ARRL SACRAMENTO VALLEY SECTION NEWS: MARCH 2014
SAD NEWS: Richard V. Cloyd, WO6P, 76, SK. Richard served as our Section Emergency Coordinator, from 2006 to 2009. Most recently he resided in Shingletown, served as Assistant Section Manager and was an active member of Shasta Tehama ARES, and the Amateur Radio Club of Anderson. He passed away at the Windsor Redding Care Center on March 20. Richard served in the U.S. Navy and retired to an active amateur radio career. We will miss him.
From the W6SFM SFM ARC:
The W6SFM Samuel F. Morse ARC would like to welcome our 3 newest members. Eddy K6SDW of Rio Linda joining in February. Glenn WA7SPY of Sacramento and Kevin W6KN from Bishop CA. Both Joining the SFM ARC in the month of March. Welcome aboard to all 3! As a reminder, All members of the SFM ARC receive a W6SFM.COM email addresses and personal Member webpage where they can proudly display their bios to the public. We encourage our members to post news, photos and other information about themselves as well as their hobbies. Feel free to visit the W6SFM.com web site members section to see more on our members personal WebPages.
Reports of our January in-person meeting: At our last W6SFM meeting we once again received 1 new visitor with interest in RTTY & CW operations.
Topics of Discussion at the meeting were the purposed SFM ARC beginners Morse Code class. This will be approximately a 10 week, 1 hour per week course where the basics of Morse code and sending on a straight key will be taught. At this time we have not solidified the class schedule (time and dates). We are however taking names and email addresses of those that are interested in attending this hands on instructional class when it begins. To let us know you’re interested please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and call letters (if any) indicating your desire to learn more about the class.
Another topic of discussion is the planning of the upcoming W6SFM “Bug Night” or Bug Round up. This will be an afternoon/evening event where Ham Radio operators around the globe are invited to get on the air with their mechanical Bug Keys and enjoy working each other . More information on this event will be released on the Section news as well as QST and other publications. A nominal prize will be offered to the winner(s) of this event. Keep an eye out for that.
As a last bit of information, it was decided that this upcoming meeting April 3rd the club members will all take part in constructing 1 of 5 new Band Pass Filters to be used on 1 of 2 stations in our next Field Day event. Members will gather at the last hour of our meeting to follow instructions and construct a Band Pass filter to it’s completion. The other 4 Band Pass Filters will be completed on a weekend date to be determined. If you would like to join us for the build please feel free to stop in and enjoy our in-person meeting. You do not have to be a member of the SFM ARC to join us for our meetings, please feel free to pop in. More information on the meetings can be found below.
SAVE THE DATE Be sure to keep April 26, 2014 open for our club’s upcoming PR event. The SFM ARC is once again proud to participate in this years award winning Kid's Day in the Park event, Rancho Cordova. The Kid's Day in the park program is sponsored by the Family Support Services and the Rancho Cordova Police department. This event is a great opportunity for W6SFM to meet and greet people while doing some needed outreach to Kids and the general public on Ham Radio and the use of CW. The club will require as many as possible to help with this much needed program. If you feel this is something you would like to be a part of, please contact Mike N6MQL by email at email@example.com to let him know you are interested.
Each Tuesday of the week 8:00 PM on 7.110 MHz the SFM ARC enjoys getting on the air with CW for our weekly Nets. You do NOT need to be a member of the SFM ARC to check into our nets. Although our nets usually run around 13 wpm code, we are all happy to accommodate those that are slower and need us to oblige. If you are unable to copy Morse Code or need some code practice please feel free to visit our on-line LIVE streaming broadcast of both the Audio and a CW to Text decoding of the meeting. That link can be found on our home page of the website.
Those visiting the on-line site are welcome to make themselves known by using the ‘contact us’ link to let the net op know you are there. This of course is not mandatory, it just lets everyone feel more involved in our on-air nets.
