Monthly Membership Meeting – December 14, 2020 – 7:30 pm

Platforms Utilized: OCRA UHF Repeater and Zoom.

Meeting Minutes

MEETING CONVENED AT 7:30 PM.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT – W4SAR (David): Introduction and General Remarks- Good evening all. As has been the case for most of this past year, we are convening tonight’s meeting using both Zoom and UHF repeater platforms rather that our regular in person format. This is being done to conform with statewide requirements for social distancing to deter the spread of Covid 19. Hopefully, with the upcoming availability of the new anti-virus vaccines, this requirement will soon be relaxed and we will be able to have our monthly gatherings at the B’hai center in Efland. As we embark on tonight’s meeting please keep in mind that irrespective of which platform you use, please check into the net using phonetics so that your call may be accurately included on the meeting roster. Also, please be aware that video and audio generated at this meeting is being recorded so that information presented can be accurately included in meeting minutes.

On a different note and as many of you might already be aware, my mother passed away some weeks ago, and I would like to thank those of you who sent well-wishes to my family and me. You will be pleased to know that my father is doing well.

MEMBER CHECK-IN – by  W4SAR (David) Net Control and KR4UB (Dan) Zoom Host Control:

OCRA UHF REPEATER: W4SAR (David), KU4GC (Dee), W4ORD (Ladd), KA1HPM (Nick), KM4MBG (Jack), KF4PAB (Lenore), KZ1X (Steve), KO4DHJ (Ken), KR4UB (Dan), W4BOH (Wilson), KN4BTI (Mark), KA5ETS (Doug), N4JQR (JR), WB1AJJ (Jonathan), KI4MXP (Gerald), KM4WXW (Jeffrey), KD4YJZ (Karen), KR4UB (Dan), KR3AM (Mark), KO4JAW (Mark), KO4ICM (Doug), KI4RAN (Bill), WA4AHR (Dewey), KN4EOO (Richard), and W3AHL (Steve).

ZOOM: N8BR (Bill), NA4VY (Dave), KN4QBZ (Fred), and KR4UB, Dan),

TREASURER’S REPORT: KR4UB (Dan): Current Club Membership stands at 118 (89 current active paid up members, 29 requiring renewal). 24 new members have been added during the past 12 months.

REPEATER REPORTS: KR4UB (Dan): All of the OCRA repeaters are now working and on the air for the first time in 5 years. The 145.230 machine has been moved to a temporary location in Pittsboro.

The OCRA savings and checking account has a good reserve amount available for expenses, as it needs to have for costs we will face in the future.

  • Another repeater needs to be built, a replacement machine on standby and ready to go into service for when the 442.150 repeater high up on the tower eventually fails. The current repeater was installed in February, 2016 and hopefully has another 4 – 5 years or so life left before it eventually fails. While only high reliability components are used to build the OCRA repeaters, the exposure to extreme beyond mil-spec temperatures in the sealed cabinets on the tower eventually takes it toll. 
  • With tower crews now required to replace the machine, a completely self contained ready to go replacement repeater must be available to minimize the tower crew trips and time up on the tower to contain the escalating tower crew costs.
  • A spare Kenwood TKR-850 repeater deck and duplexer are already on hand. Additional parts to complete the spare repeater include another power supply, SCOM 7330 controller, and an additional pass band cavity. The power supply and SCOM controller will cost around $1100 – $1200.  Hopefully a good used pass band cavity filter can be located and purchased.
  • In addition, we have to keep in mind that the 442.150 repeater antenna is the original antenna installed approximately 25 years ago and when it has to be replaced, tower crew and antenna cost could easily be in the $4-5K neighborhood.

KA1HPM (Nick): We installed the 145.230 machine in Pittsboro last Wednesday at a site on Fire Tower Road. The antenna is up at about 130 feet. It is a good installation and many folks are using it. We are also planning for at least two additional towers in Chatham County.

FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS: W4SAR (David):

  1. Field Day: The scores for the 2020 ARRL Field Day are now posted in QST and on the ARRL website. OCRA did very well and placed 9th among clubs submitting aggregate scores. Noteworthy is the fact that our primary regular competitor, a station in California, placed 32nd. Club certificates for member participation will be prepared and handed out at a future meeting.
  2. Elections: Club elections will be held at the next meeting in January. Positions that will be available include that of President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Board Member. Individuals currently occupying those positions have indicated that they are willing to continue. Specifically, our current president, David (W4SAR) indicated that he would be willing to continue in that post but will step down after another term. Ladd, W4ORD, is willing to continue as vice president, Bill (N8BR) is willing to continue as secretary. Dan (KR4UB) is willing to continue as treasurer but will step down from the repeater responsibilities he has also carried for over 20 years. He will continue to manage the club website, provide technical support to those taking responsibility for the club’s repeaters and work on club recruitment. Finally, Karen (KD4YJZ) is willing to continue as board member. Prior to our next membership meeting I will prepare ballots and circulate instructions for the election.
  3. Code of Conduct for Club Repeaters: Most repeater sponsoring clubs have developed documents that define organizational expectations for appropriate conduct during use of its repeater(s). OCRA should be no exception. Therefore, your OCRA board will be discussing the issue with the desired outcome of producing a draft document for club discussion, revision and potential adoption. Note: Input from KM4MBG (Jack) indicated that these discussions are also going on in DFMA (Durham FM Association), and focused on a code of conduct that covers all club activities rather than just those pertaining to the use of repeaters.
  4. Future Meetings: There will be a meeting of the OCRA Executive Board next Monday at 7:30 PM.

ADJOURNMENT: Meeting Adjourned at 8:45p.m.

WLB/DE/s

Monthly Membership Meeting Minutes – November 9, 2020

ORANGE COUNTY RADIO AMATEURS
Monthly Membership Meeting – November 9, 2020 – 7:30 pm
Platforms Utilized: OCRA UHF Repeater and Zoom

Minutes

MEETING CONVENED AT 7:30 PM
N1LN (Bruce): Introduction and General Remarks- Good evening all. I am again serving as host this evening in place of W4SAR, David, our club president who is still occupied with family issues. While he may check in this evening, we can expect him to be back with us regularly again by the December meeting. Additionally, please keep in mind the following points:

  • The majority of the membership present at this meeting are participating through the OCRA UHF repeater which may time-out occasionally.
  • This is not an ARES net so I will be using my own call sign.
  • Some of our members do not have VHF/UHF equipment and will be joining us via Zoom.
  • Irrespective of which platform you use, please check into the net using phonetics so that your call may be accurately included on the meeting roster.

