OCRA Club Meeting Minutes – January 10, 2022

The OCRA Club Meeting Minutes from January 10, 2022 are shown below.  You can also download a PDF version of the minutes by clicking the link below.

OCRA Club Meeting Minutes – January 10, 2022


OCRA Club Meeting Minutes – January 10, 2022

  • Check-ins (21) – Dave Snyder


  • Election Results and Introduction of New Board – Dave Snyder, W4SAR
    • As of noon today, the balloting for the OCRA 2022 election closed. From the 93 eligible members in good standing, 46 responses were received. The voting was a unanimous support of the slate presented by the nominating committee. The 2022 OCRA Board is shown below.
      • President – Bruce Meier, N1LN
      • Vice President – Bill Bischoff, N8BR
      • Secretary – Laurie Meier, N1YXU
      • Treasurer – Dan Eddleman, KR4UB
      • Board Members at Large (Will be serving the first year of two-year terms)
        • John Green, KX4P
        • Aurora Toennisson, KN4VXB
        • Lad Carrington, W4ORD
      • Board Members at Large (will be serving the last year of two-year terms)
        • Wilson Lamb, W4BOH
        • Karen Snyder, KD4YJZ
        • Dee Ramm, KU4GC
    • Dave expressed his thanks to the membership for their confidence in him presiding as president for the last several years. He also stated that it is time to end the dynasty and get new leadership for the club. Dave turned the meeting over to Bruce, N1LN, as the new club president.
  • New President – Bruce Meier, N1LN
    • Bruce thanked Dave for all he has done as OCRA president and made sure that Dave knows emails and requests won’t stop coming Dave’s way! Also, Bruce thanked the other members of the outgoing board for all their efforts and support of the club.
    • Reflecting on the number of people that are in the club, it’s clear that OCRA is made up of the members and not the officers. Bruce is looking forward to working with the new officers, board members, and the membership. It is great to have new people with new ideas for the club. He is looking forward to working with everyone and truly encourages comments, both positive and negative. Constructive criticism and suggestions are welcome.
    • Topics for tonight’s meeting –
      • Comments from the new president about focuses for 2022
      • Reports from the club officers
      • Repeater update
      • Comments from the board members at large
      • General discussion from the membership
    • Goals for 2022 –
      • Prior to being elected, some of the nominees have had conversations on various topics. There will be no surprises to the membership. Over the next months and weeks, we will move forward as a group to implement the club’s plans. And, we will strive to have fun while we’re doing it!
      • One of the first activities that will take place is setting up regular, recurring board meetings.
      • Recently, the club has seen a renewed focus on activities and membership engagement. Some examples of this include fox hunts and ham pi. [Many thanks to Aurora for her initiative in getting these activities started and continuing.] More ideas will be discussed at the next club meeting. There are a lot of very intelligent, talented folks who are OCRA members. We need to tap into their expertise, expand on current activities, and get more membership engagement in ham radio related activities.
      • Ensuring documentation and policies are updated will be an area that officers and board members will focus on. For example, we need to ensure our insurance policies are up-to-date and that 501c documentation is completed and submitted. As work in these areas is completed, updates will be reported back to the membership.
      • Training is definitely an area that will receive quite a lot of focus.
  • Vice-President’s Report – Bill Bischoff, N8BR
    • Bill is looking forward to serving as Vice President and appreciates the vote of confidence from the membership.
    • He thanked Dave for being the OCRA President in a very difficult time over the last few years as we have all navigated through the impacts of the pandemic. Bill also recognized the good job that Lad did as Vice President. It will be good to have Lad continue to serve on the board to talk with regarding his prior responsibilities.
    • Bill is looking forward to working with the entire membership. One of his primary focuses will be to work closely with Bruce to ensure that the club’s goals are achieved and to step-in as president, if needed, in Bruce’s absence.
    • Earlier in the day, Bill had the opportunity to talk with John Green (KX4P). One of the things they discussed was getting regular programs back on track for the membership meetings. John didn’t only agree with the priority of getting regular programs, he also volunteered to present a program at an upcoming meeting and work to get additional programs planned. Now, that’s a great example of the enthusiasm of club members coming together and working toward a common goal!
    • The framework of how we do programs and have speakers will ensure that all members will be able to get the program information. We may have programs in person, virtually (e.g. on Zoom), and/or on the repeater.
  • Treasurer’s Report – Dan Eddleman, KR4UB
    • Dan thanked Dave Snyder for his leadership as OCRA president. As the Treasurer, he also thanked all the members for keeping their dues current, which supports the club’s solvency.
    • Every month before the membership meeting, a message is sent that includes information with dues notice. There are a record number of members who are paying their dues. In fact, many are paid through 2023!
    • OCRA has a current membership of 103. As of this month, 92 members have dues that are current. There are 5 members who need to renew, and there are 6 people who have expiring memberships.
    • Dues are the sole source of income that supports OCRA expenses. It is interesting to understand some of the expenses and the number of paid members needed to fund these expenses.
