ARRL SACRAMENTO VALLEY SECTION NEWS December 2014
We start this month's Section News with an excerpt from the Sierra Signals, the newsletter of the Sierra Foothills ARC. I cannot paraphrase what club president Tyghe, KD6MLH, says here, so I put it where it belongs, up front. de W6KJ
From the Mic
By Tyghe Richardson – KD6MLH, President
Last year has been an interesting one to say the least. We as a club and as a community have had good times and bad. In our wonderful group of hams we have lost friends and family. We have been fortunate to spend treasured moments with those now silent keys. Like most in the club I am ready to put this year in the log book and look forward to what 2015 has to offer.
It is important to remember that we had some very exciting events in 2014; the first club contest, the picnic, radio support events, Field Day 2014, the white elephant sale, election night, the Christmas party, and a lot of exciting breakfasts and meetings in between. Field day was one of the most attended and exciting events of the year, we placed better than expected and enjoyed a weekend with good friends. I am looking forward to next year. To the hams that participated in these events thank you, without you they just would not be that much fun!
As I look at the 2015 calendar we have added a new event, the ham swap. This new event will need volunteers to make it prosperous. The swap is on 3/14/2015 if you cannot volunteer, I hope that you will come buy or sell at the swap; don't forget to tell a friend! For more information on the swap meet contact VP Bob Brodovsky K6UDA.
As I am sure most of you know, all but 2 committee chair positions are open for 2015. Like last year I will be filling the Chair and Vis-Chair positions as soon as possible. If you would like to head up and event, and I know you do, give me a call or email and we will get you all set up. I think the best way to honor our silent keys is to perpetuate the hobby that they loved and these events do just that. I am happy to say that this group of hams share stories about silent keys and often remember the ones that have long since gone SK.
If you have not paid your dues for 2015, Richard Kuepper WA6RWS will be happy to receive them.
I look forward to seeing all of you at the January meeting.
On12/20/2014, Joe, AG6QO, held a meeting / training session on the Mesh
Net system with ham operators from Sacramento. The meeting was well attended and there were lots of interested and experienced operators there.
Dennis - AF6TR, Dwane - KG6KPW, Steve - W6WBO, Joel - KK6IQR, Eric -
kG6BZT Dave - KK6HVJ, Ken Wilson - K6WLS, and Joe DeAngelo- AG6QO.
You might ask;
What is a "Mesh net"?
“A mesh network is a network topology in which each node (called a mesh
node) relays data for the network. All nodes cooperate in the distribution
of data in the network.
Broadband Ham Networks operate in the range of 2.4, 3.6, or 5.8 GHz,
providing data rates in excess of 50 Mb/s !
- Permits VoIP, Video and just about anything you can do with internet
- Is NOT a replacement for or extension of the internet! How they can be
- Anything a high-speed TCP/IP network can be used for. For example, remote monitoring
and control Video Audio Temperature/Weather
Repeater/Rig/BBS Power Condition, Power Control (Cycle) Web pages, ftp
data, Any data !
- Anything allowed by FCC Part 97 (Amateur Rules)
- Nothing Commercial
- Nothing Encrypted (be careful !)
For additional information go to - The mesh page:
A Sacramento Area Mesh Net group has been formed on Yahoo Groups. It can be
found here: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/SacMeshNet/info
Look for additional information and links on - www.sacvalleyares.org
Colton Ragsdale, KE0CRD, of Centennial, CO, passed his Technician exam on 3 January 2015. He was read the questions by his three VEs, and on January 11, sent his grand uncle Bill Ragsdale, K6KN, of Woodland an NTS message. It was delivered by SM, W6KJ. Colton's picture with his three Volunteer Examiners is in the photo library at the bottom of the page. Oh yeah, Colton is five years old!
The Redding ARRL VE Team announces that our next exam session will be held on Saturday January 17th, at BloodSource in Redding. Candidates are asked to be there by 10:00 AM. We are holding our regular VE exam sessions in odd-numbered months. More information can be found at www.reddingve.com or by contacting Steve K6KS at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Shingletown, CA, will be the location of a new VE Team exam on 31 January at 10 AM. The location is the Open Door Community Church AT 333883 Hiway 44. While walk in candidates will be accepted preregistration is preferred. Just contact Dar Walker, W6IO, at 530-474-3087. Dar can also be reached via e-mail at email@example.com Mail to Dar at: 30877 Thumper Dr., Shingletown, CA 96088.
