BOARD MEETING MINUTES – September 30, 2020
BOARD MEETING MINUTES – September 30, 2020
Stillwater Amateur Radio Association
Cisco Webex online meeting due to COVID-19 social distancing
Roll Call of Officers – Present: Joe KC0OIO, Bob W0GAF, Dave N9JNQ, Rich AD0SN, Dan KE0IYF, Doug N9TOW, Shel N0DRX
President: Joe KCØOIO
The meeting was called to order at 6:41 pm.
Secretary’s Report – Dave N9JNQ
August 6, 2020, Board Meeting minutes have been posted to the club website by Dave N9JNQ.
Treasurer’s Report – Rich ADØSN
Beginning Total Balance: 09/01/2020 $16,472.25
Ending Balance: 09/30/2020 $3,850.17
Ending Balance: 09/30/2020 $13,117.08
Ending Total Balance: 09/30/2020 $16,967.25
SARA income includes $240.00 for membership fees. In addition, SARA received a $255.00 refund from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for SARA’s cancellation of its shelter reservation at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park due to the special event now being done remotely due to COVID.
Trustee’s Report – Shel NØDRX
Shel N0DRX reported that on September 3 he filed the annual repeater report with the Minnesota Repeater Council for the W0JH repeater.
Shel reports that at this time SARA has 105 paid members. Twenty have paid dues for 2021, and three have paid through 2022.
Reports of Committees:
Activities & Events: Dave WØOXB & Bob W0GAF
Nets and Ragchews – Dave W0OXB noted that there has not been much change in the nets, although his impression is that participation in the nets has been down a few. Participation appears to fluctuate with the fluctuation in HF conditions. Two Meter Tuesday (“TMT”) is still going strong with good participation. Overall, Dave believes participation is certainly above average when compared to other local clubs.
Joe KC0OIO reports that he recently has been unavailable to act as net control of the weekday two-meter Lunch Room due to work obligations; Collin KE0IYN has stepped into the role when available. Participation has been two to three check-ins, sometimes four.
Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald Special Event – Joe KC0OIO reported that he has prepared a scheduler using Sign Up Genius and has shared with with the 13 to 14 identified operators and planners for the event. There are no CW shifts on the schedule beginning Saturday, September 7, at 3:00 pm (2100 UTC) due to the beginning of the ARRL CW Sweepstakes. Brad VE3MXJ was the first to use the site to schedule a number of one hour sessions. Once the identified operators and planners have had an opportunity to schedule themselves for modes and times, Joe will share the schedule link with the general membership. Scheduled operators will receive and email the day before their slot as a reminder of their upcoming shift. They can also check the Sign Up Genius website to view the schedule. Phone operators will use the call W0JH; digital and CW operators will use W0F.
Dave W0OXB noted that we will need to decide on the forms, scripts, etc., to be used for the event, although most of the operators with previous experience probably can operate without written aids. Dave also noted that he would like to invite Rich Barker W8VS of Brighton, Michigan, to participate as an operator in the event. Dave noted that this event started due to the encouragement of Rich, who has been invited to participate in the past. The Board agreed and Dave will contact Rich and provide him with the link to the schedule.
MAP: Dave WØOXB
Dave W0OXB reported that he has received requests for help from a few members recently, and is willing to provide help. One member needs short jumper cables using RG8X, which Dave will construct the old fashion way.
Meetings & Programs – Joe KCØOIO
Joe KC0OIO reports that the “virtual meetings” using Webex are working and continues to be a viable alternative to in-person meetings. Joe believes that Boutwells Landing will not be available until at least next May at the earliest, requiring that the SARA membership meetings continue using the virtual alternative. One benefit of going virtual is the expanded list of possible program presenters. Joe has noticed that noted amateur radio “celebrities,” such as Bob Heil, Gordon West, etc., have been making themselves available for virtual meetings. Joe will continue to explore the options, and let Joe know of any possible speakers.
Room Reservations – Dan KE0IYF
Dan KE0IYF reports that John N5JLZ has contacted the Stillwater Library and informed them that reservations for SARA are now being handled by Dan, so library staff will now deal with Dave on the issue. The library appears to remain unavailable for Thursday Night Eyeball meetings.
