Ice Station WØJH 2014
2020 S.A.R.A. EXECUTIVE OFFICERS
SARA Does Skywarn
Fitzgerald Crew 2011
2018 WØTBC Memorial Award-NØDRX
Split Rock 2013
WØJH 2004
New Radio Gear For Some SARA Members!
SARA Work Party 1
OXB Special Install

MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – March 9, 2024

MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – March 9, 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 at 9:26 AM.

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:   02/01/2024     $17,752.68

Balance:                                                   $6,754.13

Income:                                                   $392.00

Expenses:                                                $590.57

Ending Balance:     02/29/2024         $6,555.56

  • RBF

Balance:                                                 $10,998.55

Income:                                                  $0.00

Expenses:                                               $0.00

Ending Balance: 02/29/2024        $10,998.55

Ending Total Balance: 02/29/2024       $17,554.11

Activities & Events

Board Meetings

The Board meeting will take place Wednesday March 13, 2024, at 6:30 PM via Zoom.

Tech Topic Thursdays/Eyeballs

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

Radios in the Park begins May 16 and will continue every Thursday through September 12, 2024, except July 4.  May 16 will be “New Ham Night” and will be held at Valley View Park in Oak Park Heights, MN.  The Eyeballs will take place in Valley View Park every third Thursday:  May 16, June 6 & 27, July 18, August 8 & 29.  The other Radios in the Park Eyeballs will take place in other parks around the area.  If you have any suggestions as to possible locations, let Joe KCØOIO know.  The June 6 Eyeball in Valley View will be a Field Day site planning event as Field Day will take place in that park this year.

Special Events

Ice Station WØJH 2024 – Ice Station WØJH took place Presidents Day weekend on the shore of Lake Elmo thanks to the hospitality of Dave KØAIF and Anne KØVOB.  The special event ran from Saturday February 17 through Monday February 19.  Shel NØDRX reported 822 contacts were made, most on 20 meters and 10 meters.  Joe KCØOIO reported that everyone had a good time, and that 20 and 10 meters were hot on Saturday and Sunday, but things were slow on Monday.  One of our Technician Class students did get on the air Monday.

Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald 2024 – The special event is on the calendar for November 1-3, 2024.  The facility has been booked and paid.

Father George Metcalf WØJH Special Event – Dave WØOXB announced the early planning stages of a new special event commemorating the original owner of the SARA club call WØJH, Father George Metcalf.  Father Metcalf grew up in St. Paul and served as General George Patton’s personal chaplain during World War II. After the war, he was chaplain for Episcopal students at the University of Minnesota and, later, associate minister at St. Paul’s On-the-Hill Episcopal Church on Summit Avenue.  His property located in Afton, Minnesota is now the Belwin Conservancy Nature Center and is the anticipated location of the special event.  Dave will be meeting with officials from the Center in April.  More details forthcoming.

Field Day 2023 – Ray KFØEKD and Tim KFØJEL are co-chairs of this year’s Field Day operations.  Tim announced that the Valley View Park location has been booked.  We could use some volunteers to do some of the chores, such as advertising, organization of food, etc.

SARA POTA Challenge – The year-long SARA POTA (Parks On The Air) Challenge for calendar year 2024 is underway and going strong.  Due to his absence at the February Membership Meeting, Bob WØGAF took this opportunity to award Dave WØOXB with his Yellowstone and Mode Master Awards.  The former award recognized Dave’s 6417 hunter QSOs, and the latter award highlighted that Dave had the highest count in the SSB category with 6411 contacts.

Bob then provided the standings for the month of February:

We have two hunter operators who have crossed the 1000 contact threshold to be Legends – Dave and Bob.  In the hunter mode categories, Shel NØDRX leads for phones, Bob for CW, and Aaron WØADL for digital.  In the activator categories, Dale NØVXH leads with 21 activations and 18 parks activated.  For activators, Dave leads with 1405 QSOs.

For club totals, we have 50 participants, 10,013 hunter QSOs, 181 qualified activations, 134 parks activated, and 6,379 activator QSOs.  Year-to-date, there are 17,314 total QSOs, outpacing previous years’ totals at this point of the year.

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 have some cards advertising the event for handing out, see Joe KCØOIO if you would like some.   The SARA POTA Day is run on the same weekend, so there will be some SARA specific activities underway as well.  We are looking for volunteers to organize SARA’s event if you are interested.  It will be SARA’s third club POTA day. Joe attended the POTA training event at Fort Snelling this past Saturday.

POTA T-Shirts – Dave KØAIF took the initiative of designing and ordering unique, one-of-a-kind Minnesota POTA T-Shirts.  They are available in the back of the room for those who ordered one.

