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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.

Happy Holidays!

  December 2017 News

From the Section Manager

QST Cover

Happy Holidays to all!  This month's news features news and happening from clubs and members around our section.

Each ARRL Affiliated Club may send up to two representatives to the ARRL Pacific Division Cabinet meeting on Saturday, December 2, 2017, at 9:00 a.m., in Livermore, California. The meeting will discuss matters of importance to the membership in the Division including: Use of Mobile Wireless, A.B. No. 1785; Amateur Radio Parity Act, H.R. 555 & S. 1534; ARES and Emcomm; FCC update; and other matters of significance to the membership. Please contact ARRL Pacific Division Vice Director Jim Tiemstra, K6JAT, if your club leadership has not received notice or has suggestions for additional agenda items.

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





ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Nets are conducted only on months when announced on the third Thursday of that month, starting approximately 7:20 pm Pacific Time on the WD6AXM 146.085 MHz FM repeater, followed by the HF Section Net on 3880 kHz LSB +/- 3 kHz. During summer months the HF net is conducted on 5330.5 kHz USB as propagation permits.

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
This chart shows colors that represent the recommended HF frequencies for contacting stations for a particular hour. Both stations should use the SAME frequency denoted by the color at the location of the target station. The chart is in Universal Time (UTC). More information at

Puerto Rico Relief Joe Pistritto, N3CKF, to Speak January 2 on ARRL/Red Cross Puerto Rico Disaster Relief Deployment
Posted December 2

At the River City ARCS General Meeting on Tuesday, January 2 at 7:30 pm, Joe Pistritto, N3CKF, will give a presentation on his September 28-October 18 deployment as a communications volunteer in the post-Hurricane Maria ARRL-Red Cross Puerto Rico disaster relief effort. The meeting will be held at the Sacramento County Corp Yard, 5026 Don Julio Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95842. Directions are posted at are welcome.


Incident Report Monday 13 November 2017
Submiitted November 24 by Larry Trotter, KI6IUK, Plumas County ARES EC

On 13 November 2017, I was traveling south on Highway 89, returning to Quincy from a visit to KJ6CUG in Etna, CA. I had just crossed the bridge over Lake Britton and came upon a tractor-trailer rig that had crashed into the trees, about 1/8 mile from the entrance to the McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park. Tree branches and gravel covered a few hundred feet of the highway. I turned on my emergency flashers and pulled off the road as far as I could safely. Another vehicle following the rig had pulled over just in front of me and together, that driver and I ambled down to the cab. Fuel was still gushing out of the ruptured left saddle tank, so the wreck had just happened. The other fellow and I helped the driver (who had injured his right leg) out of the smashed cab window, which was at a 45-degree angle and about 10 feet up. We got the guy out by sliding him down the crunched door and to the ground. The first driver’s wife had gone to her vehicle and retrieved water and a blanket. Then we discovered there was a second (co-driver) in the crushed cab, who refused our help to get him out, retrieving things from the cab and got himself out. I hobbled back the 50 feet or so to my truck and sent out an Emergency Traffic call on 146.520, repeating the call 3 times, with no response heard. By that time, another trucker, driving just the tractor, stopped, then drove off to find a telephone, as there was no cell service at this site. I repeated the call on .52, giving information on the Emergency, brief details on the accident and the location, requesting help from EMS. Still no response. I checked my squelch, frequency and volume on the radio.....all good. Another call out, with no response.

Traffic was still traveling at 55-60 mph passed the accident, so I got out of my truck and attempted some traffic control from the side of the road, gesturing with both hands to SLOW DOWN. Between vehicles, I pulled branches and rocks scattered on the road, thinking that a car or truck could "pinch" some debris with a tire and shoot it off the road into the rescuers or the already injured. Vehicles began slowing down some, looking at the wrecked tractor and 2 trailers in the trees off to the Burney Falls side of the highway. By this time another SUV had stopped on the North bound side of the highway and a woman came over to the crash site, with more blankets and water, attempting to get the injured driver calmed down and warmed up. The light rain falling at the time was actually soaking everyone there, so one by one, we returned to our vehicles and got coats on. Another call on .52, “in the blind” now, with no response. About 25 minutes after I stopped, the first CHP officer arrived; eventually, a CDF rig, several ambulances and another CHP showed up. As there was very limited room along the highway for rescue vehicles to park, I asked the second CHP officer if I could stand down and leave, to allow more room for the EMS folks to park; he agreed and said I could go. I proceeded south on Hwy 89.

