Category Archives: Meeting Minutes

September 2017 Meeting Minutes

Meeting called to order at 7:32 pm.

Number of members in attendance: 19.

Motion to adopt July minutes: made by Jim KC1FB, seconded by Dee N1ZD.

Old Business: We got some QSL cards in the past couple of months, but no DX!

Bylaws committee voted on new bylaws and bylaw edits. New bylaws were accepted into the club literature at 7:42 pm.

Events: Nothing planned.

Committee Reports:
Treasurer, Jim, KC1FB: Last month, we broke even. We made $400 selling goods at Boxboro, but spent about $400 on replacing tents, other small club expenses.

There hasn’t been a Board of Directors meeting in the past few months, nothing to really discuss.

Technical Committee, Curt, W1FSM: There is more work to do on the radio room, but repeaters are doing as well as can be expected. At the International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend event, Curt got tired of running generator power, so he decided to set the Sheffield Island lighthouse up to run solar. We’re looking for some corporate sponsorship to donate solar batteries to Sheffield Island; batteries are typically $500 to $600 a piece, and there’s eight of them. Know someone who knows someone? Get in touch with Curt.

During Curt’s committee presentation, possible expanded coverage for the GNARC repeater was discussed. This would obviously take some time and doing, but the immediate reaction from the present members was very positive. Contact Curt for more information about this if you’re on board. Also, we acquired AM transmitters that were originally used for “talking homes” – these might be good for a show and tell at events to explain general coverage, and we can work on them as a club project over the winter.

Education committee, Paul, WB2JVB: We’re going to plan a few new ham classes, anyone want to help teach? Get in touch with Paul if you want to teach a few lessons!

Special Events: We participated in the International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend event, five club members went down to Sheffield Lighthouse, made a few contacts, and had lots of fun.

Meeting adjourned at 7:54.

June 2017 Meeting Minutes

June meeting of GNARC was called to order at 7:33 pm

There were 19 members in attendance.

Motion made by Toy at 7:34 to accept the meeting minutes from the May GNARC meeting. The minutes were accepted.

Communications/Emails: We got a Facebook message from a local man with a 40M tower and TV antennas that he wants to give away. He offered to pay someone to take it down. If anyone is interested in more information or in helping, email Tom. We got a donation of a station from WA1Q? He wanted to know if we had anyone who wanted a station, so Tom offered to take it off his hands. The radio is a Kenwood 570-D. Dee needs to fix it up a bit, as it needs a couple of new knobs, but it’s in great condition otherwise.

Treasurer’s report: We’re doing fine in terms of money, although we did take a little loss this month due to lack of new members. We also bought shelving supplies for the trailer, and we bought some new tables and chairs for Field Day.

Tech committee: The beam seems to be working, as we ordered the parts, got up on the roof and fixed it with the city’s ladder truck. We put in spacers to fix antenna, replaced the balun, and found two additional bolts that were not secured properly through the driven elements, so we fixed those two. We also changed the coax cable. So it’s operational once again!

OCF was giving us a number of iffy readings on SWR, so we replaced the connector which had oxidized, but it’s still giving the same readings, which makes us think that the box is full of water since there aren’t any drain holes for water to come out of the box. We’re waiting on permission to go back up there and check on that, so for the time being it’s out of commission.

A few members showed up to check out the tower on the trailer. We replaced the pulley, since the rotator motors were stuck from being horizontal for three years which isn’t good for it, so we took it apart and took it inside. It’s bounced back, which is good. The purchase of 150 ft of brand new 7 conductor cable for the rotor was approved as well.

The club trailer now has shelves and things are more organized, so that’s really good. Thanks to Lisa, Paul-PPL, Paul-JVB, and Dee for helping out with that.

Education committee: nothing to report.

VE class: Next test is being held on July 1st if anyone wants to upgrade their license.

Special Events: There may be an upcoming event at Bear Mountain. Details will become available on the reflector. Paul, Paul, and Lisa went up to the tri-point on Saturday where CT, MA, and RI all meet. They hiked up the mountain, got about 50 contacts in 90 minutes, from far away as Alaska and California on 20M. They used a very lightweight battery (bio-eno battery) and ran 100W. The battery held up really well. MS Ride was last Sunday, and it went too pretty well (despite only having one sag wagon).

Bylaws: We got some feedback from the Board and some club members about the proposed bylaws (which are on the website); they are now in Draft 2. We will vote on them at July’s meeting so please be present at the meeting if you would like to vote on the new bylaws! We encourage everyone to read it, and if you have feedback, then send it to Paul and he’ll make sure that the board sees it.

No old business.

Motion to adjourn made by Jim (KC1FB) at 8:03. Seconded by Paul (WB2JVB).

May 2017 Meeting Minutes

Meeting called to order at 7:31 pm

Number of attendees: 24 (22 members)

Motion made to accept minutes – motion made by Toy, seconded by Sam.

Treasurer’s report: Jim (KC1FB) says that the club’s finances are in good shape. We only spent on a few things for the trailer so our bank account is stable, but we haven’t had any new dues since March.

Presentation: “Low-Cost Test Equipment That You Can Buy on eBay” by Steve Dick (K1RF). Really great, thorough presentation with lots of illustration of budget friendly test equipment. It’ll be up on the website, so you should definitely check it out! Read More →

April 2017 Meeting Minutes

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. Read More →

March 2017 Meeting Minutes

Meeting called to order at 7:34 pm. Fifteen members in attendance.

