Author Archives: Paul Lourd

October 2018 Meeting Minutes


Meeting opened at 7:30 by AI1V. Minutes of Sept meeting approved as posted.

Department Reports:

Finance: No significant changes reported.

Board: No board actions this month.

Technical Committee: Repeaters all operating properly.

K1TA and WB2JVB tested a quick-up/quick-down 40m vertical antenna in the parking lot. Worked well. Will enable us to operate 40m since the Fire Dept won’t let us put up another wire antenna.

W1FSM opened a discussion with the attendees about whether they support the idea of putting effort and money into connecting to the CT ARES analog linked repeater network. Given the location of the nearest repeaters currently in that network, we would undoubtedly need to fund and operate a linking repeater between us and them (including power, backup power, and a significant antenna structure). The sense of those present is that it’s not clear that there is a value proposition to the effort given the number and types of statewide communications systems the State operates as well as the existence of the CT ARES DMR network and the suitability of NVIS HF for backup communications within a state the size of CT. There was also a sense that we should pursue an Echolink connection into the CT ARES analog linked repeater network to further investigate the relevance of the network to normal and emergency operations.

Education Committee: No classes have been scheduled. We did give a number of VE exams since the last meeting.

Special Events: On Sept 15, GNARC members helped provide radio communications for the Lighthouse-to-Lighthouse Kayak race (a charity fundraising event from Norwalk Harbor out and back to the Green’s Ledge Light). One of our operators was involved in assisting two different kayakers who got themselves into trouble (including one who had to be taken back to Norwalk on a safety boat).

On Sept 30, GNARC members conducted an HF in the park operation at Sherwood Island State Park. We put up two antennas (a 40m and 20m) in a tree using a slingshot and then operated HF sideband on battery (100w) for over 2 hours. We had QSOs as far away as Germany, Florida, and Minnesota. We discovered that there is a Parks On The Air (POTA) program similar to Islands On The Air (IOTA) and will spot ourselves on their website the next time we decide to go out.

On Oct 6, in a last minute request for assistance, GNARC members provided course monitors for the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) 2018 Connecticut Chapter Optimism Walk in Sherwood Island State Park. Our members fanned out over the route of the walk to provide radio communications in case participants needed medical assistance (EMS was present at the park). There were over 200 participants, and the APDA people were extremely grateful, especially given the last minute nature of their request to us. The request came to us through AB1GL and AB1LZ in Region 3 and we thank them.

Nominating Committee: Nothing to report at this time.

Meeting adjourned 8:10

Marty KA1WBN gave an interesting and thought-provoking talk on customer service concepts and how those apply to ham radio – especially when are operating at public service events and when providing emergency communications. Thank you Marty.

2018 Sherwood Island Portable Ops

Today a group of GNARC members operated portable form Sherwood Island State Park in Westport. Attending were Paul WB2JVB, Joe KC1AUH, Jon AI1V, Paul W1PPL, Steve KB1YLQ and Curt W1FSM.

We had two antennas, an end fed multiband and a Buddipole set for 20m. The end fed was used on 40m.

Conditions were surprisingly good! We had no problems making contacts up and down the East coast, the mid West and into Canada on 40. When we switched to 20, we talked to several European stations (Germany was one) and out to Minnesota.  Jon and Paul JVB did the operating.

This was a very fun day, perfect weather and good HF propagation.  We plan to do this again, as Sherwood is now free to get in, and it is an official park, Z1715, so if you get spotted, you get lots of calls.

Here are a few pictures from the day.

2018 Lighthouse Race Summary

This past Saturday, local hams provided communications support for the 2018 Lighthouse to Lighthouse Race. Hams were in two support boats, on Sheffield Island, in the US Coast Guard Auxiliary tower and on the beach. We used the 146.475 repeater, and also coordinated comms on various marine channels. We assist in tracking progress of the race, helping stranded paddlers, and ensuring that all paddlers are accounted for at the end of the race. We were in communications with the USCG and support boats on marine channels as well as using our repeater.

