ARRL Sacramento Valley Section News, September 2014
Very sad news.
Jettie B. Hill, W6RFF, SK. Jettie passed away on September 21. He had been in ill health and in hospice care for a few months. He was our Section Manager for 17 years until December 2006 and a friend to so many. His loss leaves us glad we knew him and thankful his suffering is over. We will miss his smile, friendship, and keen advice.
More sad news. Bill G. Alexander, KR6G, a long time Official Relay Station in Quincy passed away on September 16 at his home outside of Quincy. Bill served in the SEA conflict in the US Navy as a cryptologic machine operator during the Viet Nam war. Bill was a Deputy Sheriff in Carson City and Elko, NV, but later worked for PG&E. He and wife LaNell moved to Quincy in 1992.
From the River City ARCS:
At our September 2nd meeting, Bob Hess, W1RH, president of the Mother Lode DX and Contest Club gave an interesting presentation on contesting and particularly the upcoming California QSO Party on the first weekend of October, details at www.cqp.org. Then Kevin Hooke KK6DCT presented his introduction to the popular digital mode JT65 followed by a live on the air demonstration. The JT65 mode permits long distance contacts with low power and restricted antennas. Using a battery operated Alinco mobile radio and a 3 foot diameter magnetic loop antenna on a camera tripod we logged contacts with N4MRM in Kentucky, JE4CIL in Japan and WM7T in Utah.
The October 10-12 ARRL Pacificon Regional Centennial Convention at the Santa Clara Marriott is fast approaching! See the full calendar of activities and register online now at www.pacificon.org.
Renew your club membership now for the 2015 calendar year, either at our meeting or via the web page http://www.n6na.org/membership.
The Lyle AuFranc Award is presented each year to one club member in recognition for outstanding service to the community. Please submit your nominations for this prestigious award at our next meeting or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 15. The award will be presented at our December 2 Holiday Party at Sam's Hof Brau. Please contact Linda Cardoza, KI6OLC, if you will be able to help with our party room setup.
River City ARCS member Craig Hinch, KK6MNL, is programmed to speak about Search and Rescue in Amateur Radio at our November meeting. Nominations for two Board of Director positions and all 2015 club officers are open until our annual election at the November meeting. Please seriously consider serving in our club leadership. Our direction and future growth depend on you!
Our October 7 meeting will be our club's annual White Elephant Sale. Members bring donations of their unwanted amateur radio equipment that is auctioned with proceeds to benefit the upcoming relocation of our N6NA repeater control point. Come and find the amateur radio equipment and accessories you can use at bargain prices!
Join us Tuesday, October 7 at 7:30 pm at the Sacramento County Corp. Yard at 5026 Don Julio Blvd. See you there! 73, Dr. Carol Milazzo, KP4MD/6 President, River City ARCS http://www.n6na.org
From Micael Buck, K6BUK, at the Western Placer ARC: Those who took exams during the WPARC Hamfest were: Steve O'Toole N6HTV – WPARC club member upgraded to Extra. Xiaoguang “Leo” Liu AI6DW – Upgraded to Extra. Nathan Finn KK6KSL – Upgraded to General. Rich Reiner KK6OWY – Upgraded to General. Rebecca Reiner KK6OWX – Upgraded to General. Dave King KK6OXD – Technician. Felix Bors KK6OXX – Technician. Dale Lusby KK6OWW – Technician. Alfred Thomas Jasso KK6OWV – Technician. Congratulations to all.
Michael continues: I did pick up a couple of other interesting items at the Hamfest. One is a Yaesu SP-6 speaker with built in filters that matches my FT-1000MP. I also bought 2 12 volt, 7 amp hour batteries for some UPSs, a Ten-Tec keyer, one of those monster triple mag mounts for my screwdriver antenna, and an Icom RM-2 remote control interface. I also grabbed some LEDs that I thought I could use to illuminate the meters on my Astron RS-35M power supplies. It turned out to be a lot more trouble than it was worth. The newer RS-35M supplies have illuminated meters and – well, you just have to keep up! The meters are glued together and a few web sites said that they are not to hard to open. One opened pretty easily but the second one was a serious challenge. You have to be careful not to damage the meter when you try to pry and cut it open as new meters are $40+. It really irked me that the meters in my supplies have opening for the wires for the bulb but for some reason Astron didn't put them in until a few years later. The finished meters do look nice but I don't think I would do it again!
