BOARD MEETING MINUTES – January 16, 2020
BOARD MEETING MINUTES – January 16, 2020
Stillwater Amateur Radio Association
1618 Pine Street West
Stillwater, Minnesota 55082
Roll Call of Officers – All Officers present.
President: Joe KCØOIO
The meeting was called to order at 6:00 PM.
Appointment of Trustee for 2020
Motion made to reappoint Shel N0DRX as trustee for 2020 made by Bob W0GAF, seconded by Rich AD0SN, motion passed unanimously.
Secretary’s Report – Dave N9JNQ
Board Meeting minutes have been posted by Collin KE0IYN.
Treasurer’s Report – Rich ADØSN
Beginning Total Balance: 01/01/20 $16,669.81
Ending Balance: 01/15/20 $2567.50
Ending Balance: 12/31/2019 $14,148.74
Ending Total Balance: 12/31/2019 $16,716.24
- Dues $70.00
- 50/50 Raffle $33.50
- Donations $0.00
- Sticker sales $0.00
- IC-HN219 for New Ham Kit $52.07
- 2020 Field Day ETOH permit $15.00
Rich AD0SN sent all materials to Keith AG0H for an audit. Joe KC0OIO reports that Keith has completed the audit and found all in order.
Trustee’s Report – Shel NØDRX
Shel N0DRX reports that he has registered the upcoming VE session, scheduled for April 23, 2020, with the ARRL, although it has not been posted yet on the ARRL website.
Shel reports we have 81 paid members for 2020; at this date in 2019 we had 79 paid members, so a similar rate as last year. Shel has a list of current non-renewals.
Reports of Committees:
Activities & Events: Dave WØOXB
Ice Station W0JH – This event will be held February 15-17, 2020. There is the possibility that there will be room for N5JLZ John’s vehicle to park and operate, giving us 3 active stations. This will be dependent upon whether the SARA trailer can be moved from its current outside parking spot, which could be difficult due to ice and snow. Will be promoting YOTA, youth on the air. Joe KC0OIO plans to contact the youth in the club inviting them to the event, noting that they will be able to operate.
Nothing to report on the opening event for the Stillwater Lift Bridge Trail. Joe KC0OIO has not had contact with Doug KE0GOM as Doug is down south for the winter.
MAP: Dave WØOXB
Dave W0OXB notes that he has been hearing from interested parties about raising antennas; at this point there are at least five members who have expressed interest in an antenna. Dave emphasized that the program can provide the materials to build a wire antenna at a much lower price than commercial products. Dave also emphasized that MAP is not just for putting up antennas but can include a multitude of other assistance with ham radio projects.
Meetings & Programs – Joe KCØOIO
- February: Digital Hotspots – Bob W0GAF. Bob asked for members to bring in hotspots for show and tell.
- March: The Art of QSL Cards – Randy KD0VKB
- April: Doing Ham Radio Safely Roundtable – facilitated by Joe KC0OIO. Joe noted that we may limit the business meeting in order to have more time for the Roundtable.
- May: Antenna Modeling – Suggested by Adam KE0VNY. Joe KC0OIO notes he plans to contact Skip KS0J, ARRL Minnesota Section Manager, and Matt K0BBC, ARRL Dakota Division Director, regarding this program.
Future Ideas: Ray K0ZZT has suggested a program on net control operations; RPi Digital stations; Diagnostic Tools: Analyzers, DMMs and Diagnostic Gizmos; Propagation – Can I get there from here?; Station Grounding; Tuners: Manual vs. Automatic + Care & Feeding; Setting up your Shack; New Technicians: Here’s what you can do now.
Room Reservations – John N5JLZ
Joe KC0OIO reports that John N5JLZ has lined up the conference room for Thursday Night Eyeballs through April. John has also secured a room for the Technician class except for three nights when a room is unavailable. Mahtomedi is not an option, its building has been removed and is being replaced. Further inquiry is necessary.
Park reservations and the beverage permit have been obtained for Field Day. Thus, everything for Field Day has been secured.
Eyeball Sessions – Tech Nights
- January 30, 2020: A discussion of oscilloscope basics will take place facilitated by Dan KE0IYF. Dan, Doug N9TOW, Joe KC0OIO, and Bob W0GAF have agreed to bring in equipment
- February 20, 2020: A discussion of Smith charts will take place facilitated by Doug N9TOW.
In coming weeks or months, Joe KC0OIO plans to bring in the GridTracker with WSJTX.
Radios in the Park – 2020 dates: May 21 (New Hams Night), June 11, July 2, July 23, Aug 13, Sept 3.
Ideas: Tune a Duplexer (Doug N9TOW); Using Toroids to reduce noise and RFI; Learning CW and Building Speed (Bob WØGAF); How to read the Solar Reports; The “Tech” in Technician; Antenna Lab: Theory & Design Discussions; SWR Bridge calibration.