KR4UB (Dan) has posted and mailed out the agenda for tonight’s meeting. It includes (1) a formal check-in, (2) general remarks, (3) reports from our treasurer, repeater gurus, our holiday party chairperson and (4) A round-table during which all members will have an opportunity to report on their ongoing and new radio-related activities since our last meeting. During this part of the meeting all attendees are strongly encouraged to present their ideas for future club presentations and projects.

Finally, please be aware that video and audio generated at this meeting is being recorded so that information presented can be accurately included in meeting minutes.

MEMBER CHECK-IN:

  • OCRA VHF/UHF REPEATER: N1LN (Bruce),KU4GC (Dee), W4ORD (Lad), KA1HPM (Nick), KM4MBG (Jack), KF4PAB (Lenore), KZ1X (Steve), N2XZF (Paul), KN4ZHP (Mike), KO4DHJ (Ken), KR4UB (Dan), W4BOH (Wilson), KX4P (John), KN4BTI (Mark), KA5ETS (Doug), N4JQR (JR) KM4JZA (Mike), KN4JYP (Cathy), WB1AJJ (Jon), KI4RAN (Bill)
  • VIA ZOOM: N8BR (Bill), NA4VY (Dave), KN4QBZ (Fred), and KR4UB (Dan)

TREASURER’S REPORT (Dan KR4UB): Current Club Membership stands at 114 (87 current active paid up members, 27 requiring renewal). 22 new members have been added during the past 12 months.

REPEATER REPORTS:
KR4UB (Dan), KA1HPM (Nick), N2XZF (Paul) and W4CFO (Jim): All participated in a repeater work day at Dan’s home.

KA1HPM (Nick): Presented the report for Chatham repeaters. Antennas will be going up soon. Installers are saying they will be placed at 100’ but the committee would like to see them higher so they will be more effective. The two meter repeater audio test went well, and the machine should be on the air by early December. The Auxcom net meetings have been taking place on alternate Tuesdays. Members are looking forward to taking part in in a WinLink event this coming Saturday. With that technology hams will be able to handle e-mail messages without use of the internet.

HOLIDAY PARTY UPDATE:
KR4UB (Dan): A note from David, our president, informs us that because of the Covid 19 pandemic and our inability to provide adequate protection for attendees at a dinner event, the club board members have decided that the Christmas party is cancelled for this year.

W4ORD (Lad): As chair of the Christmas Party Committee Ladd reaffirmed for the club membership that the facility folks and catering operation have already been notified that the party is cancelled.

MEMBERSHIP ROUNDTABLE:
N1LN (Bruce) Officially opened the membership roundtable. This part of the monthly meeting is especially important because it provides an open forum in which each member has an opportunity to talk about his or her own ham radio activities and how they contribute to the cohesiveness and mission of our wonderful hobby. We are further emphasizing that this part of the meeting provides a venue for members to make suggestions about potential subjects for future club projects and presentations.

KO4DHJ (Ken): Thanks to AB4OZ for spearheading the mini-hamfest last Saturday. It provided an opportunity for me to sell lots of surplus stuff which made my XYL very happy.

KN4BTI (Mark): I Have been in Richmond with some medical issues and minor surgery that required fairly extensive rehabilitation. We now have 16 “chatters” on the Carbon Link, a packet radio link headed up by K4KZ. If the club would like a presentation on this initiative please feel free to let me know and I will set it up.

KA5ETS (Doug): Has been monitoring the bands for DX conditions on FT8. There has been a noticeable paucity of stations from the middle east. He is also doing some antenna work in preparation for the winter. Sporadic E openings on 6 meters have been observed.

KA1HPM (Nick): Not much radio activity. Very busy with AuxCom and attendance at virtual breakfasts at Virlies in Pittsboro.

N4JQR (JR): Is enjoying Zoom communication within the club and doing lots of jobs around the house.

KM4JZA (Mike): Requests that club information be forwarded so he can become an official member. He is enjoying this net.

KM4MBG (Jack): Congratulations to Dan (KR4UB) for doing a great job on the OCRA website (ncocra.org). He has done a great handling of emails to the benefit of both the OCRA and DFMA clubs. He announced that DFMA is not yet sure that Durham Fest will take place this year because of Covid 19. Suggested that both clubs design “show and tell” presentations consisting of short videos that can be replayed at various times so members can view them on the web when it is convenient. Q and A sessions could logically follow. Jack would be happy to give a presentation about free linux software that has useful ham radio applications.

KN4JYP (Cathy): Signed on to tonight’s net using a handheld on her back deck. Says working entirely from home is a nightmare. The remodeling projects at her home are complete and she is now ready to challenge her Home Owners Association for antenna privileges.

W4ORD (Lad): Recent storms have taken down literally all of his antennas. He has had minor foot surgery and eye surgery recently and is recovering from both.

KF4PFB (Lenore): Not too much radio going on. Always looking forward to Jack’s cooking.

KX4P (John): Having fun playing with a new Kenwood VHF/UHF duo bander for 2M and 440 mhz. .Recent ham radio activity included participation in the Classic Exchange. He wasn’t able to contact N1LN but had a lot of fun anyway. Has been trying to replace the dial cord on his Collins 75A1 but is finding it to be a complicated and time-consuming job.

KZ1X (Steve): Looking forward to beginning his antenna/tower rebuilding project which is scheduled to begin one week from today. Wants to know if the repeater on 53.45 has come back yet. Dan replied for that the last several years, summer time propagation brings in a signal from some distant source that times the repeater out and takes it off the air. A google search indicates historically there have been some beacons on this frequency

NA4VY (Dave): Noted that he and his XYL spent some vacation time on the lake. The weather was great. Has been participating in numerous local nets. Would like to give a club presentation about the radio telescope he visited in Green Banks, WV.

N2XZF (Paul): Helped with repeater work at Dan’s and attended a virtual meeting at Mikes.

KU4GC (Dee): is spending some time in Wilmington working on settling his son’s estate.

KN4QBZ (Fred): Would be available to present a program on AuxCom for the club.

WB1AJJ (Jon) Agrees that having club members present programs on how they developed their interest in ham radio and actually got into the hobby would be useful and entertaining. He also feels that this approach would be more appealing if the presentations were organized by decades during which members’ interests in the hobby bloomed.

N8BR (Bill): has just acquired a new Kenwood duo-band VHF/UHF mobile transceiver and is building a low-visability tilt-over mast for the duo-band vertical antenna that he has assembled to use with it. He hopes that this choice of toys will allow him to join our virtual club meetings via the repeater in a manner that pleases the home owners association where he lives.

KR4UB (Dan): hosted a repeater building session with Paul N2XZF, Nick KA1HPM and Jim W4CFO. He also worked on the board agenda and began writing software to make setting up the Net/Zoom meetings. Per Mike, KM4JZA’s request, Dan will add him to the club email distribution list.

