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Sacramento Valley

Sacramento Valley

Contact Information

Section Name:
Sacramento Valley
Contact:
Dr. Carol Milazzo, KP4MD
Daytime Phone:
(916) 782-3786
Evening Phone:
(916) 879-7449
Email:
kp4md@arrl.org

Basic Information

Division:
Pacific
Alert:

Visit our Section website at www.arrlsacvalley.org for the latest updates.

Springtime! April 2017 News

From the Section Manager

QST Cover

Here are the latest news from our section clubs and members.

Section Net Report. Thanks to Steve Sweetman, K6TAZ, who served as Net Control and to all who participated in the March 16 Section Nets. Twenty one stations participated in the 2 meter net over the WD6AXM repeater atop Sutter Buttes. Despite excellent propagation during a test on 5330.5 kHz just 30 minutes prior to net time, only three stations within ground wave distance of net control could check in on our HF net on either 5330.5 kHz or the alternate 3880 kHz frequency.

March 16 NVIS Map Jeff Allbright, N5JEF, shares this observation on the sudden HF propagation drop out at sunset: "I thought you might appreciate a tool I use to keep track of NVIS propagation in near real-time. You can load this link into your browser and then refresh it repeatedly to monitor changing conditions. Here's how it looked this evening while we were struggling to communicate on 5330.5 and then 3880 kHz. 60 meters was just fine until sundown, but in less than a half hour without direct solar radiation, the ionization we need is gone [on both bands]. This is what we must deal with during the coming years of the solar minimum. Another way to mitigate this would be to switch to a robust HF digital mode such as FSQCALL."

Near Vertical Incidence Skywave (NVIS) HF voice communication will certainly be more challenging during the decreasing solar activity that we expect for the three remaining years of Solar Cycle 24. On the date of our next scheduled Section Net, Thursday April 20, propagation may be more favorable as sunset will occur at 7:50 pm PDT. Our HF net will start again on 5330.5 kHz USB and move to 3880 kHz LSB +/- 3 kHz if necessary.  Don't have an HF radio?  Listen to the net on the W7RNA WebSDR receiver.

Section Wide 2 Meter and 60 Meter Nets, Thursday, April 20 at 7:30 pm PDT

SV Section Nets A Section-wide net is scheduled for Thursday, April 20. 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 5330.5 kHz USB (alternate 3880 kHz LSB if no propagation). We will issue an Official Bulletin reminder prior to the net.

Congratulations to the Sierra Foothills ARC on a successful Hamfest in Loomis on March 18! Roger and I were glad to meet so many of you at the ARRL booth.  If you missed it, I've posted a photo album and SFARC posted this video.

ARRL Field Day

Save the June 24-25 weekend to attend ARRL Field Day, amateur radio's premier public outreach event.  Be sure to add your public Field Day site to the ARRL Field Day Station Locator. Log on tohttp://www.arrl.org/field-day and click on the Field Day Locator link. Promote your Field Day event in your community and use hashtag #ARRLFD on social media.

We are currently recruiting for a new Affiliated Club Coordinator for our section. Please contact me if you are interested in assisting in this capacity.

We send our deepest sympathy to Jo Anne Murdock, N6YLO, and her family on the passing of our past Section Manager Ron Murdock, W6KJ.  Ron's passion for serving our amateur radio community was truly inspiring and he will be sorely missed.

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.

Roger and I look forward to attending the Visalia DX Convention this month and North Hills Radio Club Hamfest in Carmichael on May 21.

73, Dr. Carol Milazzo, KP4MD

American Radio Relay League Sacramento Valley Section Manager
kp4md(at)arrl.org

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

Ron Murdock, W6KJ Past ARRL SV Section Manager Ron Murdock, W6KJ, Silent Key
posted April 2, 2017

Our past ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Manager, Ronald Murdock, W6KJ, passed away peacefully at home by his beloved wife Jo Anne, N6YLO, on the morning of April 1.

Ron was a very active and long-standing member of the American Radio Relay League and the Yuba-Sutter Amateur Radio Club. He served as ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Manager from July 2007 through September 2015. Ron was a US Air Force veteran, who flew 300 combat missions as a B52 radar navigator. He also worked as a substitute teacher for 15 years. Ron listed his amateur radio interests as: Amateur Satellites, Building Antennas, Building Equipment/Kits/Accessories, Club Meetings, Continuing Education Training/Courses, Conventions Hamfests Flea Markets Or Swap Meets, DXing, Emergency Communications/ARES/RACES, Field Day, Giving License Exams, hamfests, Making New Friends, Mobile Or Portable Operating, Nets, Personal Safety, Public Service Or Community Safety, Ragchewing/Casual Operating, Recruiting New Hams, Talking With Friends, Teaching New Hams, and Traffic Handling."

