BOARD MEETING MINUTES – February 17, 2022
BOARD MEETING MINUTES – February 17, 2022
Stillwater Amateur Radio Association
This was a Cisco Webex online meeting.
Roll Call of Officers – Present: Joe KCØOIO, Bob WØGAF, Zack AAØU, Shel NØDRX, Dave N9JNQ, Brad VE3MXJ; Excused absence: Rich ADØSN
President: Joe KCØOIO
The meeting was called to order at 6:38 pm.
Secretary’s Report – Dave N9JNQ
The January 2022 Board and February 2022 Membership Meeting minutes can be found posted to the club website. Note that there were a total of 13 shacks displaying Icom 7300 radios during the Membership Meeting “Show Us Your Shack” tour. And 5 shacks had Icom 7610 rigs.
Treasurer’s Report – Rich ADØSN
Beginning Total Balance: 02/01/2022 $18,119.79
Ending Balance: 2/17/2022 $6,442.45
Ending Balance: 2/17/2022 $11,757.34
Ending Total Balance: 2/17/2022 $18,199.79
The SARA income represents the receipt of $80.00 in dues since the first of the year.
Trustee’s Report – Shel NØDRX
Nothing to report.
Reports of Committees/Work Groups:
Website: Collin KEØIYN & Bob WØGAF
The website is working well. There was a planned outage on February 10, 2022, for site maintenance.
Activities & Events: Dave WØOXB
Ice Station Special Event – This special event will take place Presidents’ Day weekend, February 19-21, 2022. Dave WØOXB reported the sweet time slots (40 and 20 meters in late morning through the afternoon) are filling up, although there is availability on the ancillary high bands of 17, 15, and 10 meters. Dave reports that we are getting good turnout of operators.
Bob WØGAF noted that the object of the event is not to fill all the time slots; rather, it is to provide members with the opportunity to participate and get on the air. There are many more hours of operation available with the remote operations as opposed to when the club is out on the ice.
Joe KCØOIO announced that the Ice-olation Station “Warming House” will be on the air on Zoom each day of the event, and there will be a recap get together each evening after the advertised hours of 10AM to 5PM.
M.A.P and NHRG: Dave WØOXB & Brian NØBJE
Both programs are still active and available to the membership. Dave WØOXB noted that John N5JLZ (SK) donated much of his equipment to the club, some of which will be used by the NHRG, and the club will be considering buying some equipment from his heirs as well.
Meetings & Programs – Joe KCØOIO
Monthly Meeting at Boutwells -It is currently planned that in-person membership meeting sessions will once again go like at Boutwells beginning with the March 12, 2022, meeting, provided that Boutwells is open to us returning and COVID/health concerns continue to lessen.
Joe KCØOIO asked for ideas for Membership Meeting programs for the months to come. Joe noted that one of our local hams who has been active on the SARA repeater lunch room, Tim Burd WD9IGX, had offered a program on replacing tubes with diodes. Joe will reach out to Tim to see if he still has interest. It was also suggested that a repeat of the Antarctica program previously provided by Steve KAØOBI, is he is willing, would be welcome.
Tech Topic Thursday – Mike KFØCCL is looking for ideas for the March and April TTT presentations. Tim Duffy K3LR is lined up for the May session.
Thursday Eyeball QSO Party – Eyeballs will be virtual via Webex through February due to COVID. Dan KEØIYF has requested the Stillwater Library meeting room beginning March 10 (the first Thursday is the virtual TTT program) through April 2022. At the end of April the weather is usually nice enough for us to once again meet outdoors in a local park.
Joe KCØOIO asked whether we would want to once again schedule “Radios in the Park” sessions for every third Thursday Eyeball session. It was suggested and agreed that we will call them “SARA in the Park” sessions in order that other activities could take place other than setting up radios and antennas, such as presentations. Brian KB9TBB had suggested that we incorporate a POTA activation in an Eyeball or two, which would be enjoyable. Along those lines, it was suggested that a presentation on POTA activations could be given at one of the sessions. Zack AAØU agreed to go to the town hall to secure Valley View Park for the sessions, using dates Joe will provide him.
Virtual Manhattan Project – A virtual Manhattan Project is scheduled for Friday February 25, 2022.
Board Meetings – Virtual Board Meetings are scheduled for the Wednesdays following the Membership Meetings, March 16, April 13, and May 18, 2022.
Room Reservations – Dan KFØIYF
As noted above, Dan KFØIYF has reached out to the Stillwater Library for upcoming upcoming Eyeballs, etc.
Education and Training – Bob WØGAF
Bob WØGAF asked the Board to confirm that we should continue to move forward with the Tech classes scheduled to begin March 3. The Board agreed to go forward with the classes. Greg KØGW will be teaching the first class. Dan KFØIYF has acquired a room for most of the scheduled sessions. Bob will be reaching out to other instructors shortly.