Education and Training

Technician License Class – A spring Technician License Class is up and running at the Stillwater Public Library, from 6:00-8:00 PM every Thursday through April 18.  Two sessions have been completed.  Bob WØGAF reported that we had 21 in attendance the first session, with 14 at the second session.  Thanks to Dave WØOXB for getting the word out in the Pioneer Press Dispatch.  Three new instructors (Collin KEØIYN, Brian KB9TBB, and Mike N9MA) are participating in this years’ classes, and Bob thanked both them and all the instructors for their willingness to participate.

Bob reported that the Amateur Extra license study group is up and running on Thursday evenings as well through April 18.  Greg KØGW has a couple of study guides for those who want them, free of charge.  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.  The club VE Session is scheduled for April 25 to be held at Boutwells Landing Town Hall.

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 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 and Collin KEØIYN.  To join, click on this link: https://discord.gg/Z9A8NsCCXh 

DX News:  Mike NØODK

The Wisconsin QSO party takes place tomorrow, Sunday March 10.

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 Station Project: Pat WAØTDA

The WØJH remote station is up and running in testing status.  It is in testing status because it does not transmit on 160 meters at the moment and is running reduced power (75 watts).  We will be addressing those issues once the weather warms up.  It is available to SARA members and Handiham members.  Contact Pat WAØTDA if you would like privileges.

ARES and Public Service:

John KAØHYR reported on the status of Washington County ARES.  As announced last meeting, the EC position is now vacant and the organization is now being managed by the Assistant ECs.

The annual spring meeting is scheduled for Mary 19, 2024 at 6:30 PM to be held at the Lake Elmo Public library.  If you would like to participate, please sign up.  Check http://www.mnwashcoares.net/ for the particulars on the meeting as well as for the latest information on Washington County ARES.

The Cottage Grove Train Derailment Tabletop Exercise is scheduled for April 10 from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Hero Center, 10125 85th St S, Cottage Grove, MN.  It will focus on how communications will work in the case of an event.

The Radiological Emergency Plan Reception Center Drill is upcoming and addresses the first 12 hours of an event at the Prairie Island Nuclear Power Plant.  There will be a hands-on training event at the Washington County Law Enforcement Center, 15015 62nd Street North, Stillwater, MN on May 16, with the drill taking place on June 26 at the Park High School, 8040 80th St S, Cottage Grove, MN.  See the above website for details of the events.  Joe KCØOIO noted that all nuclear power plants has such training, and it is run in Minnesota through the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Program Committee:

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 2023 DXpedition, the Swains Island W8S 2023 DXpedition, and the WRTC 2022.  Adrian is also in the CQ DX Hall of Fame.

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:

We are sad to announce that our trusty live stream producer Shane WØNKA is moving to Texas for a great career opportunity.  We thank Shane for his service as our producer.  Thanks to Brian KB9TBB for stepping in for today’s meeting.

With Shane’s leaving, we are in need of a new producer.  Contact Joe KCØOIO if interested.

Local Activities:

  • The Midwinter Madness Hamfest will take place March 23 from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the Buffalo Civic Center, 1306 County Road 134, Buffalo, MN.  SARA will have a table at the Hamfest for the first time in years, we could use some volunteers to assist at the table.  We will be focusing on promoting Minnesota POTA Day.  You are also welcome to drop off your heavy purchases while perusing the event.
  • The South East Metro Amateur Radio Club (SEMARC), our fellow amateur radio club in Washington County, MN, is holding its next meeting on March 26, 2024 at the St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, 7000 Hinton Avenue South, Cottage Grove, 55016.  Note the new location.  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.  Do not order anything to be printed on the back or you will be surprised by an up-charge.  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 $80.00.  Mark KFØNFB was the winner of $40.00.

Joe KCØOIO reminded folks that there are still a number of call sign club badges on the back table waiting to be picked up.

Program:

Using AREDN Software in a Ham Radio Network – Orv Beach W6BI

The March program was on AREDN, the Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network, presented virtually by Orv Beach W6BI.  Orv is an an AREDN Ambassador and a Technical Specialist for the ARRL Santa Barbara CA Section.

This was a fascinating, albeit technically deep, discussion.  You are encouraged to view the program on the SARA YouTube Channel for an accurate report on the discussion, as anything written here would be undoubtedly confused.

You can get more information on AREDN straight from Orv’s website at www.orvsplace.net, including a beginner’s guide in PDF format and a PDF version of a presentation similar to the one given today.

On the motion of Greg KØGW, seconded by Mary KDØPKY, the Meeting was adjourned.

Meeting attendance: 30; Virtual: 5