Meeting Minutes - October 2010


Minutes of the SCRRBA Annual General Meeting

Saturday October 16, 2010

On Saturday, October 16, 2010 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 about 12:15PM.

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

A check of the 10m band, last night, resulted in only 1 of the 4 coordinated repeaters being found (N6LIV).  Word was received that the 29.68MHz repeater was off the air and was not going to return.

The 6m band hasn't been checked recently.  Gary asked if the community had noticed any improvement since analog TV went off the air.  Two people reported a noticeable improvement.

420MHz Band Report - Skip Hansen, WB6YMH

Skip reported that there was a lot of data collected from last years meeting when coordinees were asked to bring a detailed block diagram of their systems showing all their 420MHz link activity.  The data is still being processed and the database is being updated.  If you have a system with 420MHz links, and did not provide a block diagram at last years meeting, then please send one to Skip as soon as possible.  If you need assistance with 420MHz coordination, contact Skip by email (420 AT scrrba DOT org)

440 MHz Band Report - Robin Critchell, WA6CDR & Gerry Walsh, KB6OOC

Robin noted that there are roughly 650 to 700 coordinates in the 440-450MHz band.  The technical committee has no desire to hold up the coordination process but we do need to increase the committee's involvement.  We are accessible via email (20kHz AT scrrba DOT org) so feel free to send reminders if we haven't responded to your request.

Gerry reported that since the last meeting (2009) we've issued 16 coordinations and that 9 of them were for open repeaters.  One 420MHz coordination was also issued.  He also pointed out the extreme difficulty in finding a frequency for a new coordination request.  To demonstrate that difficulty, he described a new coordination request from a group on Catalina Island who wanted a 1.8W repeater at ground-level in Avalon with the Yagi pointed South (into the dirt of the island).  He got the help of a non-technical committee ham who did a lot of leg work driving around the South Bay and Orange County checking various repeater channels and the Catalina Island signal level.  It became obvious that what looked like a simple coordination was very difficult.  Eventually a good fit channel was found but the existing coordinee made an incredible fuss about not having anyone else on "his channel" that even though the coordination would be technically sound, the new coordinee decided that they didn't want to be involved with such a hotly contested channel and the search for a solution still continues now, several months later. 

902 MHz Band Report - Dave DeGregorio, WA6UZS

Dave reported that he's had a few applications for this band.  One, of which, is an application for the new part of the band that became available after the band plan change that took place at last years meeting since Teletrack left the band. 

At least one coordination agreement was worked out with someone who vacated a channel and many vacant spots are available for coordination for interested parties.

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

Since the last meeting all of the coordinated repeaters, with the exception of the 1283 MHz segment, have been updated.

Before the update we had around 160 coordinated repeaters and now we have about 70.  Many have been off the air awhile, some owners have moved out of the area, passed away or did not respond within 30 days to letters mailed to their FCC database address, or if they did respond and indicate they would be back up and running, did not actually do so within the 3/6 month period.  As a result, there are plenty of channels available.

The most common reason for non-operation was not enough 23cm gear available for both users and repeater owners.  However, there are complete, as well as parts of, repeaters available from those who took down their systems and we have connected a few of those people with those that wanted to get back up and running but their equipment needed replacing.

There are 3 transceivers currently available for 23cm FM voice:
Icom IC-ID1 10W mobile (just under $1K), Alinco tri-band HT DJ-G7T, and a 23cm 10W add-on for the Kenwood TS-2000X base radio.

There are 7 D-Star voice repeaters coordinated in the same 1282-1288MHz segments as FM voice and keeping the same 25kHz channel spacing.  7 D-Star data repeaters are at the same sites as the voice repeaters and are coordinated between 1297 and 1300MHz with 200kHz channel spacing.

Not much change in ATV repeaters, except the addition of a 3.38GHz output on Oat Mountain. 3.38GHz FM ATV is easy and cheap to receive with an old C-band analog satellite receiver and LNB.  An RFC was received for a 915MHz FM ATV repeater input (made possible by the 33cm band plan change this year) and a 6 months test coordination given, but it has not has yet come on the air.  No one has reported seeing video interference from the Recon Robot Part 90 transmitters in the 70cm band nor has anyone heard that any Southern California local law enforcement agencies have received licenses to use them. They are a source of potential interference to ATV simplex at 426.25MHz and repeater input at 434.0MHz as well as other modes in the 70cm band.

