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ARRL Sections - Sacramento Valley

Sacramento Valley

Sacramento Valley

Contact Information

Section Name:
Sacramento Valley
Dr. Carol Milazzo, KP4MD
Daytime Phone:
(916) 782-3786
Evening Phone:
(916) 879-7449

Basic Information


Visit our Section website at for the latest updates.

Pacificon 2017 October 2017 News

From the Section Manager

QST Cover

This month's news announces many upcoming public outreach events, and reports, photos and videos from our section clubs and members.  Special thanks to all our Sacramento Valley Section members who have volunteered for deployment to provide communications support in Puerto Rico and other areas affected by the recent disasters!

ARRL Special Service Club

We are currently recruiting for a Section Affiliated Club Coordinator (ACC). The ACC serves to assist clubs to become ARRL affiliated; to help clubs better serve their members and communities; to motivate clubs to qualify for the prestigious ARRL Special Service Club recognition; and to keep affiliated club information updated annually. Please contact me if you are interested in assisting in this capacity.


Saturday, October 14.  Section members and clubs are encouraged to participate in our ARRL Exhibit and Special Event Station N6M at the Rocklin Maker Faire at Sierra College, Rocklin, CA (details below).  Please contact me at to join us in this opportunity for public outreach and to promote our local amateur radio and club activities.

Thursday October 19.  ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Net at 7:30 Pacific Time (details below).

ARRL Pacificon Convention Oct. 20-22, 2017

October 20-22 ARRL PACIFICON Convention

Register online by October 8 for the discounted rate to attend the October 20-22, 2017 ‪‎‪‎ARRL‬ Pacificon Division Convention at the San Ramon Marriott. Youths 17 years or under are admitted free!  PACIFICON is the annual ARRL Pacific Division convention, held each year in October. It is THE premier amateur radio conference in the western U.S.

October 20-22 Jamboree on the Air

If you do not plan to attend the Pacificon convention, reach out to your local Brownies, Cubs, Boys or Girl Scout troop to offer an Amateur Radio demonstration and to support their participation in the Oct. 20-22 Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) to communicate with other scouts around the world.  Register your planned JOTA activity now at  Your assistance can help your local Brownies, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts earn the Scouting Radio Merit Badge and the ARRL Girl Scout Radio and Wireless Technology Patch.  

Our website, Facebook and Twitter pages are a work in progress, and your suggestions and submissions are always welcome.

This website is visited most during the first week of each month, but do check back as it is updated weekly with late breaking news.

73, Dr. Carol Milazzo, KP4MD

American Radio Relay League Sacramento Valley Section Manager

You can always send compliments, suggestions and submissions for inclusion in our Section News to kp4md(at)




Section News:
Section Nets:
Sacramento Valley ARES:

Thanks to Greg Kruckewitt KG6SJT for maintaining our Section ARES web page and assisting with our Facebook page and Twitter feed.
Thanks to Les Cobb W6TEE for maintaining the Section Net list.

ARRL Affiliated Club web resources are now listed on this web page



SV Section Nets Section Wide 2 Meter and HF Nets, Thursday, October 19 at 7:30 pm PDT

A Section-wide net is scheduled for Thursday, October 19. The net will commence after the Yuba-Sutter ARES net closes about 7:30 pm Pacific Time on the WD6AXM 146.085 MHz FM repeater, immediately followed by an HF net on 3880 kHz LSB +/- 3 kHz. We will issue an Official Bulletin reminder prior to the net.

September 21 HF Net Report

At the scheduled net time the 5330.5 kHz frequency did not support communications so the net was conducted on 3881.0 kHz LSB from 7:45 to 8:00 pm PDT. The following stations checked in:

Callsign Location K6BBB Redding K6HOM Sacramento N6TBC Oroville W6EVL Olivehurst WA1NER Yuba City WA6MNV Sacramento WB6OGD El Dorado Hills

Fall and winter HF Section nets will now be conducted on the 3880 kHz frequency due to seasonal propagation changes.

Don't have an HF radio?  
Listen on the W6DRZ web receiver at Half Moon Bay 
or the W7RNA web receiver in Sedona, AZ.

Hourly Northern California NVIS Observations 
Current NVIS Observations

Sacramento Valley ARES

Update from Placer County ARES
Submitted by Carl First N6CKV, posted October 7, 2017

Placer County ARES at the Auburn Home and Garden Show

Placer County ARES at the Auburn Home and Garden Show

Placer County ARES had a booth in the Fire Prevention and Public Safety tent at the Auburn Home and Garden Show September 29,30 and October 1. About 10,000 visitors visited the tent, of those there were several people interested in Amateur Radio, in addition there were many inactive hams who were interested in becoming active in Amateur Radio. The staff in the booth answered questions on both ham radio and ARES. They mentioned the 50 hams that are being deployed to Puerto Rico, there was a lot of interest in the Puerto Rico activities. The hams that staffed the booth brought their Go Kits to so the equipment to the visitors. The HF bands were not active so it was hard to show ham activity on the radio. The hams that staffed the booth were; Gary KT6SKR, Gary N6UWQ, Mike KK6GLP, Brian AI6US, George KG6LSB, Ralph W6WL, and Carl N6CKV.

