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AARA September 2018 Newsletter

The September 2018 AARA Newsletter


The Aroostook Amateur Radio Association

                                                   August 29, 2018



AARA  June 7, 2018


David Deschesne KB1EBG

Ivan Shapiro WK1W

Joan Shapiro W9RLH

Bill Johnson KC1WLJ

Tammy Deschesne KB1IGV

Sonny Packard K1VOR

Steve Sandelier N1NXU

Eric Huoppi KB1KMF

Michelle Sandelier XYL

Sam Barrett W5KF

Roy Woods KB1WGN

Steve Vance W1SPV

Tracey Nichols N3POZ

Darius Haskell   WM1F


Call to Order:  18:00


Treasurer’s Report: $4291.08

Secretary’s Report:  motion to approve Tammy Roy second passed unanimous

EMCOM – Had drill May 19 county EOC nine members.  Talked about Madawaska drill.  Had huge turnout for Madawaska – police fire ambulance plus ARES team.  National Wx service is having Skywarn program tonight.  Field Day June 23-24.  Bike Maine Sept. 8-15.  Roy went to St. John Valley club meeting May 26.  Went well, they’re back up and running.  Meeting at 11am on Saturdays.  Next ARES meeting Field Day June 23-24.  Roy volunteered to help set up Field Day schedule so more people will get a chance to work Field Day.

Public Information Officer: Michelle.  Went to publishing Co.  asked for reporter to do public interest story on Field Day, plus regular meeting.  Will have reporter call and talk more about Field Day.  One of things that hasn’t been done is invite public officials.  Working on sending invitations to city, state, federal elected officials.   Should look into having ARES to set up display at Northern Maine Fair.


Future Club Officers:  Sam gave report on how to involve more people in AARA office.  The idea is instead of asking people if they’d be interested, Sam intends to poll each member as to which office they would be interested in serving in.  Thinking of several ways to ask that question – to the point of “physical coercion”.  At some point everyone in the club should expect to be contacted regarding which office they’d be interested in accepting.  Trying to come up with a way to query membership, either via email, phone or in person.  Once we identify the interests we can pair those people up with current or past holders of those respective offices.




Ivan contacted FCC to inquire about our club becoming VEC.  VEC enters into agreement with FCC.  That rep has created a case number.  Ivan received call back.  FCC says they have 14 VECs and don’t need any more.


Darius has been watching minutes.  Said AARA club was noisy environment for testing, so Brandon and Darius have been conducting testing session with Laurel VEC.  Volunteer time so no cost to Laurel so they don’t have to charge.  License is granted same day through Laurel, don’t have to wait two weeks.  Nobody from AARA seemed to be interested in assisting so Brandon and Darius went and did it on their own.  Was asked to provide names and call signs of new licensees.  Darius said not obligated to provide that information, and didn’t feel like anyone from AARA was interested in helping out.  Laurel offers quiet testing environment, and people get their licenses the same day.  Perhaps there’s a way Laurel could integrate with AARA.  License information is publicly available on FCC’s website.  With all of the issues with ARRL, then club should consider using Laurel as VEC.  Laurel is superior to ARRL because it provides free testing and immediate call sign availability.   As a club AARA is supposed to have at least four testing sessions per year and doesn’t always fulfill that.  Trying to make it as easy as possible to get license.


Ivan said there was interest, but he hadn’t been asked to assist recently.  Talking during testing had been an issue in the past, Laurel is right, AARA intends to do that, too, if they resume testing.  AARA has to charge for tests because they go through ARRL which has paid positions, Laurel does not.  As far as integration, Ivan does not know how that works.  AARA can’t get license issued as fast as Laurel because ARRL has limited manpower.


Roy said not impressed with Laurel setup due to ease of license and testing, might make Ham radio turn into CB radio.


Tammy thanked Darius for coming and attempting to explain Laurel position.



Old Business:  Sonny would still like to see club change the time even to 6:30.  Sonny made a motion to move meeting schedule to 6:30 seconded by Roy.  Ivan had asked via email about time change.  Responses seemed to indicate little interest.  Sam asked if there was any data about 6:30 time and what kind of attendance we used to get when meeting at that time.  Darius made a motion to table second by Dave motion passes 5-4.  Ivan to poll membership during club’s summer break.


