Captain’s Cabin

by Tom Frenaye, K1KI

YCCC Scuttlebutt #123, June 1996


Reports of the death of the YCCC are apparently not true! It must be a rumor spread on 75m SSB (or the Internet). At the April meeting we had a good debate about ways to motivate YCCC members so we might take that last step or two towards winning CQ WW and the ARRL DX Contests. We can do it, we just don't want it bad enough - or at least we haven't until now.

Regardless of the pros and cons of the amendment offered at the last meeting, there were people who made some impassioned speeches and pleas for change within YCCC. It really sounded like we want to win!

We're beginning to accumulate some of the stepping stones that will put us back on top:
1995 ARRL DX Competition: 2nd place (very close though)
1995 CQ WPX: 1st place
1995 ARRL SS: 3rd place (unlimited club category)
1995 CQ WW DX: ? (in October CQ)
1995 ARRL 160m: 1st place (medium club category)
1996 ARRL DX: ? (in October QST)

Next time you look around the room at a YCCC meeting, think about how many different people it takes to run YCCC. Start with the three people you elected as club officers, add in nine Area Managers, SYSOPS for more than a dozen PacketCluster nodes, nine people on the YCCC Advisory Committee, another dozen or more who run the YCCC-sponsored W1 QSL Bureau, those who are working on the YCCC Web page, keeping the YCCC Internet reflector running, the Scuttlebutt editor, those who serve on the ARRL and CQ Contest committees, the liaison to the ARRL, hosts for Contest Universities, the DXpedition coordinator, and no doubt I've forgotten a few! That's almost 25%of the club! And yet, there are still some jobs unfilled - we can do even more with your help.

With so much going on, it's a wonder we can squeeze in enough time to do station improvements, get on the air for a half-dozen major contests a year, and keep up with family and business responsibilities. That leads into one of the key issues that came out of the last club meeting, discussions on the YCCC Advisory Committee, and packet and e-mail exchanges I've had with a lot of people. We need to make some changes to our meetings.

We usually have one meeting at the ARRL New England Division Convention (Boxboro or Manchester, a summer picnic, and four meetings in Sturbridge. While Sturbridge is near the center of the club, there are only a handful of members within 25 miles of there! The largest populations of YCCC members are north and west of Boston (including SE New Hampshire) and Connecticut. That covers 75% of the club. Almost everyone travels from 30 minutes to two hours to get to the meetings, then we have a fairly full program with a short break about 2/3 of the way through (where 30% of us leave), and not enough time for new people to meet the veterans. There isn't enough time for ragchewing, bragging, debating and planning.

The consensus seems to be that we need to focus more on shorter programs that directly tie to station building and operating, that while central meetings are essential to the club as a whole, we need to have meetings closer to some of the YCCC population centers in a less formal atmosphere (pizza, beer, etc). The Contest Universities we've had in the past have served part of that purpose. There is no reason why we can't have more meetings. Most of the other contest clubs have monthly meetings, and most of them have the meetings during the week. Why don't we add some additional regional meetings during the year?

We had the first of what I hope will be several summer BBQ meetings at N6BV's QTH in early May. I'm hoping we'll have additional meetings in the Boston, Hart-ford and Westchester NY areas during July-August-September. Attendance at the August picnic meeting near Sturbridge has been sparse for many years so let's replace it with something better. The combination of central and regional meetings will give us the flexibility we need to have.

See you in Sturbridge on June 1st - bring a new member (or previous member) with you and let's start planning and working on those needed station improvements now while the weather is good. We have plenty of members, an abundance of operating talent, and better propagation than the competition - we should win most of the time!

This should arrive in your mailbox before the CQ WPX CW Contest (May 25-26) - please get on and make some points for YCCC!