Central Mississippi Amateur Radio Association

Telephone: 601-345-1654 ○ E-mail: CentralMSARA@gmail.com

Next Association Meeting

Next association meeting is Tuesday, October 9th at 7:00pm. Board elections will be held at this meeting. Positions that will be open and need filled next month are: President, Vice-President for Programs, Vice-President for Special Events, Secretary, Treasurer, and two “non-officer” members on the Board of Directors. ALL board positions are open and need YOU!
R
egular license testing will be available at this meeting.

September 11, 2018 Meeting Highlights and a few notes from Association President Richard Lawrence (W5EZX)

First of all, a huge welcome to our new Webmaster and Social Media Officer J.D. Toony (K5HH). Thanks to him you are reading this new post on our (finally) updated webpage. We can’t thank J.D. enough for jumping in to take over this very important position in the Association.

The meeting was called to order and began as usual with the Pledge of Allegiance, but on this 9/11 anniversary of the terrorist attack on our Country, the Pledge had even more meaning to me than normal. I’m sure every one of us can remember where we were on the morning of September 11, 2001. I was in law school and we were waiting for the first class of the morning to begin when one of my fellow students came in and said a plane had hit one of the towers of the World Trade Center. He didn’t have any details and I remember thinking that it must have been a small plane like had happened before to the Empire State Building, I think more than once. Class was about to begin so we didn’t have time to go find out what was being reported on TV, and cell phones in those days would only do phone calls and texts, so we didn’t get any more news until an 1 ½ hour later when class was dismissed. As soon as we walked out of classroom we ran into other students in the hallway who let us know how serious it was. We all rushed to the student lounge downstairs to the only available TV in the building. We, like all Americans, were shocked. Having spent over 25 years in fire, EMS and law enforcement at the time, and with a friend on the New York Fire Department (HazMat 1) as well as another on the New York Police Department (Special Response Team), I couldn’t concentrate in class the rest of the day. I’m sure all of you have similar stories of that day. Anyway, saying the Pledge of Allegiance last Tuesday evening was one of the few times in my life that I actually got chocked up while saying it.

Ok, on to the meeting . . . . Mike McKay (K5DU) presented an excellent power point class on Strategic Planning which included a brief history of CMSARA. He also talked about EMCOMM or emergency communications, especially ARES and RACES. Of concern both locally and even nationally is that there seems to be less and less interest in emergency communications with ham radio. Discussed was the need to continue to be able to provide this valuable service as the more our modern communication system relies on higher technology, it is feared that the more venerable it can become. This was emphasized in this state and even in the metro area during Hurricane Katrina. Mike also talked about the MEMA team that mans the 2m/70 cm as well as the HF radios in the State’s Emergency Operations Center in Pearl.

One emphasis Mike made during his presentation was the need for members to step up into leadership positions within the organization. Nominations opened up this meeting for various leadership positions and will remain open until elections are held during our October meeting. Positions that will be open and need filled next month are: President, Vice-President for Programs, Vice-President for Special Events, Secretary, Treasurer, and two “non-officer” members on the Board of Directors (all officers are on the Board of Directors).

Eugene Wallace (N5CMA) announced that he has more 12 volt batteries for go-kits if anyone needs any, and at the low, low price of $FREE. Eugene has already provided several of us with some of these re-purposed batteries and I have been extremely pleased with the one’s I have. In addition to Eugene, we need to thank one of our newer members, Clinton Frazier (KW5TON), for getting these for us. They are used but, again, the one’s I’ve have had for several months now have worked great in my kit.

One other item that will be presented to the Association next month is a proposed amendment to our by-laws. Presently, Article VII – Section D states that the Board of Directors shall meet monthly on the last Tuesday of each month. Several members have suggested that having the Board meet 30-45 minutes before the Association meetings would be more convenient and eliminate having to meet twice each month. I tend to agree, as have several current Board members that talked to me about this. Should the Association wish to change this it would simply require that the proposal be submitted in writing (done), discussed at a regular monthly meeting of the Association, posted on this website and/or Yahoo group, and then voted on at the next monthly Association meeting. It would require a two-thirds vote to pass. Be thinking about this and we can discuss it at the October meeting.

