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ARRL Sections - Sacramento Valley

Sacramento Valley

Sacramento Valley

Contact Information

Section Name:
Sacramento Valley
Contact:
Dr. Carol Milazzo KP4MD
Daytime Phone:
(916) 259-3221
Evening Phone:
(916) 259-3221
Email:
kp4md@arrl.org

Basic Information

Division:
Pacific
Alert:
ARRL Sacramento Valley Nets - Our next Section-Wide Net is scheduled
for March 21. 2024.

All ARRL members, club presidents, Section appointees, and all
appropriately licensed radio amateurs are encouraged to join 
us for the ARRL Sacramento Valley Section nets. Section News 
and items of regional and national interest to all radio 
amateurs will be the topics of discussion.

ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Wide Nets are conducted only on 
the third Thursday of such months as announced via official 
bulletin and on www.arrlsacvalley.org

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ARRL Sacramento Valley Section
Section Manager: Dr Carol F Milazzo, KP4MD
kp4md@arrl.org

Description:

KF6CDO Estate Open House February 24, 10 am - 4 pm

 

The last wish of Robert Nash, KF6CDO, SK, was to help his family to rehome his electronics and ham radio treasures to other hams and interested parties. There is a ton of stuff, far more than anyone can deal with.  Other hams can look at the items and rehome them at no charge.

Among the treasures are coils, capacitors, transistors, microprocessors, WiFi microprocessors, diodes, resistors, radios, test equipment, fabrication material, meters, LCD’s, insulators, Tesla Coil fabrication parts, surface mount components, Heathkit products, power supplies, and vintage WWII equipment. Much of the test equipment is of the HP brand.

The family has set aside this coming Saturday, February 24, at their home; 10 AM to 4 PM. 1826 Lambeth Way, Carmichael CA, (38°35'55.26"N, 121°20'15.34"W).  The family asks that people not show up “at will” if they miss the event or want to show up early (or later).

A few pictures are posted at https://photos.app.goo.gl/Lkn4X86x6sjzMAzv9. Interested parties can contact David KE7EL at deki@mycci.net if they have an specific interests not shown in the pictures. David can send full size pictures as well.

 


Announcements

  • Congratulations to Sacramento Girl Scout Troop 1089 and members of the River City Amateur Radio Communications Society for their February 11 Sacramento Bee story covering preparations for their February 22 on the air contact with astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli KI5WSL aboard the International Space Station!  Watch the Live Stream video starting at 9:30 am PT (1730 UTC) on Feb. 22 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pc-8FqHBTw

  • The new FCC rule replacing the symbol rate restrictions on the HF bands with a bandwidth limit of 2.8 kHz went into effect January 8, 2024.

  • Our next ARRL Section event is the Loomis Hamfest on Saturday, March 16 at the Historic Loomis Train Depot.  Watch the Sierra Foothills Amateur Radio Club website W6EK.org for updates.

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Laguna Creek High School Students earn Amateur Radio Licenses

On behalf of the ARRL I recently visited Eric Johnson, KN6TNH, at the Laguna Creek High School Amateur Radio Club.   Eric J Johnson, KN6TNH, is the Lead Teacher at the Green Energy Technology Academy at Laguna Creek High School in Elk Grove, CA.  ARRL awarded them a grant to build their own station to track and communicate with satellites and the ISS, to support teaching and licensing their students, and to design, build and launch a pico-satellite.  On December 2, twenty of their students earned their amateur radio licenses at an on-site VE test session.  Eric provided the following report. See photos at https://photos.app.goo.gl/q5aRyPzk7csFjhvg7

73, Carol Milazzo, KP4MD, 
ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Manager

 

Our Story:

The Green Energy Technology Academy (GETA) at Laguna Creek High School in Elk Grove, CA, began in 2008 with the goal of introducing students to the technology of energy conversions: Solar Arrays, Wind and Water Turbines, Hydrogen Fuel Cells, and Biomass. An academy is a program within a school, where a themed CTE (career Technical Education) course is supported by two to three academic core classes each year. For example, in the sophomore year, GETA students take our hands-on CTE class (shop class) and also take GETA English, GETA World History, and GETA Physics. The other non-academy schedule slots are for our students to take their Health, PE, Language, and other graduation required courses.

