May 14th Fox Hunt! What Fun!
WØJH 2004
SARA Work Party 3
Kilo Parks Award
New Radio Gear For Some SARA Members!
Ice Station WØJH 2014
OXB Special Install
2021 W0TBC Memorial Award
Release to Listen Award 2013
Split Rock Lighthouse 2012

BOARD MEETING MINUTES – October 17, 2023

BOARD MEETING MINUTES – October 17, 2023

Stillwater Amateur Radio Association

This was a Zoom online meeting.

Roll Call of Officers – Present:  Joe KCØOIO, Bob WØGAF, Shel NØDRX, Dave N9JNQ, Rich ADØSN, Brad VE3MXJ, Brian KØPU.

President: Joe KCØOIO

The meeting was called to order at 6:35 PM.

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 – Rich ADØSN

Beginning Total Balance:   10/01/2023     $17,310.07

  • SARA

Balance:                                                   $5,803.89

Income:                                                   $403.00

Expenses:                                                $21.50

Ending Balance:      10/18/2023        $6,185.39

  • RBF

Balance:                                                 $11,506.18

Income:                                                  $0.00

Expenses:                                               $444.44

Ending Balance: 10/18/2023        $11,061.74

Ending Total Balance:  10/18/2023       $17,247.13

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

  • Dues:                            $230.00
  • Cups and decals:        $0.00
  • 50/50 Raffle:              $13.00
    • Donations:        $10.00
  • Sale of IC-751A           $150.00

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

  • Battery boxes for trailer:                                           $21.50

Expenses for the RMP account for the month of October include:

  • WØJH equipment cabinet:                                      $210.96
  • WØJH remote base accessories:                             $233.48

Rich ADØSN reports that a check has been issued for the battery boxes.  He has yet to receive anything from Brian KB9TTB about additional needed equipment for the remote base, so waiting on that.  Nothing else is outstanding.

Trustee’s Report – Shel NØDRX

As he mentioned last meeting, Shel NØDRX would like to pass the repeater trustee role on to another person who may be more involved in 2 meter activity.  Shel notes he does not use the repeater, is not interested in VHF/UHF activity, and lacks sufficient knowledge regarding the technical aspect of the repeater.  He suggests it would be better for the role to be taken by someone who is interested in repeater use before the club must consider alternative repeater sites due to the decommissioning of the power plant and loss of the stack location for the repeater.  A repeater trustee would need to participate in repeater council meetings when scheduled, and any relocation of the repeater would require coordination with the council to avoid losing our frequency allocation.  Shel will discuss his thoughts about a possible repeater trustee with Joe KCØOIO.  Shel noted he was willing to continue handling the other duties of the club trustee, such as the filings with the MN Secretary of State, insurance payments, etc.

Debate was had as to whether a modification to the club bylaws would be necessary in order to delegate the repeater trustee duties to someone other than the club trustee.  Joe KCØOIO noted that SEMARC has a separate club and repeater trustee.  The consensus was that the bylaws may be broad enough to allow for the separation.  However, proposed language for a change in the by-laws may be prepared for consideration by the Board.

Reports of Standing Committees:

Activities & Events:  Dave WØOXB & Bob WØGAF

Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald Special Event – Dave WØOXB noted that there has been little change since the October Membership meeting regarding the event, which will take place November 3 through 5, 2023.  Operation of the station WØJ from home locations is discussed in the most recent SARA Bulletin.  The announcement of the event in QST was screwed up by the League.  Shel NØDRX stressed that WØF operations must submit computer logs, not paper logs, to Shel for easy integration into the main event logs.

Discussion was had regarding the club’s payment for the hospitality suite.  Currently, the club has committed to pay for one-third of the hospitality suite rental for two nights as it is used by the group on two of the evenings.  In the past the club has covered another third of the cost to sponsor a member to stay in the suite.  After discussion, it was noted that no sponsorship is needed for this year’s event.