Do you or someone you know need a Ham Club to call home? For those that want to learn Morse Code, are interested in CW or already know and use it, the SFM ARC would love to be your new Club home. Our in-person meetings are held each 1st Thursday of the month at 7PM. The SFM ARC meets in the "Courtyard room" of the Carmichael Presbyterian Church in Carmichael, CA. The church is Located at 5645 Marconi Ave. For directions to the meeting visit our clubs home webpage www.w6sfm.com. Please use the rear parking lot and entry for best access to the meeting. A map and directions can also be found on the website.
We hope to see you at our next meeting! 73,
W6SFM Club President 2014
Note: Michael, N6MQL, invites questions and discussions regarding any aspect of CW operations, including equipment and procedures. Just contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gary, WA6TQJ, sends along the following from Yolo Amateur Radio Society:
The following describes a presentation made at our April 1st YARS meeting.
Alexandria Lasswell, a 10 year old electronics experimenter, described her
work on fabricating radio receivers to the members of the Yolo Amateur Radio Society . She
explained how she selected and assembled components for a crystal set. After a number
of attempts to wind coils and fabricate capacitors, she stated she could not hear
any radio stations, but could hear the fluorescent lights in her room. She stated that
the subject of electronics was really interesting and noted that not all experimenters
are successful in their first attempts. In the question and answer session that followed
her presentation, she was asked what she might do for a career. She stated that
her interests were in Veterinary Medicine. A number of club members suggested
that she obtain her amateur radio license. One of the members, Dr. Ben Norman, DVM,
suggested that she continue her electronics experimenting, and noted that the physics and
chemistry elements of her experimenting would provide a valuable background as
she went through the pre-veterinary courses at UC Davis.
On March 15th Yuba Sutter ARES participated in the Sacramento Valley Call out drill. We used a new bulk email method for contacting members. It was a successful drill with 10 members checking in ready for deployment and 3 Non members that were put on stand by. Thank you all for your participation and look forward to the next drill.
Sheila, KA7AJQ, our Alpine County Emergency Coordinator, reports:
“CART/Alpine County members discussed mapping and location coordinates reporting at our monthly meeting. With our GPS devices, we should use the preferred reporting method of decimal degrees for the Douglas County 911 system because it goes directly into CAD. Other reporting options require a conversion process which loses some time.
We are trying one of our preferred Alpine County coverage repeaters for our weekly nets, the 146.655 pl 131.8 located on Leviathan Peak.
Sheila Clement, KA7AJQ
Alpine County ARES Emergency Coordinator
ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Technical Coordinator, VHF Award Manager, and HF Award Manager Bob, WB6VYH, reminds us he can count cards you have for VUCC and WAS, but not DXCC yet. To get the process started, contact Bob at email@example.com . He did a great job for me and now I have both the satellite WAS and VUCC (269 grid squares) on my wall.
Richard, K6TM, our Nevada County EC, reports:
We had a short mini-drill on March 15th that was designed as a mutual-aid exercise centered on Placer County. From all accounts, the drill was quite successful overall. A total of 6 members from Nevada County participated. I tried out my packet station sending spreadsheet like data using Outpost and was very pleased with the results. Outpost is an excellent and easy to learn program that allows hams who are not that familiar with packet to still use it.
We added a new member to our group, Alan KZ6B, which brings us to a total of 15 members. Alan served in the Air Force until 1969 and was first licensed in 1978. Like many of us, he had to put ham radio on hold while raising his young family and got re-licensed in 2013. Alan worked for over 35 years with the U.S. Forest Service.
I also went to a Red Cross meeting on March 25th in Auburn that discussed how the Red Cross and Hams could work more closely together in disasters. Also became familiar with some of the Red Cross terminology and how they deploy personnel during disasters. More discussions with the Red Cross throughout the section are expected to take place.
April 12th is the next scheduled meeting for the section and there is the upcoming drill on April 26th that is an active shooter scenario at Colfax high school. (Date is in question as we put this together.)
Dave, NO6NO, reports on the April 5 VE test session: " We served 21 Candidates and corrected 37 elements. We ended up with 11 new Techs, 5 new Generals & 1 new Extra.
The best thing about the session is we licensed 15 new Hams!"
