Thursday, 25 August 2016

40th York Region Hamfest

Sponsor:
York Region ARC
Start date:
Saturday, November 5, 2016
End date:
Saturday, November 5, 2016
Closest town:
Markham Fairgrounds, 10801 McCowan Road, Markham, ON
Directions to location:
Opening times:
06:30 for vendors. Commencing at 07:30 the general public will be admitted to Hall 2, with free coffee and tea. A pancake breakfast will be available in Hall 2 commencing at 07:30. Doors open for the general public to the sales areas in Halls 3 and 4 at 09:00.
Cost:
General admission is $7:00. Children 12 and under admitted free. Cost of admission includes a door prize ticket. Draws for door prizes every 20 minutes at The Prizes Booth in Hall 2. Grand Prize tickets will be available at the Prizes Booth in Hall 2, $5.00 per ticket or three for $10.00. Draw for Grand Prizes at 12:00 at the Prizes Booth in Hall 2.
Talk-in frequency:
VE3YRA 145.350 MHz(-): T:103.5 Hz; VE3YRC(V) 147.225 MHZ (+): Tone 103.5Hz; VE3YRC(U)444.225 MHz(+): No tone Note: All repeaters are linked
Description:
Loads of Parking --- Vendors galore in two separate halls, plus a separate hall for admissions --- Pancake breakfast available onsite --- Free coffee and tea --- Lots of space to meet with your friends --- Wide aisles for scooters and wheelchairs --- Exhibits and Demonstrations --- Great door prizes --- Grand Prizes--- DXCC, WAS & VUCC Card Checking --- Licensing Examinations: Cost is $15. Please register with the Hamfest Co-ordinator prior to the Hamfest to ensure we have sufficient exams.
For more info:
Prospective vendors or those requiring further information should contact us at: yrarc.hamfest@gmail.com
Email contact:
Webpage:

Hamfest Director:
Geoffrey Smith VA3GS

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Minutes - YRARC Annual General Meeting 2016-06-07

  1. The AGM was called to Order at 20:00 by Ron McCracken KG4CVL (Chair for the AGM)
  2. Voting proxies were received from John Leonardelli VE3IPS and Michael Suljak VE3WPV.
  3. Moved by Chris VE3NRT, seconded by Anthony VE3HIS that Bob Rennie VA3BSJ be appointed as the Auditor for 2016/2017. Chris VE3NRT presented the Auditor's Report for 2015/2016. In general everything is in good order, however there were 4 recommendations for the board to deal with. Moved by Rick VA3VO, seconded by Glen VA3AU that the auditor's report be accepted. Carried.
  4. Chris VE3NRT presented the revised By-Laws #7 as reviewed by the board, with revised wording and new clarifications. The major changes were:
    • Rules and responsibilities were clarified
    • The term of the president was limited
    • Any motions passed in In-Camera meetings need to be posted to the membership
    • Electronic voting was clarified
    • Moved by John VA3JI, seconded by Bill VA3QB, that the Draft By-Laws #7 be approved. Carried unanimously.
  5. Moved by Garrett VA3PYP, seconded by Jack VA3AUU that the actions of the board be ratified. Carried.
  6. Chris VE3NRT reported that the board meeting attendance was acceptable over the past year, and called for reports by the continuing directors.
  7. Ron KG4CVL called for nominations for the new board of directors. There are 5 vacancies for a 2 year term and 1 vacancy for a 1 year term.
    • Barry VA3LLT, nominated by Steve VE3EZ, seconded by Bill VA3QB for a term of 1 year.
    • Rick VA3VO, nominated by Steve VE3UT, seconded by Bill VA3QB for a term of 2 years.
    • John VE3IPS, nominated by Rob VE3RQB, seconded by Anthony VE3HIS for a term of 2 years.
    • Geoff VA3GS, nominated by Chris VE3NRT, seconded by Anthony VE3HIS for a term of 2 years.
    • Eric VE3EB, nominated by Chris VE3NRT, seconded by Bill VA3QB for a term of 2 years.
    • David VA3DCY, nominated by Eric VE3EB, seconded by Anthony VE3HIS for a term of 2 years.
    • Moved that nominations be closed by Roger VE3ROG, seconded by Glen VA3AU. Carried
Moved by Bill VA3QB, seconded by Garrett VA3PYP to adjourn the AGM at 20:35. Carried