Ice Station WØJH –  Dave WØOXB noted that any notice to be printed in QST must be submitted by November 1, 2023.  Joe KCØOIO directed Dave to put something together to be shared with with the regular planning folks for review.  The event is scheduled to take place Presidents Day weekend, February 17-19, 2024.

2023 SARA POTA Challenge – Bob W0GAF reported he has nothing more to report since the October 2023 Membership Meeting.  Joe KCØOIO noted that there needs to be meeting between himself, Bob, and Brian KB9TTB to discuss awards in order to make a proposal to the Board for expenditure.  Bob asked for any suggestions for a local option for the printing of mugs as the manufacturer used this past year really hit us hard on shipping costs.  Bob will talk to Keith AGØH regarding the club mugs.

MN Parks On The Air Day June 8, 2024 – At the recent ARRL MN Section Conference, at which SARA had a table, Joe KCØOIO distributed fliers promoting a state-wide POTA day on June 8 2024, which is the weekend SARA has had its club POTA day.  It was well received by conference attendees.  June 8 is also free entrance day for Minnesota State Parks, so the thought is to concentrate on state parks, although all qualifying entities are certainly available.  The Board noted that it was OK with SARA being a driver of the event.

It was noted that Brian KB9TBB holds the web address, and at this time the address goes to the SARA website page.  Collin KEØIYN noted that we need to discuss pulling the domain name under the domain.  He also suggests that there be a work group appointed by the president to deal with this issue.  Joe will work with Collin to determine how to manage this and bring it back to the Board.

On Air Activities – Dave WØOXB noted that Two-Meter Tuesday (TMT) has been busy.  Joe KCØOIO noted that he received positive comments regarding TMT from non-club members at the recent ARRL MN Section Conference.

Education and Training – Bob WØGAF

General Class – Bob WØGAF reports that the General Class is underway with six or seven on the roster, and four to five showing up every week.  The class is currently about half completed.  Dan KEØIYF has been doing a yeoman’s job of securing the class rooms, which has been difficult.  Anyone who is interested in becoming an instructor should contact Bob as we can always use them.

VE Team – Shel NØDRX

Shel NØDRX reported that the upcoming VE session, scheduled for November 16, 2023, will take place in the Town Hall.

Reports of Work Groups:

Website:  Collin KEØIYN & Bob WØGAF

Collin KEØIYN reports that the website has recently had updates and performance improvements.

Newsletter – Pat WAØTDA, Dave WØOXB

Pat WAØTDA noted that the November and December issues with be the last before he retires from the role.  With consolidation and modernization of our club communications, discussion about the future of the Newsletter is needed.

Repeater – Shel N0DRX, Henry K0HAS, Doug N9TOW

Nothing to report.

Remote Bases Technical Committee – Pat WAØTDA

Pat WAØTDA noted that Splashtop Pro would be the preferable remote access support software.  Bill NØCIC has his own individual version of Splashtop that he uses for the WØEQO remote station at the Scout Camp, as does Pat.  Elliot KEØN also is familiar with Splashtop, using the Business Pro version.  Splashtop Business Pro costs approximately $100.00 per year, and provides for three operators to control ten computers.  In comparison, the basic Splashtop software costs $60.00 per year, but only allows for one operator to control three stations.  Pat believes he can ask Elliot to install the software as he is familiar with it.  It was noted that the WØJH remote base would be a SARA club station under the club bylaws, while the WØEQO base has a Handiham history, with its call  managed by Pat with the FCC.

Joe KCØOIO made a motion to purchase the Splashtop Business Pro at $100.00 plus change for use to manage the remote stations; motion seconded by Rich ADØSN; motion passed unanimously.

It was noted that Bill should be notified that he should not renew his individual version of Splashtop when it comes due as he will no longer need it.  Pat said he would discuss the matter with Bill.  Joe asked Rich if we could use the club debit card for the annual payment; Rich answered in the affirmative, although the club should keep tabs on it so it does not get nicked with an annual payment in the event it discontinues using the software.

Regarding remote station WØJH, Brian KB9TTB took equipment up to the site last week for testing.  The cabinet still needs some modifications.

