Split Rock 2013
Ice Station WØJH 2014
Split Rock Lighthouse 2012
Release to Listen Award 2013
2019 SARA Executive Officers
The Joe Simonet WØTBC Memorial Award
Fitzgerald Crew 2011
Fitzgerald Crew 2012
OXB Special Install
AGØH 2013

MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – March 13, 2021

MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – March 13, 2021

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 ReportDave N9JNQ

The general minutes from the February 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:   02/01/2021     $18,365.20

  • SARA

Balance:                                                   $5,660.15

Income:                                                   $1.00

Expenses:                                                $0.00

Ending Balance:      02/28/2021              $5,661.15

  • RBF

Balance:                                                 $12,705.05

Income:                                                  $100.00

Expenses:                                               $0.00

Ending Balance:    02/28/2021          $12,805.05

Ending Total Balance: 02/28/2021       $18,466.20

The $1.00 income to SARA reflects a bank credit for interest.  The $100.00 credit to RBF reflects a rebate check received from Icom for the recent IC-7300 purchase.

Activities & Events

Webex Eyeballs

There will be a Board meeting on Thursday, March 18, 2021, at 6:30 PM.  All are welcome to join in.

A Virtual Eyeball QSO “Manhattan Project” is scheduled for Friday, March 19, 2021, beginning at 7:30 PM.  Everyone is welcome – BYOB.

A Virtual Eyeball QSO “Q&A Night” is scheduled for Thursday, April 1, 2021, beginning at 7:00 PM.  

There will be a featured speaker for Tech Topic Thursday on April 8, 2021, beginning at 7:00 PM.

If you missed it, or want a refresher, most if not all of the Membership Meetings and Tech Topic Thursdays can be found on the unlisted SARA YouTube Channel playlist found at youtube.com/ playlist?list =PLoaYHzHAObWTib9y95HDRybbRIw cfiMW

And do not forget SARA’s social media presence on Facebook (SARA-Stillwater Amateur Radio Association) and Instagram (@sararadioham).

Training and Education

Bob WØGAF reported that the last session of the General class is to be held this coming week.  Congrats to the overachiever Tom KD9RFJ who has already passed his General.  Testing will be run by SEMARC, and it will not be a large testing group.  Thanks again to all instructors.

Bob reports that Metro Skywarn Spotter Training is taking place virtually this year.  Metro Skywarn is asking that you refrain from signing up for the class if you are not due this year to provide open spots for the folks who do need to update this year.  You would need to update if your last class was 2018 or earlier; if you took your class in 2019, you do not need to attend.  Go to Metroskywarn.org for further information and to sign up for a class.

Tech Topic Thursdays  – Mike KFØCCL

Joe KCØOIO reported that the recent “An evening with Icom – The IC-705 & More” presentation was quite good and has been added to the Tech Topic Thursday Playlist found on the club YouTube channel.  The presentation is apropos as SARA Board is considering acquiring a QRP rig for club member use.  More on this later.

Mike KFØCCL has secured a presentation on Yaesu System Fusion by John Kruk N9UPC, National Sales Manager-Amateur Division for Yaesu USA, for April 8.  The presentation for May 13, 2021, will be “Kit Building Techniques For Success” with Joe Eisenberg KØNEB.  Joe is the kit building editor for CQ magazine and is seen on Ham Nation on a regular basis.  If you have any ideas for future presentations, Mike can be reached at KFØCCF@protonmail.com.

Field Day 2021 – Bob WØGAF

Bob WØGAF reported that the exact structure of SARA’s Field Day operation, scheduled June 26 and 27, 2021, has yet to be defined.  The club may have an “in the field” presence with a small gathering at the park as COVID permits and we can secure our usual park location.  The specifics will be discussed at the upcoming Board meeting.  Nevertheless, as done last year, club members can operate from home using their own callsign and  submit their own logs to ARRL referencing SARA-MN to add to the club’s aggregate score.  The ARRL Class D and E waivers will remain in place for 2021, but this year there will be a 150 watt power limit to avoid last year’s full legal limit station operations that tended to interfere with traditional field day operations that run barefoot or less.

