By the time the February issue of Crosstalk hits the newsstand, 2017 will be barely a month old. Already a lot has happened and I am looking forward to a great year for the Gloucester County Amateur Radio Club.
The year got off to a good start with the General Membership Meeting on January 4. The club roster for January reported a total of one hundred thirty eight members. According to the sign-in sheet there were forty-five members in attendance or roughly one third of our members. While I am not sure how that ranks historically for our club, based on my experience with other organizations, a participation of one third is well above average.
The program for the January meeting focused on Automatic Packet Reporting System or APRS as it is more commonly known. Tony W2WCC and John K2ZA provided a video presentation along with a live on-air demonstration involving some of the members in attendance. The program introduced some software and equipment as well as some best practices for operating APRS.
Tony is currently putting together the program schedule for the coming months and welcomes input from the membership. Contact Tony with any ideas, requests or perhaps a desire to provide a program for one of the upcoming meetings.
Gary N2QEE along with several members of the club held the monthly exam session at the Franklin Township Public Library. There were four candidates in total with the session yielding three new technicians and one upgrade to a general class license.
On Saturday January 14th the budget committee met at the Clubhouse to prepare the budget for this year. In addition to Al KB2AYU and myself, the committee included Ed N2RO, Mark WA2DIY, and Frank W2FJM. The proposed budget was then submitted for approval at the monthly Board of Directors meeting the following Wednesday. After presentation to the board by Al and the subsequent review by the officers present the budget was unanimously approved. The final step in the budget process is to present the budget at the February General Membership Meeting.
In March of 2015 Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) introduced a bill, HR-1301 titled "The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2016". This bill addressed the issue of antenna restrictions and prohibitions imposed by Home Owner Associations or HOA's and similar organizations. The bill made its way through the House of Representatives and Senate committee only to be blocked in the eleventh hour by one Senator from Florida, Bill Nelson. While this was certainly a disappointment to many hams the spirit of HR-1301 is alive and well. On January Representative Kinzinger introduced a new bill, HR-555, The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017 to the House of Representatives. The new bill uses the same wording as HR-1301 and if all goes well HR-555 will become law.
Committees are an essential part of our club. They are responsible for organizing events, coordinating resources and the day to day administrative functions necessary to serve our membership. Typically at the beginning of each year committee chairs are appointed as needed to address the needs of the club. Several of our members that served on committees last year have agreed to continue on this year. However we still have several committees that need either a chairman or members to serve on the committee. On committee in particular, the Summer Family Picnic Committee is in urgent need of a chairman. Serving on a committee is a great way to get involved while helping others to get involved as well. The only requirement for serving on a committee aside from membership in the club desire and perhaps a little time. If you would like to serve on a committee feel free to contact me; I look forward to hearing from you.
I would like to thank you for the opportunity to serve our club as president.
Harry Elwell, K2ATX
March is upon us; my calendar confirms it. However, open a window or step outside and the weather tells a different story. In fact we have enjoyed a particularly mild winter this year. The maple tree outside of my window began budding in early February and many of our annuals have begun to push through the mulch. For those that enjoy the outdoors, this winter has offered many opportunities for both radio and non-radio activities. Ironically, our VE session for February was canceled due to a forecast snow storm that never quite materialized.
We had another great Club meeting in February that included a program featuring Dan Romanchik KB6NU, via video link provided by Google Hangouts. Minor technical issues notwithstanding the program was interesting and informative.
Tech Saturday continues to be a success as evident in the monthly attendance. February’s installment was no exception despite the fact that John K2ZA the program director was unable to provide the leadership and program content we have come to enjoy, due to a schedule conflict. John and I spoke about the meeting, particularly the attendance in his absence. He was pleased to learn that attendance was good in spite of the deviation in protocol. In my opinion the member support for the Tech Saturday program is a strong indicator of the program's success.
