April 11, 2023 at 7:10 am #38801KI5VGQParticipant
These are thoughts about programs. Most topics we want to discuss take more time than we may have at the meetings. Business has to be discussed for members to discuss and take necessary action if needed. I think we need to present short scenario of program at meeting. Then set a day later that the next week to have program, so we have time to really go over the information.
Some of us are getting together at my office, Wednesday 04/12/2023 at 1:00pm. We will discuss the NanoVNA antenna analyzer.
231 Lamar Ave, Paris, Tx 75460
My cell number (For members only please) 903 517-2025April 11, 2023 at 7:23 am #38802
At my behest Johnny Thomas is going to do a presentation on HF antennas, we just need to confirm the meeting when he will do it. Do you think that antenna analyzer could be presented somehow in 20, max 30, minutes? As you know, we are soliciting someone to start lining programs up, to me those two are a good start. Since there has not been a rush to volunteer, 60 people have read the email in the nearly 24 hours since it was sent, but not a single person has raised their hand yet; maybe this forum post is a good way to get the ball rolling in the meantime. Thanks for starting it!
Someone recently mentioned GMRS, something I do not recall having previously been discussed at a RRVARC meeting, might be another briefing topic. GMRS, their associated repeaters and how we might use that discussion to recruit new hams. I am thinking of doing a quick poll to see if the membership might think that was cool.
See, that wasn’t too hard. Three potential programs right there. What else?
PhillipApril 11, 2023 at 7:06 pm #38803
This is what we did at other Ham clubs I have been in:
· The program is first, usually 30-45 minutes, including Q&A at the end.
· There is then a short break.
· Then the business meeting is called to order.
· Then the business meeting is adjourned and everybody leaves.
This keeps the business meeting from using up all the available time, an ongoing problem at the RRVARC meetings.
Most folks don’t come for the business meeting, they come for the presentations. We need to change the order of our meetings.
An example of a presentation is the discussion of the Tour de Paris planning. Some folks that are participating will come to that meeting that don’t usually come to our meetings and may not even be a club member. If you beat the business meeting to death and run out of time for the presentation you have lost your audience.
Lately we have been spending way way way too much time talking the business part of the meeting to death.
If it can’t be explained in five minutes then it is not being explained efficiently enough.
If it can’t be explained in five minutes then it is not being explained efficiently enough.
If it can’t be explained in five minutes then it is not being explained efficiently enough.
And don’t tell me it is very important and will take a long time. We don’t need to hear every detail and don’t need to be told the same thing over and over at a meeting.
The proof of the problem is last year at the May meeting, which is supposed to be reserved for Field Day discussion however the bureaucracy of the meeting ran so long that there was no time allowed to discuss Field Day. That’s just pathetic for an Amateur Radio Club. And yes, I was extremely angered about that. Let’s not do that again this year.
If we want to attract new members and keep the ones we have we must make the meetings more entertaining.April 11, 2023 at 7:28 pm #38804
I have a presentation on direction finding using my IC-705 and a handheld small loop antenna and should be remote computer viewable too.April 12, 2023 at 11:52 am #38805
Your point about maybe changing the order of business is to me spot on and worthy of consideration. I will talk with the other officers and see if maybe they want to try doing as you suggest. We all recognize the problems, they aren’t new to our recent gatherings.
I think everyone wants the same end result that you do: To “have fun” at these meetings. One problem for me personally is that one person’s “presentation” is another person’s “business” and vice versa. Someone doing a presentation on how to use a SWR meter to tune an antenna; that one is easy, that is a presentation. Not so easy: Is our 50th Anniversary a presentation or business? Is a discussion about new offerings of merchandise a presentation or business? So, to me there is a bit of conflict in the difference between presentation and business. Not always, but sometimes. If someone will please point me to the rules on that so that I will know what they are, I for one would benefit. LOL I am averse to holding myself or anyone else accountable for rules that many, if not most, don’t know about. That is kind of why I am trying to codify some of our Club stuff. “We have never done it that way before.” seems to be a virtuous rallying cry for some. I guess some people might not like me because my attitude is “So what? Just because we never have doesn’t mean we shouldn’t.” I think the converse is true too. LOL That may explain my curiosity at trying what you suggest and do presentations first. Since I have been a member of the Club we have never done that, so would that make it wrong? If people dug it, to me that is perhaps an indictment of doing things the way it has “always been done”, instead of that being some virtuous point of order.