Jim Linden, N7JIL, our Emergency Coordinator in Modoc County, reports:
“Our Modoc County ARES group is very alive and well. Jim/N6KMR has added 2 repeaters recently in our county which has helped immensely. We now have weekly nets and our monthly meetings are being well attended. Last month we got a MOU with the Modoc County Office Sheriff agreed upon and signed. We have another VE session planned in June in Alturas. Hats off to the Modoc hams!”
Mike, AG6IP, reports from his vacation spot in the Mediterranean:
“ ZC4MIS is on the air and is here for a long vacation visiting friends until late August. I will be operating 80-10 meter(SSB, Digital) I finally got my vertical up and had been hitting NA on digital. “ Mike is an active member of the Yuba Sutter ARC when not visiting his friends on Cyprus.
The Redding ARRL VE Team had another successful exam session in March. We had 4 candidates obtain their Technician class licenses. 2 candidates upgraded from Technician to General class. And, 2 candidates went from no licenses to General class licenses. Our next exams are scheduled for Friday May 16th and Saturday May 17th. For more information, go to www.reddingve.com or contact Steve K6KS at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Yuba Sutter ARC VE team, led by LeRoy, KJ6DKM, held an exam session March 8 in Yuba City. Two applicants, all that tested, both left with a General credit. One was an upgrade from Technician, and the other was unlicensed prior to the exam—zero to general in under an hour. Way to go, Roger Price. The next Yuba Sutter VE session is May 3, at 715 King Ave. in Yuba City, and starts at 9 AM.
Herb, W6HBU, completed his antenna farm with a W8AMZ end fed 80 meter sloper. Lee,KC6MCI and Ron, W6KJ helped put it up at Herb's Yuba City home, directly across the street from the VE test site.
From Tom, K5RC, in Nevada: The Comstock Memorial Station is representing Nevada in the ARRL Centennial Celebration by hosting W1AW/7 NV over two separate weeks. The first is coming up April 30 through May 6.
Ron, KJ6XI, ham radio coordinator for the National Pony Express Association Re-ride needs some help.
“The National Pony Express Association puts on the annual Reride that commemorates the original Pony Express of 1860-1861. The riders ride day and night just like the original Pony Express in 1860. This year the Reride will begin in Old Sacramento at 10AM on June 11 and will arrive in St.Joseph Missouri on June 21st. California has approximately 43 exchange points(where rider and horse exchange the mail pouch, "mochila"). Right now I have the lower portion of the valley up to Camino filled with hams who will be stationed at the various exchanges. I could use more hams up in the mountains in El Dorado County. The exchanges up there will be in the late night of June 11th, and early morning of the 12th. So , if anyone is interested to help recreate history please have them email me. In a way its funny that hams are helping because the original Pony Express was put out of business by Telegraph.” Contact Ron Norton at: email@example.com
The March meeting of Oroville Amateur Radio Society, (OARS) (http://w6af.org) took place on 14 March with twenty in attendance. Among the items discussed were two bicycling events
taking place in April. Gene, WA6ZRT, was on hand to discuss GEARS'
communications plans for The Wildflower Century, which will take place
on 27 April. Earlier in the month, Bike Around The Buttes is scheduled to
take place on 12 April with YSARC doing communications. Both clubs will be
delighted to hear from interested volunteers. The annual "moveable feast" known as the Steak Bake is to be hosted by OARS this year, probably in September. With GEARS planning a celebration of its 75th anniversary as a club at about that time of the year, there was discussion about the possibility of combining the two events. For the program, Larry, W6LAT, presented some short videos by W2AEW on the use of the oscilloscope.
The OARS Sunday Night Net on club's local repeater (146.655, -, 136.5 Hz)
has been reaching a dozen or more check-ins on occasions. Echolink, too,
has made some additional checkins from outside the coverage area possible.
The net is quite informal, but able to handle formal traffic, should the
occasion arise. One of W7XZ's personal agenda items for the net is to
create a script for prospective Net Control operators.
Congratulations are in order for Roger, K6CUA, now eligible for his first DXCC certificate, having attained 100 confirmed entities, with a couple to spare.
