March 2017 BAARC Secretary Report


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.


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


All Things HF: April 2017

All Things HF…
Last month we experienced low sunspot numbers. The past 30 days we’ve experienced 14 days in a row of no sunspots whatsoever. Getting DX was difficult if not entirely impossible but…patience is a virtue when working DX even with no sunspots. When all else fails, go to that narrow band mode of communicating referred to as CW. I was to work both Cote d’ Ivoire (TU) and the Solomon Islands (H4) on 30-meters CW with pretty fair signals. I plan to talk about CW in one of my future Blogs. This month I’d like to remind those of you with HF privileges and those of you working to upgrade to HF that there is plenty of ‘good stuff’ out there in the form of QSO’s around the country even with low to no sunspots on 17 and 20-meters. The thrill of having your CQ answered or a CQ you’re  responding to is that there’s an interesting operator at the other end of your microphone to talk with. Several years ago I answered a CQ from a station in the northeast part of the country and as I entered his call into my logging program, his name popped up as Konrad Wallenda…oh yeah I thought, the famous flying Wallenda’s and one of them just might be on the other end of my QSO. After the usual exchange of station information and QTH, I asked the question and there was a chuckle from the other end…yes he was one of the  famous members of the Wallenda clan. Its this sort of experience that keeps me coming back day after day even when there’s lousy band conditions. Several months ago I worked a (KH6) which is a Hawaiian call but his address popped up as being in Silicon Valley. This started an hour’s long of one of the most interesting and informative QSO’s I had experienced on HF.  The operator was a survivor of Hiroshima! He was a 3 year old toddler that fateful day as ‘the’ bomb struck that ended a terrible war. On his QRZ page was an interesting series of photos, an exact replica including the vintage radios of the station aboard the B-29 known as the Enola Gay that he created over the years. He became an American citizen and some sort of a big shot in the Silicon Valley. You never know who is going to answer your CQ so don’t forget to sit at your station and call…someone somewhere is listening for your signal…

So long from Huntersville, best 73 es gud DX de Bob/W0ZPE.

BAARC Breakfast and Technology meeting March 18, 2017

Saturday morning there was a very large turnout for the BAARC breakfast the technology meeting.
At the breakfeast, Mitch AD0HJ and Nick W0NY shared some new work that they have been working on. Nick downloaded and printed an enclosure for the PiGate (a Raspberry Pi PC and TNC) to be used for emergency operations. Be sure to attend our next club meeting to learn more about Winlink 2000 and email capability using our amateur radios.
Mitch shared the PiGate device that he has built. This standalone PC boots up and becomes WiFi hotspot that you can send emails in an emergency.

At the Technology meeting there was also a large turnout for the meeting at the library. At that meeting, we discussed the following:

  • BAARC website server move to the Crosby site
  • The future BAARC remote HF station and associated antenna
  • The upgrades to the BAARC repeater linking
  • Future ideas for the Gull Lake site
  • Discussion regarding re-purposing our old repeater equipment.

2017 Northland Skywarn Amateur Radio Meeting

On Saturday March 11, 2017 five member of the Brainerd Area Amateur Radio club participated in the annual Northland Skywarn Amateur Radio Meeting and planning session.

Members from BAARC that attended included the following:
John: W0WY Terry: KI0FW Al: W0RC Dave: K0ISZ Steve: N0CRM

The Northland Skywarn Amateur Radio community leaders (18 counties of coverage from the Duluth National Weather Service Network) met with the NWS to discuss past practices and plan for the upcoming severe weather season.
This meeting is also a medium for Northland Hams to meet and discuss their area-wide communications practices.

Meeting activities included the following:
Review of last year’s meeting action items
Review of the Duluth NWS Network
Activation Review/Updates
Review of Situational Awareness and weather reporting tools
CoCoRaHS – Measure and report rainfall
mPING – is an app for your Smartphone Android or IOS; Enable GPS, This began as a         precipitation tool but has expanded

We also learned about some of the members favorite tools that they use:
Google Voice: This tool allows you to create a single
You can choose a brand new number from Google or use your existing mobile number to get    the full set of Google Voice features, like:
• one number that rings all your phones
• online voicemail with transcriptions, sent to you by email or text
• custom greetings and call blocking, and much more

Zoom Weather Pro

Radar Scope Very good reports about radar accuracy Many storm chasers and spotters use this. You must answer some questions regarding spotting before you are allowed.

Severe Weather Awareness Week is April 17-21st
There will be a drill on April 20th.
• The test tornado watch will be issued at 1:00 PM
• All spotter groups will be officially activated at 1:15 PM
• The test tornado warning will be issued at 1:45 PM
• The test warning will end at 2:00 PM
Please note that a second test tornado warning will be issued at 6:45 PM