More Information Available Here – Order Tickets and Tables Online – http://www.rarsfest.org
More Information Available Here – Order Tickets and Tables Online – http://www.rarsfest.org
We have 68 paid membership current and 33 requiring renewal. You can renew membership easily and securely on the website under the heading of “Members.”
Chatham county continues moving forward with establishing new radio towers. Currently they are writing specifications to publicly bid the work. They plan to establish additional towers beyond current need for anticipated growth, with the understanding it is more cost-effective to erect the additional towers now than re-bid the work at a future date.
WordPress is the most common blog and website platform in use around the globe. OCRA uses WordPress as our primary club communication channel. WordPress has many additional features and functionality that we can leverage for multiple uses. One such use is capturing interest and availability for Field Day.
With just under four months to go, Field Day 2019 is quickly approaching. However, we can more easily start planning now. Dan has created an on-line sign-up form to capture availability to volunteer for food, station, and field site preparation, staffing, and dismantling.
You can easily complete the sign up form on your computer or even phone! The steps for expressing your interest and availability follow:
1. On the site, navigate to the “Member” tab and click “Receive Access Link”.
2. Enter your call sign, answer the math question, and click “Submit”. An email will be sent to your registered public email address.
3. You will receive a confirmation screen notifying you the link has been sent to your email.
4. Login to your registered email address and click the link. If you bookmark this link, it can be used to update your profile…be sure to bookmark!
5. Complete the Field Day sign-up sheet. Be sure to click the “Save” button located at the end of the form. If there are any data corrections, they will be highlighted in red. Band captains will reach out to you regarding the specifics. We look forward to seeing you during Field Day!
As many Hams know, it is important when making decisions about getting the right coax for your Ham Station to understand that there are trade-offs that have to be considered between transmitter power, antenna gain, coax loss, and your total Ham Station system performance. Your bank account may also enter into the equation like most Hams.
Cables and connectors are no exception to the above as they make up the lifeline of your entire station, allowing all of the components to work together. Steve (KZ1X) shared that oxygen is the enemy of every connector, as oxidation due to poor connections will limit the performance and life of the connector. Dan (KR4UB) and Steve (KZ1X) further explain the importance of having the right connectors, wires, and crimpers to produce a gas tight crimp. As Dan shared, in his experience most poor transmissions are the result of bad connectors. However, with quality material and practice you can build connectors that provide decades worth of radio fun and enjoyment.
Dan (KR4UB) explaining contact spring tension Steve (KZ1X) explaining Power pole connectors
Vendors who sell quality connectors and supplies include the following:
· DXengineering – https://www.dxengineering.com/
· Digi-key – https://www.digikey.com
· Mouser – https://www.mouser.com
If you attended this meeting, we would welcome your feedback. If there are other topics of interest, please let know.
Steve (W3AHL), Dave (W4SAR), Karen (KD4YJZ), Bill (N8BR), Wilson (W4BOH), Dan (KR4UB), Dee (KU4GC), Keith (W1KES)
Savings balance is strong, with 78 member’s dues current and 23 needing renewal.
Bill (N8BR) offered his resignation from the Board. While we hate to see Bill leave, his vacancy presents an opportunity to install Nick (KA1HPM) on the Board in the capacity of Chatham County liaison officer. Nick is currently actively working with the Chatham County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to establish radio infrastructure at several fire stations and other county premises. OCRA has agreed to support this effort by lending Chatham county our repeater. Nick will serve as OCRA’s repeater custodian. OCRA and Chatham EOC still need to finalize and formalize scope, responsibilities, and draft a document of understanding. However, strengthening county relationships and providing assistance in support of emergency response is a primary goal of amateur radio, and OCRA is happy to help.
Dan (KR4UB) has done an outstanding job of enhancing OCRA’s on-line presence. The website is quickly become data central for all of OCRA’s general announcements, membership information, activities calendar and historical records. The site captures personal interest for use in program development and field day assignments.
Dan is exploring the websites survey function this year to match interest and availability in staffing Field Day 2019. We would encourage each member to login and update their areas of amateur radio interest.
From the interest list we have identified several topics for future membership meetings: Fox hunting, Satellites, and Dxing. Please update your interest profile and let us know what topics you would like discussed at a membership meeting.
Our next membership meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 11 at the Efland Baha’i Center. Topic considerations include building jumper cables, powerpole connectors, and crimping. This is a great opportunity to learn something new and refresh skills. Hope to see your there.
