Present were Dick Doherty, KA1TUZ, Executive Committee; Arthur Ashley, N1NHZ, Treasurer, Membership Services; Paul Carter, N1TMF, SPARC Editor; Mike Ardai, N1IST, President; Bob Salow, WA1IDA, Executive Committee, Public Services; Paul Katz, N1LRT; Ed Hennessy, N1PBA, Secretary; Jim Clogher, N1ICN, Vice President.
The meeting was called to order at 6:45 PM.
Mike, N1IST, announced that the club received its new vanity callsign. The club station is no longer KB1BQX; the new call is W1BOS.
Mike also explained that the interference to the repeater's input frequency is being worked on. This isn't malicious interference, but some spur from a commercial site. It has been DF'ed to the Hancock Tower, thanks to John Garrett, WN9T, Bill Ricker, N1VUX, and Ed Parish, WA2SCA; there's something up there that's broken and causing the problem. John spoke to the guy responsible for the equipment on the guy's last day. John now has to speak to his replacement. The lowest spur generated so far is on 144.60, and it has interfered with the Dorchester (.21) and the .19 machines as well as BARC's. It is probably affecting those in our area trying to use the Norwell 145.25 repeater, as well, although that repeater is far enough away to escape being directly affected. The SPARC will have details on the PL change to 88.5. Decoding for access will be used only when necessary due to interference, to avoid constant timing-out.
Mike also mentioned that anyone with a ham-related URL for a web page can email him, and he will add a link off the BARC page. (It can be anything ham-related, personal or otherwise).
Bob, WA1IDA, said that the holiday party reservation form will be in the November SPARC. The menu and the cost will be the same as last year. The dinner cost is $16; the cost to the club is $15 per person--the $1 will be used to cover flyer costs, and any contingencies like mailing refunds (as happened last year due to the snowstorm).
Bob also asked if any changes should be made in the BARC membership application for 1997. He can't make any changes, since he has no computer.
Paul, N1TMF, offered to make any suggested changes. Dick, KA1TUZ, asked whether we could add questions about other hobbies, equipment (especially portable/battery capabilities, occupation, ham interests, what would you like more info on, what can you help out with, etc. The group discussed the idea, and felt that we needed to do a separate survey, since it became obvious that we'd be asking for more info than what would fit on a few lines on the membership form. This survey would be done around March, and we'd then have a database of member information.
Suggestions for membership form changes were minor: Bob suggested we add a line to list any URL's, and Arthur, N1NHZ, said we needed to revise the address to drop "Kenmore Station" and correct the zip code. The group also discussed the dues column. There's always some confusion about whether to pay $22 or $11. A decision was made to print only the $22 (and $12) dues amounts, and put in a sentence indicating that dues were half-rate from 8/1 through 12/31.
Bob asked whether we needed to think about keeping the dues at $22 or reducing them to $20. Everyone felt an increase was unnecessary. After some discussion about the costs of printing and mailing the free copies of the SPARC, we decided to keep things as they were, since we really didn't lose any members due to the increase a few years back, and there is no guarantee that we'd gain the 20 members we'd need to to offset the loss of $400 that would result if the rate were reduced to $20.
The group did, however, decide to look closely at the list of those getting a free copy of the SPARC (i.e., non-members--other clubs, new hams, League officials, etc.) next month, to see if this list could be made smaller to save the club money. Bob did state that he is careful to only give a few free copies to prospective members, etc., and to keep the list small. He stated that we have approximately 175 members, and we mail out about 300 SPARCs each month.
Mike also reiterated that we need to really be diligent about calling those who do not renew by the end of March, to find out their reason.
After all of the discussion, the Executive Committee voted unanimously to keep the dues at $22 for 1997.
Paul, N1LRT, mentioned that the BARC First Night radiogram booth would again be at the Hynes this year. Volunteers are needed from 1:00PM to 11:00PM. Arthur asked how we can get info on other clubs to those who stop by the booth and inquire. Mike and Ed stated that we should get their name and addresses and pass the list on to the Section Manager, who can follow up.
Mike said that BARC's Field Day scores were omitted from the list in QST. They are aware of it--they notified Mike that the file was missing, and that a correction will be published in the next QST to go to press.
Dick, KA1TUZ, mentioned that a local interference committee has been formed, consisting of one Official Observer and three other hams. All are BARC members.
Dick also stated that we should run another Net Control 101 session soon. The group chose December 2 as the next date. Bob asked whether we should reward those who act as net controls for the first time. Arthur said perhaps this could be done in an "honor roll" in the newsletter. Dick said that we need to wait a while until we accumulate a list, since we don't want to make them self-conscious. He suggested a point-type system like the one used in the National Traffic System.
Dick spoke of the internet provider he just found. The signup fee is $10, and unlimited access (web pages, ftp, email, etc.) is $9.95 per month. Dick just signed up, and will try it for a month to see how well it works before he reports back. If it works well, Dick thought that perhaps he could approach the guy and offer free SPARC ads in return for a half-price signup fee.
Paul, N1TMF, asked whether we were going to take nominations for a "Ham of the Year" contest, like we've done in past years. We decided to do it this year. Paul will put a note in the newsletter, and all nominations must be received by 2 December (by whatever means) to be accepted. The award will be presented at the holiday dinner.
Paul, N1TMF, also said that the SPARC is getting to be about 40% boiler- plate. He needs more stuff from members. Suggestions included a tech Q&A column, and a interests column.
Paul, N1LRT, asked if the club's financial statement could appear in the SPARC. The group felt it was a good idea to do so once a year, probably prior to the elections. We will publish it in March.
Bob asked that we insure the equipment we do have (even though there isn't that much). This includes the repeater, a TS-930, and two 2-meter radios. Mike will get the paperwork going on that.
Mike said we should put an "ad" in the newsletter asking for ads. We used to have a couple of ads per SPARC issue. Base ads are business-card size; larger sizes can be priced as requested.
Dick added that we might want to add a "For Sale" area to the SPARC--a classified area for members to sell equipment. Mike said we can always set it up like the flea table--10% of the proceeds go to the club, or donations accepted--since the flea season is over. Paul will try to make room in the newsletter.
This very busy meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:16 PM. 73