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

All Things HF: February 2017

No sunspots, no problem. DX may be difficult but not impossible so lets get back to the basics. Get the equipment turned on, sit down with a purpose of doing what we do best…rag chew! This hobby is all about communicating so keep that in mind when you call CQ. Last week I was pleasantly surprised to hear a CQ aero mobile on 18.130, it didn’t take me long to answer his call and what a nice QSO along with being informative. It was the co-pilot from 4 land zipping along at 12,000 feet and 450 knots in a Bombardier 300 Challenger. As the operator put it, the HF radio with the rest of the avionics is mounted in a $26 million frame. The crew was taking the owner and his family from New Mexico to their winter home in  Florida. We were able to talk radio while he was munching on a sandwich. The factory mounted antenna is a vertical that is fixed to the leading edge of the vertical stabilizer and what a beautiful signal he was transmitting. HF radios are required on commercial aircraft in case VHF fails. Although this bird is considered general aviation…HF is factory installed. There were other memorable contacts made in the past 30 days with some DX into central America. Tip of the day: Thank you is used often in operating HF so don’t be afraid to say it often. Thank you for the call, thank you for the QSO and thank you for the signal report…its all part of good operating skills. See ‘ya next time and don’t forget to call CQ because someone somewhere is listening.
Bob/W0ZPE

2017 Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza

Hello BAARC members, we just want to remind everyone that the 2017 Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza is just around the corner and we will be supporting event as we do every year. We are looking for volunteers to help with the event.

Al & Shirley are once again chairing this event (Thank you Al and Shirley), and here is a list of the operators we need.

Shirley will do net control duties and Al will bring his ATV and sled to take operators to center ice.

We need operators for:

Lake side Bus Stop.

Medical.

Shadow for event chairperson.

North and South check stations.

Extras for rotation and net control.

Rover to pick up operators from bus stop.

Here are some pictures form the year 2015:

2017 Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza

The Club President’s 2017 Welcome Statement

I want to welcome our great club into the 2017 calendar year.

We have made many changes over the past few years and have some remaining work to be completed to finish out our wide area network of linked repeaters. It has required efforts from many of our club members and I want to personally thank everyone that has helped with that effort.

The changes being put in place are in support of long range efforts to have a system with common components, and an architecture that will provide linking of our repeaters to support the various activities we participate in. More importantly, we are making strides to have a linked system that will be used in our Skywarn support to the National Weather Service in Duluth.

We have just a few items left to complete to provide a BAARC Club HF Station. The antenna is in place and testing has been done on the radio and interface. Once again, thanks to the many people that have worked on this project as well.

We have also moved forward with a refreshed website design, and again, many people were involved with this effort as well. The new site will be updated throughout the year as we learn more about what people are looking for in the club website.

In parallel with that, one major change to the website will be the change in how the BAARCER communication has changed. We have accepted the resignation of our long time BAARCER editor Fritz Bertelt. Many thanks are due to Fritz for the countless hours of work that he put into creating our monthly newsletter! In the spirit of moving to a new look of the website, we have also moved away from the long standing traditional 8-page newsletter. Remember that this was a throwback to the days of the BAARC club newsletter being “Mailed out” each month. In recent years, we have discontinued the practice of mailing the BAARC’er out and have relied purely on our website to communicate the BAARC’er.

The new messaging vehicle in the website will be a Blog. (The BAARC’er Newsletter will no longer be produced)

Definition of blog (from Merriam-Webster)

  1. : a Web site that contains online personal reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer; also : the contents of such a site

The Blog section of our website will contain communications regarding Events, Board Meeting Notes, Board Meeting programs, club activities, etc. this new look is now being used on our site. Please let us know what you think.

In closing, I am excited and happy to serve another year as the BAARC President. With both a great Board, and club behind me it makes this an easy role to fill. I want to thank ALL you, again and hope for a great 2017.

Steve Mott NØCRM
BAARC President: 2017

147.225 Crosby repeater work

On Saturday December 17th, Mitch (AD0HJ) and Steve (N0CRM) went to the Crosby to adjust the repeater squelch level and load a new firmware update on the Fusion repeater.

There is a cyclic signal that is being seen on the input of the repeater. A slight adjustment to the Squelch level helped resolve the problem. The cyclic signal is still seen on the input, but the level change has helped

Both of the repeaters 147.225 on the bottom and 443.925 on the top.

imgp2212

imgp2210

Mitch AD0AHJ is loading new firmware updates into the repeater.
imgp2217

All Things HF (January 2016)

All Things HF
Sometimes to emphasize a point one can best relate to an experience. Case in point…you hear it all the time, the band is dead or there is nothing but noise. Last Wednesday I sat down at my station to work whatever was available. I checked the activity on my spectrum scope and sure enough the scope was flat lined across the 17-meter band. I like to use the phrase ‘nobody can here you listening’ so perhaps there is someone listening. The only way you’re going to find out is to call CQ and after 2 attempts (with my beam due east) a voice came back with a ZS2 prefix. Okay, that’s South Africa and the band is dead or is it?Its just like going fishing and snagging a big one. The remainder of the afternoon was spent doing QSO’s around the U.S. and Canada and I never changed frequency… I only adjusted my beam heading in order to accommodate the mini pileup on my call. Tip of the day: Please be sure to ask is the frequency in use (even though you hear nothing) and be sure to give your call. The FCC and those ARRL frequency cops will send you one of those nasty post cards if they do not hear your call sign. Do the right thing, its good for the hobby. See ‘ya next time and remember to call CQ because someone somewhere is listening.
Bob/W0ZPE

