|RANV Holiday Party
|My Fox Hunt Experience
This month we are pleased to have Joe, K1VMT as our guest. He has been
licensed 54 years and is an avid DXer and contester. Joe's radio experiences
are quite a bit different than what you have heard in other talks about DXing
and operating. I'm sure he will inform and entertain all of us. So make a
point to join us for the November RANV meeting on Tuesday, November 10th . The
Zoom meeting will open up at 6:30 for meet & greet followed by the meeting
starting at 7PM. The first order of business will be to count ballots in the
RANV election which we expect to take way less time than the other election!
The RANV Holiday Party will be Saturday evening, December 14th on Zoom. Despite the restrictions on gathering, we want to make this party the best we have even had. But to do that, there is planning you need to do now.
1. Plan to be there. Make sure you plan to participate in the party. Don't just wait for the last minute and turn the computer on. There are several key things you need to do ahead of time.
2. Where will you be partying from? Where is your Zoom computer? In the shack? In an office? These are not very good places to hold a party, especially since food will be involved. Plan on having your Zoom computer in a dining room or suitable area with space, lack of clutter and ambience. Moving a computer will mean finding a suitable location for the unit, the monitor and camera along with providing power and network. Some elect to use phones or notepads with Zoom, but the tiny screens and limited functionality results in a much less than satisfying experience. A full computer with a large monitor is much better! I'll be moving my computer and monitor into the dining room for the party.
3. Update your Zoom client. The current version is 5.4. While any version over 5.0 will work, you will need 5.3 or higher to be able to choose the breakout room you want to go to. So check on the version and update as necessary.
4. What's for dinner? We cannot do a potluck, so you will have to provide your own eats. This breaks down to two basic choices: take out or cook your own. I recommend that whatever route you take, make it something special. And don't forget to include a yummy dessert. Remember, that others will be detailing what they are eating, so you don't want to be stuck with a PBJ sandwich while others are having ribs.
5. Who's coming to dinner. Try to involve other family members. The good thing is that they do not have to be present for the entire time. But having family around makes it special. You can also have family members join from their own computer, which allows them to independently join breakout rooms and come and go as they please.
6. What is the ambiance of your location? Dress up your party location. This may sound funny coming from someone like me since I don't really care about such things. But some people respond to ambiance, and if you are like that, haul out the decorations.
All of this is new to us, so we will get to make it up as we go along. But a
little planning goes a long way towards transforming a blah event into a great
event. See you at the Party!
Being a new Ham and a fan of foxes in general, those semi-rarely sighted creatures of the suburbs and country, I had a feeling I'd enjoy my first fox hunt (even if that logic doesn't work out exactly). I must say my intuitions were correct. On the Saturday of the hunt, I had to get a few boards of wood from the Treehouse in South Burlington around the time that Mitch, W1SJ, set up the transmitter. So, seeing as I didn't have a Yagi or any kind of directional antenna way of exactly locating the fox, I decided to use my mobile 2M/70CM in my Ford Ranger to narrow down surrounding areas. As soon as my rig was switched on and tuned to the frequency, the "secret tone" akin to an intro to a Roxy Music song, that would, unknowingly at the time, come to be the soundtrack to my dreams for the next couple of nights, rang out. Now, I live in the old north end of Burlington with my girlfriend, Sadie, so I figured the fox could be located in any direction, what with us being in that centralized location with some elevation. But, driving to South Burlington ruled out Williston and then heading to my shop in the South end on Pine Street ruled out Shelburne near areas as the transmission became weaker/inaudible. Yet heading back north towards home to pick up Sadie (who had excitedly agreed to spend our day off together on the hunt), brought the signal back into the fold, as it were. So, off towards the new north end and Colchester we went.
With Sadie running my HT and my mobile going, we drove towards parks and
public land in the area that we often go to for nature walks, boating, and
fishing adventures. Call it a hunch, or a good idea of the lay of the land,
or a fair amount of luck, but we found ourselves within blocks of where the
fox later came to be discovered. I was ducking in and out of little
neighborhood grass lands and paths, catching the signal with just a paperclip
on the Baofeng. No dice though! We couldn't find that elusive transmitter.
Nevertheless, throughout the lovely afternoon we explored the surrounding
parks and enjoyed each other's company while competing in the hunt. For me,
this was all I could ask for: sharing an afternoon together beside lake
Champlain while playing with radios and admiring the changing of the season.
Thanks, Mitch setting up and initiating the hunt!
There were about 17 in attendance via Zoom including the three club officers.
President Bob Allen, KB1FRW, called the meeting to order at 7:08 PM. There were about 13 in attendance via Zoom including two club officers, Duane Sherwood, Secretary, and the club
Bob KB1FRW nominated Duane Sherwood, WL7CVD for Secretary. Bob Henneberger, K1BIF seconded the nomination. Bob KB1FRW nominated Jim Hefferon, KE1AZ for Vice President / Treasurer. Jeff Bonn, N1YD seconded the nomination. Duane WL7CVD nominated Bob Allen, KB1FRW for President. Mitch Stern, W1SJ, seconded the nomination. There were no other nominations.
Mitch W1SJ, offered to set up a fox hunt on October 24th or 25th. The location would be in the inner towns of Chittenden county from 9:00 AM to around 4:00 PM. A few people at the meeting expressed an interest. The idea of having a holiday party on Zoom was discussed. It would be on December 12th starting at 6:00PM, with dinner at 7:00 PM. Obviously everyone would be responsible for their own food.
Mitch W1SJ is working out how to have our Ham Con on-line. It may require multiple Zoom sessions to be opened. It would be in the last Saturday of February, 2021. Joe K1VMT agreed to showcase his station and maybe engage in a live demo for the next meetin g.
Bob K1BIF gave a presentation on how to build compact, rechargeable battery packs for field use. Mitch W1SJ discussed antennas for working on 9 cm.