Ice Station WØJH 2014
SARA Field Day 2011
OXB Special Install
Release to Listen Award 2013
The Joe Simonet WØTBC Memorial Award
2018 WØTBC Memorial Award-NØDRX
2020 S.A.R.A. EXECUTIVE OFFICERS
New Radio Gear For Some SARA Members!
SARA Does Skywarn
Split Rock Lighthouse 2012

BOARD MEETING MINUTES – January 17, 2024

BOARD MEETING MINUTES – January 17, 2024

Stillwater Amateur Radio Association

This was a Zoom online meeting.

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

President: Joe KCØOIO

The meeting was called to order at 6:33 PM.

Appointment of Trustee

Shel NØDRX stated that he was willing to act as SARA Trustee for the calendar year 2024.  Brad VE3MXJ made a motion to appoint Shel as Trustee for 2024; Bob WØGAF seconded the motion; the motion passed unanimously.

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 – Dave KØAIF

Beginning Total Balance:   12/01/2023     $17,611.40

  • SARA

Balance:                                                   $6,612.85

Income:                                                   $503.23

Expenses:                                                $220.00

Ending Balance:     12/31/2023         $6,896.08

  • RBF

Balance:                                                 $10,998.55

Income:                                                  $0.00

Expenses:                                               $0.00

Ending Balance: 12/31/2023        $10,998.55

Ending Total Balance: 12/31/2023       $17,894.63

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

  • Dues:                                                      $380.00
  • Cups and decals:                                  $6.00
  • 50/50 Raffle:                                        $50.00
  • Donations:                                            $27.23
  • Sale of antenna parts                          $40.00

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

  • Club liability insurance                                $200.00
  • Member dues debit                                       $20.00

In KØAIF Dave’s absence, former treasurer Rich ADØSN reported that there was nothing to add to the report presented at the January 13 membership meeting.  Rich noted that he had shared the books on his Google Drive with the officers and the prospective auditor, but apparently they were not accessible.  He has corrected that and they should now be accessible.

In response to a question about the member dues debit/refund, Rich explained that Joe KCØOIO had collected dues from a member at the end of the month, but Rich did not receive so he personally deposited $20.00 into the SARA account with the intent to reimburse himself when Joe gave him the cash.  Unbeknownst to him, Shel NØDRX deposited the cash into the SARA account.  To correct the books and reimburse himself, Rich wrote a check to himself for $20.00.  This transaction is documented in the books.

There are no pending bills to be approved by the Board.

Trustee’s Report – Shel NØDRX

Shel NØDRX stated that there was nothing to report at this time.  He does intend to submit an updated report to the ARRL to reflect the current membership numbers.  This report is a requirement of SARA’s status as an ARRL Affiliated Club and ARRL Special Service Club.  While only required once per year, Shel typically submits and amended report at the end of the year to reflect the club’s final membership numbers at the end of the year.

Reports of Standing Committees:

Activities & Events:  Dave WØOXB & Bob WØGAF

Ice Station WØJH –  Dave W0OXB (who was not in attendance) notified Joe KCØOIO that there was nothing to report at this time.  Joe reported driving by Lake Elmo and seeing that there was some ice on the lake.  Joe noted that there are alternatives to setting up on the ice if necessary, such as the Eskimo shelters and the trailer.  Dave will not be in town for this year’s Ice Station WØJH.

Field Day 2024 – Zack AAØU secured Valley View Park and its shelter for the Field Day weekend, June 23-24, 2024.  We were unable to secure the permit for Autumn Hills Park even though Zack was first in line at the City Hall on January 2 as a staffer had approved a reservation for Sunday online on January 1 when the offices were closed, which was not pursuant protocol.  The club does have a beverage permit for the weekend, which was transferred to Valley View Park.

2023 SARA POTA Challenge – Bob WØGAF noted that there has not been a thorough update published for the year so that we do not steal the thunder for the POTA Awards Ceremony scheduled for the February Membership Meeting program.  Bob reported that the stickers had arrived, and that they need to formalize the certificates.  Joe KCØOIO will review the certificates for errors one more time.

