Ham Radio Class Starting in Norwalk – September 26th

The Greater Norwalk Amateur Radio Club (www.gnarc.org) will be offering an amateur radio licensing class that will get you your entry level technician amateur (“ham”) radio license.  
 
The classes will run for six weeks starting on Thursday September 26.  Class is 6:30 to 9:30 at GNARC’s communications center at 100 Fairfield Avenue in Norwalk (convenient to I-95 and Route 7).  There is no charge for the class, although you will need to buy the Amateur Radio Relay League’s training manual ($25). We suggest that you purchase an entry level radio so you can begin to listen to things right away. They cost about $35 on Amazon. Details to be provided.

At the end of the class, you will be able to take the FCC exam at GNARC and get your license.
 
Getting a ham radio license requires learning some rules and regulations, the basics of how radios and antennas work, and simple electronics. 

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July 2019 Meeting Minutes

Meeting opened 7:30 by K1TA

June minutes approved.

Department Reports:

Finance: Checking and savings both good. Spent $710 on Field Day, including some supplies for the summer picnic.

Communications: No communications of note.

Board: The Board met to discuss FD trailer situation. The trailer itself is old and cannot be licensed. The tower is welded to the trailer. The Board wants to put together a committee of interested parties to explore options – including moving the tower to a different trailer, replacing the existing beam with a smaller and lighter beam, mounting a flip-up tower to our equipment trailer, and whatever else comes to mind. Please contact K1TA if you are interested in participating on the committee.

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June 2019 Meeting Minutes

Present (19): K1TA, W1PPL, AI1V, K1WYQ, N1ZD, W1GIG, K1RF, N1DPD, KC1AUH, KA1NGF, W1TEG, AA1XV, K1CYW, KB1FBX, KB1UOB, KC1FB, KC1GBZ, W1CAH, KA1WBN

Meeting opened 7:30 by K1TA

May minutes approved.

Department Reports:

Finance: Checking and savings both good. Expect to spend about $1K between Field Day and club picnic.

Communications: No communications of note.

Board: No board actions this month.

Technical Committee: No problems noted.

Still in discussion with City about putting up some low band horizontal antennas at the Comm Center.

Public Service:

  • Fairfield Half Marathon on June 2nd went well. W1IP was net control. Event organizers and Fairfield PD/FD appreciate our work.
  • Bloomin Metric also went well. 22 hams from GNARC, GFARA, and SARA. Got slammed this year with calls for assistance (30+) but with good dispatch control at NCS and excellent work by our people in the field we were able to get to each call within 20 minutes (truly excellent for most bike rides).

MS Ride coming up on Sunday June 23. Conflicts with Field Day but we have staff for this.

Education Committee: All four of our General class students have now passed their exam. We expect to conduct a Tech class in the fall. No walk-ins for VE session because it corresponded with the I-95 closing in Stamford.

Field Day: See below.

The meeting was closed at 7:40 pm.

Field Day Discussion
We discussed Field Day plans.

  1. WE NEED OPERATORS. Our station will be up for 24 hours starting 2pm local on Saturday. We will be in Veteran’s Park across the river from the Maritime Center.
  2. Instead of a multi-band long-wire GOTA, we will be using a multi-band vertical that Hugo is providing. Also, K1TA expects to bring his Go-Box for GOTA use (Icom 7300). Other than that, the equipment is expected to be the same as last year.
  3. The situation with the tower is unclear. The trailer had a temporary license last year but has not been inspected. That raises issues about the legality of the trailer and about insurance coverage, especially if there is an accident or if someone is injured putting up/taking down the tower. Further discussion required.
  4. We prefer to not use the light tower/generator that Norwalk FD typically lends us because it usually fails at some point. PPL and IP are trying to get a similar unit from Wilton but don’t yet have approval. We will have two small Honda generators at the FD site to be put into use in case the big generator fails (regardless of which big generator we wind up with). Hugo is questioning whether two of the Honda’s are enough but everyone agrees that two should be more than enough.
  5. Hugo (AA1XV) and others have taken an inventory of all the equipment to make sure that we have everything we need.
  6. We again went through the checklist of Field Day extra points for our FD class to make sure that someone is assigned for each item to make sure we get the points.
  7. All members are encouraged to come and get on the air. If you are newly licensed or a technician class or haven’t been on the air in a year or more, we will provide an experienced operator to help you on Field Day.
  8. Please try to bring as many of your non-Ham friends, family, colleagues as you can to get them on the air – we get special points for that.
  9. We will provide lunch and dinner on Saturday and breakfast and lunch on Sunday.
  10. WE NEED OPERATORS!!!