    • Fixed expenses for the club include items such as insurance and safety deposit box costs. To cover the fixed expenses, it takes about 85 dues paying members.
    • There are additional operating expenses that we have on a regular basis. One of these expenses is support of our website. Due to the challenges we’ve had over the last few years dealing with the pandemic, we have had to come up with new ideas to ensure the ability to reach members. For example, we pay for a Zoom license that allow us to have virtual meetings. These type of operating expenses (website and Zoom license) are funded through the dues from about 22 members.
    • Thank you to all the OCRA members who are diligent in keeping their dues current. Your support is truly appreciated.
  • Secretary’s Report – Laurie Meier, N1YXU
    • Laurie is looking forward to serving on the board and appreciates the confidence from the membership to serve as secretary.
    • Board meetings will be held via Zoom for the near future (as we continue to deal with the impacts of COVID). Prior to the board meetings, an agenda will be sent to all OCRA members with an invitation to join the meeting. As stated previously in tonight’s meeting, the success of the club is dependent on everyone’s input and support.
    • Minutes from the monthly membership meetings and board meetings will be distributed to OCRA members via email and will also be published on the OCRA website. A link to the meeting minutes will be sent to all OCRA members to ensure everyone is up-to-date on activities and discussions.
  • Repeater Report – Nick Szydlek (KA1HPM) and Dan Eddleman (KR4UB)
    • Nick is out of town and not able to attend the meeting. Dan provided the repeater update.
    • Dan stressed that a written OCRA repeater vision and plan will be key as we go forward.
    • For example, in the past, the club has had several formal relationships with many groups (e.g. neighboring counties, Emergency Management agencies). These relationships will need to be revisited, written documents updated, and ongoing communications be re-established.
    • Our multi-county frequency agreement will also need to be revisited and refreshed. Back in 2010, each county had identified the primary and secondary repeater frequencies. Simplex frequencies for emergency communications and training nets had also been defined. Members of the various county clubs were encouraged to be familiar with the frequency plan, have their radios programmed, and be able to quickly move to various frequencies based on our emergency communications plan.
    • Both Dan and Bruce commented that we need to have more net training, trained net control operators, and the ability to quickly test our emergency communications plan.
    • We have had challenges filling open Emergency Coordinator positions. The Orange County EC position is currently unfilled.
  • Board Member Comments –
    • Wilson Lamb (W4BOH) would like to see more focus on technical activity and learning as a group. Our members have a broad scope of knowledge which can be tapped into for teaching and demonstrations. This doesn’t mean that we all need to be experts; however, we can all be more educated to know more about the fundamentals of amateur radio. Wilson would also welcome resuming social gatherings even in smaller groups and also resuming Field Day as an in-person event.
    • Dee Ramm (KU4GC) thanked the outgoing board members for their work and welcomed the new officers and board members. He is looking forward to working with everyone and believes that 2022 will be a great year.
    • Aurora Toennisson (KN4VXB) is happy to be part of the board. She will continue to run the ham pi meetings and to organize the fox hunts, as long as there is continued interest. Aurora would also like to focus on helping new hams get started and find out what areas they would like to learn more about. If members have additional interests, perhaps satellite communications, please let Aurora know.
    • John Green (KX4P) mentioned that this is not the first time he has served as a board member, and he is happy to serve again. John commented on how much he enjoys the club since the membership has such diverse interests. He is looking forward to putting programs together and hopes to get many suggestions and also volunteers for the programs.
    • Lad Carrington (W4ORD) thanked everyone who contributed to and attended the recent Christmas party. He is looking forward to continuing to serve on the board and is happy to hand-off the Christmas party responsibilities to Bill. Lad volunteered to be led a program that will focus on go-kits and preparation for deployments.
    • Karen Snyder (KD4YJZ) is looking forward to working with everyone on the board.
    • Dave Snyder (W4SAR) thanked everyone for the comments made about his leadership as president. He will continue to be a very active member of the club and will be the liaison with the Efland Baha’i Center for meetings when we are able to meet in-person in the future.
  • General Discussion- Bruce, N1LN
    • Bill (KI4RAN) gave special thanks to all the outgoing and incoming board members for all their work. He also agreed with the need for a communications plan that all members would have readily available to move to pre-programmed frequencies when needed.
    • Bob (W4FK) thanked everyone in the club for welcoming him even before he moved from Florida. Bob had been participating in OCRA meetings via Zoom. He has volunteered to be net control this coming Saturday, January 15. [Bob – Welcome to the area! And, thank you for jumping in and being net control!]
    • Doug (KA5ETS) is familiar with a program that a solar scientist has given with a prediction that this solar cycle may be one of the largest. Doug will follow-up to see if the program might be able to be presented at an upcoming OCRA meeting.
  • Meeting Closed and Check-outs – Bruce, N1LN

