NARC meeting 7.12.16

MINUTES OF THE NAPIER AMATEUR RADIO CLUB

Meeting on Wednesday 7 December 2016 at the Clubrooms

123 Latham Street

Chair: Dave ZL2MQ, the meeting started at 7:30 pm.

Present: Revell ZL2SS, Dave ZL2DW, Laurie ZL2TC, Blue ZL3TT, Rob ZL2US, Peter ZL2CD, Stan ZL2ST, Mike ZL2VM, Paul ZL2HB, Stu ZL2XC, Wally ZL2MO and Karl ZL1TJ.

Apologies: ZL2IT.

Minutes of previous meeting: Read and confirmed to be correct: ZL2CD, ZL2MQ.

Arising: Dave ZL2DW reported the annual combined branches christmas dinner at the Taradale RSA was another success, and so was the annual ‘gold card’ bus excursion. The memory of SK ZL2BCE was toasted by all eight participants

Correspondence: Email to NZART Engineering, Licencing and Band planning Group (ELG) regarding the recently allocated beacon frequency of 144.270MHz. This frequency is too close to existing Waipuna beacon (144.271MHz) which operates at high power (100W). A new frequency (144.265) was requested by Laurie ZL2TC.

Finance: Stan reported receipt of the annual refund from lines company Unison ($150). Some subs have been paid. The MBIE database needs to be updated with new addresses etc. Signatories for the club’s bank account need to be amended. Moved by Stan ZL2ST and seconded by Mike ZL2VM that club president Dave ZL2MQ and secretary Karl ZL1TJ are to be empowered to operate the club’s bank account in addition to treasurer Stan ZL2ST. Cheques to require two signatures. Carried.

General Business: Laurie moved that the club apply to ELG for a beacon frequency of 144.265MHz, reasons: see correspondence above. Seconded by Dave ZL2MQ. Carried.

Stan reminded the meeting of the recent passing of ZL2CZ who was AREC section leader of NARC for many years. Dave 2MQ mentioned the International Space Station passing over on 9.12, possibly transmitting live pictures on ham frequencies. Check it out on the web. Also, the 6m band has been open recently. Stan 2ST reported successful participation of the local ZM4T contest group in the latest CQ WW CW contest. Held at Holger’s QTH and supported by himself, 2IB, 2MY, 4YL in ‘multi one’ mode. A respectable score was achieved.

Dave ZL2MQ thanked Laurie ZL2TC, who is soon moving back to his home town Whanganui, for all the work he did for the club during his 12 years as club president and before. We all wished Laurie well for the future and as he now is a life member look forward to his visits to the club.

The meeting closed at 8 pm and was followed by Revell ZL2SS presenting ‘The History of Radio’.

As the title implies, this was about the beginning of radio technology, not just Ham radio.

Illustrated with an excellent slideshow Revell expressed the view that, although patents were granted to individuals, much of the actual work was done by a large number of people before.

These were the people originally investigating such things as magnetism, static electricity, lightning and the storage of electrical energy in batteries. It was only when Marconi (and others) put the available (mostly telegraph by wire) bits together with a (sparking) source of RF energy that wireless transmission was born. Marconi is credited with the addition of functional antennas.

A most interesting talk which must have taken considerable time to prepare.

Karl ZL1TJ Sec. NARC.

Club Meeting 2 November 2016

MINUTES OF THE NAPIER AMATEUR RADIO CLUB

Meeting on Wednesday 2 November 2016 at the Clubrooms 123 Latham Street

Chair: Wally ZL2MO, the meeting started at 7:30 pm.

Present: Revell ZL2SS, Dave ZL2DW, Laurie ZL2TC, Bert ZL2OC, Blue ZL3TT, Michael ZL2MY, Rob ZL2US, Dave ZL2MQ, Peter ZL2CD, Stan ZL2ST, Mike ZL2VM, Errol ZL2IT, Stu McLeod and Karl ZL1TJ.

Apologies: ZL2HB, ZL2DC, ZL2CZE.

Minutes of previous meeting: Read and confirmed to be correct: ZL3ST, ZL2OC.