The 2019 Durham Fest will be held on Saturday of Memorial weekend. Please bookmark the following link to DFMA as more details will be posted shortly. OCRA Board approved renting two tables to sell items at RARS Fest. Hope to see you there. 73
Dave (W4SAR), Karen (KD4YJZ), Wilson (W4BOH), Steve (W3AHL), Lad (W4ORD), Keith (W1KES)
A primary focus for OCRA in 2019 is establishing monthly programs of interest. The Elfand Baha’i Center’s location is ideal for hosting various amateur radio programs. The large gathering area near the kitchen provides ample space for converting dining tables to workshop stations. The large yard provides opportunities for establishing a quick HF station for educating club members on best practices and new techniques.
Several program ideas were discussed:
There are many wonderful videos on Youtube providing understanding on the topics above.
Soldering 101 for Makers and Radio Hams:
Installing Power Pole Connectors:
What are your program suggestions? What would you like to learn or teach? Please leave your comments below.
25 member’s presence, with 2 candidates for exams.
Members approved 2019 Board:
If you have ideas for enriching your club experience, we would like to know. Please reply below.
Chatham County Radio Club Update, Nick (KA1HPM):
Chatham County radio club has established a club station at the county emergency operation center (EOC) with two VHF and two HR radios, and Winlink. The club as applied for a vanity call, but with the FCC currently on furlough, it may be some time before the call is issued.
The club is preparing for an April 30 communication exercise at the Shearon Harris nuclear power plant. Rehearsal for the event will be March 28. Please join the club net every Tuesday night on 442.15 MHz, PL tone 131.8. Hope to hear you on the air!
Vice President: Lad (W4ORD) – The Holiday Meal was well received. However, suggestions to explore new food options are being considered.
“When All Else Fails:”
With the recent weather events in Wilmington, NC, hospitals are encouraging employees to become amateur radio operators offering communications when “all else fails.” Opportunities for local radio clubs to assist may be forth coming.
NC QSO Party:
The NC QSO Party is quickly approaching. This year, the event will occur on Saturday, February 24 from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM EST. This is a great event to sharpen your SSB skills with running or search and pounce. Click on link above for more information.
If you are new to amateur radio, or would like to refresh your knowledge, the Program Committee would like your ideas. Considerations are being given for having instructions on coax termination with soldiering or crimpers. Or, how to build an affordable wire dipole. Do you have any suggestions on program content? If so, leave a reply below.
Pete (WA1YYN) provided an overview of several emergency and life saving devices. First, Pete created a GPRS enabled apparatus comprised of a raspberry pi that can be attached to a fire fighter’s outfit that captures both health and situation metrics. For example, the apparatus can capture, record, and transmit fire fighters body temperature, pulse oximetry, acceleration, etc. such data is vital for ensuring situational safety.
Pete also explained that many emergency response communication technologies are proprietary and expensive. He mentioned that the national fire protection association (NFPA) and NIST, national institute of standards and technology are working together to develop emergency response data interoperability and deployment standards.
Pete (WA1YYN) discussing his use of GPRS and amateur radio in emergency response communication and coordination.
Pete demonstrated an open source solution providing GPRS tracking with real time monitoring and visual overlay perspectives of the rescuer, drone, and incident command. This solution will more accuracy and quickly identify persons in need improving resource coordination thus reducing response time in saving lives.
Pete’s work in supporting emergency response fulfills several key goals of amateur radio:
What is your passion? What aspects of amateur radio keeps you involved? Let us know by leaving a response below.
Dee (KU4GC), MK (W4MKR), Dan (KR4UB), Bill (N8BR), Lad (W4ORD), Wilson (W4BOH), Dave (W4SAR), Karen (KD4YJZ), Steve (W3HAL), Keith (W1KES)
Board’s Fiduciary Responsibility
Dan (KR4UB) provided the Board copies of the IRS’ Compliance Guide for 501(c)(3) Public Charities for review. Board members are responsible and accountable for managing club expenditures in accordance with requirements for maintaining not-for-profit status.
The Board agreed to revisit the guidelines after every annual election.
Board Members – 2019
Existing Board members agreed to continue service for the 2019 calendar year. If interested in volunteering or being a future member of the Board, please let us know.
Orange County, Emergency Operational Center (EOC)
The Orange County EOC suffered water damage earlier this fall, and is currently under repair. It is estimated that repairs will not be complete for another three to four months. As such, volunteer exam sessions will continue to occur at Efland’s Baha’i Center until spring.
The Board discussed purchasing nicely used laptops for the sole purpose of using them for Field Day. The laptops would be securely configured and networked for N1MM, our Field Day logging software, for sharing contact log updates and consolidated reporting. Further considerations and discuss will be made next year.
Holiday Dinner: Reminder
The club is asking attendees to pre-pay for the Monday December 10 Christmas Dinner (and will refund if you must cancel, provided written cancellation is received before the December 7th food purchase).
19 members and 1 guest present.
Strong financial balance, with current membership at 77 with 21 members up for renewal and 3 members expiring this month.