Pictures all by Carl N6CKV

Gary KT6SKR, Gary N6UWQ,  Mike KK6GLP Brian AI6US, George KG6LSB Ralph W6RWL

Yolo ARES Member Joe DeAngelo, AG6QO, Media Hit in Davis Enterprise Journal Yolo ARES Member Joe DeAngelo, AG6QO, Media Hit in Davis Enterprise Journal
Posted October 7, 2017

Joe DeAngelo, AG6QO, a radio amateur since 1974, member of Yolo County ARES, ARRL Technical Specialist, Official Relay Station, and Digital Relay Station was interviewed for a feature article "Amateur radio enthusiasts are handy in emergencies" in the September 24, 2017 issue of the Davis Enterprise journal.

"Joe DeAngelo of Winters, a ham radio enthusiast, teaches an introductory workshop earlier this month for people who are new to the hobby. DeAngelo is involved in the local branch of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, whose trained volunteers throughout the United States and Canada dedicate their time to helping with emergency communications."

Read the full story at First Responders' Media Kudos to Amateur Radio Role in Disaster Relief
Posted October 7, 2017

"Sometimes it seems we simply assume our communications networks and the Internet will be available all the time, but during Harvey, Irma, and now Maria, many learned that communications capabilities, one of the most important links for all of us, may not always be available when we want them and need them. While our infrastructure companies work at making our systems better, there are times when nature’s fury beats our best efforts. The good news is that when all else fails there will still be amateur radio!"

Read the full story at

NPR Covers Amateur Radio Disaster Support in Puerto Rico Relief
Posted October 7, 2017

On September 29, NPR's "All Things Considered" program aired a report on the service that radio amateurs are providing in response to aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Listen to the report at

CalOES to Offer ICS 300 Course
Posted October 7, 2017

CalOES will be offering the ICS 300 course at Mather Field in Sacramento starting January 30, 2018. It is a great opportunity to learn more and the ICS process and ARES work with served agencies. ARES members who are interested in taking this class may sign up on line at this link.

E300: ICS 300: Intermediate ICS for Expanding Incidents

Course Description: This course provides training for personnel who require advanced application of the Incident Command System (ICS). This course expands upon information covered in the ICS 100 and ICS 200 courses.

Course Objective:

  • Describe how the National Incident Management System Command and Management component supports the management of expanding incidents.
  • Describe the Incident/Event Management process for supervisors and expanding incidents as prescribed by the ICS.
  • Implement the Incident Management process on a simulated Type 3 incident.
  • Develop an Incident Action Plan for a simulated incident.

Selection Criteria:

NIMS ICS All-Hazards training should be completed by personnel who are regularly assigned to Functional, Support, or Unit Leader positions on Type 3 or 4 All-Hazards Incident Management Teams, or by those persons who desire to seek credentials/certification in those positions.


  • IS0100.b
  • IS0200.b
  • IS0700.a
  • IS0800.b

October 14 - Sacramento County ARES Training
Posted October 1, 2017

The next Sacramento County ARES training and meeting is scheduled for Saturday October 14, 2017 from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon at the Sacramento Sheriff's Central Division, 7000 65th Street, Sacramento, CA 95823.

Vince Cracchiolo KI6NHP is the Sacramento County EC.

For more information, visit the Sacramento County ARES web site at

Hurricane Maria Communications Update on Caribbean Disaster Zone Communications - Hurricane Maria
posted September 23, 2017

Getting health and welfare messages into Caribbean islands affected by Hurricane Maria via amateur radio at this time is nearly impossible. 85% of the cell towers in Puerto Rico are down and many of the affected areas remain without power.

It should be noted that the ability to deliver disaster welfare inquiries within the affected areas is extremely limited. The lack of power and local telecommunications, the security situation in some areas and the condition of roads combined with the fact that many individuals are displaced is such that locating specific individuals within the disaster area is very problematic.

The few amateurs who are on the air are following protocol, which is to handle priority traffic, (e.g. requests for supplies etc), then handling out going messages. Several amateur have gone to the area to help with communications. People in the area are invited to send a message to an out of the area family member who could then contact others. Incoming health and welfare messages are nearly impossible to deliver as one would literally have to find the person to deliver it, and as such are the lowest priority.

FEMA has brought in several mobile cellular telephone sites that communicate via satellite. As compared to amateur radio, these facilities have much higher bandwidth. These channels have been restricted for coordinating relief efforts. These will eventually be opened to public at first in larger metropolitan areas such as San Juan and Ponce.

Live feeds of Caribbean Emergency HF traffic are being streamed on

Links to further information on Caribbean emergency traffic are posted on the web page.

Thanks to our ARRL Section Traffic Manager Jim Michener, K9JM, and the Radio Relay International for information in this update.

ARRL Exhibit and Special Event Station at October 14 Rocklin Mini Maker Faire
Posted August 8, 2017

Rocklin Mini Maker Faire

Attention Area Radio Amateurs and Groups:

The ARRL Sacramento Valley Section will sponsor an exhibit promoting Amateur Radio and our local clubs at the Mini Maker Faire at Sierra College in Rocklin on Saturday October 14 from 9 am - 4 pm. We plan a display of homebrew amateur radio equipment and antenna projects, Morse Code practice stations, and offering opportunities for attendees to learn about the many facets of the amateur radio and to communicate on the air with amateur radio operators via an operational on-site amateur radio Special Event Station N6M. We will offer 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.


The DIY Magic of Amateur Radio

Radio hams were the original Makers and Hackers, using new, used and scavenged parts to make transmitters, receivers, and antennas capable of communicating with other hams anywhere on Earth, and beyond. In this hobby, communicating is the keyword. And, when computers came along, they fit right in to the ham's wide world. Using their technical skills and imagination, hams put together advanced communication networks connected by radio waves instead of wires.