Arising: Dave ZL2DW: The switch to the 670 repeater of the combined branches Sunday morning net has been proven to be a good move, participation is up. The old 3615 frequency was monitored for several weeks. The proposed cancellation of several repeater licences has now been actioned.

Laurie: The wording of the proposed NZART remit was slightly altered, it should appear in the next Break-In magazine.

Correspondence: Received: Annual accounts for 1) Club rooms ground rental from the Napier City Council and 2) licence fees from Radio Spectrum Management.

Outwards: The proposed remit for the 2017 conference to NZART and various emails pertaining to the Club’s AGM.

Finance: To be discussed as part of the AGM following the monthly meeting.

General Business: Laurie reported that, as application has been made for new beacon frequencies, the existing beacon licences have been cancelled. The ‘old’ beacons must now be switched off.

Rob ZL2US reminded all of both the planned combined branches Christmas dinner at the Taradale RSA and the annual Gold Card Codgers Free Bus Trip with lunch at the Napier RSA. Some anecdotes of the inaugural bus trip ‘regaled’ potential participants.

Dave ZL2MQ reported some recent spectacular DX on 6 meters.

The meeting closed at 7:45pm and was followed by the AGM which was followed by the

Annual PAN-PAC construction contest:

Entries were as follows:

Stu McLeod: 75 Watt transformerless valve driven amplifier and Electrostatic Loudspeaker.

Dave ZL2DW: 1) upgrade to the ‘Postage Stamp’ (section) square loop antenna (see next Break-In) and 2) a redesigned common mode choke for the (farm) cross gully long wire antenna.

Laury ZL2TC: own design 2 band (2m and 70cm) J pole antenna with balun.

Dave ZL2MQ: 23 cm Transverter with various refinements.

When put to the vote, Stu’s Electrostatic speaker won with a one point margin over Laurie’s antenna. The evening was rounded off with the usual cup of tea and a chat.

Karl Matthys ZL1TJ, Secretary NARC.

Club Meeting 5 October 2016

MINUTES OF THE NAPIER AMATEUR RADIO CLUB

Meeting on Wednesday 5 October 2016 at the Clubrooms 123 Latham Street

Chair: Wally ZL2MO, the meeting started at 7:30 pm.

Present: Revell ZL2SS, Dave ZL2DW, Laurie ZL2TC, Bert ZL2OC, Blue ZL3TT, Michael ZL2MY, Rob ZL2US, Dave ZL2MQ, Peter ZL2CD, Stan ZL2ST, Stu McLeod and Karl ZL1TJ.

Apologies: ZL2HB, ZL2DC, ZL2VM, ZL2IT.

Minutes of previous meeting: Read and confirmed to be correct: ZL3TT, ZL2MQ.

Arising: Stan reported discussions with both Contact Energy and the Unison lines company. The Radio Club remains classified as Commercial (by Unison). Next step: shop around for the best deal.

Correspondence: Received from Branch 13, proposal to reduce the number of repeaters in the area.

Finance: Account for beacon licence application presented by Laurie.

General Business: Laurie tabled a proposed remit for the 2017 NZART Conference: “That any contacts made via a terrestial VHF or UHF repeater shall not count for the NZART “Worked All Districts” and “VHF Century Club” awards, and any such contacts shall be invalid for the purposes of these awards. After discussion it was moved by Laurie ZL2TC and seconded by Karl ZL1TJ that the remit is submitted to NZART for consideration. For: 7, against: 1, carried.

Dave ZL2DW explained the outcome of the discussion regarding repeaters (usage, maintenance and costs) held at the most recent Branch 13 meeting. It is proposed that licences for 870 Te Mata, 605 Te Mata and 9175 Clifton are not renewed. Other licences for repeaters which are used by a few ‘special interest’ operators such as APRS, IRLP, D-Star and beacon licences are to be maintained for the present but may also become ‘debatable’ eventually depending on future MED licence fees.

The proposal is that Branch 13 and Branch 25 pay for 4 licences each thereby ending the long standing sharing arrangement. After an in depth discussion the proposal was agreed to unanimously.

Dave also reported the Branch 13 proposal to move the combined branches weekly net from the present frequencies (3615 and the 9175 repeater) to the 670 repeater. There were no objections.

Rob ZL2US announced the combined branches annual dinner: 25 November at the Taradale RSA.

Also, the next Branch 13 meeting and meal will be at Waipawa on the 26th of October, bookings for the meal to Rob or Dave 2DW. Blue ZL3TT is to organise a visit to his workplace, Weldwell, probably March next year.

Wally ZL2MO announced his resignation as President of the NARC at the next AGM. Work pressure and doing night shifts are making meeting attendance increasingly difficult.

The meeting closed at 8:20pm.

Followed by The annual Quiz and Sticky Buns event. Organised by Laurie, the questions (10 general knowledge and 9 radio technology) were ‘medium difficulty’, good questions with the odd trap for the unwary. Won by Dave ZL2MQ with only one wrong answer, second place to the undersigned and third place shared by ZL2DW and ZL2ST. Thanks Laurie for a fun exercise.

Karl Matthys ZL1TJ, Secretary NARC.

Club meeting 7 September 2016

MINUTES OF THE NAPIER AMATEUR RADIO CLUB

Meeting on Wednesday 7 September 2016 at the Clubrooms 123 Latham Street

Chair: Laurie ZL2TC, the meeting started at 7:30 pm.

Present: Revell ZL2SS, Dave ZL2DW, Paul ZL2HB, Bert ZL2OC, Blue ZL3TT, Michael ZL2MY, Rob ZL2US, Dave ZL2MQ, Peter ZL2CD, Stu McLeod and Karl ZL1TJ.

Apologies: ZL2MO, ZL2DC, ZL2VM, ZL2IT.

Minutes of previous meeting: Read and confirmed to be correct: ZL3TT, ZL2MY.

Arising: Rob ZL2US produced some further information on our neighbour the Manshed’s power account. It would appear that they are getting a much better deal from their power supplier (Contact Energy). A switch will no doubt be proposed at the next committee meeting.

Correspondence: Received, notice of decision from the Auckland Council on recommendations by the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel on submissions to the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan. Letter from Blair ZL3TOY regarding the QTenna project and notice from NZART Council regarding public liability insurance.

Finance: no financial transactions reported.

General Business: Rob ZL2US: The next Branch 13 weekend course for aspiring radio amateurs is planned for 12 and 13 November. Three candidates have expressed interest sofar, two from Palmerston North and one from Napier. The minimum number for the course to proceed is eight so 5 more recruits are needed. Spread the word. A booking fee of $40 is required to cover preparatory expenses. Additional tutors are needed also to cover an hour or so to give the main tutors a break.

Dave ZL2DW mentioned that at the next branch 13 meeting the issue of repeater licenses and license fees will be discussed. Branch 13 may decide to reduce the number of repeaters it supports and as the cost of some of these is shared between the two branches Napier ARC will be consulted.

Another aspect of repeater ownership that needs addressing is ongoing maintenance. Presently repeaters are being maintained (without charge) by members who happen to be professional technicians and who have access to the commercial repeater sites. Once they retire (or just get to old to climb icy towers, see last month’s minutes!) the owners of the sites may not be agreeable to unqualified amateurs having access.

Another question is: will there be adequate technical know-how in The Bay to maintain repeater equipment or will ‘outside’ expertise need to be brought in? All in all, repeaters may become ‘a thing of the past’ eventually.

The meeting closed at 8:20pm.

Followed by Revell ZL2SS introducing his talk on the History of Radio.

Earliest radio transmission and reception was (amazingly) achieved by purely mechanical means. No electronics as we know it, valves, semiconductors, amplifiers were involved.

Revell spent many hours collecting info and pictures but the power-point presentation he prepared on his home computer would not run on the club’s computer due to software age differences.

Part two (the major part) of Revell’s talk will be delivered at the October or November meeting.

Karl Matthys ZL1TJ, Secretary NARC.

Napier ARC meeting 3 August 2016

MINUTES OF THE NAPIER AMATEUR RADIO CLUB

Meeting on Wednesday 3rd August at the Clubrooms 123 Latham Street

Chair: Wally ZL2MO, the meeting started at 7:30 pm.

