All Things HF: May 2018

All Things HF
It seems like I spend more time keeping my station free of dust these days than I do using it. After all, it is summer (almost) so lots of time is spent below the pergola on the back deck nursing a cold beverage. After our very long and very cold winter, sitting outdoors watching the wildlife is almost as rewarding as getting into a rag chew on HF. What I really needed to do was to peak my interest in getting back on the air.

I decided to improve my CW skills by a daily practice session at my desk rather than using the built in radio CW practice set-up. My desk set-up includes a Vibroplex CW paddle connected to a battery operated keyer with automatic dits along with adjustable speed controls. The keyer is manufactured by GHD and is available from Morse Express.

In the meantime, the DXpedition to Baker/Howland Islands scheduled for June, is going to get my undivided attention for an ATNO on both phone and CW. Both my antenna systems and radio station are capable of making the trip but the propagation Gods are will determine the outcome. I have my fingers crossed…

That’s all for this month so remind yourself to sit at your station and call CQ (you might consider using CW) because someone somewhere is listening for your call, don’t disappoint them. So long from my station in Huntersville to your station wherever it may be.

Best 73 es gud DX Bob/WØZPE

Forestview Middle School Balloon Launch SUCCESS!

On May 16th, 2018 Jim Reed and Cory Olson, Forestview Middle School teachers, finally were able to get a flight path prediction for their long awaited balloon launch. They selected a small ball field in Cushing, MN as launch site and as it turned out, it was the perfect site to use. The balloon was a 3000 gram balloon, which means it was bigger than the other balloons they launched, usually 1200 grams.

The balloon launched at 4:50 PM and headed southeast as expected. The balloon burst at 6:19 PM at an altitude of 111,003 ft. We started tracking as soon as it was launched, but did not hurry as everyone was tracking it either by APRS or an APRS app on their smart phones. Jim and Cory positioned us near where it looked like it would land and they were not far off.

Ron, KØGOP was on the 147.225 repeater assisting with tracking information on aprs.fi. As it turned out, it landed in an open farmers field near Lastrup, MN. The home owner, an elderly lady, was sure surprised when she saw 8 or 10 cars coming up her driveway. One of her sons was still there so he helped recover the balloon with his ATV.

The other coincidence was that one of her daughters is also the Managing Editor of the Morrison Co Record. She arrived in a little while and Jim, Cory and the HAB club will get some well deserved publicity from the Record.

All in all it turned out be be a very good flight. This makes 100% recovery for the club.

73′ Al Doree WØRC

Attached is an APRS map showing the balloon flight in RED and the tracking crew path in GREEN.

APRIL 2018 BAARC SECRETARY’S REPORT

THURSDAY-APRIL 26, 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 Events Coordinator: Mark Cross KEØLFQ

Attendees: Steve NØCRM, John WØWY, Lyle KØLFV, Doug WØDWB, Ron KØGOP, Al WØRC, Shirley KØDCW, Charles W5CCL, Roger WØWUG, Mark KEØLFQ and Mitch ADØHJ. The President opened the Board Meeting at 4 PM.

Secretary’s Report: 

  • Membership roster: 72 members with 9 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 March 2018 meeting minutes were posted to the“Baarcer” area of the Club website.
  • Correspondence: None.
  • Documents: Updated Club membership roster and Gmail contacts database.
  • Web Banner Art: New Banner Art for April Satellite Program
  • Community & Special Events Coordinator position updated in BAARC Bylaws. Fire department and Crow Wing County Fair Board plaques completed for engraving.
  • Membership ID’s: 1 New Club ID badge made.
  • Motion to accept: John WØWY, SecondAl WØRC,  

Treasurer’s Report: The Treasurer presented the Treasurer’s report showing all month’s account transactions and balances to date.

  • Motion to accept: Al WØRC, SecondJohn WØWY, Passed

Membership Meeting Programs: The President reviewed recent and future Club programs and events. May 24 meeting: BAARC Spring Dinner.

