BAARC Club Meeting Program April 30, 2017 – Winlink email using HF radio

BAARC Club Meeting April 30, 2017
We were very fortunate to have visitors from the Duluth area. Doug Nelson (AA0AW) and Jeff Nast (KC0MKS) presented a program on using HF radio to serve as an email routing tool. In times of emergency or when you are not near an internet connection, the ability to send and receive emails can still be done via your HF radio and computer.
Winlink, also known as the Winlink 2000 Network, is a worldwide radio messaging system that uses amateur-band radio frequencies to provide radio interconnection services that include email with attachments, position reporting, weather bulletins, emergency relief communications, and message relay.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winlink
Jeff reviewed some background regarding the various protocols and the multiple transfer paths to route emails.
Prior to the meeting Al, Lyle, Steve, and Mitch put up a temporary antenna to use for the demonstration by using the fire station antenna tower with a pully system, some trees, and a fence.
While Jeff demonstrated the transmission and receive waterfall screens, Doug was able to use an HF radio and we could hear Jeff’s  HF station located in Knife River sending the receiving emails.
Jeff also reference and actual situation where this email mode provided valued information due to an very heavy storm that impacted the Duluth Metro area. While Jeff/Doug and a team of people were on Isle Royal National Part during an National Parks on the air event. This storm hit the Duluth area and team members were able to send emails to home and determine if everything was OK, upon sending and receiving email confirmations that everything was fine, the team then continued on their mission to execute the “Parks on the Air” event.
In closing the program, Jeff asked that members seriously investigate putting a system on-line to pass email traffic. Remember, all you need is an HF radio, a USB sound card interface, and the installation of the software .

March 2017 BAARC Secretary Report

THURSDAY-MARCH 30, 2017 – 4:00 PM – BAARC BOARD MEETING MINUTES – BRAINERD FIRE STATION

President: Steve Mott NØCRM
Vice President: John Luce WØWY
Treasurer: Doug Bergsnev WØDWB
Secretary: Ron Finger KØGOP
Past Presidents: Charles Lane W5CCL, Al Doree WØRC
Director At Large: Lyle Amundson KØLFV
Director of Emergency Communications: Dave Schuldheisz KØISZ
Repeater Trustee: Mitch Ahrenstorff ADØHJ
Community & Special Events Coordinator: TJ Graves KØTEG 

Attendees: Steve NØCRM, Lyle KØLFV, Doug WØDWB, Ron KØGOP, Al WØRC, Shirley KØDCW, John WØWY, Mitch ADØHJ, Roger WØWUG, and Nick WØNY. The President opened the Board Meeting at 4:00 PM.

Secretary’s Report: Membership roster shows 84 members with 51 paid for 2017. The Club roster can be found on the Club website under the “Resources/Members Only” area. Current paid members can request an individual password for access via the “Contact Us” form. The Secretary sent a letter of thanks to Bob WØZPE for a Vertex VX-150 HT and Makita 3/8” VSR drill and batteries received by the Club in December 2016. The February 2017 meeting minutes were posted to the “Club Blog” area. Motion to accept: Doug WØDWB, Second John WØWY, Passed. 

Treasurer’s Report: The Treasurer presented his report to the board showing all month’s account transactions and balances to date. In response to a question from John WØWY, The Treasurer confirmed that the requested documents and forms were forwarded to, and submitted by the Club insurance agent with Vertical Bridge Company. Motion to accept: John WØWY, Second Al WØRC, Passed. 

Membership Meeting Program: The President reviewed recent and future Club programs and events. John WØWY reported the Brainerd FD has approved Club use of their training room for the upcoming April, June, and July meeting dates. John will follow up with further scheduling details. The selection of a Spring Dinner speaker/program was discussed.

Upcoming Events: The Brainerd Hamfest: Saturday April 22nd, Brainerd Jaycees “Run For The Lakes” marathon: Saturday April 29, 2017, and the “Tour of the Lakes” bike ride: Saturday June 3rd were noted. John has arranged Club use of the CWC Sherriff’s Office Comm trailer for both the marathon and biking events.