Candidates should provide proof of license if upgrading, a copy of the current license to accompany the other paperwork which must be forwarded to ARRL/VEC, and bring two forms of identification, one of which has a picture of the candidate.
Candidates can also view alternate exam dates and locations by logging onto http://www.arrl.org/exam_sessions/search
Sierra Foothills ARC VE Team reports good numbers for the first 2015 Session.
17 elements given resulting in 5 new Technicians, 3 New Generals, & 4 new Extras
Congratulations to Sharron Griffith (winner of the radio drawing at the Christmas Party) Said she would have to get a license and she did, 35 of 35 right!
Congratulations to Louise Greggory (XYL of Dennis, WU6X) for her upgrade to General.
And thanks to Carl, WF6J, for passing along the information to us.
The Yuba Sutter ARC Team examined one candidate on 3 January 2015, but he was very prepared and will have a new Technician license in the coming week. We had 10 volunteers examiners present. de W6KJ.
Sad news. Herbert Hall, KO6PC, SK. Herb passed away November 23 in Redding. Herb was an avid ham operator who had been blind for many years. He was able to tune his radio and tube amplifier with the aid of a talking wattmeter. His wife of 31 years, Catherine Lynn Hall, KD6CPR, shared his hobby, and was also blind. Cathy passed away in Redding in early December.
Greetings from the Western Placer Amateur Radio Club:
At the December meeting we voted on club officers for 2015. This is the new Board:
President – Jim W6JMF
Vice President – Bill KJ6YCO
Secretary – Michael K6BUK
Treasurer – Scott KJ6FAV
Board Member – Dennis KI6HHA, Clay K6AEP, and Gary WA6IKE
Alternate Board Member – Ben N3BEN
Many thanks to Katy for her work as President last year and thanks to all who served on the Board. Congratulations also to the new Officers.
Saturday was a busy day for a group of WPARC members. We handled traffic (automobile traffic, not a traffic net) for the Lincoln Lions Club annual food distribution. The Lions Club collects food (dry goods, canned goods, and turkeys) and toys for needy families and distributes them to several hundred families. The distribution takes place at a warehouse near the Lincoln airport. Families start lining up about 5:30 AM and the distribution starts at 8:00 AM and goes until noon. We do a lot of traffic management and direction to move all the vehicles through the warehouse parking lot. This year everything went smoothly and there wasn't a single problem handing out the food. The boxes of food are heavy so the Lions Club enlists the help of the Lincoln Fighting Zebra's football team to do the heavy lifting. The boys worked very efficiently and quickly to load all the cars with food and toys. Thanks to the Lions Club and the football team for their work to help needy families. The WPARC members on hand were: Frank KB6KYK (contact person), Jim W6JMF, Roger K6OU, Ron KG6RLG, Bob WB6VYH, Bill KJ6YCO, Jim K6GYM, Eric WS6L, Dennis KI6HHA, Dan WA6CRB, and Michael K6BUK and everyone worked together to make sure the event was seamless. The weather was mixed. We had warm temps early (around 6:00 AM), then the wind picked up and it cooled off, and then we had some sprinkles – just enough to make me happy I wore my raincoat. Some years we have pouring rain, some years freezing temps, and some years are nice. This year we had a little bit of it all. Thanks to all the WPARC members who helped out.
Last week I forgot to mention Gary KI6IJI as one of the people supporting the Lincoln Holiday Parade.
Now for the latest on the club repeater. We have it set up at Gary's QTH (WA6IKE) at about 1,200 feet above downtown Lincoln. We did some touch up tuning on the cans last week and it is working very well. For those of you who weren't at the meeting last week, the frequency is 147.300 (+) 179.9. We have done a lot of testing around the area and the coverage seems to be very good. A few days ago L.C. (N7VQC) was driving to the bay area and had a good QSO with Lou KG6FCT and they were able to talk until L.C. was between Davis and Dixon. L.C. could pick the repeater up again in Vacaville, Fairfield, and Vallejo when he was on the hilly areas. This is a lot better than I expected as L.C. was on a 5 watt Kenwood TH-F6a HT with a quarter wave mag mount on the roof! Lou was also mobile. L.C. was able to hit the repeater from his QTH with 0.05 watts and I can hit it with 0.5 watts. With 5 watts I can hit it from inside my QTH and it has a radiant barrier in the roof that kills most everything. Everyone at the Lions food distribution was able to easily hit the repeater on their HTs from the airport area.
