Friday, 15 December 2017

Minutes - YRARC General Meeting 2017-09-05

Meeting held in the Sharon Temperance Hall. Called to Order at 19:30 by Chris VE3NRTTotal members and guests attending: 42
  1. Welcome & Introductions – Chris VE3NRT. Adoption of the Minutes from the 2017/05/02 and 2017/06/06 general meeting postponed until October.
  2. Public Service – Brian VE3IBW for Eric VE3EB. Past events included the Canada Day celebration at the Sharon Temple and the Newmarket Music Festival. We received a $600 honorarium for our participation at the music festival. Upcoming events include the Sharon Temple Illumination on September 8 and Weaving Words, also at the Sharon Temple on September 17. Run for the cure is on October 1 and we will need 10 to 14 volunteers to run this event.
  3. Treasurer’s Report – Charles VA3TTB. Charles stressed the need to pay our dues and support the Hamfest, since we have many expenses including insurance and rental costs for the Hamfest which occur throughout the year.
    • Opening Balance 2017-09-01 [available to members on request to club secretary]
    • Income: None
    • Expenditures: None
    • Closing Balance 2017-09-01 [available to members on request to club secretary]
  4. Hamfest – Geoff VA3GS. Our annual hamfest will be held on November 4 at the Markham Fairgrounds. This year we will use Hall 2 as the entrance as before, and this year, all exhibits will be in Hall 1. We will need lots of help, on Friday for preparation, on Saturday morning to run the event and also for tear down. When we do the cleanup, we save ourselves money.
  5. Ham Classes – Geoff VA3GS. Information about upcoming classes – TBD.
  6. Summer Field Day – Steve VE3UT
    • Steve gave a quick summary of Summer Field Day, noting that it was a success with many bands operated, more QSOs and a record breaking number of Satellite contacts. This was in spite of having to shut down early because of severe weather.
    • Plans are underway to hold Winter Field Day in January with details to follow.
    • We have been invited to attend a Scout Winter Camp, the weekend before WFD. This will be a 'low key event'.
    • We have also been asked to participate at a Scout JOTA camp at Woodland Trails (Kennedy Rd north of Bloomington) on October 21.
  7. Repeaters – Steve VE3UT. The IRLP node should be working within a few weeks.
  8. Co-ax and 6m Net – Johnn VA3JI. John has some 7/8” Heliax available, and would also be willing to reactivate the 6m Net if there is sufficient interest.
  9. ARES / EmComm – John VE3IPS, Mike VA3MCT. There is a GTA SET on Saturday October 14. York Region will be holding an emergency exercise on Wednesday and Thursday November 15 and 16. The scenario will involve a simulated 5 day power outage and will be at the Markham EOC. Check-ins are encouraged during the event.
  10. Co-ax and TV tower – Doug VE3VS. Doug has some co-ax and TV tower sections available.
Break 20:30 – 20:45 Guest Speaker Grant VE3XTV – “Amateur TV Repeaters”. Grant talked about his amateur TV repeaters. He has plans for a hybrid analogue/digital repeater and spoke about some of the challenges and potential obstacles in getting his repeater up and running. For the moment the repeater input would accept analogue signals, and the repeater output would be a digital signal. Much of the equipment used would be old broadcast equipment, available at bargain prices, along with some custom made items. Future plans are for an all digital repeater.

Meeting adjourned at 21:30.