Education and Training – Bob W0GAF
The restarted Tech Class 2020has been proceeding nicely. Bob W0GAF reports that the class has a small but committed crew of about five class members. Engagement has been a bit limited, however, due to the virtual nature of the classes. Bob has found that instructors need to ask specific students questions to encourage participation. Bob says the group is at about 50% readiness for testing. Some members appear interested in participating in a General License class. Bob states that the instructors have done great and commends them for their efforts. Bob is recording the classes (when he doesn’t forget HI).
VE Team – Shel NØDRX
As SARA does not have access to Boutwells for testing, SEMARC has gratuitously made space for SARA’s students to test at its October 17 session. Many thanks to SEMARC for its willingness to accommodate SARA’s graduates.
New Ham Resource Group – Brian N0BJE
Brain N0BJE reported that both of the FT-70 HTs are currently available for loan. New techs graduating from SARA’s class may wish to borrow them. The FT-718 HF package is also available. Bob W0GAF will work with Brian so that Brian can just into the remote class session and inform the class of the availability of these rigs for class graduates.
Newsletter & Website – Pat WAØTDA, Dave WØOXB
Joe KC0OIO reports that Pat WA0TDA is in need of more copy for the upcoming Newsletter, and would like to get the Newsletter out early next week.
Repeater – Henry KØHAS, Shel NØDRX, Doug N9TOW
Doug N9TOW reports that the Wires-X system is up and running. Doug is finishing up work on the YSFReflector and will need to get it installed at AA0U Zack’s QTH.
Remote Bases Technical Committee – Pat WA0TDA
Joe KC0OIO reports that he is unaware of the status of Pat’s investigation in new computers for the remote sites.
Mark KE0QQN has been working on an audio distribution box build and at this point has everything put together but the knobs and case. Doug N9TOW has connector for installation and will then begin testing.
Rich AD0SN reports that the PayPal dues payment alternative is all set up but not linked to SARA’s bank as of yet. A PayPal link will also need to be embedded in the SARA website. Bob W0GAF has been working on the SARA website and has put together a draft application page. Bob notes the application parallels SARA’s paper application. When an applicant presses the submit button, an email will be sent to Shel N0DRX with the applicant information. The applicant will then be taken to a page that indicates that the dues payment may be sent by check and snail mail to Shel at the club address, or by PayPal, and the PayPal link will be found on that page. In the preamble of the application page it will note that current members who are renewing their membership need not provide additional information other than name and call sign unless there has been a change in their status.
Pay-It-Forward Radio Donation – Joe KC0OIO followed up on an earlier email to Board and Committee members informing of the offer from Eliot KE0N to give his available Kenwood TS-590 to a deserving and needing club member. It was also noted that the club has a Kenwood TS-520 that could be loaned to a member in need, as well as the Icom IC-718 loaner station. It was agreed that the recipient of the TS-590 should need to put some “skin in the game,” such as acquiring their own power supply, antenna, etc., due to the quality of the donation. A number of options and candidates were discussed, and the Board identified a possible recipient, who has been a long-time active SARA member. Joe KC0OIO agreed to contact Eliot and check with his agreement on the choice and, if acceptable, Dave W0OXB will make the proposal to the identified recipient.
Brian N0BJE and Joe will reach out to another member in need and explore his interest in borrowing the IC-718 station setup to explore HF.
M.A.P. and New Ham Resource Group – It was brought up at the last meeting that perhaps the Board should consider combining M.A.P. with the New Ham Resource Group rather than having two committees that have overlapping charges. The Board came to agreement that the two groups, while having some overlap, have different purposes – the New hams Resource Group was directed to act as an outreach program to new hams who may not be members; M.A.P. on the other hand provides services to members only, and is not limited to new hams. After input by Dave W0OXB and Brian N0BJE, it was concluded by the Board that the charges of the who groups are different, the status quo has been working well, and therefore it was advisable to leave the groups as they are, recognizing that they have a symbiotic relationship.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:16 pm on the motion of Bob W0GAF, seconded by Dave N9JNQ, passed unanimously.