Minutes of the OVH Meeting

Sept. 16, 2002

The meeting was called to order at 2000 Eastern time by President Bill Hinely / K9ZD

Following the pledge of allegiance, all present stated their names and call signs.

Jack / N4YIC - Jack noted that ham radio equipment was donated to the club by Mel Stevens. We can sell the equipment and put the money in the scholarship fund. Thank you Mel for your contribution on the Ole Virginia Hams.

Harry / W4PVA donated several books. Jeff / N1SN also had brought items from Harry / W4PVA. Thank you Harry for your contribution.

The minutes of the August 2002 meeting were approved.

Treasurer's report - Bill / N4WJN. The report passed.

Repeaters - Butch / W4HJL - The repeaters are mostly o.k. The 440 amp needs to be fixed.

Education - Bill / K9ZD - New class starts first Wednesday in October (Oct. 2) at Stonewall Jackson H.S. Bill is looking for students.

Membership - Three new members were read in and will be voted on at the October 2002 OVH meeting:

Karl Berger / W4KRL

Noel Wolber / KG4UVK

Wayne Kline / KE4URN

F.A.R. - Ruth / KU4WH - The F.A.R. hamfest (FARfest) was successful.

Weekly Nets - Ken / KB4ZOH - Ken noted that he changed the process with the most recent net by having people tell about their first radios. He plans on doing something similar more often to help facilitate more discussion during the check-in portion of the net.

ARES - David / KG4GIY - We need volunteers for the Marine Corps marathon. The PW county ARES website has the information. The marathon takes place on October 27. This event will allow us to experience some new things with amateur radio, including packet. This event starts early and "ends when it's over." Plan on late afternoon at some locations. Others are done by 2:00 p.m.

October 13 - The Diabetes Association walk takes place at the Manassas National Battlefield. We need to gather at noon at the usual place on the NOVA campus, and we'll be done by about 4:00 p.m. This will be a directed net.

There are possible activities the last week in September because of the World Bank and IMF meetings, and the associated protests.

Sept. 11 went fine. Thanks to everyone who was ready to go just in case of trouble.

Virginia Railway Express is looking for volunteers to be "victims" for an emergency drill on October 7.

Brian / N8FK - A bike ride will occur on Sept 28. This originates at the Nokesville park. Arrive at 8:00 a.m. and we will and be done by about 2:00 p.m.

Christmas parade - we will contact the parade organizers by next month. We might consider having an OHV float.

Old Business -

JOTA - Jack / N4YIC - The Boy Scouts Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) is the third weekend in October. We will host local scouts. Jack and Butch / W4HJL will coordinate this event. We will use the swim club again, as we have done in the past. We will need three HF stations and four to six operators. We will start at 8:00 a.m. and be done by noon. We will set up on Friday (Oct. 18).

Bill / N4WJN - Bill has some more field day buttons for anyone who is interested.

New business:

Steve / N4OGR - Steve noted that he often takes QST magazines to doctorsí and dentistsí offices. We can put OVH labels on, and that's some good advertising for the OVH.

Al / KB4BHB - Al donated a new OVH Presidentís gavel to President Bill Hinely / K9ZD and the Oleí Virginia Hams. Al made this gavel with wood from a tree on his property that had to be cut down. The new gavel is a true work of art and demonstrates Alís ability as a highly-skilled wood-turning craftsman. Thank you Al for your very generous and unique contribution to the Oleí Virginia Hams.

Bill / K9ZD - Bill noted that we need a historian. We have been without one for some time.

The new OVH Presidentís gavel that was made and donated by Al / KB4BHB was used officially for the first time by President Bill Hinely / K9ZD at 2037 Eastern time to announce the break in the meeting.

The meeting reconvened at 2048 Eastern time.

Bill / N4WJN , Brian / N8FK, and David / KG4GIY gave a demonstration of packet radio. Almost any radio will do. You need a TNC (terminal node controller) and a basic computer. Even a PDA will work. Some HTs have TNCs built in. There are many TNCs available that are inexpensive. $50 is not uncommon on the used market.

1,200 baud is a common but "slow" packet speed. However, we don't send large files over packet, so 1,200 baud does just fine. Bulletin boards are often forwarded (the messages). APRS (amateur packet reporting system) uses GPS, and links to the TNC to work on the APRS network. With GPS, the position gets updated automatically. WB4APR invented the APRS

You don't much power. Packet stations "mooch" off of each other. This is called "digipeater," so messages can pass through other stations. You can go as far as the network will allow. You can do "node hopping," which allows for long-distance communications.

Most packet operations still operate at 1,200 baud, but 9,600 is now done by some.

Packet is done on simplex mostly, but there are some repeaters involved. Be sure to turn the packet off when you go back to voice.

9,600 baud is not as easy as 1,200 baud. 9,600 requires a special TNC and a radio that has been modified for 9,600. Some radios have 9,600 built in.

If you do HF, there is a DX cluster to let you know where other stations are. Software will tell you which frequency to turn to.

David / KG4GIY noted that packet is a actually a "primitive" electronic communications method. But on Sept. 11 2001, phone lines were down. David couldn't use the Internet, but packet was working fine. On a related note, all Internet traffic in the United States flows through two points in Vienna, VA and San Jose, CA. These are possible terrorists targets. Also, Worldcom, ATT, and Global Crossing are the providers. As we know, two of these firms have some severe financial difficulty. There is a lot of redundancy. The beauty of packet is that the traffic can be delivered reliably and at least "fairly securely."

Thank you Bill, Brian, and David for your presentation and demonstration of packet operations.

The meeting adjourned at 2132 Eastern time.