October 2019 Meeting Minutes

Snoqualmie Valley Radio Club

Meeting Minutes for October 3, 2019

Business Meeting called to order 6:15 p.m. Duvall Fire Station 45 by Tom, WA7TBP.

14 members and guests present for business and Elmer meeting: Rowland Brasch, Paul Butzi, Bill Condon, Lindy Friedlander, Milton Hanson, Ralph Lease, Howard Mahran, Irvina Mizell, Jim Myers, Tom Needham, Rob Noonan, Shawn Somers, Kirt White, and Chuck Woolfolk. 

Secretary Report—No corrections or additions to the September Minutes were requested.  September Minutes to be accepted:  Moved, Seconded and Approved by raised hands.

Treasurer Report—Lindy, KG7IFA, reported the September end balance $7,040.19, not yet approved by CDCCC board.  This balance currently is $6,289.80 after Kenwood radio and software purchase was made as approved by members last month as well as the CDCCC board.  This includes EchoLink cables, the cost of which was covered by the discount received for the radio. 

Lindy reported that we will be adding the new Kenwood radio to our ARRL equipment insurance, which will now exceed the $2,000 added equipment limit within our current price.  So, we will be spending an additional $32.27 for the total equipment added during 2019 to date.  It was further decided that we will not be adding the 3 recently donated repeaters to the equipment insurance although they are in working order and on a depreciation schedule.

There remain 41 dues paid members as of this meeting. There were 50 paid members at this time last year. Dues checks can be made out to CDCCC and new short form applications are available on Groups.io and the website.

The Treasurer’s report to be accepted:  Moved, Seconded, and Approved by raised hands.

Committee and Task Force Reports

Repeater task force—Shawn, K7ATA, reported no change for Cougar repeater.  Will order (for around $130) 2 Mikro Tik point to point wireless mesh units which will test up and down the valley to see where we can connect and move data.  So, when the Internet is down, we can still have our private network for data transmission.

Jim, W7ABD, installed remote programmable interface to Cougar.  His first focus is to interface with the clock before the time changes next month.  Then he will pursue full programming to interface remotely.  He donated his spares for Cougar but plans to do the same for the Bell repeater at a cost of approximately $140 to purchase Raspberry Pi (non-IRLP capable) plus cables.

Emergency planning and mobilization task force—Howard, WA1HEM, reported that the EmComm team met Tuesday and had a very productive meeting.  They will meet the first Tuesday of each month and will have online access if participants can’t make it in person.  At this month’s meeting they covered a variety of items, including: having emergency documentation in one place; emergency script now on the website; emergency frequencies will be published and sent out to the group;  Rowland, K7RWB, is working on credentialing and emergency drill scripts. There will be an FT 8900 and ICS refresher Elmer at the November meeting. Robin, WA7CPA, will be working on a simplex test to map out who can reach who in an emergency.  Paul and Kirt will be working on a 40/60/80-meter emergency antenna. Finally, the committee will be reviewing the potential of having ACES Classes after the holidays

Kudos were given to Howard for getting this task force back on track!

Education & community outreach task force—Irvina, W7IRM, will be contacting Dave, AE7TD, for the tech class curriculum used successfully by the Lake Washington Ham Club.   

Kirt, K7KDW, reported the new ham net continues every Tuesday.  He thanked members for speaking up and keeping the conversation going when things get quiet as new hams are often intimidated.  He also noted there are no new ham gatherings planned at this time.  He and Robin need ideas from club members.  Howard suggested we put more Facebook notices out trying to get to more hams.  Rowland, K7RWB, said other clubs successfully have monthly breakfasts.  Kirt indicated that Robin was looking into that as well.

Carnation space—Paul, W7PFB and Jim, W7ABD.  Big step up getting the new Kenwood radio.  It is similar to existing radio in that others should be able to easily turn it on and get it working.  However, there are many additional features, including WinLink, etc, that will require training to be able to use.  Rowland recommended that we have a quick reference card to highlight the most popular features.  Shawn suggested putting it on a poster on the wall right above the radio.  All good ideas.

Old Business— Citywide Tolt Dam Evacuation Drill – Tom reported that the drill was a great success and the City was delighted.  Slightly under 200 people attended the briefing at Tolt Middle School and around 150-180 people walked the hill.  This is out of a population of 1900 in Carnation proper.  Tom had set up the net at his house and communicated well.  The GRMS didn’t work though due to McDonald Park on a hill between his house and evacuation hill. 

New Business

Holiday dinner will be at Ixtapa Redmond Ridge in lieu of our December meeting.  This location was successfully used for 2018 and 2017 dinners.  It is semi-private and allows ordering off the menu with individual billing and sufficient staffing to handle our group.

Rowland noted that we got approval from the Red Cross to put a GP15 antenna on their building on evacuation hill.  Tom is donating the antenna, but we will need to buy coax and adapters for different radios, etc.  Please submit any additional recommended items we may need to Rowland. 

Rowland also noted a net exercise where he will be sending out an email pretending we had an earthquake and give 6 questions in advance to everyone to bring their answers.  Then we will all be asked to take down all responses so that we get experience for a real emergency. 

Shawn threw out a final tidbit:  The likelihood of the earth being hit by an x-class solar flare (which could shut down the grid) in the next 10 years is 1 in 12!  We would likely get a 2-day advance notice that it is building.  But if it pops, we’d have only 30 minutes notice.  A brief discussion about using an old microwave oven (unplugged) as a faraday cage to house radios.

Tom adjourned the business meeting at 6:51 p.m.

Elmer Session: Rowland, K7RWB, led the Elmer on Messaging Forms Practice.  The ability to write short, actionable messages is a valuable skill for emergency communication.

Upcoming Events

  • 10/5/19 Sandbagging Class/Generator Safety, 10a.m., over by noon, Location: Duvall Fire Station
  • 10/19/19 Stop the Bleed Training, 10-11:30 a.m. Duvall Fire Station, Register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/stop-the-bleed-tickets-74745536913 
  • 11/7/19 SnoVARC Meeting, Thursday, 7 p.m. Duvall Fire Station, ELMER: ICS 100/700 Overview and EOC Radio Training (Ralph KC7QXD, Tom, WA7TBP) (6:15 p.m. Business meeting)
  • 12/5/19 SnoVARC HOLIDAY DINNER (in lieu of meeting) 6:30 Ixtapa Redmond Ridge.  PLEASE RSVP TO ROBIN as Ixtapa needs the count.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Lindy, KG7IFA (in Robin’s absence)

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