W4BOH (Wilson): Prepared a beautiful new operating position for his radios. He also made 44 contacts in the Classic Exchange Contest that took place last week end. Refurbishment of the ’34 Chevy truck is coming along well as is repair of the steering box in his Ford tractor.

KI4RAN (Bill): requested to be added to the OCRA Zoom list.  Dan, KR4UB replied to Bill that he is already on the OCRA Meeting email distribution list (which includes the Zoom information) and that his email SPAM settings should be checked.

MEETING ADJOURNED AT 8:45 pm
WLB/DE/s

Monthly Club Membership Meeting October 12, 2020

OCRA Secretary: Bill, N8BR

ORANGE COUNTY RADIO AMATEURS

Monthly Membership Meeting – October 12. 2020 – 7:30 pm

Platforms Utilized: OCRA UHF Repeater and Zoom.

MEETING CONVENED at 7:30 (N1LN):

OPENING REMARKS (N1LN): Good evening all. I am serving as host this evening in place of W4SAR, David, our club president who is presently unavailable. Before we begin, I want to review the following “house-keeping” items:

  1. The majority of the membership present at this meeting are participating through the OCRA UHF repeater. However, some of our members do not have UHF equipment and are joining us via Zoom. I want to emphasize that the primary mode of participation in our meetings is via the club’s UHF repeater and all members are urged to use that platform if possible.
  2. Members should not use repeater or zoom time to test station function. That task should be performed before signing on to the net.
  3. For those of you coming aboard with zoom please keep in mind that it is linked to transmit/receive functions of the repeater and, as such, must comply with FCC requirements for station identification and general operation.
  4. The attendance at most of our club meetings is sufficiently large that it is important to keep individual input as brief as possible during the open round-tables so meeting time can be most efficiently utilized.
  5.  All net input and video are being recorded so that information presented can be accurately included in meeting minutes.

MEMBER CHECK-IN (N1LN and KR4UB):

OCRA UHF REPEATER: KU4GC (Dee), WB1AJJ (Jonathon), W4CFO (Jim), KN4EOO (Richard), W4ORD (Ladd), KA1HPM (Nick), KM4MBG (Jack), KF4PAB (Lenore), K2RRT (Mark), KZ1X (Steve), N2XZF (Paul), KN4ZHP (Mike), KO4DHJ (Ken), KR4UB (Dan), and W4BOH (Wilson).

ZOOM: N8BR (Bill), NA4VY (Dave), KN4VXB (Aurora), W4SAR (David), KD4YJZ, (Karen), KN4QBZ (Fred), and KR4UB, (Dan).

TREASURER’S REPORT (Dan KR4UB): Current Club Membership stands at 115 (85 current active paid up members, 28 requiring renewal, 2 expiring, and 4 pending applications awaiting completion (dues). Twenty-six new members have been added during the past 12 months.

REPEATER REPORTS:

Northern Section (Dan, KR4UB): We have been hosting repairs for the 145.230 machine preparing it to go back on the air. Southern Section (Nick, KA1HPM): We have been working on our repeater and it should be up and running by the end of the month. Chatham EOC is getting building permits and firming up orders for new towers. Construction should begin in December and be completed by the end of January.

Presentation

KN4VXB (Aurora): The presentation tonight is about the recently founded OCRA Ham Pi group, a collection of hams who are interested in microcomputers such as raspberry Pi and Arduino as well as other single board computers and their possible applications in amateur radio. To date this group is comprised of 8-12 folks who have met together twice during the past couple of months. About half of the group is made up of new hams and the other half are more experienced folks. The projects they’re working on include a PTT switch for Zoom meetings, a QCX CW SDR transceiver with an antenna system and various power converters. If you are interested in joining this group please email Aurora.

MEMBERSHIP ROUNDTABLE:

KU4GC (Dee): Not much ham activity this time around. We are still disposing of lots of things from our clean-up and reorganization efforts. Many items have been contributed to the Scrap Exchange.

WB1AJJ (Jon): Not much new here. Work is chaotic and has been taking much of my time. I did manage to get the ICOM 6-meter rig repaired. I suggest more “show and tell” presentations for our meetings, but they are tough to arrange with Covid 19.

W4CFO (Jim): Has been working on a number of repeater projects with Dan and Nick.

KN4EOO (Richard): Has been working on his tractor. It dropped a rear wheel and had to be repaired. A lot of antifreeze was spilled in the process. He is in the process of testing the tractor. In addition he is also taking radio classes (EC16 and BR 101).

KA1HPM (Nick): Managed to get together with his extended family on the beach at Emerald Isle. He set up his HF rig with a Ham Stick antenna for 80 meters on the third floor balcony of their house. Using that gear he was able to access the Sunday night net that originates in Birmingham, Alabama. Additionally, he announced to us that The American Red Cross will be hosting an emergency drill in November which he will attend along with ~250 other participants.

KM4MBG (Jack): In his comments Jack stresses the fact that with the pandemic he is not doing a lot with ham radio, and places emphasis on the projects he wishes he was working on rather than telling us what projects he is actually doing. Among the things he mentioned was the fact that the pandemic is allowing him to spend more time at home and that has provided him with opportunities to do more cooking and more work with the nets. Noteworthy among his homebrew cuisines was a pasta dish with eggplant sauce which he and Lenore considered to be quite good. On the ham front he reports that he has received a shipment of parts for a field programmable gate array that he will be assembling shortly. Jack would like to have presentations on the new modes that are available for hams..

KF4PFB (Lenore): Among her comments Lenore reports that in the recent past she had not been very much involved with ham radio. On the other hand, she has spent more time working at home and taking cooking classes.

K2RRT (Mark): Mark is a new ham and is looking for a good antenna system for his rig. He has also obtained the parts to build a “shari” which is an all star link to put on the Pi 4. In addition, Mark is interested in linked repeaters and would like to talk to any club members who share that interest and understand how these systems work.

KZ1X (Steve): Steve is in the process of rebuilding his ham shack. This will be a major task that involves tearing down walls and performing a complete over haul of his space. In addition, he is planning a major addition to his tower including several new antennas.

N2XZF (Paul): Built a 10 meter J Pole antenna which worked very well. He also helped Dan KR4UB sort out the various signal ground pins on the Kenwood repeater external connector interface which as it turns out, all go to a common internal grount point (LOL!)

NA4VY (Dave): It is time to get up additional wire antennas, especially for 80 meters. Was out of town in Michigan last week and flew in a hot air balloon, While cleaning his basement found found a ten meter transceiver and antenna that he is willing to give to anyone needing HF gear. Suggested topic for presentations: Let the senior members of the club recall how they got involved in ham radio.

