LARG Monthly Meeting
February 19, 2000

Before calling the meeting to order at 8:40 a.m., Vice President Dennis, KF4TJI, gave an update on the health status of President Ray, K4AJA. A get well card was available for all members to sign before leaving the meeting.

Paul, K4MSG, welcomed people to the Hamilton-Thompson Lodge in Purcellville, site of the morning's meeting.

The meeting was begun with the Pledge of Allegiance, lead by Dale, KD4LSL.

Twenty-three members and three visitors attended the meeting.

Minutes of the January meeting were approved as read by 1998-99 secretary, Nancy, KE4RTP. Tom, NA4MA, reported a treasury balance of $661.12. No expenditures had been made in the past month; there was a deposit of $90.00 in dues and a donation to the Balloon Fund. This report was also approved as given. Tom, WB3AKD, asked if the donation would be considered above or as part of the $300 designated for Balloon Committee activities for the year 2000. Later in the meeting WB3AKD''s motion for the treasurer to track the balloon budget was approved.

Applause was accorded retiring treasurer Dale (KD4LSL) and secretary Nancy (KE4RTP) for their good work in past years. Dale, as treasurer since LARGE's beginning, expressed regrets at giving up the job as duties in other areas have expanded. He also expressed thanks to those who helped (especially coordinator Norm, AI2C) with the recent demonstrations at the 2/2/00 Tiger Cub meeting at Hamilton Elementary. This and last year's Scout Jamboree demos are very good activities for LARG to continue.

Retired Training Committee Chairperson Paul, N4PD, reiterated the need for a new committee chairperson.

A discussion of progress from the Balloon Committee was lead by Tom, WB3AKD. This complex project with a first successful launch last April, has been complicated by lack of payload recovery, lots of parts for replacement equipment going obsolete and by career interference. A mid-April, 2000 launch date has been scrubbed. The earliest we may be ready is now late spring or summer. The 1/26 meeting of the committee at the Purcellville Library (for both lab and business) was somewhat confusing. Single purpose meetings will be held in the future. Tom will continue to put information as it becomes available on the reflector. Right now there is need for assistance on all aspects of this project. Tom, WB3AKD; Jacob, KF4VLQ; Tom, WB9RXJ; Gary, NC4S; and Paulson are working on design and building of data collection and transmitting apparatus. Bob, W4POF, is making interesting progress on camera activation. John, W4AU, reported that Craig, N4OHE, has again agreed to the use of his home QTH for Mission Control and one tracking station for the next launch. Want to help? Let one of these people know: launch team-Norm, AI2C; tracking-Denny, KF4TJI; recovery-Gary, NC4S; committee chairperson-Tom, WB3AKD. We do want to find the next package. Transmissions will include K4LRG as well as temperature and pressure readings.

Norm, AI2C, reported on the Web Site Committee. The web masters: Norm; Paul, N4PD; Pete, KF4HCW; Denny, KF4TJI; and Paulson recently met and are asking for more workers. There will be a demo at the March meeting (Leesburg Public Safety Building on Plaza Street).

John, W4AU, distributed copies of rules for the 2000 VA QSO Party set for March 18-20 (1800 UTC on 3/18 - 0200 UTC on 3/20). We want to come in 1st (not 2nd again) this year! LARGE's participation in the last few years seems to have sparked more interest in this contest. There was brief discussion on the new "expedition" class; clarification of this will be sought by John or Gary, NC4S, prior to our next meeting. Separate logs are required for working from mobile and fixed rigs. John and Gary will collect logs from all members to check for consistency in identifying info to help insure we get proper credit for all contacts. John has a modification to the TR logging program for the VA QSO Party for those interested in computer logging. Next month's meeting will conclude with further hints and a VA QSO pep rally. Plan to be involved. Norm, AI2C, is calling for 30 operators and twice as many points for LARG this year over last!

Denny, KF4TJI, announced recent upgrades (which should help our score): Tech+, passed 5 wpm code-Denny; Erik, KD5CTJ; and Mary, KF4UUY; Extra written-Temp, W4HZV; Extra written and 20 wpm code-Tom, NA4MA. Congrats!!!!! Talk of setting up a code practice schedule has led to nothing definite yet.

Paul, N4PD, shared more information about the Antique Car Rally (6/3/00) for which we've been asked to provide communications. Because of an already crowded agenda and the QSO Party in March, it was decided to hold the April meeting at the Douglass Community Center (East Market Street in Leesburg, next to Johnson's Charcoal Beef House) and have the event organizer talk with us there. Following that meeting those interested can ride the event circuit to advise where check points can be located for maximum radio coverage. We will then know if we can operate simplex or will need a repeater and/or control center. This is a great public service opportunity (in addition to Leesburg First Night) for our club.

Temp, W4HZV, suggested talking with Steve Hood, KB4WKK, (public safety liaison) as to the validity of LARG being listed as the Town of Leesburg's back-up communi-cation entity. Dennis will follow-up on this.

Denny, KF4TJI, is working on the member data base list. In a discussion of what info should be listed on the club web site, it was decided to list only Name, call sign and town for each member.

The Field Day Committee members (John, W4AU; Charlie, K4LJH; Denny, KF4TJI; and Ray, K4AJA) have done some preliminary planning and site exploration. Gary, NC4S, volunteered to join the committee and reaffirmed that his home QTH will next be available for field day in 2001.

Tom, WB3AKD, introduced the ensuing activity as the "Mars Polar Lander Simulation" as the signal would not be copiable from the current meeting place or from Franklin Farm Park. In other words, it would start as did last year's K4LRG balloon recovery-with no signal. Tom asked for a 20 minute head start to deploy the fox: transmit frequency at 145.65, with 147.48 for communications. Once the fox was found, those participating met to analyze signal acquisition and bearings over lunch at the Purcellville Subway. Tom left the meeting site about 10:15 a.m.

Paul, N4PD, brought up one last bit of new business: computer generated business cards with the K4LRG logo for club members. Talk with Paul if you are interested.

The business meeting was adjourned at 10:20 a.m.

Following the meeting, Chester Kmak, WA9LAZ, showed the direction finding antenna he has recently built.

Respectfully submitted,

Carol L. Boehler,
KF4TJJ, Secretary