Club Meeting 2.12.2015

MINUTES OF THE NAPIER AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
Meeting on Wednesday 2 December 2015 at the Clubrooms 123 Latham Street

Chair: Wally ZL2MO, the meeting started at 7:30 pm.

Present: Laurie ZL2TC, Revell ZL2SS, Dave ZL2DW, Paul ZL2HB, Mike ZL2MY, Rob ZL2US, Blue ZL3TT, Ray ZL2RB, Dave ZL2MQ, Bert ZL2OC, Stan ZL2ST, Mike ZL2VM , Jan ZL2CZE, Erroll ZL2IT, Marty ZL2PX, Peter ZL2CD and Karl ZL1TJ.
Apologies: ZL2DC.

Minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed correct: ZL3TT, ZL2OC.
Arising: Rob ZL2US: the ‘last of the summer wine’ bus tour (free for those with gold cards) is happening this Saturday, No. 12 bus from Hastings central, 10 am departure. Coffee (or whatever) and cake in Napier (and Christmas shopping?) If you live along the route jump on at your stop! Bring your hand-held!
Jan ZL2CZE: has the recent re-location of the APRS affected anyone’s capability to access it? A brief discussion followed. Karl ZL1TJ reported the combined Radio club’s annual dinner at the Napier RSA restaurant was the usual fun with good company and good food.

Correspondence: email from Steve Miller ZL1FS wishing all a good and safe Christmas.
Email correspondence from Dave ZL2DW relating to Korin ZL2PGJ / JQ2WTV and his annual contribution per Paypal needing a new channel since Lee ZL2AL’s key went silent.
Finance: Received $170 refund from Power line company Unison. A few subscription payments.

General Business: It was moved by Stan ZL2ST and seconded by Blue ZL3TT that Laurie ZL2TC, our immediate past President, be awarded the Club’s Life Membership in recognition of all he has done for the club during his 13 years as President and before. Stan referred to the many ways Laurie contributed, as tutor to those aspiring to pass the licensing exam and through presenting many technical topics at club nights and other occasions such as the 2014 Bay Hamfest.
The motion was passed by acclamation.

Jan ZL2CZE reported having found two further presenters for the 2016 Bay Hamfest, John ZL2TWS and Mark ZL2UFI both of whom will share their expertise in D-Star radio.

Rob ZL2US reported on the D-Star repeater being under construction. It is hoped to have this up and running before Christmas. Laurie reported that AREC is considering a nationwide digital network of ten repeaters. Locally 405 will be part of this, becoming dual mode.

Laurie ZL2TC reminded all present of the VHF field day competition this coming weekend the 5th and 6th of December.
Mike ZL2VM produced year planner with all scheduled club events for the Napier ARC and all meeting dates for the Hastings / HB Radio Club. It was sent by email to all remember. Very useful.

The meeting closed at 8pm and was followed by The Annual Quiz of both matters Radio (10 questions) and General knowledge (another 10 questions). The radio questions were fair and should have been easy to answer for most but when Laurie discussed the answers the expression ‘Oh Dear’ escaped his lips. General knowledge was a bit harder (I got only 3 out of 10).
The whole thing was good fun. The winner: Dave ZL2DW with 18 out 20 correct.
The evening was rounded off with the customary sticky buns and a cup of tea.

Karl ZL1TJ, Secretary Branch 25.

Meeting 4 November 2015

MINUTES OF THE NAPIER AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
Meeting on Wednesday 4 November 2015 at the Clubrooms 123 Latham Street

Chair: Laurie ZL2TC, the meeting started at 7:30 pm.

Present: Revell ZL2SS, Dave ZL2DW, Paul ZL2HB, Mike ZL2MY, Rob ZL2US, Blue ZL3TT, Wally ZL2MO, Dave ZL2MQ, Bert ZL2OC, Stan ZL2ST, Mike ZL2VM and Karl ZL1TJ.
Apologies: ZL2CZE, ZL2DC.

Minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed correct: ZL3HB, ZL2MO.
Arising: The Napier RSA restaurant has been booked for the Annual Combined Branches dinner for Friday 27 November. Gather at 6 pm, bookings to Karl or Dave ZL2DW.
Laurie: Awaiting confirmation from The Cricket Association for an April 9th 2016 booking of the Pavillion for the planned Bay Hamfest. Several speakers have been approached, provisional confirmation received from Peter Mulhare, ZL2AK.

