OCRA Membership Meeting, January 8, 2018



  • 71 membership dues are current and an appropriate reserve balance is in our accounts
  • Individual OCRA members supported the Bouvet DXpedition with $210 dollars’ worth of donations. The Board agreed to match individual donations up to $200, thus total contributions from OCRA for the DXpedition were $410.

Quick Notes:

  • First 2018 OCRA Membership meeting at Efland Baha’i Center went well. Membership agreed to continue using the facility for the remainder of the year.  Thanks to Dave, W4SAR, for managing the new location.
  • Dan, KR4UB, has made updates to the NCOCRA website. The goal of the updates are to improve the user experience, search ability, and navigation. Please let us know your thoughts on the changes and any suggestions for improvements in the “reply” section.
  • Steve (K1ZX) presented the FA-VA4 Vector Antenna Analyzer Kit from com. This low cost, $139 antenna analyzer powered by 2 x AA alkaline batteries, has graphing capabilities and provides one port measurement of frequencies ranging from 100 kHz to 100 MHz with a system impedance of 50 Ohms (BNC).  Good features at an affordable price….Thanks for sharing Steve.
  • Sherri Rapp, WB4OSU, recently purchased an Elecraft KX3, nice! As such, she is no longer in need of her Kenwood 440.  If interested please email Sherri at staleyrapp@mebtel.net or call her at 336.253.5549


Dan, KR4UB, made large scale copies of the current Tower drawings.  He and Steve, KZ1X, will present the drawings to Tower Engineering in Raleigh to assist in the feasibility of putting the repeater on the air.

2018 Elections Results:


Dave Snyder, W4SAR – President

Lad Carrington, W4ORD – Vice President

Keith Stouder, W1KES – Secretary

Dan Eddleman, KR4UB – Treasurer

Board Members At Large:

Karen Snyder, KD4YJZ

Dee Ramm, KU4GC

Wilson Lamb, W4BOH

Program Committee:

Wilson Lamb, W4BOH

Bill Bischoff, N8BR

Lad Carrington, W4ORD

Christmas Dinner:

The 2017 Christmas Dinner held at the Hillsborough Exchange Club was well attended, and enjoyed by all.  Thanks to Lad for managing the details and for being a very gracious host.

Discussion regarding the 2018 Christmas Dinner entertained the idea of purchasing tickets in advance, rather than pay at the door.  This payment approach would better ensure an accurate head count and associated cost.  Further discussion will be occur later in the year.

 Field Day 2018:

There was much discussion on how to improve the Field Day experience.  Several notable discussion points included:

  • Establishing a food committee with dedicated resources responsible for suppling and preparing the meals.
  • Establish an operator schedule to ensure coverage of stations throughout the event.
  • Operational options ranging from antenna design and deployment to use of a bucket truck for adequate antenna height.
  • Sherri, WB4OSU, and Loren, KV4ZR offered to assist Lad on the food committee.

These discussion points as well as others will continue to be debated and discussed at future Board and Membership meetings as we get closer to the 2018 Field Day, June 23-24.

Membership Meeting Improvements:

Steve, KZ1X, suggested leveraging the large screen TV and wireless access for displaying content, like documents and videos, focusing on “how to” programs.  Wilson, W4BOH, also mentioned that there is good amateur radio content on the Internet that we can use in developing membership programming.

This new program approach may provide new Hams an opportunity to explore and learn about the hobby, while providing experience Hams an opportunity to share their experiences, best practices, and lessons learned.

If you have additional ideas or suggestions on how to improve the membership meeting experience, please reply below.


Hams & Eggs at Virlie’s

An octet of hungry hams conclaved at Virlie’s in Pittsboro for the last breakfast gathering of the year this past Saturday morning.

John, KX4P, brought in a broken main frequency dial digital encoder for the group’s examination. It was from a Collins KWM-380 from the 1979-83 era that he recently repaired.

Dave, W4INN, determined to get on the air one way or another, is toying with the idea of just running anantenna wire out the window. Dave likes bees because he likes honey. His daughter-in-law gave him a whole jug of the stuff for Christmas.

Terry, KK4JGT, agrees. He has four hives now and a gardener neighbor who gives him produce in appreciation for his quadrupled yields since Terry became a beekeeper. With perhaps the best eyes in the group, he made several good observations regarding the shapes and orientation of the slots in the rotating disk assembly of John’s encoder.

Nick, KA1HPM, described working back-in-the-day with, and the workings of, the coordinateograph, a beautiful machine which is basically a highly precise Etch-a-Sketch. He is still puzzling out his mysterious loss of power on FT8.

Roy, WA2JLW, commented on the Bouvet Island DXpedition as well as CW and digital operations. He is now getting out of his back yard on 160 with his improved antenna which sports a pair of 30 foot radials.

John, KK4VUR, reports that Elon Musk’s SpaceX will attempt to put a car into heliocentric orbit on its next test launch. Maybe a Tesla? John confessed that he has been listening to HF on his SDR. (Ah, the HF siren beckons.)

Bill, N8BR, suggested that John try a vertical antenna for his HF SWLing. Bill is bracing for Bouvet.

Herb, N4HA, kept busy trying to remember what was being said so he could compose this. Thanks to KX4P for mnemonic assistance and the photo.

We hope you will join us in the new year for some stimulating conversation, friendship, and breakfast. We still meet around 8:30 AM.

Happy New Year to all.

and thanks to Herb, N4HA and John, KX4P for the always interesting reports and photo.