ARC-Shorts – October 2011

Club Repeaters: 147.315 (PL 107.2), 444.6 (PL107.2), 927.6 (-25Mhz, PL107.2), and 1282.600 (PL 107.2), DSTAR 145.38Mhz, 442.060, and 1284.600

Club Repeaters (off air): 224.82 (PL107.2), 53.13 (PL107.2),

NEXT CLUB MEETING

Our next meeting is November 11th at theINOVAAlexandriaHospital in the Health Education Center (HEC) located to the west of the main visitor entrance.  The hospital address is:4320 Seminary Road, Alexandria,VA 22304.  We meet at 7 PM and must leave by 9 PM.

This month is our last regular meeting with the end of year party at Mango Mikes in December. We will elect officer’s for next year, discuss future club events and maybe we will have a program.

If you do not attend, you may find yourself nominated for an office by one of your friends.

Club Officer Election

ARC members:  At our next meeting in November, elections for club officers will be held. At this time, all of the current officers have indicated that they would be willing to serve for another year.   In addition, we can still take nominations for those who may be interested in serving in one of club’s offices.  As a reminder, the current set of officers is as follows:

President                      Marshall DeBerry        KI4MWP
Vice President              Ian Keith                      N8IK
Secretary                      Tom Kirby                   KJ4FUU
Treasurer                     Ted Einersen               W9TCE

DECEMBER CLUB DINNER

Will be at Mango Mike’s on Dec 16, probably start arriving between 6-6:30.  Not sure of the cost this time, but last year it was $25 per person.

Please RSVP to one of the club officers so that we can get a good head count.  Bring your YL/XYL and any friends.

OCTOBER  MEETING MINUTES  

Minutes from 10/14/2011
Conducting: Marshall KI4MWP

Introductions

Secretary’s Report: Nothing to report

Treasurer’s Report: All funds total $7119.16, 34 members, 1 pending
There was an impromptu discussion of internet connection costs and alternatives.  DSL Business account for the D-Star gateway cost about $57/month.  It was reaffirmed that the paperwork/overhead for the club to be 501(c) was to expensive to pursue

Committee Reports:
Training: 2 classes are complete, 6-9 members, w/3 in General class, 6 in Technician class. Class costs may have to go up from the current $50. There was discussion of outreach to area high schools to get youth involved in ham radio, but it was pointed out that the city schools are reluctant to have non-teachers on campus.  An ad hoc committee for school outreach was formed with members – Rick N4ASX and Don KI4D.

ARES:  A new manual is in the works.

DSTAR: 1C unlink problems reported.

Repeaters: 6, 220mhz repeaters being rebuilt. Tim reports the 440 repeater needs work. The 2 meter repeater has been hanging occasionally, possibly due to interference. Users were reminded about the “kerchunk” filter.

Webmaster:  Absent.

Upcoming Events:

JOTA, Iowa/Illinois QSO Parties, CQ WW Contest.

Carroll County hamfest on 10/23.

Christmas Party at Mango Mikes (3rd Friday, since the 2nd Friday is NEVER available).

Net Controls:

10/20/2011: Rich KA4GFY
10/27/2011: Rick N4ASX
11/03/2011: Jeremy KF7IJZ
11/10/2011: Tom KJ4FUU

Next meeting: 11/11/2011

Marshall’s letter to QST was circulated, taking them to task for an unfavorable reading of the Alexandria Times article about our field day.

Motion was made and seconded nominating all incumbent officers for next year. Passed.

Motion was made and seconded to amend the bylaws to remove the duties of meeting program planning from the Vice President and instead have an appointed program coordinator. Passed. Rick N4ASX said he would be willing to do this, at least for this year.

Motion was made and seconded to budget $250 for purchase of a “new” laptop. Passed.

Trailer work scheduled for 10/15/2011.

Reminder about the activities/planning for the Marine Corps Marathon.

Notice that Jim DeYoung and Saunders Moon have moved out of the area. We hope to hear from them on HF.

Recommendation to put our bylaws on the website.

Bob won the 50/50 drawing.

Ways & Means fundraising

No program. It does us good to have a business meeting occasionally.

Adjourned.

73 Tom, KJ4FUU

 

EVENTS IN OCTOBER

Biggest event was the Marine Corps Marathon

Expatriated Members

We have had members who have moved out of the area, but we still send them ARC-SHORTS in the hopes that they will keep in touch with the club.

Jim, N8OQ has moved to his new retirement QTH and tells us that he is working on setting up his station.  Jim, good luck on the antenna issues.

Sunders, KD4LEL recently moved to the Tidewater area.  Hopefully, Saunders will get a HF station on the air and we will hear from him soon.  His XYL should also find a local class so we can hear her on the air as well.

Gene, N4JEE had moved to Florida several years ago, but continues to keep in touch and he has been our badge maker.  If you would like a club badge send Gene a note at N4JEE@arrl.net and he can tell you what one costs and if he can make one for you.  Gene was the master craftsman behind the trailer build.

