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AARA September Newsletter

The September 2020 AARA Newsletter

The Aroostook Amateur Radio Association August 30, 2020

The Aroostook Amateur Radio Association
Virtual Club Meeting (via Zoom)June04, 2020:
Dave Deschesne; not present – Seth Thomas covering minutes

Meeting called to Order @ 18:37 Eastern Daylight Time
Virtual Meeting Attendance (via Adobe Connect):

  Name Callsign Notes
01 James Jalbert KC1ECV  
02 Roy Woods KB1WGN  
03 Sam Barrett W5KF Joined @ 18:55 local time.
04 Bill Johnson K1WLJ  
05 David Berry KV1S Joined @ 18:44 local time. 
06 Seth Thomas KC1MTT  
07 John Hotelling KC1DRW Joined @ 19:00 local time. 
08 Mike Lawler K0LDO  
09 Lee Reynolds KD1SQ His email is:
10 Steve Vance W1SPV  
11 Alan Mulherin KR0ZAL  
12 Sonny Packard K1VOR  


James made normal introductions and opened the table for introductions by various members. 

Treasurer’s Report (James for Steve):  No major activity.  Beginning balance was $4,944.35plus earned interest of $0.21.  Ending balance $4,944.56
[Roy made motion; Steve seconded – all accepted unanimously]

Secretary’s Report (Prepared by Seth in Dave’s sted and emailed out by Steve): James asked for any comments.  No comments.  Motion to accept as presented.
[Bill made motion; Roy seconded – all accepted unanimously]

EMCOMM/ARES Report (Roy): No new developments.  Has made general checks on the team via email, radio, and calls.  Folks are getting anxious to get back out there.  Next large thing is to get the repeater moved to the NWS. 

Safety Officer (Tammy not present): Report sent to James.  Still tracking information on the interference.  James noted that if you hear the interference or similar noise please pass along info to Tammy, Roy, or James – this is still being tracked.

Public Information (Dina):  Not present/no information.  James noted that Dina and Colin have moved away.  See new business later in meeting minutes. 


Field day will be the main focus along with some other matters to review and address.

Repeater lease
still on hold until moved up to the weather service. No change.  Will address upon move.  Roy noted that Have new antennas, mounts, etc.  It should not take long to do. James is available to assist around the end of June into early July.   Once the antenna is up; Roy would like to perhaps use the spare repeater and spool that up to make sure that we do not lose ground with the new location.  Does not want to lose the link to Mars Hill for instance.

Insurance Agent Meeting: Reminder that any of the members come up with any additional questions, etc. at this point.  Still none received.  Please send to Roy/James via email for the meeting. 


James received and email from Dina Harding and she will no longer be able to perform the PIO duties.  She and Colin have both moved away.  Both Dina and the nominating committee agreed, and they are putting out Seth Thomas as nomination.  James is also of course, open to taking others as well for this position that may be interested, or other suggestions.  None made at this time. 

[Roy made motion; Bill seconded – vote passed unanimously from those in attendance for Seth to take over as PIO for the remainder of the current term.]

HAM Radio Training and Testing: Reminder that this event at Ft. Kent is still in play and working to also open up for those wishing to step-up in licensing level for the testing session. 

This would be a technician level class @ North Lakes Fire in Madawaska Lake, and after the class there would be a testing session afterward. 

  • License testing will be for any level. 
  • June 20th is the date for the class and testing; likely from 08:00 – 16:00 (all day)
  • Testing will start @ 16:00 and be completed around 17:00
  • North Lakes fire is providing the facility, lunch, etc.  Might be nice to do an appreciation of some type for them. 
    • This is the weekend before field day. 
  • James plans on attending to represent AARA as well for the entire session. 

On a related matter, Aroostook County EMS would be interested in helping to sponsor; would like to have a class in Houlton as part of this sponsorship. 

Field Day: (Moving to New Business section per James; Jim not present.).  June 27th-28th.  We know this will look very different this year.  In the past, we always have gotten together using the club’s call-sign and send in things from there.  The rules have changed with COVID-19; how do we move forward for handling this?  There have been several suggestions; smaller groups, individually, as a group (up to 50). 