As a bonus to our GETA students, we offer after school extracurricular club and leadership opportunities. On Mondays, Leadership, on Tuesdays, Solar Regatta, (A regional solar and battery powered boat racing competition sponsored by our local utility company-SMUD). On Wednesdays. Satellite and Rocketry activities (much more about this later) and on Thursdays (Hydrogen Powered RC racing- an international competition run by Horizon Educational call the H2GP- Hydrogen Grand Prix).

Two years ago, we were challenged to bring satellite technology into our curriculum. I did not know the first thing about satellites, but energy propagation, energy management, energy conversions, and energy storage all seemed to be a perfect fit into what we already did, so we accepted the challenge.

Back in 2003-2006, my AP Physics students launched rockets with Amateur Rocketry Clubs in the TARC (Team America Rocketry Challenge) and with NASA in the SLI (Student Launch Initiative), and in that season, we met Bob Twiggs. Bob was a Stanford professor who co-invented the CubeSat and used it as a platform to teach satellite basics to his Stanford grad students. So, with the challenge in front of us, we reached out to Bob, and he was excited to hear from us. It had been nearly 17 years. He explained that he had retired and started his own educational company (Twiggs Space Lab) specializing in STEM modules that took students from simple soldering and circuitry on up to their first micro satellite (CanSat, CubeSat, PicoSat, QB2 PocketCube). During that phone call, Bob asked if we would be interested in being a BETA school for his STEM modules. We said “YES!” immediately.

As we worked though and documented our experiences with the Jiggy Bot, the CricketSat and the AlphaSat modules, we soon realized that we were going to need to the ability to transmit to these devices, not just receive. This brought us to the Amateur Radio community. We reached out to various clubs in the area (Sierra Foothills ARC, Elk Grove Florin ARC, River City ARC, Lodi ARC, Stockton Delta ARC). In this season we met some very helpful Elmers (Dave- KK6MVJ, Jojo-KN6HTD, Nelson-K6VDU, John-NZ6Q, and many others) The lead teacher, the author of this article, and a student received their Technician licenses early, and then…

An ARRL grant opportunity opened for us. In writing the grant, we proposed funds for our own HAM Shack, the necessary antennas to track and communicate with satellites and the ISS, funds to support the teaching and Technical Level licensing of our students and a chunk to support a launch of our eventual pico-satellite in association with the NREP Initiative (NanoRacks External Platform) aboard the ISS. Matt Craft and Bob Twiggs of Twiggs Space Lab have been helping us move in this direction.

We were awarded the grant and off to the Ham Radio Outlet (HRO) we went. We set up our Ham Shack and antennas, purchased the study materials and studied and reviewed a little from meeting to meeting. Unfortunately, because our students are so involved in other activities on campus, very little studying was done between meetings, so we reached out to John-NZ6Q of the Stockton Delta ARC to see if he would be willing to host a HamCram, and he said ‘yes’. In addition to the Satellite and Rocketry Club members, I opened up the HamCram opportunity to other GETA students. On the day of the HamCram, twenty-four students showed up and twenty passed the exam on December 2, 2023. The four who didn’t pass, had to leave early, challenged the exam, and the test won. Otherwise, those who stayed to the end had a 100% pass rate. Thank You John!!

Since that day, other contacts have been made. Most notably David-WB6TOU, who does research with pico balloons. David came by on December 7th to speak with a handful of our students concerning opportunities in space weather research and WSPRnet technology (Weak Signal Propagation Reporter).

As of the writing of this article, final exams are underway, so decisions for the pico-balloon opportunity have yet to be discussed or made. This opportunity is incredible. What you don’t know is that the GETA program already has an international footprint all around the globe with their solar suitcase program. The GETA sophomores learn solar technology using the solar suitcase as the learning platform and then, because grants are used to fund these units, they are sent to energy poor nations, villages and families with contacts we have with humanitarian and faith-based organizations. To date we have 175 of these solar suitcases in 27 nations and 10 more will be going to Uganda in January 2024. This footprint might-well be extended into space if the students decide to pursue the pico-balloon opportunity and push towards the NREP program.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,

73- Eric KN6TNH

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Redding Veterans' RC W6VET Veterans' Day Special Event      

The Special Event Station Celebrating Veterans at W6VET was a success, especially for me, the operator, K6WK, Mike.  However, "success" as a term does not describe fully the impact that operating on this SES has had on me.  I enjoyed talking to all the Veterans, families of Veterans, and supporters of Veterans.  I got tongue tied a few times, I was in need of a rest, also,...to assimilate the "happening-input of life experiences" into my consciousness....  This was an experience for me, which stands above nearly every post-service experience as a US ARMY VETERAN that I can remember.  Thank you to all who made contact, and especially to those who could not get through because of my long windedness.  I hope to work you soon.  This is our second Annual Special Event Station on Veterans Day at W6VET.  73  - Michael, K6WK

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ARRL SV Section Members Participate in the Oct. 19 WinLink ShakeOut Exercise

What is ShakeOut?

