August Meeting Notes

The following are meeting notes from the August 15th club meeting:

The meeting was called to order at 7:30pm by KB8ELG.  We had 23 members and 3 guests in attendance.  Minutes from the previous meeting were read by KB2AVN and accepted as well as the Treasures report by KB8ELH.  Individual committee and special reports follow.

Members in distress: 
One of our club members, Owen Hinkle (AC8OH) is on the mend after suffering a mild heart attack.  Owen is at the Findlay Hospital but set to go home soon.  Owens address is 3806 Bright Rd, Apt 304, Findlay, OH, 45840 if you want to drop him a line and wish him well.

Old Business:
The club purchased three assembled and finished picnic tables from a local Fulton County wood shop for $150 total and donated them to Jim Roth for use at the Roth Family Woodlot in Tedrow.  The tables were delivered as a surprise by kb8elg and kd8kbu and, needless to say, well received.  We thank Jim and the Roth family for having out for our Hamfest and Field Day year after year.

Education/VE Report:
The VE Team conducted a regularly scheduled testing session on July 30th in Archbold.  We had two people attending, and issued CSCE's for a new Technician and an upgrade to Extra.  KA8KDS reports we have one person scheduled for the August 27th testing session.  September will have two scheduled testing sessions, one on the regular date and time (September 24th) and a special session after the Technician class on July 17th.

The Technician class is a full go for September 10th and 17th at the Delta Public Library.  After much debate, we are altering the class by eliminating the course fee and providing all of the testing material for the participants.   The club members in attendance passed a motion to accept donations from the club members for purchasing 5 sets of ARRL study guides to offset the normal $30 fee which may be a barrier to potential new Hams.  We collected enough money for that purchase evening and I have issued statements to the ARRL and local county newspapers indicating the elimination of the test fee, but also limiting the class size to 5 seats.   An updated flyer for the class can be found here, please download and put them in public areas to help promote the class:

Repeater Committee:
We had a special guest this evening, Justin Thompson, the Fulton County EMA Director.  JT was out to explain a state study and assessment of the tower which houses our primary repeater site.  Accepting that the even though the tower had been well maintained, it still is around 40 years old.  Recent changes in ratings related to ice buildup and wind gusts have put the tower at 240% capacity.  This is before the new county 800MHz system even goes in.  Without a suitable overhaul costing much more then the county can absorb at this time, all antenna systems need to be off the tower accept the new county system.  While we are not alone in this change, we have an advantage of having the backup repeater site which is not only on a 190ft tower, but on one of the highest points in the county.  The current plan is to move the primary repeater to the backup repeater site this Saturday morning after breakfast at Weber's.  The backup repeater system will be offline for the time being until we can find a suitable home for it.  JT has assured us he, and the county commissioner, are working finding new homes for the current radio systems, including ours, so this will more then likely be a temporary situation.  There also stands the chance the will reinvest in the current tower and make the necessary updates, at which time we could return to that site. 

So what does all of this mean?  After the move, there should be no significant change in repeater coverage although people in southern Fulton county may have a bit more difficult time getting on with an HT.  Northern Fulton county should see improved coverage.  There will be a short time this Saturday afternoon that both repeaters will be offline while we swap equipment.  Your comments are welcome, and if you have any suggestions for our backup repeater (as a temporary measure), please let us know.

Special Events:
The Fulton County Fair is September 2nd through the 8th.  K8LI is lending us his 10x10 shelter for the club booth, and like last year we will have a VHF and HF rig available.  We are looking for ideas on what technology to showcase to create interest and excitement about the hobby.  Current ideas are integration with Internet technology like IRLP and Echolink and showcasing using mobile devices to access distant repeater systems.  Also, if you are interested in helping out at the Fair Booth, please let us know, email and indicate what times/days you could assist.

Other Miscellaneous Notes:
We have a handful of t-shirts left over, once those are gone we are going to look at the next design with an updated logo and messaging.  We are currently letting the old stock go for $10/shirt.  You can contact Lindsay (K8LI) for details on those (

On September 24th, There will be an Auction at 10:00am in Tedrow for much of the radio tubes and parts from Nelles Roth's collection and business.  More information can be found at Whalen Realty and Auctions site:

September Hamfests:
09/11/2011: Findlay/Great Lakes Division Convention Hamfest
09/18/2011: Adrian ARC Hamfest

That's enough for tonight!  I'm sure some things slipped through the cracks, but we'll get those corrected another time.

Craig Szczublewski - KD8KBU