- Section Name:
- Sacramento Valley
- Ron Murdock, W6KJ
- Daytime Phone:
ARRL SACRAMENTO VALLEY SECTION NEWS—FEBRUARY 2014
From the W6SFM SFM ARC:
The W6SFM Samuel F. Morse ARC would like to thank everyone that attended our February 23rd CW Day in the park event. The event was held from 12:30 PM until 5PM at the Fair Oaks Park in the city of Fair Oaks. Participants were treated to Doughnuts and beverages courtesy of Member Peter KG6GMK.. 2 stations were set up including an Elecraft KX3 using the newly released KXPA100 100w amplifier. For this event both stations were set up using Buddipole antennas configured both in the Vertical and Horizontal modes. Thank you to John WB6UBK for providing the second radio and antenna.
The SFM ARC sees this as an opportunity for members to come together as a club and have fun enjoying their hobby outside of the regular monthly in-person meetings. As we approach the summer months, more fun outdoor events like this will be planed for the club members. If getting out in the sun and fresh air while operating your radio sounds like something you would enjoy, please consider joining the SFM ARC.
Reports on our January meeting: At the last W6SFM meeting we received 1 new visitor with interest in RTTY operations and questions about which radio and equipment to purchase. Everyone in the club was given an opportunity to express their opinion on which rig would be the best to get the job done. Hopefully Stan went away with some good information and the prospect of making the SFM ARC his new home club.
Later in the evening members shared new items they acquired over the last month. Michael showed his 2 newly purchased bugs. The first was a Mecograph Model 4 from 1905 and the other being a 1904 Mecograph Coffe key. The Coffe key is considered by most as the very first bug to be invented and produced commercially. Members enjoyed passing these and other keys around the table for a quick try. Mike K6LQ showed his newly Home Brewed Ladder line that he intends to run to his antennas. The members discussed what the impedance of this ladder line was based on the spacing and wire size. New ideas on how to make home brew ladder line were shared. Mike discussed how for this ladder line he was able to use Electrical Fence wire separators to space the ladder line apart. A cleaver idea at a very economical price. Kudos to Mike for his cleaver idea and sharing it with the group. More interesting facts and items will be shown at our February in-person meeting. You do not have to be a member of the SFM ARC to join us for our meetings, please feel free to pop in. More information on the meetings can be found below.
SAVE THE DATE Be sure to keep April 26, 2014 open for our club’s upcoming PR event. The SFM ARC is once again proud to participate in this years award winning Kid's Day in the Park event, Rancho Cordova. The Kid's Day in the park program is sponsored by the Family Support Services and the Rancho Cordova Police department. This event is a great opportunity for W6SFM to meet and greet people while doing some needed outreach to Kids and the general public on Ham Radio and the use of CW. The club will require as many as possible to help with this much needed program. More details will be given as they are made available to the club. Be sure to check our Home Page at www.w6sfm.com for more information as it is released.
Each Tuesday of the week 8:00 PM on 7.110 MHz the SFM ARC enjoys getting on the air with CW for our weekly Nets. You do NOT need to be a member of the SFM ARC to check into our nets. Although our nets usually run around 13 wpm code, we are all happy to accommodate those that are slower and need us to oblige. If you are unable to copy Morse Code or need some code practice please feel free to visit our on-line LIVE streaming broadcast of both the Audio and a CW to Text decoding of the meeting. That link can be found on our home page of the website.
Those visiting the on-line site are welcome to make themselves known by using the ‘contact us’ link to let the net op know you are there. This of course is not mandatory, it just lets everyone feel more involved in our on-air nets.
Do you or someone you know need a Ham Club to call home? For those that want to learn Morse Code, are interested in CW or already know and use it, the SFM ARC would love to be your new Club home. Our in-person meetings are held each 1st Thursday of the month at 7PM. The SFM ARC meets in the "Courtyard room" of the Carmichael Presbyterian Church in Carmichael, CA. The church is Located at 5645 Marconi Ave. For directions to the meeting visit our clubs home webpage www.w6sfm.com. Please use the rear parking lot and entry for best access to the meeting. A map and directions can also be found on the website.
