Meetings and Discussion
This section of the web site will recap previous meetings and any discussion that was raised at these meetings or since that time. This will give the membership time to digest what was brought up and then pose any questions, comments, or suggestions. It will also have downloadable files of any pertinent program material presented at these meetings.
RARC Meeting August 26, 2021
The meeting was called to order by our president, James Hall, WB4YDL, at 6:30 p.m. We had 12 members and two guests in attendance for the meeting. The two guests were Chuck Hacken and Paul Stephens KC1NYD. Mr. Stephens is new to the area after retirement from the New Hampshire area. The club welcomes you to Tennessee, the land of bugs and humidity.
Noel KJ4UNX reviewed the financial report and old business from last month. The Christmas dinner location is still up in the air. The Harvest Grill in Troy, TN, is a place of interest for Christmas dinner. Our President and his XYL are planning a date night to check it out and talk to the management about the possibility of having our dinner there in December.
New club business was next on the docket. Glenn N4MJ brought up having a club swap meet/ BBQ/potluck get-together since the club isn't having a hamfest. The upswing in Covid-19 cases with all local hospitals at maximum capacity was a scorching topic. Of all of the patients hospitalized in Baptist Memorial Hospital UC, none of them had received a vaccination. Some of the club members made it to the Huntsville Hamfest the weekend before our meeting. We asked them to give a synopsis of the show. There were several new and used equipment vendors that canceled due to the covid situation. But the bone yard had everything from vinyl albums to vacuum tubes and everything in between. It was a little light in attendance but still a great show. Phil N4PWG brought the group's attention to something new to chase - Mines on the air. Like SOTA, POTA, and IOTA, this gives everyone something to keep an ear open for on the bands. Jamie WB4YDL talked about the Kenwood TM-700a he is resurrecting for Phil and the Troy Fire Department. Bad soldering and lose solder chunks have not done the rig any favors.
The group took a break and enjoyed some refreshments. Jamie WB4YDL and his XYL June brought some great BBQ sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, slaw, potato salad, baked beans, chips, cheesecake, chocolate cake, and cold drinks. It was fantastic ! I can't say enough about how good it was. It hit the spot for sure. No one left hungry, and most of us left too full.
Noel KJ4UNX gave a short presentation on multimeter safety and test leads and brought examples of digital and analog meters. He also brought a breadboard and wired up an LED to show the group how to measure voltage, current and resistance with a meter.
After a little Q&A session, Phil N4PWG motioned to adjourn with a second from Noel KJ4UNX.
Hope to see everyone next month.
RARC Meeting July 22, 2021
The July meeting for the Reelfoot Amateur Radio Club was called to order at 6:30 pm by our President James Hall WB4YDL. We had six members in attendance and one guest, Chuck Hacken. He is a retired engineer for the Ford Motor Company. Mr. Hacken is currently studying for his Tech and General Class license.
Noel KJ4UNX reviewed the financial report and the old business from the May and June meetings.
New business was next on the docket, and Jamie WB4YDL reviewed Field Day results and discussed an after action report. We had nine participating club members, and ten kids in attendance, with 7 making contacts. That's the most kids we have had at Field Day in club history. Awesome! The club scored over 5000 points mostly on FT8, with 6 and 10 meters showing up big time. We will have to see the results in the December QST to see how we fared against our peers. It is thought that the pandemic rule of 1D stations contacting 1D stations will probably be repealed after this year.
There was also a group discussion on how new modes (such as FT8) and new everyday items (such as smart phones) have effected amateur radio - pro or con. There were members for and against and we will likely discuss this again in a future meeting.
After everyone was worn out from talking and before the food got cold, we broke for refreshments. Randle KN4OPZ brought a large sandwich tray with turkey and ham sandwiches, potato salad, a vegetable tray from Randle’s garden, and an Oreo cake homemade by his XYL. The cake was absolutely delicious. I took two large pieces home and tried to hide it from my XYL. It didn't work, but she enjoyed it too.
After the break, there was a discussion on the future of the Ides of March Hamfest. The realization was that we have lost several key members of our club due to advanced age, ill health (one SK) and relocation. We simply do not have the personnel to cover the work it takes to put this event out in a respectable way. So after some discussion, it was decided to suspend the Ides of March Hamfest until further notice.
The group called it a night after the dinner due to the small group in attendance and everyone being full.
RARC Meeting May 27, 2021
The regular Reelfoot Amateur Radio Club monthly meeting was called to order with 10 members and two guests in attendance. We welcomed Ben Braddock KO4MAO as a new member from Martin, TN. Ben has been active on the local repeaters and is a General Class operator. Also in attendance was Jacob Neil ( attended by Michael AK4VU) and Kal Ribianszky KN4LKL.