If you have any reports of areas where you can't hit the repeater or outlying areas where you can, let me know as we are putting a coverage map together. L.C. and Dennis are keeping spreadsheets with info on radio, power, antenna, etc. to help with the mapping.
We plan to do a few upgrades to the equipment over the next few weeks including a better antenna, new coax and connectors inside Gary's shack, and hard line to the antenna. Dan WA6CRB and Clay K6AEP gave us some good suggestions on how to optimize performance.
We have three nets every Wednesday with 2 on 2 meters and one on HF. On 2 meters we have one at 10:00 AM and one at 7:30 PM. They are both on the 146.640 (-) 156.7 repeater. Katy KJ6YCP is the AM net control and this week, being that it is the 4th Wednesday of December, Scott KJ6FAV will be net control on the evening net. The PM net is going pretty well but the AM net needs more people to check in. Remember, today and tonight we will try the club repeater after the usual net at 147.300 (+) 179.9. Normally there is an HF net 5 minutes after the 2 meter net ends. However, because we are testing the new repeater we will skip the HF net because the testing takes so long.
Another reminder – don't forget that the annual membership dues are due by December 31. The dues are the same as always - $24 for single membership, $36 for family membership, and $14 for active military personnel and members under 18. We haven't raised the dues. Ever. If you are paying by mail, the address is: WPARC, P.O. Box 1173, Lincoln CA 95648.
I finally put my weather station back on line. I turned it off because the anemometer was interfering with the repeater when it was here. Made a lot of noise even when the wind wasn't blowing. Then the hard drive in my computer died as I mentioned last week. When I finished up setting it up on a different computer, I couldn't get it to talk to the WeatherUnderground web site. I tried all sorts of stuff, including emailing WU for help (they never responded which was a disappointment as they have been good in the past). Finally tonight I realized that what I thought was a zero (0) in my station ID was actually an O. Worked fine once I fixed that! If you want to know the wind speed, rainfall, or other weather info for Lincoln, go to this link: http://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboard?ID=KCALINCO3. There are thousands of personal weather stations on WeatherUnderground with many in this area. Go to the search box on the page and you will probably find a station near your QTH. There is also a “change station” link next to where it says “On A Hill In Sun City” with a down arrow. If you click on the arrow it shows 42 weather stations locally. If you are in another area, find a station in the area and then choose the “change station” link and you will be able to find the one nearest to you. In addition, a lot of hams participate in the NWS SkyWarn program and are trained by the NWS in weather observation. There is also a ham weather site called pwsweather.com.
We have set the date and location for the 2015 Kickoff Party. It will be Saturday January 10th at 6:00 PM at the Woodcreek Oaks Golf Club in Roseville (our usual meeting place). We need help coordinating the event. If you would like to help out email Katy or me. The menu is on the WPARC web site. Woodcreek Oaks requests that everyone who plans to attend to RSVP to me or Katy by Monday January 5th. ARRL Section Manager Ron W6KJ and Assistant Section Manager Jo Anne N6YLO will be our honored guests for the evening. If you don't know Ron this is a good chance to meet him and ask any questions you may have about the ARRL. Ron works hard for our section and it is always a pleasure to see him.
We have some exciting news about the 2015 Kickoff Meeting. We will have a special drawing prize – an MFJ-259C Antenna Analyzer.
We will have other prizes which will be announced soon.
We need a presentation for the January club meeting on January 20th. Club VP Bill KJ6YCO (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the person to talk to if you have a suggestion for a presentation or would like to give a presentation. If you have a suggestion of a topic you would like to hear about at a club meeting or if you would like to present on a topic please contact any board member. I think one of the things that is helping to increase membership is the quality of the presentations we have at meetings.
The Board meeting is the week before the membership meeting and is on the 13th of January. It is at the Pizza Roundup in Lincoln at 7:00 PM. All members are welcome and encouraged to attend.