KN4ZHP (Mike): Has had success using Win-Link which would help with Red Cross exercises.

KO4DHJ (Ken): Checked into many nets. Is planning to move stuff from his shop and rebuild the shed.

KN4VXB (Aurora): 1. Has been active in the Ham Pi Group, 2. Learning to solder cables, 3. making a prototype Fox transmitter, 4. Learning ways to use Raspberry Pi to control cameras that are used in her graduate research, and 5. Learning to wind toroids.

W4SAR (David): Celebrated his 40th anniversary. Is preparing certificates for Field Day participants. Announced that holiday party plans coming soon. Thanked Bruce for being master of ceremonies for this meeting.

KB4YJZ (Karen): Eating lots of delicious seafood during her anniversary celebration with David.

KN4QBZ (Fred): 1. We’ve had our 50th anniversary and my wife again reminded me that there is no guarantee about what the future will bring so we gotta keep things going!! 2. Folks who are familiar with Winlink are a real asset for the Red Cross emergency exercise and their help would be most appreciated. A discussion of this process would be a good topic for another club program! 3. With regard to “Richard’s comments above about the tire leaking antifreeze solution—the solution for any pollution is dilution—that stuff is CaCl and it is toxic for grass. Dilution and flushing with water is the best way to take care of it!

N1LN (Bruce): As most club members are aware, over the past couple of years Bruce has been down sizing his contest antenna farm from a 4-tower monster with multiple monoband yagi’s to a smaller more manageable but almost equally powerful system using just two towers, each supporting a large multiband yagi. This has not only reduced the complexity of the overall antenna layout, but also the amount of both general maintenance and climbing required to keep the station in good repair. In addition, he has also reconfigured the indoor component of his station so it now houses one principal contest operating position instead of two. The equipment from the former second position has been replaced with a Heathkit DX-60 transmitter, HG-10 VFO and Hammarlund HQ129X receiver to be used for “pleasant memories from days of yore” type operating.

On a downside, the new antenna arrangement has caused some issues with Bruce’s management of the 10 meter OCRA net. Specifically, in the original system which utilized two or three 10 meter monoband yagis stacked together on a single tower it was possible for him to cover two or three different directions at the same time using a stack match. However, with the new set up in order to cover two different directions using multiband yagi antennas on separate towers requires switching rf from the antenna on one tower to another one pointed in a different direction on another tower, To make the process simpler and more efficient Bruce has built a switching/matching system that permits him to simultaneously drive the 10 meter functions of the two antennas pointed in different directions at the same time. The system has been put into operation and is now working as hoped.

KR4UB (Dan): Dan has ordered a Pi 4 and is looking forward to using it. He is also hosting the 145.230 repeater build. In addition, he and Mark KR3AM have been instrumental in the development and implementation of the hybrid repeater/Zoom platform OCRA has currently been using for its club membership to access virtual meetings during the COV 19 pandemic. Under most circumstance the preferred mechanism for accessing non face-to-face club meetings would be only via the repeaters. But, given the significant number of folks who do not have vhf and uhf equipment to access these machines the hybrid platform can be effectively used,

Dan has also been managing the implementation of the hybrid format. And, while it has been effective in bringing club members together during these difficult times, it has been eminently clear that its effectiveness depends on club members’ efforts to learn and practice the procedures necessary to successfully use it. To address that issue Dan is recommending that all potential users go to the club website and select any one of the following three buttons: (Members), (Meetings) or (Nets), and read the article “About OCRA Club Meetings, Nets and Zoom. Questions about any of this information may be addressed to Dan

W4BOH (Wilson): Wilson is anxious to have show and tell back! He is willing to present a show and tell about his restoration of a 1934 Chevy truck.

W4ORD (Ladd): Lost several trees in the storm and while dropping one of them took out his antenna. He will need help pitting the antenna back up. The exchange club is still available for a Christmas party.

 

MEETING ADJOURNED AT 8:45 pm

WLB/DE/s

OCRA Monthly Club Meeting Minutes – August 10, 2020

Monthly Membership Club Meeting Minutes – August 10. 2020 by Bill, N8BR Club Secretary

Meeting convened at 7:30 By David, W4SAR Platforms Utilized: Repeater and Zoom

Members Present: W4SAR Dave, KB1WE Wayne, KR3AM Mark, KA1HPM Nick, N2XZF Paul, W4BOH Wilson, AC4RD Ken, W3AHL Steve, N8BR Bill, WA4AHR Dewey, KO4DHJ Ken, KU4GC Dee, N1LN Bruce, KM4MBG Jack, W4KIL Andy, KI4MXP Gerald, WB4OSU Sherry, N4KF Ken, KN4EOO Rick, KF4PAB Lenore, N1YXU Laurie, KR4UB Dan, KD4YJZ Karen, KZ1X Steve, KN4VXB Aurora, NC4CD Charlie, N4JQR J.R., KO4EJX Steve

Treasurer’s Report (Dan KR4UB): Current Club Membership stands at 111 (82 active paid up members, 28 requiring renewal, and 1 expiring). 3 folks are awaiting volunteer exam session). 21 new members have been added during the past 12 months.

Program Introduction: (David, W4SAR): Tonight’s program was a presentation by one of our club members, Aurora KN4VXB. Aurora has been active in a number of our events. In June she made a serious contribution to club efforts during Field Day when she single-handedly spearheaded its effort to make a two-way contact with one of the amateur radio satellites. And, more recently in August she organized and hosted a fox hunt for the club. In tonight’s program she will tell us in detail about the two parts of that event.

OCRA Foxhunt (Aurora KN4VXB): In Aurora’s words this activity was inspired by the non-conventional format of field day this year as well as Aurora’s own desire to learn about radio direction finding. It was her first experience with the technology. Primary “Elmers” were Steve K1ZX who provided the fox beacon, and Dan KR4UB who volunteered to be the “fox”.

I am also including a link of the article written about the fox hunt by KR4UB after actually participating in the event itself. It is on the OCRA website at:

Who were those masked folks at the August 1st Foxhunt?

Further, the link to one of the foxes hunted on the foot search is:
https://www.byonics.com/mf

Finally, the Fox Hunt KC9ON Fox Hunt version 6 kit Aurora used is at:

Fox Hunt V6

Following the presentation Aurora held a question and answer session with the membership.

Comments (David W4SAR): Thanks to Aurora for a marvelous presentation. Thanks also to Dan for his help.