Correspondence: Email correspondence regarding:
ZL2DW: removal of the Te Ahioteatua APRS repeater and re-location of the 725 IRLP node equipment from Wellwood Street to Pakowhai Hall.
ZL2VM: the installation of the Alinco DR635 radio at the NCC Emergency Operating Centre.
ZL2VM: regarding missing Tait radios used for STSP purposes.
ZL2TC: final sorting and clean out of redundant AREC equipment.
ZL2DW: contact with Peter Mulhare ZL2IK regarding a presentation at the planned Bay Hamfest.
ZL2DW: repeater trustees needing replacing.
Other correspondence:
Notification of an appeal by Branch 13 and NZART to the antenna hight restrictions of the recently decided Hastings District Plan.
A copy of the application by Ray Barlow ZL2RB for accreditation as NZART Examination Supervisor.
Finance: Received, account for ground rental from the Napier City Council.

General Business:
ZL2DW and ZL2US: reported on the appeal lodged by Branch 13 and NZART against the Hastings District Plan. This is to keep the hight restictions in line with other regions. The appeal is funded by Branch 13, the outcome may well affect future decisions by the Napier City Council.
ZL2US: the concept of ‘Gold Card’ Bus ride outings from Hastings to Napier return is firming up. A social occasion to spend some fun time with fellow Hams. Date to be advised.
ZL2DW: D-Star repeater licence has been granted, the IRLP gear is suffering from ‘teething trouble’

The monthly meeting closed at 7:50 pm and was followed by the AGM and after that the annual homebrew competition.
Only three entries were received, Dave ZL2MQ entered two items,
-VHF / UHF low noise amplifiers, prototype and professional versions, used for Moon Bounce operations. Aptly named ‘Atarau’ these are for sale for a very reasonable price to fellow hams.
-A ‘CANFI’ noise measuring device primarily used to test Low noise amplifiers .

Entered by ZL1TJ, a SDR receiver using a USB dongle digital device combined with a ‘Ham it up’ 125 MHz upconverter mounted together in a single box with aerial and USB sockets.
The vote went deservedly to Dave’s beautifully constructed CANFI noise tester.

Karl ZL1TJ, Secretary Branch 25.

October 2015 Club meeting

MINUTES OF THE NAPIER AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
Meeting on Wednesday 7 October 2015 at the Clubrooms 123 Latham Street

Chair: Karl ZL1TJ, the meeting started at 7:30 pm.

Present: Erroll ZL2IT, Revell ZL2SS, Peter ZL2CD, Dave ZL2DW, Paul ZL2HB, Mike ZL2MY, Rob ZL2US, Blue ZL3TT, Wally ZL2MO and Stan ZL2ST.

Apologies: ZL2TC, ZL2CZE, ZL2OC, ZL2DC, ZL2VM.

Minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed correct: ZL3TT, ZL2MY.

Arising: Dave ZL2DW reported the 725 and 4050 antennas on Taraponui were repaired by three senior members (2DW, 2TC and 2VM) refer to Break-Out of the details.

Rob reported the successful re-activation of the IRLP node 6793 (725 repeater). The hardware is now located at the Branch 13 clubrooms, connected by microwave link to his QTH. Much of the work was done by Jan ZL2CZE. The Hawke’s Bay amateur radio fraternity is indebted to Bch13.
The forthcoming combined branches Christmas dinner was discussed and a preference for the Napier RSA restaurant was evident. Karl to check out and book.

Correspondence: Email correspondence regarding Mark ZL3AB’s running of the Lee Jennings activity marathon. Also correspondence from Dave ZL2DW about Ray Barlow ZL2RB becoming the 3rd Branch 13 and Branch 25 exam supervisor.

Finance: Received account for repeater maintenance ($25).

General Business:
A reminder that another effort is needed to complete the exterior repaint of the clubrooms.
A working bee is to be called by Laurie.
Wally ZL2MO confirmed: the rotator for the HF yagi antenna is ready to go

Rob ZL2US reported that this month’s Branch 13 meeting is advanced one week to October 21.
The meeting will be held at ‘Skinny Mulligans’ Waipawa and will be preceded by a meal.
Bookings to Dave ZL2DW, see Rob about carpooling.

