The choices, from which a voter could choose one OR more, were:
- Use 75 m exclusively until sunspot activity enables a return to 40 m.
- Use 75 m with optional Skype and/or phone patch connections for stations who are too distant from the core 75 m participants.
- Use 60 m
- Use 40 m exclusively, with the aid of relay stations. Remain on 7230 kHz while evaluating the effect of changing back to standard time on November 1.
- Implement an RF bridge between 75 m and 40 m, enabling stations to select the band that gives them the best ability to hear and be heard.
- 75 m exclusively -- 8 votes - 24% of 33
- 75 m with patching -- 3 votes - 9%
- 60 m -- 1 vote - 3%
- 40 m with relays -- 20 votes - 60%
- 40 m - 75 m bridge -- 12 votes - 36%
Thus, most responders favor the use of 40 m for the Saturday net. There is also clear indication of a desire to have the best of both worlds, combining the long range of 40 m that favors more distant members with the short range of 75 m that favors the Alabama-Georgia core of participating members. With today's technology we have several choices beyond traditional relaying to help bridge the 40 m and 75 m propagation gaps and enable all members to participate. These include a Skype-based VoIP HF Bridge and a Cross-Band Internet Bridge. These may not be available for every Saturday net, since they involve the presence and extra efforts of two members who are equipped to implement these services.
Based on our October 26 conference call, our goal in the near term is to resume a formal Saturday morning members' net with roll-call check-ins, using whatever tools are available. Weekday mornings have and should continue to hold lively, informal QSOs using two bands.
Feel free to post comments below and/or send email to me or to W4BXI.