BOARD MEETING MINUTES – April 15, 2021
BOARD MEETING MINUTES – April 15, 2021
Stillwater Amateur Radio Association
Cisco Webex online meeting due to COVID-19 social distancing
Roll Call of Officers – Present: Joe KCØOIO, Bob WØGAF, Dave N9JNQ, Zack AAØU, Doug N9TOW. Absent: Shel NØDRX, Rich ADØSN.
President: Joe KCØOIO
The meeting was called to order at 6:37 pm.
Secretary’s Report – Dave N9JNQ
March 18, 2021, Board Meeting minutes have been posted to the club website by Dave N9JNQ.
Treasurer’s Report – Rich ADØSN
Beginning Total Balance: 04/01/2021 $18,466.20
Ending Balance: 04/14/2021 $5,708.31
Ending Balance: 04/14/2021 $12,805.05
Ending Total Balance: 04/14/2021 $18,513.36
Joe KCØOIO reports that the $60.00 income represents dues payments. The $132.84 expense is for a nine-year registration of the club’s domain name.
Reports of Committees/Work Groups:
Website: Joe KCØOIO & Bob WØGAF
Long-term Domain Name Registration – Joe KCØOIO reports that the long-term domain name registration is good through 2031, and has been completed. It was quite a savings over the last registration provider the club used.
Email issue – The @radioham.org email unable-to-confirm-identity issue is being address by Collin KEØIYN.
For Sale Page – Bob WØGAF reported on the progress of setting up a members “for sale” page for the SARA website. He is working on the menu structure at the moment. It was proposed that Bob could harvest for sale postings from the club’s new Groups.io forum.
Website News Articles – Bob reports that no web design efforts are needed to post SARA Signals Newsletter articles on the website. Bob will work with Pat WAØTDA on the formatting. Bob asked for any suggestions on articles that would be, or would not be, good for posting. Bob proposes to just take one article and post it to get the ball rolling, and he will also look at taking old articles from past Newsletters and post them periodically during the summer months when the Newsletter is on hiatus.
New Ham Resource Page- The proposed specific tab on the website for the New Ham Resource Team is in progress.
Activities & Events: Dave WØOXB
Split Rock Lighthouse Special Event – Joe KCØOIO reports that Shel NØDRX has been in contact with the Minnesota DNR about reserving the Trail Center at the State Park. Shel was informed that the DNR is not yet taking reservations for the Trail Center, but that the event is at the top of the Park’s list. Dave WØOXB stated that there is an ARRL deadline for getting the special event listed on the ARRL website and published in QST, but it was agreed that the notice can be generic to encompass either on-site operations or at-home distributed operations.
Field Day 2021 – Joe KCØOIO stated that, if the club has an outside presence, it will be smaller scale than in past years. The club has not booked the usual park pavilion and any operation most likely would be a small park event, perhaps Valley View Park in Oak Park Heights as we do not need a pavilion with a kitchen/food service area as in past years. Bob WØGAF suggested that it would be more like a Radios in the Park operation. There is the issue of proximity of users and the sharing of microphones that would have to be addressed in any such operation.
In any event, as with last year, the club will encourage distributed operations with members operating under their own calls from their own QTH or other site, and submitting their scores to ARRL and using SARA-MN as a club to aggregate scores on behalf of the club. There was some discussion regarding whether we need to have as many activities planned as the club had last year for participants, perhaps just taking the “best of the best” for this year. It was agreed that the particulars will be addressed at a FD planning session. Joe set the planning session for the May 6, 2021, Thursday night virtual eyeball.
M.A.P: Dave WØOXB
It was noted that we could use creating three teams under the services provided by M.A.P. – one for antenna raising; one for providing help to the ham on how to tune up the antenna and operate the rig with the antenna; and a third group to provide tips on operating techniques.
New Ham Resource Group – Brian NØBJE & KEØQQN
Nothing new to report, other than recognizing that the group is morphing into being a resource into new and “not-so-new” ham club members.
SARA Groups.io Forum
Joe KCØOIO noted that the club’s new Groups.io site is up and running and has at the moment 34 members.
Meetings & Programs – Joe KCØOIO
Membership Meeting Programs – Everyone agreed that the April Membership Meeting program by Don Wilbanks AE5DW, current reporter for Amateur Radio Newsline and contributor to the Ham Nation program, was entertaining. All agreed that having the program first before the business portion of the meeting worked well, and was better for the program presenter as Don was able to get on with his day.
Joe KCØOIO has secured Frank Howell K4FMH of Ridgeland, Mississippi (courtesy of Webex) for the May Membership Meeting program. Frank is a presenter on the ICQ Podcast and has been co-host of the QSO Radio Show on WTWW and of the Amateur Radio Roundtable on WBCQ and w5kub.com. Frank is also a retired statistician and a retired university professor. Frank will be providing a program he has prepared and given in the past entitled “Does price buy performance or satisfaction in an HF Rig?”.
Dick NØUC asked if SEMARC could replay some of SARA’s recorded programs for its members. As SARA has a close relationship with the SEMARC club, it was agreed that the programs could be shared, as well as its members stream the original programs. Details to be worked out.