I also had a really successful repair job a few weeks ago. I have a Kenwood TH-F6a HT and several months ago I noticed that it didn't receive anywhere near as well as some other club members TH-F6as. I know someone who lost the receive in theirs due to front end overloading and the repair is about $250! They bought a Baofeng and so did I. However, I couldn't stand the idea of junking a $450 HT (I bought it before the cheap Chinese radios hit the market.) so I thought I would take it apart and see if I could see any loose connectors or wires or other damage. As I was taking it apart I noticed that the SMA connector for the antenna didn't have the hole that the antenna pin is supposed to plug in to when it is screwed on. A closer look showed that there was a broken pin in the connector. It wasn't from either of my antennas for the radio but a while back a few of us were swapping antennas to see if our radios worked better with another antenna. One of the antennas was a cheap after market one and I think that is where the pin came from. Apparently, when I screwed an antenna into the broken connector it was pushing the insides down and shorting on a circuit board. I don't know why the whole thing didn't go up in smoke, but I'm happy it didn't! I ordered a new connector from Kenwood and it came in a few days. I took a look at it and could see right away it was the wrong one. I called Kenwood and the parts man looked in the bin while I was on the phone. All of the connectors in the bin were the wrong one so they had to order new stock from Japan. It was a couple of weeks before I got the new one and by then I had moved on to a few new projects. The HT languished in a box in the corner of my garage until one day when I had my solder iron out and decide to put the new connector in. Of course, the entire radio has to be taken apart to replace the antenna connector but it was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be and in short order it was all back together. I was a little anxious the first time I turned it on but it worked perfectly! It was set to a repeater in Woodland and it hit it and heard a good return signal. I tried a couple of other local repeaters and they all came in with full quieting and a pegged signal strength meter where as before the meter barely moved. Needless to say, I am a very happy ham! Success feels way better when you save $250! I must add that Kenwood was very helpful, easy to work with, and very apologetic for sending the wrong connector.
Today several of us toured the CPI Econco (Eimac) tube rebuilding facility in Woodland. The people at CPI were really nice and spent 2 hours with us. It was a fascinating tour to say the least. They had tubes of all sizes and walked us through the complete rebuilding cycle from the time the tube comes in the door until it goes into silver plating to finish up the job. They work on about 200 different tube types, mostly power grid types, and have rebuilt over 800,000 close to 40 years in business. They deal primarily with ceramic tubes but they do rebuild some glass tubes. The glass ones they cut open with a glass cutter, rebuild the guts, and then put the two halves in a lathe and weld the glass back together. The ceramic tubes are cut open with tin snips and gutted. We were all amazed at how fine the grids are. The tungsten wire they use varies from 0.2 mils to 0.8 mils. It is exceptionally fine wire which is flexible when it comes off the spool but after they carburize it, it is unbelievably frail. Just holding the wire in your fingers can cause it to shatter into tiny bits. It hard to believe that grids made out of wire this fine survive shipping, much less spending thousands of hours in a high-power transmitter. The grids are all hand spun and each crossing of the wires in the grid are hand welded – 564 in one particular grid that we watched being welded. Each welder can only make 8 – 10 grids a day working with an electronic microscope and a micro amp spot welder. When you see all the manual labor that goes into a tube you get an idea of why they are so expensive. Plus, the materials are expensive stuff, especially the silver that plates the tube (the tubes are external anodes and the cooling fins surrounding the tube are huge). CPI has a major contract with the Navy to rebuild the tubes in the Aegis radar. Their rebuilt tubes actually last longer than the original tube. They have an area set aside where they test each tube to mil spec and then ship it to the Navy where they repeat the tests to make sure each tube meets specs and has identical results to the CPI test. There is much more to say about the tour but it could take pages. We really enjoyed the tour which was never boring. Thanks to Dan WA6CRB for recommending that we visit CPI Econco. Dan is a Senior Broadcast Engineer and has been dealing with them for years. When we started I told the people in the group that if the tour sucked to blame Dan and if it was great to thank me, but we all thank Dan for suggesting it. CPI Econco does have a library of documentation on the rebuilding process and other interesting information at http://www.cpii.com/library.cfm/11.
