Membership Meeting Minutes – September 10, 2016
Stillwater Amateur Radio Association
1618 Pine Street West
Stillwater, Minnesota 55082
President: Joe KCØOIO
The meeting was called to order at 9:10 AM.
Secretary’s Report: Steve KAØOBI
The general meeting minutes from the May 14, 2016 meeting are posted on the website. Please report any corrections to: Secretary@radioham.org
Treasurer’s Report: John N5JLZ
Beginning Balance: 8/1/2016 $2,919.12
Ending Balance: 8/31/2016 $2,812.80 (Not including HELP income/expenses)
$15,037.75 (Including HELP income/expenses)
Education and Training: Bob WØGAF (Not present)
General Class – is scheduled for September 15th – November 3rd at the Stillwater Library from 6-8 PM.
VE Session is scheduled for November 10th at 6 PM at Boutwells Landing in Auditorium B.
Activities & Events: Dave WØOXB
Thursday Night Eye Ball Sessions – are held at Stillwater Public Library from 6 to 8 PM CDT.
New Ham Night – was a great success in keeping interest up and helping new members get on the air.
Radios-in-the-Park – helped get everybody outside to enjoy working portable and to view other members’ setups.
Field Day 2016 – our 4th year at the Autumn Park location. We may expand to 24 hour operation if there is enough interest and operators who volunteer for the overnight hours.
Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald – This will be the 12th year and it will be held November 4,5,& 6. We will be operating from 10 AM to 5 PM on Saturday and Sunday. We are looking for a Saturday evening meal planner since Bob’s XYL will not be able to come this year. Be sure to make advance reservations at the Mariner Hotel since these dates coincide with the deer hunting opener. The event will be listed in the Nov issue of QST and posted on the QRZ page of WØJH.
Ice Station WØJH – the 4th annual event will be held February 18,19,20, 2017. KØAIF has agreed to host the event for the 2nd year on the east side of Lake Elmo.
ADA Step Out Walk for Diabetes – we have been asked to provide communications support this year. The event will start at Stillwater’s Pioneer Park on Oct 1st at 7:45 and end around 11 AM. This will be an excellent opportunity for new members to try out their HTs at a public event.
MAP – Dave WØOXB
Several MAP projects are being planned. Please keep in mind that Dave will be out of town from October 4th thru 27th. Contact Dave to volunteer to help with these projects.
Handiham Equipment Liaison Program (HELP) – Pat WAØTDA
Both remote stations are currently up and running. WØEQO is being repaired to make it more reliable. The free software for operating remote RCForb works with Windows 10 and Android apps. We are looking for a home for WØZSW which is a 200W station and works on 160M. The power supplies have been running hot especially during CW ops. So it would be ideal to replace the power supplies with two new switching supplies. There is a video on YouTube that Pat Tice did showing how to use the remote stations.
Washington County ARES: John KAØHYR (Not present)
The ARES net meets on the 1st and 15th of each month on 146.985 on the SEMARC repeater.
There will be a SET (Simulated Emergency Test) on September 22-24th.
Check the web site www.mnwashcoares.org regularly for current events, net schedule, and other items of significance.
Digital Net: Joe KCØOIO
SARA DIGI Net is on hiatus until the fall.
Two meter ragchew is held every Wednesday night at 9 PM CDT. You can find us at 147.060 MHz 114.8 Hz Tone.
160 meters SARA Top Band Ragchew is at 1.966 or 1.964 MHz. They operate every night except Tuesday & Thursday at 8 PM CDT.
SARA 75 meter Round Robin RagChew – This was just added for members who don’t have antennas that can operate on 160M. It has been operating on 3.816 MHz at 7:30 PM on Tuesdays.
Newsletter & Website: Pat WAØTDA & Dave WØOXB
Thanks to Pat and Dave for putting together the newsletter! Additional contributors are needed. The deadline for submissions for the Oct issue is the last Saturday of September.
DX News: Mike NØODK
Mike will be going to Vietnam again from Oct 20th to Nov 5th. He will definitely be listening for “Ø” callsigns. Check out www.ng3k.com for DX & Contest Calendar information.
Sep: Joe KCØOIO – On Waterfall – Live!
Oct: Bill AEØEE – VKØEK Heard Island – The 2016 Cordell Expedition
Nov: Pat WAØTDA – Using RCForb on remote base operations
SARA coffee mugs are on sale for $3 each – See Keith AGØH.
The SARA Oval Sticker/Decals are on sale for $1 each or you can get a free one when you renew your annual membership ($20) for 2016 or 2017.
The club is considering the purchase of a trailer (5’x8’ to 6’x10’) for transporting and storage of equipment (ice shelters, screen tents, etc.). Ideally we would like to get one with both a rear and side door. Radios would not be stored in the trailer.
The total amount collected was $55.
Program: The Sights & Sounds of Sound Card Digital Modes – Joe KCØOIO
The growing popularity of digital modes is understandable in the current poor band condition environment at the Solar Cycle minimum. If you have restricted antennas, power or both, digital could be the mode for you.
Joe provided an overall look at the hardware, software and interfaces needed to operate in these modes. Some of the more recent rigs are designed to make it much easier to use digital modes since the interfaces are already incorporated in their design. Most of these modes only require 20-30 watts max. There are a number of books, websites and forums that give step-by-step instructions on how to try these modes with your existing equipment. Each mode has its own distinct sound that will be recognizable the more you become familiar with digital. Joe gave us a sample of what each of the modes sounds like on the air.
The human ear can decode CW signals down to about -15 dB but that takes all your concentration to hear it. With PSK31 using a bandwidth of only 31 Hertz, your human ear cannot sort out all the signals, but the PC sound card can with the help of the sophisticated software. Signals that are 24dB below the noise level can be decoded with relative ease. Some of these modes can provide error free or reduced error transmissions which would be invaluable for emergency communications. When it comes to digital modes, the old adage –”If you can’t hear them then you can’t work them” is no longer true.
The program and meeting concluded at 11:34 AM.
Meeting attendance: 25