SARA Work Party 1
Ice Station WØJH 2014
SARA Work Party 2
2017 SARA Officers
2018 WØTBC Memorial Award-NØDRX
SARA Work Party 3
2014 SARA Officers
Fitzgerald Crew 2012
SARA Does Skywarn
Release to Listen Award 2013

MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – October 7, 2023

MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – October 7, 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 9:22 AM by Joe KCØOIO.  Joe welcomed everyone to the meeting and there were general introductions.

Program:

The Program began at 9:27 AM.

Station Grounding: Group Discussion – Program Committee

The Program Committee facilitated a group discussion regarding station grounding.  It presentation began with a good video by Dave Casler KEØOG of QST’s Ask Dave fame laying the groundwork for station grounding theory and practical applications.  Upon conclusion of the video, discussion was had regarding a number of photographs depicting station grounding busbars, including a few from club members.  Helpful information was provided by experienced club members, and members were identified for new (and old) hams to contact with any practical questions they may have regarding their own station situation.

The program wound up at 10:27 AM.

Business Session:

Joe KCØOIO called to order the Business Session of the meeting at 10:35 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:   09/01/2023     $19,039.37

  • SARA

Balance:                                                   $6,335.09

Income:                                                   $351.00

Expenses:                                                $882.20

Ending Balance:     09/30/2023         $5,803.89

  • RBF

Balance:                                                 $11,968.34

Income:                                                  $125.00

Expenses:                                               $587.16

Ending Balance: 09/01/2023        $11,506.18

Ending Total Balance: 09/30/2023       $17,310.07

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

  • Dues:                                                      $240.00
  • Cups and decals:                                  $2.00
  • 50/50 Raffle:                                        $19.50
  • Donations:                                            $19.50
  • POTA Event Reimbursement             $70.00

Income for the month of September for the RBP account includes:

  • Swap Meet Proceeds                          $125.00

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

  • Battery purchase                                 $882.20

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

  • WØJH remote base antenna             $587.16

The battery expense from the SARA account represents the purchase of two Bioenno batteries for club portable use as approved by club membership at the September 2023 Membership Meeting.

The antenna expense from the RBP account represents the purchase of antenna supplies, such as wire, coax, balun, etc., for the new WØJH remote base being installed in Hayward Wisconsin at the property of Brian KB9TTB.

Activities & Events

Tech Topic Thursdays/Eyeballs

The Thursday Eyeballs for October 12 and 26 will take place at the Lake Elmo Public Library, possibly the November 2 Eyeball as well.  The October 19 Eyeball will take place at the Stillwater Public Library.  Keep an eye on the Weekly Bulletin published each Sunday for location confirmation.

Board Meetings

The Board meeting will take place Wednesday October 18, 2023, at 6:30 PM via Zoom.  All are welcome to participate.

Special Events

Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald 2023 – The Fitzgerald event will take place up at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park on November 3-6, 2023.  Dave WØOXB reports that he has received confirmation from 23 folks that they will be attending, with some bringing spouses.  Send Dave an email if you are interested in attending.  If you are on the list you will be getting an email from Dave updating you on details, such as repeaters to use, dinner and breakfast plans, etc.  If planning to make a reservation at the Mariner, call in the early evening around 5:00 PM, that seems to be when they are available by telephone.

There will be remote operations using the call WØF.  So if you can not attend up north, you can operate from your home.  Details will be coming on that operation.  Sign-up will be by SignUpGenius as in the past.  The WØF remote will be available as phone, CW, and digital operations.  The remote operation will be available November 3-6, as well as on November 10, the date of the actual sinking.

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 as of September 2023.

Bob noted that there are four new participants this month in the Challenge.  He noted that there has been some leadership shuffling.  There are three new Legends, for a total of nine so far.

The leader board showed WØOXB holding onto a slim lead over NØDRX, followed by WØNKA, WØADL, and KØAIF in the QSO Hunter category.  WØOXB leads the phone category; KFØDQU leads the CW category; and WØADL leads the digital category.  For activations, KEØN leads with 139 activations; KB9TBB leads with 75 parks activated; and KEØN leads with 7,087 QSOs.

The totals for the club are 27,316 Hunter QSOs; 589 Qualified Activations; 285 Parks Activated; and 22,767 Activator QSOs.

Brian then provided a great graphic representation of ongoing activity of club members.

Joe KCØOIO noted that, for operations up at Split Rock, the club call as well as the operator call will get credit for all contacts, so you can add to your count by participating in the special event.

