OCRA Board Meeting, April 30, 2018

Attendees:

Dave (W4SAR), Karen (KD4YJZ), Dee (KU4GC), MK (W4MKR), Steve (W3AHL), Dan (KR4UB), Keith (W1KES), Wilson (W4BOH), Lad (W4ORD)

Financials:

Balance statement is strong.  Current membership with dues current is 74.

Establish a Board email group – will use to share and approve meeting minutes

Dan (KR4UB) has created a new membership sign up form to assist in managing existing and new members.  We need to announce at next membership that OCRA stickers are available for $5.

Repeater:

Dan (KR4UB) will contact Alex at UNC to determine if they are able to provide any financial assistance.  The level of assistance will help determine our next steps.  There may be opportunities to locate and share the repeater with Chatham County CERT. We need to be diligent in discussions and move forward with a repeater decision in the coming months.

Public Service:

Steve (W3AHL) mentioned that public service activities are down this year.  However, John Stone mentioned that several new events have been added to the schedule. If interested in sharpening your ARES or CERT skills, these events are great learning opportunities.

Durham Fest:

There is work session Friday May 25 from 6:00-8:00 for setup.  Saturday morning, setup assistance will be needed starting around 7:00 AM.  The ham fest will start at 8:00 AM and end around 12:30 PM, with tear down starting shortly thereafter.  Tables are $12 and space available for $8.

Early registration tickets are available and will be registered for $50 drawing.  VE session will also be part of the HAM Fest.

Decision:

Board agrees to spend $24 for two tables.

Field Day:

Planning is ongoing. Antenna designs and locations will be finalized in the next month.

Lad will contact Kelly to determine available, costs, and logistics for providing diner around 5:00 PM on Saturday night.  This would reduce the dependency on band captains and other participants in managing meal logistics.

Sunday morning breakfast will still be provided by members.

442.150 Repeater to be used for the 2018 Spring Bike Rally – Sunday, April 15th

The OCRA 442.150 repeater will be used Sunday, April 15th for back-up communications supporting the 2018 Spring Rally Bike Event.

The event will start around 8AM and should run until about 3pm.

If you would like to volunteer to provide communications support for the event you can sign up at at the Ham Public Service website.

The North Carolina Bike Club (NCBC) coordinates this charity ride, typically features 31, 62 and 100 mile courses for the riders. SAGS, as well as Hams assigned to Rest Stops will be needed. More information about the Spring Rally event is available on the NC Bicycle Club website

Field Day info and timeline

Starting 2:00pm local time on Saturday, June 24
Ending 2:00pm local time in Sunday June 25

Location: Lamb Family property-
3117 MOOREFIELDS RD
HILLSBOROUGH, NC 27278

Callsign: W4EZ
At this time, we will be a 9A operation, meaning a club sponsor, 9 HF stations, using only battery power for transmitters, 5Watts maximum output.

Exchange for a complete contact is call sign, class of operation , and ARRL/RAC section.

For us our info is:
W4EZ 9A NC

Stations planned:
80/40/20/15 CW in the MCU, (three transmitters),
the CW gang

40M Digital in barn W4SAR
20M Digital, in barn, WB4OSU

80M Phone, in RV W3AHL
40/15M Phone, in camper KV7D/K4SAR
20M Phone , in camper W4ORD
10m Phone, in barn NA4VY

VHF- open
Satellite- W4FS

Logging: N1MM freeware logging program, a wireless network will merge all input into one master log

Some personnel:

Safety Officer- W4SAR
Public Information Table: W4MKR
Pot-luck coordinator: KM4MDR
Field Canteen Coordinator: W4ORD
Network: W3AHL
N1MM Logger consultant: N1LN
Overall Coordinator: W4SAR

Volunteers needed to provide relief operators, loggers, field canteen assistance, various other jobs throughout the 3 days of operation.

Recommended Timeline for Field Day Operation:
(All timepoints are local Daylight Saving Time)

Friday June 23

8:00am -Start of Set-Up.
By the FD rules, as of 8:00pm Thursday we could use a total of 24 hours in aggregate for station set up before the official start of FD on Saturday at 2:00pm. We will start with good daylight on Friday morning.
As much heavy work (tower lifting, antenna raising, ground rod driving, battery lifting, etc ) should be accomplished on Friday. Many volunteers will be needed so that this work can be done safely, and without overexerting anyone.

11:30am – Sandwiches and refreshments will be provided by Skip, WB4P

When time allows: preliminary testing of wireless network, power drops for auxiliary equipment

6:00pm Pot Luck Dinner, heavy work should cease.

9:00pm- copy ARRL FD bulletin from W1AW via PSK31
(100 bonus points)

Saturday June 24

As of sunrise: Complete station setups and final testing.

