October’s meeting of the Charles County Amateur Radio Club was held this past Friday (Oct. 7th) evening at our usual meeting place, the La Plata Train Station Museum. There were 7 members and 2 guests (One who was to become a member during the course of the meeting.) in attendance.
The list of attendees included:
KB3KOW Boy Scout Bob
KE3GG Flyboy Bob
Andrew Davidson (AKA Unlicensed Andrew)
Spencer Johnson (Unlicensed-now CCARC’s newest member)
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that some of you actually do read my meeting reminders and in lieu of a program, 3 attendees brought in some interesting items and projects for an impromptu “show and tell”.
My dire predictions of a parking lot free for all didn’t materialize-the Port Tobacco Players had a new production scheduled to begin this evening but there were surprisingly few cars in the parking lot.
Get Well Wishes: Wishing a speedy recovery to Debbie (KA3VNF) who recently went through knee replacement surgery and to Lee (N3YWZ) who also endured some recent medical problems that prevented him from attending tonight’s meeting.
The meeting came to order at 7:50PM (AKA 1950L). After a brief round of self-introductions for the benefit of our guests, we started off with the really interesting stuff-the radio related material.
KE3GG started out by displaying a simple 2 meter loop antenna that he’d recently constructed and discussed some of the theory behind it. He also showed the use of an antenna analyzer in determining the length of wire needed in different bands. Finally Bob showed off a “painter’s pole” that he’d recently purchased at Home Depot-the pole, when fully extended, is approximately 23 feet long but can be collapsed to an 8 foot length-short enough to be carried in a long-bed pickup truck. Bob also showed a clamp that screws on to the top of the pole and can be used to hold an antenna. The pole and clamp could be used in a temporary or emergency setting, all for around $50.00.
KB3UYZ then showed off a recent project of his-a fully assembled “Go Kit”. Using a carrying case that he purchased from Amazon.com for around $21.00, Pat put in most everything one may need when responding to some type of incident where emergency communications are needed. One nice touch that impressed me was the inventory list. (My “Go Kit” which doubles as my electronics toolbox is about twice the size and not nearly as organized as Pat’s.) I asked Pat if he’d share his inventory list so that some of the rest of us might have an idea of what a well-organized kit contains.
Spencer Johnson then showed off a Tesla coil that he is working on. For those of you unfamiliar with a Tesla coil, you can find more information here:
Spencer’s craftsmanship and ingenuity were evident-he’d used some unique construction materials. For instance, the base was made of a cutting board purchased at Target and wire was wound around a plastic drinking glass. He’d also constructed his own circuit boards.
Thanks to Bob, Pat and Spencer for your most interesting presentations!
After all the really neat stuff had been presented, it was time to start the business meeting:
My sincere thanks and a big tip of the CCARC cap to KA3GRW, KB3UYZ and KE3GG for their efforts during the Oxon Hill Century Bicycle Ride this past Sunday (Oct. 2nd). I was a late arrival after finally being relieved at my part time job. I know that KE3GG was quite busy at the net control station when I was calling to inform him that I was finally on my way. This past Sunday had to have been the worst weather that I can recall experiencing at a public service event so I really appreciate the efforts of those who were there for the entire event.
I received a telephone call from Mike (KA3GRW) prior to tonight’s meeting. Mike asked me to pass on that the 443.700 MHz repeater hasn’t been forgotten. He’s working on it as time and weather allow but there’s no estimated time of repair at the moment. As soon as the repeater is returned to operation the CCARC will be informed.
In light of the problems with both the KA3GRW and W3BPT repeaters, Mike has arranged for the CCARC to use the W4KGC (King George County) repeater during the course of the BSA Potomac Heritage Bike Ride on October 30th. The W4KGC repeater operates on a frequency of 146.745 MHz (-600 KHz offset, PL 107.2).
More on the W4KGC repeater here:
Finally Spencer Johnson submitted his personal information for membership in the CCARC. He was voted in unanimously. Welcome aboard Spencer!
Vice President: Absent (Still on travel?)
Treasurer: Andrew reported that there was no income, nor were there any expenditures for the month of September, thus the treasury’s balance remains the same.
Saturday, Oct. 15th: Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) combined with Parks On The Air (POTA) at the Thomas Stone National Historic Site on Rose Hill Road. In the absence of any local repeaters available, Bob may try some simplex activity for this event-frequency to be forthcoming. Your assistance in this event would be appreciated.
Wednesday, Oct. 19th: Exercise “Capital Shield” at Civista Hospital.
Sunday, Oct. 30th: Potomac Heritage 100 (Formerly Civista 100) bicycle ride. KB3KOW gave a preliminary of the currently scheduled rest stops and personnel to man each position. The route of this year’s ride has been disrupted from previous years due to the closure of Route 234 which was heavily damaged by Tropical Storm Lee. More information here: http://www.kintera.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=465494
Christmas dinner: For the benefit of newer members of the club, the CCARC does not meet in December but usually holds a Christmas dinner at a local restaurant where family members, friends, significant others, etc are invited to attend. At this time we don’t have a meeting place or date selected. If you know of a restaurant, reasonably priced with decent food that has a meeting room, preferably in the friendly confines of Charles County, please contact Boy Scout Bob (KB3KOW) with your suggestions at: email@example.com
Bob (KB3KOW) and I will be communicating in the very near future to set up 2012′s preliminary schedule. This primarily consists of going over the calendar and scheduling 2012′s meetings, avoiding holiday weekends, so that I can reserve the train station for our monthly meetings. If you aware of any already scheduled events for 2012 (For instance, we already have the tentative date for the Indian Head Century bicycle ride.), please contact Bob or me so that we can add these events to the calendar.
From the members: Pat (KB3YUZ) mentioned that he has some photos taken at last weekend’s bicycle ride to send to Jim Hudnall of the Oxon Hill Bicycle and Trail Club. He also has a couple of photo CD’s for those of you who participated in this year’s Field Day and haven’t been to a meeting recently.
The antenna raising has been delayed by weather and activities but is still tentative for later this fall. Pat will inform us ahead of time when he’d like to follow up on this.
Tom (W3TOM) talked about his and Debbie’s summer travels to Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana among other places and also informed us on Deb’s recent knee surgery. Tom then talked about some ARRL business-he mentioned an upcoming ARRL webinar on the narrow band emergency management system (I was unable to locate a link for this one). Tom also mentioned that past webinars are available from the ARRL for a nominal fee.
Tom also asked that those CCARC members who are also members of the ARRL fill out your ballots for the upcoming ARRL election and support Bill Edgar (N3LLR) to return as Atlantic Division Director.
Tom also mentioned that the ARRL magazine “QST” will be going digital in the near future and there may be a demonstration copy on line by March of 2012. There are some aspects of this that still need to be worked out.
Bob (KE3GG) said that Jim Hudnall stopped by net control to thank the CCARC for our support of the most recent Indian Head Century ride and asks us to keep our calendars open for September 9th of 2012.
Bob’s still working on obtaining the use of a classroom in one of Charles County’s schools for a monthly kit building/technical work session.
The meeting adjourned at 9:17PM.
Next meeting: Friday, November 4th at the La Plata Train Station Museum, start time 7:30PM.
Once again, my thanks to KB3KOW for his conscientious note taking during the meeting. Any errors or exclusions are my fault.