FAQ

How do I participate in the open beta?

We welcome and encourage Amateur Radio clubs to participate in our open beta.

To participate, please follow the instructions on this page.

My club has been added. What do I do first?

Welcome aboard and thank you for testing HamClubOnline.Com!  We appreciate your time and contribution.

  1.  If you have not received your temporary password in e-mail yet, go to the Forgot Password link and request your temporary password.
  2.  Once logged in, on the main menu, select your club.  If you are a member of multiple clubs that use the HamClubOnline.Com system, you will see multiple entries.
  3. On the club menu, review your club configuration for accuracy under Maintain Club Configuration option.
  4. You will next want to create Roster Ranks under Maintain Roster Ranks.  Roster Ranks are public, high level ways to group members in your club on the roster.  Some common roster ranks could be:  Non-voting member, Member, Director, Officer, etc.
  5. After creating ranks, you will next want to review how much data members in those ranks are able to view  on the roster.  Change the check marks under Maintain Roster Display Configuration.
  6. If your club charges dues or membership fees, you will want to create Membership Types under Maintain Membership Types.  Some common membership types could be:  Regular membership, family membership, student membership, free membership, etc.   If you do not charge dues, please leave these blank.
  7. Optionally, you can review the e-mail templates next to see the types of e-mails that HamClubOnline may send to your members to notify them of important events about their club status.
  8. If your club is going to use the text or voice alert notification systems, add your activation levels under Maintain Activation Levels.
  9. At this point, you can begin adding members to your club by using the Add New Member function.
  10. Review the skills system FAQ to further group your members or to assign skills to your members.  Some example skills could be: First aid training, Net control operator, Volunteer examiner, etc.

As you are testing the website, some features may not be available or are in different stages of development.  Anything marked with NYI means Not Yet Implemented and is a planned feature.

To provide feedback, feature requests or bug reports, please open a ticket with support.

You may also find other helpful “how-to” guides or introductions on our website here.

Again, thank you for your support.

How does the election system work?

Why use the HamClubOnline election system?

  • HCOL ballots are secure.  Each ballot may only be cast once and may not be altered after being cast.  Responses are anonymous.
  • HCOL is a third party system and results cannot be manipulated by the club or the election management.
  • Most club’s governing documents (bylaws) are silent on how election ballots are to be cast and typically leave the election methodologies to the Secretary.
  • Clubs have reported that HCOL online voting has greater club participation versus in-person or mailed ballots.

The following are basics of the HamClubOnline election system:

  • The elections system can be used to vote on people or things.
  • HCOL refers to people as candidates and things as propositions.
  • There may be up to 12 candidates per ballot item.
  • There may be up to 12 responses to a proposition per ballot item.
  • There may be up to 50 ballot items per election campaign.
  • Write-in and abstain capabilities are set per ballot item.

Elections are first created and managed in the Manage Elections module from the club menu.  The following options are available per election:

  • Election Management may be available to all rank 2 and rank 3 members or locked to the member who created the election campaign.
  • Election Results may be only shown to those who can manage the election, shown to everyone after the campaign is over, or to all members always.
  • The election closing time will stop the election at that time and no ballots may be cast after the election has been closed.

After everything is ready to go, you may officially start the election campaign.  The election system will immediately e-mail ballots to all eligible club members.  Revisiting the campaign during the election, management may see who received a ballot and who has not yet cast that ballot.  The option to resend uncast ballots is available on this screen as well.

There are a few global configuration options for election eligibility available in the Club Configuration module for rank 3 members.  These eligibility options are:

  • How long does someone need to be a club member to be eligible to vote in elections? (0=immediately)
  • How long does someone need to be a club member to be eligible to run for an election position? (0=immediately)

Also, club ranks that are rank 0 are considered non-voting members of the club and will not receive a ballot.

How does the skills system work?

Skills are a powerful system inside of HamClubOnline.Com.   Skills can be expiring (such as CPR or first aid certifications, badging requirements, etc.) or lifetime (such as ICS100 certification, Net Control skill, etc.)

Skills are first created in the Maintain Skills Master module from the club menu.  The following options are available per skill:

  • Number of Days Until Skill Expires
  • Number Days Before Skill Expires to Warn Member (the system will automatically e-mail the member to let them know their skill will expire in x days)
  • Warn Member When Skill Has Expired (the system will automatically e-mail the member to let them know their skill has expired)
  • Available? (if not available, no members may be placed into the skill and the skill will no longer show any place except for the Maintain Skills Master module.)
  • Can Members See They Have This Skill? (if enabled, members will be able to see that they have this skill on the HamClubOnline website.)
  • Required Skill? (if enabled, members will see that they do not have this skill when on the HamClubOnline website and that it is required.)

To assign members into a skill group, use the Manage Member Skills module from the club menu.

  • When adding a skill, the system will automatically use the current date/time as the date acquired.
  • If adding an expiring skill, the system will automatically add x amount of days to the current/date time for the expiration.
  • Member’s skills that have expired will appear in red on the skill assignment screen.  Even thou they are displayed, they are not considered to have the skill any longer when they have expired.  Expired member skills are retained for informational purposes and may be removed.
  • Members who are inactivated from the roster will retain their skills in the database.  If reactivated to the club, the member’s skills will automatically be reactivated as well.  The member will still receive expiration notices for expiring skills even if they are no longer active on your roster.

How are skills used in HamClubOnline?

