MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – November 14, 2020
MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – November 14, 2020
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 9:07 AM.
Joe KCØOIO welcomed all to the on-line virtual membership meeting using Cisco Webex.
Secretary’s Report: Dave N9JNQ
The general minutes from the October 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: 10/01/2020 $16,967.25
Ending Balance: 10/31/2020 $4,006.96
Ending Balance: 10/31/2020 $13,117.08
Ending Total Balance: 10/31/2020 $17,124.04
All income to the SARA account comes from dues payments. Expenses include $43.79 for the SARA Flicker account. The additional 58 cents for membership fees reflects testing of the PayPal account.
Activities & Events
Webex Eyeballs/Tech/Skills Sessions
Joe KCØOIO reported that the Webex option for meetings and get-togethers has been working well. The topic for the upcoming November 19 Thursday Night Tech Session will be a discussion of optional but useful shack accessories. There will be a group discussion and an opportunity for “show and tell.”
The next “Manhattan Project” will be held Friday November 27 at 7:30 pm, the day after Thanksgiving.
The monthly SARA Board Meeting is to be scheduled. (Following the Membership Meeting, the Board Meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday November 18 at 6:30 PM.
A reminder that SARA has a social media presence on YouTube. SARA has its own private channel, and the channel’s playlist includes Tech Topic Thursday videos. All are available at youtube.com/ playlist?list =PLoaYHzHAObWTib9y95HDRybbRIw cfiMW. The club can also be found on Facebook (SARA Stillwater Amateur Radio Association) and Instagram (@sararadioham).
Training and Education
Bob WØGAF congratulated the new hams who recently made it through the hybrid in-person/online Tech class and passed their Technician test. Five students completed the class, and four were able to take and pass the test. The new hams are:
- Dan KD9QPO
- John KFØCCK
- Mike KFØCCL (also passed his General test)
- Samson KFØCCCM
As SARA is unable to provide testing due to the unavailability of our Boutwells Landing testing room, SEMARC graciously accommodated SARA graduates at its October 17 session at its facility. Thanks to SEMARC for making this testing possible. Bob thanked all the instructors and everyone who helped make this a successful session in difficult times and circumstances. The General class is tentatively planned to begin in January 2021 after the holidays. The class will in all likelihood be done virtually.
Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald Special Event – Dave W0OXB
The Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald Special Event took place November 6 through 8, 2020. Joe KCØOIO reported that it was a huge success. Due to COVID, for the first time in 16 years the operations did not take place at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park; rather, there were distributed operations undertaken by individual operators working from home stations. Two call signs were used: WØJH for SSB and W0F for CW and digital operations. Dave WØOXB noted that using the online operator sign up via SignupGenius worked well. Twenty operators took part in the event, including Rich Barker W8VS out of Brighton, Michigan, and Brad VE3MXJ out of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Dave gave a shout out to Dave KØAIF and Anne KØVOB for creating the commemorative bottles containing Lake Superior water and pebbles with a classy label commemorating the “Loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”
Dave noted that, without the distraction of travel, eyeball ragchewing, and non-ending eating that usually accompanies the operation from Split Rock, we had a record number of contacts as well as time on the air. We tallied a total of 1996 contacts this year, compared to 708 contacts last year (2019). We had 1238 SSB contacts spread over 80, 40, and 20 meters; 86 CW contacts spread over 40, 30, and 20 meters; and 672 digital contacts, almost all FT8, over 80, 40, 20, and 15 meters. There were 87 Canadian contacts, and 34 additional DX calls from 14 different DX identities, mostly on FT8.
Shel NØDRX (who is celebrating a birthday today!) reports that he monitored both the WØJH and WØF QRZ websites and, between Friday evening before the special event went on the air and Sunday evening after operations ended, there were 3657 hits on the WØJH website, and 1982 hits on the W0F website. Dave reported that as of last night (Friday November 13), the WØF website has a total of 2468 hits.
Top operators include: Eliot KE0N with 345 digital contacts (Eliot put in many hours of operation0; Rich W8VS with 160 SSB and 147 digital contacts, for a total of 307; and Brad VE3MXJ, the top sideband operator, with 267 SSB contacts. Dave WØOXB came in second with 235 SSB contacts.
