Minutes of Regular Meeting of Members
Coppell Amateur Radio Enthusiasts
Date: January 15, 2019
Location: William T Cozby Public Library, Coppell TX
The meeting was called to order by Korky, KG5NNA, at 7:04 PM.
Membership and financial update
Aaron, K8AMH, provided an update regarding membership count and a high-level financial report.
In November the group had no income or expenses.
For December, Aaron provided a preliminary report as there was an open question on when the repeater the group purchased would hit the books. This question exists because while the repeater was ordered in December, it did not physically arrive until January. It is also the end of the fiscal year and time is needed to ensure all reimbursement requests are submitted prior to closing the books. He will provide an update at the next meeting.
There were no new membership applications received in November or December.
IRS Form 1023-EZ was filed on December 12. Aaron mentioned it will take some time for this to process, perhaps six months or longer. He will provide ongoing updates.
On March 19, 2019, in lieu of a regular membership meeting, we will have the Annual Meeting. One Board member position is up for vote, but Aaron noted that there are two vacant positions also available. Aaron will set up a nomination form on the website so those interested can submit their nominations.
The Board moved forward with purchasing the Yaesu DR-2X repeater through Yaesu’s promotion. The promotion did end at the end and was not renewed. Additional work is required to place the repeater on the air, including tuning the duplexer and potential parts replacement.
December Christmas party
Several folks came to the first Annual Christmas Party at Hard Eight BBQ where we discussed several facets of amateur radio, including antennas, antenna tuners, and HF radios. It was noted that the live band in the background was quite loud, and it may be wise to hold this event at a different location.
Korky provided an update regarding the impact to amateur radio, and specifically the Federal Communications Commission, during the government shutdown. Aside from a few systems, the FCC is closed, including the filing system for processing amateur radio licenses. No license applications are being processed, including new licenses and updates or renewals to current licenses. Renewals may be filed while the FCC is closed, and if the license is scheduled while the FCC is closed it will remain valid during the shutdown. If renewals are not sent during the closure, those with expiring licenses will have only 2 days to renew before expired licenses truly expire.
As a side note, SKYWARN classes are also impacted during the shutdown.’
The ARRL’s Parity Act is meant to prohibit communities from evoking overriding land use regulations for antennas. Some communities have imposed limitations on amateur radio antenna placement, and while the ARRL recently filed a Petition for Rulemaking (PFR) asking the FCC to amend Part 91 to incorporate Parity Act provisions, the FCC is reluctant to take such action without congressional approval.
Texas Senate Bill 43
This bill, introduced by Representative Sen Judith Zaffarini in November 2018, amends the Texas Transportation Code to add further restrictions regarding using wireless communication devices while driving. Unfortunately, the bill proposes removing the amateur radio exception, and it is unclear if personal wireless services includes amateur radio in its definition. ARRL representatives in Texas are working to reach out to government officials to explain the benefit of the amateur radio exemption.
Educational topic: FT8 digital mode
Aaron provided an overview of operating using the FT8 digital mode during the ARRL’s RTTY Roundup contest earlier in the month. This mode was developed to offer a communications method that would perform well while high frequency propagation is poor, such as right now. Specialized software, such as WSJT-X, is needed, along with an interface, such as a SignaLink USB, to connect the computer to the radio. Aaron mentioned that information about FT8 would be uploaded to the website.
With no other matters before the membership meeting, the meeting was adjourned at 8:34 PM.