MAY 2018

Raising Antennas Field Day Essex Memorial Parade
Secretary's Minutes Discovering Active Congratultions

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The MAY 8TH RANV Meeting

As a follow up to previous meetings, at the May 8th Meeting, there will be a presentation and hands-on demonstration of how to raise antennas with compressed air launchers.


Mitch W1SJ

Field Day 2018 - it is time to start planning. The dates are Friday, June 22nd through Sunday, June 24th.

We need a large support staff to make the operation run like a well-oiled machine. Besides the operators, it takes many setup and takedown people, as well as support people to keep the generators, computers and foodstuffs running. Field Day is the activity which brings us all together to learn the myriad details of running a large operation as well as having fun in a group setting.

Each year, we fall down on getting youths to the Field Day site and obtaining the bonuses. Actually, the more important aspect is that we are not doing a very good job of selling amateur radio to young people. Perhaps this will be the year we turn this around.

We have 2 months before Field Day. See what you can do to invite a few kids to the event.

Very soon, we will be soliciting your input on when you will be available.

Field Day activities fall into these categories:

Choose which activities you will like to do. Choose all of 'em if you can!


Mitch W1SJ

The Essex Memorial Parade is Saturday, May 26th from 7:30 until noon. Hams are needed to serve as Parade Marshals who line up the participants, report any changes and march with them to make sure they all behave. This is a fairly easy, low key event. If interested in helping out, please contact Mitch at


Duane WL7CVD

The sign-in sheet showed twelve in attendance. Bob, President (KB1FRW) called the meeting to order at 7:01 PM.

NEAR Fest is the biggest ham fest in New England. It will take place on the 4th and 5th of May in Deerfield, NH. A concurrent exhibition will take place in the Arts & Crafts Building of a Science and Technology Fair (NETT). The area will be somewhat segregated from the ham fest for traffic control.

Knight Point Park Activation
After Near Fest on May 6th there will be a park activation at Knight Point State Park. It will start at 10:00 AM. Contact Mitch W1SJ for more information. New England QSO Party The New England QSO Party will take place on May 5th and 6th starting Saturday PM and into Sunday. Snacks

Paul AA1SU graciously volunteered to bring snacks to the May meeting.

Burlington Marathon
Planning for this event has started. They want us to assist as we have in past years. Date is May 27th. Mitch will send out a survey to invite participants.

Essex Memorial Day Parade
The parade will take place on Monday, May 28th (Memorial Day), and our club will provide support.

Mitch W1SJ gave a presentation on tips for being a good (great) operator. He started by pointing out that with increased skill there is increased enjoyment, more contacts, and enhanced capabilities for handling public service missions and emergencies. He emphasized, "Turn the radio on."

A theme throughout the talk was working to improve the accuracy and efficiency of information exchange. Listening is a very important basic step, as is speaking clearly. He encouraged people to think about what they want to say before keying the mike to select and organize the information being conveyed.

At events like the marathon, where emergencies can and do take place, he said that facts are the important thing and emotional reactions should be set aside as much as possible. For these special events, it is important to have a backup radio or battery, and to be very familiar with the radioís operation. He also recommended headphones.

This talk came complete with an intermission where Mitch shared some photographs from his recent trip to Hawaii.

Mitch talked about Stern's Law of Antennas:

  1. there is no free lunch
  2. the larger the better

It helps to understand the location and propagation characteristics. Finally, he encouraged participation in contests, and said there is a lot of value in setting goals.


Duane WL7CVD

I obtained my Novice license in 1999, and immediately discovered how easy it is to be inactive. It took years to get my first radio, which was a KX-1. Like all beginners, I was terrified of code. My first and only contact in Alaska was a prearranged deal with a friend in a similar situation. After that, other things were more important than overcoming the hurdle of code and/or the complexities of deciding what equipment to buy.

Coming to Vermont, I joined RANV and passed the test up to General. I bought a Yaesu FT-991, put up a very simple antenna, and made a few contacts, some of which were international. I attended meetings from time to time, and participated in field day. I never seemed to have much interest in contesting.

Then, in a fit of madness, I volunteered to be secretary. It turns out that the Steering Wheel meetings are fun and nutritious (we meet at the 99 restaurant). Somehow club business gets done in between bits of food and an endless number of side conversations and chit-chat. Iím enjoying getting to know the set of usual suspects.

Recently Carl AB1DD put out an invitation to become a Volunteer Examiner. I decided, why not? So I got the book and studied it. I took the open-book exam from the ARRL, and it was fairly tricky -- you had to look stuff up and think about it too, just like you might have to do to address problems or questions at an exam session. After submitting the test, I went to an exam session and observed. A few people tested, and many of the usual suspects were there. It was surprisingly fun to be there to help new hams enter this hobby. A few days ago, I was pleased to finally see my name on the list of VE Examiners, and yes, I was proud of that little accomplishment.

So I hate to admit it, but I'm finding the old cliche is true: you get out of something what you put into it. I'm grateful our club has a core of strong members who maintain a good diversity of activities.

CONGRATULATIONS - New Licensees and Upgrades

KC1JHS Scott Ruel (S Burlington) GENERAL
KC1JPB Ronald Marshall (S Burlington) GENERAL

Be on the lookout for a crop of new hamsters, minted from local VE Sessions as well as classes running at the end of February and March. Call sign blocks to watch for: KC1JAW-KC1JBH and KC1JHW-KC1JIG, plus a few more! Some already have their Baofeng's programmed up, so they may make an appearance anytime soon! Plan to spend some extra time monitoring the repeaters to that we can all say "Hello!

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