We had a great Field Day this year. Once again we met up in the hills southeast of Petoskey and set up our communication site. This year we again ran 2A, We operated with a Kenwood TS-440S as our CW station and my Icom 706 Mark II was used as our main SSB station along with a DLG Z-100 tuner. By the way, the Z-100 is a great little automatic tuner that interfaces with just about any rig. Check one out if you get the chance.
In addition, we ran the club's Icom HF rig as our GOTA station. Bill Dunstan volunteered his call for the GOTA station and made many contacts on it as well. We used the club's Icom 706 Mark II G as our VHF/UHF station and operated 2 and 6 meters.
We had a nice assortment of antennas this year. The GOTA station operated exclusively off of a G5RV. I asked them if they wanted to switch but they were pretty happy with the results they were getting and stuck with the G5RV the whole 24 hours. We did change the position of the antenna on Sunday morning and sloped it more north to south. Seconds after that, Bill sat down at the rig and had a great run of contacts. I logged for him and enjoyed watching his face as he made contact after contact on 80 meters. Afterwards, he said he was going to hit the code hard so he could upgrade to General class. Be sure to keep after him until he does.
The big boy of all the antennas was Tom Swigger's 40 meter beam. It is a two element beam with each element measuring over 40 feet in length. I was a little worried when he told me that he was going to be bringing it up. I wasn't really sure how we were going to get that thing in the air. Even though the boom is about the size of a flag pole, the antenna is surprisingly light. Tom brought along a section of his 70 foot tower and with 4 or 5 guys pushing or pulling on the guy lines, we were able to get it in the air.
For 10 through 20 meters, we used a Butternut "Butterfly Beam." This antenna was donated to the club many years ago when we went to help a fellow ham take down a tower. It is a two element, five band, wire beam that covers 10, 12, 15, 17, and 20 meters. When you look at the antenna, it has so many contraptions on it that is makes you wonder how anyone could have come up with something so complicated. Yet the beam is small light and seemed to perform well.
We hadn't used the beam before because we weren't sure about the condition it was in. This year we decided to give it a thorough check-up and see if we could get it on the air. Jerry Hollopeter and I got out the manual and rechecked all the measurements on the antenna. We realigned all the coil, traps, and gamma matching stubs. If you've seen this antenna, then you know how many of those there are. Everything seemed alright, so it was time to put it up and check it out. We used a small section of tower and a ten foot mast pipe. We tipped it up and guyed it with a couple of ropes and then hooked it up to Jerry's mobile rig. Right off the bat we heard several stations coming in on 20 meters from south of the border. The only problem was we didn't hear anyone speaking English. Being a Spanish teacher and a ham works well together and we were able to have a QSO with a gentleman from the Dominican Republic. Both our signal and his were S9+. I just feel bad for Jerry because I don't think he understood much of that conversation.
Next, we needed something to put the antenna on at Field Day. Ed Kaskey had donated an aluminum tower to the club a couple of years ago. Last year we used it to hold our 6 meter and VHF/UHF antennas. It is about 40 feet high when fully assembled and a real bear to get in the air that way. Since the top half of the tower is smaller than the bottom half, we decided to put the top half inside the bottom half and turn the whole thing into a telescoping tower. We scavenged the winch and pulleys from the tower off our old club trailer. With the help of a couple of aluminum plates, we were able to attach the winch and pulley to the aluminum tower. We added a couple of pieces of UHMW (the white plastic stuff they use for cutting boards) to help the inner tower slide up and down straight and without getting caught. It worked better than Jerry and I had even imagined it would. By next year we would like to have a rack on the club trailer so we can mount the tower there for transporting. We would also love to have a tip over base attached to the trailer with another winch for pulling it up so two guys could easily mount an antenna on the tower, tip it up, and crank it up in the air.
I have a lot of thank you's to pass along. Thank you to Jerry Hollopeter for the many nights he put in helping me with the tower and the antennas. Thanks to John Meeks for the use of his laptops for logging. Thanks to John Tillotson and his family for the outhouse, the "Super Tarp," and for helping mow the field. Thanks to Jim Kargol for helping with the mowing and for staying up all night pounding out the code to the tune of over 200 contacts. Thanks to Tom Swigger for the use of his 40 meter beam and several sections of tower . Thanks to Morrie for taking pictures (you will see some of them in the August issue). Thanks to everyone who helped set up and take down all the equipment. The biggest thanks goes to all of you who came out and operated. A lot of work goes into Field Day and the best way to show your appreciation is to come out, make contacts, and have fun.
SAARC Meetings 2006
August 15 - Picnic
SAARC VEC Exam Dates
Here are the dates for our upcoming test sessions. We will now be holding all our sessions in room 106 of Petoskey High School. Please make a note of it and please note that the Technician Class exam has changed as of July 1, 2006. If you know anyone who is studying for their first license, be sure to check that they have a copy of the current question pool so they have a better chance of passing the first time.
October 7 - December 2
All sessions will be in room 106 of Petoskey High School at 10:00 am.
