MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – October 9, 2021
MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – October 9, 2021
Stillwater Amateur Radio Association
The Membership Meeting took place at the Boutwell’s Landing meeting room, Stillwater, MN. The meeting was livestreamed via Webex.
President: Joe KCØOIO
The meeting was called to order at 9:15 AM.
Joe KCØOIO welcomed all attending in person and by livestream. The meeting was the first use of a new audio system used for the livestream that incorporated a mixer and two microphones to better pick up the audio of the speaker and the audience.
Why am I an ARRL member – presented by Greg KØGW
Greg began the program with a quick discussion of what it means to be a Special Service Club under the ARRL, as is SARA. A Special Service Club is, in the words of the League, “a club that exists to go above and beyond for their communities and for Amateur Radio …. They are the leaders in their Amateur Radio communities who provide active training classes, publicity programs and actively pursue technical projects and operating activities.” A Special Service Club is an ARRL-affiliated club that provides a number of community services, such as providing new ham development training, public relations, emergency communications (such as ARES), provides opportunities for technical advancement, and provides various operating activities (field day, special events, etc.).
Greg also noted that by affiliating with the ARRL, a club received numerous benefits. These include: use of the ARRL mailing list,; club liability insurance; radio equipment insurance; ARRL-email forwarding; QST and other publications; access to the ARRL bookstore; and other benefits.
Greg then addressed why he is an ARRL member. Greg provided all with a copy of an “ARRL ‘checklist’ of interests,” which the audience used to check off those interests and services provided by ARRL to members that they use or otherwise find useful. Benefits include the ARRL website and email (email@example.com), email bulletins, ARRL publications, sign-up email bulletins for a variety of topics of interest, and QST and its associated publications. Regarding QST, the #1-cited member benefit, there are the valuable equipment reviews, which are all searchable online going back to 1980. Greg revealed that the ARRL lab, when it finds a problem with the equipment it reviews, will contact the manufacturer who then often fixes the problem. So one of the values of the reviews is the equipment gets better. And the ads found in QST not only provide members with the latest information on new equipment, but the ad revenue also funds the League’s operations.
Some of the indirect benefits provided by ARRL membership include representation before a number of national and international organizations, including the FCC. Greg noted that the “Volunteer Monitors” program, helmed by ARRL’s Riley Hollingsworth and coordinated with the FCC, has taken the place of the ‘official observers” of yesteryear and are now relied upon and cited by the FCC in enforcement proceedings.
Awards sponsored by ARRL are also a popular benefit, the Worked All States award being one of the first, if not the first, award made available to hams. Greg also noted that there is an Elmer Award that can go to worthy elmers nominated by hams.
Logbook of the World is also a valuable benefit, cited as #2 by members. Contacts that used to take years to confirm by paper now can be done in minutes, if not faster.
Greg noted that the ARRL VEC is one of 12 groups authorized to coordinate volunteer license exams. And the ARRL has a role in the preparation of the question pools, an important aspect of this activity. The ARRL believes that the entire education and testing program should encourage new hams without “dumbing down” the process.
Greg noted the scholarship program available through the ARRL that range from $500 to $25,000, This is funded through the ARRL Foundation, supported by membership. Also benefited by membership is the Second Century Endowment, which helps fund the ARRL. Greg noted that membership payments pay only approximately half of the League’s annual operating budget, so the endowment, coupled with QST ad revenue and other revenue-generating benefits, keeps the League going.
The ARRL also maintains the history of the hobby with such exhibits and the “Old Man’s” spark gap transmitter. And the W1AW station provides all members with the opportunity to operate with one of the most well-known calls in ham radio.
ARRL’s learning network is the League’s newest educational endeavor, providing such things as webinars and a variety of topics. There are currently 39 podcasts available as of mid-September. There are also a number of general podcasts made available by the League. Also available are 37 member-only online forums that come with membership.
More benefits of membership can be found on at ARRL.org.
Greg concluded with a tally of the audience’s checklist of interests.
Thanks to Greg for an enlightening program.
The program concluded at 10:32 AM.
Joe KCØOIO then called the Business Session to order at 10:32 AM.
Secretary’s Report: Dave N9JNQ
The general minutes from the Membership and Board meetings are posted on the SARA website, including the recent October 2021 Board Meeting that was held virtually this past Wednesday.
Please report any corrections or additions to: Secretary@radioham.org
Treasurer’s Report: Rich ADØSN
Beginning Total Balance: 09/01/2021 $17,821.44
Ending Balance: 09/30/2021 $6,089.55
Ending Balance: 09/30/2021 $11,757.34
Ending Total Balance: 09/30/2021 $17,846.89
Activities & Events
Tech Topic Thursdays
Tech Topic Thursdays will resume virtually via Webex on November 4, 2021, and on future first Thursdays of the month when the club was unable to secure the Library Conference Room. Joe KCØOIO has made a big score and has secured Bob Heil K9EID for the December 2 session.
