January 2020 BAARC Secretary’s Report

THURSDAY-JANUARY 30, 2020 – 4:00 PM – BAARC BOARD MEETING MINUTES – BRAINERD FIRE STATION
President: Steve Mott NØCRM
Vice President: Terry May KIØFW
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: John Luce WØWY
Repeater Trustee: Mitch Ahrenstorff ADØHJ
Community & Special Events Coordinator: Mark Cross KEØLFQ
Attendees: Steve NØCRM, Ron KØGOP, John WØWY, Al WØRC, Shirley KØDCW, Mitch ADØHJ, Charles W5CCL, and Mark KEØLFQ. The Secretary opened the Board Meeting at 4:13 PM.

Secretary’s Report: 

  • Membership roster: 73 members with 34 outstanding for 2020 (as of membership meeting close). 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.
  • Minutes: The December board and membership meetings were not held in lieu of the Club Christmas party. 
  • The Secretary cast a “white ballot” to elect Club all officers and directors listed on the 2020 ballot. 
  • Correspondence: none.
  • Documents: secretary will update new Hamfest flyer and website info to new location specifics as determined in coming weeks.
  • Membership ID’s: 1 new Club ID.
  • Club membership roster and Gmail recipient list were updated to current status.
  • Motion to accept: John WØWY, Second Al WØRC , Passed. 

Treasurer’s Report:

  • The Treasurer sent his report to the board showing all month’s account transactions and balances to date. 
  • Motion to accept: Al WØRC, Second Charles W5CCL, Passed

Membership Meeting Programs: 

  • The President reviewed recent and future Club programs and events. 
  • Future meeting dates: February 27, 7 PM, Brainerd Fire Station – John WØWY will invite Sheriff Scott Goddard to attend with and present a program on the department’s therapy dog “Lincoln”.
  • Recent / Upcoming Events: The following events were discussed: 
  • MN-150 Sled Dog Race, Saturday, February 9, 2020: Al WØRC updated the board on course changes, with event organizer Dan Levno to stop by with updates and checkpoints.
  • Mark KEØLFQ will check for operator interest in working the “Breezy Point Fly-In”, Saturday, May 2, 2020.

Digital and Emergency Communications:

  • Ron KØGOP reported on the status of the Central MN Hospital Net held at 1300 on the first Wednesday of the month. The Club is looking for additional operators to staff the 5 Crow Wing County radio locations.

Club Repeaters Status:

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

New Business:

  • John WØWY will draft a year-end letter of appreciation for the secretary to send to the various entities hosting our many Club repeater sites.
  • SKYWARN Severe weather spotting: We need to get on track for linking the 225 and 700 repeaters locally, and then to the Duluth NWS.

The Board Meeting was adjourned at 5:12 PM.

THURSDAY-JANUARY 30, 2020 – 7:00 PM – BAARC MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – BRAINERD FIRE STATION

The Club enjoyed a very interesting presentation by Pat Goff on the recent upgrades to the Crow Wing Power grid management system.

—Respectfully submitted by Ron KØGOP, Secretary

March 2019 BAARC SECRETARY’S REPORT

THURSDAY-March 28, 2019 – 4:00 PM – BAARC BOARD MEETING MINUTES – BRAINERD FIRE STATION

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, Lyle KØLFV, John WØWY, Ron KØGOP, Al WØRC, Shirley KØDCW, Mitch ADØHJ, Mark KEØLFQ and Dave KØISZ. The President opened the Board Meeting at 405 PM.

Secretary’s Report: 

  • Membership roster: 72 members with 47 paid for 2019 (as of membership meeting close). 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.
  • Minutes: The February 2019 Executive Board and Membership Meeting minutes were posted to the “Baarcer” area.
  • Correspondence: None.
  • Documents: Updated Club membership roster and Gmail contacts database.
  • Membership ID’s: No new Club ID’s.
  • Club Website: Existing banner graphics for April “Brainerd Hamfest”.
  • Motion to accept: Al WØRC, Second Lyle KØLFV, Passed. 

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. 

  • Motion to accept: Al WØRC, Second Dave KØISZ, Passed

Membership Meeting Programs: 

  • The President reviewed recent and future Club programs and events.
  • March 28: “Forestview High Altitude Balloon Class presentation” by teachers Jim Reed and Cory Olson
  • April 25: “Slow Scan TV (SSTV)” demonstration by Al WØRC, “SKYWARN Training Review” by John WØWY
  • May 23: “BAARC Spring Dinner” at American Legion, Nisswa
  • June 20: “Field Day 2019 Prep”
  • July 25: “Field Day Recap” Need alternate location for 4PM Board Meeting.