Respectfully submitted,
Laurie Meier, N1YXU, Secretary

OCRA Club Meeting Minutes – October 11th, 2021


Monthly Membership Meeting – October 11. 2021 – 7:00 pm

Platform Utilized: OCRA 442.150 UHF Repeater supplemented with Zoom

NET CONTROL AND MEETING OFFICIATION: N1LN (Bruce) Opened the meeting by inviting member check-ins. The following stations responded either by repeater or Zoom.

ATTENDEES: N8BR, Bill; KA5ETS, Doug, KO4DHJ, Ken; KU4GC, Dee; W4BOH, Wilson;  KW4JY, Calvin; KF4PAB, Lenore; KM4MBG, Jack; N2XZF, Paul; KN4VXB, Aurora; KZ1X, Steve; N7RYN, Ryan; KR4UB, Dan; W4ORD, Lad; KR4AM, Mark; KB1WE, Wayne; KO4JAW, Mark; W4FK, Bob; N1LN, Bruce


  1. N1LN (Bruce – representing W4SAR): Our agenda will consist of check-in via repeater and zoom, officer reports, fox hunt update, show and tell from members, open discussion and check-out. Bruce queried the group for additional agenda items. In response.N8BR asked that the Christmas party be added to the agenda so that the format of that event and its location could be finalized. Dan, KR4UB made an announcement about the Tarwheels Bikefest scheduled for October 23rd.
  2. KR4UB (Dan) -Treasurer’s Report: 94 members’ dues are current, 3 need to renew, and 4 memberships are expiring. In the past 12 months 26 new members have joined 13 of whom are newly licensed. In addition, 25 memberships have expired. The various methods for paying dues were discussed. All are designed to make the process easy.
  3. W4ORD (Lad)Vice President’s Report: Indicated that he wanted to get a consensus from the membership in order to decide on the location for the Christmas party and whether it would be catered or pot-luck. Please let him know 1. If we should have the event, 2. If it should be catered or potluck, and 3. where it should take place. He also needs to know if members will attend or not.
  4. KR4UB (Dan) – Repeater Report: Based upon comments received from many members of our club who use the 145.230 repeater at the Pittsboro Fire Tower site, the machine there appears to be functioning well. Based on this outcome we may not have to move it from this site as was previously planned.

5. KM4MBG (Jack) – DFMA Update. Our 6 meter repeater has been active from TV Hill in Durham for a number of weeks. The signal is so strong it has

actually interfered with another repeater in Virginia making it necessary to change our crystals so the machine frequency could be moved to 53.61 Mhz. All members are invited and welcome to join us there.