DX and the Paper Chase: The final chapter

DX and the Paper Chase
I’ve been writing this column for about 5 years and have
enjoyed it immensely. During that 5 year period I worked DX
and chased the paper (QSL cards) diligently until my goal of
working and confirming at least 300 countries and entities
was realized. My goal was reached this year with 10 countries
to spare. I’m in the ARRL DXCC at 310 confirmed. As I look
back from the beginning, 19 years have past since receiving
my first DX QSL card. Now I’d like to shift gears and share
my experiences in operating HF. Some of you old timers
already know the ins and outs of operating skills. Some of the
new Hams may not, so there’s where my focus will be. Sunspot
Cycle 24 was more or less a bust as compared to the sunspot
cycles preceding it. There are still 2+ years left in the
present cycle and it’s not pretty. Operating HF during this
‘minimum’ will be challenging to say the least, and DX a bit
more difficult. Hope to see you next month and don’t give up
on DX—-Best 73 from Bob/WØZPE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

November 2016 Secretary report Import test

Thursday-November 17, 2016 – 4:00 PM – BAARC Board Meeting Minutes
Brainerd Fire Station

President: Steve Mott NØCRM Past Presidents: Charles Lane W5CCL, Al Doree WØRC
Vice President: Lyle Amundson KØLFV Director At Large: Al Doree WØRC
Treasurer: Doug Bergsnev WØDWB Repeater Trustee: Fritz Bertelt WØKO
Secretary: Ron Finger KØGOP Director of Emergency Communications: John Luce WØWY
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 Nick KØNJR.
The President opened the Board Meeting at 4:00 PM.

Secretary’s Report: Membership roster shows 90 paid members for November 2016. The October BAARCer was published to the website. Other activities included updating of the Club roster and Gmail contact list.
Motion to accept: John WØWY, Second Al WØRC, Passed.

Treasurer’s Report: In his absence, the Treasurer forwarded his report summary to the Vice President for the board.

Membership Meeting Program: The President reviewed recent and future Club programs and events. The December membership meeting will be held a week early due to the Christmas holiday. John WØWY confirmed the December 15 meeting date with the fire department secretary.

Upcoming Events: BAARC Christmas party and snack potluck on Thursday, December 15. Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza on January 28 with February 18 backup date. Mid-Minnesota 150 Dog Sled Race on February 11. Minnesota QSO Party Special Event Station on February 4.

Old Business: John WØWY has received written permission to locate a Club 20’ x 8’ storage container within the Brainerd Fire Station fenced area. This will be used to house the many items in the Club inventory currently located at several members homes and out-buildings. Motion to select and purchase at a cost not to exceed $2000, a Club storage unit including delivery and placement: Lyle KØLFV, Second John WØWY, Passed. Lyle reported the CC-DX antenna is now in place at the Brainerd High-Rise remote base site. The traps need to be raised higher. John and Al reported we are waiting for responses on the Gull Lake site relocation and Granite City HT programming projects.

New Business: Repeater Committee planning meeting will be held at the Northland Arboretum, Saturday November 19, 1000-1200. Nick KØNJR and Mitch ADØHJ presented the new Club website that they and Dave KEØIUZ have been refining over the prior weeks. The board was very impressed with the updated look and feel of the site, and elected to go live on January 1, 2017. Motion to go live on 1/1/2017: Nick KØNJR, Second Mitch ADØHJ, Passed. Mitch will investigate the new hosting requirements with our current Crosslake Communications host.
The board accepted with regret, Fritz WØKO’s resignation of Club duties as BAARCer Editor, and Repeater Trustee. Fritz also coordinated the Sunday Night Net NCS operators and was the Club’s “Chairman of Cheer”, sending cards to members and families over the years. The Board appointed Mitch as the new Repeater Trustee; Motion: Al WØRC, Second Ron KØGOP, Passed. Mitch also agreed to serve as Sunday Night Net Coordinator. A discussion was held on moving the BAARCer to an online-only format in conjunction with the new website. Legacy volumes for prior years will also be transferred and available on the Club site. The Board will seek members interested in assisting with photography and content for this new BAARCer format. Ron KØGOP volunteered to act as Photo Editor, retouching and prepping any images as needed for publication.
The election of 2017 Club officers was reviewed and scheduled for the 7 PM meeting. In an email to the board, the President relayed a request by a local Crosby Ham that has just returned to the area and seeking help in setting up his antennas. TJ KØTEG responded with an offer to help, as did other members at the Board meeting.
The board meeting was adjourned at 5:00 PM.

Thursday-November 17, 2016 – 7:00 PM – BAARC Membership Meeting Minutes
Brainerd Fire Station
The President opened the Club membership business meeting at 7:00 PM with 34 members and guests present. Treasurer’s report submitted showing all month’s account transactions and balances to date. The election of 2017 officers was held, with the Secretary casting a unanimous ballot for the Club. Ron KØGOP presented a Station Grounding System prepared for Civil Air Patrol Communications. Mitch ADØHJ and Nick KØNJR presented the new Club website to the membership, developed along with the Website Planning Committee over the last year.
–Respectfully submitted by Ron KØGOP, Secretary