Hello again CCARC!
We seem to be starting the New Year out right-15 members were present for the January meeting and last night’s meeting saw 14 in attendance for February! It was great to see everyone, lets see if we can keep this up!
In attendance (Listed, as always, in alpha/numeric order):
KB3HCG Mike O
KB3KOW Boy Scout Bob
KE3GG Fly boy Bob
W1BJC Bridge Bob
The meeting came to order at 7:40PM (AKA 1940L).
Congratulations to Spencer Johnson! Since we met last month, Spencer passed the Technician Class exam and now holds the call sign KB3WYR. As is CCARC tradition, we then opened the floor to suggestions for some unique phonetics for Spencer’s call. Suggestions weren’t readily forthcoming so we tabled this activity until next month to give those in attendance a chance to ponder the challenge.
The activity for this month’s meeting was a two-parter: First Boy Scout Bob (KB3KOW) showed a DVD on WinDRM, an HF digital voice mode. The video was filmed in the shack of Mel, K0PFX near St. Louis, MO. After a discussion of the mode, there was a demonstration of an HF digital net-how it works and both the strengths and weaknesses of this mode. Rather than subject you to my possible misinterpretations, here’s a link to K0PFX’s website if you’d like to read more on the topic:
Friday, February 3rd had also been declared “Boat Anchor Night” for CCARC. Members were invited to bring in a piece of radio gear and share it with the group. Six members responded with the following:
AA3WS-Charles gets the award for the oldest piece of equipment-an 89 year old Freed-Eisemann Neutrodyne receiver, model# NR-5. I wasn’t able to easily come up with a picture of Charles’s radio but did find a photo of an NR-6. The radio is identical with the exception of a different battery. I should note that Charles’s radio was minus the cabinet and the tubes.
KB3WYR-Being newly licensed, Spencer really hasn’t had any time to accumulate any boat anchors yet so he appealed to those hams who also have an interest in photography by showing off a Mamiya rb67 film camera. For those of you with similar interests, here’s a writeup with accompanying photos of a modified rb67 similar to the one Spencer displayed:
K3NHT-Andrew brought in a Swan Cygnet 300B SSB transceiver. This radio is in pristine condition, still in its original box. Andrew stated that the transmit portion of of the radio has never been used. It originally belonged to his grandfather who had an interest in amateur radio but became frustrated in his attempts to learn Morse Code and never pursued obtaining his license any further. Andrew stated that he’s waiting for a “special occasion” before he tries transmitting with this unit. More on the Swan Cygnet 300B here:
KE3GG-Bob displayed a Drake TR-33C, a crystal controlled, all transistor 2 meter transceiver, dating to 1973. It was loosely described as a “handheld”. The radio had the capability to operate in either simplex or duplex mode by simply flicking a switch. The radio had a 1.5W output that Bob boosted with an amplifier and also had a touch tone microphone, rather “clunky” by today’s standards but 40 years ago seemed to be on the cutting edge of technology. Everyone appreciated the tag on the radio that read “This is ham, not CB”. A photo of the TR-33C can be found here:
WB3KAS-Jim brought along a Wilson Electronics WE800. This is another “handheld” dating back to the late 1970′s that had 1W out when operating on batteries or 10W when operating on an external power supply. The radio is fully synthesized and diode matrix programmed. More on the WE800 here:
AA3RT-Although I knew that many in the group had seen it before, I brought along my first scanner, a Realistic PRO-31. This is a 10 channel handheld programmable model that my XYL purchased for me as a Christmas gift in the mid-1980′s when I thought I “needed” a scanner to monitor the then Conrail railroad traffic through La Plata. I eventually became heavily involved in scanning which lead to me obtaining an amateur radio license in the fall of 1991 after much prodding (nagging) from Wes, W3ERU (SK). The scanner covers three frequency bands: 30-54, 138-174 & 380-512 MHz, uses 6 AA batteries and weighs in at just over 2 lbs with the batteries installed. Sensitivity is great, battery life terrible which is why it stays in the house connected to a 9V adapter to alert me to approaching trains. A PRO-31:
We then took a break to allow members to do a little catching up before proceeding with the boring ol’ business meeting. When we resumed:
President: My thanks to Boy Scout Bob (KB3KOW) for sending out the link to apply for a Popular Communications Pop’Comm Monitoring Station Identification sign and certificate. I applied for mine Thursday (Feb. 2nd) and received my “Monitoring Station Identification Sign” the next day. My listening post is now identified as WPC3ART. For those of you who may have missed Bob’s email here’s the link again:
Dues are due, thanks to everyone who has paid theirs thus far. Club elections are coming up next month, both the President and Secretary positions will be coming open, however you can run for any position you wish. Sorry I can’t stay on as president but due to a couple of issues I can’t guarantee that I’ll be around much in the near future. The club needs, and deserves, a full-time president. Unfortunately I can’t be that person right now thus I will be stepping down at the end of this term.