There was a wrap up Webex discussion on Thursday November 12. Comments included possibly including a similar remote home station operation once on-site operations recommence up at Split Rock Lighthouse. It was suggested that we need a better system of handing off from operator to operator when an operator’s session concludes. It was suggested that perhaps we need some pileup training so that there are more operators willing to participate. Joe KC0OIO noted that FT8 was actually work as the pileups were so big the computer could not decode any particular signal, so moving around on the waterfall was necessary.
Dave noted that we received a number of interesting comments from contacts, including one fellow from a town north of Toronto, ON, which is the birthplace of Gordon Lightfoot, and a fellow from Mason City, Iowa, who identified the city as the home of Lightfoot’s wife. Most interesting was a contact from Ohio who said that one of the crew members who went down with the ship lived just down the block from his childhood home.
Overall, a successful operation!
Ice-Ø-lation Station WØJH – Joe KCØOIO
The next special event on the SARA calendar is the Ice Station on-the-ice operation scheduled for February. Due to COVID, modifications most likely will be necessary. More to come.
SARA Nets & Ragchews – Dave WØOXB & Joe KCØOIO
160 Top Band Evening Round Robin Ragchew (“RRR”) has continued to be popular, with good participation.
The Monday morning 75 meter net has made its seasonal shift from 8:15 AM to 9:00 AM. The net can be found at 3.856 MHZ.
The SARA WØJH 2 meter repeater noon hour “Lunch Room” runs through the noon hour Monday thru Friday. Joe KCØOIO reports that there was good participation this week, with an average of 6 check-ins.
Two-meter Tuesday (TMT) can be found on the SARA repeater, operating 7:00 – 8:00 pm, with a 160 meter afterglow at 1.966 beginning at 8 pm.
The Wednesday night 2-meter net, hosted by Rick KØBR, continues its long run, beginning at 9:00 pm. The net regularly gets a few check-ins.
Joe KCØOIO reports that the Digital Net has returned Sundays at 7 PM CST, although this past Sunday was canceled to recover from the special event. The net can be found at 3.584.15 MHz on your radio dial using USB unless the NCS indicates otherwise. The chosen mode for the week can be found on the weekly SARA Broadcast email from Joe, usually sent on Sunday.
M.A.P.: Dave WØOXB
Dave WØOXB reports that there are four antenna projects on the docket. Note that M.A.P. is not limited to antenna-raising parties, contact SARA for any issue you need addressed.
Please contact Dave WØOXB or a SARA officer if you need help, antenna or otherwise.
New Ham Resource Team: Brian NØBJE, Holly KEØRZZ, and Mark KEØQQN
Joe KCØOIO identified this group as an outreach program providing help to newly licensed and veteran hams as well. Brian NØBJE notes the KDØOTB Memorial Station is out on loan to one of the newly-licensed hams. One of the two Yaesu FT-70 HTs has been loaned, but the other one remains available to members who would like to try 2 meters and two meters digital/Fusion.
Washington County ARES: John KAØHYR
John KAØHYR reported that an ARC/ARES on-line drill was going on today. This drill is Winlink only and is ongoing until 1800 CST today. This is a Red Cross-initiated drill. The Red Cross is activated per federal statute for federally-declared emergencies. There are no more scheduled events until after the first of the new year. There have been no in-person meetings due to COVID.
The ARES net takes place on the 3rd Wednesday of each month on the 147.180 repeater at 6:30 PM. The repeater is running well. There is expanded coverage with the 147.180 repeater, which is running at the Newport site (PL 74.4) and the Forest Lake site (PL 100). This system covers the entirety of Washington County.
Check the web site regularly for current events, net schedule, and other items of significance: www.mnwashcoares.net.
Brad VE3MXJ, who is the EC for ARES in Thunder Bay, ON, mentioned that perhaps a joint exercise could be planned.
