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.
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.
Below are the minutes from the board meeting held on January 2nd, 2018. As a reminder, club members are welcome to board meetings.
Pictures by Richard Bohlman. Official minutes for the Christmas party can be found here.
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.
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.
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.
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!
At 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…)
Participating CMSARA Officers and Board Members presented the informal program. Using one or more pictures of their shack, each one gave a brief explanation of what’s in their shack. President Flanagan, Past-President Mike McKay, VP-Special Events Dana Pierce, Board member Mike Dancey and VP-Programming Frank Howell participated. An open-forum Q&A discussion of the decisions and choices made on shack development was interspersed during the discussion. The thirty-plus members and visitors in attendance said that this was a very informative program. Serving the membership, this program change was made to assist new members to ham radio who attend CMSARA!
Slideshow of the May CMSARA meeting: