March 2008 Newsletter

Welcome to our new format for the MARC Newsletter. Starting with this edition MARC will be publishing the newsletter only to the website. This will hopefully allow us to bring more MARC information to you from our newsletter including direct links to other information on the site as well as longer more in depth details about what MARC is working on. Our plan at this time is to try to create the newsletter in a way that will be easy for you to print either part or all should you want a copy on paper.
Click here for the wide version of this newsletter.

Presidents Update..

Its official, starting with this newsletter, we will only mail out the Septembers newsletter via of the USPS for our Annual Meeting. All other newsletters will be made available electronically. A motion was made at the December meeting that we incorporate Resolutions #6 & 7 into the By-Laws. This needs to be done before their time expires under the D.O.G. This will take place at the March meeting. If you would like to review this resolutions please got to

Ron Fredricks K8DMR attended our last meeting to bring up concerns regarding his ATV repeater in the Grand Rapids area. He requested that his e-mail he sent on November 28th to MARC be published.

Dear Dennis, Jim and rest of the MIARC board. I am Ron Fredricks, K8DMR and trustee of the K8DMR ATV repeater, long coordinated with MIARC on 439.25 input and 421.25 output video carriers and located in the Grand Rapids Red Cross building at 1050 Fuller Ave NE.
The purpose of this letter is to put the council on notice of a potentially serious adjacent channel interference problem that could arise between a proposed D-Star repeater to be located about 1/3 mile away from the Red Cross at what used to be the Kent Community hospital and my analog ATV input receiver unless the Tx frequency for the D* repeater is above 444 MHz. I believe the D-star coordination request is coming from or has already been made by Jeff Nawrot, N8JSN, under the sponsorship of the Kent County Emergency Services organization.

As I understand from past Council minutes there are currently only 5 so-called experimental frequencies in the 70 cm band allocated for D* and they are all above 444 MHz. Thus this request may be moot but I suspect that with two other 70 cm D-star assignments already in the West MI area the necessity to add new D-star 70 cm frequencies may already be here. If so, I respectfully request to the council these also be in the 444+ range, and especially for the above repeater to be located so close to the Red Cross facility. I may note the 5 UHF D-star frequencies are all between 444.0 and 444.2 so there could be additional experimental frequencies made available higher up. Of course any D-star frequency assignment should subject to non-adjacent channel frequency interference to already coordinated repeaters as well as minimization of intermod products with any existing 70 cm repeater regardless of frequency, and in this case, why put a burden on anyone?

The current MIARC band plan correctly shows the ATV bandwidth ranging from 420 to 426 MHz for the Tx output and the input bandwidth as 438 to 444 MHz. These 6 MHz total BWs assume a sound subcarrier 4.5 MHz above the video carrier and a color subcarrier 3.58 MHz above the video carrier with vestigial sideband transmission to conserve bandwidth (and stay in-band in the case of the Tx). Of course with the FM repeater subband extended down to 442 MHz some years ago I have had to live with occasional interference from FM repeaters on the ATV input even though cross-polarized to the horizontally polarized ATV mode on the 70 cm band. Up to now I have been able to notch out or otherwise adapt to the occasional in-band interference present or simply ignore it in the spirit of ham radio. That included even interference from Sam Nabkys (SIC) K8SN repeater on 442.175 MHz located just 2 miles away at Spectrum Hospital downtown. However, notching out Sams signal was expensive and time consuming. Besides a cascade of 4 notch filters tuned to his frequency along with 11 poles of bandpass filtering I had to set an FM receiver to his frequency and when the K8SN repeater is active switch from my upper VSB receiver (conventional) to a different set of 11 pole filters and a second narrow band ATV receiver retuned for lower sideband reception. The result is low-grade video and color when the 442.175 repeater is up although still tolerable, again in the spirit of amateur radio.

Unfortunately, putting yet another high power repeater, D-star or otherwise, in the 442-444 segment at point blank range to the Red Cross and thus within my normal 438-444 input would require even more costly filtering and may not be technically feasible. I have asked Jeff to request an assignment above 444 where all my filters are in cutoff. Then without affecting the quality of the received ATV I can place a notch filter in the line tuned to Jeffs Tx frequency in the same way I already have a separate notch filter right off the Rx antenna tuned to 444.400 MHz. The latter is the UHF output of the W8DC club (GRARA) repeater. Further the 60 watt 444.4 transmitter is co-located with the K8DMR ATV repeater in the Red Cross radio room and neither interferes with the other on transmit or receive. The antennas are only 10 feet apart on the 100 Red Cross tower.

Thus my specific request is if the Council has to open up a new D-star frequency for the N8JSN coordination please continue to use the 444+ segment to avoid interference with a long standing coordinated ATV repeater. From the W8DC experience I know I can live with anything at 444 and above regardless of how close it is to the ATV repeater at the Red Cross.

Incidentally the ATV repeater demonstrated its use in an emergency situation to Red Cross personnel and volunteers at the October 6th SET. Full color and snow free video from a mobile ATV unit at the Sparta MI disaster site was sent direct to the Red Cross for viewing in the radio room. The K8DMR ATV repeater and use of it for emergency work is part of the operating plan for the recently formed Red Cross Communication Team (RCCT), a joint effort between the Grand Rapids Amateur Radio Association and the Red Cross Greater Grand Rapids chapter. It would be a shame to have to turn ATV off from the Red Cross site because of a preventable coordination conflict with another repeater almost literally in the backyard of the Red Cross building.

I hope the MIARC board will consider the above in making the above D-star assignment. Please feel free to contact me on any questions you might have at my telephone number or regular or Email address below. I have no personal axes to grind with anyone but am simply trying to be proactive when I see the potential for avoiding a future repeater interference problem and the burden it places on everyone including the council.

Ron Fredricks K8DMR
Vice-President GRARA and Trustee K8DMR/ATV repeater
Tel: 616-791-9134
Ronald J. Fredricks
2046 Foxboro NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Remember, TDSs are due yearly, but can go up to two years. Please help keep your information current in our Database. Our Database Manager has sent in our updated information to the ARRL for the publication in the next printing of the ARRL Repeater Directory. Only Repeaters with current TDSs on file have been submitted.
If anyone has any questions, you can reach the Board via of the website, or my phone number is 586-465-7126.
Dennis, W8DFG


Database Managers Corner:

The 2008 2009 ARRL Repeater Directory has gone to press. We have a number of TDS forms that are overdue. So take a minute and check your entry in the MARC Repeater Directory to see if it is time to update your records.

Dave Johnson, WD8DJB

MARC Meeting Minutes

Date: December 1, 2007
Place: Delta Twp Fire Dept


President: Dennis Gaboury, W8DFG
Vice President: Jim Maike, KB8IFE
Secretary: Ann Manor, KT8F
Treasurer: Dave Johnson, WD8DJB
Director: Ron Gordon, W8YUC
Director: Jim Kvochick, WB8AZP
Coordinator: Dan Thompson, N8WKM
Coordinator: Jim Maike, KB8IFE
Coordinator: Phil Manor, W8IC
Database Manager: Dave Johnson, WD8DJB

Absent: Jim Maike, KB8IFE

3 attendees present.
Mike N8OBU, Brian KC8LMI, Ron K8DMR
Meeting called to order by the President at: 1:00 PM

Minutes from previous meeting read by Ann, KT8F. Motion to accept the minutes as printed in the newsletter made by Phil, W8IC and 2nd by Dan, N8WKM, motion carried.
Treasurers report provided by Dave Johnson, WD8DJB. Motion to accept the report made by Dan, N8WKM and 2nd by Jim, WB8AZP, motion carried.

Old Business:
Dennis read the following proposed bylaw change:
Change bylaws to delete the following paragraph:
Article 1, section B, sub paragraph 6:
Publish a quarterly newsletter to be electronically mailed to all members, all coordinated repeater trustees, all Great Lakes area coordinators, and the ARRL Section Manager for the State of Michigan. Also mailed via USPS to all current members when requested, listing information which may be of concern to them, such as: new repeaters coordinated during the previous quarter; disputes or interference problems which are currently known; and the date, time, and place of the next meeting of the MARC.
Insert new paragraph:
Article 1, section B, sub paragraph 6: Publish a quarterly newsletter to be electronically posted to the MARC Web Site. A notification of a new newsletter will be emailed to all members, all coordinated repeater trustees, all Great Lakes area coordinators, and the ARRL Section Manager for the State of Michigan. The date, time, and place of the next meeting of the MARC will be included in the newsletter. The September issue will be USPS mailed to all who request it.
Motion supported by Jim, KB8IFE. Discussion followed. Vote taken, motion carried.

Incorporate resolution #4 under the D.O.G into the bylaws, dated June 4, 2004 read by Phil as follows:
Bruce, N8UT made a motion under the D.O.G.; Move to allow the coordinator reasonable variations in distance separations with the use of Documented Waivers from all parties and a corresponding condition statement in the Coordination Documents in case interference is experienced. Seconded by Richard W8IMA. Discussion followed, motion carried.

Discussion followed the reading of #4, vote taken to incorporate #4 into the bylaws, motion carried.

Incorporate resolution #5 under the D.O.G into the bylaws, also dated June 4 2004 read by Phil as follows:
Bruce, N8UT then made another motion under the D.O.G;
Move to allow the Coordinator, for the 440 Band, to Coordinate Repeaters at a distance separation of 100 miles. Seconded by Dan Thompson. Discussion followed, motion carried.

Discussion followed the reading of #5, vote taken to incorporate #5 into the bylaws, motion carried.

Dennis stated that he will get the check for the State MARC fee to Dave Johnson.

New Business: Dennis stated that the meetings for 2008 have all been scheduled at the Delta Twp Fire Department. March, June , September and December.
Jim will send out notification letters to delinquent repeater owners to submit their TDS renewals within 30 days of notification or their coordination will be revoked.
Dennis opened nominations for the election of positions VP, Treasurer and Director. Currently running for these positions are: VP, Jim KB8IFE (I), Treasurer, Dave WD8DJB (I); Director, Jim WB8AZP (I). Dennis asked for additional nominations for each position, there were none.
Dan, W8WKM made a motion that the secretary cast a unanimous ballot for the incumbents to be reelected. Seconded by Ron, W8YUC, motion carried.

Dave, WD8DJB made a motion that MARC provide a reimbursement of $52.65 for his purchase of Norton Ghost for the MARC laptop. Motion supported by Jim, WB8AZP. Vote taken, motion carried.

Ron, K8DMR brought up a discussion on the MARC band plans and the difference between MARC and ARRL. Some band plans conflict with standards necessary for ATV 6 MHZ channels. Phil will propose a change to correct the 440 band plan to show the ATV frequency spectrum range of 438 to 444. Ron made mention that a 5 mile protection zone around a coordinated ATV repeater would allow reasonable operation. This will be taken under consideration and may result in a bylaw change or a D.O.G resolution. The SARA band plan is being used for the 900 Mhz. This is a problem for ATV transmissions. Rons letter to the MARC Board will be published in the March newsletter, per his request. Also discussed were available repeater frequencies and repeaters that are not on the air.

MARC requests information on any repeaters that are not in operation. These will be investigated for possible decoordination.

Phil W8IC made a motion that DOG resolution #6 be modified (corrected) to note the band plan for 440 be changed to reflect the ARRL plan as follows: change the frequency range from 438 to 440 to 438.000 to 444.000 for ATV.
Motion seconded by Jim, WB8AZP, vote taken, motion carried.

Dan made a motion that resolution #6 be brought to the floor in March for a vote for incorporation into the bylaws. Seconded by Phil, vote taken, motion carried.

Dennis read resolution #7 under the D.O.G. Dan made a motion that resolution #7 be brought to the floor in March for a vote to incorporate into the bylaws. Seconded by Ann, vote taken, motion carried.

Phil brought up for discussion the subject of adjacent channel spacing for ATV repeaters. A possible starting point for a proposal would be: New coordinations in the segment 440 to 444 Mhz will provide for a minimum of a 5 mile separation to any coordinated ATV repeater based on an ATV carrier of 439.250. No formal action at this time, further discussion is required on this issue.
Motion to adjourn the meeting made by Ann, KT8F, supported by Ron, at 2:17 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Ann Manor, KT8F

Treasurer's Report
For the Period: 11/30/07 to 01/31/08

Total income for the period was $ 159.84 from 2008 dues and interest.
Total expense for the November was $ 202.18 and included printing and mailing the December newsletter and purchasing Norton Ghost 12.0 computer backup software.
MARC Funds balance on 01/31/08 was $ 3,592.10

Supporting Detail

MARC Funds as of 11/30/2007

   Share Acct
   Money Market
   Beginning Balance

   November Interest
   December Interest
   2008 Dues Payments

Total Income

   December Newsletter
   Norton Ghost Backup Software

Total Expenses

Marc Funds as of 1/31/2008

   Share Acct
   Money Market

Ending Balance








Meeting Location:

Saturday March 1 2008
1:00 pm EST
Delta Township Fire Station
811 N. Canal Rd.
Lansing, MI


Take I-96 to M-43 exit 93, go East to the first traffic light at Canal Rd. Turn left (North) on Canal Rd, go 150' to Administration Dr turn left (West), the new fire station will be on your right. Take the first driveway on the right to the West parking lot. Enter the building at the South entrance on Administration Dr.

MARC Officers Appointed Positions
President:               Dennis Gaboury W8DFG Frequency Coordinator 902MHz: & up          Dan Thompson N8WKM
Vice President:        Jim Maike KB8IFE Frequency Coordinator 440MHz:                   Jim Maike KB8IFE
Secretary:               Ann Manor KT8F Frequency Coordinator Links & Control:       Phil Manor W8IC
Treasurer:              Dave Johnson WD8DJB Database Manager:                                      Dave Johnson WD8DJB
Director:                 Ron Gordon W8YUC Newsletter Editor:                                         Dan Thompson N8WKM
Director:                 James Kvochick WB8AZP         

All MARC Officers recieve email using their