When amateurs began experimenting with radio more than a century ago, they had no choice but to build everything they needed. You might or might not be able to get a signal on your smartphone, but it is truly liberating to be able to communicate using equipment you've built yourself — using just the natural phenomenon of radio-wave propagation and without our telecommunications infrastructure. Radio amateurs don't develop radio-communication skills and capabilities just for ourselves, but also to serve our communities and country through public service and emergency preparedness.

For more information or to help plan or participate in this public outreach, please e-mail kp4md(at)

Update from Bob Wortman, WB6VYH, Section Technical Coordinator
Updated October 7, 2017

Well here comes Pacificon 2017 ready or not. I will be there checking cards at the NCDXC table.

Also there is a ham swap in Durham California on Saturday Sept 30, 2017 08:00am, read more at

Then there is a ham swap in Redding on the 14th of October 2017 from 10 am to 2 pm at Bentronics Electronics on 141 Locust Street, Redding, California, CA 96001.

If you need cards checked for DXCC, WAS or VUCC let me know. I get all over Northern California.

Call me and leave a message or email me, my information is on the ARRL web page.

73 and good DX, Bob Wortman, WB6VYH
ARRL Pacific Division DXCC Awards Manager, Sacramento Valley Section Technical Coordinator, WAS Award Manager, VUCC Awards Manager

Morse Code Exhibit at Fairy Tale Town Update from Duane Wyatt, WAØMJD
Posted September 18, 2017

Report on September 16-17 Youth Outreach

Here is a photo of the exhibit at the FairyTale Town's ScholarShare event last Saturday and Sunday. The weather was perfect, there were lots of parents and kids there and lots of them tried the Morse machines--so it was fun and happiness...

Call for Equipment Donations for Kid's "Radio Library"

Duane Wyatt, WAØMJD, is starting a Radio Library for local elementary school students who attend school workshops sponsored by the A Touch of Understanding disability inclusion and acceptance organization. This Radio Library will allow students parents to check out radios and accessories instead of books. The students parents return the amateur radio items to the library if the student loses interest in amateur radio or purchases his own equipment.

Duane is seeking amateur radio equipment donations to start this program. If interested please contact Duane at duanewyatt(at)

Duane Wyatt, WAØMJD,

FCC Amateur AuxiliaryFrom Norm Lucas, WB6RVR (SK), 
Section Official Observer Coordinator
Posted January 11, 2016

Do you have what it takes to be an ARRL "Official Observer?"

Update April 6, 2017 - The ARRL and the FCC are currently working together to update and to make changes to the Official Observer/Amateur Auxiliary program. Because of these expected upcoming updates and changes, ARRL has placed a temporary hold on applications for new Official Observers and Official Observer Coordinators at this time.  Read more here.

The ARRL Executive Committee (EC) has directed that work begin on finalizing the language of a revised memorandum of understanding between ARRL and the FCC regarding the Amateur Auxiliary (Official Observer) program. The EC met on March 25 in Aurora, Colorado. The panel, which acts on behalf of the ARRL Board of Directors between its regular meetings, heard an update on the Official Observer Program Revitalization Study from ARRL Second Vice President and committee chair Brian Mileshosky, N5ZGT, who said his committee plans to present final recommendations later this year on revamping the Amateur Auxiliary, for ultimate consideration by the full Board.

Official Observer Program Update

In his remarks, General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, was complimentary of new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and told the EC he thinks enforcement efforts may be more successful in the future, due to the new chairman’s interest in the issue. Imlay also said the new chief of the Enforcement Bureau, Michael Carowitz, is reported to be “amateur friendly.” He told the EC that he foresees a potential window of opportunity for improved spectrum enforcement work, as well as the opportunity to build a stronger working relationship with the FCC on all issues.

The Official Observer (OO) program has been sponsored by the ARRL for more than 85 years to help Amateur Radio operators assist each other to operate their stations in compliance with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations.
Official Observer appointees have assisted thousands of Amateur Radio operators to maintain their transmitting equipment and comply with operating procedures and regulations. The object of the OO program is to notify amateurs of operating and technical irregularities before they come to the attention of the FCC and to recognize good operating practices.

The OO program serves as the first line of "eyes and ears" for the FCC. It is the backbone of theAmateur Auxiliary. OOs are certified in the Auxiliary by passing a mandatory written examination.

Federal Communications Commission

LF Bands FCC Opens 630 and 2200 Meter Bands
from September 15, 2017 ARRL News

The FCC has announced that the Office of Management and Budget has approved, for 3 years, the information-collection requirement of the Commission’s March 29 Report and Order (R&O) that spelled out Amateur Radio service rules for the two new bands — 630 meters and 2200 meters. Notice of the action appears in today’s edition of the Federal Register. Before using either band, stations must notify the Utilities Technology Council (UTC), formerly the Utilities Telecom Council, that they plan to do so, and if UTC does not respond within 30 days, they may commence operation.
Read the full story on the ARRL News

Update on FCC Deliberate Interference Case
Posted April 4, 2017

Recent filings related to a long-standing FCC case regarding deliberate interference on 3908 kHz is posted on the FCC website at,DESC
Additional information related to this matter is posted on the ARRL News

Update on California Hands Free Law
Submitted by Andrew Silvester, KC6O, posted October 7, 2017

Good news! On 26-SEP-17 AB-1222 was "Approved by the Governor." AB1222 was the bill that fixed the problem we amateur radio operators had with the “Electronic wireless communication devices” law (AB 1785) that went into effect last year. This bill removes “specialized mobile radio device” and “two way messaging device” as examples of an “electronic wireless communications device” that is prohibited from being used while driving.