DFMA members are also pondering what the club activities will be like in November and December. Many discussions have focused on whether the club is ready to return to face-to-face meetings and activities. Further, the club is contemplating the use of gift cards and door prizes to attract new program participants. In sum, lots of little things are going on to attract new membership.

6. KM4VXB (Aurora) – Fox Hunt Update: There has been no Fox Hunt yet because of the weather. We will have to use the rain date which is October 30 at 10:00 am for the on-foot event and 12:30 pm for the vehicle format. Please email Aurora if you are planning to attend the event so she can arrange for adequate staffing.

7.. PROGRAM – Show and Tell Presentations on equipment and technology relevant to Fox Hunting: Rainbow Sniffer (KN4VXB), Small Loop Square (KR3AM), offset attenuator and mixer (W4BOH), Fox Hunting in MA and 8 switch attenuator (N1LN), and Hand Fox Fnder (KB1WE). Relevant links to the various topics are presented below.


the offset attenuator:


A DIY offset attenuator:


Mon, Oct 11, 2021 at 8:22 PM Aurora Toennisson <wayferny@gmail.com> wrote:

equested by Bruce, here’s links from our on the air discussion.

Here’s the rainbow kit I made: https://www.rainbowkits.com/product-page/sdf-1-kit

Here’s the Handi-finder: https://www.handi-finder.com/





The offset attenuator:


A DIY offset attenuator:


On Mon, Oct 11, 2021 at 8:22 PM Aurora Toennisson <wayferny@gmail.com> wrote:

As requested by Bruce, here’s links from our on the air discussion.

Here’s the rainbow kit I made: https://www.rainbowkits.com/product-page/sdf-1-kit

Here’s the Handi-finder: https://www.handi-finder.com/

On Mon, Oct 11, 2021 at 8:21 PM infomet2003 via groups.io <infomet=embarqmail.com@groups.io> wrote:



8. VOICE POLL AND CHECK-OUT: Prior to exiting the Zoom Meeting attendees were asked to respond to a voice poll designed to collect data on members’ intentions to attend the annual Christmas Dinner, their preferred location for the event, desire for full- service vs, potluck, and whether Covid 19 vaccination should be required for member participation. Data from this instrument will be used in final planning for the event. Poll results: 10 yes, 5 maybe, 2 will not attend.

Meeting Adjourned at 8:46,



OCRA Club Meeting Minutes – September 13th, 2021


Monthly Membership Meeting – September 13. 2021 – 7:00 pm

Platform Utilized: OCRA 442.150 UHF Repeater supplemented with Zoom

NET CONTROL AND MEETING OFFICIATION: W4SAR (Dave) Opened the meeting by inviting member check-ins. The following stations responded either by repeater or Zoom.

W4BOH (Wilson); N8BR (Bill); KO4DHJ (Ken); W4FK (Bob); KA5ETS (Doug); N4JQR (J.R.); W4ORD (Lad); N1QYW (Steve); KA1HPM (Nick); KN4JYP (Kathy); KM4MBG (Jack); N1LN (Bruce); KF4PAB Lenore; W4SAR, (Dave); KR3AM (Mark); KJ4VWG (Sam); K4SAR (Joe); KO4SZE (Bob); KU4GC (Dee); KR4UB (Dan); KD4YJZ (Karen) N1YXU (Laurie); KN4VXB, (Aurora).

W4SAR (President): called for Officer Reports.

  1. W4ORD (Vice President): No formal report, but emphasized that he is waiting for a directive from the executive board indicating whether members prefer a catered dinner or a member provided potluck at the club Christmas party. David, our president, responded with a promise that he would poll the executive board and forward a decision so that plans may be made well in advance of the event.
  2. KR4UB (Treasurer): 85 dues payments are needed to cover fixed expenses for the club (insurance, post office box, safety deposit box, website, Zoom and Sera, etc). As of this meeting, 93 members are current, 4 need to renew and 4 are expiring. In the last 12 months 22 new members’ dues will cover recruiting and member retention expenses (website and zoom). 26 new members have joined with 11 being newly licensed. 25 memberships have expired over the past 12 months.
  3. KR4UB (Repeater Manager Orange County): no report. KA1HPM (Repeater Manager Chatham County): Not much going on. We still need permits for towers in Siler City. Receiving on Tower Rd. is good and we have had some long distance check- ins.
  4. KM4MBG (Jack) and KF4PAB (Lenore) represented the DFMA. Lenore reported that the club’s repeater for 6 meters had been moved to a new location.
  5. W4SAR (David) reported that the club’s efforts to sponsor amateur licensing examinations had again become active after significant slow-down due to covid-related issues. He was pleased to report that Bob, KO4SZE had passed his Technician’ license test. David is hoping to begin regular examination sessions soon.