Our Clubhouse Chairman, Al KB2AYU is moving forward to acquire the new antennas for the Club station. If the weather continues to cooperate we can plan on completing the upgrade in the coming weeks.
The Clubhouse is increasingly a nexus of Club activities. The Club station is in use almost every weekend and the Clubhouse is host to an increasing number of activities and projects. Tech Saturday and our monthly Board of Directors meeting are regularly scheduled events at the Clubhouse. And there has been some recent discussion about the possibility of using the Clubhouse for classes that could include license exam preparation and perhaps some technical topics in support of the hobby. Maintenance projects are ongoing and there has been recent discussion about the possibility of adding solar power to the site.
You do not need to search too deeply on the web to find an article or blog describing Amateur Radio as passé or no longer relevant. Many of these sites claim that technology has left ham radio behind and obsolete. And yet sit in on a monthly meeting of the GCARC or stop by the Clubhouse for a Tech Saturday and a different narrative emerges. Ham radio is a place where old meets new and questions provide the inspiration for discovery and innovation. The phrase “ham radio offers something for every interest” has never been more true.
These are truly exciting times for Amateur Radio and the Gloucester County Amateur Radio Club.
March has been a busy month for our club. Our March meeting featured a program by Carver Washburn, W2TFM, Region 2 Director for Army MARS. His presentation provided a detailed overview of the Army MARS program including the organizational structure and the various modes used for communications.
The discussion subject for Tech Saturday focused on the Clubhouse Automated Satellite Station. One of the contacts made via satellite, Adrian Liggins VA3NNA of Ontario, Canada, later contacted the club via our website to say thank you for the new grid-square and to confirm that he would be sending his QSL card shortly.
“Many thanks for the contact this morning. New grid for me as I work towards VUCC. Will be sending QSL and SASE (with US global stamp, rather than “greenstamp”) shortly. Best 73 de Adrian VA3NNA”
Al KB2AYU purchased and picked up the new antenna for the club station. The installation is waiting for better weather. The process will involve removing the existing antenna and installing the new one. Have you ever wondered what was involved in getting a large antenna high up on a tower? Well, wonder no more; come on out and lend a hand. We will be announcing a work day as soon as the weather permits.
The last open committee chair position has been filled. Laurie KD2EYW has agreed to chair the Summer Family Picnic Committee. While some of the committees only require an individual effort, many can benefit from having several members to assist the chairman with the various tasks and duties of the particular committee. Serving as a committee member is a great way to become more involved in the club. Anyone interested is encouraged to contact either a committee chairman or club officer for more information.
Speaking of committees that could benefit from more members; Bill NJ2S and Sheldon K2MEN are co-chairmen of the Hamfest committee. This year along with being the region’s best Hamfest, our event is also the ARRL New Jersey State Convention. Bill and Sheldon have been hard at work planning this year’s event, but there is much more to do in order to bring all of the plans together in a successful event. Contact Bill or Sheldon to see what you can do to help make this Hamfest our best ever.
Bill NJ2S is a busy guy. Apparently he didn’t feel that co-chairing the club’s largest fundraiser was enough, so he has been working on possibly holding a Spring Tailgate event at the club site in May. In addition to the typical tailgating activities, Urb W1UL has agreed to organize two cram-style license classes, one for those interested in the Technician Class license and one for those interested in the General Class license. The Technician class would take place in the morning and the General class in the afternoon. Each class would be followed by a VE session. Also, it is my understanding that John Sawina, NA2R, has offered to provide DXCC card checking services for the event. With the proposed date for this event just under two months away there is still much to do and help is always welcome.
Jim KA2OSV reports that the W2MMD weekly 10 Meter Net has been doing quite well despite propagation issues. In addition to support by members of the club, several non-members have checked in from in and outside of the immediate area. On the first meeting of the net, in addition to the local check-ins, there were check-ins from Fort Dix, NJ and Sellersville, PA.