Present: Laurie ZL2TC, Revell ZL2SS, Dave ZL2DW, Paul ZL2HB, Bert ZL2OC, Blue ZL3TT, Stan ZL2ST, Michael ZL2MY, Rob ZL2US, Peter ZL2HM, Dave ZL2MQ, Stu McLeod and Karl ZL1TJ

Apologies: ZL2CD, ZL2DC, ZL2VM, ZL2IT, ZL2LF.

Minutes of previous meeting: Read and confirmed to be correct ZL3TT, ZL2MY.

Arising: Our new neighbours, the ‘Men’s Shed’ are ‘de facto’ represented by Rob ZL2US who is a Men’s Shed member. Rob will investigate the possibility of future cooperation. Dave ZL2DW reminded us that BreakOut articles are needed from Napier ARC members. Closeoff date: the 14th.

Correspondence: Email exchanges with 2DW and 2TC regarding beacon and repeater trustee status. To be discussed in General Business.

Finance: No major transactions reported by treasurer Stan.

General Business: Laurie announced his resignation as Trustee for the Club’s ZL2MHB beacons and the three repeaters: 147.250 Taraponui , 434.050 Taraponui, and 434.850 Mt Erin. Dave ZL2MQ was asked and agreed to take on this responsibility. He was duly appointed, NZART and Call Book compiler Peter Mulhare to be informed of the change without delay.

Rob 2US reported that the Branch 13 recent junk sale was, though still financially helpful, somewhat ‘overdone’, too much junk and tight pockets. A different format may be needed.

A reminder from Laurie that the annual Hamilton Junk sale is on August 13th.

Paul ZL2HB expressed interest in taking part in the annual Fieldday contest, primarily to learn and experiment with temporary aerials and improvised conditions. Rob stated that a contest is normally entered into to win and as such there is little opportunity for experimentation. Antenna’s are usually prepared beforehand and installed in the hours before the actual contest. Both Stan 2ST and Michael 2MY, both seasoned contest operators, offered to include Paul in the next contest’s ‘setting up’.

The meeting closed at 8:15pm.

Followed by Dave ZL2DW’s discourse on repeaters and related topics.

Dave started by reminding us that signal reports involving repeater links are relatively subjective. The S meter will indicate repeater strength, not the input station’s strength. If a report is requested, ignore the meter and just evaluate the signal by ear. Laurie added that poor reception can just as easily be the result of inadequate receiving gear as the result of poor transmission. Of course!

After discussing basic repeater function Dave explained the more complex arrangements at the 9175 repeater and HF accessor site specifically to questions from Revell ZL2SS. The arrangement is used for the weekly Sunday morning combined branches net when both UHF 9175 and 3.615 HF can be used to participate. Next another look at the National System and how Hawke’s Bay is linked to this. Remember that the longer distances involve many ‘hops’, e.g. 8 to Dunedin, and it takes time to put the repeaters in transmit mode. Hence press the transmit button and wait a few seconds before speaking. The IRLP set up came next and the complex pathways involved. Again patience is a virtue for similar reasons.

Dave finished off by showing the original 670 repeater, locally constructed with the assistance of the Hamilton VHF group and active from 1976. Replaced with more interference proof commercial gear in 1993. Original cavity filters built by Erroll ZL2IT are still in use and have proved to be very stable. Laurie took over and showed the original 725 repeater installed 1981 and replaced with Tait gear in 1995. The extreme weather conditions at Taraponui are a problem as antennas and support structures suffer from both ice and wind and need regular fixing, usually under bad conditions.

Dave requested his epitaph to read: “Remember the icy storms I suffered for Hawke’s Bay Hams”. (…. ..)

Karl ZL1TJ, Secretary Branch 25.

Club Meeting 6 July 2016

MINUTES OF THE NAPIER AMATEUR RADIO CLUB

Meeting on Wednesday 6 July at the Clubrooms 123 Latham Street

Chair: Wally ZL2MO, the meeting started at 7:30 pm.