Roy continuing to sell tickets on ICOM IC-720 HF radio, $10 per ticket.  Radio donated by Jim Cerrato, club receives money.


New Business:  Darius mentioned China has kits for $2.30 for a 40 meter CW transceiver.  Could use as a club project to make club meetings more interesting.  Ivan thinks great idea.  PIO can get this.  Will discuss details with Ivan and Roy outside of club meeting.  Anyone who also wants to work with Darius contact.


Meeting Adjourned:  18:48


Addendum:  Field Day:  Roy says very few club members staying to help out with radios.  This is probably the last year he’s going to work on Field Day if more interest doesn’t develop.  Clubs in Southern Maine considering doing away with Field day due to insurance reasons.  Roy wants to know if our club insurance covers us for members of the public who might get hurt during field day.  Sam said when we had Field Day at UMPI they were happy with our insurance rider.


Yummy refreshments and coffee thanks to Joan the coffee lady.


Presentation by Steve Sandelier N1NXU on how to do Field Day by following the rules.


Respectfully submitted,

David Deschesne, KB1EBG



Coming Events:

Mondays 0830 coffee @ Tim Horton’s in PI

Mondays 2000 Aroostook Emergency Net 146.730

Saturdays Breakfast Tim Horton’s P. I. @ 0830

Thursdays coffee/breakfast at Teresa’s in PI, 8:45

September 3rd at 3:00 PM Corn Roast

September 6th. at 6:00 PM AARA meeting.



AARA meeting:


The upcoming meeting of the AARA will be held Thursday, September 6th.

Time: 6:00 PM (1800 EDT) (22:00m UTC)

Location: Presque Isle Library, 2nd and State Streets, Presque Isle, Maine.

The program will be presented by Sam Barrett, W5KF and will be on his trip through the Panama Canal.


Corn Roast:


As you know our annual corn roast is just one week away (labor day)

In order for the club to purchase sufficient number of ears of corn, a “HEAD COUNT” would be helpful.


While NOT binding please email to me with:

The number of persons with whom you will attend. Obviously this could change.


Please recall that you should bring your place settings with utensils, your beverage(s), a covered dish to pass.
The event will start around 3 PM at the picnic shelter and barbecue pit at my qth:

101 Presque Isle Rd (that is Maine State Route 167) Fort Fairfield, Maine. Phone 476-0000

Ivan, WK1W


As usual, refreshments will be served at the meeting.
As always, the public is invited.


From AARA member Mike Lawler, KØLDO:


(In part)


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) FY 2019 budget request includes shutting down “NIST radio stations in Colorado and Hawaii” — in other words, WWV and WWVH. Radio amateurs, HF listeners, and others around the world routinely make use of the time and frequency standard signals, which also include propagation information. NIST said eliminating funding currently “supporting fundamental measurement dissemination” would include putting WWV and WWVH off the air for a saving of $6.3 million. The NIST FY 2019 budget request for efforts related to Fundamental Measurement, Quantum Science and Measurement Dissemination is $127 million, which, the agency said, is a net decrease of $49 million from FY 2018 levels. The Administration’s overall NIST budget request is more than $629 million.

“The proposed reductions will allow NIST to consolidate and focus on narrower core [fundamental] measurement programs while meeting budget levels,” the agency said in its FY 2019 budget summary. “NIST will focus on basic research while reducing funding for efforts applying some of its breakthroughs into new measurement applications.

The FY 2019 proposed budget cuts developed earlier this year came to light via Tom Witherspoon, K4SWL, who maintains The SWLing Post website, after a number of viewers called it to his attention. He posted an article on his blog.

“I’ve always considered WWV and WWVH to be the heartbeat of the shortwaves here in North America — a constant, timely companion and brilliant gauge of HF propagation,” Witherspoon wrote. I assumed both stations would be some of the last to go silent on the shortwaves.”


For Sale:


Sam Barrett W5KF has his tower for sale.  It is a motorized crank-up US Tower HDX55.

Cranks to 55′.  Lays down horizontally.

Contact Sam at for details


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