HCRA BOD Meeting 26-Oct-2017

HCRA Board of Directors meeting 26-October-2017

Attendees:

President – WM1B (Dave)

Vise President – OPEN

Secretary – N1FTP (Harold)

Treasurer – NV1Q (Juergen)

Tech. Dir – K1YO (Bob)

Zero Beat Ed. – WA1MOW (Gary)

Membership – K1VOI (John)

At Large – KB1RXO (Karl)

Absent: Program Dir. – W1AST (Larry)

——————————— Meeting Open at 6:56pm ———————

President Report:

  • A Tech Class is being formulated. A location has been firmed up and a support/trainer is being worked on. More to follow.
  • Volunteers are needed for an “Elmer’s List” where new ham’s as well as current, can talk to, ask advise on, make visits to stations during contests, help with Rookie Roundup, use of Elmer’s equipment? Antenna raising/tear down/maintenance group.

Vice President Report:

  • OPEN

Secretary Report:

  • Holiday ticket sales is slow but should catch up quickly at the next meeting.
  • Raffle tickets sales is also slow. It usually picks up just before and after the Holidays.
  • For sale are HCRA Polo shirts, patches, badges, and tumblers.

Treasurers Report:

  • The Treasurers report is available on request.

Program Director Report

  • Nov 3rd, SWLing and Dxing (N1FTP)
  • Dec, 4th, Holiday Party
  • Jan 5th, guest speaker via Skype from DX Engineering.
  • Apr, “Show & Tell”

At Large Report:

  • Still working on easy ways to drive in and remove Field Day antenna guy support stakes.

Membership Report:

  • 45 members so far for 2018

Technical Director:

  • Working on getting small groups of members to participate in building small projects perhaps in a lab environment. More to follow.

Zero Beat Editor:

  • The first Mini-Zero Beat was published.
  • Zero Beat will now be published every other (odd) month starting in September. For the other (even) months, a flier will be published with upcoming announcements and meetings.

Old Business:

  • The tumblers look great and are given to presenters and can be purchased by the membership.
  • A discussion of whether or not a $25 gas card should be offered to those presenters that travel quite a distance and are not presenting for the purpose of selling for profit. A motion was made and approved. In Favor-8, Apposed-0.
  • Support for Scouting/HCRA – on hold
  • Facebook host, web site – on hold, bring up at next meeting.
  • Raffle tickets, if an individual purchases 10 tickets for themselves, they get the 11th one free.
  • Holiday tickets have arrived and are being sold at VE sessions and at both club meetings.

New Business:

  • The Vice President position is still open. While Dave is in Florida, each BOD member will be given a month to open the meeting and present the presenter.
  • Each BOD member has been assigned the task of writing down their job descriptions/responsibilities.
  • Definitions of memberships has been created and is in the process of being reviewed by the BOD.
  • The Secretary will count and plot attendance of all membership meetings for trend analysis.
  • How do we increase membership? Survey Monkey? Welcoming committee? More to follow.
  • Juergen will be cleaning up and archiving items on our Web site.

Open Floor Discussion: (GOO – Good of the Order)

  • BOD frequency of meetings will be on the 3rd Thursday of every even month. (Aug, Oct, Dec, Feb, Apr, Jun). The BOD will determine if additional meetings are required on a needed basis. Meeting will be held at the Ihop in West Springfield. Dinner at 6pm, meeting at 7pm.

——————————— Meeting Closed at 8:39pm ———————

VLF Contest Announcement

HCRA & SOTA Jerks
VLF Competition

VLF Bandscope

 

As you know the FCC has recently approved amateur radio use on the VLF (Very Low Frequency) bands starting September 15th, 2017. These bands are 135.7 to 135.8 kHZ (2,200 meters) and 472 to 479 kHz (630 meters). More information can be found about the authorization and bands by clicking the links.

It’s unlikely anyone will be using these bands for a SOTA activation but nevertheless the SOTA Jerks have proposed a QSO competition to spark interest in the new allocations. Our two clubs have gathered together $100 to award the winner of the competition. In the spirit of keeping things simple we’ve made the rules easy to follow. It’s up to you, the station builder/operators to do the heavy lifting on this one!