Further suggested speakers for the proposed 2016 Bay Hamfest: Dr Gary Bold ZL1AN and Jim Meachen ZL2BHF. Karl to check and write.
The annual quiz and sticky bun event has been postponed to the December meeting.

The meeting closed at 8:10 pm.

A discussion on VHF propagation was initiated by Dave ZL2DW. Erroll ZL2IT discussed recent successes bridging the Tasman on 2m SSB transmitting 50Watts.
The evening was rounded off with the usual chit-chat over a cup of tea and a biscuit.
Karl ZL1TJ, Secretary Branch 25.

September Club Meeting

MINUTES OF THE NAPIER AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
Meeting on Wednesday 2 September 2015 at the Clubrooms 123 Latham Street

Chair: Laurie ZL2TC, the meeting started at 7:30 pm.
Laurie welcomed newly licensed ham Paul ZL2HB.

Present: Erroll ZL2IT, Revell ZL2SS, Peter ZL2CD, Dave ZL2DW, Paul ZL2HB, Mike ZL2MY, Rob ZL2US, Bert ZL2OC, Blue ZL3TT, Jan ZL2CZE, Karl ZL1TJ, Peter ZL2CD and Stan ZL2ST.
Apologies: ZL2IK, ZL2VM, ZL2MO, ZL2DC.

Minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed correct: ZL2OC, ZL2US.

Arising: Rob reported the outcome of the two day ham licensing course organised by Branch 13 and held at his QTH over the previous weekend. As well as Paul ZL2HB a further 4 candidates passed the test and were issued callsigns. The youngest: Holger ZL3IO’s daughter Xenia (14).

Correspondence: Email correspondence dealing with the transfer of the Club’s website control, agenda items, Break-Out and the ham training weekend were tabled.
Finance: Received account for materials used in the ongoing clubroom upgrade by Wallie ZL2MO.

General Business: Dave ZL2DW introduced the proposed D-Star repeater to be located on Mt.Threave, south of Hastings. Primarily a Branch 13 project support is sought from Branch 25. There is substantial support from a number of club members. D-Star works over the Internet, like IRLP, but is considerably more sophisticated and provides a gateway to the World.
All about D-Star at http://www.dstarinfo.com/

Laurie reported that the 725 repeater antenna needs repairs. A job to be done when spring is here.
Dave reminded us that it is Branch 25’s turn to organize he annual combined branches Xmas tea.
Rob reported that the 725 IRLP gateway is undergoing repairs and is being re-located to Branch 13’s clubrooms at Pakowai Hall. Much of the work is being done by Jan ZL2CZE. The node should be up and running again within a few weeks.

Laurie is seeking commitments from speakers for the proposed April 2016 East Hamfest.
Suggested by Dave: Gary Hinson ZL2IFB.

Laurie reminded the gathering that he will be re-locating to Wanganui and will be relinquishing the Branch 25 presidency at the November AGM. A new repeater trustee etc. will also be needed.

The meeting closed at 8:10 pm.

And was followed by Laurie sharing his considerable knowledge of Yagi Antennas and how to build your own. First requisite is having the right tools and Laurie presented several home made jigs.

Building a functional yagi is actually not easy as it is a precision job. There are a number of designs available, the most obvious ones found in the RSGB and ARRL publications. In addition there are websites with calculators etc. run by VK5JD, YU7EF and DK7ZB.

Lauries lecture generated a number of good questions and an informative discussion.

Karl ZL1TJ, Secretary Branch 25.

August Club Meeting

MINUTES OF THE NAPIER AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
Meeting on Wednesday 5 August 2015 at the Clubrooms 123 Latham Street

Chair: Laurie ZL2TC, the meeting started at 7:30 pm.

Apologies: ZL1TJ, ZL2VM, ZL3TT, ZL2DW.

Present: Wally ZL2MO, Revell ZL2SS, Peter ZL2CD, Dave ZL2MQ, Marty ZL2PX, Ray ZL2RB, Rob ZL2US, Bert ZL2OC, Paul (nt), Jan ZL2CZE, and Stan ZL2ST.

Minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed correct: ZL2CD, ZL2TC.

Arising: Jan ZL2CZE has backed up the website of the late Lee ZL2AL.
Laurie ZL2TC advised that because of the passing of Lee ZL2AL, there have been some changes to the proposed meeting programme. The September meeting will be a presentation from Peter ZL2IK from Northland who will be in Napier at the time.

Correspondence: nil.

