Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, OCRA face to face gatherings such as Field Day, the monthly club meeting, informal Saturday morning breakfasts, VE sessions, and other opportunities for member socialization and meeting new prospective hams have been impacted.
Amateurs as individuals and groups have always put emergency communications at the forefront of the hobby and in that vein, OCRA strongly encourages all members to use their ham radios stay in contact as a club during this difficult time.
- The monthly club meeting is now an Over-the-Air Club Meeting Net occurring on the 2nd Monday of the month at 7:30pm on the 442.150mHz PL 131.8 repeater.
- The long tradition of weekly OCRA Monday Night (excepting club meeting night) 10 Meter Net on 28.450MHz continues.
- The OCRA Saturday morning AuxComm/ARES net at 9:30am is open to all to check-in for brief announcements, training, and brief comments following net protocol.
- OCRA repeaters are available upon request for use in Orange and adjoining counties for public service, training and emergency communications.
About the OCRA Zoom Conference Outreach Initiative
Orange County Radio Amateurs, INC has purchased a Zoom Video Conference License for use as an adjunct to the OCRA Over-the-Air Club meetings and other club sponsored activity normally done in face to face meetings and events. This outreach is focused on:
- Prospective hams who have completed the application process for club membership.
- Newly licensed and other club members who have not yet acquired HF or UHF equipment.
- Club members residing where radio signals are blocked by terrain, HOA antenna restrictions, or adjoining county locations too distant to participate by radio.
- A club meet and greet social gathering after the net, while regular club meetings can not be held due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
When available to participate in the net, OCRA member KR4UB may open an audio connection to his amateur radio station equipped with a radio telephone audio patch to allow Zoom participants to listen to the net, and as station control operator, a limited number of Zoom participants adhering to FCC regulations and ARRL phone patch guidelines to check-in to the radio net from Zoom. This capability may not always be available and when Orange County and NC Covid-19 policies permit the resumption of OCRA meetings at the Efland Baha’i Center, the use of Zoom as part of the monthly club meeting will likely be discontinued.
- The radio net is primary means for communications; communications from the Zoom side to the radio net is limited and can easily become congested.
- Hams with radio equipment are expected to use it to participate in the net.
- If in Zoom conference while on the air with your radio equipment, you will be limited to “video only” mode to avoid audio feedback and echos.
- The email distribution list for sending out Zoom ID and password information is generated from email addresses on record for current OCRA members, and new member applicants completing the application process to join OCRA.
- A unique email will be created and sent each member using email address supplied when they joined the club, provided they have elected to receive such emails. “Opt-In” or “Opt-Out” settings are available in each member’s profile to be on, or drop off the Club Meeting/Zoom email list.
- This method eliminates mail clutter to those preferring to not receive the notices, keeps your email address private, and also avoids the risk of Zoombombing or disruptive intrusion if Zoom access information were to be publicly posted.
- Click on following applicable link for more details: Applicants: Apply for Membership,or Current Members desiring to receive the access information, indicate so by clicking “Add” in the appropriate block in your existing profile via the Private Access Link.