Thanks to Marilyn KB1YYO (boat), Dimitri K1DCG (tower), Jon AI1V (boat), Paul W1PPL (Sheffield Island) for volunteering and doing a great job on the radios.
Thanks also to Greg KC1CRT and Bill WG1HM who were on coast guard duty and relayed info to Dimitri in the tower.

Michael N1PLH and Joe KC1AUH also showed up on race day to help me at race control. I would have had a much tougher day had they not appeared.

N1PLH also brought his drone, and you can see some of the photos attached.If you look at the race control tent, you can see my buddipole tripod setup with a J Pole configuration on top. This was for the marine channels. A small mag mount on a pie plate was used on top of the tent for 2 meters. 

Also a link to his video:

The radio box (Yaesu FT-8800 and SeaRanger marine radio) was powered by one 15ah Bioenno battery.

September 2018 Meeting Minutes


Meeting opened at 7:30 by K1TA. Minutes of July meeting approved as posted (there was no meeting in August).

Department Reports:
Finance: No major expenditures to note. Club picnic expenditures noted in July meeting. Bank account in good shape.

Communications: No communications of note.

Board: The Board had brief meeting before the general meeting. AI1V will publish the minutes on the club web site.

Technical Committee: Nothing of note to report. Repeaters all operating properly.

Education Committee: AI1V and WB2JV need to decide which type of class we are having and get it organized. Note that WECA has a class underway and Fairfield just finished one.

In two VE sessions so far this month, we have had one new Technician class, and one new Technician followed by an upgrade to General.

Special Events: A busy couple of months:

Lighthouses On The Air in August on Sheffield Island. Very successful. Sheffield Island people were happy with it. Event was cut short due to weather.

Kayak event coming up this Saturday Sept 15. We could use one or two additional volunteers.

Ride The Beach Sept 23rd. GFARA is the lead. We need volunteers.

Sherwood Island outdoor HF operations coming up Sept 30.

Bowling Night Sept 13. Bowlmor Lanes 701 Connecticut Ave, Norwalk, CT. 6pm.

Nominating Committee: Per the Bylaws, the Board has appointed a nominating committee to nominate candidates for the 2019 club Board. The nominating committee is K1WYQ, N1ZD, and N1PLH.

Meeting adjourned 7:43

Jonathan Taylor K1RFD – developer of Echolink presented on VOIP Systems for Amateur Radio. Thank you Jonathan for a very interesting and informative presentation.

2018 Sheffield Island Lighthouse Operation

Photos from the recent outing the the lighthouse! Higher res photos are available on our Facebook page.


2018 GNARC Summer Picnic

Photos from the 2018 picnic have been added here (See Photos/Recent Events) and to the Facebook Page.

July 2018 Meeting Minutes


Meeting opened at 7:30 by K1TA.

Minutes of last meeting approved as posted.

Department Reports:
Finance: Spent over $1000 on Field Day including $500 for food, $200 for new tires for the trailer, $100+ for a new barbecue grill. Also tables, tents, and miscellaneous supplies.

Technical: N1PLH feels DMR receiver is weaker than it was a few months ago. Testing so far has not anything wrong with it. K1TA agrees with N1PLH, thinks it’s dropping out a little closer Norwalk than used to, but no specifics. No other problems. Please report problems to W1FSM, N1LLL, or N1PLH.

As previously noted, we are planning to put up an end fed multiband antenna from the tower to a tree located on the property for lower frequencies.

Education: Expect to have a General license exam in the fall.

VE Session on July 7. We had 4 people take exams. We had 1 new Tech, 1 Upgrade to General (12 year old Payton Noe KC1IVR), 1 upgrade from General to Extra, and 1 who went from unlicensed to Extra in 2 hours (Carlos Rios of Shelton – who had one question wrong on the Tech, and no wrongs answers on either the General or Extra). Read More →