Meeting Minutes - October 2001


Minutes of the SCRRBA Annual General Meeting

Saturday October 20, 2001

On Saturday, October 20, 2001 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 at 9:37AM and welcomed everyone.

Treasurer's Report - Bill Kelsey, W6QC (for Mike Penrose, W6AP)

The treasurer, Mike Penrose, was unable to attend today's meeting.  In his absense, Bill Kelsey presented a brief report submitted by Mike on the treasury status and showed a viewgraph of the financial statement.  The treasury is in good shape.  The largest expenses continue to be annual insurance, newsletter copies, and postage for mailing them. 

10 Meter and 6 Meter Band Report - Joe Saddler, WA6PAZ (for Gary Gray, W6DOE)

The 10m and 6m coordinator, Gary Gray, was unable to attend today's meeting.  In his absense, Joe Saddler presented a brief report submitted by Gary.

There are four pairs available on the 10m band.  Currently, there are four coordinations that have been issued.  During a test that Gary performed earlier this month, only one of the four repeaters was found.

On the 6m band, there are 56 full and test coordinations that have been issued.  From a location of about 1000' in Orange County earlier this month, Gary was able to confirm that 22 of these were active and that one system was active on the test pair.

420 - 440 MHz Band Report - Robin Critchell, WA6CDR

There are roughly 75 pairs waiting for action in this band segment.  With some luck, work can begin on handling these actions in the next six months.  A new person will be handling the 420-440MHz band segment soon.  In the meantime, some training will take place before that activity begins.

Coordinating activity in this band is technically more difficult than 440-450MHz.  There are numerous restrictions that make it difficult to link sites together in this band.  Some hilltops cannot link directly to other hilltops because of long established polarities and require a ground-hop to reverse frequency polarities to complete the link.

Typically, coordination activity in this band is less political than 440-450MHz.

There are a number of un-used channels in this band that need to be reclaimed and an extensive survey of the band needs to take place.  It is expected that there are enough channels available to handle the current stack of paperwork.

440 - 450 MHz Band Report - Robin Critchell, WA6CDR

The transition to 20kHz is complete.

There are a few stray radios that haven't moved yet but they are mostly inactive.  Typically, when contacted, the coordinees willingly move their radios to the new frequency.

Some systems (very few) have consumed quite a bit of SCRRBAs time - even generating hundreds of email messages.

It is very important that coordinees communicate with SCRRBA so we know what you are doing.  The email address is still the best way to communicate with us in a timely manner.  If you plan to change anything related to your coordination, or even take your repeater off the air for a little while, you need to let SCRRBA know.

There are about 640 or 650 coordinations in this band.  Some of old stuff has managed to fade away.

There are about 58 open repeaters on 21 open channels.  It's difficult for anyone to claim that Southern California 440-450MHz is lacking in open repeaters.  The SCRRBA website will maintain an active list of open repeaters.  The most recent ARRL Repeater Directory lists Southern California open repeaters at the top of the list.  This was done so that the casual visitor to the area could quickly find an open repeater to use.

Co-channeling repeaters can be difficult.  Radios perform quite well these days.  There are several radios on various building tops in the El Segundo area that act like they are on 3000' mountains.

900 MHz Band Report - Dave DeGregorio, WA6UZS

Dave asked for a show of hands from those who have existing 900MHz radios on the air or have future plans to use 900MHz.  There were about a half dozen hands raised.

Currently, there are 25 coordinations on record.  Dave hasn't recently run a survey of the band to verify how many of these systems are currently active.

One of the biggest problems with using the band are the non-amateur services that have primary useage.

1200 MHz Band Report - Tom O'Hara, W6ORG

There are currently 157 voice repeater coordinations on the band, 38 of which are open repeaters.

There may have been a migration from 1200MHz back to 440MHz when the 20kHz band plan opened up additional channels.  In the last few years, there haven't been many new applications.  In addition, those systems that have disappeared haven't notified SCRRBA so, at the moment, its unclear if they are temporarily or permanently gone.

It is estimated that as many as half of the 157 coordinations may not exist after contacting the coordinees for status.  On a recent survey, only 10 of 38 repeaters between 1283.025MHz and 1283.975MHz were operational.

There are approximately 100 link channels coordinated.  A survey hasn't been performed in some time.