In addition, David announced that there was nothing else on the formal agenda for the current meeting and suggested that he will be calling a meeting of the club’s executive board members shortly.

General Discussion:

KN4VXB (Aurora) described the up-coming Fox Hunt and her presentation. Planning for this event is largely based on lessons learned from a former one that occurred last year. It is scheduled to take place on October 9th at 10:00 am. In case of rain it will be moved to the same time slot on October 23rd. There will be both an on-foot event as well as one requiring the use of vehicles to hunt the fox(es). All potential attendees for this event should plan to bring picnic lunches. In addition, those who are interested in constructing their own radio for the hunt should plan on participating in a “virtual build day” that will be held on September 25th.

W4ORD (Lad) is looking forward to “in person” meetings so food will be available.

K4SAR (Joe) is a new zoom attendee who reported that recent activity on the 12 and 10 meter bands has been picking up due to the increase in sun spots

W4SAR (David): Meeting Adjourned and repeater secured at 8:30


OCRA Club Meeting Minutes – August 9th, 2021


Monthly Membership Meeting – August 9. 2021 – 7:00 pm

Platform Utilized: OCRA 442.150 UHF Repeater & Zoom

NET CONTROL AND MEETING OFFICIATION: N1LN (Bruce) opened the meeting by inviting member check-ins.

RADIO & ZOOM ATTENDEES: N1LN (Bruce), N8BR (Bill), KO4DHJ (Ken), W4BOH (Wilson), KU4GC (Dee), KG4CFX (Chris), KW4JY (Calvin) KM4MBG (Jack), KI4MXP (Gerald), KX4P (John), W4ORD (Lad), W4OFZ (Bill), WB4OSU (Sherri), NA4VY (Dave), N1YXU (Laurie), KK4RRT (Michael), KJ4VWG (Sam), N8VNR (Kevin), KN4VXB (Aurora), N1QYW (Stephen), KR3AM (Mark), KR4UB (Dan), .N4JQR (J.R.), KO4BHX (Ben),KG4GRY (Eli), KS4DOW (Kadar), KE0KHD (Sam), KI4TRD (Allan), KW4JY (Charles), NC4CD (Charlie), KM4IWI (Wild Bill), K4SAR (Joe), KN4DRN (Michael)

ANNOUNCEMENTS: KR4UB (Dan) gave the treasurer’s report relating to club dues. Club dues are OCRA’s income to pay club expenses. 91 members dues are current, 6 need to renew, and 2 are expiring soon. Of the 25 new members this year 11 are newly licensed. Membership for 25 folks is expiring.

(1) N1LN (Bruce) Regarding membership dues, it is easy to pay. There is a PayPal link in Dan’s membership listing email and on the club website or you can send a check to the OCRA Post Office Box, or give cash to Dan.

(2). Dave (W4SAR) was not able to join the net tonight. Bruce mentioned the need for Volunteer Examiners to help in the upcoming August 28 VE session. Contact Dave if you can assist.

(3) Bruce also explained that Net controls are needed for the weekly Saturday morning AuxCom net. Mark (KR3AM) and Doug (KA5ETS) have been net controls most of the time. This is not a hard thing to do and would be excellent practice should we ever be needed to assist in public service activities or emergency situations. Check with Mark – I am sure he would be happy to provide assistance to new (want to be) Net Control members. Should you be interested in being a future net control, the script can be found on the OCRA website at this URL:


or, on the NCOCRA website, click on REPEATERS, then click on AuxComm Training Net Script.

KN4VXB (Aurora): The next Fox Hunt will be held on Oct 9. There will be 2 events – (1) on foot (2) driving from your car. Be sure to sign up.

