business Meeting concluded at 9:50 AM.

Program:

The Program began at 10:01 AM.

SARA POTA Challenge Awards Ceremony for 2022 Results

To the thrill of the crowd, the well-dressed Bob WØGAF, Brian KB9TBB, and Joe KCØOIO hosted the first annual SARA POTA Challenge Awards Ceremony for the 2022 contest period.  Stickers, mugs, shirts, patches, and flags, along with suitable-for-framing certificates were handed out to winning participants.

Bob noted that roughly a third of the club membership participated at one time or the other in the POTA Challenge, a great turnout.  The addition of the Leaders and Legends categories drove increased participation when initiated in August 2022.  Each hunter, no matter the number of QSOs worked, received a POTA/SARA sticker.  Bob congratulated Dave KØAIF for doing his first solo activation yesterday, his first contact being Brian KØPU who was operating portable in Detroit, MI.  Dave WØOXB made awards to Bob, Brian, and Joe for their efforts that made the 2022 POTA Challenge a success.  In response to a question regarding whether the success of the Challenge can be broadcast to other clubs and hams in general, Bob noted that the organizers are considering putting together and article that can be shared regarding the success of Challenge with places such as POTA websites, QST, etc.

Statistics for the 2022 Challenge are as follows:

  • 10,499 parks hunted
  • 17,364 hunter QSOs
  • 329 qualified activations
  • 199 parks activated
  • 12,044 activator QSOs

In the Leaders category (less that 500 hunter contacts), the award winners were Joe KCØOIO, Brad VE3MXJ, and Zack AAØU.  In the Legends category (500 or more contacts), the award winners were Jim KIØB, Greg KØGW, Brian KB9TBB, Carl KØCFL, Shel NØDRX, Dave WØOXB, Craig WØGIB, Scott W2SAD, and Bob WØGAF.  Park activator awardees include Dave WØOXB, Brad VE3MXJ, Joe KCØOIO, and Brian KB9TBB.

Bob reported on the status of the 2023 SARA POTA Challenge.  With the first month wrapped up, we are seeing quite a bit of activity, with Shane WØNKA in first place in the hunter category with 463 QSOs.  Bob noted that this year the Legends level is 1000 contacts, and we will be able to break down contacts by mode, such as phone, CW, and digital, and awards will most likely be given in each category.  Also, this year you do not have to let Brian or Bob know if you wish to participate as your data will be downloaded directly from the POTA website and you will be added to the list.

Joe announced that there will be SARA POTA Activity Days scheduled throughout the summer, with the first event scheduled for Saturday June 10, 2023.  Discussions have been had on how to enhance the events, and ideas are to have activators stay in one place, with participants traveling between locations.  That would save the time of activators setting up and tearing down at multiple locations.  Let Joe know if you have any ideas for the activation days.

Greg KØGW thanked Bob, Brian, and Joe for all their efforts making the POTA Challenge a success.

Additional POTA/SARA stickers are available for $1.00 from Rich ADØSN.

The meeting was therein adjourned at 10:59 AM.

Meeting attendance: 26; Virtual: 8