With my radio still quiet, I pulled over and made some notes on the incident. Back on the road, a few miles passed the Cassel turnoff, I heard my call sign on 52. I pulled over and responded to John WB6WZF, who told me he’d heard my call and had responded, which I did not hear. He went on to say he had also monitored his scanner and realized help was indeed on the way. We chatted a few minutes and he said he was e-mailing me info on a local repeater in that highway corridor that most likely I could have used on this incident. I checked that e-mail on my return to Quincy and entered that repeater into my radios. Thank You WB6WZF for being there!

Here’s the “take-away”: Just because you don’t hear a response on the radio, report the Incident as best you can. Rinse and Repeat. There may be someone out there monitoring that can pass on your traffic. As a footnote, I developed an Incident Report form a few years ago, which I keep copies of in my truck. If you’d like a copy, I can send you one you can use or modify to fit your needs. It’s also on the SACARES website.

73 de KI6YUK Larry Trotter Plumas County ARES EC

Robert Rentz (foreground) and Daniel Shelsta, both of Paradise, are members of the Golden Empire Amateur Radio Society and were handling communications for the Red Cross Golden Empire ARS & Butte County Radio Amateurs' Media Hit in Chico Enterprise-Record 
Posted November 6, 2017

Robert Rentz, KK6WUG, (foreground) and Daniel Shelsta, N6APX, both of Paradise, are members of the Golden Empire Amateur Radio Society and were handling communications for the Red Cross Thursday at the evacuation center for the Cherokee and La Porte Fires at the Church of the Nazarene in Oroville. The group will be having a youth-oriented workshop Saturday at the Gateway Science Museum in Chico. Contributed photo by Kris Koenig, KKØNIG

Read the full story 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

Skywarn Recognition Day December 1-2 - Skywarn Recognition Day
Posted November 18, 2017

The annual SKYWARN Recognition Day (SRD) Event will be held on December 1 from 00z-24z (Friday 4 PM PST to Saturday 4 PM PST). SKYWARN Recognition Day was developed in 1999 by the National Weather Service and the American Radio Relay League. It celebrates the contributions that SKYWARN volunteers make to the NWS mission: the protection of life and property. Amateur Radio operators comprise a large percentage of the SKYWARN volunteers across the country. During this 24 hour event, licensed Amateur Radio operators are welcome to visit our NWS office and make contacts using our station, WX6NWS. We will be operating on 40-10 Meters on SSB, and 2 Meters and 70 cm on FM. We will also be operating on IRLP Node 9252 and Echolink *SKY_GATE* and *WX_TALK* (where we will be responsible for running the net from 2300-2400 hrs). Over 100 NWS stations across the country are expected to take part in the event again this year. Additional information about SRD, operating procedures, and participating offices can be found online at

  NWS Sacramento We are currently planning on operating from 00z to 06z (4 PM to 10 PM PST Friday) and 16z to 24z (9 AM to 4 PM PST Saturday). We will be setting up equipment in our conference room and operating there. Those interested in operating, observing, or assisting with setup (usually starts around 2 PM Friday) and take down (after 4 PM Saturday) are welcome. We are also looking for experienced Echolink operators who have their own equipment (i.e., laptop and internet access) who would be interested in making contacts on Echolink and/or running our portion of the WX_TALK net from 3 PM to 4 PM Saturday. Also, if you would like to bring and operate your own equipment from our outside parking area, let us know (you will need generators or operate from your mobile setup).

We are looking forward to another great event and hope you can join us. Please respond back via email to if interested, and feel free to forward this information to others you think may be interested.

