December 2014 meeting minutes

The meeting was called to order at 7:04 PM.

Attending: Richard N5YPJ, Jason KF5EJX, David W5DUH, Elijah Berlanga (AA5EK’s brother), Jim AB5JK, Cici AA5EK, Mary KU5Z and Erik K5WW.

Treasurer Cici AA5EK says we’re not totally broke yet, with $112 in the “bank”.

Jim AB5JK has lots of news! He is working hard at getting a link into the AllStar network and EchoLink for the club. The software has been installed and configured on the server PC that was donated by Dave WA6YJW. The interface that goes between the server and the repeater, costing about $80, has been ordered and was donated by AB5JK and AA5EK. We now have a good, solid, reliable internet connection, courtesy of the UMH, which is needed for AllStar and EchoLink to properly work; although the IT department still needs to set up the port forwarding. The AllStar link will be on demand, and Jim will provide how-to documentation for the members. The National Weather Service uses the AllStar network in case of severe weather; so this is a great asset to the club, and Uvalde! When Jim is all done we will be able to dial into the repeater, to turn it off or make changes.

As for Echolink: Jim proposes a members-only operation to avoid abuse by drive-bys. Members will be able to use the repeater through their smart phones, tablets, and PCs. When everything is ready we will provide a sign up sheet on the website for members to fill out and use to apply for Echolink repeater use.

K5WW proposed to try and become and ARRL affiliated club. There are many benefits (click on the link to read all about it), and doesn’t cost a dime. Everyone agreed; so K5WW will take care of the paperwork.

Speaking of affiliation and such: Jason KF5EJX mentioned that we should really look into getting insurance for all of the club’s gear, through the ARRL sponsored plan. To cover the cost of that insurance Roger K0YY mentioned increasing the member dues a bit. Nobody seemed to object; but Jason needs to do a bit of number crunching first so it will be covered again in a future meeting.

K5WW got an email from Jorge N5UMJ that he was selling his 2 meter repeater and cavities. That was published on the website. (but it was sold the same evening, to Jim!)

Several of the members want to participate in the Texas State Parks on the Air special event/contest. That is a relatively new annual event that lasts 12 hours; and sounds like a lot of fun. It’s held early April; so the weather could be good! Several possible “local” parks were mentioned; but a final decision for the location has not been made. So stay tuned for updates.

Jason KF5EJX reports that he has tested the UPS system at the shack, while he was actively contesting a few weekends ago. He says that while calling CQ with the TS-590 in RTTY, and all other hardware powered up, the UPS powered all equipment for 45 minutes. After that he got scared, thinking he would run out of power altogether and plugged the mains back in; but even after all of that time, he said, the UPS still had lots of backup power available. Once again thank you Gary K5QOW!

At 7:50 PM the meeting was adjourned after everyone’s belly was filled with pizza. Thank you Mr. President for that generous, unexpected meal! 😉

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