MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – September 11, 2021
MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES – September 11, 2021
Stillwater Amateur Radio Association
The Membership Meeting took place at the Boutwell’s Landing meeting room, Stillwater, MN.
President: Joe KCØOIO
The meeting was called to order at 9:05 AM.
Joe KCØOIO welcomed all to the first in-person Membership meeting since February 2020, the long absence due to COVID-19.
First, a moment of silence was had in recognition and remembrance on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, and to those we lost that day and to those who were later lost due to sickness and on the battlefields.
RFI Exposure Calculations
As we should be aware, the FCC now requires amateur radio operators, with certain exceptions, to perform RFI exposure calculations for their stations and maintain evidence of those calculations. First using the online calculator available from VP9KF, Joe KCØOIO demonstrated how to make determinations of safe distances for various frequencies and transmission power for various antenna configurations. Joe then demonstrated using the calculator on the ARRL website. The results were displayed on both calculators for safe distances for a controlled environment (your home/family environment) and for an uncontrolled environment (the general public0. The overall consensus was that, through the use of these calculators, to come into compliance with FCC rules is fairly easy and straightforward. Your results can be conveniently printed out using the feature on the calculator and maintained for your records.
What have you been up to?
The second portion of the Program consisted of each attendee discussing what they had been up to over the last year and a half since we last had a face-to-face membership meeting, ham related and otherwise. It was nice to hear that many folks appeared to have accomplished many household projects during the time, but also lamented the resulting isolation from family members. Many expressed appreciation of the club’s efforts to keep members connected through daily nets, virtual meetings, and summer outside eyeballs. Thanks much to Joe KCØOIO for his leadership throughout these trying times.
Joe KCØOIO then called the Business Session to order.
Secretary’s Report: Dave N9JNQ
The general minutes from the Membership and Board meetings are posted on the SARA website, including the recent September 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: 05/01/2021 $18,724.02
Ending Balance: 08/31/2021 $6,064.10
Ending Balance: 08/31/2021 $11,757.34
Ending Total Balance: 08/31/2021 $17,821.44
Rich ADØSN reports that the details of the report can be found on the SARA club website on the financial report page. The expenses in the SARA account primarily reflect equipment purchases made for the Ham Resource Group as well as renewing the club’s subscription to Webex. The expenses itemized in the Remote Base Fund reflect the recent upgrade to the WØEQO remote base in Park Rapids, MN, through the purchase of an Icom IC-7300 and a laptop, as well as peripherals to address an RFI issue the station is having.
Activities & Events
Tech Topic Thursdays
The current idea is to reestablish Tech Topic Thursdays on the first Thursday of the month when the club was unable to secure the Library Conference Room. We would initially continue to do the Tech Topic Thursdays virtually via Webex. Joe KCØOIO is going to attempt to secure Bob Heil K9EID for the November session.
The Board agreed at its September 2021 meeting that it will continue to hold the meetings virtually via Webex. This will allow Bob WØGAF to continue to attend without having to travel down from Pine County. Plus, it will free up the once a month library Thursday Eyeball session that in the past was devoted to the Board meeting. Thus, the Board meetings will tend to be held on days other than Thursday. Membership will be notified of the virtual Board meetings and are able to attend virtually.
Thursday Eyeball Sessions
Dan KEØIYF recently learned that the Stillwater Public Library is now open until 8:00 PM and is taking room reservations 90 days in advance. Therefore, he was able to secure the library conference room for our Thursday Eyeball Sessions through mid-December, other than for the first Thursday of each month as that night had already been reserved by others. 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 will continue to be held outside in Autumn Hills Park in Oak Park Heights, MN, on September 16 and 30, with the last Radios in the Park session for the season taking place in Valley View Park, Oak Park Heights, MN, on September 23. The Eyeballs all begin around 5:30 and continue until dark. Thanks to Zack AAØU for securing the parks for these club events.
Special Events – Joe KCØOIO
White Rock Tri-State Special Event – The special event went well, other than an abundance of rain and in interference of a solar flare.
Edmund Fitzgerald Special Event – Joe KCØOIO reported that the club will be going to Split Rock this fall for the Edmund Fitzgerald Special Event. It is scheduled for October 29 through 31, 2021. Unfortunately, this is also the weekend for the CQ Worldwide SSB contest, so there will be a lot of competition for the airwaves. Due to last year’s success with “distributed operations”, it is anticipated that we will have 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.