We hope to see you at our next meeting! 73, Michael, N6MQL, W6SFM Club President 2014.
"The Plumas Amateur Radio Club is sponsoring Classes to become Ham Radio Operators this March. The Classes will be held at Judy Mahan's Classroom at Feather River College in Quincy, CA, on Wednesday evening, March 12 at 6 PM and Thursday, March 13 at 6 PM. The Class Review and Test will be held at the Quincy Library Conference room, starting at 8 AM with the Test given at 1 PM. All are welcome and there is no age limit! There is no cost for the Classes. The cost of the License test is $15.00 For more information, call Larry at 530-283-9162". We've lost a few members who have moved away and gained several new Hams who've passed the Tech and are now licensed. The Club looks forward to serving our Community this season by providing EmComm for a number of events such as bicycle rides and Marathons and other runs in Plumas County. By giving classes to prepare new folks to be able to take their Technician exam, we hope to add a few more hams to help in our efforts to support events and stand ready to help in a disaster. de KI6YUK
AG6QO has established PACTOR capability, and is now checking in to the Region 6 NTSD MBO for traffic daily.
Joe is seeking to recruit interested local/regional Amateurs for NTS message handling training. He will employ his packet BBS to post traffic for training, and for delivery in the 956*@NTSCA area. AG6QO is also now checking into the WinLink North California Net via both packet VHF and PACTOR HF. News iltem courtesy of AG6QO.
YSARC Hamfest, first Saturday in June, Peach Tree Mall (Feather River Center), 6000 Lindhurst Ave., in Marysville, CA. More information as it arrives.
In other YUBA SUTTER ARC news;
Six hams, Lee (KC6MCI), Lonnie (KI6ZYY), Auggie (KK6ICE), Dan "Deadeye"
(KJ6RGX), Matthew (AC6MF) and Mike Eby (KM6EBY) showed up Curtis' (KF6VFP) and Marsha's (KI6CSN) QTH in Loma Rica to install an G5RV antenna. The center mast was raised to 37 feet and secured with guys. The two end masts were raised to 15 feet. Due to the distances between the center mast and end masts the ends of the antenna are about 20 feet above ground. All of the masts are inside fence post that are concreted 2 to 3 feet in the ground. A picture of the antenna project is at the bottom of Section News. Thanks KF6VFP.
Lee, KC6MCI, and Ron, W6KJ, put up a Windom antenna for Herb, W6HBU, at his Yuba City residence early in February. The antenna covers 40 through 6 meters and is installed on a 34 foot fiberglas mast.
Here is Herb's version of the antenna project.
“I recently asked W6KJ and KC6MCI for help in putting a new antenna at W6HBU. Thanks to their help I now have a Windom that will fit on my property. Unfortunately it does not cover 80 meters due to area restrictions. I then opted for a 40-6 meter model by Buxcomm.
“This antenna comes complete with all hardware, insulated wire (blue to blend with the sky) end insulators and a 4 to 1 balun at the feed point. The balun accepts a standard PL259 connector which means no ladder line as with the popular G5RV. It is fed with LMR400 50 ohm coax to a tuner in the shack. The antenna is advertised to cover 40 through six meters with the aid of a tuner. I can honestly say this is the first product that does what the manufacturer says it will do. I have not, however tested it on six meters.
“The internal tuner of any of the modern radios will handle the SWR on 40 meters since max SWR there is 2 to 1. On 20 meters the SWR is even lower maxing out at 1.6:1. On 15 meters it will need the external tuner since the SWR is 5 and 6 to 1. Most of 10 meters is below 2 to 1, making it usable on most of the band. The highest SWR is on 17 meters where it is in the six to one region. It doesn't like 18 MHz at all. If any band was at the extreme of the antenna's capability it would be 18 MHz.