I found out a few weeks ago that you can have a percentage of any purchases at amazon.com go to the ARRL! Amazon.com will donate 0.5% on eligible items to the ARRL. Just go to the link and choose the ARRL for your charity. http://smile.amazon.com/
I am brokering the sale of a Kenwood TS-990S for $6,500 for another club member. If you are interested let me know. It is in great shape with just a minor scratch on the right side. The TS-990S will blow your socks off – it is a stunning engineering tour de force from Kenwood. The Kenwood site is http://www.kenwood.com/usa/com/amateur/ts-990s/ It is available at a fair market price and only has very light use.
The Sierra Foothills ARC will be sponsoring their first annual Ham Swap on Saturday March 14th 2015 in Loomis which is handy for WPARC members. The first SFARC Swap Meet will take place at the Historic Loomis Train Depot Plaza, 3640 Taylor Rd, Loomis. Starts at 7:30am. Put this on your calender!
If you know of any other Ham Swaps, Hamfests, or any other ham related events in northern California or western Nevada, email me and I will add them to the newsletter.
Thinking of the events in the Sacramento Valley Section reminded me that there are lots of nets in the area that are sponsored by other clubs. There are many different kinds of nets including HF, VHF, UHF, digital, and SSTV. For a full listing go to this link maintained by Assistant Section Manager Les W6TEE. Les does a great job of keeping the page updated: http://www.qsl.net/w6tee/nets.html.
The International DX Convention in Visalia will be April 17 – 19 this year. This is a big event and a lot of people from the WPARC attend. If you are interested in carpooling let me know and I will start a list. The web page is http://www.dxconvention.com/
The ARRL does a lot for the ham community, especially when it comes to spectrum preservation. They are always working to keep the ham frequencies in our hands. There is a lot of good information on the website arrl.org. They also send out weekly letters on various topics which are very interesting. In addition, Ron W6KJ sends out a monthly newsletter with information about and from clubs in the Sacramento Valley section. Definitely worth subscribing to for good information. This is the 100th year of the ARRL. Join today to make sure it is still here for the next 100 years and fighting to protect our share of the spectrum. The ARRL is also leading the fight to pass H.R. 4969.
The ARRL has a presence in social media and you can find lots of information on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Here are some sites where you can connect with the ARRL:
For Facebook go to: www.facebook.com/ARRL.org
For Twitter there are several addresses. Try @arrl for primary information. If you are interested in community events, emergencies, and disaster communications follow: @ARRL_ARES
For the latest on ARRLs media and to follow the ARRL Public Relations Manager follow: @ARRL_PR
If you are interested in DXCC follow: @ARRL_DXCC
For the young people in your family have them follow: @ARRL_Youth
To find out what's new with the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station, W1AW, follow:
The ARRL offers lots of YouTube videos on a variety of topics go to:
I also discovered that the ARRL has a presence on Linkedin and there are several ham oriented groups too. If you use Linkedin log in and search for ARRL or ham/amateur radio groups. Club past president Kent K6AXP is active on Linkedin. This week there is a discussion about Logbook of The World (LoTW).
If you know of any upcoming events in the area let me know and I will add them to the newsletter.
Many new members have been asking how to purchase the club ID badge. There is new information on the club website WPARC.US that covers how to order, how to specify the correct badge, etc. Thanks to Herman KD6BQH for putting this info together. I once belonged to a club where if you didn't wear your club badge to the meeting you were fined $1.00 at the door!
Speaking of club ID, we now have official club business cards. The board decided that with the growth of the club we needed them and they will be available at club meetings. I banded up sets of 5 to hand out at meetings. The cards have club information on the front and have lines for name, call sign, and phone number on the back for handing out to prospective members or for any other use. We have 1,000 of them so we shouldn't run out any time soon.
There is an unofficial club breakfast every Saturday at Kim's Country Kitchen in Lincoln at 7:30 AM. The new address since the renaming of Highway 65 to Lincoln Blvd. is 490 Lincoln Blvd. It is opposite the (now closed) Ace Hardware which I saw today is being turned into some sort of dollar store or similar business. Lots of members show up for breakfast and there are lots of interesting topics discussed. Bright and early at 7:30 AM. Kim's has good food at good prices and is a strong supporter of the club (Kim's was our original meeting place until we outgrew it several years ago).
Remember, our website is wparc.us.
-- Michael Buck, K6BUK
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............... Bob will be at some of the Ham Swaps this year and most likely Ham Club meetings throughout Northern California. If you can't travel let Bob know and he can work something out.
