OCRA Board Meeting Minutes – April 7th, 2020

Meeting Held by Video Conference


  • 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 Board Meeting – July 2019


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!



OCRA Board Meeting Minutes 04/22/19

OCRA Board Meeting Minutes 4/22/19

Attending:Wilson W4BOH, Nick KA1HPM, Lad W4ORD, Karen KD4YJZ, Dave W4SAR, Steve W3AHL, Dan KR4UB, Dee KU4GC.

President, Dave W4SAR, called meeting  to order at 7:00pm

Treasurer: Dan KR4UB, gave the current treasury balance and membership status. The checking and saving balances are in line with ongoing expenses. 68 member’s dues are current with 28 members needing renewal. He suggested dues renewal be focused on at the next club meeting. 14 new members have joined the club over the past year.

Then Dan gave the Annual Financial Report for OCRA.  It showed a modest increase over the previous year. Insurance, PO Box and safe deposit box rental were regular unavoidable expenses. He also noted that pre-pay worked well for both Field Day and the Christmas Dinner.  We came out ahead for Field Day and came out about even for the Christmas meeting except that the club paid for the Exchange Club rental. A motion was made and passed unanimously to accept the report.

Dan presented the report using a brand new video projector.   There had been plans for the OCRA and DFMA clubs to jointly purchase a projector for meeting use.  However, Jimmy Dixon KF4KHU, made a gift of a brand new projector to DFMA and this was the first shared use of this great new asset.

It was reported that the aborted Bouvet DXpedition gave a partial refund to donors.  (Both clubs had sent $410 with each club’s treasury providing $200 in “matching” funds and respective members providing $210.)  OCRA’s net (PayPal charges deducted) refund was $192 or approximately 47%. Donors can request a 47% percent refund or they can leave their share in the club treasury (thank you!).

Dan also discussed using the web site and its database capabilities for hams to list their interests, any areas needing assiatance and participating in the joint OCRA/DFMA Field Day. Provisions have been made for members of both clubs to enter their information.

In addition, provision has been made for currently licensed, non DFMA or OCRA members to participate who meet one of the following criteria:

  • Current or future planned participation in OCRA, DFMA or Chatham AuxComm training and emergency exercise activity.
  • Current or future planned participation in the combined OCRA/DFMA ARRL Field Day Event

Licensed amateurs, not a member of the OCRA or DFMA, but desiring to list their interests may do so by by attending the next OCRA or DFMA meeting and complete an interest/assistance needed sheet and if desired an OCRA/DFMA Field Day participation sign up sheet. This can also be done on the OCRA website by clicking on “Members, Interest Registry Signup to Apply for OCRA Interest Registry Listing.

Hamfests: Dee KU4GC reported on the club tables at RARSfest.  He expressed some disappointment in participation in the club table from both clubs  Main income to OCRA was from the gift of a non-member. With rare exceptions people did not bring anything to sell. (A large part of DFMA income also was due to a gift from a non-member).  The net income to OCRA after paying for the tables was $34. (There is yet one big item from the gift to be sold that could provide additional income.)

Dee announced DurHamFest is on May 25th, the Saturday of  Memorial Day weekend. Dave W4SAR has registered the VE session and will again coordinate that.  Wilson, W4BOH will again produce delicious BOH-burgers on the grill. MK W4MKR and Dee KU4GC will take care of food logistics.

Auxcomm/ARES: Steve W3AHL announced that the Tar Heel 10 Miler had no ham involvement this year.

Repeaters: Nick KA1HPM, reported on activities in Chatham county.  There will be a ham antenna at 230’ on the 300’ tower. Provisions for ham antennas have been planned for all coming towers.

Dan KR4UB reported that OCRA has an almost new Comprod 2M antenna (never installed) which could be sold at a good price to an interested party.

Field Day: Dave, W4SAR reported that nice laptops were donated for Field Day use through the efforts of Adam Caudill WX4WNC. They are Lenovo T440’s with 128Gb SSDs.  The Windows 10 systems still need update to the Bios and Drivers.  A general discussion about Field Day computers and logging ensued.

New Business: Lad W4ORD asked if we want to continue to use the  Exchange Club even if we go to a potluck format. The consensus was “yes”.

Meeting Adjourned (~ 8:30pm)

Submitted by Dee KU4GC

OCRA Board Meeting – February 25, 2019


Steve (W3AHL), Dave (W4SAR), Karen (KD4YJZ), Bill (N8BR), Wilson (W4BOH), Dan (KR4UB), Dee (KU4GC), Keith (W1KES)

Treasurer report

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.

