This virtual meeting was successfully held on “ZOOM”

1:38 PM By President Melanie Fernandez

Members Present

Melanie Fernandez, Jeff Stahl, Ricky Eaton, Joe McGee, Erik Olmer, and Roy Neiman.


Carol Sjursen hosted ZOOM meeting for us. Absent:  Mike Wolf due to work schedule. Among the invited who did not attend were Charlie Artner who obtained the Margate Proclamation for Field Day, Chuck Gress who was on vacation and Dan Vasilca who decided his presence was not needed in regards to the scoring of Field Day.

Field Day:

GCARA will be noted on all the contact logs by participating individuals and the ARRL will add them to the GCARA Club to obtain the aggregate scoring.

Erik Olmer and Charlie Artner are going to invite the Mayor and Commissioners and Police of Margate to maximize points. They will set up at a remote site and will run on generator and Solar Power.

Erik mentioned a suggestion that generating a lot of Radiograms would be an ideal way to boost points and generate practice for the hams.

Repeater Report:

There have been reports that the Repeater wattage seems to go lower at times. Rick says that if it gets hot enough, it could lose enough wattage that it won’t drive the amplifier. He hopes to check it all out ASAP and maybe put some fans in to prevent the overheating. He noted that the ambient temperature in the Repeater Room is higher than the exterior area that houses it.

IF the Repeater happened to fail, it could cost $10,000 plus to replace all of the components. A discussion ensued about how much money should be kept aside in our Treasury for emergency repairs. It was decided that we should set aside $3500.00 for Repeater maintenance. Our current balance is $4283.00. It was noted that 16 present members have not paid their 2020 dues. Melanie and Joe will work on obtaining them.

Ricky Eaton, Repeater Trustee, would like to add add the Emergency Weather reporting system to the 146.610 Repeater. Presently the system is at the Boca Hospital site and can’t be accessed at this time. He will continue to try and gain access and make the switch of the weather system to 146.610 repeater so that all people within the repeater’s coverage area will be alerted to emergency storm conditions.

We presently have 5 Club Repeaters, including the 2 that Dirk has in our name.

Rick expects to have the HF setup going by the end of June for all the Board members to check out. It was noted that almost the whole project was paid for by donations.

John Knox Village, the site for our main repeaters and antennas, asks us each year to help support the Hurricane and Disaster Communications for them. We work in tandem with their security team to assist in communications with the Broward EOC when normal routes of communication are not available. This is a very important and necessary alliance and we are asking for volunteers to help who are not already assigned to AresRaces posts. Joe McGee works at Cassels Towers and may need a relief operator to cover when he is resting during the storms. Jerry Felski also helps cover from his home base at his residence in another section of JKV.

Joe was ready to go to Cassels Tower at John Knox for the last Hurricane, however, was not activated.

Gifts, Awards, Memorials

Requests should be sent out in Email format to the Board members for approval.

Melanie stated that Board members are not being responsive to urgent emails requiring a vote by email. Each Board member should respond within 24 hours.

Regarding the Memorial Brick for Don Search, it was recommended that we attempt to get $100.00 or more through donations, rather than drawing from the treasury. The Palmetto club is willing to donate $60.00, the total needed being $250.00. Don was a valuable member and an upstanding ham in many clubs throughout his life and it was felt that some sort of tribute was in order. Melanie will reach out to the other club presidents to ask if they wish to participate in the purchase of the memorial brick.

It’s time to Audit our Treasury. Some members who have participated before will be invited to do so again if it is convenient for them. More on this later.

The PO Box costs are high ($168.00 per year). Erik hopes to find a less expensive one at a UPS store. There was discussion regarding just using Erik’s (or the Treasurer’s) address, however, that is not a good idea long term. It is essential that we have a mailbox of some sort with a known and an unchanging address.

Erik suggested that the Board members could accept checks from members and deposit them by phone to speed up processing of fees, donations and membership dues. It was decided that Ricky could be set up to handle those that might be delivered by members visiting Mike’s Electronics. The actual check hard copy  could be given to Erik at a later date. This will allow quick processing of checks.( Melanie will be the other Board member with the ability to deposit checks as she is already a signatory on the account.)


Jeff Stahl mentioned that the BOCA Club is planning to give an award to the winners of the FD participation with the highest number of points. It is being done with the idea of cultivating more competition and participation in FD as individuals. GCARA will also consider a certificate or “prize” of some sort for the winners.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:01 EDT by President, Melanie Fernandez, KJ4VCT.

Respectfully submitted by Roy Neiman KJ4EGN, Secretary.

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