The October WPARC meeting will not be at the Woodcreek Oaks Golf Club! October is the member appreciation meeting and we will be back at Pizza Roundup in Lincoln for FREE pizza for members! (Drinks not included.)
Thanks to all who have sent letters, called, or otherwise communicated with your members of Congress regarding HR 4969, The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014. Read more about the progress of HR 4969 AT:
California has two CO-SPONSORS. We could use a lot more. Overall the list has 28 Republicans and 19 Democrats.
Ken, K6WLS, our Yolo County Emergency Coordinator, has this announcement:
Berryessa Amateur Radio "Klub " and Yolo ARES are sponsoring an exam session on October 18th at the Red Cross in Woodland. All elements, walk in's welcome. Times for testing will be from 0730 until 0930. BARK will be holding their General meeting just after the test session starting at 10 am, until about Noon.
Brian Wallace, AE6BW, is the Editor of the Golden Empire Council, BSA newsletter. He has a request to all club newletter editiors. “ Our Council covers 16 counties in central northern California, basically from Elk Grove through Redding.
“Our Council newsletter has 17,000 subscribers, and is read by close to 6,000 per issue.
I would like to place an article in our October 1st newsletters about the upcoming Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) and Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI).
I would like to include a list of the events taking place in our area on October 17 – 19.
If your club is participating, I would like to include your information in the newsletter. When, where, activities planned, etc.
Please reply by Friday, September 26th. I hope to publish the newsletter on October 1st, or 2nd at the latest.
If you have any questions, please contact me by phone or email.” Brian's contact information is: P 916.929.1417 Ext 225 | F 916.929.4461 or Brian.Wallace@Scouting.org
"The Jamboree-on-the-Air, or JOTA, is an annual Scouting event that uses amateur radio to link Scouts around the world, around the nation, and in your own community. Held on the third full weekend of October each year, this worldwide jamboree requires no travel, other than to a nearby radio amateur’s ham shack. Many times the hams will come to you by setting up at a Scout camporee, or perhaps they already have a ham shack at your council’s camp. There are many ways to get your Scouts involved in JOTA.
Tell Me More
Scouts of any age can participate, from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts and Venturers. Once at the ham radio station, the communication typically requires speaking into a microphone and listening on the station speakers. However, many forms of specialized communication can also take place, such as video communication, digital communication using typed words on the computer screen transmitted by radio, communication through a satellite relay or an earth-based relay (called a repeater), and many others. The exchanges include such information as name, location (called QTH in ham speak), Scout rank, age, and hobbies. The stations you’ll be communicating with can be other Scouts across town, across the country, or even around the world! The World Scout Bureau reported that the 2012 JOTA had nearly 700,000 Scout participants from more than 13,500 amateur radio stations! A participant patch is available, as is a certificate/log sheet that can also be used to fulfill a Radio merit badge requirement.
When Is It?
Jamboree-on-the-Air is held the third weekend in October. There are no official hours, so you have the whole weekend to make JOTA contacts. The "JOTA Jump Start" on Friday evening is an excellent time to get started."
73, John Stettler, KI6DWP, Section PIC
Section Traffic Manager, Jim, K9JM, sent in the report of this year's Field Day (yes, its late, but better late than not at all) with a couple of pictures of their solar powered, CW only operation. Look for the photos at the bottom of Section News. “At Yeti Springs, the Neurosa Gopher Muncher Field Day celebrates the 30th anniversary running the call AE6C. Pictures of Denny AE6C by the
solar panels and Pete W6WY of Redding, operating. Running CW only 1A
Photo by Jim K9JM of Grass Valley.
The W6SFM Samuel F. Morse ARC welcomed 1 new members this month. Mike, KD6ILC of Antelope, CA. Thank you to all who have helped support the club and its preservation of CW on the bands! All members of the SFM ARC receive a W6SFM.COM email addresses and personal Member webpage where they can proudly display their bios to the public. We encourage our members to post news, photos and other information about themselves as well as their hobbies. Feel free to visit our new members page found in the members section of the W6SFM website.