Here is an example of something new and innovative that I am trying to push on the Club – Make a plan and be proactive. Do not wait until the last minute and then run around like our hair is on fire trying to catch up. An example of that is this – Never before has anyone had a comprehensive list of all – Club Reports & Registration – (now up to 21 items) the tasks that must be done to keep the Club up and running as a legal entity. As another, to my knowledge we have never proactively planned presentations. My ambition for some time now has been to get presentations scheduled a year in advance and get them posted on the Club website. Well, there are just a handful of us doing all, and I mean ALL, of the work. The officers have now asked twice – two times – for someone to please raise their hand, volunteer and start the process of putting together scheduled presentations. Forty-eight members have been asked twice and not a single person has followed up with us. Do the Club members really not care about presentations? Does nobody have fifteen to twenty minutes a month to make a call or two and/or email a few people to solicit presentations and presenters? I am a bit baffled at the apathy. So, following along on these posts in this thread I just decided to get it knocked out. I am not going to do this every year, but if we post the volunteer position as “The job is actually done, you can just sign up now and coast for months…”, maybe that will attract someone. LOL All kidding aside, if someone will please just reach out to us (please click here) and tell us that you will take over this newly created position; we have made it pretty easy to continue. So hopefully someone will. If so, thanks!
We have the following Club meeting dates scheduled for the balance of the year, presentations as noted:
April 22 – Presentation: Field Day 2023 – Charles Penry (WA5VHU), Field Day Coordinator
May 20 – 50th Anniversary (Moved up a week to deconflict with Memorial Day weekend and as a consequence we moved it to the same weekend as Dayton Hamvention.) – Presentation: 50th Anniversary – Multiple persons
June 24 – Field Day is on June 24-25, so if recent history informs us – That will be the presentation. Presentation: Field Day final preps – Charles Penry (WA5VHU)
July 22 – Tour de Paris (TDP) is July 15 so to me logically the presentation for July 22 would be reference TDP. Or is that business? If TDP debrief is business and not a presentation then we have no presentation scheduled as yet. Presentation: TDP Debrief – Mark Johnson (W5PTX)
August 26 – Presentation: Home brew: A general discussion – Johnny Thomas (WB5JT)
September 23 – Presentation: NanoVNA-H4 – Jim Vignali (W5VIG)
October 28 – Presentation:
No presentation scheduled as yet.Ham Radio & Self Reliance – Matthew Murphy (KF5NRU)
November 25 – This again falls on Thanksgiving weekend and the group may want to move the date to November 18 to deconflict. Presentation: Direction finding using an ICOM IC-705 and a handheld small loop antenna – Charles Penry (WA5VHU)
December 23 – Sunday is Christmas Eve and I am guessing the group will again want to move the meeting to deconflict with Christmas. No presentation scheduled as yet.
Conflicting events are a common theme with the meeting on the 4th weekend. When I first joined the Club we did the meeting on, as I recall, the second Saturday of the month. We did the change mostly as an accommodation to the then Club treasurer. There are still some that prefer it on the 4th weekend, but when you see that the 4th weekend is Memorial Day, Field Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas, we automatically have four of twelve (33.33%) Club meeting weekends get blown up by Field Day and three national holidays. At some point we might want to revisit what weekend we do Club meetings.
Alright, we have identified some programs and potential programs and by my accounting above we have October 28 and December 23 (likely to be be moved up) that need programs. If TDP debrief is business then we need one for July too. That is two (or three) months that we need presentations and presenters and I currently see these opportunities:
SWR meters and tuning antennas – Who is willing to make a presentation on this?
GMRS/GMRS repeaters – Who is willing to make a presentation on those?
It is probably good that the GMRS piece is currently pushed to later in the year. This so that it can be advertised to people outside of the usual ham radio group. There is obviously overlap, some ham radio operators also have a GMRS license and use that gear, but there are some GMRS operators that are not involved with ham radio. We need a little time to get the advertising message out to them so that we can maybe get some of them to the Club meeting, do the presentation and cross-pollenate with them and maybe recruit some new hams to the Club.
What else? Anybody see any other conflicts with the dates above? Anybody have any further suggestions for programs and presenters? Suggestions for programs or anyone willing to do a presentation please email me.
April 13, 2023 at 8:47 pm #38812
- This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by Phillip Beall. Reason: Minor grammatical editing
- This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by Phillip Beall.
- This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by Phillip Beall. Reason: Updated: October 28 - Presentation: Ham Radio & Self Reliance - Matthew Murphy (KF5NRU)
I don’t think the club needs a rule for every contingency.
Based on my experience of being at quite a few different Ham club meetings I believe that the program is whatever the members want it to be or whatever it needs to be. At the Hurst Amateur Radio Club we used to have folks come in and give us entaintering presentations that had nothing to do with Amateur Radio or even electronics in general. I have given my Shuttle debris pickup and my Iraq presentations at a variety of types of club meetings.
“For example, discussion and voting on the overall rewriting of a clubs by-laws would likely take all the time and negate the want of a presentation. TDP and FD and such would be a presentation if there is enough information to fill up the 30 or so minutes, or more than one short presentation.
I don’t know what is planned for our 50th celebration but if it takes the time away from a disassociated presentation at that month’s meeting then so be it, the 50th effectively becomes the presentation. I hope it will be entainterning to the members!
