Another fine turnout for our July meeting. Bill N3QVA and Frank W3FJM were welcomed to the meeting. Dave AB3TE gave an update on the hamfest held just weeks prior; again a successful event. Neil W3ZQI provided additional details on advertising and proposed some new approaches for the 2020 event. Dave was thanked for his outstanding effort as Hamfest Chairman. The evening presentation was by Dave AB3TE and Owen KC3IJN on using the MFJ Antenna Analyzer on a N9TAX 2m/70cm antenna which has been giving Owen trouble on 2 meters. The group then split into a number of smaller groups covering topics including license exams, ARRL Field Day, commercial digital broadcasting, logging software, the ICOM 7300, and remote operating.
We had a great turnout at the June, “pre-hamfest”meeting. Dave AB3TE gave an informative update on the BARC Father’s Day Hamfest. Volunteers are welcome–give two hours to help out the club and receive free admittance for the rest of the event. Bill N3WD gave an update on the Sharon Dobson Memorial club now with callsign W3DUH. and spoke of ARRL Field Day. Remember the upcoming W3LPL Open House. Joe W3TTT is teaching an amateur radio course as part of the Community College of Baltimore County (Hunt Valley) Life Enrichment series, coming up in a few months. Dave AB3TE demonstrated his 2-meter radio “go kit”, a padded suitcase with complete 2-meter FM radio station, including antenna and power supply.
A big thank you to Jim Green WB3DJU for having the club out to his home for a presentation of his impressive Collins-centric amateur radio station and “mini-museum”. This May meeting was one of our largest group turnouts in quite some time. The station shows many, many hours of expertise and TLC done by Jim over the years. Minor club business mentioned completion of the move of club property to a smaller storage unit, to save on monthly expenses and updated the group on the Father’s Day Hamfest. We have one more club meeting before the hamfest. Thank you again Jim, for your hospitality in hosting the May meeting.
April’s meeting topics included the upcoming hamfest and discussion on the Fairview United Methodist Church; Neil W3ZQI visited the church site and more details have been clarified. Info from Phil N3CDY: the downtown repeater receive site antenna has been repositioned as required by the site owner (due to building reconstruction)–thank you again, Phil. Neil W3ZQI (hamfest publicity) mailed flyers/letters to more than 80 ham clubs within driving distance of our hamfest. The Dayton Hamvention is coming; a number of the club members will again be attending. Gerhart KC3JPK and Jeff (studying) were welcomed back after being absent for a few months. A work party was scheduled for the storage facility to move club-owned stuff to a smaller unit in order to reduce expenses. A prior trip by some of the members resulted in several pickup trucks full of stuff to the dump and recycling facility.
The March meeting featured an informative discussion about the W3FT FM repeater system, led by Phil N3CDY. Phil has been around from the beginning of the system and elaborated on the complexity of it all–thanks Phil! Club business included further discussion on the Fairview United Methodist Church; Jim WB3DJU and Neil W3ZQI assumed responsibility for furthering the investigation and are to report back to the club. The hamfest contract has been signed (porcelain restrooms!) and Neil W3ZQI will begin some of the advertising of the event. As always lately, the new transmitting mode FT8 captured some of the meeting time with the accomplishments of several of the users. Welcome to new attendee, Jon who is studying for his first license and has great interest in old equipment and Morse Code.
February’s meeting was well attended–we now have 23 people signed up for our Groups.io e-mail facility. Jim WB3DJU and Dave AB3TE shared information of the Fairview United Methodist Church–photos were distributed post-meeting by our e-mail reflector. A hearty welcome to Billy H. who is studying for his Technician license. A lively discussion of license exam topics and getting-on-the air hints followed. Recently licensed, Owen KC3IJN showed that he has been a fast learner by contributing a number of pertinent points to the discussion.
The first meeting of the new year (January, 2019) featured a continued discussion of the hamfest in June. Bill N3WD and Dave AB3TE have swapped offices. Bill is now our Vice President and Dave is now our Treasurer. A big thank you to both for their great amount of time and service in their prior offices. The Groups.io e-mail facility is now in place to generate monthly meeting reminders.
December, 2018’s meeting featured a lively exchange of ideas for helping Gordon KC3LWO configure an effective antenna system from the back of his townhome. Expounding on features of different wire antenna types and antenna tuners, one particularly comfortable arrangement for his QTH would be a high quality tuner (roller inductor preferred) with an end-fed wire antenna (using a 9:1 matcher). Power in excess of 100 watts was discouraged for now since he already has numerous opportunities for experimentation. First priority is to get on the air! This was preceeded by a short club board meeting.
Congratulations to our new slate of officers (see bottom of this page) elected at the November, 2018 meeting. After a short review of business by Hale N3NYC, elections were held. Neil W3ZQI spoke of our on-going plans to expand the hamfest vendors/attendees to include robotics, drones, and R/C. Jim WB3DJU mentioned a meeting space and storage opportunity. He followed with a discussion of his recent 5,000 mile road trip by RV over much of the country, to include visiting the Collins Radio Company in Grand Rapids and viewing the Mississippi River. He then showed his new Family Radio HTs with a discussion of their design and capabilies. Subsequent discussions included popular choices for starter HF amateur radio stations.
Much of the business discussion at the October, 2018 meeting centered on the upcoming June’s BARC Hamfest. A slate of officers for November elections was assembled (see bottom of this web page). Neil W3ZQI will assemble a membership list from various sources and initiate billing for this year’s annual dues. New member Joseph AB9YY and returning member Gerald NE3C were welcomed.
At the September, 2018 meeting, Gordon pleasantly surprised us by announcing that he had passed both the Technician and General exams since the July meeting–congratulations to Gordon, now KC3LWO. Al W3YRS had not been seen in a good while; welcome back. Stephan KC3ILL discussed his solar power array that supplies most of the electricity to his home in Timonium and showed us his electric scooter (used to ride to a Light Rail stop on his way to the meeting) which does 18 mph. Neil W3ZQI led a discussion on the new weak-signal operating mode FT8.