Motion to accept meeting minutes from last meeting was made by Curt (W1FSM), seconded by Jim KC1FB.

Treasurer’s report: we didn’t spend anything, lots of club members renewed, and we made $600 in equipment sales.

Paul N1II’s presentation on kit building in ham radio includes lots of really good tips, reviews, and notes on small kits to be used in ham radio. Check it out if you can! Maybe he’ll even post some pictures of his kits or reviews he’s written for QST.

Tech committee report: No real changes since last month’s meeting. Equipment is inside and all is well.

Education committee: We have been teaching a tech class to approximately 20 students, and the class is halfway through. We are hoping to have some pass the test and hopefully will get some new members out of it.

Bylaws committee: The Bylaws Committee has been reviewing bylaws to clean them up, but no progress to report so far.

Special events committee: VE test coming up soon, we also ordered general and extra tests as well in case some members want to level up their licensing. Westport Makers Faire is coming up on April 22nd if anyone wants to come and table! MS Ride on June 11th has been changed. All volunteers now have to get a background check. We realize this might scare some people off, so we totally understand if you don’t want to volunteer. But we may have to back out if we don’t have enough people to volunteer. Hopefully we’ll still get enough volunteers to do it, though!

Field Day committee: Sam is drafting up an email to send out, and would like to have enough people committed to be able to run 3A. We can bring out the tower and have a really good chance at scoring well in the contest. Plus it’s way more fun. Sam will check in with Hugo to reserve Vets Park, and we need the insurance waiver. We’ll discuss food and beverage budget at the next meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 8:33 pm.

Submitted by Rachel KB1VWJ

February 2017 Meeting Minutes

Called to order at 7:32.

Minutes accepted at 7:35.

Financials as of 2/6 – the Club is in good shape financially. (Actual numbers are not reported on the web site. See Jim if you have any detailed questions)

Dues are due! Get them in!

Steve gave a presentation on lightning and ham radio. Really great discussion of what makes a good ground, designing a lightning protection system, and how to protect your antennas and rigs. Big takeaway: install multiple ground rods. Quarter wave DC short types (stubs) are wonderful if you stick them in one end of a T-joint and put your rig in the other end. If your ground rods are at the same potential, and remains at the same potential while the strike occurs (dissipating up to 56,000 amps), no damage will occur. But some grounding is better than no grounding, so whatever you can afford, you should put in. Very informative talk especially with summer coming up! Check it out.

We have some new committees in the club this year!

Tech Committee (headed by Curt) – Monthly report: we installed a TS 590 in the club’s radio room, it’s functional and working. It still needs some decorating though. The next project for the tech committee is that they’re looking into either repairing or replacing the beam.

Education Committee (headed by Paul) – Paul is helping to teach a tech class hosted at the comms center. So far, we have 21 people enrolled in tech class, and even people on a waiting list. We have some CERT people in the class, as well as some fire and police personnel. Depending on how this goes, we’ll have another one in the spring.

Bylaws Committee (headed by Paul) – We’re working on updating the bylaws and making them current. The corrected and updated bylaws will be submitted to the membership for consideration and further input before they’re declared official.

Special Events/Public Service/VE Committee (headed by Lisa) – The first VE session was on Saturday February 11th. Coming up, there’s the Mini Maker Faire in Westport in April 22, and the Bloomin’ Metric in May. Volunteers will be needed for these events, so if you’re interested, get in touch with Lisa.

Field Day Committee (headed by Sam) – he’ll need help with the technical committee and logistics starting in a couple of weeks. Expect a good number of the club members to be contacted.

There was no old business or new business to be discussed.

Meeting adjourned at 8:40. Motion to adjourn made by Jess, seconded by Hugo.  Minutes submitted by Rachel KB1VWJ

January 2017 Meeting Minutes

Meeting called to order at 7:30. 

30 members in attendance. 

We started with Douglas’s (WA1SFH) presentation, “Sharing the Magic: Bringing Local Kids into Amateur Radio”. How do the older hams replace the younger generation? Douglas gave us some great ideas for starting the year off with some youth outreach. Very thought provoking presentation! 

After the presentation, it was time for the annual vote for the 2017 Elected Officers. Toy (K1WYQ) led the vote off, George (AB1QK) seconded for 2017 officers at 8:17. 

The roster is: 

President – Tom Alessi (K1TA) VP – Paul Lourd (WB2JVB) Sec. – Rachel Ambrose (KB1VWJ) Treasurer – Jim Francoeur (KC1FB)

We had a new face attending this meeting – KC1WLR, president of Westport Astronomical Society. It was great to see him! 

New Business: 

Sam brought up the MS bike ride. He just got the first email about the 2017 ride from his point of contact with the event. They’ll be starting from Dinosaur BBQ in Stamford this year, and as a bonus, the path won’t go north – it’ll go up the coast. The 100 mile route is cancelled, and the ride will go from Stamford to Fairfield and back. Happily, we expect none of the issues with repeater coverage that we had to contend with last year. We’ll need volunteers to be in the sag wagons and volunteers to be scouts. If you want to be involved, get in touch with Sam (NV1P). 

Tom is going to be heading up Winter Field Day. An email will go out on the reflector so let him know if you’re interested by replying. It’s January 28th and 29th, and we’ll do it from the comms center. 

Reminder that dues are due by March 31st to Jim (KC1FB). 

Meeting adjourned at 8:33.