From the Assembly Transportation Committee bill analysis:
The author believes AB 1785 inadvertently included devices that were not intended to be included in the wider cellphone ban. Devices such as two-way radios functioning on business band or civilian band (CB) radios which have a more limited scope of functions, and thus, a more limited potential for distracting a driver. With this bill, the author intends to provide technical cleanup to AB 1785, so that it is not construed to limit the use of two-way wireless communication devices utilized by either trained professionals or individuals that have been properly licensed for brief, verbal communications essential to the functioning of their job duties. According to guidance issued by the California Highway Patrol, a radio installed and mounted in a vehicle with a wired hand microphone, for example, business band or CB radio, is not considered to be wireless communication device, nor is it considered a specialized mobile radio device, and therefore not subject to enforcement under AB 1785. This bill is consistent with that guidance, and codifies that distinction.

For the text of the bill and other information: AB-1222: Vehicles: electronic wireless communications devices:

Light Ballast RFI Pot grow lights interfere with Ham Radio
Submitted by Rene Smythe, WB6PSY, posted March 4, 2017

I have experienced this interference for the past few years. I found the interference by swinging my 10m Yagi monobander around until the noise became over S9. I then went outside to see where the beam was physically pointed and discovered a garage where indoor pot is being grown. The lights are on a time cycle so the interference comes and goes. 40º degrees in either direction takes the noise out.

Now that marijuana is being legalized in more states, more hams are going to experience this noise.


ARRL and the FCC have a cooperative agreement in radio frequency interference matters.  You may submit complaints together with your supporting documentation to ARRL EMC Engineer Mike Gruber W1MG who then files the report with the FCC Gettysburg office.
You may also contact our Section Technical Coordinator Bob Wortman, WB6VYH, or our Section Official Observer Coordinator Bob Hess, W1RH, for assistance. More infomation is posted under the "From the Section Manager" notes in the November 2016 Section News - Carol KP4MD

Club and Member News - October 2017

Northern California Contest Club Call for Hurricane Disaster Relief from Northern California Contest Club
Posted October 7, 2017

Greetings fellow contesters.

As many of you know, the Caribbean, and particularly KP4, KP2 and J7, has been hit with the devastating effects of severe hurricanes, and is now suffering from the aftermath that includes power problems and destroyed telecommunication infrastructure. As these problems persist, the situation continues to deteriorate.

Ham radio is rising to the occasion, and is in fact playing a big relief role on these islands, but with limited resources it is provingto be a challenge.

The NCCC BOD has voted to approve a donation of $1,000 to the ARRL’s Ham Aid fund that is helping provide amateur radio telecommunication relief for these stricken islands. But our limited club resources can only go so far, and we wanted to reach out to the greater membership for additional funds.

The IRS recently determined that NCCC qualifies as a 501(c)(3) organization and can provide a tax deduction for donated funds.Thus, the BOD wanted to reach out to the greater membership to see if we can raise a more substantial contribution to assist in this true disaster. Your contributions WILL be tax deductible to the extent permitted by law, and will go specifically to this effort.

Hurricane relief for Caribbean entities is extremely relevant to us as Ham Radio operators, contesters and, most importantly, as human beings. The NCCC leadership would like to invite our membership to augment our club contribution with any personal contribution you may wish to add.

If you’d like to join in our effort, please make your donation via NCCC’s Paypal account, and specify “Caribbean Hurricane Relief Donation” so we can allocate funds appropriately. To make your donation use the NCCC PayPal address,, and specify that you're sending money as a "gift/family" to bypass any fees. Also, because time is of the essence, please make your donation prior to October 5th, if at all possible.

Let’s show the world the generous side of the NCCC. Please contribute today.

I want to thank the Board, and especially Dick (K6LRN), Chris (N6WM), and Ian (W6TCP) for making this happen. This is an excellent opportunity for all of us to take advantage of our club's new non-profit status.....a way to give back to those who are in need right now. Note that Rusty (W6OAT), has confirmed that our non-profit status qualifies our members to make tax-deductible contributions on behalf of the Northern California Contest Club.

Bob, W1RH, President, Northern California Contest Club

Mount Shasta ARC Update from Mount Shasta ARC - pending
Posted September 2, 2017

As in years past, it has been a busy summer in Siskiyou County and September is gearing up to be the busiest month of all. Over the next few weeks, MSARC will be providing volunteer public event staffing for the Tinman Triathlon (Sept. 3), Biketoberfest (Sept. 23), and the Headwaters Time Trials (Sept. 30). If you want to join us in the beautiful country surrounding Mt. Shasta and Castle Crags State Park, contact the club via the website ( and we'd be more than happy to meet you!

The club opened the clubhouse and brought the station on the air for the eclipse on August 21. Unfortunately, the bands were not in our favor and we made only two contacts via CW, but in so doing, we have awarded one of the members a new nickname. If you see Larry Marks (W6VTJ), you can call him "The Brass Fist."

Every Wednesday at 1900 PDT, we host an informal net to test radios and share club information. The net is on the W6YOP Grey Butte machine at 441.275 and we'd love for others to join in. It's ham radio, so the more, the merrier.