Award for Outstanding Service to the Club by New Member:

One of our club members who wishes to remain anonymous has given a gift to the club in the form of dues for one year to be awarded to a new club member for their outstanding service to the club. This year that award is going to Aurora KN4VXB. Congratulations!

Club-wide Discussion and Commentary:

W3AHL Steve: I am in the process of preparing for a trip to New Mexico some time in the future but being hampered by some difficulty with my vehicle.

WA4AHR Dewey: I appreciated Aurora’s talk. Would like to participate in a fox hunt. He will do it another time.

KO4DHJ Ken: Thanks to Aurora. I really enjoy the club.

KU4GC Dee: Aurora did a wonderful job. The material on the raspberry Pi is interesting.

N1LN Bruce: Two things. 1. I joined the virtual hamfest online this past weekend and there was a wonderful session on the K4. The first shipments will be the end of August. 2. This coming weekend is the NA QSO party on SSB.

W4KIL Andy: Nothing to add. I am enjoying what is going on.

WB4OSU Sherry: I did a zoom-build with Aurora. We built an antenna and I learned a lot. The stuff with raspberry pi is interesting. Also enjoyed learning N1MM for field day.

N4KF Ken: I am new to the club and have enjoyed the comments. My home is in Hillsborough.

KN4EOO Rick: I enjoyed the presentation. I am currently taking on-line courses.

N1YXU Laurie: I’ve been helping Bruce take his antennas down. Thanks to Aurora for a great presentation.

KR4UB Dan: Many thanks to Aurora. I am looking forward to the upcoming sessions on raspberry pi and other microcontrollers. I want to learn more.

KD4YJZ Karen: I am interested in the QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo. I wasn’t able to get on, especially the segment on remote operating. Can we get a copy of what’s going on?

KB1WE Wayne: Hello all! A great presentation tonight by Aurora. I have built some fox hunt stuff and will send along the details. Especially on directional antennas.

KA1HPM Nick: Aurora I appreciate your efforts. This is encouraging to hear about! There are 3 Volunteer examiners in Chatham County now. Perhaps they can run some VE sessions with us. Our 2 meter duplexers are finished and ready to put into cabinets now.

N2XZF Paul: A new DFMA 6 meter repeater is now on the air at TV Hill in Durham. Program your radio to receive 53.630 MHz and transmit on 52.630 MHz with a 88.5Hz PL. All are invited to check in to the weekly 6 meter net on Wednesdays at 8:30pm. Bob, K4VO is net control.

W4BOH Wilson: Chris was with us helping neighbors put up a repeater to boost signals for the cell phone. The subscription is through T Mobile. He also has an antenna on his field day tower. Has some updated information on the tape measure antenna.

N4JQR J.R.: Hello All! Great Meeting.

Adjournment W4SAR David: The club just keeps going in spite of numerous distractions. Good Evening all! Meeting Adjourned.

OCRA Monthly Membership Meeting – July 13, 2020

from Bill N8BR, OCRA Secretary….

ORANGE COUNTY RADIO AMATEURS
Monthly Membership Meeting – July 13, 2020 MINUTES

Convened at 7:30pm by Dave, W4SAR – 442.150 Repeater Net & Zoom Video Conference

Members Present: N8BR, Bill; WA2JLW, Roy; WA4AHR, Dewey; W3AHL, Steve; KN4EOO, Rick; W4BOH, Wilson; KA1HPM, Nick; KU4GC, Dee; KO4DHJ, Ken; KA5ETS, Doug; N1LN, Bruce; KC1BVL, Robbey; KM4MBG, Jack; KI4MXP, Gerald; W4KIL, Andy; WB4OSU,  Sherri; KW4JY, Calvin; W4ORD, Lad; N4SJW, John; KD4YJZ, Karen; KZ1X, Steve; KN4ZHP, Mike; NA4VY, Dave; KJ4VWG, Sam; KN4VXB, Aurora; N2XZF, Paul; N1YXU, Laurie; KR3AM, Mark; W4SAR, David; KR4UB, Dan

Dan, KR4UB – Treasurer’s Report: We now have 85 club members with dues current and 27 needing to renew their membership. 25 new members have joined the club over the past 12 months. A new power supply and SCOM repeater controller needed to deploy the 145.230 repeater in Chatham County has been purchased. Nick, KA1HPM is modifying the cabinet for better mounting of the equipment and Steve, W3AHL is in process of retuning the duplexer.

Dave, W4SAR – President’s Report on Field Day: In a normal year field day is a combined effort between the members of OCRA and DFMA. This year, owing to the Covid19 pandemic, folks participating in this event were encouraged to operate from their homes. In past years these “D” category stations were not permitted to earn credit for contacts with other stations operating in that category. However, this year the ARRL relaxed that requirement and allowed the “D” group operators to earn credit for contacts made with all operating classes.

Further, all members of a recognized club who are operating in the event are required to submit individual scores along with verification of their club affiliation instead of having their clubs submit a total club score on their members’ behalf. Be sure to enter “Orange County Radio Amateurs & Durham FM Association” in the Club/Group Name Field. So, this year The ARRL will combine the points earned by each member of a recognized club and post the club totals. This makes it absolutely necessary for each of us who participated in field day to submit a score by no later than July 28th.

Please mark your calendars so this deadline will be met!! If assistance is needed with the preparation of a log, please let me know so arrangements may be made to get this task completed.

Relevant to this discussion. David is preparing certificates for OCRA and DFMA participants in Field Day. To date 42 participants have indicated their involvement. Please make certain that you have made him aware of your involvement.

Club-Wide Discussion of Field Day:
Bruce, N1LN: This was a great event. Congratulations to all participants, Laurie and I worked together. She used SSB and I was on CW. We shared a single rig and alternated modes for the entire contest. It was a wonderful opportunity for Class D stations.

Pluses for this year’s format:

  • 100 watts. This power level proved to be a great advantage for running stations—a big boost over the normal QRP efforts we made in past years.
  • Reduce the number towers, power distribution, complexity, etc that must be set-up, then torn down which is very tiring given the summer heat. More time and energy left to operate.

Minuses for this year’s format:

  • No potluck on Friday night. That get-together was important and a highlight of FD.
  • Problem solving activities associated with set up that fostered lots of valuable interactions.

Suggestions for the future: Should have lower than 9A category for the club. Too many stations and not enough operators. Should run 100 watts.

David, W4SAR: Shares Bruce’s sentiments. Misses the potluck.

Wilson. W4BOH: Enjoyed field day! Agrees with Bruce’s suggestions that we go lower than 9A and above 5 watts. Is continuing his activities with old radios and animals.

