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.
The next MARC meeting is the Annual Business and Elections meeting to take place at Delta Township Fire Station. Please click here for the 2010 Absentee Ballot.
Another year has come and gone since our Annual Business and Elections meeting, and many things have changed, yet many things have stayed the same.
There are many people who have a misconception of what coordination means. Coordination is a privilege and is an effort to cooperate. By coordinating a repeater one does not gain any rights, however they do gain recognition. This recognition has some benefits and responsibilities. Coordination is not called for as a rule or regulation, but is suggested in the spirit of cooperation.
By having a coordinated repeater one is required to submit certain operational data about the repeater to the coordinating body so that the coordinators are able to make good choices in helping to find pairs for new repeaters to operate on. MARC has a databse with all of this information in it. When a new request arrives we have to look for a frequency pair that can be placed at the location requested that will fit into the rules that are set forth in the bylaws. Fortunately we have some software to help sort this out or it would take us hours and hours just to find a pair to start with. Once we find something that we think will work, we have to send it off to the other coordinating bodies who's area borders with ours (In Lower Michigan those areas are Upper Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and a joined body of Ontario Canada and Western New York State) to allow them up to 30 days to object for reason. In Michigan we also have to be concerned with rules and regulations that are slightly different in Canada.
Many times now when we go to search for a "pair", we find that there is none available that meets the rules. Sometimes they are very close and we can get an existing repeater sponsor to sign a waiver to allow a coordination.
Coordination is not required, it is not a rule and it does not stop one from operating a repeater. What coordination does do is to first of all place a record of operation into the hands of a recognized entity that helps determine conflict resolution, or if the rules are followed as designed, will avoid conflict completely. Coordination also helps to keep a record of who is using a certain frequency or set of frequencies. It also allows information to be sent in that allows the repeaters to be listed in repeater directories.
This brings me to a final point, Coordination is also a responsibility.
To keep a coordination up, one must submit operational data Annually. This operational data is a record of current status of a repeaters operational status and abilities. This data is needed for MARC to know what kind of coverage to expect from a repeater. We need to know this so that we do not reuse a frequency too close to a high profile repeater using the same pair. Just the same, we need to know that certain repeaters do not have large coverage areas, and that we are able to reuse that pair at a closer proximity.
Coordination also bears the responsibility of decoordination. Yes, good intentions are written all over the dusty "someday" repeaters that people have claimed to have on the air. Many years ago it was a common practice for people to "reserve" a pair because they thought someday they would like to put a repeater up. As a repeater sponsor (the coordination holder) you have a responsibility to see that the repeater is operational. You also have a responsibility to check the information at least once a year and submit that information.
If you have a repeater that has been down for more than 6 months you need to forfeit your coordination and return the pair to the pool. You made an agreement to do this when you signed the part of the form that says you have read the bylaws and operating standards and you understand them and agree to abide by them. Sending in false information each year does not "reserve" your coordination. What it does do is to deny the amateur community a resource that it has a right to. By keeping a "paper repeater" where there is no operational equipment you are denying people the chance to use a repeater on that frequency.
Amateur Radio has only one real governing body, and that is the FCC. One of their primary rules is that we are supposed to be self policing, but more important is that we are supposed to work in a spirit of cooperation. We are called upon to work out our own problems and provide for a reasonable solution amongst ourselves. So, how can we resolve the issues with certain amateurs who have chosen to foul up our bands and limit activity for their own selfishness?
Right now MARC has several requests for 2Meter pairs. We have reports that several pairs are not in use. Unfortunately we can't drive all over to verify this, not to mention that finding a repeater off the air one day does not mean it will be off the air the next. We need YOU to help us find these non-existing repeaters so that we can remove them from the database. Better yet, if you are one of the people holding one of these "paper" repeaters where no equipment has been operational within the last six months, return it to the pool. It is doing no good for you right now anyway and it is denying someone else the ability to have a coordination with equipment that can be used.Dan Thompson
Database Managerís Corner
We have a number of TDS forms that are overdue. In fact, over 25% of the repeaters in our database have not been updated in two or more yearís. 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: June 9, 2010
Meeting called to order by Dennis at: 7:07 PM
Motion to approve minutes from the March meeting were made by Mike, N5WCS, seconded by Phil, vote per electronic poll, minutes approved.
Treasurerís report provided by Dave. Motion to accept the report made by Phil,
supported by N5WCS, E-poll vote, motion carried.
Corwin asked about the status of SEMARA repeater, a follow up from his request at the last meeting. Dennis stated that he had sent a notice to the trustee today via email, as the phone number he has is apparently incorrect. The repeater appears to be very low profile and possibly is not in the location that is listed. Dennis will follow up with the trustee to ask about his intention regarding the repeater. The SEMARA club may be nonexistent. Dennis reported that he has been having problems contacting Corwin by phone.
Phil brought up a problem with a renewal for the old N8JSN changing to KC8EST. Dan stated that the TDS location is incorrect, as the repeater has been moved several miles. Other data in this TDS also appear to be incorrect. Phil will send a notice that a correct TDS must be submitted. If a corrected TDS is not received, the repeater will not be coordinated.
Dan reported that he has a new repeater on 1272.5,1284.5 and 1298.5. It can not be coordinated at this time as the current bandplan does not support this.
Nominations for the posts of president, secretary and one director are due. Officers that are not running will compose the nominating committee. The election will take place at the September meeting in Lansing. Phil asked to be given permission to send notices on MARC-News. He will act as a back up to ensure that the newsletter notice to the membership is sent out. Phil will also be able to post info on out-state coordinations that may affect repeaters in this state. Dave will provide the permissions to Phil.
Phil stated that he has not had the time to make contact with the proposed new 440 coordinator. It may be during the fall season before this will happen. Dan said that he would try contact Fred and encourage him to attend the meeting at Lansing. He could then obtain the coordination software and sign the necessary MARC forms.
Phil mentioned that he has two NOPCí s out (notice of proposed coordination), and will be able to send out another when a recent decoordination notice is completed. He is also waiting for a waiver request and more info from three applicants, as well as the incorrect TDS information discussed earlier during this meeting.
Dennis reported that he has a backup of about eight 2-meter applications and approximately 5 D-star or digital applications. Dan has one 220 coordination that he is currently working on. Dave has updated the database for the coordinators to download. Dan may, in the future, integrate the adjoining states databases into the coordinators program. Dan will continue to work on bylaw changes to cover the death of a repeater owner-sponsor.
Next meeting is September 11, 2010. Annual meeting is to be held at the Delta Twp. Fire Dept near Lansing. Dennis is to contact Shannon and request the training room for the meeting.
Motion to adjourn made by Dan, seconded by Jim and others at 8:07 PM, motion carried.
Marc Funds as of 07/31/2010
|MARC Officers||Appointed Positions|
|President: Dennis Gaboury W8DFG||Frequency Coordinator 902MHz: & up Dan Thompson N8WKM|
|Vice President: Phil Manor W8IC||Frequency Coordinator 440MHz: Currently Unassigned|
|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|