With a renewed vision of the future, MSARC will be looking to take some exciting steps over the next several months and years, keep your eyes open and join us when you can.

Submitted by Mark Dibelka, AB2LI

El Dorado County ARC Update from El Dorado County ARC
Posted October 7, 2017


As I write this as we’re about to leave for the coast do go camping for a few days, making it back just in time for this month’s meeting. This trip, we have hookups, so I’m taking my FT-897 and get on the air. It will be my first time to use a painter’s pole with a special adapter that will allow a Buddipole antenna to fasten to the top. This will put the Buddipole considerably higher than I’m used to being able to.

At home, the WSPR transmitter is reporting on 20 meters. The antenna is a sloper favoring the east, but I’ve even seen reports of my signal being heard in Australia! This transmitter is nothing more than a Raspberry Pi Zero and a small filter board. The resulting output power is 1/100th of a watt.

The days are finally getting cooler, making it a bit easier to get out and get ready for the months to come.

As a reminder, if any member has a project they would like to share at a club meeting, please let me, or any other officer know. We will be happy to set aside some time for you to give a short presentation.

Please support the club raffle. The more participants, the better the prizes!

Hope to see you at the meeting!

73, Michael, K6MLE Newsletter

September 5 - Homebrew Night

River City ARCS   Update from River City ARCS
Posted October 7, 2017

October 3 - White Elephant Sale

October's general meeting will mostly be about treasures to be auctioned off at the annual "White Elephant Sale". Unfortunately, some of us older Hams have become "silent keys" - an event that doesn't have a date, it just happens. Treasures of the "silent keys" will be among the things offered at this event. The only thing younger Hams can do is maybe find some of the joy the previous owner had in using the devices and components that show up at these event. There are other offering from "us" that have collected things over the years, for whatever reason(s), but never got around to using them. So these treasures are being offered to the next Ham to give it a try. The proceeds of the "White Elephant Sale" supplements the club's bank account that the Treasure uses to pay club's bills - see Phil Sittner if you want to know who needs money from us over the year.

At the monthly board meetings, we discuss many things, one being the "general meeting" agendas. Of the twelve meeting we have annually (not including picnics and Field Day) we have the following six that have developed over time:

  • Elmer Night
  • Home Brew Night
  • Field Day (preparation and pertinent topics
  • White Elephant Sale
  • Christmas Party
  • Elections - not the entire meeting.

That leaves us with 6+ meeting that are open to "whatever". One observation that came out of the board meetings was that maybe some of the new Hams have not really been exposed to amateur radio. Out of our 130 members, less that 2 dozen come to operate at Field Day, which is mostly contest operation - not much conversation communications. The numbers are about the same with the Wednesday Night Net. One reason for the low turnout might be "mike fright" or "not knowing what to say".

During net night, if check-in have time, there is some limited conversation dealing with the topic chosen by the Net Control Operator. I do acknowledge that Wednesday Night Net is at 2000, and one may have other obligation or just had a bad day, but if some members are at a lost in how to participate, maybe we should develop one of the remaining 6 meetings to "Op Night"(?).

During the member/guest introductions at the October's meeting, if you can add to the above within a few minutes of input, the board, and members of the club, would be very interested. I take notes during meeting so I don't forget your inputs. See you Tuesday,

73, Ed, WA6QYO  Newsletter

Yuba Sutter ARC Update from Yuba-Sutter ARC
Posted October 7, 2017


Anyone who’s talked to me lately has probably heard me moaning about the fact that I can’t find the right sized project box for the antenna attenuator I’m assembling for the upcoming foxhunt. I say assemble because I bought a kit instead of doing all the hard work of finding a schematic and gathering all the bits and pieces needed and planning their placement on a PC board. I’ve done that before on other projects and had fun doing it but with this kit all I had to do was attach the parts to a prefabricated board and find something to mount it in. The attaching was easy; finding a container, not so much. There is a plethora of project boxes to be had in all sorts of materials, sizes, shapes and cost. You’d think in this day and age I wouldn’t have trouble finding a simple 3.5x2.5x1.75 inch plastic box but it seems every other size is available except for that particular one. What to do? I know let’s get something close and see if it works. And, just because, let’s buy more than one so I can share my wisdom in selecting a likely candidate. Hmmmm, that doesn’t work either. What now? Down to the hardware store to see if they have something I can use. No, Home Depot doesn’t have anything; let’s go see if Lowe’s does. No? How about Ace Hardware? No such luck! Maybe I missed something at Home Depot, I’ll go back. Still nothing! Well, it wasn’t exactly a wasted trip. I did pick up some other items I might be able to use in the future, just in case. How about the attenuator itself, can I change it to fit the cases I do have? How about it Google? Here’s a neat potentiometer that mounts at 90 degrees in relation to the board. AND it has an integrated switch! I can eliminate another separate component hopefully making it more compact. I’ll order it (make that two). No, that made no difference, the assembly still doesn’t fit and I’ve had to hot glue over the solder points on the board so the switch on the new potentiometer doesn’t short out. Here’s ANOTHER case that’s a little chunkier than I’m looking for, I’ll order that. Lucky for me I still have some flange mount BNC connectors left over from an earlier project. I had originally needed one but ordered ten. I KNEW they’d come in handy SOMEday. And I was able to share a couple with another ham building the same kit. Well, the new box has come in and it looks like everything will fit but it’s not as svelte as I had wanted. One more round of the hardware stores and a few more Google sessions. Nothing! Well, I’m tired of waiting, time to move on. Come on chunky box, let’s get going. Hey, this looks like it’s going to work out pretty well after all. But, wait a minute, I don’t like the red LED that came with the kit. Here’s a yellow one, much nicer! Okay! Still have to solder connections from the antenna connectors to the PCB but I’ll do that tomorrow. One more thing to find, a clip for the battery so it won’t be rattling around inside the case. I know I could use some Velcro but that doesn’t seem quite good enough. Another Google search! Why, oh, why didn’t Radio Shack keep one of the three stores in the area open??