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Minutes of the York Region Amateur Radio Club General Meeting 2016-06-07

Meeting held in the Sharon Temperance Hall. Called to Order at 19:30 by Chris VE3NRT. Total members attending: 37. Guests attending: 4

  1. Welcome & Introductions – Chris VE3NRT
  2. Adoption of Minutes from 2016/05/03 general meeting, moved by Anthony VE3HIS, seconded by Barry VA3LLT. Carried.
  3. General Announcements – Chris VE3NRT. Nominations for the Harvey Bell Award should be submitted to the secretary.
  4. Treasurer’s Report – John VA3JI
    • Opening Balance 2016/03/01 [Available to members on request to Secretary]
    • Income - Membership dues: $25.00
    • Expenditures - Shelter $499.39
    • Food for Field Day $1000.00
    • Trailer maintenance $28.70
    • Closing Balance 2016/04/01 [Available to members on request to Secretary]
    • Note: The trailer insurance invoice will be payable in August, estimated cost $875.
    • Motion that the treasurer's report be adopted, moved John VA3JI, seconded Eric VE3EB Carried.
  5. Public Service Report – Eric VE3EB. Recent public service events included:
    • Saturday, May 14, Cancer Recovery Foundation 5K Run/Walk, Sutton
    • Thursday May 19, Sharon Temple
    • Saturday, May 28, MADD York-Simcoe Riders Poker Run
    • Saturday June 4, Mt. Albert 5K Run/Walk
    • Sunday, June 5, Aurora Street Festival.
    • Upcoming public service events include:
    • Friday, July 1, Canada Day – Sharon Temple
    • July 29 to August 1, Newmarket Jazz Fest Ray Twinney Recreation Complex
    • October, CIBC Run for the Cure.
  6. Field Day and Repeaters – Steve VE3UT.Field day will be on the weekend of June 25/26 at Al's Tack Shop, same location as last year. Setup will be on Friday for the kitchen and shelter, and for non-radio items. Rick VA3VO will be on site to provide security beginning Friday night. Repeater VE3YRC-V (Aurora) is being repaired, and the controller is being upgraded while the repeater is off-site.
  7. EmComm Report – Robert VA3BXG. Some of the tests from the May 28 SET were successful, but some were not. There will be an EmComm meeting on Thursday June 9, and a possible Fox Hunt in the future. John VE3IPS has assumed the role of AEC, Assistant Emergency Coordinator. General Meeting adjourned at 19:55 – moved by Bill VE3QB, seconded Garrett VA3PYP. Carried.
  8. Moved by Barry VA3LLT, seconded by Roger VE3ROG that Ron KG4CVL be appointed as Chair for the AGM. Carried.
  9. Moved by Chris VA3DXZ, seconded by Benny VE3MUU that David VA3DCY be appointed as Secretary for the AGM. Carried.
Meeting adjourned

