ARRL

ARRL Sections - Sacramento Valley

Sacramento Valley

Sacramento Valley

Contact Information

Section Name:
Sacramento Valley
Contact:
Ron Murdock, W6KJ
Daytime Phone:
530-674-8533
Email:
rbomb52@gmail.com

Basic Information

Division:
Pacific
Alert:

 

ARLB016 New Amateur Radio Vanity Call Sign Fee Set at $21.40

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The California QSO Party (CQP) is held every year on the first weekend of October.  The first CQP took place in 1966. Since 1974, the Northern California Contest Club (NCCC) has sponsored CQP.  CQP has traditionally opened the annual contest season by providing an opportunity for contesters to prepare for the ARRL November Sweepstakes since the format is similar. This year it is October 4-5.

Stations outside of California, worldwide, work stations in California only. The 58 counties of CA are the multipliers. California stations work all stations in or out of CA. The 50 US states and 8 Canadian provinces are the multipliers.  Stations outside of Canada and the US add to one's QSO total but do not count as multipliers. See the full set of CQP Rules for more details.

On this site you will find lots of information, so peruse the index above and learn all about the California QSO Party!  Also, be sure to visit the NCCC website for the latest scoop on a super contest club.

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Pacificon 2014, celebrating 100 years of the ARRL, returns to the Santa Clara Marriott Hotel at 2700 Mission College Blvd in Santa Clara, California. The convention takes place Friday, October 10th through Sunday, October 12th, 2014. Pacificon 2014 is the ARRL Pacific Division Convention, produced by the Mt. Diablo Amateur Radio Club (MDARC). To register and get a hotel reservation at the Marriott, go to: http://www.pacificon.org/

If you have missed the other special centennial conventions make sure you attend this one.

 

MORSE CODE CLASS THIS FALL: The W6SFM ARC will have morse code classes for beginners. Each class will be held Wednesday evenings from 7 PM until 9 PM at the Carmichael Presbyterian Church, Carmichael, CA.  The dates of the classes are as follows:

September 3, 10, 17, 24
October 1, 8 ,15, 22, 29
&
November 5th

Contact Michael, N6MQL, for more information at: admin@w6sfm.com

                                          *********************

September is National Preparedness Month. Here is a nice pamphlet of good ideas.

http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1408033424313-d42b070b8192950cb9353b9e61a53d28/NPM20Toolkit_2014_508pass.pdf 

 

 

 

Description:


 ARRL SACRAMENTO VALLEY SECTION NEWS—AUGUST 2014

Dr. Carol Milazzo, KP4MD, has been appointed Assistant Section Manager of our ARRL Sacramento Valley Section. Congratulations, Carol.

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Urgent action is requested of all ARRL members in the matter of the HR 4969. In June, 2014 with Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) as the sponsor and Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-2) as co-sponsor, HR 4969 - the "Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014" - was introduced into the 113th Congress.  This bipartisan effort would direct the FCC to extend the "reasonable accommodation" provisions for Amateur Radio antennas to include all types of land-use regulation, including deed restrictions and restrictive covenants.

Please read more about this at: http://www.arrl.org/hr-4969

Then consider contacting your congressperson to ask for their support. We don't have much time. Those of us attending the ARRL National Centennial Convention in Hartford, CT, were given the chance to sign a letter for the League to hand deliver to our members of Congress. You can use a telephone call, an e-mail, or directly write to your congressperson. The instructions are at the above link. If you call or e-mail please let Dan, N1ND, at HQ know via a courtesy copy.

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You may note that recent FCC enforcement actions are not necessarily preceded by warning announcements in the news. The current policy is to investigate, then act, a welcome change that may see some foolishness put to rest. This from Riley, K4ZDH, during his remarks at Hartford.

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Our ARRL Pacific Division Convention is not until October, but you can register and reserve a room at the Marriott in Santa Clara now. Rooms usually are snapped up fast, so don't delay. You can research all the information at http://www.pacificon.org  This is a regional ARRL Centennial event.