VE testing was conducted (as usual) and I believe all that tested passed. Thanks again to Brian and the VE Team!

I hope everyone has a great month and I’ll see y’all next month on the second Tuesday!

Richard (W5EZX)

February Meeting Recap

A welcome treat at the February meeting was Don Porter’s [AF5QD] presentation on Back to Basics – Using a Multimeter in the Hamshack. He discussed using a multimeter for basic troubleshooting on radio hardware and antenna systems, how to perform continuity testing on transmission lines, and safety precautions to take (for example a static grounding mat). He spent some time discussing using an antenna analyzer, and a few finer points of testing electrical components (like using denatured alcohol to clean out connections before testing). Some of the basic uses he discussed was using a multimeter to test power supplies, finding a faulty fuse, and checking recently installed cable connectors. Official minutes of the meeting can be found here.

January Meeting Recap

At the January meeting, Mike McKay (N5DU) gave a terrific presentation on digital IP gateways/hotspots, specifically the Shark OpenRF module. He discussed different modes, uses, and module models, including pros and cons of different systems. He discussed in depth the Shark OpenRF system, including setup and operation. Some highlights of the device are: Supports DMR, D-Star (DCS, REF/DPlus, XRF/DExtra, XLX), System Fusion (FCS, YSFReflector) networks. Supports cross modem modes. Talk with your C4FM radio on DMR, and with your radio on System Fusion networks! USB powered, low energy consumption, 20mW RF output. Create your own private radio network!  Also discussed were different repeater access around the region using RF hotspots. Official minutes of the meeting can be found here.

Board Meeting Minutes (1/2/2018)

Below are the minutes from the board meeting held on January 2nd, 2018. As a reminder, club members are welcome to board meetings.

Members Present:
Richard Lawrence KF5EZX, Mike Flanagan WM5A, Tommy Alewine K5TMA, Bill Stanfill K4YCD, Brooke Ridge KG5JAW, Richard Bohlman KG5QLS
The meeting was opened at 6:30 pm.
Discussed Items:
CMSARA January program: Shark Open RF.
Capital City HamFest dates: January 26 & 27, 2018.
Any information and links regarding Paypal CMSARA dues payments be removed from our CMSARA webpages since we lose funds by dues payments via Paypal. This had already been approved by the Board in past Board meetings.
Voted Items:
The motion was made for CMSARA to donate $50.00 cash or up to $100.00 for flowers, as a memorial for Mr. Rick Nichols who was one of the founding fathers of CMSARA. Mike Flanagan WM5A will check with the family and determine which donation would best honor Rick.
Motion to approve by: Richard Lawrence KF5EZX
Seconded by: Tommy Alewine K5TMA
Approved by all members present.
Meeting was closed at 7:15 pm.

Six Meters, The Magic Band

At the November CMSARA meeting, R.A. “Smitty” Smith (W4UDH) presented a class entitled “Six Meters, The Magic Band.”  Covered were topics such as: what are the best months for good propagation; the importance of good antenna selection; and additional sources of information and guidance for those wanting to get into the 6 meter band as well as for all those already utilizing it. As usual, Smitty did a great job conveying his vast knowledge to the group.  Thank you Smitty and a job well done! Official minutes of the meeting can be found here.

Board Meeting Minutes (10/24/2017)

Below are the minutes from the board meeting held on October 24th, 2017. As a reminder, club members are welcome to board meetings. Because of the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, the next board meeting is on January 30th, 2018.