Member Support/Assistance Initiatives: M.A.P. & Ham Resource Group (HRG) & More
M.A.P. – Joe KCØOIO reported that there were a couple antenna projects over the summer, but otherwise things have been quiet. Joe was sad to report that one of the antenna recipients, Tom Beane KD9RFJ, a new member of the club, recently became a Silent Key. Joe noted that Tom was very engaged in club online/virtual activities the past number of months, and his enthusiasm will be missed.
HRG – Joe KCØOIO noted that the Group has a lot of equipment available to club members, new and old, and thanked Brian NØBJE for being proactive on making the materials available to club members. Once the inventory that is being undertaken of all club equipment and materials is completed, a listing of equipment available through the HRG will be made available on the SARA website. Greg KØGW mentioned that the list could also be distributed through the groups.io reflector.
Groups.io – Remember that the new 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. It appears to be getting use and “doing what it is supposed to do.”
Radios in the Park 2021
As mentioned earlier, Radios in the Park will be back in action on September 23, 2021, at Valley View Park in Oak Park Heights, MN, the last one for the year. The event will be starting officially at 5:30 PM (although feel free to arrive at or any time after 5:00 PM) and run until the setting sun (or mosquitoes) drive us out.
DX News: Mike NØODK
As noted above, the CQ Worldwide SSB contest is the weekend of October 30 – 31, 2021, starting at 0000 UTC Saturday and concluding at 2359 UTC Sunday.
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.
Newsletter: Pat WAØTDA & Dave WØOXB
The deadline for the October SARA Signals Newsletter is September 30, 2021. A thanks to Pat and all contributors for their hard work. We always need content, and would appreciate contributions from folks other than the regulars on any topic ham radio related.
Sunday Digital Fusion Net on the SARA Repeater: To take advantage of the SARA Fusion repeater’s digital capabilities, Bob WØGAF has been leading a Sunday Night Digital Voice Net on the SARA repeater beginning at 7:00 PM. The net has been holding its own and doing well, with numerous check-ins weekly throughout the summer. All are welcome to join in and give the repeater a digital workout.
Wednesday Night Round Robin Ragchew/Net: Joe KCØOIO reports that the net control operator for the Wednesday 9:00 PM net, Rick KØMR, is moving and will no longer be available to run the net. The club has decided to sunset the net at this time after its long run considering the club currently has the Sunday and Tuesday night 7:00 PM nets on the repeater. Nevertheless, there is word that some folks may informally still meet on the repeater on Wednesday nights, and all are encouraged to join in. Rick’s last night was September 8, 2021. Thanks much to Rick for his manning the helm of the Wednesday Night SARA net these many years.
Local Activities: Joe KCØOIO noted that there is a Hams in the Park activity in Long Lake Park, New Brighten, MN, today starting at noon. This event is held on the second Saturday of every month April through November. See https://www.hamoperator.com/Park/2015/HamsinthePark.html for more details.
Next Saturday, September 18, 2021, is the Lake Elmo Hamfest, located at the home of Bob KØIKV, 8247 27th St N
Lake Elmo, MN.
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 $39.00, and the winner Ken NØCQ (who suspiciously drew his own ticket number) donated his winnings back to the club. Thank you Ken!
White Rock Tri-State Special Event Presentation:
Joe KCØOIO, with the reminiscences of Shel NØDRX, provided a nice slide show of the White Rock Tri-State Special Event. The highlights appeared to be the grilling forte of Bob WØGAF and the thunderstorm activity. The low lights included the solar flare which produced poor RF conditions hampering contacts on Sunday.
Shel reported 173 contacts, with 67 confirmed so far, which is a rate of approximately 38%, a bit higher that the club’s other special events. One hundred and forty-seven of the contacts were from the base station, and 26 were from the actually site of the tri-state marker. Twenty-four of those contacts at the marker were made on Saturday, before the poor RF conditions moved in on Sunday. Those poor conditions resulted in only total contacts on Sunday. The band breakdown was 100 on 20 meters, 38 on 80 meters, 29 on 40 meters, and 1 on 15 meters (actually Shel at the base station contacting the marker station). The group did fairly well on 80 meters with contacts to club members and other locals, with Jim WØELC back in the Twin Cities relaying via the SARA repeater where and when the special event could be found on the bands. Thanks much to Jim for his efforts!
The meeting was adjourned by affirmation at 11:05 AM.
Meeting attendance: 15, with 5 attending virtually via the Webex live stream.