Brief Updates re Web Site

Three important announcements for members:

(1) The on line directory of members is up to date through Jan 10 2014, for all members dues-paid through at least Jun 30 of this year. (ed. note:  this evening we added two new members and one we all know — new ones are KC3BDI Barry, N3EFN Bernie; our returning friend is KB9WI Gene.  Welcome back, Gene, and welcome to Barry and Bernie.)

If you do NOT see your call/name, or we have listed it incorrectly, PLEASE email us and let us know — we can fix what we know about, and promise to do it quickly.  (If your password doesn’t work, email us and we’ll figure out how to get you in)

(2) Our Club’s on line renewal AND new member registration seems to be working fabulously.  If you have experienced anything otherwise with our club’s utility for on line dues, please tell us?  We want to know.  Again, email us and let us know.  We’re glad to hear from you.

(3) Finally — if you can get there, we would love to see you at HamCation 2014 in Orlando.  The hamfest dates are Feb 7, 8, and 9.  Our RV group will begin pulling in when gates open Wednesday morning Feb 5.  Check out the information sheet at their website.  The Orlando Amateur Radio Club is darned good at this — this year they celebrate their 68th Annual HamCation, so why wouldn’t they be?

Remember, our members can park together and we have so many attending we have two parking areas — one with 30 amp hookups in the field closer to the flea market and one at lake side with a variety of hookups and a great view.  Your choice, we have room in both areas and all our members are welcome!

 

January 10 2014 | Members and Rallies | Comments Off

On-line registration and payment for members and candidates

Effective 13 September 2013, we have implemented on-line registration and payment for members and candidates alike. This is a change from our last implementation in two ways:

(1) New members can join on-line, and members can renew, and
(2) You will need to enter your data to join or to renew

It all happens from this page, where you can choose whether you want to do this on line or by US Mail.

We previously implemented, as many of you know, on-line payments for renewal several months ago. A small problem arose from that first effort — we did not receive updated information, nor callsign, from renewals. And, we could not provide new membership registrations on-line, we did not have the means to obtain the membership application information.

We now have these issues resolved, and are in action. The on-line payment method is again via PayPal. You may either use your PayPal account, if you have one, or you may use your credit card. Of course, you may also renew or join by US Mail.

As always, please let the Club know if any problems, concerns, or comments.

September 14 2013 | News | Comments Off

Member passwords changed

The passwords for member-only pages have changed. E-mails issued to all members in good standing today, September 03, 2013, with their personal passwords for these member-only pages.

The member roster is updated through Aug 31, 2013 for all members with dues paid through at least Jun 30, 2014. If your dues expired Jun 30, 2013 then you won’t be on this list AND you won’t be able to see it until you have paid your dues.

Also, any members who do not pay dues through at least Jun 2014 will not receive or be able to see on-line the next editions of the club’s fabulous award winning newsletter, The Bulletin. No kidding, did you know The Bulletin placed fourth in a keen competition for national newsletters at the Airstream owners annual International meeting and convention this past summer?

Please email webmaster here if any difficulties or questions. If you would like to become a member, please email treasurer here.

Thanks,

WBCCI Amateur Radio Club

September 03 2013 | Members and Miscellaneous | Comments Off

Beating the Summer heat

Two short items in today’s post: news of of a member’s recent travels, and addition of a neat new link on the club’s LINKS page. (click on highlighted item to see that page)

First this:
Debbie N4RTG and Jim N5RTG just returned from a cool week in the Virginia Highlands. We had a nice site at the Airstream park there at 2,800 feet elevation with fantastic views to the west. Temperatures were up to 15 degrees cooler than back here in Kannapolis NC, 25 miles from Charlotte NC.

While there, we put Debbie’s Eagle-1 antenna atop the Airstream. Winds were 5-10 mph during the install, so raising the 31′ vertical was a little challenging. Jim decided to try, next time, to stake out the guy ropes before raising the antenna. It will require some ninth grade geometry to get the ropes staked at the correct length for the vertical.

