Minutes of Regular Meeting of Members
Coppell Amateur Radio Enthusiasts
Date: February 19, 2019
Location: William T Cozby Public Library, Coppell TX
The meeting was called to order by Darryl, KG5MDS, at 7:01 PM.
Membership and financial update
Aaron, K8AMH, provided an update regarding membership count and a high-level financial report.
We had two new membership applications bringing the membership count to twenty as of the meeting date.
Aaron provided a final financial report for December as well as a report for January. Current equity is $466.67. Treasurer reports are available on the website’s About Us page.
The IRS sent questions regarding our 501(c)(3) determination request. Aaron put together information and faxed it to the IRS. There may be further questions, and Aaron will monitor for further correspondence.
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 set up a nomination form on the website so those interested can submit their nominations. Nominations must be received by March 12 to be printed on the ballot. Write-in candidates are also welcome during the meeting.
Group call sign
The Board voted over email to submit a call sign request for the group. Aaron will serve as license trustee. Earlier in the day before the meeting, the FCC added our group call sign to ULS, which is KI5DJA. Aaron updated the repeater ID to use the call sign, and will submit a vanity call sign request once additional information is emailed to us by the FCC.
Aaron and Jon, N5JBS, worked to place the repeater on the air and it has been in service for a few weeks. It is operating on a backyard repeater pair at 441.375 with a positive offset and PL tone of 103.5. Prior to selecting this pair Aaron monitored the output frequency and did not hear any activity. While the repeater supports 50 watts on the output it is running at 20 watts to help ensure we avoid unintentionally interfering with any other backyard repeaters.
There is also a listen online feature available for anyone that would like to hear repeater activity. One potential use is if someone would like to hear their audio quality into the repeater but no one is available for a signal check. The operator could call in saying testing along with his or her call sign, and then about a minute later hear the audio online.
Jon is working on a battery backup solution that will both charge the battery and disconnect it once it becomes too low. It is unknown if the repeater indicates on the air that it is running on battery. Once the battery setup is complete it will be tested.
Amateur radio net
With the repeater on the air and operating, we would like to set up a net, such as a weekly gathering. Any ideas or suggestions about a net topic are welcome.
The Board voted by email to request affinition with the ARRL. This opens some opportunities, such as being listed on the ARRL website, access to an insurance program, and participation in ARRL’s Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®).
In anticipation of ARES or RACES participation, members are encouraged to take online training at FEMA’s Independent Study website, including current versions of IS-100, IS-200, IS-700 and IS-800. Courses are available at no cost by going to https://training.fema.gov/is.
As part of working to help amateur radio operators learn more, and to encourage new operators to earn their licenses and participate in the hobby, a wiki is now available. Anyone can access the wiki at https://wiki.coppellhams.org but registering is required to add or edit content. At this time, only amateur radio operators will be given accounts in an effort to help ensure the information on the wiki is accurate and clear.
POTA Activations in the Washington DC area
Darryl, KD5MGS, was in the Washington DC area and showed pictures of several parks there, along with how he set up to active the parks in the Parks On The Air program. He had a new antenna he built and used during the trip, which he showed during the meeting. He is working on an updated design to make it even more usable, such as installing connectors in a way that allows for setting the antenna on a table without it falling on its side.
Coppell Community Summit
Korky, KG5NNA, is attending a community summit of area organizations, and it is our hope to introduce our group and the communication services we can provide during both events and emergencies. We will have an update on this outreach at the next meeting.
Educational topic: Getting on the air
Aaron provided an overview of how new amateur radio operators can begin their journey into the amateur radio hobby, including an overview of the different license classes available, resources such as textbooks, classroom, practice exams, and mentoring to help learn prior to the exam, and how to begin deciding what radio equipment to purchase for a first amateur radio station. Much of the information presented is available in the CARE Wiki under the Getting started in amateur radio page.
With no other matters before the membership meeting, the meeting was adjourned at 8:42 PM.