ATN-IL Newsletters

Minutes of the ATN-IL Meeting

November 4, 2006

We had our ATV meeting on November 4, 2006.

In attendance were Wayne Hansen, KA9IMX; Gene Harlan, WB9MMM; Shari Harlan, N9SH; John Auerswald, KA9SOG; Mikayla Auerswald, KC9HVQ; and Dan Hunt, KC9ATR.

The meeting was called to order at 3:19 PM.

The minutes were read. Motion to accept the minutes by Dan, KC9ATR, with a second by Shari, N9SH. Passed.

The treasurers report was read with a current balance in the checking account of $177.65. The complete accounting was present for everyone interested to see for 2005 and 2006. Motion to accept by Wayne, KA9IMX, with a second by Dan, KC9ATR. Passed.

Old business:

Shari asked when the big power supply that is sitting in our garage could be moved to the repeater site. At this time, it is not needed, as the one at the site is working fine. It will be nice to have if the current one fails as it has so much more capacity. And it weighs around 120 pounds, which is why we have not rushed at getting it up the stairs at the site.

Concerning the zoom lens that we have to put on the roof, Dan suggested that we try and run it at 6 volts instead of 12 volts. Those that he has worked with zoom in/out and focus too fast at 12 volts. We can plan to test both ways.

We talked about the control lines needed and how we can reverse the voltage via DTMF. It would be nice to have a couple of extra relay outputs (we have eight total on the DTMF board that we purchased). Dan seems to think that we can get by not using the iris control since the camera adjusts automatically. Or let the camera control it through the port made for the iris. I had not thought about that as I did not know that the lens that we got would be compatible in that way. Dan has a cable that we can make a test with. Bottom line - if we do not use the iris control (or control it through the camera), we should have "just enough" DTMF relays for control of what we want to do right now.

One of the items that we need to the roof mount camera is the camera. John, KA9SOG, made a motion that we buy one from Harlan Technologies (who will sell it at their cost). Second by Dan, KC9ATR. Passed.

It was agreed that the wire that we will need to go from the penthouse to the roof for the camera and pan-tilt will be purchased from Dan, KC9ATR.

We also talked about the physical mounting of the pan-tilt camera apparatus on the roof. We already have permission to mount to the existing Rohn 25 (?) tower on the NE side of the roof. Gene, WB9MMM, bought a bracket for $10 that should work. He will sell to the club if it does work.

Should we consider getting a slot antenna for the 1.2 GHz receive to accommodate the 3 or 4 people in towards Chicago that have suggested they would use the repeater if we did. Most are far enough away that it would be used for testing for a band opening. There may be one or two that could hit it anytime. We decided to research costs and concepts.

Our NASA channel is still dropping out every couple of days. When it stops working, someone has to go there, turn it off, go through set up and then select channel 213. And then it only lasts for maybe two days. The last time I did this, it (the Dish Network unit) suggested that I should turn it off and let it update the program inside. I have not done that yet, but will try it soon.

John, KA9SOG, was encouraged by Mikayla to tell his story of going through three, $78, 1.2 GHz amplifier bricks. The last one he has now is only putting out 8 watts instead of the 20 watts that it did when he first turned it on. Something about making a variable voltage to control the power and accidentally getting 6 volts to a control pin that should have 5.2 volts max. or thereabouts. As John was testing, he did find out, by adjusting the power, he can get into the repeater with as little as 4 watts. He also found a source of the rib cage antenna that he borrowed from me. However, I just went to the web site ( ) and do not see the 1.2 GHz rib cage style tonight. I hope they have not dropped it. Downeast Microwave has 1.2 GHz antennas as well.

Election of officers:

President: Mikayla Auerswald - KC9HVQ

Vice President - Dan Hunt - KC9ATR

Secretary / Treasurer: Gene Harlan - WB9MMM

Motion to adjourn at 5:15 PM by John, KA9SOG, with second by Shari, N9SH.

Submitted by Gene Harlan - WB9MMM

Minutes of the ATN-IL Meeting

December 15, 2007

We had our ATV meeting on December 15, 2007.

Those in attendance were: Tim Murphy, KC9MBZ; Steven Kirby, N9MCT; Jim Gutshall, N9KUY; Mikayla Auerswald, K9MEA; John Auerswald, KA9SOG; Dan Hunt, KC9ATR; Shari Harlan, N9SH; and myself, Gene Harlan, WB9MMM.

The meeting was called to order at 4:32 PM.

Treasurer's report: We have $293.98 on hand. There were not any expenditures since the last meeting. Two people have paid their 2008 dues and a $100 deposit will be made soon. For those that would like to support the ATN-IL ATV repeater, the dues are $50/year (make checks out to RARA-ATV) and may be sent to: Gene Harlan, WB9MMM, Treasurer, 5931 Alma Dr., Rockford, IL 61108.

Repeater Status: The DTMF for controlling the camera was fixed (broken wire) and is working. Dish Network for NASA feeds is working just fine since allowing it to upload it's firmware like it wanted to do. The 1.2 GHz antenna is now a dipole waiting for a slot antenna to be completed. Who would want to put it up in the winter anyway?

Field day we used ATV and made a couple of contacts.

As most of you know, we used ATV to broadcast the October RARA meeting. We knew it would not be perfect as we had never tried it before. It took awhile to get audio working, but finally got it going. Much to my surprise, we found out that we actually had a viewer! Othel Andrews, K9JMW, who lives on Adler Ave close to the Sweden House lodge told us that he had good picture but the audio was hard to hear. So, it looks like we need to consider our experiment for future meetings.

State Street Mile was in August but without ATV as we did not have enough ATV'ers to do the job. Next year?

Elections for 2008 were held:

President is John Auerswald, KA9SOG New address from what is on the contact page: 2511 SPRINGDALE DR ROCKFORD IL 61114

VP is Dan Hunt, KC9ATR Secretary/Treasurer is Gene Harlan, WB9MMM

A question came up about adding a 900 MHz output to the ATV repeater. One of the reasons is so that those that used 434 MHz into the repeater (which is on 421 MHz out), would be able to see their own signal. To do that we would need to get permission from the hospital to make sure we did not interfere with anything of theirs. It was decided to hold this thought until we had more users.

A suggestion is that we use the pan/tilt camera for ID from the repeater. To do this we will need an overlay board for the ID. Motion was made and passed to do this. It was also suggested that it be made to switch from the camera, using it in the daytime, to our current ID'er at night since there may not be much of an image at night. We will have to make or buy a light detector that will be used as a switch when it gets dark. It was also suggested that we increase the length of time that the ID stays on from 10 seconds every 10 minutes to 30 seconds every 10 minutes. This request has also come from others that use the repeater as a beacon to know when the band is open.

We tested a couple of the 1.2 GHz boards for members and programmed new PIC chips so they can be adjusted to more frequencies.

The meeting adjourned at 6:59 PM.

Everyone have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Gene - WB9MMM, RARA-ATV Treasurer