Yes, the adventure of the attenuator kit makes quite a saga. But even with the frustrations and roadblocks I’ve got to say it’s STILL been a lot of fun bringing it together. Since becoming a ham I’m interested once more in the challenge of putting something together with my own two hands (sometimes assisted by the brain) and turning out something functional and useful. And I’ve got to admit it’s fun showing off my creations and having other people actually be interested in them. I’ve enjoyed the last couple of months having club-sponsored activities that stressed building things. I enjoy the camaraderie of helping each other put something together. And I appreciate the opportunity that these sessions have provided me to add something new to my bank of knowledge. I’m hoping that other club members are enjoying it as much as I am. Sometimes I wonder if the things we plan and end up doing are what others in the club are really interested in. I find myself worrying about whether or not we’re keeping the majority of club members engaged and interested.

We’ve got some neat challenges ahead what with partnering with Sutter High School, acquiring some solar panels, and having some new excited members join the club. Stretching our capabilities by trying different but unfamiliar aspects of radio will, I hope, peak interest in club activities and ham radio in general and make our gatherings less routine. I hope all club members feel free to campaign for their interests. There’s a lot of ham radio that I don’t know about and would love to hear about it from those of you who do. Please consider sharing some of your passion for ham radio by suggesting new and varied activities. And I’m always looking for interesting topics to present at the monthly meeting. I hope more of you will consider sharing some of your expertise with the rest of us so we all will feel a little more confident in stretching our capabilities.

The California QSO party is coming up soon. If you’re an old hand and plan on participating please consider partnering up with someone who hasn’t had that experience. And if you’re interested in participating but don’t have the equipment, the experience or the confidence let others know you’d like to learn. I really enjoyed handing out the Certificates of Accomplishment earlier this year from last year’s contest. I’d like to see even more handed out from this year’s contest.

Another new (to me anyway) challenge is coming up with the scheduled Fox Hunt on October 14th. Thanks to Dave Gartner for giving us some tips and insight on this aspect of using our radios as tools and Mark Peters on taking the effort to find out what it takes to put together a fox hunt. I’m looking forward to it, I hope you are too.

Till next time, 73s. Chris (KK6VZD)


✓YSARC’s new web page is: - click on the upper right-hand icon on the homepage to join the club’s Facebook pagePast issue’s of the VHN are available on our new website.

✓Send your ham related articles and pictures to share in your VHN. Pictures of ham shacks, antenna projects, antenna parties, etc. are appreciated


September Technical Presentation - Intro to Arduino

Sierra Foothills ARC Update from Sierra Foothills ARC
Posted October 7, 2017

Sierra Foothills ARC, Auburn, CA Web: 
Newsletter at:

VE Testing - Every 1st Saturday, monthly, at Raley's Granite Bay. September session: We administered 21 elements to 14 candidates. 12 earned a new or upgraded license. We have 7 new Technicians, 3 new Generals, and 2 new Extras - AL, NI2U

JOTA - Jamboree-On-The-Air is the world's largest scouting event. Over 1.3 million scouts participated last year. We encourage ham's to get on the air October 20 through 22, 2017, to talk to scouts. See the ARRL website for frequencies and operating guidelines at In celebration of the 60th Annual JOTA, SFARC has established a special event call sign, K6J, for October 20 - 22. SFARC will be operating from the Roseville Placer County Fairgrounds on Oct. 21 from 10 AM to 5 PM local time. For additional information, please check out website.

Brian, AI6US flipping pancakes for the field adventure at Stampede Reservoir near Truckee, CA Brian championed the event, PR and on site operations. Campout - The "second Field Day" as SFARC winter welcomed Sierra Foothills ARC members to the Loggers Campground September 22nd– 24th. As the early bird campers arrived on the shores of Stampede Reservoir near Truckee, CA, small snowflakes were swirling in the wind. A brief reminder that winter is coming soon to the Sierras! Fortunately, the snow didn't stick and we were left with cool nighttime temps around 30 and beautiful sunny days around 60. A cool wind occasionally came up, prompting the camp chairs to be moved into the sunshine.

The community HF 80-10m station was set-up and a few of us got in some ragchewing and net check-ins. The weekend was a fun mix of stories around the campfire, a bring your own BBQ to the grill potluck, walks along the beach and a few amazing drone demonstrations by Bob K6UDA and Birton N6UG. Best of all it was a relaxing get-away that was shared with a fun group of new and old friends!

A few members arrived for day visits looking like popsicles from their early morning motorcycle rides over Donner Pass. We attempted to thawed them out with a hosted breakfast of hotcakes, sausages, scrambled eggs, coffee. It must of worked as they migrated back to the western slopes in the afternoons.

The weekend flew by way too fast and it is safe to say that we are looking forward to the next campout!

Photo caption: Brian, AI6US, flipping pancakes for the field adventure at Stampede Reservoir near Truckee, CA Brian championed the event, PR and on site operations.