Ron wrote in his ARRL profile: "Ham Radio got my interest in high school. I built two shortwave receivers, Allied and Heathkit, and started learning the code. College intervened, then marriage and the Air Force. My first ticket was WN8WRT. Never have stopped loving ham radio."

Other recent past ARRL SV Section Managers: Casey McPartland, W7IB, Dec 2006-Jun 2007; Jettie Hill, W6RFF, Oct 2002-Nov 2006; Jerry Boyd, K6BZ, Apr 2000-Sep 2002; and Jettie Hill, W6RFF, 1989-2000.

Description:

SACRAMENTO VALLEY SECTION WEB RESOURCES

Section News: www.arrlsacvalley.org
Section Nets: http://sites.google.com/site/arrlsacvalley/nets
Sacramento Valley ARES: www.sacvalleyares.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ARRLSacramentoValley
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ARRL_SV

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

-------------------------------------------------

 

California Distracted Driving Law Update AB-1785 Petition Update
posted April 2, 2017

On March 28, the California Highway Patrol issued this memorandum stating that "a radio installed and mounted in a vehicle with a wired hand microphone...is not subject to enforcement under this section."

Commentary by Jim Aspinwall, NO1PC, follows.

29 Mar - Progress...
Jim Aspinwall Campbell, CA
MAR 30, 2017 — CHP has spoken... the wording of this is not 'perfect' but it will do for now. It is a big step in the right direction to "continue the conversation" and be part of the solution.

It is NOT a material change to the law. It may or may not get to all law enforcement agencies/officers, but we're at little or less risk around CHP. If you choose to print and carry a copy of this (link) in-vehicle with the intent of sharing it with an officer who stops you to avoid citation - don't force the issue, be VERY polite, ask if they are aware of CHP's memo about this, offer to show them a copy. May or may not help.

"For the purposes of Section 23123.5(f) CVC, a radio installed and mounted in a vehicle with a wired hand microphone (e.g., business band or citizen band [CB]radio) is not considered a wireless communication device, nor is it considered a specialized mobile radio device, and therefore is not subject to enforcement under this section."

We still need to get the law changed AND passed. Stay tuned!!

You can sign the petition you sign up, updates will be emailed to you.
https://www.change.org/p/correct-ambiguities-of-ab-1785-cvc-23123-5-cellular-hands-free-public-safety-law

Radio Amateurs Effort to Amend AB1785 California Radio Amateurs Move to Amend Distracted Driving Law AB-1785
posted March 21, 2017

In the last two months since its posting, San Jose area radio amateur Jim Aspinwall, NO1PC's online grass roots petition to amend the ambiguous language in California's AB-1785 Distracted Driving Law has gathered over a thousand signatures in its support.

In a news story aired recently on KOVR-TV CBS13 Sacramento, Norm Lucas, WB6RVR, explained that the Distracted Driving Law was designed to curb smartphone texting while driving which has been identified as a safety hazard.  However, the ambiguous language in the law has also unintentionally rendered all commercial and amateur radio two-way mobile operation illegal in California.  The original author of AB-1785, California Assemblyman Bill Quirk (Assembly District 20) has confirmed that the law was not intended to ban amateur radio mobile operation and has recently introduced AB 1222, the purpose of which is to amend this law. Negotiations are underway and continuing between all of the stakeholders regarding appropriate language to modify this law.

Ham Radio Now: California Distracted Driving Law

In Ham Radio Now Episode 311, Gary Pearce KN4AQ and David Goldenberg WØDHG interview Norm Lucas and Jim Aspinwall for an in depth look at the drafting of the California AB-1785 Distracted Driving Law and how it came to negatively impact on commercial and amateur mobile two-way radio operation in California. They also describe the growing community effort to bring this problem to public attention and to lobby the California legislature for an amendment to this problematic law.

AB1785 on Amateur Radio Roundtable

Tom Medlin, W5KUB, also interviewed Jim Aspinwall about the effort to amend AB1785 on the March 21 episode of the W5KUB.comAmateur Radio Roundtable podcast.

ARRL Weighs In on New California ‘Driving While Wireless’ Statute
from arrl.org March 14, 2017

ARRL is recommending that Amateur Radio be specifically excluded from a California statute prohibiting the use of “wireless communication devices” while driving. ARRL Southwestern Division Vice Director Marty Woll, N6VI, is taking point on the effort to revise the statute, known by its legislative bill number AB 1785. It was signed into law last September, and it took effect on January 1, amending §23123.5 of the state’s Vehicle Code.

“ARRL has received a huge volume of inquiries and complaints about this statute in particular, since its enactment,” ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, wrote in a letter to Woll to provide guidance in amending the California statute. “I would urge that you present this letter at any meetings you have with California State legislators on this topic, thus to bring the issues contained herein to their attention.”