Recent / Upcoming Events: The following events were discussed:

Brainerd Area Hamfest

NWS Duluth “SKYWARN Spotter Class”

  • Tuesday, April 9, 2019, 2pm & 6pm, Crow Wing County Land Services Building, Brainerd, MN
  • The training will include: a brief introduction to the National Weather Service (NWS), the different types of hazardous weather and how to safely observe them, the categories of severe weather to report, and how to send those reports to the NWS.

Brainerd Jaycees “Run For The Lakes” Marathon

  • Saturday, April 27, 2019, Nisswa, MN
  • Mark KEØLFQ will chair.
  • John will contact John Bowen to verify the operation and use of the Sheriff’s comm trailer.

BAARC Spring Dinner

  • Thursday May 23, 2019, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
  • Nisswa American Legion Post 627, 25807 Main St, Nisswa
  • Social hour: 5PM, Dinner served: 6 PM, Program: 7 PM – 8 PM.
  • Make your reservations with our Treasurer, Doug WØDWB. We will need to have FINAL COUNT by Net time, Sunday, May 19th.

Paul Bunyan Cyclists “Tour of the Lakes” Bike Ride

  • Saturday, June 1, 2019, Downtown Brainerd
  • Mark KEØLFQ will chair.
  • Traffic congestion is anticipated in the downtown area. Net control will use the CWC Sheriff’s van near the county garage and operators stage along the route.
  • John will contact John Bowen to verify the operation and use of the Sheriff’s comm trailer.

“ARRL Field Day 2019” 1PM Saturday, June 22, – Noon Sunday, June 23: Crow Wing County Fairgrounds

Friday June 21, Mid-Afternoon

  • Deliver communications trailer to FD site
  • Camping available at FD site Friday & Saturday nights 
  • Bathrooms and electric power are available
  • Event talk-In frequency 147.600+  T-141.3

Saturday June 22, Morning

  • 8:00 AM: Club breakfast downtown Brainerd at Northwind Grille 
  • 9:30 AM: Set-up communications trailer, install antennas and check out radios & support equipment.
  • 10:30 AM: Amateur radio license testing
  • 1:00 PM: Field Day operations open. On-site communications on 146.58 simplex
  • 5:30 PM: Potluck supper at F/D Site.  Bring something good to share.   

Sunday June 23,12:00 PM, Noon 

  • 12:00 PM: Field Day operations close.
  • Tear down / cleanup of antennas and equipment.

FREE Tailgate Hamfest

  • Saturday, August 10, 2019, Crow Wing County Fairgrounds
  • Lyle KØLFV will chair.

Breakfast, Picnic and Fox Hunt

  • Saturday, August 17, 2019, Lum Park, Brainerd
  • 9:00 AM Breakfast at Northwind Grill, Brainerd
  • Fox Hunt begins after breakfast with activities and picnic at Lum Park sheltered area.
  • Lyle KØLFV will chair.

Digital & Emergency Communications: 

Director of Emergency Communications position:

  • 2019 SKYWARN planning meeting on Saturday, March 30 at Hermantown. There will be 2 training class sessions in Brainerd this year at 2 PM and 6PM, Tuesday, March 9 at the Crow Wing County Land Services Building. This will be the last year of instruction from retiring meteorologist Carol Christenson KCØMAK.
  • No further updates on CWC-EOC remodeling progress.

Old Business: 

Repeater Sites: Mitch reported on MN Repeater Council approval for the new Club UHF pair of 443.925 MHz. This was a previous Club pair used for a portable UHF repeater in the old Club trailer, and now slated for use with a new Fusion Digital repeater installation at the Gull Lake site.

  • Gull Lake:
    • Looking ahead to finishing outdoor cabling work as weather improves.
  • Crosby:
    • No new items.
  • Crow Wing Power:
    • No new items.
  • Cross Lake:
    • No new items.
  • High-rise Site:
    • No new items.

Club Inventory: Everyone holding assets for the Club is requested to inventory their items into a simple list and forward to Lyle and the Board.

Club Fundraising Documents: Resuming work on fundraising efforts was discussed. The Secretary will refine his first draft of a Club information letter and send to the Board for comments.

Active 911: This emergency notification program was first implemented a few years ago, but has not been utilized since then. Mark will investigate to determine it’s current status.

