All Things HF: May 2019

MOUNT ATHOS
The DX voice and CW key are silent from Mount Athos with the recent passing of Monk Apollo (SV2ASP/A) now a silent key. Apollo was a Achiariou Monk in the Monastic Republic of Mount Athos.

Mount Athos is number 20 on the most wanted list of DX entities worldwide. Its most likely to be in the top 10 now that Apollo’s key is silent. There have been nor will there likely be any DXpeditions from Mount Athos now or in the future. The 2000 inhabitants (all Monks) are devoted Christians to their special monastic beliefs with all contributing to the livelihood of the republic. Apollo was the chief engineer. There are several Monks that hold the equivalent Greek radio licenses to our Tech with no HF privileges. Monk Apollo (SV2ASP/A) SK will be missed by the worldwide DX community. RIP SV2ASP/A SK.

Band conditions have improved over the past 30 days with increased sunspots noted resulting in higher solar flux index numbers…much better DXing this past month. I enjoyed QSO’s into the UK, Italy and Mexico. Lots of good activity and fun contacts around the good old USA (also Canada and Yukon)

That’s the update from my station in Huntersville reminding you to sit down at your station and call CQ, there’s someone out there listening for your call…don’t disappoint them. So long from my station to yours. Best 73 es gud DX from Bob WØZPE.

All Things HF: June 2019

All Things HF
The station for WØZPE uses all monoband Yagi antennas. Lots of aluminum up there on a single tower along with 2 power poles with side mounted rotors. Power poles work out just fine plus they look a lot better than a tower.

A decision was made to install a wire antenna for 40-meters rather than using a vertical. The 7khz band is fun both day and night with lots of good operators and when band conditions are good, lots of available DX.

A purchase was made of a commercial wire made up as a half wave center fed inverted vee with a 1to1 balun all fabricated ready to install. The lead line from my station goes over the roof of the house then underground in PVC to the antenna location. A 20 ft. section of ½ inch black iron pipe is being used as the center support and is mounted on an ersatz totem pole that was fixed to a section of 2X6 wood fencing putting the apex at 24 ft. above grade.

On completing the install, my antenna analyzer showed no more than 1:2 to 1 VSWR’s across the entire bandwidth (bless these monobanders) so it was no surprise when I set the station up for operation including the amplifier, that my first contact went perfectly. This wire and balun will take full legal power with the amplifier showing no issues as it was being used.

Prior to writing this blog, WØZPE worked 17 stations on 40-meters for Field Day as 1 Hotel (unable to find WØUJ) but had a blast. The band was very crowded so the amplifier made it easier to get through the noise and the pileups. Getting a new antenna is fun as it helps put some pizzazz in ones station as you get answers to your CQ’s.

Don’t forget to sit at your station and call CQ as there’s someone somewhere listening for your call, don’t disappoint them. So long from my station in Huntersville to your station wherever it my be.

Best 73 es gud DX from WØZPE

All Things HF: April 2019

As I’ve stated in the past, I am not a student of propagation. What I know about the sun and its mysterious spots if printed on the head of a pin, there would be space left large enough for the Bill Of Rights. What I do know is when there’s good worldwide DX, something is working right. I made good contacts into Europe, Central America and Cuba this past month. Also worked a couple of DXpeditions using CW. I have also noticed that there very few spotters to the various DX sites from zero land…what’s going on there?

Another happening is the FT-8 mode being spotted more than DX on SSB. This mode seems to be getting a good percentage of the available worldwide DX contacts. I know nothing about FT-8 but I’m guessing it operates on a very narrow bandwidth like CW. Anyway, I enjoyed operating this month on both CW and phone as there was lots of good signals out there. Its been noted by the pundits that the polarity of the sunspots indicates we’re still in cycle 24.

Another attempt to set-up a DXpedition on Bouvet was aborted due to storm damage to the chartered ship carrying the operators and their equipment to the remote Island. Both the radar and satellite communications systems were damaged by 30 foot seas making navigation an issue. They returned to home port without further damage. Are we ever going to get Bouvet into our logs?