Finally, after a postponement due to weather, the club held the first Fox Hunt of 2017. Last year, the sly fox managed to elude the hunters best efforts to track him down. After having to wait almost six months for a re-match, the hunters were prepared (despite his efforts to hide), and the “Fox” was found.
Amateur Radio is a hobby that offers something for everyone; I truly believe that. In my case, it offers many things; in fact, so many that I feel a bit like a kid in a candy store when I consider all of the possible directions this hobby can lead. The fox hunt is certainly one of my favorites. While I definitely enjoy the chase, I also enjoy the planning and preparing. Whether it be a different antenna, a new device, or perhaps planning the actual chase; I find the entire event to be very enjoyable. For Fox Hunt X, I began planning long before a date was even announced. Never did I consider that I would not participate in the event. However, life happens and in spite of my desire and plans, when the day arrived I was unable to participate in the event.
Okay, water under the bridge...Jim, when is the next fox hunt!!
I look forward to seeing everyone at the April meeting.
April was a busy month. It kicked off with our monthly General Membership Meeting that featured a presentation by Jim Fisher AJ3DI, who gave an informative presentation on Linux in the Ham Shack. Tony W2WCC has made a copy of Jim’s PowerPoint presentation available at www.snj-ares.org on the links page, or for a direct link to the file http://tinyurl.com/Linux4Ham. The PowerPoint file is hosted on Google Drive and it can be viewed directly via your browser without the need to download the file.
Our Tech Saturday continues to be a success. The starter topic for the April edition was antennas. Members were encouraged to bring their antennas or antenna projects for testing and discussion. Coincidentally, several members of the club began the process of assessing and assembling the new beam antenna. The project to upgrade the antennas at the club station is expected to take several weeks as there are a number of items that need to be addressed along the way. There is still much to do and any members that would like to be involved in this project are encouraged to contact Al KB2AYU.
Plans are underway for our first education program for the year. The program, Ham-Cram License Class, through a process known as cramming, will help those interested to earn their Technician license or upgrade from Technician to General (perhaps both). Urb W1UL is heading up this program and we still need volunteer examiners and instructors to help make this program a success.
Anyone can become a VE. The process is reasonably quick and mostly painless (hi). The ARRL offers an open-book exam and the site has all of the information necessary to get you certified. If anyone would like to become a VE and has any questions, feel free to send me an email.
The term instructor may sound a bit intimidating, particularly for those that feel they may not have a firm grasp on all concepts that comprise Amateur Radio; join the club. Amateur Radio is about learning. It’s about helping others to learn. It is that community of individuals that come together to explore and learn about the areas of this hobby that they find interesting; and perhaps along the way discover something new to add to their list of interests. The instructors needed for the cram session don’t need to have any prior experience with teaching, nor do they need any particular expertise. The only requirement is a little time and the willingness to help others join and advance in this great hobby of ours. Urb W1UL will be happy to explain the process and allay any concerns you may have. This is a great opportunity to promote the hobby and perhaps try out something new. Who knows, it may stick; you may find yourself continuing on to become an ARRL certified instructor.
Although the Hamfest is a little over four months away, preparations are underway. In fact as I write this letter, the club website reports that there are 138 days and 21 hours until the event. This year our club will host the ARRL State Convention for New Jersey. Sheldon K2MEN and Bill NJ2S are co-chairs of the Hamfest committee, and have been doing a great job with the planning and organization required for an event of this magnitude. Historically, our Hamfest has been one of the largest and most successful in the region, a fact due largely to the support and participation of the club members. While this year’s event promises to break all previous records with regard to attendance, it cannot do so without the support of the membership. Sheldon and Bill have done an outstanding job with our Hamfest in the past, and have been working since January to ensure that this year’s event is the best yet, but they cannot do it alone.
While a number of members are already involved, more are needed. In fact, the closer we get to the event, the more help we will need. Contact Sheldon or Bill to find out how you can help make this year our best ever.