Digital & Emergency Communications: John WØWY distributed the new 2017 SKYWARN Protocols prepared following the organizational meeting March 11 in Duluth. The merits of the best radio communication mode with KØNWS at NWS-Duluth were discussed. Decision was to move from the WA9KLM to a new WIRES-X mode. We will now use NØEO-ND 30494. Once in operation this should be a better access for all responder groups to contact the team at NWS Duluth.

Old Business: Repeater linking: Peripheral/supporting equipment request was verbalized and shared with the board at January meeting. The Wires-X linking test between Crosby and Crow Wing power is ready to begin, and with the Panda CPU equipment’s recent arrival, is planned for Saturday May 31. Storage unit discussion: POD container will be placed as weather permits. High-rise remote base antenna site: Club will install new HF antenna as weather permits. Gull lake Internet and tower site: We are still waiting for Hubbard Broadcasting to continue their progress towards making a space for us in the newer building.

New Business: Repeater Linking: Following the Club breakfast on Saturday, Mitch and Al will be installing a new computer and the Wires-X interface at Crow Wing Power site and at Crosby site. Remote Base Relocation: Move the new CC-DX antenna from the Brainerd Fire Station demonstration to the high-rise for our remote station antenna. Mount and test the antenna at the high-rise. Move radio and interface into the high-rise. Club Coax Kit: Ron KØGOP reported a new source was found for Silver/Teflon Crimp PL-259 connectors. This will permit a reduced price of $2 per connector and shrink-tube for Club members. We have an adequate supply of the LMR-400/RG-8 and RG-8X/LMR-240 sizes, but need more of the RG-58 size. Motion to purchase 50 RG-58 connectors for the Club coax kit: Steve NØCRM, Second Lyle KØLFV, Passed. Club FCC License Testing: The Laurel Amateur Radio Club (LARC) Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) also known as the LARC VEC or Laurel VEC, is one of 14 VEC’s that have entered into an agreement with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to serve as a VEC. The Laurel VEC was established in 1984. Motion to have Nick WØNY investigate the position of Club Team Leader for the LARC-VE program. Lyle KØLFV, Second Mitch ADØHJ, Passed. John WØWY reported that the County EOC is being relocated again, and that our Club EOC station will be moving along with it at that time.

The board meeting was adjourned at 5:07 PM.

THURSDAY-MARCH 30, 2017 – 6:30 PM – BAARC MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – BRAINERD FIRE STATION

The President opened the Club membership business meeting at 6:30 PM with 37 members and guests present. Following the welcome and introductions: John WØWY discussed upcoming public SKYWARN training at the CWC Land Services Building in Brainerd, as well as details on the April 11 Training Net and April 20 Severe WX Drill. John introduced the evening speakers Doug AAØAW and Jeff KCØMKS from the Duluth area, with Doug discussing the new radio setup and procedures at the NWS. Al WØRC gave a brief report on the recent Forestview High Altitude Balloon Class launches. Following door prizes and refreshments, The Club enjoyed an informative presentation on the Winlink radio email system.

–Respectfully submitted by Ron KØGOP, Secretary

 

February 2017 BAARC Secretary Report

THURSDAY-FEBRUARY 23, 2017 – 4:00 PM – BAARC BOARD MEETING MINUTES – BRAINERD PUBIC LIBRARY

President: Steve Mott NØCRM
Vice President: John Luce WØWY
Treasurer: Doug Bergsnev WØDWB
Secretary: Ron Finger KØGOP
Past Presidents: Charles Lane W5CCL, Al Doree WØRC
Director At Large: Lyle Amundson KØLFV
Director of Emergency Communications: Dave Schuldheisz KØISZ
Repeater Trustee: Mitch Ahrenstorff ADØHJ
Community & Special Events Coordinator: TJ Graves KØTEG 

Attendees: Steve NØCRM, Doug WØDWB, Ron KØGOP, Al WØRC, John WØWY, Mitch ADØHJ, and Dave KØISZ. The President opened the Board Meeting at 4:00 PM.

