Meeting Minutes - April 28, 2007

Nixa Amateur Radio Club, Inc.
April 2007 Meeting Minutes

Members Present: (15 Members) James Adkins, KB0NHX; Dave Beckler, WA0SAP; Chris Cochran, KB0WZC; John Copelin, KC0QNM; Matthew Eliff, KC0QJJ; James French, KC0TQD; Dean Gaines, KC0SQD; Al Gallo, W0ERE; Joe Hargis, WS0E; Jerry Johnson, KE0KI; Randy Jordan, KC0UKB; Emily Kerr, KC0YOO; Jeff Kerr, KC0VGC; John Kreymer, N5LKM; and Chris Raymond, KC0TLE.

Visitors: (1 Visitor) Fred Bell, N0LU.

Meeting commenced by President Chris Cochran at 6:06 p.m.

Congratulations to everyone that upgraded or received their ticket at today's VE session. Al Gallo (W0ERE) is the only one here that upgraded and he is now an Extra. Great job Al!

Thanks to everyone that went down and operated at the W0S special event station. Everyone had a great time and ham radio had a great showing.

Our next event, Field Day, is coming up soon. James Adkins (KB0NHX) received a letter from the Department of Public safety indicating we would be able to use the DPS command bus again this year. So far, Rich Vogt (KB9YZE) is slated to drive the bus down and back for us. Dean Gaines (KC0SQD) has secured some monies from Wal-Mart for food and is working on others. James French (KC0TQD) has advised that his company, Premium Beverages, will supply soft drinks and water for the event. If anyone has some contacts with getting cash donations to cover the fuel expenses for the command bus, contact Dean. We are still in need of a donation of doughnuts for breakfast on Sunday morning and for cash or food for the event for lunch and supper on Saturday. If anyone would like to help obtain these items, let Dean know after the meeting.

Also, wanted to let everyone know that Rod Kittleman (K0ADI) is in the hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. Thanks to Bill Chambers (W8KIR) for letting us know. We wish Rod a quick recovery.

We do not have any updates or information on repeaters this month. All appear to be working as normal. As a policy change, Alltel has made a company wide statement that insurance is necessary to be on their towers. Luckily, we already have the required liability insurance so we are good to go.

Due to work conflicts, Jeff Morrissey (KB0WVT) was unable to attend the meeting this evening. Therefore, Chris Cochran (KB0WZC) took the floor to present the Treasurer's Report.

Since the last meeting, we received the following monies:

$ 36.00 Dues
$260.00 Donations
$ 1.56 Dividend

Our expenditures were as follows:

$320.00 Insurance
$ 1.69 Receipt Book

Therefore, our club treasury balance is $796.64 with $475.00 earmarked for a specific future repeater project to be named later.

Chris then turned the floor over to James Adkins for a report on his latest project.

James has been working on an EchoLink node in Lee's Summit that will allow the National Weather Service (NWS) in Springfield to communicate directly with the National Weather in Pleasant Hill. If you remember at last years SMARC hamfest, this was mentioned as a project of interest by Steve Runnels of NWS. During normal operation, the link will operate on 146.535 simplex, PL 173.8 Hz. When needed, it will be switched to the Kansas City Sky Warn, KC0SKY, backup repeater, the 146.700, PL 107.2 Hz. The radio utilizes a Cushcraft Ringo Ranger at the 150' mark on the MSHP tower in Lee's Summit. The Lee's Summit School District will be providing high-speed internet for this project at no cost. If you would like more details, see James after the meeting.

Thanks, James, for the update. We now will enter our open floor time. Anyone have any questions or comments about club related business?

Dave Beckler (WA0SAP) commented that we need more operators for the Titanic event for next year and would like to see us more active. The "Titanic 4" are looking for comments and ideas on how to make it an even bigger event for ham radio next year. The group will be traveling to Dayton Hamvention to talk for 45 minutes at the Icom forum. Dave has also had two telephone interviews with PBS about the event. Dave made mention that almost half of those that signed up and committed to operate never showed up and that was disappointing. However, due to the cold weather conditions, he understood why that probably happened. Jeff Kerr (KC0VGC) commented that next year they should break down duties into categories and go to the EARS group and specifically ask if they can do a certain thing, and also approach other clubs in the same way. He feels that leaving it open ended like they did tended to make people not volunteer to help because they did not know what they could do. James also commented that if you can direct the volunteers in such a way, you will probably get more operators as when people help with something like that then they tend to take pride in it and want to see the project all the way through. Lastly, the group has only seen about 1/3 of the money come in that they anticipated in the QSL requests and some are not even sending SASE's or correct postage. Next year they want to make sure and get the word out that the $1.00 IS necessary to get a QSL. Also, they have leftover Icom hats and Icom world maps with DX zones for sale for $5.00 each. Get with Dave Beckler at [email protected] if you would like to purchase one. All proceeds go to cover the group's expenses at the Titanic event.

