Minutes of the OVH Meeting

17 April 2000

The meeting was called to order at 8:01 PM by Art Whittum (KW4AW) acting as Chair.

Following the Pledge of Allegiance, all present stated their names and call signs.

Attendance: 20 Members, 1 Past Member and 1 Guest

The past month's minutes and current financial status were approved by the membership. The Treasurer, being absent, had his report entered by the Chair.

Committee Reports:

Finance: MaryLu Blasdell (KB4EFP)

The latest roster indicates that we have 79 members down from 100+. There are a lot of people that have not paid their dues yet.

Hamfest/Scholarships: Jack McDermott (N4YIC)

Scholarships are due to Jack by May 1. They usually come in late. We have two $1000 scholarships to vote on next meeting - we have three in hand now.

Insurance for Hamfest, VE Tests and lessons are in place and active.

Hamfest is contracted 3 years ahead. This is the 26th year! We are contracting for 10 less tables than last year, and the truck is ready with John doing the driving. They are scheduled for pickup on the Friday before (June 2) and returned on the Monday after (June 5).

Tickets are made and printed and in hand. Charlie (WA1FFX) is under budget for all four prizes. Jack has burned up the fax machine sending faxes to stores and vendors. Winchester ARC is handling our parking (confirmed). Two PWC officers have been requested for the event - one all day and one for the end of the day to help people get back on to 234. Jack is waiting to hear back on that. Letter is off to Lake Jackson VFD for medical support to staff the first aid station. Fire Marshall has been contacted to survey the site around 11 am on Saturday prior to the event.

Manassas City signs are awaiting approval from the Manassas City Manager. PWC has a new ordinance that will fine you $100 for each unapproved sign. The County has no approval process to have signs approved. We are at an impasse on that at the moment - we will put them up and take them down as soon as possible to avoid "detection."

Repeaters will be open for the Hamfest.

Food concession will be provided by the Park West Lions Ladies Auxiliary.

No ARRL book table because the ARRL no longer provides books. Waiting to find out if the FAR representative will attend (her husband had a heart attack).

QSL bureau will be there. DX QSL checkers will not be there because of a change in QSL checking procedures. Tables are still available.

Stafford is starting its own Hamfest in October. It will be 14 October at the Mt. Ararat Baptist Church. More details as they become available.

WE STILL NEED HELP! Contact Jack. This is our sole fundraising event for the year that funds the scholarships and keeps the repeaters operating, so come on out.

Awards: Board of Directors

The Board awarded a certificate of appreciation to Steve Frick (N4OGR) for service as Vice President at the March meeting. Steve picked up his award at this meeting.

Membership: Jeff Poulin (KV4AP)

Daniel Pawlak (KF4KKF), Jason Earle (No Call), Glen Smith (KC5UYA) were voted into the membership unanimously. Garrison "Gary" Cavell (K4MRL) was read into the minutes. His application will be voted on next month. Welcome Daniel, Jason and Glen - see Jack to volunteer for the Hamfest.

License Classes: Bill Hinely (K4WRG)

There are 8 students in the class (a good turnout!) and they have already had three classes. The room is good and progress is being made. Bill is asking if there is interest in holding classes for the higher level licenses? If so, please let him know. If we get enough interest, we could schedule one. The Advanced book is being touted as a good desktop reference for all Hams.

Repeater: Art Wittem: (KW4AW)

We still have three of them. KE2AM bailed Art out of his fix with the power transistor on the 40W module. The power transistor is now soldered back on to the module and is ready for final check out. Problems with the 440 are triangulating around the amplifier. This evenings program is on repeater operation.

ARES: Erv Whalen (KT4DS)

Events upcoming:

April 15: Bull Run Run - Ultra Marathon

April 29: MS Walks - being held in Reston, Manassas, Montgomery County

April 29: Dogwood 1/2 Hundred (30 mile endurance hike in the GW National Forest)

May 6: Dulles Airport Drill with NVAEMS

PW Hospital is expecting to receive 9-12 "patients". PWC is sending units to the drill but there is no formal call for assistance from Amateur Radio.

May 13-14: Massanutten Mountain Trail 100 Mile Ultra 24hr run

June 3-4: MS Bike 150 Manassas - Fredericksburg and back

June 4: OVH Hamfest

Contact Erv for details and contact information. Erv is the contact for the Dogwood 1/2 Hundred.

New Business

The OVH voted to purchase a set of the new ARRL books for the new license classes as soon as they are available and donate them to the PWC libraries in our area (Central and Bull Run).


Program: Mike Sever (WV3H) Repeater Review

Secretary's Note: Because of the wide distribution of these minutes, the actual command codes discussed during the meeting will not be repeated here. However, the syntax for execution will be. For convenience, all DTMF numbers sent to the repeater as a control code will be represented by an x and other symbols will be represented as themselves. For example, to initiate an autopatch, you would key *xxx, where xxx is the autopatch code sent to all paid members. You should have found it attached to your April Newsletter. If you did not receive the newsletter, please contact Jeff.

Please hold on to this "FAQ" (Frequently Asked Questions) so that you can refer to them if you forget how to operate the repeater. Please contact a member of the Technical Committee for actual codes if you feel you have need of them.

Background: A year ago we purchased LinkComm controller to control our repeaters. This permits 9 user levels from 0 (basic user) to 8 (SuperUser). Most users are level 0 users. Mike has got the programming of the repeater down to a series of five text files that can be changed and uploaded to the repeater to modify functionality. We have three repeaters at 2m, 220MHz, and 440MHz, all operating independently but capable of being linked together. The 2m is linked to the 220MHz almost all the time to support the Novice users (who have access to 220MHz, but not 2m).

Programming is done by "reverse" autopatch which is only available to the control operators. Current firmware is due to be upgraded soon. Current programming can be done without disruption of the repeater.

The autopatch requires you to dial the 703 prefix. This was decided as consensus of the members at the meeting with the new 571 area code coming.

Using the autopatch (Emergency Operations)

1) Announce your intention to use the autopatch and that it is an emergency.

2) "Kerchunk" the repeater and while holding the PTT, enter *911 for emergency services. There are also defaults for State and local police. See your membership card.

3) The autopatch will time out after 2 1/2 minutes. FCC requires a maximum time out value of 3 minutes.

4) When talking with Emergency Services, state that you are an Amateur Radio operator, give your call sign and state that you are on an autopatch then WAIT for prompting from Emergency Services. They have a script that they will follow to verify that they get all the correct information. Wait for them to prompt you for data.

4) When Emergency Services is finished, send a # to bring the link down. Note that there will be a time out signal 30 seconds before the repeater autopatch times out.


Using the autopatch (Normal Operation)

To bring up the autopatch:

1) Announce your intention to use the autopatch

2) "Kerchunk" the repeater and while holding the PTT, enter *xxx followed by the phone number with area code. Note that our repeater will only dial local numbers.

3) The autopatch will time out after 2 1/2 minutes. FCC requires a maximum time out value of 3 minutes.

4) When you are finished with your call, send a # to bring the autopatch down.

The rest of the discussion revolved around the codes and the command sets to program various functions on the repeater. These commands are available to members only. Please contact the Technical committee for a copy of the commands and their use if you have need of them.

John Fritsch (N4YOB) will chair the next meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:40 PM