BOARD MEETING MINUTES – January 21, 2021
BOARD MEETING MINUTES – January 21, 2021
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, Zack AAØU, Shel NØDRX; Absent: Doug N9TOW
President: Joe KCØOIO
The meeting was called to order at 6:39 pm.
Appointment of Trustee 2021
Joe KCØOIO commended Shel NØDRX for his many years of service as SARA Trustee, and noted that Shel is willing to continue in the role for another term.
Zack AAØU made a motion for the reappointment of Shel as the SARA club Trustee for a new term; motion seconded by Bob WØGAF; motion passed unanimously. Thank you to Shel for his fine job as Trustee, and his continued willingness to hold the position.
Secretary’s Report – Dave N9JNQ
December 17, 2020, Board Meeting minutes have been posted to the club website by Dave N9JNQ.
Treasurer’s Report – Rich ADØSN
Beginning Total Balance: 01/01/2021 $17,993.36
Ending Balance: 01/20/2021 $5,529.31
Ending Balance: 01/20/2021 $12,705.05
Ending Total Balance: 01/20/2021 $18,234.36
Rich ADØSN reports that both accounts are doing well, with more than adequate funds. One issue is that the bank indicates that the club has $12.00 more than Rich’s books show; he has gone through the books back to 2018 when he became treasurer and can not find the difference reflected. Rich asks the Board for a resolution allowing him to make the adjustment to the club books.
Bob WØGAF made a motion authorizing Rich to adjust the club books accordingly to reflect the $12.00 discrepancy; motion seconded by Dave N9JNQ; motion passed unanimously.
Shel N0DRX noted that the SARA Constitution calls for an annual audit. Keith AGØH offered to do the audit, as he has done in the past.
Bob WØGAF made a motion authorizing an audit to be performed by Keith, and authorizing Rich to provide the treasurer’s records to Keith; motion seconded by Dave N9JNQ; motion passed unanimously.
Trustee’s Report – Shel NØDRX
Shel NØDRX reports that he has submitted the Affiliation Report and the Special Service Club (SSC) renewal application (required every two years) with the ARRL as of January 1, 2021; the SSC application was accepted within a few days. Shel notes that there are only three SSCs in Minnesota as reflected on ARRL.
The IRS 990N filing is due May 15; Shel reports that he tries to get it done in March. Shel also attempts to complete the Minnesota article of incorporation annual report in March as well.
Paid membership for 2021 stands at 108; last year at this time we had 83 paid members. Sixteen are paid through 2022,; five for 2023; two for 2024, and one through 2027. Shel had sent an email to all unpaid members advising that they would be dropped from the email list without payment, and that resulted in an influx of dues payments. He has now purged the list of all unpaid, save for two that he knows will be paying.
The online membership renewal system is working well. There were approximately 60 online renewals since when the option was made available on the club website. About a quarter used the legacy process of mailing in a check; approximately 8% of renewals were done through the online application and then a check mailed in.
It was suggested that the additional approximately eight 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, be reflected in a “PayPal transfer account,” set up as an income account, and be considered as a donation.
Rich ADØSN noted that, when he set up the PayPal account, it called for an SSN, so he used his. He has since tried to change it to the SARA tax ID number, but his attempt has not been successful. He is waiting to see if he receives a IRS Form 1099. It appears the only way to correct this is to shut down the current account and open a new one using the SARA tax ID number. Rich will wait until the summer, when payments using the PayPal option should be at an ebb, to take this action.
Reports of Committees/Work Groups:
Activities & Events: Dave WØOXB
Ice-olation Station – Dave WØOXB informed the Board that he received about four responses from his initial email on the upcoming event; he plans on getting out another notice early next week. The SignUpGenius sign up site went up last weekend and is running; there have been a few members who have grabbed bands/hours. There will be a Thursday Webex gathering on January 28 for those who are interested in learning more on how to handle a pile-up. Bob WØGAF volunteered to take the lead on putting together the program, and will send Dave an outline to consider. Brad VE3MXJ volunteered to help put the program together as well.
MAP: Dave WØOXB
Dave WØOXB noted that there was not much to report. There are a few members waiting out the winter for antennas. One of our new members is working with Carl K0CFL on antenna and radio issues.
Meetings & Programs – Joe KCØOIO
Membership Meeting Programs – Joe KCØOIO has asked for suggestions for future Membership Meeting programs. He has reached out to ARRL Section Manager Bill Mitchell AEØEE for the February Membership Meeting program.
Tech Topic Thursday – Mike KFØCCL reported on the status of the Virtual Eyeball QSO Parties/Thursday Tech Topic Sessions. 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. Joe KCØOIO has invited SEMARC membership to participate and will be sharing the link with that club; Joe will also provide Brad VE3MXJ with the link so that he can invite members of the Thunder Bay club to participate.
The March 11 session is currently waiting on Dick Philstrom WØTLE to confirm he is willing to present.