Present: Laurie ZL2TC, Revell ZL2SS, Dave ZL2DW, Paul ZL2HB, Bert ZL2OC, Blue ZL3TT, Peter ZL2CD, Stan ZL2ST, Erroll ZL2IT, Mike ZL2MY, Tom ZL1TO and Karl ZL1TJ.

Apologies: ZL2US, ZL2DC, ZL2VM, ZL2MQ.

Wally welcomed visitor Tom McDonald ZL1TO, Secretary of the Franklin ARC.

Minutes of previous meeting: Read and confirmed to be correct ZL2HB, ZL2MY.

Arising: no matters arising.

Correspondence: Annual information sheet to NZART. Email exchanges regarding shared Branch 13 and Branch 25 Examination Supervisors.

Finance: Laurie reported selling the Club’s 2KW linear amplifier for $700. Stan is still looking for a better deal with the Club’s power supplier. Wally made contact with our neighbours, ‘The Man Shed’. It would appear their monthly power account is in the region of S50, which is about half of ours. Wally to get further details.We now have a ‘Smart’ KWh meter, another meter reader un-employed. Lower cost should result in lower charges?

General Business: Dave ZL2DW reported on Branch 13’s ongoing antenna height discussion with the Hastings District Council. It would appear that Court action is to be avoided and a satisfactory agreement can be reached. The eventual positive outcome, achieved at some financial cost to Branch 13, may set a precedent for the next Napier City Council plan review resulting in a better outcome for Napier Amateurs. Tom ZL1TO mentioned the ongoing struggle in Auckland where combined clubs have raised some $6000 to fight height restrictions in the Auckland Unitary Plan.

Dave ZL2DW: news items and articles for Breakout are needed. The next Branch 13 meeting will feature the annual donated equipment auction.

The meeting closed at 8:10pm.

Followed by the annual Show and Tell event:

Dave ZL2DW: a handy arrangement of two small vices on a supporting stand: The Third Hand. Also a beautifully made 1:1 balun, (HF bands, 50 Ohms) and third item a KVE60C antenna analyser, pocket sized and the graphic colour displays shows all ‘dips’ simultaneously.

Laurie: The latest Wouxun 2 band hand held, Ham and commercial bands and broadcast FM. Robust, can be bought on eBay for below $100 (be sure shipping costs are not excessive). The enclosed programming software will not run on Windows 10, Laurie found the W10 software on the internet but had to pay seperately for this. All up still a great radio for a good price.

Erroll: two items constructed from low cost (eBay again) components. The first a wideband field strength meter using a logarithmic amplifier IC and a Picaxe processor to drive the digital display. The second a VHF / UHF Power and VWSR meter based on a low cost directional coupler. Again using a Picaxe to drive digital display. Errol, while claiming computer programming not to be one of his strengths, did write the programs for both applications.

Hi Tech Ham Radio.

Karl ZL1TJ, Secretary Branch 25.

Club meeting 1 June 2016

MINUTES OF THE NAPIER AMATEUR RADIO CLUB

Meeting on Wednesday 1 June at the Clubrooms 123 Latham Street

Chair: Wally ZL2MO, the meeting started at 7:30 pm.

Present: Laurie ZL2TC, Revell ZL2SS, Dave ZL2DW, Paul ZL2HB, Rob ZL2US, Blue ZL3TT, Peter ZL2CD, Stan ZL2ST, Erroll ZL2IT, Dave ZL2MQ, Mike ZL2MY and Karl ZL1TJ.

Late arrival: visitor Stuart McLeod.

Apologies: ZL2DC, ZL2VM.

Minutes of previous meeting: Read and confirmed to be correct ZL2HB, ZL2SS.

Arising: Hamfest raffle prizes were donated by Laurie and Dave ZL2MQ. Laurie found that the latest version of the constitution does in fact allow proxy voting at the discretion of the Chair.

Correspondence: email exchange with Dave ZL2DW regarding QSL card recipient info to be sent to distributor Tony Marr, ZL2AGY.