Monday, 22 August 2016

Minutes - YRARC Board of Directors 2016-05-17

Meeting held in the Magna Centre, Multipurpose Room 1. Called to Order at 19:05 by Chris VE3NRT. Board members attending: Chris VE3NRT, Steve VE3UT, John VA3JI, Geoff VA3GS, Rob VE3RQB, Doug VE3ATP, Barry VA3LLT, David VA3DCY. Absent: Eric VE3EB, Alf VA3BLE. Others attending: Peter VE3PBT.
  1. Agenda: Chris VE3NRT
    • Original item 5c (repeater messages and (ToT) changed to item 6b.
    • Moved by Geoff VA3GS , seconded by Barry VA3LLT to adopt the agenda. Carried.
  2. Minutes: David VA3DCY. Moved by Geoff VA3GS , seconded by Barry VA3LLT to adopt minutes of Board Meeting dated 2016/04/19. Carried.
  3. Membership: Alf VA3BLE. Not available. Note: Chris VE3NRT forwarded dues paid by Steve VE3SRV to John VA3JI.
  4. Hamfest: Geoff VA3GS. Geoff reported the hamfest is on schedule. Information has been sent to other clubs, is now posted on the RAC web site and will appear in the next 2 issues of the Canadian Amateur.
  5. AGM Food: Peter VE3PBT. Peter reported the cost for food at the AGM should be approximately $230. $300 was approved for food at the last board meeting. The new BBQ has been assembled and is working.
  6. Treasurer's Report: John VA3JI
    • Opening Balance 2016/04/30 [Balance available to members on request to Secretary]
    • Income: None
    • Expenditures: Shelter (partial cost) $182.72
    • Closing Balance 2016/04/19 [Balance available to members on request to Secretary]
    • Moved by John VA3JI seconded by Rob VE3RQB to adopt the treasurer's report. Carried.
  7. Barry VA3LLT will have expenses to submit. Steve VE3UT questioned when will the existing budgeted amounts expire, and John VA3JI answered at the end of the club year (June 30).
  8. Auditor's Report: Chris VE3NRT
    Chris reviewed the auditor's report, which contained the following suggestions:
    • The need to coordinate documentation between the treasurer and membership director for
      better accounting of membership money received.
    • Regarding club inventory, the need to have an accurate inventory and value of items, for
      insurance and net value purposes, and designate the responsibility to someone.
    • The need to have better control of club property stored in the container.
    • The use of personal credit cards is unwise.
    • The board should agree on a standard method to record financial transactions and
      membership and adhere to those policies. Most suggestions were of a minor nature, however suggestion #4 which questioned the advisability of members using their personal credit cards to pay for large purchases. It was agreed the next board should deal with this suggestion.
    • It was agreed the report should be published on the YRARC blog.
    • Moved by John VA3JI seconded by Geoff VA3GS to adopt the auditor's report. Carried.
  9. Bylaws: Chris VE3NRT. Chris presented the submissions received regarding suggested changes to the bylaws.
    • Bob VE3WY: Limiting presidency to 4 consecutive years. Proposed: That the primary motion be amended to add the following text as section 10.5 of the draft By-Laws: “Notwithstanding section 10.4, no person may stand for or be elected President after serving as President for the previous four consecutive years, unless no other Director is willing serve.”
    • Doug VE3VS: Cleanup of Section 14 (Duties of Treasurer) Proposed: That the primary motion be amended to delete the point in section 14.1 of the draft By-Laws beginning with “disburse the funds….” and add the following two points in its place. “disburse the funds of the Corporation under the direction of the Board, taking proper vouchers or receipts for each transaction.” “render to the Board whenever required an account of all transactions and a written account of the financial position of the Corporation.”
    • Doug VE3VS: Comments on the terms used in the By-Laws. This and several other similar instances were addressed in the draft By-Laws.
    • Doug VE3VS: Editorial Revision to Section 17.1. Proposed: That the primary motion be amended to replace section 17.1 of the draft By-Laws with the following.
      “The Directors shall ensure that all necessary books and records of the Corporation, required by the by-laws of the Corporation or by any applicable statute or law, are regularly and properly kept.”
    • Mark VE3CT: Various Editorial Revisions. All of the concerns expressed have been addressed elsewhere.
    • Chris VE3NRT: Revisions to clarify the section on officers of the board and to allow for election of replacement officers by the board. Proposed: That the primary motion be amended to add a new section 10.6 of the draft By-Laws with the following text: Should any officer resign or become incapable of serving in their office prior to completing their term, the Directors will elect a replacement from the body of Directors at the next regular or special meeting of the Board.
    • Chris VE3NRT: Regarding conflicts of interest on the Board. Proposed: That the primary motion be amended to add a new section 7.2 of the draft By-Laws with the following text: “Conflicts of interest on the part of a Director in attendance at a meeting of the Board shall be disclosed in advance of any discussion or motions regarding that interest. When such interest becomes a matter of Board action, such Director shall neither vote not use personal influence on the matter, and shall not be counted in the quorum for any voting on such interest. The Director may, however, briefly state a position on the matter, and answer pertinent questions of Board members. The minutes of all actions taken on such matters shall clearly reflect that these requirements have been met.”
    • Chris VE3NRT: Regarding the criteria and privileges of family membership Proposed: That the primary motion be amended to add a new section 18.1 (d) of the draft By-Laws with the following text: “Family Member – For a fee which shall be determined from time-to-time by the Membership, other members of a Regular Member’s family may be added as a Family Member. To qualify, the Family Member must be related by blood or adoption to the Regular Member or spouse, and reside at the same address. Family Members are not required to pay additional annual dues.”
