Nominations for SARA board (and results)

The following positions will be up for election in July 2013: Secretary, Treasurer, two Director at Large and two regular Directors. If you would like to run for one of the available SARA officer or board positions please send a note to Secretary Bill Seymour ( copying President Bill Lord ( Contact information also is listed in the Administrative Info tab on the SARA website (‐ and in the Administrative section of the SARA journal. 

Nominations received as of the date of this publication are listed here. A short write‐up of each nominee’s experience and reasons for running for an officer or director position follows along with a ballot and voting instructions.

Nominated for Secretary: Tom Hagen

Nominated for Treasurer: Melinda Lord

Nominated for Director: Ken Redcap, Bruce Randall, Jim Brown, Chip Sufitchi

Nominated for Director‐At‐Large: Keith Payea, Stan Nelson, Curt Kinghorn


Nominated for Director: Ken Redcap -  elected

I live in Rochester, MI. Spent five (5) years in Greenville, SC. I have a bachelors in electrical engineering and chemistry (Lawrence Institute of Technology). A masters in electrical engineering (Oakland University). My interests include anything in the Information Technology (IT) or Industrial Engineering (IE) field. I am also interested in anything found in the
electromagnetic spectrum.

I use to be WD8OJW many years ago and would like to get my HAM radio license again. I belong to OAC (Oakland (county) Astronomy Club (1 year), MHO (McMath Hulbert Observatory, Lake Angelus, MI (4 years)) and of course, SARA (1 year).

Currently I am helping Brandon High School (Ortonville, MI) which has a team active in First Robotics Competition (FRC).

I am a single father of two (no cats). I would very much like to serve as a director.





Nominated for Director: Bruce Randall NT4RT

Bruce Randall was born in 1949, so he is getting to be an old timer. Bruce got his first ham radio license in 1966. He presently has an extra class license with a call of NT4RT. (The RT in the call is for "Radio Telescope.")

Bruce has worked as an electronic engineer since 1978, with involvement in analog circuit design, power supplies, a bit of DSP work and some antenna design. His hobbies include astronomy, ham radio and radio astronomy. Bruce also enjoys canoeing and hiking, as time permits.

Bruce has been a SARA member for over 20 years. He is now a life member. His experiments with radio astronomy started in 1990, in the days of the chart recorder as the output device. He present interested is interferometers, and possible extended baselines in the future.

Bruce has been on the SARA board in the past and is willing to serve again.





Nominated for Director: Jim Brown NJ3B

Jim Brown has been an active SARA member since 1999 and currently serves on the Grant Committee. As Mentor Chairperson, Jim compiled a computer disk full of radio astronomy resources to support the mentors in their outreach. Jim has served on the board of directors.

Jim is an avid Radio Jove observer and provides mentoring to new RJ observers on calibrating and other topics.






Nominated for Director: Ciprian "Chip" Sufitchi N2YO - elected

Ciprian "Chip" Sufitchi in an active ham radio operator first licensed in 1991 as YO3FWC. Currently he holds an "extra class" license with call sign N2YO and he is very active in HF contests, mainly in CW. Chip has a special interest in HF propagation and he is running continuously for more than 10 years a weekly propagation bulletin which became available online in 2005. In 2006 he created, a web site dedicated to live satellite tracking, which is now the most popular satellite tracking application available on web. He is also running a few other sites, such as the most popular Romanian web site dedicated to amateur radio ( and, a recognized reference site to determine magnetic declination on Google Maps.

Chip graduated the Military Academy in Bucharest Romania, holding an MBA and a BS in Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering. During his career he worked as telecom engineer, programmer, software manager. Currently he is Sr. web developer at Mantech Int'l in Fairfax VA. Other of his hobbies include amateur satellites (member of AMSAT), astronomy (member of NOVAC, one of the largest clubs in the United States) and fishing. Worth to note is that Chip has two black cats.

Chip first joined SARA in 2008, then a year later he completely redesigned the web site and now he is the webmaster. His main interest in radio astronomy is using VLF and ELF propagation to detect high energy events such as solar flares and X‐ray bursts. He is running, a web site collecting and displaying in real time 24/7 information broadcast by a microcontroller from a SID monitor located at his house. If elected, Chip will direct his efforts to improve SARA's public visibility and to extend organization's involvement in distributing radio astronomy related electronic kits which could attract more people to radio astronomy and will improve SARA's cash flow.




Nominated for Director‐At‐Large: Keith Payea AG6CI

Keith was born at the beginning of the space race, and was fascinated with science from an early age. A crystal radio kit and a department store telescope were early Christmas gifts. He won a Bausch and Lomb Science award in High School and went on to earn a BSEE from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1979. As a freshman at WPI, Keith received his first amateur radio license.

After a 24 year career as an engineer, project manager, and department manager, he decided to become a full-time consultant in 2003.

A flier on the wall at work in 2000 introduced Keith to the Robert Ferguson Observatory (RFO) in Kenwood, CA. He quickly signed on as a docent and became very involved in the local amateur astronomy community. For two years, Keith was President of the Sonoma County Astronomical Society. In parallel he had discovered the online presence of SARA and the SETI League and joined both. For the last few years his primary activity at the RFO has been to interpret Radio Astronomy for the visitors using a donated Radio Jove receiver in the context of general solar observing. A long term goal is to have 24/7, remotely accessible radio observations at the RFO.

In early 2011 Keith took all three tests in one sitting and earned his Extra Class license, AG6CI. He is also active in the local ham radio club and enjoys operating "Field Day" style at parks and campgrounds.

Keith has been an attendee and sometimes presenter at four of the SARA Western Conferences so far. High on his "Bucket List" is to attend the SARA annual conference and meet some of the folks he has only known on-line. Keith lives in Santa Rosa, CA with his wife Nicolette and a cat named Luna.



Nominated for Director-At-Large: Stan Nelson KB5VL - elected

Stan Nelson is a native of Niagara Falls, New York. He settled in Roswell, New Mexico in 1968. He has been a licensed amateur radio operator since 1961 and currently holds an Amateur Extra Class license as KB5VL. He acquired a 1st Class Radio-Telephone-Operators license in 1962 while in the U. S. Air Force. He became involved the land mobile radio business in Texas. He moved to New Mexico to work for Transwestern Pipeline Company and managed their communications systems for 34 years. He retired in 2002. He became involved in astronomy in the 1970s and served as Roswell’s astronomy club president and provided support to our local planetarium for over ten years. In the last fifteen years he runs an active meteor burst monitoring station which feeds with live audio on a 24x7 basis. He has added numerous related frequencies and activities to monitor additional meteor burst and maintains a site at to share meteor detection data. He recently joined S.A.R.A. and attended the recent Western Region conference in Socorro, New Mexico. After that meeting he acquired an e-Callisto station and TMA from Whit Reeve and is now a regular contributor to the program. Three years ago he was invited to write a feature article on his meteor activity for Monitoring Time. Monitoring Times then invited him to write a quarterly column on radio astronomy which has appeared regularly since December 2010.





Nominated for Director-At-Large: Curt Kinghorn W6OEA elected

I am a passionate radio astronomy practitioner, primarily with a 611 MHz telescope I designed and built but also with a 10.7 GHz telescope I am developing. I am also a fervent ambassador for SARA and radio astronomy whenever and wherever I can. In the last few years, I have given talks to three ham groups and an astronomy group in the Sacramento, California area and, after relocating to San Diego, one ham group here so far. Before I left the Sacramento area, I was working with a local community college to develop a radio astronomy program as part of their general astronomy program.

Based in part on these experiences, I think we can do a much better job in our outreach to astronomy clubs, ham clubs and even high schools, community colleges and universities. As a SARA Director, I will work to broaden our outreach programs.

Although SARA has a large population of technically savvy people, including hams, I believe it is very much in SARA’s interest to develop an affordable, scientifically useful and powerful “turnkey” radio telescope that could be used by those interested in radio astronomy but not yet very technically competent or those just starting out in radio astronomy. Both of my radio telescopes take advantage of and borrow from the technological advances in the UHF and satellite TV areas that produce low‐cost, easy to use, powerful and low-noise components. I know many SARA members, myself included, are working with the FunCube dongle as a software based receiver. As a SARA Director, I will work to coordinate the efforts of SARA members in these and similar areas. I believe this would go far in achieving the goal of producing the “everyman’s radio telescope.”

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics, an MBA and a Doctorate in Law. I am also a ham (W6OEA). Professionally, I am Director – IP for Volcano Corporation, a medical device company that develops, manufactures and sells intravascular imaging and therapy products. Previously, I was CEO and President of Anoka Biomedical, a company developing anastomosis devices for use in cardiovascular bypass surgery and to treat peripheral artery disease. Before that, at the medical device giant Medtronic, Inc., I was General Counsel for its Surgical Technology Business, Chief Patent Counsel for its Neurological and Cardiac Surgery Businesses and World‐wide Trademark Counsel.


Nominated for Secretary: Tom Hagen NE9Y elected

I’m Tom Hagen and I live in Rochester MI (Detroit area). I’m an electrical engineer working for an automotive supplier, specializing in electromagnetic compatibility. I have bachelor and master’s degrees in EE and am married with 3 cats. I’ve been a member of SARA since 2010 and consider myself a beginning radio astronomer. In addition to SARA I’m a member of 2 other astronomical organizations: Oakland Astronomy Club (Oakland County MI) and the McMath‐Hulbert Astronomical Society. My ham call is NE9Y. Cycling is another hobby: I’ve biked across Kansas 3 times and Michigan 4 times.

At this point my interests in radio astronomy are SuperSID, natural radio, and Radio Jove. I’ve built an IBT and I take the opportunity to use the 40’ dish at Green Bank during the conferences to make observations.

Last year I was excited to detect 3C295, a quasar 5 billion light years away! I’m also studying radio astronomy basics, trying to get my head around all this temperature and thermodynamic business that for me is a totally different way of looking at radio frequency transmission/detection. And I really appreciate all the help I’ve received in this organization in my efforts to increase my knowledge of this vast subject.

I’d be happy to serve as SARA Secretary; I see it as an opportunity to serve an organization that has given me a lot of support and enjoyment.




Nominated for Treasurer: Melinda Lord KJ4SKK elected

I got my first job in accounting when I told the interviewer my check book balanced each month. She put me to work in payroll. That was almost 30 years ago. In all of my jobs as controller, outside CPA’s audit the books at year end and they are always in compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP.)

I am glad to be able to offer my experience to help SARA keep a good record of their finances. We are all volunteers and it is important the membership know their money is managed properly. I have held the SARA Treasurer’s position since 2008.