GBARC Meeting Minutes January 2017

Meeting Date: 
January 2, 2017
Meeting Location: 
Main Fire Station, 1111 Church St., Beloit, WI.
Secretary Carl-W9Bj, with the absence of our President Brett, K9BY,called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm.   Attendance was 14.   Introductions were made. The question of the evening was:  Did you participate in Straight Key (telegraph, CW) Night?   No one did, on December 31.    Minutes of the Dec. 5th, 2016 meeting were corrected.   Club Treasurer, Al-KC9QQO, presented the Treasurer's Report.   Dues of $20 for the 2017 BARC year (Jan - Dec) were collected.  
 
Greg-K9GJN discussed the Rock County Repeater Association annual request for support.  A new repeater system was purchased and installed last year; nothing that big is planned for this year.   For those wishing to support the repeater association, a $20 donation is appropriate.  Contact Greg.
 
Old Business: A brief review of BARC meeting dates was held.  We will not meet in February.  We will meet again in March.  We may change a summer meeting or two.
 
Chuck-WD9BB discussed a Winter Field Day to be held the last weekend on January Sat.28th-Sun.29th, 1:00pm to 1:00pm, sponsored by the Winter Field Day Association.   Emergency communications in a winter environment is important and has some additional challenges.  For details, see the internet at winterfielday.com     It was suggested that a small group use Chuck-WD9BB's Clinton area, backyard, garage-workshop that is heated by a wood-burning stove.    Our new Off-Center-Fed (OCF) dipole antennas (All Band) could be used.
 
Kim-N9UBJ is our new BARC Program Director.  All members should volunteer and suggest programs.  Contact Kim-N9UBJ with email at: yowlingowl  at  yahoo.com
 
New Business:    A short discussion was held about generally poor band conditions.   Dean-K9FLO discussed the poor language and lack of fellowship on 40 meters.  W9BJ-Carl commented on working only one SSB station, V55DX, Namibia, Africa, in the ARRL 10 Meter Contest.  It was seemingly poor conditions.  Yet, Bob-W9EWZ made 100 CW contacts and had a good time; he heard no SSB signals. 
 
Program: Chuck-WD9BB discussed his new Diamond antenna, a multiband type that needed some soldering.  
 
Carl-W9BJ demonstrated a new ESR Capacitor Tester, Blue ESR, by Anatek, $116.95.   Electrolytic capacitors are used everywhere in our ham gear.  Problems can be caused by defective e-caps having developed high Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR).  Traditional capacitor checkers will checked capacity and leakage current, but not ESR.   A high ESR capacitor of more than 5 - 10 Ohms will cause many circuits to malfunction.  He showed two identical e-caps that were New Old Surplus, NOS.  One had about 1 Ohm ESR and was good; one had a high ESR of over 99 Ohms and was defective.  The difference in the e-caps was not obvious visually; only on the digital readout.   The tester uses pulsed 0.1 VAC to test for ESR.  In-circuit testing of e-caps is normal with semiconductor junctions not biased to conduction.  Very handy.
 
Dean-K9FLO describes his new purchase, the SDRPlay, from HRO Milwaukee.   It is  a second generation, Wide-Band RCVR dongle, Software Defined Radio.  It plugs into a computer USB 2.0 port for processing and DC power.   The entire supply was quickly sold out.  Price is $150.  It receives 10kHz to 2 GHz, at a bandwidth of 10 MHz and has a 12-bit Analog to Digital Converter; most SDR Dongles use an 8-bit ADC.   SDR Software is included.   It is a United Kingdom product.   Details at www.sdrplay.com       A very Impressive unit.
 
Al-KC9QQO mentioned ordering a new kit for under $20, a color Oscilloscope!  Have fun Al!   We hope to see it at the March meeting.
 
Announcements:  Dave-AK9F described participating in QSOs from National and state parks.   He operated portable (32 QSOs on 40 meter SSB) from Devil's Lake State Park and others.   He showed his XCVR traveling kit with supplies.  It is very compact and neat.     No meeting in February.
 
Final:   Our next meeting is Monday, March 6, 2017.   The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 pm.