August 25, 2020

Call to Order – The regular meeting of the Gold Coast Amateur Radio Association, Inc., was called to order on Zoom on Tuesday, August 25, 2020, at 7:03  p.m. by Vice President Joe McGee, NX4T, who presided at the request of President Melanie Fernandez, KJ4VCT. 

Attendance – There were 27 members and guests participating in the Zoom meeting, which was sufficient for a quorum.

Minutes – The Minutes of the June 23, 2020, meeting were approved as submitted and available on the Association’s web page.


Treasurer – Erik Olmer, W4EJO, Treasurer, reported income and expenses for the period from July 23rd to August 25, 2020.

Membership – Joe McGee, NX4T, reported 84 members of whom 17 are Life Members, and 58 are members of ARRL. There has been a decline in membership, apparently heightened by the pandemic.

Joe McGee invited members to share their thoughts and memories of three members who have recently become silent keys:  Don Search, W3AZD, Roy Neiman, KJ4EGN, and Chuck Gress, K3NXH. 

Testing – Jeff Stahl, K4BH, said testing is not being held due to the pandemic.  Remote testing, which is allowed, is being considered, but the logistics are challenging.

COVID-19 Report – Jeff Stahl, K4BH, reported a downward trend in new cases and deaths, but said it appears likely that the threat will continue well into next year.

Repeater Report – Ricky Eaton, KD4HGR, said all repeaters are now working. The voter is not working yet but is being worked on.

Web Site – John Cole, N1QFH, is working on the WordPress framework, and will do additional training to enable board members to post content.

Old Business – John Cole, N1QFH, said there is still no decision by Imperial Point Hospital regarding when we can resume meeting there.  Joe McGee added that there are no picnics or quarterly dinners scheduled.

New Business – The Board decided to join with the Palmetto Amateur Radio Club to buy an ARRL memorial brick for Roy Neiman, KJ4EGN, along with the one previously decided upon for Don Search, W3AZD.

Since Roy Neiman has become a silent key, there is a vacancy in the position of secretary.  Anyone interested in serving in this capacity must be a paid-up member for at least a year with computer skills and should contact President Melanie Fernandez, KJ4VCT.

Announcements and Informal Discussion

Hope Smith, WB3ANE, is looking for recent issues of CQ magazine.  Carol Sjursen, KJ4AWB, reported on the transportation assistance for Hope provided in recent months by Melanie Fernandez, KJ4VCT, as well as Roy Neiman, KJ4EGN, and his wife, Vicki.

The Southeast Florida Traffic Net needs volunteers to serve as net control, even if only occasionally.  Volunteers should contact Kenny Hollenbeck, KE4NC.  Carol Sjursen, KJ4AWB, thanked those who were prepared to serve in shelters if needed during hurricanes Isaias and Laura, but said many more volunteers are needed. Carol and Jeff Stahl, K4BH, will be asking members to participate in the annual test of emergency equipment and ham community preparedness on October 3rd and 4th.

Speaker – Joe McGee, N4XT, presented a program on how to use the newly created remote HF station.  This program provides a way for hams who cannot put up an antenna due to condo restrictions to operate on 40, 20, and 15 meters using the internet.  Software must be downloaded from the Remote Hams web site.  Users must be GCARA members with a general or higher license.  The physical equipment is at Joe McGee’s home, including a fan dipole mounted on a 35-foot tower.  Joe McGee, N4XT, or Ricky Eaton, KD4HGR, should be contacted to obtain the necessary permission.  As usage increases, scheduling will need to be resolved, but the program is currently available for any qualified member.

Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned at 9:21 p.m.

Ricki Witte, KJ4FSJ
Secretary Pro Tem

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