The Joe Simonet WØTBC Memorial Award
AGØH 2013
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SARA Work Party 1
WØJH 2004
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Kilo Parks Award
OXB Special Install
New Radio Gear For Some SARA Members!
2017 SARA Officers

MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – November 12, 2022

MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – November 12, 2022

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 9:23 AM by Joe KCØOIO.

Program:

Update on the ARRL and the Dakota Division, presented by Dakota Division Director Bill Lippert ACØW 

Joe KCØOIO introduced ARRL Dakota Division Director Bill Lippert, who generously drove up from his home QTH in Austin, MN to update the club on ARRL and Dakota Division activities.  Bill, first licensed in 1969, was the past president of the Austin Amateur Radio Club, which participated in many walk-a-thons and other public service activities over the years.  Bill worked for 40 years as an electrical engineer at Hormel Engineering Department in Austin, maintaining the large power system used in the large facility.

Bill reported on the upcoming electronic voting system being put into place by the ARRL Ethics and Elections Committee.  ARRL contracted with a private company to implement the system.  ARRL members will be voting for Division Directors digitally this next round of elections.  It is anticipated that the system will increase voter turnout, as well as save the League money by doing away with the cost of printing, sending, and counting paper ballots.

The League is planning to implement a new operating activity similar to the Centennial QSO Party of a few years ago, which was quite popular.  2023 will be the year of the volunteer, and ARRL volunteers )(Directors, Emergency Coordinators, etc.) will be able to activate the W1AW call sign from all states.  Each state will have a two-week period for operation.

The Finance Committee is considering new ways to address revenue enhancement for the League.  Typical revenue sources are dues, donations, advertising, and the QST Store.  Ad revenue has been dropping off, necessitating a look at alternative revenue sources.  The league is working on a membership drive, as well as as encouraging members to join the Diamond Club.  On the store side, ARRL is working with Amazon to get ARRL books to the top of the search list.

Bill reported on the new Emergency Communications Committee, which is an ARRL push to focus more attention in that area (ARES, traffic nets, clubs, etc.).  The ARRL is meeting with section managers to implement the National Traffic System 2.0, an initiative to beef up the emergency communications system, noting that FEMA wants proof that the system works if it is going to work with it.

Nothing is really happening on the FCC front as the current FCC Chair has made it known that the hobby is not that important to the commission.  Thus, ARRL is focusing on Congress.  An example is the League’s success in getting a sponsor for the HOA antenna bill.

Bill reported on the spectrum defense efforts of the League, and emphasized the importance of being vigilant as the sale of spectrum can mean big money to the government.  ARRL will be present at the upcoming 2023 World Radio Conference to make sure the interests of amateur radio are given their due.

The League is working with Congress to address the recent implementation by the U.S. Forest Service of the requirement that there be a fee charged to using all Forest Service facilities.  This has impacted ham radio repeater installations that are located on Forest Service lands.  ARRL is pushing for an exception for such installations, arguing that many of these repeaters provide radio coverage where there is no other radio or cellphone coverage.

Bill reminded members that the ARRL Foundation is now accepting applications for grants and scholarships though the end of the year.  These scholarships are in amounts of $500.00 to $25,000.  There are club grants and amateur radio organization grants available as well.

Bill noted that recent Dakota Divisions Conventions have taken place in Fargo, ND.  While successful, a majority of the membership in the Division is located in the Twin Cities Area.  Thus, there is a proposal to have the next convention in Minneapolis.  Bill would like to see the convention associated with a hamfest if possible.

After Q & A, Joe presented Bill with one of the club’s unique and useful SARA Coffee Cups.  Thanks much Bill for the informative presentation.

The program concluded at 10:06 AM.

Business Session:

Joe KCØOIO then called the Business Session to order at 10:10 AM.

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:   10/01/2022     $18,633.66

  • SARA

Balance:                                                   $6,536.32

Income:                                                   $506.50

Expenses:                                                $0.00

Ending Balance:      10/31/2022         7,042.82

  • RBF

Balance:                                                 $12,097.34

Income:                                                  $0.00

Expenses:                                               $0.00

Ending Balance:  10/31/2022          $12,097.34

Ending Total Balance: 10/31/2022       $19,140.16

Income for the month includes $470.00 in dues, $3.00 in decal and cup sales, $23.50 from the October Membership Meeting 50/50 raffle, and a $10.00 donation.

Activities & Events

Tech Topic Thursdays/Eyeballs

There will be a Tech Topic Thursday on December 1 via Zoom.  The suggested topic (thanks to Bob WØGAF) is “Dressing Up Your QRZ.com Page.”   In order to keep peace in the family, there will  be no eyeball at the Stillwater Public Library on November 24 as it is also Thanksgiving.

Board Meetings

The Board meeting will take place Wednesday November 16, 2022, at 6:30 PM via Zoom.  A link to the meeting is supplied in the SARA Broadcast for the upcoming week.

Post-Thanksgiving Manhattan Project

Due to its popularity, there will be a Manhattan Project Zoom session the Friday following Thanksgiving, November 25, 2022.