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The Redding ARRL VE Team announces that our next exam session will be held on Saturday September 20th, at BloodSource in Redding.  Candidates are asked to be there by 9:30 AM.  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 sjmosconi@gmail.com .

 

The Yuba Sutter VE Team will conduct its scheduled exams Saturday, September 6, at 9 AM in the church study room at 715 King Ave. in Yuba City. Walk in or preregistration are just fine. Contact liaison LeRoy Smith, KJ6DKM, at: landusmith@wcisp.com to preregister.

 

Western Placer ARC is offering preregistered candidates a chance to get licensed or upgrade during their HAMFEST September 6 at the McBean Park in Lincoln. More on this a bit further down the page.

Dave, NO6NO, reports results for the Sierra Foothills ARC VE team:

OK, 13 elements, 3 new techs, 2 new generals & 2 new extra class.

Thanks all,

Dave, NO6NO

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SAD NEWS: Paul Johnson, N6XVL, passed away August 19 at his home in Olivehurst, CA. Paul was a consummate traffic handler, organizer of public service events, and loved nothing more than participating in amateur radio events in Northern California. He also was a fan of Philly Cheese Steaks, snicker doodle cookies, and the Philadelphia Phillies. Paul was born in New Jersey and shared his birth date with me and millions of others. He will be missed. And here is a note we got from another of Paul's many friends:

 

My Friend Paul

 

He was my first contact when I got my technician ticket. He was a tease and a mentor; a heckler and an inspiration. A loyal American, always active with the service clubs in the area; an organizer of communications for events and parades. His cheerful "eXtra Very Lovely" brought a smile every time I heard it and every time he bought a lottery ticket it was "eXtra Very Lucky". We had a lot of fun with the commute-time food discussion ban that must have lasted- - -it seems like forever. He's got lots of company YKQ and NRX, Bill Pope and Ed Ainsley. I'll sure miss him. Paul, as you settle into your new station where there is never static, jammers or woodpeckers "Have A Day" forever.  88s and 73s  Anna  KG6ZOA

 

More sad news. Tim Ryan, Jr., K6RHM, of Sacramento, passed away peacefully August 5 at home surrounded by his family. An active ham and mentor to many, Tim was a regular at the Sacramento Old-timers and QCWA meetings each month. He collected old radio programs and shared them with his friends. Tim was 71. Tim's obituary is at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/sacbee/obituary-search.aspx?affiliateId=106&firstname=Timothy&lastname=Ryan&stateid=7

 

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The W6SFM Samuel F. Morse ARC welcomed 3 new members this month. Stan, AA6DK of Sacramento, Robert, N6YQ of Banning and Bob, W8FB of Michigan. Thank you to all our new members who have helped support the club and the preservation of CW on the bands! All members of the SFM ARC receive a W6SFM.COM email addresses and personal Member webpage where they can proudly display their bios to the public. We encourage our members to post news, photos and other information about themselves as well as their hobbies.  Feel free to visit our new members page found in the members section of the W6SFM website.

This month the SFM ARC welcomed 1 guest at our Monthly In-Person meeting. Ron, W6KJ.

Reports of our  August  in-person meeting: 

The SFM ARC was very happy to welcome guest and speaker Ron W6KJ.  It was a pleasure to have Ron attend our meeting. Ron, as many reading this are aware, is the ARRL’s Sacramento Valley Section Manager. Ron delighted the club members with his  sharing and discussion of the ARRL clubs Wolfhang replica statue. A reproduction of the original made 1938.  Ron explained the tradition and history behind this treasured statue to our group. After, Ron presented the group with some ARRL manuals that the club will make use of for many years to come. Thank you, Ron for those.

Other  topics of Discussion included our welcoming of new members Stan and Robert as well as the reading of the minutes, treasury report and coverage on the ARRL’s proposal HR4969 to the FCC.  Mike N6MQL discussed the W6SFM CW Class lesson plan which he and Glenn WA7SPY finalized. With this lesson plan the SFM ARC now has a fixed agenda on how the Morse Code class will be conducted by all of our members.  Approval for ordering of the Morse Code Straight Keys and Oscillators to be distributed to students, as well as the cost on the class at $30 per student was agreed on.  Students will be given those items to keep at the conclusion of the 10 week course. If you or someone you know is interested in learning Morse Code from a beginners level please be sure to contact admin@w6sfm.com to ask for a place in the upcoming September class.

For our tech portion of the August  meeting member Mike, K6LQ showed his Kent reproduction of the famous Alfred Vail “Vail Key”. Surprisingly the key had great action and seemed to be very comfortable to use. Club member Bob, KJ6CA brought out his 1920s Bunnell “Gold Bug” Bug Key. It would appear Bob is getting ready for the W6SFM November CQ BR “Bug Roundup” event. More on that event in the October news letter.

At our upcoming September 4th  SFM ARC in-person meeting club members will finalize plans and preparation for the upcoming 49th  October CA QSO Party contest. The W6SFM enjoys this ‘contest’ each year promoting CW in the state of California. If you are interested in joining us for that event as a member or non-member guest please contact admin@w6sfm.com for more information.

Although not a member of the SFM ARC, we would like to pay special tribute to an exceptional CW operator that many of the members had the pleasure of knowing and ‘rag chewing’ with on a daily basis. Andy, W6SYY of Red Bluff, CA. has gone SK as of Saturday August 16th. Andy, your presence on the air will be greatly missed.  73 to you my friend.

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 (NCS) 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.

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ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Technical Coordinator, VHF Award Manager and HF Award Manager Bob, WB6VYH, reminds us he can count cards and check applications for VUCC and WAS. He will be at the Lincoln Ham Fest on the 6th of September and Pacificon 2014, please contact ahead of time at wb6vyh@arrl.net for information and appointment.


 

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 The MLDXCC is starting to work up a sweat for CQP. New feed lines, new chair cushions and new antennas along with nine new members thanks to AA6K and the Galt club should make things interesting.
The ARRL/6 operators are lining up the first of October, over-lapping with CQP.
News item courtesy of ND6S, Ray in Amador County.

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The Yuba-Sutter Amateur Radio Club is sponsoring a technician class for those who wish to obtain their license. The instructor is Curtis Sylvester-Jose (KF6VFP). Classes will be held on Wednesday and Friday nights at the American Red Cross building, classroom 1 (2125 E Onstott Frontage Road, Yuba City) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The start date is Sept. 3rd and runs through Oct. 24.

There is no cost for the class. The manual that will be used is "The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual", third edition. The cost of the manual is $22.46 if purchased through the instructor or $29.95 if you purchase from ARRL or through a book store. Please sign up no later than 15 Aug so Curtis has enough time to order and receive a manual for each student. Students can reimburse him for the manual at the first class session by cash or check. Class size is limited to 20 students. You can contact Curtis by email (preferred) KF6VFP@arrl.net or phone (530)743-3003. If calling please leave your name and phone number and state you are interested in signing up for the class. Please speak slowly and clearly when leaving a message. Curtis R. Sylvester-Jose, 12472 Krosens Road, Marysville, CA 95901-8710 Home: 530.743.3003 Cell: 530.713.9068 Email: curtis.jose@att.net

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WPARC Hamfest! The excitement is building! The big day is Saturday September 6th starting at 7:00 AM at McBean Park in Lincoln. A flyer for the event is on our website wparc.us. Vendors can set up at 6:00 AM. We are expecting a big turnout with that special treasure you are looking for somewhere in the park. I know one WPARC member will have a really nice, original Heathkit SB200 for sale. Could this be the one you are looking for? Steve N6HTV will have several tables full of goodies that everyone needs. What will you buy or sell?