Ice-olation Station WØJH – Dave WØOXB & Shel NØDRX

Dave WØOXB reported that the 2021 version of this special event, utilizing stay-at-home operations, was a success and an opportunity to learn how to social distance for these special events.  The take away from this year’s operation is that the club could consider some sort of remote operation even when we are back doing on-site special event operations. Dave reported approximately 1000 SSB contacts and 500 digital, mostly on 20 and 40 meters.  Big producers were Brad VE3MXJ and Eliot KEØN, the latter with over 400 digital contacts.  Mark KEØQQN and Lionel N5LB were given the OXB “Tip 0′ the Hat” for operating under extreme conditions at their home QTHs.  See the SARA Signal Newsletter for more information.

Shel NØDRX reported the first contact file of sent to Bob WØGAF contains info for 310 certificates, representing 362 contacts (difference represents some stations having multiple contacts); the second file contained 15 contacts; and his third file at this point has only 2 contacts.  Shel is waiting for any stragglers before forwarding the file to Bob.

Shel reported that the club received some very nice comments from contacts regarding the appearance of the certificate as well as thanking the club for being in operation during COVID as well as the cold spell (which may have limited on-ice operations).

Brad VE3MXJ thanked the event organizers and the certificate drafters for a job well done, which is seconded by the membership.

M.A.P.:  Dave WØOXB

Dave WØOXB reports that he did an antenna audit in Hudson, WI, this past month, and Brian NØBJE followed that up with an antenna raising, which will be replaced by an OXB Special once the weather breaks.

Keep in mind, M.A.P. provides services other than antenna construction, including setting up shacks, getting on digital modes, etc.  And under current conditions, we can provide member-to-member assistance via non-contact methods, such as email, video chats, and on air discussions.  Please contact Dave WØOXB or a SARA officer if you need help, antenna or otherwise.  Dave reports that he will be leaving town for a month beginning Monday of next week and will be unavailable during that time, but please contact a SARA officer who will make sure you get the help you need.

Radios in the Park 2021

Radios in the Park will be back in action this summer and shoulder seasons, with the first session scheduled for April 29, 2021.  Additional dates are: May 20; June 10; July 1 & 22; August 12; and September 2 & 23.  As in previous years, they will be held in Valley View Park in Oak Park Heights, MN.  It is planned that at least one of the sessions will include a tailgate swap meet.  Thanks to Zach AAØU for securing the necessary park permits.  The eight events will be starting officially at 5:30 PM (although feel free to arrive at or any time after 5:00 PM) and run until approximately 8:00 PM.  We will be following all Health Department guidelines for masking and distancing.

New Ham Resource Team: Brian NØBJE and Mark KEØQQN

This group is an outreach program providing help to SARA’s 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.  A KBØOHI Memorial Loaner HF Station will be available soon.

Brian N0BJE reports that the Team recently received a generous donation of the current Technician Study Guides and the Gordon West testing CDs from Tom KD9RFJ, which are available for loan to prospective hams.  If you know of anyone who would like to borrow a set, please contact Brian.

Brian also reported that the Board is exploring the acquisition of a QRP rig setup, one that would be conducive to backpack/portable operation, with the thought that it would be made available to any General or higher-licensed member for loan.  The Board will be looking for comments from membership in order to gauge interest.  You can also send thoughts and comments to the Team on the topic at NewHamHelp@radioham.org.

Please contact Brian or Mark if you need services.

Washington County ARES

As you know, John KAØHYR retired as Emergency Coordinator at the end of February.  In recognition for his service, SARA, along with SEMARC, presented John with a plaque noting his great service.  See the recent SARA Signals Newsletter for a photograph of the fine plaque.  Thanks again for your service, John, you leave big shoes to fill.

Washington County ARES is in need of a new EC, so if you are someone you know my have interest in the position, let Joe KCØOIO know and he will pass the information on.

The ARES net that typically takes place on the 3rd Wednesday of each month on the 147.180 repeater have been suspended until there is a new EC in place.

Check the web site regularly for current events, net schedule, and other items of significance: www.mnwashcoares.net.