Finance: Accounts all in the black, Stan brought up the power account issue, has not as yet found a more reasonable alternative supplier but will request our classification be changed from non- domestic to domestic low user. The previously reported monthly charge of $100 actually covered 40 days so, although still high for the KWh used, is not as bad as first thought.

General Business: Dave ZL2DW mentioned the nice article about the Bay Hamfest published in the Papakura Radio Club’s April newsletter. A number of Club newsletters are published through NZART’s distribution list, available to all members. Dave: more clubs should be encouraged to submit their newsletter to NZART. Revell expressed appreciation of the Break-In magazine being available in the Napier Library. Tear off info tabs are being taken.

The question of the clubrooms power supply came up for discussion: Earlier concepts of becoming ‘stand alone’ e.g. disconnect from the grid and generate our own power from either solar panels, a (new lightweight) generator or both were brought up again. Wally had obtained current generator prices.

The following points were made: Dave 2MQ: Easier to stay with the grid supply, perhaps levy a small fee each meeting. Treasurer Stan 2ST: Subs are insufficient to meet annual costs but we can start using our savings to make ends meet. Paul 2HB: I have a modern inverter type generator, it is very noisy (electrically) and is not suitable for radio operation. Karl 1TJ: Have a solar power (pure sinewave) inverter which suffers from the same problem. Erroll 2IT: What is actually wrong with our present 2.5KW Honda generator? Stan 2ST: it is very heavy and very noisy (exhaust) but produces clean AC. and has performed well at field day contests. Many other comments were made. It was agreed that ‘stand alone’ would be an option of last resort only and that the committee has another look at it after Stan has approached the power company.

Paul ZL2HB: The club needs to look at the future more, we need future directions towards promoting Ham Radio to new generations, highlighting digital technology, D-Star radio etc..Something for the committee to consider and action.

The meeting closed at 8:35pm.

Followed by Dave ZL2MQ presenting a spirited discourse on EME (Earth Moon Earth) radio techniques. A fascinating facet of Ham Radio. No problems with poor conditions, when the Moon can be ‘seen’ by both stations it works.

Karl ZL1TJ, Secretary Branch 25.

Club meeting 4 May 2016

MINUTES OF THE NAPIER AMATEUR RADIO CLUB

Meeting on Wednesday 4 May at the Clubrooms 123 Latham Street

Chair: Wally ZL2MO, the meeting started at 7:30 pm.

Present: Laurie ZL2TC, Revell ZL2SS, Dave ZL2DW, Paul ZL2HB, Rob ZL2US, Blue ZL3TT, Peter ZL2CD, Stan ZL2ST and Karl ZL1TJ.

Apologies: ZL2DC, ZL2VM, ZL2MQ.

Minutes of previous meeting: Read and confirmed to be correct ZL3TT, ZL2CD.

Correspondence: From NZART, Branch circular, assigned member list and a request to deal with SK notification more promptly. A request from Napier City Council to update the Local Organization Bulletin Board. Outward: short article about the Bay Hamfest to Break-In magazine.

Arising: The NCC Bulletin Board was updated, changing presidential information.

Laurie reported the Bay Hamfest to be another success, positive mail was received from presenters and participants. A modest profit was made.

Finance: Stan acknowledged the contribution of about $300 from the Hamfest. It should be noted that raffle prizes were donated by Laurie and Dave ZL2MQ. The latest power account shows yet another increase, the monthly charge ( for just a few KWh) of $100 seems plain usury. Stan to once again shop around for a better deal. Suggested by Rob that a solar panel, battery, led lights and a gas bottle for heating may now be a realistic alternative.

Stan moved that cheque signing authority is moved from immediate past president Laurie ZL2TC to current president Wally ZL2MO, seconded by Karl ZL1TJ. Passed.

Blue ZL3TT moved that Karl ZL1TJ be appointed third signatory. Seconded by Wally ZL2MO. Passed.

NZART Conference and AGM remits: Only one remit to discuss: That NZART should look at digital membership with electronic Break In in PDF format by the 2017 year”.

Laurie started the discussion by stating that replacing Break In magazine with an electronic PDF format one may not necessary be a cost saving for various reasons. A fairly lively discussion followed between those in favour and those unsure or against. The final votes (according to Laurie only votes cast at the meeting are valid) were 6 in favour 1 against.

General Business: Stan reporting on the outcome of the annual Jock White Field day contest. We were beaten (by a few points) by our usual rival Patea.

The meeting closed at 8:35pm.

Followed by Laurie’s presentation of do’s and dont’s when fitting plugs to coaxial cable.

The cable itself came up for scrutiny first, PVC outer layers are subject to aging due to plasticiser ‘leaching’, leaving the cable porous. A cheaper cable may last only 10 years or less.

The most popular ham antenna plug, the PL259, comes in a low quality nickle plated version and in a much better one available from reputable US suppliers. The latter is twice the price but highly recommended. Laurie proceeded to show how to prepare the cable and fit the plug both for soldered and a crimped versions. I am sure most of us learned something new.

Karl ZL1TJ, Secretary Branch 25.

Club Meeting 6 April 2016

MINUTES OF THE NAPIER AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
Meeting on Wednesday 6 April at the Clubrooms 123 Latham Street

Chair: Wally ZL2MO, the meeting started at 7:30 pm.

Present: Laurie ZL2TC, Revell ZL2SS, Dave ZL2DW, Paul ZL2HB, Rob ZL2US, Blue ZL3TT, Ray ZL2RB, Erroll ZL2IT, Marty ZL2PX, Peter ZL2CD, Bill ZL2UBG, Peter ZL2HM, Peter Mulhare ZL2IK, Murray Greenman ZL1BPU and Karl ZL1TJ.
Apologies: ZL2DC, ZL2VM, ZL2ST, ZL2MQ.

Visitors Peter ZL2IK and Murray ZL1BPU were welcomed by Laurie.
As a follow up to the December meeting Karl presented Laurie with his Life Member badge.

Minutes of previous meetings: Due to absence of the secretary minutes of the February meeting were not taken. The March meeting was cancelled due to absence of President, Secretay and Treasurer.

Correspondence: minor email correspondence regarding the forthcoming Bay Hamfest only.

Finance: A float of $100 for the Hamfest was provided by Treasurer Stan. Dave 2DW asked if the recent Branch 13 cheque had been banked. Confirmed by Laurie.

General Business:
As decided at the March committee meeting the topic of dwindling interest in the ECI net was discussed. Laurie gave a brief explanation of the reasons for the establishment of the net, originally proposed by Lee ZL2AL(SK) as a communication network of last resort in case of disaster striking the district. The initial response and participation by local and adjoining district amateurs was substantial but now has dwindled away for various reasons. Both Peter ZL2IK and Murray ZL1BPU took part in the discussion, suggesting that past experience has been that infrastructure damage will curtail even ham radio communication, repeaters will be damaged and standby power systems will run out of fuel and battery storage. It was suggested that the ECI net become an annual event perhaps in the nature of a contest. Alternatively it could be coupled to an event such as the Jock Whyte memorial Field Day exercise. Both volunteer controllers, Laurie 2TC and Dave 2DW voiced the opinion that the ECI net be discontinued in it’s present format. All present agreed. Information in BreakOut needs amending.

Laurie reported on the Bay Hamfest. A number of pre-registrations have been received, total numbers will be similar to the 2014 event, around forty. The Saturday night ‘after’ dinner will now be held at the Taradale RSA, a booking for twenty has been made.
Rob ZL2US reported on the recent Branch 13 Irirangi visit. Some 35 participants, some from other branches, visited both tranmitting and receiving sites. The guide was obliging and the absence of fog (spoiled a previous visit) made for an exellent day out. To be repeated again in say two years.

The meeting closed at 8:15 pm and was followed by a fascinating talk by Peter ZL2IK about his career in radio communications, mainly with the NZ Police. His involvement with the Wahine disaster and with other notorious events. Also being stationed in such exotic places as Niue and other Pacific Islands with many interesting anecdotes. Retirement with an interest in aviation and flying gliders. Peter ended his talk by giving a brief introduction to his topic at the forthcoming HB Hamfest: Microwatting or MEPT.

Karl ZL1TJ, Secretary Branch 25.