DurHam Fest

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

OCRA Board Meeting – January 28, 2019


Dave (W4SAR), Karen (KD4YJZ), Wilson (W4BOH), Steve (W3AHL), Lad (W4ORD), Keith (W1KES)

Program Development

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:

  1. Understanding coax options and appropriate use
  2. Soldiering techniques
  3. Creating and connecting Anderson power poles.

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.


OCRA Board Meeting Draft Minutes – December 20, 2020

Executive Board Meeting – December 20, 2020 – 7:30 pm

Platforms Utilized: Zoom.


OFFICERS PRESENT: W4SAR David, (President); KR4UB Dan, (Treasurer); N8BR Bill, (Secretary); KD4YDJ Karen, (Board Member); N1LN Bruce, (Board Member Nominee); W4CFO Jim, (OCRA Member); W4ORD Ladd, (Vice President); KU4GC Dee, (Board Member); KA1HPM Nick (Board Member); KM4MBG Jack, (DFMA President)

(W4SAR) Dave:

Welcome. Call to order. The agenda for this meeting includes: Board actions needed for scheduling its meetings, officer reports, sponsorship of NCQP, club elections, discussion of repeater code of conduct, ARES, Field Day, club by-laws, establishment of a board committee to oversee and manage its repeaters, development of up-dated job descriptions for club officers and disbursement of funds for club projects.

Scheduling of Board Meetings:

Following extensive discussion, the board voted unanimously to schedule all of its regular meetings for the upcoming year on the second Tuesday of the month.

Club By-Laws:

Dan has located the original OCRA Articles of Incorporation filed with the NC Department of the Secretary of State August 11th, 1992 and the existing bylaws last revised and approved by the membership on December 6th, 1993. These documents filed in a different era, are in need of updating to ensure the executive board and club member volunteers performing duties on the behalf of OCRA are covered by our current insurance policy. The current insurance policy includes coverage exclusions which at best are ambiguious and needs to be reviewed and evaluated by legal-council so appropriate changes can be considered and adopted.

Club Officer and Board Member Roles and Responsibilities:

All board members, officers and other attendees at this meeting enthusiastically supported the need to develop clearly defined job descriptions for club officers and board members. Numerous suggestions were floated concerning what the actual duties of each officer should be. Furthermore, they supported the notion that roles and responsibilities of both DFMA officers and board members and their OCRA counterparts should be designed to foster cooperation between the two clubs and be agreed upon by both. In that context it was proposed that the vice presidents of each club be responsible for coordinating field day, as well as programs for club meetings and liaison functions between clubs. David Snyder (W4SAR) has agreed to prepare a draft proposal of these job descriptions for presentation at the next full membership meeting.

Establishment of a Board Committee to Oversee and Manage Club Repeaters:

Over recent years repeater use by club members has increased dramatically and repeater infrastructure has been expanding. During that time many of the managerial duties necessary to keep our machinery operating were carried out by Dan, KR4UB. While repeaters remain high on Dan’s list of favorite things, the existing club responsibilities such as treasurer, webmaster for the OCRA website, b page, involvement in club recruitment, and secretary of DFMA is too much. At the end of the current year, he will step down the repeater manager role.

Recognizing that the growth that is planned in our repeater systems and the need for more dedicated help in that area, our Executive Committee has voted unanimously to establish a Repeater Committee. This group will be comprised of Nick (KA1HPM-Chair), Dan (KR4UB), and Jim (W4CFO). The first action of this newly formed committee will be to establish its rules, duties and responsibilities.

Development of a Code of Conduct for Users of Our Club Repeaters:

Dan (KR4UB) described the repeater misuses that he has observed, and made the case that these events are wider spread than might be imagined. Jack (KM4MBG) DFMA President, discussed issues of misuse and suggested that any Code of Conduct we develop be similar between our clubs. He further recommended that we make thes regulations for all club activities and not just for repeaters. Executive Board members and officers unanimously agreed that this project should move forward. Dan (KR4UB) will develop a draft document for the OCRA website and present it on Google.docs before our next executive committee meeting.

Club Elections:

W4SAR (Dave) has sent out ballots to club members on Survey Monkey.

Treasurer’s Report: KR4UB (Dan) OCRA currently has 118 active members, 89 of which are current with dues and 29 owing. There are 24 new members.

A more detailed treasurer’s report was given to the board.