December 9 - Sacramento County ARES Training
Posted November 27, 2017

The next Sacramento County ARES training and meeting is scheduled for Saturday December 9, 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

Redding Veterans Home Redding Veterans Home to Receive Amateur Radio Station
Posted November 27, 2017

Members of the Redding ARRL VE Team and the Redding Old Timers’ group have received permission to move forward to design and install an amateur radio station at the Redding Veterans Home. The station is likely to have HF, VHF and UHF capabilities. Currently, there are five licensed amateur radio operators living at the facility and two more residents are studying to obtain their Technician Class licenses.

73, Steve, K6KS

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

Shriners Hospital School Update from Duane Wyatt, WAØMJD
Posted November 27, 2017

Amateur Radio Program for the Shriner's Hospital School

A joint project of Shriners Hospitals for Children and the Sacramento City Unified School District, the on-site Northern California Shriners Hospital School provides bilingual education for preschool through 12th grade. Special programs include vocational education and school re-entry programs for rehabilitation patients.

Shriners Hospital School The administrator and teachers at the Northern California Shriner's Hospital School are interested in starting an amateur radio program for their patients/students.  Duane Wyatt, WAØMJD, has secured some Morse equipment and an Alinco VHF handheld radio for the program and is soliciting a donated HF station (transceiver, microphone, power supply and antenna).

Please contact Duane at if you or your club can assist or would like to collaborate with him and the school staff in setting up and conducting this youth outreach project.

Duane Wyatt, WAØMJD,

Editor's note - The November 22 TWiT Ham Nation webcast featured an inspiring video story on Jim Mayercak's success at the Dresden Elementary Amateur Radio Station, KD8NOM.  See

Youngsters on the Air 2017 December is Youngsters on the Air Month
Posted November 27, 2017

December YOTA Month 2017 registration started!

The entire month of December several youngsters will become active with YOTA as suffix in the callsign. The idea for this is to show the amateur radio hobby to youth and to encourage youngsters to be active on the ham radio waves.

Give a demonstration in a school or local club, gather together with your friends, grab a pizza and make some QSOs or enjoy a great pile-up. Let us all show this great hobby to the world!

Feel free to make a QSO with the youngsters, they are happy to get some attention and exchange information. Licensed and unlicensed youth will be making QSOs, be aware this could be their first radio contact ever and give them a chance to experience a possible new hobby.

Winter is coming to the northern hemisphere, summer is starting in the southern part. Which means it’s time again for December YOTA month! We encourage you all to take part using a callsign with YOTA in suffix. The idea is to show the amateur radio hobby to youth and to encourage youngsters to become active on the ham radio waves. Do you want to participate? Register here for YOTA Month 2017.  

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 the Amateur 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:

Editor's Note - Jim Aspinwall, NO1PC, has posted comments on AB-1222 on

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 - December 2017

Mount Shasta ARC Update from Mount Shasta ARC - pending
Posted November 4, 2017

Winter is coming and with it, the activity level of the club is changing. Fortunately, the club will be remaining as active through the winter months as it did through the summer, but we will be spending most of our time sitting down now, instead of out supporting community organizations. At some point during the summer, every member of MSARC was involved with a public service event and many laughs were exchanged, so we are now looking forward to sharing our laughs and fellowship indoors at events such as our swap meet and holiday party.

The club hosts a weekly net on the Grey Butte repeater (440.275, thanks Ken, W6YOP) each Wednesday at 1900 PT. We'd love to hear you check in!

The Swap Meet/Cook-Out was held on October 28, 2017. Look for a further report on how things went next month.

Please make plans to attend our annual Winter Holiday Party will be at the clubhouse (329 N. Washington Dr. Mt. Shasta, CA) on December 20.2017 at 1800 PST. The Holiday Party is potluck, with a game and door prizes. All hams are welcome and the cost to get in the door is a dish to share.