As Noel KJ4UNX was AWOL for this meeting, VP Hannah KK4SJF acted in his place to take the minutes. The financial report was given and old business was reviewed. Field Day was the topic as it is this meeting. The new FCC rule on RF exposure documentation will be formally discussed in this meeting. Steve KK4NNH is working on his venture making 'barber pole' antennas and will be at the Huntsville Hamfest with his plan to sell copper for these.
Discussion then migrated to Field Day which will be the weekend of the 25-26th of June. Jamie WB4YDL brought the June QST which had a very nice Field Day guide, some of which was discussed. First off was safety - we usually have a designated safety officer for the event and first aid is available. The rules for the operation will be the same this year as last and include the ability to stay home as a 1D or 1E station and have those scores compiled with the overall club score. These 1D(E) stations can contact other 1D(E) stations as last year with the power restricted to 150 watts. We, as K4RFT, will be again class 2A TN for the event. Bonus points were discussed in some detail and we hope to see some youth operators this year for that bonus. Food for the event will be the usual fare of 'burgers and 'dogs' and Noel will likely head this up. We will meet on the Thursday prior to Field Day weekend at Glenn's shop at 6:30 PM to setup radios. Antennas will be deployed the following day. On Saturday morning at 9 AM (note: this was mistakenly said to be 10 AM), a VE test session will be offered for those wanting to take a licensing exam. (Your FRS number is required to sit for a test). Lunch will be at noon which will include a 5 minute educational presentation, good for 100 bonus points). At 1PM, Field Day operations commence and will go for 24 hours. Let's have fun !
Officer elections, which were postponed due to the pandemic restrictions, were held with all officers being re-elected for another term. At this point, we all broke for refreshments - thanks to Michael AK4VU for bringing pizza !
After the break, Harrell WD4LAR gave a very informative presentation on the aforementioned new FCC RF exposure rule. For most hams, this will not effect normal operations. A simple calculator is available on the ARRL web site to do the required document. If you do this and put it in your station files, you'll be good with the FCC ! Some discussion ensued on mobile stations with nearby antennas. Most understand that due to Faraday "caging", RF exposure would be minimal. An actual RF field strength meter would be useful to actually measure intensity and give actual data points.
After the great presentation, Glenn N4MJ did a small raffle with prizes from the estate of Ron Steinberg W9RVR (SK). Patrick KO4HEX won a 2015 ARRL Handbook complete with CD and Michael AK4VU won the audio amplifier kit. The meeting adjourned at this point.
RARC Meeting April 22, 2021
The Reelfoot Amateur Radio Club had its first in-person on Thursday night, April 22nd. It was the first in-person since February 2020. We had a good turn-out with 12 members and three guests. Visitors were Ryan Schaffer, Roberson Schaffer, and Roberson's Grandfather Jamie Hamilton. Roberson is almost six years old and is interested in electronics. He showed some members a drawing (diagram) of how satellite internet works - how it gets from the satellite to his dish, then to his wi-fi modem/router, to his security camera, and then to his computer. That's awesome for a 5-year-old ! I hope he can continue to come to meetings and maybe receive group.io emails about Jamie's electronic training.
Noel KJ4UNX reviewed the financial report and the old business from last month. The club also sold a couple of club caps this meeting.
With new business next on the docket, Mike Stayton AK4VU brought a home brew antenna tuner for show/tell. Several looked it over while trying to get a diagram drawn of it.
There was discussion about Field Day and the FCC rule about R.F. Exposure. Field Day will look much as it did last year with the ability to operate from home as a Class D station (or Class E if you're using emergency power). Those stations would have their score added to the overall club score. The limitation this year is that power is restricted to 150 watts for those home stations. We plan to be Class 2A with a station more-or-less dedicated to digital modes (Elecraft K3S) and a station that will be any mode (probably the Kenwood TS-480). It is unknown at this time whether we will have a GOTA station or a sleep-in camper. Noel's new camper is different than before and there is no pop-up table ! Harrell WD4LAR and Glenn N4MJ attended a Webinar on the new RF exposure rules that go into effect on May 3rd. Harrell will give a presentation on this new mandate from the FCC at the next club meeting.
Noel KJ4UNX collected telephone, email, and emergency contact info for the database he is building for the club.
Steve KK4NNH and Hannah Clayton KK4SJF brought the refreshments this month. Hannah showed out this month with her homemade chicken and dumplings and tossed salad. For dessert, she made some of the moistest and delicious cupcakes I've eaten in a long time.
After the break, Glenn N4MJ was to give a presentation on the Structure of Amateur Radio, but Mr. Murphy had other plans for his presentation; the computer failed, so he had to wing it and only gave a small part of the info. The second time Murph struck was when Glenn wanted to go to the men's room, and the door was locked... and no one available to unlock it. So the lucky audience got a double break !!!