Dan, KR4UB; Enjoyed field day. Supports Bruce’s notion of less than 9A and above 5 watts for next year. Believes field day is a great medium for mentoring new members and teaching a wide variety of skills that are useful in many aspects of the hobby. Enjoyed the video conferencing that was set up for field day and was a great motivator watching Bruce, Laurie, and others working into the night. That motivation led to 287 FT-8 contacts for 1198 points total.

Nick, KA1HPM: Nick and his son (KN4QBY) worked field day together from home. Nick Jr, learned radio and they both had fun. They will both be submitting logs. They were disappointed in the logging program and did not know how a dupe sheet is supposed to be used in log submission.

Lad, W4ORD: Operated field day out of his trailer using battery power. They got a late start. A 20 meter sloper was used as an antenna which worked well on 20. 40, and 15. Solar power was used during the day. The triband beam they were planning to use fell down but new parts are being installed to make repairs.

Aurora, KN4VXB: Believes that many new hams out there want to learn about the practical aspects of the hobby such as equipment set-up, antenna installation, etc. So it is important to include them in the setting up for field day and other events. She worked hard to make a satellite contact during FD but couldn’t get through the pile ups. Between now and the next field day she will practice making satellite contacts so next time she will succeed!

Jack, KM4MBG: Enjoys the Friday night events at field day and enjoys putting together the stations and antennas.

Andy, WA4KIL: Only 15 FD log submissions have been made so far. Those still outstanding should be submitted to the ARRL ASAP!

Ken, KO4DHJ: Ken, a new ham, enjoys set up and take down in events like FD. Please keep him in the loop.

Sherry, WB4OSU: FD this year was a bit weird, but it was nice to stay in house. She made 470 points. She had to learn to configure and use N1MM for logging, but it was a good experience and worked well. Old antennas that she had previously abandoned worked well for field day. Her 5 watts seemed to work pretty well and she is looking forward to the next contest.

Doug, KA5ETS: He needs to submit his logs. 112 digital contacts were made. Good Zoom and a good time.

Dave, W4SAR: His vertical antenna was broken, but he was able to figure out how to do FT8 and had a ball using it.

Lad, W4ORD: Last year we had an outstanding caterer for the Christmas Party. If we want to use him this year we have to make a reservation and need to decide on a location. We can go ahead with that and just put it on hold until our plans solidify.

Wilson, W4BOH: Apparently the Bahai’ facility is available but our regular hall in Hillsborough would be closer. The idea of having a potluck has been floated. What do folks feel about that?

Laurie, N1YVU: Thanks to Lad and Wilson for your work and suggestions. There has been talk about the possibility of a potluck. Be assured that our members provide well-honed skills good service and great food. Plus, there is the possibility of getting them to prepare a cookbook.

Dan, KR4UB: Supports the idea of a potluck. That would also provide a better level of socialization for the event and, if the pandemic causes a last minute disruption, it will be easier to respond accordingly.

Lad, W4ORD: I can certainly support a potluck. Either way is fine with me.

Bill, N8BR: I support the idea of a potluck. The folks in this group prepare wonderful food, appetizers and desserts. Thumbs up for that!

Paul, N2XZF: I like the idea of the cookbook!

Aurora, KN4VXC: Just a reminder of her earlier announcement concerning the Fox Hunt on August 1. There will be both morning and afternoon events, and if you are interested in either one or both please let her know.

Nick, KA1HPM: Update on repeater towers in Chatham County. It turns out that the planned Moncure tower is in the approach path of the Lee County Airport. In the FAA permitting process it was determined that the original planned 350’ height can only be 270’ in height due to its location in the flight path. The search is on for alternative locations, one being the use of an existing water tank with a tower extension to achieve the desired height. More news later.

Hearing no further comments the meeting was adjourned by net control Dave, W4SAR.

OCRA General Membership Over the Air Meeting June 10,2020

In compliance with The State of North Carolina’s revised health requirements for preventing the spread of Corvid-19, this meeting could not assemble at our normal gathering place in Efland, NC. Instead it was replaced by a virtual event that made use of the 442.150MHz repeater and ZOOM. This novel functional linking together of a club repeater with Zoom, a popular and widely used video conferencing platform, made it possible for all members of the club to both attend and participate in a virtual meeting. The club gives its special thanks to Dan, KR4UB, our treasurer/website manager, and Mark, KR3AM for spearheading and providing continuing support for this initiative.

MEETING (7:30 PM): The meeting was convened at 7:30 P.M. by club president David W4SAR. The check-in process proceeded smoothly. Callsigns from 32 stations attending stations were recognized.

Introductory Announcements:

  1. Dan KR4UB: We currently have 105 members on the club roster, 75 of which have paid up dues. In addition, new apps have been placed on the club website. One of these is for Zoom conferencing. The club has purchased a site license to use this product
  1. David W4SAR: The club is looking for ways to continue offering its program of volunteer-administered license testing for members in the wake of the pandemic. One approach to solving this problem might be to search out opportunities for collaboration with other clubs to accomplish this important function remotely in a shared fashion. David also reaffirmed that the club will continue to practice social distancing in all of its activities. .

Discussion:

  1. David W4SAR: The main topic for this meeting is to discuss how the club’s participation in field day will be impacted by the recent rule changes proposed and adopted for the event by the ARRL. Before launching that discussion It is important to recall that the rule changes were made to encourage and allow broadened participation of League members and clubs from their home stations rather than stations grouped together in a “field” setting which has traditionally been the desired format. In fact, in past years club rules have dictated that participating stations operating from their homes and obtaining power from commercial mains (Category “D” stations) could only earn contact points for exchanges with traditional non-D stations operating in the field. The new rules recently placed in effect only for field day 2020 permit category ”D” stations to work and earn contact points through exchanges with all other categories of stations participating in the event.
  1. Questions and Comments from Membership

This section contains a synopsis of the commentary offered by club members following David’s introduction.