On a final note, Mark (AB2LI) has developed a partnership between the club and Sisson Elementary School to allow the club to sponsor a class at the school which will teach basic RF theory and provide hands-on projects for the students. The final exam will be the licensing test.A special thanks must go to Dennis (NR6J) who has pledged a new HT to each student who successfully passes the licensing exam. So far, we have 13 students in the class! Stay tuned for more reports on how the kids are doing.<

Submitted by Mark Dibelka, AB2LI

El Dorado County ARC Update from El Dorado County ARC
Posted November 20, 2017


The turnout for our October meeting was great! There were two presentations on the topic of Software Defined Radio. One presented by our VP, Jay (KE6GLA) and one by myself. Judging by the questions from those in attendance, I’d say both talks generated quite a bit of interest!

Our November meeting, as mentioned last month, will be one week early, so as not to interfere with the Thanksgiving holiday. We will meet at the same location on the third week of November. During this meeting, we will be voting for new officers and board members for 2018 and I encourage you all to attend and throw your name into the hat to serve for a year. It can be quite rewarding!

As the weather cools and we head for winter, more of us will have time to spend at ‘the bench’. Please let a club officer, or board member, know if you’re working on a project that could be of interest to the general membership. We’ll happily make some time for you!

See you at the November meeting!

73, Michael, K6MLE Newsletter


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

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE p>Seasons Greetings, fellow RCARCS members. As we wind down 2017, I was thinking about what to write as the last column of my tenure. Over the year the board and elected officers have worked on presenting talks and activities to promote amateur radio. This year, they have developed two new ideas that to my knowledge have not been tried before: "Elmer Night" and "Home Brew Night". Each of these ideas was presented as a separate theme for a month general meeting. What was significant about these ideal was they served as a spring boards for future events.

"Elmer Night" was January's general meeting theme. It consisted of four topics of interest to some club members: antennas; sound card applications; programming radios; and, general electronic topics.

Some members were surprised at the meeting as they found the tables rearranged for discussions, instead of the normal configuration used for presentations. The idea was foreign but in the end, I think many took advantage of the resources to fill in missing knowledge. I hope we will continue this theme in 2018.

The other, "Home Brew Night", was the theme of September's general meeting, allowing members to hear and see what other members were doing in amateur radio. The presentations covered a wide range of topics from hardware to software radio applications. Preparation for this event was not an overnight task but months of work, driven by member's passion for amateur radio. Hopefully this has stirred the minds of other members to start "tinkering" with equipment and ideas. Again, I hope to see this in 2018. It has been noticed by board members that new members are having a difficult time getting started with amateur radio. How to help new members is an uncertain task as the problems vary from "mike fright" to “how to solder". Unlike the Novice License days of my time, where you learned how to load up your CW transmitter on various antennas and tried to get QSL cards from as many states as you could during your 1 year license period, things are different now. With only 12 meetings and a couple extra events each year, there's not a lot of time to resolve these problems. The board is thinking on ways to do a one-on-one Elmering. I'm not sure how this will develop, but it's something that needs to be done.

In closing, I give my thanks to all the board member for being different this year in developing major ways of improving the club's growth; To Marie Martin for being our club hostess; To Ken Martin (KE6RMN) for being our publication editor; To Phil Sittner (KD6RM) for being Treasurer and staying on top of all the registrations and behind the scene things he takes care of; To Paul McIntyre (KC5JAX) for backing me up and taking care of Wednesday's Net; To Gert Thompson (KK6ZGA) for taking notes as club's secretary; To those members who take care of the N6NA repeater and quietly keep it running; to all the volunteers who serve as net control operators and to our new president, Dave Martin (WB6YLK) - hang in there Dave, it's an adventure. Hope to see everyone at the Christmas Party, Tuesday, December 5th, Sam's Hof Brau.

