MARCH 2018

Hearing Loss in Hams HAM-CON 2018 VT QSO Party 2018
Secretary's Minutes Fun on 630M Congratulations
RANV New Group Home Editor's Notes

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The March 13th RANV Meeting

For our March meeting, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Julie Stefanski, a licensed audiologist who works at the UVM Medical Center. She will talk about hearing loss, how it is measured, how to protect one's hearing and problems with hearing as we get older. As ham operators, we rely on our hearing an awful lot, so this information is pretty important to us. Join us at our March meeting and help protect your hearing!

HAM-CON 2018

Mitch W1SJ

HAM-CON 2018 was another great show! That's what attendees have been telling me and other RANV members.

As usual, it was quite a struggle to put the show together, something which has become all too commonplace. I had to go through a whole mess of people until I found a mix of forum speakers willing to commit to the show. We lost use of the hydraulic lift for the yagi, forcing us to make other plans. And it was hard just getting enough volunteers to run the show.

Added to these problems was everyone getting sick. Even I wasn't immune to this problem and I took an extra hour to feel well enough to do anything. When I got to the show after it opened, the vendor room was a madhouse - all the tables were full of all sorts of neat stuff and the room was packed. This was a far cry from last year when it was rather sedate in there. But then I was worried that no one would be going to the forums. Not true - there plenty of people in the forum rooms as well. It was quite tough being an attendee and deciding between the two forum rooms or the vendor room to be in. The forums offered up all sorts of neat topics like antennas, baluns, FT8, public service, legal issues, ARRL and whether Marconi really did get across the Atlantic in 1901.

I was real excited to see a packed room for the FT8 forum. The excitement quickly turned to apprehension as I asked myself, "I'm a phone operator, what the heck am I doing here running this forum?" But everyone was really interested in this new mode and was quite excited when I quickly produced an FT8 QSO. Over at the Marconi forum, at the end of the presentation I asked Jeff if he would be able to pan the camera on the antenna farm at VY2ZM. He did, and it was answered with a chorus of ooohs and aaahs!

Over in the Activities room, W1V banged out 100 QSO's with a high dipole replacing the beam. Mike had a good number of customers checking out radios at the Tech table. At various times throughout the morning Jeff demonstrated Spice Modeling and Chad demonstrated the DMR digital voice mode.

At the closing, a sizeable number of folks who stuck around won door prizes of various sizes and shapes. The VE session picked up 2 new hams and 2 upgraded generals. And the Repeater Coordinator's meeting reaffirmed that coordination of Vermont Repeaters will remain in Vermont.

We will have a lot of challenges at future HAM-CON's. Putting together a great show always takes a lot of time and effort. But we have the larger problems of getting more people in the door to make sure the bills get paid. Heck, we even have an issue with finding enough volunteers to run the show. But, despite these issues, HAM-CON 2018 was universally lauded as a great show and was a success on all fronts. Thank you to all who helped make this possible.


AB1DD  Carl   Early show mgr, Forums mgr, Ant Setup,
K1EEX  Norm   RANV Vendor Table
K1LOL  Jason  VE
KB1FRW Bob    W1V Station mgr, Ant setup
KB1LOT Jim    Ant Setup
KB1MDC Alan   Early show sales, Ant setup
KB1PDW Spence Early show sales
KB1THX Tim    Room Setup
KB1VJD Cheryl Front Door Ticket Sales
KB1WXM Bob    Photographer, Ant Setup
KC1APK David  VE
KC1CZA Chad   Digital Voice Demo
KK1L   Ron    Electronic Forums Tech Mgr
N1FBZ  Mike   Tech Table
N1PEA  Ed     VE
N1RCX  Eric   VE
N1YD   Jeff   Door Prizes, Science Demo
W1DEB  Debbie Front Door Ticket Sales
W1SJ   Mitch  General Chairman
W4YFJ  Bob    RANV Table, Ant Setup
WL7CVD Duane  RANV Vendor Table


