Robert Molleda
Robert Molleda

Guest Speaker Robert Molleda on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024

Our favorite meteorologist at the NWS in Miami, Robert Molleda, will speak this February 27 about Space Weather and its effects on communications.

We should find this talk very interesting and hope to see everyone there on Zoom.

Melanie Fernandez is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Space Weather

Feb 27, 2024 Zoom Room open at 06:30 PM, meeting starts at 7:30PM

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Jan 23, 2024. Joe McGee on Winter Field Day 2024

Feb 27, 2024 Robert Molleda, NWS, on Space Weather

March 26, 2024 Robert Molleda, NWS Hurricane Prep

April 23. 2024 Jeff Stahl K4BH, Digital Mode

May 28, 2024 Rick Rosen K1DS, Satellite Communications

June 25, 2024 Dave Howard, Candidate for Sheriff Broward County

July 23, 2024 TBA

Aug 27, 2024 TBA

Sept 24, 2024 TBA

Oct 22, 2024 TBA

Nov 26, 2024 Elections, TBA Speaker

Many of you do not know what goes on in planning a Field Day so I thought I would review some of the processes of this past Winter Field Day.

When someone volunteers to head up the committee, in this case Joe McGee NX4T, they map out what they would like to see happen. Joe wanted to see as many different hams as well as club members attend the Field Day and have a good experience. He first thought of how to bring that about and came up with an idea to reach out by Post Cards to hams all over the Broward County area. Normally we had only used the emails we have in our database in the past. The Board agreed to support the project and Joe went to work designing the post cards with the help of Tom Savoca K9TJS, our PIO and webmaster over the December break period. After the design was complete it was sent off to the printer and when they were received by Joe, he went busily to work hand addressing the Post cards using the info from the FCC database for all the general and extra license holders in Broward County. He addressed some 400 cards and since he had not included call signs on them and the general thought was that it would be a better way to bring attention to the cards, a great friend to the club and most gregarious member, Aurora Figueiredo WD4AGF, then took the cards and added all of the call signs to them and sorted them by zip code for easy mailing. I then took all to the post office and put them in the mail.

Of course, although the hopes were that people would RSVP for food prep purposes, we did not get any and thought perhaps the Post cards may not yield any results. On WFD, we found that we got a 3% response in attendees and the visiting hams were delighted to be invited and meet our worker bees for the club. Some had issues with their antennas and other things in their shack but they were introduced to Jeff Stahl K4BH, Ricky Eaton KD4HGR, Tom McClain N3HPR, and Joe McGee NX4T to discuss the issues and get better ideas and the promise of future help with the problems.

It was wonderful to have satisfied people in our midst and we felt the Post Card effort was not in vain.

Joe McGee NX4T also felt that it was of the utmost importance for all visiting hams get a chance on the air during a Field Day so Joe again enlisted the able aid of Tom Savoca K9TJS to write a program where people could register for a time slot on the air of their choosing in half hour increments. This would, one, insure everyone got a chance to get on the air when convenient for them and two, the radio would be busy all day and night long. Thanks to these two gentlemen, who worked all through the Christmas holidays on the program project, its objective was met. Someone was on the radio at all times supporting the club by operating. We had over 15 different operators as opposed to the usual 3 or 5 we normally had on the radio. Some were first time operators and were given a chance to get their feet wet on the air. The GCARA Board were all happy with the result of the efforts of Joe and Tom and the support staff at the WFD. It was a first and it won’t be the last!

Now, if this intrigues you, we would like to invite your participation in the summer ARRL FIELD DAY. With the new ideas Joe spawned for inviting and operating, we managed to gather 54 visitors, all of whom were treated to a good time. The opportunities to shine are endless and Joe has more fun up his sleeve for the summer, as a consultant, to the contest. I admire his enthusiasm and genuine desire to mentor hams. He works with many newbies or shut ins who need help with equipment or whatever. He is one of the most socially active hams among us and I am so pleased he serves as a director in the club. I am also pleased with the hard work and creative designs of Tom Savoca KJ9TJS who saw these 2 involved projects through all of the time constraints and effort it took with such positive feedback and energy. Gentlemen, GCARA thanks you.

……….and that’s the rest of the story!

Submitted by Melanie Fernandez KJ4VCT

Robert Molleda
Robert Molleda

Our March meeting will again be presented by Robert Molleda of the NWS in Miami, this time on the Hurricane Season and storm preparedness. We invite all hams to come and learn about this season’s forecasts and how we can protect ourselves and others for it. We would greatly appreciate seeing many volunteers gear up to man the shelters this year. It is a great way to use your amateur RADIO license. See you there!

