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.

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.


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