May 14th Fox Hunt! What Fun!
2023 Simonet Memorial Award
Ice Station WØJH 2014
Fitzgerald Crew 2011
OXB Special Install
2019 SARA Executive Officers
SARA Work Party 2
SARA Field Day 2011
SARA Does Skywarn
2014 SARA Officers

BOARD MEETING MINUTES – December 13, 2023

BOARD MEETING MINUTES – December 13, 2023

Stillwater Amateur Radio Association

This was a Zoom online meeting.

Roll Call of Officers – Present:  Joe KCØOIO, Bob WØGAF, Dave N9JNQ, Brad VE3MXJ, Brian KØPU, Shel NØDRX; absent: Rich ADØSN.  A quorum was present.

President: Joe KCØOIO

The meeting was called to order at 6:39 PM.

Secretary’s Report – Dave N9JNQ

The Board Meeting and Membership Meeting minutes are up-to-date can be found posted to the club website.

​​Treasurer’s Report – Rich ADØSN

Beginning Total Balance:   11/01/2023     $17,427.13

  • SARA

Balance:                                                   $6,365.39

Income:                                                   $858.00

Expenses:                                                $610.54

Ending Balance:     11/30/2023         $6,612.85

  • RBF

Balance:                                                 $11,061.74

Income:                                                  $0.00

Expenses:                                               $63.19

Ending Balance: 11/30/2023        $10,998.55

Ending Total Balance: 11/30/2023       $17,611.40

Income for the month of November for the SARA account includes:

  • Dues:                                                      $770.00
  • Cups and decals:                                  $4.00
  • 50/50 Raffle:                                        $30.50
  • Donations:                                            $28.50
  • VE Session                                            $25.00

Expenses for the SARA account for the month of October includes:

  • SR-SE/Fuel, water, and firewood               $170.50
  • Award frames and mats                                $36.53
  • Splashtop membership                                 $99.00
  • Poinsettias for Boutwells                               $69.32
  • Flickr account renewal                                  $71.99
  • Zoom renewal                                                 $163.20

Expenses for the RBP account for the month of October includes:

  • WØJH antenna rope                                     $63.19

Trustee’s Report – Shel NØDRX

Shel NØDRX reports that the poinsettias were delivered to Boutwells Landing for the Holiday Season, in appreciation for the fine facilities used for our monthly membership meetings and our VE sessions.

Shel reported that all the Edmund Fitzgerald Special Event certificates have been send, with a few bounce-back emails which are being corrected.  The POTA logs have been uploaded.  With that, all post-event activities should be completed.

The club’s liability insurance payment, which is secured through the ARRL, is due January 1, 2024.  Shel did not know the precise amount of the annual premium, but the insurance for a year typically runs in the neighborhood of $100.00.

Dave N9JNQ made a motion that the club pay the 2024 liability insurance in the amount of approximately $100.00; the motion was seconded by Bob WØGAF; the motion passed unanimously.

Shel reported that the 2023 membership count is 153.  For 2024, 106 members have so far renewed.

Reports of Standing Committees:

Activities & Events:  Dave WØOXB & Bob WØGAF

Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald Special Event – Nothing further to report.

Ice Station WØJH –  Dave W0OXB has given notice to the ARRL of the event to have it printed in the February issue of QST.  Shel NØDRX has updated the information regarding the event on the club QRZ site.  Thanks to Dave KØAIF and Anne KØVOB for once again hosting the event at their QTH on the shores of beautiful Lake Elmo.  We will need a couple of volunteers to help construct the steps down to the ice, we will address that at a date closer to the event.

Field Day 2024 – Zack AAØU agreed to secure the permit for the use of the shelter at Autumn Hills Park on June 23-24, 2024 and secure a beverage permit as well.  The permits come available January 2, 2024 for the year; Zack will attempt to be there on that day.  The permits run approximately $100.00 for the shelter and $10.00 to $25.00 for the beverage permit.

