July 11, 2013
This meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Club President Bob Walker, N4CU followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and the invocation given by Sharon, KJ4TPQ.
The meeting was conducted by Club President Bob, N4CU. There were 20 members and 2 guests present.
June minutes were posted on the W4AAZ.ORG website. Glen, K4GAG made a motion to accept the minutes as posted, seconded by Ron, KI5FR and approved by membership.
The Treasurer was given by David, WB4RWS and approved by membership.
Steve, N4GXX reported the repeater was working fine. The church fire next to the repeater tower had no effect on the club repeater.
Richard, KE4BFX said the station is up and running with internet access. (Comments about new station construction is given in Activities Report below).
Ron, KI5FR said he has received interest in conducting a General and Technician class. Information of date and times to the next class will be announced soon. Any persons wanting to attend a General and/or Technician class please contact Ron at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ron said NOARC will be conducting a presentation at the Crestview Library called “Talk to the World with Amateur Radio” at 10 a.m. on August 6th. This is being advertised by the Okaloosa County Library system and Senior Circle Newsletter. The presentation is open to the public. Please contact Ron if you can assist as a station contact for the presentation.
Steve, N4GXX talked about DRATS training. Steve attempted to start the DRATS net but lately only got one check-in. People said they were listening but were not checking in. There was a discussion on what nights were best to do DRATS training. Steve said there was not one good night for the net but he could get the net started within 2 weeks of getting the go ahead. No action was taken on DRATS training.
Phil, N6COP, Webmaster, was not in attendance. However, the website is up and working. A comment was made about the accuracy of the local repeater frequencies. Bob, N4CU said he would update the frequency list on the NOARC website.
Bob, N4CU said he had a one hour meeting with Amy Eden new Emergency Coordinator of the Okaloosa County Red Cross. Bob told Amy with DRATS they could send photos for damage assessment. Bob said he believes Amy understands the value of Amateur radio support to the Red Cross. The Red Cross loaned NOARC two radios and several antennas. One antenna is a VHF Omni directional antenna that Bob suggested we install at the NOARC station (Dorcas Fire Station). Tony Blair has volunteered to support the AEC.
Cal, W4GMH said all hardware has been installed on the 5 telephone poles behind the station. The utility company is ready to install the poles once permission is obtained from the adjacent landowner for utility trucks to drive on his property. Cal said it is difficult locating the landowner to obtain his signature.
Cal asked the membership about relocating the existing tri-bander and 6 meter antenna from the existing metal tower to the 50 foot center pole. Since the station has not been designated as an emergency communication facility is it worth relocating the antennas from the existing metal tower. Cal asked the membership if the club station was going to be used more often than just field day and a few QSO parties. Cal said running quality VHF cable to the pole will cost in excess of $500.00. In addition the mounting of the antennas on the 50 foot pole will require a bucket truck.
Sharon, KJ4TPQ said she may have access to someone with a bucket truck for club use. Bob, N4CU said we do need to at least mount a VHF Omni antenna for the station. There was no decision on movement of the existing antennas to the center pole.
Cal also said he wants the membership to consider volunteering for local Crestview events. These events include Fall Festival, Veterans Day parade, and Christmas parade. Cal asked about a Fox Hunt. Steve, KJ4RWD said he would be responsible for organizing the Fox Hunt. No times or dates were given. If you can assist and/or want to participate in the Fox Hunt contact Steve at email@example.com.
Tom Johnson has a 40 foot tower he would like to give to a club member who is willing to take it down. Contact Club Secretary, Mike, KK4KRZ for Tom's address and phone number. If you do not need a tower but can take it down the club could use or sell the tower.
Guest speaker Paul Eakin, KJ4G, Florida Department Emergency Management (FDEM) North Florida Section Manager, explained the use of amateur’s supporting emergency management. Bob asked Paul about employers letting their employees off to participate in emergency preparedness training. Also, are there any funds from FDEM (or other agency) to reimburse employees/employers for training time? Paul said he was not fully aware of the problem but would look into the issue.
There is a four page application form to volunteer for emergency management. Page 1, Explains who you are, Page 2, What kind of equipment you have, Page 3 Training you have (amateur and other), Page 4, Any health needs you may have. Additional information is distance you can travel and how many days you can support and emergency. This may include Okaloosa County, Florida or out of state. Travel expenses (lodging, food, fuel etc.) are reimbursed but volunteers are not paid.
There was a discussion on amateur credentials to enter disaster areas. Paul said you are given a set of orders which will allow you to enter disaster areas as a volunteer. You also need a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance. You can complete the volunteer form on-line. Ron KI5FR completed the form during the meeting using his smart phone. Information and volunteer form can be found at “ https://www.arrl-nfl.org/index2.html " . Paul said once you’re in the database you can be contacted for support. You are given a tracking number to file your expenses and the number is printed on your orders.
There was a discussion of using a microcontroller for operation of amateur radios. A small microcontroller called the “Raspberry Pie” can be obtained for under $100.00 and adapted for amateur. This is hoped to get more young people interested in amateur radio. More information can be found on the internet.
A Motion to adjourn was made by Mike, KJ4FNA and seconded by Richard, KE4BFX and carried unanimously with no opposing votes.
Submitted by Mike, KK4KRZ