Meeting Minutes - January 28, 2006

Nixa Amateur Radio Club, Inc.
January 2006 Meeting Minutes

Members Present: (20 Members - 42% of Membership present!) James Adkins, KB0NHX; Jim Adkins, KC0IYI; Kim Adkins, KC0GKP; Fred Bell, N0LU; Bill Chambers, N0MBW; John Copelin, KC0QNM; Brad Cunningham, KL1IF; J. R. Duncan, N0RLP; Carson Eliff, KC0QJI; Matthew Eliff, KC0QJJ; Dean Gaines, KC0SQD; Al Gallo, W0ERE; Michael Hooper, KC0VTE; Jerry Johnson, KE0KI; Randy Jordan, KC0UKB; Jeff Kerr, KC0VGC; John Perkins, W6OQS; Jeremy Tannehill, KC0UJZ; Rich Vogt, KB9YZE; Clint Wood, KC7TUE.

Visitors: (2 Visitors) Kolton Adkins; Sierra Adkins.

Meeting commenced by Vice-President Doug Schumpert at 6:10 p.m.

* President Chris Cochran, KB0WZC, was unable to attend due to the birth of his daughter, Olivia Grace Cochran. She weighed 7 lbs, 9 ounces, 20 3/4" long. Born on Tuesday, January 24th, 2006 at 7:27 p.m. Congrats to Chris!

* Media Liaison Rod Kittleman was unable to attend due to a work conference.

Fundraising:

Chris Cochran received word that the Nixa Community Foundation refused our grant request for funding for the 6-meter repeater. Unfortunately, there was no reason given. However, during discussion with foundation board members, we believe it is apparent we were refused due to our 501(c)(4) tax. The foundation members are looking for a tax write off, which our status could not provide.

Currently, Dean Gaines, KC0SQD, is still collecting Price Cutter Community Bucks. He has another $105.00 collected, giving us $267.00 total for 2005! Great job and thanks to everyone that’s collected these and turned them over to the club. It is easy, free money. Dean will be turning these in on Monday, January 30, so get your collection of Community Bucks to him before then, especially the ones that expire on 1/31/06. The new expiration date is 6/30/06.

Patty Dixon turned in the grant request for the $500 grant. We hope to hear back from that soon. As far as the larger grant, the necessary paperwork has been turned in. We are mainly waiting for the 501(c)(3) status to be completed.

Along the 501(c)(3) status, Justin Harris, KC0VJJ, turned in the updated Constitution & Bylaws to the State of Missouri. Once we receive our updated Incorporation certificate, he is ready to file with the IRS. That process will probably take at least 8 weeks, so it won’t be an overnight deal. Thanks to everyone who voted in December to make the necessary changes!

James Adkins, KB0NHX, is going to try to get the club's 3 GE Rangr radios modified and put on 6-meters. The club will then be selling or raffling them off to raise funds. They will be 110w radios, with either 16 or 32 channels, scan capability and remote display kits & speakers. These are "retired" Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) radios. Generally, these are selling complete for about $200 modified, programmed and ready to go. James’ former boss, Jeff Alberson, KC0UPJ, was promoted and went to Lee’s Summit as a field engineer and located one of the old GE Suitcase programmers. James will use this to program the radios for whoever purchases them. The club will keep one of these radios for the proposed MEPN node. James also plans on programming the VHF Rangr donated by Citizen's Memorial Hospital for the VHF side of the MEPN node.

6-Meter Repeater Updates:

The club purchased the CAT-1000B controller. CAT donated the 19” rack mount enclosure, a $99.00 donation, and the Windows editing software, a $69.00 donation. The controller cost $679.00 plus $10 in shipping. James Adkins constructed the programming and interface cables and has since programmed the controller.

James Adkins contacted Andrew again to see if they’d be willing to help us out one more time with the UHF remote control antenna. Andrew agreed to donate one DB-408A UHF 8-bay folded dipole antenna, the DB-5012 side mount, and 450' of LDF4-50 7/8" heliax. This is pretty much all we needed to install the UHF remote receive antenna. This donation is about a $3,200 donation of equipment!

