We have completed a great year at the VOA Museum. Our radio station, WC8VOA has logged over 7,000 HF contacts during 2018. These included several events in voice, digital and Morse code. WCARA participated in Field Day, Radio Amateurs of Canada, CQ World Wide, Parks on the Air and NASA on the Air to name just a few. The shack was operational every weekend and even with poor propagation conditions we were still able to make many worldwide contacts. We currently have a 20 meter rhombic antenna installed for the winter months. The antenna is aimed at Europe and we have had some great contacts on it. We upgraded our antenna patch panel and replaced the old fluorescent lighting with more efficient LED panels and pot lights in the shack. The club is adding some decorative touches to the shack and the hallway outside, with award certificates, updated events board and a wall of our favorite QSL cards from abroad. Our year at WCARA ended strong with 81 paid members.
I want to encourage everyone to visit the shack and get involved with WC8VOA station activities. We have activities that represent the many facets of Amateur Radio. I am quite sure you can find something to spark your interests. Our dues remain at $25.00 per year. That is a bargain at any price. Much of our dues money goes to pay our electric bill for the 145.39MHz repeater site. Since American Tower has taken over the repeater site, we now have to pay our electricity costs. We are lucky that we are still getting the space rent free. Remember we also have up a repeater on 443.650MHz from a tower at the VOA site. We have added a digital hot spot to the shack, which allows us to access many of the new digital modes such as C4FM and DMR. The hot spot is accessible from a digital hand held radio. As you may know we are heavily involved with making the museum a world class destination. Many of our members work on remodeling projects, docents for tour weekends, museum computerization and general up keep of the facility. I firmly believe this is an important component of our club. We receive many benefits from the museum free of charge and the Voice of America recognition sure helps when it comes to making QSO’s. Remember, “Our success depends upon the museum, and the museum’s success depends upon us.”
Once again we will be attending Hamvention at the Greene County Fairgrounds on May 17, 18, and 19. We will have a booth supporting the museum and WCARA. In addition to the booth we will have extra hours at the museum starting on Thursday May 16 and running through May 19. Last year 350 Amateur Radio operators came down from Hamvention to visit the museum and our shack. Many of them got on the air from our station. As always we will need volunteers for that long weekend. People will be needed to man the booth at Hamvention as well as the museum. Please let us know of your availability for Hamvention weekend.
We have an extremely talented crew of Radio Operators that are more than willing to help you if you are newly licensed or have been away from the hobby for awhile. Stop in for a visit and see what’s new. I know it is still a thrill to talk with a fellow Amateur on the other side of the globe or pick-up a rare DX contact using one of the new digital modes with only a few watts of power. Help us encourage the next generation of Amateur Radio Service operators.
Joseph Molter N8IDA