As for which Saturday to have the meeting on, I still vote for Tuesday night. Some of us that are still working weekdays for a living like to do things on the weekend.
WA5VHUApril 14, 2023 at 7:28 am #38813KI5VGQParticipant
Both of you make good points. I just think making presentation plans a year in advance might have to change. The radio business changes too often. I don’t like having the meeting at a restaurant. Too much activity going on.
I have spoken with Assistant Chief Randy Tuttle. He has stated we can have our meetings in the Municipal courtroom again. If someone wants to meet for a meal before, they can. This room will not cost us. I don’t even know if or what we pay for the room at the current location.
Five of us met at my office the other day on NanoVNA analyzers. It was a good meeting in a calm environment with no interruptions. It gave us time to get to know each other.
You two and I are probably the most verbal members in the club. Some people don’t like that.
Club members appear to be like a congregation, only 5% do the work.
I am computer illiterate and have minimal knowledge in the radio industry.
This is a hobby for me and I’m not going to let it become another job.
You folks that put a lot of time into this organizations are really appreciated.
How many people have even looked at these posts……April 14, 2023 at 10:33 am #38814
You covered a lot of ground there. I will take a stab at addressing the big points.
Presentations: A schedule can be changed, no problem. What we have had since I have been a member is that nobody planned even thirty days in advance. That puts a lot of pressure on the Club volunteers that run the administrative stuff. LOL As you said, none of us wants to make it a job, and having something on “fire and forget”, something as simple as making out a presentation schedule; that ensures that we at least have a placeholder. If someone comes up with a terrific idea for a presentation that the topic or current events suggest that we run it then, as a second presentation or swap the new one in and move the other to a later date; nobody is suggesting otherwise. To me that is a beautiful plan.
Location: If we had chatted about it I could have saved you the call to Tuttle. We were not disinvited from the PD, we left because the benches were uncomfortable, support for using a projector for presentations was inconsistent as it worked sometimes and didn’t others and it just wasn’t a warm and inviting environment. That isn’t what courtrooms are designed for… Admittedly, there were fewer potential distractions, but we are pretty consistently having 50-100% more people at High Cotton than we had at the PD. We went from the PD to Kelly’s church. That place was super, but when his cancer was diagnosed he sold the building and we moved to another church. The acoustics were really, really, bad there. We subsequently secured the back room at High Cotton. It does cost us $50, but we have generally only received positive feedback since moving there. The first month we had the meeting at HC a hand full of people showed up at 10am and ordered breakfast while the meeting was being conducted. That was a distraction and so we started emphasizing that if people wanted breakfast to be there at 0900 for breakfast so that we could cut down on the distractions. That was an improvement and I think everyone involved agrees that is how we should conduct business – No meal service during the meeting. As for complaints about High Cotton, we have received lots of positive comments and no complaints. We can sure poll it if you want.
Readers (web viewers): Charles has a couple of times stated as fact, completely devoid of factual evidence, that we didn’t have hardly anyone going to the Club website and expressing disappointment at the few number of forum participants. I had to point him to some facts that rebutted his statement and tried to inform him on forum participation.
Fact: Our website gets about 500 hits a week. We are getting a lot of views. The things we are doing with the site are adding value and growing our participation. That growing participation is one of the sales points of our Business Development Plan, which you will be getting a full briefing on at the board of directors meeting tomorrow.
Fact: Lurkers versus Participants – From Topic: Club Meeting 11/19/2022 @ High Cotton last fall:
Questions? Comments? Critique? This is your Club and your forum, please let us know your thoughts. A common misperception is that a lack of forum posts means a lack of interest and a lack of participants. I have been a forum moderator and/or admin on sites with many tens of thousands of members. We used to informally look at the percentage of “lurkers” versus active participants. In all cases lurkers far and away outnumbered the participants. Here is a study if you are interested:
Summary: In most online communities, 90% of users are lurkers who never contribute, 9% of users contribute a little, and 1% of users account for almost all the action.
So, would I love to get a lot of feedback on every post that people make? Absolutely. Do I think with ~40 members, typically 20 at a Club meeting and with people as busy as they are, our forums should be a hub of activity like perhaps FaceBook or some other social media sites? No. And if that study linked to above is accurate then we are lucky to have four members contribute a little! So, if you read something you like, please validate the poster by hitting reply and giving them a “Yay!” or something, even if you don’t want to write a treatise.
To be clear, you can save the replies and follow up for other posts. If you got this far reading this post, thanks! Mission accomplished.