  1. Additional items are needed for repeater projects related to the installation of new towers.
  2. Board approval was given to expenditures in the amount of $750.00 for this purpose. 2, Board approval was also given for Nick to move an old repeater antenna system from Dan’s yard to a newly installed tower in Goldston.

Auxcom Report:

W4SAR (David) reported that Steve, W3AHL, who has done a wonderful job with the development and management of AUXCOM in Orange County will likely be moving sometime in the future, and we must start thinking about designating a replacement. Attention must be given to this issue early in the coming year.

Club Sponsorship of the North Carolina QSO PARTY:

(David and Dan): A check from the club for $50.00 has been approved and sent to support this endeavor.

Meeting adjourned at 9:10 pm.




OCRA Board Meeting – November 26, 2018


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.

  • David Snyder (W4SAR), President
  • Lad Carrington (W4ORD), Vice-President, Program Committee
  • Dan Eddleman (KR4UB), Treasurer
  • Keith Stouder (W1KES), Secretary
  • Steve Ahlbom (W3HAL), ARES EC
  • Karen Snyder (KD4YJZ), Member at Large
  • Dee Ramm (KU4GC), Member at Large
  • Wilson Lamb (W4BOH), Member at Large, Program Committee
  • Bill Bishchoff (N8BR), Program Committee

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.

Field Day

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).

OCRA Board Meeting, August 27, 2018


Steve (W3HAL), Dan (KR4UB), Bill (N8BR), Wilson (W4BOH), Lad (W4ORD), Karen (KD4YJZ), Dave (W4SAR), Dee (KU4GC), MK (W4MKR), and Keith (W1KES)

Treasurer Report:

Treasury balance is still strong with 78 members current, 28 needing to renew, and 2 being removed from membership.

Repeater – Chatham County has budgeted for additional towers, which may provide opportunities for OCRA to share available repeaters.

Repeater insurance continues to increase, with two insured climbers required for any tower work resulting in several thousand dollars per climb.   The Virginia Beach Kenwood repair business, which NCOCRA used for repeater repairs, was independently owned but now no longer in business.

Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES): 

Steve (W3HAL) will retire from ARES AuxComm later this year.  Thanks to Steve for all his support over the past years.  This provides a great opportunity for those interested in ARES or emergency coordination to gain experience and continue Steve’s work with Orange County and other service organizations. This will be a topic of discuss at the next NCOCRA Membership meeting.

Keith (W1KES) and Dan (KR4UB) will prepare a presentation on the technical and communication practices for repeaters.  This presentation will provide a great way for new Hams to learn and older Hams to relearn about standard repeater usage and support.

Hillsborough Hog Day is September 14 and 15.  NCOCRA historically has a booth to introduce the public to amateur radio.  If interested, please contact Lad (W4ORD).

Christmas Dinner – We discussed options to reduce the food variety, which may help to lower the costs. We are striving to keep the cost to approximately $20 per person.

Wilson offered to host a Have Another Meal (HAM) pitch in at his house this Fall. More information will be forthcoming.




OCRA Board Meeting, May 28, 2018

++ Please Note: Field Day – Prepay Meal explained below. 


Dave (W4SAR), Karen (KD4YJZ), Dee (KU4GC), MK (W4MKR), Steve (W3AHL), Dan (KR4UB), Keith (W1KES), Wilson (W4BOH), Lad (W4ORD), and Bill (N8BR)

Field Day:  Prepay Meals

For this year’s 2018 Field Day, OCRA and DFMA are asking attendees to prepay ($5) for the Field Day June 23, Saturday 5 PM super and June 24 Sunday Breakfast (will refund if you must cancel, provided written cancellation is received before the food purchase date noted below.)  This is necessary to avoid the club losing significant money or, asking members who do show up to pay a higher amount to cover those who do not.

Prepayment authorizes the club to buy food on your behalf and can be by cash or check at the next meeting or mailed.  PayPal costs for many small payments is excessive and precludes use of that feature. Meal orders must be received by OCRA by June 18th.  Vegetarian meals are available. If you pay and later find you must cancel, send an email to treasurer@ncocra.org prior to the June 19th food order date, and your payment will be refunded or, you can use it as a tax deductible donations to the club, or extend your memberships, hihi.

The food purchase committee consisting of Lad, MK,and Dee will work with Jean (KR4UB ‘s XYL) to coordinate logistics.  We are seeking donations from Food Lion and possible Costco, but will reconsider whether donations are needed for next year.

