SARA Does Skywarn
Fitzgerald Crew 2011
WØJH 2004
Split Rock Lighthouse 2012
SARA Field Day 2011
OXB Special Install
May 14th Fox Hunt! What Fun!
2018 WØTBC Memorial Award-NØDRX
The Joe Simonet WØTBC Memorial Award
SARA Work Party 3

BOARD MEETING MINUTES – December 17, 2020

BOARD MEETING MINUTES – December 17, 2020

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, Rich ADØSN, Dan KEØIYF, Doug N9TOW, Shel NØDRX

President: Joe KCØOIO

The meeting was called to order at 6:37 pm.

Secretary’s Report – Dave N9JNQ

November 18, 2020, Board Meeting minutes have been posted to the club website by Dave N9JNQ.

​Treasurer’s Report – Rich ADØSN

Beginning Total Balance:   12/01/2020     $17,166.47

  • SARA

Balance:                                                   $4941.96

Income:                                                   $430.00

Expenses:                                                $200.00

Ending Balance:      12/17/2020         $5,171.96

  • RBF

Balance:                                                 $12,224.51

Income:                                                  $325.00

Expenses:                                               $0.00

Ending Balance:    11/18/2020          $12,549.51

  • Income

Dues:                                                      $430.00

Sale of TS-570:                                     $325.00

  • Expenses

2021 Liability Insurance:                   $200.00

Ending Total Balance: 12/17/2020       $17,721.47

Rich ADØSN reports that we have dues paid by a couple of new members.  All income for SARA were dues payments.  The Kenwood TS-570 that was a part of the Handihams equipment was sold to a member for $325, the proceeds of which were deposited in the RBF account.  The additional approximately 9 cents of income for each PayPal dues payment, reflecting the difference between the payment of $1.00 service charge by the member and the approximately 92 cents PayPal charge to the club, will be reflected in a future report.

All reported that they have been receiving Rich’s emails linking to the Treasurer’s reports on the club Google drive.

Trustee’s Report – Shel NØDRX

Shel NØDRX reports that paid membership for 2021 stands at 83; last year at this time we had paid membership in the mid-70s.  The online system is working well.  Some members have been using the online application form, but sending in a check rather than using the PayPal option; they are added to the roster after payment is received.  Some renewals are not including their city, but Shel has been able to find it.

Discussion was had on whether a tweak could me made to the system so that, when a payment is made by PayPal, both Rich ADØSN and Shel could receive a notice, it would save Rich the hassle of having to forward notifications to Shel.  Rich said PayPal will only allow notification to the account holder email address, which is Rich as Treasurer.  Bob WØGAF stated that we may be able to set up a rule in Rich’s email program to forward a copy to Shel.

Reports of Committees/Work Groups:

Website:  Collin KEØIYN & Doug N9TOW & Bob WØGAF

The status of the website was discussed thoroughly at the December 12, 2020, Membership Meeting.  The online application/PayPal payment system has been used by approximately one-third or better of the current payments.

Activities & Events:  Dave WØOXB

Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald Special Event  – Dave W0OXB discussed a few QSLs that were being cleaned up.

Ice-olation Station  –  Discussion was had regarding whether Dave WØOXB needs to note  that operators need to have pileup experience for this special event.  It was offered that we could say that, for the inexperienced operators, they are encouraged to sign up for slots during less active times and on quieter bands.  Some training could be encouraged, such as listening to another experienced operator.  Joe KCØOIO and Mark KEØQQN suggested that operator training could be done in a Zoom meeting; and/or there could  be a live stream on Webex during operation that inexperienced operators could watch.  Dave will consider these suggestions in preparing his broadcast to members, which will go out shortly.

White Rock Special Event – Dave WØOXB is planning to send out an email to Mayor Rudy of White Rock soon to discuss a possible operation this summer or fall, depending on COVID conditions.


Dave WØOXB reports that there is one installation on the docket, if the weather holds out.  Temperatures below 40F are not conducive to outdoor antenna work.

