2008 Minutes of the Lowell Amateur Radio Club, Inc

12 January
LARC meeting Notes

Meeting Date: 01/12/2008
Start: 10:00 AM
In attendance: 12

Secretary’s Report: Presented by: Jim, (AA8JR)

The secretary read the minutes from the meeting of December 8 2007.
A motion to approve the minutes was made and past.
Treasurers Report: For January, 2008 Presented by: Stu, (KA8WGF)
Stu also announced that in addition to their dues, Hank & Bob made cash donations totaling $70. A motion to accept the Treasurer’s report was made and passed.

Technical Report: Presented by: Frank, (N8UVI)
  • Red Frog Computers has found our antenna circuit unusable for their operation.

  • The Cardkey System:
    1. Sam has donated some materials.
    2. Discussed specifications of the computer necessary to control the system.
    The remainder of the tech report was a group discussion.

Al (WW8WW)
Mentioned that FROM would like the LARC to consider the installation and maintenance of Cardkey access for their access doors.

Stu talked about the following topics from the treasurer’s point of view.

  1. The importance of LARC membership and some methods contacting area hams.

  2. Planned projects including the 100 ft tower, the cardkey system and field day
    He stated that present level of funding, many plans simply won’t be feasible.

Old Business:

Jack (NY8D)
Would like everyone to check their photo library for material pertinent to the history of the LARC. The pictures could be used as a public display of LARC activities.

New Business:

Jim (AA8JR)

The LARC shack does not subscribe to a cleaning service. The shack is beginning to look like a storage room for junk. If articles are brought here, they should be placed neatly in the storage room. Before leaving the shack, members should insure that the room is tidy, desk tops are free of clutter and trash cans emptied.

Jean (K0ZRD)
Asked that the,”Amateur Radio Club” sign be moved too the new outside entrance. She also would like to see an arrow to direct people to the shack.

Chuck (KC8REH)
Presented details of the upcoming sale of submarine sandwiches.

Jack (NY8D)
Would like to install a telephone/answering machine in the shack. The answering machine would be programmed with pertinent club messages.

Announced that he had just received a bill for snow plowing the FROM parking lot in the amount of $200 and asked for approval to pay. Members voted in favor.

Mike: KB8ZGL
Though a long standing member of the LARC, Mike re-introduced himself and proposed that he be allowed to install a 900 mhz. repeater on the club’s antenna system on the WKLQ tower. In return, he offered to pay for and provide internet service for the 145.27 repeater control point and WKLQ. Mike also offered a monthly donation.

Said he will discuss the proposal with RedFrog and report at the next meeting. In the interim, Mike would be allowed to test the WKLQ site.

Presented a financial plan to provide for basic annual club expenses. He explained that if these expenses were covered, members could spend much less time discussing finance and more time enjoying the comradely of amateur radio.

The Proposal:
He proposed that membership dues be paid quarterly in the amount of $25 per member. At the present level of membership, annual operating expenses would then be covered.

In the ensuing discussion period, comments to accept or reject the proposal were mixed. Alternatives were again discussed. Stu reiterated that solid plans can not be made without solid numbers. The topic was tabled until the next meeting.

New Ham Dinner:

Asked the membership to decide on a date for the event. The membership suggested Febuary, 16. For the location, Al will check with Fire Mountain.

Doug (KC8EGM)
Would like to appeal to MARA regarding the election process of Ham of the Year. Presently, MARA invites nominations from the other clubs but the actual election is a MARA event. Doug felt that if all clubs participate in funding the award, they should all be involved in the election.

Presented a short report on the ARGYL swap. Due to the horrible weather that day, attendance was down 70%. For all their efforts, the club walked away with $300. In hopes of avoiding future weather problems, ARGYL has made tentative plans to change the date of their Ham fest to the third week in April.

Reminded all present to give some thought to the quarterly dues proposal. He said that it will be the number one topic at the next meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 11:16 AM

9 Febuary
LARC meeting Notes

Meeting Date: 02/09/2008
Start: 10:00 AM
In attendance: 12

Secretary’s Report Presented by: Jim, (AA8JR)

The secretary read the minutes from the meeting of January 12, 2008. A motion to approve the minutes was made and past.

