President’s Report – July 2019

As we break out of July and into August, I wanted to talk about a few subjects.

First, we are just over 30 days before our next WAR membership meeting. It is being held in Eau Claire again, and I encourage everyone who can attend to do so. It will be on Saturday, August 31st promptly at 10:00 AM, so registration will begin at 9:30 AM. Josh posted earlier this month on the specifics, and more details are on both our website and Facebook page.

Next, I drove down to Indianapolis this month to attend the Indiana Repeater Council membership meeting, and had a great time. The meeting was held at the same time as the annual Indianapolis Hamfest, so not only did I get to visit with the IRC, but also got to look around at all the ham radio gear for sale (held firm – didn’t pull out the credit card) and attended many of the forums. One in particular was very good. It spoke of the growing technology of hotspots – something many of you have probably heard of, and perhaps even own one.

On a personal level, while I appreciate the manufacturers helping forge new technologies for ham radio operators to use, I’ve always felt that it was more about branding. C4FM (Fusion) can only talk to other C4FM users, specialized (and therefore more expensive) radios, etc. Thankfully, some of that is changing. With the new set of hotspots, digital technologies can be different, yet still talk to each other. Someone on Fusion can join the same “chat room” as someone running D-Star, or P25, and that chat room trans codes the conversation to each specific user’s technology. Still a lot of work to do, but personally I’d rather have a hobby where everyone can talk to each other versus only people using one manufacturer.

Also, this month WAR also sponsored another conference call with the adjacent states. Indiana is looking at a web-based coordination database, and part of the reason I went to Indianapolis was to see a demo of what they are working on. Illinois is also working on an alternative to Radio Mobile (terrain modeling based on various repeater parameters) that is open source and runs on Linux. I look forward to hearing from our neighbors on how they have been progressing.

Lastly, I want to remind everyone that volunteers are still needed. If you have some time to spare, and are interested in what this organization does, talk to any of our Board of Directors.

Again, I look forward to seeing all of you at your membership meeting in August.

Until next time, 73 de Dean KB7QDI

August Membership Meeting

Attention Members –

As we enter the month of July I wanted to make sure everyone was aware that we will be holding our next bi-annual membership meeting on August 31st back at the Jamf office in Eau Claire, WI. This is the same location we hosted the bi-annual membership meeting in August of 2018.

As a reminder, this location is a secured location. What does that mean? It means that you will need an escort up to what we call “Town Hall” where the membership meeting will take place. We will be opening the doors for registration at 9:30am and the last elevator up will be promptly at 10:00am, at which time we will start the meeting. So please ensure you arrive early so you don’t get locked outside.

Please note: We will also be attempting to stream the meeting live online via web conference. This is going to be our first time streaming, so access is not guaranteed and during this test we are only planning to offer one-way communication and no voting will be allowed over the web conference. We will be posting the details for access to the web conference in the coming weeks. The hope is that it we’ll be able to eventually host our membership meetings across multiple locations with full transparency.

Below, please find a diagram that will explain where you can park in the area. Please also note that on Saturday mornings from 7:30am until 1pm the Farmers Market will be going on across the street in Phoenix Park as well.

There is ample parking in the area and I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful 4th of July! We look forward to seeing everyone on August 31st in Eau Claire, WI.


Updated Contact Information and Volunteers Needed

Hello everyone. Just wanted to post that there have been cases where the information that WAR has in our database is no longer valid. If you or your organization has changed the primary contact, Holder of Coordination, phone number(s), as well as email and/or mailing address, please make sure to update us to those changes. Any correspondence that WAR sends usually goes to the primary contact, so if that has changed we definitely want to know.

Also, a reminder that the frequency pair that has been approved for you is based on the criteria that you submitted. If things have changed, i.e. new antenna, more power, changed PL/CTCSS, etc, then a updated form needs to be submitted to us BEFORE you actually make the change. The new criteria may cause an issue with another repeater on the same frequency, or even a repeater on a adjacent frequency, and we want to make sure that any possible interference is kept to a minimum. From our website, you can fill out a New/Modify Coordination form and send it to us via email or USPS.

Lastly, we are still looking for more volunteers to help with the organization. Please reach out to any of the board members, or Corey KB9BNA, for more information.

Other than that, I hope to hear many of you during the ARRL Field Day coming up June 22nd and 23rd.

Until next time, 73 de Dean KB7QDI

May Update

I have a couple things I’d like to bring up to all of you this month.

First, Rick W9RIX and myself went to visit the spring meeting of the Minnesota Repeater Council last month, and had a great time. The Chairman, Jay K5ZC, invited us to join him and his friend to both a great dinner at a local Fairmont restaurant known for its fish and seafood, as well as a superb breakfast at a small town diner nearby that definitely has a regular crowd every morning.

At the meeting, many of the same issues that we are addressing were discussed. One new item that Minnesota is doing is allowing to use their repeater data from the website. The board has been asked to consider the same for Wisconsin. At our last board audio conference, we decided to continue the discussions, and bring our findings to the membership at the August meeting in Eau Claire. If you are able to attend, this would be a great opportunity to get your input on this as well.

The second item that I would like to talk about is the need for additional volunteers, specifically in our club Coordination Secretary committee. We have the great luxury to have someone like Corey KB9BNA to help with all the coordinations, as well as helping with all the other pieces that go along with that. That being said, the more people we have on that committee, the better it gets. The committee, and therefore the club, becomes more efficient, and it allows for more than just one person to take on all the responsibilities that the position requires. I ask all our members who have ever thought about helping with our club to reach out to anyone here on the board, or Corey, and let us know. Corey has put together a nice presentation before on what some of the position entails, and is willing to show anyone if their interested.

Basically, the last two years have proven that this organization works best for its members with more volunteers, not less.

Until next time, 73 de Dean KB7QDI

April Update

First of all, thank you for all who joined us at HRO last month for the Milwaukee membership meeting.  Many topics were discussed, including a few that, as a board, we are already following up on and implementing.  Special thanks to Ham Radio Outlet – not only for their generosity in allowing us to use their facilities, but also letting us stay a little longer so John N9UPC could give an impromptu meet and greet afterwards to help us further understand the new features of Yaesu Fusion as it relates to frequency coordination.

Our club secretary, Josh KC9WWH, has put on the main WAR web page the ability for anyone to sign up to get updates via email.  We will be using this email list to send you new posts (like this one I’m writing now), as well as notifications to when (and where) our next membership meetings will be held.  We encourage you to add your email address to the list.

Another one of our board members, Tony KT9AC, has listened to many of you on suggestions to making our updated band plan for the state even better, particularly on how we can encourage, yet minimize potential interference, from the wave of digital hotspots that more and more amateur operators are using.  Tony is working on those changes, and will even post a few Q and As in our web site FAQ section.  Look for something soon on this.

Rick W9RIX, Corey KB9BNA, and myself went to Champaign, Illinois this last weekend for the IRA annual meeting, and had a great time.  The group south of the border were fantastic hosts, including allowing us to join them for an outstanding meal at a local steak house that I’ll only describe as somewhere where you should never leave hungry.  At their meeting, many of the topics and issues addressed were similar to our own.  They are also working with WAR, and the other adjacent states, to maintain correspondence and sharing agreements that only make all the state coordinating bodies better.

Next week, Rick and myself plan on going to Willmar, Minnesota to visit their annual membership meeting as well.

Lastly, keep an eye on our web site for the date of our August membership meeting.  It is our intentions to have it in Eau Claire again this year, and we hope all of you can join us.

Until next time, 73 de Dean KB7QDI