Topic: GCARA GENERAL MEETING
Time: Mar 26, 2024 06:30 PM

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Zz09
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Saturday morning ” ham” breakfast.

From 7 to 9 AM interested Hams meet since 1994 at JJs Cafe for breakfast.

Everyone is welcome to join.

JJs Cafe
6051 NW 31st Ave,
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
http://jjcafefood.com/

First let me say a little about myself. I am a US Army Veteran and my job was a Field Radio repairman from 1980-1984 active duty so I have quite a bit of knowledge. But I don’t know everything and still learning to this day and second I want to say thank you to Radioddity for allowing me to give my thoughts to this radio which is the Radioddity QT-40.

It’s a great 10m radio right out of the box but with a couple of quick mods which is very simple and you have a great CB rig as well as it will cover all the 10 / 11 and 12 meters as well. You must Also use the software to complete this mod by using the drop down box and changing it to CB mode to complete the expanded TX RX frequencies. So instead of buying a plane old CB rig why not give this radio a chance as you get basically 3 band and full output power on all 3 bands.

It does SSB / AM / FM. It has a programable Roger Beep and Echo built in ( not allowed on ham bands ) and can be setup to the way you want.

There are several different roger beeps to choose from and there is several different delays in the each settings as well.

Also in the software for this rig is a setting to turn as a SWR meter which shows up in the channel selector. So say your SWR is 1.6 when you key the rig the channel leaves and it will display 1.6 instead of the channel you were on.

It has a high and low switch on the rig which is High band and Low band and a knob that goes from A-F giving you 40 channels on each plus the high and low for a total of 480 channels.

Also if you set up the Fine tune knob in the software you get the alpha channels on 11 meters and you miss nothing.

This control can be set in the software to what you want it defaults to 0.05 if I remember correctly.

If you hold down both the up and down buttons on the microphone then you channel display shows the Frequency read out 2 digits at a time.

If you hold down the UP button on the microphone while turning on the power it gets you into the radio menu so you can turn things on and off such as the channel beep and the echo on or off as well as the Roger beep.

I found the manual to be incorrect in this as it does not state the radio needs to be off. I would have liked a full digital display read out for this part. I think it would look better.

This is a nicely built unit and I really love it. I’m going to be taking this out and really give it a great run and testing.

I can honestly say that this rig is a very nice radio with the old style look of the old Dynascan Corp. / Cobra 138XLR or 148XLR type radios.

I love the look and I’m still learn all the functions of this radio.

If you want a good strong CB then this is the radio for you as it covers 40 channels below CH 1 and 1-40 regular and CH 41-85 in all modes and all power.

I almost forgot it also has the weather channels built into it as well which you truck drivers and others may find very useful.

It’s a lot cheaper than some of your other 10m rigs but you can’t go wrong at the price of $199.99 currently $174.99 and if you sign up for their email you get another $10 off.

I want to suggest that you give this great little rig a chance and I think you will be pleased with what it can do.

Rick Eaton KD4HGR – Trustee of the W4BUG repeaters and the Gold Coast Radio Club

73 and happy DX’ing

Out of respect for AL and Anna Jean Karden’s service to GCARA, I would like to invite you to make a donation for a Brick at ARRL for Anna Jean Karden N4KAJ. This can be done at the Parrot website, parrotarc.org and make a donation. Donations will automatically stop once the funds goal has been met so this is a great opportunity to show respect for one of our beloved SK.

Anna Jean was a supportive wife to Al Karden N4ALK, who helps with VE testing for our club and others. Although Anna Jean’s health prevented her from being present at our functions, she was with us in spirit as she supported Al who has steadfastly supported our club. Rest in Peace, Anna Jean, and we miss your sweetness in our lives. Thank you for your contributions asap.

Submitted by Melanie Fernandez KJ4VCT, President GCARA

More info: https://www.w4bug.org/news-articles/special-request-for-a-beloved-member/

S.3690, also known as the Amateur Radio Emergency Preparedness Act, is a bill introduced in the United States Senate on January 30, 2024. It aims to prohibit certain private land use restrictions that hinder the installation and operation of amateur radio antennas.

Here’s a breakdown of the key points:

Purpose:

To allow amateur radio operators to install and maintain effective outdoor antennas on their property without unreasonable restrictions from private entities like homeowners’ associations (HOAs).
This aims to improve emergency communication capabilities and promote the public benefits of amateur radio.

Key provisions:

The bill prohibits restrictions requiring prior approval for antenna installation if the requirement wasn’t present when the property was purchased or leased.
It also prohibits excessive information requirements in applications for antenna approval compared to similar applications.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) would be directed to establish reasonable guidelines for antenna placement and aesthetics, balancing the needs of amateur radio operators with community concerns.

