All Things HF: December 2018

A very Merry Christmas and a Happy and healthy New Year.

The past 30 days or so of HF band conditions have been whatever one wanted to make of them. Some bands were open, some bands were so-so and some bands were closed. There was some good DX to be operated 12 and 17 meters then the following day…nothing. Good openings into Europe were plentiful on 20-meters if you looked, listened and called CQ. We seem to be stuck in the doldrums of the minimum of sunspot cycle 24. The band conditions seem to be the main focus of our QSO’s these days.

I still continue to maintain a positive attitude when I sit down at my station that there is always something worth working out there in radioland. I make it a habit to turn on the station in the afternoon with the antenna beaming west to take advantage of greyline propagation…I am seldom disappointed. I also make use of my favorite DX spotting website (DXscape) which is a Japanese operated spotting system with excellent reporting of present DX operators worldwide in real time.

As the minimum of cycle 24 continues, and it will for quite some time to come, good old fashioned rag chewing will be the dominant factor which is really the backbone of what this hobby is all about. My feeling is that most of us active operators consider ourselves to be somewhat technically inclined so allow me to stray a bit from radio to the subject of robots.

Robots are dominant in the manufacturing sector. Robots build our vehicles with precision, they build the circuit boards in our radios. Robots do it all. I’ve been fascinated by robots since the early days when they were considered ‘boy toys’ and not respected self programing operational robot systems that have landed recently on the planet Mars. Sure, I’m building up to something here that I would like to share with you. I purchased an iRobot for me and my wife’s anniversary (mostly for me). The robot is the 900 series Roomba for cleaning floors and carpeting. This amazing robot leaves its docking station on demand then proceeds to clean the floors in every room all the while programing and reprograming itself with the use of an onboard camera that sends it photos back to the robots systems to correct or re correct its plan of travel. Should Roomba sense its batteries are getting low even though the cleaning job is yet to be completed…she heads directly back to her docking station for a recharge. When the batteries have been recharged, she heads directly back to her unfinished cleaning from where she left off. I am totally impressed, my wife is totally delighted and…that iRobot is scary as she returns to her docking station until called upon to clean the floors again. Life is sweet!

Remember to sit down at your station and call CQ because someone somewhere is listening, don’t disappoint them. The best 73 es gud DX from my station in Huntersville to your station wherever it is. So long for now and once again, Merry Christmas, Happy New year as Santa drives through the skies of our radio frequencies bringing joy to the world…de Bob WØZPE

NOVEMBER 2018 BAARC SECRETARY’S REPORT

THURSDAY-NOVEMBER 29, 2018 – 4:00 PM – BAARC BOARD MEETING MINUTES – BRAINERD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

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: Mark Cross KEØLFQ

Attendees: Steve NØCRM, Doug WØDWB, John WØWY, Ron KØGOP, Al WØRC, Shirley KØDCW, Mitch ADØHJ, Lyle KØLFV, Mark KEØLFQ and Roger WØWUG. The President opened the Board Meeting at 410 PM.

Secretary’s Report: 

  • Membership roster: 74 members with 6 unpaid for 2018. The Club roster can be found on the Club website under the“Resources/Members Only”  Current paid members can request an individual password for access via the “Contact Us” form.
  • Minutes: The October 2018 Executive Board and Membership Meeting minutes were posted to the“Baarcer” area.
  • Correspondence:
  • Documents: Updated Club membership roster and Gmail contacts database.
  • Membership ID’s: No new Club ID’s.
  • Club Website: New banner graphic for November: “ARRL Edmund Fitzgerald Special Event”.
  • Motion to accept: John WØWY, SecondMark KEØLFQ ,  

Treasurer’s Report: The President presented the Treasurer’s report that was forwarded to the board showing all month’s account transactions and balances to date. Doug has verified that the Club Trailer is covered on the Club insurance policy to a limit of $28,000.

  • Motion to accept: John WØWY, SecondAl WØRC, Passed

Membership Meeting Programs: 

  • The President reviewed recent and future Club programs and events. As the Fire Department meeting location is unavailable for December, John has arranged using the Brainerd Chamber of Commerce CTC meeting room for the December 20th holiday party date. There will be no board meeting and the membership meeting/party will begin an hour early at 6:00 PM.

Recent / Upcoming Events: The following events were discussed:

ARRL Special Event: “Anniversary of the Sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald”

  • Sunday November 11, 2018 at Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle in Detroit, MI
  • Extended event November 6 – November 20 using W8F call sign
  • Certificates provided w/ SASE.