Directions: From Roseville and areas west, take I-80 E to CA-65 North and exit at the Lincoln Blvd ramp. Turn right onto Lincoln Blvd and follow it to McBean Park Drive/CA-193 East. Turn right on McBean Park Drive. The park entrance is on the right side opposite A Street.

From Marysville and points north – Follow CA-65 South. Turn left on Riosa Road. Take the first right onto Old Highway 65. Turn left on McBean Park Drive. The park entrance is on the right side opposite A Street.

From Auburn and areas east – Take I-80 W to CA-193 exit toward Lincoln. Merge onto Taylor Road. Turn left onto CA-193 W. McBean Park will be on the left just past East Avenue (by the fire station). Or take I-80 to CA-65 North and exit at the Lincoln Blvd ramp. Turn right onto Lincoln Blvd and follow it to McBean Park Drive/CA-193 East. Turn right on McBean Park Drive. The park entrance is on the right side opposite A Street.

We have a great list of drawing prizes. The drawings will be at 8:00, 9:00, and 10:00 AM and you need not be present to win (but you are responsible for picking up your prize). Tickets are $1.00 each or 6 for $5.00. What a deal! Check out all these great prizes (which one will you take home?):


 

1 – GRAND PRIZE – Yaesu FT-2900 75 watt 2 meter mobile rig

1 – GRAND PRIZE – Superantenna MP1 HF Portable Antenna (http://newsuperantenna.com/ is owned by WPARC member Vern W6MMA – more info on this great little antenna is at the website listed).

2 – Baofeng UV-5R HT radios

2 – $50 ARRL Gift Certificates

2 – $25 ARRL Gift Certificates

3 – Maui Jim VIP Gift Cards – 85% off a pair of sunglasses, non-RX lenses only

3 – Starbucks $15 Gift Cards

3 – Subway Sandwiches Gift Cards

3 – Folding Pocket Knives

3 – Yaesu Hats


 

We also have 20 additional Yaesu hats that go to the first 20 people who buy 10 or more drawing tickets (The hat is a $10 value).

We will have coffee, donuts, and water for sale by the club and the Lions Club will be selling hot dogs, burgers, and drinks. I know a lot of people will be meeting at Kim's Country Kitchen for breakfast (Kim opens at 5:30 AM) before heading to the Hamfest. See the end of this email for the address.


 

We are fortunate to be able to offer VE sessions now at the Hamfest. The sessions will be in the Community Room at the Raley's in Lincoln and Dennis KI6HHA is the contact person for all VE information. It is important to register for an exam before the Hamfest so Dennis and the VE team have room for you as space is limited. Email Dennis at ki6hha@aol.com for information and to register. There will be specific start times for each session.


 

An interesting announcement from the ARRL letter is that they now have an exam review site – http://arrlexamreview.appspot.com/. The new site offers on line test exams and they are free to anyone – you don't have to be an ARRL member to use them. I checked it out and really liked it. This is a good resource for all of the new Techs if they are interested in upgrading to General or Extra. The site offers a couple of modes. You can take practice exams or work in the review mode. Review mode allows you to study by chapter or section or what you want to review in particular. The review mode has references to the appropriate page in the ARRL study guide so if you are having problems with questions you can go directly to the study area in the manual. The site works on tablets and smart phones in addition to full size computers so you can take the tests with you. The site is in beta form and the ARRL is asking for feedback on how well you like the site, how well it works, etc. Check it out! Thanks to Michael Buck, K6BUK, and the Western Placer ARC for this great news.

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Here is an after action report from our Alpine County Emergency Coordinator, Sheila Clement, KA7AJQ.

“Thank you for your support and participation for our August 18th frequencies check exercise. And thank you to those who are leaving your names on our DCART resource/membership list. Being a part of our DCART team enables us to respond to our community emergencies with experience and training. DCART membership provides the framework to respond to area emergencies when requested and OKd by our 911 Management. Under 911 Management, we are all registered in the worker compensation network.