Arguments for the bill:

Proponents argue that unreasonable restrictions from HOAs and other private entities can significantly hinder the ability of amateur radio operators to effectively communicate, especially during emergencies.
They emphasize the critical role amateur radio plays in disaster relief, public service events, and scientific research, and that effective antennas are essential for these functions.

Arguments against the bill:

Opponents raise concerns about potential aesthetic issues with large antennas in residential neighborhoods.
They also express worries about the potential impact on property values and the lack of local control over antenna placement decisions.

Current status:

The bill is currently in the introduced stage and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
It’s too early to predict its chances of being passed into law.

It’s important to note that this is a complex issue with valid arguments on both sides. The ongoing debate considers the balance between individual rights, public interest, and community concerns.

NO RSVP is Needed!

You do not have to be a member or a ham operator to join our monthly club dinner!

Check back for any updated news regarding DINNER!

If you have any questions about ham radio operator, any of the activities we do or our involvement in the community please come and ask!

Location:
Wings Plus
9880 W Sample Rd
Coral Springs, FL 33065

NOTE: Meeting minutes are posted online as a draft for review until approved at the following meeting. Corrections can be sent to the Secretary, currently rickiwitte4@gmail.com.

General-Meeting-minutes-2024-01-23


CQ, CQ, CQ, Calling Field Day……….

GCARA-Winter field-day


Once again, GCARA, has experienced another successful Winter Field Day. Many of our experienced hams as well as quite a few untried hands, came together to make a memorable and meaningful event. We came, we pitched in and we communicated on all bands as if performing a symphony for our loyal audience. Technical genius of Joe McGee NX4T was evident once again as the Field Day Chairman for this Winter Field Day event. He worked closely with our technical crew consisting of Ricky Eaton KD4HGR, Dan Vasilca AI4WW, and Jeff Stahl K4BH, who together, pooled equipment, solved “problems” and prepared for the contest in gentlemanly and sportsman-like ways. Their desire for a meaningful and educational event for the club propelled their efforts most amicably.

Of course, as with every endeavor for Field Day, there are many moving parts that need to be recognized and appreciated as each come together to make a worthwhile endeavor. I wish to thank our PIO team of Tom Savoca K9TJS and Carol Sjursen KJ4AWB, who worked tirelessly promoting the information to the public and worked on forms for the event and generally kept us in the feed on social media. They were outstanding hosts and hostesses along with Aurora Figueiredo WD4AGF, who met and spoke with every visitor to our function and made favorable impressions on all whom they met.

Thank you to all of the families who supported their loved ones by coming to the event and checking it out and breaking bread with us. Rosemarie Basting, Jean Marie Basting, Kathy Echavarria, and Aurora’s two beautiful daughters, Marina and Claudia, were amongst the attendees. It was nice to see my old friend John Sharp K2SHA visit us with the regards of his beautiful wife, Denise, K4MME, who was incapacitated and could not attend but sent her well wishes anyway. Dave Crane K4RU came and helped us out as he has done for so many loyal years of membership. We are forever in his debt, for all of his services to the club throughout the years.

Our esteemed Treasurer, Dirk Basting N4AN, stayed with us for the two day event, busily greeting people and collecting dues and monies for food donations, and was so helpful in so many ways with his positive attitude and generous nature. Thank you, Dirk, for your active participation in this weekend event.

What is an event without food? GCARA will never know that problem with the consistent help of Gerald Deitch W4LST, current Parrot Club President, who assisted this President in shopping for and transporting the goodies for this WFD. Gerry has helped me for many consecutive years in procuring food for our events and I am forever grateful for his most needed help. He, along with Kenny Hollenbeck KE4NC, helps store our coolers, grill and supplies and helps haul them to and from the events unbegrudgingly. We (or I) would be lost without the help of these two men each event. They are a couple of my favorite heros.

Another one of my favorite heros is the personable Mike Wolf KD4OVP who contributes to many activities for the club. He not only serves as a great ambassador for hams on the Southeast Traffic Net at 6 pm M-F, he always volunteers to prepare the hot food that keeps us going at picnics and Field Days. We could not get along without the delicious preparations and the delightful banter coming from Mike while he is cooking. Mike has long exhibited generosity for the club and he also shares in the care of Hope Smith WB3ANE, with many operating Field Trips to the parks, transportation to our social events and dinners and various technical help when she needs it. I call him our “Ham Angel”.

