Category: Club Activities
At the general meeting on October 9 2018, it was voted in that the Board Meeting shall now be held at 6pm on the same day as the general association meeting, which is currently the second Tuesday of each month. All members are welcome, and greatly encouraged, to attend both meetings.
After that, the annual elections were held where, for various reasons, the entire board was up for re-election. Outgoing President Richard Lawrence (W5EZX) conducted the elections and warmly welcomed the new board into their roles.
The new board would like to thank the outgoing for their service to the association. President Richard Lawrence (W5EZX), VP Programming Bill Stanfill (K4YCD), VP Special Events William Ray (KG5IIS), Treasurer Tommy Alewine (K5TMA), Secretary Richard Bohlman (KG5QLS), and Board Directors Brady Aldrich (KA7KWJ) & Brooke Ridge (KG5JAW), your work on the association’s behalf is greatly appreciated.
The new board consists of the following.
|Vice President – Special Events
& Webmaster/Social Media
|Vice President – Programming||Mike McKay||N5DU|
|Board Directors||Bob Bullock||K5RWB|
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!
Another great program was given to CMSARA in April! Past-President Mike McKay N5DU talked about APRS. A long time enthusiast for the Automated Packet Reporting System, Mike has served as a key expert on APRS, advising several clubs in the area on the deployment and operation of APRS digipeaters, iGates and trackers. He gave critical information about how Yaesu has enhanced the APRS implementation in their new line of Fusion transceivers and HTs. A modest debate about how well or poorly Icom’s DSTAR digital APRS has been implemented. All in good amateur radio fun, of course.
Mike’s program slides are available here. Video of the talk will be posted on the popular CMSARA Youtube Channel as soon as production has been completed.
The former Editor of the AMSAT Journal, Russ Tillman K5NRK, and his long-time partner, Eddie Pettis N5JGK presented “Amateur Radio Satellites: An Introduction and Demo of AO-85” to a packed house at the February meeting of CMSARA. A tour de force of experience, Russ and Eddie taught attendees about the origins of how amateurs got satellites included on NASA missions, how NASA benefited by adopting ham radio technology, and how easy it is to get started working the “birds”. A demonstration in the parking lot was conducted with Eddie Pettis narrating the activities. At least one new ham committed to getting into the world of satellites during the program. Others may indeed follow! Our Vicksburg ARC neightbors were given a standing ovation at the end of the presentation. (more…)
At least eight members of the Central Mississippi Amateur Radio Association worked the 2015 MS-150 Bike Ride for Multiple Sclerosis fund-raising. A two-day, multiple course event, CMSARA members handled Net Control, rest stop stations, and other communications duties to support the bike riders and coordinators for the event. Including Mike McKay N5DU, Bill White, K5BLL, Rusty Yates KG5FSA, Don Porter AF5QD, Robert Errington KF5IZ, Bob Bullock K5RWB, Mike Flanagan WM5A, Dana Pierce KF5WDL, and Brian Castleberry AG5BC, CMSARA has worked with the Jackson ARC to provide amateur radio communications and logistical support services free-of-charge to the MS-150 operational staff.
Scenes from the event taken by Bob Bullock K5RWB, Public Information Officer for CMSARA, are shown below…
Focusing on the benefits of having good programs at each monthly meeting, CMSARA has begun upgrading the audio-video equipment assets owned by the Association. “Thanks to the donations by a CMSARA member,” said President Mike McKay N5DU, “we now have the start for a major enhancement of our capabilities for multimedia use by guest speakers. This will allow the Association or other individual members to donate equipment to further our capability to better enjoy the details of what a speaker has to say.” He added, “Since CMSARA is a registered non-profit with 501(c)(3) status, donations of equipment or money qualifies as a possible tax deduction for donors.”
CMSARA now has an 80″ Inch 4:3 format pull-up floor projection screen with a built-in aluminum storage case. Special Events Coordinator Mike Flanagan WM5A said, “This greatly helps the projected images be clearer to the audience. And it’s a snap to setup, which I like since I usually do this task!” CMSARA has previously used the painted wall behind the speaker’s podium as a provisional screen. “This worked ok but the crystal coating on projection screens make the details clearer and the image much brighter to the audience,” N5DU elaborated.
Another donation is an Elmo Visual Presenter Document Camera HV-5100XG with Color LCD Monitor LM-5611A. This device allows the speaker to show an object—such as a radio or circuit board—on a light board with a high resolution, auto-focusing camera that sends the image to a projector as an input like a Powerpoint presentation. This device has side lights so as to emphasize the 3D object being shown. It will take a PC input (such as with a Powerpoint or PDF slide deck or perhaps a software program) and the speaker can easily switch between these two inputs. It also has a remote control so the speaker can move around more easily from the Elmo device. A hard shell case was included for easy storage and transport to other locations. (more…)
At August’s meeting, the how and why of a new non-profit corporation, the Magnolia Intertie Incorporated, was described by Frank Howell K4FMH, President of the company. Why? “Fundamentally, we do this because we hams want to have ‘fun’ in the practice of our hobby. In this case, a linked backbone of repeaters around Mississippi will also be a great service to those in need of communications in times of emergency.” Over 35 amateur radio operators and those ready for the FCC examination were in attendance at this monthly meeting. The Intertie’s website can be found at magnolia-intertie.com.
Howell said he spent a full year researching other successful Intertie systems around the U.S. All had various suggestions on methods to utilize in linking repeater systems but all also had one definitive piece of advice: DO NOT try to organize a confederation of club repeaters! They said while it’s the quickest way to get a bunch of repeaters linked but it’s the most certain way to have it fail in a short time and with rancor between the Intertie and those clubs. Howell said that the Magnolia Intertie has heeded that set of recommendations. Clubs and other organizations, such as ARES chapters, MEMA, the National Weather Service, Storm Spotters, the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, may apply to connect to the Intertie’s backbone system through a mechanism that is being developed by a working group of Board members and technical advisors, the Network Operations Working Committee. The NOWC is chaired by Mike N5DU. Mike is also the current President of CMSARA and Secretary-Treasurer of Magnolia Intertie Inc. (more…)
We promised that there might be a hurricane at the July meeting. There was! Well, of sorts. Bobby Graves KB5HAV has been a leader in the development of both the Hurricane Watch Net (hwn.org) and the Maritime Mobile Service Net (mmsn.org). Some hams are active in this segment of emergency communications while others are fairly oblivious to them.
The Hurricane Watch Net was founded in 1965 during Hurrican Betsy. An informal group of amateur operators saw a need to provide communications into and out of the impact zone. The HWN has operated since during every hurricane that is projected to reach landfall in the Atlantic, Carribean Basin, and the Gulf of Mexico. It developed and maintains a direct formal communication partnership with the National Hurrican Center in Miami. The Net activates on 20M at 14.325mhz and 50M on 7.268mhz whenever a hurricane is within 300 miles of projected landfall or is a serious threat to a populated area. There are about 40 amateurs located in strategic locations around North America who officially support the HWN’s activities.