Special Events

Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald Special Event – The Edmund Fitzgerald special event successfully took place November 4 though 6, 2022 at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, as well as a special from-the-home-QTH session on November 10, the actual day of the sinking, using the call WØF.  Shel NØDRX reported that there were two HF stations active at the park shelter, as well as a digital station operating from the club trailer.  There were 1039 QSOs recorded from the two HF stations (of which one may not be valid), with around 27 to 29 digital contacts made from the trailer.  SARA member Scott KDØHRM from Duluth, also logged 64 contacts from his vehicle while at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, to bring our total contacts from the grounds of the state park to approximately 1130.

The November 10 operation logged about 300 contacts using the WØF call.  As a reminder, contacts with WØF do not qualify as a POTA contact, but all will receive a certificate.  Any club member in the log will receive a certificate, no request is necessary.

Joe KCØOIO reported that there were around 20 folks in attendance at Splitrock, and just about everyone got on the air.  Everyone reported having a good time, and the club received a number of compliments from contacts regarding the professionalism of the operators in handling pileups.  Bob WØGAF noted that this is the first year that the club has boosted the POTA angle of the special event (two qualified parks are worked when the special event is logged), and it was good to see club members have embraced this aspect of the event.  Joe noted that some members were up and activating the park even before breakfast was served.  Dave WØOXB and Brian KØPU (formerly NØBJE) also did some park activations on their ride back home on Monday.  It appears that adding the POTA aspect of the event to the operation increased interest in operators, reflected in the good number produced.

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.  We will be operating from the lake as well as from the club trailer just off of the lake.

SARA POTA Challenge – The year-long SARA POTA (Parks On The Air) Challenge is well underway, and an update was provided by Bob WØGAF of the standings via the SARA POTA Challenge leader board.

Bob WØGAF and Brian KB9TBB are the primary data sources for the event.  It will run though December 31, 2022.  You should let Bob and/or Brian know by email if you are interested in participating, you will be added to the list.

Bob reported that there are four new legends who have crossed the 500 contacts line for hunters.  Jim KIØB sets the pace with 2,857 QSOs and 1,480 parks worked.  Most improved this month are Steve KAØOBI, Shane WØNKA, and Shel NØDRX.

Club totals: are 7017 parks worked; 10,462 hunter QSOs; 230 activations by club members; 146 parks activated; and 7,080 activator QSOs.

All stats are available throughout the challenge on the SARA club website.

Education and Training

General License Study Group – A fall 8-week General Class License Study Group finished up in the last couple of weeks, with six folks participating.  A VE testing session will take place on November 17 in Auditorium B at Boutwells Landing.  Five of the classmates indicate that they will be taking the test at the session.

CW Study Group – The CW study group will get underway sometime late in November, no specific date has yet been set.  This is not a class, it is a study group that will let folks get together to improve their CW skills.  All sessions will be done via Zoom.  It is anticipated that the group will begin at 7:00 PM and run for about 90 minutes.  There are seven folks signed up so far for the group, from beginners to folks who know the code but want to improve their skills.

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 via non-contact or in person methods.  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.

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.

DX News:  Mike NØODK

The 3YØJ DXpedition to Bouvet Island in January 2023 is still on the schedule.  Bouvet Island is #2 on the most wanted DXCC entity.

Upcoming contests include:

  • ARRL Phone Sweepstakes contest, 2100Z November 19 to 0300Z November 21.

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

Joe KCØOIO reports that the remote bases are up and running.  The remote station WØZSW may be relocated in the near future from WAØTDA Pat’s QTH, where there are currently three stations located; Brian KB9TBB has offered his Hayward, WI cabin location for the station.

Newsletter: Pat WAØTDA & Dave WØOXB

The November issue of the SARA Signals Newsletter is now available.  Thanks to Pat WAØTDA, Dave WØOXB, and Randy KDØVKB for their contributions.  The deadline for submittals for the December edition is December 3, 2022.

ARES and Public Service:

Joe KCØOIO hinted that there may be movement on securing a new Emergency Coordinator for Washington County ARES.

Club Business:

Dues Reminder:  Dues run from January 1 through December 31.  Payment is $20 for full membership, $10 for associate membership, $30 for family of 2 membership ($10 for each additional).  Payment can be made in person (cash or check), by mail (to NØDRX), or online by PayPal at the club website.

POTA Challenge Award Budget:  Joe KCØOIO reported that the club board had approved spending $250.00 for awards to be given to the various winning participants in the POTA Challenge.  With the surprising increase in the number of new Legends, that amount will be insufficient to cover awards.

By motion, Joe asked membership to consider raising that amount to $500.00.  The motion was seconded by Mary KDØPKY.  The motion passed unanimously.

Membership Meeting Program Committee:  Joe KCØOIO noted that Dave N9JNQ, Mike KCØCCL, and Zack AAØU have agreed to participate in a new Membership Meeting Program Committee.

Local Activities:  The South East Metro Amateur Radio Club (SEMARC), our fellow amateur radio club in Washington County, MN, has a membership meeting scheduled for November 29, the last Monday of the month, at 7:00 PM to be held at its usual location – Zion Lutheran Church, 8500 Hillside Trail South, Cottage Grove, 55016.

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:

In recognition of Veterans Day, November 11, Joe KCØOIO asked all veterans to stand and be recognized for their service.

50/50 Raffle:

The sale of raffle tickets brought in $31.00.  Brian KB9TBB was the winner of $15.50, which he generously donated back to the club.

The business meeting was adjourned by motion at 10:55 AM.

Meeting attendance: 19; Virtual: 12