Dave, KK6JFN in Nevada City, (finally) received his Yaesu FT-897 on the
26th, and made his first all-RF QSO on the following day with cousin Jim,
W7XZ, on 2 meter FM via the Sutter Buttes repeater. His full quieting
signal through that machine indicates that his outside antenna installation
was properly done.
The OARS Monthly Breakfast of 29 March, the last Saturday of the month, had 25 in attendance, an excellent turnout for a rainy day in Oroville.
The April meeting of OARS will take place on the 11th, 7 pm at St. Paul's Parish Hall, 1430 Pine Street, in Oroville. The agenda is expected to include a final call for volunteers to participate in communications assistance for the two upcoming bicycle events in the area, and the Fiesta Days Parade in May. Also, with Field Day coming up, discussion is expected about options for a site.
Sacramento area ARES leadership is trying to find a date in April (April 12 in South Sacramento, at this time) for another meeting, but as Ralph, W6RWL, our District EC for the very active area east of Sacramento (District 5) points out:
WSER is June 28–29, 2014 (Operators Needed) WESTERN STATES ENDURACE RUN
TEVIS is August 9–10, 2014 (Operators Needed) WESTERN STATES TRAIL RIDE,
GCER is July 19, 2014 (Operators Needed)
I can use operators for all these events, let me know if your interested.
TARA Meeting in Tahoe April 12 is out
ARES MCI Event is April 26 is out
TARA Meeting on May 10 is out
Dayton Hamfest is May 16–19
Davis Double Century is May 17, 2014
NHRC Hamfest is May 18, 2014
Memorial Weekend is May 23–26
AMBBR Bike Ride, Tahoe, CA is June 1 (Operators Needed)
Pony Express Re-Ride is June 14, 2014.
This just in from Ralph, W6RWL: “I’ve been ask to help with another event this May 3, 2014. Only a 10 hour event from Foresthill to Deadwood and back. Using the Western States Trial thru FH, MB, ED DW and returning on the same course.
“I need operators for DW, ED, MB and Net Control at FH. We’ll us the Crossband for ED as in the WSER/TEVIS.
“If you’re available or know someone available, please also let me know about this event.
Ralph Lucas, W6RWL
and let me add,
Yuba Sutter ARC hosts a hamfest in Marysville, June 7 (first Saturday in June) at the Feather River Center, Parking Lot, 6000 Lindhurst Rd., this is south of the Yuba River just off highway 70. More information is available by contacting Larry Witcher, KE6LAW at: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.ysarc.org for club activities.
YSARC performed public service overwatch and SAG support for the Bike Around the Buttes event 12 April. KN6TED organized the project with help from about 20 members and helpers. This event takes place at Sutter, CA, on three separate courses which start and finish at the Sutter Youth Center at Butte House Road and Acacia Ave each year.
From the River City ARCS President:
Our March 4 meeting program featured a live demonstration of a $29 Arduino microcontroller as a self-contained Morse Code and radioteletype sender.
We plan to complete the band pass filter club construction project in time for the June 28-29 Field Day. We will build five filters--one each for 10, 15, 20, 40 and 80 meters. The parts lists and instructions are on http://www.n1nc.org/Filters/ The club has ordered the high voltage ceramic disc capacitors. The other materials we need are: five enclosures (recycled PC power supply cases), ten PL-259 connectors, ten SO-239 jacks, various lengths of 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch Schedule 40 PVC pipe and some 14 gauge solid insulated electric wire.
Please send an email to email@example.com if you would like to participate or contribute to this club project.
Several families have already signed up to attend our Annual club picnic at Lew Howard Park on Saturday, May 3 from 12 noon-4 pm.
On May 9 & 10 from 9 am - 3 pm Vince KI6NHP will bring the canopy, club banner and table for our booth at the Annual Rio Linda Farm & Tractor Days at Dry Creek Ranch. We need volunteers when you are available to answer questions about amateur radio and to operate the HF and 2 meter Amateur Radio station exhibit.
This year's June 28-29 Field Day event at the Dry Creek Ranch House is fast approaching. We need operators with and without equipment, loggers, food preparation and assistance with set up and tear down.