Online Sign up for Field Day is here!

Field day is coming up. June 22nd and 23rd 2019!

This year we continue using an online sign up for field day. It is really simple and the instructions are below:

You need to go to the sign up for setup, operating and take down using this link: Sign up Form The form will open in a new window/tab so you can refer back to these instructions.

There are slots for actual radio operation.  When you sign up please note any requests in the comments field, like phone or CW. Please don’t be shy, we will help you if this is your first time operating.  We will do our best to accommodate your request, but please remember its all in good fun, and band/equipment/antennas change.  But your time slot will be saved!

Once you click the check boxes, at the BOTTOM of the page click the big “Submit and Sign Up” button. This will take you to a page to enter your name and email address. You may opt to create an account, but this is not necessary! Just sign up!

If you have problems, or want to change your signup, please contact gnarc.webmaster@gmail.com.

May 2019 Meeting Minutes

Present (18): K1TA, AI1V, K1WYQ, N1DPD, KC1FB, K1RF, K1DCG, N1ZD, KA1NGF, KC1KSO, KC1GBZ, WG1HM, AA1XV, KC1AUH, K4JCS, KC1GGG, W1GIG, W1CAH

Meeting opened 7:30 by K1TA

April minutes approved.

Department Reports:

Finance: Checking and savings both good.

Communications: No communications of note.

Board: No board actions this month.

Technical Committee: 475 repeater failed and was repaired. Problem was a failure of the exciter circuit. The exciter was replaced. All other equipment working properly.

Comm center roof is still not complete. Until it is, we cannot re-install the low band HF antenna (30-80 meters). Also, need to get on roof to re-tie the beam’s coax and rotor cables to the mast.

Public Service: The major public service events for spring/summer have now finalized their dates:

  • Fairfield Half Marathon – Sunday June 2
  • Bloomin Metric – Sunday June 9 (was formerly mid May)
  • MS Ride – Sunday June 23 (was formerly early June). Conflicts with Field Day but we expect to be able to staff this. See below.

Education Committee: General class began April 4 is underway. We have four students.

VE Session: At the May VE session we had two people taking their tests (1 Tech, 1 General), both passed.

Field Day: See below.

Other: Thank to W1LYZ for her superb gardening and fixing up of the planters in front of the Comm Center. Please note that the flowers will need regular watering.

The meeting was closed at 7:51 pm.

MS Ride Discussion
Michelle Zimnoch of the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, attended the meeting to ask for ham volunteers to support the MS Ride on June 23. Michelle thanks us for our support in previous years and explained

  • The basics of donation finance from rides/walks
  • How even a relatively small ride like the MS Ride in Westport can net $60,000-$100,000 after expenses
  • How that money is used (research and financial support for patients)
  • How much additional in additional donations they are able to raise when they have support such as what we provide

Our coverage of the MS Ride is primarily providing communications from SAG vehicles or own “scout” vehicles to keep track of the riders and get them assistance if/when they need assistance. For this year, we would mainly be busy with the MS Ride from about 8am to about noon on Sunday morning, with a few people staying later until the last riders are in (say 2pm). That means that most people who support the ride could return to Veteran’s Park to help take down from Field Day. Please volunteer if you possibly can.

Field Day Discussion
We discussed Field Day plans.

  1. WE NEED OPERATORS. Our station will be up for 24 hours starting 2pm local on Saturday. We will be in Veteran’s Park across the river from the Maritime Center.
  2. We are planning on the same stations, same antennas, same everything as last year. Hugo (AA1XV) will take an inventory of all the equipment to make sure that we have everything we need.
  3. We went through the checklist of Field Day extra points for our FD class to make sure that someone is assigned for each item to make sure we get the points.
  4. All members are encouraged to come and get on the air. If you have HF experience but are rusty, please come by the Comm Center any Saturday morning or Weds evening and you can practice on our equipment (the same equipment we will be using for Field Day). If you are newly licensed or a technician class or haven’t been on the air in a year or more, we will provide an experienced operator to help you on Field Day.
  5. Please try to bring as many of your non-Ham friends, family, colleagues as you can to get them on the air – we get special points for that.
  6. We will provide lunch and dinner on Saturday and breakfast and lunch on Sunday.
  7. WE NEED OPERATORS!!!

