Meeting Minutes - November 1997


Meeting Minutes

Saturday November 1, 1997

The Southern California Repeater and Remote Base Association (S.C.R.R.B.A.) convened a meeting on Saturday, November 1st at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont. There was a high level of participation for the meeting with about 125 members attending representing about 175 systems. This represents approximately 1300 coordinations total, in all the bands SCRRBA coordinates.

All amateurs are invited to become members of SCRRBA, however, to be a voting member of SCRRBA, the person must be a representative of a coordinated system or have a written coordination pending with coordination council. Each system is allocated one vote independent of the number of coordinations that system consists of. This is different than other amateur band organizations that allow any licensed amateur be a voting member in their association. Limiting the SCRRBA membership was done primarily to preserve the technical standards of the bands affected as opposed to putting the decision making in the hands of amateurs that don't necessarily understand the effects of overlapping coverage, calculatable intermodulation products and technical requirements of mountain top commercial sites.

The meeting opened with the normal introduction of officers, the Treasurer's report and coordination activities for each of the bands, 6 Meters, 10 Meters, 420/440 MHz, 900 MHz, 1200 MHz and microwave bands.

The activity on the 6 Meter and 10 Meter bands seems to have gone down. Last year there were approximately 32 repeaters operational and this year there appear to be 18 repeaters operational.

There are approximately 975 coordinated systems in the 420 band and 625 systems coordinated on 194 usable channel pairs in the 440-450 band.  Recently, Robin, WA6CDR, the 440 MHz spectrum coordinator, performed an unannounced coordination verification and personally identified 425 of them as operational. Additional volunteer help is needed to perform the frequency coordination activities. Volunteers were requested to fill out and turn in an application. These people need to be able to communicate between other technical committee members. It was estimated that the workload would be about 4 to 5 hours a week, after becoming familiar with the system. The need for more volunteer help in all areas was also addressed. There will be an interview process to weed out persons just trying to grab some frequencies for themselves.

Coordination of high and low desert systems are usually no problem. They can usually find a frequency pair on their own. Time needed to send out paperwork in these types of situations usually takes approximately 30 minutes. If we can find more people, we can split the band into small frequency segments to take less time for each person. SCRRBA is in favor of frequency sharing. However this is a very timeconsuming process if SCRRBA does the work. If individuals work out problems between themselves, then submit the paperwork and agreements to SCRRBA, the coordination is processed very quickly. Robin spoke about the SCRRBA forms available and their use.

The 900 MHz band is almost unusable on mountain top sites because of the high power 900 MHz paging. Most of the 900 MHz use is simplex.

The 1200 MHz band has approximately 80 coordinated links. The first 1 MHz portion of the band is reserved for open systems. There are only 4 systems currently testing on 1200 band. The big 3 manufacturers, ICOM, Yaseu and Kenwood, are no longer making 1200 MHz repeaters. ATV outputs are also on this band. Most of ATV use is for RACES use. Most of ATV systems are linked. Bill advised that folks waiting for 440 pairs should look at the 1200 MHz band.

Fried Heyn, WA6WZO, announced the Gate 4 opening for vanity calls for Techs and Novices. Fried spoke about volunteering both for the League and SCRRBA. The League is now considering more use above 1 GHz for every ham. The League supports frequency coordination and they recognize frequency coordinators in the Repeater Directory. They helped with theSingle Point of Contact (SPOC) formation between the amateur community and the FCC. Fried would like to see frequency coordinators have more power. He thinks that uncoordinated repeaters should be outlawed. All of the area's councils recognize and support the local frequency coordinators. Fried would like to see bandplans included in Part 97. The ARRL Board has agreed to support local bandplans. He spoke about the League's budget. He told about RM-9150, volunteer enforcement. A request to go directly to a FCC judge with the necessary reports. Now we're waiting for the Commission to issue a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM). Fried told of the fact that we need to contact other Directors around the country to help with RM-9150. A motion was made and seconded by the group to support Fried in this effort on bandplanning. Fried has his own web site, accessable through the League's web site,

One of the major topics was discussion on adopting the 12.5 kHz (11K0) channel spacing, currently 25 kHz (16K0) spacing, in the Southern California 440 to 450 MHz spectrum. This has been an ongoing topic for the last few years due to the lack of available 440 MHz channels in the Southern California metropolitian areas for almost twenty (20) years.

