RADIO AMATEUR NEWS & VIEWS, DECEMBER, 2005

RADIO AMATEUR

NEWS & VIEWS

DECEMBER 2005

IN THIS ISSUE...
RANV Holiday Party 10 Meter Contest SS Shoot Out
Our Last RANV Meeting The Prez Sez UHF Repeater Networks
Field Day Results




RANV HOLIDAY PARTY
Join Us December 13th For An Evening of Fun

The RANV Holiday Party will be Tuesday, December 13th at the QTH of W1SJ and W1DEB in Essex. Festivities will get underway at 6:00 and will run until 10:00. Arrive at any time, but no food guarantees are made if you show up late! If you need directions, contact W1SJ at w1sj@arrl.net.

We have an assortment of food planned, including the usual cold cuts platter, wings, cocktail franks, meatballs, knishes, fries, drinks and munchies. We'll also have an assortment of other tasty items, depending on what everyone brings. See below for more information on this.

There is no formal meeting and nothing specific is planned. Traditionally, past activities have included the telling of tall tales, playing with computers and DXing WiFi, getting on the air, and viewing videos and pictures. Everyone is encouraged to bring non-ham guests as well. That way, normal people (non-hams) have people to talk to!

It is key that you let Mitch know how many are coming. As soon as you read this, please send him an E-mail and count up the number of attendees who are likely "definite" and the number of attendees who are likely "maybe". This information is needed by December 8th so that the proper amount of food can be ordered. If you would like to bring something, let Mitch know that, too. If it is a food dish, you should come around 6:00. If you plan to arrive later, bring a dessert item.

We look forward to seeing all of you at the Party!


10 METER CONTEST

The ARRL 10 Meter Contest will be on the weekend of December 10-11th. The contest starts Friday night at 7 PM and runs 48 hours until Sunday night. With the sunspot cycle being pretty close to minimum, no one is expecting widespread openings. However, openings do occur, sometimes a lot better than expected. While we probably won't get the big openings into Europe, there will likely be openings to the tropics and even transequatorial openings to South America.

I will be opening up WB1GQR for a group operation. This is a great opportunity to sign up, get on and have some fun. While 100 watts to a dipole won't work much at this time in the cycle, a kilowatt to a yagi will work a lot more. We would certainly do better if we operated from the tropics! So, I'm looking for operators, both phone and CW, for the 10 Meter Contest. Core hours are Saturday and Sunday 10 AM until 4 PM. With slack conditions, this will be a very laid back operation and we will likely spend a good deal of time chewing the fat during dead conditions between openings. Contact Mitch at w1sj@arrl.net to sign up.

While conditions do not promise to be very good, 10 meters is a very unpredictable band and who knows what might be worked on this weekend?


SS SHOOT OUT IN VERMONT

The annual shoot out at the SS just took place with KK1L, K1KD and WB1GQR taking top spots in New England. It was a carbon copy of last year with Mitch going in the tank early while Ron ran out a large lead. Slowly but surely, Mitch hacked away at this lead all day Sunday and finished within 11 QSO's. It's another "too close to call" situation which will be decided by the log checkers. And everyone claims that they don't make mistakes! Grant became a new daddy (daughter) over the CW weekend, and was given special permission to forgo the baby chores to operate in the phone SS. Grant and Mitch ran neck and neck all day and night with Mitch finally pulling out at the end. The claimed QSO totals: KK1L 1556, WB1GQR 1545, K1KD 1446.


OUR LAST RANV MEETING

by Carl AB1DD, Sec'y

The November meeting was called to order by President Brian N1BQ at 7:09 on November 11th. There were 22 members and 2 guests in attendance.

The first order of business was the annual elections. The current officers ran unopposed. After a last call for ballots, our two guests from the National Weather Service, Jason and Eric volunteered to count the ballots. The results were unanimous, with 22 votes cast for each candidate. The officers remain: President: Brian N1BQ, VP/Treasurer. Bob KB1FRW and Secretary, Carl AB1DD. The membership was then reminded that the December meeting is the Holiday party at the QTH of Mitch W1SJ. A motion to allocate up to $125 for the˙Holiday party was made by Bob W4YFJ, was seconded by Dave W1DEC and passed unanimously.

January's meeting will be HF Direction Finding, presented by Bill Noyce AB1AV from Hollis, New Hampshire.