73, Ed Siegner, WA6QYO Newsletter

Yuba Sutter ARC Update from Yuba-Sutter ARC
Posted December 1, 2017


When you’re on the road what frequency do you have your rig tuned to? Probably like me you keep it tuned to the local repeater so that you can talk to your friends if they’re on the air. What about when you leave the area though or it’s late at night and no one seems to be out there on your normal stomping grounds? I hope you’ve got some other local frequencies programmed onto your rig and routinely scan those in these circumstances. You’ll be giving yourself a chance to expand your contacts and make new friends. I recently found myself in those situations and was glad to have the extra frequencies programmed onto my mobile. I made a trip to Fairfield a week or so ago and was having a nice conversation with Doug/KD6LOK when I lost the signal because of the Coastal Range. Having nothing else to do except drive I set my rig to scan and eventually picked up a conversation between some hams in Fair Oaks, Elk Grove and Woodland about a project that one of them was coordinating to assemble a rig for another ham living in an assisted living facility. I didn’t join in but enjoyed listening to this group of hams, some of whom were unknown to the others, working together to aid a fellow ham. A couple of days later I turned on my radio to go home and caught the call sign of one of those hams, Mal/KM6MFP, who was on our repeater testing out an antenna he was building for this project. I answered him and we had a nice conversation about how I had heard them discussing this the other day and was glad to have the chance to talk to him. He was with another of the hams who was on that original conversation. Even though they had never met before they were together in Mal’s workshop collaborating on building this piece for the project. Yet a couple of days later I was heading for Santa Rosa for Thanksgiving, again with my mobile on scan, when I heard Mal’s call sign for the third time in a week. I took the time to have another pleasant conversation with him before I lost the signal. We might not talk again for a long while but have got another friend out there because of scanning frequencies other than our own. I also made another acquaintance the other night, Brett/N6VIA, when I switched to another frequency during a very late night’s drive and just asked if anyone was on the frequency. Apparently I had gotten onto the Sacramento Sheriff’s Amateur Radio Program repeater and he was over in Jackson that evening. We didn’t have a long chat but it was nice to have a friendly conversation and meet yet another ham during that long, dark night.

Because of our hobby we have a unique avenue to make new and interesting acquaintances in varied and sometimes far-flung locations. I’m getting more bold in getting out onto other frequencies when the opportunity arises and have always been glad that I reached out. I hope you’ll take the opportunity, especially the new hams, to make new friends and give them the opportunity to get to know you also.

73s and a great Christmas season to you all, Chris/KK6VZD


The party will be at the 1st United Methodist Church at 730 D Street, Marysville. That is at 8th and D Streets. We will be using Pioneer Hall, which is in the back. There will be a couple of door prizes so bring your tickets. There will also be tickets sold for drawings for other related items. There will something for all groups including the kids. Doors will open at 6 PM.

The caterers will arrive and set everything up. Porky's BBQ will be serving chicken, pulled pork, baked beans, coleslaw, rolls, and green salad with a choice of either ranch or Italian dressing.

Dinner tickets for Adults are $15 each, $8 for kids 6 to 11 years and under 6 are free.

Joe Visalli, N9BD


✓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 or


On page 9 of the Oct VHN under VE Test Session the date should be 4 Nov instead of 2 Nov. My apologies for the error and thanks to Bob (N6BOB) for catching the error. Curtis R. Sylvester-Jose


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

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

As the Holidays are here and there is cyber everything, thoughts turn to new Ham Gear, working SK night, and enjoying time with family and friends. SFARC wishes everyone a great Holiday Season!

VE – First Saturday each Month 8am at Raley’s Granite Bay. See website for more.

Club Christmas Party - December 9th at Auburn VFW. Members only.

Elections results for 2018 Officers and Directors: President: Orion-AI6JB (Incumbent); Vice President: Mike-KK6GLP (Incumbent); Secretary: Bruce-K6BAA (Incumbent); Treasurer: Sharron-KK6RGV (Incumbent); Director: Greg-KO6TH (Hold over position); Director: Brian-AI6US (Elected two years); and, Director: Mark-W8BIT (Elected one year).

Repeaters - Birton, N6UG advised a 440 preamp was replaced.