David Williams, KE7ABH, and James Adkins built the heliax jumper cables to go between the bandpass cavities and the duplexers, between the duplexers and the transmit radio, and the bandpass cavity and the receive radio. Those were built of Andrew FSJ4-50B 1/2" superflex with N-male connectors, all which the club had in stock. We did purchase a professionally made 1' jumper made by the RF-Connection with RG-142 coax. Also purchased was a 2' patch cable made of RG-142 to connect the transmit radio to the amplifier.

On Sunday, January 22, we had an antenna raising party at James Adkins house to put up the 6-meter temporary antenna. This consisted of a single DB-212 dipole, up 40 ft. We worked the Harrison, Arkansas repeater with just 5-watts with Bill Chamber's, N0MBW, Yaesu FT-817!

On Friday, January 27, David Williams went by Rayfield Communications to pick up the Motorola CDM-750 radios. However, due to technical problems, they were not ready. They were able to program them fine, but the deviation would not adjust properly. John Rayfield has contacted the engineer at Motorola to see if there is a workaround he is not aware of. If not, we will have to alter the programming slightly to make them work. A radio will have to be transmit only on a channel and receive only on a channel. What we mean is, for example, channel 1 will transmit 53.270 and there will be no receive channel programmed. Vice versa for the receive radio. We had hoped to get the repeater up temporarily at the Nixa site, but no luck. Maybe by the February meeting. Otherwise, we are simply waiting for the funds to install the 6-meter repeater at the Republic Site.

2-Meter Repeater Updates:

James Adkins and David Williams went by the 145.270 site to do some troubleshooting on the buzz that is present when the power supply is in service. After hooking up an Astron RS-35, the problem went away. The problem has been isolated to the low-current, regulated power source in the Motorola TPN-1110B. James will attempt to troubleshoot it. Until further notice, the repeater will continue to operate on the battery backup.

James also took the quarterly readings while there. The receiver is still performing quite nicely. The transmitter has dropped from 78w at the PA and 50w out of the duplexers at the 4th quarter readings to 49.8w out of the PA and 29.7w out of the duplexers. James contacted Repeater Builders to see about the status of getting our amp back they've had since October 17, 2005. They report that it will ship out on Wednesday, January 25, 2006. If that is the case, we should get it next week around January 31st or so.

EchoLink at the site has run into some problems. Jeremy Tannehill, KC0UJZ, has the hardware installed, but they are having a hard time getting the Internet there. For now, the producer of the equipment is looking into the problem. No ETA on when this will get completed, but should not be too much longer.

James Adkins contacted Barnett Electronics in Little Rock, AR, about some GE equipment. Turns out, they are willing to donate some Micor equipment to the club. David Williams and his wife are taking at trip down there on Wednesday, February 1st, in hopes of finding a new power supply and amplifier as well. He is going to try to get backup parts for all we have at the 2-meter site if possible.

70-Centimeter Repeater Updates:

The 444.275 repeater was installed at the intermediate site, the residence of Rich Vogt, KB9YZE, as of January 14th, 2006. The antenna is now up about 75' mark, being fed with RG-213 coax. Seems to work pretty well. Jeremy Tannehill advised that the Nixa East Alltel site did get into the FY06 budget and we should know sometime in the next 30 to 45 days when the tower will be built. It will be a 220 ft tower, exact location unknown, but will be between Nixa and Ozark, probably near MO 14, but closer to Nixa. The club mainly needs the side mount, antenna, and possibly heliax for this site. The site will more than likely be completed by the end of December, 2006. Before going to the final site, we will tune up the receiver and transmitter and get it up to KC0LUN standards. Thanks again to Bill McNamee, KB0WHN, for finding this “broken” repeater and donating it to the club.

1.25-Meter Repeater Updates:

No updates.

Joplin EchoLink Updates:

The Joplin EchoLink still has reliability issues. James Adkins and/or David Williams and Chris Cochran plan on traversing to the site in February to get it up and running before storm season. Plans were to use the Yaesu FT-2500 from the Nixa site out there once we got the Nixa node at the site. However, we will probably go ahead and take it over there and bring the FT-2600 back here where it can be "babysat"” until we get to the 145.270 site. We also need to do some software upgrades to make the PC controllable remotely. It proved to be a valuable asset at the end of last season's severe weather season, and it had to be "limped" through that, thanks to the help of Stan Elmore, KB0UUB, on the other end. With this next batch of upgrades, this project should be reliable. The only other upgrade we'd like to make is to take a 19" cabinet over there to house the PC & Radio equipment in Stan's office.