Dave discussed the fact that installation of an antenna has only been part of the job of getting someone on the air, the second half of the project is demonstrating how to use a tuner and often how to operate the radio.  Dave would like to find someone to take on the role of assuring the second phase of the installation is done.  Zack AAØU volunteered to organize the indoor training side of the installation.  Brian NØBJE also offered to provide online Zoom training if needed.

Meetings & Programs – Joe KCØOIO

Membership Meeting Programs – Joe KCØOIO has secured Frank Karnauskas N1UW for the January Membership Meeting program.  Frank will discuss AMSAT and amateur satellites.

Joe asked for ideas for future Membership Meeting programs.  Joe has been considering asking Joe Eisenberg KØNEB, known as “The Kit Guy” and current Kit Building editor for CQ magazine.  It was suggested that a discussion of system Fusion by Chris Petersen K9EQ, formally of Minnesota but now out in California, may be of interest.  Mark KEØQQN suggested another “Ask the Elmer” program may be good, as the last one was very helpful.

Tech Topic Thursday – Mike KFØCCL reported on the status of the Virtual Eyeball QSO Parties/Thursday Tech Topic Sessions.  Mike has Tom Gillespie WØTFG lined up for the January 14 session; the topic will be “Setting up your Shack.”  Mike has also scored Martin Jue K5FLU, founder of MFJ, to discuss operation and use of the MFJ 259 and 269 antenna analyzers at the February 11 session.  The unconfirmed March 11 session will be presented by Dick Philstrom WØTLE, entitled “My Amateur and Navy Radio History.”

Mike has asked for feedback from members regarding what folks would like to hear at the Tech Topic Thursdays.  Mike does not want to overlap with the speakers or topics from the Membership meetings.  There was a suggestion that perhaps rather than bring in outside speakers very month, that we alternate between members and outside speakers.

A discussion was had about inviting non-members to participate in select Tech Topic Thursdays, especially when we are bringing in outside speakers of some renowned.  It was noted that the sessions are a benefit to membership, so we probably do not want to open it up to everyone.  It was suggested that we could consider inviting members of SEMARC, as well as the Thunder Bay Ontario club, to participate as SARA does have an ongoing relationship with these clubs.  Speakers would be notified if there is going to be a broader audience than only SARA members.  Further discussion is warranted on this topic.  Joe KCØOIO noted that we do plan to continue to use Webex in the future once the COVID crisis has passed to allow for members such as Brad VE3MXJ and those home-bound to participate.

Virtual eyeballs/Manhattan Projects – Joe reports that the next Manhattan Project, which will have a holiday and ugly sweater theme, will take place tomorrow, Friday, December 18.

Education and Training – Bob W0GAF

Bob WØGAF reports that scheduling of the General class will be dependent upon when SEMARC is willing to provide testing to our graduates.  Joe KCØOIO will be attending the SEMARC monthly meeting this Saturday and will inquire.  As SEMARC typically schedules VE sessions the third Saturday of the month, we would build back our classes to begin sometime in mid-January, 2021, most likely the third Thursday of the month.  Bob has a large distribution list to notify possible students of the upcoming class and gauge interest.  Bob will then contact instructors.  Joe noted that the Maple Grove Radio Club has been doing online testing; Bob suggested the Roseville club; and Doug N9TOW suggested the Menomonie, Wisconsin club as an alternative.  Due to the fact that we are not going to have an in-person Metro Skywarn class to promote the Technician class, perhaps we could ask for a few minutes during its virtual class to do some promoting.

New Ham Resource Group – Brian N0BJE

Brian NØBJE reports that there has been unprecedented demand for the loaner equipment – everything is currently out on loan.  Brian also provide some help on a power supply today.  There was some discussion regarding providing ongoing guidance to a new club member.  Keith AGØH noted that they have spoken and he has been providing the needed help at this point.

Newsletter & Website – Pat WAØTDA, Dave WØOXB

Joe KCØOIO reports that the deadline for the upcoming newsletter is January 3.