  1. Wilson W4BOH – Offered operating space to anyone wishing to set up a station at his home. This kind offer is a continuation of Wilson’s generous hosting of the field day operations for OCRA and DFMA members for many years.
  2. Howie WA4PSC – Offered to provide an Elecraft KX3 for someone needing an HF rig for SSB or CW operation in the contest.
  3. Aurora KN4VXB — Announced her interest in making satellite contacts during Field day. She would like to work with others to build a station capable of doing that. One of her planned projects is to build a tape measure antenna for satellite work.
  4. Bill N8BR – Offered the use of his IC7300 for someone needing an HF rig for CW or SSB operation during the contest.
  5. Bruce N1LN – Offered suggestions on how the club might best organize its overall effort during this year’s revised event. Historically speaking field day efforts involving DFMA / OCRA groups during past years have been highly coordinated. Stations for each band have been planned, organized, equipped, set-up and staffed under the tutelage of a Band captain who has overseen its operation throughout the entire weekend event, and ultimately helped our club president in the preparation of a composite club log for submission to the ARRL. However, the operation we are contemplating for this year is comprised of a group of autonomous stations separated by relatively long distances each focused on earning as many points as possible in a contest effort for which many of us have little experience. There are no band captains to organize operators, attend to equipment needs, design and set up stations for individual bands, or coordinate logging. Many of us may be very good operators but are lacking in the knowledge or equipment needed to get the whole job done. To help to alleviate some of these issues I am volunteering to contact those of you planning to operate in FD to determine any equipment needs you may have or special assistance you may need to get your planned operations up and running. That information will be posted on the club website. We also need to know what resources you might have available to help others participate more effectively in this effort. Please note that we have only about 2 weeks to not only get our planning done but to implement it as well.
  6. David W4SAR: As a point of clarification, logging for field day operations this year will be done and submitted to the ARRL on an individual basis by each participating category D station wishing to contribute to a club score. Please study the current rules for field day and procedures for submitting logs found at ARRL.org or on your club website. In order for your QSO’s to count toward our combined club score please indicate your affiliation with OCRA/DFMA when you submit your log.

After a number of closing comments the meeting adjourned at 9:17 PM.

Bill N8BR/s

OCRA Club Over-the-Air Meeting 442.150 Repeater with Audio Linked Zoom Conference

Monday, May 11th, 2020
7:30pm to 8:30pm
Description:
Our next monthly membership meeting for OCRA will be Monday, May 11 at 7:30 pm.  Since Orange County still restricts all gatherings to 10 persons or less, the Efland Baha’i Center remains closed.

We will hold the meeting over the W4UNC 442.150+ repeater, PL 131.8

Additionally, we will have a Zoom meeting held simultaneously, so that those who cannot access the repeater may still participate. We have been experimenting with audio links between Zoom and the repeater, so it should work well.

Hope to hear you there!

See the OCRA Club Meeting Notice posted on the OCRA/DFMA groups.io Message Board for the OCRA Zoom Video Conference Log-in Information.

73,

Dave Snyder, W4SAR

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OCRA Board Meeting Minutes – April 7th, 2020

Meeting Held by Video Conference

Present:

  • Dave W4SAR
  • Karen KD4YJZ
  • Bill N8BR
  • Nick KA1HPM
  • Dee KU4GC
  • Dan KR4UB
  • Wilson W4BOH

Agenda for Monday April 13th Over-the-Air Club Meeting

  • Monday’s Meeting will take place on the repeater—it will provide membership an opportunity to communicate in a round table discussion. To make it work will require a well-controlled management. Dave will direct the meeting.
  • Dan will review membership. There are now 72 members in the club. 20 are new. A high number need to pay dues, but these folks will not be identified to the club in an open meeting. However, our website will have a corrected current list of paid up members.
  • Nick will comment on the activities of Chatham Auxcom. That organization is on standby with a 48 hour notification of activities. They are not holding meetings at the EOC due to Covid-19 social gathering restrictions.

Following Dan’s enquiry Dee announced that DurHamFest for this year has been cancelled. Durham schools are closed for the rest of the current school year.

Dave announced that VEC duties with exams are on hold for now. This is a good thing since the exam team is in general composed of older folks who are most severely affected by the virus. ARRL is talking about the use of remote testing but in the mean time we will follow local regulations that currently govern meeting location and size of meetings.

A discussion of the current status of field day ensued. As of now the regulations are the same as they were last year, and will remain so until the ARRL makes a final decision. Dave believes the event will likely be cancelled. Discussion ensued concerning the potential problems involved with activities such as decontamination of mikes, keys and operating positions for participating stations as well as maintenance of social distancing issues. Dan will solicit comments on field day from the club.

Dan suggested that he has thoroughly enjoyed the few events that the club has presented by video conferencing, and suggested that we consider using more of this technology to both promote our club to potential new members as well as to better serve existing ones. His comments catalyzed considerable enthusiasm among the group. Specific suggestions that arose from the discussion included using this technology to:

  1. Recruit new club members
  2. Broaden participation at meetings by members living too far away to permit regular attendance
  3. Engage speakers from other clubs and relevant organizations to give presentations at our meetings without asking them to travel long distances.
  4. To present our club members with opportunities to more effectively collaborate with their counterparts in contesting, dxing, operating, public service and other important areas of our hobby.

The foregoing discussions culminated in the unanimous decision by this committee to present the membership with a motion to:

“Empower Dan, KR4UB, our website administrator,

  1. to research the basic strategies our club should use in order to most  effectively interface its mission with current best practice technologies for video conferencing.
  2. supervise the allocation of club funds to acquire the equipment, supplies, and subscriptions needed for the club to be able to utilize these technologies”.

Bill, N8BR – Club Secretary

OCRA Monthly Meeting – Monday April 13th @ 7:30pm via the 442.150 Repeater. NO Meeting @ Efland Baha’i Center

As the Efland Baha’i Center remains closed due to the State and County directives that will not permit gatherings, we will hold our monthly OCRA meeting over the air on the W4UNC repeater (442.150+, 131.8 PL). This will be via a directed net, similar in format to the AUXCOMM/ARES nets held on Saturday mornings, I as club president who usually runs the meetings, will act as net control, with someone else as a back up. We will commence this net at 7:30 pm on Monday, April 13.

When checking in, give your call sign and name only, I ask that we dispense with the “what I’ve done with ham radio lately comments” we usually do with introductions, we’ll have rag chew opportunities later in the net.

After all attendees are checked in, we will have brief officer’s reports. We will have brief pauses for any members to make queries or give brief comments, via the net control.

Our agenda at this time is:

AUXCOMM/ARES

Volunteer Exams

Field Day

Any other items?

There will be a pause after each agenda item, again for any member queries or comments, going through the net control.

Following the completion of the agenda, we will have a roll call checkout, as we do with the Saturday nets, where members who wish to continue a rag chew are welcome to do so.

Hope to talk to many of you there, stay safe all!

73,

Dave Snyder, W4SAR

DFMA Club Over-the-Air Meeting, Tuesday April 7th at 7pm

DFMA will not be having in-person meetings until further notice due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fortunately, our hobby supports communicating from a distance. Instead of our usual monthly meeting at Bullock’s, we’ll have a special net. The net will be at 7pm on April 7th, our usual meeting time, on the linked 145.45- and 147.225+ repeaters (both have a PL tone of 82.5). You can also check-in over the Internet via Echolink/SVXLink to the WR4AGC-R node. The format of the net will be check-ins (in place of our usual introductions), officer reports, and a rag chew round table discussion.