The group discussed solar cycle 25 with several higher HF bands getting hot and contacts being made. Also, the Tennessee phone net on Room 3147 DMR was a hot topic. Steve KK4NNH brought a working model of his 2m/440 mobile barber pole antenna he's currently working on.
It was good to see everyone in person. Officer elections will be at the May meeting.
Be thinking about who you want to lead the club and be ready to name your candidate.
RARC Meeting March 25, 2021
The RARC March 25, 2021 Zoom meeting was called to order at 6:30 pm by our President Jamie Hall, WB4YDL. There were 10 members in attendance and 1 guest, Jody Yonts. He introduced himself and told the group how he got interested in ham radio. Jody is currently studying for his Tech license.
The financial report and old business were reviewed by Noel KJ4UNX. Next on the docket was new business - Jamie WB4YDL brought up the rule changes for Field Day 2021 and the club's projected station setup and classification for the event.
The group took a short break from the Zoom to enjoy refreshments furnished by WD4LAR Harrell - (NOT !). Prime Rib with au jus, grilled asparagus, rice pilaf, and buttered yeast rolls were offered for dinner. For dessert he brought a fresh warm peach cobbler and homemade vanilla ice cream. Yum Yum. (In our dreams !) I’m checking to see if anyone paying attention. Hi hi
The highlight of the evening was an awesome Power point presentation on DMR by Patrick Hall, KO4HEX. He talked about what is DMR, how to use, set up your DMR radio, the pros and cons of DMR, the use of digital APRS and only a Tech license is needed to work anyone, anywhere on the system. There was a great Q&A session after the presentation with everyone talking about the DMR radios they currently use.
This Power point presentation will be posted on the website for everyone to watch who wasn’t able to attend the meeting.
The April 22nd meeting of the RARC is going to be held at the Obion County Library. We hope to see everyone then.
RARC Meeting February 25, 2021
The February 25th, 2021 meeting of the Reelfoot Amateur Radio Club was called to order at 6:30 pm. We are still meeting virtually via Zoom due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The forthcoming March Meeting will be held on Zoom on the 25th.
There were nine hams in attendance for the gathering, seven members and two guests. Ben Braddock KO4NAO and Ben Rudy KO4LFZ were our visitors for the evening.
Once the greetings and pleasantries were observed, Noel KJ4UNX reviewed the financial report and the old business.
New business was next on the docket. Glenn N4MJ made a motion to defer officer elections until the second in-person meeting so all members of the club can participate. Phil N4PWG seconded the motion. The motion was voted on and passed unanimously. Next, everyone took turns talking about their radio activities since last month.
Jamie WB4YDL, gave a great presentation on single sideband receiver detection, demodulation, including a history of SSB and superheterodyne receivers. He also played a video of SSB reception on old AM receivers with a signal generator. This video is posted on the Reelfootarc MeWe page. After the presentation, there was a Q&A session on these subjects with a good discussion.
When all questions were answered, the group decided to break for the evening. We hope to see everyone next month on Zoom.
RARC Meeting January 28, 2021
The first meeting of 2021 for the Reelfoot Amateur Radio Club was called to order via Zoom on January 28th. There were seven members and six visitors in attendance. Ben Braddock, a newly licensed ham waiting on his call sign, was in attendance. Dave Emmitt KE4O from Lexington, Kentucky, joined in for the meeting.
Noel KJ4UNX reviewed the financial report and old business from our last meeting in October.
Our President Jamie WB4YDL asked everyone in attendance to talk about what they have been doing since our previous meeting.
Trent Fleming N4DTF gave an excellent PowerPoint presentation on cyber-security threats and how to protect your computer, bank accounts, and personal info. He also talked about his NanoVNA analyzer and how it checks antennas and coax. After the presentation, Trent answered numerous questions on the topic. I believe everyone learned a lot from this talk.
February is the election of officers and club dues month. There has been a PayPal account setup if you would like to pay Dues that way. The email address is email@example.com to use PayPal. We know some members do not use online payment services. You can mail club dues to the address below.
810 Exchange St.
Union City, TN
We hope everyone stays safe and warm. See you at the February 25th Zoom meeting.
Archive of Previous Year's Meetings
All files below are in PDF format and require Adobe Acrobat® reader to view:
Previous Power-point Presentations and Handouts
DMR - Digital Mobile Radio
RF Receiver Architecture
Introduction to EME Communications
An Introduction to Contesting Powerpoint
An Introduction to Contesting Handout
HF Receiver Principles: Noise and Dynamic Range Powerpoint
HF Receiver Principles: Noise and Dynamic Range Handout
Amateur Radio Operational Awards
Narrow Band Emergency Communications System
ARES - Winlink
Emergency Communications - Special
Basic Message Handling
Introduction to Emergency Nets