This month the SFM ARC welcomed new, but then prospective member, Mike KD6ILC to our Monthly In-Person meeting.
Reports of our September in-person meeting:
Topics of Discussion included our new Morse Code beginners class. The W6SFM successfully filled our 10 week CW class with 15 new students all eager to learn. Straight Keys and personal oscillators were handed out to each student for use in the class room and at home. The SFM ARC feels strongly that proper sending is key to the best CW memory retention. (No pun intended, well maybe some) We are proud to announce that 4 weeks in we still have a FULL class of students with a ZERO drop out rate! Sadly, this is not the norm for most other CW Classes around the country. The SFM ARC believes this has to do with our structured training methods and the students hands on experience while learning code. The club intends on running another course some time early next year. Please contact us for more information on that.
Mike N6MQL went over the months budget report and was happy to announce that the SFMARC once again received a very generous donation. This donation was from an outside organization of Radio Telescope operators and enthusiast that felt the need to help preserve CW both in the class room and on the air. Thank you to Doug WB6GTB for facilitating that donation.
An update on the upcoming CA. QSO Party was discussed. Some Preparations were made regarding location and times of operations. If you or someone you know is interested in joining the SFM ARC as a member or non member CW operator in this contest please contact the club with an email to email@example.com.
For our tech portion of the September meeting member Mike, K6LQ offered 3 keys for advanced sale. Mike offered 1 very nice Vibroplex Presentation Bug, 1 J38 original military straight key, and 1 Nye Viking straight key for sale to members before he placed them on sale at his booth at the Lincoln Ham Fest Swap Meet. We hear that the Vibroplex Presentation bug went to someone that will make good use of it in the upcoming W6SFM November CQ BR “Bug Roundup” event. For more on that event please visit the W6SFM Home page and click on the bug logo at the top of the page. Mike N6MQL brought his Begali Sculpture Iambic keyer paddle for those interested to test. Also, Stan AA6DK showed off his new Vibroplex Original bug circa 1960’s along with some very fun practice oscillators that were built into an old Kodak film box. Fun was had by all who attended.
At our upcoming October 2nd SFM ARC in-person meeting club members will finalize plans and preparation for the upcoming 49th October CA QSO Party contest to be held that weekend. We will also discuss and have a fun show and tell of all the items members and visitors purchased while at the Lincoln Swap Meet. Feel free to visit our In-Person meeting with the items that you purchased too.
Each Tuesday of the week 8:00 PM on 7.110 MHz the SFM ARC enjoys getting on the air with CW for our weekly Nets. You do NOT need to be a member of the SFM ARC to check into our nets. Although our nets usually run around 13 wpm code, we are all happy to accommodate those that are slower and need us to oblige. If you are unable to copy Morse Code or need some code practice please feel free to visit our on-line LIVE streaming broadcast of both the Audio and a CW to Text decoding of the meeting. That link can be found on our home page of the website. Those visiting the on-line site are welcome to make themselves known by using the ‘contact us’ link to let the net op (NCS) know you are there. This of course is not mandatory, it just lets everyone feel more involved in our on-air nets.
Do you or someone you know need a Ham Club to call home? For those that want to learn Morse Code, are interested in CW or already know and use it, the SFM ARC would love to be your new Club home. Our in-person meetings are held each 1st Thursday of the month at 7PM. The SFM ARC meets in the "Courtyard room" of the Carmichael Presbyterian Church in Carmichael, CA. The church is Located at 5645 Marconi Ave. For directions to the meeting visit our clubs home webpage www.w6sfm.com. Please use the rear parking lot and entry for best access to the meeting. A map and directions can also be found on the website.
We hope to see you at our next meeting! 73, Michael, N6MQL, W6SFM Club President 2014.
ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Technical Coordinator, VHF Award Manager, HF Award Manager and DXCC Award Manager Bob, WB6VYH, reminds us he can count cards and check applications for VUCC and WAS and DXCC. He will be at Pacificon 2014, please contact ahead of time at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Pacificon 2014, celebrating 100 years of the ARRL, returns to the Santa Clara Marriott Hotel at 2700 Mission College Blvd in Santa Clara, California. The convention takes place Friday, October 10th through Sunday, October 12th, 2014. Pacificon 2014 is the ARRL Pacific Division Convention, produced by the Mt. Diablo Amateur Radio Club (MDARC). To register and get a hotel reservation at the Marriott, go to: http://www.pacificon.org/
If you have missed the other special centennial conventions make sure you attend this one.
The California QSO Party (CQP) is held every year on the first weekend of October. The first CQP took place in 1966. Since 1974, the Northern California Contest Club (NCCC) has sponsored CQP. CQP has traditionally opened the annual contest season by providing an opportunity for contesters to prepare for the ARRL November Sweepstakes since the format is similar. This year it is October 4-5.
Stations outside of California, worldwide, work stations in California only. The 58 counties of CA are the multipliers. California stations work all stations in or out of CA. The 50 US states and 8 Canadian provinces are the multipliers. Stations outside of Canada and the US add to one's QSO total but do not count as multipliers. See the full set of CQP Rules for more details.
On this site you will find lots of information, so peruse the index above and learn all about the California QSO Party! Also, be sure to visit the NCCC website for the latest on a super contest club.
A new Amateur Radio Vanity Call Sign Fee Set at $21.40 by the FCC for all renewals in fiscal 2015 which started October 1.
Carl, WF6J, has this report from Sierra Foothills ARC:
W6RFF/sk: It is with sadness to report that long-time SFARC member and ARRL Official, Jettie Hill, W6RFF/sk became a Silent Key. Jettie was a Ham's Ham, friendly and attached to our hobby since being licensed in 1938. Jettie was honored at his 92nd Birthday with a cake and recognition by SFARC. 73 old friend.
VE Report: Dave-NO6NO, reported VE testing results of (13) elements given with (3) new Techs, (2) new Generals and (2) new Extra class passing.
VE Exams are the first Saturday monthly. Please see week,org for more information.
Field Day: Mark-W8BIT gave an update on Field Day 2015 planning and reported the next meeting is scheduled for October 8th at the Denny’s in Auburn located on Auburn Ravine drive.
Repeater: Richard-WA6RWS reported the 2m repeater PL changed back to 162.2. Also, the 220 repeater will be set to standalone mode due to continued noise into the system when linked.
White Elephant Sale: October 10th meeting is the White Elephant sale. As with most clubs this is the time to get out your old junk…err good stuff to donate to the club's auction. Everyone is welcome to bring stuff or just come for the fun.
1st Annual SFARC Hamswap: Bob, K6YDA heads the committee for the March 14, 2015 Hamswap in Loomis, CA
Nets: Regular Thursday night net at 19:30 on the W6EK/r. Everyone is welcome. 1st and 3rd Wednesdays, monthly is the Elmer Net. 19:30 on W6EK.r, Everyone is welcome to check in and ask questions. New or old operators, all questions and problems are usually solved or at least get you pointed in the right direction.
The Citrus Heights VE Team put on a HAM-CRAM session on September 20, 2014. There were eleven applicants that attempted the Technician Ham-Cram session, with ten passing and one failing. I believe a good part of the success of the applicants was because of Dan Romanchik KB6NU. He told me about a study guide he had pre-paired as a TECH study guide. I gave this Web page address to all the applicants to study before the HAM-CRAM and it made a difference. Students felt more secure and had more knowledge when they arrived for the CRAM.
Our next Technician HAM-CRAM and Exam Sessions will be on November 15th in Orangevale. This session will be at the LDS Church, 7950 Hazel Ave (Corner of Hazel and Cherry Ave in Orangevale).
The HAM-CRAM for the Tech will begin at 8:45 AM and exams will begin at 1:00 PM for all classes of Amateur Radio. NOTE: We do not do HAM-CRAM’s for General or Extra Class Licenses.
We require a photo ID of all applicants that take exams for any class of amateur license, and those choosing to upgrading we will need a copy of your current Amateur License or CSCE form.
If you are interested in participating contact Joe Cardoza (KA6ROM) by email at: email@example.com to register or to obtain information about the session.
