Split Rock Lighthouse 2012
OXB Special Install
The Joe Simonet WØTBC Memorial Award
2021 W0TBC Memorial Award
2020 S.A.R.A. EXECUTIVE OFFICERS
Split Rock 2013
Fitzgerald Crew 2012
SARA Field Day 2011
WØJH 2004
AGØH 2013

BOARD MEETING MINUTES – August 16, 2023

BOARD MEETING MINUTES – August 16, 2023

Stillwater Amateur Radio Association

This was a Zoom online meeting.

Roll Call of Officers – Present:  Joe KCØOIO, Bob WØGAF, Shel NØDRX, Dave N9JNQ, Rich ADØSN, Brad VE3MXJ, Brian KØPU.

President: Joe KCØOIO

The meeting was called to order at 6:36 PM.

Secretary’s Report – Dave N9JNQ

The previous Board Meeting and Membership Meeting minutes can be found posted to the club website.  Dave N9JNQ indicated that the May 2023 Membership meeting minutes still need to be posted and will be done shortly.

​​Treasurer’s Report – Rich ADØSN

Beginning Total Balance:   07/01/2023     $18,661.87

  • SARA

Balance:                                                   $6,693.53

Income:                                                   $50.00

Expenses:                                                $0.00

Ending Balance:     07/31/2023         $6,743.53

  • RBF

Balance:                                                 $11,968.34

Income:                                                  $0.00

Expenses:                                               $0.00

Ending Balance:  07/31/2023        $11,968.34

Ending Total Balance: 07/31/2023       $18,711.87

Rich ADØSN reports the SARA income was dues payments.  Rich noted that he has yet to receive an invoice for reimbursement for food for the recent club events.  Collin will be putting together the bill, which is in the neighborhood of $140.00, shortly.

Joe KCØOIO reported that $70.00 will be going back to the club treasury from the recent POTA Meet-Up weekend.  Joe reports that the collections covered food and charcoal, along with a substantial part of the shelter rental.

Rich is unaware of any other outstanding bills.

Trustee’s Report – Shel NØDRX

Shel NØDRX notes there is nothing to report at this time.

Reports of Standing Committees:

Activities & Events:  Dave WØOXB & Bob WØGAF

Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald Special Event – The W0F special event call sign has been secured for the event.  Some discussion is necessary on how the call sign will be used.  This will be addressed by the special event committee in the future.

Field Day 2023 – Bob W0GAF noted that the biggest take away from the event is that we will have to work hard on getting our usual Field Day site next year.  Bob noted that there was a good turnout at the CW tent as a result of the recent CW work group.

Joe KC0OIO noted that after discussions with Bob the club is going to try to put in place new folks to organize the tent.  Joe has secured a commitment from Tim KF0JEL to co-chair the event for next year; another co-chair will need to be recruited.  Bob agreed to coach the new recruits through the planning process.

2023 SARA POTA Challenge – Joe KC0OIO reported that we received a lot of great feedback on the club’s POTA Challenge at the POTA Meet-Up.  Bob W0GAF had prepared an set up a nice standings board that was displaced.

SARA POTA Activity Day – The June 10 POTA Activity day went well.  Joe KC0OIO and Collin KE0IYN did a successful five-park rove.  Plus it was great to have Brad VE3MXJ down for the event.

SARA POTA Meet Up –  Joe KC0OIO reported that attendance was in the 40 to 50 range.  This included some celebrities: Well-known Minnesota POTA participant Pat W0YES and Don WA6ZMT, who has been active in the upcoming Midwest ARRL Conference.  Also, Shane KD9NJJ has put together a nice video on YouTube regarding the Meet-Up, with Part 2 to follow.

After discussion, it was agreed that it is good to have both the June and the August POTA events as they target different audiences and have different purposes.

Bob W0GAF noted that the club’s activation was limited.  The stations was set up but, as there were up to five stations operating within the confined space of the Meet-Up, we did not want to overpower the others.  The purpose of the club station was to make it available to others that may want to activate, but as there were many other stations, that aspect was covered.

It was agreed that the club should pursue the event again next year, but perhaps with others taking the reins.

On Air Activities – All is going well with the round robin ragchews.