The Great ShakeOut is the world's largest earthquake drill. It is held annually on the third Thursday of October, and millions of people participate all over the world. In 2022 over 45.6 million people registered their participation. The goal of the ShakeOut is to teach people how to protect themselves during an earthquake.

Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills across the U.S. are coordinated by the Southern California Earthquake Center in partnership with ECA, CUSEC, state and national emergency management partners, with support from FEMA, NEHRP, NSF, and USGS.

The ShakeOut drill is simple. At the designated time (or whenever works for you or your organization), participants practice self-protective actions such as "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" or "Lock, Cover, and Hold On" if they use a wheelchair.

The Great ShakeOut is also an opportunity to learn more about earthquake preparedness. Participants can learn about the different types of earthquakes, how to create an earthquake safety plan, and how to make their homes and businesses more earthquake-resistant.

The Great ShakeOut is a great way to get ready for an earthquake. Many preparedness lessons from the Great ShakeOut also apply to floods, fires, landslides, and other disasters. It is also a chance to connect with your community and learn how to help others in the event of an earthquake or other disaster. Look for more details on the Winlink ShakeOut Website.

The 2023 WinLink ShakeOut Exercise report is posted at  https://scdto.maps.arcgis.com/apps/dashboards/62395f372b41461f884e4173e5efca85 

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ARRL SV Clubs and Members at the Rocklin Maker Faire

ARRL Exhibit and Spe

The ARRL Sacramento Valley Section hosted a public outreach exhibit promoting Amateur Radio and our local clubs at the Rocklin Maker Faire at Sierra College in Rocklin, 5100 Rocklin Rd, Rocklin, CA 95677 on Saturday October 7 from 10 am - 2 pm.   The Maker Faire is a family-friendly event open to the general public. 
Members of the Elk Grove Florin ARC, North Hills RC and River City ARCS hosted displays of amateur radio equipment, antenna and DIY projects, Morse Code practice stations, and offering opportunities for attendees to learn about the many facets of amateur radio and to communicate on the air with amateur radio operators via an operational on-site Special Event Station N6M.  We offered literature and information on licensing, local clubs, the ARRL and amateur radio's role in community service and promoting careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.  Link to flyer..  

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October 21 ARRL Pacificon Forum:
"Dealing with Intentional Interference"
     

Intentional interference is increasingly reported in our section and elsewhere around the nation.  At the 4 pm October 21 ARRL Pacificon Convention forum entitled "Dealing with Intentional Interference" ARRL and other amateur radio leadership presented and discussed resources and strategies to assist radio amateurs, clubs, groups and repeater owners in controlling this problem.  

Local direction finding (DF) teams have been organizing to collect evidence of these incidents. 
If you experience intentional interference, here below are several ways that you can immediately assist:

  1. Dealing with a deliberate jammer is emotionally difficult. But if we’re to successfully get rid of them, everyone involved (and I do mean every single ham) must remain calm. We must also be patient, as it can take a while.

  2. This may be the most important of all; do not attempt to engage with the jammer, or even acknowledge their presence. Although some of them may do what they do because they have a beef with the repeater owner, club, or another ham; most jammers do it for the same reason others engage in destructive behavior; to get attention. We must deny them that attention. So, control your anger and don’t tell them to stop, threaten them or even acknowledge that the interference is occurring.

  3. If the level of interference allows it, continue with your QSO or net as if the interference was not there.
    If conversation is not possible, you may be able to QSY to an alternate frequency.  Otherwise, just sign off as if you’ve naturally finished and go radio silent until the jammer leaves. They may return when you do, so you’ll have to do this several times, until they get the message that they won’t get the satisfaction they’re looking for.

  4. Do not discuss the jammer on the air, even when jamming is not present.  Understand that just one ham losing control and engaging with the jammer or acknowledging the interference, even in passing, is enough to undo the efforts of everyone else.

