Release to Listen Award 2013
2020 S.A.R.A. EXECUTIVE OFFICERS
SARA Work Party 2
SARA Does Skywarn
2021 W0TBC Memorial Award
The Joe Simonet WØTBC Memorial Award
Fitzgerald Crew 2012
SARA Work Party 3
Ice Station WØJH 2014
2019 SARA Executive Officers

MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – November 11, 2023

MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – November 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 9:26 AM by Joe KCØOIO.

Program:

The Program began at 9:27 AM.

AMSAT-Amateur Radio Satellites Show and Tell – Tom Schuessler N5HYP

SARA welcomed Tom Schuessler N5HYP all the way from Irving, TX via Zoom as our presenter on the topic of AMSAT and satellite amateur radio communications.  Tom was set up in his back yard for a couple of satellite passes with an array of equipment and provided us with a great “show-n’-tell” of the equipment and how it works.  Joining Tom for the demonstration were Virginia NV5F and Jack AA5VZ.  Virginia demonstrated how to make contact via FM using two simple HTs and a homemade handheld dual-band antenna through the SO50 and AO91 satellites.  Jack demonstrated using more sophisticated equipment to make SSB contacts via a satellite supporting a linear transponder.  Virginia had on hand a “CubeSat” that she had constructed for demonstration use.  The cube was a mere 4 inch square cube, so it is aptly named.

Tom suggested those interested in further exploring satellite communications to go to the amsat.org website to read a good article for beginners on satellite communication, as well for a link to purchase a good book on the topic at the price of $15.00.  There is also good AMSAT software on the website for tracking satellites.

Thanks Tom, Virginia, and Jack for an interesting presentation.  The presentation is available on the SARA YouTube site, and Tom has a slide deck that is available online, the link is found on the SARA discord server.

The program wound up at 10:27 AM.

Business Session:

Joe KCØOIO called to order the Business Session of the meeting at 10:34 AM.

Joe began the meeting by noting that today is Veterans’ Day, and asked that all veterans in the room stand up to be recognized.  The room gave the veterans a nice hand recognizing them for their service.

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:   10/01/2023     $19,039.37

  • SARA

Balance:                                                   $5,803.89

Income:                                                   $583.00

Expenses:                                                $21.50

Ending Balance:     10/31/2023         $6,365.39

  • RBF

Balance:                                                 $11,506.18

Income:                                                  $0.00

Expenses:                                               $444.44

Ending Balance: 10/31/2023        $11,061.74

Ending Total Balance: 10/31/2023       $17,427.13

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

  • Dues:                                                      $410.00
  • Cups and decals:                                  $0.00
  • 50/50 Raffle:                                        $13.00
  • Donations:                                            $10.00
  • Sale of IC-751A                                    $150.00

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

  • Battery boxes for the trailer               $21.50

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

  • WØJH remote base accessories        $233.48
  • WØJH equipment cabinet                  $210.96

Activities & Events

Tech Topic Thursdays/Eyeballs

The Thursday Eyeball scheduled for November 30, 2023 will address the future of the “Signals from SARA” Newsletter.  As most know, Pat WA0TDA will be retiring from editor of the newsletter after the December issue.  The Eyeball will take place in person as well as via Zoom to discuss the future of the broadsheet.  The in-person event will take place at the Stillwater Public Library and be streamed beginning at 6:15 PM.  There appears to be a consensus that we still want a newsletter; the topics addressed will be how often do you want to see the newsletter and what type of topics do you want to see in it (technical discussions, etc.).

The Black Friday Virtual Manhattan Project will be back for a well-deserved repeat performance on Friday November 24, 2023 at 7:30 PM via Zoom.  All are invited to this social get-together.

Thanks again to Dan KE0IYF for his continuing efforts to secure rooms for our Eyeballs.  Dan has secured rooms through the second week of February.

Board Meetings

The next Board meeting will take place Wednesday November 15, 2023, at 6:30 PM via Zoom.  All are welcome to participate.

Special Events

Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald 2023 – The Fitzgerald event went down without a hitch at the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park on November 3-6, 2023.  Joe KCØOIO reported that there were 27 licensed hams in attendance, of which 7 were first-timers.  Shane brought a brass ship bell that was rung 29 times to recognize the 29 lives lost in the sinking.  Joe announced that Spike O’Dell W4WGN, a former DJ on Chicago’s WGN, was on the air at the station on the night of the sinking when the report came across the teletype.  Spike graciously shared a watercolor that he created of the Edmund Fitzgerald and has given SARA permission to use the image on future news items and announcements referencing the special event.  Thanks much to Spike!

Two of the new attendees of the special event spoke at the microphone about their experiences, which were positive.

Joe noted that a number of club awards were given out at the special event.  The coveted W0OXB Release to Listen award was given to our “north-of-the-border” member Brad VE3MXJ.  The President’s Award was made to two club members, Shane W0NKA and Brian KB9TBB for their willingness to pitch in so early in their membership to the benefit to the club. Shane has jumped in to help on the New Ham Resource Group, as well as take the lead with our AV management at our club membership meetings.  Brian has been instrumental in his efforts with the SARA POTA Challenge as well as in getting the relocated remote station W0JH up and running at his property near Hayward, WI, which he generously offered for the station’s new location.

Last, Joe presented the renowned Joe Simonet W0TBC Award to Bob W0GAF for his years of service to the club.  Bob is the fourth recipient, following Dave W0OXB, Shel N0DRX, and Joe KC0OIO.  Those who knew W0TBC Joe, a founder of the SARA club, agree that he was a hell of a man, and the award in his name is the highest honor SARA can give to a member.

