Gold Coast Amateur Radio Association
1) Call to Order
Melanie Fernandez (KJ4VCT)called to order the board meeting of the Gold Coast Amateur Radio Association, Inc at 13:10 EDT (17:10 UTC) on July 18, 2021, on ZOOM. A quorum was present with 7 board members.
2) Old Business
a) Repeater status and connections – Ricky Eaton (KD4HGR)
Everything is back up and running. The voter system is still in progress. We need to thank Terry Delmonaco (KM4HJJ) and John Hale (KA4WKS) for donating a duplexer, amplifier, and dual-band repeater.
3) Membership dues — Policy on Effective Date
Charlie Artner (KN4VDW) is suggesting reconsidering the Effective Date of membership and modify it to the date of payment rather than the fiscal year. Jeff Stahl (K4BH) would like to know if there is a problem because we want to change it. Erik Olmer (W4EJO) explained that it seems most of the new members assume that the membership is 12 months from the date they pay. Jeff Stahl (K4BH) motion to table until the input of general membership second by Charlie Artner (KN4VDW) 5/2
4) Quarterly Dinner – Change venue or day?
The owner of Wings Plus said that they could provide us better service if we had it on a different day than a Friday or a Saturday. Jeff Stahl (K4BH) – Most restaurants are slammed on Friday or Saturday. We could move to Sunday, but not every restaurant has a room like Wings Plus to give us privacy. Jeff Stahl (K4BH) will check with Wings Plus management if Sunday would work for them.
5) General Meetings — If not hospital, WHERE?
The hospital still has not opened. Joe McGee (NX4T) is suggesting looking for a new location. Jeff Stahl (K4BH) agrees. Jeff Stahl (K4BH) suggested pursuing the issue of VEC and Club meetings separately. Charlie Artner (KN4VDW) will talk to his church to see if we could conduct testing on Saturdays. Coral Springs Charter on University and Sample is interested in adding HAM radio into their programs and Jeff Stahl (K4BH) will talk to them if they would be willing to host our club meetings.
6) Upgrade the remote HF Station? Joe McGee (NX4T)
The HF station is operating properly now. There was an issue due to the station staying in transmit on AM and caused the station to get hot. The AM option is now removed. We should have a timeout on the rig, and we do not know why the timeout failed.
Joe McGee (NX4T) is suggesting trying to promote the station and give it another 3 to 6 months and if the use of the remote station doesn’t pick up to discontinue the station.
Motion by Joe McGee (NX4T) to reevaluate the usage of the station in 3 months During this time any improvements are on hold and more advertisement to generate traffic. Motion carried with no objections. Erik Olmer (W4EJO) suggested having the HF station tuned to the FPTN every morning at 7:00 AM
7) Echo Link and David Warner’s use of the same
Melanie Fernandez (KJ4VCT) listened to the HAM Helpers Net on Friday. Joe McGee (NX4T) thinks that if Echo Link is only on for his net, has no benefits for the club. His second concern is that he allegedly opened the HAM Helpers Net for non-radio equipment but that was a misunderstanding.
Jeff Stahl (K4BH) will draft a memorandum and present it to the board for approval.
Charlie Artner (KN4VDW) made contact with Bobby Graves (KB5HAV) and he suggested starting with registering W4BUG on WL2K. Once the call sign has been in the system, we can request authorization for W4BUG to become a node. We have the option to use a Raspberry Pi or a Windows computer. Raspberry Pi is inexpensive, but if we ever want to go HF with WinLink we will need a Windows Computer.
Two protocols are commonly used. AX.25 packet radio or VARA_FM. VARA is faster and has greater throughput
For HAM radio use that is all we need. Without the HF station, we will need internet. With an HF station, we are completely independent of the Internet.
The second application of WinLink is to work with DHS & the US government. We will have to apply for a license through the (EOC). This will not be a HAM license and doesn’t require a HAM license. That program is called “SHARES.” I believe this is the link to the program: https://www.cisa.gov/shared-resources-shares-high-frequency-hf-radio-program
Charlie Artner (KN4VDW) gave a presentation of the new features implemented on the website. These features are (1) Repeater maps (2) Online Membership Application (3) Forum
The board also discussed creating business cards to promote the club. Charlie Artner (KN4VDW) will design the cards and present them to the board when ready.
Melanie Fernandez (KJ4VCT) adjourned the meeting at 15:08 EDT (19:08 UTC).