Field Day! Is it a contest, a way to check your emergency equipment, or just a social gathering and eating event? Reading some of the social media comments on Facebook yesterday after the conclusion of Field Day, there were different opinions. But I’m glad to say that, after being a part of the WTRA Field Day, it was a mix of all those things! Of course we had the usual “trials and tribulations”, but only a few minutes after the 2 PM start time on Saturday, we were up and running. The plan to run one station and a GOTA station was scrubbed after the long wire antenna for the main station failed to perform as expected. We ended up switching the main station to the vertical antenna which meant no antenna for Dean’s GOTA station! The vertical antenna ended up working OK! Sorry we couldn’t get the GOTA station on the air.
We ended up with 9 operators/loggers during the event and we had 5 members who dropped by to say “hello” and support us. We also had a number of new Hams, as well as perspective Hams who stopped by to view our operations. Using the EOC’s HF radio, we operated from 2 PM Saturday afternoon until 11 PM Saturday evening. Then we resumed operations at 7 AM Sunday morning until 2 PM Sunday afternoon. All total we made 238 contacts under some very noisy conditions, some man made and some atmospheric. We’re not sure but we suspect there were some electrical noises around the EOC area that caused an “S9” noise most of the time. But looking at other comments on social media, the whole country experienced atmospheric noise during the two days that caused less than desirable conditions!
We also had a visit from the Isle of Wight Emergency Coordinator, Will Drewery. He was impressed that we could make contacts with Florida and Mississippi! Thanks to Will for letting us use the IOW EOC. Chris Bruce with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management also stopped by to view our operation. Thanks to both of them for showing interest and stopping by. And thanks to Isle of Wight County for letting us use the EOC. Both gave us some bonus points!
A special thanks to Mark, KQ4ETT (Food), Don, WB4BYR (Publicity) and Dick W4RBH (Safety). Mark provided some great BBQ and “fixin’s” for our dinner Saturday night. Don provided publicity to the local media that got published and got us some bonus points! Dick served as Safety Office which also gave us bonus points.
Our operators/loggers did an outstanding job! It was a learning experience for some who had not participated in a Field Day before. But by 2 PM Sunday afternoon, they were seasoned veterans!! We operated in 1 hour shifts which gave all who wanted operate or log, a chance “at the wheel”.
The following participated as operators/loggers:
KA7HBH, Glen; Mark, KQ4ETT; Dean, WB4GUH; Rob, KJ4HMZ; Robert, KQ4BET; Randy, WB4KZI; John, KA1UGM; Duffie, KM4KBL; and Don, WB4BYR.
Kudos, especially, to the antenna crew who braved the 90 degree temperature and 95% humidity to install the antennas Saturday and take them down Sunday. They’re the “real” workers!! They were: Glen, KA7HBH; Dick, W4RBH; Robert, KQ4BET; Mark, KQ4ETT; Dean, WB4GUH, Don, WB4BYR; John, KA1UGM; and Randy, WB4KZI.
Some of the visitors that stopped by showed an interest in joining the club. Others asked about getting their license and taking a class. That’s something we need to address in the near future.
Sorry that Kurt, KN4SCG, had to miss the Field Day this year. He got stuck in IOWA and know he had rather have been with us. But thanks to him for doing what he could “at a distance” and look forward to having him be a part next year.
All in all, an estimated score for WTRA is about 1126 points! Not bad considering one transmitter and the noise conditions. Probably the best we’ve ever done. The results should be in QST in a couple of months. Again, a big thanks to all who participated and looking forward to Field Day 2024! If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please let me know. Everybody get some rest! I'm taking today off!!!!!
June 26, 2023
Annual Meeting Western Tidewater Radio Association, Inc.
January 9, 2023
President Duffie McLamb-KM4KBL called the meeting to order at 7:09 P.M. January 9, 2023. A sign in sheet was initiated by President McLamb KM4KBL and each member was requested to introduce themselves along with their Federal Communications Commission issued amateur radio call. President Duffie McLamb-KM4KBL advised that the current secretary Peter Horman-KO4ERT had verbally resigned. G. Stewart Tyler-WA4JUO agreed to take the minutes. President McLamb then gave a report on the December 3, 2022 Club Christmas party which was held at the Smithfield Villas Clubhouse.
Richard B. Harrell, Treasurer-W4RBH explained why we do not have the 52 members as some are inactive and/or have an honorary member.
Stewart Tyler-Secretary 2021 explained that minutes were not kept at the January 2022 annual meeting due the lack of a quorum as required by the bylaws; thus, no official actions were taken. The officers for 2022 were chosen at the February 14, 2022 regular meeting.
Richard B. Harrell-Treasurer-W4RBH gave the annual treasurers report for year 2022. A motion to accept the report was made by Dean Madden-WB4GUH. The motion was seconded by Rob Wilson-KJ4HMZ. The motion was approve by a voice vote by all in attendance.
G. Stewart Tyler-WA4JUO made motion that the annual dues be increased to $100.00 per year for each licensees household. The motion died due to a lack of a second.
Glen Little-KA7HBH made a retrospective motion that the annual dues be increased as of January 1, 2023 to $25.00 per licensees household and be prorated for the second half of the year and that the $2.00 imitation fee be eliminated. The motion was seconded by G. Stewart Tyler-WA4JUO. Discussion ensued. Arthur Singleton-KM4EBT called for the question to cut off debate. The vote on the question passed and then the vote on the main motion was taken dues increase. The matter of the dues increase passed on a voice vote of those in attendance.
President Duffie McLamb-KM4KBL was questioned by Jeff Laferty-KE4HUD as to the date of the last review of the bylaws of the Western Tidewater Radio Association, Inc. It appeared it had been over five (5) year; thus, President McLamb appointed a bylaw study committee. Member Jeff Laferty- KE4HUD, Glen Little-KA7HBH, Don Curnutte-WB8SCC along with himself serving as the ex-officio (non-voting) member.
President Duffie McLamb-KM4KBL appointed Kurt Brunner-KN4SJC Chairman of the American Radio Relay Leagues 2023 Field Day June 24th and 25th of 2023.
Richard B. Harrell-Treasurer-W4RBH gave the annual report on the operation of the repeaters. Discussion ensued. No motions were made on the matter. The proposed Western Tidewater Radio Association, Inc proposed budget was presented by the treasures, Richard B. Harrell-W4RBH. Dean Madden WB4GUH made the motion the budget as presented be approved. Gen Little-KA4HBH seconded the motion. The Budget was approved by a voice vote by all in attendance.
Randy Grigg-Vice President-WB4KZI gave his initiative on his proposed programs for the ensuing year. This included ARES activities, programs, net control operators, and field day.
President Duffie McLamb KM4KBL ask for volunteers to run for the authorized officers of the club. President Duffie McLamb offered to serve as the President for the ensuing year, Randy Grigg- WB4KZI volunteered to serve as 1st Vice President for year 2023, Richard B. Harrell volunteered to serve as Treasurer for year 2023 and Kirk Brunner-KNSJC volunteered to serve as Secretary for year 2023. Richard B. Harrell-W4RBH advises the membership he had received permission to place the name of Don Lovett-WB4BYR for 2nd vice president. No other nominations were received. The members at large gave an affirmative vote of approval on the officer for the Western Tidewater Radio Association for year 2023.
Being no further business be for the annual meeting of the Western Tidewater Radio Association, Inc., President Duffie Mclamb-KM4KBL declared the meeting adjourned.
Minutes Recorded by G. Stewart Tyler-WA5JUO Acting Secretary
Tonight at our Annual Business Meeting five officers were elected. They were as follows:
Congratulations to all!
Also, a hardy welcome to three new members who attended our meeting tonight: Jeff Laferty (KE4HUD), Mike Parker (KI4UNP) and Mark Johnson (KQ4ETT). Thanks for joining and looking forward to having you in the Club.
On Saturday December 3rd, members and guests of the Western Tidewater Radio Association gathered for the annual Christmas Party at the Villas of Smithfield clubhouse. Thanks to our president, Duffy McLamb and his wife for organizing the catering from Bubba-n-Frank's BBQ, all the members that brought desserts, and to Ron Harvey and his wife for securing the Villas club house for our gathering.
Don Curnutte, WB8SCG, was awarded the KG4BKI Memorial Ham of the Year Award in recognition of all his work redesigning and transitioning our website to a new service provider.
