This Months News
Jeff Darby - KE0JD
Well winter is close to half over. Before you know it we will be thinking about planning for Field Day 2020. When you think about your planning think about volunteering for the Ensor Museum. The duties are split between our club and the Johnson County Radio Amateurs Club. We can always use extra volunteers. Please See Howard Crip or Marty Peters for more information.
The club is also a strong contributor for the Kansas QSO party in Aug/2020. Last year we worked the QSO party from Del Sawyer's antenna farm. We really could have used more CW operators for this function. If you have a steady hand on the CW key think about working the Kansas QSO party. Contact myself or Del Sawyer for more information.
In another month the Ararat Shrine Hamfest will be upon us. This is a great local hamfest. Lots of good bargains and a good time to meet local hams.
The Mo-Kan council is planning some events this year as well. There will be two WW1USA event this year. One on May 9th/10th and one on October 31st. As dates get closer consult the calendar on the club website for additional information.
Marty - KE0PEZ
MEETING TO ORDER:
The President, Jeff Darby KS0JD, called the meeting to order in the Market Grill at ~7:15 AM. Attendees introduced themselves by name and call-sign. A total of 23 club members and 1 guest were present.
Marty Peters, KE0PEZ, reported the receipts ($1130) and disbursements ($463.24) for the month of January, the current checking account balance, and the balances in the general fund and the repeater fund. The $720 donation from the City of Olathe was the main receipt during February.
2020 Ham Class--Extra [Jim Andera – K0NK]
The annual ham class at the Salvation Army facility in Olathe is going well. Students are engaged and appreciate lively lectures. Jeff Darby KS0JD, Larry Hall KD0RIU, George McCarville WB0CNK, Jim Andera K0NK, and Greg Wolfe KI0KK are teaching the class. Three classes remain. A test for the Extra Class License will follow the concluding session.
Repeater Relocation [Jim Andera – K0NK]
There has been a major reorganization at Olathe Medical Center. Some of the personnel at OMC who would have coordinated this project are no longer there. Jim has established contact with the OMC representatives that now oversee this project, and he has conveyed a plan that includes the benefits to the OMC of having this repeater on site as well as an outline of steps that would lead to the goal of an operational repeater. The plan includes suggestions for appropriate radio equipment and antenna structure. OMC contracts out their electrical work to Heartland Electric, so we would cooperate with them on this project. Jim hasn't heard anything negative about this project from the OMC representatives. This is an ongoing project. Tentatively, SFTARC will be responsible for supplying and maintaining electrical equipment and antennas while OMC will be responsible for creating any holes in building walls and/or ceilings, supplying and attaching the antenna mounts, and supplying electric power for the radio equipment.
Club Newsletter [Greg Wolfe – KI0KK]
Newsletter inputs are due by 7PM Wednesday, February 12.
Kansas Day Event [Del Sawyer – K0DDS]
The event was a great success; 8 operators participated. Rick Nichols wrote up the event, and his article and photo were featured as a full page in the Gardiner News. Rick's article also appeared in eHam.net, a community website for amateur radio operators. Way to go, Rick! During the event, operators made 20 CW contacts on 30 M and 103 phone contacts on 20 M and 40 M. The ARRL Winter Field Day started in the afternoon, making the 20 M and 40 M bands quite lively. It was a lot of fun, and we are looking forward to doing it again in July when our club participates in the Kansas QSO party.
It was moved and seconded to donate $100 to the Salvation Army to recognize its support of the amateur radio community and its mission of providing emergency services to the public. The motion passed unanimously.
It was moved and seconded to authorize $150 to purchase a portable 12 V power supply to power the club IC-7300 at events for which the power supply in the trailer is not available. Marty confirmed that club funds are currently sufficient to cover such an outlay. A suggestion was made to consider a power supply made by Powerwerx. President Darby will take the lead in determining the power supply that best suits the needs of the club.
A motion to adjourn was passed unanimously at ~7:30 AM.
No one heard members of the Santa Fe Trail Amateur Radio Club singing "Home on the Range" Saturday, Jan. 25, but amateur radio operators from Alaska to Florida and from California to New York did hear hams who belong to the Olathe-based club readily identify themselves as being Kansans during a special pre-Kansas Day event at Sawyer Memorial Antenna Park in Edgerton.