New Business:

  • Appreciation plaques were discussed for presentation to 3 individuals that have provided service and assistance to the Club and our activities: Carol Christenson, NWS meteorologist and SKYWARN trainer, Scott Goddard, CWC Sheriff, and John Bowen CWC Emergency Management Director. The Secretary will complete designs and submit to Tom KTØMMY who has generously offered to laser-engrave for the Club.
  • Everyone holding assets for the Club is requested to inventory their items into a simple list and forward to Lyle and the Board.
  • Discussed was the need to limit admission of Hamfest license exam applicants to 10:15 AM or 10:30 AM. Last year’s late entrants kept VE’s there until 1:30 with no passing exams returned.

The Board Meeting was adjourned at 4:50 PM.

THURSDAY-March 28, 2019 – 7:00 PM – BAARC MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – BRAINERD FIRE STATION

  • The President called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM with 32 members and guests present. The business meeting was delayed until after the guest presentation “Forestview High Altitude Balloon Class presentation” by teachers Jim Reed and Cory Olson

–Respectfully submitted by Ron KØGOP, Secretary

All Things HF: March 2019

About 18 months ago the FCC along with the ARRL commenced a dialog regarding the Ham census. There has been little change in the numbers of license holders since then. The dialog was and still is how to get more people into the hobby. I wrote in my blog at that time of my objections to both the FCC and the ARRL’s solution of giving HF band width to the Technician license holder in order to attract larger census numbers.

In rounded off numbers there is a total of 757,000 licensed Ham radio operators consisting of Techs, Gen, and Extra. The numbers of licensed Technicians is 385,000 and so if you do the math, that’s over half of the licensed Hams in the U.S. There’s a lot wrong with those numbers and so the idea of attracting more people into the hobby, the FCC and the ARRL’s solution is giving Techs phone and digital band width on 80, 40, 15 and 10 meters.

My answer is simple; upgrade to General and Extra for your privileges. I’m celebrating my 24th year in the hobby and I worked for my privileges the hard way, I earned them. I personally do not see an advantage to the hobby by inviting the buy me, get me, give me, bunch into the hobby by giving them band width they should earn by upgrading. How about a concentrated program to encourage and to help these 385 thousand Techs to upgrade rather than entice them with a giveaway program and then invite those with open arms who want to become licensed Hams. Take the entry exam for a license then upgrade like you and I did…the right way, we earned those HF privileges.

Just when you think there’s no positive message in this blog, I worked Juan Fernandez Is. (XRØZRC) using CW and I did it the hard way, I busted through the pileup after 2 agonizing hours of brass pounding. Welcome to spring!

Before closing, remember to sit at your station and call CQ, 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…see ‘ya next month.

Best 73 es gud DX de Bob, WØZPE

All Things HF: January 2019

No matter how you slice it or how you dice it, we Ham radio operators are all about communicating. We communicate using various modes such as SSB, CW, Digital or perhaps modes yet to be developed used to communicate with robots, even a chat now and then with extraterrestrial beings.  Mostly we communicate with others in this interesting avocation of ours, others like ourselves. We have an art called ‘conversation’ and lets face it, not everyone has the ability to sit behind a mic to spend hours conversing intelligently with perfect strangers.
Marcia and I were at Applebee’s in Baxter waiting to be seated for lunch along with several others when I noticed most of the people were holding smart phones as their thumbs moved over a virtual keyboard at warp speed. My very first reaction was ‘there’s a lot of carpel tunnel in the making’ but they were communicating with a device that was not eyeball to eyeball and the thought that they were losing some of the art of conversation occurred to me as the communications were all digital.
After being seated I once again looked around the restaurant to notice almost every table had at least one, sometimes more still moving their thumbs at warp speed over a virtual keyboard. Hardly anyone was in a conversation at the tables and including…the bar, that were in an eyeball to eyeball encounter. I quietly wondered how the texting by the folks at the bar would look like after a few drinks. Anyway, the point is that you and I use a medium called Ham radio which is far too cumbersome to sit on the table or even the bar so we do our ‘thing’ at home or on occasion we’ll take our stations afield to operate portable. Sadly the cycle 24 minimum has a strangle hold on our band conditions making most DX off limits so I find myself calling CQ fully expecting an interesting fulfilling QSO to answer my call on the other end.
That’s about it from my QTH in Huntersville for this month so let remind you to sit at your station, call CQ because someone somewhere is listening for your call. Don’t disappoint them. I hope to see you next month…
Best 73 es gud DX from my station to yours…Bob/WØZPE