Miscellaneous Discussion:

The Nixa Area Chamber of Commerce NIXPO is coming up on Saturday, March 18, 2006, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Is the club interested in helping with communications for this event? It has been going on for 11 years now and this would be a positive thing for us to be involved in. Is anyone interested in providing communications for this? We need to know soon! Maybe they will let us have a free booth if we provide this service for them. Membership voted to try to be involved with communications for the event if they will let us have a free booth at the exposition. A club officer will check on this with Sharon Whitehill.

The General Membership meeting for the Chamber of Commerce is on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 at 11:45 a.m. at the Nixa Community Center. Cost is $8.00 to attend, and lunch is provided. It is an excellent way to not only network for the club, but also to find out what is going on in the community of Nixa. Anyone wishing to attend with James Adkins contact him at [email protected] You must RSVP by February 10th. If you want to appear in the "X photo", arrive by 11:30 a.m. and wear a red shirt! This is a really fun event.

Reminder: club dues for 2006 can be paid at any time. Contact Dean Gaines and he will write a receipt for you. Dues are still only $12.00 for FY06.

We need to vote on the meeting place. Do we want to continue to hold the meeting at this location, or return to the Nixa Pizza Hut? We could have the technical “pre-meeting” at the fire department and the business meeting afterwards at the Pizza Hut. Any comments, ideas or questions? Vote was taken and was unanimous 20 to 0 to continue meeting at the Nixa Fire Department General Headquarters. Club officers will contact A.R.R.L. and other organizations and advise of the meeting change.

Allen Busiek, WF5U, discussed the J-pole project that was conducted at the "technical" pre-meeting which started at 4:30 p.m. This particular project did not get completed by meeting time, so we may want to start lengthier projects earlier. We had 7 people build J-poles and had 12 people in attendance. Everyone that came really enjoyed the program and looks forward to them continuing. Allen said anyone interested in helping teach these courses or putting on a presentation should contact him. Ideas for other presentations include a presentation on "Go Kits" and seeing if Dale Bagly, K0KY, ARRL Section Manager, would come to a club meeting for a presentation.

Brad Cunningham, KL1IF, asked what the MEPN node was. James Adkins, KB0NHX, gave a brief discussion of what MEPN stands for (Missouri Emergency Packet Network) and that the cost of putting this on the air would be about $12,000 if we bought everything at retail prices. James indicated there might not be much interest among club members for this project, but it would be a good public service project for the community by enhancing public safety communications through local ARES groups.

Al Gallo, W0ERE, asked what the status was on the 6-meter repeater. Advised him that it should be up temporarily at our Nixa location for testing shortly. We hoped to have it on the tower in Republic by this fall, but that all depended on whether we got the grant money or not. James indicated our current fundraiser's are a $500 grant request to Allstate foundation, a $10,000 grant request to Allstate Foundation, collecting Price Cutter Community Bucks, and the 2nd Annual Communications Classic. Al said if someone would put together a good document on what the repeater was for, etc., that he is a marketing person with several contacts and would try to solicit donations for the projects.

January Budget Roundup:

12/31/05
Purchase CAT-1000B controller for 6-meter repeater
-$ 689.00
1/5/06
Receive dues from Joe Hargis, WS0E for 2006
12.00
1/11/06
Receive dues from David Williams, KE7ABH, for 2006
15.00
1/16/06
Purchase wires & connectors from All Electronics for 6-meter rptr
- 17.01
1/16/06
Purchase Patch cables for 6-meter repeater
- 50.25
1/17/06
Receive dues from John Perkins, W6OQS, for 2006
12.00
1/25/06
Purchase Mics for Rangr radios for club fundraiser
- 41.70
1/26/06
Purchase speakers, control heads & control cables for Rangr fundraiser
- 155.00
Total Income:
$ 39.00
Total Expenditures:
$952.96

Meeting adjourned at 7:11 p.m. (1 hour and 1 minutes)