Central Idaho Amateur
Radio Club
     
CIARC Meeting Minutes - November 2013
Meeting Minutes - November 2013
Attendance

Attending Members
Call Sign First Last
Kirk Eimers K7KLE
Mike Huston KG7GKN
Dan Kallies KG7GKO
David McQuade W7LCC
Ray Montagne W7CIA
Kermit Peterson KB7BVR
Bob Renn KF7JPJ
Larry Stokes N7IBC
Richard Wagner KG7GKS

Attending Guests
Call Sign First Last
Bill Mayfield K7HCS

Agenda Items
  1. Membership Report. [Bob Renn - KF7JPJ]

    1. Number of paid memberships: 16

      1. Individual memberships: 14

      2. Family memberships: 2

    2. Total Members: 18

  2. Treasurer's Report. [Bob Renn - KF7JPJ]

    1. Current balance: $1684.16

    2. Outstanding expenditures: $150.00

    3. Outstanding deposits: $0.00

    4. Bob Renn (KF7JPJ) reported on a gift of $200 from Brandi Bolli and Jeremey Humphry, race directors for both the McCall Trail Running Classic and the IMTUF 100 race events.


      A motion was by Bob Renn (KF7JPJ) and seconded by Ray Montagne (W7CIA) to send a letter to express thanks to Brandi and Jeremy for their generous contribution. The motion carried. A letter had been prepared prior to the meeting and was read for the members.



  3. Highway Cleanup. [Lenard Crogh - W7HXU]

    Thank you to the following members and guests who participated in the Highway Cleanup: Lenard Crogh (W7HXU), Steve Forrey (KC7SRF), Philip Good (KB7BVS), Bill Mayfield (K7HCS), Martin Tushkowski (KE7KQE)

  4. Annual Elections Announcement. [Lenard Crogh - W7HXU]

    The CIARC constitution and by-laws requires annual elections. The by-laws state:


    ELECTIONS: New officers shall be nominated at the November general membership meeting. Elections shall take place at the December general membership meeting. New officers will assume their duties on January 1 of the following year. All club property and equipment shall be turned over to the new officers prior to January 1.


    NOMINATIONS:

    The following nominations were moved and seconded:

    President: Lenard Crogh (W7HXU)
    Treasurer: Bob Renn (KF7JPJ)
    Secretary: Ray Montagne (W7CIA)


  5. Repeater Technical Report. [Ray Montagne - W7CIA]

    1. 2m Repeater

      1. Maintenance

        On Friday, October 4th, Larry Stokes (N7IBC) and Ray Montagne (W7CIA) travelled to the Lookout Peak repeater site on No Business Mountain to investigate the source of the intermodulation product that has been detected at the 2m repeater receiver and has been holding the repeater keyed. It was determined that intermittent spurious emissions were present at the output of the KLM PA15-80BL 2m power amplifier. The KLM PA15-80BL was swapped out and replaced with a RM KL145 power amplifier belonging to Ray Montagne (W7CIA). The replacement amplifier has the same approximate gain, 11 dB, as the original amplifier but is capable of 110 watts output. The replacement amplifier did not exhibit any of the spurious emissions that had been observed with the original amplifier using the service monitor but an intermodulation product was still present at the receiver input. The intermodulation product could not be observed on the service monitor spectrum analyzer and it is suspected that the intermodulation product is being produced off-site.

        In order to prevent the repeater from being keyed by the intermodulation product, the CTCSS encode was disabled at the 2m repeater transmitter. Without the CTCSS tone being present, the intermodulation product is not capable of causing the CTCSS decoder to detect the CTCSS tone and the repeater will un-key. NOTE: This does not remove the intermodulation product but current observations show all stations able to capture the intermodulation product in order to gain access to the repeater receiver. As long as the signal strength of the intermodulation product does not get stronger then the repeater should remain usable.

        Determining the sources of the intermodulation products will be delayed until the spring of 2014.

        The battery and charger (actually a battery maintainer) was removed from the repeater site due to the battery not maintaining a voltage that is capable of running the radios. The radios are specified to operate at 13.8 volts ±15% (i.e. 11.73 volts to 15.87 volts). The battery was operating near 10.0 volts with the charger running and attached. If replaced with a new battery, a smart charger that is capable of maintaining a proper charge is recommended.

