LARG Monthly Meeting
November 21, 2009

The meeting was called to order at 8:35 a.m. EST by LARG President Rick Miller, AI1V. After leading the group in the Pledge of Allegiance, he asked visitors to introduce them-elves: Bill Fenn, N4TS and Chris Painter, KB3RUR, who had just moved to Ashburn.

Minutes of the 17 October 2009 meeting were approved as posted and corrected on the club website (

The report of Treasurer Jeff Slusher, KE5APC, was approved as presented. Jeff noted that his report would soon be posted to the club website. Jay Greeley, KI4UTB, asked about reimbursement to the VFW for expenses incurred in hosting the last training class in early October. Rick, AI1V, asked that a motion to that effect be deferred to New Business.

Committee Reports

Chairman for Public/Emergency Services, Tom Dawson, WB3AKD, reported on two items: 1) for many years LARG has provided communications support for First Night Leesburg (a family oriented New Year's Eve celebration); watch for info on the reflector on how you can help with this event; and 2) Tom has sketched out an MOU with the VFW that he will go over with Jay, KI4UTB, after the holidays.

Training Chairman Steve Reed, KW4H, was not in attendance. Rick, AI1V, noted that a General or Technician class would be planned for the spring.

Interference Chairman Paul Dluehosh, N4PD, had no reports of local on air problems, but he did comment that 40 M frequencies from 7.1 to 7.2 are now reasonably clear of nighttime broadcast noise. Rick, AI1V, related that recent jamming of the Fairfax ARES Weds. Net (perhaps by a mobile operator near Tysons) has gone away after a couple weeks of the group treating it appropriately—by ignoring it.

Contesting Chairman John Unger, W4AU, was not present. Rick, AI1V, recommended the ARRL SSB NA Sweepstakes occurring that weekend. Rules and the complicated exchange are on the ARRL website. Norm, AI2C, plugged the CQ World Wide CW contest for the last weekend of November. Paul, N4PD, noted that there are many contests this time of year that are posted on several websites; ARRL and NCJ often have links about these. Dave, KE4S, also suggested googling WA7BNM Contest Calendar.

LARG Webmaster Norm Styer, AI2C, was commended for his work organizing Field Day data, including 600 pictures, for the website. He is now working on the Reston Bicycle Club Century Rides report and then will tackle the October 25th Balloon Flight information.

Tom, WB3AKD, described the balloon event lifting off from Purcell Park in Harrisonburg, VA with its two payloads: 1) the hobbled hot chips processor transmitting ID but no sensory data and 2) Mike McBurnett's APRS transmitter with lots of good telemetry. Rising at about 1200 feet per minute, the balloon reached over 95,000 feet before burst. Jay, KI4TXP, and Doug, KJ4BRN, handled mission control duties from Berryville. Denny, KF4TJI, with side-kick Tom, NA4MA, was lead for tracking. Dave, KE4S, and John, WB5ODJ, were the first to reach the recovery area near Poolesville, MD. Norm, AI2C, reported hearing the transmitter on the ground from his home location. Dodson, AJ4EY, was tracking from Dickey Ridge in Shenandoah National Park south of Front Royal, VA. So many people showed interest in what he was doing that he suggests a flyer be developed to explain the activity. The signal was heard at least as far as western PA; Tom, WB3AKD, thanked Rick, AI1V, for his handling of the complaint received about interference with a linked APRS network there. Balloon inventory now includes one and a half tanks of helium and two balloons (one 1984 600 gram and one new 1500 gram). A Shepherd University student group is getting ready for a launch early in 2010; Tom will post updates on the project.

No reports on Public Relations or legislative activity were available. Tom, WB3AKD, noted that this is the time of year to start watching the VA legislative site.

Old Business

Ken Sullivan, KI4GYL, reported on planning for the annual LARG Holiday Party to be held Friday, December 11th from 6:30-9:30 p.m. EST at the Hamilton Safety Center site. A sign-up sheet was passed around. Additional sign-ups would be taken through the reflector. A $10 per person donation is also being requested along with potluck entrée and side dishes (salad, bread, vegetable, or dessert). Norm, AI2C, made a motion to allot up to $400 for door prizes. Following a second and some discussion the motion was approved.

New Business

Dave Putman, KE4S, made a motion to approve Tom Shinal, W4HCP, as an honorary LARG member. Tom made a substantial donation of equipment to the club and has been a long-time amateur operator. Following a second and some discussion of how this should be acknowledged, the motion was approved with a friendly amendment to provide a certificate.

Norm, AI2C, as custodian since about 2000 of the club's Kenwood TS440 HF transceiver, made a motion to transfer custodianship (and responsibility to keep it operating) to the Dodson Brown family. The motion was seconded and approved.

Rick, AI1V, appointed the nominating committee for 2010 LARG officers: Norm, AI2C; Dave, KE4S; and Paul, N4PD.

The VFW donation item was tabled to the January meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:47 a.m. EST.

Respectfully submitted, Carol L. Boehler, KF4TJJ

Following the meeting LARG member Gary Strong, AI4IN, presented a fine program on digital modes.


A reminder to all about Holy Trinity's inclement weather policy: if Loudoun County Schools are closed (or would be if it were a school day), all activities at the church are cancelled – this includes outside groups. This policy allows for parking lot clearing so snow is not packed down; and it is also a safety issue.