Rules:

  1. Eligibility
    1. All participants must be hold the proper license and permissions to use the VLF bands.
      1. Bands are open to General and above and permission must be secured by applying to UTC.
    2. All participants must be a member in good standing in either club.
    3. No participant shall have held an experimental license for these bands. We are looking for new folks to give VLF a try
  2. Contest Period
    1. Contest starts October 15th, 2017 at 0000z
    2. Contest ends March 15th, 2018 at 2359z
    3. Winner will be announced at HCRA’s April 6th 2018 meeting
  3. Bands
    1. 630 or 2,200 meters only
  4. Mode
    1. Any mode authorized for 630m or 2,200m
  5. Prize
    1. The winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to DX Engineering
  6. Selection criteria
    1. The winner is the operator with the longest distance, confirmed QSO.
      1. Distance determined by Latitude/Longitude of each station.
        1. Here’s a handy on-line calculator: https://www.mapdevelopers.com/distance_from_to.php
      2. Confirmation Proof by LotW or card only
      3. All entries must contain proof of confirmation and the distance calculated between the two stations.
      4. In the event of a tie a drawing will be held to determine the winner.
  1. Entry Requirements
    1. Submit your longest confirmed QSO to Jim Mullen via email or USPS by March 15th 2018
      1. Email: kk1w.jim@gmail.com or USPS to 144 Tower Hill Rd, Brimfield, MA 01010
        1. Enclose an SASE for return of any submitted cards

That’s all there is to it. As of this writing there are at least two transceivers that can be used without modification on VLF frequencies: Kenwood TS590 and Elecraft K3s. The Elecraft K3 can be modified to use these bands. Transverter kits for VLF are available, here’s one for under $100.

VLF Transverter Kit

These bands are more like our AM broadcast bands (think WHYN-AM 560) than traditional bands. Antenna size and power levels are limited so it shouldn’t cost a lot to be QRV on either of the bands. It will take some ingenuity and good ole’ ham ‘experimentation and modification’, which is exactly what amateur radio is all about.

There are many blogs on the web about VLF and the new bands. Here’s one from AE5X to get you started. These bands can be really interesting once you start digging a little deeper. Your efforts represent the start of a new ham radio frontier!

 

Good luck and may the longest QSO win!

’73…
HCRA and SOTA Jerks

HCRA BOD Meeting 17-Aug-2017

HCRA Board of Directors meeting 17-August-2017

Attendees:

President – WM1B (Dave)

Vise President – OPEN

Secretary – N1FTP (Harold)

Treasurer – NV1Q (Juergen)

Program Dir. – W1AST (Larry)

Tech. Dir – K1YO (Bob)

Zero Beat Ed. – WA1MOW (Gary)

Membership – K1VOI (John)

At Large – KB1RXO (Karl)

Guest: Chet N1XPT

——————————— Meeting Open at 7:03pm ———————

President Report:

  • Discussed the importance of delegating responsibilities.

Vice President Report:

  • OPEN

Secretary Report:

  • 2016 “Annual Report” and “990-N” form has been files.

Treasurers Report:

  • The Treasurers report is available on request.

Program Director Report:

  • Sep 8st, is WWFF presentation (KC1AEO)
  • Oct 6th, presentation on DXLabs
  • Nov 3rd, SWLing and Dxing (N1FTP)
  • Dec, 4th, Holiday Party
  • Jan 5th, guest speaker via Skype from DX Engineering.

At Large Report:

  • Nothing to report.

Membership Report:

  • FY 2017 ended with 96 paid members. Because this is renewal time, 4 members have renewed so far.

Technical Director:

  • Nothing to report

Zero Beat Editor:

  • Zero Beat will now be published every other (odd) month starting in September. For the other (even) months, a flier will be published with upcoming announcements and meetings.