Spring has arrived, most of our heavy winter snow has melted and there are many DXpeditions scheduled for the next 6-8 months so you can bet I’ll be in the pileups trying for an allusive ATNO in my quest for honor roll. That’s about it for now as I look forward to some sunshine along with good band conditions for all of us. Remember to activate your stations, call CQ because as always, someone out there is listening for your call so don’t disappoint them. So long from my station in Huntersville to your station wherever it may be…

Best 73 es gud DX from Bob WØZPE

APRIL 2019 BAARC SECRETARY’S REPORT

THURSDAY-APRIL 25, 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, Doug WØDWB, John WØWY, Ron KØGOP, Al WØRC, Shirley KØDCW, Mitch ADØHJ, Mark KEØLFQ and visiting from the St.Cloud Amateur Radio Club, Jason KØTH. The President opened the Board Meeting at 400 PM.

Secretary’s Report: 

  • Membership roster: 75 members with 50 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 March 2019 Executive Board and Membership Meeting minutes were posted to the “Baarcer” area.
  • Correspondence: None.
  • Documents: Updated Club membership roster and Gmail contacts database. Appreciation plaque design for laser engraving by Tom KTØMMY, and presentation to retiring NWS-Duluth meteorologist Carol Christenson KCØMAK.
  • Membership ID’s: 1 new Club ID.
  • Club Website: New “2019 ARRL Field Day” banner graphics.
  • Motion to accept: Al WØRC, Second Lyle KØLFV, Passed. 

Treasurer’s Report:

  • The Treasurer presented the April report forwarded to the board showing all month’s account transactions and balances to date. Of particular interest were figures showing a very successful April Hamfest.
  • The Brainerd Armory site will be unavailable for the next 1-2 years due to extensive remodeling plans. A new hamfest site will need to be found in the interim.
  • Motion to accept: John WØWY, Second Al WØRC, 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:

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.

“Aviation Days” at the Breezy Point Airport

  • Saturday May 4, 2019, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • 30360 Airport Road, Breezy Point, MN
  • Mark KEØLFQ will chair pending sufficient interest from Club membership.

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, “Forestview Middle School High Altitude Balloon Class” by teachers Jim Reed and Cory Olson.
  • Menu options were discussed; selected $17 per person, 2-choice option of baked honey ham or baked chicken, bread & rolls w/ butters, twice-baked potatoes, and tossed salad.
  • 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: 

  • John will present a recap of the 2019 SKYWARN training class to Club members at the evening Membership Meeting. This was the last year of instruction from retiring meteorologist Carol Christenson KCØMAK.
  • No further updates on CWC-EOC remodeling progress.

Old Business:  

  • Club Fundraising Documents: The Secretary emailed a first draft of a Club information letter to the Board for comments.

Club Repeaters Status:

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.

New Business:

  • The Secretary will complete a design for an appreciation plaque for Scott Goddard, CWC Sheriff, and John Bowen CWC Emergency Management Director and submit to Tom KTØMMY who has generously offered to laser-engrave for the Club.
  • Mitch ADØHJ introduced his invited guest, Jason KØTH from the St. Cloud Amateur Radio Club. Jason asked the board to consider Club involvement in a new event, “The 2019 Area-Wide Ripley Rendezvous”. The event is sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America, and will be held at Camp Ripley, May 17-19. Of interest to the possible 3000 scouts and leader attendees would be Club members demonstrating working setups profiling various Amateur Radio activities. These could include VHF, UHF analog/digital radio, HF-radio phone, CW and digital modes, and AMSAT portable radio. Involvement in these amateur radio activities would be one of many choices available to the scouts during the Saturday schedule. It was decided to try supporting this event and pass a sign-up sheet at the evening Membership Meeting.

The Board Meeting was adjourned at 5:10 PM.

THURSDAY-APRIL 25, 2019 – 7:00 PM – BAARC MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – BRAINERD FIRE STATION

  • The President called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM with 37 members and guests present. Following the business meeting, several member presentations were made:
  • SKYWARN Training recap, John WØWY
  • Morrison County SKYWARN program, Tom KDØMOM
  • Amateur Radio SSTV, Al WØRC
  • ISS-SSTV Image reception, Mitch ADØHJ

–Respectfully submitted by Ron KØGOP, Secretary