DX News: Mike NØODK
Joe KCØOIO reports that the ARRL Phone Sweepstakes is coming up November 21-23, 2020. DXpeditions are pretty much non-existent. Greg KØGW reported that a rare DX entity has been showing up on 40 meters CW around 0300 CST at around 7.002. Mike NØODK reported the sad news that John Devoldere ON4UN, a well-known low band DXer and author, has become a Silent Key.
Get the latest DX news by subscribing to the ARRL DX News. Also check out www.ng3k.com for DX and the Contest Calendar.
Newsletter & Website: Pat WAØTDA & Dave WØOXB
Pat WAØTDA notes that the next membership meeting is scheduled for December 12, so would like to see submissions by Sunday December 6. We are now using Google Docs as a platform for the newsletter, which is a great improvement. Additional contributors are always needed and welcome. Photos are also welcome.
Collin KEØIYN was unavailable to report on his website work, but Joe KCØOIO noted that Collin has been busy addressing website security, to provide privacy to SARA membership application data, as well as completing the website application update. Due to the update to security, you may get a privacy warning popup the first time you go to radioham.org – if you click proceed to the website your computer should remember this acceptance and you should no longer see this popup warning.
Bob WØGAF reports that the new online application and membership renewal system, with the PayPal option, should be available on the website this weekend. There will be three application options: for new memberships; for existing memberships with new information (address, etc.); and existing memberships without new information. All data is immediately sent to Shel N0DRX. In the past, the website had only a PDF of the application, that needed to be printed, filled out, and mailed in or given to Shel or Rich AD0SN with a check for dues. The security updates to the website are to safely collect and send data provided in the online applications.
Remote Base Project (RBP): Pat WAØTDA
Pat WAØTDA reports that the remote bases are all running well, including up at the scout camp in Park Rapids, MN. If you would like access to the remote stations, go to RemoteHams website to download the program, and contact Pat for permission to use the three remote base stations available.
Repeater News: Doug N9TOW
Joe KCØOIO reports that the SARA 2-meter fusion repeater and its WIRES X Link Node are up and running. The YSF reflector has been recently installed by Doug N9TOW at the QTH of Zack AAØU, who has provided his digs for the WIRES X station. The reflector now allows access to the repeater via hotspots from anywhere in the world. Zack tested it out and reports it is operating fine.
North of the Border Report: Brad VE3MXJ
Brad VE3MXJ, SARA’s sole long-time (10 to 11 years) international member reported that, as a member of two clubs in Thunder Bay, as well as being the local EC for ARES, all of which are having virtual meetings, he has been very busy and has become a Zoom expert with a minimum of eight meeting per month.
Don’t 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.
SARA Dues: Joe KCØOIO noted that 2021 dues, which run from January 1 through December 31, can be sent to the club address:
Stillwater Amateur Radio Association
1618 Pine Street W
Stillwater, MN 55082
As discussed above, the online option will be available this weekend.
Please include your name and call sign with your check payment, if you chose that option. As previously discussed, you may also pay online at the radioham.org website through PayPal. Payment by PayPal will include a service fee of one dollar to cover the PayPal charge to SARA.
Equipment Donation: Joe KCØOIO reports that SARA received an equipment donation from the wife of former club member Jerry KBØOHI, a silent key who passed about three years ago. Mike NØODK has already collected the gear from Jerry’s QTH, and will be passing the gear on to Dave N9JNQ, who will be inventorying the equipment and preparing a list for membership consideration. That which is not sold to members or otherwise disposed of, Dave will list on various ham-related websites and online nets for sale. All proceeds will be deposited into the SARA account.
Officers election: A reminder that club officer elections shall take place at the January 2021 Membership Meeting, with nominations taking place at the December 2020 Membership Meeting.
The business portion of the meeting was adjourned at 10:14 AM.
Public Service and Mobile Mesh Networks by Erik Westgard NY9D.
Due to technical difficulties, the program was canceled and will be rescheduled for next month or another time convenient to Erik.
Bob WØGAF used the time to demonstrate online the new SARA website application and payment page.
On the motion of Dave N9JNQ, seconded by Bob WØGAF, the meeting was adjourned at 10:31 AM.
Meeting attendance: 27