DFMA Hamfest: 

The DFMA Hamfest was a good success.  OCRA club table netted $52.  The Volunteer Examiner (VE) session was successful with outcomes for 2 Extra, 4 General, and 3 Technician.


OCRA Board has decided to limit pursuing UNC campus for a repeater location. Instead, the priority will be to keep the 442.150 repeater active and on the air,  and ensure we have a trusted, hot-swappable repeater for backup.

We are actively seeking interested OCRA members to join the Repeater “team.”  This is a great opportunity for interested Hams to learn more about maintaining and supporting repeaters in the local area. If interested, please leave responsed to this post, or send an email to board@ncocra.org.


OCRA Board Meeting, April 30, 2018


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


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.


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.


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.

OCRA Board Meeting, February 26, 2018


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

Treasurer Report:  Balance is still strong, current membership is 77 active members.

Tower Report

Tower Engineering provided a quote to complete the drawings, gain state approval, and install the antenna.  However, the quote is cost prohibited for the club.  Dan (KR4UB) and Steve (W3AHL) will schedule time with UNC to discuss a possible cost sharing arrangement.

Meeting Development and Membership Encouragement

 Meeting development and membership encouragement is a primary focus this year.  As expressed in the last Membership meeting, and again in this Board meeting, we are seeking ideas on how to improve the meeting experience.  Below are a list of suggestions and actions being taken to enhance our membership meetings.  We encourage members to provide feedback and get involved.

Amateur Radio Club Development is based on establishing and maintaining interpersonal relationship.  We encourage members to get involved in the club.  If you have interests, skills, or experiences you wish to share with new hams, or the general membership, please let any of the Board members know.

Suggestions and Actions:

  • Keith (W1KES) contact the Chapel Hill High School to begin discussing presenting Amateur Radio to the Physics class.
  • John (KX4P) will be facilitating our next meeting program. The topic should be finalized later this month.
  • Kurt (N2PCC) is working with published schematics to build his own 40 meter Benson small meter. Once complete he is willing to be program topic.
  • Dan (KR4UB) is installing software to the NCOCRA blog that will allow members to add pictures directly to the blog.
  • Dave (W4SAR) is establishing an Elmer resource pool. After Membership introductions, we need to ask if there are questions, or if anyone needs assistance.  If so, we can assign an Elmer to assist.
  • Wilson (W4BOH) has offered his barn for wheel chair accessible for Field Day. The barn has a concrete floor and would be more wheel chair friendly than the grass.
  •  The board suggested scheduling a portable station at a local park to provide a demonstration and educate new hams and the public to the wonderful world of amateur radio.

Dave (W4SAR) will take the suggestions above and those offered at the last membership meeting to develop a plan, which he will communicate at the next membership meeting.

We want to hear from you.  Please provide a suggestions by replying to this post.  73

OCRA Board Meeting – October 30, 2017

OCRA Board Meeting


Dan (KR4UB), Mike (KK4BPH), Dave (W4SAR), Karen (KD4YJZ), Sherri (WB4OSU), Lad (W4ORD), and Keith (W1KES)


Treasure Report: 73 membership dues are current and an appropriate reserve balance is in our accounts

UNC Repeater

Dan mentioned that Steve has worked with Tower Engineering Group.  Dan and Steve will request a quote from Tower to finalize the repeater drawings, and install the repeater.  Dan and Steve will bring the quote back to the Board for discussion.

Back Up Repeater

Dave made an executive decisions to purchase a backup repeater, after consulting with the Board. The new backup repeater is identical to the one currently in operation.  This particular model is now discontinued, thus the urgency to purchase.  The new repeater was $1,000 and can be cloned to provide additional continuity for the existing repeater for many years.

For comparison, a newer repeater model is roughly $4000.  While the new repeaters are both digital and analogue, the additional cost would not have provided an identical clone to the existing repeater.  With the cost of tower work now around $1,000 per incident, cloning the existing repeater and having a ready backup made better fiscal sense than purchasing a newer repeater model.

OCRA Christmas Dinner

The OCRA Christmas Dinner will be held again at the Hillsborough Exchange Club on Monday, December 11.  The goal is to secure 60 attendees, which will keep the cost below $20 per person.  The Board discussed having attendees pay in advance to ensure we reach a commitment level that is cost affordable.  Please consider securing your reservation by making payment at the November 13, OCRA Membership meeting.  We will also make payment available via PayPal.  We will discuss this topic more at the November 13 OCRA Membership meeting.

Field Day results – still not known.