Hamfest 2018 – March 17th Historic Loomis Train Depot Plaza. Orion, AI6JB is the Hamfest 2018 Chairperson this year. Already planning, approved as a sanctioned ARRL Hamfest and we are working on some fabulous prizes. Check the website for more.

SFARC Activities - The Club Net meets every Thursday at 7:30pm, Elmer Net meets the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at 7:30pm.Board and General Meetings occur on the 2nd Friday, Board meeting is held at Sizzler Restaurant in Auburn, and General meetings at 7:30pm at Auburn City Hall everyone is welcome. The Club breakfast is held on the last Saturday at Mel’s Diner in Auburn.

73, Carl, WF6J, PIO

Elk Grove-Florin ARC Update from Elk Grove-Florin ARC - pending
Posted November 18, 2017

Elk Grove-Florin ARC—Section News –November 18, 2017

Our General Meeting in November was the Annual Meeting required by our by-laws. We had our election of officers to manage the club affairs for the calendar year 2018. The officers for 2018 are: President: Chris Lay, KG6JFO; Vice President: Mark Flint, KK6YFV; Secretary: Mary Frederici, KI6YPQ; Treasurer: Cindy Gansereit, KM6BUY; Member at Large: Dave Reingold, KK6MVJ

We thank our 2018 officers for the time and service will give in leading our club and look forward to an exciting year.

Following the election Dave, KK6MVJ, presented an excellent slide show talk about his trip to Oregon for the Solar Eclipse in October. Thank You Dave!

Club members and their families will end 2017 with a Christmas Party including lots of food, fellowship and a slideshow summary of the year.

Happy Holidays!, Paul N6DRY

Oroville ARS Update from Oroville ARS
Posted December 1, 2017

Greetings from Oroville

The OARS website is back online, as for the time being while awaiting the opportunity to retrieve the .org URL. Webmaster Erik, AF6EF,gave a full status report on the site at the club's November meeting on the10th. Additional agenda at OARS' monthly meeting included comm support for the Veterans Day Parade taking place the following day, planned communications support for the Parade of Lights in downtown Oroville on 9 December, the club's Christmas dinner to be held on 16 December at Hof Brau (RSVP Marilyn, KK6GNL), and nominations for the club's 2018 officers.

The OARS participation in the Veterans Day Parade, coordinated by Ron,KD7UHF, went as planned with Gerry, N6GCV, Gary, KF6EWO, Terry, KB6TR,Bennett, K6CEL, Joe, WA6CAL, Bill, AG6ZT and this writer at locations along the parade route.

The EchoLink node for the OARS repeater has been (finally) restored to proper operation. The node for the repeater (146.655 MHz, - offset, 136.5Hz tone) is now W6AF-R (Node 860085). The repeater itself was reconfigured on 25 November by Josh, K6ZRX and Reid, W6MTF, who came to Oroville for that purpose. The OARS Sunday Night Net meets at 2000 local time on this repeater; it's conducted in a roundtable format, but can handle NTS traffic if necessary.

Earlier in the day on the 25th, the OARS Monthly Breakfast took place at the Waffle Shop with 20 in attendance.

OARS' next monthly meeting will be 8 December 2017, 7 pm, at St. Paul' s Parish Hall in Oroville. The scheduled program is to be presented by Gerry,N6GCV, on the subject of D-Star.

73, Jim, W7XZ

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

Our meeting this month is Wednesday, November 8th. 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.

This month we will go back to the TXfactor videos. This time we will air the first half of TXfactor Episode #18 about working Earth-Moon-Earth (EME) using Goonhilly Antenna #6, a gigantic dish engineered by Marconi Communications Systems Ltd. for British Telecom International in 1984.

The 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 to attend.

North Hills RC Update from North Hills RC - pending
Posted November 16, 2017

The North Hills Radio Club will be holding our final meeting for the year on Tuesday evening, November 21.

The meeting will be held at the former SMUD building, located at 5026 Don Julio Boulevard, at the northeast corner of Elkhorn and Don Julio boulevards in Sacramento.

