Author Archives: Paul Lourd

November 2019 Meeting Minutes

Present (16): K1TA, W1IP, W1PPL, AI1V, N1DPD, KB1FBX, W1SMS, W1TEG, N1ZD, ND1L, K1WYQ, AA1XV, KC1GBZ, KC1JGY, K1ISA, KC1MAF

Meeting opened 7:30 by K1TA Oct minutes approved.

Department Reports:

Nominating Committee: Due to a sudden, last-minute drop-out of a candidate, we have to delay the announcement of the proposed slate for Board of Directors by 24 hours. A vote was taken to approve the delay and was passed.

Finance: Checking and savings both good.

Communications: No communications of note.

Board: No Board actions.

Technical Committee: We are having a problem with the Echolink/IRLP node because we are sending courtesy tones to Echolink and IRLP, which we should not be doing. There is a module we need to add to the repeater. KC1GBZ and N1PLH are working on the problem and expect to have it taken care of shortly. Until then we are blocked from certain IRLP reflectors.

With Curt’s move to North Carolina, we need to find a chair for the Technical Committee. Please contact any of the Board members if you are interested. You don’t have to be the world’s greatest techie, you just need to be someone who will work with the club to find the right person to fix things when they need fixing.

Public Service: No items of note this month. Nothing in the immediate future.

Education Committee: Tech class ended 10/31. So far nine of the students have taken their exam, with eight passing. We expect two more to take the exam in December, plus the one who did not pass – which will give us a “graduation number” of 11.

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October 2019 Meeting Minutes

Meeting opened 7:30 by K1TA
Sept minutes approved.

Department Reports:

Finance: Checking and savings both good.

Communications: No communications of note.

Board: No Board actions.

Technical Committee: No problems noted.

With Curt’s imminent move to North Carolina, we need to find a chair for the Technical Committee. Please contact any of the Board members if you are interested. You don’t have to be the world’s greatest techie, you just need to be someone who will work with the club to find the right person to fix things when they need fixing.

Because of rain getting through the roof of the Comm Center, the router we were using for open internet access was destroyed, which took away both our wireless internet at the Comm Center and also our Echolink access. We have offered the Fire Dept a replacement router, but so far they have not installed it.

Public Service:

  • The Parkinson Walk took place on Oct 5. It’s a short operation where we cover the route of a 1-½ mile walk by Parkinson Disease victims who are raising money for research. Although a short walk by our standards, it’s a very very long walk for people suffering from Parkinson’s. We had eight people show up and the event organizers were extremely grateful.

The CT Section Simulated Emergency Test will take place on Saturday Oct 26. If you subscribe to the CT ARES reflector you should be receiving information about it. If you are not receiving the information, please contact AI1V (ai1v@arrl.net).

Education Committee: Tech Class started 9/26. 20 people signed up for the class with another 6 on the waiting list. About half of them are CERT, the other half are just people interested in getting their licenses. The second class on 10/3 had 18 people, which is actually better than expected.

VE session last Saturday. 3 new Tech licenses.

Holiday Party: The annual holiday party will be held on Wed Dec 11 at 6pm at the Laurel Athletic Club in Norwalk. Pricing details to follow.

The meeting was closed at 7:48 pm.

September 2019 Meeting Minutes

Present (15): W1IP, AI1V, W1SMS, W1PPL, KC1AUH, W1LYZ, K1CYW, KC1TX, N1ZD, AA1XV, N1DPD, K1WYQ, KC1KSO, KB1OIE, K1RF
Meeting opened 7:30 by W1IP

July minutes approved.

Department Reports:
Finance: Checking and savings both good. We were able to sell a number of pieces of donated equipment at good prices.


Communications : No communications of note.

Board : No Board actions.

Technical Committee: No problems noted.
With Curt’s imminent move to North Carolina, we need to find a chair for the Technical Committee. Please contact any of the Board members if you are interested. You don’t have to be the world’s greatest techie, you just need to be someone who will work with the club to find the right person to fix things when they need fixing.


Because of rain getting through the roof of the Comm Center, the router we were using for open internet access was destroyed, which took away both our wireless internet at the Comm Center and also our Echolink access. We have offered the Fire Dept a replacement router, but so far they have not installed it.


Public Service:
● Lighthouse to Lighthouse is coming up 9/14. Due to other commitments on our parts, we have asked Jeff Cronin from GFARA to head up the coverage.
● The Parkinson Walk is coming up Oct 5. It’s a short (1-½ hour) operation where we cover the route of a 1-½ mile walk by Parkinson Disease victims who are raising money for research. Parkinson is a horrible disease since it slowly robs people of their ability to walk, talk, digest food, and think clearly. We were shocked last year to discover how many Parkinson victims we individually knew. Pizza and tee-shirts.


Although not quite public service, we did a Lighthouses on the Air (LOTA) deployment at Sheffield Island Light House on August 18. We activated on both 40 and 20 meters, and despite generally bad propagation managed to get contacts well out into the mid-West. Many thanks to KC1GBZ who just happened to bring along a “spare” antenna that we wound up needing to use when we couldn’t get the club’s end-fed to work.

Education Committee: Tech Class scheduled to start 9/26. We have 18 people signed up for the class. About half of them are CERT, the other half are just people interested in getting their licenses.
VE session last Saturday. Two new techs. One upgrade from tech to general. Candidates came from as far away as Middlebury CT (near Waterbury). We remain one of the most active testing centers in CT.

Holiday Party: The annual holiday party will be held on Wed Dec 11 at 6pm at the Laurel Athletic Club in Norwalk. Pricing details to follow.
The meeting was closed at 7:52 pm.

Thank you to Steve, W1SMS, for a very interesting AND eye opening discussion of antenna
tuners – or as he called them “antenna couplers”.

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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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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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!!!

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!!!