2019 BAARC Hamfest

  • Saturday, April 6, 2019
  • Al WØRC has secured the date with the Brainerd Armory.

Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza

  • Saturday, January 26, 2019 Hole in the Day Bay on Gull Lake
  • Mark will chair the event, but may not be available to attend.
  • John will arrange for use of the Sheriff’s comm trailer.

Mid-MN 150 Dog Sled Race

  • Saturday, February 9, 2019
  • Al will chair the event. Our base of operations will remain at the Village Inn, Outing.
  • John will again arrange for use of the Sheriff’s comm trailer.

Digital & Emergency Communications: 

Director of Emergency Communications position:

  • John reported he will continue to assist Dave KØISZ until he is able to return to full duty at his new location.

New CWC EOC:

  • No updates on construction progress allowing reactivating our Club station there.

Old Business: 

Repeater Sites:

  • Gull Lake:
    • See New Business.
  • Crosby:
    • No new items.
  • Crow Wing Power:
    • No new items.
  • Cross Lake:
    • No new items.
  • High-rise Site:
    • No new items.

New Business:

  • Club fundraising was discussed. The Secretary will continue to draft and refine documents to assist those efforts including Club information and future equipment needs. These could then be provided to local charitable organizations for consideration and a follow up meeting with their group.
  • Ballots for 2019 election of Club Officers were sent to the membership and will be tabulated at the 7:00 PM Membership Meeting.
  • Mitch reported on APRS and VHF repeater-linking progress at the Gull Lake Repeater site. Motion to purchase 2 additional rack-mount PC’s at $400 each: Mitch ADØHJ, SecondAl WØRC,  Mitch has donated another PC and linking for the APRS addition.
  • Mitch also reported on progress in applying for the new Club repeater pair.
  • Al reported that his old 3M Amateur Radio Club has been following our Club’s purchase and success with the Yaesu DR-2X Digital Repeater system, and are in the process of updating their repeaters accordingly.
  • The board discussed a possible Club donation to a scholarship fund in memory of recent SK, WØAIH. The Treasurer was asked to make a $100 donation from the Club treasury.

The Board Meeting was adjourned at 4:42 PM.

THURSDAY-NOVEMBER 29, 2018 – 7:00 PM – BAARC MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – BRAINERD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

The President called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM. Following business meeting reports, ballots were collected for the election of 2019 Club Officers. With no write-in candidates received, a motion was made from the membership: Motion for the Secretary to cast a unanimous ballot for the listed Club Officers: Shirley KØDCW, Second Leon KEØAFY, Passed. 

 

Elected Officers for 2019:

President: Steve Mott, NØCRM

Vice-President: Lyle Amundson, KØLFV

Treasurer: Doug Bergsnev, WØDWB

Secretary: Ron Finger, KØGOP

Director-at-Large: Al Doree, WØRC

 

Directors:

Past President: Charles Lane, W5CCL

Past President: Al Doree, WØRC

 

The following were nominated by the Executive Board and elected by the Membership:

Repeater Trustee: Mitch Ahrenstorff, ADØHJ

Director of Emergency Communications: Dave Schuldheisz, KØISZ

Community Events Coordinator: Mark Cross, KEØLFQ

 

Following the business meeting and break, a presentation on several working SDR (Software Defined Radio) setups was given. Demonstrating these units were: Lyle KØLFV, Gary KAØJUM, and Mitch ADØHJ.

–Respectfully submitted by Ron KØGOP, Secretary

OCTOBER 2018 BAARC SECRETARY’S REPORT

THURSDAY-OCTOBER 25, 2018 – 4:00 PM – BAARC BOARD MEETING MINUTES – BRAINERD FIRE DEPARTMENT

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: Mark Cross KEØLFQ

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

Secretary’s Report: 

  • Membership roster: 74 members with 6 unpaid for 2018. The Club roster can be found on the Club website under the“Resources/Members Only”  Current paid members can request an individual password for access via the “Contact Us” form.
  • Minutes: The September 2018 Executive Board and Membership Meeting minutes were posted to the“Baarcer” area.
  • Correspondence:
  • Documents: Updated Club membership roster and Gmail contacts database.
  • Membership ID’s: No new Club ID’s.
  • Club Website: New banner graphic for October; Northland Arboretum’s Haunted Trail event.
  • Motion to accept: Al WØRC, SecondJohn WØWY,  

Treasurer’s Report: The Treasurer presented the Treasurer’s report that was forwarded to the board showing all month’s account transactions and balances to date. Doug will check to verify that the Club Trailer is covered on the Club insurance policy.