The board meeting will begin shortly after 6:00 P.M. and all NHRC members are welcomed to sit in. The general meeting will begin at 7:30.

We will elect a slate of officers who will serve us during the upcoming year of 2018. Kaayla, KA6YLA, Doug, N6NFF, Aaron, K6ABJ and Bill, K6WLM have agreed to run for another term. They are running un-opposed.

The evening program will be presented by our repeater trustee, Ryan Larkin, W6RNL. Ryan will present a program on our K6IS repeater, with special emphasis on the Echolink IRLP node which is connected to our repeater.

Please remember that all meetings of the NHRC are held at our site on the third Thursday of the month, January through November. Watch out for an announcement about the club's annual Christmas dinner coming up in December.

We look forward to seeing all of you at our November meeting and thank you for coming to all of our meetings during the year, as well as our Hamfest this past May.

All meetings of the NHRC are open to the general public. See you at the meeting!

Sincerely yours, Doug Emerson, Vice President, North Hills Amateur Radio Club. Amateur callsign N6NFF.

Nevada County ARC Update from Nevada County ARC - pending
Posted November 6, 2017

Next Meeting: Monday, November 13, 2017, doors open 6:30pm, meeting at 7pm.

NOVEMBER MEETING - Election time!

We will be selecting a new leadership slate for the club. Please come prepared to serve and help our club continue to be the great place that we all enjoy!

Also have a look at and buy tickets for the Yaesu digital HT that is the drawing prize for the December meeting, and hear the latest on our plans for our annual holiday dinner.


No official business was conducted at the October meeting. 21 Attendees

Mark Graybill, W8BIT, nominated himself for the position of club secretary for the Novement meeting elections, and agreed to serve as secretary pro-tem until the invocation of the new officers.

Ike, KI6IUI, reported that he made his first HF contacts during the California QSO party on Oct. 7th at Cal, AI6MC's mobile station set up along Hwy 20. We all wish him well in his further operations. As Obi-Wan says, "You have taken your first step into a larger world."

Other members reported on their operations over the prior month, including antenna snafus from Peter, N6ERL and Cal, AI6MC. Ray, K6YIN, inquired about antennas for QRP 40m ops, and received what may have been more advice than is actually useful, but was very polite about it.

John, KE6FIQ, had photographs of the McCourtney fire published in The Union.

Members were asked to consider their ability to serve as officers of the club for the upcoming year. Elections will be held in November, and any nominees can expect to count on the support of their fellow club members in taking on their duties.

Respectfully submitted by secretary pro-tem Mark Graybill, W8BIT

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 - pending
Posted November 4, 2017


At our November meeting, we will be discussing ARRL news and the Bug Roundup event. We will also have a presentation on the proper use of RF Gain and NR as it pertains to a DSP Radio. (The program notes are in the November newsletter).  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.

  Telegraph Bug Announcing W6SFM's BUG ROUNDUP - November 17-19

The Samuel F. Morse Amateur Radio Club, a Sacramento, California based CW enthusiast club wanted a special time to bring bug operators together on the air. In the same spirit as ARRL's Straight Key Night, participants are encouraged to make simple, conversational, “chewing-the-fat” QSOs using their bug type key. This is an opportunity to exercise, share and exhibit your personalized fist. This is NOT a contest. However, there is a very easy and quick required signup form found at Once you are registered for the event simply Call "CQ BR" so folks know you are a Bug Roundup Participant. So lets grab that bug, clean those contacts, and let’er fly! We want to hear that “Banana Boat / Lake Erie Swing" or that commercial KPH/WCC quality fist.

Reserve the date! The event begins on Friday November 17th (00:00 UTC) and concludes Sunday Nov. 19th (23:59 UTC), 2017, that's 4:00 PM Friday evening until 3:59 PM Pacific Time (LOCAL)

For more information, to register your station, and to help assist in spotting, potentially increasing QSOs, an On-line chat window link can be found near the bottom of Bug Roundup home page located at We hope to hear you all on the air! 73,--W6SFM


The W6SFM Samuel F Morse Radio Club October meeting was called to order by club President Mike, N6MQL on October 5th at the Carmichael Presbyterian Church in Carmichael CA, with 12 members and 2 guest in attendance.

