March 2019 General Meeting

Minutes PART Meeting March 19, 2019
Cameron Senior Center, Westford, MA
7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Officers Present:
Andy, KB1OIQ, Pres
George, K1IG, VP
Alan, W1AHM, Treasurer
Chauncey, K1OPE, Secretary
Bob, W1IS, Director at Large
Attendees:  41

KB1OIQ opened the meeting with a round of introductions.
We welcomed two new prospective members:  Paul, KC1LDV and Matt, N1ZYY.

Announcements
  1. Hugh, N1QGE, Membership, thanked everyone for their Food Pantry donations.
  2. Alan, W1AHM, gave the Treasurer’s Report:
    1. Latest member count is 64;
    2. Balance in the cash account as of Feb 19 is $12,459 of which $6,138 is in the Repeater Fund.
  3. Steve, W1KBE, provided the travails of the kit building event.  They are having difficulty obtaining the key component from a QST author.  This is a custom built circuit board that interconnects a couple of other boards.  Stay tuned.
  4. Terry, KA8SCP, asked for volunteers to help with the Westford Apple Blossom Parade on May 18th.  This is a short public service event which is great to get exposed to public service.
  5. A couple of books including a 2019 Handbook (donated by Tom Walsh, K1TW) and some other items found new homes.

Our first speaker for the evening was Tom Walsh, K1TW, Eastern MA Section Manager.
He described his responsibilities as one of the 71 Section Managers in the 15 divisions.
Tom is elected for a two year unpaid term.   He manages a field organization consisting of the following volunteers:
ARES
Emergency Coordinators
Club Coordinators
National Traffic Coordinators
Technical Coordinators
Legislative Liaisons
Volunteer Monitoring program (replaces the Official Observer program).
He publishes the monthly Section News, and updates us on the Section’s accomplishments.
Tom wants to make ham radio more fun.
There is lots of good information on the Section’s website - ema.arrl.org - such as a Field Day locations map.
The Section also maintains a Facebook presence.
Tom emphasized the activity of the National Traffic System.  This provides the training to pass information in a crisis.  This was shown in the recent Puerto Rico disaster.
He congratulated PART for being a Special Services Club.
Tom reminisced on past editorials from QST; mentioned the World Amateur Radio Day; informed us the Boxboro convention is being rebranded as the Northeast Ham Xposition in order to widen its reach.  This event will take place annually, and for this year runs September 6-8, 2019.  The website (hamxposition.org) is now live and accepting volunteers and speakers.
ARRL has put out its first edition of a podcast called SoNowWhat? Aimed at newbies.

George, K1IG, our second speaker, spoke about preparations for the June 22-23 Field Day at the Concord Rod and Gun Club.
There are no change in the rules, however, we can count one of the stations as a free station and be classified as 4A.
Station chiefs:
               CW – Bob, W1IS
               Phone – George, K1IG
               Digital – Rich, AB1HD
               VHF – Allison, KB1GMX
               GOTA – Andy, KB1OIQ
There will be FT8 training at the May meeting.
FT8 has been modified to include the Field Day exchange.
Antenna setup will be Friday afternoon.

Welcome to Spring, and hope to see everyone again next month.
73
Chauncey, K1OPE