    • John VA3JI: Regarding the attendance of Members at YRARC Board meetings Proposed: That the primary motion be amended to add a new section 5.2 of the draft By-Laws with the following text: Board Meetings shall be held in a place that is open to and can accommodate a reasonable number of Voting Members in addition to the Directors. Non-Directors may observe but not take part in the proceedings except in response to an invitation to comment by and under the direction of the Chair. Voting Members may also make representations to the Board at any meeting provided permission is obtained from the Secretary or Chair at least 24 hours in advance of the commencement of the meeting.
    • John VA3JI and Barry VA3LLT: On in-camera meetings Proposed: That the primary motion be amended to add a new section 5.3 of the draft By-Laws with the following text: Notwithstanding section 5.2, the Board may from time-to-time conduct in-camera meetings following the regular business of the Board Meeting. Any resolutions from such meetings shall be recorded in the regular meeting minutes, which shall be made available to the members within reasonable time after the adjournment of the meeting.
    • John VA3JI and Barry VA3LLT: On the method of selection of the Club Executive General agreement that the current system is a better system, with sufficient transparency in that members are allowed to attend Board Meetings. (No proposal to change)
    • Barry VA3LLT: On errors or omissions in the notice for meetings Proposed: That the following section 6.4 be added to the draft By-Laws: Notwithstanding section 6.3, any deliberate error or omission in notice of such a meeting, may, when supported by majority vote of the Directors or Voting Membership, be sufficient grounds to invalidate the proceedings and resolutions of such meeting, in whole or in part. AND that the following section 21.2 be added to the draft By-Laws: Notwithstanding section 21.1, any deliberate error or omission in notice of such a meeting, may, when supported by majority vote of the Directors or Voting Membership, be sufficient grounds to invalidate the proceedings and resolutions of such meeting, in whole or in part.
    • Barry VA3LLT: On the definition of electronic means for conducting club business. Proposed: That the following section 2(l) be added to the draft By-Laws: "Electronic Means” means the communication through the official YRARC Yahoo group or by email to all email addresses provided by Members or Directors as appropriate.
      Communications by additional means, such as the club web site, blog and voice announcements on Club Repeaters is also encouraged.
    • Barry VA3LLT: On the recording of votes of the Board of Directors by electronic means. Proposed: That the following section 7.2 be added to the draft By-Laws: All votes conducted by telephone or electronic means shall be recorded by the Secretary and included in the minutes of the next Board Meeting.
    • Barry VA3LLT: On giving notice for meeting. Proposed: That section 20.5 of the draft By-Laws be changed to the following: No public notice or advertisement of the AGM or any meeting of the Members shall be required, but an effort must be made to communicate notice of the time and place of every such meeting, at least twenty-one (21) days in advance. AND That section 20.5 of the draft By-Laws be changed to the following: Whenever, under the provisions of the by-laws of the Corporation, notice is required to be given, such notice may be given either personally or by Electronic Means or by depositing same in a post office or a public letter box in a prepaid, sealed wrapper addressed to the Director, Officer or Member at his or their address as the same appears in the books of the Corporation. A notice or other document sent by post shall be held to be sent at the time when the same was deposited in a post office or public letterbox as aforesaid, or sent by Electronic Means at the time sent. For the purpose of sending any notice, the address of the Members, Director or Officer shall be his latest address as recorded in the books of the Corporation.
    • Barry VA3LLT: Editorial change, move paragraph 20.3 to section 6 Proposed: That section 20.3 of the draft By-Laws be renumbered to 12.5.
    • Bylaws: Chris VE3NRT. Motion that the proposed changes to the By-Laws as presented by Chris VE3NRT, be presented for approval by the membership at the AGM. Moved John VA3JI seconded Geoff VA3GS. Carried.
  10. Property: Rob VE3RQB: The fittings from Cameron Canopies have been received, and there were no shipping charges, since they were picked-up from Tom at Cameron Canopies. We made our own wooden bases for the poles (conduit). The lock box codes for the trailers will be changed.
  11. Repeaters: Steve VE3UT. The 6m repeater has a weak transmitter – only 1/2 watt output. A new no-cost radio will be available soon. The VE3YRC-V repeater at Bloomington has had a weak signal, however a site visit showed that all was OK. For the upcoming events on May 28 (the EmComm SET and the Public Service MADD ride)
    VE3YRA (350) will be un-linked from the other repeaters, to allow the MADD event to use VE3YRA, and the SET to use the other repeaters. AGM messages have been added to the repeaters. Messages generated by the repeater controllers and audio received on the links are mixed together. Reprogramming would be necessary to mute the repeater message when audio is being received on a link. To adjust the timeout, a slow 286 computer would be needed to make a changes.
  12. Events & Public Service: Eric VE3EB (no report)
  13. EmComm and Other Business: A request for EmComm headsets in the trailer prompted the following options:
    • have the users supply their own headsets
    • get approval from the membership to purchase headsets, after knowing more specific detail
      about what model would be desired.
    • A request for EmComm digital interfaces in the trailer prompted the following questions:
      • what programming cables are needed?
      • what digital cables are needed?
    • Approval from the membership would also be needed.
  14. Motion 2016-05-17-8c to approve $1,000 for field day food and propane, moved Steve VE3UT seconded Geoff VA3GS. Carried. [Secretary note: Motion 2016-04-19-3c was already passed for $1,000 for field day food and propane, making Motion 2016-05-17-8c redundant.]. [Secretary note: No motion has been passed for fuel or toilets at field day]
Meeting adjourned