Finance: No financial transactions were reported.

General Business: Rob ZL2US reported that Hawkes Bay Branch are holding a weekend ham exam training session and test on 29/30 August. So far six are enrolled for the weekend and there is room for more.

Laurie ZL2TC advised that the club is looking for a cheap rotator for the triband beam at the clubrooms.

Wally ZL2MO advised that recently he checked the clubrooms when passing and noticed a strange noise from inside. It turned out to be caused by the morse paddle being stuck and was sending a string of code.

The meeting closed at 7.50 pm.

This was followed by a fibre optic splicing and cable joining demonstration by Jan ZL2CZE.

Stan ZL2ST, Acting Secretary NARC .

Minutes July Meeting

MINUTES OF THE NAPIER AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
Meeting on Wednesday 1 July 2015 at the Clubrooms 123 Latham Street

Chair: Laurie ZL2TC, the meeting started at 7:30 pm.

Apologies: ZL2IT, ZL2VM, ZL2ST, ZL2DC.
Present: Wally ZL2MO, Revell ZL2SS, Peter ZL2CD, Dave ZL2DW, Blue ZL3TT, Mike ZL2MY, Dave ZL2MQ, Rob ZL2US, Bert ZL2OC, Jan ZL2CZE, and Karl ZL1TJ.
A brief moment of contemplation was observed to mark the passing of Lee Jennings ZL2AL and also the passing of Allen Chong ZL2AVC.

Minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed correct: ZL2OC, ZL3TT.
Arising: Laurie anounced that Dave ZL2MQ has stepped forward to take Lee’s place
as NZART examination supervisor. Also available, in a standby position, is Ray Barlow ZL2RB.

Correspondence: acknowledgement and receipt from Branch 88 for our $100.00 contribution.
Emails from and to Dave ZL2DW, Peter ZL2VF and NZART regarding the Examination Supervisor position.
Finance: No financial transactions were reported.

General business: Laurie brought up the need to maintain and update the club’s Website.
Set up and run by Lee ZL2AL since it’s beginning it has become an important connection with the wider world of Ham Radio. Also discussed was the future of Lee’s own website which could well be considered to be a memorial to the life of a remarkable man and should be preserved in some form or other. Jan ZL2CZE was asked and agreed to look after the club’s website and also consider ways of preserving Lee’s.

Laurie proposed the club organise another Hawke’s Bay Hamfest along the lines of the one held in 2014 and asked for suggestions for content, topics and presenters. To be followed up.
Also discussed were presentations and topics for the next few club meetings. Both the August and September planned presentations are somewhat uncertain due to presenters being away.
Jan ZL2CZE offered to demonstrate fibre optic splicing and cable joining.

Rob ZL2US and Dave ZL2DW (Branch 13) are organising a Gold Card Club bus tour from Hastings to Napier and back. This is to be modelled on the ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ concept only with handheld transceivers instead of cigars and wineglasses. To be held when the fruit trees are blossoming, only Gold Card holders are eligible, book with Rob or Dave.

The meeting closed at 8pm.

And was followed by a ‘Show And Tell’ session in which Dave ZL2DW elaborated further on his experimentation with long wire across farm gully style antenna systems, Laurie showing and explaining his latest acquisition, a ‘Tigertronics’ digital computer/radio interface, which uses a USB port and comes with the necessary cable and plugs for whatever rig you have ($180), and Karl presenting his latest toy which is a $15 Arduino mini computer board which can be programmed to do all sorts of control tasks both in amateur radio as in the wider world.

Most stayed on for a cup of tea and a chat, no doubt the club’s very effective space heater contributed to that.

Karl ZL1TJ, Secretary NARC .

Minutes June Meeting

MINUTES OF THE NAPIER AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
Meeting on Wednesday 3 June 2015 at the Clubrooms 123 Latham Street

Chair: Laurie ZL2TC, the meeting started at 7:30 pm.

Apologies: ZL2AL, ZL2DC.
Present: Wally ZL2MO, Revell ZL2SS, Peter ZL2CD, Dave ZL2DW, Blue ZL3TT, Stan ZL2ST, Mike ZL2MY, Dave ZL2MQ, Mike ZL2VM, Rob ZL2US, Bert ZL2OC, Jan ZL2CZE, Jon ZL1CQO and Karl ZL1TJ.
Laurie welcomed visitor Jon ZL1CQO

Minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed correct: ZL2TC, ZL2MO.
Arising: The Editor of Break Out ZL2VAF was asked and agreed to list ECI information.