Treasurer’s Report: Presented by: Stu, (KA8WGF)

  • A profit of $188 was made on the submarine sandwich sale.
  • The insurance bill in the amount of $350.00 is due.
  • A motion to approve the treasurer’s report was made and past
  • Though Chuck was not present, Al thanked Chuck for heading up the sub sale project.

Technical Report: Presented by: Frank, (N8UVI)

  • Thanks to Jim & Stu a Card-Key strike has been installed in the shack door.
  • As part of the 900 mhz. repeater installation at WKLQ, internet service is now operational

Old Business:

  • Mike: KB8ZGL Provided an update on his new repeater installation and explained that internet service will be donated to LARC and WKLQ at the site. After some discussion, a motion to accept Mike’s offer was made and passed.
  • Chuck (KC8REH) At this point Chuck arrived to present a report on the sub sale
  • Al (WW8WW): Returned to the topic of Club dues.
    Several members joined in the discussion. The result was that dues will remain at $20 per year, donations are welcome and the budget will be published.
  • A fund raising committee was formed. Members are Ken, Stu and Karl.

New Business:

The following topics were discussed:

  • The New Ham dinner will be held at Fire Mountain buffet on Alpine.
  • Progress on the Card-Key installation
  • Application for a building permit for construction of the 100 foot tower
  • Al is working with the Lowell High School to make signs for the shack
  • Jim volunteered to create a material list and cost estimate for the project and get it to Al.
  • Jack has added minutes the 145.27 repeater’s auto-patch cell phone. He announced that the repeater has open access for long distance calls.
  • LARC asked that ARGYL provide administrative access to the computer in the shack
  • The date of the ARGYL Ham fest has been changed to April 5th. Start time is 8:00AM
  • Stu asked for and was granted a motion to pay the $350 insurance bill.
  • The Marshall Ham fest will be held Saturday, March 16. Jack will have tables there for use by LARC members.

The meeting adjourned at 11:03 AM

8 March
LARC meeting Notes

Start: 10:00 AM
In attendance: 15

Secretary’s Report:

The secretary was not present. Stu, (KA8WGF) read the minutes from the meeting of February 9, 2008.
A motion to approve the secretary’s report was made and past.

Treasurers Report: For January 2008 Presented by: Stu, (KA8WGF)

Stu also reported: All bills are paid to date
The new insurance policy has been received.

A motion to approve the treasurer’s report was made and past.

Technical Report: Presented by: Frank, (N8UVI)

  • A Battery backup test for each remote receive site is in progress.
  • The primary power switch in the transmitter’s power supply went bad. Pending receipt of a replacement, a temporary repair has been made.
  • At the repeater site, work is in progress on the Internet connection.

Old Business:

Snow Plowing:

Al (WW8WW)
Presented a snowplowing bill for the F.R.O.M parking lot. He went on to explain that the bill would be divided in the following manner:

ARGYL Club Available At our meetings
Al (WW8WW) Available At our meetings
LARC Available At our meetings

Al said that in appreciation for years of assistance from the LARC, the ARGYL club was happy to help with the bill. As a personal donation, Al paid the other (Available At our meetings).
A motion to pay the remaining (Available At our meetings) was made and passed and a check was disbursed.


Stu: The address on the club’s banner needs to be changed.
Frank: Needs the URL to be renewed. A motion to renew the URL was made and passed.
Jack: Thanked Al for his role as MC at the new ham dinner. Great job. Possible solutions to reduce congestion and improvements for next year’s dinner were discussed.

  • The ARGYL ham fest has been re-scheduled to Saturday, April 5. He encouraged everyone to attend. Tables are available for dealers.
  • Thanked all involved with the installation of the Card-Key system. It works great. Al will distribute cards for all members as they become available.
  • Has 12 days to submit a request for a grant form the Lowell Area Community Fund. (Grand Rapids Foundation) The money will be used to help finance construction of LARC’s 100 foot tower. All estimates are in.