Members Present:
Richard Lawrence KF5EZX, Mike Flanagan WM5A, Brady Aldrich KA7KWJ, Bill Stanfill K4YCD, Brooke Ridge KG5JAW, Richard Bohlman KG5QLS
The meeting was opened at 6:30 pm.
Discussed Items:
CMSARA monthly meeting programs.
CMSARA December Christmas party.
New Ham information program to be handled by Mike Flanagan.
Board meetings minutes being added monthly to the CMSARA web site.
Painting & fixing of Rankin County EOC school bus to replace current
Ham radio outdated bus.
Voted Items:
Purchase five (5) Baofeng UV-5R Handheld radios at appx. $27.95 each. These radios are to be given to new Techs, who pass their Tech exam AND join CMSARA. The radios will be programmed by Richard Bohlman and then returned to Mike Flanagan who will direct the new information/membership program.
Motion to approve by: Brady Aldrich
Seconded by: Brooke Ridge
Passed by all members present
Meeting was closed at 7:45 pm.

Board Elections

Annual elections were held at the regular October membership meeting where outgoing President Mike Flanagan (WM5A) welcomed J. Richard Lawrence (KF5EZX) to the podium as newly elected President. Bill Stanfill (K4YCD) was elected Vice-President for Programming, and William Ray (KG5IIS) will continue his term as Vice President for Special Events. Tommy Alewine (K5TMA) will remain as the association’s Treasurer, while Brady Aldrich (KA7KWJ) and Brooke Ridge (KG5JAW) will also continue their terms as Directors. Long time Secretary Dave Van Horn (KE5MLL) ended his tenure, welcoming Richard Bohlman (KG5QLS) as Secretary.

Regarding the elections, Director Brady Aldrich (KA7KWJ) stated: “we are very happy to welcome the newly elected officers, and look forward to the new ideas and input they will contribute to this fantastic organization. At the same time, we want to thank the outgoing officers for their tremendous commitment and service to CMSARA, and will continue to value their presence and contributions at organization meetings and events. Their experience and knowledge as organization leaders will be invaluable to our newly elected board members.”

As a reminder, the Board of Directors meets at 6:30 p.m. on the last Tuesday of every month. These meetings are open to all members and we encourage all interested members to attend.

November Program Recap

At the November CMSARA meeting on November 15 2016, R.A. “Smitty” Smith (W4UDH) gave a wonderful talk about propagation. He spoke about reasons, techniques and tips for communicating in the amateur bands using propagation to full advantage. He also discussed technical resources available for amateurs related to propagation. Smitty has been a ham for many many years, and has earned multiple ARRL awards, including the WAC (Worked All Continents), WAS (Worked All States) and WAZ (Worked All Zones). Smitty is also a member of the illustrious ARRL VHF/UHF Century Club, having worked more that 100+ countries.

As an added bonus at the meeting; Reece Morris, the Grandson of CMSARA member Eugene Wallace (N5CMA), gave a interesting presentation about his Great-grandfather (also a radio amateur). He spoke about how he was taught about becoming a ham, and how he was inspired to design and build his own antenna system! Reece is ready for his first amateur license, and an inspiration to other young people desiring to enter the hobby. Thank you Reece!

 

It’s Not a Microwave Dinner…It’s High Speed Multi-Media Mesh (HSMM)!

hsmm_bookAt the July meeting, CMSARA hosted our neighbor to the north, Glen Popiel KW5GP by Skype. Glen is the author of the recently published book High Speed Multimedia for Amateur Radio: Build a High Speed Amateur Radio Microwave Network (ARRL). Glen gave CMSARA members a jump-start for their MESH Tech Team, led by Rusty Yates KG5FSA. His book is available from the ARRL or from Amazon.

Few hams in the U.S. know more about high-speed multimedia modes than KW5GP: he wrote the book on it! His engaging style and witty sense of humor kept the crowd highly engaged throughout his talk. Glen shared his slides used in his presentation below. Unfortunately, due to a change in computer systems, the planned recording of KW5GP’s talk failed. However, he will be appearing in late August on the Amateur Radio Roundtable (w5kub.com) show, co-hosted by Tom Medlin (W5KUB) and CMSARA VP-Programming Frank Howell (K4FMH) using the same talk. We will add the Youtube link to that video when it’s online. (more…)

© 2014-2017 Central Mississippi Amateur Radio Association

Contact CMSARA at:


P.O. Box 892

Telephone.: 601-345-1654

Brandon, MS 39043-0892

Email: CentralMSARA@gmail.com