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Upcoming Events

Sat Jun 25 @ 8:00AM - 02:00PM
Field Day 2016
Sat Jun 25 @ 9:30AM - 10:00AM
OC ARES Training Net
Sun Jun 26 @ 8:00AM - 02:00PM
Field Day 2016
Mon Jun 27 @ 6:05AM - 07:15AM
PT Net - Jim, KI4HQO, ncs
Mon Jun 27 @ 8:00PM - 08:30PM
10 Meter Sideband Net (N1LN ncs)
Tue Jun 28 @ 6:05AM - 07:15AM
PT Net - Rhett, KE4HIH, ncs
Welcome to the Durham FM Association

The Durham FM Association is a group of friendly amateur radio operators interested in all aspects of amateur radio service. Members in Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, and surrounding areas of North Carolina enjoy operating through VHF and UHF repeaters sponsored and maintained by the club.

Currently the club operates FM voice repeaters on 145.450-, 147.225+, 224.260-, 444.100+ PL:100.0 and 444.450+ MHz (the plus and minus indicating standard offsets on the respective bands).

We normally meet on the 1st Tuesday of the month (see Calendar) with Dinner (optional) at 6:00pm and the business meeting and program at 7:00pm.  We are meeting at Bullock's BBQ, on 3330 Quebec Drive in Durham. [click for map] (For more info on each meeting, check the Calendar entry.)

Our club runs a great hamfest toward the end of May each year. Thia year DurHamFest was at a new location!  Set just off I85 in Durham, it was in the Durham Public Schools Staff Development Center at 2107 Hillandale Road Durham, NC 27705. Dealers sell new and used equipment, books, and parts in an air-conditioned facility.  Outside, "tailgaters" also offer a wide variety of used, lightly used and some new equipment and supplies. Besides the buying, selling, and trading, door prizes and fellowship with old and new friends make this a really fun event. (Click on the DurHamFest tab above for more information.)


 
FIELD DAY 2016 – SETUP DAY POTLUCK DINNER (update) Print E-mail
Written by KM4MDR   
Friday, 17 June 2016 16:17

June 24th, 2016 6:00PM
Update
as of 6-17-16

Field Day 2016 is just over a week away on June 25th - 26th . Members of both clubs have been planning and working together to get ready for another successful event.

FD Setup Day is June 24, 2016.  Teams will be getting an early start on the morning of the 24th and putting in a hard days work to set up the numerous antennas and operating stations that will be used during Field Day 2016. There is a lot to do and everyone can help out somehow.  Please step up and support the efforts.

Last year, Wilson , W4BOH, hosted a potluck dinner at the end of a hard day of setup activities.  By all accounts the potluck was well attended and well received.  Great news, he's doing it again !

As of this update, we have 36 folks signed up to attend the FD Potluck. The more the merrier so please send me an email or give me a call soon to add your names to the list.  Spouses and guests are welcome.

KM4MDR,  John Boone,       Phone is (919) 971-9132,       Email is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Wilson will be cooking three pork butts in his smoker and the rest of us will provide the accompanying items for dinner.  Please bring your favorite vegetable dishes, baked beans, potato salad, cole slaw, desserts etc., to compliment Wilson's fine cooking.  Chips & dip and vegetable platters are always welcome too. Soft drinks, water and iced teas will be available. 

So far , we have a broad mix of the items suggested above but there is room for more of any of the items so feel free to bring your favorite version of any of them or add a new selection of your choice!

Make sure to bring serving utensils for your dish and be sure to mark all of your serving dishes and utensils so we can be sure to get them back to you.

With respect to non-food items still needed:

1.)    Folding chairs are the major item outstanding. I would like to locate 6-10 more folding chairs. If you have any you can bring, please let me know ASAP.
2.)    Volunteers to help setup for and cleanup after dinner.

We will have numerous folding tables set up in the dining area for people to sit at but you are also welcome to bring your own outdoor lounge chairs to sit in if you prefer to eat near the pond or under one of the trees in the wooded areas that surround the Land of Magic.