Read the full story here

ARRL Teachers Institute ARRL Solicits Teacher Institute Applications
Posted April 1, 2017

Now is the time to apply for 2017 Summer sessions of ARRL’s Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology. Watch this video for an inside look at the Teachers Institute!

If you are a past participant of the Teachers Institute we hope that you have found many ways to use the ideas, training and resources you received and are interested in spreading the word to other teachers. You may want to consider signing up for the advanced TI-2 on Remote Sensing and Data Gathering.

Please feel free to share information about the Teachers Institute with others in your circle, or in your school district. A listing on your school or school district website? A newsletter? A web page for science and technology teachers? Word of mouth to teachers in your circle? We’d like to get the word out to reach teachers who can take advantage of this opportunity. If you would like to receive copies of our printed brochures to give to colleagues, please send your request and your mailing address to etp@arrl.org.

Here’s some copy you can use to announce the opportunity in your school community:

Integrate Science and Math with Engineering and Technology by Exploring Wireless Technology

ARRL, the national association for amateur radio, is offering two sessions of its Introductory Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology (TI-1) during the summer of 2017. The ARRL Teachers Institute is an expenses paid, intensive professional development opportunity for educators who want to receive training and resources to explore wireless technology in the classroom. Topics at the TI-1 Introduction to Wireless Technology, include basic electronics, radio science, microcontroller programming and basic robotics. ARRL will also offer an advanced Teachers Institute (TI-2) on Remote Sensing and Data Gathering.

The linked article from the March issue of ARRL’s journal, QST, includes the schedule and description of offerings this summer. Read “Amateur Radio in the STEM Classroom” in the 2016 April issue of Tech Directions to learn how four Teachers Institute grads employ amateur radio in their classrooms.

Visit the ARRL website at: www.arrl.org/ti for more details. Go to www.arrl.org/teachers-institute-application for information about applying and to download an application.

Application deadline is May 1.

HR 1301 Amateur Radio Parity Act Speeds to U.S. House Passage, Heads to U.S. Senate

From the ARRL National Web Site, January 24, 2017

Just 10 days after being introduced, the 2017 Amateur Radio Parity Act legislation, H.R. 555, passed the U.S. House of Representatives this week on unanimous consent under a suspension of House rules. The bill’s language is identical to that of the 2015 measure, H.R. 1301, which won House approval late last summer after attracting 126 co-sponsors, but failed to clear the U.S. Senate last fall as the 114th Congress wound down. The new bill, again sponsored by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), was introduced on January 13 with initial co-sponsorship by Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Rep. Greg Walden, W7EQI (R-OR), who chairs the influential House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

“The grassroots effort of Amateur Radio operators across this nation in support of the Amateur Radio Parity Act has been remarkable, nothing like we have ever seen before,” ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, said. “To all hams, keep going! Now is the time to charge forward with that same momentum to the Senate. We can do it!” The bill arrives in the U.S. Senate with ample time in which to garner its approval through an education campaign.

Read the full story here.

Update from Bob Wortman, WB6VYH, Section Technical Coordinator
Updated December 31, 2016

Hope that everyone had a great year. NPOTA is about to end and there should be a few WAS application coming in. It was fun and I can’t wait to see what is next.

I will be out and about in Northern California this coming year. We plan on stopping at some club meetings in Northern California and doing a few SOTA’s too.

I will be able to do WAS, VUCC, WAC, and DXCC at the meetings and if possible at the SOTA locations too.
For on the spot, in the field new DXCC applications you will need to have an on-line application fill out and printed.
If you have an old fashion DXCC paper style application or over 100 QSL cards I may need to take them home to do. Contact me at wb6vyh@arrl.net for more information.
If you are doing a LOTW application with QSL cards too and having problems contact me, I may be able to help.
Any questions just email me. You need to contact me before I can do an application in the field.

I will be at several ham swaps this year in NorCal and maybe Nevada including Pacificon 2017. If you can’t get to Sacramento to drop off your application contact me, I love road trips and we can meet somewhere.

Happy New Years everyone…………….

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

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

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

Update October 12, 2016 - 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 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 the Amateur Auxiliary. OOs are certified in the Auxiliary by passing a mandatory written examination.

Federal Communications Commission FCC Issues Amateur Radio Service Rules for 630 Meters and 2,200 Meters
From arrl.org, posted March 31, 2017

It’s been a long time coming, but the Amateur Service will get two new bands in the near future. The FCC on March 28 adopted rules that will allow secondary Amateur Radio access to 472-479 kHz (630 meters) and to 135.7-137.8 kHz (2,200 meters), with minor conditions. The FCC Report and Order spells out the details. It allocates 472-479 kHz to the Amateur Service on a secondary basis and amends Part 97 to provide for Amateur Service use of that band as well as of the previously allocated 135.7-137.8 kHz band. The R&O also amends Part 80 rules to authorize radio buoy operations in the 1900-2000 kHz band under a ship station license. Just when the new Part 97 rules will go into effect is difficult to determine just yet; more on that below.