Upcoming Events: The following events were discussed:

Brainerd Jaycees Run for the Lakes Marathon

  • Saturday, April 28, 2018
  • John WØWY will arrange for use of CWC Sherriff’s Trailer

Breezy Point Airport Fly-In May 5th, 2018

  • Mark KEØLFQ will chair the event
  • Will present sign-up sheet at April meeting

BAARC Spring Dinner May 24, 2018

  • Nisswa Legion – Prairie Bay to do catering.
  • Still need a program speaker

Digital & Emergency Communications: 

HRA – High Rise site:

  • Verizon Communications will be moving its equipment to the roof
  • We need to determine what Club antennas we wish to retain and add
  • John WØWY discussed the proposed plan
  • Schedule Saturday May 19th 1000 for Club work session

Other Repeater Sites:

  • Gull Lake:
    • Discussed options for coax and connectors.
  • Crosby:
    • 444.925 DARC room setup for a persistent connection.
  • Crow Wing Power:
    • Computer/controller back online.
  • Cross Lake:
    • No new items.

Old Business:

Add second 2m antenna to CWC Sheriff’s Trailer

  • John Bowen has approved; will use their installer.
  • Al WØRC has purchased antenna for their installation.

Possible Portable Repeater Site at future Remer Fire Station

  • Progress Update
  • Al and John discussed the possibility of obtaining permission to install an antenna, coax and power at the new Fire Station site in Remer, MN.
  • This would allow for setting up a temporary portable Club repeater for use during Club-staffed events like the Mid-MN 150 Sled Dog Race and SKYWARN.
  • Brainerd Fire Chief Tim Holmes will contact the Remer FD as an introduction.

Purchase Upgrade for Yaesu Fusion DR Repeater #5 for $300

Motion to accept: Lyle KØLFV, Second Al WØRC, Passed. 

The Board Meeting was adjourned at 4:45 PM.

THURSDAY-APRIL 26, 2018 – 7:00 PM – BAARC MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – BRAINERD FIRE DEPARTMENT

The President opened the Club membership business meeting at 7 PM with 36 members and guests present. Paul KEØPBR gave an informative program on Amateur Radio Satellite Communication. Ron KØGOP, Secretary

All Things HF: April 2018

All Things HF

As you get older it seems as though you’re prone to attend more funerals or at least read the obits more often. In the obits column a couple of weeks ago was the demise of Art Bell (W6OBB) who had a long running syndicated early morning radio show titled Coast To Coast AM. Art was quite famous for dealing with the paranormal on his radio show. I must admit that I was not one of his spooky radio show listeners. I never met Art but…in 1997 when the Magic Band was doing its magic, I worked Art Bell on 6-meters at his station in Pahrump, Nevada.

One might ask ‘where the hell is Pahrump anyway ? Well, Pahrump is the home of the Chicken Ranch. If you’re asking what’s the Chicken Ranch ? You’re from the younger generation 2 or 3 times removed and I would suggest you Google Chicken Ranch to become enlightened. So long Art and good DX from your home up there! The strange places one runs into when driving the expanse of our interstate system is amazing. On interstate 15 going through the eastern half of the Mojave Desert is a green road sign with the arrow pointing to Zzyzx Road. Folks, you just can’t make up stuff like that. I worked an operator on 17-meters years ago who lived near Zzyzx as I thought to myself ‘what a great CW call’ oh well, you can’t make that one up either.

Speaking of CW calls, my QSL card for Kosovo (Z6ØA) arrived in the mail courtesy of Club Log and their OQRS QSL service. This brings this old operator to 311 worked and confirmed for DXCC as I march (limp) toward Honor Roll. On another note re: band conditions reported by an expert on the subject of solar activities, the expected minimum for cycle 24 will be the year 2020 so let’s not give up hope. It ain’t over till the fat lady sings…That’s it for now from my station to your station. Don’t forget to sit at your station and call CQ because someone somewhere is listening for you…could be the six call from Zzyzx, you never know.

Best 73 es gud DX from Bob/WØZPE