New Business:

  • Plans for the upcoming ARGYL ham fest were discussed.
  • The expense of snow removal was brought up. During the discussion, Al mentioned that he has asked F.R.O.M. officials to consider options and expects some changes in the future.
  • Al made a second attempt at advertising for the donation of a badly needed riding lawn mower on Lowell High School’s public access channel. This time, the add has produced a donation. The new mower will now be available for use on the F.R.O.M lawn.
  • “T” shirts were discussed. Hank and Stu will get estimates.
  • The Club shack needs a printer. Donations welcome.
  • At the Dayton Hamvention youth forum in April, the ARGYL club is planning to make a presentation called, “Using the unusual”. The topic, “unusual” is about alternative antennas (Umbrellas etc). Al is looking for subject matter from adult amateur radio operators. Please send information his way. WW8WW or al.eckman"at"comcast.net

Talked about the function of the LARC, past present and future. He also presented an overview of current incomes and expenses and talked about how the club is evolving. In it’s early years, more time energy and money was spent building and maintaining the 145.27 repeater. These days, there are more activities that are fun for everyone and more to come.

Members responded with ideas about fund raising, and club involvement in events in and around the community.

Expressed his concern that the proposed tower would present undue financial burden to the LARC. His statement was debated by others who felt the contrary.

Brought up plans for, “Kids Day” at the shack and asked for participants. The event is planned for the Saturday before Field Day. Stu also talked about Field Day plans to consider such as a pancake breakfast during the event.

A motion to adjourn was made and passed.
The meeting adjourned at 11:24 AM

12 April
LARC meeting Notes

Start: 10:00 AM (52 Minutes)
In attendance: 15

Secretary’s Report: Presented by: Jim, (AA8JR)
The secretary read the minutes from the meeting of March 8, 2008. A motion to approve the minutes was made and past.

Treasurers Report: For January 2008 Presented by: Stu, (KA8WGF)

Stu also reported:
With the exception of a snow removal bill of $170, all bills are paid to date.
A motion to approve the treasurer’s report was made and past.

Technical Report: Frank (N8UVI)

  • The Morley receiver site battery backup test failed
  • The IRLP is now installed at the 145.27 TX site

Old Business:

Al (WW8WW)

  • Snow removal bills are over.
  • The Lowell Area Community Fund grant is not due until this Friday. Al will make sure it is submitted on time.
  • Next Saturday, the youth club will be featuring, “using the unusual”.
  • If you would like a card to access the LARC shack, simply add your name to the list.
  • The township will not allow signs of any type until a sidewalk is installed in front of the building. Al suggested a LARC flag while the shack is occupied. The topic was discussed and the matter was tabled.

New Business:

Frank (N8UVI)

  • Suggested that the 145.27 repeater auto dial slot feature be opened to anyone who wants it. After some discussion a motion was made and passed to open the feature to all upon request.

Stu: (KA8WGF)

  • Informed all of the Michigan QSO Party on Saturday, April 19th and prompted activity at the club station.
  • Possibilities for the upcoming Field Day were discussed.
  • After the next meeting, solid Field Day plans need to be devised.
  • LARC “T” shirts are $12.95 each. Please place your orders by the next meeting.
  • More lap-tops are needed for the event

Mike: (KB8ZGL)

  • An IRLP node number of 4635 has been assigned.

Chuck: (KC8REH)

  • Amateur Radio support for upcoming runs. To view the events, go to kcraces.net then click on calendar.

Jack: (NY8D)

  • The Morley receiver site cleanup will be Saturday May 24th. the more the merrier.
  • Saturday, June 14th, the National 24 hour bike challenge will be held in Barry County. Ground zero is the Thorn apple Kellogg Middle School. Amateur radio support welcome.

The meeting adjourned at 10:52 AM

10 May
LARC meeting Notes

Start: 10:00 AM (40 Minutes)
In attendance: 12

Secretary’s Report Presented by: Jim, (AA8JR)
The secretary read the minutes from the meeting of April 12, 2008.
A motion to approve the minutes was made and past.

Treasurers Report: Presented by: Stu, (KA8WGF)
Our fiscal year ends 10/31/2008
A motion to approve the treasurer’s report was made and past

Technical Report: Frank was not present.
Jim AA8JR reported what he knew.

  • Frank has replaced the link control card at the Morley receive site.
  • Mike and Frank have the new Echo-Link connection in operation
  • Stu mentioned that the East site has been unusually noisy and requested an investigation. After some discussion a team was assembled to do so.