Summers in the Park – SARA’s summers in the park have been going well.  we have one more night at Valley View Park, August 31, which will be the SARA Micro Tailgate/Tabletop Hamfest.  The Boomsite is the location of this Thursday’s event, and the last eyeball will be at Brown’s Creek.  We will then shift back to the Library for the weekly eyeballs.

Education and Training – Bob WØGAF

General Class – Bob WØGAF reports that the General Class will get underway of September 21.  Dan KEØIYF has been doing a yeoman’s job of securing the class rooms, which has been difficult.  If a particular class lacks a location, we can use the Eyeball library room as a last resort.  Bob has contacted and gotten responses from the instructors.  At the moment, we have three people signed up for the class, with a couple of possibles who have not committed yet.  The club will not be securing General License Manuals as the students typically get the books themselves.  The word is out, it has been posted to the ARRL website, class posters have been prepared and provided, newsletter information has been sent out, and Bob has notified the two other radio clubs that he typically notifies of upcoming classes.  Bob will send notice of the class to the Technician Class distribution list, noting that even if the Techs have upgraded they may want to attend just to get a more rounded education.

VE Team – Shel NØDRX

Shel NØDRX reported that the upcoming VE session, scheduled for November 16, 2023, will take place in the Town Hall rather than the usual room at Boutwells Landing due to lack of availability.  We already have an adequate number of VEs who have volunteered for the session.

Reports of Work Groups:

Website:  Collin KEØIYN & Bob WØGAF

Collin KEØIYN reported to Joe KC0OIO that the website is operating fine.

Newsletter – Pat WAØTDA, Dave WØOXB

Pat WAØTDA noted that, it being the middle of the month, he is starting to get the template together and is ready to accept articles at any time.  If you have an idea, type it up and get it in while it is fresh in your mind.

Repeater – Shel N0DRX, Henry K0HAS, Doug N9TOW

Brian K0PU noted that he was notified that the DR2X is on sale for $700.00 if the club is interested in a newer version of the repeater as the current one has been reported to have some issues.  At the moment Brian is unable to find the deal online.  Joe KC0OIO noted that we need to get up the stack and do some cleaning to address a possible overheating issue.

Remote Bases Technical Committee – Pat WAØTDA

Pat WAØTDA noted that the W0JH station is under test, and has passed with flying colors.  The only issue was related to pilot error.  Pat is going to port over the W0ZSW users to the new station.  The only question now is how to remotely maintain the station.  There are a number of alternatives to consider, including Windows Remote Desktop, Splashtop, Open Source VNP, etc.  We need something reliable and not too clunky.  Pat will refer to Brian KB9TBB or Collin KE0IYN as they are the tech gurus.

Joe KC0OIO proposes that Pat, Brian, Collin, or whomever else is on the committee make a recommendation to the Board as to what we need for remote operation, antenna, equipment cabinet, station grounding/lightening arrestor, etc.  The club has more than adequate funds to make the needed acquisitions.  There still is some question regarding the antenna capabilities, such as how much room is there for an antenna, will an OXB Special fit in the location, etc.  The current station includes a LDG 1000 Pro2 antenna tuner, which can handle 6 through 160 meters.  Joe will be seeing Brian soon and will inquire as to what he wants and needs for the antenna.

Brian K0PU suggested we get the hardware up there early before the snow flies and deal with the software when we can.  Bob W0GAF suggests not skimping on the administrative software, we should acquire what the guys need to operate the remote station and not be cheap about it.

M.A.P and NHRG:  Dave WØOXB & Brian NØBJE

M.A.P. – Nothing to report.

NHRG – Brian K0PU reported that he is transitioning much of the loaner equipment to Shane W0NKA due to Brian being out of town often due to his work schedule.  The loaner program inventory will be done.

Groups.io and Discord

All operating well and being used.

Meetings & Programs – Joe KCØOIO

Program Planning Team – Dave N9JNQ reported that the September program will be about NanoVNAs, with the October program on hold until a decision is made on when the membership meeting will take place or whether it will be canceled.  A program on grounding will most likely be the next topic, with a Zoom presentation on AMSAT.  A couple of possible presenter were suggested,agreed to contact Chuck about a possible program.