Old Business:

  • Larry has found a source for the tumblers that are to be given out to guest speakers rather than take them out to dinner. The BOD approved the purchase of (25) 30oz. tumblers with the HCRA logo. Larry also mentioned that if the members like them, for another $1 each, and a minimum order of 25, so $20 each (prepaid) we can place an order with a persons call sign or name. The purchasing of the the (25) 30oz. tumblers for guest speakers was approved by the BOD.
    • In Favor-8
    • Opposed-0
  • Harold, the Holiday Party with MTARA is still on schedule. Cost to membership is $22 but the club will put in the extra $2 per ticket bringing the price back to $20. Harold will be in contact with Rich (KC1AEO) for tickets to sell. Each club will donate $125 for prizes. MTARA will purchase the prizes. Paying for the extra $2 per ticket was approved by the BOD.
    • In Favor-7
    • Opposed-1

– Dave, raffle tickets for the Yaesu FT-891 and ATAS-120A have been printed and handed out to the BOD for selling. Harold is in charge of ticket tally’s and selling at the meetings.

– Field Day 2017. Jeff has sent the BOD a list of items that needs to be looked at as-soon-as- possible. Those items include the camper, the utility trailer and screw-in anchors vs the sledge type. A more detailed list is available from the BOD.

New Business:

  • The Vice President position is open. While Dave goes to Floriday in the months of February, March, and maybe April, the BOD will conduct the monthly meetings.
  • Post Office keys. Gary now has a key and will periodically pick-up mail. Gary suggested that at least 4 others on the BOD have keys in case of emergency and backup.
  • Facebook host – Dave will have his name removed from the “Group Page”.
  • Web site operations is open and will need someone to step up should we have problems.

Open Floor Discussion: (GOO – Good of the Order)

  • At the next membership meeting, Bob will be discussing upcoming projects were a very limited amount of members would go to his lab and build.
  • Gary discussed his view on why free memberships rules and regulations should be mentioned in our bylaws. Examples would be details on the free first year membershp of a newly licensed hamradio operator and how does one obtain Life Membership. The BOD will discuss at greater length at our next BOD meeting.
  • BOD frequency of meetings will be on the 3rd Thursday of every even month. (Aug, Oct, Dec, Feb, Apr, Jun). The BOD will determine if additional meetings are required on a needed basis. Meeting will be held at the Ihop in West Springfield. Dinner at 6pm, meeting at 7pm.

——————————— Meeting Closed at 8:33pm ———————

Election Results

At HCRA’s June 2017 meeting, the members in attendance has voted in the 2017-2018 board of directors. Your directors are as follows

Position Photo Name Callsign
President David Fant WM1B
Vice-President OPEN OPEN
Treasurer hcra-nv1q-150x150 Juergen Malner NV1Q
Secretary Harold Woering W1FTP
Newsletter   Gary Fields W1MOW
At Large Karl Krassler KB1RXO
Membership hcra-k1voi-150x150 John  Plaster K1VOI
Program Larry Krainson W1AST
Technical K1YO Robert  Meneguzzo K1YO

There is still a position available, if you have any interest in serving on the board of directors, please contact your board of directors

HCRA Raffle Poll – What would you liked to see raffled?

Every year, HCRA sponsors a fund raiser through a raffle. We usually choose an item (or items) that retails for around $1000 and raffle it off to one lucky winner. Last year we raffled the Elecraft KX2. It’s a 5-10 watt HF rig that included a microphone and antenna tuner. It sold around 180 tickets and our winner was Alex Rock (AB1FC). This year we are torn as to what the item(s) would be. Below are some possible choices. Please pick what you would like to be raffled following the options below


Option 1 –  Yaesu FT-891 With ATAS-120A Antenna  (WINNER!!!)

Ever wanted to operate mobile? Here you chance! Last year Yaesu rolled out with the FT-891. A Full HF+6M all mode rig with up to 100w output. It has a larger screen and a larger dial compared to the FT-857D which offers ease of use. Included with the FT-891 is the ATAS-120a automatic antenna. This setup could also be used at the home or portable.