MN Parks On The Air Day June 8, 2024 – Joe KCØOIO reported that the mnpota.com website went live the other day.  It is a free-standing website, not a page of the SARA club website.  The Dakota Division Director has the event included on his schedule of events on the director’s website.  Joe stated that we would track if there are folks in the ham community who are willing to promote the event and mentor interested hams.

On Air Activities – The on-air activities are doing fine, with the evening group having recently decided to alternate between 160 meters at 1.966 mhz and 80/75 meters at 3.813 mhz to evaluate band conditions.

Education and Training – Bob WØGAF

Bob WØGAF reports that Technician classes are in the works and a draft calendar was sent out to the instructors for review.  We have three new instructors and Joe KCØOIO and Bob are exchanging topics.   There are six folks on the interested list, and Bob has sent out emails to the folks on the list.  Pat WAØTDA has asked to do his presentation via Zoom, so they are trying to schedule that for a day that we do not have a room at the Stillwater Library.

Bob will send a write-up to Joe to be published in the Weekly Bulletin regarding whether there is any interest in an Amateur Extra study group.  There is one person who has expressed an interest to Bob.

The classes will start February 29, which is a bit earlier than usual.  It does not appear we will be coordinating with the Skywarn class as those classes are not starting until May the last few years.  Nevertheless, Bob will be in contact with them to make sure there is a class at the Stillwater Library.

Bob noted that we do not need Technician books as it appears most of the interested parties have books already.

VE Team – Shel NØDRX

The next VE session is scheduled for April 25, 2024.  Shel will be contacting Boutwells to secure a room for the session.  He is waiting to see the number of people taking the class as Boutwells’ staff are always interested in how many people will be attending the session.

Reports of Work Groups:

Website:  Collin KEØIYN & Bob WØGAF

Nothing to report.

Newsletter 

No report as we have no editor.

Repeater – Shel N0DRX, Henry K0HAS, Doug N9TOW

Nothing to report.

Remote Bases Technical Committee – Pat WAØTDA

Joe KCØOIO noted that the RCForbes presentation made by Pat WAØTDA at a recent Tech Topic Thursday session is available on the SARA YouTube channel.  There was a lot of members in attendance at the presentation, both at the Stillwater Library and online.

Member Assistance Programs

Nothing to report.

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

The February 2024 program will be the second annual SARA POTA Awards Program.  The March program will be on AREDN, the Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network, presented virtually by Orv Beach W6BI. This program will begin following our Business meeting as Orv is located in California to accommodate the time difference.  The April presentation will be by Pat WØYES on his POTA activities.  Pat is one of the top POTA activators in Minnesota.  The May program will be a virtual presentation by Adrian Ciuperca KO8SCA, a noted DXpedition participant.  Adrian was one of the members of the recent Bouvet Island DXpedition.

Room Reservations – Dan KEØIYF

Dan KEØIYF is keeping up with the club’s room needs.

MN POTA Day

Joe KCØOIO noted that we will be enlisting ambassadors to help promote the event at upcoming hamfests.  Thank you to Collin KEØIYN and John KE9F for the MN POTA website development.

Unfinished Business

SARA Club Equipment Inventory – The inventory is pretty much up to date.  Shane WØNKA is still in possession of the Eskimo shelters, but will get them back to the trailer shortly.

Remote Base Relocation Purchases– Joe KCØOIO suggested that we wait until it warms up before determining what additional supplies are needed for the WØJH remote site.  It has been suggested that the club may want to purchase a Palomar Engineering RFI kit to deal with the RFI issue at the WØJH remote site, as well as some jumpers.

SARA Signals Newsletter – Next steps were discussed to get the Newsletter up and running, in whatever form it will take.  Joe KCØOIO suggested that perhaps a work group is necessary.  The two items that must be addressed:

  • Find an editor to keep the newsletter going;
  • Content management via the website.