Club Picnic - Was held August 13th in Applegate Park. Fun was had by all. Thanks to Jeremiah, W6DLO for organizing the event.

Meeting - October 13 is White Elephant Auction night. The club members will bring Amateur related items to be auctioned off by the club. Anyone can attend. Bob, K6UDA will again be our Coordinator.

Hamfest 2018 - yes the date is set for March 17th, St. Patrick's Day to be held at the Historic Loomis Train Depot. More details as we get closer, but mark those calendars!

Club Library - Don't forget about our Club Library of Ham related books and manuals. They will be on display at the meetings and you can sign out a book by filling out a quick form. Members only.

Activities - October 15th: Cystic Fibrosis Bike Ride Communications, October 21st: Enduro Communications. Please contact George, KG6LSB. Club Breakfast September 30th. Nets: Sunday 7:30 ARES, Thursday 7:30 General Net, 1st & 3rd Wednesdays 7:30 Elmer Net.

Thanks go out to our Satellite Officer, Greg, KO6TH for taking videos of our programs, editing them and posting on our You Tube page:

73, Carl Schultz, WF6J, PIO

October 7 VE Session Report

Hi All, The info is in the post office before the final Saturday collection. Thanks again for all the VE's that were able to come to the session.

We had a very successful session again. We administered 18 elements to 10 candidates. All earned a new or upgraded license. One received credit for an expired General. We have 7 new Technicians, 4 new Generals, and 0 new Extras. We only had 7 examiners.

Thanks Al NI2U

Deployment to Puerto Rico Disaster Relief

Our club editor and member Barbara-W6EVA was deployed on short notice to Puerto Rico to assist in disaster relief. She is expected to be in Puerto Rico for at least two weeks. Her team includes amateur radio operators who will utilize 2 meter handhelds and a portable repeater. Barbara always kept a deployment go-bag which included her hand held, spare batteries and antennas. She will be expected to operate out of improvised field conditions in Puerto Rico.

Please wish Barbara well and for her safe return.

73, Bruce, K6BAA

Elk Grove-Florin ARC Update from Elk Grove-Florin ARC
Posted October 7, 2017

Elk Grove-Florin ARC-September meeting

The EGFARC Board of Directors is starting the process of planning for next year. Our September meeting was devoted to a “Hot Wash”. The objective was to give the current Board some feedback as to how they well they were performing their responsibilities and to provide guidance to the 2018 Board.

A slide show was presented highlighted all of our activities during 2017 to date. The meeting was open to the members to give their thoughts on what was good, or not so good. The members were asked what they would like to see continued next year and what should be added. The subjects ranged from meeting subjects, Field Day, Public Service Events, Internal Communications to Social Events.

It was a good exercise

Our next General Meeting will be on October 14th . The discussion topic will be Basic Radio Procedures. We meet at 7:00 pm. In the Community Room of the Sheriff’s Central Division located at 7000 65th Street. Everyone is invited.

73, Paul (N6DRY)

Oroville ARS Update from Oroville ARS - pending
Posted September 4, 2017

The monthly meeting of OARS ( will take place this Friday, 8 September 2017, 7 pm, at St. Paul’s Parish Hall, 1430 Pine Street in Oroville. The doors will open at 6 pm for a social hour prior to the meeting. The program, to be presented by Gerry Vrooman, N6GCV, will be about Raspberry Pi and some of its practical uses in Amateur Radio.

OARS is hosting this year’s Steak Bake, to take place on Saturday, 23 September 2017, 1 to 5 pm, at Hammon Park (southeast of The Home Depot in Thermalito). Flyer images are attached to this message, with the meat item prices set. Ron Osborne, KD7UHF, would greatly appreciate responses from those planning to attend, either by phone, email or the RSVP sheet at this Friday’s meeting.

Hope all can attend both events. 73, Jim

QCWA Update from SOTARS/QCWA Chapter 169
Posted October 7, 2017

Our meeting this month is Wednesday, October 11th. You can choose Lunch or Breakfast. (Denny's serves breakfast all day.)  Breakfast (or lunch) starts at eleven and the meeting will start at Noon.

The program is to be determined.

Meeting as usual at: Denny's Restaurant, 7900 College Town Drive, Sacramento. Phone (916) 383-7071, Located at the southwest corner of Howe Ave. and College Town Drive one block North of Highway 50.

Please plan on attending.


North Hills RC Update from North Hills RC
Posted October 7, 2017

The North Hills Radio Club will be holding our annual White Elephant Sale this year.

It will take place on Tuesday evening, October 17.

We will have a very short business meeting at 7:30 P.M. After a short break following the meeting, the White Elephant Sale will begin. If you have an item in your shack you are no longer using, but is still in reasonably good condition, how about bringing it to the (WES) and placing it on the table.

Things such as HT's, FM rigs, radio parts or computer parts are just the things to bring. Please don't bring things such as long outdated computers or broken items which cannot be repaired by anyone to the sale. The money raised from (WES) will benefit the club. Hams and non-hams alike are welcome to attend.

If you have any questions at all, feel free to contact Doug, N6NFF on the K6IS repeater at 145.19 MHz with a minus offset and a CTCSS tone of 162.2Hz. You may also send an email to:

Come one, come all to the NHRC White Elephant Sale on Tuesday, October 17. See you there! From Doug Emerson, President, North Hills Radio Club. Amateur callsign N6NFF

Nevada County ARC Update from Nevada County ARC
Posted October 7, 2017

Next Meeting: Monday, Oct 9, 2017, doors open 6:30pm, meeting at 7pm.