Chairman Bill Kelsey, W6QC (was WA6FVC), gave a detailed presentation on why 12.5 kHz channel spacing is impractical for the entire 440 MHz amateur community in Southern California, even though it is used in commercial service. In order for the 12.5 kHz channel spacing to be technically practical in a band allocation, every amateur in the particular spectrum area must use a radio designed for the reduced bandwidth. There is not only a serious performance degradation with the reduced bandwidth, there will be constant adjacent channel interference unless the radio is designed for the reduced bandwidth. Another factor being over looked is that since the 12.5 kHz radios cannot be used on 25 kHz systems, they will most likely only be able to be used in the Southern California area. The rest of the country does not have the need for the extra channels. Amateurs traveling outside the Southern California will need to own two (2) different radios, one (1) for 12.5 kHz channels and one (1) for 25 kHz channels. Currently, the only radios available that are designed for 12.5 kHz channel spacing are produced by the major commercial radio manufacturers, Motorola, General Electric, RCA, etc. SCRRBA sent letters to 7 different manufacturers of amateur radios. They were asked if they were currently making equipment technically capable of using 12.5 kHz channel spacing, and if the products were available for sale in Southern California. Answers were received from Kenwood, Yaesu, Alinco and ADI.  Every response stated that they do not have, nor do they intend to build at this time, amateur radios with 12.5 kHz technology. This leaves the only alternative of buying commercial radios at commercial prices, approximately $5,000.00 each.

The SCRRBA membership again voted against the conversion of all the frequency pairs in 440 to 450 MHz spectrum to 12.5 kHz channel spacing for Southern California. The membership did vote to establish a committee to study more effective usage of the 440 to 450 MHz spectrum and compile a report on the findings. This report will include a proposed new band plan with some potential 12.5 kHz channel spacing configurations.

Another topic of discussion was the National Frequency Coordination Council (NFCC). Jim Fortney, K6IYK, will be ending his term on the NFCC formulation team. He needs to be replaced by another member from the Southwest. Since the Southern California area is the most populated coordinated area in the country, this council needs to understand the problems and solutions achieved in Southern California. It is the responsibility of Southern California to help the NFCC to plan ahead to avoid the problems we experienced here. The NFCC needs help, but it can only come from within the community of coordinators who currently participate on the NFCC reflector, and via other means. If you have meaningful contacts in coordination committees in other parts of the country, they need to be convinced that there is significant benefit to vote for Bill Kelsey as our representative, so they can tell their NFCC representative to vote for him. Bill's experience and understanding of what really needs to be done will help a lot. Bill was on the formation committee that wrote the by-laws, and the Memorandum of Understanding with the ARRL. He has generated, for the NFCC, all the necessary language for the petition for rulemaking which the NFCC will need to file with the FCC. He will be very useful and helpful in getting the understanding across to the NFCC members, as well as maintain the necessary language to accomplish the task, when the details are finally agreed upon.

There are people working behind the scenes around the ARRL to put the proper recognition of amateur band plans into the FCC rules. We need to get amateurs in other divisions to get their directors to support this effort. SCRRBA passed a resolution supporting the idea and Fried's efforts in this area.

The SCRRBA membership voted to become a ARRL club and also to become an Incorporated Entity.

This was also the last meeting for Bill Kelsey and Robin Critchell as officers of SCRRBA. In the meeting notice, they both announced their retirement from SCRRBA after 25 years of service. They both intend to remain involved as necessary to assist the new officers get acquainted with the SCRRBA operations and the technical committee work.

Bill and Robin will continue with their part in the formation of the new National Frequency Coordinating Council.

The new SCRRBA Chairman voted in is Joe Saddler, WA6PAZ, who works at Orange County Communications in engineering. He has quitea bit of technical and meeting experience. Joe will appoint a new Secretary.

The new SCRRBA Treasurer voted in is Mike Penrose, W6AP (was WB6BBE).



Last modified: April 12, 2003