Please Email or call me to let us know to expect you at the Potluck, but all are welcome, even if you don't

 
FIELD DAY 2016 – SETUP DAY POTLUCK DINNER Print E-mail
Written by KM4MDR   
Thursday, 09 June 2016 20:08

June 24th, 2016 6:00PM

Good day, I'm John, KM4MDR and have volunteered to help coordinate the POTLUCK Dinner and to assist Wilson , W4BOH.  Please contact me to let us know you will be attending or with questions regarding the dinner.  My contact information is:

KM4MDR,  John Boone,       Phone is (919) 971-9132,       Email is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Field Day 2016 is fast approaching us on June 25th and 26th, 2016.  The combined OCRA/DFMA Field Day event will once again be hosted by Wilson, W4BOH at his QTH in Hillsborough, NC. 

Please see the Field Day information available from either club for specifics.  These details will be discussed at the respective club meetings prior to Field Day and you can also look at the various club websites and reflector. A significant amount of setup is done in advance of the actual Field Day(s).  Please volunteer to help setup and breakdown , your help is appreciated.

Setup day this year will be Friday, June 24th , 2016 at the Field Day site.  Following the days setup activities, Wilson will be hosting a joint club, Potluck Dinner that will begin at 6:00 PM. 

Wilson will be cooking three pork butts in his smoker and the rest of us will provide the accompanying items for dinner.  Please bring your favorite vegetable dishes, baked beans, potato salad, cole slaw, etc., to compliment Wilson's fine cooking.  Chips & dip and vegetable platters are always welcome too.

If you do not prefer the BBQ pork as your main entree, feel free to bring your choice, but be sure to bring it early enough so it can be ready for dinner. A gas grill will be available.  A charcoal grill will be available too, but you’ll have to build your own fire.

We will have Iced Tea, Water, and assorted sodas available (Coke and Sprite, diet and regular) as well as ice.  If you prefer something else, you are welcome to bring your own sodas.

NOTE: The clubs do not provide BEER or other alcoholic drinks but you are welcome to bring your own.  (Please note that the consumption of alcoholic beverages during the FD setup activities is discouraged for safety and liability reasons)

Please contact me by email, phone, or face to face to let us know you plan to attend the potluck.

We would appreciate your letting us know in advance so we can better plan for the number of guests.   Spouses are welcome.

I need your Callsign, Name(s), number of folks attending,  the dish you plan to bring, any special requirements you have, your phone # or email address and if you can help setup for dinner or clean up after dinner. Please let me know as soon as possible.


 
June 7 Program: Field Day Planning Print E-mail
Written by KU4GC   
Sunday, 05 June 2016 20:29

The program at Bullock's BBQ on Tuesday will focus on planning for Field DayDave, W4SAR, the DFMA/OCRA Field Day Coordinator will go over the plans.  He will also solicit volunteers to fill some of the operating slots.

There will also be a report on our recent DurHamFest which appears to have been a great success.

 
Field Day is Coming! Print E-mail
Written by W4SAR   
Wednesday, 01 June 2016 22:10

Plans so far for the 2016 DFMA/OCRA Field Day
2:00 p.m. local June 25 to 2:00 p.m. local June 26

Once again the two clubs will join forces to see if we can top last year’s performance, which garnered a ranking of third place in North America out of more than 2500 participating stations. After discussion with the remaining band captains, looks like we will have an 8 Alpha Battery operation this year. That is one station less than last year, costing us 100 bonus points on stations operating with emergency power. But on the other hand, we may keep the remaining stations better manned which can help make up the loss with more QSO’s. Wilson, W4BOH has again generously permitted the use of his property.

Here is the station breakdown, based on the plans I know of to date:

75/40/20/15/10 CW – The CW Gang will be operating 3 stations out of the MCU, some will switch bands to best use daytime/nighttime propagation. Beams on towers, Wire antennae on 75 M, maybe 40 meters.

80M Phone – W3AHL – will operate wire antennae out of his RV, same position as last year.

40/15M Phone – K4SAR/KV7D Co-Captains – working out of camper by the pond like last year, beam and wire antennae.

20m Phone – W4ORD – beam antenna, working out of tent shelters, further west than last year to avoid septic field.

10M Phone – NA4VY/KD4YJZ/WB4OSU – beam antenna out of loft on barn, same position as last year.