We will have a presentation, and the digital HT that will be the grand prize for the Xmas drawing will be available for inspection. With elections coming at the November meeting, all members should consider where they may be able to serve the club as an officer.

All members are invited to attend the Directors' Meetings, held on the 4th Monday of the month at 5pm at Lumberjack's restaurant at 2075 Nevada City Highway.


No minutes submitted for the last meeting. Unofficial notes: 28 Attendees. FT-8 Mode was a hot topic of discussion. The Northern California DX Foundation offers elmering classes. Ike, KM6IUI is looking for others interested. Many members were able to travel to the path of totality for August's eclipse. Dave, W9GR, has posted eclipse video at: Cal, AI6MC, has posted his images and video to Facebook.

Ken, WO6H, routinely checks in to the SATERN Net during meetings. This is the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network. The net he checks in on the MDARC repeater on Mount Diablo: 2 meters, 220 MHz and 440 meters: 147.060 /+ (100PL); Linked to 224.780/441.325 /+ (100PL)

COFFEE CHAT (Ham n' Coffee)

Thursdays, 8 am at Valentina's Bistro, 841 Sutton Way, Grass Valley

73, Walt, N6HNS        Newsletter  Facebook Group

W6SFM Monthly Meeting

Samuel F. Morse ARC Update from Samuel F Morse ARC
Posted October 7, 2017

The W6SFM Samuel F Morse Radio Club September meeting was called to order by club President Mike, N6MQL on September 7th at the Carmichael Presbyterian Church in Carmichael CA, with 13 members and 2 guest in attendance.

Congratulations to our guest Oleg who announced to the group this meeting his new Tech. Class call KM6MLT. Oleg has signed up for our CW Class and hopes to upgrade to General (or higher) class before the end of the course.

The W6SFM CW Beginners class is well under way. At the time of this writing, the CW class has 20 people signed up with one 17 year old female non licensed student. We're happy to see some youth join us. Those under 18 are always FREE to take our course!

Students are being taught a complete 10-week course in the proper use and sending technique of a Morse straight key. They will also be taught the complete Morse International alphabet and pro-signs commonly used on the air in a QSO. After week 6 students are then broken into groups where they practice on-air QSOs using their supplied Keys and Oscillators.

This month the YouTube Live feed has been working flawlessly online the club had an uninterrupted 2-hour broadcast of our W6SFM In-person meeting! On-air meetings have not just been broadcast in their entirety but also posted to our W6SFM.COM website. Those videos along with Club in-person meetings can be found under the “Videos” of our website. Feel free to use these recorded and archived videos. Please note that there may be a delay starting the live videos as it takes the YouTube server up to 2 minutes to begin the live transmission. This is done to accommodate any lag in the transmission video due to internet speeds.

In recognition to all that W6SFM members Katy KJ6YCP and Bill KJ6YCO have done for the SFM ARC with most all of our events and activities, the SFM ARC has opted to donate 1 FREE CW class registration for the WPARC to use as a special door prize raffle item at their club’s swapmeet held last month in Lincoln, CA. Both Katy and Bill have been president & officers to the WPARC and continue to support the SFM ARC as well. This item has a value of over $50 and includes the new MFJ-557 Key for their lucky winner to use during their CW Beginners course.

Once again W6SFM will be participating in the California QSO Party (1600 Oct 7th to 2200 Oct 8th. W6SFM has registered for 8–16 hours of the 24 hours of operations. We have also registered as a “Small” club which will allow for members to work under their personal call from their Home stations providing that they are within the 175 mile ‘club circle’. This is an aspect to the event that has never been tested or explored before. Location to be chosen at our October meeting.

Other club business and ARRL news and information was discussed at the meeting along with the current band conditions based on our own personal on-air experiences.

For our main presentation this month Member Mike, N6MQL presented the club with information on “How to read the solar Indices” With the solar cycle being near the bottom dip of the 11-year cycle there’s even more reason to know how to find the best times to work possible DX. Mike emphasizes that his report in no way is an indication as to when to get on the air, but rather when there will be a greater possibility for DX in times where it has become so much rarer. As we all know, if no one gets on the air and calls CQ then it doesn’t matter what the solar report tells us. It’s important that we get on the air, and use the solar indices to simply help us as a tool to know how our Ionosphere is doing.

For show and tell, member Rob, N6KIX brought with him 2 military type straight keys. The first, his British WT8A. His second key the Canadian Leg-Mounted Westclox key. This Canadian Westclox key is similar to WT8A and was in fact modeled after it. Thank you, Rob, for sharing these new finds with the group.

Our next SFM ARC in-person meeting will be held at its normal time and location Oct. 5th (followed by our Nov 2nd meeting). The SFM ARC in-person meeting will be held in the Howard Crowley room upstairs at the Carmichael Presbyterian Church. Directions, including a Google Map is available at the bottom of the homepage. At our October meeting, we will be discussing ARRL news and events. We will also have a presentation on common antenna design. As always, we will have our Tech (show and tell) portion. Members and visitors are asked to share their Ham Radio related items they find of interest. Attend our In-Person meetings with items that you’ve purchased or were given to you that you would like to share with others in the group. Visitors are always welcome to join us at our meetings.

On-Air Net Meeting. Each Tuesday of the week 8:00 PM on 3.545 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 and we encourage you to invite a friend to join us as well. Although our nets usually run a

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