Sadly I have to begin this message noting the loss of one of our most valued and dedicated members, Chuck Colabrese WA2TML. Chuck fought a brave battle with cancer for several months, but succumbed to it on Friday night, July 21, 2023. Chuck was a pillar of our Club, serving as a director for many years and bringing his wisdom, experience, and compassion to every meeting. He was also involved in all aspects of the Club’s activities, from Field Day to license exams and training, and always ready to lend a hand for Club projects. We will honor Chuck’s memory at the August General Membership meeting and remember his legacy in our future events.
Do you want to learn how to install and operate amateur radio equipment in your vehicle? If so, don’t miss our August events at GCARC! At the Wednesday night General Membership meeting, Tony Starr K3TS will share his tips and tricks for going mobile at our general meeting. Tony is an expert in mobile radio, so you’ll get valuable insights from him. On Saturday, we’ll have a Tech Saturday at the W2MMD Clubhouse where you can show off your own mobile stations, exchange ideas, and get help from others. Whether you already have a radio in your car or you’re thinking of getting one, these events are for you!
And while Tech Saturday is designated for planned activities, the Clubhouse is open and occupied almost every Saturday, so stop by if you’re looking for help with a particular issue, you want to operate the HF station or possibly work some satellite passes, or just check out what’s happening that day. Call the Clubhouse phone at 856-244-6914 to check to see if anyone is there.
The Perseids meteor shower peaks on August 13th this year, and we hope that it will give us a chance to work with our new grant-funded VHF/UHF equipment to try to bounce signals off of meteors. Look for an announcement closer to that date.
We hope to get the building permits for the VHF tower installation from the Township soon, which will allow us to start working on the foundation planning. In that case we might need some volunteers to help with the construction, so please stay tuned for more details. And if you prefer to stay indoors, we have some cleanup and organization tasks at the Clubhouse that need your attention. Let’s work together to make our Club space more neat and efficient!
We hope to see you at our August activities and have some fun with amateur radio!
Several significant activities and advances have occurred at the Clubhouse during July. One of them was the successful delivery of two classes on proper soldering techniques by Chris Prioli AD2CS and John Zaruba Jr K2ZA on Saturday mornings July 8th and 15th. We were pleasantly surprised to see 14 people attending the classes, as we had only a few registrations a week before.
We were especially glad to see many new members who had not been very active in other Club events before. This shows that hands-on sessions are appealing and we will look for more opportunities to offer them in the future.
VHF/UHF/Satellite Room Air Conditioner
Also, the new mini-split air conditioner was installed in the VHF room by Frank Romeo N3PUU and others, being completed on Saturday, July 15th. This unit will provide ample and efficient cool air to control temperatures for the computers and networking equipment that permanently resides in that room. It will also act as a heat pump in winter. The unit was purchased for the Club by donations made to the Gloucester County Amateur Radio Foundation.
Many thanks to Frank, John O’Connell K2QA, Earl Moore KC2NCH, and others who worked on that installation.
Clubhouse Work Area Cleanup
We used the project area outside the VHF room to store boxes of stuff from the VHF room while we renovate it. The project area is for making things with microcontrollers, Raspberry Pi, SDR, etc. but we couldn’t use it for that because of the boxes. Chris and I spent two days sorting out the boxes. We put cables, connectors, hardware, and other things in containers on the shelf along the wall.
Now the project area is free for its original purpose. We hope to set it up soon as a workspace for training and building projects. We also want to have a collection of common components for people to use in that area.
Volunteering At GCARC
Volunteers are the lifeblood of any not-for-profit organization, and particularly at GCARC. We have several different groups of volunteers who participate in various types of activities, and I think there are additional opportunities that may be less evident for other members.
The core group of volunteers is a small but dedicated team that meets most Saturdays to work on projects. They take care of the Clubhouse maintenance and improvements, training on equipment and other skills, Club communications like CrossTalk and the website, and many other tasks.
The workday group is a larger team that comes out several times a year for major Clubhouse workdays. They have done amazing things like cleaning and painting the Clubhouse, installing ground rods for the lightning protection project, and other similar tasks.
Finally, there are the many event volunteers involved in the planning and execution of Field Day and the Hamfest. Dozens of members come out for these activities year after year to make them a success.
But I think there's an opportunity for a fourth group of volunteers to handle short term projects that occur frequently, or minor tasks throughout the month. These projects and tasks are great for new members who want to get involved with the Club without having to commit to a long-term or large scale activity. They are also great for members who have specific skills or interests that they want to share with the Club.
Some of these projects include :
- Processing monthly membership meeting and Tech Saturday videos for the YouTube site
- Assisting or backing up the AV team at the Wednesday night General Membership Meetings
- Assisting in the inventory of Clubhouse assets and keeping that inventory current
- For the more technically inclined, managing the SatNOGS station, reviewing observations, and adding new satellites to the list of those being tracked
- Reviewing new technologies for presentation at meetings or write-ups in CrossTalk. For example, the VarAC HF digital communications program has recently been updated, it is installed on the HF station at the Clubhouse, and might provide an opportunity for an interesting short article or presentation
If you’re interested in becoming part of this project group or any other group of volunteers, please contact me, Ron Block NR2B, or Chris Prioli AD2CS, and let us know your availability and interest. We would love to have you join us and contribute to the Club in any way you can.
Volunteering is not only helpful for the Club, but also for yourself. You can learn new skills, meet new friends, have fun, and make a difference.
This month we welcome 9 new Club members. See the list on the Current Events page.
Thank you for your support!
73 de Jon WB2MNF
Saint Maximilian Maria Kolbe : (January 8, 1894 - August 14, 1941) was a Polish Conventual Franciscan friar who volunteered to die in place of a stranger in the German death camp of Auschwitz, located in German-occupied Poland during World War II. He was active in promoting the veneration of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, founding and supervising the monastery of Niepokalanów near Warsaw, operating an amateur radio station (SP3RN), and founding or running several other organizations and publications. Kolbe was canonized on October 10, 1982 by Pope John Paul II, and declared a Martyr of charity. He is the patron saint of amateur radio operators, drug addicts, political prisoners, families, journalists, prisoners, and the pro-life movement. John Paul II declared him "The Patron Saint of Our Difficult Century".
Full Sturgeon Moon : August 1, 2023 @ 1433 Hours. Lake sturgeon, found in the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain, as well as in several rivers, were once much more abundant. These large (some more than 6 feet long!) migratory fish were an important staple for Native American peoples living in the area. Captain Jonathan Carver came across this term for the lunar month during his travels in the 1760s. Flying Up Moon is a Cree term describing the time when young birds are ready to fly. Corn Moon (Algonquin, Ojibwe), Harvest Moon (Dakota), and Ricing Moon (Anishinaabe) signify the time to gather mature crops. The Assiniboine people named this period Black Cherries Moon, referring to when chokecherries were ripe. The Tlingit called this time of season the Mountain Shadows Moon. In August, there is also a Blue Moon (the second full moon of the month) occurring on August 30, 2023 @ 2137 Hours. The next time a Blue Moon will occur is in May 2026.