It hasn't had much of a transmit test since my main transceiver failed after it went up. I have worked central Eastern US with it, but have only heard the “J's” and one weak European station on the 706 presently in use.
“The manufacturer said it will not work for 80 meters. I cheated and gave it a try down there, and he was right. It won't do the trick there. I have no gripe about that because he was up front about it and after all it is only 69 feet long with the feed point about 35 feet above ground. It is located at the far end of the house which means about 75 feet of feed line.
“Cost was $100 with free shipping. That's not cheap, but it was nice to take it out of package and it was ready to go,” de W6HBU.
Ron, W6KJ, finally got all the bands on his ¼ acre lot in Yuba City. After installing a nice G5RV to be used primarily on 80, 40, and 30 meters, a new reduced length sloper by W8AMZ was installed for 160 meters. It allows coverage of the entire 160 meter band using the nice tuner in the SPE 1k FA amplifier. Good signal reports have been received for all the new antennas and the five band four element quad at 49.9 feet for 10-20 meters is working just fine, thank you.
Richard, K6TM, our Nevada County EC, reports:
A multi-county drill/exercise involving at least Placer, Nevada and possibly El Dorado counties is in the works with a target date of April 26; details to follow. The next meeting of the Sacramento Valley Section will be coming up in mid-April.
A total of 7 members were certified as Disaster Service Workers on 2/13. Vic Ferrera (OES Manager) for Nevada County performed the certification.
I finally completed the ARES ID cards that I started several months ago. What should have been a simple task became unnecessarily complicated due to software and template compatibility issues.
Nevada County Amateur Radio Club (NCARC) held a VE exam this past Saturday 2/22 and successfully passed one new technician. Exams are held every other month. See the NCARC website ncarc.org for exact dates.
From the River City ARCS President: Our February 4 meeting featured an excellent presentation by North Hills President Doug Emerson N6NFF and our own Paul McIntyre KC5JAX radio operating for sight-impaired hams. Kevin Laybourn KI6KIU also gave a brief introduction to the Arduino microcontroller. Kevin plans to demonstrate the Arduino SWR sweeper later this year. Our annual club picnic at Lew Howard Park in Folsom has been moved to Saturday, May 3 from 12 noon-4 pm to coincide with the QRP To The Field and International Summits on the Air that weekend. The N6NA club station will again operate from our picnic site. Plan to bring your family, frisbees, and radio go-kits to join the good company, good food and outdoor fun! We plan to man an on-site Amateur Radio station and booth at the annual Farm & Tractor Days at Dry Creek Ranch, 6852 Dry Creek Rd, Rio Linda from 9 am - 3 pm on Friday May 9 and Saturday May 10. To come help and join the fun, voice mail or text us at 916-905-4426, firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up at our meeting. Likewise, it is time to start planning for this year's June 28-29 Field Day event at the Dry Creek Ranch House. Please contact us as above if you intend to participate and with description of any equipment or antennas you might bring. Operators, loggers, and help with meals, set up and tear down assistance are all needed. Our March 4 meeting program will continue our adventure with microprocessors with a demo of an Arduino software Morse and digital encoder. The Arduino and Raspberry Pi are popular new low cost platforms to learn about computer coding and interfacing and their many applications in radio communications. Join us this coming Tuesday, March 4 at 7:30 pm at the Sacramento County Corp. Yard at 5026 Don Julio Blvd for refreshments and great company. Visitors are always welcome! See you there! 73, Carol Milazzo, KP4MD President, River City ARCS
An Emergency Communications get-together meeting will take place on Saturday, March 1st at 9 am. The address is 8580 Florin Road, Sacramento, CA 95828. There will be a traditional main meeting at 9 am, after which there will be several one-hour classes on various subjects.
Directions: From Highway 50, take the Watt Avenue exit and proceed south for about 3 miles. Turn right (west) onto Florin Road. About ½ mile down, the LDS Chapel will be on the left (south) side.