Old Business

All members present introduced themselves. An honorable mention went to our new member, Jay, N8LCV.

  • Plans and strategies for Field day were discussed

New Business:

  • Al: The tower grant application was submitted on time
  • Jay (N8LCV) donated some equipment to the club. A vote of thanks was given.
  • Al: Has asked the MDXA if they would like to participate in sponsoring the New Ham’s Dinner. MDXA gladly accepted the invitation. The list of sponsors now includes, LARC, MARA, GRARA, RRC and MDXA.
  • Al: ARGYL members will take care of yard work at the F.R.O.M. and the 145.27 TX locations after the meeting.
  • Al: Announced that he will not be running for a LARC office position in the upcoming year.
  • ARGYL members will present, “Using the unusual” (Using unusual antennas) at the Dayton HamVention.
  • Card access cards are available for LARC members.
  • GRARA will have tables in Dayton.
  • In the interest of reducing clutter, Al has arranged to use the adjacent room for storage. No time agreement has been made.

The meeting adjourned at 10:40 AM

14 June
LARC meeting Notes
Start: 10:00 AM
In attendance: 11

Secretary’s Report:  Presented by: Jim, (AA8JR)
The secretary read the minutes from the meeting of May 10, 2008.
A motion to approve the minutes was made and past.

Treasurers Report: Presented by: Stu, (KA8WGF)
Note: Our fiscal year ends 10/31/2008
A motion to approve the treasurer’s report was made and past

Technical Report:

Frank (N8UVI) was not present. He mailed a copy of this report to all members. The report was read By Al (WW8WW)

  • The battery backup at the Morley receiver site is working properly but it had failed to report its status. The reporting problem has been corrected.
  • The IRLP is now up and running. See the LARC web site for instruction and node listings.
  1. To access, enter # then the “node number”
  2. To disconnect, #73
  • Frank made a trip to Portland to check out the leaning antenna. (As reported by T&W Electronics) The antenna is now vertical and appears to be OK.
  • We are attempting to locate the source of broadband interference nicknamed, “The Arc Welder”. The Arc Welder is a powerful source of noise that mixes with weak signals over the entire spectrum in our area and is responsible for interference with 145.27 repeater communication.
Projects on the drawing board: (Climber needed for all)
  • Investigate and repair any loose connections on the local receiver antenna
  • The Portland receive antenna needs to be replaced and elevated to the 250’mark.
  • We would like to install our own receive antenna (2 Bay) at the Caledonia receive site (The W8HVG tower – 92nd. St.) Presently we are sharing a white stick with another station.
If anyone knows of an able-bodied climber, willing to donate some time (or work cheap) please contact Frank. N8UVI

Old Business:

No old business.

New Business:

  • Al (WW8WW) The Grand Rapids Community Fund has approved $5,500.00 for the LARC tower project. The money is contingent upon the LARC’s acquisition of matching funds.
  • Al plans to apply for an additional grant with the Look Foundation.


Al then read a report submitted by Jack (NY8D). Jack was not present.
  • Is the WKLQ site cleanup being done after the monthly LARC meeting? If not, when? Please clarify
  • Field Day plans: (By the time of this writing, old news. JJ) Besides, we don’t want to give away our secret weapon…
  • Morley Site Cleanup: (and camp out for those so inclined) Will be the weekend of Saturday July 5th. In hopes of grilling some mosquitoes, Jack plans to head up July 3rd. with the motor home. Work plans include the clearing of small trees and brush. Fun plans include good camaraderie and who knows, maybe even a mini Field Day.
  • GRARA 2008 Hamfest:
  1. Where? The Lowell Fairgrounds When? Saturday, September 6th.
  2. The Friday evening prior to the swap, there will be a potluck provided by the hamfest committee.
  3. Volunteers to run food concessions are needed.
The LARC Annual meeting:

What date will the LARC annual meeting be held? Please discuss and report.