 

Please send me your monthly volunteer hours, especially for the exercise. I have our net hours.

 

E-mail me if you will be available this Sat., Sun., Mon., Labor Day weekend.   Be safe.

 

Preliminary after action points include

  • Thank you, Ben, for diving into being Net Control from our 911 station.

  • Some check ins were missed because Net Control had technical difficulties with reception because we were hearing other ham traffic as well as our own Dispatch transmissions. We think the problem will be solved by making sure the 440 side of our dual band radio volume is turned all the way down.

  • Each participant had the opportunity to test her/his own radio equipment and find out which frequencies worked from that location to net control.

  • We need training on packet radio operations - perhaps even a separate packet group training group.

  • Operators in the Unit 900 really benefit by using the station and knowing the capabilities using packet/2 meter and 440. 440 is a useful band plan because 2 meter/packet have antenna proximity difficulties.

  • We exercised the Reverse 911 call out protocol and changed some call out phone numbers at members' requests.

Sheila Clement, KA7AJQ

ARES EC for Douglas and Alpine Counties”

 

Of course, the Douglas County Amateur Radio Team is just one of the organizations which abound in Nevada, and a lot is going on with our friends there.

 

Check out Nevada Amateur Radio Newswire:

http://www.nevadahamradio.com/

 

Also, see Reno Amateur Radio Information:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Reno-Amateur-Radio-Information/424537927570783 Thanks to Gary, K7VY, ARRL Nevada Section Manager, who sends the next article.

 

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 1933 August 29 2014

AuthorNews Desk

  • A ham radio floater balloon makes two trips around the world

  • IARU Region One official says 23 centimeters is in jeopardy 

  • Moldavia joins the CEPT universal licensing system

  • International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend sets a new record

  • Morse sprint will honor the memory of the late Nancy Kott, WZ8C

THIS WEEKS NEWSCAST

    

SCRIPT:  http://www.arnewsline.org/storage/scripts/nsln1933.txt

 

AUDIO:  http://www.arnewsline.org/storage/audio/nsln1933.mp3

 Contact

Amateur Radio Newsline, Inc.™ 
28197 Robin Ave
Saugus CA 91350

Tel: (661) 296-7180 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific)

E-Mail: newsline@arnewsline.org

 

From the River City ARCS President:

 

Many amateurs from around the Sacramento area attended our August 5th meeting to showcase and view mobile ham radio stations.  The mobile exposition featured an array of motorcycle, cars and trucks with their HF and VHF radio and antenna installations.

 

Check our website calendar on www.n6na.org for reminders of meetings, net times and upcoming events including the Sep. 6 Sacramento Valley Hamfest at McBean Park in Lincoln, the Sep. 16 North Hills Radio Club's "What is Amateur Radio Night", and our Oct. 7 White Elephant sale.  

 

Register online now at www.pacificon.org for the Oct 10-12 ARRL Pacificon Regional Centennial Convention at the Santa Clara Marriott.  This fun day-trip or weekend will guarantee plenty of excitement for newbies and old-timers alike!  Swap Meet, Dealers and Exhibits, Hands-on building workshops, Educational Forums, One-day license class & VE exam, ARRL Special Event Station W100AW/6, Breakfast with Gordon West, the Saturday Banquet and more!  Youth 17 and under attend free!  I am scheduled to present our Arecibo Observatory Video Tour and the Introduction to WSPR session there on Saturday.  See the full calendar of activities and register online now at www.pacificon.org

 

I have truly enjoyed the opportunity to serve as president of this vibrant and growing club for the past three years.  I have accepted an appointment as Assistant Section Manager for the ARRL Sacramento Valley and look forward to serving you in this capacity.  Our club welcomes new direction for our future growth.  Nominations for two Board of Director members and our four 2015 club officers will be open until our annual election at the November meeting.  Please seriously consider serving in our club leadership.  