Refreshments for the January meeting will be provided by the Meyer family.

There was some discussion on the state of the hard line for the repeater, and plans to replace it should move forward before too much snow flies. KB1FRW is looking into the hard line purchase.

A motion to spend up to $300 for Milton High School for the Hamfest in February was made by Dave W1DEC, was seconded by Joe K2KBT and passed unanimously. Section Manager Paul AA1SU made a few announcements. First, he announced the appointment of Bob Brown W4YFJ as the new Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC).

Next, Paul mentioned that the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) would like some help and/or advice on antennas for the CAP High Frequency station. He also made note that the club is up for renewal of its Special Service Club rating. We need to have a Public Information Officer. Paul explained some of the duties of this appointment, such as developing a relationship with the media and issuing press releases. Volunteers for any of these positions can contact Paul at aa1su@arrl org.

The main topic this month was a talk by the National Weather Service (NWS) about SKYWARN. This is a program where independent weather observers call in to the NWS office to report on local weather conditions. This interesting talk explained how some of the weather, especially winter weather, happens in our location. It was interesting to learn that even though we live next to a large lake, we get little real "lake effect" snow. It was also interesting to know that some of the weather aloft is gathered from sensors on commercial airlines as they take off from the airport.

The meeting adjourned at 9:30.


THE PREZ SEZ

by Brian N1BQ, President

I want to take this moment to wish all of our club members a joyous holiday season and happy New Year. I hope to see many of you at our annual holiday party at the home of Mitch and Debbie. Please make sure you let Mitch know if you are coming and how many guests you will have, so we can best plan for food.

Mitch, Bob, Carl and I met the other day with Jeff W1RL to finalize the Bylaws revisions. RANV is now an incorporated body, registered with State of Vermont. In essence, there were really no major changes nor significant additions but rather a lot of small stuff to comply with state regulations and to posture us for further qualification with the IRS as a non-profit organization. In a future newsletter, you will be receiving information on the Bylaws changes. There will be a summary of the proposed changes and an Internet link where you can download the old and revised copies of the Bylaws for review. If you do not have access to the Internet you can contact any of the club officers and have a paper copy mailed to you. Finally, a ballot to vote on the proposed Bylaws changes will be included along with instructions. Three-quarters of the votes received will be required to approve the new Bylaws.

I don't want to sound like I'm nagging but. Have you done anything yet about emergency preparedness with regards to your own communications equipment?


UHF REPEATER NETWORKS

by Mitch W1SJ

There have been a number of new UHF repeaters coming on line in Vermont. Many are connected into linked networks.

One of the oldest repeater networks is the Northeast FM Repeater Association (NFMRA). This organization dates back to the 60's. Their flagship is the 146.88 MHz repeater on Killington Peak. Back then, they also had a 147.09 MHz repeater on Mt. Snow. That frequency is now used in Newfane in Southeastern Vermont. NFMRA operates several UHF repeaters which cover much of Vermont. The hub of the network is the 444.55 MHz repeater, co-sited with 146.88 MHz on Killington. These repeaters can be linked, if necessary, but are normally stand alone. The network connects to 444.70 in Newfane, 444.60 in Williamstown and 444.65 in Monkton. Recently, the network was extended to the 444.05 MHz repeater on Mt. Equinox. The network basically covers the southern 3/4 of Vermont. Coverage in the Burlington area from Monkton is OK for high powered mobiles, but marginal for handhelds. Currently there is no coverage into the northern counties. Future plans include connecting the Burke Mountain 448.125 MHz and the Tupper Lake, New York 444.70 MHz repeaters into the network. The network is open to all.

A newer network came on line a few years ago. This system is run by Dave KA1UAG and has its hub on 443.50 MHz in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Other locations include 444.90 in Enfield, New Hampshire, 444.50 on Pico Peak and 443.90 in Corinth. Al N1IOE got involved with the project and has repeaters on 447.875 in Williamstown and 444.90 in Williston. The new Williston repeater provides excellent coverage in the Burlington area. If you like other bands, there is also a 927.4875 MHz in Williamstown and 927.7625 MHz in Lebanon. One advantage of this network is that it is has IRLP capability (node 4650). This allows other repeaters to tie in. Future plans include repeaters in the Northern and Southern parts of the state. The network is private, but amateurs are invited to use it for long distance communications. Contact the owners for IRLP usage.

