Meeting Minutes - February 25, 2006

Nixa Amateur Radio Club, Inc.
February 2006 Meeting Minutes

Members Present: (18 Members) Jim Adkins, KC0IYI; Shawn Baker, KA0RZE; David Bowman, WB0QIR; Allen Busiek, WF5U; Bill Chambers, N0MBW; Chris Cochran, KB0WZC; John Copelin, KC0QNM; Matthew Eliff, KC0QJJ; Dean Gaines, KC0SQD; Joe Hargis, WS0E; Dick Higinbotham, K0GL; Jerry Johnson, KE0KI; Randy Jordan, KC0UKB; Jeff Kerr, KC0VGC; Rod Kittleman, K0ADI; Chris Raymond, KC0TLE; Doug Schumpert, K0DPS; Clint Wood, KC7TUE.

Visitors: (0 Visitors)

Meeting commenced by President Chris Cochran at 6:04 p.m.

* Secretary James Adkins, KB0NHX, was unable to attend due to conflict with work schedule.


Dean Gaines, KC0SQD, turned in $105.00 in Price Cutter Community Bucks. It has been about 3 weeks since he turned them in. We should receive that check soon. Jim Adkins, KC0IYI, asked if Community Bucks program was still active. Chris Cochran, KB0WZC, let everyone know that the program was still active and that the Community Bucks now have a June 30, 2006 expiration date. We want to remind everyone to keep collecting them

We are still waiting to hear back from Patty Dixon about the All State Foundation grants. James Adkins, KB0NHX, had attempted to contact with her to check about the status but did not receive a return phone call. Dean Gaines went to her office and inquired. He found that she does not know when she will hear anything, but she has not heard of any “large” donations being approved so far this year.

The sale of the Midland 70-0520CWB and Midland 70-3400B radios has turned out to be an outstanding fundraiser. We need around $7,500 to pay for installation and structural analysis at Republic C. U. site. Today, due to the sale of many Midland radios, we are proud to announce that we are nearly halfway there. Many of you have received your Midland radios and have seen how well they work on 6-meters and 2-meters. If anyone ask, the non-club member price is $125 for the 70-0520CWB 110 watt mobile with VHF cross band repeater, tuned up on 6-meters and programmed and ready to go, while the price of the 70-3400B 40 watt VHF mobile programmed and ready to go on 2-meters is $75.00. If we sell the rest of these radios at these prices, we will be able to pay for the 6-meter repeater installation! If you feel these are good radios, please get on the air and talk them up. We need to sell these ASAP so we can get the 6-meter repeater installed in time for the spring storm season. Chris Cochran inquired if anyone would want to give a testimonial on these radios. Doug Schumpert, K0DPS, just got his installed was very impressed with how well it got out. Chris advised that he will post the information on the website showing what is programmed in them soon and James Adkins plans to develop and post a short description of the functions and operations of the radios.

MIDLAND REMINDER: DO NOT EVER UNPLUG OR PLUG the control cable from the radio or the control head ANYTIME the DC power cable is plugged into the radio. This will blow an internal fuse that takes about 30 minutes to repair if you know how to do it. It is fixable, but will not be easy. Jeff Kerr, KC0VGC, confirmed that this is in fact what will happen. Anytime you need to detach the control cable from either the radio or the control head, REMOVE THE DC POWER CABLE FIRST.

We will be kicking off a new fundraising campaign. The idea, thought up by David Williams, KE7ABH, with marketing ideas by Al Gallo, W0ERE, is an excellent idea and follows along with our club motto of "Providing emergency communications interoperability by thinking outside the box."

Chris Cochran asked "How many people in this room know what a Yaesu FT-8900 is?" He let the few that did not know that it is Yaesu's 50w 10-meter, 6-meter, 2-meter, and 35w 440 MHz Quad-Band radio! As Jeff Kerr would say, "it is the cat's meow" in the VHF mobile market right now. The club member that brings in the most money for this fundraiser will be GIVEN one of these $425 Yaesu FT-8900's.

The Plan: We figure the Republic tower is 600 feet tall. In order to raise the money for installation, we are going to sell sponsorships for $10 for each foot of install. Chris Cochran will be working on two different flyers to be used, one for soliciting the general public and one for soliciting local businesses. Before we hit the streets, we are going to ask Rod Kittleman, K0ADI, to put out a press release announcing that we are going to be out there soliciting funds for this project. It may be too short a notice, but hopefully this coming week we can have something to send out for news crews to put on the air, in the Newspaper, and on the evening newscasts. It will likely include information about how ham operators assist the National Weather Service during severe weather and by indicating how this could help communications during an earthquake. We hope to get both printed and TV media on this to kick off the campaign. We would like for the campaign to “officially” begin on March 1 and end on March 31, but soft-selling the program on the streets can begin as soon as you want to hit the streets. On the personal level, donation levels will be $10, $25, or more. On the business level, donation levels will be $10, $25, $50, $100, or more. For those soliciting businesses and individuals, the goal will be to hand them the flyer with a brief presentation, something like this:

Emergencies happen spontaneously. The fact is we are not always prepared to deal with the magnitude of the need unless we plan and rehearse various scenarios. In Southwest Missouri, weather is our main concern for many emergency conditions. The Nixa Amateur Radio Club, with the support of the Greene and Christian County EMA and the Nixa Fire District, is preparing the very best in communication equipment and training capabilities to protect the public from weather and other disasters. Early warning communications (on site visual tracking and reporting of tornadoes) is the best way to save lives and protect our families and friends from disaster. We are preparing to help you and your friends remain safe during severe weather. We need your help!