Please contact Bob ahead of time at email@example.com for information and appointment.
From the W6SFM SFM ARC:
The W6SFM Samuel F. Morse ARC welcomed 13 members this month to it’s in-person monthly meeting. Thank you to all who have helped support the club and the 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.
Reports of our December in-person meeting:
Topics of Discussion included a recap of the NAQP contest and what to expect. The members discussed the location where this club event will be held. It was decided unless conditions prove adverse we would have this years event at Mark, K6JJR’s new QTH in Lake of the Pines. Non members who wish to join us for this CW event are welcome to contact the club using the “contact us” line on our homepage of the website. The event will take place Saturday the 11th of January. A carpool will be offered to those interested.
After the success of the W6SFM Morse code class the club has decided to offer another Morse Code beginners course around May of next year. The month of May was selected so graduating students can feel comfortable participating on-air at our Annual Field Day event in June 2015 should they want to join us. Please contact the club for more information on next years Morse Code Classes.
Another decision made at this months in-person meeting was that the W6SFM on-air club nets will now be held on the 80 meter band using the frequency of 3.545 MHz. Our normal time of 8PM will be maintained. This move was made to accommodate those members that are in locations other than Sacramento that enjoy joining the net, but have been unable to. 80 meters will be used until April or May of 2015 at which time it will be reevaluated based on band conditions.
Mike N6MQL went over the months budget report and was happy to announce that the SFMARC once again received another generous donation. These donations will be used for the purpose of organizing PR booths such as the Kids Day in the Park event, Ranch Cordova and other events where the SFM ARC introduces Ham Radio and Morse Code to Children and the general public. If you would like to contribute to this cause please feel free to visit our home page for a PayPal link to donate.
The club recapped our November 15th CQ Bug Roundup event. Participation was at an all time high. Participants from Australia, Hawaii, Mexico, South America, Canada, Taiwan, Japan, some parts of Europe and all across the United States of America checked in via email to let us know of their enjoyment of this event. Club members viewed comments, emails and even pictures that participants of the Bug Roundup event sent into the SFM ARC. For more information on the W6SFM Bug Roundup event Please visit the Bug Roundup link on our home page.
Nominations were held for Club officers at this months meeting. Member Mike N6MQL was voted President, Glenn WA7SPY was voted in as club Vice President, and Chris AI6U was elected Secretary / Historian. Congratulations to those new officers and thank you for the hard work you do at the SFM ARC.
For our tech portion of the November meeting member Stan, AA6DK displayed his Galena cat's whisker detector circia 1920. A cat's-whisker detector (sometimes called a crystal detector) is an antique electronic component consisting of a thin wire that lightly touches a crystal of semiconducting mineral (usually galena) to make a crude point-contact rectifier. Developed by early radio researchers Henry H. C. Dunwoody, G. W. Pickard and others, this device was used as the detector in early crystal radios, from about 1906 through the Second World War, and gave this type of radio receiver its name.
Mike, N6MQL displayed his “spider” gripping base normally used to hold cell phones to a cars dashboard. Mike explained that this rubberized material is a great way to keep ANY key in place on a desk regardless of how hard hams “slap” their key. Mike offered these table grips for only $2 each to members.
Our upcoming January 1st SFM ARC in-person meeting will be postponed until January 8th due to the meeting falling on New Years day. Current events, News regarding Amateur radio and other ARRL items will be discussed. As always we will have our Tech portion where members and visitors are asked to share Ham Radio related items they find of interest. Perhaps we’ll see some new gear that was received for Christmas this year? Feel free to visit our In-Person meeting with the items that you purchased or were given to you.
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. 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
The Yolo Amateur Radio Club held election of officers at its December 4th meeting.
President: Gary Matteson, WA6TQJ
Vice President: Robert Close, KK6DUW
Secretary: Dave Nishikawa, KC6YFG
Treasurer: Ben Norman, WA6NIK
Thanks to Gary, WA6TQJ, for this update.
SACRAMENTO AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
Lee, W6LFR, reports new officers and Board of Director members for 2015.
President: Tom Preston, KQ6EO
Vice President; Joel McAllister, KK6IQR
Treasurer; Jillian Leffler, KG6QAZ
Secretary; Lee Rominger, W6LFR
Board of Directors: Jeff Wells, KI6DQB; Kurtis Schneider, KJ6BDQ; Mike McDermott, KF6RUQ; Les Ballinger, WA6EQQ.