Andy, WV8AA is still in the area but hasn’t made many meetings other then Burgers on Monday.

Arnal, N9ACC had to move back to Indianapolis due to family and work considerations and now commutes to Marysville Ohio where he is now the RF GURU for Honda.  He had planned to swing by the Bob Evans on November 2nd on his way to join his son’s ship for a tiger cruise, but the bad weather along the east coast change the Navy’s plans and he had to head for Norfolk earlier and had to miss the get together, but Arnal is up on the Navy Net on 7.245 MHz on weekends.

I’m sure I’ve missed a bunch of others, but I will ask that they send me a note letting me know how they are doing and what they are doing in amateur radio.

Maybe we should start up a 40 meter net once a month to allow our expatriated members to fill us in on life away fromAlexandria.

Marine Corps Marathon

On October 30th, the Marine put on the 36th annual Marine Corps Marathon.  Amateur radio is a key part of this effort!   This year they allowed 30,000 runners to sign up and expected over 22,000 to run.  Most of the operators who worked on the Virginia side of the course had to be in place by 3:45 AM! And if they were between the Virginia side of the 14th street bridge down to Crystal City and to the end of the race they were in place for most of the day.  On top of that it was a very cold morning and a chilly day if you’re not a runner.

Many of our club members are key volunteers and we had some new members jump in this year.

Rich, KA4GFY returned with a new partner and the club trailer to support Aid 4 under the Case Bridge on Ohio Drive on Haynes Point.  This position included 9600 baud packet, 1.2 GHz D-Star Digital Data, and D-Star Digital Voice as well as listening to the race nets on 2 meter FM.  Rich had a new partner this year from the Tidewater area that worked out well and provided the addition of an APRS terminal to follow the race for the aid station.

Rick, N4ASX and Jeremy KF7IJZ were assigned to the NEW Med-C aid station which is located just PAST the finish line on the way to the Runners Festival in Roslyn.  Last year this was one of the busiest medical stations, so this year they asked amateur radio to cover but the primary digital communications were covered by Navy Corpsman with laptops and air cards.  Rick and Jeremy were able to come up on both 1.2 GHz Digital Data and on both the Digital and FM voice nets. Not much was covered but Rick and Jeremy were ready, equipped and available from 03:30 to closing at 4 PM.  Long day.  Rick learned a lot about IP stuff as Jeremy is an expert and got the D-Star Digital working.

Don, KI4D, was at Water Point 12.  His signal on the net was loud and clear and he got to see the runners go by…

Ian, N8IK returned to AID 1/2 to be the amateur lead at ½ and the D-Star/Packet operator at that station.

Marshall, KI4MWP, was the liaison to DC EMS,  His job was to listen to the DV voice nets for RACE B and pass requests for medical assistance from the hams on the course to the DC fire/EMS folks.

Harry, N4CWP, was the ham at MED-B one of the new post finish aid station this year.

Cameron, K6CLM was at MED-D in the runners festival and understand he was one of the last to leave the course.  He also had to show up at 3:30AM.  Well Done!

Megan, KC7MOC,  returned as one of the ablest of net control station operators. She makes it sound easy.

Jeanne, N4ZGI, also joined in as a net control station.  As she does this as a profession, she added a new level of performance to NCS again this year. While Jeanne has not been active with the club, she was our EC for many years, the District 2 DEC and club president for a few years.

Art, KD4FBT, returned this year, his expertise was greatly appreciated

Bob, K4RKB and Bobby KK4CKJ jointed in and were heard on the Race nets. Bob is an old hand at this and Bobby is new to amateur radio, but you wouldn’t know if by listening.

I’m sure I missed a few other Alexandria Radio Club volunteers, but as all can see, we had a great turn out with over a dozen members out of a club that has about 30 active members.

From the leadership team, Well Done Alexandria Radio Club!

Communications Trailer

In preparation for the MCM, Rich, Marshall and Rick worked on cleaning up the trailer for use at Aid 4.  A donation was made to the trailer in the form of a newer Dell D410 laptop and docking station (XP Pro, MS Office 97 installed.  The computer will interface to the ID-1, and the new TM-D710A also a new donation.  The D710A will provide a packet and APRS capability to the trailer.  The older Pentium II computer can still be used for logging and for packet ops. The 6 meter Alinco that Jim, WA4CCF(SK) had donated to the trailer lost it’s CPU and could not be repaired, but we have one of the Midland 22 channel commercial radios and Tim, KT4MV has told us that he has a commercial radio that will also be available for the trailer in the future.

Rich, KA4GFY also installed a 1.2 GHz antenna mount at the forward portside antenna position for the ID-1.  He used LMR 240 cable attached to a standard NMO mount with an N type connector.  Understand it worked well at Aid 4 on MCM race day.

The next scheduled use of the trailer will be for the Washington’s Birthday Parade in February.  Last year it was an icebox!