Minutes - YRARC Board of Directors Meeting 2017-10-17

Meeting held in the Magna Centre, Multipurpose Room 1.. Called to Order at 19:00 by Chris VE3NRT
Board members attending: Chris VE3NRT (P), Steve VE3UT (VP), Charles VA3TTB (T), Geoff VA3GS, Barry VA3LLT, Eric VE3EB, David VA3DCY (S), Rick VA3VO. Absent: John VE3IPS, Mike VA3MCT.
Others attending: None
  1. Approval of Agenda & declaration of conflicts of interest. Amendments: None. MOTION: To adopt the agenda: Moved Rick VA3VO, seconded Steve VE3UT. Carried.
  2. Minutes: MOTION: To adopt minutes of Board Meeting date 2017-09-19. Moved: Geoff VA3GS, seconded Barry VA3LLT. Carried.
  3. Actions arising from minutes
    1. Bank signatures for the new executive. Done.
    2. 'Form 1' needs to be submitted to Service Ontario with updated director information.
    3. Canvassing of membership for Hamfest duties. Geoff has reissued a request.
    4. Sign-out sheet for club equipment. Done.
    5. Mike VA3MCT to contact York regional personnel regarding ARES requirements and participation. Deferred to November meeting.
    6. JOTA Event October 21 (trailer/personnel). Geoff VA3GS to attend the event.
      • MOTION: To authorize Steve VE3UT as an additional trailer trainer (to Rob VE3RQB). Moved Barry VA3LLT, seconded Rick VA3VO. Carried.
      • MOTION: To train Charles VA3TTB and David VA3DCY as trailer pullers. Upon successful completion of the training, be authorized to haul the trailer. Moved Geoff VA3GS, seconded Rick VA3VO. Carried.
    7. Investigation of Project Night. Charles VA3TTB reported that Gary VE3NMI would be happy to run a project night. Projects might include an Arduino type antenna analyzer (approx cost $50) or an Arduino clock project.
  4. York region battery and hardline donation. Steve VE3EZ has picked up the batteries and hardline. They are in his trailer and the batteries will be charged and tested. The batteries are approximately 100 Ah glass mat sealed batteries and the hardline is 100' sections of 1/2” 50 Ohm coax. It was decided to allocate the first batteries to the repeaters and trailer – 3 batteries for YRC-V Bloomington, 3 batteries for YRK Ballantrae and 1 for the trailer. Rick VA3VO has 3 solar panels to exchange for 2 batteries. It was suggested that the batteries be sold at $40 to members and $75 at the hamfest. The price for the coax was to be determined.
    • MOTION: To allocate 7 batteries for club use and sell the remaining batteries and hardline, first to members, and then at the hamfest. Moved Geoff VA3GS, seconded Steve VE3UT. Carried.
  5. Committee Reports:
    1. Treasurer’s Report: Charles VA3TTB (several months contained herein). MOTION: To adopt the treasurers report: Moved Geoff VA3GS, seconded Steve VE3UT. Carried.
      • Opening Balance 2017-07-01: [Available to members on request to Secretary]
      • Hamfest table rental: $43.00
      • Trailer Insurance: ($811.00)
      • Membership Dues: $50.00
      • Hamfest table rental: $86.00
      • Banking Fees: ($3.10)
      • York Music Festival: $600.00
      • Field Day revenues: $354.20
      • Hamfest table rental: $70.00
      • Membership Dues: $780.00
      • Banking Fees: ($2.33)
      • Hamfest table rental: ($115.00)
      • Banking Fees: ($2.93)
      • Closing Balance (available to members on request to Secretary)
    2. Trailer: Barry VA3LLT. All is OK, no report.
    3. Repeaters: Steve VE3UT. All is OK, no report. Steve gave a receipt to Charles for $10 for the Harvey Bell award label.
    4. Web Site: Mike VA3MCT. Deferred to November meeting.
    5. Hamfest: Geoff VA3GS
      • On Thursday Nov 19 Geoff and David will make a trip to the Markham fairgrounds.
      • Trevor VE3SLT will look after coffee, the Lions Club will serve breakfast, Terry VE3ODM will look after admissions, Chris VA3DXY will be in charge of admissions for next year.
      • Bill VA3QB will look after security, Brian VE3IBW will look after parking and Barry VA3LLT will look after talk-in.
      • The door prized have been bought, and the grand prizes will come from Durham Radio, Radioworld and Maple Leaf Communications.
      • Internal communications will be on 446.075 MHz (ARES 43)
      • Admissions float cash should be $300 in $2 coins and $300 in $5 and $10 bills.
      • Grand prize float cash should be $200 in $5 bills and $200 in $10 bills
      • Setup on Friday will be 13:00 at the fairgrounds and arrival on Saturday morning 06:00. (EmComm trailer and container items: P/U Friday morning, Geoff/David Saturday 05:00)
      • MOTION 2017-10-17-4e: To pay $2,464.51 - the final instalment for the Markham fairgrounds. Moved Geoff VA3GS, seconded Rick VA3VO. Carried.
    6. Property: Rick VA3VO. No report.
    7. Public Service: Eric VE3EB. The Run for the Cure had 1600 participants, with 13 volunteers (10 club members, 3 others). It was a problem-free event.
    8. EmComm: Mike VA3MCT. No report.
    9. Winter Field Day: Steve VE3UT. Steve VE3UT, Peter VE3PBT and David VA3DCY met to discuss WFD. Band conditions, cost of gas, weather conditions and the number attending could all affect the WFD costs. It was proposed that the club pay for fuel and refreshments at WFD. Those attending would be responsible for their own meal(s). MOTION 2017-10-17-4i: To pay $275.00 for WFD fuel and refreshments. Moved Steve VE3UT, seconded Rick VA3VO. Carried. The motion to be approved by the general membership, and payable in January 2018.
    10. Basic Qualification Course: Geoff VA3GS. There were 6 at the last class, where the participants built a J-Pole antenna. They will write exams soon.
    11. Membership: Barry VA3LLT. We have 51 paid members, 8 life members, and 24 unpaid members at the moment. Barry transferred $300.00 for membership to Charles
  6. Other Business:
    1. Liability and Property Insurance: David VA3DCY. We have the insurance bill to pay immediately.MOTION 2017-10-17-5a: To pay $1,112.40 for Liability and Property Insurance. Moved David VA3DCY, seconded Geoff VA3GS. Carried.
  7. Meeting adjourned.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Minutes, YRARC General Meeting 2017-11-07