FCC Report - Joe Saddler, WA6PAZ

The only issue we were aware of was the Recon Robot mentioned in the 23cm report.  We mentioned BPL in the past.  It seems to have mostly died but doesn't really affect the bands we cover.

Old Business

Joe (WA6PAZ) mentioned that last year we asked 420MHz coordinees to bring a complete system block diagram.  If you haven't done that yet, or if its changed since last year, please send an update to the 420 coordinator (Skip).  He needs those as soon as possible.

Dave (WA6UZS) reminded everyone about the 900MHz bandplan change from last year and that the reason for the change was the Teletrack evacuation of the band.  So far, only 1 person has shown an interest in obtaining coordination in that new portion of the band.

Open Discussion

Someone asked about the effort, by TASMA (the Two-Meter coordinator in this region) to issue coordinations in the 440-450MHz band that SCRRBA does coordinations for.  Robin (WA6CDR) stated that what TASMA does, they do by themselves.  Further, he stated that SCRRBA is the ARRL and NFCC recognized coordination body in this region.  He noted that TASMA has been asking SCRRBA coordinees to provide them with information about their coordinations.  He suggested that SCRRBA coordinees do NOT provide information to TASMA as it will be used to publically publish private coordination information.

Someone said that the TASMA activity is because of the difficulty in knowing what 440-450MHz channels might be available because SCRRBA does not publish that information.  Joe (WA6PAZ) said that this organization has told us (the technical committee) that they do not want the data published.  A policy change, such as this, needs to be published in advance so that all affected members have the opportunity to show up and vote on the matter.  Some of the technical committee members said that this has been voted on several times in the past and the result has always been to NOT publish data (except for open repeaters).  Discussion continued for awhile and eventually a straw poll was taken.  The question posed was, "Who is happy with the current publishing policy?".  A large number of paddles were raised.  It was then asked who wants to see the publication policy change.  Two people raised paddles.  Discussion continued and another straw poll was taken asking if this should be put to a vote of the full membership.  Virtually all paddles were raised.  If a proper proposal is submitted in a timely manner, it will be published in advance of the next meeting so that it can be voted upon by the membership.

Microwave Report - Dave Glawson (WA6CGR)

Dave told those present that there was a Microwave Update conference at the Sheraton Cerritos next week.  For more information see their website.  There will be numerous prizes given out with the top prize being an Agilent N9340B 3GHz portable Spectrum Analyzer (donated by Agilent).  There will be many talks at the conference, which is being sponsored by the San Bernardino Microwave Society.

New Business

During check-in today, coordinees were handed a several page document describing a proposal to attempt to coordinate 11K0 (digital and analog) radios in the 440-450MHz band.  Numerous questions were asked of the coordinee and all were asked to turn in their answers today.  During the meeting, Robin (WA6CDR) reviewed the answers and totaled up the answers to discuss during the "new business".

In order to attempt to coordinate 11K0 radios, SCRRBA would like to try and identify 100kHz segments where the existing coordinees either "narrow in place" from 16kHz occupied bandwidth to 11kHz occupied bandwidth, or accept a move to a new frequency so they can retain their 16kHz occupied bandwidth radios.  This is entirely a voluntary process.  By converting to, or operating a new, 11K0 radio, it must be a fully compliant 11K0 radio.  It cannot be a 16K0 radio with the deviation turned down.  User radios will also need to be 11K0 compliant.  If not, they will hear noise from a transmitter on an adjacent 12.5kHz channel.  To this date, we have not seen a user radio manufactured for amateur service that is both 11K0 and 16K0 compliant where it switches IF filter (and emission mask filters) for each mode.

Today, coordinees representing roughly 110 channels filled out the survey.  About 23 of those stated a willingness to narrow in place.  More than 20 of them are even willing to make a frequency change.  There were also a few system declining to answer fully, and were not counted in this survey.

Discussion took place.  Eventually a motion was made asking if SCRRBA could process 100kHz blocks (assuming SCRRBA can find coordinees willing to move around) in order to come up with 11K0 assignments.  All present were in favor.  None were opposed.

Based on the collected data, SCRRBA will do a write-up and post something on the website to allow comment from the remainder of the membership.

It was suggested that SCRRBA send postcards and emails to the membership to point them to the document on the website so they can properly respond with their system position on the 11K0 questions asked in the document.

The Chairman, Joe Saddler, adjourned the meeting at about 2:16pm.


Last modified: October 19, 2010