Additional details might include information that we are providing training at our monthly meetings for club members and visitors alike and that the repeater system will allow almost seamless communications with the national weather service during severe weather by weather spotters in the field.

Donor Benefits: For individuals, knowing they are doing their part to help get this communications system installed to help protect themselves and their families. If they give at the $50 dollar mark or more, they will receive one of Rod Kittleman’s patented “Nixa Amateur Radio Club” T-shirts to sport about town. For those donating $100 or more, they will have their name engraved on the “100 Club” or “Club 100” plaque. More details on the plaque to follow. For a business giving $25 or more, we will issue a certificate on a parchment type paper for them to display at their place of business indicating that they are helping to do their part in providing a solid communications system for severe weather spotters in the area and for disaster workers from all fields. If they donate $100 or more, they will also have their business name engraved on the “100 Club” plaque. This plaque will be a professional designed plaque that will be displayed in a public place, like Wal-Mart, for a short time, and then displayed permanently at the Nixa Fire Department.

What the Club Will Provide You: The club will provide everyone with a designed flier that has a “coupon” on the bottom that donors can cut off and mail in with their donations, if they would prefer to do it that way. The coupon will have different check boxes for different levels of donations and indicate next to each donation what type of gift they will receive for their donation. It will also include how people can pay by PayPal on the Internet through our website. Al Gallo will take care of the publications of the flyers. And, of course, best of all, the club member raising the most funds will get that awesome Yaesu FT-8900 FREE and a sense of pride knowing they really helped get the 6-meter repeater up at it’s final resting spot on the 600’ tower in Republic. We will get some fliers printed up and handed out. Chris will also post the fliers on the Yahoo Group and NixaHams.

6-Meter Repeater: We received the DB-408A UHF remote receiver and link antenna, the DB-5012 side mount for the antenna and 500 ft of LDF5-50 7/8” Heliax donation from Andrew earlier this month. We are still waiting to hear back from Don Kocian at C. U. about moving the UHF remote receive antenna up from the proposed 100-foot mark to the 400-foot mark. Hope to hear about that soon. James Adkins spoke with Joye McElwee last week and asked if there was anything that needed to be done before he (Joye) retired in April. He advised it is all in writing, and the install should continue as planned. The equipment will not be deeded over to Greene County until after the installation is complete. At that time, the club will only need to spend money on the repeater for upgrades to the repeater as Greene County EMA will pay for any equipment and repair costs and the City Utilities Radio Shop will be maintaining the repeater for us. Luckily, club member Lonnie Peryer, KC0UAZ, works at the shop and will likely be taking care of it along with Bob Salvador, WX6X. As for the temporary location, the repeater appears to be functioning great. James Adkins has the controller audio levels set and needs to make a few other minor programming changes to it. The Motorola CDM-750 radios are performing flawlessly. After a nearly 1.5 hour QSO, they were barely warm to the touch. With the Cushcraft ARX-6 Ringo Ranger only up on a 20’ pole, we have had reports of people getting into it mobile from as far away as Hwy 248, just north of Branson. Currently, we have to purchase the 250 watt amplifier, pay Rayfield Communications for two of the 19” rack mount kits for the radios, pay Rayfield Communications for the programming and shipping charges, purchase a Polyphaser for the UHF link antenna, and purchase a UHF CDM-750 with a 19” rack mount for the UHF link. This single UHF radio will be the first in our proposed UHF “mesh” network to link the 6-meter with the 2-meter, 70-centimeter, and proposed 1.25-meter repeaters. It will also allow other repeaters outside the NARC network to link to the 6-meter repeater as well as EchoLink if desired.

2-Meter Repeater: The 145.270 is back up and in full power operation. David Williams, James Adkins, and Dean Gaines traversed to the site to try to troubleshoot the noise that was being induced into the receive audio. It turned out the T-connector at the input of the duplexers was touching the system ground and creating a ground loop. Once physical contact was removed from the T-connector and the rails, the noise went away. A few things were done to get the amplifier’s performance boosted. David did some research on the Micor and found that the low current 9.62 volts and 12.62 volts levels are key in providing full output to the amplifier. Once we changed the 9.62 volts side from 8.22 volts to 10.2 volts, the power on the exciter board went up to 500 mw, more than enough drive for the PA. Therefore, voltage to the PA was upped from 12.12 volts to 14.22 volts (within Micor Specs) and power out of the PA jumped up to 128 watts, with 84 watts out of the duplexers. This was still too much loss, so in discussing possible reasons for so much loss, they decided to change out the patch cables on the duplexers. The cables are not bad, just too short. Once the correct length of cable was inserted, we gained an extra 11 watts out of the duplexers, putting our output to 95 watts to the antenna! Before, our highest was 78 watts out of the duplexers. We have had good signal reports since this repair. David and James plan on fabricating a couple more RG-214 jumper cables and changing out the cables on the receive side as well in hopes of increasing receive sensitivity. Jeremy Tannehill continues to work on the technical issues involved in getting EchoLink at the 145.270 site. We still hope to get this working before storm season.