For features of the FT-891 – Please Click Here

For features of the ATAS-102A – Please Click Here (PDF)

*- Mounts/Coax not included

Price: FT-891 ($700) + ATAS 120A  ($325) = $1025


Option 2ELAD FDM-Duo Multi use SDR transceiver
Interested in SDR but also don’t want to be tied down with only having to use a computer? This is a perfect rig for those who don’t have much room on their table and would like to have an HF rig. This 5-8 watt rig can be used in many configurations with or without a computer

For features and more information about the ELAD FDM-Duno – Click Here

Price: Approx $1000


Option 3Elecraft KX2 with Speaker Mic and Automatic Antenna Tuner

With the success of the last raffle and the popularity of the KX2, we figured to offer it up again. This is an all mode 80-10m HF rig that has an excellent feature and is packed full of options that will fit in your hand. It’s an excellent portable QRP rig. If selected, HCRA will also include the Microphone (as pictured) and an excellent auto tuner option.

For features and more information about the Elecraft KX2 – Click Here

*- CW paddle not included

Price: Approx $1000


Please vote below for what you would think would sell the most tickets. 

VOTING IS CLOSED. WINNER IS THE FT-891/ATAS-120A COMBO. THANK YOU

What Option Would You Like To See Raffled?

  • Option 1 - Yaesu FT-891 W/ ATAS-120A Antenna (52%, 26 Votes)
  • Option 3 - Elecraft KX2 w/ Microphone and ATU (40%, 20 Votes)
  • Option 2 - ELAD FDM-Duo SDR transceiver (8%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 50

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HCRA Board of Directors meeting May 3, 2017

HCRA Board of Directors meeting 03-May-2017

Attendees:

President – NT1K (Jeff)

Secretary – N1FTP (Harold)

Treasurer – NV1Q (Juergen)

Program Dir. – W1AST (Larry)

Tech. Dir – K1YO (Bob)

Zero Beat Ed. – WA1MOW (Gary)

Membership – K1VOI (John)

Absent:

At Large – KB1RXO (Karl)

Vice President – WM1B (Dave)

——————————— Meeting Open at 7:03pm ———————

President Report:

  • Nothing to report.

Vice President Report:

  • Nothing to report.

Secretary Report:

  • Nothing to report.

Treasurers Report:

  • The Treasurers report is available on request.

Program Director Report:

  • May 5th will be Steve Davidson, Mgr HRO, Salem, NH, Go Boxes
  • Jun 2nd, Elections and Field Day 2017.
  • Sep 1st, is WWFF presentation (KC1AEO)
  • Oct 6th, presentation on DXLabs
  • Nov 3rd, SWLing and Dxing (N1FTP)
  • Dec, 4th, Holiday Party
  • Jan 5th, guest speaker via Skype from DX Engineering. (Jeff will be looking into a prepaid hotspot or alternative to handle the Skype data.)

At Large Report:

  • Nothing to report.

Membership Report:

  • Currently there are 96 paid members.

Technical Director:

  • Nothing to report

Zero Beat Editor:

  • Zero Beat will now be published every other month starting in September. For the other months, a flier will be published with upcoming announcements and meetings.

(This item will be brought to the membership for information only.)

Old Business:

  • Holiday Party: a vote by all the members attending the May meeting will be asked if they would like to have the Holiday Party on Sunday afternoon or Monday evening. That question is also on our Facebook page.
  • HCRA Tumbler: We are currently trying to get the same price per unit but for a smaller minimum order. This does not have to be resolved until September.
  • Field Day trailer: will have a cleanup, inventory, reorganization, and repair on May 13 at 10am.
  • Field Day Status: everything has been confirmed, a grill was donated by KC1B, captains have been assigned, food is all set, and there will be a VE session lead by Jeff. A 10X20 car port was researched by Dave. The Board made a motion to spend the $300 for the car port.
    • In Favor-7
    • Apposed-0

New Business:

  • The position of President and Vice President was brought up and the membership will be asked for approvals and candidates at the May meeting.
  • Remove Jeff from the bank account and add the new President. Ease of transition will be investigated by Juergen

Open Floor Discussion:

  • Nothing to report.