The club also has FOUR HF rigs and if we ever get a club station in the EMS building we also have a Henry 2K amplifier with spare tubes.

ARES/RACES

Not much going on with ARES / RACES, but as we move toward the bad weather seasons, we should all be prepared, have our gear ready to go.  MCM was a great training event for those  of us who volunteer for ARES/RACES

UP COMING EVENTS

HAMFESTS 

The first hamfest of the new year in this area is the Post Holiday Hamfest in Odenton, MD.  The date is January 29, 2012.  It’s close by and a great way to cure hamfest withdrawal.  Many of us had not been to a hamfest since Shenandoah ARC Hamfest at Berryville back in August, the Columbia ARA CARAFest or the Mason Dixon Hamfest atWestminsterin October.

CONTESTS

Coming in November is the ARRL Sweepstakes.  This is a great way to work toward Worked All States.  The CW portion is the weekend of November 5 and 6, while the SSB portion is the weekend of November 19 and 20.  The exchange in this contest is a little more complicated.  It includes a serial number, an operating class, year you were first licensed and your ARRL section.  But remember, you can only work a station once, regardless of the band.  So, by Sunday afternoon, the little pistols will be in great demand because the big guns have worked each other.

The Kentucky QSO Party takes place November 12 and 13.  For those of us outsideKentucky, the object is to works as many of theKentuckycounties as possible.  The exchange is a signal report and your state.

The weekend after Thanksgiving isn’t just for football on TV.  The SSB portion of the CQ World Wide DX Contest runs November 26 and 27.  The exchange is a signal report and your CQ Zone.  We are in Zone 5.

Don’t forget the ARRL 10 Meter Contest in December.  It’s on the weekend of December 10 and 11.  The exchange is a signal report and your state or province.  DX stations will send be sending a signal report and a serial number.

As the sunspot numbers continue to rise, the upper bands have been quite busy.  10 and 15 meters are great places to work some exotic DX when the band conditions are just right.

For those of you on DSTAR, ICOM is sponsoring a DSTAR QSO party the weekend of November 11 through 13. The object is to work stations around the world through as many DSTAR repeaters as possible.

HAMFESTS and CONTESTS

PRESIDENT’S CORNER 

As ARC members close in on another year in amateur radio, this is a good time to look back on the many activities that ARC members have been involved in throughout the year.  As Rick as outlined elsewhere in this edition of ARC Shorts, one of the biggest activities that ARC members continue to be involved in is providing support for the Marine Corps Marathon.   This year, ARC members once again responded with their support in a variety of Marathon activities, ranging from “eyes on the course” to assistance at medical stations and to support at the command operations center.   And those in senior management positions within the Marathon support structure have expressed their gratitude and thanks to all those hams that were able to once again make the Marathon the success that it has become over the years.

To all those ARC members who helped in this year’sMarathon, I would like to say “thank you” for a job well done!

Our other public service activity that ARC members are actively involved with is providing communications support forAlexandria’s George Washington Birthday parade in February.   This is always a fun activity to assist in, and can sometimes be quite challenging given the time of year in which it occurs.  Two years ago, the parade was cancelled due to snow and ice conditions, and in some years the weather has been in the mid-50’s.  ARC members provide “eyes on the course” assistance the day before on a 10-K race course, and provide communications and logistics support to parade officials during the actual parade.  The floats and various groups that participate in the parade are always interesting to watch, and its events like these that makeAlexandriafeel like a small town rather than some suburb of Washington DC.   Thanks go out to all the hard work that various ARC members do in making this event work so well.

Another event that ARC members participate in each year is the Virginia QSO Party held in the third weekend of March.  This past year was one of our more active participations, with several ARC members bringing W4HFH down to Buckingham county to “activate” the area for the 2011 QSO party, resulting in one of the highest scores ever for W4HFH.  A lot of fun was had by all ARC members in this event, both locally and mobile, and participating in these types of events always helps to hone ones operating skills.

One of the most interesting, challenging, and fun events during the year is, of course, Field Day.  This year’s event was no exception, being held for the first time inBenBrenmanPark.  With the weather being perfect, we had plenty of good operating opportunities throughout the twenty four hour operating period; with plenty of good food and the presence of so many club members, all those in attendance had another great Field Day experience.

Thanks go out to all those involved with the logistics of putting the event together in making everything go so well.

In looking back, this year has been another great year to be involved in amateur radio.   I once again would like to commend and thank all those ARC members who have participated in our various events throughout the year, and I am sure we will have equally fun time with events in 2012.

73
Marshall

Social Events

Pre-meeting dinner is now at Atlantis in the BradleeShopping Center at 5:30 PM. This is also a chance to meet our guest speaker as we offer to buy dinner for them prior to the meeting.

Monday Night Half Price Burgers – There is a group that gets together at Shooter McGee’s (Duke and Paxton Streets) on Monday evenings at 6:15 PM. A good burger and soft drink runs about $9.00.

ARC - Shorts

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