  • Input from members present:
  • The LARC annual meeting will be held on September 13, 2008. The location is up for discussion.
  • Pre-pay vs. Internet phone for the 145.270 repeater’s auto patch was brought up. To be discussed at the next meeting pending research
The meeting was adjourned at 11:00AM

12 July
LARC meeting Notes

Start: 10:00 AM

In attendance: 8

Secretary’s Report: Presented by: Jim, (AA8JR)

The secretary read the minutes from the meeting of June 14, 2008. A motion to approve the minutes was made and past.

Treasurers Report: Presented by: Stu, (KA8WGF)

A motion to approve the treasurer’s report was made and past

Technical Report: Presented by Frank (N8UVI)

  • Work is being done on the IRLP.

Old Business:

  • Stu (KA8WGF): frank is preparing the Field Day talley to be submitted to the ARRL. He also talked about Field Day and some things that could have been done to increase our score. The group joined the discussion.
  • Al (WW8WW): mentioned that the LOOK Foundation grant application was submitted two weeks ago. He also thanked everyone who attended the Morley site cleanup.

New Business:
  • Al (WW8WW): the annual LARC meeting (with election of officers) will be held Saturday September 12th. Asked the group if the meeting should be a potluck or be held at a restaurant. After some discussion, he asked that each member send him an email with his or her choice.
  • ARGYL members worked to replace deteriorated sandbags on the roof the shack. The sandbags support guy lines for the 40-meter vertical. Jim mentioned that the guy lines should be replaced with a UV resistant type. Jim will order the proper rope.
  • Ken (KC8YTC): expressed his concern that the LARC needs to shift its focus from 145.27 repeater maintenance and projects to participate in more fun activities. Some members decided to go on the upcoming “bunny hunt” sponsored by GRARA.
  • Stu (KA8WGF): mentioned that September 13 will be the 15th anniversary of the LARC and his 2nd. anniversary hosting the weekly net. He asked for a volunteer to take the net on either occasionally or on a permanent basis. A copy of the net script will be added to the web site.
  • Jim, (AA8JR) the club has neither a climbing belt or it’s own HF rig. We need to look into acquiring both.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:46AM

9 August
LARC meeting Notes

Start: 10:00 AM
In attendance: 10

Secretary’s Report: Presented by: Jim, (AA8JR)

The secretary read the minutes from the meeting of July 12, 2008. 

A motion to approve the minutes was made and past.

Treasurers Report: Presented by: Stu, (KA8WGF)

A check was sent to T&W Electronics

A motion to approve the treasurer’s report was made and past

Technical Report: Presented by Frank (N8UVI)
  • IRLP is working fine.
  • The weather station’s TNC is on the bench for repair
  • A minor audio adjustment needs to be made at the Portland site.

Old Business:

The L.A.R.C annual meeting / picnic
Motions were then made and passed on the following three points:
  1. The meeting will be held Saturday, September 13th.
  2. The time will be12:00 noon
  3. Bring your own food and drinks
Family members/friends are welcome

Tower finance report:
  • Al: The next LOOK Foundation meeting will be held Friday August 21during the day.
  • Chuck (KC8REH): Asked that a document verifying permission to construct and L.A.R.C. ownership of the proposed tower be drawn up and signed by a F.R.O.M. officer. Al: Ok
  • Al: The lawn mower again needs work.

Stu: (KA8WGF) In behalf of all officers:

All positions will be available to the membership during the upcoming election as none of the present officers are seeking re-election. Stu went on to say that he will be happy to continue conducting the Sunday evening net indefinitely however he would welcome an occasional volunteer.

New Business:
  • Jack (NY8D) asked if there might be any interest in a club table at the GRARA Hamfest on September 6h. LARC said yes to three tables. ARGYL would like one.
  • Clean up work at the Morley site is coming along nicely. Jack intends to resume on Saturday September 20th. and hopes to see us all there.
  • MARA will be conducting a Foxhunt on August 23rd. Everyone is invited.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:34AM

13 September
LARC meeting Notes

Start: 12:00 PM

In attendance: 13

Secretary’s Report: Presented by: Jim, (AA8JR)
The secretary read the minutes from the meeting of August 09, 2008. A motion to approve the minutes was made and past.