Read the full story at http://www.arrl.org/news/new-bands-fcc-issues-amateur-radio-service-rules-for-630-meters-and-2-200-meters

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 https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/search/filings?proceedings_name=08-20&sort=date_disseminated,DESC
Additional information related to this matter is posted on the ARRL News http://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-levies-25-000-fine-on-california-radio-amateur-for-deliberate-interference.

FCC Seeks Solar Array Interference Complaints
Submitted by Mike Kirkland, NS6Q, Posted February 14, 2017

I have been working for over a year to resolve an interference issue caused by a solar array a few houses down (daytime VHF noise level S9+ during the day).

In the mean time I talked with Ms Chen at the FCC. I mentioned that solar array interference is a big issue for hams. She said that I was the only one she knew about. She asked me to spread the word and have hams with solar array interference issues to do the following.

  1. Create an interference complaint with the FCC about your solar array interference issue at: https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us
  2. Email her with the specifics of your solar array interference issue.
  3. Be sure to include the complaint ticket number and why you believe the solar array is the source of the interference issue.

Deborah Chen, Federal Agent / Electronics Engineer, deborah.chen@fcc.gov

For everybody with a solar array interference issue, the FCC is listening and wants to hear from you.

73, Mike, NS6Q

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.  More infomation is posted under the "From the Section Manager" notes in the November 2016 Section News - Carol KP4MD

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

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/c1b607bfbbab459ba9e21d4c282996e4/growing-problem-pot-lights-give-ham-radio-operators-buzz

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.

WB6PSY

Keep Our Digital Transmissions Legal on 60 Meters
Posted January 29, 2017

Our decreasing solar activity and residential antenna restrictions have attracted increasing numbers of radio amateurs to operate CW and weak signal digital modes on our lower HF frequencies including 60 meters. The five frequency channels that US amateur radio operators share on a secondary basis with US federal government users on 60 meters (5 MHz) pose unique requirements for CW and digital operators. As explained on http://www.arrl.org/60m-channel-allocation, US radio amateur emissions on our 60m channels must be precisely centered in the center frequency of each assigned channel, that is, 5332.0, 5348.0, 5358.5, 5373.0 or 5405.0 kHz. Thus, for example, a CW signal on channel 3 (USB Dial frequency 5357.0 kHz) must be precisely on 5358.5 kHz. The same ARRL page explains that all digital emissions must also be centered in the channel center.

This may appear unreasonable to radio amateurs because a 2.8 kHz channel can accommodate many digital and CW transmissions simultaneously, and requiring multiple stations to operate on the same exact frequency would result in mutual interference. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)* explains this requirement in https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/7021871884.pdf which states: "Allowing multiple emissions within the necessary bandwidth of the widest authorized modes (2.8 kHz) increases the possibility of harmful interference from secondary amateur stations to primary federal stations, and would make it more difficult for a federal station to identify an interfering amateur station. In addition, NTIA is concerned about the aggregate equivalent isotropically radiated power from multiple amateur stations transmitting within a single 2.8 kHz channel. Accordingly, NTIA requests that 47 C.F.R. Section 97.303(h) continue to require that amateur stations transmit only on the five center frequencies allocated to the amateur service."  (See http://www.arrl.org/what-the-fcc-rules-say-97-303-h)

60 meter JT65 signals

JT65

This screenshot photo shows JT65 signals received on 60m Channel 3 (5357 kHz USB dial frequency) from 0300-0309 UTC on January 29, 2017. In the photo, the 5357 kHz dial frequency is at 0 Hz on the left side of the waterfall and the 5358.5 kHz channel center is at the 1500 Hz mark. Decodes of several US radio amateurs are seen transmitting JT65 emissions simultaneously on various frequencies throughout the channel 3 frequency range 5357-5360 kHz. This is the familiar appearance of a JT65 waterfall display on all other amateur radio bands; however, it does not meet the NTIA requirement that each US radio amateur transmission be centered on the 1500 Hz mark (the 5358.5 kHz channel center frequency). Richard Saunders, K6RBS, has posted the program settings for proper 60m JT65 operation here. 60 meter WSPR

WSPR

The link http://wsprnet.org/olddb?band=60&sort=callsign&reverse=on&unique=on lists recent WSPR mode emissions on 60 meters. One can scroll down that list and see how many A, K, N and W call signs have been transmitting WSPR mode outside the authorized 60 meter center channel frequencies.  Many US WSPR transmissions are now being observed on the WSPR software default 60m frequency of 5288 kHz, a completely unauthorized frequency for US radio amateurs.

