|RANV Summer Picnic||Fox Hunt August 3rd||Our Last RANV Meeting|
|Prez Sez||Field Day Results||N1ZRA News|
|W1DEC News||Radio School At Mt. Norris||Lighthouse Special Event|
Everyone pack up your coolers and picnic gear and head over to Kill Kare State Park on Saturday, August 4th for the RANV Summer Picnic. Activities will get underway at 11 AM and will run through the afternoon.
RANV will supply park admission, soft drinks and charcoal. You bring the rest. Be sure to bring family and friends, food to eat, appropriate sporting goods and clothing and any radio stuff you would like to play with. Leave pets at home since the park doesn't allow them, and it is too hot to leave a pet in the car. Please let Brian know how many are in your group so that we can plan. Most of the activity will center around cooking, eating and socializing.
RANV will celebrate the picnic as an on-air special event as we will be putting W1V on the air for the day on 20 and 40 meters. We especially encourage all of our Field Day GOTA operators to come up and operate. Unlike the crowded conditions during Field Day, we will have the bands pretty much to ourselves. Gone will be the noise, interference and static from nearby stations. Everyone has fun making contacts during the picnic. And you will be putting rare Franklin County on the air as well! Please make a point to come to the picnic and operate for a while.
Directions to Kill Kare are as follows: Take I-89 North to exit 19, St. Albans. Go past the light and down the access highway 1 mile to Route 7. Make a right and head 0.5 miles into downtown St. Albans. Look for Taylor Park (big green) on your right and then look for Lake Street and make a left. Go 3 miles on Lake Street until you come to the lake and the community of St. Albans Bay. The Bayside Pavilion will be at your left and a Shell station at your right. Make a right turn and head north. You will pass St. Albans Town Park. Keep going! You will only go 0.7 miles from the turn and will cross a small bridge. Right after this bridge, turn left on to Hathaway Point Road. Unfortunately, there is no sign for the Park at this junction, so you will have to pay attention. Go 3 miles to the entrance of the Park. We should be in the corner. If you have a GPS, the coordinates are: N44 46.778 W73 11.035. If you get lost, give a yell!
Let's have a great tunout and a great day at the picnic!
Don't forget to plan for the next RANV Fox Hunt, Friday, August 3rd, starting at 6 PM on the 145.15 repeater. Brian WB2JIX has agreed to be the fox.
The rules of the RANV Fox Hunt are simple. The fox is located on publicly accessible property within Chittenden County, in such a spot where there is more than an S-1 signal at I-89 Exit 14 (Fox should check this ahead of time). The fox transmits on the input to the 145.15 repeater (144.55 MHz) for over 10 seconds out of every minute (more is desirable, though). First finder of the Fox wins the hunt and receives all appropriate accolades and bragging rights.
The July meeting was called to order at 7:10 by president Brian N1BQ. There were 17 members and guests present.
Brian announced that the next meeting will be at Kill Kare State Park in St. Albans. This will be our annual picnic. The date is Saturday, August 4th.
Bob W4YFJ talked about the upcoming Lighthouse weekends, August 4-5th and 18-19th. Special event station W1L will be on the air both weekends from the Shelburne Museum, near the Colchester Lighthouse. Those wishing to operate are asked to contact Bob.
Bob KB1FRW was volunteered to bring the snacks for the September meeting.
After a round of introductions, it was announced that the St. Albans hamfest will be August 17-18th at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Highgate.
Paul, AA1SU then told us of a great deal. If you sign up for ARRL membership through him, you can receive a free ARRL repeater directory. Contact Paul for more information.
The speaker for the evening was Mitch, W1SJ who talked about Fox Hunting. He gave some hints and revealed a few secrets about being a successful hunter. Getting a line on a fox with a good beam at home is a good way to start. Be wary of hills that can cause signals to fade when you are getting close. Have small pieces of wire to use as attenuating antennas when you get close
We next moved outdoors for a practice hunt. Two fox boxes were hidden in the park and the membership was turned loose. We found that real expensive direction finding equipment is not needed. Mike N1FBZ used a portable spectrum analyzer and didn't find the foxes as quickly as a guest, James, who found them with just a handheld and a paperclip antenna. By the way, James was visiting from Kansas, is 13 and is not licensed! Almost everyone found the foxes, although the location of one of the boxes really stunk (it was under an outhouse). The hungry fox hunters then attacked the refreshments, and the meeting ended at 9:00.