M.A.P and NHRG:  Dave WØOXB & Brian NØBJE

M.A.P. – Nothing to report.

NHRG – Mark KEØQQN is updating the handout that is given to new hams, it was shared with Board members a couple weeks ago by email.  If you have any comments, get them to Mark ASAP.

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

Program Planning Team – Dave N9JNQ reported that programs are tentatively secured through the February 2024 Membership Meeting.  A Zoom presentation on AMSAT will be on the November meeting agenda, and a discussion of EMP (electromagnetic pulse) is lined up for December.  The SWEEP event in January and the POTA Challenge Awards ceremony in February will follow.  We have a couple of possible presenters for the latter half of winter and the spring.

Unfinished Business

MN ARC Leaders Group/ARRL MN Section Conference – Joe KCØOIO reported that the Conference was well attended, with 220 pre-registered attendees and a dozen or so walk-ins.  There was lots of play at the SARA club table; we actually got a couple of new members out of it.

Inventory of New Ham Resources Group Equipment – Brian KØPU reported that the NHRG inventory was completed.  The second of the FT70D HTs was returned to the club.  There is a check out list spreadsheet to be maintained by Shane WØNKA.  Joe KCØOIO noted that the club’s Balun Design balun needs to be added to the list.  A copy of the inventory was shared with Dave N9JNQ to include in the overall club inventory.

There was hearty debate over the fact that the NHRG inventory is not available to the general club membership; at this time it is only available to club officers. Rich ADØSN expressed concern over the handling of the equipment, its inventory, and its lack of transparency.

Purchase of the two 40 ah Bioenno Batteries – Joe KCØOIO reported that the two 40ah Bioenno batteries recently purchased are now in all-new ammo box cases.

New Business

Future of the Newsletter – Joe KCØOIO noted WAØTDA Pat’s upcoming retirement from the position of Newsletter editor, and suggest that there be a member forum, perhaps as a Thursday night eyeball, take place to discuss the Newsletter’s future.  Joe will look to schedule one in.  It was suggested that a true eyeball, as opposed to a virtual eyeball, would be a better forum.

Holiday flowers for Boutwells – Shel NØDRX asked whether the club is planning to continue the tradition of purchasing four poinsettias plants for Boutwells in appreciation for the use of its fine facilities.

Rich ADØSN moved that the club is authorized to purchase four poinsettias, in an amount in the $60.00 range, for Boutwells for this holiday season.  It was noted that the flowers may be a bit more expensive this year, and that the motion recognizes and include any higher price that is incurred for four plants.  The motion was seconded and approved unanimously.

Fees for Split Rock Shelter for 2024 – Rich ADØSN made a motion to approve prepayment of the fees for the 2024 rental of the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park shelter for the Edmund Fitzgerald special event; the motion was seconded by Bob WØGAF; the motion passed unanimously.

Nominations for Officers for 2024 – Joe KCØOIO noted that nominations for officers will take place at the December 2023 Membership Meeting.  Dave KØAIF has agreed to accept a nomination as Treasurer (thanks to Rich ADØSN for encouraging Dave to take a stab at it).  The director position now occupied by Brad VE3MXJ is up for election.  Brad is willing to run again and continue in the roll, but would certainly understand if there is a local person who wants to take on the mantel.  Joe had been considering stepping down from the president’s position, but has decided to run again.  Dave N9JNQ will run again as Secretary, unless there is someone else who would like take on the roll.  Dave did note that 2024 will be his last year as Secretary, he will not run for the office for 2025.

Amendments to the SARA Bylaws– Joe KCØOIO noted that he worked on the last set of amendments to the bylaws, and it just about spelled the end of SARA.  In short, it is not an easy task.  Rich ADØSN is willing to work with Shel NØDRX on a narrow amendment to the Trustee language.  It was noted that approval of a change in the bylaws requires the voting of one-third of the club membership (which at this time is approximately 140 members), and approval of a change requires majority of votes of those voting.

Bob WØGAF made a motion to adjourn the meeting; the motion was seconded by Brad VE3MXJ; the motion passed unanimously.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:18 PM.