Each licensee has the final responsibility for the lawful operation of his or her station.  Unfortunately, the increasing automation in our radios has apparently accustomed some to falsely assume that the radio will correct for operator carelessness and ignorance of regulations.  Our cooperation with NTIA requirements is essential for our continued access to the 60m channels and for possible future access to the new ITU worldwide 60 meter allocation at 5351.5 to 5366.5 kHz. (See http://www.arrl.org/news/view/arrl-asks-fcc-to-allocate-new-5-mhz-band-retain-channels-and-current-power-limit and http://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-invites-comments-on-arrl-petition-to-allocate-new-5-mhz-band). Please be aware of these requirements if you intend to or currently operate CW or digital modes on our shared 60m allocations. The Amateur Auxiliary is documenting this matter and hopes to raise its awareness in the wider amateur radio community.

-Carol Milazzo, KP4MD

*The NTIA is the federal authority that coordinates radio spectrum use for the US military and federal government while the FCC serves in this capacity for civilian radio spectrum users.

Amateur Radio Emergency ServiceApril 8 - Sacramento County ARES Training
Posted April 1, 2017

The next Sacramento County ARES training and meeting is scheduled for Saturday April 8, 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 www.saccountyares.org

March 25 - Placer County ARES "Go-Kit" Meeting
Posted April 1, 2017

On March 25th 19 members and visitors attend the face to face meeting of Placer County ARES. The topic of the meeting was “Go Kits” and “Go Vehicles”. Carl N6CKV, Mike KK6GLB, Gary N6UWQ, Al NI2U, John NT6ET, Don N6DPH, Dennis WU6X , and George KG6LSB showed their “Go Kits” and John NT6ET, Dennis WU6X, Carl N6CKV and Bruce K6BAA showed their “Go Vehicles”. John NT6ET had a setup that included a mesh network operating at 5 GHz. Bruce K6BAA showed his pickup with a front mounted HF whip and UHF/VHF with APRS.

In addition Jim KO6GM talked about using tactical call signs and Carol KP4MD spoke about the effort to change the current distracted driving law in California.

Carl, N6CKV, Placer County ARES EC

Mike KK6GLP showing his “Go Kit” John NT6ET with his mesh network

Photo captions: 1. Mike KK6GLP showing his Go Kit.  2. John NT6ET with his MESH network.

Red Cross Releases New Message Form Templates
Posted March 31, 2017

The American Red Cross Gold Country Region has released the last and latest Red Cross forms templates to the fldigi download site https://sourceforge.net/projects/fldigi/files/flmsg/templates/.

The template compendium includes:

  • ARC IC213 General Message Form
  • Unaccompanied Minor Form
  • Client Incident Report Form
  • Staff Injury and Wellness Report
  • Safe and Well Registration Form
  • Emergency Welfare Inquiry Form
  • Requisition 6409 Form

The download site includes individual HTML templates (for use with flmsg) plus a zip file with all forms plus instructions for installing and using flmsg (in the reduced “agency” mode) and the templates.

Intended for primary use by non-radio Red Cross personnel, ARES personnel are encouraged to download and install the current version of flmsg plus the forms templates. By having the templates on the radio operator’s computer, a form object file could be printed out (from within a browser) and a print copy handed to the message addressee.

The Gold Country Region is working to get flmsg and the templates installed on the laptops used by its disaster responders in time for the next disaster.

The Red Cross looks forward to the Amateur Radio community in general and the Amateur Radio Emergency Service in particular to support us with both voice and data communications across 24 county expanse of our region.

Questions regarding the use of flmsg and these templates may be directed to Jim Piper, RN Gold Country Liaison to ARES (jim.piper@redcross.org and/or to Greg Kruckewitt kg6sjt, ARRL Sacramento Valley Section ARES SEC kg6sjt@gmail.com.

Club and Member News

Update from Amador County ARC
Posted April 1, 2017

ACARC has started the new year with a new slate of officers and is “on a roll”. We have returned to having monthly meetings and anticipate having a program and refreshments to entice members to gather and socialize. Our first two outings to practice our emergency communication skills will happen in April. First we will provide communication support for the Party Pardee bicycle ride which brings out upward of 1,400 riders over a 100 mile course. This has proven to be an excellent learning experience for us in being able to maintain communication over mountainous terrain. We provide digital tracking units on each SAG wagon so the control desk has visual as well as oral contact with each unit. In addition we provide three digipeters located at strategic locations on the course to minimize communication dead spots. What we learn will enhance our ability to respond in a true emergency. The second outing will be to provide communication for the Sierra Century ride which is of a comparable length and occurs at a higher elevation in Amador and El Dorado counties. In a specific ARES vein, we were put on alert to set up communication for a Red Cross shelter during the heavy rain in February, but were not activated. 73, John Stettler, ACARC PIO

River City ARCS Update from River City ARCS
Posted April 2, 2017

At the April 4 meeting, River City ARCS Member Tom Cutter W6BS will give a multimedia presentation on Winter Field Day operation

Sunday April 30 is the date for the Annual RCARCS Family Picnic and Fox Hunt at VFW Post 6158, Phoenix Park, Fair Oaks, exclusively for current RCARCS members and their significant others/families. The N6NA Club Station will be on site with assistants for those who would like to operate on HF and 2 meters. Bring a two meter handheld radio and antenna to compete in a hidden transmitter "Fox Hunt". See full details onwww.n6na.org. Attendees should sign up at the meeting or RSVP via e-mail to stinkypuii@elkgrove.net with the number in their party.