Safety is the reason — Jim is working at the trailer’s roof edge standing near the top of the ladder and levering a long whip (although light in weight) from a very short fulcrum. The guys, if layout is correct, will stabilize the antenna at install height so Jim will only need to steer the base of the antenna into the rooftop mount.

How did Debbie’s antenna work? This was the first instance of our using it with a new pair of MFJ bias tees, a 4116 and a 4117. These bias tees allow injecting (and importantly, removing) 12vdc on the coax from the operating position to the remote end. We are powering an SGC-237 auto-coupler at the antenna’s base, and the bias tees make this a lot simpler than running a dedicated 12vdc feed line along with the coax.

The setup worked fine, although conditions were so poor on 20m we couldn’t do a thing there and 40m was only a little better. Sometimes we have great luck in great locations, and less often we suffer like everyone else the varied and not-so-great propagation on the HF bands.

We’re looking forward to connecting our new home brew full-wave 40m delta loop with the bias tees at the in-law’s house. It should be interesting. More on this later.

And now item 2: Jim added today a new link to the WBCCI ARC LINKS page. We are glad to offer you this new link because this is a neat ham radio page you may enjoy browsing. The web site is attractive, has nice pictures, and a nice variety of things. The website might be a little bit much for your MacBook or iPad, but it worked great on the Windows computers we checked it with.

73,
Jim n5rtg
Kannapolis NC
29 Aug 2013

August 30 2013 | News | Comments Off

The Bulletin newsletter updated today

Released electronically last week (and speeding on its way to the printers now), we updated The Bulletin today with just received photos and articles.  We were able to stop the presses and get this updated edition to the publisher in time, and we updated the electronic edition too.

The changes are important — we received just two days ago the picture we were hoping for of Jack KF5GW (SK), and we added a very important short article of thanks to our SK Managers, Frank KE4TIL and Sonja Meistrell.  Sonja and Frank capably carried this job four years, and have handed it over to Jamie KJ4JK.

See these new items, and all the news, in the May 2013 edition of The Bulletin, for members only.

April 25 2013 | News | Comments Off

Membership Matters

N4RTG and I travel all over Canada and the USA, meeting people in all sorts of venues.  One of the questions we hear the most is, “is amateur radio shrinking?”  Let’s see, radios are miniaturizing, yes.  But the number of licensed amateur radio operators in the USA has never been higher.

ARRL reported recently the total number of licensed hams in the USA through end of 2012 reached over 709, 000, the highest total EVER.  AH0A has a nifty website showing FCC licensing numbers by month and shows a steady monthly increase since the beginning of the year.  Ham radio is not diminishing.  It appears amateur radio is becoming more popular.

In a similar vein, clubs all over the country have been bemoaning for the past two decades.  Their members are aging or losing interest, and the clubs aren’t successfully recruiting new members.  Three elements interplay here:  loss of interest, dying, and recruitment of new members.

How is WBCCI ARC doing?  Our club is off to a rousing start for this year — we have fifteen new members in 2013.  Overall our total membership number seems to be growing slowly.

It is not necessary to own an Airstream or any other type RV to join the ARC.  The requirements to join WBCCI ARC are the following:

  1. You must hold an amateur license (any class) and
  2. either own any kind of RV or have an interest in travel and camping.

That’s all there is to it — well, and a prospective member fills out an application for membership, submits it with their fee.  Membership application forms are available here.