Jim Jennings, W7XZ, reports: Oroville Amateur Radio Society, OARS (http://w6af.org) had a somewhat busy December.
The monthly meeting on the 12th had some twenty in attendance. Agenda for the meeting included last minute details for assisting in the Oroville Downtown Business Association's Parade of Lights to be held the following evening; the second annual OARS Christmas Dinner, and election of officers at the January meeting (no "early" nominations came up during the discussion). For the program Josh, K6ZRX, conducted a presentation on Amplitude Compandored Sideband (ACSB), a mode that has seen some use on 220 Mhz but never captured the hearts and minds of the Land Mobile community to any great extent; Josh has successfully converted some commercial ACSB equipment for use in the 222 MHz Amateur band.
The aforementioned Parade of Lights took place on the 13th, with OARS providing (reportedly well received) communications assistance. Ron, KD7UHF, and Joe, WA6CAL, attended the planning meetings and, in doing so, provided the parade committee with an awareness of Amateur Radio's capabilities applicable to the event.
The second annual OARS Holiday Dinner took place on the 17th with 35 in attendance for good food and good company at Blueberry Twist Restaurant. The Monthly Breakfast on the 27th at Waffle Shop saw 14, a respectable showing for a Saturday two days after Christmas.
OARS will meet on Friday, 9 January 2015, 7 pm at St. Paul's Parish Hall in Oroville, with election of officers at the top of the agenda. The program, at time of this writing, is yet to be determined.
ARES Alpine & Douglas Comment for December 2014
Douglas County Amateur Radio Team members held 5 nets in December. There was no formal meeting this month. Our Douglas County Dispatch will not need us this year for the New Year's Eve party at Stateline so we do not plan to staff the ham stations at 911 Dispatch or the mobile Dispatch center, Unit 900. We are looking forward to an EMMCOM 1 class in 2015, Mondays, January to March to be held at our 911 Center conference room. Our packet enthusiasts have been working to get equipment at Raw Peak to help tie our state together. Around the State, we have accomplished enhancing digital inter communication. Thanks to Sheila, KA7AJQ, for this update. (Sheila is our EC for Alpine County.)
A handy Ham Tool: MicroAmp HA400 Ultra-Compact 4-Channel Stereo Headphone Amplifier was found on Amazon.com by Greg, KG6SJT.
Have you ever been operating the radio at an event, and people around you start talking making it difficult to copy traffic coming in? The MicroAmp HA400 Ultra-Compact 4-Channel Stereo Headphone Amplifier may be just what you need.
I purchased this audio device for field events where headphones become necessary for the net control, and also for the logger.
The advantage of this headphone amp is that it had 4 connections for audio out.
At events, we connect several sets of headphone, the volume of each is independently controlled, and also an external speaker. The external speaker allowed the event management and passer-bys to hear what was going on so they don’t try to keep asking, but the headphones allows the operators to focus on their tasks. It also works well at home allowing the use of the external speaker, headphones, or both.
My Skyscan Atomic wall clock with outside temperature sensor has decided not to listen to NIST broadcasts, so I replaced today with another Skyscan clock with a remote temperature sensor that is battery powered and can be farther away from the clock itself. Found it at Sam's Club, but I checked and there are lots of this type of clock available elsewhere. Nice to have in the shack, and when my friends are giving temperatures, I can be a little more accurate. de W6KJ
From the River City ARCS: Thanks to Linda Cardoza KI6OLC and other volunteers who prepared our December 2 Holiday dinner meeting at Sam's Hof Brau. Cindy and Chris Huber N6ICW report our toy drive for WEAVE was successful and well appreciated. We presented Life Membership certificates for Chuck Freas W6FT and Norm Brooks K6FO, and Bob Woodward N6PGQ presented the prestigious Lyle Aufranc Recognition Award to Dr. Carol Milazzo KP4MD. We all enjoyed good food, great company and the chance to win prizes On December 6, Carol Milazzo KP4MD and Paul McIntyre KC5JAX attended the ARRL Pacific Division Leadership Meeting in Livermore. Paul demonstrated how sight impaired amateur radio operators program and use a Wouxon handheld radio. The agenda included a recap of ARRL Centennial events and activities, emergency communications planning and coordination and the roles of ARES and the National Traffic System, and progress on the Amateur Radio Parity Act HR4969. With continuing PAVE PAWS upgrades, we expect no change in current restrictions on amateur use of the 420-450 MHz band. In addition to specific repeater restrictions, Part 97 limits transmitter power in that band to 50 watts PEP maximum in most of California. All members should now update their membership information for our club records through our web page or at our meeting. Annual dues for 2015 are now payable through the web page by PayPal, by mail or at our meeting by cash or check. Also please consider a donation to our repeater fund. The River City ARCS wide area repeater on 441.300 MHz located at our Shingle Springs hilltop site is designated for exclusive use by the River City ARCS membership. This repeater has coverage similar to our 145.25 MHz repeater. Please contact us for further information. Don't miss these upcoming RCARCS events!