Hopefully, we should know by the November 13 meeting.  Additionally, the Board discussed establishing a food committee for this year’s Field Day.  We need dedicated resources that are not operating the stations to secure the food and prepare the meals. This topic will be discussed more in early 2018.

Bouvet DXpedition

The Board discussed sponsoring the Bouvet DXpedition.  However, with the DFMA club already supporting the DXpedition, and with many members having dual membership in both OCRA and DFMA, the Board decided to encourage members of both groups to either support the DFMA sponsorship, or donate individually.

OCRA Board Meeting, April 24, 2017

The minutes of the 4/24 Board Meeting were approved at the 5/29 Board Meeting


The OCRA Board met on Monday, April 24th at Mike Carwile’s QTH.Attendees: Dee Ramm KU4GC (Board Member), MK Ramm W4MKR, Lad Carrington W4ORD (Board Member), Keith Stouter W1KES (Board Member), Mike Carwile KK4BPH (Board Member), Dan Eddleman KR4UB (Treasurer/Repeater Manager), Joel Dunn KM4NOU (Secretary), Dave Snyder W4SAR (President/Field Day Coordinator), Karen Snyder KD4YJZ (Vice President).

The first order of business was the Officers reports. Karen KD4YJZ gave the VP update. For the May meeting, the primary topic is Field Day, as is the June meeting. For the July meeting, we will have a Skywarn presentation.

Joel KM4NOU, Secretary, presented the minutes from the 3/27 Board Meeting for approval, and they were approved with corrections. We are still looking for members with an interest in content creation. Lad and Keith expressed and interest in accounts, and Joel will set them up.

Dan KR4UB, Treasurer, reported that we had a total of 65 members with dues current and that we maintain an appropriate reserve balance in our accounts. Annual insurance is a significant payment that is coming due.

Dan KR4UB, wearing his Repeater Manager hat, gave a repeater update and said that we are still working with UNC for the Neurosciences repeater.

For RARSFest, Dee KU4GC reported that the club earned $447 (net of the $36 table fee).

Dave W4SAR gave the President’s report. The main topic was Field Day.  We are currently an 8A operation rather than a 9A. We are exploring splitting the 40 and 15 phone stations. The key is the total number of stations operational, but they do not have to operate continuously, nor do they all have to be operational simultaneously, so we should be able to get to a 9A operation. The group had extensive discussions around the various options. Additionally, we are pursuing various bonus point opportunities, as this can really make a difference in score. We are pursuing satellite operations (Tucker McGuire W4FS). Also, we are working on several options for elected officials. For ongoing education bonus, a key is who the target is. We talked about Boy Scouts. Lad W4ORD will contact a Durham troop, and Joel KM4NOU will check on Orange County troops. We also discussed the possibility of traffic passing, but this is still aspirational.

LAD W4ORD asked Dee KU4GC for his spreadsheet of how much food to buy, and Dee said he’d get this. In addition, Lad asked Dee about his 10×20 tent, and Dee confirmed he had that. From DFMA, Don KE4UVJ will be bringing ice.

We discussed the importance of getting youth operators (do not have to be licensed, can operate under supervision). We also discussed personal preparedness, and Dave W4SAR said he would put this would put this on the blog, in his role as Safety Chair.


We adjourned at 8:00PM

OCRA Board Meeting, March 27, 2017

The minutes of the 3/27 Board Meeting were approved at the 4/24 Board Meeting


The OCRA Board met on Monday, March 27th at Mike Carwile’s QTH.

Attendees: Dee Ramm KU4GC (Board Member), MK Ramm W4MKR, Lad Carrington W4ORD (Board Member), Keith Stouter W1KES (Board Member), Mike Carwile KK4BPH (Board Member), Dan Eddleman KR4UB (Treasurer/Repeater Manager), Joel Dunn KM4NOU (Secretary), Dave Snyder W4SAR (President/Field Day Coordinator), Karen Snyder KD4YJZ (Vice President), Steve Ahlbom W3AHL (Board Member/OC ARES EC) and Sherri Rapp WB4OSU (Board Member).

The first order of business was the Officers reports.

Dan KR4UB, Treasurer, reported that we had a total of 68 members with dues current and that we maintain an appropriate reserve balance in our accounts.

Joel KM4NOU, Secretary, presented the minutes from the 2/27 Board Meeting for approval, and they were approved with corrections.

Dan KR4UB, wearing his Repeater Manager hat, gave a repeater update and said that we are still waiting for drawings on the UNC-CH Neurosciences repeater, which Michael North KK4EIB is working on.