Meeting held in the Sharon Temperance Hall. Called to Order at 19:30 by Steve VE3UT. Total members and guests attending: 31
  1. Welcome & Introductions – Steve VE3UT
  2. Adoption of minutes from 2017/10/03. Moved John VE3IPS, seconded John VA3JI. Carried
  3. Treasurer’s Report – Charles VA3TTB
    • Opening Balance 2017/09/30 [available to members on request to club secretary]
    • Income
        Memberships $330.00
      • Hamfest $308.00
      • Total Income: $638.00
    • Expenses:
      • Markham Fair Rental $3,643.21
      • Liability Insurance $1,112.40
      • Canada Post box rental $250.86
      • Misc $12.92
      • Total Expenses: $5,019.40
    • Closing Balance 2017/10/31 [available to members on request to club secretary]
  4. EmComm Report – Mike VA3MCT
    • On October 14 there was an Ontario wide SET. The York Region EOC was activated, and communication on 40m and 60m was attempted using NVIS antennae.
    • On November 15, there will be a Markham SET. We need support for this event.
  5. Winter Field Day – Steve VE3UT
    • Winter Field Day will happen in January 2018 and the proposed site is Al's Tack Shop, 4812 Vandorf Rd in Stouffville. The board approved payment for gas and beverages only, and meals would be the responsibility of the participants.
    • Motion that the club pay $275 for gas and beverages, moved Alex VA3ASE, seconded John VE3IPS. Carried.
  6. Public Service Report – Eric VE3EB. No report
  7. Repeater Committee Report – Steve VE3UT
    • IRLP is off the air momentarily.
    • One repeater is announcing the Hamfest message – to be investigated.
  8. Membership Report – Barry VA3LLT. We have a total or 61 paid members and 8 life members.
  9. Hamfest Report – Geoff VA3GS. Geoff was away, but there was a short discussion on what went well and where improvements could be made.
Guest Speaker John VA3KOT – “Narrow Band Emergency Message System”

John talked the need for emergency communications, not for ARES types of disaster events, which occur very infrequently, but for something that is likely to happen more often, like an ice storm or winter snow storm where power and communications are disrupted.

Is voice radio communication the answer? 2M or 70cm repeaters may be down without power, simplex has limited range and it uses bandwidth.
Winlink? It works only with Windows and not open source software, depends on the internet, is email based and needs a 'connection' to function.

CW works and uses less bandwidth than voice, but not everybody knows Morse Code.

There are other digital modes that use less bandwidth than CW and work under the noise floor.

NBEMS is an open source, free, multi platform that can be 'connectionless', ie the signal is broadcast to whoever is receiving, or with a 'connection' to only one receiver for security.
Remember, email does not need to be sent over the internet.

FLDigi (Fast Light Digital) and the suite of products, like FLMsg (Message), FLArq (Automatic Repeat Request), FLWrap (to drag and drop messages), FLAmp (Amateur multicast protocol, for connectionless transfer of files).

FLDigi is open source, run on multiple platforms (Windows, MAC, Linux and more) on powerful processors down to a RaspberryPi, using a soundcard and supports many digital modes.

John demonstrated the use of FLDigi with a RaspberryPi, interfaced to a handheld radio, and received buy cheap off-shore radio, acoustically coupled to an old android smart phone running AndFLMsg. It worked and was done with inexpensive devices.