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Minutes from the February 2007 meeting

The club held its luncheon at the Holiday Inn in Nashua on February 24th with over two dozen members showing up. The meeting was held in the "bar" section of the Inn, which was very nice, however, future meetings will be reserved in the 'open' area. Mary, the lady who runs the bar, informed me we will have what we desire with a little pre-notice. I promised her I would.

The following members checked into the meeting:



CLUB COFFEE CUP: It was discussed and eventually voted upon that a new NE QRP Club coffee mug will be ordered. The color will be white and is larger than the previous cup. This cup will hold 14 ounces and is called the "Bistro." Stay tuned for ordering info and locations where it can be purchased. The approximate cost will be between $5 to $5.50. Postage will depend on final destination.

LOBSTERCON: The New England QRP is not affiliated with Lobstercon, inasmuch, our club does not offer financial backing or logistical support. W1REX - Rex Harper is the contact person for entrance fees and overnight camping, as well as eating accommodations. A large number of membership have been, and will continue, to visit Brunswick, Maine for the fun weekend and this year's blow out is scheduled for July 13, 14, and 15. Check W1REX - Rex's website for final details.

FCC NO-CODE: A general discussion concerning the new no-code issued by the FCC has left a lot of people with their heads wondering. A final conclusion was that there STILL will be high interest in CW and that our club offers an outlet for those who wish to operate and build their equipment. Building gear appears the be the focal point of everyone's interest. "THE EXCITEMENT IS BUILDING...."

HOSS'TRADERS: With the advent of not having an outlet, such as Hoss'Traders, it was felt that a lot more can be accomplished by attending "other" local hamfest and operating a club table. It was felt that selling our club kits (i.e. SCAF filter), badges, coffee cups, et al, would be just as frugal than attempting to reinvent another Hoss'Traders. With the warmer weather coming, more local hamfest-flea markets will be available. We will "rent" a table and be visible.

FINANCIAL REPORT: The state-of-the-club financial report was given by Jim Fitton - W1FMR. Jim's information was relayed from Paul Kranz W1CFI the club's treasurer who is in Oregon at the moment. Jim said that the club is in very good standings and that we are able to continue to fund SCAF filter, the coffee cups, and future projects without dipping into our CDs.

QRP Quarterly Magazine: Bruce Beford N1RX brought a copy of the latest QRP Quarterly Magazine from QRP-ARCI that included an article about the October New England QRP Club meeting. A good write-up of our last luncheon in Nashua was given, as well as description of the NEScaf project, and the address for the newly revitalized web page

CW FOREVER PINS: Bruce N1RX also brought a supply of small engraved badges that said "CW Forever," both with and without the ARRL logo. The badges can be pinned onto your shirt or jacket easily. He bought these in bulk and was offering them at cost for the membership who wanted to show their support for the 'original digital mode.'

FUTURE KITS/PROJECTS: Possible future projects for the club were discussed with a variety of input. Greg O'Brien NE1OB had suggested the possibility of the club looking into re-kitting the Antenna Analyzer designed by VK5JST. This project has been available through an Australian group which is the "South Coast Amateur Radio Club." Inquiries have been made about the possibility for a domestic USA kitting-run. Some discussion focusing on the pros and cons of this took place. Greg has purchased a kit from the SCARC and Bruce N1RX is building one as well. A future report on its performance characteristics will be forthcoming.

LED ZERO-BEAT INDICATOR: Bruce Beford N1RX demonstrated his latest prototype LED CW tuning indicator. The indicator was built on a PC board the size of, and powered by, a 9 volt standard battery. This latest version uses an electret condenser mic to pick up received audio directly from the radio's speaker! Truly wireless! The indicator also has an auto-power off function to increase the longevity of the 9 volt battery which is an exceptional feature. The Zero-Beat indicator could also be hard-wired through a headphone jack, if desired, to have instant results by the user. Bruce will keep us updated on the development of this very handy station accessory.

ATLANTICON - TIMONIUM, MARYLAND: A number of NEQRP members will be making the trek to Maryland for Atlanticon at the end of March. I am sure we will get detailed reports back on the activities at this annual QRP forum. Stay tuned for further bulletins as they are issued!

FIELD DAY 2007: A Field Day site has been acquired at the QTH of Stew Jackson - K1YET. Stew lives in Hollis, NH and has offered his backyard to set up and operate 3 to 4 stations easily. He mentioned that it would be okay to drive across his lawn, up the hill, etc., to get to the top of the orchard. More details will be coming forth plus a "walk around" of the site when the snow is gone and the earth is firm. Is there someone who would like to be this year's FD Captain? Otherwise, it will be a location where we can take turns helping out and operating. More info to follow.


Thanks for the thorough report Dennis!

Two more items, and one correction:

NEScaf: It was decided to purchase the parts needed to complete the kitting of the 100 or so remaining NEScaf PC boards. A kitting party will be held sometime in the next few weeks, and the NEScafs will again be offered for sale.

Future Kits/Projects: Correction- The VK5JST Antenna Analyser kit I am building actually belongs to Greg. I ordered a bare board myself, rather than a full kit. I wanted to check the quality of the board, and I don't know when/if I will get around to ordering the parts for that one.

Zero Beat: Mike, K1WVO presented a method of driving the zero-beat indicator circuit from the NEScaf clock. This would allow the beat LED to track the center frequency of the NEScaf filter. This novel approach could be a very useful feature of a zero-beat add-on for the NEScaf kit. I will be breadboarding the circuit soon to play with it myself.

All in all, a very good meeting. If attendance levels remain high, we will need a larger (and quieter) venue for our get-togethers!

Bruce N1RX

Is the Hollis, NH FD location the only qrp FD site in New England this year?
Time has come to polish the contacts & see if the brain still works in cw mode.
72's de