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The MORAnnouncer Website Supplement
Chairman's Comments - Posted July 10th 2018
As the reviews for Field Day 2018 come in, it appears this year will be remembered most of all as having exceptionally bad band conditions.
Still, after all the statistics were finalized, MORA managed to post a preliminary tally of 1898 points, our second highest total ever. Not too bad, especially considering some of the obsticles we had to overcome.
However, just as it has been in past years, we could have - and should have - done better. This is the thinking if your idea of a successful Field Day is simply to see how many points a group can accumulate.
There is nothing wrong with trying to achieve as many points as possible, however I'm not one who thinks of Field Day only as a contest - period.
The main mission of our organization is public service. Field Day is the one big event during the entire year where we can demonstrate to the public our ability to set up emergency operations in the field. It also must be a time for our members to have fun.
No matter what the role of each member is during Field Day, we need to enjoy the event and have fun. I think that those of us who were on hand did. The big problem was that the usually reliable HF Bands - particulary the nighttime conditions on 80/75 and 40 meters - did not produce much fun for anyone.
Aside from the disappointing band conditions, the more disappointing aspects to be taken from this years event was that several people that were involved last year, a few of whom attended this years planning meetings, did not show up for the main event. That bothers me. I'm familiar with a couple of reasons why, but among the others I haven't a clue.
Another thing that bothers me is that we continue to expect WBØOFB to transport towers and equipment from his home some 40 miles away to our Field Day site every year. I think we need to reconsider that effort, and rethink or perhaps scale it back.
On the other hand, the setup and tear down operations went flawlessly. We also had more visitors this year than we ever have had, this despite the failure of the media to promote this event. The Pot Luck Cookout was as enjoyable as ever, the weather was about as good as it gets, daytime operations seemed to go pretty well. We even had new people on hand who had the opportunity to operate, one of whom is working towards getting a Tech license.
I generally look forward to Field Day, but I have to tell you that while it was fun for the most part, I felt very stressed out from this years event. Stress should not be a factor on Field Day, and I'm really hoping that next year I'll feel better about it all.
73 de KJ9W
The latest effort to pass the Amateur Radio Parity Act [S.1534] into law appears to have stalled in the US Senate. This is the companion bill to H.R.555, which passed a bi-partisan vote in the House of Representatives back in January of 2017.
To learn the details and latest status of the bill, click here.
Are you one of those skeptics who believes radio communications is becoming obsolete? If you are, you might change your mind after you read this article from the Reuters News Agency on QRZ.COM.
Kanabec County's Open and Friendly Repeater
147.240 MHz - PL 146.2 Hz
ABOUT OUR REPEATER:
The Mora Open Repeater Association
The Minnesota Department of Transportation
Kanabec County Emergency Management
Custodian & Call Sign Trustee:
Kenny Broshofske, KJ9W
Jerry Whitaker, WBØOFB
Lena Lake UHF Link:
Kanabec County Skywarn Net to Duluth [Under Construction]
Milaca UHF Link:
Central Minnesota Regional Hospital Net to St Cloud [Under Construction]
LATEST NEWS: As of June 5th 2018
Simulated Testing of the Ogilvie to Milaca leg of the East Central Minnesota Hospital Net Link is being temporarily resumed in order to test the outcome of recent maintenance.
During routine maintenance on Thursday May 10th, the Outboard Receive Pre-Amplifier Module in the Ogilvie Repeater was removed in order to determine the source of additional "noise" from weak and distant signals. Since late this past winter, this noise" has been showing up on marginal signals trying to access the repeater. The Pre-Amp was suspected as being a possible source of the noise, and indeed it was found to be the problem. Since it was removed, weak and distant signals have been much clearer. The only thing that is yet to be determined is whether or not far distant signals such as those in Chisago and Pine County Hospitals can still access the repeater.
A Simulated Linking Test will be conducted on Wednesday June 6th. If the test is successful without the Pre-Amp, it will not be replaced. If the test fails, another Pre-Amp will have to be purchased and installed.
At 11:30 AM on Thursday August 21st 2008, after a year and a half of planning, the Kanabec County Amateur Radio VHF Repeater came on line at the old [and since demolished] County Radio Tower located 4 miles north of Ogilvie Minnesota along Highway 47.
The original plans included a Skywarn Link to Duluth and a Hospital Net Link into St Cloud, and until recently lack of resources put those plans on hold. Currently, the Skywarn Net UHF Link at Lena Lake in Pine County and the Central Minnesota Regional Hospital Net UHF Link at Milaca are under construction.
When repeater operations began, Kenny Broshofske was asked to act as Custodian. As a result, the repeater was assigned his call sign - which at that time was KDØCI.
During May of 2013, the repeater was relocated to a new and improved site 5 miles north of Ogilvie, resulting in improved coverage across Kanabec and surrounding counties.
On August 22nd 2013, the call sign of the repeater was changed to KJ9W to correspond with Broshofske's own call sign change. This change was considered to be temporary until the Mora Open Repeater Association could acquire its own call sign.
On August 6th 2015, the KDØCI call sign became available for assignment as a Vanity Call in the Federal Communications Commission's database. On October 10th, the Mora Open Repeater Association filed an application to acquire KDØCI as its club call sign, and on October 23rd, the FCC officially approved the application.
On January 14th 2016, the KDØCI call sign once again became the ID for the repeater under MORA sponsorship, with Broshofske continuing to serve as Repeater Custodian and Call Sign Trustee.
The primary purpose of the repeater is to provide emergency backup communications for Kanabec County, facilitate Skywarn Spotter activity across the repeater coverage area, and enable general communications for radio amateurs.
During normal propagation conditions, mobile coverage is very good for up to 35 miles from the repeater site in all directions, while basic home station access is considered reliable from as far away as Aitkin and McGregor to the north, Danbury and Siren Wisconsin to the east, the northern suburbs of the Twin City Metro area to the south, and St Cloud and Little Falls to the west.
The repeater is shielded to the southeast to protect the 147.240 repeater near Eau Claire Wisconsin.
REPEATER COVERAGE MAP:
KDØCI Repeater Coverage Map - Courtesy of RepeaterBook
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