 

Our September 2 meeting program our own Kevin Hooke KK6DCT will present the second in our Mini-series "Get on the Air with Digital" - an introduction to the popular digital mode JT65 with a live on-the-air demonstration.  Watch how this amazing mode allows communications around the world with low power (QRP) and minimal antennas.  Also, Bob Hess, W1RH, President of the Mother Lode DX Contest Club, returns with news about the upcoming Oct 4-5 California QSO Party.

 

All are welcome to join us this coming Tuesday, September 2, 7:30 pm at the Sacramento County Corp. Yard at 5026 Don Julio Blvd.  See you there!

 

73, Dr. Carol Milazzo, KP4MD/6

President, River City ARCS http://www.n6na.org

 

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Yolo County, Sacramento County, and Placer County are now using the
Everbridge Alert System.

In August, Yolo County Office of Emergency Services Manager, Dana Carey
conducted a training program for Yolo County ARES EC and AECs.

Rick Littlefield N6KLB, Ken Wilson K6WLS, Wes Hardaker WS6Z, Gary Matteson
WA6TQJ, and Greg Kruckewitt KG6SJT, were trained as Everbridge managers for
the Yolo ARES group. As managers they have the  ability to initiate an
Everbridge Alert to Yolo County ARES members.

The Everbridge Alert system that Sacramento, Yolo, & Placer Counties have
implemented is a state-of-the-art emergency notification system to alert
residents about emergencies and other important community news. The
emergency notification system enables officials to provide essential
information quickly when there is a threat to the health and safety of
residents. Alerts can be sent out using telephone, cell phone, email, and
SMS text messages.

The Everbridge Alert system will enable ARES emergency coordinators to
quickly notify their members of emergencies, call outs, and other important
information.
Greg Kruckewitt, KG6SJT, ARRL Sacramento Valley Section District 3 Emergency Coordinator
kg6sjt@gmail.com www.sacvalleyares.org

 

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Jim Jennings, W7XZ, reporting for Oroville ARS, OARS,: Bob Oden, K6RCO, reported
on Sunday night's OARS net that Josh Heide, K6ZRX, provider of our local repeater, sustained some unspecified damage to his QTH, in Napa, from the American Canyon earthquake.

The OARS (http://w6af.org) August meeting saw 22 in attendance.  The social
hour prior to the meeting appeared to go quite well.  High on the agenda was
the Steak Bake, to be hosted by OARS this year; agreed upon were the
prices--$8 for steak and $6 for burger.  The event will take place on 20
September, starting at 2 pm in Hammon Park, Oroville.  Gary, KF6EWO, has
promulgated a flyer with all the information.  Also agreed upon was the Hof
Brau, 109 Table Mtn Blvd., as the venue for the Monthly Breakfast to be held
on the 30th.  A raffle for a VHF mobile transceiver is also in the works.
The program was presented by Josh, K6ZRX and Bob, K6RCO, and covered recent
improvements to the OARS 2 meter repeater.

On 16 August the annual Berry Festival took place in Berry Creek, and OARS
provided an amateur radio presence with an information booth.

The OARS Monthly Breakfast took place on 30 August with 21 in attendance at The Hof Brau.  The venue for the September breakfast is to be determined at the next general meeting.

OARS' next regular meeting will take place Friday, 12 September 2014, 7 pm
at the Parish Hall of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1430 Pine Street in
Oroville.  A social hour will begin at 6 pm.  The program, at time of this
writing, is to be determined.

73, Jim, W7XZ

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Joe Green, N6JPG, has sent in an article about working from a lighthouse on the California coast.