Secretary’s Report: Membership roster shows 84 members with 46 paid for 2017. The Club roster has been migrated to the Club website under the “Resources/Members Only” area. Current paid members can request an individual password for access via the “Contact Us” form. Other activities included making a fillable 2017 Club membership application form for the Club website. Member applicants are encouraged to fill and print/submit this online PDF form to provide more legible information than the handwritten method. The January 2017 meeting minutes were posted to the “Club Blog” area, as the new venue for the former “BAARCer” newsletter format. Motion to accept: Doug WØDWB, Second Mitch ADØHJ, Passed. 

Treasurer’s Report: The Treasurer presented his report to the board showing all month’s account transactions and balances to date. The Secretary presented a $17.99 bill for reimbursement for a USB Programming cable for the Club Motorola HT’s. Motion to accept: John WØWY, Second Al WØRC, Passed. 

Membership Meeting Program: The President reviewed recent and future Club programs and events. John WØWY reported the Brainerd FD has approved Club use of their training room for the upcoming March April, June, and July meeting dates. John will look into switching the June date to a week early to fall before the June 24-25 ARRL Field Day. The selection of a Spring Dinner speaker/program of more general interest to family members was discussed.

Upcoming Events: The annual NWS Skywarn Organizational meeting in Duluth: Saturday March 11th, Brainerd Hamfest: Saturday April 22nd, Brainerd Jaycees “Run For The Lakes” marathon: Saturday April 29, 2017, and the “Tour of the Lakes” bike ride: Saturday June 3rd were noted.

Digital & Emergency Communications: As in years past, John WØWY will send our new SKYWARN procedure card to Carol at NWS-Duluth in advance of the meeting for ‘mark up’ with any suggested changes for final member distribution at the March 30 Club meeting. The merits of the best radio communication mode with KØNWS at NWS-Duluth were discussed. Among the choices are Wires-X, Echolink, and cell phones.

Old Business: Old Club Repeaters: Discussed suggestion that we try to sell these older repeaters at our April Hamfest. Retain cavities for future use; perhaps sell Crosby repeater—tabled for now. Crosslake Tower site: The new high-rise equipment owner company, Vertical Bridge Inc, has asked for an insurance binder from the Club liability policy—forwarded to the Treasurer. Repeater linking: Peripheral/supporting equipment request was verbalized and shared with the board at January meeting. In a holding pattern until the Wires-X linking test between Crosby and Crow Wing power is set-up, run, and demonstrated for a sustained test-period. Waiting for Panda CPU equipment arrival. Storage unit discussion: POD container will be placed as weather permits. High-rise remote base antenna site: Club will install new HF antenna as weather permits. Gull lake Internet and tower site: Al WØRC is waiting for Hubbard Broadcasting to continue their progress towards making a space for us in the newer building. Granite City reprogramming of Club Motorola HT radios: Ron KØGOP was able to successfully reprogram the Club inventory with an updated codeplug for new repeater tones on 4 Club repeaters. This will allow the Club to make other programming changes going forward. Request to purchase a second USB programming cable with better chipset (FTDI) to work with newer Windows OS. Motion to purchase for $25: John WØWY, Second Al WØRC, Passed.

New Business: Kitchen Help for Club Hamfest: Charles W5CCL and XYL Kathy KD5EGN have offered to assume the kitchen coordination duties for the future, replacing longtime volunteers Al WØRC and XYL Shirley KØDCW. Additional workers are being sought to assist with the well-run food sales operation. Bouvet Island 3Y0Z DX-pedition support request: received from Ralf Fedor. Motion to have the Treasurer match the previous Club donation amount: John WØWY, Second Al WØRC, Passed. Broken email addresses: Several have been corrected with a few remaining without alternate contact information. If you are not getting Club email announcements let us know via the “Contact Us” form. Donation from Bob WØZPE: The Secretary will send a letter of thanks for a Vertex VX-150 HT and Makita 3/8” VSR drill and batteries received by the Club in December 2016.

The board meeting was adjourned at 5:07 PM.

