September 25, 2018 meeting minutes

The meeting was called to order at 7:15 PM local time.

Attending: Gary K5QOW, Jim AB5JK, Doug KC5TRQ, Jason KS5TX (via EchoLink) and Erik K5WW.

The Treasurer reports $1,580 in our sock. That’ll go up a bit because Gary, after a long absence, decided to grace us with a visit and pay his dues and made a little donation.

Discussed were the many issues that have popped up at the club station in the past 6 months or so. There are so many by now that we’ll have to do a bit of maintenance – soon!

First issue discussed is the repeater antenna. At times the repeater’s range is barely a mile. We checked the SWR (from the ground) a while ago; and it was found to be perfect. But we may have an intermittent connection on top of the tower, either the coax connector or the antenna itself. So it will have to come down for repair. At the same time we discussed replacing the antenna with a (much) bigger one, and perhaps a larger diameter coax, which will extend our reach quite a bit.

A few weeks ago the rotator controller started acting up. In a matter of minutes it went from the heading indicator running way too fast, to the backlight going out, to not working at all. The Club Station Trustee did some troubleshooting, found some broken parts, ordered and replaced them; but only achieved partial success. Because of that Jason KS5TX generously donated a brand-new identical rotator and controller (thank you from all of us!). The controller was replaced and now the antenna rotates again; but the readout on the controller is not responsive. So at the very least there’s a break in the controller cable on top of the tower. Or worse. Either way: another reason for a “tower work party”. And we now have a spare rotator, in case we need to replace it.

All in all we’re looking at relieving our sock of about $600, for the new repeater antenna, renting a lift, and miscellaneous hardware items. Everyone wholeheartedly agreed.

The maintenance will be done at an as-yet to be determined weekend in October (yes, 2018!). Volunteers are always welcome; all you need is your optimism 🙂

Other antenna news: Richard N5YPJ donated a gently used hy-gain AV-640 HF 8 band vertical antenna. Has all the parts, minus one or two small washers and bolts that rolled off of the transporter’s truck roof during transport…Thank you, Richard; we’ll put that to good use one day!

Two big events we will be participating in at the end of the month: the Texas QSO Party and the CQ WW RTTY Contest. Come have some fun!

The meeting was adjourned at 8:02 PM loco time.

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