The Board meeting occurred this past Wednesday, October 6, 2021, via Webex, which will be the norm in the foreseeable future. They will take place “as scheduled.”
Thursday Eyeball Sessions
The Stillwater Public Library is now available for our Thursday Eyeball Sessions, other than for the first Thursday of each month as that night had already been reserved by others. As noted above, the first Thursday will conveniently be used for our virtual Tech Topic Thursdays. So far, the room has been reserved for: October 14, 21, 28; November 11, 18 (no session on Thanksgiving the 25th); and December 9. Thursday Eyeballs were held outside in Autumn Hills Park in Oak Park Heights, MN, and at other locations when needed. As the weather has turned, we move inside.
White Rock Tri-State Special Event – Bob WØGAF reported that there were 57 QSL certificates sent representing 67 QSOs, the difference representing single operators making multiple contacts.
Edmund Fitzgerald Special Event – Joe KCØOIO reported that the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park event is scheduled for October 29 through 31, 2021. There are 16 confirmed participants going to the event so far. As with last year’s “distributed operations”, there will be the option of at-home stations active on digital and CW as well, which will provide an opportunity for members who can not attend the event in person to participate. A sign up sheet via SignUpGenius will be sent by email shortly.
Member Support/Assistance Initiatives: M.A.P. & Ham Resource Group (HRG) & More
M.A.P. – Antenna raising has been quiet the last couple of months.
Joe KCØOIO sent the condolences of SARA to Dave WØOXB for the recent passing of his father at the age of almost 103.
HRG – Joe KCØOIO noted and thanked Brian NØBJE for the donation of an LDG IT-100 to be paired with the HF-loaner FT-718. Brian noted that the group also recently received a generous donation of an all-mode Yaesu FT-100 for loan. Brian also reported on the recent acquisition of a power supply, and un-un, and a balun, all for loan to new and old hams.
Groups.io – Remember that the SARA email reflector group is now online at https://groups.io/g/StillwaterMNAmateurRadioAssoc. This reflector is available to SARA members only, so you should apply at the groups.io site and you will be given access by the site moderator.
DX News: Mike NØODK
Mike reports (via the livestream) that the CQ Worldwide SSB contest is the weekend of October 30 – 31, 2021, starting at 0000 UTC Saturday and concluding at 2359 UTC Sunday. The CQ Worldwide CW contest is scheduled for November 27-28, 2021. The ARRL CW Sweepstakes are coming the first full weekend of November 2021, followed by the Phone Sweepstakes the third full weekend of November 2021. And the 3YØT Bouvet Island DXpedition by the Norwegian group looks to be moving forward and is a go.
Get the latest DX news by subscribing to the ARRL DX News www.arrl.org/contest. Also check out www.ng3k.com for DX. For contests try the WA7BNM Contest Calendar contestcalendar.com.
Remote Stations: Pat WAØTDA
Remote station WØEQO, Park Rapids, MN, is on the air at 75 watts as they are working out some RFI issues. Contact Pat WAØTDA if you want access.
Newsletter: Pat WAØTDA & Dave WØOXB
A thanks to Pat and all contributors for their hard work getting out this month’s issue. We really need content from authors other than the regulars, we should not have to rely solely on the small group for material.
ARES and Public Service: John KAØHYR
John KAØHYR reports that MNVOAD (Minnesota Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) will be holding a SET on Saturday, October 23, 2021, for all interested participants using amateur radio. Modes will include voice and WinLink. Further details will be forthcoming.
Local Activities: Joe KCØOIO noted that there is the last Hams in the Park activity for the year in Long Lake Park, New Brighten, MN, today starting at noon. This event were held on the second Saturday of every month May through October this year. See https://www.hamoperator.com/Park/2015/HamsinthePark.html for more details.
Wearables: Do not forget that SARA-labeled hats, shirts, jackets, and other wearables are available from www.hamthreads.com. SARA members will receive a discount on all orders.
The sale of raffle tickets brought in $30.00. There was also a book donated for the raffle. The winner of the book was Mark KEØQQN, and the winner of the $15.00 was Tom AD6QT, who generously donated his winnings back to the club. Thank you Tom!
The meeting was adjourned at 10:46 AM on the motion by Bob WØGAF, seconded by Mary KDØPKY, and passed unanimously.
Meeting attendance: 14, with 6 attending virtually via the Webex livestream.