Traditionally we refer to August as the lazy hazy days of summer. But for us Northern Vermont hams it just doesn't seem to want to work out that way. We have two lighthouse events and the first and third weekends, the annual club picnic on the first Saturday, two weeks of radio merit badge classes at Mount Norris, and the STARC hamfest in on the third weekend. Phew! I got tired just typing all that. For details see various listings and articles elsewhere in the newsletter.
As I write this I just finished up a week at the Mount Norris Scout Reservation teaching a radio merit badge class. Scouting, whether for Boys or Girls, is a wonderful system. There has been some controversy here and there through the years, but when you get down on the ground with the Scouts the politics is gone and what you are left with is a bunch of highly motivated youths with positive can-do attitudes. It is infectious; it is motivating. I defy anyone not to come back from several days with the scouts and not have a warm fuzzy the size of Detroit. After my first day there the kids asked me if I could come earlier, I did, and they were already at the radio shack before I was and waiting. They asked me again to come even earlier the next day. I did again, and they still beat me there.
I didn't just limit it to radio as we hams usually think of it. My third afternoon I brought in a bunch of my microprocessor projects and robots where I have interfaced ham radio, Blue Tooth and Wifi in different ways for control, telemetry, or remote camera. It really seemed to excite these boys.
Volunteering to work with Scouts is a serendipitous thing. You get to further the hobby, bringing in new blood. You get to help boys on their way to adulthood, and you get enormous satisfaction and sheer fun of working with motivated kids. If that doesn't add up to win-win I don't know what does. Check it out!
The STARC hamfest is August 17-18th in Highgate - be there! We must support the hamfests in this region or they will not happen. STARC members have always supported our hamfest in Milton. It's not an onerous task, the guys at STARC put on a very nice little hamfest last year, let us support it again. See you there.
With tight newsletter and travel deadlines we had just enough time last month to tell the Field Day story but no time to provide the numbers. So here they are: The bottom line is 3968 QSO's and 12328 points. Yes, this is down from last year's blowout. But, what we saw last year will likely not happen again for a long time. The QSO total is the 3rd highest ever (in the 25 years we've been tracking this). It was surpassed last year and in 1998 when we had monster openings on 10 and 6 meters. This year's point total is second only to last year's totals. The results will not come out until November and we will not know how we did compared with everyone else. Two points which can be made is that 12 kilopoints for a 2A Field Day group is nothing to sneeze at and propagation was not all that good this year.
In other measurements, we had 29 participants and 24 visitors - both new records for us. Visitors included hams, family, interested people, representatives, and lots of kids! The GOTA station was very busy and well attended during peak hours. We had a strong setup crew which allowed setup to go very smoothly. Unfortunately, we failed in the tear down planning and very few of us got to put all the toys away on Sunday.
Despite a growing group of experienced Field Day participants, we still manage to learn new things. Never does everything go 100% right (we were close, though). We will analyze those snafus ad nauseam through the year and have improvements in place for next year's event. That is why we do well each year. It is also part of the fun of amateur radio.
For a complete rundown of the results, along with pictures, videos, commentary, testimonials, all in 4-part harmony, go to: www.ranv.org/fdrpt.html.
|80 CW||279||80 SSB||542|
|40 CW||490||40 SSB||327|
|20 CW||416||20 SSB||1443|
|15 CW||83||15 SSB||139|
|GOTA CW||0||GOTA Ph||206|
|VHF CW||3||VHF Ph||32|
|Sat CW||0||Sat Ph||8|
|Total CW||1271||Total Ph||2697|
|AB1DD||Carl||GOTA Organizer; equipment; set up; tear down.|
|AA1SU||Paul||Phone/CW op; equipment; bonuses; set up; tear down.|
|K1KD||Grant||Phone/CW op; equipment.|
|KB1FRW||Bob||VHF op; set up; demo bonuses; GOTA coach.|
|KB1KPO||Jerry||VHF op; set up; tear dn.|
|KB1KVY||Thomas||Set up; GOTA op.|
|KB1NHQ||Mike||Setup; GOTA op.|
|N1YD||Jeff||Set up; tear down; Food.|
|W1MOT||Tom||Set up; GOTA op.|
|W1SJ||Mitch||Chairman; Phone op; equipment; set up; tear down; results.|
|W4YFJ||Bob||Set up; GOTA Coach.|