ARRL SACRAMENTO VALLEY SECTION NEWS August 2015
The NEXT BIG THING! From Western Placer Amateur Radio Club: THE WPARC Hamfest is our big event for the year. It will be Saturday September 19th which is a little later this year due to the scheduling of Labor Day and a major contest on the 12th. We will be at McBean Park (in Lincoln off hiway 193) again this year. We will have VE sessions for all classes at an off-site location. Email Dennis KI6HHA at firstname.lastname@example.org to register. You must register in advance for the test. We have some good prizes lined up for the drawing including a grand prize of a SuperAntennas YP3 HF yagi antenna. We also have some ARRL gift certificates and some other prizes. We will start selling drawing tickets at the September club meeting. Also, please mention the hamfest on any area nets you check into or if you attend a meeting of another club. Thanks to Michael Buck, K6BUK. And for those of you with a 2016 calendar, North Hills Radio Club announces: The Hamfest Committee has set the next Hamfest date as Sunday, May 16, 2016. * * *
At last we have a U.S. Senate bill complementing the Amateur Radio Parity Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. US Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), who sponsored “The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015” in the Senate, had said the bill he introduced, with original cosponsor Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), would allow for transparency and equality in the regulatory process. S. 1685 and its identically worded US House version H.R. 1301 direct the FCC to provide “regulatory parity” for Amateur radio operators. Wicker said in a June 29 media release that the legislation would ensure that Amateur Radio operators are able to continue to provide “critical communications support at no cost to taxpayers.” We need to write letters to our two US Senators to ask them to become cosponsors of this bill.
Read more at: http://www.arrl.org/news/senate-sponsor-of-amateur-radio-parity-act-of-2015-said-bill-promotes-regulatory-transparency-equali
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Sierra Signals is the newsletter of the Sierra Foothills ARC. This month it contains another great article by Fred, K6DGW, on operating traffic nets. Don't miss it. Fred is moving to Sparks, NV, and thinks he can provide his column of great reading through the end of the year. I hope so. Thanks to Fred and all the newsletter editors in our Section who have carried his articles.
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The Butte County Sheriff's Communication Reserve has been asked to aid with and provide communications for a 200 mile relay marathon. The relay starts in Butte Meadows east of Chico and travels over forest roads to Rocky Point Campground at Lake Almanor in Plumas County and then back to Butte Meadows.
Ham radio operators are being requested to help out by staffing checkpoints, aiding with statistics, passing traffic, and emergency communications as needed. This would be a great event for ARES Groups in the area to get out in the field and use you equipment.
The event starts at 5:00AM on Friday September 11, 2015 and can go as late as 2400 on Saturday September 12, 2015. Obviously we would love to have volunteers with us the full 43 hours but we would welcome anyone that could help us for an 8 hour assignment. Due to the terrain and location we are requesting volunteers have mobile VHF or Dual Band radios with gain antennas. Anyone interested in volunteering for this event or for more detailed information, please contact Gary McElroy, N6BLU, Operations Lieutenant, Butte County Sheriff's Communication Reserve. email@example.com
Gary McElroy N6BLU
Butte County Sheriff's Communication Reserve.
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I have the following public service event opportunity.
"We are looking for amateur radio communication volunteers
to help support Ann Trason’s (Overlook Endurance Runs)
50K and 30K running event on October 18th, 2015.
This event covers areas of the historic Western States
Trail, Tevis Cup Trail and the American River Canyon. The
50K distance starts in Stone's Brew in Foresthill, CA. The
30K distance starts at Driver's Flat and Foresthill Road.
Both distances finish at the American Canyon Park Overlook
(Auburn Dam Overlook) in Auburn, CA.
If you are interested in volunteering please send email
to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating your interest, availability
and contact information and I will contact you directly
to confirm. A couple of the aid stations are on fire
roads and so high clearance vehicles or 4WD is ideal.
More information about the Overlook Endurance Runs and
this event can be found here:
Thank you for your interest.
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Clio, Plumas County - Roger, W6SQQ and Carole, K6PUP from the City, County, and Section of Orange spend a month or more yearly in their RV here visiting her brother, Gary, KM6CO in Portola. Once every few years, they have made one week into a monthly outing for the Sam's Radio Hams, a Southern California Chapter of the Good Sam RV Club. This was such a time, the week of August 10th. There were 7 RVs, light because of the distance for most. But there were two RVs from Sacramento Valley, one from Nevada, one from San Joaquin Valley, and three from the Southwest Division. We had 12 Hams and one BCL. Besides SRH nets on 75 and 40, the Mt. Vaca net Saturday night on 75, there were lots of day trips and dining experiences. The photo is from a video of the SRH meeting at the camp by Frank, W6GZI, which may soon be on YouTube with his other Ham camping videos. (L-R)in the center, me and son Matthew, W6KDJ. Another SV Ham was Bill, WA6IVI and maybe that's his knee. This may become an annual August event next year. (See the photo below in the photo section at the bottom of Section News.)