There will also be a sign up list at the monthly meeting for anyone who wishes to assist at the RCARCS booth at the May 19-20 Rio Linda Historic Farm & Tractor at Dry Creek Ranch and at our ARRL Field Day on June 24-25.

Our September 5 membership meeting will be Homebrew Night. Members are encouraged to present details of their homebrew projects. The presentations should last about 5 minutes and should include pictures, a brief description of the project and if small enough, the item can be displayed at our meeting. We will award three gift certificate prizes, totaling $100 value, to the winners. One of these prizes is dedicated to an entry-level member. Homebrew projects can include, but is not limited to, antennas, Go-kits, mobile rig installations, station accessories, Arduino and Raspberry Pi devices, QRP rigs and custom ham radio software. Participation is open to all current River City ARCS members.

Newsletter

Yuba Sutter ARC Update from Yuba-Sutter ARC
Posted March 31, 2017

GENERAL MEETING

The next general meeting will be held April 4th at the Caltrans Building in Marysville.

There will be a presentation, discussion and planning for the upcoming Field Day. We have received permission to hold Field Day on the property of Dr. Minh Bui (N6MB) in Sutter County. Committee members to help Mark (KA6FFM) with the planning, organizing and set-up are needed. Come to the meeting, help plan and volunteer to be on the committee.

EDITORS COMMENTS

✓YSARC’s new web page is: www.ysarc.net - 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 KI6CSN@arrl.net orKF6FVP@arrl.net

Newsletter

SFARC Hamfest 2017

Sierra Foothills ARC Update from Sierra Foothills ARC
Posted April 1, 2017

Hamfest 2017 was visited by UT4WT and his family. That was our "DX" visitor for the day. After resetting the local time clocks everyone was ready for the Hamfest 2017 in Loomis. It was a success with many folks coming out with real Ham Gear! to sell. Coffee and Donuts were going fast as were the Drawing tickets. Estimates were that 350+ people walked around the swap. Our Club President, Orion, AI6JB did a terrific job pulling all of this together. The gang started set-up at 5:00am and had first sellers coming through at 6:15. A great time was had by all including Carol, KP4MD who had the ARRL Booth there to hand out information on our great hobby. Thanks go out to all the membership that turned out to help make this our best swap yet!

Yaroslav Moskvyak, call sign UT4WT, is from Tadani, Ukraine. He saw our hamfest flyer online while at home in the Ukraine. He was planning a visit to the United States in the Sacramento area and didn’t want to miss meeting other ham radio operators. He had arrived just three days before and drove to the hamfest with his wife, daughter in law and two grandchildren. Unfortunately, he arrived after the hamfest ended and as we were cleaning up. He was very disappointed to miss the event but was excited to meet us and handed out his QSL card. Bruce, K6BAA

VE Team Leader, Al, NI2U reported: We administered 20 elements to 10 candidates. All 10 earned a new or upgraded license. One came in as a Tech and left as an Extra in one session, to his surprise. We have 5 new Technicians 3 new Generals and 2 Generals (from Seattle) who are being given credit for their old licenses. And 1 new Extra.

Many SFARCers are heading to The IDXC, 68th International DX Convention in Visalia. More info here:http://dxconvention.com

Field Day - Our Chairman, AL, NI2U said: "…what I consider the best operating contest in Amateur Radio…" Al is working on the Bobtail Curtain antenna, coordinating towers and antennas, radios and operators, don't forget the Tritips for Saturday night! Once again W6EK will operate from Nyack (across from the Shell Station). Sounds like you've got things in hand Al.

Meanwhile the Club Picnic and Christmas Dinner are being prepped for in hope that everyone will turn out again. The Club Net meets every Thursday at 7:30pm; Board and General Meetings occur on the 2nd Friday (everyone is welcome), Board meeting is held at Sizzler Restaurant in Auburn, and General meetings at 7:30pm at Auburn City Hall. The Club breakfast is held on the last Saturday at Mel’s Diner in Auburn; an Elmer Net is held the first and third Wednesday night at 7:30pm on the 2m repeater. See www.w6ek.org for more information.

Photo caption: Yaroslav Moskvyak, call sign UT4WT, is from Tadani, Ukraine. He saw our hamfest flyer online while at home in the Ukraine. He was planning a visit to the United States in the Sacramento area and didn’t want to miss meeting other ham radio operators. He had arrived just three days before and drove to the hamfest with his wife, daughter in law and two grandchildren. Unfortunately, he arrived after the hamfest ended and as we were cleaning up. He was very disappointed to miss the event but was excited to meet us and handed out his QSL card. Bruce, K6BAA.