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 K0AIF and Anne KØVOB.  It was announced that Brad VE3MXJ will be making an appearance at the event.

SARA POTA Challenge – The year-long SARA POTA (Parks On The Air) Challenge for calendar year 2023 is underway and going strong. Bob WØGAF provided the standings through October 2023.

Bob noted that there are thirteen Legends on the board, with a few knocking on the door to join them.

The leader board showed WØOXB holding onto a slim lead over NØDRX, followed by WØNKA in the QSO Hunter category.  WØOXB leads the phone category, with N0DRX and W0NKA following; KFØDQU leads the CW category, with W0GIB and W0GAF following; and WØADL leads the digital category, with W0NKA and KE0N in the chase.  For activations, KEØN leads with 154; KB9TBB leads with 85 parks activated; and KEØN leads with 8,043 QSOs.

The totals for the club are 33,509 Hunter QSOs (compared to 17,384 for this time in 2023); 674 Qualified Activations (compared to 329 for this time in 2023); 285 Parks Activated; 324 Parks activated (compared to 1994 for this time in 2023), and 25,983 Activator QSOs (compared to 12,044 for this time in 2023).

Joe KCØOIO noted that there are 149 members in the club, and 60 of those members are participating in the Challenge.

Joe also noted that the moratorium on adding new parks to the POTA list was recently lifted, resulting on five new parks added in Minnesota, including Carlos Avery WMA, Lamprey Pass WMA, and Paul Hugo Farms WMA.  In Wisconsin, sixteen new entities were added to St. Croix County alone, with many having SARA members as first-time activators.

Minnesota Parks on the Air Day, organized by SARA – Joe KC0OIO announced 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 the initiator of this state-wide event, noting that similar days have been held in other states.  It was well received and recognized at the Minnesota ARRL Section Conference.  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.

Education and Training

General License Class – Bob WØGAF reported that the General License class finished up this past Thursday.  There was a great group this year of active participants.  Thanks to Dan KE0IYF for securing the rooms needed for the classes, as well as thanks to the instructors (which included Dan) for all their efforts.  Anyone interested in teaching at future classes can contact Bob.

VE Session – The VE test session will take place on November 16, 2023, registration starting at 5:30 PM, with setup shortly before that hour.  It will take place at Boutwells’ Town Hall Room, located around the back of the Boutwells building complex.

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 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.

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 ARRL SSB Sweepstakes will get underway 18-20, 2023.  There are a number of DXpeditions underway at this time, as well as many planned.

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

The new WØJH remote station is to be located in Hayward, Wisconsin at the property of Brian KB9TBB.  The necessary equipment has been acquired and now being prepared for installation.  There will be an antenna-raising and equipment construction day up at the site on November 18, 2023.  Please let Brian KB9TBB know if you are planning to attend so he can get a final account on needed burgers, as well as get directions to you for the exact location.

Newsletter: Pat WAØTDA & Dave WØOXB

The November issue of the SARA Signals Newsletter is now available.  Thanks to Pat WAØTDA for getting the issue out even though he was on vacation.  Joe KCØOIO noted that Pat will be retiring from the Newsletter after the December 2023 issue, and encouraged everyone to participate in the November 30, 2023 eyeball to discuss the future of the gazette.

ARES and Public Service:

Joe W3QLC is the Emergency Coordinator (EC) for Washington County ARES.  Joe KCØOIO is an assistant EC.  If you have any questions or interest, please talk to one of the Joes for further information.  Check http://www.mnwashcoares.net/ for the latest information.

Program Committee:

Joe KCØOIO noted that the committee has lined up programs through February 2024.  The December program will be presented by our own Mike N9MA on the topic of EMP, grid down, and cyberattacks, and what your alternatives may be.

ARRL Section Conference October 14, 2023

The ARRL Minnesota Section Conference was a success with over 200 attendees.  For the paying attendees, programs will be available online, with links provided directly to the attendees.  Planning is already underway for next year’s conference.

Club Business:

2024 Club Officers:  Nominations for club officers will take place at the December 2023 Membership Meeting.  President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer are elected annually; Directors are 2-year terms with one seat up for election each year; the Trustee is appointed by Board.  As noted earlier, Treasurer Rich ADØSN will not be seeking reelection after six years of loyal service.  A tip o’ the hat to Rich for his years of service, as well as his recruitment of a possible replacement.  Dave N9JNQ will run again as Secretary, but has announced that that will be his last year, so if anyone would like to get a jump on the position, consider throwing your name in the ring at the December meeting.  Brad VE3MXJ, a current Director whose position is up for election, is willing to run again.

Local Activities:   The South East Metro Amateur Radio Club (SEMARC), our fellow amateur radio club in Washington County, MN, is holding its next meeting at 7:00 PM on Tuesday November 28, 2023 at its new location of St. Luke Lutheran Church 7000 Hinton Avenue South Cottage Grove.

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.

New Business:

None to report.

50/50 Raffle:

The sale of raffle tickets brought in $61.00.  George KØGCP was the winner (for the second month in a row) of the $30.50; George generously donated $28.50 back to the club.  Thanks George!

On the motion of Greg KØGW, seconded by Dave N9JNQ, the Business Meeting was adjourned at 11:19 AM.

Meeting attendance: 29; Virtual: 8