April 2019 Meeting Minutes

Present (23): K1TA, W1PPL, AI1V, W1IP, N1ZD, KB1UOB, N1DPD, K1RF, AA1XV, K4JCS, KC1AUH, W1SMS, K1DSG, K1WYQ, W1GIG, KC1JGY, WA1VXM, ND1L, K6VOR, KC1KSO, W1CAH, KB1FBX, KC1JGY

Meeting opened 7:30 by K1TA

March minutes approved.

Department Reports:

Finance: Checking and savings both good.

Communications: No communications of note.

Board: No board actions this month.

Technical Committee: Everything working properly. The current plan for Echolink is to install it at the Comm Center. Curt would like for someone else to be in charge of the work because he is tied up with other personal and professional work.

Comm center roof is still not complete. Until it is, we cannot re-install the low band HF antenna (30-80 meters). Also, need to get on roof to re-tie the beam’s coax and rotor cables to the mast.

Public Service: The major public service events for spring/summer have now finalized their dates:

  • Fairfield Half Marathon – Sunday June 2
  • Bloomin Metric – Sunday June 9 (was formerly mid May)
  • MS Ride – Sunday June 23 (was formerly early June). Conflicts with Field Day but we expect to be able to staff this.

Education Committee: General class began April 4 to run for 9 weeks on Thursdays from 7 to 9:15pm. Two people attended the first class. We have received communications from three additional people who expect to attend starting April 11 (total of 5).

VE Session: At the April VE session we had five people, with a total of 2 Extra class licenses earned, 1 General class licenses earned, and 2 Technician class licenses earned. One of the Extras was a double – took and passed both the General (Element 3) and the Extra (Element 4).

Special Events: Nothing scheduled in the next month.

Field Day: It was agreed that there is not good chemistry between Stamford and Norwalk for Field Day and we will not be running a joint Field Day. AA1XV noted that in the past few years we have had excellent turnout for setup and take-down, but that only a limited number of people are willing to operate. AA1XV has made it clear that he expects to run a competitive Field Day and wants club members to be prepared to operate in a competitive environment.

The meeting was closed at 7:51 pm.

Thanks to Steve W1SMS who did an Elmer session on (mostly HF) antennas for those who have been recently licensed and those who have specific issues.

March 2019 Meeting Minutes

Present (17): K1TA, W1PPL, AI1V, N1ZD, K1DSG, K4JCS, KB1UOB, KC1AUH, KC1FB, N1DPD, K1RF, AA1XV, W1GIG, K1CYW, KC1JGY, KA1WBN (and guest)

Meeting opened 7:30 by K1TA Apparently minutes from February 2019 were not posted on the web site. W1IP will be contacted to post them. 3/20/2019 note – Feb minutes have been posted.

Department Reports:
Finance:​ Checking and savings both good.
Communications​: No communications of note.
Board​: No board actions this month.
Technical Committee:​ Everything working properly.
Comm center roof is still not complete. Until it is, we cannot re-install the low band HF antenna (30-80 meters). Also, need to get on roof to re-tie the beam’s coax and rotor cables to the mast.

ND1L and N1PLH want to put Echolink on the Norwalk 2 meter analog repeater. Some objections based on need to be able to easily disconnect in case of abuse. We will test the Echolink and then figure out how to best control it before making it a standard feature.

Public Service:​ The major public service events for spring/summer have now finalized their dates:

● Fairfield Half Marathon – Sunday June 2

● Bloomin Metric – Sunday June 9 (was formerly mid May)

● MS Ride – Sunday June 23 (was formerly early June). Conflicts with Field Day but we expect to be able to staff this.

Education Committee:​ General class will begin April 4 to run for 9 weeks on Thursdays from 7 to 9:15pm.

Special Events:​ Nothing scheduled in the next month.

Field Day:​ We are working toward a joint Field Day with the Stamford Club because they lost their Field Day site. AA1XV has had a preliminary conversation with the Stamford club and expects to have a more detailed meeting with them to figure out equipment, antennas, and staffing. AA1XV has made it clear that he expects to run a competitive Field Day and wants club members to be prepared to operate in a competitive environment.