      2. Site Comparison

        A set of Fresnel plots were generated to determine the path loss and signal strength between a 30 watt station located at the N7YLN QTH along the Highway 95 corridor, just north of Council, and the two repeater sites located on No Business Mountain. The following table depicts the results of these projections:


        NO BUSINESS MOUNTAIN REPEATER SITE COMPARISON SERVICING COUNCIL
        SITE PATH LOSS dB RECEIVED µV RECEIVED dBm FRESNEL PROJECTION
        Lookout Peak 154.18 0.95 -107.4 File
        Midway Peak 153.79 1.00 -107.0 File
        NO BUSINESS MOUNTAIN REPEATER SITE COMPARISON SERVICING COUNCIL
        SITE PATH LOSS dB RECEIVED µV RECEIVED dBm
        Lookout Peak 154.18 0.95 -107.4
        Midway Peak 153.79 1.00 -107.0

        Although the Midway Peak repeater site does show slightly better performance than the Lookout Peak repeater site, the gain is insignificant and amounts to less than 1/2 of a dB. This is not enough gain to make any difference in performance.

        Coverage footprint can only be gained by the following methods:

        1. Increase receiver sensitivity and transmitter power.

        2. Increase antenna gain.

        3. Increase repeater altitude.

        4. The addition of other repeater sites with linking to inter-tie the repeaters, resulting in a larger composite coverage footprint.

        Option a, with regard to receiver sensitivity has been exhausted. The current 2m repeater is performing with a SINAD that exceeds most available equipment. Further gain will only increase the noise floor and will not result in appreciable increase in the receive coverage footprint. Transmit power can be increased but only at the risk of introducing de-sense to the receiver and at the increased risk of generating intermodulation products.

        Option b has been exhausted. The Phelps Dodge Stationmaster antenna, despite its age, remains the state of the art in performance and durability. Adding the missing ground plane would result in increasing the down-tilt and could result in better performance close in towards the base of the mountain that the repeater resides on.

        Option c has not availed itself, with the exception of Tamarac, which is likely to exacerbate the problem that a solution is being sought for. Tamarac also presents other obstacles and is not the best option.

        Option d could be explored further. Note that a repeater located on the low mountains just west of highway 95 could provide the augmentation in coverage that is being sought. The tallest mountain is not a requirement to fullfil the need. A 33cm Fresnel path back to No Business Mountain - Lookout Peak, in conjunction with coverage in the Council area, is all that is required.

        The recommendation forwarded by Ray Montagne (W7CIA) is that the 2m repeater be retained at its current location and if additional coverage footprint is required then option d should be explored.


        A motion was made by Ray Montagne (W7CIA) and seconded by Bob Renn (KF7JPJ) and Larry Stokes (N7IBC) that the 2-meter repeater be kept at the No Business Lookout Peak site through the terms of the current MOU with Valley County. The motion carried by unanimous vote with no dissent.



    2. Cold Springs Mt

      Ray Montagne (W7CIA) made contact with Ken Tuning (KT7KEN) of the Three Rivers Amateur Radio Club on 75-meters during the November 2nd Simulated Emergency Test (SET). This contact was followed up with a phone call later in the day.

      Ken indicated that the Three Rivers ARC was still very much interested in pursuing a repeater on Cold Springs Mt. There was no structured hand-off of this project by either Fred or Stanton before they both left Idaho. Ken indicates that the current president of 3ARC doesn't interact well with computers and that would explain why our email queries went unanswered.

      Ken asked that he be used as the primary point of contact with 3RARC.

      I reviewed the status of the project and outstanding tasks, in order of dependencies, with Ken. I have restored the documentation for the project on the web page and have sent an email to Ken where he can access the documents.

      Ken indicated that he would contact both Fred and Stanton to determine the status of acquiring repeater site access. This task is in the critical path of all other tasks.

      Once site access is acquired, we'll plan an on-site survey and proceed with procurement of equipment and a frequency coordination.

  6. VE Class & Test Session Report. [Ray Montagne - W7CIA]

    Allan Perrins (WB6PHE) and Dee Perrins (N6HWI) travelled to Valley County to hold a study and test session for the Technician class license, which was held on Saturday, October 26th. Enrollees included:

    • 9 Pre Registered Enrollees

    • 1 Pre Registered Enrollee did not show up

    • 2 Walk-ins that did not pre-register

    With a total of 10 enrollees, a 90% pass rate was achieved with nine new amateur licensees.

    Congratulations to Bill Beckham (KG7GKK), Anna Crogh (KG7GKL), Julie Good (KG7GKM), Mike Huston (KG7GKN), Dan Kallies (KG7GKO), Jeff Kerby (KG7GKP), Larry Mangum (KG7GKQ), Linda Stokes (KG7GKR) and Richard Wagner (KG7GKS) on passing the Technician class license exam.

    A very special thank you to Dee Perrins (N6HWI), Allan Perrins (WB6PHE), Ross Peterson (WB6ZBU) and the BAEARS organization for making this possible!


    A motion was by Bob Renn (KF7JPJ) and seconded by Larry Stokes (N7IBC) to send a letter to express thanks to Allan & Dee Perrins. The motion carried. A letter had been prepared prior to the meeting and was read for the members.