Tech Topic Thursday – Joe KCØOIO noted that the featured speaker for Tech Topic Thursday on May 13, 2021, beginning at 7:00 PM, will be Joe Eisenberg KØNEB discussing “Kit Building Techniques For Success.”
Room Reservations – Dan KEØIYF & Shel NØDRX
Joe KCØOIO reported that Dan KEØIYF has reached out to the Stillwater Library. The Library does not know at this time when they are going to reopen for group meetings, but are working on a plan for reopening.
Newsletter – Pat WAØTDA, Dave WØOXB
The deadline for the upcoming newsletter is April 30, with a publication goal of May 4, 2021.
Repeater – Henry KØHAS, Shel NØDRX, Doug N9TOW
Zack AAØU reported that an article in the Oak Park Heights Quarterly Newsletter noted that the King Plant will shut down in 2028 with demolition following. Dave WØOXB suggested that we should plan a trip up the stack to take a look at the repeater, it probably is in need of some cleaning. Doug N9TOW suggested that we should take a look at the cooling fans to make sure they are still in operational order. Joe KCØOIO noted that he would leave it to the Repeater group to decide when to go up for an inspection and schedule same.
Remote Bases Technical Committee – Pat WAØTDA
Joe KCØOIO reports that the Icom IC-7300 has returned from being serviced under the warranty, there was in fact a blown final which was replaced. Service also did the recent firmware update on the rig. Joe will check with Pat WAØTDA whether there was an expense incurred for shipping to service.
Bill NØCIC, our WØEQO station administrator up in Park Rapids, MN, has mentioned that he would like to have an remote system administration software package that would be more reliable and would allow him to tackle more issues from his living room rather than having to head out to the Scout Camp to address issues. Eliot KEØN has suggested Splashtop as a remote software package, which Pat has been using for quite some time, and both have found it to be quite good. After discussion, it was agreed that Pat can work with Rich ADØSN on securing the $60 from the RBF account for the annual subscription of Splashtop for Bill’s use in maintaining the WØEQO remote base.
KBØOHI equipment donation – Dave N9JNQ reported that he has not yet gotten the materials listed online for sale, but will be doing so shortly. He plans to bring what is left to the May 20 Radios in the Park Tailgate Swapmeet. It was suggested that he also put the list on the Groups.io site.
Metro Skywarn WØJH Repeater Use – Joe KCØOIO reported that Greg KØGW has heard from Metro Skywarn on its interest in using the WØJH repeater for Skywarn activities in order to cover the east side of the Twin Cities area and western Wisconsin. Metro Skywarn asked for certain information regarding the repeater (location, coverage, effective radio power, controls, etc.) and stated that they were going to do some testing. Joe thinks he may have heard some testing of the repeater. Nothing further has been heard. Greg will check with them again to see if there is any progress.
NHRG QRP Loaner Kit – Brian NØBJE has not yet had an opportunity to prepare a website/newsletter article or prepare a survey addressing the issue of purchasing a QRP kit to gauge membership interest. He will look toward getting something together for the May newsletter or wait until after the summer to address the issue.
Washington County ARES EC recruitment – Washington County is still in the need of a new EC; let Joe KCØOIO know of any possible recruits.
Radios in the Park – The club’s first Radios in the Park will take place on April 29, 2021, followed by the May 20 event, which will also include the tailgate swapfest.
Membership Meeting Format Change – It was agreed that having the program first before the business meeting at the April Membership Meeting worked well and will be continued for the immediate future.
SARA Club Equipment Inventory – Joe KCØOIO noted that he the latest inventory of club property appears to have taken place in 2008. Joe was able to find an Excel spreadsheet inventory list on the SARA Google drive. He has updated the list to include the items that he currently has in his possession at his QTH and shared the list with the Board. An inventory of the SARA trailer will be attempted following the April 29, 2021, Radios in the Park event. Joe will share a copy of the Excel spreadsheet with those members who have club property in their possession or are responsible for club property for addition to the list. Other collections of items include the NHRG loaner equipment, the remote bases, the repeater site, the WIRES-X setup, and materials maintained by M.A.P. Joe will check the bylaws to see who should maintain the list once completed. (Note: Article IV, section 3, of the SARA bylaws states that “[t]he Secretary shall maintain a list of Club property and archive documents.”) Joe noted that the B&W antenna tuner held by the club has recently been sold and payment is in process.
Membership List – Joe KCØOIO noted that the club has around 120 members and asked for thoughts on whether our membership list should be made available to members. A review of the list shows that there are columns indicating whether members want or do not want their information made available, although the data is incomplete as many members have not filled out a new annual membership form where the question is asked for years. Joe proposes to let members know through the Sunday broadcast email that we are considering making the list available to members and asking that he be notified whether the member wants to be included or not on the list.
SEMARC Minnesota Statehood Special Event – Dick NØUC announced that SEMARC will hold a Minnesota Statehood Special Event on May 11, 2021, in Stillwater, Minnesota, traditionally called “the birthplace of Minnesota”, commemorating the 163rd anniversary of Minnesota statehood. The event will take place at Pioneer Park in Stillwater. There will be two stations operating. See the SEMARC website for details.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:24 pm on the motion of Bob WØGAF, seconded by Zack AAØU, passed unanimously.