Education and Training

General License Class – Bob WØGAF reported that we have completed week 3 in the General License class.  There are seven folks on the roster, with a typical turnout of five to six students each week.  Dan KEØIYF has been working hard on scheduling rooms for the classes.  Thanks to Dan and the instructors for all their efforts.  The class will run through Thursday November 9, with each session from 6 to 8 PM.  The VE test session will take place on November 16, 2023.

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.

Brian noted that the NHRG recently received a generous donation of an Icom IC-718, which gives the club three HF rigs for loan.  The Icom IC-718 is easy to operate, so is a good starter rig.  We also have the two Yaesu FT70D handhelds available for VHF/UHF/Fusion work available for loan.

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. Joe KCØOIO reports that there is lively activity on the site. The SARA Discord Server is open to all current SARA members.  The groups.io reflector group is a good resource for technical questions, whereas the discord server is a good place for more casual discussion.  To join, click on this link: https://discord.gg/Z9A8NsCCXh   

DX News:  Mike NØODK

The W8S Swains Island DXpedition is currently underway.  There is quite a bit of DX on the air due to improving HF conditions.

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

Pat WAØTDA reported that remote station WØEQO is up and running just fine.

The new WØJH remote station to be located in Hayward, Wisconsin at the property of Brian KB9TBB.  The necessary equipment has been acquired and now being prepared for installation – the truck box is being modified to include vent holes, etc., for installation of the radio equipment; the antenna is being constructed, etc.  Brian reports that the power company has completed burying the electrical supply lines at the location, so we no longer need to rely on overhead power lines.

Newsletter: Pat WAØTDA & Dave WØOXB

The October issue of the SARA Signals Newsletter is now available.  Thanks to Pat WAØTDA and Dave WØOXB for getting it out.  Joe KCØOIO announce that Pat will be retiring from the Newsletter after the December 2023 issue.  Thus, a new editor will be needed.  Joe asked for feedback on what form the Newsletter should take in the future.  It was noted that we now have groups.io, the discord server, and the Weekly Broadcast to stay connected with current information, so perhaps the Newsletter does not need to be a monthly issue.  Making it quarterly, biannually, etc., was floated.  Perhaps making it technical only would be an option.  A show of hands demonstrated that most members in attendance did read the most recent issue.  Joe noted that we do need more contributors for the Newsletter to be a viable instrument as up until now it has relied on just four people providing the vast majority of its content.  Further discussion will be had by the Board.

ARES and Public Service:

Joe W3QLC is the Emergency Coordinator (EC) for Washington County ARES.  Joe KCØOIO noted that thing are pretty quiet at the moment.  There is some discussion and planning regarding the transition and roles.  Check http://www.mnwashcoares.net/ for the latest information.

Program Committee:

Joe KCØOIO noted that the committee has lined up programs through February 2024, with a commitment for another program in the spring.

ARRL Section Conference October 14, 2023

The ARRL Section Conference will take place October 14 running from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM a the Hennepin Tech College in Brooklyn Park, MN.  There will be forums, vendors, and lunch provide to those who register on or before October 8.  The cost is $30 before through September 30; $40 after that.  SARA is a founding sponsor and, as a result, will have a table at the event.  The event is focusing on newer hams.  Bob WØGAF will be there as the credentials manager.

Club Business:

SARA Portable Ops Battery Replacement:  New Bioenno batteries have been purchased as authorized by club membership at the September 2023 Membership Meeting, have arrived, and are now fully charged.  Carry cases have been purchased (Harbor Freight plastic 50-cal ammo case) for the batteries, and Powerpole ports and battery monitoring are to be acquired for installation in the cases.

2024 Club Officers:  Nominations for club officers will take place at the December 2023 Membership Meeting.  As noted earlier, Treasurer Rich ADØSN will not be seeking reelection after six years of loyal service.  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.  Shel NØDRX is looking to step aside after many years as trustee of the repeater.

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 October 31, 2023 at St. Luke Lutheran Church 7000 Hinton Avenue South Cottage Grove.  Note the new location.

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.  Joe KCØOIO modeled the new jacket design available.

New Business:

None to report.

50/50 Raffle:

The sale of raffle tickets brought in $26.00.  George KØGCP was the winner of the $13.00; George generously donated $10.00 back to the club.

On the motion of Brian KB9TBB, seconded by Greg KØGW, the Business Meeting was adjourned at 11:11 AM.

Meeting attendance: 26; Virtual: 3