As early as possible, test all logging computers simultaneously on network. Final tests of stations.

2:00pm: START FD OPERATIONS

Circa 6:00pm- dinner provided at Field Canteen, $5 a head, volunteers are badly needed to assist W4ORD in set up and grilling of food

Sunday June 25
Circa 8:00am, Breakfast at Field Canteen, $5 a head, volunteers needed to assist.

2:00pm: FD OPERATIONS END

Many hands will be needed to safely tear down stations (there will be many tired people present), clean up.

Field Day Update May 10, 2017

Hi All-

We worked out some more logistics for Field Day. Bruce N1LN’s classes on the N1MM logging program are progressing nicely, with all of the band captains having been exposed to at least part of it. We should have everyone up to speed on using this one program this year. Testing will be done this week on Wilson’s property for the wireless network that will link all of the logging computers. If all goes well, all stations will be feeding their contacts into one master log, making it a snap for making our results submission. In the event of a network failure, or if someone’s logging computer just cannot access the network, we will go to the old tried and true method of backing up logs from the laptops onto a thumb drive, so that I can perform a merge afterward.

We have had to make some shifts to maintain a 9A Battery classification, but it also looks like we will am almost 100% Elecraft operation. Here is the current lineup:

CW:
3 transmitters on 80/40/20/15 meters, Elecraft K3 – in MCU

Digital:
40 Meter PSK31 Elecraft K3 – barn loft
20/15 Meter PSK31 Elecraft KX-3 – barn loft

Phone:
80 Meter SSB Elecraft K3- out of RV
40/15 Meter SSB Elecraft K3- out of camper
20 Meter SSB Phone Elecraft KX-3 – out of tent
10 Meter SSB Phone Radio Shack HTX-10 – out of barn loft

Skip, N4SKP will be providing a sandwich platter at Noon on that Friday for the work crews. John, KM4MDR will be coordinating the pot luck to be held that Friday night. Lad, W4ORD is working out the food supplies for the Saturday night dinner and the Sunday morning breakfast,, he will solicit side dishes or desserts that anyone may want to supply.

Attached is the first draft of this year’s site plan, not too many changes from last year save the shifting of digital stations to the loft.

Also, both to garner the 100 point bonus for Social Media Publicity, and to provide yet another channel for members  and visitors to get updates on our Field Day operation, I have created a Facebook group:

OCRA-DFMA Amateur Radio Field Day W4EZ

Facebookers, feel free to join and help provide content, photographs from previous FD operations would be great to add!

 

 

 

Field Day Update April 2017

Hi All, more of the plans are starting to gel, we do need to solidify more of the logistics for Field Day. For one, I was mistaken when I said we were on track to be a 9A operation. As it turns out the CW operation out of the MCU will be running only three transmitters, not the four transmitters I had presumed, so we are an 8A operation as it now stands. Here are the current stations planned and band captains:

CW in the MCU: three transmitters on 80/40/20/15 meters. Bruce N1LN and the CW gang.

40 Digital- in barn loft, Dave W4SAR
20 Digital- in barn loft, John, KM4MDR

80 Phone- Steve , W3AHL in his RV
40/15 Phone- Adriano KV7D and Joe K4SAR in camper
20 Phone- Lad, W4ORD in tent.

Currently, there are no plans to work 10 meters due to very poor prospects for propagation. VHF is open if anyone wants to try it, that station will not change the count of stations for our category. I am working on a possible temporary split out of 15M phone so that we do keep a 9A designation, stand by for more on that later.

Bruce N1LN has agreed to run a teleconferenced class to get the band captains (and anyone interested in helping out with logging) up to speed on using the N1MM logging program. See the NCOCRA Yahoogroup for postings on this, I believe Bruce wants to start the initial session this coming Wednesday.

I will be contacting the band captains on their final arrangements for radios, to confirm what antennas they are using and where they will be placed, an updated site plan will be posted shortly after that is done.

Food- Lad W4ORD and Noble N4UOQ have agreed to step up and form the nucleus of the group operating the field canteen, they will be needing some more people to help with that work. Besides providing cold water and soft drinks throughout the operation, he canteen will also grill dinner on that Saturday and Breakfast on Sunday morning. John KM4MDR will coordinate the Pot Luck planned for that Friday night. Skip N4SKP will be providing a sandwich spread for the work crews on Friday around noon.

Bonus Points- We have several members volunteering to help chase down some of these points for us. Stand by, I will get all of you more solid information shortly.

Things are moving for Field Day, and the pace is picking up considerably the closer we get. I will be putting out notices on a more frequent basis now as we deal with the inevitable changes and tweaks that occur to every plan. I am looking forward to another great Field Day this year!

73,

Dave Snyder, W4SAR