"CMRA" is the largest system on the band.  Their President, Mike Wulfstiegg (N6RHZ) passed away several months ago.  Mike had a considerable amount of knowledge about this system in his head.  SCRRBA has never really had a complete block diagram of their system but their new President, Hugh Headlee (N6SAY) has recently provided one and the system paperwork is being updated.

SCRRBA really needs a block diagram from every system.  You know your system better than anyone.  When you contact SCRRBA, we like to look at your block diagram to quickly familiarize ourselves with your system so we can minimize the amount of time needed to come up to speed when dealing with coordination matters.

It takes about 30 minutes to do all the paperwork for a coordination.  When we get free time to work on coordination issues, we're likely to work on the one that has provided all the required paperwork.  Please send all the paperwork that is requested when filing for coordination.

The big three amateur radio equipment manufacturers don't support this band very well.  Most repeaters are being constructed from back-to-back mobiles.

E-Mail has worked very well.  For any 1200MHz coordination issues you can use the email address.

Amateur Television (ATV) Report - Tom O'Hara, W6ORG

There are 11 ATV repeaters in operation, most of which have outputs in the 1200MHz band.  Some have outputs in the 900MHz band and even a few in the 3400MHz band.

Mike (WA6STV), and the ATN (Amateur Television Network) group, were a major factor in fighting the attempted takeover of the 2.4GHz band by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, last year, by demonstrating amateur use of the bands with six of the repeaters having 2.4GHz inputs, and links, on the air.

Amateurs are still being subjected to interference from Part 15 devices.  Most of the interference is likely due to people using amplifiers and large antennas.

ATV has been used a lot for public service events.

Microwave Band Report - Bill Kelsey, W6QC

ATV is the biggest user of the band on a full time basis.  Most of the problems in these bands are related to non-amateur use.

There are two contests each year that make use of the 2.4, 3, and 10GHz bands.

There are occasional point-to-point links that come and go.

With the advent of PCS, there is an increasing demand for more bandwidth.  As such, the ARRL has seen more necessity to defend this spectrum -- 2.4GHz most recently.

FCC Report - Bill Kelsey, W6QC

There are a number of people interested in microwave frequencies and they're looking at our bands  Spectrum is wealth for the FCC and auctioning off spectrum is something they have been directed to do by Congress.

Enforcement of the Part 97 rules by the FCC has been very welcome.  There's been quite a bit of enforcement action in regards to repeater operations - most notably in California.

If an adequate amount of documentation is sent to Riley Hollingsworth, he does tend to deal with it and generate letters inquiring about the issue presented to him.

NFCC Report - Bill Kelsey, W6QC

The NFCC is the National Frequency Coordinators Council.  They still exist, but its been rather disappointing that not much has been happening with the organization.

Much of the discussions that take place on their reflector isn't very productive and is generally a re-hash of old discussions on topics such as PL that really shouldn't matter at the NFCC level.

The new president, Owen Wormser (K6LEW), is a good selection.  He's a resident of Washington, D.C. and is a registered lobbiest.

ARRL Report - Fried Heyn, WA6WZO 

Fried was unable to attend today's meeting and no ARRL report was given.


20kHz Report - Robin Critchell, WA6CDR

The transition to 20kHz is complete.  SCRRBA has been astounded at the level of cooperation in this effort.  Everyone pitched in and "just did it".  A very few number of people needed a small nudge and cooperated right away when they were contacted and asked if they were planning to move to the frequency.

SCRRBA has been able to issue about 20 new wide-area coordinations.  In the past, only one new wide-area coordination was issued roughly every five years.

Robin and Gerry spent a few hours over three days in the last week doing a brief survey of the band.  They noticed that approximately 10% of the transmitters were more than 1kHz off frequency.  The 20kHz band plan requires better stability with the reduced guard band.  A few transmitters were found to be more than 3kHz off frequency.  Some of the coordinees were notified by email.

SCRRBA is not responsible for checking the stability of coordinees transmitters.  The coordinee is responsible for operating within the parameters of their coordination.  If you want SCRRBA to make a quick check of your transmitter frequency then send us an email message.  We won't guarantee that we will respond to 100% of the requests, but if the test equipment is available at the right time then we might be able to check your transmitter frequency.