——————————— Meeting Closed at 8:35pm ———————

HCRA Board of Directors meeting minutes for 06-April-2017

HCRA Board of Directors meeting 06-Apr-2017

Attendees:

President – NT1K (Jeff)

Vice President – WM1B (Dave)

Secretary – N1FTP (Harold)

Treasurer – NV1Q (Juergen)

Program Dir. – W1AST (Larry)

Tech. Dir – K1YO (Bob)

Zero Beat Ed. – WA1MOW (Gary)

Membership – K1VOI (John)

Absent:

At Large – KB1RXO (Karl)

——————————— Meeting Open at 7:13pm ———————

President Report:

  • A lot of work was done on the web site. It needed fixing as well as updates due to crashes. It appears we get about 50 visits per day.
  • A test was done on our Facebook page for possible advertising. The test had good results. More to follow as this item will be discussed again at a future BOD meeting.
  • Jeff has decided to step down as President due to work and family constraints. His reign will end June 2017. He will continue to be a member and help out when he can.

Vice President Report:

  • Nothing to report at this time.

Secretary Report:

  • Liability Insurance has been paid for the club. It is in effect from March 2016 to March 2017.

Treasurers Report:

  • The Treasurers report is available on request.

Program Director Report:

  • May 5th will be Steve Davidson, Mgr HRO, Salem, NH, Go Boxes
  • Jun 2nd, Elections and Field Day 2017.
  • Sep 1st, is TBD
  • Oct 6th, presentation on DXLabs
  • Nov 3rd, SWLing and Dxing
  • Dec, 4th, Holiday Party
  • Jan 5th, guest speaker via Skype from DX Engineering. (Jeff will be looking into a prepaid hotspot or alternative to handle the Skype data.)

At Large Report:

  • Although not present, Karl has been looking for a spike driver/removal tool for Field Day. Update: What about a post hole digger, and do we need a compressor and tooling for removal? Will this be too loud? This item has been tabled until the next BOD meeting.

Membership Report:

  • Currently there are 96 paid members.

Technical Director:

  • During the past few months, Bob has helped a few hams with antenna/station setup, testing, and answering questions.

Zero Beat Editor:

  • Zero Beat will now be published every other month starting in September. For the other months, a flier will be published with upcoming announcements and meetings.
    • In Favor-8
    • Apposed-0

Old Business:

  • License Class location: Jeff has found a Church in Enfield, CT where the classes can be held. Gary also suggested 205 Bridge Street in Suffield, CT.
  • Field Day:
    • Chris W1TRK will be tower Captain
    • Rockwell WW1X will be in charge of antenna assembly
    • CW Captains are Larry W1AST and Matt W1MSW
    • 75m and 15m captain is Larry KD1RV
    • 20m SSB captain is John KX1X
    • 40m SSB captain is Jeff NT1K
    • There will be a trailer clean-up in May. It also has a leak that needs repairing
    • Jeff informed us that we DO have the park again this year.
    • We need setup and teardown volunteers.
    • We need to invest in a car port for VE sessions, when it rains, when its hot etc. Dave will look into pricing and models.

– Welcome guide: Dave will look into updating the guide.

New Business:

  • The Holiday party is scheduled for December 4, 2017 (Monday) at the Caste of Knights in Chicopee from 7pm until 11pm the latest. A motion was called upon for Juergen to spend no more than $500 to reserve the Holiday Party.
    • In Favor-8
    • Apposed-0

– Tumblers. A request by Larry was made to order some tumblers for our guest speakers rather than take them out to supper. One vendor was found who will make the tumblers with our logo on them for $15 each but with a minimum order of 72 which comes to about $1080. We will see if we can get a sample. This item will also be brought up to the membership for approval.

– Patches: This item is on hold until there are more requests.