Joe KCØOIO made a motion to authorize the purchase of the shelter and beverage permits for Autumn Hills Park for June 23-24, 2024 for the club’s Field Day event; Shel NØDRX seconded the motion; the motion passed unanimously.

2023 SARA POTA Challenge – Joe KC0OIO noted that a budget of $750.00 had been approved at the December 2023 Membership Meeting for the purchase of awards for the Challenge.  The awards will be given at the February Membership meeting.   Bob agreed to produce a spreadsheet from last years expenditures and update for the discussion.  Joe suggested that they meet after the MN POTA meeting scheduled for next Wednesday.

MN Parks On The Air Day June 8, 2024 – Joe KCØOIO appointed a work group pursuant to authorization of the Board at the November 2023 Board Meeting to promote this event.  The group is made up of Brad VE3MXJ, Collin KEØIYN, Shane WØNKQ, Dave KØAIF, John KD9YFC, and Tim KFØJEL.  The group will meet virtually next Wednesday, December 20, 2024.  SARA has been the main planner/instigator/promoter of the first annual MN POTA Day scheduled for June 8, 2024.  June 8 is conveniently the free entrance day for Minnesota State Parks, so the thought is to concentrate on state parks, although all qualifying entities are certainly available.

On Air Activities – Dave WØGAF noted that the on air activities are doing fine, with the evening group having recently moved back to 160 meters at 1.966 mhz.

Education and Training – Bob WØGAF

Bob WØGAF reports that classes are in a hiatus at the moment, with Technician classes scheduled for the spring.  Collin KEØIYN and Brian KB9TBB have volunteered to be instructors – thanks to them both.  Bob will provide them with a list of topics that they could teach.  Joe KCØOIO noted that he would like to take a different subject this time around.

Joe asked if there had been any interest expressed in an Amateur Extra Class study group.  Bob noted that he had not heard from anyone on that topic, but would put together a feeler that could be included within the weekly bulletin to gauge interest.

VE Team – Shel NØDRX

The next VE session is tentatively scheduled for April 25, 2024.

Reports of Work Groups:

Website:  Collin KEØIYN & Bob WØGAF

Joe KCØOIO noted that John KD9YFC has offered to help the club on its website design  This will be helpful with the possibility that the SARA Signals Newsletter may be shifted to on online presence on the website.  Collin KEØIYN notes that the website has been having some performance-related issues lately and he will take a look at it to see if he can speed up its response.  He suspects that, with the advances in WordPress since the website was created, that changes to the website theme may be warranted to address the issues.

Newsletter – Pat WAØTDA, Dave WØOXB

No report as we have no editor.

Repeater – Shel N0DRX, Henry K0HAS, Doug N9TOW

Joe KCØOIO notes that the repeater cabinet probably needs a cleaning to get the dust out of it to prevent overheating.

Remote Bases Technical Committee – Pat WAØTDA

Joe KCØOIO reported that the WØJH remote station located in Hayward, Wisconsin is on the air.  It has experienced some RFI issues, so it is limited to 75 watts at the moment.  It does not tune 160 meters, which could reflect a feed line or automatic tuner problem.  There was discussion on different experiences tuning a 300-foot wire antenna on 160 meters and whether an automatic tuner has that capability.

Brian KB9TBB said that nothing more was needed at the moment, and he complimented the group that came up for the day to activate the station, noting that they accomplished a lot in a short period of time.

Joe and Brian have been in discussions regarding the sharing of the expense for WiFi use at the site.  Brian will be monitoring the change in electric cost due to activation of the station.

There was a general consensus that the remote station should be available to Handiham members and current SARA members.  Pat WAØTDA and Eliot KEØN will be giving access to the remote station.  It is assumed that Pat knows who the Handiham users are at the moment.

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

M.A.P. – Dave WØOXB would like to see more members actually installing antennas as he can not keep up with and be involved in all the antenna-raisings.  Brian KB9TBB said he would be willing to be put on the short list, but does not want to be the only one involved.  There is not a current list of members who are interested in an antenna at the moment.