W4ORD (Lad) Announced that the Holiday party has been put on hold for now due to the ever changing Covid environment and potential recent increase in risks.

N1LN (Bruce) Many of us will now be moving to the NASA presentation to be held on Zoom. Dan (KR4UB) sent numerous emails with the login information, however, if anyone needs that info – I will pass it along here on the net.   The info was passed along.

The net closed around 19:25 with everyone checking out.





OCRA Club Meeting Minutes – July 12th, 2021

SEE LATER NOTICE regarding postponement of OCRA in-person meetings due to resurgence of COVID. The August OCRA club meeting will continue with the 442.150 Net & Zoom video conference format.


Monthly Membership Meeting – July 12, 2021 – 7:30 pm

Platforms Utilized: OCRA UHF Repeater



MEMBER CHECK-IN: Attendees: N1QYW, Steven; N8BR, Bill; KR3AM, Mark; W4SAR, Dave; KD4YJV, Karen; W4ORD, Lad; KU4GC, Dee; N1LN, Bruce; KR4UB, Dan; N4JQR, J.R.; KN4VXB, Aurora; KO4DHJ, Ken; KA5ETS, Doug; NA4VY, Dave; KI4RAN, Bill; KZ1X, Steve; KM4MBG, Jack; WA2JLW, Roy; N1YXU, Laurie; KM4WXW, Jeff; WB4OSU, Sherri; KO4RQN, James.


W4SAR (David-President): We will begin our meeting with reports from club officers.

W4ORD (Lad-Vice President): Nothing important to report except that we are still waiting for a decision on the Christmas party. We have also been clearing trees to replace antennas that fell during our last storm.

KR4UB (Dan-Treasurer): As of this month 95 members are current, 4 need to renew and 5 are expiring. In the last 12 months 27 new members have joined with 13 being newly licensed and 20 memberships have expired.

N8BR (Bill-Secretary): No report.

W4SAR (David-President):

(1) The Baha’i Center has analyzed the progression of the pandemic and decided that face-to-face meetings will again be permitted to take place at their facility. Therefore, at the August 9th general club meeting OCRA will re-assume its traditional face-to-face format for the first time in over 18 months. Also, as a special surprise we have been informed that the NASA group who recently cancelled last month’s presentation, will be available to deliver their program at the August meeting. Technology for their planned presentation will be managed by KR3AM (Mark). At this point in the planning process we anticipate that there will be both a live presentation as well as one on Zoom for folks who are unable to attend the meeting in person. Hopefully this plan will mark the end of our dependence on the repeater-based club meetings that prevailed during the pandemic.

(2) Volunteer Examiner (VE) Sessions will be re-established face-to-face on August 28th at 10 a.m. Club members with VE accreditation from the ARRL are encouraged to participate in this important club activity. Additional information will be forthcoming in August.

(3) Field Day Success Early reports suggest that club field day efforts from home stations were successful. Club participation was great with scores submitted by 37 operators representing many levels of experience using a variety of modes, equipment, antennas, and operating styles to collectively earn a preliminary total of 30,576 points.

Numerous comments from participating operators indicated that field day provided a myriad of learning experiences, a superb opportunity for development of operating skills and an enhanced appreciation and understanding of how communications technologies can be used in ways that bolster human safety and well-being.

(4) Meeting Adjourned – 8:40 p.m.