Have a happy, healthy, and safe Christmas Holiday season and see everyone at the January club meeting.
Minutes Western Tidewater Radio Club
November 14, 2022
The meeting of the Western Tidewater Radio Association, Inc. was called to order by Randy Grigg-WB4ZKI-Vice President at 7: 09 P. M. President Duffie McLamb, Jr.-KM4LBL was absent due to a Work commitment.
G. Stewart Tyler WA4JUO presented the minutes in print from the August 8, 2022 meeting for the Western Tidewater Radio Association, Inc. since the Secretary Peter Horman-KO4ERT was absent. A motion to approve the minutes was offered by Arthur SingletonKM4EBT. Glen Little-KA7HBH offered a second to the motion. The minutes were approved by those in attendance.
Richard Harell-W4RBH-Treasurer presented the financial report for the Western Tidewater Radio Association, Inc. and passed copy around for the attendees to view. John Jacobs-KA1UGM made the motion to accept the treasures report. Rob Wilson KB4HMZ offered a second to the motion. The membership in attendance voted to accept the verbal report after viewing the report as passed around.
Richard Harrell-W4RBH Treasures and a member of the repeater committee offered a report on the operations of the two (2) repeaters. The problem with the hum on the 147.195/147.795 was discussed. It appears the hum is coming from the amplifier. Supposedly the ARES Chair Randy Grigg-WB4KZI is considering requesting the county to purchase a new amp flier for the repeater. Glen Little–KA7HBH noted that the audio on the Echo Link and IRLP need to be adjusted as these modes are experiencing low audio.
Old Business: Randy Grigg-Vice President-WB4KZI announced the annual Christmas Party would be held at the Villas Clubhouse on December 3, 2022 between the hours of 5:0000 P. M. and 8:00 P. M. President Duffie McLamb-KM4KBL and his wife Annette would be hosting the event. Q-Daddy’s is catering and members are requested to bring a side dish.
Richard Harrell-W4RBH-Treasurer announced the W4VX-Chris Hanslit would be giving up the hosting of our web site as of January 1, 2023. Chris and his wife had hosted the web site free since 1997. Don Curnutte-WB8SCG has agreed to assist with the hosting of the web site for the Western Tidewater Radio Association, Inc. Don advised the membership the minimum fee to the provider is approximately $160.00 per year with no email service.
A discussion was held between Richard Harrell-W4RBH-treasurer and Randy Grigg, Vice Pressident-WB4ZKI as to the alternatives to the email server, to no avail.
The members in attendance unanimously approved Don Curnutte as the Web master for the Western Tidewater Radio Association, Inc.
G. Stewart Tyler-WA4JUO made a motion to increase the annual dues of the Tidewater Radio Association, Inc. to $25.00 per year per household. KA7HBH seconded the motion. Discussion ensued until Don Curnette-WB8SCG offered an amendment to defer the dues increase motion to the annual meeting January 9, 2023. The amended motion passed on a divided vote.
Randy Grigg, Vice President-WB4ZKI gave his usual report on the lack of ARES participation and announced that Butch Moore-W4DXZ would be stepping down as Town Of Smithfield ARES representative as of January 1, 2023 due to other commitments. Randy WB4KZI will be looking for a replacement for Butch.
Glen Little-KA7HBH made the motion to adjourn the business meeting of the Western Tide Water Radio Association, Inc. be closed. A second was made by John Jacobs-KA1UGM. On a voice vote approving, the meeting adjourned.
The program was given by Ira & Paula Swartz on the HEART communications centers in Hampton Roads, Virginia on Hampton Roads Hospital Communications during an emergency.
Submitted by G. Stewart Tyler, Acting Secretary
Presentation By Dick Harrell, W4RBH
Dick Harrell, W4RBH, gave a presentation on the “Decommissioning of the ham radio station at the Virginia Air and Space Museum”. More information on the KE4KZW museum station can be found on QRZ as well as a story published by the ARRL when the station was closed.
Proposed Change to the Constitution
At the April 9th club meeting a proposal was introduced and approved by the members present to change what constitutes a quorum under Article IV of our constitution. The proposal would reduce the requirement from 25% to 15% of the voting membership.
Unfortunately we did not have a quorum of 13 members to take the final vote on the proposed change and the issue was tabled until the next club meeting. It is important to attend this meeting in person or send a proxy vote as allowed by Article 7.