THURSDAY-FEBRUARY 23, 2017 – 7:00 PM – BAARC MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – BRAINERD PUBIC LIBRARY

The President opened the Club membership business meeting at 7 PM with 23 members and guests present. Following the welcome and introductions: John WØWY discussed upcoming public SKYWARN training at the CWC Land Services Building in Brainerd, and encouraged all interested members to attend. Al WØRC gave an update on the Forestview High Altitude Balloon Class. At a HABC parent open house, teachers Jim Reed and Cory Olson thanked parents for raising such an excellent group of young people. The students presented their preparations and experiment payloads to the group. They are now waiting for a good flight prediction report, putting the balloon in a desirable recovery path following its anticipated 125,000-foot altitude flight. The launch will likely take place around 9 AM on a weekday morning at the rear of the school. APRS beacons can be tracked at aprs.fi using Nick Reed’s W0NY-3 and W0NY-4 call signs. Following door prizes and refreshments, Andy Rangen of CTC gave an interesting presentation on some of the new technology vendors and products viewed at his annual visit to the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

–Respectfully submitted by Ron KØGOP, Secretary

January Club Meeting

The first club meeting of 2017 (January 26) found the club visiting the classroom of Brainerd’s Forestview middle school High Altitude Balloon Class.  Mr. Reed and Mr. Olson invited the club to review this year’s plans and progress of the class.
The first order of business was to present our long-standing club member and repeater trustee Fritz Bertelt W0KO a plaque recognizing his many years of unwavering support for the club was presented to Fritz.
Various class members spoke about their payload designs and engineering activities to ensure a successful flight. The class has 6 payloads that will be critiqued by all members of the class and guidance by the Mr. Reed and Mr. Olson. These 6 payloads will be reduced to total of 3 final payloads.
This year the payloads will include updated cameras, they have 3 new GoPro cameras that weigh approximately the same weight as their previous single camera.  For more information please look at the balloon class website.  http://hab.forestviewmultimedia.com/project.html
Please see photos below (courtesy of Miles Lowe and Steve Mott)

Fritz Bertelt W0KO accepting his recognition plaque.

 

January 2017 BAARC Secretary Report

Thursday-January 26, 2017 – 4:00 PM – BAARC Board Meeting Minutes – Brainerd Pubic Library

President: Steve Mott NØCRM
Vice President: John Luce WØWY
Treasurer: Doug Bergsnev WØDWB
Secretary: Ron Finger KØGOP
Past Presidents: Charles Lane W5CCL, Al Doree WØRC
Director At Large: Lyle Amundson KØLFV
Director of Emergency Communications: Dave Schuldheisz KØISZ
Repeater Trustee: Mitch Ahrenstorff ADØHJ
Community & Special Events Coordinator: TJ Graves KØTEG 

Attendees: Steve NØCRM, Ron KØGOP, Al WØRC, John WØWY, Lyle KØLFV, Shirley KØDCW, Mitch ADØHJ, Dave KØISZ and Roger WØWUG. The President opened the Board Meeting at 4:00 PM.

Secretary’s Report: Membership roster shows 79 members with 19 paid for 2017. The Club roster has been migrated to the Club Gmail account with plans to link it to the new website under the “Members Only” area. Other activities included preparation of 2017 Hamfest materials. Motion to accept: John WØWY, Second Al WØRC, Passed. 

Treasurer’s Report: In his absence, the Treasurer forwarded his report summary to the board. The Secretary presented 2 bills for reimbursement on connectors and heat-shrink tubing for the Club coax termination kit as well as a check for Club coax sales. The Repeater Trustee presented bills for reimbursement on upgrades, routers, and fees for the Club repeaters. Motion to reimburse for $235.15 Lyle KØLFV, Second John WØWY, Passed. 

Membership Meeting Program: The President reviewed recent and future Club programs and events. John WØWY discussed the possibility of a return visit from Andy Rangen for a special program for the February meeting. Mr. Rangen previously gave an informative presentation on “The Internet of Things” in October 2015. 