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Map for Grid Square Chasers

Six metre enthusiasts, VHF/UHFers, Moonbouncers, Scatterers and the like often use maidenhead grid locators to track their contacts. In their simplest form, Maidenhead grids divided the Earth into 1x2 degree chunks. When working over shorter distances with microwaves, a more fine-grained grid is used. Maidenhead is hierarchical, with most using the 4 character form. For instance, I live in FN03, but the club meets in FN04, which is a couple of hundred metres to the North of me. Each pair of characters represents a grid "square" (they're not square. In fact they're not even rectangular, although they would be if the Earth were flat).

Recently I happened upon an excellent on-line map with a Maidenhead grid overlay on a Hungarian Web Site. Even better, by clicking the appropriate button on the top right, there's a DXCluster link that shows communications paths on the map. The map lets you zoom in from the 2 to the 4 to the 6 character locators.

On VHF and UHF, the ARRL VUCC award recognizes 100 confirmed contacts with different grid squares. The ARRL also has the Fred Fish award recognizing contacts with every grid square which contains a piece of the continental US. FN03 is one of those, and according to the rules a contact with me would count for that award even though I'm on the Canadian side.

73,
Chris

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Minutes - YRARC Board of Directors Meeting 2016-06-21

Meeting held in the Magna Centre, Multipurpose Room 1. Called to Order at 19:00 by Chris VE3NRT. Board members attending: Chris VE3NRT, Steve VE3UT, John VA3JI, Geoff VA3GS, Rob VE3RQB, Barry VA3LLT, David VA3DCY. Absent: Eric VE3EB, Doug VE3ATP. (Alf VA3BLE had resigned). Board members elect attending: John VE3IPS, Rick VA3VO. Others attending: none
  1. Agenda: Chris VE3NRT. Moved by Geoff VA3GS , seconded by Barry VA3LLT to adopt the agenda. Carried.
  2. Minutes: David VA3DCY. Moved by Steve VE3UT, seconded by Rob VE3RQB to adopt minutes of Board Meeting. Date 2016/05/17. Carried.
  3. New board members: Chris VE3NRT. Chris welcomed the new directors John VE3IPS and Rick VA3VO.
  4. Meeting Schedule: Chris VE3NRT. Chris announced the dates of the board of directors meetings for the coming year. They are: 2016 July 19, August 16, September 20, October 18, November 15, December 20 and 2017 January 17, February 21, March 15, April 19, May 17 and June 21.
  5. Election of officers: Chris VE3NRT. Chris announced that the officers for the year 2016/2017 will be elected at the next meeting on July 19. To be elected are: President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary. A ballot will be required for the election of the president (if not declared by acclamation).
  6. Board procedures: Chris VE3NRT. Chris outlined the basic procedures followed by the board. A quorum of 6 members is required. We follow a simplified version of Robert's Rules, typically a motion is presented, followed by a discussion and a vote. The chair does not normally introduce motions and only casts a deciding vote in the event of a tie. A simple majority is required to pass a motion.
  7. Auditor's report: none
  8. Explanation of committees: Chris VE3NRT. Chris mentioned the various board committees, including: repeaters, WYNSORC coordination, EmComm/ARES, hamfest, property, finance, media and communications, field day and membership activities such as project night and fox hunts.
  9. Meeting schedule and programs: Chris VE3NRT. Chris mentioned the general meeting schedule and the programs throughout the year with guest speakers at most meetings, the Christmas party meeting and the AGM.
  10. Bylaws: The new bylaws ByLaws #7 were signed by Chris VE3NRT President and David VA3DCY Secretary.