  • Skills may be used to send special newsletters or communications to members with only that skill.
  • Club calendar events may be restricted to certain skill groups.
  • Activation alerts may also be sent to an individual skill group.

How secure is the HamClubOnline system?

Being an IT professional in the health care industry for over 20 years now, I am very conscious of security and privacy. The servers running HamClubOnline (HCOL) are cloud-based and are hosted in Fremont,CA by Linode. We have two front facing web servers (one is the WordPress server and the other is hosting the HCOL application) both encrypting all communications using TLS/SSL. I separate the webservers just in case there is a security vulnerability in WordPress that the HCOL application site should not be compromised. The back end database is MySQL and is not available from the Internet directly.  All account passwords are hashed with Bcrypt and are salt and peppered. Credit card information is stored with our payment processor (for clubs that require processing) and only a customer ID and transaction numbers are stored in our database. The credit card information is communicated directly with the processor and only a payment nonce is returned to the site. By utilizing this method we can attest to PCI DSS 3.0 SAQ-A compliance for e-commerce transactions online. Other stored information is mostly publicly available and should not be a valuable target for hackers. HCOL also has built-in safeguards in the application in attempts to make sure that clubs are not able to see other club’s information and club members may not access club management functions.

How much does HamClubOnline cost?

The idea is just really to cover the bills of the hosting of HamClubOnline and a little something for my time would be nice. I have been an Amateur Radio Operator since I was 13 and love giving back to the HAM community. Currently there are no plans to charge in the foreseeable future as we are still writing the application.  Beta groups will receive a discount for life for participating in building this great platform!

Why did you make HamClubOnline?

Being an Amateur Radio operator for over 25 years, I have been a member in many Amateur Radio clubs, RACES, ARES and frequency coordination groups.  Being in management, I saw the difficulties that most clubs have in the hobby is keeping a good eye on their membership roster and finances and keeping their members up-to-date on the club events.  Simple items such as renewing their membership when expiring was a major feat for some clubs as the person who sent out the reminders has moved on or an upset with the previous management left the new management with no information on the current state of the club.  HamClubOnline is designed to be a neutral third party to organize your club information, roster, skills, calendar, files, finances and so on and to outlive bumps in the road of the growth of your Amateur Radio club.

HamClubOnline requires each user to have a unique e-mail address, what if I have members who share the same e-mail?

Because HamClubOnline does not require someone to have an Amateur Radio license to be a club member, there had to be some unique way to identify people.  We chose to use e-mail addresses as the unique method to identify people.  Event tracking, club elections, newsletters, etc. require a unique method to function properly.  HCOL encourages people to establish an e-mail address for each member, especially in this day in age.  Gmail, Yahoo and Outlook all offer good e-mail services at no cost.  If your members insist on using the same e-mail together and they are on a provider that allows sub-addressing, Gmail for example, HCOL accepts this method to differentiate users within the same main e-mail mailbox.  For more information on sub-addressing, see this article on Wikipedia or review the IETF RFC 5233.

How to Obtain API client ID and secret Key from your PayPal account?

Follow below mentioned steps to obtain API client ID and secret Key from your PayPal account:

  1. Go to PayPal Developers and sign in.
  2. Scroll down the page and click on Create App button under REST API apps on the My Apps & Credentials dashboard.
  3. App Name could be “HamClubOnline”, and click on Create App button.
  4. IMPORTANT: Switch to Live tab to see Client ID and Secret Key.
  5. Here you will see your Client ID and Secret Key, copy and paste it into HamClubOnline club configuration page. (Make sure it is from the Live tab!)

 

What do the membership settings on the club configuration page do?

On the club configuration page, the following membership settings are available:

How many days before the expiration date should a member be warned via E-mail of an expiring membership? HamClubOnline will send a single e-mail this number of days prior to the member’s expiration date. If set to zero, no e-mail will be sent to the member. The e-mail can be viewed/changed on the e-mail configuration page. The default is 0.

E-mail member when their membership has expired? HamClubOnline will send a single e-mail to the member when their membership with the club has expired. The member will be set to “Expiring Soon” roster status regardless if they are e-mailed or not. The e-mail can be viewed/changed on the e-mail configuration page. The default is No.

How many days should a member remain on the roster without a valid membership (i.e. expired) before being removed? HamClubOnline will automatically remove (i.e. set the member to “Expired” roster status) this number of days after the member’s expiration date.  If set to zero, the member will remain on the roster in “Expiring Soon” roster status indefinitely until manually removed. The system will not remove a member that does not have an expiration date (i.e. never had a membership.) The default is 0.

E-mail member when they have been automatically removed from the roster? HamClubOnline will send a single e-mail to the member when they have been removed from the roster, if this option is set to Yes. The e-mail can be viewed/changed on the e-mail configuration page. The default is No.

How many days does someone need to be a member before they can vote in elections? HamClubOnline will not send an election ballot to a voting member (set in roster ranks) that has a start date smaller than this number of days prior to the scheduled end date of the election.  If set to zero, the system will send an election ballot to all voting members. The default is 0.

How many days does someone need to be a member to be eligible to run for an election? HamClubOnline will display members on the election ballot that have a start date this number of days smaller than this number of days prior to the scheduled end date of the election.  If set to zero, all members are eligible to run for an election. The default is 0.

Club fiscal year starting month? This would be calendar month for when your club starts its fiscal year. For most clubs, this will probably be January. The default is January.