Hurricane Florence prompted plans for several OCRA hams to be on standby for deployment to shelters in conjunction with the Red Cross, while others were on standby for deployment to several fire stations in case the Viper network became unavailable. Thankfully, neither groups were deployed, but were well prepared if needed.
Dan (KR4UB) provided a wonderful presentation and demonstration of a radio repeater system. OCRA operates several repeaters under our W4UNC call sign.
A listing of the repeaters and corresponding frequencies are available under the About tab on our blog site.
Nick is leading a three weekend, Chatham County EOC sponsored Auxiliary Emergency Communication (AuxComm) amateur radio technician review course. The review course original had eight registered participants but is now at fourteen. Each session meets for three hours culminating into an October 27 VE session. The training and VE session occur at the Chatham County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) located in
Scouts – Jamboree on the Air
OCRA plans to drive the MCU to a Durham location providing Scouts and the community an opportunity to learn about amateur radio and participate in 61st Jamboree on the Air.
Have another Meal (HAM) – Update
Wilson is considering hosting a “have another meal” meal at the homestead, tentatively schedule for the afternoon of October 20. Communication and coordination of this event will occur via the reflector.
Sixteen members were present, with three people taking exams.
Balance continues to be strong. Currrent membership is at 78, with 23 needing renewal, and one expiring this month.
Seventeen new members have joined since January.
Dan (KR4UB) brought the latest Southeastern Repeater Association (SERA) repeater journal, providing a listing of repeater frequencies and other relevant information. The SERA was founded in 1971 as the North Carolina FM Repeater Association Inc., when a group of state repeater owners got together to form an organization designed to assist in coordinating, providing communication & technical information, and bringing together all amateur repeater owners into one united body.
Have another Meal (HAM)
Wilson (W4BOH) has offered to host a family friendly, fall cookout of burgers and dogs in October. You should have received an email via the group.io list serve. If you did not receive an email, but are interested in attending, please let Wilson known. Please bring vegetables and desserts to share.
Green Bank Telescope
Dan (KR4UB) is planning to revisit the Robert C Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in Green Bank, West Virginia. The Green Bank site was part of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) until September 30, 2016. Since October 1, 2016, the telescope has been operated by the newly separated Green Bank Observatory. The telescope honors the name of the late Senator Robert C. Byrd who represented West Virginia and who pushed the funding of the telescope through Congress.
The Green Bank Telescope operates at meter to millimeter wavelengths. Its 100-meter diameter collecting area, unblocked aperture, and good surface accuracy provide superb sensitivity across the telescope’s full 0.1–116 GHz operating range. The GBT is fully steerable, and 85% of the entire local celestial hemisphere is accessible. It is used for astronomy about 6500 hours every year, with 2000–3000 hours per year going to high-frequency science.
Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES):
Steve (W3HAL) stated OC Emergency Services has requested that OC ARES/AUXCOMM volunteers be on standby for probable activation to support evacuation shelters due to forecasted flooding, high winds and power outages. Details are pending updates on Hurricane Florence’s path and timing and probably won’t be available until late Wednesday or Thursday morning.
The typical scenario would have one or two shelters plus the EOC opening, with a team of two ham radio operators per site for two 12 hour shifts per day. That would require 12 volunteers each day.
As always, the first priority is to make sure your family is safe and prepared for the storm, as mentioned on Saturday’s ARES Training net. Meanwhile, evaluate your availability to deploy on Thursday, 09/13 through Saturday, 09/15. If you think you might be available, depending, on how the storm actually affects our area of course, please email me directly so I can get a rough idea of how many volunteers might be available.
Volunteers would need to be registered in the AUXCOMM database to deploy to the EOC. For shelters, at least one on the team would need AUXCOMM registration and the second could be an ARES volunteer.
And one final reminder to log into the AUXCOMM database and verify your contact info is still valid, if you haven’t done so recently. https://www.auxcomm.us/db/nc/ (Ignore the certificate error notice)
Please contact Steve email@example.com for further information
Hillsborough Hog Day may be postponed or cancelled due to Florence. Please check the website for up-to-date information.
Boy Scouts Jamboree:
Jamboree-on-the-Air, or JOTA, is the largest Scouting event in the world. It is held annually the third full weekend in October. JOTA uses amateur radio to link Scouts and hams around the world, around the nation, and in your own community. This jamboree requires no travel, other than to a nearby amateur radio operators ham shack. Many times you can find the hams will come to you by setting up a station at your Scout camporee, at the park down the block, or perhaps at a ham shack already set up at your council’s camp.
Martin (KA5JUJ) shared how one creates a cantenna, a tin can waveguide for WiFi.
Baofeng handheld radios are popular in the amateur radio community as inexpensive, entry level HTs. Future OCRA membership programs including learning more about repeater operations, programming a Baofeng, and overcoming “mic fright.”