Correspondence: Call Book update form sent to NZART. Enquiry to Debbie, NZART regarding the Club’s missing Break-In Library copy. Correspondence regarding the Arthur Godfrey Award for Lee ZL2AL. Various responses to these mails received.

Finance: Stan reported severe fluctuations in the current account balance due to purchases and receipts connected with the Club’s antenna switch kitset project. A donation of $100 as a contribution to the expenses involved in combatting the local Council’s proposed District Plan was made to Branch 88, Tauranga.

General business: David 2DW asked those present to consider taking on the role of NZART Examination Supervisor. A few questions such as ‘what is involved’ were asked and answered.
The job entails participation in week-end courses which are held occasionally when a (minimum) number of candidates have signed up. Usually only once or twice a year. A great way to support Amateur Radio.

Laurie reported on attending the NZART Annual Conference held in Hamilton the previous weekend. Detailed information is available on the NZART website and in the latest ‘Infoline’.
Lee Jennings ZL2AL was awarded the Arthur Godfrey Award for services to Amateur Radio.
Stan reported seeing Lee who is now back once again in hospital for further medical support as his health continues to deteriorate. The news made all who know Lee well reflect.

The meeting closed at 8pm.

The 2002 DX-Pedition (VP8THU) to the South Sandwich Islands was next.
Another high quality video by James Brooks.
The trusted vessel Braveheart made it all the way from New Zealand to the Atlantic Ocean’s Sub Antartic region where these dismal Islands, occupied by millions of penguins (who live on accumulated excrement said to be meters thick), are.
The heroic participants lasted a whole five days and I take my hat off to them.
The conditions were attrocious for a number of reasons, the abovementioned penguins and poop probably the least.
But, they did do it and help a large number of our fellow hams to get a bit closer the coveted DXCC qualification and got away with no doubt ever lasting memories.

A cup of tea and chat after rounded the evening off.

Karl ZL1TJ, Secretary NARC .

NARC Minutes – May 6, 2015

MINUTES OF THE NAPIER AMATEUR RADIO CLUB

Meeting Wednesday 6 May 2015 – Clubrooms 123 Latham Street

Chair: Laurie ZL2TC, the meeting started at 7:30 pm.

Apologies: ZL2VM, ZL2AL, ZL2LF, ZL2US.

Present: Wally ZL2MO, Revell ZL2SS, Peter ZL2CD, Dave ZL2DW, Blue ZL3TT, Stan ZL2ST, Mike ZL2MY, Ray ZL2RB, Marty ZL2PX and Karl ZL1TJ.

Minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed correct: ZL2TC, ZL2ST.

Arising: Dave ZL2DW: The April ECI net was run by Laurie and himself. There was sufficient participation. Dave suggests a permanent notice in Break-Out, Karl to arrange.

Correspondence: The annual NZART Branch circular: Membership list, Call Book update form, Examination supervisor application form and Candidates check form, Remits to be discussed etc..

A letter from NZART regarding the proposed Public liability insurance scheme. Email correspondence with ZL2DW as Branch 13 Secretary regarding QSL card handling. Email correspondence regarding donation to Branch 88, Tauranga Emergency Communications Group (TECG). Email correspondence with Lee regarding the club programme and the club project

Finance: Accounts for payment were presented by Wally for materials used for the ongoing refurbishment of the clubroom’s kitchen and bathroom. Payments were made for the club project.

Another reminder from our Treasurer that (our very minimal!) subs are now DUE!

General business: Dave ZL2DW explained the current QSL card distribution procedure. He also brought up the proposed joint public liability insurance scheme. NZART reports that the annual premium for the 9 participating branches would now be $ 275.14. No firm decision resulted from the following discussion. Lee has indicated that, due to ill health, he is no longer able to fulfill the requirements for Branch Examination Supervisor. Lee is presently in hospital, he expects ongoing treatment and recovery to pre-empt taking an active part in club activities for some time. Laurie to take over the club (antenna switch) project. Laurie also to seek interest from members to take over the Examination supervisor job. Wally reported on the search and costing for a replacement generator. The AREC account would be used for the purchase.

