“Christmas” in June
by Clint Anderson, AE5CA
As I write this we are one week from Field Day! There is so much I want to do, but limited time and resources to make it happen. While I have been preparing in one form or another for months, I still have a lot to do. It might seem strange, but for me getting ready for Field Day is a lot like getting ready for Christmas! It is one of my favorite times of the year.
I have ordered the steaks for our Saturday dinner. (Are you planning to be there?) The computers are all updated with the latest Windows, and the latest N3FJP (logging software) and FLDIGI (send/receive software). I plan to use the same mesh network from the previous couple years. The computer network and video links have proven to be a big hit for the guests, and made the ARRL submission work so much easier! So, I think we’re ready! I believe we could run Field Day today! and do just fine.
To push my own envelope, I set two new goals for Field Day this year. First, power the GOTA station by solar power. Second, enable the GOTA station to easily switch between phone, CW, and digital.
The solar system, after a lot of research, study, and preparation, has parts from across the country converging on my QTH. Assembly and testing is underway, and with a bit of luck, should be ready for Field Day.
Getting the envisioned GOTA station will require several late nights next week. I will use a different radio than last year, having some new capabilities to interface to a computer for several digital modes and CW control. The CW interface involves setting up the keyer with the Field Day contest phrases (e.g., CQ FD CQ FD…), and connecting to the radio’s CW key jack. Interpreting the dits and dahs is handled by the software—great for those of us with, uh, rusty code skills.
For me this is the best part of Field Day: designing, configuring, building and testing new hardware to make an interesting and easy Field Day. Seeing it actually perform is the bonus! So, I am looking forward to seeing each of you at Field Day, and hope you’ll sign up to operate for an hour or two during the weekend!
HOTARC Field Day 2017
Hewitt Park, Hewitt, TX
Saturday June 24, 1 PM to Sunday June 25, 1 PM
Mark your calendars!! Check our web site for more.
For the Record
Meeting of Members
May 25, 2017
President Lynn Gustafson, KD5DZU called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the W5NCD Workshop Meeting Room.
Bill Feltenberger, KD5UEW opened the meeting with a prayer.
24 members and 4 visitor present. Mike Mack, a new member, introduced himself to the membership. Roland Richter, WA5IEX also in attendance.
Meeting Minutes. Corrections needed to the April Minutes published in the HOTLINE.
a. The Draft minutes correctly noted that the meeting ended at 7:53 but the HOTLINE version indicated a different time.
b. D-Star report by David Bush should be changed to indicate that the D-Star repeater is NOT working.
c. Also regarding members building Trackers, Larry Bush has approved use of the W5NCD facility to build their own Trackers, but will not personally assist this activity.
A motion to accept the Minutes of the April 2017 meeting with these changes was made by Bill Feltenberger, KD5UEW seconded by Dwan Needham, KE5JWY, and unanimously approved.
Treasurer’s Report. Lynn reviewed the Treasury Report in the HOTLINE which was approved by membership.
The Treasurer Reports...
O’ Texas Amateur Radio Club
Beginning Account Balance $ 11,486.72
TOTAL Income $ 45.09
Trailer jack repair $ 243.56
ARRL liability insurance 300.00
Skywarn refreshments 22.49
TOTAL Expenses $ 566.05
Ending Account Balance $10,965.76
Uncleared activity (as of 5/16/2017)
· ARES: Ed Hynan KC5NI reported ARES is working fine. Lynn, KD5DZU led a discussion about ARES membership needing to participate on the Weather Net during a weather event. Members are encouraged to participate and check out National Weather Service website to sign up for alert messages. If you are interested in being a member of ARES, contact Ed at KC5KNI@arrl.net or 254-722-4578.
· Trailer Committee: Lynn Gustafson KD5DZU reported that the trailer is now back and ready for re-installing equipment. Lynn requested volunteers to help retrofit the trailer over the next couple of weekends, as weather permits. Keith Adams, KG5AWC has been designated the unofficial Trailer Committee Chairman.
· Repeater Committee: Clint AE5CA indicates that everything except D-Star is working.
· Website: John Chamberlain, AC5CV not present but Lynn, KD5DZU indicated a problem with ARES applications; otherwise website working fine.
· ATV: David Bush KC5UOZ indicated that progress is being made and described future plans.
· Education Committee: Clint Anderson, AE5CA reported completing a Technician class. No more classes scheduled at this time.
· Public Relations: Dwan Needham, KE5JWY reported 45 letters were released to key organizations announcing the Field Day Event. Dwan provided a lengthy discussion on all the activities completed.
· Field Day 2017. Lynn KD5DZU reported Clint Anderson, AE5CA is lead on Field Day planning and supervision. Lynn led a lengthy discussion about status and encouraged members to sign up for duties to help execute Field Day. There is a Field Day spreadsheet that contains everybody’s tasks which is available on Google Drive (ask AE5CA for access) and a special Field Day E-Mail list (ask AC5CV to be added).
· DSTAR Module. Lynn KD5DZU reported that there is nothing new to report.
· Building Trackers. This activity is on hold until after Field Day.
· Direction Finding Antenna. This activity is on hold until after Field Day.
· Liability Insurance for Club. Lynn KD5DZU reported that the Board has approved payment of the Liability Insurance for $300.00.
· New Membership. Mike Mack, KG5SZN was approved for Full Family Membership. Dwan KE5JWY made the motion and seconded by Mike WB7SKK to accept Mike and Family into the club.
