February 2018 Minutes

February 14, 2018

The meeting was called to order by Larry Cicchinelli (K3PTO) at 7:00 p.m.  Introductions followed: There were 10 members present and no visitors. Well, It was St. Valentines Day.

The January, 2017 minutes had been sent out via email and were approved.  The financial report was also approved.

Standing committee reports:

  • REPEATER: People are using it and it is working well.
  • EMERGENCY NET: Ernie Venis (WØLTC) said that he had eight (8) check-ins.

Mark your calendars for the emergency drill at 10:00 a.m. and club meeting on March 14, 2018.

  •  TRAILER COMMITTEE: The rear window does need replacement as confirmed by Fred, K0FG, and although we now have at least three people with pickups who can pull the trailer, it was decided to wait for better weather to return to work on it.  By phone call, Fred said he will be back later this month.  It was decided that we probably don’t need to move the trailer to do work on it.  However, moving it a foot or two to keep flat spots from developing on the tires would be a good idea.  That can probably be done by hand.  An exact work date will be set at the next Club meeting.
  •  TESTING LIAISON: Ron Gentry passed his Tech exam last month and received call sign KE0PEF. One other person also passed, but Ernie didn’t have her call sign.  There was no one to test this month. 
  • WEB PAGE: Jack McGuire (KDØQEB) said that he made some changes to the website layout. One of those being moving the For Sale area to the main page for easier access for non-Club members.  The preambles for our weekly Saturday net and for the emergency nets were modified to provide an invitation to Echo-link participants.  You can download the new preambles from the website.  Jack asked for approval on the changes he had made and it was passed unanimously.

Another website change was a clarification of when we run our nets including the Tuesday, 9:00 p.m. 10 meter net.  Check out the website for more information:  www.loarc.com.

  • WRECKING CREW: No one asked for antenna help.  Mike Eddins called Glenn and said that he would be coming back over to the Lake within the next couple of months and would let him know so we can help take the antennas down.  Ray Tucker has spoken for the multi-element beam antenna.  Glenn said he would put out a blast email to the club letting them know the exact date and time so we can meet at Ralph’s house to assist.  This will probably be on a weekend, and BBQ Chicken, beans and chips will be served.
  • 2 METER NET:  Jack said that last Saturday, he had two Echo-link check-ins: Fred,K0FG, and Tom Smith, WA0OFO, two of our club members basking in Arizona sunshine.
    • February Net Control: Jack McGuire – KE0QEB
    • March Net Control: Fred Groce – K0FG
    • April Net Control: Frank Miller – KS2Z
  • 10 METER NET: Larry has been net control for the past several weeks and last night he had one other check-in. Band conditions have been very poor, but please continue to try to check in.

Pausing after calling net control:  Ernie pointed out that the ARRL rules for calling into a net do not provide for a pause after calling net control to see if you are doubling and suggested we drop that requirement since if someone does double, net control can handle it.  Ernie said that this happens when two stations are of equal strength but if one station is stronger than the other, the stronger station will be heard and the weaker station will not.  Again, it was moved, seconded and passed unanimously that we stop using the pause procedure. 

Alternate repeaters:  There is an alternate repeater for use if our repeater goes down: 146.955.  Ernie says that he has total authority over this repeater and encourages us to use it.  It was moved, seconded and passed that this repeater should become our alternate for our Saturday morning nets.  It was also suggested that the Club use this repeater for our Emergency Nets each 2nd Wednesday since it is the ARES and Skywarn repeater for this area.  IMPORTANT: This repeater does need a tone to access it: 192.8 so set up the tone on your HT or base station if you have not already to be ready for the change in April.   If you have a radio on which you don’t know how to set up the tone, bring it to the March meeting and someone will likely be able to help you with that.  The .955 repeater broadcasts up to 70 miles across the state and is linked to other repeaters.  It was stated that, should we need to use this repeater for one of our nets, either Ernie or Fred could shut down the links to other repeaters during our net so that our net conversation stays local.

Lastly, In addition to the 146.955 repeater being the backup repeater for our nets, we also agreed to list the national simplex calling freq 146.520 the as a go to when nothing else works…except our personal radios.

Ralph’s Estate Sale:  One of the pieces of equipment from Ralph’s estate was an Icom 2-meter radio.  This was tested on our Echolink system and is working so well, it was suggested we pay Mike Eddins the going value of $70.00 so that we can keep the radio for our system.  It was moved, seconded and passed to do so. 

Club/Individual Projects:  Larry (K3PTO) had mentioned at the last meeting we might consider a club project, or rather individual projects which we all build at home and bring in to club meetings for consultation and help where needed.  One suggestion was the building of an antenna analyzer which was featured in a recent QST Magazine.  A circuit board is available from QRP, then you can buy the parts, and if several people were to build one, they could go together to obtain parts more cheaply.  Larry built one, and his parts costs were around $80.00. 

Another idea is to build the BitX 40 low power 40 meter single side-band transceiver kit. Basically, the kit has two pre-assembled and tested circuit boards with plug in modules including everything except a case, power supply, antenna, earphones, headphones or speaker included.  It will run on a battery or any 2 amp, 12 volt power supply to produce 7 watts output on SSB and CW.  Up to 20 watts output can be obtained by increasing the power amplifier’s supply voltage to 25 volts if you want. (You will have to add a larger heat sink.)  Factory available modifications are on the way!  The kits are shipped from India for $59.00 each if you are willing to wait three to four weeks for delivery or $69.00 for one week shipping by DHL.  http://www.hfsignals.com/index.php/bitx40/.  An enclosure of approximately 5” x  4.5” x 2” minimum will be required.  Pre-made cabinets are available from several sources online.  There is a very active user forum with technical support from fellow builders and users and lots of information online.  Check it out. A set of step-by-step assembly instructions is contained here with several photos of the operation: http://www.hfsignals.com/index.php/2017/11/23/wiring-up-the-bitx40/    It looks pretty simple and fun.  Here is a photo of a completed kit with commercially available cabinet and the lid off.

  • Sickness and Injuries: Nothing to report.
  • Ham Equipment for sale or swap: Check the website: loarc.com. Our procedure for allowing anyone to list equipment is on our website. Please download the equipment for sale submission form, fill it out and email it back to Jack McGuire per instructions on the website.

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 7:55 p.m.

Respectively submitted,
Glenn Commons (KØKER)

  • 50/50 DRAWING:  Ticket sales were $10.00.  Ray Tucker had the winning ticket and picked the Joker to win. He won $53.00 and immediately donated it back to the Club for Field Day expenses on one condition: that we have lots of Dr. Pepper there to drink.  Thanks, Ray!.   We will start the pot over at the next meeting with the pot being reset to zero.