73, Carl, WF6J, ARRL PIO  Newsletter

Elk Grove-Florin ARC Update from Elk Grove-Florin ARC
Posted March 31, 2017

Our March meeting included an excellent discussion of Basic Antennas by Phil Sittner, KD6RM. Phil had an excellent Power Point Presentation which can be viewed on our website, www.egfarc.org. Click on Documents > Presentations to view it. Thank You, Phil!

Our subject for our April Meeting will be Batteries and Steve, W6WBO, will be our presenter.

Plans for our Field Day are moving along. Chris, KF6JFO, our President and Field Day Captain has secured a location in Sloughhouse (Davis Ranch). We are also exploring the possibility of a booth at upcoming ELK GROVE WESTERN FESTIVAL coming up in May. We hope to do a little PR work for Ham Radio in Elk Grove.

Submitted by Paul Grose, N6DRY

Oroville ARS Update from Oroville ARS
Posted March 23, 2017

The OARS Monthly Breakfast will take place this Saturday, 25 March 2017, 9 am, at The Waffle Shop, 2107 Feather River Blvd (across the street from Applebee’s) in Oroville. Hope to see everyone there. 73, Jim, W7XZ

The monthly meeting of OARS (http://w6af.org) will take place this Friday, 10 March 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 Past President Joe, WA6CAL, is called, “Introducing Evernote: a program which makes it easy to scan documents and notes to a cloud based searchable database.” Hope all can attend.

73, Jim, W7XZ

QCWA Update from SOTARS/QCWA Chapter 169
Posted March 6, 2017

Our meeting is Wednesday, March 8th. Lunch (or breakfast) is at eleven. Denny's serves breakfast all day. As usual, the group will be called to order at Noon in the meeting room.

The program for this month will be TXFactor, Episode 14, a continuation of the series on how space weather affects our ability to communicate on the HF bands.

Bob parts with some cash at Hamfest and Mike chats to Phil Willis M0PHI and Cathy Clark G1GQJ, two movers and shakers in the world of amateur radio propagation.

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 come and enjoy the good food and fellowship.

North Hills RC Update from North Hills RC
Posted April 2, 2017

The next meeting for The North Hills Radio Club will take place on Tuesday evening, April 18, 2017.

This month's meeting will include a presenation by Mark Naber KF6IDO on the Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network (AREDN)

Join us at our April meeting of the North Hills Radio Club, where Mark will talk with the club about his adventures in emergency communications using AREDN.

Club meetings are always held on the third Tuesday of every month, at the former (SMUD) building located at 5026 Don Julio Blvd, at the northeast corner of Don Julio and Elkhorn Blvds. The board meeting begins at 6:00 P.M., followed by the general membership meeting at 7:30 P.M.

See you there! From Doug Emerson, Vice-President, North Hills Radio Club. Amateur call sign N6NFF

NORTH HILLS RADIO CLUB’s 42nd ANNUAL HAMFEST SUNDAY MAY 21, 2017 From 700am-1200pm At the Carmichael Elks Lodge #2103, 5631 Cypress Ave, Carmichael, CA. 95608. PRIZES will be announced each hour. Grand Prize is a Yaesu FT-60R Hand Held. Other prizes Astron power supply & Wouxun 2M/440 HT.

Directions: Interstate 80 to Madison then Right on Manzanita then RIGHT on Cypress we’re 2 blocks on the right. K6IS Repeater Talk in: 145.190Mhz – 162.2Hz or 224.400Mhz – 162.2Hz

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Nevada County ARC Update from Nevada County ARC
Posted March 21, 2017

FEBRUARY MEETING NOTES

Since the club is still without an official Secretary, the following is an entirely unofficial account of the events of February’s meeting. Which is OK, because, to the knowledge of your intrepid reporter, no official business occurred at that meeting. Hopefully we will have an officially elected Secretary soon.

KEN WO6H CELEBRATES 30 YEARS IN NCARC

Ken, official keeper of Shaggy Dog stories, announced that he has now been in the club for 30 years. He was originally licensed in April of 1942, just in time to get shut down in amateur operations for WWII.

FEBRUARY MEETING ATTENDANCE STRAINS BUILDING WALLS

The attendance at the February meeting was at least 48 by the potentially erroneous count of your newsletter editor, including 6 prospective licensees. The room was able to contain us, but only barely so.

WINLINK PRESENTATION

Cal, AI6MC, kicked off the evening’s presentations with one on WINLINK, a ham radio linked email system. It takes advantage of both the internet and over the air amateur radio connectivity to provide reliable communications no matter the circumstances. More information available at: http://www.winlink.org/

GO-PACK PRESENTATIONS

Following the WINLINK presentation, we had very informative presentations on Go-packs, that is, portable station setups that allow easy operation in the event of emergencies or other conditions where a normal base station or mobile station will not serve.

