Wednesday, August 20th, 7:00 pm
We will have a social gathering on Zoom. VVARA members, watch your email for a link to the meeting.
Knobby Knee Net
Every Morning at 7:00AM
60s Trivia Net
Tuesday Evenings at 6:30PM
Friday Evenings at 6:30PM
Thanks to everybody for another successful and fun Field Day. After a two year hiatus due to a pandemic and forest fires, it was great to see old friends again and meet some new ones.
Special thanks to Gary K9SG for taking on the technical coordinator job this year. Because of the possibility of losing our spot on Mingus Mountain for the second year in a row we put together a Plan B at the Sedona Airport. We could have moved with almost no notice thanks to the very friendly folks at the airport. Gary and Dan K7RUF came up with a couple of antennas that could be set up almost anywhere. Thanks to Carolyn KA7LKW for many years of use of the solar/battery trailer and to Bob KC8BOB for pulling the trailer up the mountain. And thanks to Steve KC7TIL for keeping track of all the radio gear and pop-ups. Thanks to Bob WB6ODR for shooting around 40 arrows into the air over the years so we could have an antenna in the trees.
Of course, a big thanks to Starla KE7DTS for organizing the picnic and the yummy Sloppy Joes and to everyone for bringing food to the picnic on Saturday. Thanks to the radio operators who now hear, "CQ CQ WHISKEY 7 ECHO INDIA FIELD DAY" in their sleep. And to all the folks who came up early Saturday morning to get everything set up and came back Sunday morning to pack it all up.
Some clubs wait until the last minute to plan for Field Day. Our planning for next year starts today. Several people have been doing Field Day with the VVARA for nearly 20 years. Here is a PDF file of stats and notes from Field Day 2020:
Thank you! 73 everybody. Don N7PLL, VVARA President.
Watch this space for more pictures from Field Day 2022.
Our 147.220 MHz repeater on Mingus Mountain is in a temporary location while we move out of the old building into the new one. The other repeaters in that building will be out of service during the move.
For some people the temporary repeater has not changed their signal. Others are having trouble with it. If you are having difficulty getting into the temporary repeater try some of the standard techniques to improve your quality: more watts and different antenna location are good places to start. Or give us a few weeks to get into the new building. You could also give our Squaw Peak repeater a workout. More info here:
Our May meeting was held at the Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church in Clarkdale, Arizona. Special thanks to Toby K7ABP for an interesting presentation on "Providing sound and multimedia at large venues around the world."
A $1,400 per year new fee is being proposed for each communications site on National Forest land. The VVARA has two repeater sites which will cost the club $2,800 per year if this goes through. That is practically the entire budget for the club.
The law was passed two years ago to bill users of the forest service land for the expenses of maintaining the leases. Our only chance to change anything is to convince our elected officials that volunteer organizations should be exempt from the fee.
Complaints to the USFS will simply get counted and passed on to the Department of Agriculture and they will only do what Congress has told them to do. The comment period for the USFS has ended, but comments to our elected officials have no deadline.
When sending letters use the word volunteers instead of amateurs. Talk about public service and emergency communications. Talk about how many volunteers are involved and the number of hours put in by the various service groups. There are 41 repeater sites and 23,000 radio operators just in Arizona that could be impacted by this new fee. This is primarily a western states issue so don't expect much help east of New Mexico.
Congress is where we should focus our efforts. And getting our local officials who will be impacted by our loss of service to contact their superiors. In your letters talk about the impactand the solution. The impact is to public service events and emergency communications if repeater sites are removed from USFS land and the cost of replacing those services. The solution is to exempt volunteer organizations from the fee.