Treasurers Report: Presented by: Stu, (KA8WGF)
A motion to approve the treasurer’s report was made and past

Technical Report: Presented by Frank (N8UVI)
  • The Portland site receiving antenna has been damaged by high winds and needs repair. Climber needed.
  • The weather station’s TNC remains on the bench for repair
  • To access an Echo-Link node on the 145.27 repeater, enter ## Node Number.

Old Business:

  • Jack (NY8D) Reminder: Morley cleanup next weekend will include a Saturday, (September 20) evening cookout / campout.
  • Al (WW8WW) Tower finance report:
  • The LOOK foundation meeting has been postponed until further notice
  • Ken (KC8YTC) suggested a free membership promotion. All present agreed that it was a good idea and will follow up in February 2009.

New Business:

Officer elections were held with the following results:
  1. President: Chuck Putney KC8REH
  2. Vice President: Courtland Richmond KA5S
  3. Secretary: Robin Putney KC8VMR
  4. Treasurer: Jean Carlson K0ZRD
  5. Technical Advisor: Frank Schmidt  N8UVI
  6. Public Information Officer: Jack Amelar NY8D

The meeting was adjourned at 1:05 PM

11 October
LARC meeting Notes

Start : 10:00 am

in attendance : 11

Secretary's Report  Presented by Robin (KC8VMR)

The Secretary read the minutes from the meeting of September 13-2008.
A motion approve the was made and passed.

Treasurers Report Presented by Jean (K0ZRD)
(This amount included the tower grant money that has been received)
A motion to approve the Treasuries report was made and approved.

Technical Report Presented by Frank (N8UVI)

  1. TNC for the weather station is being tested at this time. 
  2. Frank and Jim (AA8JR) will be going to the main transmitter site to check the local antenna connections.
  3. Discussion about upgrading the 92 and Street receive antenna.
Old business

New Business

  • Chuck KC8REH  Chuck Proposed a budget for the continued operation of LARC. This included a repeater repair fund of  $500 per year. A budget of $ 1125 per year was proposed and PASSED
  • Stu KA8WGF suggested we send post cards to members.
  • Possible ways to raise money are:Doug KC8EGM suggested a second best sale at the club shack (GRAND SLAM Weekend)Help out at the 4H fair, Lowell Expo ectSub Sale to start at the Nov. 8 Club meeting (Chuck will organize)
  • We discussed doing different Special Event stations The 3 covered Bridges, Lowell Show Boat, Lowell area Fire Dept on 9-11 ect
  • Frank will be at the Holland Swap to due Radio Testing on 10-18-08.
10:47 am Motion to Adjourn the Meeting was made and PASSED

8 November
LARC meeting Notes

Start: 10:00a.m.

In Attendance: 12

Secretary's Report  Presented by: Robin KC8VMR
The Secetary read the minutes from the last meeting
a motion to approve minutes was made and past

Treasurers Report Jean K0ZRD
a motion to approve minutes was made and past

Technical Report   Frank N8UVI
  • work on antenna was a success thanks to Jim.
  • we are going to have to move Portland Antenna. working on new location up the street on a At&T tower. 
  • Link add to the web site for the contest on the radio.
Old Business

  • Jim asked for the $50.00 for the filing cabinet. He alsosuggest we get hanging files to put in the cabinet. To put all the papers and stuff for LARC in one place.
  • Jim mentioned the drawing of the tower on the board.  
  • Chuck mentioned looking for another tower just in case we
    can not use the current one.
  • Jim & Stu took down the TV Atenna from current tower.
  • Jean mentioned name tags, Dave said he would check on them.
New Business
  • Jack said that we need to work on the south guide wires and taking down brush at the morley site. 
  • Ann also said that we may not be able to use the grant money for anything except what they gave it to us for.
  • Sub sale started early so we could get it in early enough. 
  • FROM help with the Christmas Giveaway. Help with parking &maybe watch kids for there parents. 
  • Stu mentioned working on all 50 states contest through ARRL. You have to doit at the shack, the log book already shows what states alreadhy contacted. 
  • Jim Suggested that we get the room cleaned out and get rid of things we don't need.
  • Get with All on new hams dinner.
Adjourn: 10:50a.m.

13 December
LARC meeting Notes

This concludes the Minutes for 2008, Have a Happy and Joyous 2009, & Good Luck in the Contests in 2009.