Operating inside a vintage camper and using the club call sign of KS0KS, eight members of the club took to the airways in an effort to hook up with as many other hams as possible over a five-hour period to let them know that the Sunflower State was getting ready to observe yet another birthday. Club members worked in pairs part of the time, the one ham sending out a general invitation to respond to his call while the other waited patiently to log the date and time, the mode, band and frequency, the respondent's first name, call sign and location, and other important information whenever a contact was made.
Two stations were set up for the event, a single sideband station for voice communications and a Morse code station. Club members operated on three bands altogether, 20 meters (14.0 to 14.35 MHz), 30 meters (10.1 to 10.15 MHz) and 40 meters (7.0 to 7.35 MHz).
In the photograph accompanying this story, Joe Krout, KR0UT, right, is pictured as he looks to make another voice contact with a fellow amateur radio operator while Tom Apalenek, WA2IVD, logs the information from the previous contact. Visible in the background is Marty Peters, KE0PEZ, who is manning the CW station.
From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the hams were able to connect with amateur radio operators in Canada and a number of the other states, including Alaska, Michigan, Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina, South Dakota, California, Washington, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee and New York, in getting out the word that Kansas' BIG DAY was fast approaching.
"Rick, we had a great day on the air," club member and SMAP owner Del Sawyer, K0DDS, told me in an email the afternoon of Sunday, Jan. 26. "We had a total of 140 contacts, 20 with Morse code and the rest on single sideband."
Admitted to the Union Jan. 29, 1861 as the 34th state and as a free state at that (that is part of a much larger story, of course), Kansas turned 159 years old four days after the special event at Del's "antenna farm." In 1861, the Morse code had been in use for more than 15 years as a means of communication for commercial or governmental purposes, but it would be another 50 years or so before what came to be known as radio enabled Kansans from Cherokee County to Cheyenne County (i.e., east to west) and from Marshall County to Meade County (i.e., north to south) to keep in touch with each other instantaneously.
Early hams in the land of the Jayhawks, Wildcats, Wheatshockers, Gorillas, Hornets and Tigers included Marshall Ensor, W9BSP and a Gorilla (Pittsburg State University, 1932), and his younger sister Loretta, W9UA, who grew up in the Bonita community on the family dairy farm located along 183rd Street in southern Johnson County. Today, their story is told and retold at Ensor Park and Museum, 18995 W. 183rd, where club members serve as hosts and tour guides on weekends two months a year.
Asked what he likes most about Kansas, Del gave me a simple two-word answer: "The weather." Bob Shaumeyer, KC0TZX, also mentioned the weather but elaborated. "The weather because it's variable," he replied. "It's variable. You don't get bored with the same thing. I prefer a tornado that I know is coming in to an earthquake that sneaks up on you."
The answers I got from Marty, Howard Cripe, N0AZ, and Jim Andera, K0NK, had something to do with either the landscape or the location. Marty, a would-be poet perhaps, responded with this: "The wide sky, the smooth flank of the Flint Hills." Howard, who grew up in Garden City, said, "I like the plains, the flat." And Jim made this observation from "flyover country," as those who live on the East Coast or the West Coast are fond of saying in referring to the Midwest: "I'm pretty close to the middle of nowhere and that's a good thing."
People figured prominently in the replies I received from Joe, Tom and Gil Ludwig, WA0YCY. "It's where my family's from," said Joe, whose ancestors settled in the Olathe area back in the 1870s and whose father, Harry Krout, W0YQG SK, was a student of Marshall Ensor, a manual arts instructor at Olathe High School, in the 1940s. Offered Tom, who moved to the state from upstate New York by way of southern California in October 2018, "The people, especially Patrick Mahomes," although the Kansas City Chiefs' quarterback, word has it, actually lives just beyond the Kansas-Missouri state line in Missouri. Finally, Gil, who moved from Washington, D.C., to Gardner 10 years ago to one, marry his high school sweetheart, and two, wrap up his job with Sprint, told me that he enjoys "the clean air and the chance to operate ham radio with a very diverse group of people and the antenna farm Del built here in Edgerton."
For more information about Kansas, which produced America's 34th President in Dwight D. Eisenhower, and its rich history, visit the Kansas State Historical Society website at:
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