I went to my first RVRC meeting last night - Raritan Valley Radio Club. This is the other repeater group that I was considering joining. I submitted my formal application and began the process. Not that I'm that much into repeater operating; but it is nice to have someone to talk with on the way to and from work. Also, as a side benefit, a lot of the Hams who used to belong to the Piscataway Amateur Radio Club also belong to the RVRC.
Again, my timing is impeccable as I am joining in the midst of a complete repeater overhaul. This item of discussion dominated the agenda last night, It seems that the 2 Meter repeater, the 440 MHz repeater and the antenna ALL need replacing! A vote was taken and approved to buy two Icom repeaters, and have the 2 Meter antenna that is currently in place swapped out with the club spare. The hopes is that the main antenna, which is a sort of folded dipole can be repaired from a "near" lightning hit. It is thought that while the antenna was not directly hit, that some of the internal elements got damaged by the lightning just hitting close enough.
In any event, my application has to be read at a second meeting and a vote taken. If I am approved, I am sure they will be more than happy to accept my dues money, given the current financial situation.
On a lighter side, I was not lucky enough to win the meeting's 50/50 drawing; but I did win a copy of the 2010 ARRL Handbook on CD that someone had donated. Not quite the same as winning the grand prize at Dayton; but nice nonetheless.
Several other blogs have mentioned the annual "Pee and Moan Fest" that always seems to accompany the Dayton Hamvention. I've gone there enough times to experience the best and the worst. However, if I was given the chance to go back (and could afford to), I would do so in a heartbeat. Dayton is something that EVERY Amateur Radio op should do at least once in their lifetime. Those who can go should enjoy the ride and not complain so much. There are plenty of us out here who would change places with you quicker than you can say Jack Robinson.
Not much more than that. Now that Spring is here and the pollen abounds, I am feeling quite miserable. I think it will be an early night tonight.
72 de Larry W2LJ