The meeting was held in the Kanata room at Sobey's in Kanata.

The following members and guests were present:

NameCall SignPosition
Al PenneyVO1NO/VE3President
Doug LeachVE3XKVice President
Dale HennigarVE3XZTDirector
David ConnVE3KLGuest
Rick FurnissVE3IHIGuest
Andy HartVE3NVKGuest
David BiggsGuest
John ChristensenVE3IAO
Harold HamiltonVA3UNK
Dean DenterVA3CDD
Graham IdeVE3BYT

Our Treasurer Ken Asmus, VA3KA, and our Secretary Barney Baker, VA3BGB, were both away. Ken is enjoying winter up north somewhere, and Barney is enjoying it much more down in Barbados.

President Al, VO1NO, outlined the agenda and welcomed our guests. Introductions were made in turn around the room.

V.P. Doug, VE3XK, said he would later outline the results of his committee's work to develop a new constitution for the club. Doug mentioned at this time that the 430 band beacon is functioning, on 432.358 MHz.

Dale, VE3XZT, mentioned that the HF conditions are picking up - particularly on 20, 17 and 15 Metres.

Al discussed the Grid Expedition planned for the June VHF/UHF Contest, at the intersection of the FN03, 04, 13 and 14 grids. The objective is to be the Top Gun MultiOperator Station in Canada. It is expected that Rovers will come by this QTH as well.

Graham, VE3BYT, mentioned that so far two members (Dale, VE3XZT, and Ken, VA3KA for early summer) had indicated an interest in a high-altitude balloon development and launch, or a project of a similar nature. This will be pursued in future when and if more members are interested in working on it. There was some interest in Pop Bottle Rockets - water powered. There could be interesting potential here for short-period telemetry. It was noted that the school group in Perth assisted by local radio amateurs has a second launch planned for April and that WCC members will be available to assist with this.

The D-STAR repeaters are reported to currently have around 24 users in the area. New software will allow gateways without fixed IP addresses.

Al listed off the contests and other activities coming up in the near future. There are a considerable number of fleamarkets scheduled in April and May. Graham noted that the Saint Lawrence Valley Repeater Council spring meeting would be held the same day as the Smiths Falls Fleamarket (at 1:00 PM), as was done last year. Greater participation is needed.

Doug showed his work to date on the coordinated beacon project that will include beacons for several bands in one container with the power supply and distribution, controller and a common keyer. So far, the 432 beacon is up and running. Doug's work is impressive with the modules in the electrical box, all well vented and screened. The box is ready for mounting on the tower at Doug's QTH until the next transmitter is acquired and is ready for integration.

Graham has a temperature sensor (DS18B20) running on a PicAxe 28X1 microcontroller. This sensor will report temperature to two decimal places and is an example of environmental sensors that can be used on the balloon project, along with others such as for atmospheric pressure/altitude. Graham showed a tiny transmitter running on 433.92 MHz, currently sending a morse ID and message. This can be used for remote monitoring of various sensors over a range of about 75 Metres or more with a simple antenna. In the room, the signal overloaded his FT-817.

David, VE3KL, presented a live demonstration of his CW station controller project. The controller uses a VB.Net VE3KL program that interfaces with his station system components with a single interface. At this time the components include: a VE3KL CW keyer, a K1El keyer, and an Elecraft SWR/Power meter. David is now expanding the suite to include RTTY sending/receiving, logging and antenna switching. This is a long term ongoing project aimed at integrating all of his components into a single command module.

Doug and Dean, VA3CDD, have prepared a draft constitution for the WCARC. Doug made a comprehensive presentation article by article of the committee's proposal including a rationale for each. Although comment and discussion on the details was not encouraged at this point, inevitably there was some, due to the considerable interest of the members. The presentation on the draft constitution will be on the WCARC web site for information and review. Members may send comments and proposed amendments to President Al, with copies to Doug and Dean for their consideration. The draft constitution will be presented for approval (or amendment) and acceptance at a future meeting.

Al expressed the Club's thanks for the extensive work that Doug and Dean have done on researching and preparing the draft constitution.

The next meeting will be on April 1, 2008.

Graham Ide VE3BYT
for Barney Baker, VA3BGB, Secretary.