1.25-Meter Repeater: No work done on this project this month.

70-Centimeter Repeater: Since being installed at Rich Vogt’s house, it has worked flawlessly. No updates or changes to this repeater. No word on when the 220' tower will be built east of Nixa, the proposed final resting spot for the repeater.

EchoLink Joplin: James Adkins and David Williams traveled to Webb City and met with Stan Elmore, KB0UUB, to get the EchoLink node to Joplin working again. The entire station was swapped out for our flawlessly working EchoLink Nixa station. This includes a Yaesu FT-2500M, power supply, RIGblaster NoMic, and PC. The PC has been set up and is operational. Audio reports from Joplin area stations have been excellent. This station is now reliable and has had no problems since being installed. Thanks to Chris Cochran and David Williams also for testing audio levels and making PC adjustments. We now have remote control access of this PC via Internet so we can connect the node, troubleshoot, etc., from here without many miles of driving. We did not have this ability before. Chris is working on getting another computer ready for the Nixa site. David Williams received a PC donation from Computer Renaissance. Between it and the retired Joplin EchoLink PC, we should have a good PC for the 145.270 site with a spare computer ready to go if needed.

Miscellaneous Discussion: As a reminder, 2006 club dues are $12.00. Most everyone has renewed. If you have not and would like to, please see Treasurer Dean Gaines after the meeting. We need everyone to assist us in our record keeping as well. In order to make the 2006 roster as complete as possible, we are asking everyone to go to and click on the “JOIN N.A.R.C.” link, then click on the “Click Here to Join” link and fill out the form. This will help us compile a very accurate roster to distribute to club members.

The 501(c)(3) paperwork has been filed with the IRS. Justin Harris said he received the return receipt from the mailing last week. He anticipates six to eight weeks, or less, and we should hear something back from them. As soon as this is approved, we should be able to solicit funding for our projects more easily. Thanks to Justin for all his hard work on this endeavor!

Several people here have purchased Midland Radios. James has finished modifying and programming them. If you have not picked up your radios or paid for them yet, please see Dean Gaines. If you have ordered more from the second round of radios, James Adkins and David Williams plan to get together on Wednesday, March 1st and program/tune radios until their hands turn numb. These should be available by the following week.

It is never too early to talk about Field Day. We need volunteers for the Field Day committee and we are looking for at least three people. Last year we had Dean Gaines, Dave Beckler, and Fred Bell. If we choose to obtain the Missouri DPS command bus again, we need to do so as soon as possible. Dean Gaines volunteered his services to the Field Day Committee. Chris requested that anyone else that is interested contact club leadership and let them know.

As a reminder, we need to make sure that when we access the weather station on the 145.270 repeater that we identify ourselves after the report is received. Any time you key that transmitter, whether it is to say something or to simply use DTMF codes to access EchoLink or the Peet Brothers weather report, we need to ID when we are done. Please keep that in mind!

Monday, February 27th, at 6:30 p.m. the Greene County “2006 Spotter Training Class” will be held at Springfield City Utilities. For more information, contact Joye McElwee at (417) 869-6040.

Tuesday, February 28th, at 6:30 p.m. at the Christian County Courthouse on the 2nd floor at the old courtroom we will be having the annual "Severe Weather Spotters Class" presented by the Christian County EMA and instructed by the National Weather Service. All are encouraged to attend. This will set the groundwork for Allen's presentation next month at the March club meeting for “Advanced Techniques in Weather Spotting.” Therefore, if you have an interest in learning about weather spotting or just want to brush up on your skills before severe weather season, you will glean much good information from both of these programs. As a club, this meshes with our proposed goal of becoming much more involved in Sky Warn in Southwest Missouri.

Joe Hargis, WS0E, will be attending the Green County Hamfest in Tulsa Oklahoma on March 17th and 18th. He requested that a couple of each Midland radio be sent with him with some documentation so that he can market them for the club. Chris advised Joe that he could also use the club banners if he liked.

Bill Chambers advised that everyone should check out Four States QRP ( and look for information on OzarkCon 2006 (

Chris announced that J. R. Duncan was our latest Extra Class inductee and that Harold Cheek passed his Technician exam. Our club has licensed 32 new hams, upgraded 16 licenses, and only had 5 failed exams. This is a total of 53 test taken, and is something to be very proud of. Chris thanked our VE’s and meeting attendees gave a round of applause.

Meeting adjourned at 6:47 p.m. (43 minutes)