Meeting of October 13, 2015

The meeting was attended by 20 members and guests:

WA5ROE Bob   Alpine
W5NPR  Bill  Alpine
KB5R   Rusty Alpine
KD5KBU Jim   Fort Davis
KG5HEJ Al    Terlingua
KE5KNQ Rob   Alpine
N5DO   Dave  Alpine
N5NYM  Allen Alpine
KE5OG  Bill  Alpine
KF5LZT Ted   Alpine
W5DWI  Dick  Alpine
W5JUW  Lora  Alpine
KA5PVB Chuck Alpine
KA5BAX John  Lajitas
KA5Y   Tex   Lajitas
N5HYD  Doug  Fort Davis
N5MVV  Angie Fort Davis
W5ATO  Bill  Alpine
K5AHI  Bob   Alpine
WA5MHO Dean  Alpine

The meeting was called to order by Bill KE5OG at 7:30 PM.

The minutes of the September 9, 2015 meeting were read and approved.

Angie N5MVV presented the Financial Report, reporting a balance of $3901.18.

Jim KD5KBU reported that the Cyclefest event in Fort Davis was held September 19th & 20th, and that no major problems or injuries occurred. He reported 400 riders and 10 ham operators providing communications. He thanked the club members that voluntered for the event.

Bill KE5OG requested reimbursement for $27.76 for QSL Cards printed for K5FD, the new club call. Bill W5ATO moved to reimburse, second by Rusty KB5R. Motion approved.

Bill KE5OG reported that the Scout Jamboree on the Air was scheduled for the following weekend, and that he would operate from Buffalo Trails Scout Ranch for the Cub Scouts.

Bill KE5OG reported that Roger W5LXS and Steve W5JR of the Midland Amateur Club would like to collaborate with Big Bend Amateur Radio Club on the upcoming Midland Hamfest. It was also reported that a West Texas Elmer System had been suggested to provide assistance to new hams.

It was discussed that Doug N5HYD had paid the deposit for electrical service at Elephant Mountain Hub location. Deposits are refunded after 12 months of timely payments. It was noted that when the county accepted responsibility for payment of the electric bill, those payments are not being paid on a timely basis, and that refund of the deposit is not forthcoming. After discussion, Bill W5AT0 moved to reimburse Doug for the Utility deposit, second by Rusty KB5R. Motion approved.

Bill KE5OG praised Doug H5HYD and Bill W5ATO for repeater maintenance over the years. He also reported that 146.72 had been hit by lightning, and that it was down for repairs and that the 145.23 emergency repeater was up and running. It was noted that maintenance of that repeater is becoming more difficult year by year. It was discussed that a change of locations might be considered, with the following options discussed: (1) Give up site; (2) Bring the repeater down to the turn around; (3) Move repeater to A-Mountain; (4) Move Repeater to Pierce Mountain; (5) Move Repeater to Bull Frog Mountain; and (6) consider some combination of the above. It was noted that if a move was made to A-Mountain, Big Bend Telephone would cooperate. It was also discussed that Pierce Mountain had been visited with permission of the Pierce family, that test communications had been made and if the the move to Pierce Mountain was approved by the club, that the actual site could be chosen by the club. It was discussed that Pierce Mountain would serve all locations, with the possible lost of points west of Paisano Pass.
It was discussed that the 146.62 McDonald Observatory location does serve Marfa, although a gap in service might exist near Paisano Pass. After discussion, motion was made by Rusty KB5R to proceed with discussions with Pierce family, conduct further site location tests, and because of easy site access, it make this location the priority, second by Chuck KA5PVB, motion approved.

Further discussion centered around making the 145.23 Emergency Repeater more mobile by considering short term use by batteries rather than by solar panels.

The meeting adjourned at 8:15 PM.

Bill Roberts W5NPR, Secretary