In closing, some of you may have noticed a reoccurring theme in this letter, and perhaps previous editions as well. I tend to hammer the idea of volunteering and getting involved with the club and hobby. A club is often thought of as an entity; particularly with regard legal matters. However, club is also a term used to describe the group of individuals, without whom there is no group or club. Another term for club is body, and as a body I personally feel activity is an indicator of the overall health of the body. The body needs exercise if it is to remain healthy. Remember, Amateur Radio is a contact sport.
Although the calendar indicates that June is here, it is hard to believe that we are already almost halfway through the year. Field Day is right around the corner and our chairman, Al KB2AYU is busy making final preparations to help insure another successful event.
As if Field Day isn’t enough, there are several other events this month, with something happening almost every weekend, making June a very busy month for our club.
Kicking things off is the Ham Cram License Class on June 3rd at the Clubhouse in Mullica Hill. Urb W1UL has been working for the last few months to coordinate the volunteers and prepare the candidates for the dual-session event.
Occurring on the same weekend is the Museum Ships Weekend Event. The event comprises nearly one hundred ships, one of which is the Battleship New Jersey callsign NJ2BB (more information is available at www.nj2bb.org). Perhaps there will be an opportunity for a demonstration during the cram sessions.
The Wednesday following the Ham Cram is our regular monthly meeting at the Pfeiffer Community Center in Williamstown. On Saturday at the cram, Urb will be inviting the Ham Cram attendees to the club meeting, so look for several new faces and let’s all make an effort to welcome them to our club and the hobby.
Another favorite among a growing number of club members is Tech Saturday. This month, Tech Saturday has been postponed until July 8, 2017, because on June 10th, we will be having a work party to rebuild the shed at our Clubhouse site.
And falling on the same weekend is the ARRL June VHF Contest. The contest runs from Saturday June 10, 18:00Z – Mon, June 12, 02:59Z.
Unless I have missed something, there are no major events planned for the club on the third weekend of June. Father’s Day is Sunday June 18, making this a good weekend to relax and prepare for Field Day.
This month our Board of Directors Meeting on Wednesday, June 21 coincides with Summer Solstice; the longest day of the year (with regard to daylight hours).
The fourth weekend of June is Field Day; need I say more? Okay, maybe a little more. HIHI
If you are interested in Field Day, but have not reached out to AL KB2AYU, I encourage you to do so as soon as possible. There are plenty of things to do and that need doing; there is something for everyone. If you don’t have an interest in Field Day I encourage you to reconsider. The ARRL has some good information available on their website at: www.arrl.org/field-day. One particular statement from a PDF publication linked to their information page seems to do a good job at summing it up: “Field Day is a picnic, a campout, practice for emergencies, an informal contest and, most of all, FUN!” Prior experience is not required; Field Day is an experience!
73 Harry K2ATX
As I sit at my desk and put pen to paper (figuratively speaking of course), I am reminded that we are almost halfway through 2017; where did the time go? For my wife and I, much of our focus for the first half of this year centered on the arrival of our family’s newest member. Early on we knew that this pregnancy would likely be considered high-risk, and in fact, it did prove to be anything but routine or average, with mandated bed rest and several trips to the hospital along the way. The final trip to the hospital occurred on Sunday, June 4th; a little over six weeks preterm. On June 8, 2017, our son, Harry 5th came into the world at 21:58. Weighing in at just over five pounds, he seemed so tiny and fragile in my hands. During the pregnancy, he was a very active baby; kicking and rolling throughout the entire day. Whenever he would hear my voice, he would stop for a moment, as if to listen. When he was born, while the team of doctors and nurses were cleaning him up and preparing to move him to the NICU, he was fussing and crying a little. At one point, I leaned down close and spoke to him; he stopped and tried to open one eye as if to look at me; wow, what a moment!
We decided early on that if it was a boy that we would name him Harry in keeping with the family tradition. We also decided that three Harrys would be too confusing, so Harry 5th’s nickname is Quinn which in Celtic means : fifth born.
