January 2018 meeting minutes

OMARC Minutes of General Membership Meeting on Saturday January 13, 2018

      Attendance : 21

  • Call to Order by President Al Baxter at 9 AM
  • Pledge of Allegiance
  • Moment of Silence
  • Self Introductions by members, around the room
  • Request acceptance of MINUTES from December 9, 2017 meeting, previously mailed to members. Minutes were accepted as published by Joe K, OMARC Secretary.
  • TREASURERS Report by Sal Ciappetta – Beginning Balance $4,583.67, Ending Balance $3, 562.62
  • MEMBERSHIP Chairman report by Sal C – 42 members paid 2018 dues, 7 are unpaid, total = 49
  • Ken B and Mike Provenzano will be doing a DMR radio demo after the meeting
  • WEBMASTER Report by Scott T. – the website on WordPress is free, but we must put up with some commercials because it is free to us. Scott will be putting a calendar function on the website for Joe K, the OMARC Secretary. Denis recommended that we put firehouse activities on the calendar as well.
  • REPEATER Report by Matt C – the repeater if operating well
  • – we will be putting up a 2 Meter antenna for WIRES X
  • – we will run a lead to the patch panel
  • – we will have a dedicated computer to the repeater
  • – we are considering upgrading the DR-1X repeater for a DR-2X for more capability
  • – Yaesu moved from Fusion 1 to Fusion 2 for the latest repeater. A trade in of our repeater will cost $300. Wires X allows more “rooms” The current repeater can go to the America room. The new repeater allows more “rooms”. We created a new OMARC “room”
  • – an incorrect article was published on line saying that the DR-2X repeater could not use WIRES X. That was incorrect per Matt and Phil.
  • – Casey is allowing us to use the old siren frame tower for attaching antennas
  • – Casey said that we can use a truck to assist antenna set up
  • – Al mentioned that the club wants to get WIRES X up and running ASAP
  • – per Al, we need to get a summary of the new repeater pros and cons listed for the next meeting. Al agreed that some old repeater articles on line were incorrect.
  • RADIO ROOM Report by Matt C – room needs a couple more shelves that Pete H will be installing
  • – fire department electric was supplied to the radio room by Casey
  • – the room essentially, is ready to go
  • – all radio positions have computer, monitors, keyboards and mice
  • – only one position does not have 12 V
  • – the radio room will be used for the upcoming Winter Field Day event on Jan 28 & 28
  • Putting additional antennas on the Tri-bander mast was discussed. If additional antennas are on the same mast and rotator, all those antennas would have to use the one azimuth when operating. Alternative roof mounts were discussed.
  • Al announced that the Memorandum of Understanding between OMARC and the Firehouse was completed and signed off
  • Al announced that all MARS equipment was picked up and final sign off was received from Mark Emanuele.
  • MARS will not have a future presence at the firehouse. MARS will have the MARS station at the AT&T building in Holmdel.
  • Casey will be determining the shed location. We will then assemble the shed and place equipment that is in the garage bay into the shed for temporary storage until we sell it at the Spring hamfest.
  • We will be purging unneeded equipmet from our inventory in the cabinets and in the firehouse basement.
  • Scott may have a free door bell. We want to install a light, a doorbell and in intercom on the back garage door.
  • We talked about a lock on the radio room but many felt that the radio room, being inside the firehouse, is already in a secure location and does not need a lock. Casey mentioned that the firehouse already has cameras and a surveillance system installed in all areas of the building and on the property. 2 months of tapes are kept.
  • Bob Bedard asked how a regular member can get access to the radio room. This is currently under discussion. Associate Membership in the firehouse (no dues required) is a possible answer. Casey mentioned that Associate Members of the firehouse have 24/7 access to the firehouse. There is no background check on Associate Members.
  • Pete H said that thieves don’t care about surveillance systems and agrees with Ken B that we need a lock on the radio room. Recommended a lock with a key. Some folks have bad eyes and can’t use a combination lock.
  • John O mentioned that the firehouse already locks up “mission critical equipment”
  • Bob H recommended a lockbox with a key as we had in building 9116
  • Casey mentioned that we cannot have free access because we are a Homeland Security facility. The firehouse has no intention of restricting radio room access. They are considering a key fob system, cost is the problem, but is considering the whole building only. OMARC and the firehouse can jointly consider a new system. Scott will look into different systems that are possible. Mike is also an IT person who can help determine a security system.
  • OMARC shirts were delivered to Ron Olender and Bob Heater
  • The radio room will be dedicated to Bob Witham at the February meeting. Al asked for a motion to spend up to $100 for an appropriate plaque for the radio room door. Motion was accepted by the membership. Joe K will get the plaque.
  • There was more discussion about the possible new repeater. All decided to get more information on the repeater and continue the discussion at the February meeting.
  • Art has a possible buyer for one of our old military radios. Anand is sending list and photos to Art.
  • Ken mentioned that a ham science group is meeting on Feb 23 & 24 to discuss the eclipse. Cost of the seminar is $125.
  • Bob Heater suggested that we consider “fellowship issues”, …losing members because we are not in building 9116. What can we do to increase membership? Joe responded that we send out emails to all visitors to our hamfests from the last 3 years re our upcoming hamfests, we started the Thursday evening nets, we advertise the club and our hamfests on QST and on some local websites, we are improving our website, we are spreading the word about OMARC via charitable organization assistance, we place articles in the Coast Star newspaper, we advertise and hold VE test sessions and we invite firehouse members to join us and we are investing in the latest digital Fusion radio repeaters. As a result our membership is currently increasing every month. We want OMARC to be a leader in the technical aspects of Amateur Radio.
  • A couple members felt that OMARC should change the name of the club considering the issue back at Marconi Road. Joe reminded everyone that the issue involved a false accusation that had no substance. Infoage used the false issue for the lease cancellation. OMARC is better off away from Marconi Road. People are free to join other clubs if they so choose.
  • Members felt, that in future meetings, members should be recognized by the President,(the chair) before speaking at a meeting.
  • Pete H won the 50-50
  • Al adjourned the meeting at 10:15 AM



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