 

International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend 2014

Joe Green, N6JPG

 

International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend is an annual event started in Scotland in 1995 by two members of the Ayr Amateur Radio Group and usually held on the third full weekend in August starting at 0001 UTC on Saturday and finishing at 2359 UTC Sunday. It also coincides with the International Lighthouse Heritage Weekend, an event organized by the Association of Lighthouse Keepers whereby many world lighthouses are open to the public for either Saturday, Sunday or the whole weekend with tours, entertainment and functions for visitors. Currently, lighthouses in more than 50 countries participate in the event.

 

The event evolved from the Scottish Northern Lighthouses Award Weekend, a biennial event, which was first held in 1993 and became the ILLW in 1998. Over the years it has continued to grow and to date more than 450 lighthouses and Lightships around the world are participating in the event each year.

The basic objective of the event is to promote public awareness of lighthouses and lightships and their need for preservation and restoration, and at the same time to promote amateur radio and to foster International goodwill. Lighthouses are fast becoming an endangered species with the introduction of Global Positioning Systems and Satellite Navigation and the automation of the light source to solar power, which has resulted in the withdrawal of management personnel (Keepers). It is hoped that this event will highlight this situation and help prevent further desecration of these magnificent structures all around the world. (Courtesy of illw.net).

 

After registering their choice of lighthouse with the ILLW, Amateur Radio operators are encouraged to set up near lighthouses or lightships during the weekend and make as many contacts as possible. It is not a contest but just an exhibition promoting ham radio and historic light stations.

 

The Point Arena Lighthouse on the Mendocino Coast is one of the most picturesque spots in California with steep cliffs and massive rock formations extending into the Pacific. The light station is situated on a peninsula of land that extends approximately 2 miles west of the coast highway and rises some 100 feet above the ocean. It is the closest point in North America to Hawaii. The original lighthouse was constructed in 1870 and was destroyed along with the keepers’ quarters during the 1906 earthquake along the San Andreas Fault. The current tower and fog signal building were constructed to withstand earthquakes and went into service in 1908. The U.S. Coast Guard operated the Point Arena Light Station until the late 1970’s. Although the original light is no longer in operation, the lighthouse still serves to operate a Coast Guard automated light beacon mounted on the side of the tower as well as a radio beacon station and heliport. The old Coast Guard keepers’ quarters have been refurbished and are now open as rentals for vacationers.

 

As this is one of my wife’s and my favorite getaway spots, this year we decided to combine my love of ham radio with a few days vacation at the lighthouse and participation in International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend on the 16th and 17th of August. After registering with the ILLW several months ago, we were off to the coast. My XYL, Lisa, assisted me in setup and log keeping duties.

 

The ILLW requests that all amateurs participating in the event set up outdoors as close to the lighthouses as possible without interfering with their operations/tours. As the immediate area around the lighthouse is full of moving vehicles and pedestrians strolling about, with the cooperation of the lighthouse staff we chose to set up behind the keepers’ quarters within about 75 yards of the lighthouse and near the trail visitors can walk on an area tour. The keepers’ quarters also afforded us AC power and wireless Internet access that aided in our log keeping.

 

Although we had plans to start earlier in the day on Saturday, wind and wet fog kept us from setting up until about 10:30 am. When the wind finally died down to a manageable level and most of the fog had raised, we raised our pop-up and table and set to work. I assembled the MFJ 2289 dipole antenna on a portable mast at about 15’ AGL. We soon had the Yaesu FT-897 tuned into 17 meters and the computer fired up. I began calling “CQ-Lighthouse” and announced my location. It took only a couple of attempts before I had my first QSO with Andy, N9NBC. Shortly thereafter I enjoyed a QSO with Bob, MD0CCE on the Isle of Man in Great Britain. Although the wind was cold and the fog came back from time to time, we persevered for the next 6 hours until it got a bit cooler and my voice began to give out. In looking at my log, I managed to book 85 QSO’s during that time, many from other lighthouses, the captain of a merchant vessel off the coast of Suriname, and stations in Europe, Great Britain, and Japan not to mention lots of domestic contacts. Sunday was a bit slower with wet fog, wind, and so-so propagation. After starting out on 17m with mixed results, I went over to 20m and was able to make a few contacts bringing my total to 110 for the weekend before the wind began to rise again and the fog started wetting down the equipment.

