May 2016 Meeting Minutes

Meeting called to order at 19:37. 17 people in attendance.

Tonight’s presentation was given to us by Paul, WB2JVB, on how computers are essentially free today. Different applications call for different tools, but armed with the Arduino and Raspberry Pi a person can do a lot. One of the most important lessons was if you plan on building with an Arduino, buy the real deal. It may be tempting to spend only $3 for a board, but the amount of frustration it could cause is worse than spending the extra money up front. For those who unable to attend the slides are posted on the website, and they are worth a look, even if it’s only to learn about the Kangaroo, a very affordable complete Win 10 PC.

Business meeting:
The primary topic of conversation was the upcoming Field Day, as June 25-26 is fast approaching. Field day is without a doubt the most visible annual radio event, and is not only an important tool to recruit new hams, but it’s also an important tool to get hams that already hold licenses on the air. For many people this is a chance to operate HF for the first time. For some this will be the first opportunity to see what we as hams can do when they come together in an emergency situation. Still others come just to meet up with old friends. To others this is a chance to meet up with some of the brightest people in the area, and learn from their experiences. Whatever your personal reason for attending might be, this is a day not to be missed.

This year we are going to focus more on the fun of amateur radio, and hope that not only will every member of the club come, but every FAMILY member and friend of every member will come. This is open to anyone who wants to see the magic of radio in action while having a great time outdoors, with some really great people, while enjoying delicious food.

However, in order to pull this off we need people to volunteer to help. There is a tower to transport/set up/take down, a beam to set up, two other antennas, tables, chairs, power distribution, tents, food, and of course, radios. We need man (and women) power to pull an event like this off, and if we don’t get enough volunteers signed up we’ll be forced to call it off.

After everything is set up, we also need operators. For many years we operated 3A with a VHF and GOTA station, and in order to do that 120 hours of radio time need to be filled. The idea was floated that if we don’t get people interested in operating we’ll switch to 2A, which is a far more competitive class.

There will be an online form set up soon for people to sign up for time slots, but until then if you are interested in operating or helping with setup and take down please email George,, to show that there are members who are interested in participating.

Upcoming events:
May 21st is going to be the Norwalk Tree Festival, and GNARC has pledged to help out again this year with logistics. Up to this point we have 3 volunteers, which will not be enough. In order to increase the numbers there will be phone calls in the near future. The event will be at Cranbury Park from 10-2. If you wish to volunteer, please contact Sam at

May 22nd is going to be the Bloomin Metric Bike ride. For over 20 years the local clubs in the area have supported this event in its various iterations. It’s a 2500 person 65 mile bike ride. The ride includes the bicycle portion of the Stamford Hospital Hope-In-Motion fundraiser, so supporting this is directly supporting a Stamford charity. Because of terrain, it’s a challenge to get coverage of the entire route. In past years we’ve used a temporary cross-band repeater and DMR in order to get the coverage we need. This means we need a lot of people. Prior experience is not necessary.
This event is so popular, the clubs have been mentioned TWICE in QST for our participation. Please consider helping out at this event. Starts and ends at Sherwood Island, Westport. If you wish to volunteer, please contact Jon at

June 4th is the American Legion Weekend at the Post. This is a great event that is a thank you to our veterans. There’s going to be trucks, a K9 show, lots of gear, and of course, a communications setup. We set up there last year, and they really want us back. The event goes from 10am-7pm, but last year we finished around 3:30. The radio, antenna, and tent will be all ready to operate, but volunteers are needed to make contacts and answer questions. Contact George,, if you can help.

June 6th the new CEO of the ARRL will be coming to speak in our area. As you may have heard, Dave Sumner is retiring, and his replacement Tom Gallagher is moving back north from Florida. Exact time and place is currently TBD, but last I heard it might be the Southport Library at 7pm. Keep tuned into the email reflector for updates.

June 12th is the MS bike ride. This is a 102 mile ride that goes up above I-84 to Brookfield, Roxbury, and Southbury. It’s a real technical challenge to provide comms along the route – coverage last year involved two nets, APRS tracking, and 4 repeaters, including a temporary cross band. This year we’re looking at adding DMR into the mix. Starts and ends at Cranbury Park in Norwalk. If you wish to volunteer, please contact Sam at
Bill, KB1IFY motioned to adjourn. Seconded by Marty, KA1WBN. Meeting adjourned 21:15.

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