Upcoming Events: Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza on January 28th, 2017. Mid-Minnesota 150 Dog Sled Race on February 11. Minnesota QSO Party Special Event Station on February 4.

Old Business: Storage unit discussion: POD container 20′ x 8′ for $1500-$1700 dollars. Approval from BFD for placement; finalizing discussions as to optimal placement on their grounds. High-rise antenna site: Pat WØOPW is constructing an HF antenna for the remote station; Club will install as weather permits. Gull lake Internet and tower site: Al WØRC is waiting for Hubbard Broadcasting to continue their progress towards making a space for us in the newer building. Granite City reprogramming of Club Motorola HT radios: John WØWY received a bid of $35/radio. Motion to accept for 10 radios at $350 total Al WØRC, Second John WØWY, Passed.

New Business: Club ID badges: The Board discussed increasing membership dues by $5 to cover the cost of Club photo ID badges. As before, any members still needing a badge should contact the Secretary. Motion to increase Club membership dues by $5 to include ID badge: John WØWY, Second Dave KØISZ, Passed. Repeater planning meeting held on 11/19/16 at the arboretum. We will be configuring the Crosby (225) and Crow Wing Power (700) with Wires-X controllers and testing the audio. Mitch ADØHJ has developed a procedure to standardize the audio levels of the System Fusion repeaters allowing us to set them up the same way. Al and Mitch discussed another club’s recent action in sending their Fusion repeaters back to Yaesu for a display board upgrade. Mitch was not aware of any offered or needed upgrades to our 7 units at this time. BAARC website: The new site went live on January 1st, 2017 and is now self-hosted via a donated Dell server. Added some memory and processor power, System is on a script to do automatic backups; Bob W0ZPE is providing a new monthly communication that we are posting on the Blog page. “All Things HF” is his new communication feature. BAARC Email traffic: We have seen a significant increase in email activity and need to put a plan in place to review and provide responses. Many emails were related to information regarding our upcoming Hamfest. We have added the Hamfest information to the site which should reduce the email traffic. Steve has reviewed many emails and provided responses; we still have some bad email addresses that we need to clean up. Old repeaters: discussed suggestion that we try to sell these older repeaters at our Hamfest. Crosslake Tower site: The new owners of the Crosslake tower sent a letter to the Club January 24th, asking for more information regarding Club liability insurance. These forms were given to John WØWY for completion. Repeater linking: Mitch ADØHJ presented his boilerplate plan for Fusion repeater linking. Using the identical setups will allow for easier maintenance and operation of the Club repeater system. The board will consider the request for peripheral/supporting equipment to round out the repeater linking process, as we go forward. The 3 identical setups would require an additional $275 each for a total of $825.

The board meeting was adjourned at 5:15 PM.

Thursday-January 26, 2017 – 7:00 PM – BAARC Membership Meeting Minutes – Forestview Middle School

4 students from the Forestview High Altitude Balloon Class, along with teachers Cory Olson and Mike Reed, invited the Club into their classroom/lab for an interesting presentation on their progress towards the upcoming spring launch. The President opened an abbreviated Club membership business meeting at 8:15 PM with 27 members and guests present. Pat WØOPW recounted a recent and successful hunt for a 160m RFI source emanating from the new, non-dimmable LED bulbs in his neighbor’s home. Secretary reported receiving many Club dues renewals during the meeting. Treasurer’s report submitted showing all month’s account transactions and balances to date. 

–Respectfully submitted by Ron KØGOP, Secretary

2017 Officer Election Results

At the November club membership meeting the 2017 Board Member Election was held and here are the new members.

Congratulations, New Officers & Directors for 2017

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Pictured l-r back row: TJ Graves (KØTEG) Community & Special Events Director; Mitch Ahrenstorff (ADØHJ) Repeater Trustee; Lyle Amundson (KØLFV) Director-at-Large. Front row l-r: John Luce (WØWY) Vice President; Steve Mott (NØCRM) President; Doug Bergsnev (WØDWB) Treasurer; Ron Finger (KØGOP) Secretary. Photo—NØCRM