One of the events that I very much enjoy is Field Day, I mean who doesn’t, right? That having been said, I have only had the opportunity to experience a few Field Days since becoming a ham. Earlier this year, our ten-year-old daughter, who is not yet a ham, had expressed interest in helping out and planned to work Field Day with me. As this year got on, and the club began to discuss and plan for Field Day, I realized that my wife was pregnant and we were going to have a new baby...dangerously close to Field Day weekend. So, Quinn’s due date was July 10, and this year Field Day would fall on the weekend of June 24-25. Fifteen days seemed like a comfortable buffer. My wife agreed; although with a slight but discernible “snicker” for a lack of better words. It was the kind of thing that one would expect to be followed by a patronizing “yes dear”. What did she know that she wasn’t saying? Don’t get me wrong, Kayla is a ham, KC2WXQ, and is very supportive of both the hobby and my involvement in it; but that snicker…
Fast forward to June and the meaning behind the snicker became quite clear. Apparently, despite the years of education required to become a doctor, and the countless billions spent on research by the medical community, due dates are essentially guesses; educated guesses, okay I will give you that, but they are guesses nonetheless; well that was a bit disappointing.
So, everything after June 4th gets kind of blurry. From that point on there were few constants we could count on; each new doctor or specialist had an opinion and few shared the same exact position, making every decision that much more stressful. To make matters worse, they all seemed very convincing, but in the end, the decisions we ours and only ours to make; right or wrong. This was definitely a stressful time, particularly for Kayla. In the end, everything seemed to fall into place, and ready or not our son was ready to be born. One of the things we did know was that due to being delivered preterm, he would be spending some time in the hospital in order to evaluate his development and ensure that he can do the important things that we tend to take for granted; such as maintaining body temperature or blood sugar. After Quinn was born, we tried to spend as much time as possible with him which meant we lived in the neonatal intensive care unit or NICU for 12-16 hours a day.
On, June 19th Quinn was released to go home for the first time. It was my wife that actually suggested that we keep with our plan to work Field Day. I agreed, assuming that everything else was okay with her and the baby. The week was moving along nicely and our son was settling into a routine; sleeping for 4 and 5 hours at a time through the night. That was until Friday night. Earlier in the day, I stopped by the fairgrounds to set up a mast that I planned to use and see if I could assist anyone else with their preparations. Later that night, Quinn was restless and wouldn’t sleep unless he was being held. I sat up with him most of the night in order that he would get some much-needed sleep and my wife could do the same.
In the original version of my plan, my gear would be staged and ready to load Friday night. Saturday morning my daughter and I would load the truck, stop for breakfast and be at the fairgrounds bright and early to set up and help anyone else in need of assistance.
So, first, there was the gloomy weather forecast which predicted heavy rains through the night; not ending until early to mid afternoon. Then, unfortunately, I had not finished prepping my gear before sitting up with our son, which resulted in a fairly unorganized bulk load of everything I could think of as not to get to the fairgrounds only to find some key element missing; translated, I packed too much stuff.
We did not arrive at the fairgrounds until 12:30 and setup went slow. My brain felt like I had not slept for weeks and I was moving like it. After most of the equipment was set up and I thought I was finally ready to operate another problem arose. Although I brought two computers, neither would run the logging software. After several tries and some minor surgery to my laptop, success! We were on the air...at 17:00, ouch!
From that point on, everything went well. Our station had several visitors, three guest operators, and unexpectedly good band conditions. All of the participating stations seemed to do well, and the food was great.
For a second year, Al KB2AYU powered the entire operation with the batteries in his truck; impressive! We can’t wait until next year; perhaps the entire family will team up to work Field Day!
Looking forward, in July we have the Thirteen Colonies Special Event and the annual club picnic. At this point, Kayla and I along with the kids, are planning to attend the picnic. It will be a first for us in many ways and we are looking forward to seeing everyone there.