What can we do to keep our club full of active, interested, engaged, friendly members?  Two things come to mind immediately:

  1. Have you invited a ham to join the friendliest amateur radio club in North America?
  2. Do you try to be an active, interested, engaged and friendly member of clubs to which you belong?

posted 20130411 by Jim n5rtg

_____________________________

Below is a small representation of articles published over the past twenty years about membership declines:

http://pressrepublican.com/0100_news/x155063752/Civic-organizations-fight-national-declines-in-membership  how to attract and retain members despite nationally declining enrollments

http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=224  declining social capital caused by radical individualism

http://werussell.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/decline-of-americas-service-organizations/  caused by the disengagement of our nation’s young people?

http://www.kansas.com/2012/06/20/2381119/aging-members-lack-of-interest.html  decline of civic groups in Wichita

http://www.app.com/article/20130401/NJNEWS/304010094/Ageless-Membership- decline-may-spell-end-Beach-Haven-First-Aid-Squad  not enough joining, too many dying or leaving

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123923154717002917.html  country clubs not so clubby anymore, many closing or morphing to survive

http://w3lww.org/  ham radio clubs merging from three into one

April 12 2013 | Members | Comments Off

GUYED TOWER LEGISLATION in IDAHO

According to The ARRL Letter (April 11, 2013):

On April 1, Idaho Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter (R) signed Senate Bill 1065 into law. This new law is amendment to a current Idaho law regarding guyed towers, which states that guyed towers “shall be lighted, marked and painted or otherwise constructed to be visible in clear air during daylight hours from a distance of not less than 2000 feet.” With the passage of SB 1065, both guyed Amateur Radio and CB antenna support structures are exempt from these regulations.

According to ARRL Idaho Section Manager Ed Stuckey, AI7H, Governor Otter signed the original legislation into law in 2012, but there was an exemption for telecommunications towers. “This year, we went back [to the legislature] to specifically define Amateur Radio towers as one of the types of telecommunications towers,” he said, “ARRL Idaho Section Government Liaison Rex Green, K7DMV, put a huge amount of effort into firming up the groundwork behind the legislation. We also had the good fortune to have Senator Lee Heider, KE7GAG, take an interest in the legislation, and he acted as the Senate sponsor for the bill.”

Green told the ARRL that quite a few hams in Senator Heider’s district contacted the senator about the amendment. “These hams asked Senator Heider to carry the amendment that would clarify that Amateur Radio towers would be included in the telecommunications exemption,” he told the ARRL. “As the ARRL Idaho State Government Liaison, I contacted the Idaho Division of Aeronautics and others to explain our position and gain their support. The letter of support from the Administrator of the Idaho Division of Aeronautics opened a lot of doors for us and was critical to the amendment’s passage.”

Idaho Section leadership supported Senator Heider at the meetings of Idaho’s House and Senate Transportation Committees, providing with examples of why the exemption for Amateur Radio towers was needed. “I feel without Senator Heider’s support, we would have had a difficult time in getting traction for our proposal,” Green said. “The sponsors of last year’s legislation were not exactly supportive of any exemptions, but once we explained to the committees that we had the support of the low altitude aviation operators, such as crop dusters, then we were able to move ahead.”

The bill passed the Senate with unanimous approval before going to the House, where it passed with a 62-3 vote.

[from The ARRL Letter for April,  http://www.arrl.org/news/guyed-tower-legislation-in-idaho-to-exclude-amateur-radio-towers, accessed 20130411)

April 12 2013 | News | Comments Off

QST QST QST — Name badges

We have found a new supplier for our club’s name badges.  They are located in Dunellon Florida, we’ve received two of their badges and can attest to the quality and good appearance.  You can opt for magnetic backing instead of pin for a small up charge.  They have our club’s logo in their machine and it looks good on the new badge.

For more information and how to order, see our club’s name badge page here.

March 08 2013 | Members | Comments Off

Updated NCS for 40m 7.191 MHz Net

This morning we updated the Net Control Stations list for our daily (364 days per year) 40m net on 7191 MHz. The information changes periodically as our net control folks migrate north or south or have equipment changes.

If you are interested in becoming a Net Control Station, please send an email to Garry W8OI.

March 08 2013 | Nets | Comments Off

New Members Listing

We’ve had a good first two months of 2013, adding more than one new member per week.  You can see the new calls/names on our web site at the Member List menu selection at right of your screen, as well as view all members and download PDF file of membership.

Note:  this page is only accessible to our members.  If you don’t have the access code and think you should, please email the web master.

March 03 2013 | Members | Comments Off

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