Mitch W1SJ

The 60th annual Vermont QSO Party is history, and as you read this, the logs are all in and the log checking process has commenced. Conditions were somewhat strange, but much better than anyone expected. On 20 meters, we had short skip much of the time on both days, resulting in S9+ signals from MD and VA, where we would normally not hear those areas at all. Bob W4YFJ was amazed that he was able to produce 80+ QSO's in an hour using only a dipole for an antenna. And for much of the afternoon, the big Vermont horses W1NVT, K1VMT, KB1FRW, AA1SU and W4YFJ held court on 20 meters while W1JXN was collecting QSO's on virtually every other band and mode, including 10 meters. A few stations produced some logs with FT8 contacts, a new direction in our contest. The DX activity was there on 20 meters in the mornings, but you had to have to good antenna to work a lot of them, as they were quite weak. At night, both 40 and 80 meters were in excellent shape and produced many contacts throughout the early evening.

We received 21 Vermont logs and 112 outside Vermont logs, up from 18 and 107 logs last year. The outside Vermont logs had somewhat fewer QSO's than last year's wild results, but many were quite competitive. It remains to be seen who will be winning what this year!


Duane WL7CVD

The sign-in sheet showed eight in attendance (some may have missed it). Bob KB1FRW called the meeting to order at 7:07 PM.

Club Property, Storage, and Purchase of a Trailer
Bob KB1FRW sent an email showing a trailer available on Craigslist that appeared to be a good price. Very shortly after the email was sent, the listing on Craigslist had been pulled. Bob indicated that our current storage resources may soon become unavailable, and this is a serious problem for the club. A new trailer might run $3,000. The club had previously authorized spending $2,000. And there is the question of where to park this trailer full of equipment. The length of the trailer at the nose must be 16 feet. A trailer is vital to support our extensive Field Day operation. Used trailers at a good price are rare, and likely will need repairs. Club equipment is currently stored at three locations. The discussion lasted about forty minutes. This is an important issue that the entire club will have to think about.

Paul AA1SU volunteered to bring snacks to the March meeting.

Section Manager Candidate
Paul AA1SU announced his candidacy for reelection as Section Manager and provided a petition for ARRL members to sign, if they so desired.

Worked All Zones Award
Paul AA1SU shared that he received this award in several categories. Congratulations.

Date: February 24th. Ham Con was discussed briefly. There is still need for more door prizes.

Near Fest
General reminder that Near Fest will be held May 4 & 5, 2018 in Deerfield, New Hampshire.

Duane WL7CVD presented a general review of the Amateur Radio regulations, 47CFR Part 97. Mitch W1SJ discussed experiences on how regulations can be (or have been) violated (we're not saying by whom), and how those violations were addressed, including at least one instance where jail time was involved. (Note: Duane posted his PowerPoint slides and some other files on his web site.


Mike N1JEZ

Here is a map from WSPRNet of signals copied on 630M from home in the New North End of Burlington. I'm using an antenna called a MiniWhip which is an E-Field Probe antenna. Attached is a picture of the entire antenna. There is a bias tee that feeds the amplifier in the antenna. I have it setup outside my house up about 10'.

Very interesting antenna. It works at 2200M as well. Map of typical 2200M receive attached as well. Not anywhere near as much activity there yet.

If you like to hear LSB on 478.8 here is NO3M and WA3ETD in a QSO as I heard them from home. 630 Meter QSO.

CONGRATULATIONS - New Licensees and Upgrades

KD2LMR David Ramos (Salem, NY) Extra
KC1JCP Alexandra Schacher (Bristol) Technician
KC1JCQ Scott Wallett (Florence) Technician


Here are the important addresses you need. Feel free to ask me directly if you have any questions,

Group Owner:




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Thank you to Bob Brown W4YFJ for assisting with the monthly mailing!

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