 

Overall we were able to make quite a few contacts, speak to a few passing tourists that were curious about our operation, and enjoy spreading the word about ham radio and historic lighthouses. One moment was particularly enjoyable as some of the guests at the lighthouse quarters came by and listened for a bit. As chance would have it, I managed to make contact with a ham in their hometown just then.

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Tahoe Rim 200 Mile endurance Run

Starting on Sept. 5 and ending Sept. 8, was the first annual Tahoe Rim 200 mile endurance race - the longest run in the United States. Starting at Homewood Ski Resort, winding through the very rugged Rubicon country, Loon and Wrights Lake areas, and around Lake Tahoe, the event finished back at Homewood Ski Resort. The winner, from Australia finished the grueling 202 miles in 61 hours, remarking it was the most difficult he has ever run. High altitude and very rugged country took its toll on the 91 entrants.

Amateur radio was used to communicate between the net control and many aid stations along the trail. Two 2-meter repeater hi-sites in the Tahoe area were utilized with great success between the Net control located at Homewood Ski Resort and portable amateur stations located at aid stations along the trail. The Amateur stations were used to log in runners, pass information between aid station medical personnel to net control and to pass any other runner information.

Our location at Sierra Ski Resort, mile 59, was a major aid station, with a large staff to accommodate the runners as they arrived and departed. Our communication team consisted of Fred (W7KOZ) and Bonnie (KC6PSZ) Sellstrom, and Larry Stanton (K6LRS). We worked in shifts allowing sleep breaks as needed during the Friday night through Saturday time slot the runners were expected to arrive and depart our location. Our call sign was "Sierra", and equipment consisted of an Icom IC-521 vhf radio, Shakespeare military grade 4 db antenna on a tripod, and power supplied by a 55 amp-hour battery pak.

We called in the last runner passing through our station at 1545, Saturday afternoon, packed up, said our good by's to new friends, receiving compliments for our professionalism, and headed home.

Fred Sellstrom, W7KOZ

Photos by Fred Sellstrom

 

That is all the news—there ain't no more. Thanks to all our contributors this month. If your news did not get in YET, please send it to me at: rbomb52@gmail.com and I will add it where it fits.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Sacramento Valley Officials

  • Ronald Murdock

    Section Manager,
    Bulletin Manager

    Ronald Murdock W6KJ

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  • Jo Anne Murdock

    Assistant Section Manager

    Jo Anne Murdock N6YLO

  • Bob Wortman

    Technical Coordinator

    Bob Wortman WB6VYH

  • Carol Milazzo

    Assistant Section Manager

    Carol F. Milazzo KP4MD

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  • Les Cobb

    Assistant Section Manager

    Les L. Cobb W6TEE

  • Richard Zanni

    Assistant Section Manager

    Richard A. Zanni KJ6RA

  • Jettie Hill

    Affiliated Club Coordinator,
    Assistant Section Manager

    Jettie B. Hill W6RFF

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  • Frank Reshke

    Section Emergency Coordinator

    Frank J. Reshke N6SNO

  • Norman Lucas

    Official Observer Coordinator

    Norman J. Lucas WB6RVR

  • John Stettler

    Public Info Coordinator

    John O. Stettler KI6DWP

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  • James Michener

    Section Traffic Manager

    James A. Michener K9JM

  • Raymond Parker

    Assistant Section Manager

    Raymond E. Parker ND6S

  • Robert McClard

    Assistant Section Manager

    Robert A. McClard N6BOB

  • Peter Gambee

    State Government Liaison

    Peter D. Gambee K6TTD

  • Adajean Lester

    Assistant Section Manager

    Adajean M. Lester KJ6KZP