I am not sure where the first half of the year has gone, but what a year it has been. Ham Crams, Field Day, club stations upgrades, and numerous contest events have kept the members of our club quite busy.
As I mentioned in the July issue of Crosstalk, my daughter Aryanna wanted to come out and work Field Day with me. She enjoyed the experience so much that we decided to do a little camping and work the Thirteen Colonies Special Event operating portable. As the newest member of our family Quinn was still too young for camping, we decided to do our camping on the back of my in-laws property. Kayla and the baby enjoyed all of the comforts of home; real beds, bathrooms, running water, electricity, etc. while Aryanna and I roughed it in our tents. The setup went smoothly (particularly when compared to our Field Day experience) and we were operational in no time. In the days leading up to our expedition I had checked the weather several times, and although there were some possible showers here and there, most of it appeared to be the typical weather associated with warm air and higher humidity. However, the forecast changed rapidly after setup and I believe we had rain every day for the entire week; some storms produced impressive winds and torrential downpours.
The weather notwithstanding we camped every night and managed to work most of the colonies and a number of other stations along the way including Battleship New Jersey Amateur Radio Station, NJ2BB. There is a little irony there; one of the few colonies that I could not hear was New Jersey, but the battleship, which I wasn’t trying to work was loud and clear.
So, August is upon us and at the time of writing, the ARRL New Jersey State Convention and Hamfest is right around the corner, being a little more than forty-eight days away. Our Hamfest has enjoyed the distinction of being one of the region’s largest Hamfests. In addition to attracting local hams, our event typically sees visitors travelling in from New York, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania to peruse the wares of our vendors and tailgaters as well as enjoy eyeball QSO’s with friends old and new.
The success of our Hamfests is the result of countless hours of planning and preparation by the Hamfest committee and numerous club members who donate their time to insure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. This year veteran committee chairs, Sheldon K2MEN and Bill NJ2S have again teamed up to plan and manage this year's event. The duo has been busy attending to the needs of the event which includes enlisting the aid of willing club members to help out in various areas. While much has been accomplished there is still much to do, and with the addition of the ARRL New Jersey State Convention to our event, more volunteers are needed than ever before. I am urging each member of the Gloucester County Amateur Radio Club to consider volunteering to help out this year. Not sure how you can help? Very much like our beloved hobby, with regard to the Hamfest, there is something for everyone! Reach out to Sheldon or Bill and see how you can be a part of this historic event for our club.
Al KB2AYU and a handful of volunteers managed to get the old antennas down and the new antennas mounted on the tower at the club station. There is still some tuning and cable work to be completed, but with the heavy lifting behind us the new antennas should be operational very soon. Great job Al and company!
Finally, a few months ago we decided to undertake some much needed repair work on the shed at the club station. Unfortunately, with so many events and conflicts the project had to be postponed. I am hoping to get this back on the calendar for some time in August. The foundation for the shed needs to be reset and the siding is in need of replacement. With enough volunteers, this could be accomplished in one day, or we could do it in two parts. As we work out the details updates will be pushed to the club email reflector.
We will be looking for volunteers, so if you have the time please consider lending a hand.
It is hard to believe that August is all but a memory; where did the summer go?
For Kayla and me, the new addition to our family has kept us quite busy. I remember back in the beginning of 2017, we talked about things we wanted to do this year, particularly with our summer. It’s funny how plans can change when life gets hold of them.
As for club business, I had hoped to get a few projects such as the shed and front steps completed in August. Autumn is a nice time to work outside; hopefully we can get to those things after the Hamfest.
The solar eclipse on August 21st was by all accounts spectacular. Even here in Southern New Jersey we were able to observe a seventy-five to eighty percent eclipse. We observed it from Woolwich Township where it was expected to be about seventy-six percent eclipsed. Earlier, I put together a little camera obscura device to allow us to safely observe the event. Around the country there were a number of events held to observe the eclipse and of course a QSO party to mark the event.