Darren suggested that and important matter to consider is that if there is an outbreak in Aroostook County – if tied to AARA (even if the likelihood is low) do we want to risk that kind of publicity. 

We could pick a time and do this from home; doing this individually.  The AARL is changing rules for this year and a CLASS D station can contact anyone and count those.  However, this would also mean that we can use individual call-sign; but they will count both individually and for the club as a total.  (Current understanding)

Dave suggested that we could do a mass event; socially distanced – however power, antennas, etc. could be an issue. 

James suggested we could do it at home and have Zoom in the background along with our 2M on the repeaters. 

Additionally, and as somewhat of a side note; Steve brought up that it would be good to have Zoom in the fall, etc. for anyone that can’t make the meeting.  He will also investigate if the Library has this and could share using the Tandberg system and Room Connect. 

[Roy made motion for club to purchase/provide one month of Zoom for now; Bill seconded – vote passed unanimously from those in attendance.]

This year this will likely be no effort or pull to get the public involved based on the situation with COVID-19.

Mike suggested that since we are adopting Zoom; why couldn’t the club reach out to media broadly to offer as an adjunct to field day to have them watch what is going on and report on it; with WAGM-TV perhaps even a virtual interview.  (Seth as the new PIO could attempt to reach out on this matter; Mike offered to assist and help in providing contacts.)  As part of this event, we could have a secondary session from XX to YY, making sure there is activity going on for the media, assuring good participation and action so we are well represented.  This is TBD based on what can be done in the rather short timeframe. 

Two sets of Zoom (one for social, one for “media”) + a YouTube Feed if possible

  • Promote the media session not just as general HAM radio, but also EMS/Emergency, and Events to drive additional interest. 
  • Use this as a “Big deal” for promotion and all the members. 
  • No minutes or data plan to do this? 😊
  • County Calendar / Press release
  • Make sure that from the past that we do ECOMS for other agencies that ties HAM radio into emergency/ARES/NWS/SKYWARN

**** Seth to develop a press release or the like (to see if Tammy/Dave) could promote in the Fort Fairfield Journal.

[Roy motioned to do an “at home (local) location Zoom/Field Day”; Mike seconded (suggesting multiple hosts; with young people to look at see what is going on; costing the club nothing.).  All present voted unanimously to pass.]

Miscellaneous discussion took place for a bit. 

[John made motion to adjourn; Seth seconded – motion carried.]

Next AARA meeting:
Summer break begins after this meeting.  Our plan is to resume regularly scheduled meetings in September pending any government requirements and constraints.  Updated information will be sent prior to that time.
Contact James if you have any questions –

Coming Events:

Mondays 2000 Aroostook Emergency Net 146.730

September 3rd. AARA meeting

AARA meeting:

The September 3rd meeting is a go at the Knights of Columbus hall on the Washburn Road in Caribou. There was a bit of discussion about the donation, but there have been a few anonymous  contributions, so the donation to the K of C will not cost the club anything. Not sure who, but thank you to these contributors!

For those that are not comfortable, there will be a zoom session for online access. There is no internet at the K of C hall, but I have secured a hotspot to use for this purpose. I will email the link next week.

Also I have had an anonymous donation of items that will be used as door prizes at our meetings over the next few months. so in addition to our 50/50 raffle we will do a second drawing for a door prize. My plan is to put all attendees’ call signs, live or on zoom, in a hat and draw for the door prize. That way all in attendance are eligible.

Hope to see you all next Thursday, for now I think we will forgo a program, but I would still like anyone to step forward with any presentations they may like to do. So far Steve Vance, k1spv, and myself have presentations we will do. Once we can get back in the library, where we have access to a screen and a projector, presentations will start back up.

Thanks everyone, stay safe, health, and see you  Thursday!

Testing over the summer:
Seven new technicians!

Name                      Call Sign
Patrick Aldrich         KC1NHH    
Brian Goff                 KC1NHJ
Stacy Shaw               KC1NHK
Barrett Drost            KC1NHM
John Gibson             KC1NHN
Wade MacFarland   KC1NHI
Lucy Devoe                KC1NHL

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