Haskell, we have a lot of statistics, how many people go to the site, how many people go to the forums, how many people open our email and how quickly they do it (~170 on email list, 48 active members (up year-over-year), email opens average 15-20 within 2-4 hours of send (depending on time of day) and overall better than 60% open within three days), but at this point we have no idea how many people read a particular forum post. Our website and forum are primitive by some measures, but if you look around at other ham radio clubs it is (not just my opinion) head and shoulders better than most. It is a WordPress site, which like Firefox is a free to use tool that can be upgraded and enhanced through use of plugins and hard coding. All of that takes time and effort and in some cases money. And right now only three people (Rick Leonhardt, Leo and me) have the aptitude to do anything as far as development. Leo has a full-time job and many other interests that limit his participation and Rick and I are peddling as fast as we can. LOL The whole experience, from website to membership growth and participation and our presentations have evolved a lot in the last five years. I see what I believe are positive trends and anything that is less than perfect is the result of growing pains and generational change. I have been working on building a historical perspective and as yet unpublished website presence on the history of the Club. Like what you have been doing in your office, a Club meeting in years gone by was one where 5-10 people met in the living room at someone’s home and they rotated amongst homes. They had repeater gear up at someone’s home and it was not insured. Today we have a much larger presence overall. A larger audience, not just a larger membership, but an overall larger audience and we have a lot invested, tens of thousand of dollars, in now insured infrastructure. Some might wistfully desire that it was more like it was in past decades, more of a small social get together to show and tell about radio gear, but surely nobody is surprised that the Club has needed to evolve to keep up with societal and equipment changes and how we deliver what we do in service to the community.
Haskell, thanks for the feedback/observations/questions. I look forward to your burgeoning participation. For that matter, your continued participation too Charles. We bump heads on occasion, but I totally respect you and what you have done and continue to do for the Club. If anyone else has a comment or question, please feel free.
PhillipMay 17, 2023 at 11:56 am #39157Steven SmithParticipant
just some food for thought from someone that visits on an average of Three different ARC within North Texas each Month
as your ARRL North Texas Section Manager
Many (most) Clubs have their agenda first and then the Presentation,
I am usually given 45 minutes and I usually get done within 50 minutes (Run 5 minutes over)
I always hang out if they do not have to immediately lock the place up as some clubs have a hard deadline and must be out of the room
Then if WX allows or it is early enough we adjourn to a place to eat and I stay and visit for almost another hour.
Therefore a lot of my Road trips just for a club meeting have me departing the house at 3 pm and arriving home at 1 am the next day.
Back on Topic
There are more than a few clubs that set aside their business meeting and just let me have the floor
When that happens I use about an Hour for presentation and 20 to 30 more minutes of Q&A and just visiting chatting with the group.
These are rare occasions and usually only happen with very small clubs when the attendance is under 15.
By far most clubs do their thing and I take notes and observe
When I am introduced I usually comment on at least one or two things they talked about in their business meeting
Speaking of which, the most progressive and active clubs
Now Including RRVARC are having the majority off the business
done prior to the club meeting at the BOD meeting (Some BOD meetings the same night as the club meeting just an hour earlier)
However, same night can make for an incredibly long night for BOD members (in my view better to have the BOD meet on a different night or day prior to the meeting)
We have over 83 ARRL affiliated clubs now just in the 68 counties of North Texas
I have still after 4 years of being your SM, not visited every club
even though some months I visited five clubs within one Month.
Yes, there are a few clubs I have visited more than once,
Many reasons for that, some are quite frankly I just love their club
How things flow and their energy level, some it just happens that their meeting is the same time I am in that neck of the woods 🙂
I have attended all the Big Clubs meetings at least once.
Bottom line every club has a different personality, it works for them !
Once upon a time, I recall being at the RRVARC meetings and they were too drawn out
Just to much back and fourth on agenda items.
Today your team as done it right
Most of the business is streamlined
Robert’s Rules of Order is used to keep it that way when needed
However, not too aggressively that anyone should feel stepped on
(I am sure there are exceptions, but that is all a part of being with a group)
Getting long winded here, apologies.
I will close with this, as the ARRL SM
I have to visit more than just my local club, there are many times I hear chatter on the repeater wishes I could join you at the meeting>
One of these days I an going to not pursue being the SM any more
and just join you all !
I do hope to mange a few hours at the RRVARC FD site this year, on Sunday Morning.
I will be willing to work more than a handful of CW Q’s if anyone wants me to.
BTW I am looking forward to attending the 50 Year celebration this Saturday !!!
PS Your Teams Board of Directors in my view is doing an Outstanding job
for our club, yes I am a paid member of RRVARC as well as the Lone Star DX Association
and of course the ARRL 🙂
May 18, 2023 at 11:49 am #39182Kathy BeallParticipant
- This reply was modified 9 months, 2 weeks ago by Steven Smith.
Very nice post! 👏🏼 Delighted you can make the celebration Saturday, see you then!May 18, 2023 at 12:25 pm #39183Steven SmithParticipant
You are welcome
See ya all Saturday
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