By the time the September Crosstalk issue arrives in your email, our Hamfest will be right around the corner. As you know this year our club will host the ARRL New Jersey State Convention at our Hamfest. Sheldon and Bill have been working throughout the year and have enlisted the help of numerous volunteers to help make this event a success. We anticipate a record attendance this year and with the increased attendance come the increased need for volunteers to help out. It is not too late to help make this year our biggest success. Even an hour or two providing relief to one of the other volunteers would be greatly appreciated and provide the satisfaction that comes with being a part of our clubs Hamfest.
Until then, spread the word, invite a neighbor and we will see you on September 10th.
The calendar indicates that Autumn has arrived; however, step outside and the weather still feels like summer; sunny skies and warm temperatures. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, for the overall forecast we can expect colder temperatures, although not colder than usual. Locally the prediction is a mild, wet winter.
We look to the solar cycle for aid in predicting radio signal propagation. Likewise, the Old Farmer’s Almanac also uses the solar cycle to aid in predicting the weather, particularly the long term forecasts. A recent Old Farmer’s Almanac article titled “Winter Outlook 2017–2018: Colder than Last Year - Cold Weather Is Coming…But How Cold and for How Long?” includes the following statement concerning the solar cycle, “One of the most significant relationships we have found is that periods of low solar activity are associated with colder temperatures, averaged across Earth”.
In spite of a very active hurricane season, the weather for this year’s Hamfest could not have been better. We had a good volunteer turnout which saw some new faces along with a large number of Hamfest veterans which helped to make the day a success. I had an opportunity to speak with several vendors and attendees; all seemed pleased with this year’s event. Sheldon and Bill will provide all of the details at the October 4th meeting at the Pfeiffer Center.
Election time is right around the corner and we begin the process this month with nominations. Organizations like the Gloucester County Amateur Radio Club rely on individuals to volunteer some of their time to oversee the activities of our club, to make decisions, manage finances and other necessary functions. Volunteering to serve as an officer, trustee, or director is a great way to help our club to continue to grow and offer quality programs and activities for its members. For anyone wishing to toss their hat into the ring, but may have questions, feel free to ask one of the club officers; we will be happy to help.
Well, November is upon us and with it Veterans Day (11th), Thanksgiving (23rd), Daylight Savings (5th), and at the GCARC, elections (final nominations) for 2018.
Each year in accordance with our Constitution and By-Laws, our membership cast their votes to elect the officers that will serve the club in the coming year. Several offices comprise the leadership of our club. The office of President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, and Corresponding Secretary are all one year terms, while the Directors and Trustees are three and four year terms, respectively. Directors are elected in a three year rotation where each year two seats are up for election leaving two Directors with two years remaining in their terms and two Directors with one year remaining in their terms. The four Trustees are elected in a similar fashion on a four year rotation with one seat up for election each year.
This year the following seats are up for election:
- President - Current office holder: Harry Elwell, K2ATX
- Vice President - Current office holder: Tony Otlowski, W2WCC
- Treasurer - Current office holder: Al Arrison, KB2AYU
- Recording Secretary - Current office holder: Bruce Canino, KD2LBU
- Corresponding Secretary - Current office holder: Ron Block, NR2B
- Director current office holder: Chuck Colabrese, WA2TML
- Director current office holder: Bill Price, NJ2S
- Trustee current office holder: Brian Jones, KD2BXD
Tony Otlowski, W2WCC will not be running for the office of Vice President in 2018.
Bruce Canino, KD2LBU will not be running for the office of Recording Secretary in 2018, but has expressed his willingness to run for the office of Vice President.
Jim Clark, KA2OSV has been nominated for the office of Trustee.
Chuck Colabrese, WA2TML has been nominated for re-election for the office of Director.
Any member is welcome to run for any of the above offices. Self-nominations are allowed; however if you prefer you can reach out to any member and ask them to nominate you from the floor. Stop by the front table before the meeting with any questions you may have.