From State Highway 99, take the Florin Road East exit. Continue on Florin Road for about 4 miles. After crossing the railroad tracks, there will be a traffic light. After that, the chapel will be about 200 yards on the right.
The Speakers for the classes are as follows:
Caryl Balko is a member of CERT, who will explain the CERT Program and how it can benefit you and those around you.
Edison Fong, WB6IQN is the creator of the Ed Fong 2 meter antenna. We are pleased to have him at the meeting, since he gave his presentation a couple of years ago and was well received. He will give a technical, but understandable explanation of how antennas work. He will also have antennas available.
Richard Wheeler, AI6RW, will be giving his popular class on the AI6RW HF antenna. Those who wish, can build their own antenna at the meeting.
Bruce Croskey, AH0U and Jeff Clark, K1JTC will provide a class on digital communications. This method of communication allows wards and stakes to communicate information as opposed to voice communication. Equipment required is a radio, a laptop or desktop, and an obsolete Wi Fi router that can be purchased for around $20. Bruce assures us that his explanation can be understood by all.
There will be other demonstrations and displays. News item courtesy of Dennis, AF6TR.
From Douglas County, Nevada, Sheila Clements, KA7AJQ, reports on her activity as Alpine County, CA, EC: "Alpine County Dispatch has relocated from the old County Courthouse (being renovated) to Turtle Rock Park until their new building is completed. Our dedicated ham radio is in storage and our antenna is still on the old building. Ham radio assistance to Alpine would probably be by way of private vehicle and personal radio resources until we reestablish dedicated resources.
At our Douglas County Amateur Radio Team (DCART) monthly meeting we discussed mapping and GPS coordinates. We will look into Douglas County practices and reporting requirements.
Sheila Clement, KA7AJQ
Alpine County ARES Emergency Coordinator
There is a new <DMR> system for northern California. The links to the new Digital Mobile Radio system are, www.dmr-marc.net and www.norcal.org. As I have just joined the new Digital network of Ham Radio Operators in Northern California. It would take so much space to write about the new system that it's not fair to the group.
I have one of the Digital Hand Held units from Connect System model number[CS700]it was under $185.00 with CA tax and shipping from Agoura Hills, CA there web site is www.connectsystems.com. Hope this is enough information so the rest of the group can enjoy and might be a part of the new <DMR> network. Just in northern California there are 19 systems (Repeaters). [Ham operators] just in the state of California there are 268 operators as of February 13, 2014, here in northern California there are about 102 operators as of the above date. The VHF & UHF frequencies are listed in one of the sites that I forward to you. It is a wonderful "NEW" mode of communications <Digital>. The person who got me involved is Tim Barrett <K6BIV> in Pittsburg, CA, Who is one of the founding persons who started 'DMR' here in northern California.
More information? Contact Ron Collings in Davis, CA, at: email@example.com
Friday March 14 is the Sierra Foothills ARC meeting in Rose Room of the Auburn City Hall at 1225 Lincoln Way. The program is a video of a contact with the Juno spacecraft. Ron, W6KJ, SV Section Manager will attend. The meeting starts at 7:30 pm and is over about 9:30 PM.
Every time I appoint a new volunteer to a position in the ARRL Sacramento Valley Field Organization, I think how lucky we are that people will step up to help. I am grateful for all the volunteers who donate their time and talent to help us keep the hobby we love alive and growing.
Just next door in Nevada, K7VY, Gary Grant is now the Section Manager for Nevada following the resignation of Joe Giraudo, N7JEH, for work reasons. Gary has for years helped to keep the radio pack news list going. You may have noted his many contributions to these pages. Welcome, Gary!
The Redding ARRL VE Team announces that our next exam session will be held on Saturday March 15th, at BloodSource in Redding. Check-ins are at 9:30 AM with testing starting shortly thereafter. We are holding our regular VE exam sessions in odd-numbered months. More information can be found at www.reddingve.com or by contacting Steve K6KS at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Wes, KS6Z, reports on the results of the class he gave on Tuesday, Feb 25th at the Davis Police Station.