Remember to bring a photo ID, a copy of your license and, if applicable, a copy of your "Certificate of Successful Completion of Element" you received at your last session. You will also need $14, a pen and pencil, and a calculator if you think you'll need it.
Straits Area Amateur Radio Club
Petoskey High School
1500 Hill St.
Petoskey, MI 49770
Minutes of the June 20, 2006
Call to Order:
Dewayne Holmes called the meeting to order at 7:40PM
Dewayne KC8LJX had a hand written agenda.
Minutes of the February Meeting.
Motion to approve the May Minutes by John KC8ZFN, seconded by Chuck N8NXP motioned carried with one change.
The Treasurer Maxine KC8WXN gave the Treasurers report; the total for all accounts is 2454.33. Motion by Chuck N8DNX, Seconded by Chuck N8NXP to accept the Treasurers report, and motioned carried.
Cliff - KC8NVI noted that the American Red Cross in Petoskey sent a 'Thank You' letter for putting on the SAARC Blood Drive this year.
Maxine KC8WXN gave a report on the progress for the 50/50 tickets sales for the Swap & Shop; sales are progressing slowly and she requested that more people try and sell tickets.
Dewayne - KC8LJX asked for help with the concession stand at the Swap.
Chuck - N8DNX Gave an update on the new Club repeater. He explained how it had better receiver sensitivity and that it could be programmed via computer. The amp will be installed at a later date. Chuck thanked Pete K8WQK for the great price he got for the Club for the repeater.
Maxine - KC8WXN made a suggestion that the Club offer a dinner certificate worth $20.00 to the person who sold the most 50/50 tickets for the Swap. Dirk-KG8JK made a motion to accept the suggestion, seconded by Chuck-N8NXP, and passed unanimously.
Dewayne-KC8LJX asked the members to contact him if they wanted anymore-50/50 tickets to sell.
Chuck-N8DNX gave a talk on the upcoming Tri-County Emergency Exercise that takes place on September 16th. They asked for volunteers.
Dirk-KG8JK gave a presentation of how the logging system works for the annual Field Day. He also mentions how many radio stations would be set up for Field Day and that John KC8ZFM would have a Satellite Station in operation.
Tom - WD8KBD demonstrated his 2-meter quad antenna that he donated to the Club. Tom told the Club members if they wanted plans for this antenna to contact him.
John-KC8ZXN won the Club's monthly drawing of a $25.00 gas card. John promptly donated the gas card back to the Club to use to buy gas for the Club generator for Field Day. Thank you John.
Morrie-W8FF donated $20.00 to Maxine-KC8WXN to purchase refreshments for the Club meeting; thank you Morrie.
At 8:30PM, Chuck-N8NXP motioned to close the meeting, seconded by Chuck-N8DNX, so moved.
John R. Wilcox - KC8OAZ
Assistant to the Secretary
Maxine Holmes KC8WXN
SAARC Swap and Shop
Our 31st annual Swap and Shop was a big success. In fact, it was the biggest Swap and Shop we have ever had.
We sold space for over 40 tables and had over 100 people attend this year. There was a wide variety of equipment,
parts, antennas, and accessories available for purchase and I don't think I saw too many people going home empty
handed. Thank you to all the people who helped hand out flyers at other hamfests and who spread the word on all
the nets. Our commercial vendors were very happy and agreed that this was our best Swap ever. The good news is
we still have plenty of room for more tables so next year's Swap can be even better. Congratulations to Jerry
Hollopeter who sold over 40 books of 50/50 tickets. I'm sure John Talboys would thank him too since he won the
raffle. Ok you guys, July 7, 2007 is our next Swap so start spreading the word and get your stuff together to sell. I'll
start making the flyers.
A New Repeater
It's official. Our new repeater is up and running. On Friday June 23, Chuck Scott and Chuck Brew headed up to Stuttsmanville and installed our new equipment. We now have a brand new Kenwood TKR750 operating at our repeater site. I have heard many good reports so far including stations from south of Cadillac and east of Sault Ste. Marie, Canada coming in full quieting. Be sure to thank the guys for all their work. They spent 8 hours at the repeater site just on the day they installed it not to mention the time they spent researching and setting it all up beforehand and the time I'm sure they have put in since the installation. Thanks to Pete VanDenBerge K8WQK for helping us get a great deal on the equipment.
SAARC Area Nets
MONDAY 08:00 pm EST The Bill DeMay Memorial Two Meter Social Net
146.680 MHZ - Net Control - Rotating
TUESDAY 09:00 pm EST The Michigan Link-Up Net
146.680 MHZ - Local Net Control - N8DNX
WEDNESDAY 08:00 pm EST The Chain - O - Lakes Net
147.280 MHZ w/Pl 103.5 - Net Control - Rotating
THURSDAY 01:00 GMT The RACES Net
146.680 MHZ - Net Control - Rotating
SATURDAY 08:30 pm EST The Dip Net
146.680 MHZ - Net Control - Cliff Rosebohm KC8NVI
The SAARC Officers
DeWayne Holmes - KC8LJX