Meeting Minutes - October 2003


Minutes of the SCRRBA Annual General Meeting

Saturday October 18, 2003

On Saturday, October 18, 2003 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 12:17PM and welcomed everyone.

Treasurer's Report - Mike Penrose, W6AP

The treasurer, Mike Penrose, was unable to attend today's meeting.

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

None of the 4 coordinated 10m repeaters were found during a check before the meeting.

There are a few 6m applications pending with a few systems testing during the last couple of months.  During the most recent survey from a hilltop in Orange County, 22 active repeaters were found.  Activity seems to be a bit on the upturn lately and there seems to be a lot of interest in the 6m band.

There are a number of 53MHz channels available for new coordinations.

420 - 440 MHz Band Report - Robin Critchell, WA6CDR

We have a new person who is willing to do the work in this band segment.  Before he gets started, we need to get the database setup and spend a few months training him.

When we get through sweeping and cleaning the band, there should be plenty of places to deal with the coordination requests we have on file right now.  There isn't a surplus of frequencies available, but there are enough to deal with the work that needs to be done.

Some of the larger systems have been more realistic about their plans and have actually returned pairs they are not using.  Off hand, there are probably 20 pairs that people have just stopped using over the years.  Several of those users have notified us about their lack of use and have returned those frequencies.  Many others haven't notified us and we'll have to find those during a survey and following up with email or phone calls to the coordinees.

There doesn't seem to be any long term problems for the 420-440MHz band - only short term problems that involve labor and energy.  For the most part, people requesting coordination in this band have been very patient and have specific tasks in mind.

Roughly, there are about 20 requests for coordination that need to be handled.

440 - 450 MHz Band Report - Robin Critchell, WA6CDR

A great deal of energy has been spent on a few problems where people seem to want things their way or no way.  Beyond that, there are outstanding requests that we should be able to solve, most of which are in the perimeter of the area (high desert for example). 

At the moment, we've filled in all the 20kHz allocations.  Fortunately, we haven't had to adjudicate any interference problems between adjacent channels.  The cooperation with the 20kHz band plan changes was phenomenal.  However, in some cases we have had to push attrition issues.

If you notice a radio missing from a channel, send us email ( and that will start the clock on their coordination.  We'll watch the 3 and 6 month clocks very closely!   Also, we will cut slack for folks who's radios are at places like Blueridge and the radio died in the Winter.  If coordinees aren't using their radio for 6 months, we'll pull the coordination and assign it one of the many new folks waiting for coordination.

Test pair repeaters should not have links or IRLP systems connected to them.  These tend to cause excessive activity on the channel and leave little or no room for other users.  The test pairs are "shared" channels.  Several of the repeaters on the two test pairs are associated with real applications.  There are a few systems on the test pair that have never filed an application.

If you pull your radio off its coordinated site (Santiago for example) for 2 years and then suddenly decide to put it back up (at Saddle Peak for example), don't do it.  You need to communicate with us when you pull your radio off its coordinated site in order to maintain your coordination.  If you decided to put it back up at some other site, you may be causing interference to other co-channel activity or to other users at your new site (mixes do happen with the right combination of frequencies!).

In general, the activity on the band is low - particularly on standalone repeaters with few users.  Eventually, we may contact some of these system and see if we can get them to share their channel with another system.  Overall, there are probably a few dozen radios with truly zero activity except maybe for a few words during the commute hours.

We don't have any mechanism to tell people that their radio is not active enough.  If its at its coordinated site and its working properly, we have no basis to tell people that someone else is more important than they are and that they have to get off the channel.  If the community wants to have a mechanism for this, it will probably take a few meetings to come up with the necessary methods to make this happen.  That would be a drastic change in how we do business.

If your system activity is rather low and you would be willing to share the channel with another system that would not normally be coordinated physically close to yours, let us know.  We might be able to find another system with low activity and the co-channel arrangement might work quite well.

Several systems have received coordination because the clock ran out on an existing coordination.  Sometimes this causes problems at the back end when the previous coordinee says they didn't mean to have their radio off for one, two, or three years.  The rules on this are very clear.  They are the same, and they haven't changed.  They've been discussed at meetings for the last 25 years and they are published on the website.

900 MHz Band Report - Dave DeGregorio, WA6UZS

The activity on this band is not much more than a trickle.  There is room available for new coordinations.  Unfortunately, the big three manufacturers don't really support this band so the it makes it a difficult band to use.  There are ways to get gear for this band.  Some of it needs modification.

Recently, there was one new coordination application that was completed and a frequency was issued.  There was one other group that was interested (in the San Diego area) but decided to pull their application.

There are 72 pairs on the band with 12.5kHz channel spacing and a 25MHz offset between repeater input and output.  Currently, there are 26 coordinations on record that are more or less active systems.

1200 MHz Band Report - Tom O'Hara, W6ORG

There are currently 160 coordinations on the band.  About 80 coordinations are for link channel assignments.

There hasn't been a full band survey in the last few years.  Most of the same problems exist in this band that exist in the 70cm band (such as rising site costs making people go away).  For 2003, there has only been one new application.  In the past, the average was 6-to-10 new applications each year.  There are plenty of channels available for new coordination.

Equipment costs (for repeaters) are often prohibitive.  Kenwood is still making a 1200MHz mobile radio and several groups have used two of these back-to-back for their repeater.  Icom has their new D-Star system but its not clear if it will work very well here.  It's fairly complex and quite expensive ($3900 for the repeater).  It requires the user radios to have an ID to open the repeater.  In addition, their 10GHz backbone equipment costs $6300 each.  Other expensive items that are limiting the use of the 1200MHz band are items like a 23cm antenna from Icom ($2000), and a 10GHz antenna that costs about $11,000.  Time will tell if there is any interest in this new equipment.  Any request for coordination using the D-Star system will most probably be put in the digital band segment.