“We had 8 of 11 people pass the (Technician) test that night, and the three that didn't hadn't really studied at all. One person aced the test, and even the 12 year old that passed the test only got 4 wrong!”
Oroville ARS, (OARS) (http://w6af.org) met on 14 February, the latest that the second Friday
of a month can occur , with 16 in attendance. The program, devoted to
Echolink and presented by Gerry, N6GCV, was well received. The Echolink
node connected to the OARS repeater has been working well, and afforded the
club's newest member Mike, KK6IFI, the opportunity to check in to the Sunday
night net during his visit to El Paso, TX, in the middle of the month.
The monthly OARS Breakfast at Cassidy's on the 22nd saw 17 there to partake
in good food and enjoy good company.
The March meeting of OARS will take place, once again, on the 14th, agenda
and program to be determined at the Board meeting scheduled for the 8th.
Upcoming events that will probably be discussed are Feather Fiesta Days
in May and Field Day the following month.
Conditions over the ARRL International DX CW Contest weekend were possibly the best for any February in this solar cycle, by this writer's perception. W7XZ operated as a Single Band (10 meters) entry, and, running his TL-922 Amplifier (a mid-life crisis acquisition in the 1980s), netted 279 QSOs in 70 entities. News item courtesy of Jim, W7XZ.
QUARTZFEST 2014 by Russ Decker, KB6YAF, member in good standing of Yuba Sutter ARC and ARRL.
Quartzfest 2014, a gathering of Ham Radio RV’ers was once again a huge success. This event has been held every year since 1997, six miles south of Quartzsite, AZ at the “RoadRunner” BLM site near mile marker 99, just mere yards off of Hwy. 95.
Since 1997, Quartzfest has become an official ARRL sanctioned event. It’s like a huge campout of RV Ham Radio people that gather and hold cookouts, daily seminars, antenna and solar application ‘walkabouts’, yard sales, a ‘Special Events’ station (W7Q), music, a 4 wheel drive trip, and especially the opportunity of meeting new friends and meeting up with friends you haven’t seen in a while. What is always fun is putting a ‘face’ to those people you talk to on ham radio and that you hear checking into the various HF nets such as the “RV Service Net”.
Kris Weed, KR1SS, is the event organizer. Kris did a spectacular job organizing this year’s Quartzfest. New this year, was the morning ‘Tai Chi’ group led by Heather, W8GEM. Gordon “Gordo” West, WB6NOA is always a favorite speaker each year also. He led off the event with a great talk on “Emergency Communication” which is one of his areas of expertise. Many hams gather and add their knowledge to various aspects of ham radio including portable HF antennas, DIY solar installations on a budget, Navy/Marine M.A.R.S., tower safety, selecting a transceiver, skywave propagation, how to take and pass ham radio exams, soldering connectors, hidden transmitter hunting, mobile radio installations, and GRID-down communications. There are also many non-ham talks and activities such as the craft get togethers, a 4 wheel drive day trip, a ‘hootenanny’ and open mic night, the potluck and HOBO stew nights, dutch oven cooking, a pet parade, movies at night, RV maintenance, morning and evening campfires, and the trip into town to see the world famous RV show. One of my favorite activities is seeing all the different RV antenna and rig applications, and talking to hams about how they created their mobile RV stations!
On Thursday morning of the week-long Quartzfest, Bud, NP2CT and Art, W0ABX ordered up 7 dozen donuts for the Thursday morning “Coffee & Donuts” around the campfire, compliments of the “RV Service Net”. Many people showed up and signed up as members of the net. Here is a photo of the brave few that were not camera shy….(Russ's photo is at the bottom of Section News.)