NZART AGM Remits: After establishing who out of those present were entitled to vote, which, due to some being affiliated to Branch 13 and some not being ‘financial’ with NZART, turned out to be a disappointing three, Laurie presented the three remits and recorded the vote. The outcome: Remit 1, one in favour, two against, Remit 2, one in favour, two against, Remit three (the amendment to the Constitution): one in favour, one against, one abstention. Stan moved and Wally seconded that our delegate (Laurie) is authorised to use his discretion to vote as he sees fit on the day.

The meeting closed 9:30pm.

Due to Lee’s incapacitation the scheduled DX-pedition video was replaced by ‘Show and Tell’.

Dave ZL2DW explained with diagrams the building and refining of a 160m half wave dipole across a gully (on his daughters farm). The antenna has an automatic tuner and works well on all bands except 80m. Karl presented his SDR receiver augmented with a 120MHz converter to bring in HF frequencies. Laurie, who does a fair bit of ‘hamming’ in the micro wave regions, presented his homebrew transverter which will turn a 2m transceiver into a 2.4GHz transceiver. Also a homebrew 2.4 GHZ loop yagi antenna, a piece of precision hardware with an estimated gain of 17 to 20 dB.

Best performance so far 300Km to Mt Egmont.

Karl, ZL1TJ Secretary

NARC Meeting April 1, 2015

MINUTES OF THE NAPIER AMATEUR RADIO CLUB

Meeting Wednesday 1 April 2015 at the Clubrooms 

Chair: Laurie ZL2TC, the meeting started at 7:30 pm.

Apologies: ZL2GAZ, ZL2MO, ZL2LF, ZL2MQ, ZL2OC.

Present: Lee ZL2AL, Mike ZL2VM, Erroll ZL2IT, Revell ZL2SS, Peter ZL2CD, Dave ZL2DW, Blue ZL3TT, Rob ZL2US, Rob ZL2AN, Jan ZL2CZE, Stan ZL2ST and Karl ZL1TJ.

Minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed correct: ZL2TC, ZL2AL.

Arising: Dave ZL2DW referred to the NZART / AON public liability scheme. Branch 13 has received no further communication.

Correspondence: Notice from the Wanganui Radio Club that their annual sale will be held once again this year on the 2nd of May, starting 10am. Also a letter from the Napier City Council requesting that our entry in the Community info database be checked and updated if necessary.

Finance: Accounts for components for this year’s club project, a 4way remote antenna switch, were presented by Lee. Payment to reimburse expenses was agreed to at last month’s committee meeting.

General business: Laurie: the club’s first ‘Open Door’ social Sunday afternoon was held on March 15 and was attended by eight or nine members. The next (April) one will be on Sunday the 19th. Also, a clubrooms painting working bee will be held on Sunday the 12th starting 9am.

Dave ZL2DW reported that the urgent request for Break-Out copy did result in a March magazine with some really interesting articles. Pleas keep up the flow!

Revell mentioned the first Emergency Check In net held on March the 18th and wondered if any feedback has been received. The net was run by Laurie and Lee, many local hams and two ‘outsiders’ reported in. Generally the concept has been welcomed and the ECI net will continue to be held at 7:30pm on the 3rd Wednesday of the month on 670 and 3.615.

The meeting closed at 7:45pm.

Followed by a look into Civil Defence. Mike ZL2VM, who is not only our Amateur Radio Emergency Corps organiser but also plays an active role in CD, introduced Napier City Council Emergency Management Officer Mr. Marcus Hayes-Jones.

Marcus Hayes- Jones explains the inner workings of our CD setup and plans for the future.

Marcus Hayes-Jones explains the inner workings of our CD setup and plans for the future.

What followed was a detailed explanation of the structure, responsibilities and capabilities of the Council’s emergency response organisation. Though the Council’s budget is limited, communications equipment includes self contained portable VHF radio stations with substantial aerials, a trailer capable of accessing the Internet via satellite and a miniature linking device that allows ordinary smart phones to be used via satellite as well. Both voice and data transmissions are possible. Marcus answered a number of questions and in te process indicated that there is always a need for skilled radio people to make themselves available on a regular basis. He agreed that amateur radio initiatives such as the ECI net could have a place in the system and suggested that information such as station availability, equipment and capabilities could be recorded in the nation wide EMIS (Emergency Management Information System) operated by the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management. It was an interesting presentation.