For RARSFest, Dee KU4GC reported that he may have the ICOM 706 sold. Dee also emphasized that doors open Friday at 12 noon for setup, with open setup until 10PM. Then, it is open for setup at 6AM on Saturday.

Steve W3AHL gave the ARES report. He needs volunteers for the two upcoming running events on 4/2 and on 4/22. Volunteer participation has been low, and he will have to trim the number of stations manned without additional participation.

Dave W4SAR gave the President’s report. He worked on title page of the Yahoo group, which he found he could change without affecting archives. He has added DFMA to title page reflecting the joint focus of the group. We also discussed the NCOCRA website, and making it more interesting. Joel KM4NOU will work on getting pictures in a rotation on the banner.

The main topic was Field Day. Dave W4SAR said that we would have 9A battery operation, with 2 digital stations. The 10M team won’t do phone. Dave will put out a blog post summarizing Field Day prep so far. We need to work on the food plan, and may break out food planning from beverage and ice planning.

Additionally, on Field day, we are looking for ways to get bonus points, and will review opportunities for continuous education and traffic passing. Joel KM4NOU mentioned that he would reach out to Shakori District BSA to see if anyone was interested in youth participation or education, for an introduction to radio.

N1MM will be used for logging this year, and at the April 10th member meeting, we will have a presentation on using the Zoom videoconferencing software, which will be used for training by Bruce Meier N1LN.

There was additional discussion about grounding the Field Day operation from Dan KR4UB and Steve W3AHL. Steve also asked about using Elecraft equipment for all stations; it looks like we do have enough transceivers to make that happen.

We adjourned at 7:56PM

OCRA Board Meeting, February 27, 2017

The minutes of the 2/27 meeting were approved unanimously at the 3/27 board meeting.


The OCRA Board met on Monday, February 27th at Mike Carwile’s QTH. This was the first meeting since the 2017 elections, with new VP Karen Snyder KD4YJZ, new Secretary Joel Dunn KM4NOU, and new Board member Lad Carrington W4ORD attending as members.

Attendees: Dee Ramm KU4GC (Board Member), MK Ramm W4MKR (Board Member), Lad Carrington W4ORD (Board Member), Keith Stouter W1KES (Board Member), Mike Carwile KK4BPH (Board Member), Dan Eddleman KR4UB (Treasurer), Joel Dunn KM4NOU (Secretary), Dave Snyder W4SAR (President), Karen Snyder KD4YJZ (Vice President), and Mike North KK4EIB (Board Member).

The first order of business was the Officers reports.

Dan KR4UB reported that we had a total of 72 members with dues current and that we maintain an appropriate reserve balance in our accounts. Dan also explained how he managed Quicken record keeping for individual members, couple members, and family memberships. He then described the process of exporting the Quicken data to the new website database, and passed the presentation to Joel KM4NOU to show.

Joel KM4NOU gave a presentation of the website database, which is developed using the Participants Database plugin. We are developing the ability to allow members to maintain certain information themselves. Joel showed a new membership list page, which allows sorting and selection and is easier to read! Additionally, Joel and Dan both showed how easy it is to post to the website by an authorized user (member accounts need board approval), and Joel created an account for President Dave!

Michael KK4EIB gave a repeater update, and reported that the we have three of the four brackets needed for the repeater on UNC-CH Neurosciences, but still need to buy one for $120. He also has Autocad drawings which will be annotated to show the hardware for the OCRA installation. Howie Hoyt WA4PSC who has previously done an installation on campus, showed the drawings he prepared that were accepted by UNC-CH.

We confirmed that we would have two tables at RarsFest, and Dee KU4GC will make sure that we have this arranged. Dave W4SAR said that he has an ICOM 706 for the table (that was a donation some years back to OCRA) and Dee said he has another 706 for the table. We need to ensure that the membership at large knows that we have these tables for displaying merchandise. We will also be represented at Durhamfest.

Lad W4ORD brought up a concern that if the membership votes to participate in events, that they should understand that this comes with a commitment to volunteer. He asked the officers to stress this when the club committed to volunteer activities.

We had preliminary discussions about Field Day. Dee KU4GC will no longer be coordinating food plans, but he will share the 10-15 years of historical information that he has. Dave W4SAR said that it was important to get a food committee started at the next member meeting, to allow sufficient time for planning. John Boone KM4MDR has already agreed to plan the Pot Luck dinner.

We adjourned at 8:15PM