A very sweet contribution to the food menu was made by newcomer Sandy McClain N3LKW who presented us with several dozen delicious cupcakes and a banana bread loaf for breakfast which had already been quality control checked by her devoted husband, Dr Tom McClain N3HPR. Dr. Tom helped us entertain the guests and answered the many technical questions of visitors and helped provide the “friendly ham face” to the visiting public. Thank you, Sandy and Tom, for your contributions to the WFD.

Newcomer to Field Day Preparations, David Warner KB4ICU, showed his willingness to put muscle into the shopping and showed a great propensity for being able to pack a lot of goods into small spaces most efficiently. David, a veritable host of talents, proved to be quite helpful to our team.
Carol Sjursen KJ4AWB, along with Aurora Fiegueirdo WD4AGF, and Alan Lisler NT4AL, prepared and served the Brazilian Bar-B-Q for the dinnertime hour. It was a delicious repast and received many compliments from those who partook of it, including myself and Hope Smith WB3ANE, who had to take ours to go. Hope turns into a pumpkin if not back at her ALF before 8 pm and we were on our way in the early evening to do just that. The club always loves to see Hope and her positive ham attitude as she makes contacts and keeps us company during the long days of contesting. She is such a gem and a wealth of information to us all.

It’s amazing to me to see the love and support of other hams, like Ben Echavarria N#7BBE, who helps keep us safe, and Half Moon DJ4JG, whose “It’s another day in Paradise” attitude lifts us with his participation each and every time. He brought a loop antenna to show and tell and with Kenny Hollenbeck’s vintage radio gear and Ben’s equipment, it made for an interesting display for all hams and visitors to view and admire. We certainly learned a lot, gentlemen, and we thank each of you.

On a grateful note, I must call attention to the wholehearted efforts of Bill Mercer KE8TPU, who has in the last two years provided the transport of Jeff’s equipment to Field Day in his big, gorgeous, red truck. He not only was willing to do that, but he stood ready to assist in any way he could with equipment, or chores or what have you that needed to be done. What a positive and generous guy he is. He was a big help, and he was ready to help mitigate situations that popped up if need be. Thank you, Bill. You are a treasure.

Where would an emergency drill be without the appropriate power for our stations? That duty has fallen to our very engaged Jesse Shannon KJ4FKK, who not only stores and maintains our club generator, buys and brings gasoline to operate it and a fire extinguisher, but takes it back and forth to all of the events it is needed for. Thank you, Jesse, for all of your involvement and care for the club. I am especially grateful for your service, knowing the many obligations you have in life. Thank you for giving your all to us. We appreciate it.

Once again, I want to thank EVERYONE who attended WFD or helped, or just added to the joy and camaraderie. All of you are special to me and the club and without your support, there would be no club. Many hands make light work and our members know how to show their talents. I want to thank the Board for approving all of the plans and helping in any way they could. Your support was key to the success of this and every event. I feel so blessed to know every one of you.

QSL, and 73,
Melanie Fernandez KJ4VCT

Winter Field Day (WFD) is a significant event in the amateur radio community, designed to promote emergency communications preparedness and foster camaraderie among amateur radio operators.

Here’s a brief overview of Winter Field Day in the context of the amateur radio community:

  1. Purpose and Scope: Winter Field Day is a 24-hour communications exercise held on the last full weekend in January. It encourages amateur radio operators to practice portable emergency communications in winter environments, emphasizing the unique operational concerns presented by freezing temperatures, snow, ice, and other hazards .
  2. Participation: WFD is open to participants worldwide, and individuals, as well as clubs, are encouraged to get involved. Participants have the flexibility to operate from the comfort of their homes or in remote locations, allowing for both group and solo operations .
  3. Operating Frequencies and Modes: Amateur radio operators may use frequencies on the HF, VHF, or UHF bands and are free to use any mode that can faithfully transmit the required exchange intact. All bands are available for use, except for 12, 17, 30, and 60 meters, which prohibit contesting. Additionally, all modes, including CW and SSB, are available for use during Winter Field
  4. Bonus Points and Activities: Similar to the ARRL Field Day, bonus points are earned in several ways, including using non-commercial power sources, operating from remote locations, making satellite contacts, and more. The event encourages a range of activities that promote emergency preparedness and technical skills within the amateur radio community .
  5. Community Engagement: Winter Field Day provides an opportunity for amateur radio operators to come together, demonstrate their skills, and engage with the public. It serves as a platform for showcasing the science, skill, and service aspects of ham radio to the broader community .

In summary, Winter Field Day is an annual event that promotes emergency communications preparedness, technical skills, and community engagement within the amateur radio community. It encourages operators to practice portable communications in winter conditions and offers a platform for demonstrating the value of amateur radio in emergency situations.

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