Lee then briefly explained progress made on the antenna switch project, components purchased, instruction manual printed etc. All bar one have been sold! A brief working bee to assemble the kits will be coming up. Stan the treasurer will be smiling.

Karl ZL1TJ, Secretary NARC .

NARC Meeting Mar 5, 2015

Meeting on Wed 4 March 2015 at the Clubrooms 123 Latham St.

Chair: Laurie ZL2TC, the meeting started at 7:30 pm.

Apologies: ZL2US, ZL2MO, ZL2VM, ZL2MQ.

Present: Lee ZL2AL, Mike ZL2MY, Erroll ZL2IT, Bert ZL2OC, Revell ZL2SS, Peter ZL2CD, Dave ZL2DW, Blue ZL3TT, Willy ZL2AGD, Stan ZL2ST and Karl ZL1TJ.

Minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed correct: ZL2MY, ZL2TC.

Arising: Dave ZL2DW reported on Branch 13’s visit to Hastings Civil Defence Base, a productive meeting, re-establishing contacts with CD personnel and flying the flag for AREC.

Lee ZL2AL: the first Emergency Check-in Net (ECI) to be run by himself and Laurie from the clubrooms on Wednesday 18th of March at 7:30 pm. Frequencies both the 146.700 repeater and 3.615 Mhz.

Lee: The club’s website gets 200 to 300 visits each month and is obviously worthwhile.

Correspondence: Exchange with Debby, NZART regarding the proposed public liability insurance.

Finance: Stan ZL2ST reported a severe increase in power charges, Powershop decided that at $1.75 per unit and zero line charges NARC was not profitable. New rates will add up to $700 per annum.

Lee proposed generating our own , using photovoltaic technology, and the generator for peak loads. A discussion on the various pros and cons led to Laurie and Karl to investigate this further.

Dave ZL2DW generously offered to donate 4 surplus batteries and several solar panels to the club.

Karl brought up the joint public liability insurance scheme proposed by NZART. Of the initial 19 branches expressing an interest 9 have so far decided to proceed. The estimated cost per branch per annum is $173. After discussion it was moved by Karl and seconded by Peter ZL2CD that the Branch joins the scheme. The motion was passed 7 to 1.

General business: Laurie: the club’s first ‘Open Door’, social Sunday afternoon will be held on the 15th of March, starting 2pm. Laurie to open the door as Wally is tied up with work that day.

A few months ago, Lee was charged with selling off older pieces of the club station and updating with newer radio gear. The older equipment was auctioned on Trade-Me and the proceeds were actually in excess of the cost of the newer equipment by $218. The excess money from the sales was returned to the club treasury. Stan and all present once again thanked Lee for all the work he does for the club. Stan reported participation of himself, Lee, Wayne ZL2WC and John ZL2QM in the Jock Whyte memorial contest under the ZL2G banner. All went well, good fun had and the points total may well be another winner.

Dave ZL2DW mentioned up-coming Branch 13 activities, both social get togethers: 1. A visit to the local taxidermist on the 7th of March (one Cornflakes Net participant is considering having himself stuffed eventually so the family can enjoy his presence a few more years), and 2. An overnight stay in the DOC Makahu Hut at the foot of the Kaweka mountain planned for April 11,12 and 13. Not many bunks are available so the early Ham gets in. Activities: tramping, hunting etc.Sounds like fun.

The meeting closed at 9:45 pm

 

Guest Speaker

Erroll ZL2IT explained and demonstrated WSPR (say “Whisper”), another recent and most interesting amateur radio pursuit. WSPR stands for Weak Signal Propagation Reporting Software. WSPR implements a protocol designed for probing potential propagation paths with low-power transmissions.  Normal transmissions carry a station’s callsign, Maidenhead grid locator, and transmitter power in dBm.  The program can decode signals with S/N as low as -28 dB in a 2500 Hz bandwidth.  Stations with internet access can automatically upload their reception reports to a central database called WSPRnet, which includes a mapping facility. Digital mode transmitting very low power (5 Watts or less) signals at designated frequencies, containing only callsign, locator and power, to be picked up by stations around the world and acknowledged via the internet. The program produces some beautiful propagation maps in real time.

A WSPR Map in real time

A WSPR Map in real time

Essentially a tool for testing propagation and probing the mysteries of radio waves. It was a great presentation with slides and a live demo at the end. Thanks Erroll.

Karl ZL1TJ, Secretary NARC .