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.

Hugo suggested we investigate carrying the existing trailer on a flatbed. Hugo will be on the committee.

Technical Committee: No problems noted.

Curt notes that he is available for another 6-8 weeks if anyone has club technical issues they would like to go over with him.

Curt will be removing the Fusion repeater (his property) and replacing it with the original analog repeater. It would be a good education experience for people to see how itb s done. If interested, contact Curt.

The work on the Comm Center roof has not yet been completed, but the Fire Chief has told us that we can put up an end fed wire once the work is completed.

Public Service:

  • MS Ride went well. 9 hams (well, 9-B= counting Jack) provided coverage for a 50/25 mile ride east from Darien into Southport/Fairfield. The MS people were very grateful and have thanked us to the riders and in various materials they have sent out to their membership and large donors.
  • The Lighthouse to Lighthouse (L2L) kayak race is coming up Sept 15. In the past we have provided a number of radio operators to help keep safe over 100 kayakers. Last year, our radio work was instrumental in pulling at least two participants from the water when they ran into problems.

Education Committee: One successful Technician candidate at the July VE session. Even though his intent was to get the license to support his work with drones, spending some time with us seems to have gotten him interested in other aspects of the hobby and he has joined the club.

We will be conducting a Technician Licensing Class starting Sept 26 running for six weeks.

Picnic: The picnic will be held on Sunday Aug 4 at W1LYZs house (25 Friendlee Lane, Wilton). 12:30 to 3:30.

Other: We thank K1DCG and KB1TGW for mopping the Comm Center. Regular mopping helped but still left a lot of dirt and scuff marks on the floor, so N1CT will be bringing in a professional scrubbing machine to clean the floor.

Field Day: See below.

The meeting was closed at 7:40 pm.

Field Day Discussion

Discussion led by AA1XV, our Field Day Captain.

We had more Phone QSOs than last year but fewer CW QSOs. The net effect was exactly the same number of QSO points as last year, and pretty much the same number of points as last year. We did have more people operating the overnight than last year, but propagation on 15 and 10 meters was iffy at best, resulting in a lower than hoped for QSO counts on those bands.

Propagation on 6 meters was worse than iffy, although we did get more 6 meter QSOs than last year.

We were able to set up and be ready for operation in just under 3 hours – an excellent performance. Take down was finished in just over 1 hour – also an excellent performance. Thanks to all who participated.

KB1YOZ did her usual great job on the food. We had hoped that she could be at the meeting because we had a plaque to present her for her Outstanding Participation. The plaque was given to K1RF to deliver to her with our thanks for her work.

We also note the work done by K1WYQ in helping to buy and prepare the food.

Having an on-line sign-up just isnb t working for us. People donb t sign up. To make matters worse, it becomes difficult to deal with certain people who do sign up on-line if we want to change their shift due to conditions or personnel issues.

There appears to have been some interference between the beam and the vertical (GOTA antenna).

GOTA is a real problem for us. We have not done a good job of getting GOTA-eligible people to come to our site to operate.

Thanks to AI1V and to W1IP for handling the bonus point items (a total of over 1000 points).

We discussed the problem of low QSO numbers by many of our operators. There is no doubt that some of it was due to propagation this year – and especially the poor propagation on 15, 10, and 6. However, some of our operators have a history of low production and perhaps should be moved to less busy times. Also, we need to impress upon people that if they sign up for a shift they need to be prepared to work their whole shift – we had a few cases of people signing up for an hour (or two), doing a few QSOs, and then leaving without a replacement operator to finish the shift.

AI1V raised a question of whether our antenna configuration limits our flexibility. While the configuration works well if all bands are open, it does limit our ability to reconfigure when some bands are not open.

The Board – and the club in general – wish to thank AA1XV for his extraordinary efforts as Field Day Captain.

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