Bob WØGAF suggested that Collin KEØIYN and John KE9F are most likely the guys for the latter effort, although they have not yet been approached or agreed to take on that role.  Joe will try to move that end of things along with Collin, although we know he is very busy.  As for the former role, perhaps the title of editor is a misnomer; it would be closer to an executive producer – someone to get commitments for articles, set deadlines, etc.  The editor will not be required to write up articles, just corral them.

It is the consensus that the Newsletter will be more technical and be a forum for deep dives into topics as the timely stuff, announcements and the like, are currently being adequately addressed in the Weekly Broadcast Bulletin.

W0JH Repeater Manager Position – Joe KCØOIO has a recruit in mind and will contact him in the near future.

Club Banner and Tabletop Display

It had been discussed at the previous Board meeting the need for a nice club banner to use at events, we well as a nice trifold display for events.  Our current board and display are old and tattered.  The Board had agreed that such an acquisition was a good idea.

Joe KCØOIO recommended a banner available on Amazon for a price of $32.95.  However, we do not know whether the SARA Logo would appear grainy on a banner of the size available due to its file size (500 KB).  Joe will contact a local print store, such as Office Depot, to see whether they believe the logo will work.

Joe suggested a trifold display that is available from Amazon for $53.99.  Bob

Bob WØGAF made a motion to authorize the purchase of the trifold display for $53.99 plus tax; the motion was seconded by Dave N9JNQ; the motion passed unanimously.

New Business

Appointment of Auditor to Conduct Annual Financial Audit – Joe KCØOIO reported that Bob KFØHZG is willing to do the annual audit for the club.  Bob has extensive experience in keeping and reviewing financials.

Dave N9JNQ made the motion to approve the appointment of Bob KFØHZG as auditor to do an audit of SARA’s financials; the motion was seconded by WØGAF; the motion passed unanimously.

Complimentary Associate Memberships – Joe KCØOIO noted that the Board approved associate memberships for a number of folks at the December Board Meeting.  However, we had overlooked two memberships granted last year.

The Board discussed the issue and agreed to issue an associate membership to Paul VE3XT in honor of his late-brother and a former member of SARA Bill VE3XT (SK).  Brad made a motion that an associate membership be granted to Paul VE3XT in honor of his late brother Bill (SK); the motion was seconded by Bob WØGAF; the motion passed unanimously.

Last month, the Board approved associate memberships 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.

Shel NØDRX suggested that the Board consider developing some parameters for the issuance of associated memberships so that there are some sideboard criteria for issuing them.  In the past, they have been granted for such things as service to ham radio in general and the club in particular, in honor of silent keys, etc.  Bob WØGAF agreed that some criteria are necessary, but that they should be loose enough so that they do not unnecessarily limit the Board’s consideration.  Rich ADØSN suggested that the club consider granting free memberships to members 90 years old and older.

Bob agreed to draft some guidelines and send it to Shel for review.  He foresees them being fairly broad, requiring that the Board have a proposed membership be brought forward to the Board, discussed and, if approved, the reasons documented in the minutes.

N3FJP Software Licensing for WØJH – For the past 15 years, the club has been piggybacking on KCØOIO Joe’s license for the use of N3FJP logging software.  While the club did not violate the terms of the software license by using Joe’s license, the club believes that it should have its own license for the software as it uses it extensively and it should support its further development and support through financial support.  The purchase gives access to all the logging software available as well as its updates.  The current cost of the software is $59.99.

Dave N9JNQ made a motion to purchase the N3FJP software in the name of SARA/WØJH in the amount of $59.99; Brad VE3MXJ seconded the motion; the motion passed unanimously.

It was noted that we will need to change the license numbers in the club laptops once the purchase is made.

Brad VE3MXJ made a motion to adjourn the meeting; the motion was seconded by Bob WØGAF; the motion passed unanimously.  The meeting was adjourned at 7:50 PM.