  11. Membership: Chris VE3NRT. Chris is in receipt of the membership list from Alf VA3BLE who has resigned.
  12. Hamfest: Geoff VA3GS. Information is now on the RAC web site and will be passed out at the Milton hamfest and to other clubs. We will be at the same location as last year (Markham Fair Grounds), and the Aurora Lyon's Club will be serving breakfast again. Geoff is negotiating with the Markham Fair about the price.
  13. Field Day: Steve VE3UT. We are ready for field day, June 25 and 26. Doug VE3ATP will tow the tower trailer to the site on Wednesday June 22, which is OK with Norma the site owner. Additional deliveries such as the club trailer will be made on Thursday. On Friday June 24 the kitchen shelter will be setup, and Brad VE3HII will start the installation of his satellite station. An estimated 50 people should show up over the weekend. EmComm will be involved, and dignitaries have been invited. Safety will be emphasized this year, with attention to grounding, safety markings for guys and tripping hazards, first aid, and a safety officer or designate will be on site for the duration ofthe event.
    • Motion 2016-06-21-4c1 to spend $135.60 for field day toilet rental, moved by Steve VE3UT seconded by Geoff VA3GS. Carried.
    • Motion 2016-06-21-4c2 that $100.00 be allocated for the purchase of gas for the generators, moved by Steve VE3UT seconded by Barry VA3LLT. Carried.
  14. Treasurer's Report: John VA3JI
    • Opening Balance 2016/06/01 [Available to members on request to Club Secretary]
    • Income: Field day food from members $150.00
    • Membership dues $25.00
    • Expenditures: Field day toilet $135.60
    • Repeater expenditures $75.09
    • Trailer expenditures $26.98
    • Closing Balance 2016/04/19 [Available to members on request to Club Secretary]
    • Some AGM food money is to be returned, and the insurance bill payable in July has not been received.
    • Moved by Barry VA3LLT seconded by Rob VE3RQB to adopt the treasurer's report. Carried.
  15. Property: Rob VE3RQB: The shelter is complete. The roof conduits (peak to eaves) have been shortened to accommodate the tarp. It is recommended that the trailer pullers have a schedule. A new padlock will be needed for the container; Rob would like to remove his lock.
  16. Repeaters: Steve VE3UT. The VE3YRC-V (Aurora) exciter and PA problems have been remedied. There was a bad pot on the exciter and a spare PA was repaired. We now have 2 spare 100 watt PAs. At the moment, we are running on a temporary PA. While the repeater was out of service, the controller was updated. There are still some minor software issues. Future repeater projects could include internet access.
  17. Other business:
    • Don VE3IXJ has noted that EmComm is interested in a digital network, (however the GTA is not interested). Greg Staznia from York Region, Chris VE3NRT and Mike VA3MCT will meet to discuss the region's needs. There may be some financial help from the region for a possible project. Any proposed network should be self testing and be able to report problems. Possible options might include Microtik and Ubiquity.
    • The board thanked Rob VE3RQB for his work on the board.
Meeting adjourned.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Basic Qualification Course coming in the Fall

A course leading to the Basic Qualification will be taught on Thursday evenings over eight  weeks, commencing 15 September 2016.  Classes will run from 7:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.  Location will be in Richmond Hill or Markham.
Cost of the course is $60 for YRARC or YLab members, $70 for non-members. The fee includes the study guide and examination fee at the end of the course.  
Please pass this along to anyone who might be interested.  Have them send an email to: yrarc.hamcourse@gmail.com
Space is limited so the early bird gets the worm.
Geoff VA3GS