Room Reservations – Dan KFØIYF

Joe KCØOIO noted that, with the Stillwater Public Library now only accepting reservations 90 days out, Dan KFØIYF has been sitting by the computer until midnight and still the Eyeball room is taken.  Thanks Dan for your continued efforts.

Unfinished Business

MN ARC Leaders Group/ARRL MN Section Conference – Bob WØGAF reported that the Section Conference will take place at the Hennepin Technical College in Brooklyn Park, MN on October 14, 2023. It is primarily going to be an education opportunity rather than a hamfest/swap meet.  It is being aimed at newer hams.  Online registration is now available, and lunch will be included with the price of admission.  Cost is $30.00 through September 30, $40.00 October 1 through the 14th.

As SARA provided seed money for funding of the event, it will have a table available to it.  We will need to determine out how to staff the table.  Hours are 9 AM until 4 PM.  Bob is dealing with credentials.  The organizers are working to get vendors at the event.  Brian K0PU suggested that perhaps the club have a small radio to auction at the club table.  Joe KC0OIO suggested that we do some research on cost, etc., before we decide what we are doing for our table.

Trailer inventory – Joe KCØOIO reported that the mothballs are successfully warding off the mice.  For now.

Inventory of New Ham resources Equipment – Brian KØPU is planning on getting the inventory done.

Handiham Radio Camp – Handiham Radio Camp will take place September 9-13, 2023.  Pat WAØTDA and Joe KC0OIO have exchanged emails with Lucinda at Handihams, and it appears there may be more hoops to jump through than anticipated to have a presence there with the trailer.

New Business

Date Change for October Membership Meeting – Joe KCØOIO noted that the ARRL MN Section Conference conflicts with SARA’s October 14 Membership Meeting date.  It was suggested that we can either cancel the October meeting or move it.  It was the consensus of the Board that it should be moved to October 7, 2023.

Dave N9JNQ made a motion to change the October Membership Meeting date from October 14 to October 7, 2023; Bob W0GAF seconded the motion; the motion passed unanimously (Brad VE3MXJ was offline due to lightening strikes in his area).

Officers for 2024 – Joe KCØOIO noted that Rich AD0SN has decided not to run for reelection as Treasurer for 2024.  Joe thanked Rich for all his efforts over the past six years he has held the office.  Suggestions as to a possible replacement were made.

Replacement of the club’s AGM batteries – Joe KCØOIO noted that the clubs current AGM batteries have not been holding up.  Bob W0GAF commented that one of the batteries died quickly at the POTA Meet-Up.  Plus they are very heavy.  The Board agreed that we should go with the newer and lighter technology, such as the Bioenno line of batteries.  It was agreed that a 40ah battery is preferred, and we should have at least two, if not three. It was noted that the lifespan of such a battery should easily be 10 years.  As the price of one battery is approximately $350.00, we will need to take such a purchase to the membership.  Joe will bring a 40ah Bioenno battery to the September Membership Meeting to demonstrate how light these batteries are.  Bob W0GAF will prepare a slide for the meeting comparing difference batteries and their prices, with the Board’s recommendation.  It was agreed that we should propose purchasing two such batteries and, if we can demonstrate a need for a third, bring that back to membership at a future meeting.

PTZ camera for streaming of club membership meetings – Joe KCØOIO proposed the club purchasing a PTZ camera and accessories for streaming club meetings.  The camera will make things much easier and provide a much better picture online.

Bob W0GAF made a motion to purchase the Obsbot Tiny 4K camera package with remote and cable, currently advertised on Amazon for $296.99 plus tax; Brian K0PU seconded the motion.  Motion passed unanimously.

ARRL Special Service Club Certificate – Joe KCØOIO noted that the certificate is now being sent by ARRL in a digital version.  SARA’s certificate was received on August 14, 2023.

Donation to POTA – Joe KCØOIO suggested that SARA consider giving a $100.00 donation to the POTA organization, as the club did last year.  This is in recognition to SARA’s extensive use of the POTA database and website for the SARA POTA Challenge.

Rich AD0SN made a motion to donate $100.00 in the name of SARA to the POTA organization; Bob W0GAF  seconded the motion.  Motion passed unanimously.

Bob WØGAF made a motion to adjourn the meeting; the motion was seconded by Brian KØPU; the motion passed unanimously.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:29 PM.