At our next General Membership Meeting on November 1st, you will have one final opportunity to nominate candidates for the above seats. Each year many seats go unopposed and the incumbent is elected by default (assuming of course that the person currently holding that office is willing to serve for another term). One of our club’s greatest strengths lies in the diversity of our membership with regard to the skills and life experience particular to each individual. The election process allows for the introduction of new ideas and methods for guiding our organization as we seek to make decisions that insure its growth and to provide increased utility to its members.
When I was approached about the idea of running for the office of President I have to admit that I really had not considered that I would actually be elected. Due to some family issues I had been away from the club and radio for a few years. I do not think that I was a member for a month before I was approached about running for office. In fairness, it was not much of a contest. Jim Wright, N2GXJ (the incumbent) was stepping down after several very successful years as club President. I agreed to run for the office with the understanding that my wife and I were expecting a baby in July and that this would likely have some impact on my time and focus. At the December General Membership Meeting, I was elected to the office of President. Although I had been a member of the club for a few years and even served on some committees, I really had no idea what serving as President would entail. Along the way I have failed to submit an article for the January 2017 President’s Message, missed several meetings and club functions due largely to family matters. This does not reflect my dedication of sense of duty to the office to which I was elected, but rather my priorities. I very much enjoy this hobby and privilege of being a member of the GCARC; however, my family will always come first.
I mention all of this because I believe that that are many individuals who hesitate to get volunteer, not because of a lack of time, but rather some notion that they lack some requisite experience to run for office or serve on a committee. I assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. Perhaps, instead of assessing your potential based on what you don’t have, consider what you do have to offer. The only requirements for candidacy are a desire to serve and a willingness to share what you know with others. The November General Membership Meeting is the last chance to get on the ballot; come on out and “throw your hat into the ring”. I hope to see everyone at the meeting.
This year seems to have flown by. Coming up this month, our regular General Membership Meeting will be on Wednesday the 6th, followed by the last Tech Saturday of the year on Saturday the 9th. Club Holiday Dinner on the 11th, the monthly VEC testing session will be on Thursday the 14th, and the Board of Directors Meeting on Wednesday the 20th. Add to that Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years and you have the recipe for a very busy month.
The election for club officers will take place at the December meeting. The slate is as follows:
- President : Harry Elwell, K2ATX
- Vice President : Bruce Canino, KD2LBU
- Treasurer : Al Arrison, KB2AYU
- Recording Secretary : No candidate for this position
- Corresponding Secretary : Ron Block, NR2B
- Directors :
- Chuck Colabrese, WA2TML
- Bill Price, NJ2S
- Trustee : Jim Clark, KA2OSV
We still have no candidate for the position of Recording Secretary. The Recording Secretary performs an important and necessary function; recording and maintaining the meeting minutes for the regular membership meetings and the board of director meetings. What are minutes? Minutes are simply a record of what went on at the meeting, not a transcript of everything said. Minutes are a record of the issues discussed at the meeting, and the responses or decisions for the issues.
The 2017 Club Holiday Dinner will take place at the Hibachi Grill & Supreme Buffet in Glassboro on Monday the 11th at 6 PM. There are no reservations required and the cost is only $8.99 per person at the door.
In 2016, the ARRL sponsored National Parks On The Air (NPOTA) to help the National Park Service celebrate their 100th Anniversary. Throughout the yearlong event hams across the country were encouraged to activate as many of the 489 National Park Service units around the country. The event featured awards for both activators and chasers. By all accounts the event was a success with a total of 21,344 activations and more than a million QSOs. Due largely to the popularity of NPOTA, the league has announced a new event for 2018; the ARRL International Grid Chase. Information is available on the ARRL website, the December QST magazine, and in Jim Wright’s article “2018 – The Year of the Grid Square Chase” on page 7 of the December 2017 Crosstalk issue.
I would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season.