We have the usual yearly activities coming up which I’m sure KB3KOW will cover later, including the March For Babies walkathon in April, Field Day in June and a couple of bicycle rides in the fall.
One other item to keep in mind, the 15th anniversary of the founding of the Charles County Amateur Radio Club will be this coming November. I’m not suggesting an elaborate celebration but something to commemorate 15 years would be nice.
(I forgot to bring my CCARC binder to the meeting but still have the letter, postmarked Oct. 9, 1997, inviting me [Then N3KUQ] to the first general meeting, to be held Nov. 7, 1997 at the Charles County Government Building. Also in the book is a copy of the original club by-laws and the first few issues of “Smoke Signals”. Vol. 1, Issue 1 is dated January 1998.)
Founders remaining from November 1997 include:
KA3GRW Mike (First president)
W3TOM Tom (First activities manager)
Founding members still on the membership roll:
KE3RE Bill (AKA Tugboat)
Vice President: I’m headed to the Richmond Frostfest tomorrow that is being held at the Richmond International Raceway complex. Thanks to KB3KOW for setting up a network at my QTH. Everything is working well.
Treasurer: Absent (Taking driving lessons) but once again he conned the old man into giving the treasurer’s report for him. We have money with more to be deposited after a number of members paid their dues for 2012 this evening. There was one expenditure-a reimbursement for the HT’s that were given out at the Christmas dinner.
Activities/Membership: We held a WinLink class here at the train station on Monday, Jan. 16th (MLK Day). It was well attended and we strung an antenna on the caboose and had some interesting activities. Next month I hope to have a guest speaker, a local historian, author and investigator of paranormal activities who will be discussing his investigations and some of the equipment he uses.
A request from the president: Folks, I’ve mentioned this before but you’re going to hear it again. Having been the Activities Manager at one time I know how difficult it can be to try to find speakers and/or programs every month. We have members who are talented in many areas-won’t you consider putting on some type of presentation in an area of the hobby that interests you? It could be something as simple as soldering basics or how to use a particular piece of test equipment. How about a discussion on how to understand those SWR readings and what they really mean? We’re all friends here and no ones going to make fun of you (Maybe). Please give it some thought and help make Boy Scout Bob’s life a little easier.
From the members:
KB3WYR-I had a good time attending the a swap meet at the Anne Arundel club with Fly boy Bob (KE3GG) and picked up a 2 meter radio.
K3NHT-I’m still looking for photos of CCARC activities so that I can upgrade the http://k3smd.org website. If you have photos that you can share please contact me. Incidentally, the K3SMD.Org website is for everyone-if you have articles you’ve written or other items of interest I would welcome them at the site.
N3YWZ-Lee inquired if anyone had been to the Radio & Television Museum on Mitchellville Road in Bowie. No one answered in the affirmative so Lee went on to briefly describe the museum. He said that he was with a group of people and the docent inquired if anyone in the group was an amateur radio operator. Lee was the only one to raise his hand and he was ushered into another building where a group of about half a dozen people were working in various aspects of antique radio restoration. Lee suggested that a group visit to the museum would make for a good outing for the club. More information on the Radio & Television Museum here: http://radiohistory.org/
Incidentally, hours are Friday 10AM-5PM and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 PM.
N2OMC-I’ve just returned from 4 weeks in California and will be headed to Washington State in the next couple of weeks.
KA3AHI-Wanda stated that this will be a very busy year for EmComm (Emergency Communications). A cursory schedule of future events includes:
March 27 & 28 Quarterly EmComm exercise
April 20-A mass casualty drill at Andrews AFB
June ??-A CMAX exercise in Bethesda
Oct. ??-The yearly “Capital Shield” exercise
Wanda also discussed the need to develop interoperability between all of the EOC’s, hospitals and county health departments in Maryland. She mentioned inventorying a state supplied “GO kit” that was supplied to Civista Hospital in 2006 and noting many discrepancies.
WB3KAS-Jim mentioned talking to Donna Thomas of the Charles County Health Department who was January’s guest speaker. In conjunction with the excercise planned for Mar. 27 & 28 Jim asked how willing are we, individually and collectively, willing to support an exercise that may require as many as 8 or 10 people?
KB3HNP-Joe reminded us that the 10th anniversary of the devastating La Plata Tornado is rapidly approaching. (Saturday, April 28th). Thus far, the Town of La Plata website is sadly lacking in information as to how groups can become involved unless you are a business who wants to purchase a commemorative sign.
WB3KAS made a motion to adjourn, almost the entire group seconded, the motion passed unanimously, meeting adjourned at 10:07PM.
Next meeting-Friday, March 3rd.
Standard disclaimer: If I’ve left out anyone or anything, or misconstrued anything in my notes, my apologies, it wasn’t intentional. If the error was so glaring that you feel it needs correction, please send me an email and I will be glad to do so.
73, de AA3RT