WØJH 2004
SARA Does Skywarn
2014 SARA Officers
Ice Station WØJH 2014
SARA Work Party 3
Kilo Parks Award
Split Rock 2013
2020 S.A.R.A. EXECUTIVE OFFICERS
2019 SARA Executive Officers
AGØH 2013

MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – January 13, 2024

MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – January 13, 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 at 9:31 AM by Joe KCØOIO.  All in attendance and online then introduced themselves, while identifying the year they were first licensed.

50/50 Raffle:

The sale of raffle tickets brought in $101.00.  Mary KDØPKY was the winner of the $50.50.  (As the noted quipster Collin KEØIYN said, the 50/50 winnings were 50/50!)  Mary generously donated her substantial winnings back to the club.  Thanks much Mary!

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:   12/01/2023     $17,611.40

  • SARA

Balance:                                                   $6,612.85

Income:                                                   $503.23

Expenses:                                                $220.00

Ending Balance:     12/31/2023         $6,896.08

  • RBF

Balance:                                                 $10,998.55

Income:                                                  $0.00

Expenses:                                               $0.00

Ending Balance: 12/31/2023        $10,998.55

Ending Total Balance: 12/31/2023       $17,894.63

Income for the month of November for the SARA account includes:

  • Dues:                                                      $380.00
  • Cups and decals:                                  $6.00
  • 50/50 Raffle:                                        $50.00
  • Donations:                                            $27.23
  • Sale of antenna parts                          $40.00

Expenses for the SARA account for the month of October includes:

  • Club liability insurance                                $200.00
  • Member dues debit                                       $20.00

Joe KC0OIO thanked Rich ADØSN for his six years as Treasurer, which comes to an end with today’s election.  A nice hand was given to Rich for his service.  Joe also thanked Mary KDØPKY for her substantial donation of her 50/50 raffle winnings to the club.

Activities & Events

Tech Topic Thursdays/Eyeballs

The recent Tech Topic session regarding RCForb software used to operate the SARA-sponsored remote stations is now up on the SARA club YouTube channel.  You can find a link to the page in the weekly SARA Bulletin.  Thanks to Pat WAØTDA for his presentation.

The Thursday Eyeballs will take place at the Stillwater Public Library through February.  Thanks again to Dan KEØIYF for his continuing efforts to secure rooms for our Eyeballs.  Once the Technician License classes begin, the eyeball may be moving to a different room or location as the classes will get top priority for room use.

Board Meetings

The next Board meeting will take place Wednesday January 17, 2024, at 6:30 PM via Zoom.  All are welcome to participate.

Special Events

Ice Station W0JH 2024 – The 2024 edition of Ice Station W0JH will take place on Presidents’ Weekend, February 17-19, 2024, on the shore and ice of Lake Elmo, MN, through the generosity of Dave KØAIF and Anne KØVOB.  Dave reported that as of his morning, the ice thickness was nil.  With the cold weather that has recently arrived, we may have a chance of some ice-making in the next few weeks.  Joe KCØOIO noted that, if the ice is not sufficient, we will be operating from the shore using the trailer and/or the pop-up Eskimo shelters.  Dave WØOXB will be sending out a reminder broadcast regarding the event.

SARA POTA Challenge – The year-long SARA POTA (Parks On The Air) Challenge for calendar year 2023 has concluded.  There was no formal update, that will be done during the February Membership Meeting SARA POTA Awards Program.  However, Bob WØGAF shared some general statistics:

  • Total Hunter QSOs – 43,655, compared with just over 17,000 for 2022, for a 151% increase.
  • Total Parks Activations – 919, compared with 329 for 2022, a 180% increase.
  • Total Activator QSOs – 35,322, compared with just over 12,000.
  • Total Number of Parks Activated – 472, compared with 199 for 2022.

Minnesota Parks on the Air Day, organized by SARA – Joe KC0OIO reminded members that the MN POTA Day has been set for June 8, 2024, the same weekend that SARA has been having its club POTA day the past few years.  SARA is a promoter of and the host of the website for this state-wide event.  It will run from 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM.  It corresponds with the free admission day for Minnesota State Parks.  More information can be found at the mnpota.com website, which is up and on the air.  As we have done in the past years with this POTA day, SARA club events will be included.

Minnesota Parks on the Air T-Shirts – Dave KØAIF modeled for the crowd the Minnesota POTA Day T-Shirt he personally designed and had made.  He pointed out that the list of parks found on the back of the shirt are fully readable.  Dave will be making a group order for shirts for anyone who may want one; the more that are ordered, the cheaper the price should be.  At the moment, he is estimating the price per shirt to be in the $20-$25 range.  He noted that he has had nine individuals who have ordered a shirt so far.  The list that was created at the December meeting is no longer available, so if you signed on to that list, you will need to contact Dave once again to place your order.  So, if you have interest in a shirt, please contact Dave via his email address dnaleikam@comcast.net and provide your name, call, size, and number of shirts you are interested in.  The shirts are running on the small side, so order one size up; that is, if you usually take a large, order an XL.

Education and Training

Bob WØGAF announced that the spring Technician Class is set to begin on Thursday February 29, 2024.  The classes will run from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM and will be held at the Stillwater Public Library, unless otherwise announced.  Bob will be emailing the instructors with the schedule and links shortly; there is no change to the book to be used.   Dan KE0IYF is securing the rooms needed for the classes.  Bob noted that there are new folks coming on board as instructors, which is great as new blood is appreciated.

Bob asked if there was any interest in an Amateur Extra License study group. If so, please contact Bob.  The study group would be self-directed, although the club will help with getting the group engaged and set up the schedule.  Also, someone with expertise in an area of interest to the group will be available to come an attend to discuss the topic.

