Current Reports from the Society - 01/01/2012
Presidentís Message - Andy Carstarphen WY5V
Well, I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and Christmas. I hope everyone was able to enjoy time with friends and family and is looking forward to the new year. You may have noticed some changes. We have a new web site up thanks to Larry Essary who is not only our Secretary, but temporarily the head of the Data Committee. Larry is always working on improving the site. There are sections for current news and events. There are a lot of very fine systems out there. So we are asking for those that would like to share photos of their systems and a write up on your system(s).
We have been busy getting word out about the Society by doing
presentations at some local clubs. So far we have done presentations for the Denton County Amateur Radio Association and the Metrocrest Amateur Radio Society. We are taking off for the holidays but will hit the trail again after the first of the year. We have already received an invitation to visit Corsicana for after the first of the year.
Thatís all for now. 73 and I hope to see you on the air.
73ís Andy WY5V
From our Secretary - Larry Essary K5XG
Greetings to all of our Society membersÖ
The last few months has seen an extraordinary amount of activity by the Officers and Staff of the Society. There has been more forward movement in the Society in these last few months than I have seen in the last decade.
We are making presentations to local ham clubs, cleaning up the coordination and membership databases, adding new functionality to RF Projector, and finally, we have been successful in improving the image of the Society. And membership is UP!
We are working on a complete re-write to our by-laws to get them into the 21st century and our frequency coordination staff has been looking at our coordination standards and will be making a suggestion to move them forward as well.
We have added a new section to our web site for photos of members repeaters. We have had good response so go take a look and maybe you will get an idea for a new project for your own repeater.
We are also sponsoring our first of several radio contests: The 2 Meter Simplex Challenge for all Texas Amateur Radio Operators on December 11, 2011. It will most likely be history before you see this issue of the NEWS. Plaques will be presented to our winners at our winter meeting in San Antonio. If you missed participating in the winter edition there will be another 2 Meter Challenge this summer.
Our vice-president Billy McDonald, AK5DX, and I have been lending our experience and sweat equity to the Boy Scouts of America to help them build a first-class amateur radio station at Camp Wisdom in the Dallas area. Digging holes, pouring concrete, and we are about to finish stacking the tower for them. This is part of the Circle-10 Radio Scouting project in North Texas. There are several other North Texas hams actively participating in all aspects of the project to install first-class stations at the councilís four local camps in Dallas, Texoma,
Athens, and Possum Kingdom. If you are a Scouter please consider getting
Also serving as the current database committee chairman I have been working directly with Matt Stennett; an amazing young man (and creator of RF Projector), to resolve some decades old data issues and to make sure we go forward with a known good data point. Matt has rallied to the call and has just recently activated a program that grabs information from the FCC database on licensees which we import into our own member database. This feature goes a long way to make sure we have the most current information on all our members.
Matt has also been working on software that will allow members to download a file with repeater information, for specific geographic areas, that you can upload to your radio to use when you travel throughout Texas. This is something you will be able to create on the fly through RF Projector.
We are truly living in some amazing times for the Society.
Expect the best from us!
Larry Essary K5XG
From our State Frequency Coordinator - Mark Stennett NA6M
Our annual repeater renewal process kicked off Thanksgiving Day and I am pleased to announce the following statistics as of December 1, 2011.
This year the renewal notices went to every member with an email address in the system, regardless of whether or not they are a repeater trustee. Our goal is to achieve 100 percent renewals this year so please spread the word Renewing your coordinations online is fast, easy and will help us with the accuracy of our data as we get ready to submit to the ARRL for the Repeater Directory in early 2012.
Heads up, Vested members. We have a significant number of repeater systems in our database that have not been renewed in a number of years. We are working hard to bring all systems into renewal compliance with the Standards.
Please see http://txvhffm.org/documents/standards.pdf for more information concerning the annual renewal of your coordinations. Following the electronic renewal cycle this year, we will be mailing those Trustees who did not renew online, a paper renewal form. Please do your part and respond to our call to action to renew your listing in order that we may better serve everyone.
In other news, we are looking at our Standards For Coordination and will be soliciting comment on a number of possible changes. Two items at the top of the list have to do with narrowband channels at the low end of the 2 meter repeater spectrum and spacing between systems. While our current 70 mile spacing between systems is adequate for heights up to 500 feet or so, I think everyone will agree that it is woefully short for systems that are located over 1100 feet and probably too long for systems at less than 100 feet. The good news is that we can easily adapt to varied spacing based on system height with RF Projector. We are also looking to implement Longley-Rice propagation modeling within the program to better predict actual coverage and potential interference between systems.
Also donít forget that we have a proposal from the August 2011 meeting where digital
narrow-band systems can be coordinated on 10khz splinter channels in between the
regular repeater pairs on 2 meters. These systems would be spaced at least 50 miles from the regular pair systems and would not require consent from either neighbor.
This proposal is pending a vested member poll and should be presented for a vote at the next summer meeting.
Our effort to import the FCC database on an automated and regular basis has been successful. This new tool allows us to use FCC data for Trustees and Member addresses and will Update as soon as you update the FCC. Data is downloaded from the FCC any time there is an Update, at five minute intervals as needed. The data is sanitized and
imported to our database for Use by our Membership and Trustee tables. We are also working on an API for logging programs. You can follow our progress on this project by going to : http://fcclookup.com
Finally, you should be aware that since August 2011, the domain services and web hosting for the main Society web site have been taken over by Larry Essary. As a result, the entire frequency coordination team has adopted email addresses at rfprojector.com. The old mailing list for the newsletter notifications seems to not be migrating so we will implement a new list at rfprojector.com.
Please see http://txvhffm.com/coordinators.shtml for specific contact information.
73 de NA6M