  5. In case of repeater interference, each repeater owner has the ability--or should have the ability--to constantly monitor the repeater and if all else fails shut it down in instances of abuse.   Running a repeater is not much different than allowing access to your home base station by anyone who wants to use it.

  6. Control operators can and should immediately disable the repeater when any illegal activity occurs, and keep it disabled until attempts at the illegal activity end. They can monitor the repeater’s input frequency for this.

  7. You should report a repeater's failure to control intentional interference to the ARRL-FCC Volunteer Monitor (VM) program
    Collect and submit recordings of the interference marking the date, time and frequency as evidence. 
    The ARRL-FCC VM program has the resources to motivate owners to control their repeaters responsibly.

How To Report A Possible Violation to the ARRL-FCC VM Program

To report clear violations of FCC Part 97, particularly instances of unlicensed operation, repeated deliberate interference, and operation outside of a licensee’s authorized frequencies, send the report via email to Riley Hollingsworth (K4ZDH), ARRL Volunteer Monitor Administrator, at K4ZDH@arrl.net.

Important: include the following information in your report…

- Frequency (MHz) of incident:
- Time of incident (UTC):
- Date of incident:
- Call sign(s) of station(s) being reported:
  - If a repeater, call sign of repeater involved:
- Description of alleged incident being reported:
- Your full name (person submitting report)
- Your call sign:
- Your email address:
- Your phone number:

All reports will be acknowledged, reviewed, and the person submitting the report will receive a response as quickly as possible.

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Sacramento Troop 1089 Girl Scouts Prepare for 2024 ARISS Contact

In March, a great STEAM opportunity for YLs presented itself. ARISS, the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ISS) organization, had applications still open to make a contact with an astronaut on the ISS for winter/spring 2024. Members of the River City Amateur Radio Communications Society (RCARCS) along with Girl Scout Troop 1089 (16-18 year olds) leader Amanda Banks submitted the ARISS application to “talk to an astronaut” on the ISS as it swings by Sacramento. If the application were accepted, a date would be given for the direct contact for the troopers to ask an astronaut on the ISS up to 20 questions, all dependent on the pass length and ability to trade good traffic with the ISS. In spring, everyone was notified that the application was accepted and then the fun began.


RCARCS 'hamsters' and Girl Scout troop leaders combined to present over six weeks the ARISS SPARKI curriculum that included sections on space, ciphers and morse code, waves, frequency and amplitude, basic snap circuitry, web SDR and telemetry, creating QSL cards, designing their t-shirt for contact day, plus a couple of practice GOTA sessions with local clubs on the N6NA repeater – both voice and SSTV.

The next phase will include RCARCS 'hamsters' building the dual station for the contact and then walking through the station setup with the troopers, practicing their questions in front of the mic and preparing the location for the contact. In mid February, the contact will be finalized and the team will make the contact from the Sacramento Girl Scout headquarters, streaming the event live on YouTube and Facebook. Only a few thousand out of over 8 billion people on earth have this opportunity - crazy good for our YLs, right?

We encourage everyone to give those YLs in your life an opportunity to shoot for the stars – the ARISS program is a great way to do just that – using your experience to spread the joy of HAM radio as a hobby and professional tool for their future.  - Jen Garland, KI1TTY

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Links:
Sacramento Valley Section Facebook Page, Sacramento Valley Section Twitter Feed, Sacramento Valley Regional ARES, Sacramento Valley Section Nets

Sacramento Valley Officials

  • Carol Milazzo

    Section Manager

    Carol F. Milazzo KP4MD

  • Michael Joseph

    Public Info Coordinator,
    Section Emergency Coordinator

    Michael T. Joseph KK6ZGB

  • Jojo Melendres

    Assistant Section Manager

    Jojo Melendres KN6HTD

  • Peter Gambee

    State Government Liaison

    Peter D. Gambee KT6TT

  • Orion Endres

    Section Youth Coordinator

    Orion Endres AI6JB

  • James Michener

    Section Traffic Manager

    James A. Michener K9JM

  • Les Cobb

    Assistant Section Manager

    Les L. Cobb W6TEE

  • Bob Wortman

    Technical Coordinator

    Bob Wortman WB6VYH

  • James Goldstene

    Affiliated Club Coordinator

    James N. Goldstene AE6JG

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