Bob reported that we have six people on the”interested” list for the Tech class. He will be sending them an email this week letting them know the schedule, dates, etc., and will get a sense from the responses how many are committed to the class.
Discussion was had on how to get the word out of the class. Dave WØOXB volunteered to try to get notice into the local Stillwater newspaper. SkyWarn will be having an its training session on line, so it is not an option for advertising. It was suggested that we could hang a poster at the library.
Dan has been in touch with the new physics teacher at Stillwater High School to gauge interest in pushing the Tech session in class. There was no interest the last two years due to COVID issues. The former physics teacher was a ham and gave extra credit for those students attending the class, which is really what brought the students in as not many of them sat for the exam.
This is the last year for the current Tech Exam Book from ARRL. It was agreed that the club would not purchase books for resale to students as any unsold books would be of no use after this training session. It was suggested that word be put out to SARA members asking whether they have any Tech books that could be used by the students in the class to save purchasing new books.
VE Team – Shel NØDRX
Shel NØDRX the upcoming VE session is scheduled for April 28, 2022, but is dependent upon securing a location and actually having people to test. Shel does not thing getting a room at Boutwells will be a problem provided they are letting people into their buildings at that point. He would like to talk with folks at SEMARC to see how they are handling health concerns for its testing sessions. Bob WØGAF noted that we could coordinate with SEMARC for testing of our students as we have only told students that testing will be available after the class concludes, not that SARA will be the one giving the test.
Newsletter – Pat WAØTDA, Dave WØOXB
Nothing to report.
Repeater – Henry KØHAS, Shel NØDRX, Doug N9TOW
The repeater is functioning fine at the moment. Nothing further to report.
Remote Bases Technical Committee – Pat WAØTDA
Nothing to report.
SARA Club Equipment Inventory – The inventory will wait until the weather breaks.
Annual Audit – Keith AGØH completed the audit, finding all in order. Keith commended Rich ADØSN on his excellent bookkeeping.
Sale of the club’s Kenwood TS590– The sale of the TS590 was approved at the January Board Meeting, with the proceeds to go to the purchase of a new Icom 7300. Joe KCØOIO will check the serial numbers on the two TS590 rigs in the club’s stock with the intent to sell the oldest of the two radios. It was suggested that the availability of the rig for purchase be put in the SARA Signals Newsletter. A new Icom 7300 has not yet be acquired due to the fact that the preferred vendor did not have any in stock, although the company recently acquired some.
Inventory of N5JLZ (SK) John’s Equipment – Dave WØOXB reported that he and Zack AAØU will be doing an inventory of N5JLZ (SK) John’s equipment in the next week. Dave suggested that the club consider making a fair offer to John’s daughter for the purchase of his Icom 7300, perhaps in the area of $500.00. John also has an Icom 7200, and perhaps an Icom 706, along with a VHF/UHF rig.
MnFOG – Benton Jackson, ARRL Section Emergency Coordinator, has asked whether ARES can add the SARA repeater to its listing of emergency repeaters in the Minnesota Field Operating Guide (MnFOG). The request was forwarded by John KAØHYR, who is still covering for the Washington County Emergency Coordinator position until a new EC is appointed. Shel NØDRX as the SARA Trustee said he would be willing to sign off on the inclusion.
Google Workspace (G Suite) – Joe KCØOIO reported that Google has decided to begin charging for the club use of Google Workspace (G Suite) business version. The Suite provides SARA with the radioham.org email addresses for members, and the Google Drive for the sharing of documents, among the most used item by SARA. The change is to take place March 29, 2022. The cost is prohibitive, $6.00 per email address per month. Even if SARA could get a nonprofit rate of approximately $3.00 per email address, with a membership of 100 plus the cost would run $300 a month. It was agreed that SARA will need to transition to another venue.
Bob WØGAF noted that most if not all members already have other email addresses, or do not use the radioham.org email, so it should not be hard to transition to another email address. Bob will prepare a notice to membership, send it to Joe for review, notifying members of the need to change emails addresses. Joe emphasized that users of the email address will lose all old emails, so you need to save them now if you want to keep them. While the ARRL provides email addresses, you must be a member of ARRL to have one, and not all SARA members are ARRL members.
As far as a document sharing platform, it was agreed that the club should set up a WØJH@gmail.com where the Suite can be used for free as an individual account. Shel NØDRX agreed to set up the account. The Suite can be used to share documents, although the club will no longer have an email service as under the business version. Other possible options for document sharing will be explored, including those suggested by Brian KB9TBB found at www.greengeeks.com and www.sitegound.com. Dropbox was another option discussed.
There is no impact on SARA’s website or use of Woodpress. This is only an email and document sharing issue.
Bob WØGAF made a motion to adjoin the meeting; the motion was seconded by Zack AAØU; the motion passed unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 7:54 pm.