Grover, K7TP, showed us compact "magnetic loop" antennas that he uses, as well as a 1/2 wave end fed wire antenna. He had a "Rack Pack", that is, a rucksack with a built-in equipment rack suitable for mounting radios, power supplies, antenna tuners, etc. for easy packing along off-road. He presented a bluetooth dongle for a cellphone to radio connection, and a number of Android applications including DroidPSK for digital comms via an Android device. For a wideband receiver, he showed us a Nooelec SDR receiver dongle, which fits into a USB port, is smaller than a key fob and can pick up practically everything from 25 to 1700 MHz, all for about $20 online. http://nooelec.com/

Jeffrey, W6JP, then gave us a presentation of his packable radio gear that he uses for SOTA operations (Summits on the Air, where operators activate mountain summits, see more at http://w6-sota.org/ ) and satellite operations. It was a very interesting presentation with lots of equipment and options that he uses for his work, from a pair of FT-817s for satellite work to a KX-3 with options for CW work from mountain tops, including portable antennas, with many tips and tricks learned from his extensive experience (including putting a sock over the microphone to cut wind noise during voice communications.)

He clearly demonstrated the maxim of getting out and doing portable operations to know what you need to know before the time comes that you're forced into that position by circumstances.

73, Walt, N6HNS        Newsletter

Samuel F. Morse ARC Update from Samuel F Morse ARC
Posted March 31, 2017

MARCH REPORT:

The SFM ARC CW (Morse Code) Beginners Class will begin April 5th The class will be held each Wednesday evening from 7PM until 9PM. The course lasts for 10 consecutive weeks culminating 2 weeks before the ARRL’s Field Day event. This was done so that students attending the class can transition easily into their first CW event. It was also placed close enough to keep the motivation of our students up so they have a better chance of attending our event. Class instruction includes a complete understanding of the Morse Code, Pro-Signs, on-air operations and how to Send properly using a Straight key. Students are provided with a key and oscillator built by the club members. At the conclusion of the course students are able to keep those instruments as part of their course fee. If you or someone you know is interested to take our course, please be sure to contact the club with that information. You do NOT need to be a licensed amateur radio operator to take our class.

The W6SFM Samuel F Morse Radio Club March meeting was called to order by club President Mike, N6MQL with 14 members and 1 guest in attendance.

W6SFM would like to welcome our three newest members, Paul, N6EV, Rick, N6IET, from southern California, and Arnie, AB6JY of Fair Oaks CA.

In an effort to keep all of the clubs members and guests who were either unavailable or out of state / city closely involved, The SFM ARC now provides a LIVE FEED via our on-line LiveStream video services. This live feed can be found on the W6SFM.com homepage by clicking on the Live Feed! link at the top of our page. On-line turn out was slightly lower than last months 8 viewers, however the club held an audience with 3 views on the night of the meeting, and a few additional watching the recorded playback. A copy of our in-person meeting are made available on our LiveStream account or by going to the W6SFM Live Feed! link on our homepage. To watch the meeting, or any of our pre-recorded videos simply click on the play button that says "Watch again". You can then scroll to select the video that you would like to watch.

At this month's meeting, member Norm, WB6RVR discussed the implications and potential challenges to the California "Hands-Free Public Safety Law" (ab1785). Several members solicited comments. 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.

At our March in-person meeting the main presentation was given by Pres. Michael, N6MQL. He showed and demonstrated some of the features of the Rig Experts line of Antenna analyzers.

Our next SFM ARC in-person meeting will be held at its normal time and location April 6th (followed by our May 5th meeting). The SFM ARC in-person meeting will be held in the Howard Crowley room upstairs at the Carmichael Presbyterian Church. More information including a Google Map is available on the homepage of our website. At our April meeting, we will be presenting the club members with our annual W6SFM Bogus Stories. The members will then vote on a winner to hold, and embellish our coveted “HAM” Trophy for 1 year. As always, we will have our Tech (show and tell) portion where members and visitors are asked to share their Ham Radio related items they find of interest. Feel free to visit our In-Person meeting with items that you purchased or were given that you would like to share with the group. Visitors are always welcome to join us.

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 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. The “LIVE FEED” link can be found on our home page of our website.

Do you know someone in need of a Ham Club to call home? Perhaps someone that wants to learn Morse Code, are interested in CW or already know and use it, the SFM ARC would love to be their new Club home. Our in-person meetings are held each 1st Thursday of the month at 7PM. Please use the rear parking lot and entry for best access to the meeting. A map and directions can also be found on our website. We hope to see you at our next meeting!

Chris AI6U

Newsletter

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

Sacramento Valley Officials