Again THANKS to Dan KB6NU, Submitted by, Joe Cardoza, KA6ROM.
Jim Jennings, W7XZ, reports for Oroville Amateur Radio Society (OARS). OARS (http://w6af.org) held its September meeting on the 12th with on the order of 20 in attendance. The program, presented by Erik, AF6EF, was devoted to homebuilt antennas.
The Steak Bake, hosted this year by OARS, took place on the afternoon of 20 September at Hammon Park in Oroville, and some 33 came to partake, with Chris, KF6HUX, doing the cooking honors.
The OARS Sunday Night Net convenes at 8 pm on the K6RCO repeater, 146.655 MHz, (-), 136.5 Hz. The Echolink node (K6ZRX-L) enabled W7XZ to check in from Virginia Beach during his East Coast trip when he managed to stay awake until 11 pm EDT.
OARS' Monthly Breakfast on the 27th at Cornucopia of Oroville had 12 in attendance. The venue continues to rotate each month, and the next location will be determined at the upcoming monthly meeting on 10 October, 7 pm, at St. Paul's Parish Hall in Oroville.
The California QSO Party takes place 4-5 October. OARS club station W6AF (K7XE opr) is expected to be active as a low power SSB entry in Butte Count;y. Bennett, K6CEL, plans to operate portable in Plumas County as a QRP entry. Rules and all other information can be found on the official website (http://cqp.org), and all 58 California counties are expected to be on the air for this event. 73, Jim, W7XZ.
The Redding ARRL VE Team had another successful VE session in September. It was our largest session to date. Eight candidates passed a total of nine elements. Our next exams are scheduled for Friday November 14th and Saturday November 15th at BloodSource in Redding. More information can be found at: reddingve.com Thanks to Steve, K6KS.
Finally, the national ARRL Simulated Emergency Test (SET) is slated for the October 4-5 weekend, although the window for local and regional exercises is September 1 through November 30 each year. All groups conduct their events over the course of 48 hours. The SET is a nationwide exercise in disaster response and emergency communication, administered by ARRL emergency coordinators and net managers, in which volunteers respond to a mock emergency or disaster, such as an earthquake or hurricane. Members of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), the National Traffic System (NTS), SKYWARN, the ARRL Field Organization, and other groups work together to plan and develop simulated emergency and disaster scenarios, in consultation with the various served agencies that rely on radio amateurs during emergencies.
During this year’s SET, participating ARES/NTS members can earn SET bonus points by participating in the ARRL Centennial QSO Party. During the October 4-5 SET weekend, ARES and NTS field members and appointees are encouraged to get on the air and call “CQ Centennial.” The exchange is signal report, name, location, and your designator. There will be a special bonus for groups that include Centennial QSO Party participation. Each station making at least 5 contacts is worth an additional 3 points toward your group’s SET score. Those taking part in a SET on another weekend may participate on the national SET weekend and count it later (or submit an amended SET report form).
See page 78 in the July issue of QST, and page 75 in the September issue of QST for more information on the SET. — Thanks to the ARES E-Letter
Duane Wyatt, WA0MJD, needs some help with setting up his amateur radio morse communication exhibit. While it is a simple exhibit, it is getting harder for Duane to set it up by himself. If you can help Duane, please contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
See the picture of Duane's exhibit below.
AG6IP "Mike" just returned from activating ZC4 land (UK Bases on Cyprus) for the 2nd time as ZC4MIS from 16 Mar-16 Sep 2014. He mostly operated on digital, also operated SSB and a few CW contacts. Mike logged in over 4, 300 QSO’s from 80M-6M on his free time, giving stations a new DXCC in their log. He was the only operator on ZC4 land. He is back in his home QTH and is now busy answering QSL cards. If you have ZC4MIS in the log and would like a QSL card please QSL direct to his home QTH and be patient for his reply since he will be answering a lot of QSL cards personally. I used S9V 31 ft LDG and YP-3 superantennas 3 element Yagi. I was suppose to do a moonbounce on 144 and 50 Mhz but that did not work out.
That is all the news—there ain't no more. Thanks to all our contributors this month. If your news did not get in YET, please send it to me at: email@example.com and I will add it where it fits.