SCRRBA will continue to use the email address to communicate with coordinees since it has become widely known.

Web Site & E-Mail Update - Gerry Walsh, KB6OOC

After a few months of work, the new SCRRBA website went active around the middle of September (the same day the newsletters were mailed out).  New tools have been used to give the site a much more polished look than it previously had with the "brute force" HTML that was behind it.

The main page has several email addresses that can be used to contact SCRRBA for issues dealing with specific bands or administrative issues.

There are links to a "What's New?" page that will be kept current whenever new pages are added to the website.

A listing of 440MHz open repeaters is on the website and will be kept current as things change.

If you want to receive future newsletters and meeting announcements by email instead of on hard copy, please let us know by sending us email at our address. 

Maintaining A Coordination - Robin Critchell, WA6CDR

None of the information provided by Robin is new.  It can all be found on the SCRRBA website.  Most of the information regarding coordination parameters are contained in the email coordinations being sent out to people changing frequencies (at SCRRBA's request) or those receiving first-time coordinations.

If your repeater goes off the air the clock starts as soon as SCRRBA notices, or earlier if can determine when it went off.

If your repeater does not appear to have a functional input receiver, its not considered a real radio and could be subject to a summary termination.

Recently, site rental fees have been on the rise.  A few coordinees have had to remove their radios from the site because the new rental fee was too difficult to pay.  If this happens to you, please inform SCRRBA (by email or regular mail) the day you take your radio off the site.  If you leave your radio running in your garage for six months - the coordination will be lost.

If you inform SCRRBA that you have removed your radio from a site, the six month clock begins.  If you don't inform SCRRBA, and we find out that you radio is not at its coordinated location anymore, a thirty day clock begins.  If you keep SCRRBA informed and provide good reasons why your radio is not at its coordinated location then the clock can be extended in increments up to three months.  Not being able to pay site fees is not a sufficient reason!

There have been a few coordinees that have learned these policies the hard way and have lost their coordination.  First time coordinees have almost immediately been issued the frequency when this happens.

System owners need to be invisible to site owners.  People shouldn't be calling site owners and complaining about intermod problems, etc.  Its okay to call the site owner if its something that he would want to know about.  Complaining about things is the fastest way to get an owner upset about all amateur radio operators and have all of us thrown out of an entire site for a very long time.  Pay your bills on time!

Current email coordination documents state the parameters of a coordination - frequency, PL, location, power level, antenna gain, antenna height, etc.  Any changes to these parameters need to be approved by SCRRBA.  Operating outside the parameters is cause for revocation of your coordination.

Documents discussing transfer of coordination can be found on the SCRRBA website.

At the next meeting, the documents related to maintaining and/or changing your coordination will be updated and presented for review.

The most important thing is for coordinees to keep communicating with SCRRBA.  With good communication, clocks are not likely to run out un-expectedly.


President Joe Saddler opened the floor for nominations of new officers.  David Corsiglia made a motion to carry the same officers over to the next year.  The motion was seconded and their was no further discussion on the motion.  After a show of hands, the motion was approved and the current officers will continue until next year.

Old Business

There was no old business to discuss.

New Business

In addition to today's SCRRBA General Meeting, the 220MHz Spectrum Management Association (220SMA) was having its quarterly meeting at another location in Anaheim.  There are a few members of both organizations that wish to attend both meetings but if the two meetings occur on the same day each year, its not possible to be at the two meetings.

In order to avoid future conflicts, it was suggested that we might want to have the SCRRBA and 220SMA meetings at the same location on the same day.  The 220SMA meetings four times each year at rotating locations.  They are willing to move their Anaheim meeting to our location at Harvey Mudd College.

One group would have the auditorium first and the other group would use it after the first meeting is complete.  The group that goes first would alternate on an annual basis.

It was moved and seconded to, "Establish a permanent annual SCRRBA meeting on the 3rd Saturday of October at Harvey Mudd College and to combine the effort with the 220SMA with each group alternating annually as to which meeting starts first."

There was no opposition to the motion.  The motion was approved.

SCRRBA will discuss the details with the 220SMA.


The Chairman, Joe Saddler, adjourned the meeting at approximately 12:09 hours.



Last modified: January 21, 2008