If you would like to attend any of these events, please sign the lists at our meeting or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the number in your party.
Remember to join us this coming Tuesday, April 1 at 7:30 pm at the Sacramento County Corp. Yard at 5026 Don Julio Blvd for refreshments and great company. Visitors are always welcome!
See you there!
73, Carol Milazzo, KP4MD
President, River City ARCS
From Michael, K6BUK, and the Western Placer ARC:
"With all the wild weather we have seen in the past week or two, I thought it might be useful to have the NWS NOAA frequencies programmed in all my radios. Some radios come preprogrammed with the NOAA frequencies such as my Kenwood TH-F6a and Icom IC-208H. However, my new Baofeng UV-6b didn't come preprogrammed. That radio is not the most user friendly to program by the keypad but is very easy with the free software. The $10 cable I bought on eBay about 8 years ago for my Kenwood works just fine with the Baofeng and it took less than 5 minutes to add the NOAA frequencies. I did find one oddity with the Baofeng software - you have to program the memories sequentially. I wanted to put the NOAA frequencies in a group at the end of the memory but you can't go out of order. That also makes it a pain if you want to group repeaters for different areas. I always leave blank memories between groups in case another repeater is added in an area but can't with the free software. I might give Chirp a try for programming the radio. Has anyone tried the RT Systems software? Let me know. Anyway, enough of that. I looked up the NOAA frequencies and thought I would add them to this newsletter. Here they are:
1 – 162.400 MHz
2 – 162.425 MHz
3 – 162.450 MHz
4 – 162.475 MHz
5 – 162.500 MHz
6 – 162.525 MHz
7 – 162.550 MHz
Placer County uses channel 1. If you are in a different county you can find your channel at: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/nwrbro.htm.
When discussing Field Day we need to remember the purpose of Field Day. From the ARRL website:
To work as many stations as possible on any and all amateur bands (excluding the 60, 30, 17, and 12-meter bands) and to learn to operate in abnormal situations in less than optimal conditions. Field Day is open to all amateurs in the areas covered by the ARRL/RAC Field Organizations and countries within IARU Region 2. DX stations residing in other regions may be contacted for credit, but are not eligible to submit entries.
Field Day is the 28 & 29th of June this year. More information is available at http://www.arrl.org/field-day. The FD t-shirts are nice looking this year and I plan to buy one for myself (they are 100% cotton). They are $12.95 but the shipping is also $12.95. However, if we order more than $50 the shipping for the whole order is $12.95. If anyone is interested we can put in a club order for a big savings on shipping. Let me know if you want to join in an order. The shirts are available starting early April but you can order now. They sell out really fast so let me know as soon as you can. If you want to order some other FD merchandise or one of the ARRL's great books we can put it in the order too. The more we order the more we save.
Clay K6AEP brought up a great planning idea for FD. We are going to study propagation for a few weeks before FD and during the event so we know which bands are open. It is a simple idea that we all wish we had thought of and wonder why we didn't. It will make working the bands a lot easier!
We have another exciting plan for Field Day and it is one that I think will be a first for any FD ever. Clay K6AEP will have a new Flex Radio 6700 at the site. The Flex 6700 has the power of an early Cray computer (the world's most powerful commercial super computers) and can listen to 8 slices at one time so 8 people can listen to different QSOs on one radio. As I understand it, it will transmit on 2 bands at one time but don't hold me too that. I'm looking for more info about that on the Flex website (http://www.flexradio.com/). This offers some interesting possibilities. We are early in the planning stages for this part of FD but this radio promises to be a significant advancement in emergency communications. We are going to document our steps and the overall results and if it is successful I plan to write an article for submission to QST. Don't know if they will take it but it will definitely be fun to write it!
There is a huge event coming to Visalia on April 4, 5, and 6 (THIS WEEKEND!). It is the International DX convention and it is a big deal. Several WPARC members attend every year and last year Roger K6OU was the big winner of a serious radio as a drawing prize. The website is http://dxconvention.org/ and on line registration is open until March 21. If you plan on staying overnight there is reservation information on the website along with camping info. You can find out if anyone is carpooling at the meeting next week.
