Minutes of the OVH Club Meeting

November 20, 2006



John / KG4NXT called meeting to order at 1933 Eastern Time.


Following the Pledge of Allegiance, all present stated their names and call signs.  There were 15 OVH members and two guests present.




JOTA – Theresa / KG4TVM – We had a tremendous turnout of 21 scouts and four scout leaders at JOTA, and everyone had a great time.  Theresa thanked Al / KB4BHB and all of the other OVH members who helped out.  Theresa handed out JOTA patches to all of the OVH members who volunteered.  Thank you Theresa for organizing the 2006 OVH JOTA event.


CHRISTMAS / HOLIDAY PARTY – Theresa / KG4TVM – Theresa gave the details on the Christmas / Holiday Party, which will take place on December 16 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.  The party will be pot luck, and Theresa will be accepting unwrapped toys for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots campaign.  Once again, the Heartneys, John / KG4NXT and Theresa / KG4TVM, are hosting the OVH Christmas party at their home.  Thank you John and Theresa.


REPEATERS - Art / W1CRO – The repeaters are working very well for the most part.  There are a few things that need to be worked on, and that work will be done in the near future.


MINUTES – The minutes of the October 2006 OVH meeting were approved.


MEMBERSHIP – Joe / KI4OHRPhineas “Finny” Hensaw / K0KMA was read in and will be voted on at the December 2006 meeting.


SUNSHINE – Steve / N4OGR – Longtime OVH member Bill Killmer / WB4KFU became a silent key on November 9, 2006 at the age of 81.  Bill was a World War II Navy veteran, and has donated several radios to the Club over the years.  As is traditionally done when an OVH member passes on, a motion was made to donate $50 to the St. Vincent de Paul Society (c/o All Saints Catholic Church – Manassas) in memory of Bill.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.


MARINE CORPS MARATHON – Steve / N4OGR – We had 150 volunteers and everything went very well.  Plans are already underway for the 2007 Marine Corps Marathon.


Joe / KI4OHR noted that he received an e-mail from ARRL stating that the application for the event (May 2007) regarding Cedar Park Elementary School’s upcoming contact with the International Space Station has been approved.  The PTA member assigned to work with the OVH is a former NASA employee, and her boss is a former ISS astronaut.  The hope is that these contacts will help move the process along.  The School has extended an invitation to all OVH members who would like to attend the event in conjunction with the school’s Space Week.


TREASURER’S REPORT – Bill / N3OH – Bill read the Treasurer’s Report.




OVH’s very own Mark Bronstein / WA4KFZ gave a very interesting presentation on satellite communications.  Mark displayed an HT connected to a handheld 2M/440 antenna, and noted that satellite communications can be accomplished with a minimal amount of equipment.  A satellite is basically just a repeater in space, and several types of communications can be done.  Most of the satellites are “low earth orbit” (LEO) satellites.  They’re about 800 KM up.  Most of the pass times, during which a station on earth can communicate with / through a satellite, are about ten minutes.  The repeaters on the satellites normally run a 2M receiver and a 440 transmitter.  The duel-band setup helps reduce interference between the two radios without the use of filters.  Most satellite receivers run PL tones because they pick up so much background noise.  Transmit power is usually less than a watt, so you need to turn your squelch off.  Mark explained about the Doppler Effect, or frequency shift, that occurs as the satellite passes overhead.  In addition to the 2M/440 satellites, there are also single sideband satellites that that receive a broad receiver signal and then shift it to a broad transmit signal.  This allows for multiple users.  To use a handheld antenna, you just need to know the current time and have a general good sense of direction.  Since the handheld antennas have a fairly broad beam width, you don’t have to be perfect.  Mark recommends using off times as there are so many hams trying to communicate through satellites during peak times.  On a clear night, you can actually see LEO satellites passing overhead, despite the fact that they are quite small.  Many of the Amateur Radio Satellites were launched from old Soviet ICBMs.  There are several websites that provide information on the timing and location of amateur radio satellites.  The “Heavens Above” website is quite popular.  Thank you Mark for your very interesting presentation on Amateur Radio Satellites.




EDUCATION – Brian / WC4J – We have four people in the Technician class, and they will be taking the technician exam following the conclusion of the exam.  Trisha / KI4PCM has been very helpful in putting on the class.  Thank you Brian and Trisha.


Al / KB4BHB suggested that we have another special event next year (2007).  This could commemorate one of the Civil War battles at Manassas, and /or could commemorate the 400th anniversary of Virginia.  Although no official decision / motion was made regarding this potential event at the meeting, the general consensus among those present was that this event would be very appropriate and enjoyable, and this idea will likely be addressed in the near future.


Art / W1CRO noted that we need a Chairman for the 2007 OVH Hamfest.


Brian / WC4J noted that there will be a Skywarn event the first weekend in December.


50/50 – $17 was collected, and Craig / WA3UFY won and donated his winning share back to the Club.  Thank you Craig.


The meeting adjourned at 2041 Eastern time.