Meeting Minutes - October 1998


Meeting Minutes

Saturday October 17, 1998

On Saturday, October 17, 1998 there was a Southern California Repeater and Remote Base Association (SCRRBA) general meeting held at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont.

Chairman Joe Saddler, WA6PAZ, called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone.  There was a very small turn-out for the meeting.  Out of 250 some odd coordinated systems there was approximately 80 members in attendance at the meeting.

Treasurer's Report - Mike Penrose, W6AP

SCRRBA has approximately $1,500.00 in the treasury.  Mike explained that SCRRBA is attempting to obtain liability insurance. He is investigating the ARRL insurance, and that 51% of SCRRBA members must be ARRL members to get the insurance from the League. He requested that all SCRRBA members indicate whether or not they are ARRL members.

10 Meter and 6 Meter band Report - Gary Gray, W6DOE

All 4 of the coordinated 10 Meter repeaters are off the air. There are 38 coordinated 6 meter repeaters.

420 - 440 MHz Band Report - Gary Belda, K6ENS

The biggest problem with coordination was incomplete forms being turned in as well as SCRRBA not being notified of changes.  Sometimes action cannot be taken by SCRRBA because coordinees have not informed SCRRBA of changes in telephone numbers, addresses and e-mail addresses.

He also mentioned that the system block diagram requested needs to only indicate RF information including, paths, ERP, antennas, etc. Details on controllers, cabinets, wiring, etc. is not necessary or desired.

Robin Critchell, WA6CDR, indicated that systems going off the air for long periods of time have resulted in others applying for and seeking use of the frequency that seems to be vacant. If SCRRBA has no knowledge of the reason the coordinated system is off the air, they have no course except to start the vacant system time clock. The vacant system time clock is currently set at 6 continuous months of inactivity. After the time period elapses, SCRRBA will revoke the existing coordination and issue a new one. SCRRBA does not have the time nor the manpower to actively pursue finding out why coordinated systems are inactive. It is the responsibility of the coordinated system to notify SCRRBA of the reason for inactivity and expected reuse date. This correspondence must be sent to the SCRRBA Post Office Box so they have hard copies for their records.

The question again came up about systems moving to a new site. The answer was still the same in that coordinations are for the exact parameters of the coordination document and any changes require a new coordination.

There is occasional interference of 434 MHz by the illegal use of ham frequencies by commercial companies.

440 - 450 MHz Band Report - Robin Critchell, WA6CDR

There are 200 channel pairs, 4 pairs are unusable leaving 196 channel pairs. There are approximately 575 coordinated systems, or approximately 3 systems on every channel in the Southern California area. Robin again stressed the importance of mailing data to the SCRRBA Post Office Box.

Robin now has 5 people helping with the coordinations and things are beginning to get organized and moving.  He requested all systems to send in an updated coordination request, if it has not been done recently, just to make sure SCRRBA has all the correct information.

The question was asked if preference was given to open repeaters over closed repeaters and the answer was no. There are 8 channel pairs dedicated exclusively to open repeaters and that open repeaters are not generally co-channeled with closed systems. When open repeaters do get co-channeled with closed systems, the open repeater is not listed as open in the ARRL Repeater Directory in order to protect the closed system. In the 440 - 450 MHz Band, there are very few open repeater coordination requests, which is the reason there are only 8 channels set aside.

900 MHz Band Report - Dave DeGregorio, WA6UZS

Amateur radio is 4th on the priority of 5 users in the band which makes the band almost useless for amateurs. The primary reason is that the vehicle location service has priority and is used in most of the band. There are 18 coordinated systems with 4 being operational. It is wide open for anyone who wants to experiment.

1200 MHz and ATV Band Report - Tom O'Hara, W6ORG

Only two new voice systems have been added in the past year. Most of the new activities on the band have been for links. The first megahertz of the band is reserved for open repeaters. The rest of the repeater segment is primarily reserved for private systems. Currently there are no test coordinations active. There is talk of a 3rd GPS frequency being placed in the band which will impact the users, depending if and where it is put. There are options being considered to put outside the amateur band.

Tom asked if 146.46 MHz was still being used by most systems and most were not using it.

Microwave Band Report - Bill Kelsey, W6QC

The microwave frequencies are primarily used for ATV. There is some point-to-point services.

FCC Report - Robin Critchell, WA6CDR

The LMCC petition to reallocate portions of the amateur spectrum to the Land Mobile community probably will not happen, but it is still an active document. There has been no published analysis response from the FCC as of yet. The LMCC was so highly embarrassed by the large amount of misinformation they included in their petition, that it is expected that they will not make the same mistake next time (and there will be a next time).

The 33cm band is still highly used by military radar, so our use of the band is almost guaranteed.

The 5.3 - 5.6 GHz National Information Infrastructure (NII) band plan has been published. This plan is sponsored by Microsoft Corporation to construct a wireless LAN network for all the nations computers on the 5 GHz band to eliminate the wire connections.

NFCC Report - Bill Kelsey, W6QC

The National Frequency Coordinators Council (NFCC) has been in existence for over two years and so far has done very little for the actual local coordinators.

There has been little done on establishing a formal organization at the national level.

There has been no work on the submittal of an NPRM to Part 97 to recognize coordination councils. The majority of the members of the NFCC belong to the Mid-Atlantic Coordinators (MAC) and they insist that everything be done their way because it works for them.  Because the land mass structure on the east coast is different than on the west coast, their technical coordination parameters do not apply to the west coast, however the MAC members will not change their position which has created a standstill.

NPRM 98-143 Report - Bill Kelsey, W6QC

NPRM 98-143 (new licensing and band plan rules) was discussed. There was a major article in QST as well as being on the FCC web site.  Each point of the NPRM was discussed and Bill showed the proposed SCRRBA re-write of the enforcement/coordination rules. There was a unanimous vote to support SCRRBA filing comments on NPRM 98-143 using the items as presented, and allowing for minor revisions which may be necessary.

440 - 450 MHz Spectrum Relief - Bill Kelsey, W6QC

The current reason for 25 KHz channel spacing on 440-450 MHz was reviewed. The primary reason was due to the currently used repeater/remote equipment.

At the last SCRRBA meeting, the Technical Committee was directed to re-evaluate the band plan and present a recommendation for obtaining more channels. The proposal the Technical Committee recommended was going to 20 KHz spacing and showed the advantages and disadvantages of changing. The 20 KHz spacing was chosen because the currently used equipment would be able support it technically and there would be a minimum of expense to support it. This would give the band an additional 50 useable channels which would solve most of the coordination backlog.

The membership voted to direct SCRRBA to convene a band planning meeting to formally present the 20 KHz channel spacing to the SCRRBA membership and vote on the acceptance or rejection of the band plan.

SCRRBA was also directed to provide a minimum of a 60 day notice for the meeting. All SCRRBA members concerned with the 440 - 450 MHz band are urged to attend because a decision affecting the band and all its users will be made.

Old Business

SCRRBA is continuing its work to become a corporation.

New Business

The was no new business items requested by the membership. The election of officers was commenced. The current officers were voted in for another term.



Last modified: April 12, 2003