- February 3 Meeting: Roger Ince, Coordinator of Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services will discuss Amateur Radio EmComm.
- March 3 Meeting: ARRL SV Section District 3 Emergency Coordinator Greg Kruckewitt KG6SJT will present an introduction and live demonstration of 2 meter Packet Radio and its role in routine and emergency message traffic. Greg has posted instructions on the SV ARES web site on how you can join a daily packet net.
- Spring: Our Annual Picnic and QRP field operation will feature a hidden transmitter fox hunt.
- May: River City ARCS will operate a Special Event Station at the Rio Linda Historical Society Annual Farm and Tractor Days.
Join us at our January meeting program for a slideshow from our December Holiday Party and a live demonstration using a $20 RTL-SDR USB dongle with a laptop computer to measure the frequency and adjust the deviation of a 2 meter FM radio. All are welcome to bring a 2 meter radio and participate. The meeting is this coming Tuesday, January 6 at 7:30 pm at the Sacramento County Corp. Yard at 5026 Don Julio Blvd for refreshments and great company. Visitors are always welcome. Happy New Year and see you there! 73, Carol Milazzo, KP4MD Secretary, River City ARCS
Duane Wyatt WA0MJD , reports:
I have assembled an ARES portable station.
This station does not look ideal cosmetically but it works well. It is nice to be able to operate portable using a self contained unit that can be wheeled to local parks, hospitals and special events without carrying multiple packages to the site to set up a station.
This station consists of:
1. a thirty foot high when extended 40 through 10 meter Zepp antenna
2. Two optimal brand, AGM type lead acid batteries connected in parallel
3. two small folding camp chairs
4. a thirty watt solar cell
5. an umbrella type of shade
Inside the cabinet is :
a. TenTec Eagle transceiver
b. ANC 4 noise canceller
c. MFJ speech intelligibility enhancer
d. TenTec power supply
e. ClearSpeech DSP
f. controller for an Isoloop magnetic loop antenna
g. MFJ power-SWR meter
h. SHURR cw paddles
See Duane's wagon portable ARES station below in our photo gallery.
At this point, it is entirely appropriate to congratulate all the brave amateurs who stepped up to be a leader in their local club. Thank you.
A new board member or officer has a few challenges to face, and experienced board members and officers are a good resource for the new.
If you have not already sent me your list of new officers/board members, please do so. We will recognize these folks with a note in Section News.
With the beginning of each year your club Internet presence needs to be checked for accuracy. The contact person and that person's information needs to confirmed for the information to be useful. I can't count the number of times I have tried to connect a prospective club member with a club only to find out that the club's information is several years out of date.
When we lost Jettie Hill, W6RFF, earlier this year, we also lost our Affiliated Club Coordinator for the Sacramento Valley Section. While it is not possible to replace Jettie, the appointment of ACC is not a difficult one to perform. You can review the responsibilities at: http://www.arrl.org/affiliated-club-coordinator
If you are interested in this appointment or any other appointment let me know. My best e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org though email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com all work as well.
I expected more folks to write in about the coolest ham radio toy they got at Christmas time. However, it is just possible you haven't anything to say about it—maybe it is still in the box. If you have a little experience with the new item, please share it with the rest of us. DE W6KJ.
THANKS to all the active amateur operators in this section who have contributed to this month's report. You make it fun to read and easy to keep up with friends in other clubs and cities. Have a great 2015.
If we missed your news, please send it to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get it in there with the rest.