The first meeting of the 2014-2015 season (It was our annual general meeting.) of the Oakville Amateur Radio Club got underway last night at our new home at Abbey Park High School just off Third Line with 12 hams present.
President Rod, VE3RHF, couldn’t make the meeting so director Todd, VE3LMM chaired the meeting.
We elected a new slate of officers (roles to be determined by them at a later date) including Todd; Rod; Bata, VE3EXW; John, VA3BL; and Peter, VE3HG.
Bata gave us the good news about our financial situation. Thanks to several cost-saving cuts the club is solvent and we can move forward with more meetings (thanks to great rates by the school board) and more projects. Bata has really done a fine job of guiding the club through some difficult times.
Speaking of projects, John, gave us an extensive update on all of the work he’s been doing on the repeater. We now have a D-Star repeater up and running in a test mode in Oakville. Also our MESH network is moving forward and we should have a MESH system very soon available to members. Way to go John.
And more breaking news…as I am typing the new Oakville DStar repeater opened up with John, BL, on his way to work. I heard him on my Icom ID-31a while sitting inside the house and not thinking he’d hear me I returned his call and sure enough we had a great QSO on 442.06250 digital!
John has emailed me to say that the Oakville D-Star repeater has Tait repeater modules with a DStar interface from a dvrptr board from Quebec and the computer is a Raspberry Pi running Freestar software under Linux. (Thus no Icom hardware whatsoever. There has been some controversy in the past about the hardware being proprietary Icom. Obviously those days are over.)
Peter (me) gave a presentation on QRP (OARC QRP Presentation) and the club has decided to build a CRK-10a which is a Chinese designed enhanced RockMite-type of CW transceiver xtal-controlled with a built-in keyer. I’ve got mine running right now and 7030 is alive with signals at 7am (local) with the Wednesday morning CW Operators’ Clubs CWT mini contest. I can hear stations all around the north-east USA using an amplified speaker instead of headphones.
If you want to join the fun building your own 3-watt 40-meter rig that actually works (the direct conversion receiver is super quiet and sensitive and thanks to filter in the circuit more selective than you might expect. The entire rig slips into a provided aluminum case that’s pretty much bullet-proof making the CRK-10a perfect for portable or vacation use.) and you can carry in a shirt pocket please let me (Peter, VE3HG…firstname.lastname@example.org) know and I’ll add your name to the list. The cost of the rig is $55 (US) plus shipping (likely around $10). I’ll order the kits in a few weeks and we can pick a Saturday to assemble the kits at my Oakville QTH at a date to be determined.
This is a members-only project so if you wish to join in the fun membership is $25 per year ($30 for families) and we think we’re going to have a PayPal button working here on VE3HB very soon.
All in all it seems that this season of Amateur Radio in Oakville is going to be a lot of fun.