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.  Two are off the air right now for an HDTV change and for solar power problems.  Of the 11 repeaters, two have outputs on 900MHz, seven have outputs on 1200MHz, two have outputs on 3GHz, and one on 5.9GHz.  Eight have inputs on 434MHz, one on 900MHz, five on 2.4GHz, and two on 10GHz.  Seven of the repeaters are linked on 2.4GHz.

There has been in increase in the use of higher frequencies for alternate inputs into the ATV repeaters.

More RACES and ARES groups are using 426.25MHz, and more people have been buying ATV equipment since 9/11/01 for use with activities related to Homeland Security and public service events.

Several people have been making portable repeaters for helicopter use or other public service activity.  Among those are about 30 different cities in Southern California.

For any ATV coordination issues you can use the email address.

FCC Report - Robin Critchell, WA6CDR

There hasn't been much FCC activity that impacts what we are doing. 

FM-based repeater matters appear to be the largest area of action from the FCC.  There has been quite a bit of intruder activity on other bands.

Several commercial systems, in Mexico, have been operating in the 440-450MHz band and are using the 20kHz spacing we recently changed to.  At least one of these commercial systems was transmitting on amateur repeater input and rendered that system unusable.  For quite some time, we were unable to issue that frequency to anyone.  After about a year the commercial system went away but after a short period they showed up again, but on the output of the same frequency pair.

Most of the 2.4GHz intruders are from public safety organizations.

Navy Activities in the 420-450MHz Band - Robin Critchell, WA6CDR

Amateur activities are secondary to the military in the 420-450MHz band.  This has been a successful arrangement forever.  Once in awhile they notice us and ask for cooperation.  Its been about 15 years since we had any contact with the military.  Recently, we've exchanged several email messages with the Navy at Point Magu.  Robin asked Cecil Casillas (WD6FZA) to speak about his recent contact with the Navy....

Two months ago, Cecil received a call from the Point Magu frequency coordinator for military operations in the Pacific test range.  Their center frequency of operation is at about 425MHz.  When they heard certain 420MHz amateur activity that they felt might hinder their activity, they contacted Cecil and asked if he could shut off his equipment for the duration of the test.  Cecil notified him that his equipment had been coordinated for a very long time and asked for a bit more information.  The Navy coordination told him that they were running a $1 million test and they needed a clear frequency for their missile destruct commands.  Cecil agreed to disable his transmitter during their test.  The Navy was very cooperative and Cecil has been doing this for the past few months and has disabled his transmitter about a half dozen times.  Cecil was curious and asked if they could provide a plot from a spectrum analyzer.  He was told that his transmitter was basically at the noise level.   The Navy has always been very pleasant and has thanked him for turning off his transmitter.  They have said they will eventually not be using these frequencies.  That completed Cecil's discussion and he returned the floor to Robin...

Robin said that Cecil has been given the Navy excellent cooperation.  The Navy has only been asking for certain 420MHz transmitters to be turned off if they are in the Saddle Peak to Hollywood Hills area.  The Navy has been hearing some of these transmitters at their site on San Nicholas Island but the signals are very weak.  Their range rules require a block of frequencies to be clear for a valid launch.

Robin has exchanged a few emails with the Navy coordinator and has asked them what they really need so that we can do our best to accommodate them.  They have activity across the entire 420-450MHz band.  For now, things will be done on a case-by-case basis.  Coordination with the Navy has been very good.  So far, they have not asked us for a specific change.  If you are asked to turn off some portion of your equipment for a test they are doing, it will help all of us if you cooperate right away since that will keep us all in good relations.

We aren't going to loose the band over this activity.  If there is anything significant to report we will post it on our website.  Last time we heard, the Navy transmitter was running 400KW ERP. 

ARRL Report - Tuck Miller, NZ6T 

Fried was unable to attend today's meeting but Tuck Miller, N6ZT (the ARRL Southwestern Division Vice Director) was at the meeting.

Tuck briefly mentioned the Broadband over Power Line issue that is a current hot topic for the league.  He urged those at the meeting to write your comments to the FCC.


NFCC Report - Jim Fortney, K6IYK

The National Frequency Coordinators Council (NFCC) has not done anything lately.  The FCC's Riley Hollingsworth has been able to handle things himself and has had no reason to contact the NFCC for any enforcement issues (or vise versa).

Coordination Issues - Robin Critchell, WA6CDR

If you need to make any changes to your system, we need to know about it.  If you need to move we need to know about it.  You can get in touch with us by filing an updated RFC ( or by email (  We will let you know if your proposed changes will create a problem BEFORE you make the change!

If you change your mailing address, we need to know about it!  Not only do we need to know about it, the FCC must know about it or you may simply lose your license if the FCC sends you mail through the US Postal Service and its returned to them as undeliverable (see the FCC rules - Part 97.23).

To maintain your coordination, you need to be on the frequency and in the building that was on the RFC you sent us and on the coordination documents we sent you.  Some coordinations have ERP and antenna direction parameters.  ALL of the parameters must be abided by in order to maintain your coordination!  If that's not the case, you're not coordinated anymore!

Never assume that any administrative change has been completed until you've communicated with us completely.

If, for example, your coordination documents say your repeater is at Santiago Peak and we find out you are at Mt. Lukens, your coordination is gone!


President Joe Saddler opened the floor for nominations of new officers. A motion was made 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

Someone asked if anyone was using the 449.460MHz frequency (assigned for remote base use per the May 1999 band plan) as an intertie or for any purpose.  No one present indicated they were using the frequency, however several people at the 1999 band planning meeting did intend to use it.


The Chairman, Joe Saddler, adjourned the meeting at about 3:15pm.


Last modified: September 18, 2008