Meeting called to order 7:34 pm, with 26 in attendance.
First and most important, we had a few new members from the recent class in attendance. A warm welcome was given to:
KC1HIN, Robert; KC1HIO, Christopher; KC1HIX, Michael; and KC1HJC, Juanita; Welcome to the club, and welcome to ham radio.
Last month’s minutes were accepted with no revisions.
Our guest Speaker was Thomas Frenaye (K1KI), New England Division Director of the ARRL Administration and Finance Committee and Historical Committee, and chairman of the Ethics and Elections Committee and Entry Level Licence Committee at the ARRL, so we were guaranteed a good bit of information. He began by mentioning that the FCC is looking to increase enforcement, and that the ARRL acts as a liaison between hams and the government, especially when it comes to the growing scourge of “grow lights”. He also talked about how hams now have allocations on 630 meters and 2200 meters, and that there may soon be kits available to get on these bands. It looks like it’s time to lengthen your dipole! We may also be gaining use of a full 15KHz of 60 meters rather than the channel scheme used now.
The major topic was about how to get hams licenced, and how to retain them as active hams. As the chairman of the Entry Level Licence Committee he is tasked with helping to determine items such as what sort of questions are on the exams, how they are worded, and how large the pools are. From there he is also tasked with retention, and does things like fight to change spectrum allocations for technician class licenses, or maybe even bring about a foundation class licence similar to what is available in other countries. A decade ago there was a lot more activity on local repeaters, so something needs to be done to keep licensed hams active hams.
Communications report – None.
Technical Committee – The board of directors held a meeting to discuss the future of the beam. It was decided that since we have all needed parts to make the beam work as it should, we will install them and see how it performs rather than replace the beam at this time. We need to talk to the Fire Department to schedule a time, hopefully in early May.
Education Committee – 16 new hams graduated from the latest class, and 1 even upgraded to General. Many thanks to Paul (WB2JVB) and Jon (AI1V) for their efforts. There is interest in future classes from the Coast Guard and from Norwalk Hospital, so we might be looking forward to even more members in the future.
Also, all 16 of those who graduated from the class have been given one free year of membership to GNARC.
Special Events: May 6th and 7th is the New England QSO Party, and we may be opening the Comm Center for that. There will be an upcoming test session on May 13th. The week after (May 21st) will be the Bloomin Metric Ride. June 11th will be the MS Ride. We need more people for both rides, so please contact Sam (NV1P) or Jon (AI1V) to volunteer. More items can be found on the website calendar.
Bylaws Committee: Greg (KC1CRT) and Paul have been working on sorting out the bylaws to clarify them and remove conflicting information. There are some items that cannot be changed due to the fact that if they were, we would need to refile our 501c3 paperwork. There may be a new position of Assistant Treasurer created.
Field Day: The idea of a joint Field Day with the Stamford club was floated due to declining interest in Norwalk’s Field day, and the idea will be looked into. In the meantime, on April 23rd there will be a quick test of some of the equipment, either at the Comm Center or at Veterans Park itself. We need a few people to help with that. The tower needs to be looked at and possibly repaired depending on the condition it’s in. Please contact Sam (NV1P) if you would like to help. $500 has been allotted for food. Sign up sheets will be up soon. Please sign up when they are posted.
Old Business: None.
New Business: After meeting Tom (K1TA) in person, our guest speaker Thomas Frenaye (K1KI) will be putting through the paperwork to make Tom (K1TA) an official DXCC card checker.
Meeting adjourned 8:40 Submitted by Sam NV1P