A third network which runs through Vermont is the Radio Guys Radio Group and is run by Paul W1IMD. The network ties repeaters throughout Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. There are Vermont nodes on Pico Peak, Mt. Mansfield, Burke Mountain and Williamstown. It is a closed network and users come on by invitation only.

Recently, Chris N1GBB put a new repeater on Mt. Ellen in Fayston. At 3700 feet above sea level, it has a very large footprint. The receiver does not yet have a preamp, making it difficult to access this repeater reliably with a handheld. This will be fixed one day and the system promises to have tremendous coverage. This repeater has access to Echolink and can be linked to other similarly equipped repeaters.

Northeast FM Repeater Association Network

Frequency ToneCallsignLocation Area
444.05 + 100.0 K1DF Mt. Equinox SW
444.55 + 110.9 W1ABI Killington Cent
444.60 + 110.9 W1AAK Williamstown ECent
444.65 + 110.9 W1AAK Monkton NW
444.70 + 110.9 WA1KFX Newfane SE

KA1UAG Network

Frequency ToneCallsignLocation Area
443.50 + 131.8 KA1UAG Lebanon NH ECent
443.90 + 131.8 KA1UAG Corinth ECent
444.50 + 71.9 KA1UAG Pico Peak Cent
444.90 + 100.0 N1IOE Williston NW
444.90 + 131.8 KA1UAG Enfield NH ECent
447.875 - 100.0 N1IOE Williamstown ECent


FIELD DAY RESULTS

by Mitch W1SJ

The 2005 Field Day results are in and RANV has again taken third place in the super competitive 2A category. The Cortek Radio Club W9CA, of Illinois, a hot competitor in 2A, grabbed the top spot this year. They had 128 contacts less than us, but worked a ton of CW contacts to score over 13K points. A group out of San Francisco, W6KB, grabbed second with over 12K points and we had over 11K points. Some familiar 2A callsigns, W5NC and NG5M, who have beaten us in the past, were further down the list. Overall, we were 26th across all categories and 11th in total contacts. Few Field Day groups have scores as consistently high as we do, over the many years.

In local competition, the "laid back" W1MOO from down the street in South Burlington grabbed 10th place in 2A with over 9K points, likely the closest Field Day finish ever seen in Vermont. The 10 Vermont groups spread out in 7 different categories. Some 131 participants were listed in the Vermont groups, which doesn't sound too impressive when you consider that there are over 500 ARRL members and 2200 hams in Vermont. The list below shows the Vermont groups, scores, participants, and place, total and percentile they scored in their respective categories.

An interesting piece of information gleaned from the ARRL Web is a compilation of bonus points from the various Field Day groups. We grabbed 1710 out of a possible 1750 points, and scored in each category. Some 50% of the groups got bonuses in the various media categories, the ARRL bulletin and the served agency visit. Getting an elected official to visit was rarer, at 25%. Some 40% got some bonus for Youth contacts and 30% sent traffic to the Section Manager. The rarest bonuses were Traffic handling, GOTA bonus, all 3 demonstration modes and finally, the Satellite bonus (only 10%). The fact that we scored in all categories underlines our ability and commitment to the task.

Thanks again to all who made Field Day such a success. We'll do it again in another seven months.

Club 		Call    Class  	Pts	QSO	Part 	Place	Totl	%tile
RANV       	W1NVT  	2A 	11130 	3629 	23   	3 	450  	99
Udder Club	W1MOO  	2A  	9356 	3195  	7  	10 	450  	98
GMWS       	N1VT   	4A	5322 	1443 	25  	19 	127  	86
SOVARC     	K1SV   	3A	5046 	1619 	25	39	262  	85
NVQS       	N1QS   	2AB	3060	341 	21  	14  	28  	50
K1KI       	K1KI   	1C   	210   	40  	1  	37  	54  	33
BARC       	W1KOO  	2F  	1136  	268  	3  	45  	59  	25
WRiverRC       	W1RRC  	2A  	1058  	177 	20 	384 	450  	15
NV1Y/WE1E  	WE1E   	1A   	362   	53  	2 	129 	141   	9
Halifax EC 	N2JFS  	1A   	192   	21  	3 	138 	141   	3




Back to the top
Other RANV Newsletters
Back to RANV Home