Article 7 of the constitution allows any voting member knowingly unable to attend a business meeting due to circumstances beyond his/her control and wishing to vote on issues identified prior to the business meeting may vote on those issues by proxy. The proxy vote must be in writing, signed by the absent voting member, and be presented at the business meeting in a sealed envelope by a voting member present. The issue being voted on shall be identified on the outside of the envelope. A separate envelope is required for each issue being voted on by proxy.
Christmas Party, Saturday, December 3, 2022
A tentative date of Saturday, December 3, 2022 was set for the 2022 Christmas party and planning is underway. Details will be posted as they become available.
We all shared a turn at making contacts and logging. I’m pleased to say we managed to make 153 contacts. 20 meters was difficult Saturday and Sunday. 40 meters was nice Saturday night!
WTRA held the annual Field Day event in Suffolk, VA on June 26 & 27, 2021. The club score for the event was 1,040!
Congratulations to all who participated in this event!
Thanks to Duffie McLamb, KM4KBL, for coordinating this year’s event! And to Stu Tyler, WA4JUO for providing the event location on Wilroy Road!
On June 27 and 28, members of the Western Tidewater Radio Association participated in the annual ARRL Field Day. This year, due to coronavirus restrictions, the ARRL allowed members to operate from home and aggregate scores for a club total. Through the use of N3FJP Field Day Logging software, use of the N3FJP Club Score Processor and some last-minute work by Ron N4TJI, each station was able to upload score updates which were then presented on a webpage (see image). Participating at the Field Day site at the Windsor Police Station were KA7HBH, N4DIR, KK4PVE, KM4EBT, KJ4HMZ, WA4JUO and WB4KZI. Operating from their home stations were W4DXZ, N4KIT, WB4GUH and W4RGN (our CW ace in the hole!).
The club’s total QSO count is 517 with final score to be determined. Many thanks to all for another successful field day!
In late 2019, in light of recent reorganization within the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and development of the ARRL ARES Plan, Virginia Section leadership formed a steering committee to evaluate the ARRL ARES program and recommend changes to the organizational structure for 2020 and beyond. As a result of that work, a number of changes are in process with the Virginia ARES Organization.
One of the concepts within the National Incident Management System (NIMS) is “Span of Control”. This concept dictates that a single person should ideally “manage” from 3 to 7 persons or entities. Virginia ARES was organized as 15 Districts, all reporting to a single Section Emergency Coordinator.
In keeping with span of control principles, Virginia Department of Emergency Management reorganized into five Regions within the state, each with it’s own office and staff. We are in VDEM Region 5, with it’s office in the VDOT building in north Suffolk.
Changes to Virginia ARES
On the recommendation of the ARES steering committee, effective February 1, 2020, Virginia ARES is now defined in five Districts that match up with the VDEM region. We are in District 5 (see the ARES page on this website for a map) which encompasses all of the jurisdictions that touch water between the Carolina line and the Potomac River, plus Southampton County – combining all or parts of old Districts 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10. Last week, a steering committee for the new District 5 met in Hampton and began the process of organizing the new District. Terry Buzzard KA8TNF agreed to be the District Emergency Coordinator (DEC). It was also decided to organize “sub-districts” or “subdivisions” – name yet to be decided – along the lines of the old Districts. The sub-divisions are Rappahannock, First Colony, Eastern Shore, Southern Tidewater and Western Tidewater. The new Western Tidewater sub-division consists of Isle of Wight county, Southampton county, City of Franklin and Surry county, and Randy Grigg WB4KZI will be the ADEC (Assistant District Emergency Coordinator) for our area.
In order for us Emergency Coordinators to maintain an accurate roster and to accurately report Em Comm activity in our jurisdictions, it is vital that volunteers register in the ARES Connect volunteer database. This allows us to be able to present up-to-date rosters of volunteers to our local Emergency Managers which in turn registers you automatically as a RACES service volunteer. If you have not done so already, please go to https://arrl.volunteerhub.com/lp/va to register in ARES Connect and please let me know when you have done so that I can get you properly assigned to our team.
73 for now,
Chris – N4KIT
Emergency Coordinator / Emergency Radio Officer
Isle of Wight County