2019-01-11 Board of Directors Meeting

Steve Townes WB4ILW welcomed everyone and introduced the new club officers for 2019. We discussed several transition issues, reviewed our successful participation in NASA On The Air (NOTA), and did some preliminary planning for 2019, including future talks and the 2019 club budget.   There is a link for the material presented at the meeting at the end of this post.

Attending: Steve Townes WB4ILW (incoming president), Alexandra Holloway AE6IN (incoming vice-president), Jonathan Cameron KF6RTA (incoming secretary), Chuck Sarture KG6NF (incoming treasurer), Chris Gaylord W6YTB (incoming emergency communications manager), and Nasrat Raouf K1NAR. By phone: Walt Mushagian K6DNS, Dave Hodges KI6PMB, Mike Gauthier K6ICS, and Chris Carson KE6ABQ. We did have a quorum.

Incoming Officers

Steve Townes appointed Chris Gaylord W6YTB as the club Emergency Communications Manager. Steve also appointed Josh Miller KB3UUS as the Director-at-Large. The incoming officers for 2019 are:

  • President: Steve Townes WB4ILW
  • Vice-president: Alexandra Holloway AE6IN
  • Secretary: Jonathan Cameron KF6RTA
  • Treasurer: Chuck Sarture KG6NF
  • Emergency Communications Manager: Chris Gaylord W6YTB
  • Director-at-large: Josh Miller KB3UUS

Many thanks to Jim Lux W6RMK and Rob Smith W6GRV with their help in the officer nomination and election process.

Transition Issues

Steve reviewed the template for presentation material used in our Board of Directors meetings. After some discussion, we decided to remove most hard-coded references to club officers, addresses, etc., and simply include the club website URL to all presentation material.

While reviewing the Secretary’s monthly report we decided on the following elements (in line with reports in the last few years):

  • Current number of paid-up members
  • Number of ARRL members and percentage of the club
  • Brief note on any new members

Several actions were discussed that will require follow-up by the club officers. These include:

  • Secretary: Set up a shared online membership spreadsheet for the club officers to track membership, paid dues, etc.
  • Secretary: Update the JPL ARC club information on the ARRL and qrz.com websites
  • Secretary: Ask Mike Tope to renew the JPL ARC PO Box for the coming year.
  • Treasurer: Update club officers on the Caltech Federal Credit Union account

We discussed the regular Monday noon net. In particular, after discussion, we decided that doing the check-in/check-out procedure on the first net of the month was not particularly useful so we will discontinue that process for the regular nets. There may be some special JEARS-focused nets and exercises in 2019 that do use the check-in/check-out procedures but not the regular nets.

NASA On The Air (NOTA) Update

The year-long NASA On The Air (NOTA) event is over and our club did very well. We placed second, behind the JSC club.

Here are some highlights from Rob Smith of who made this possible: “None of this would have happened if Merv N6NO had not brought it to our attention. We would have had no contacts from the actual JPL station without the efforts of all who worked hard to obtain the facility and get the HF station back on the air. And Steve, Jonathan, and I made a number of the contacts from the JPL ARC station. Our contact count would be significantly less if not for all the contacts by Mike K6ICS. The club was even able to make a few satellite contacts. Mike Tope continues to regularly checks our post office box for QSL cards requests. Rob Suggs NN4NT from the MSFC ARC coordinated the NASA wide effort with amateur radio club participation from each of the NASA Centers. John Maca AB5SS at JSC updated our club logo with significantly better graphics for inclusion on the NOTA certificates. My part was just one of the many roles that went into making this a very successful event for the JPL ARC and across all the NASA clubs.”

Some of the benefits of the NOTA event (from Rob Smith):

  • The JPL ARC has their first new QSL card since somewhere around 2000.
  • The W6VIO is now set up to use Logbook of the World (LoTW).
  • The graphics for the JPL Club logo have been improved.
  • Mike K6ICS upgraded his station to be able to operate on FT8.
  • Mike’s success with FT8 inspired me to get my station configured for FT8 (and I now have a couple dozen FT8 contacts in my personal log).
  • The NOTA event provided me the push I needed to operate using the amateur satellites, something I had been thinking about for a long but did not have a reason.We (JPL & the JPL ARC) received very positive feedback from the many stations we contacted during this event.
  • Finally, according Mike Gauthier, our club has worked all states and almost all Canadian provinces. We also worked over 100 countries!

For more details, please see the presentation below.

Upcoming Talks

Steve is currently working on the plan for the year. Currently we have Bob Dengler NO6B scheduled to talk about repeaters for the February general meeting.

2019 JPL ARC Budget

Steve Townes reviewed the 2018 budget and started working on the 2019 budget based on input discussed last year and at the meeting today. A draft of the preliminary budget will be sent to club members soon for discussion before a formal budget is proposed. The presentation below also has a preliminary version of the budget. The version sent to the club for review will be updated from that.

The Presentation

To see the a PDF of the material presented by President Steve Townes in the meeting, please click on this link: