Welcome to the MARC Newsletter a publication of the Michigan Area Repeater Council. This news letter is published quarterly in conjunction with the quarterly business meetings. If you prefer a non-columnized version of this newsletter click here for the wide version.
|Please notice the instructions for the March electronic meeting.|
A Plea from the VP:
MARC has recently been inundated with the number of requests for not only new coordinations, but also modifications of old ones. This is keeping Phil very busy right now. Judging from the number of requests we are getting from areas surrounding us, other coordination bodies are also getting a large number of requests.
Several of those requests have had to be laid aside as we have no pairs available. Unfortunately, what this means is that we are going to have to start taking steps toward recovering coordinations that are either out of date or do not have equipment. We have a number of coordinations that we have not had any contact with the Trustee or Sponsor in many years. This leaves the MARC board in a bad place.
The job and purpose of MARC is to coordinate repeaters and to help make efficient use of the spectrum that has been allocated to us. Primarily for MARC that job is about repeaters. How can we do that if we have people waiting to use the spectrum, but they are unable to obtain a coordination because someone else is cheating? Yes, I used the word cheating. If you hold a paper coordination and do not have a repeater operational and have not had one operational for the last 6 months, you are cheating other hams out of the chance to have a real and operational repeater both coordinated and listed for other hams to find and use.
By nature, most hams tend to like to hang on to certain things they have obtained for a long time, occasionally we go out and trade off our long held possessions for other peoples long held possessions and this is very evident if you attend a swap or investigate ham related sales on eBay or on trade sites like QRZ or Hamtrader. Unfortunately, unlike radios and other tangible equipment, new spectrum is not being made. It is becoming a more and more precious resource. By not utilizing it we are inviting the world to look at this sparsely used spectrum and watch helplessly as it is auctioned off to the highest bidder.
If you have been holding a coordination for more than 6 months that either has no equipment operational, chances are it never will. Sometimes things happen that interrupt great intentions, things like losing access to a tower, or damaged equipment, or in many cases funding or time becomes an issue with building and/or maintaining a repeater. These things happen to everyone, but good intentions are not making good use of the resources that are available to us.
With each meeting of MARC we find that we are coming closer and closer to drafting bylaws changes that some might consider to be somewhat harsh, so that we can continue to coordinate repeaters. Contrary to some beliefs, the MARC board is not easily snowballed by false documentation, and are aware of many inconstancies, and problems with the TDS that we receive. We are aware of a number of repeaters that are no longer on the air yet someone keeps turning in a TDS for these repeaters. Of course the question is, do we know about you? The other question that on might ask is "what can MARC do about it"?
MARC is not the repeater police and is not an enforcement body. We are a body that is recognized by the enforcement body (the FCC) for the work that we do, and they will take our recommendations in the case of disputes over interference caused by uncoordinated use of a frequency, at least where a repeater is involved. So, the question remains, about what MARC can do to convince people to follow the rules they accepted when they asked for and received a coordination. The one and only thing we can do is to revoke or withhold a coordination. This does not stop you from operating a repeater, it simply means that should you cause harmful interference to another repeater that is coordinated, you will be expected to cease operation, and that request may be followed by enforcement action.
If you have not operated a repeater for which you hold a coordination
you are required by the rules you agreed to for coordination, to return
that coordination to the pool. If you know of repeaters that are coordinated
yet are not on the air in your area please urge the sponsor of those
coordinations to do what is right and return them to the pool so that
other people who will actually use the spectrum as intended can do so
without worry that they may cause interference. We are not looking for
tattletales, but if you are aware of a repeater that is listed in the ARRL
directory that has not been on the air for an extended period of time,
please contact MARC, so that we can contact the sponsor.
MARC is moderately up to date with applications that are on file for new coordinations. There are approximately eight that are in processing and I have two 2 meter and two 440 apps on a waiting list.
The process of decoordinating repeaters that are not on the air is a difficult one, especially with an all-volunteer staff. If you are holding a coordination but your repeater is not on the air and will not be within the next few months, please turn it back in so someone else can put a repeater on the air. If you know of a repeater that has been off the air for more that a few months, let MARC know so that we can send a notice of decoordination to the sponsor. If you know of a person that is holding a coordination but does not have a repeater up and running, please contact the person one on one and ask him or her about it. They may just need a reminder of the need here in Michigan for repeater pairs. Remember that your coordination in Michigan takes up a very large area, a 120-mile radius on 2 meters. That is a 240-mile diameter circle that MARC cannot normally use for a new coordination.
If you receive a notice of decoordination from MARC, please respond by turning in the unused pair. MARC will only send out notices of decoordination if provided with “off the air” information about the pair by another ham, or if the renewal TDS forms are 2 to 3 years past due or older.
Digital repeaters have been around for quite some time and, so far, the placement of them seems to be working. MARC will soon make the coordinations final and place the standards for coordinating them in the Bylaws. If you have any info or comments to share with the MARC Board on this issue, please send them to email@example.com so that your input can be considered in this process.
73, Phil W8IC
Electronic Meeting Information:
The December meeting is an Electronic Meeting!
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Dial In Number: 888-232-3870
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MARC Meeting Minutes
Date: December 3, 2011
Meeting called to order by Phil at: 1:04 PM.
Motion made to approve the minutes from the September meeting was made by Dave,
seconded by Dan, E-vote taken, minutes approved.
Financial records for the period of May through November were audited by Dan and Jim and were found to be correct.
The NFCC list was brought up for discussion and MARC appears to be up to date.
Phil reported that resolution # 11 under the DOG - needs some type of action.
Phil presented a discussion on delinquent TDS updates by repeater Trustees and a
proposed way to decoordinate those that are 3 or more years overdue. The discussion
led to the development of a process that MARC Board members will use to notify and
decoordinate repeaters that do not respond or renew the required TDS updates.
Motion to adjourn made by Jim, seconded by Dan.
Database Manager's Corner
We have a number of TDS forms that are overdue. Over 28% of the repeaters in our database
have not been updated in two or more year’s. So take a minute and check your entry in the
MARC Repeater Directory to see if it is time to update your records.
Marc Funds as of 01/31/2012
March Meeting Information:
March 3 2012
For the Conference Bridge:
For the Web Meeting:
|MARC Officers||Appointed Positions|
|President: Phil Manor W8IC||Frequency Coordinator 902MHz: & up Dan Thompson N8WKM|
|Vice President: Dan Thompson N8WKM||Frequency Coordinator 440MHz: Phil Manor W8IC|
|Secretary: Ann Manor KT8F||Frequency Coordinator Links & Control: Phil Manor W8IC|
|Treasurer: Dave Johnson WD8DJB||Database Manager: Dave Johnson WD8DJB|
|Director: Fred Moses W8FSM||Newsletter Editor: Dan Thompson N8WKM|
|Director: James Kvochick WB8AZP|