Present were: Arthur Ashley, N1NHZ, Treasurer, Membership Services; Paul Carter, N1TMF, SPARC Editor; Dick Doherty, KA1TUZ; Mike Ardai, N1IST, President; Ed Burg, N1VSJ; Bob Salow, WA1IDA, Public Service; Ed Hennessy, N1PBA, Secretary; Steve Isenberg, N1TMQ; Evie Tse; and Bob Cassell, N1ENS, Newsletter assembler. Vice President Dave Hunt, WX1G, was unable to attend.
The meeting began at 7:07 PM.
Mike, N1IST, thanked Dick KA1TUZ and Ed N1PBA, and his wife Donna-Marie for help in emptying out the club's storage room. It was costing the club over $80 per month to store things that weren't worth that much. Mike took the stuff (except radios) to the MIT flea, and made $59; this covered the cost of the rental truck, gas, and the flea table.
Mike brought up some new issues. The most important of these is the new rule from the FCC regarding RF exposure. The Communications Act of 1996 required that such rules be established. The rule says that any amateur station running more than 50w (whether mobile or base) be able to show that it is not causing harm from excessive RF. It especially applies to mobiles and apartment stations. It takes effect as of January 1, 1997. It is now law, and will require new questions be added to the question pools. This applies to all non-broadcast transmitters (broadcast already has similar rules); hams are the only group that got an exemption for power levels less than 50w. An ARRL bulletin was issued yesterday (8/6) on this. Unsure of the impact, but we may get help from public service agencies and cellular companies, which must also comply.
Mike said the next two meeting speakers have been arranged. Mike will be speaking on hams and the Internet at the August meeting (in preparation for his talk at Boxboro this fall), and George K1MON will speak on AMSAT at the September meeting. Bob, WA1IDA, suggested a few possibilities for the following meetings, and Mike will follow up on these.
Dick, KA1TUZ, spoke about the Boston Police boat tour/cruise. It will be held on Thursday August 29 at 1:00PM. This is a former Navy ship used by the Boston PD Harbor Patrol. It has a fully equipped trauma center aboard that can handle 16 patients, as well as amateur HF gear. Details will be in the SPARC. People will meet at the end of Drydock Avenue in the Marine Industrial Park in South Boston.
Dick also spoke about his meeting with the folks from the Belmont Fire Department. They'd like to start an arrangement with BARC, and we'd be able to use their facility for Ham 101 and/or classes. They are enthusiastic about it. There are still some issues to be resolved (like handicapped access, since there is none and the room is on the second floor). More info will follow. We may even be able to erect a small tower. Also, the 73 bus from Harvard Square goes right by the firehouse.
Paul, N1TMF, says that the SPARC should be on time this month. He said he would be switching ISPs in the next month, but his current email address would be good through the end of August.
Mike said that Netcom is putting a new server in service just to process mailing lists (on 8/8). It will have a new version of Majordomo, so he should be able to filter things like 'unsubscribe' requests posted to the list. It also means that the lists may be flaky for a while until things get configured right.
Paul suggested we charge people a nominal fee for the badges so that there will be incentive to get them (since there hasn't been a big rush of SASEs to pick up the remaining badges). Dick said that we should just stick them with double-sided tape to the next SPARC issue and mail them. Steve, N1TMQ, suggested that perhaps badge requests should be made at a meeting, and then pickup should be at a meeting; that way we would be more likely to have someone actually getting their badge. Mike will think about that one. We will probably mail them with the next SPARC (by doing it that way, we won't have to pay for postage just for the badges).
Paul mentioned a possible club activity. He thought we could set up a VHF station at the Marconi site in Wellfleet during the '97 Sporadic-E season. That would also give people Wellfleet's relatively rare grid square. He will look into this.
Dick suggested that, since we now own a tent, and have a good relationship with Brookline for Larz Anderson Park, perhaps we could run some of the contests from the park. Discussion followed, and we agreed it would be a great idea, as long as we used battery power (so we didn't have to buy a generator). We will look into it.
Arthur, N1NHZ, suggested that we try a new approach to get more BARC net control stations. He offered that those who say they have an interest in emergency communications be approached and asked to be net control on a particular date. Dick suggested that we begin a "learner's net" on Tuesdays (since there is no longer a Public Safety net that night). We would have people practice opening a net and taking checkins. After they practice and see that it's easy, suggest a date for them to run the net--don't wait for them to volunteer.
Arthur also mentioned that Paul, N1LRT, has been contacted by First Night, and BARC has been asked again this year to have a message booth. More info will follow as December approaches.
Arthur gave the treasurer's report. We have $3036.52 minus the equipment grant amount.
Bob, WA1IDA, said that the Jimmy Fund Marathon Walk will be held September 29, with details in the SPARC. We will again be doing communications. This year, there is a complication. The date of the walk was moved, and the new date is the same as the date of the Framingham flea market. So, most of the FARA hams will be unavailable this year, and FARA usually provides hams for the first part of the course. Also the Framingham repeater will be unavailable for the walk, since it will be used for talk-in for the flea. They will probably use 70cm for that part of the course. Bob and Ed, WA2SCA, will look into repeaters, coverage, etc., because 70cm has not yet been used at that end of the course.
Bob, WA1IDA, also mentioned that we always seem to get a few newsletters back from the post office that should have been forwarded, but were not (even if a forward order is in place). Mike will take them and ask at the post office the next time he picks up mail at the club box.
Ed, N1VSJ, asked if there was a code class coming up. Mike said that Myrton, N1GKE, had offered to teach one, but he hasn't been able to start one yet due to other commitments.
Mike said that BARC is providing another service to the ARRL--he has created the New England Division web page. Also, he said that Phil Temples, K9HI, has decided not to run again for Section Manager when his term ends in December.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 PM.