Education & Training – Bob WØGAF
Tech Class 2020 is scheduled Feb 27 through April. Bob W0GAF has sent out a message to instructors about availability, and has heard from two members. Brian N0BJE offered his help.
Skywarn is planned for February 29, 2020
VE Team – Shel NØDRX
Deferred to March.
New Ham Resource Group (NHRG) – Brian NØBJE, Holly KEØRZZ, Mark KEØQQN
Brian N0BJE has not heard much from new hams recently. The NHRG has an HF loaner kit is available using the IC-718 from KD0OTB’s equipment, and includes a tuner, coax, and antenna. Also available are the two HTs. Bob W0GAF suggested that Brian the equipment in to a Tech class and discuss the NHRG and the availability of the equipment.
Newsletter & Website – Pat WAØTDA, Dave WØOXB and Holly KEØRZZ
Deadline for January 25th with publishing by February 1st. Pat WA0TDA is considering changing from Publisher to Word. There is a need for additional contributors.
Nets & Roundtables
There was some concern expressed about the apparent low number of check-ins/participation on the Two-meter Wednesday Night Net. It was suggested that there be more of a concerted effort to check in to the two-meter net after the 160 meter net shuts down. It was suggested that Net Control Rick K0BR be contacted and asked if he has any ideas for increasing participation. Rich AD0SN checked in last night, and reported that there were five check-ins. There has been some discussion in the past of using the two meter net to do code practice. Brian N0BJE noted that there has been an overall drop in use of two-meter repeaters. Brian suggested that perhaps there could be a digital net established in order to use the digital capabilities of the repeater. Dave W0OXB opined that a 6 meter net may go as well as a two-meter net; six meters is available to Tech licensees and would provide some experience beyond VHF/UHF.
Repeater – Henry KØHAS & Shel NØDRX & Doug N9TOW
A request has been made to put the repeater back on tone squelch. Henry K0HAS states that, due to AM broadcast radio RF issues, we would have to have split tones if using tone squelch. The club went to DCS in order to mitigate the RF issues. However, Yaesu radios do not have split tone capabilities. Thus, reverted back to tone squelch is not practical. It was noted that radios approximately 20 years or older do not have DCS capability, so it is a problem for those with older radios.
Joe KC0OIO raised the question as to whether the club would want the repeater to be linked to the WIRES-X system and tie into the MNWIS talk room. While the stack has high speed internet, it is used by the Sheriff’s office for investigative activities, and we probably would not want to be on that system. So the RF link would be preferable. We would need a location with high speed internet for the link, preferably close to the stack, a radio with power supply, a PC for the link, and an antenna. The radio needs to be a Yaesu FT-100DR or an FT-400DR. A Yaesu HRI-200 (Wide-coverage Internet Repeater Enhancement System) would also be needed. The computer would need to be at least a two core, with a four core preferred, running Windows 10.
Doug N9TOW noted that he already has a WIRES-X link on his internet at home, so he could not host this link as only one link can be on a single IP address. Zach AA0U offered his location if the antenna is not exotic. The identification of equipment costs as well as further consideration is needed.
Remote Bases Technical Committee
Joe KC0OIO noted that Pat WAØTDA has identified the need for new computers at the remote sites as the old computers have seen better days. There is a full discussion of the needs and the possible solutions in the January Newsletter. Pat noted in his article that the MFJ RigPi Station Server is, at least at this point, not a viable option. Purchase of two computers as specified by WA0TDA is forthcoming.
Deferred – Nothing happening at this time.
- Scout Camp Radio funding request to membership – Brian N0BJE – Nothing to report at this time.
- Annual Audit – As noted above, Keith AG0H has reported that he has completed the audit and unofficially reports that all is in order. Keith stated to Joe KC0OIO that he was impressed by AD0SN Rich’s paperwork.
- Audio distribution box – Doug N9TOW has been working on it, received parts today.
- KD0OTB-SK gear deposition – Joe KC0OIO noted that some of the gear will be for sale. The FT 897 has been cleaned up but not powered up as yet. Rich AD0SN has been working on the FT-990 and the FT-2900, both appear to be in order. A couple of the microphone cords appear to have been gnawed on by vermin. A number of SARA members have expressed interest in some of the gear. Joe stated that we have said members can take the gear, try it, and make a fair offer based upon what they determine it to be worth. Emphasis on “fair offer.”
- The Vibroplex bug from KD0OTB Bill’s equipment will be auctioned off to benefit New Ham Resource Group. Rich AD0SN called Vibroplex and was informed that the serial number identifies the radio as being no older than five years. New these bugs sell for approximately $275.
No new business.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:25 PM on motion of Bob W0GAF seconded by Dan KE0IYF.