OCRA Club Meeting Minutes – June 14, 2021


Monthly Membership Meeting – June 14, 2021 – 7:30 pm

Platforms Utilized: OCRA 442.150 UHF Repeater and Zoom Video Conference



MEMBER CHECK-IN: W4SAR (David), KU4GC (Dee),), KM4MBG (Jack), KF4PAB (Lenore), KZ1X (Steve), KO4DHJ (Ken), KA5ETS (Doug), KD4YJZ (Karen), KR4UB (Dan), KA1HPM (Nick), K4SAR (Joe), KN4BTI (Mark), KO4GJO (Boyd), N1YXU (Laurie), W4ORD (Lad), KX4P (John), KN4GUM (Nan), KN4VXB (Aurora), N4JQR (J.R.), KR3AM (Mark), WB4OSU (Sherri), NA4VY (Dave), N1LN (Bruce) and W4BOH, Wilson.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT – W4SAR (David): There will be no formal president’s report tonight. However, we will give club officers an opportunity to make brief comments as necessary and we will then conclude our planning for field day. W4ORD (Lad) – Nothing important to report. We are just finishing preparations for field day and awaiting club consensus on the preferred format for our Christmas party. KR4UB (Dan) – 94 club members are current with their dues. Membership for 15 has expired, membership for another 7 is expiring soon, and 5 need renewal.During the past 12 months we have acquired 24 new members,12 of whom are newly licensed. There is no recent news about our repeaters. Noteworthy is the fact that the towers are going up in Chatham County and there will probably be opportunities for more new ones. Over all I believe there is a good outlook for the future.


1. N1LN (Bruce) – There will be another session dealing with N1MM software on June 19th at 10:30 am. This will be held on a new zoom account. We have tested the latest N1MM software and discovered glitches in the scoring tools. This was reported to the N1MM folks and elicited an immediate response. We will test the revision needed. Regarding logs, it is important to submit a document in Cabrillo format and to have proper instruction on that task prior to sending off logs. Be sure to bring your questions to the Saturday meeting.

2. KR4UB (Dan) – Commented on digital modes. Thanks to Bruce for building the spreadsheet on field day interests and intentions. 11 members attended the meeting on digital formats. Attendees will be using various digital modes. We are making good progress in getting educated for the event.

3. W4SAR (David) – Many folks will be using N3FJP software for station control and logging in field day. The program is very user friendly. We are available for answering questions as needed.

4. N1LN (Bruce) – Inquired about individual plans for hosting and emphasized the need to get the information out to prospective attendees.

5. W4ORD (Lad) – indicated that he had hosting opportunities for both ssb and digital operating and was waiting to hear from anyone interested.


KR4UB (Dan) – The cancellation of our planned NASA presentation was due to a death in the family of one of the presenters and computer problems experienced by the other. We are working to reschedule this important event. Several options are being explored. Hopefully It will be possible to bring the speakers to our usual meeting spot at the Efland Baha’i Center. If this option eventuates, we will have to arrange for a wifi hotspot to be installed so the presentation can be distributed to those attending our meetings virtually.

For future planning purposes Dan requested the meeting attendees as they checked out of the net meeting to answer two questions:

How many would attend a rescheduled NASA presentation?

  • Of the 26 attendees at the meeting (several late arrivals missed the poll) 23 expressed that they would attend.
  • Given the late breaking (day of the event cancellation) two methods were used to notify attendees:
    • direct mailing of members
    •  posting on groups.io.

What is the preferred and most relied on method of notification?

  • 14 preferred exclusive direct mailing notification (in this case from the OCRA mass emailer of the NASA cancelation).
  • 9 stated they received the direct mailing and some also received a group.io email notification of the posted cancelation notice.
  • One concern expressed with groups.io was that a late breaking notificcation may not be received in a timely manner based on the various notifications options .i.e. the daily digest (of the previous day postings sent the morning of the next day), or no email notification.

W4ORD (Lad) – Will be presenting poetry readings at the Colonial Inn in Hillsboro on a regular basis and invites all club members to attend.

NA4VY (Dave) – Wants to discuss with club members various ways to interface digital ham gear with N3FJP software.

W4SAR )Dave) – The Efland Baha’i Center has announced the facility will re-open and be available for club meetings to resume. There are already events scheduled for July, precluding a meeting then and also might be too soon after Field Day, but it will be available in August. As a cost cutting measure, the internet access has been dropped, but WiFi hotspot access via cell phone can be used given the close proximity to a cell tower. In addition to use of a hotspot for presentations, the club still wants to maintain the Zoom capability at the club meetings for members unable to attend in person.





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

Platforms Utilized: OCRA UHF Repeater and Zoom.

Meeting Minutes


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.


  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.


Monthly Club Membership Meeting October 12, 2020

OCRA Secretary: Bill, N8BR


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

Platforms Utilized: OCRA UHF Repeater and Zoom.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.