Following ensued a very good and in-depth discussion of Field Day 2007. We received a confirmation that barring some emergency, we will have the MSHP DPS command bus. We would like to get away from using Chris Cochran's tower as it is hard to erect and dismantle safely. James and Jeremy will see about using the Alltel C.O.W. again this year. As for the other structures, we need two 30' scissor lifts to act as support structures. John Copelin (KC0QNM) is going to check with RSC and James Adkins is going to check with Handyman Rentals. We will allow them to hang their banners from them. John has a 16' trailer we can use to haul them in. Our theme for this year's event is a "Salute to Public Safety". We hope to have a Fire Truck, a Police Car, an Ambulance, and possibly a Helicopter there at different times. James will also contact the Christian County Sheriff and Christian County EMA director to invite the Sheriff as our elected official and for show and tell of one of his vehicles and the CERT trailer to try to get more people involved in CERT. John Copelin is going to check into the possibility of us getting a spotlight for the event. Wal-Mart has donated $25 for food. Dean will check with Daylight Doughnuts for a donation of 3 to 4 dozen doughnuts and will also get with Price Cutter for a food donation. James French (KC0TQD) has said that his company will provide all the beverages for the event. In the event that Rich Vogt (KB9YZE) cannot take off work to drive the event, both James French and John Copelin are qualified and volunteered to drive the bus. On our public information table, we want fliers about ham radio, about the Nixa ARC, and about the Titanic event. We would like to have a club banner hanging from that table and will need someone to man the table during the busy times during Field Day (probably Saturday afternoon and evening). As for the refreshment table, we would like a banner for Wal-Mart, Price Cutter, Premium Beverages and whoever else donates to the event for our food. Chris Cochran will provide his large tent to place over and around the beverage table. As far as generators, the DPS bus has one generator that can be used to power the equipment for the Phone stations. Jeff Kerr and John Copelin have portable gasoline generators and will provide them as backups if needed for the event. The "surprise" that Fred and Dave are bringing will have an 80-kw generator as well and will house the CW stations. The CW stations will be a Kenwood TS-2000 and a Yaesu FT-1000. Dave is bringing a Mosely TA-33 beam for CW and if Alpha Delta comes through we will have a wire antenna for the other CW station. Right now we plan on having two phone stations. We are hoping that Rich Vogt, KB9YZE, will afford us the use of his Yaesu FT-920 for one of them. Dave Beckler has said he has a Kenwood TS-140 we can use for the other. For one phone station, we will use Chris Cochran's Cushcraft A3S. We still need an antenna for the second phone station, preferably a wire multi-band antenna like a DXCC. There is an interest in doing digital this year, so James Adkins has afforded us the use of his Yaesu FT-920 with RIGblaster and BWD 1.8-30 160-10 meter dipole for that station. It will either be set up in the command bus or in a tent outside with the QRP solar station. Al Gallo will provide the 5 watt 40-meter QRP station and solar panel to run it. We will also run a 6-meter Phone/CW station this year. We need a radio for that station. Fred Bell (N0LU), has offered to let us use a 3-element beam he constructed for 6-meters. As for coax, the club has a stockpile of Belden 9913 and 1/2" superflex that we can use. In addition, Dave Beckler offered up two 250' pieces of RG-8X.

All in all, Field Day is coming together well. Jeff Kerr is working on the logging PC's for the event and networking them together. Looks like we will need a total of 7 PC's for the event. Jeff has 3 already and is in need of 4 more. If anyone has an old PC that they are not using that we could use for the event that would be a great help. Contact Jeff Kerr at [email protected]

James Adkins will be heading up the Field Day planning this year. Callsign for the event will again be N0A. If you can help, here is a break down of what is needed:

  • Radio and power supply for 6-meter station
  • HF Phone radio, power supply and multi-band wire antenna
  • An operator, possibly from CCARES, that has the ability to send and receive NTS traffic
  • Someone with a contact at Cox Hospital to see if we can get Air Care to come down for an hour on Saturday if they are not busy with calls
  • A couple of people to help Dean Gaines obtain food donations for the event and fuel or money for fuel for the DPS command bus
  • Lots of manpower to set up and tear down the event
  • QRP CW operator enthusiasts to operate the solar powered CW QRP station
  • Operators with an interest in Digital modes such as PSK-31 to operate our digital station
  • Media contacts to try to get media coverage points for the event
  • A large piece of Plexiglas to put on our information table so we do not have to try to keep paperwork from blowing away. Handouts will be in the clear plastic sleeves if anyone wants to take one with them
  • Not only do we need CW and phone operators, but we also need loggers. It is a good way to start out by getting your feet wet in HF contesting and work your way into operating later in the event
  • Coolers and Ice
  • Extension cord
  • 20 amp or larger power supplies

Instead of being just a fun event, we want to make this a contest this year and go for the gold to score as many points as possible. Though we plan on having a blast during setting up, operating, eating and tearing down the event, we want to have a great field day showing.

Meeting adjourned at 7:25 p.m. (79 minutes)