Being a ham radio enthusiast is fun, but add in being an RV’er and it makes this event the best ever! For more information, photos, and videos, including a great ‘quad-copter’ video by Neil, W6FOG, go to: www.quartzfest.org. I hope to see you next year at Quartzfest!! Hope to hear you check in on the RV Service Net!!
Final numbers for the event is as follows:
Total in attendance: 557
Total RV’s: 460
…de Russell Decker, KB6YAF
Kelley, KS6Z, and Allison, KS6Q, are back from Honduras where: "We operated ten days from Lisangnipura, Gracias a Dios, Honduras. I sent 158 Winlink messages and received 196 from that location which is N14.59.701 W 083.46.595. I largely used N5TW in Texas on 20 meters for message transfer, with 40 meters for morning/evening traffic. During the mid-day lull I used WB9AYD in Florida. We had three 40 meter voice nets during the day but had difficulty with copy. In the La Moskitia area we used a 2 meter repeater that one ham brought down and installed in Puerto Lempira at the Catholic Compound. It was our best resource for voice communications in our area which we used for medevac flights for surgery needs. Our team consisted of one Doctor, two nurses, two EMTs, a Pharmacist and an assistant, a Dentist, three translators, an engineer, two General Helpers and a radio operator. The team worked well together and we were pretty swamped
with people the whole ten days. People walked for hours from the surrounding area to be seen by the team. We had seven similar teams spread around Honduras with two surgery teams. We were advised of cell phone jamming efforts to help fight the drug trafficking in the area but our radios worked fine.
It was a very rewarding experience but we are glad to be home.
Kelley & Alison Shelley KS6Z / KS6Q"
Here is an offer from the Foundation for Amateur Radio:
The Foundation for Amateur Radio (F.A.R.) a non-profit,
all volunteer organization, manages 52 scholarships,
worth an aggregate of $72,100, all to be awarded to
licensed Amateur Radio operators who complete
We are presently accepting applications for scholarships
for the 2014 / 2015 school year.
The application form is available on the F.A.R. web site at:
This is a treasured opportunity, especially in difficult
economic times, to assist in making the cost of academic
Many parent(s), as licensed Amateurs, encourage their
children to seek a FCC radio license – knowing the rewards
it might bring.
Although the challenges for passing the FCC exam may seem
monumental at the time, the challenges of funding a college
degree are now upon you.
Help the F.A.R. and our college-bound students achieve their
There are no restrictions on age for any of the scholarships,
nor is there a requirement that the students be attending a
four year institution. However, all of the scholarships do
require that the candidates be full time students.
Please forward this information to help get the word out to
as many students as possible.
Dave Prestel, W8AJR
F.A.R. Scholarship Committee
For information about the F.A.R. visit <www.farweb.org> or
please contact Dave Prestel, W8AJR - Chairman of the
Scholarship Committee via e-mail: <email@example.com>.
Thanks to all the contributors who make this month's Section News readable and informative. If I missed getting your station's news, your group's accomplishments, or your club's plans in the news and you want to contribute something, please send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do the rest.
Sacramento Valley Officials
Section Manager,Ronald Murdock W6KJ
Assistant Section ManagerJo Anne Murdock N6YLO
Assistant Section ManagerKelley E. Shelley KS6Z
Technical CoordinatorBob Wortman WB6VYH
Assistant Section ManagerLes L. Cobb W6TEE
Section Emergency CoordinatorFrank J. Reshke N6SNO
Affiliated Club Coordinator,Jettie B. Hill W6RFF
Assistant Section Manager
Public Info CoordinatorJohn O. Stettler KI6DWP
Assistant Section ManagerRichard A. Zanni KJ6RA
Section Traffic ManagerJames A. Michener K9JM
Official Observer CoordinatorNorman J. Lucas WB6RVR
Assistant Section ManagerRaymond E. Parker ND6S
Assistant Section ManagerRobert A. McClard N6BOB
State Government LiaisonPeter D. Gambee K6TTD
Assistant Section ManagerAdajean M. Lester KJ6KZP