CQ, CQ, CQ, Calling GCARA Hams………..

August has been a hot month for us and thankfully, our Field Day exercises were held in June, which believe it or not, was about 5-6 degrees cooler!
Your Executive Board have made some changes so they could best operate in the club’s interest. As most of you have probably heard, our fearless President, Erik Olmer W4EJO, “AKA Cookie Monster” had an opportunity to move up in his organization at work and he will be relocating to England. In the past several months, he has successfully juggled his volunteer life with his work life and when it became evident that he would have to make changes to better serve his work life, he resigned as our President. As sad as that is for us, we wish him continued success in his new position and know that he make as many friends in London as he made here with his understanding, volunteer heart and even tempered approach to problem solving. Although his tenure with us as President was short, he managed to impart many good lessons to me personally and added quality to both my volunteer life and my personal life. I learned things that I can only learn when someone teaches by example. He has been a wonderful, thoughtful and dedicated leader for the club and although he will be physically away from us, he will remain in the hearts of many here in the club.

The Board met this past weekend on August 20, 2023, and we came to an agreement about several items. First, we are changing our mailing address
as we felt the fees for a Post Office Box were too exorbitant for the club to support. It requires $250 to $350 a year to keep a box with the Post Office
or similar Postal store. { That waylays about 8-12 single membership dues and creates unnecessary work for some individuals.} It requires several people have keys to access the box and that it is checked several times a week. In order to streamline the process, our Treasurer suggested we use a mailbox that is available in his building and pay nothing for the service which he can then monitor and collect mail more conveniently. The Board is
in agreement that this was a win-win situation for everyone concerned.

The new mailing address will be:

2200 South Ocean Lane
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl 33316

We keep the mailbox as a physical place to receive notices from the IRS, SUNBIZ, and other entities important for running this club. We need the physical address for legal reasons and therefore, we must provide one. Thank you, Dirk for offering us respite from postal costs during the next year.

Speaking of Dirk Basting N4AN, did everyone see the fascinating article on him in the Member Spotlight of this month’s QST? The author did a wonderful job describing Dirk’s accomplishments in life and in radio. Good job, Dirk, and thank you for being our Treasurer and one of our best assets in the club. Your generosity to us is appreciated beyond measure.

Our Board also discussed the HF station which was initially embraced by many as a boon to those who could not transmit on rigs from condos and
apartments due to antenna restrictions. We saw it as an advantage to having in the past several years and supported repairs and attention to it faithfully. Ricky Eaton KD4HGR, Joe McGee NX4T, and Al Flapan AF4FA, carefully monitored, troubleshot problems, hosted and carried it into this year with great attention to detail. As it became more evident that club members were not availing themselves to its use, we decided it was too costly in time and efforts to continue to support it. Therefore, the parts will be sold and the money will be used for newer club incentives as the future evolves.

Many of you may not appreciate or realize this but it takes a dedicated team of technical people to support the repeater and all of the other items we offer as a club. It takes people, like Ricky Eaton KD4HGR, Joe McGee NX4T, Al Flapan AF4FA, Eric Rodriguez KF4LZA and others to go up to the repeater and address problems as they arise. What people do not think about is, Ricky and Eric, who share the majority of the problems are still working full time for a living. They are most generous with their time and talent and GCARA Board is very grateful to them for wanting to participate. Our club would not be if everyone just sat back and did not make a contribution to it. We are deeply indebted to our volunteers and lucky!
Thank you, gentleman, for all that you do that is unseen, to keep us on the air.

The Board is also supporting an effort to establish Winlink, Echolink and AllStar, in hopes of increasing use of the repeaters that sit idle and to increase our footprint on the tri-county area. We hope to be able to link our resources to better establish an emergency network to be used in times of
hurricanes or disaster. There is a need for redundancy to support other systems available, in cases of emergency. GCARA is proud to offer our goods and services to that cause.

We also collected a poll from those who answered the questions we posed. There were 44 respondents to the following questions and this is an
overview of the results. As to what format people preferred for the general meetings, approximately 85% of you would like to return to in person
meetings with or without Zoom capability. Only15% voted for Zoom presentations only. Of those 85%, approximately 26% want to return to Imperial Point Hospital and !2 % desire a new location to be determined as suits proximity to the member’s home addresses.

As to what program content people would enjoy seeing, approximately 88% desire a combination of both future technology and old technology with a small percentage being interested in practical skill building and how to projects and about 10% interested in new technology or highly technical

When asked how often to have our Dinners, 51% voted for monthly dinners, while 41% voted for quarterly dinners and 8% for annual dinners.
Regarding Field Day exercises, 46% enjoy participating in it, while 32% will do it if their schedule allows, 15% do NOT enjoy it and the remainder (7%) are homebound and cannot participate.

Everyone who answered owns and uses a computer, theoretically overcoming the need for snail mail. Interestingly, we discovered 51% of our respondents were EXTRAs, 34% were holding a GENERAL license and 12 % were TECHNICIANs while 2% do not yet have a license. This helps to know as it will shape the type of programs presented in most cases. GCARA aims to please its members.

Our poll indicated that many of the hams live central to Coral Springs and adjacent locations while there are equal numbers both South and North of Coral Springs. This presents a shift in our past ham locations and must be considered in our planning.

Much to my delight this club remains interested in ALL aspects of ham radio, with a 92% interest in HF, 55% interest in VHF, UHF, Digital modes and DMR. This was a multiple choice question so the percentages were based on answers, not a total of 100%.

Now, I feel I must speak to a very serious matter of behavior at club meetings. I know that most people are trying to be helpful to others in distress, HOWEVER, it is highly inappropriate for anyone to interject themselves into a medical or behavior issue unless they are in LEADERSHIP or MEDICALLY EDUCATED AND TRAINED! To do so, (1) violates privacy laws, (2) impedes rendering certified competent care, (3) is extremely distracting to service providers and may result in negative consequences for the situation at hand. Please, please, no matter your intention (curiosity or wanting to help), DO NOT INTERFERE with a situation that is being handled. It is NOT helpful and often escalates the situation into a “frenzy” situation. THIS IS NOT HELPFUL nor appropriate. Remain calm and quiet and just observe situations occur again at one of our gatherings. STAY OUT OF THE WAY!! Your cooperation is not only being asked for, it is expected, so that the situation is calmly diffused or handled. On that note, I read there are TWO FULL MOONS this month, the last being a BLUE MOON. Sheeesh, I don’t know if I can handle it!

That about does it for the Board news, except we will be purchasing new banners for our outings, taking orders for badges and finishing the designs
for our new CLUB information cards. Please CLICK HERE order on the website if you want a badge or new badge. We have reduced the donation to
$10.00 per badge and that is a good deal for everyone. The website should have a new form for this order with a method to donate money for it.

I want to thank all of our supporters, young and old alike, for being good dutiful members. Without you, there is no GCARA, the friendliest club around!!

May God bless everyone who reads this. You have my gratitude and appreciation.
Submitted by
Melanie Fernandez KJ4VC

President of GCARA

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