· Special Field Day Expenses. Clint Anderson recommended funds be set aside to take care of miscellaneous expenses needed during Field Day. Motion made by Paul Collins, KG5DHS to authorize $500.00 and seconded by Drew, KE5UBO for this purpose. Motion agreed by the membership.
Motion to adjourn by Ed Hynan, KC5KNI was recognized by Lynn KD5DZU at 7:52 pm.
Post Meeting Program
A special presentation was provided by Drew Dickerson, KE5UBO regarding Digital Modes.
Dan Hapenney, AG5HF
by Ed Hynan, KC5KNI
It is again time for the 2 year ARES Data update. This is done every 2 years in order to make sure our data is current and up-to-date.
I am in the initial stages of our ARES data update. I will initially provide print-outs to each ARES member showing all data contained in the ARES Data Base. I need each member to review the data, make any necessary corrections, sign the sheet indicating all is current, and return it to me. I will update any changes and issue a new ARES ID Card with a 2019 expiration date.
Remember, all disaster response is being handled through the Waco-McLennan County Emergency Management. If you want to work disaster response, you will need to make an appointment with Frank Patterson at Emergency Management (254-750-5911) for your required annual background check and documentation of required training. The basic training requirements are the same as have been required by ARES for involvement in actual disaster response, but are now managed by Emergency Management. As I have said before, don’t wait until the disaster happens to apply. You will be too late.
As I look over the names of the current ARES members, I see members of HOTARC that are not ARES members. I can’t understand why every member of HOTARC is not a member of ARES. The price is right—FREE! All that is required is a valid license and a willingness to help. If requested to assist in an event or emergency situation, participation is still voluntary. If you feel that you don’t have the time and/or membership would conflict with your job, remember we may face a situation where the job is affected by the emergency and/or things that occupy your time may in fact be cancelled. The ARES application lists three availability options: 24/7, Nights & weekends, and General. Pick the one that best suits your schedule.
A real emergency is going to take all the resources that we have, and after the event happens is not the time to join ARES. Remember those wanting to work disaster response must have completed these four FREE FEMA courses:
· National Incident Management System (NIMS), IS-700
· Incident Command System (ICS), IS-100 and IS-200
· The National Response Plan (NRP), IS-800
Current Net Controls are considered major players for disaster response and especially need the courses. Without these basic courses you will not qualify for access to secure and/or restricted locations—again, now managed by Emergency Management. Our support will most likely be needed in the Emergency Operations Centers, Incident Command Posts, Police or Fire facilities, and hospitals just to name a few. If you are not a member, go to the ARES page on the HOTARC web site, download and fill out the ARES application, send it in, and become a registered ARES member. I also have applications at all club meetings. Links to the above FEMA Courses are also provided on the HOTARC web site.
Remember, it is not IF it will happen, but WHEN it will occur. Also it is better to be a small part of the solution rather than a big part of the problem. Get involved! You’ll be glad you did.
I get to go to Field Day again!
by Bill Feltenberger, KD5UEW
How is it that Field Day only comes about once a year? I have such fun on Field Day that I think we should do it about once a month!
1. The fun.
2. The communication.
3. The camaraderie.
4. The food and drinks.
5. The learning and growth in our skills as operators.
6. The seeing of new things and old friends.
7. The refreshing of skills.
8. The refreshing of safety habits.
I could probably list a few more, but I will stop for now. Because I remembered why we only do this once a year:
1. Packing all the equipment up to take it to Hewitt Park.
2. Making sure it all works before we get there.
3. Climbing on the building and on the trailer to set up the antennas
4. Showing up a couple of weeks early to make sure the trailer is ready.
5. Going to the store to buy supplies to feed the group.
6. Sending out letters and emails to invite all the political representatives so they can see us do our thing.
7. Tearing it all down on Sunday morning.
8. Cleaning up, and hauling it all back home, and then putting it all away.
As I stop with this list making I happened to notice that my lists are equal lengths. This is a coincidence. (You will just have to believe me on that.) So why should I show up and do this activity? What is accomplished on Field Day? What is the purpose?
The answer is: if I can do it on this one day, I can be prepared to do it in on a future day. If I can I bring my station to Field Day, set it up, get it to work, and then get it all back home again, then I know: when an emergency strikes—and it will—I can do it then.
HOTARC 2017 Board of Directors
Lynn Gustafson KD5DZU
Pres: Bill Feltenberger KD5UEW,
Dan Hapenny AG5HF
Norris Martin KB5SLI,
Clint Anderson AE5CA,
(2017): Paul Collins KG5DHS,
Director (2018): Terry Williams KD5KJU,
(2019): Ed Hynan KC5KNI,
145.15 MHz (input at –600 kHz, tone 123 Hz)
146.98 MHz (input at –600 kHz, D-Star)
442.875 MHz (input at +5.0 MHz, tone 123 Hz)
The HOTARC VEs will hold a test session on 10:00 am Saturday July 22 at the W5NCD Workshop (12772 Chapel Road in Lorena). Test takers will need to provide 1) testing fee of $15 (cash only); 2) a photo ID (two for first-time licensees). Additionally, already licensed amateurs also must provide: 3) Reference copy or photocopy of current license; and 4) photocopy of any relevant CSCE. Contact: Linda Hynan, AC5QQ at 254‑666‑4873 or Linda.Hynan@UTSouthwestern.edu.
HOTARC will hold its Annual Meeting of Members at 7:00 pm on Thursday June 22 at the W5NCD Workshop, 12772 Chapel Rd in Lorena. Meetings generally last about 75 minutes consisting of fellowship, general Club business, and an interesting program and discussions. Visiting hams, family members, and prospective hams are welcomed!
Are you making your plans for Field Day?!