The meeting was held at Ken’s office/lab in Stittsville.
The following were present:
|Name||Call Sign||MH Grid|
This was the largest turnout for quite a while. Accommodation for seating has become difficult. Following collection of dues, Ken, VA3KA, reported that membership in the club so far for 2005 stands at 24.
Tom, VA3NFA, welcomed everyone, especially the guests/new members.
Rick, VE3CVG, gave an overview of the VHF/UHF SSB net held on Tuesday evenings except meeting nights. This net meets on 144.250 MHz for member news and discussions, and migrates to the 50, 222, 432 and 1296 MHz bands for checkins. It is likely that the 902 MHz band will be added soon. Doug, VE3XK, noted that vertical polarization is OK even though the majority of people are on horizontal antennas.
Concerning publication or posting of the meeting minutes, Graham, VE3BYT, advanced the view that they should be open to non-members so they can be aware of the club activities and projects. Rick is of the opinion that they should be private, open to members only. Nobody else offered any strong opinions, so the minutes will likely continue to be posted on the members-only section of the web site.
Ken indicated that he needs information on members and their membership in RAC, for insurance and other issues. Ken will collect this information and the exec of the club will meet to sort out the situation re the RAC insurance.
Doug gave a resume of the RAC insurance provisions. Full information is available on the RAC web site.
Manfred, VA3WK, gave a report on the activities of the Hinternet LAN. Currently there are 8 stations on. Many more users could be accommodated. Dale, VE3XZT, has installed a DSL. Improvements will be made to improve access. Dale and Manfred will install a 5.8 GHz backbone. The club will consider expansion of the user base. There was some debate as to whether or not this is really an amateur radio activity.
Ken proposed that the club float funds for the startup of the revised network, to pay for access one year in advance. This could amount to around $1000 and would be paid back ASAP by the participants. Some members questioned why the participants could not pay in their share and deal with this among themselves. After discussion the following motion was made by Doug, seconded by John, VE3IAO, that the club will assume startup costs if requested, and such funds are to be repaid as soon as possible, at the latest within the current fiscal year, and further, that all participants must be members of the club. This motion was carried, with one against and one abstention. Ken will act as treasurer of the Hinternet SIG and will report to the club at large.
Ken, Rick and possibly others may operate on 2.4 GHz during contests, some using their Hinternet equipment.
Tom indicated that the club Field Day involvement might be limited, as he did not get much positive reaction from members about supporting this activity. Tom will run as a Rover for the June VHF Contest. He may solicit for equipment loans.
Tom also suggested we take a tour of the Diefenbunker at Carp. There was lots of interest in this suggestion. Ken will check with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation concerning a possible tour of the HF Monitoring Station.
Rick gave an outline of the proposed 902 MHz Transverter Project. There is no 902 band activity in the area now except the club beacon on 903.37, so operation on this band would provide more contesting points in the future. Rick has looked at several alternative designs and has concluded that the Down East Microwave Inc. kit is best, with helical filters and a better noise figure. Cost is expected to be in the neighborhood of $300 US for 10 watts output, and $200 US for 10 milliwatts. There will be a discount for a quantity order of around 12½%. Interested parties should contact Rick. So far, Rick, Ken, Doug, Manfred and Graham are in for the project. It would be nice to get them all going in time for the June contest.
Graham showed a 2C39A/3CX100A5 tripler (144 to 432) he had built many years ago, which could be converted to a high level mixer to 902 MHz. This is likely to become an amplifier for 902. He also showed a WE 416B receiver preamp that was hot stuff in its day.
Doug proposed that the club consider installing a 222 MHz beacon in the area. Ken offered to donate a 222 Tempo handheld. Tom has an antenna. The beacon could be located at VA3WK. Manfred also has an antenna - a copper pipe halo.
Graham recommended that the beacon identifier key the transmitter carrier on/off, and that the carrier should be frequency modulated so the signal can be better-received using FM equipment. This might encourage some FM users of the 222 band to make an effort toward weak-signal work using CW and SSB.
It was generally agreed that it would be worthwhile to go ahead with the 222 MHz beacon project. The possible locations and specifications for the system and the controller features will be thrashed out by the membership, perhaps at the next meeting.
Graham Ide VE3BYT