Jack, KM4MBG, 4/3/20

OCRA-DFMA Saturday Morning Breakfast, rather Video Conference

from Jack, KM4MBG & Chris, KK4VBE

Reminder tomorrow, April 4th, after the 9:30am Orange County Auxcomm net on the 442.150 repeater

There will be a Saturday morning video conference to help fill the void left by the cancelation of our celebrated ham breakfasts due to the Covid-19 pandemic. That net usually doesn’t last long, so we’ll try to start at 9:45am local time.

Directions for Joining:

Make sure you have a computer with good microphone and speakers (a headset often works well). There is no software to install. Use your web browser to go to URL address posted in the video conference announcement note on the OCRA-DFMA Joint Email list at the appointed time.

Thanks to Chris, KK4VBE, for hosting the server. Hope to see y’all online.

And more from Chris,

If you do not have a computer with a camera and or mic but have a smartphone you can still join in on the video call. You will need to install the Jitsi app form the app/play store.

IOS App Link https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/jitsi-meet/id1165103905
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.jitsi.meet

Then at the appointed time click the link in the recently posted note on the OCRA-DFMA Joint Email list and your web browser will open and give you the option to launch the app.

73, Chris KK4VBE

Earlier note from Jack, KM4MBG,

  • WHO: As some of you know, there are various HAM groups in the area that meet on Saturday mornings for breakfast.
  • WHAT: At least one of these groups organized a virtual meeting March 28th among themselves. We had also talked about doing a virtual meeting on the DMFA net.
  • WHEN: Originally, I had called for the club’s virtual breakfast meeting to be at the same time as one of these other gatherings, but decided to defer to next Saturday, April 4th.
  • WHY: Those of use who are not introverted [1] need some socialization time. In addition, those of us who are not working from home or are unhappy with the remote collaboration tools that our workplace is using, wanted an excuse to play with technology.
  • WHERE: This wasn’t asked, but it fits the theme. For the first meeting, we’ll be using the Jitsi Meet browser application. I’ll send out more details and a reminder next week.

Many thanks Jack & Chris!

It was the night before Christmas and….

It was the night before Christmas and ….

Oh, No, No, No!!!!

It was Saturday morning before Christmas, 2019, and seven local hams were gathered at the rear round table of Virlie’s Grill, Pittsboro, NC. Just the week before, John Mitchell, KK4VUR had distributed early Christmas gifts of nice surplus utility enclosures. BIG THANKS to John, KK4VUR !

As part of the lively discussion this morning, Herb Allred, N4HA, revealed what he has already done with his utility box. Attached are photos of his “to go” station, with carrying handle attached to the top, containing his 20 meter CW QRP transceiver, antenna wire, iambic paddle, headphones and battery pack. The first photo shows Herb Alred, N4HA, on the left and Jim Davis, W4CFO, on the right. Note the use of popsicle sticks to secure the key paddle inside the lid of the box.

Very creative and ready to put on the air, maybe at a state park. Add a sandwich, drink and a few snacks in the box, (note the ketchup and maple syrup in the photo), and he is in for a good time.

Good luck Herb with many contacts and some DX. 20 meters has been better lately.

Don’t forget, Saturday mornings, 8:30 am (or earlier) at Virlie’s Grill, Pittsboro, NC (round table in the back of the room).

Best 73 and very MERRY CHRISTMAS to all and HAPPY NEW YEAR !

John, KX4P

OCRA Membership Meeting – July 8, 2019

Dave, W4SAR, club president opened the meeting with introductions, the topic for tonight’s meeting being Field Day results and call for officer reports.  In attendance tonight were 8 license-seeking candidates, one of our largest membership meeting testing groups.

Dan, KR4UB, treasurer reported 73 members are current with their dues with 26 members needing renewal. Club treasury balance is in line with ongoing expenses.

Nick, KA1HPM, stated two towers near Lowes hardware in Chatham County exist with antenna and feed-line.  Steve, W3HAL, and Dan, KR4UB, would assist in assessing the possibility of usage.

Field Day Results:

Dave, W3SAR, provided a Field Day point breakdown, and will post final results on this    website soon.  The unofficial count was 2997 QSO points, with 1727 QSO points awarded multipliers for a total of 14,985 points.  We had less points this year, but propagation was poor, except for 40 Meter.

Steve, KZ1X, proposed running 100 Watts rather than 5 Watts next year. While QRP, or low power…5 Watts, gets you multipliers, 100 Watts would allow more stations to hear, which would be more fun. Additionally, if sun spot activity is nearing a null, then 100 Watts may a sound strategy for the next couple of years.

Wilson gave thanks to Steve, W3AHL, for doing a great job on the N1MM network.  Steve, W3AHL, stated the 10 dedicated computers along with static IP addresses provided more resiliency and up time than last year. Wilson also appreciated John, KM4MDR, for doing a wonderful job managing the food preparation and service…at a’boys!

Additional Notes:

Dan, KR4UB, stated Phillips High School still has an antenna and transceiver used from an earlier ISS contact needing reclamation.  If interested in assisting, please leave a reply!

Finally, Dan, KR4UB, will present FT8 at the next DFMA meeting!

OCRA Board Meeting – July 2019

Attendance:

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

Treasurer Report:

The checking and saving balances are in line with ongoing expenses. The pre-pay meal approach proved again very successful with 47 dinners and 34 breakfasts.  The more accurate head count for purchasing and preparing meals left little food with a net income of $93.

Field Day:

A big thank you to Wilson W4BOH and his family for hosting, John KM4MDR for providing Friday lunch and facilitating meal preperation, and all the other OCRA/DFMA members who assisted with set up, operation, and tear down.

Notable events:

  • Weather was very extremely favorable throughout the event
  • Computer network was reliable, thanks to Steve W3HAL efforts
  • The digi stations has some difficulty operating from the garage.  Will need to identify opportunities for another location next year.
  • Progation was very good with contacts made in Washington, California, and Hawaii
  • Satellite proved difficult as power overload from a few sites made contacts difficult for others
  • Consider using FT8 for kid contacts to avoid “mic fright”
  • Estimated contact points was 15,160, with bonus points was 17,310.
  • Further discussion need regarding Friday’s lunch as pre-pay

Please add your Field Day pictures and comments to the site.  We would enjoy sharing in your special moments.

Steve purchased automated external defibrillator (AED) battery and pads, which should be good for the next couple of years.

Nick KA1HPM secured call sign KAM for a special event station to honor Hiram Percy Maxim 150 birthday, co-founder of the ARRL.  The two day special event will take place September 2, from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM.  Mark your calendars now!