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.

The W6SFM was once again represented at the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America Eternal Flame Ceremony (flag retirement). The W6SFM provides the scouts with an opportunity to see and operate a Morse Code radio station. Club President Mike, N6MQL and Vice-President John WB6UBK both participated at this year’s event.

The W6SFM participated in the California QSO Party, hosted by Mike, N6MQL in Carmichael. As the main station Operating 8 hours, W6SFM logged 158 contacts. More contacts could have been made, but the club uses these events as a way to have club members get together in order to build member comradery and not necessarily to focus on the contest score itself. For the first time the CQP contest was open to members of the club within a 175-mile radius of Carmichael

For the main presentation, Mike, N6MQL gave a talk on basic antenna design.

For show and tell, Bob, WA6NEA showed his 2 element 6-meter quad antenna to the group.

Mike, N6MQL brought with him some patches that he was presented at the Boy and Girl Scouts of America Eternal Flame ceremony discussed earlier. The patches represent the different years of the Eternal Flame event as they were handed out to scouts and their leaders that attended those previous events. The patches are hung around the button of the scout’s breast pocket. The patches were presented to member Carol, KP4MD as a gift for her efforts at coordinating between the club and the scouts for this event each year.

Our next SFM ARC in-person meeting will be held at its normal time and location Nov. 2nd (followed by our Dec. 7th 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 November meeting, we will be discussing ARRL news and the Bug Roundup event. We will also have a presentation on the proper use of RF Gain and NR as it pertains to a DSP Radio. 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.

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 in the menu at the top of our website. You do not need to have a YouTube account to access the feed. However, you will to subscribe to our channel. Those visiting viewing can chat with others watching on-line as well. This of course is not mandatory, but rather just a way of making everyone feel more involved in our on-air nets. If you like, you can “checkin” using the chat window and you will be included with our On-Air Net log. Simply announce your call letters in the chat window.

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 knows and uses 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! Thank You -- Chris AI6U (SFMARC Secretary)


Samuel F Morse ARC Field Day Photos

Western Placer ARC Update from Western Placer ARC - pending
Posted November 6, 2017

Greetings from the Western Placer Amateur Radio Club:

Our Next Club Meetings are Nov. 21, 2017. 5:45 : Board Meeting, 7:00 : Members Meeting
New Meeting Location: Round Table Pizza, 1020 Pleasant Grove Blvd #170, Roseville CA
Scheduled Speaker and Topic: 2018 Club Officer Nominations
Club Meeting Location: WPARC conducts board and member meetings on third Tuesdays of each month. Members and guests with business to bring before the board are welcome to attend board meetings. Join us at Round Table Pizza, 1020 Pleasant Grove Blvd #170, Roseville. This location faces Roseville Parkway at the northeast corner of the complex. View map and directions in link above. Come out to enjoy some camaraderie, food, beverage, and tales of the radios! Round Table offers a pizza and salad bar buffet dinner on Tuesday evenings for about $10/person.

WPARC Repeater New Tone 67.0 Hz Our old subaudible tone of 179.9 Hz was becoming audible on newer radios presenting a hum. On Friday October 27 a team treked up to the repeater to change the tone from 179.9 Hz to 67.0 Hz. Ensure that you change all of your radios to use the new PL tone. The old tone won't be recognized by the repeater.

WPARC Repeater Abuses. Repeater Trustee Michael K6BUK received comments on a few repeater users abusing repeater etiquette. Please review Ethics and Operating Procedure for the Radio Amateur as a refresher.

Ham Radio License/Volunteer Examiner (VE) Tests (New Day and Location). WPARC is now offering VE testing on the first Wednesday of each month. Chuck KK6DOA will be managing the program. The location will be at the Round Table Pizza, 1020 Pleasant Grove Blvd #170, Roseville CA. This is the same location

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Sacramento Valley Officials