DX News:  Mike NØODK

Mike NØODK reports that there are a number of hot DX stations out there to work, including a DPØ Antarctica,  a 3W9 Vietnam, PJ7AA St. Martens, and a ZD8 Ascension Island.  Mike has been trying to work ZC4GR, the UK base of Cyprus, who has been active on FT8 lately.  Look for him slightly above the usual 3hz FT8 window as he has been operating a bit high.  Mike reports that FT8 has been pretty active for DX recently, so give it a try.

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 were down for a bit due to the early arrival of thunder storms through Minnesota.  WØEQO up at the Scout Camp in particular was off the air due to the lost of both power and internet service, which took a couple days to put back into service.  Thanks to Bill NØCIC for taking on that responsibility.

Pat is still interested in replacing the station laptops with Windows 10, SSD hard rive, laptops, but is waiting for  COVID to calm down so he can go to a Big Box store and do some hands on investigating.

Newsletter:  Pat WAØTDA & Dave WØOXB

The deadline for the April issue of SARA Signals will be April 4, 2021.  However, get submissions in as early as possible address any formatting issues that may arise.  The May issue will be the last issue before the summer season break.  A continuing thanks to Pat WAØTDA and Dave WØOXB for their work on the newsletter.

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.

Club Business:

Equipment Donation:  Dave N9JNQ reported that items from the recent equipment donation to SARA from the wife of former club member Jerry KBØOHI, a silent key who passed about three years ago, are still available to members at a goodwill/what is it worth to you donation price.  The list of available equipment can be found on the February SARA Signals Newsletter, so take a look.  Contact Dave at secretary@radioham.org if interested and he will set it aside for you.

Sale Items: Brian NØBJE inquired as to whether the club has a place where available items could be advertised.  Bob WØGAF agreed to look into preparing a prototype SARA website “for sale” page for consideration before the next membership meeting.  Bob will also look into incorporating a New Ham Resource Team tab on the home page as well.

The business portion of the meeting was adjourned at 9:45 AM.

Program:

Member Forum:  2021 and Beyond ….

A hardy discussion was had on how the the club is doing and what improvements would be suggested by the membership.

Joe KCØOIO reported that the club has 113 members at the moment, and the club is healthy, membership-wise as well as financially.

Brad VE3MJX suggested that, once the club can start meeting in person again, that the club consider how to incorporate virtual attendance as well for members such has long distance members such as himself, and members who can not get to meetings as easily as others.  Joe reports that the club is planning to do so.  An example is for the upcoming Radios in the Park, Bob WØGAF will be manning a Thursday Night virtual eyeball for those not in attendance in the park.  Others encouraged the club to incorporate a virtual alternative for our more isolated members.  Joe noted that we will continue with the virtual membership meetings, and will be thinking through live Thursday night eyeballs as they some time end up being just chatting sessions.

One member suggested that the club consider putting together a buddy system for new hams and members, hooking up the new person with an established club member, in order to introduce them to the club and its activities and members.  During this past “virtual” year, it would have been helpful to have a buddy for new members as there has been little to no opportunity for face-to-face meetings.

Pat WAØTDA noted that the Newsletter will take just about any copy that is offered that is ham-related.  Diversity in topics and ideas is wanted – whatever you are interested in would be welcome.  Pat has tried to make the Newsletter more compatible with mobile devises as that is how folks now read content.  Pat, and the club, is open to changes in technology to make it easier to read and access.  Bob WØGAF suggested putting some of the Newsletter article on the SARA website to provide new content to encourage folks to come back to the site more often as the club has not added much new copy to the site in recent years.

Dave WØOXB noted that the club has not had a good club project for a while.  It was noted that this is a good topic to consider as we have the a Tech Topic Thursday coming up addressing kit building.

Joe noted that the Digital Sunday Night will be coming back in the fall with a new approach, but he would appreciate someone else taking the lead on it acting as the new manager in order that he may lessen his load.  The club membership acknowledges the time and effort Joe has put in for the club, and anyone who is interested should contact Joe for more details.

The overall opinion was that SARA is in good shape.

The program was concluded at 11:00 AM.

Meeting attendance: 29