  • Motion to accept: John WØWY, SecondAl WØRC, Passed

Membership Meeting Programs: 

  • The President reviewed recent and future Club programs and events. The Fire Department meeting location is unavailable for November and December. John has arranged using the Brainerd Chamber of Commerce CTC meeting room for the November 29th and December 20th dates.

Upcoming Events: The following events were discussed:

ARRL Special Event: “Anniversary of the Sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald”

  • Sunday November 11, 2018 at Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle in Detroit, MI
  • Extended event November 6 – November 20 using W8F call sign
  • Certificates provided w/ SASE.

2019 BAARC Hamfest

  • Saturday, April 6, 2019
  • Al WØRC has secured the date with the Brainerd Armory.

Digital & Emergency Communications: 

ARES Connect Update:

  • John reported on the recent ARES exercise.

New CWC EOC:

  • No updates on construction progress allowing reactivating our Club station there.

Old Business: 

Repeater Sites:

  • Gull Lake:
    • Mitch ADØHJ reported on a recent work session with Al and Roger to connect the new Heliax.
  • Crosby:
    • No new items.
  • Crow Wing Power:
    • No new items.
  • Cross Lake:
    • No new items.
  • High-rise Site:
    • No changes on site.

New Business:

  • Upcoming elections for Club officers were discussed. No volunteers have come forward for the open Vice-President post as yet.
  • John reported the Club has received a $100 check from the Kiwanis for the Triathlon. The Secretary will send a letter of thanks to John’s contact.
  • Mitch reported Lyle has been looking for MTM-100’s for Club repeater linking.

Motion to amend previous motion of $200 – $400 for purchase of additional FTM-100’s: Al WØRC, Second Steve NØCRM, Passed. 

  • The possibility of securing a possible northeast repeater location was discussed. Other site options are being explored.
  • Motion to request a new frequency pair for Gull Lake site (146.955 / 146.355): Mitch ADØHJ, SecondSteve NØCRM,  Mitch will pursue with the repeater council.
  • Adding APRS to the Gull Lake site was discussed. Would need a PC, and controller.
  • Discussed Hi-Rise site use and HF Win-Link.

The Board Meeting was adjourned at 4:50 PM.

THURSDAY-OCTOBER 25, 2018 – 7:00 PM – BAARC MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – BRAINERD FIRE DEPARTMENT

International Space Station SSTV Reception – Presented by Mitch ADØHJ

–Respectfully submitted by Ron KØGOP, Secretary

All Things HF: November 2018

First and foremost…Happy Thanksgiving to all and to all your families. A special Thanksgiving along with our prayers to our veterans serving this country here and on station.

November was/is a very wonderful month for those of us who love the thrill (sometimes the defeat) of working that ATNO or just working that rare DX even though we’ve already have them in our logs. So it was with the Ducie Island DXpedition (VP6D) that went QRV during some of the South Pacific’s worst weather conditions. Those of us that served in the Pacific theater of operations are aware of just how bad and how unpredictable the weather can be in October when Pacific typhoons break loose with their treacherous seas along with destructive landfall conditions. During those stressful conditions, the DXpedition operators on Ducie Island set up operations.

I’ve worked a lot of DXpeditions along with some of the worlds finest operators or so I thought until I worked VP6D, these dedicated radio guys were absolutely the crème de la crème. They made the pileups so enjoyable that nobody that had to wait to work them was disappointed. They diligently worked 121,000 total Q’s with the following breakdown by mode (rounded off) CW 68,000. SSB 29,000. Digital modes 25,000. You’re reading the numbers correctly…over 50% of their contacts were on CW and so I can tell you with pride, that one of them was mine.

Continued enthusiasm for the CW mode is not the technology, it’s the legacy. As for the digital modes…all that can be said is that digital modes are the future of our great hobby. Gerald Youngblood (K5SDR) CEO of Flex Radio wrote regarding digital modes on HF operations “FT8 et al is an example of the technology that will keep Ham Radio alive and relevant for the future” What will kill Amateur Radio, he continued, “is if we cease to innovate, become old and grumpy, and no longer bring new blood into the hobby” There’s no doubt that Digi-modes will be the vehicle that brings the young technically oriented talent into the hobby and so keeping the hobby alive and well. Us old grumpy dudes operating CW and phone will eventually hand over the reins to the newbies but in the meantime…sit down at your station, check out all those lighted up dials, twist some knobs then call CQ because there’s another grumpy old dude listening for your call so don’t disappoint him/her. So long from my station in Huntersville to your station wherever it may be.

Best 73 es gud DX de Bob/WØZPE