Saturday, 3 March 2018

Minutes - YRARC General Membership Meeting 2018-02-06

Meeting held in the Sharon Temperance Hall. Called to Order at 19:30 by Chris VE3NRT. Total members and guests attending: 38.
  1. Welcome & Introductions: Chris VE3NRT
  2. Trailer and Membership Report: Barry VA3LLT.
    • The club trailer was used at Winter Field Day, and a small clean-up is needed.
    • We have a total of 73 paid members, including life members.
  3. Trailer Item Purchase: Steve VE3UT. MOTION: To approve payment of $28.24 for a USB to RS232 adaptor, purchased for the D- Star radio in the club trailer. Moved Steve VE3UT, seconded Rick VA3VO. Carried.
  4. Adoption of minutes from 2017/12/05 and 2018/01/02. Moved Brian VE3IBW, seconded Steve VE3UT. Carried.
  5. Treasurer's Report: Charles VA3TTB. Due to an incompatibility between a USB drive and a computer, there was no official report, only a verbal summary.
  6. Insurance: Charles VA3TTB. We have 3 insurance policies, liability insurance, trailer road insurance and directors insurance. Charles is investigating getting us coverage at better rates.
  7. Public Service: Eric VE3EB.
    • There are planned events for the year 2018, including but not limited to, the Mount Albert Run, the Newmarket Music Festival, the Aurora Street Sale, Run for the Cure, and various events at the Sharon Temple.
    • We participated at the recent 2nd Markham Scouts Winter camp. Steve VE3UT, Geoff VA3GS and David VA3DCY set up on the Friday (in winter conditions). On Saturday Geoff VA3GS and David VA3DCY introduced younger youth to Morse Code and the phonetic alphabet. For the older youth, Eric VE3EB and Brian VE3IBW demonstrated APRS and digital modes with the help of Steve VE3EZ (who was off site).
  8. Winter Field Day: Steve VE3UT
    • WFD weekend was on January 27 and 28. Set up started on Friday with the club trailer, Steve VE3EZ's trailer and one section of the summer shelter. We operated as 3Oscar (maximum 3 transmitters at one time and Outdoors).
    • In 2015 our score was 3573, in 2017 our score was 6348 and for 2018 we claimed 10,690. The total number of QSOs were 239 with a multiplier of 7, for a QSO score of 2345. We claimed 1500 bonus points each for non-commercial power (generators), operating outdoors, away from home and a minimum of one satellite QSO. We made 3 Satellite QSOs (although only 1 counted).
  9. Repeaters: Steve VE3UT. VE3YRA was off the air recently due to a failed power supply. It was returned to air using a temporary supply. A replacement supply will arrive soon.
  10. ARES (EmComm) Report: Don VE3IXJ. The UHF frequencies used on the cross-band repeaters at the EOCs, may conflict with digital frequencies. Don is working to resolve the situation.

Break: 20:10 – 20:25

Guest Speaker: Alex VE3ASE

Topic: Amateur Radio Satellites.

It can be inexpensive to start working satellites with a minimum of equipment. Alex started with a simple 'tape measure' yagi and a dual band handheld radio. Satellites can be worked regardless of band conditions, since they are worked with line of sight VHF and UHF communications. The satelites are in low-earth orbit (not geosynchronous orbit like communications satellites) and have a 10 to 20 minute maximum window when they can be 'seen'.

FM satellites operate on 1 cross-band channel, and like a terrestrial repeater, allow only one QSO at a time. Linear satellites have a 50 to 100 kHz bandwidth and allow multiple SSB/CW QSOs.

For FM satellite operation, the handheld radio should be capable of full duplex operation, first to ensure you are actually being heard by the sattelite and secondly to be able to respond quickly to a QSO. Alternately 2 separate radios could be used. Because of the satellite movement, you can expect a doppler shift, so at least 5 pre-programmed transmit and receive frequencies are necessary – (2 lower, 1 on frequency, 2 higher). In addition, a voice recorder is necessary to record the exchange in the QSO. In order to know when satellites will be 'visible', satellite pass prediction software is invaluable.

The most critical antenna is the downlink antenna. It should be a high gain Yagi. While the antennae can be hand-held, it can also be permanently mounted, and motor driven as done by Brad VE3HII. The setup can also be more expensive.