Mike noted that a new members emailed him asking about putting antennas up on small lots and dealing with neighbors who may object to antennas. The group agreed that there were two to four members who could address that issue in a presentation. Mike will look to work with the group for the March Tech Topic Thursday if Dick is unavailable.
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.
Joe noted that we have a bit of a rhythm with the club Thursday get-togethers – the first Thursday could be an “ask the elmer” session; followed by Tech Topic Thursday; followed by the Board Meeting (third Thursday of the month); and the Manhattan Project being scheduled for the Friday of the fourth week.
Education and Training – Bob W0GAF
Bob WØGAF reports that the General class will begin on Wednesday, January 27. Wednesday was chosen so that attendees could participate in the SARA Thursday night programs. Bob reached out to 14 individuals by email to gauge interest; five individuals confirmed that they were going to participate. The class availability will be posted to the SARA website and the SARA Facebook page. Bob has linked up with SEMARC for the scheduling of the General test. Bob has been in contact with most of the instructors, and thanks those individuals for agreeing to participate.
New Ham Resource Group – Brian N0BJE
Brian NØBJE reports that the HTs have been a success, with the two radios going in and out often, and there has been demand for the HF setup.
Brian suggested that the Board should consider the purchase of a more portable HF rig, such as a 20-watt Xiegu G90, for members who may want to try portable work. Brian pointed out that on most weekends there is a lot of Parks on the Air (POTA) activity, and members would possibly like to give such portable activities a try. It was noted that, while the club does have two 100 watt HF stations available, such radios require unwieldy power supply options. A lower watt rig would be more conducive to portable work as it would have a lesser power requirement.
Debate was had regarding whether a low power radio is appropriate for new hams, and whether it is advisable to have new hams “out in the woods” trying to learn how to operate a radio. It was noted that, while this is the New Ham Resource Group, it could be considered to also is there for other members who are more knowledgeable who would like to try new things.
Brian asked if there was a a separate fund set up for the NHRG; Rich ADØSN reported that money from the sale of KB0OTB (SK) equipment has been accounted for in an NHRG column of the treasurer’s transaction file. There was some memories of winners of the 50/50 raffle designating their winnings to the Group. Dave N9JNQ will look through past minutes to determine whether such a donation was noted.
Brian will gather additional information on costs, etc., of such a rig and setup, and the Board will consider the issue at a future meeting.
Newsletter & Website – Pat WAØTDA, Dave WØOXB
Joe KCØOIO reports that the deadline for the upcoming newsletter is February 6, with a publication goal of February 9.
Repeater – Henry KØHAS, Shel NØDRX, Doug N9TOW
Nothing to report, the repeater continues to work well.
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, but wishes to do a ‘hands on” evaluation, so will wait until the COVID crisis diminishes.
KBØOHI equipment donation – Joe KCØOIO reports that the list of equipment to be made available to membership will be in the next Signals Newsletter.
Metro Skywarn WØJH Repeater Use – As Greg KØGW reported at the December 2020 Board meeting, he became aware that the SKYWARN organization has been having trouble covering the east side of the metro area due to lack of repeater coverage, and suggested that perhaps it could use the SARA WØJH repeater. The Board 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.
Greg has discussed the option with the SKYWARN technical team via a Zoom meeting. The group is currently focused on getting its online training in order, but expressed interest, and it did not appear that the repeater being a fusion unit would be a problem. If there is some agreement reached, and MOU would be entered into between SARA and SKYWARN. The organization’s next meeting is March 27, 2021; we should know more after that date.
Confirmation of an Associate Membership for 2021– Joe KCØOIO proposed that SARA award Skip Jackson KSØJ for his sixteen years of service as ARRL Minnesota Section Manager pursuant to Article 1, Section 5 of the SARA Bylaws.
Motion made by Joe to confer an Associate Membership on to Skip for services rendered; motion seconded by Bob WØGAF; motion passed unanimously.
SARA Website Domain Name Registration – Collin KEØIYN reports that the SARA website domain name is up for renewal on February 19. The club currently uses Register.com. Collin informed the Board that the three year registration from Register.com costs more that a 10-year registration from Namecheap.com, a registration service with which he has much experience. He notes that it also has better (and free) services.
Dave N9JNQ moved that Collin take whatever action necessary to change the club registration from Register.com to Namecheap.com and to register the SARA domain for the longest period available (currently 10 years); motion seconded by Shel NØDRX; motion passed unanimously.
Washington County ARES – As a point of information, John Regan KAØHYR is resigning his position as Emergency Coordinator for the Washington County ARES organization effective January 31, 2021. John has held that role admirably for over 12 years. No replacement has been reportedly found as of this date. Brad VE3MXJ asks that he be informed of John’s replacement when one is found.
Thanks John for all your years of exemplary service to Washington County, the citizens of the State of Minnesota, and to the ham community.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:14 pm on the motion of Zack AAØU, seconded by Bob WØGAF, passed unanimously.