A smaller event is coming on Saturday April 26th. The Valley of the Moon Amateur Radio Club is hosting Hamfest 2014 in Sonoma. Hours are from 8:00 AM to noon. There will be indoor and outdoor swap meet spaces, a VE test session, and more. For more information go to http://www.vomarc.org/. Admission is free! This is an annual event.
Also, the Sierra Nevada Amateur Radio Society will be participating in the first annual Nevada State Convention on May 30, 31, & June1 at the Silverland Hotel in Virginia City. For more information go to their website at http://snars.org/ and click calendar.
I also heard today from our friends at the Yuba/Sutter Amateur Radio Club. They are having their Hamfest again this year on the first Saturday in June, the 7th. Last year they had a big pancake breakfast that was a great deal and I think they sold out! I had a lot of fun there last year and there were lots of good deals to be had so I will be going again this year for sure.
The North Hills Amateur Radio Club will hold their 2014 Hamfest on May 18th from 7:30 AM to Noon. You can find a flyer for the event at: http://www.k6is.org/hamfest14.pdf.
There is an increasing interest among club members in digital communications. There are a large number of protocols and they can be confusing, especially with some of the cryptic names they use. I am working on a series of brief articles about different modes for future newsletters but I was set back a couple of weeks because of mine and my wife's illness. Let me know if you have any special interests.
Speaking of digital modes, there is some interesting news from the ARRL. A lot of us like digital modes and the use is growing. The ARRL is aware of the trend and is looking for member feedback on how to manage the spectrum and other aspects concerning digital modes. Here is a quote from the ARRL website:
“ARRL Board Requests Member Comments About Digital Modes
At the January 2014 ARRL Board of Directors meeting, a resolution was passed which asked for member feedback and input pertaining to the increasing popularity of data modes. The information gathered by this investigation is to be used by the HF Band Planning Committee of the Board as a means to suggest ways to use our spectrum efficiently so that these data modes may “compatibly coexist with each other.” As per the resolution, the ARRL Board of Directors is now reaching out to the membership and requesting cogent input and thoughtful feedback on matters specific to digital mode operation on the HF bands.
The feedback may include, but is not limited to, the recent proposal the ARRL made to the FCC, RM 11708, regarding the elimination of the symbol rate restrictions currently in effect.
The Board of Directors believes that member input in the decision making process is both valuable and important as well as fostering a more transparent organization. It is to this end that we open this dialogue.
Comments must be received no later than March 31, 2014 to be included in the Committee’s report to the Board at the July 2014 ARRL Board of Directors meeting.
Please e-mail your comments to: HF-Digital-Bandplanning@arrl.org
Concerned members may also contact their Division Director by mail, telephone or in person with any relevant information.” More information is available at: http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-board-requests-member-comments-about-digital-modes
We have our usual net Wednesday at 7:30 PM using the W6SAR repeater on 146.640 (-) 156.7. I had to check in early last week so I don't know who the net control is this week but I would guess it will be Dennis KI6HHA. Three weeks ago we broke another record with 29 check ins! That is a great change considering that a several years ago when we started the net we only had 5 or 6 check ins for a couple of years. The HF net will be 5 minutes after the end of the 2 meter net and we will be on 10 meters this week at 28.410 MHz with me as net control. Last week I canceled the HF net because there was a lot of lightning in the area and I didn't want people putting up their HF antennas or connecting the coax with that kind of activity in the area. We are holding steady at 6 – 7 check ins but it would be nice to hear more voices. We have some good technical and equipment/antenna discussions which make the net more interesting.
We have a big event coming up on May 10th – The Tour de Lincoln. This id a fun event for us every year and we have had great participation from club members and other hams in the area. Roger K6OU is organizing the event and as many of you know, Roger does a great job at setting everything up and making sure everyone has the correct information. If you are interested in helping out email Roger at email@example.com.
My sincere thanks to all who have contributed to this month's report. News items for this report can be added at any time, so if we missed getting yours in by April first, just send it to me at:
firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do the rest.