Multiband Digi – W4SAR – 40M Vertical, possibly 20M mini-loop,20 and 15 M dipoles. Co-located with 20M Phone tent.

VHF – KA5ETS – beam antenna, co-located in W3AHL's RV.

I have prepared a tentative site plan, some of it is conjecture until I hear from some more of the band captains.

We will be working out volunteers to pursue the various bonus points to be had (media publicity, elected official visit, served agency official visit, etc. Two new bonus point activities this year: 100 point for having a dedicated safety officer, and 100 point for publicizing Field Day via social media. We will revive the OCRA Facebook page for the latter. If no one volunteers, I will step up as the safety officer.

We may begin setup for Field Day as of 0000 hrs UTC on Friday June24, which translates to 8:00 p.m. local time on Thursday the 23rd. Since it will become dark shortly after that time, Thursday may only safely be used to drop off equipment. The vast bulk of the set up should be done on that Friday, leaving Saturday morning for final testing and tweaking of stations before the official start of field Day operations at 2:00 p.m. local time. Many hands will make light work, to help safely set up towers, haul lines and carry batteries. It will be very important to have many hands helping to tear down on Sunday after 2:00 p.m., as many of us will be quite tired. I will bring my kayak as it proved useful for ferrying wires across the pond.

Some important logistics:

Wilson would like to set up some preparatory work days in advance, basically clearing ground and cleaning and prepping some of the equipment. We may need a walk-through to finalize station and antenna siting.

Food – Skip will be providing sandwich platters, chips, and cookies for lunch on Friday. We will be having a pot luck dinner that evening, it was a big hit last year. John, KM4MDR will be helping to coordinate the contributions for this year. Look for messages on the OCRA yahoo group to facilitate this. Dee, KU4GC and M.K., W4MKR will again run the field canteen during FD operations. They will provide a dinner on Saturday evening (hamburgers, hotdogs, salmon burgers, Boca Burgers, chicken sausage and sides), and a hearty pancake breakfast with KK4EIB’s New York maple syrup, and especially lots of coffee, on Sunday morning, a bargain at $5 for each of these meals ($10 for both). Unlimited cold soft drinks and bottled water will be available throughout the operation.

Logging – All logging will be performed on computers, either N1MM or N3FJP may be used. As long as the logs can be submitted to me as a standard ADIF file, I can merge them all into a master document. Anyone wanting to use N1MM should ask Bruce, N1LN. For N2FJP, see me, I have a license key for that program. BTW, for our operating category, only the transceivers themselves need be on battery or natural power. Auxiliary equipment such as logging computers, fans, lighting may use a/c power drops. The one exception on computers is if they are being used to directly control the radio, i.e., digital modes or VFO control, then they too must be on battery power.

I greatly look forward to participating in Field Day again. Everyone is encouraged to come out, even if you can only stay a little while, though some hardy souls will be there for the duration. It is open to experienced contesters, and to the newest of newly licensed hams. It will even be open to ham wannabes, control ops will be there to help unlicensed operators work a station legally. It is intense at times, but a fun event, and an activity that has done more than anything else to bind together two great clubs, the Durham FM Association and Orange County Radio Amateurs, in friendship.


DurHamFest Site Plan

Last Updated on Friday, 17 June 2016 16:18
 
May 3 Program: DurHamFest Plans & Model Tains Print E-mail
Written by KU4GC   
Saturday, 30 April 2016 14:39

The program at Bullock's BBQ on Tuesday will be a two parter.  First we will do DurHamFest Planning.  We'll go over the spots where we think help will be needed.  We'll also discuss changes from last year.

Rhett, KE4HIH, will talk about one of his passions: Model Railroads.

He will be talking about electric power commonly used, accuracy of models in terms of their appearance, and operation of models to various groups.  The groups have ranged from one or two to 10 to 15, and to over 4000 at large shows.

Those of you who haven't seen his S-gauge layout have really missed something.  This should be a fun presentation.

Rhett  has been a teacher of electrical engineering, mostly analog circuits, in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Duke University, for 52 years.

Last Updated on Sunday, 01 May 2016 22:52
 
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