– Next Raffle item: Suggestions for the next raffle were an Elad FM Duo? Flex1500, a basic HF setup with rig, antenna and coax? This will be brought up to the membership for approval.

Open Floor Discussion:

  • Bob mentioned that the Field Day tool kits need to be replenished as well as purchase shorter lengths of coax, clamps for the 40m beam, and new locks for the trailer. A motion was made to determine what was needed and not to exceed $500.
    • In Favor-8
    • Apposed-0

– Larry will contact the recipient of the plague. We fear that the individual will not come to a meeting.

– Define “Lifetime Membership” in the Bylaws? A copy will need to be sent to the State of MA if any changes are made. Dave will be looking into this. This will be discussed again at the next BOD meeting.

THE NEXT BOD MEETING WILL BE HELD ON MAY 3 AT IHOP IN WEST SPRINGFIELD

——————————— Meeting Closed at 9:00pm ———————

Slides and Information from HCRA’s Contest University

Did you miss HCRA’s contest university that was part of our “Share The Knowledge” seris this past fall? No problem! We’ve uploaded the slides from our presentations. Also included are links to sites and software that was mentioned during the class

Click Here For The PDF (.pdf) of “HCRA Introduction To Contesting”
Click Here For The Powerpoint (.pptx) of “HCRA Introduction To Contesting”

Click Here For The PDF (.pdf) of “Small Station – Bang For The Buck”
Click Here For The Powerpoint (.pptx) of “Small Station – Band For The Buck”

Here are some notable links that were mention during the presentation

Software
N1MM Logger Plus – Commonly used software by HCRA members (Free)
Wintest – Another popular software (50eu)
N3FJP – Popular contest software ($10USD-$70USD)

Other Links
WA7BNM Contest Calendar – Find out about upcoming contests
VOAcap Online – Excellent propagation prediction website
N1MM Tips and Tricks – Make use of N1MM easier and could get higher scores
YCCC – Yankee Clipper Contest Club – New England base contesting club
NEQP – New England QSO party

SHOW & TELL 2017 – there’s still time!

People, Projects and Prizes!

As of this writing (March 16th) it’s three weeks until HCRA’s Annual Show & Tell on April 7th. That also means it’s only three weeks to finish your project, put together documentation and perhaps win a nice prize for your efforts. No time you say? Well, twenty two days is over three weeks the last time I checked. I’m sure you can rustle up something to show off to the crowd, get their creative juices flowing for 2017 and maybe win a nice prize! But… you really need to get started pretty soon!

BONUS SNOW STORM!

I don’t know if you noticed but the “super storm” of March 14th has effectively pushed back any yard work for at least a few weeks. Now you’ve time for a project and a prize!

K1VOI and the antenna gun. WB1DBY photograph

What exactly is Show & Tell you ask? Well, it’s a chance to show the members something cool you’ve done in your shack, antenna farm, secret laboratory, etc. over the last year. Maybe it’s a new antenna that works like a signal magnet, or a neat way to mount a radio in today’s ‘too small’ vehicles, or a tesla coil (yes, we’ve had one), or a KW amplifier (had those too), or a trick piece of software, or….  You get the picture. Speaking of pictures here’s a few photos from past events to whet your appetite.

KA1TDQ’s 75M AM Exciter

An RF sampler by KB1NWH. WB1DBY photograph

Rock-Mite and keyer by Matt, W1MSW. WB1DBY photograph

 

And of course there’s the prizes. This year the three winners get to choose from a hundred dollars worth of prizes that include an ARRL Operating Manual, a Raspberry Pi 3 and a TC-1 Multi-function tester.

Show & Tell 2017 Prizes

The audience votes for the best project, the votes are tallied and three winners are picked at the end of the evening. It’s easy to do and it’s fun. Of course everyone is a winner here because we all benefit by seeing what our fellow HCRA members created. Everyone in the audience and the presenters takes home a big dose of enthusiasm for 2017!

So there you go. Time to stop surfing, head to the shop and warm up the soldering iron. You too can be a winner at HCRA’s 2017 Show & Tell!