The exam for the Amateur Extra License will be available at the same VE Session set up at the end of the spring Tech License Class, tentatively scheduled for April 25, 2024.  It was noted that the Amateur Extra License question pool will be changing July 1, 2024, so if you do plan to participate in the study group, you will want to take your test before July 1 to take a test consistent with the current Amateur Extra study materials.

Member Support/Assistance Initiatives:  M.A.P.

Joe KCØOIO announced that it was agreed at the December 2023 Board Meeting that a reorganization of Member assistance programs was needed.  To that end, M.A.P. will now include antenna raisings, the New Ham Resource Group, groups.io, and the SARA discord server.

•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 if you have any needs.

•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, Shane WØNKA, or Mark KEØQQN with any inquiries.

Brian noted that three or four members receive the inquiries using the email address above, so someone will get back to you quickly either by email or, if the question takes a lengthy response, by telephone call.  Keep in mind that there are two FT-70D fusion-capable HTs available for loan that can be used to give the SARA WØJH digital capabilities a try.

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.  This reflector group is a good resource for technical questions, whereas the discord server is a good place for more casual discussion.

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, follow this link: https://discord.gg/Z9A8NsCCXh.  The link can also be found in the Weekly Bulletin near the bottom of the announcements.

DX News:  Mike NØODK

The North American QSO Party, CW, is this weekend, running from 1800 UTC, January 13 to 0600 UTC, January 14, 2024.

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 the remote stations are all up and running.  The new WØJH remote station is located in Hayward, Wisconsin at the property of Brian KB9TBB and is in the testing phase. Pat reported that it seems to be tuning better now.  If you have any questions on this or any of the remote stations, or want to get privileges to use the remotes, please contact Pat.  To use the remotes, you will need to set up an account at Remotehams.com, download and install the software, and contact Pat to be added to the users list.

ARES and Public Service:

Joe W3QLC, is the Emergency Coordinator (EC) for Washington County ARES.  Joe KCØOIO noted that there will be a leadership meeting this coming Monday, January 15, 2024, and there will be a meeting of the entire group this spring.  They are in the process of revising the ARES manual.  John KAØHYR announced that there will be drills on May 14 and June 23, 2024.  There is currently a SEMARC project incorporating WinLink on VHF.  Check http://www.mnwashcoares.net/ for the latest information on Washington County ARES goings-on.

Program Committee:

The February 2024 program will be the second annual SARA POTA Awards Program.  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.

On-The-Air Activities:

Dave WØOXB reported that Two-Meter-Tuesday is doing well.  The first Tuesday concentrates on emergency preparedness, with participants invited to run battery power if your station is capable.  However, all are welcome, battery power and grid-power alike.  All sessions also have an Ask-The-Elmer theme.

The evening 160/80 8:00 PM on-air meetup has begun to alternate frequencies, from 160 meters (Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays) to 80 meters (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays).  The frequencies are 1.966 mhz and 3.813 mhz, plus or minus depending on QRM.

Bob WØGAF reported that the digital fusion net continues to run on Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM on the WØJH repeater, giving folks with digital capabilities the chance to use the mode.  Bob reports that there are four to six regulars checking in, with others coming and going.

Club Business:

Election for Officers for 2024 : The slate of officers nominated at the December Membership meeting were as follows:

President:  Joe KCØOIO

Vice-President: Bob WØGAF

Secretary:  Dave N9JNQ

Treasurer: Dave KØAIF

Director for the 2024-2025 period:  Brad VE3MXJ

A motion was made to elect the White Ballot by Dan KEØIYF; seconded by Greg KØGW.  Motion passed unanimously.

Joe noted that this will be his 10th term in office, and he noted that we have 124 paid members at this early part of the membership year, which he sees as evidence of the good health of the club.  At the end of 2023 the club had 153 members, and we only expect this year’s numbers to go up as the year progresses.  Brad VE3MXJ lauded Joe for the outstanding job he has done, especially considering all the behind the scenes work Joe does for the benefit of the club.  Joe noted that he believes the success of SARA is that it keeps the membership engaged with a variety of activities, get-togethers, etc., as well as the availability of technical expertise and loaner equipment to new and old hams alike, and the maintenance of our remote stations, among other benefits that come with club membership.  Collin KEØIYN noted that SARA is a welcoming club, engaging new attendees and members in a positive way.

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.

Local Activities:  

The South East Metro Amateur Radio Club (SEMARC), our fellow amateur radio club in Washington County, MN, is taking part in this years ARRL Winter Field Day on January 27-28, 2024. It will take place at the Cottage Grove Fire Station #3, located at 8641 80th Street S, Cottage Grove, MN 55016, between Military Road and 80th Street.

The Minnesota QSO Party will take place on February 3, 2024, from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

The St. Paul Radio Club Auction will take place this year on Saturday January 27, 2024, at the John R. Albers Center on the Cretin-Derham Hall High School grounds, 555 Hamline Ave. S, St. Paul, MN.  The Albers Center is just south of the main school entrance off S. Albert Street.  The doors open at 8:30 AM.

On the motion of Greg KØGW, seconded by Randy KDØVKB, the Business Meeting was adjourned at 10:31 AM.

Program:

The Program began at 10:36 AM.

SARA White Elephant Exchange Party (SWEEP)

Fun was had by all at the annual SARA SWEEP party!  We were privileged to have Dave KØAIF as our Master of Ceremonies for the morning (marketing garlic is not Dave’s only talent!).  Many wonderful gifts were received, stolen, or left in the the backseat of an unsuspecting club member.  To cut to the chase, Mary NØDXH was the proud recipient of the SARA Flying Pig!  This is at least the second, possibly the third, time Mary has housed the prized pig for the year.  Take good care of him/her/it, Mary!

The program wound up at 11:50 AM.

Meeting attendance: 30; Virtual: 5