Repeater – Henry KØHAS, Shel NØDRX, Doug N9TOW

Doug N9TOW reports that he is still working on the YSFrelector connection problem.  He should have more time during the holidays to address that issue.  Joe KCØOIO noted that it has been reported that the repeater seems to be drifting 200 hertz.  Doug will keep an eye on that.

Remote Bases Technical Committee – Pat WA0TDA

Joe KCØOIO referred folks to WAØTDA Pat’s report in the recent newsletter on the remote bases.  Pat is still considering computer options.

Unfinished Business

2021 Election – For information only, Joe KCØOIO noted the slate of officers nominated for 2021:

President: Joe Heitzinger KCØOIO
Vice President: Bob Jensen WØGAF
Secretary: Dave Iverson N9JNQ
Treasurer: Rich Smith ADØSN
Director 2021 – 2022: Zack Zaccagnini AAØU

KBØOHI equipment donation – Joe KCØOIO referred folks to the inventory list compiled by Dave N9JNQ of the equipment donated by the XYL of Jerry KBØOHI, SK, that Joe sent to Board members this past week.  After discussion, it was agreed that the Yaesu FT-840, the matching hand microphone, the MD-100 desk microphone, the Kenwood PS-430 power supply, and the B&W tuner, along with the 25 foot length of RG-8X with connectors, will become the the new KBØOHI Memorial HF Station to be used as a loner station by the New Hams Resource Group.  Dave and Brian NØBJE will arrange a transfer of the equipment within the next week.

Dave also reported that the club received a donation of ladder line, antenna wire, ropes, etc., from NØODK Mike’s friend and neighbor John W0SEI (thanks much, John).  Dave reported that he will have Dave WØOXB pick through the items to see if any of it will be useful to M.A.P.

It was decided that the remaining items will be listed in the upcoming newsletter and offered to members at a “good will offering/what’s it worth to you” price, with any proceeds going into the SARA account.  Dave will prepare the newsletter item and handle the transfers/sales.  The items Dave inventoried as “junk” will be held until the club can once again meet in-person and made available to members for free; what does not go will be recycled/tossed.

First Tuesdays Emergency Power Exercise – Dave WØOXB noted that SARA has begun designating the first Tuesdays of each month as an opportunity to participate in the 2-meter net and 160 meter net using emergency power, if available.  This is an opportunity to practice operating off the grid, and to make sure your setup is operational.  Dave reports that the event has been well received on 160 meters.

New Business

Metro Skywarn WØJH Repeater Use – Greg KØGW informed the Board that in recent discussions with a representative of Metro Skywarn he became aware that the organization has been having trouble covering the east side of the metro area due to lack of repeater coverage.  Greg suggests that perhaps SARA could make its W0JH repeater available for Metro Skywarn activities.  With an east-side of town repeater, it may encourage Metro Skywarn to stay interested in storms as they pass through the Twin Cities area to the east and into St. Croix County, Wisconsin.  As Greg has not had a discussion with Metro Skywarn regarding using the SARA repeater, he is unaware if they are equipped to use a fusion repeater.  Doug N9TOW noted that there could be some issues using a fusion repeater, primarily the fact that digital activity would take precedence over analog use.  The use of a DCS could also limit the use of the repeater.

It was agreed that Greg could approach Metro Skywarn to gather more information as to what they may be thinking, whether they have already made a determination on the suitability of fusion repeaters for the system, etc.  There would be no club commitment at this point, the inquiry being exploratory only.

Associate Membership – Joe KCØOIO noted that SARA has in recent years granted associate membership to Mayor Rudy of White Rock, Nate Timm KBØUXV, Ryc Lyden KDØZWM, and Bill Jones NØCIC, pursuant to Article 1, Section 5 of the SARA Bylaws.

Dave N9JNQ made a motion to grant the above-named individuals associate membership for 2021, which was seconded by Bob WØGAF.  The motion passed unanimously.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:27 pm on the motion of Bob W0GAF, seconded by Dave N9JNQ, passed unanimously.