NHRG – Brian KØPU suggested that the NHRG be put under M.A.P. as the two groups have shared resources and overlap on a number of functions.  Antenna-raisings can be listed as a part of antennas and tech support.

Meetings & Programs – Dave N9JNQ, Zack AAØU, Mike N9MA

Program Planning Team – Dave N9JNQ reported that programs are secured through the March 2024 Membership Meeting.  We have secured Orv Beach W6BI to provide a virtual presentation at the March meeting on AREDN, the Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network.  Thanks to Greg KØGW for the suggestion.  We are working on securing programs for April and May of this season.

Room Reservations – Dan KEØIYF

Dan KEØIYF is keeping up with the club’s room needs, having secured reservations through early March for the eyeball sessions.

Unfinished Business

SARA Club Equipment Inventory – The current version of the inventory has recently been shared by Dave N9JNQ with the other Board Members.  Please contact Dave for any updates.  Joe KCØOIO reported that the two Eskimo Shelters had been loaned out to Shane WØNKA for the upcoming Willie Wonka special event the weekend of December 16-17, 2023.

Remote Base Relocation Purchases– Joe KCØOIO suggested that the club may want to purchase a Palomar Engineering RFI kit to deal with the RFI issue at the WØJH remote site.  Not action was proposed at this time as discussion of the cause of the problem and other alternatives to address it will be considered.

There was some discussion regarding the need for coax jumpers for the site.

SARA Signals Newsletter – Joe KCØOIO commended Bob WØGAF for his facilitation of the meeting held November 30, 2023 to discuss the future of the newsletter.  Bob reported that there are essentially two next steps that need to be pursued:  First, finding an editor who will keep the newsletter moving forward in it current form, but not published as frequently; and second, Collin KEØIYN will be looking at a way to use WordPress to process the newsletter.  Bob will share with Joe all the details of the discussion when they are ready to finalize the meeting outcomes.

W0JH Repeater Manager Position – Deferred to next month.

Club Banner and Tabletop Display – Deferred to next month.

New Business

Minnesota POTA Day T-Shirt Project– Joe KCØOIO reminded members that Dave KØAIF announced at the December Membership Meeting that he had designed and ordered a MN POTA Day T-shirt, and that it had been suggested that maybe others in the club may be interested in ordering one as well.  It was suggested that the Board consider making this a club project.

Bob WØGAF commended Dave on taking the initiative to create such a shirt, but does not want to see the club get into the T-shirt business.  Shel NØDRX noted that, if the club made a profit on the sales, there would be tax implications.  Shane WØNKA suggested that Dave could make the design available to others, but that would be up to Dave.

It was the consensus that the club does not want to take it on as a club project.  We commend Dave for his initiative, and he can do whatever he chooses to make the T-shirts available to others.

Complimentary Memberships– Joe KCØOIO noted that the club annually approves a number of complimentary memberships to the club in recognition of the individuals’ selfless efforts that further the goals of amateur radio in general and SARA in particular.  For the 2023 calendar year, these memberships had been granted to: Bill NØCIC for his efforts maintaining the WØEQO remote base station in Park Rapids, MN; Skip KSØJ for his many years as Minnesota Section Manager for the ARRL; Nate KBØUXV for his efforts as the Radio System Manager in Washington County and his aid in coordinating SARA’s repeater placement on the King Plant stack; and Mayor Rudy of White Rock, South Dakota for his help these many years in facilitating the White Rock Special Event.

Dave N9JNQ made a motion to approve the granting of complimentary memberships for the calendar year of 2024 to the above-mentioned individuals in recognition of their service to amateur radio and SARA; Bob W0GAF seconded the motion; the motion passed unanimously.

Brad VE3MXJ made a motion to adjourn the meeting; the motion was seconded by Dave N9JNQ; the motion passed unanimously.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:01 PM.