Les is SV Assistant Section Manager
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From Western Placer ARC:
WPARC Hamfest only 3 weeks away! The big day is Saturday September 19th and we will be at Lincoln's McBean Park at 7:00 AM as in past years. We are looking for a big turnout this year and need lots of volunteers to help out. Email Katy KJ6YCP at email@example.com to volunteer. We will also have a VE test session for all classes. Email Dennis KI6HHA at firstname.lastname@example.org to register. You must register in advance for the test. We have some good prizes lined up for the drawing including a grand prize of a SuperAntennas YP3 HF yagi antenna. We also have some ARRL gift certificates and some other prizes. We will start selling drawing tickets at the September club meeting. Also, please mention the hamfest on any area nets you check into or if you attend a meeting of another club. We have flyers available if you want some or I can email you a .pdf you can print or forward.
The September Board Meeting is the 8th at the Pizza Roundup in Lincoln. All club members are welcome to attend and are encouraged to do so. I'm happy the Board meetings are still at Pizza Roundup. I like their cheese pizza and I usually have leftovers for the next night.
The September meeting is the 15th at 7:00 PM at the Woodcreek Oaks Golf Club in Roseville. The meeting starts at 7:00 PM but many of us gather beforehand for a tasty dinner or a cool drink. Plan to attend as this is only a few days before the Hamfest!
We are preparing a survey for club members asking what you would like to see for presentations for the coming year at club meetings. Think about what your interests are or if you are interested in learning a new area of our hobby. Few hobbies are as broad as ours with all its different aspects. Let any board member know if you have a special interest you would like to see covered.
Remember in the last newsletter how I was lamenting the end of Collins crystal filters? Wrong! It is Collins mechanical filters that are going out of production. I don't know why I put crystal in instead of mechanical. I had read an article about crystals that afternoon so maybe they were just on my mind. Anyway, get them while you can!
Keep Saturday October 10th open for the Tour de Rocklin. We will be doing our usual communications and SAG operations for the event. Club President Jim W6JMF is coordinating the event for the club. To volunteer email Jim at email@example.com.
Also, the following weekend is the Overlook Endurance Run and they are looking for some hams to help out. This from WPARC club member John NQ6Q: We are looking for amateur radio communication volunteers to help support Ann Trason’s (Overlook Endurance Runs) 50K and 30K running event on October 18th, 2015. The 30k/50k Overlook Endurance Run up in the Forresthill – Auburn area could use a couple more radio operators with portable stations (VHF voice & optional packet.) The contact is Joe Steinmetz, firstname.lastname@example.org
This event covers areas of the historic Western States Trail, Tevis Cup Trail, and the American River Canyon. The 50K distance starts in Stone's Brew in Foresthill, CA. The 30K distance starts at Driver's Flat and Foresthill Road. Both distances finish at the American Canyon Park Overlook (Auburn Dam Overlook) in Auburn, CA.
Here is the website for the run:
Some exciting news from the ARRL – the FCC is eliminating the regulatory fee for vanity call signs. The change will not take place for at least 90 days, waiting on Congressional approval. The current fee is $21.40 which is not enough to cover the work load for the FCC to process and manage the vanity call sign program. One major contributor to the workload is multiple people applying for a choice call like an Extra 1x2 or 2x1. Only one person can be granted the call and the FCC has to send refund checks to all the people who didn't lost out. I remember one ham in our club who applied for a vanity call and more than 20 others applied for the same call! He was lucky and won the call but he had several rejections before he finally received one he wanted.
We have other events on the calendar and will give more info in future newsletters. If you have any questions about the events or would like to suggest an event for the club, talk to any club officer. Also, if you know of any events that we should list in the newsletter, email me.
I found out recently that you can have a percentage of any purchases at amazon.com go to the ARRL! Amazon will donate 0.5% on eligible items to the ARRL through the Amazon Smile program. Just go to the link and choose the ARRL for your charity. I changed my amazon.com account a few weeks ago and when I log in it asks me if I want to change to the ARRL donation page. Remember, you must sign in using the smile.amazon link so remember to bookmark it. You can sign up at http://smile.amazon.com/
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.
If you have any comments, suggestions, or complaints about the club please talk to a club officer. The club officers are:
Jim W6JMF – President email@example.com
Bill KJ6YCO – Vice President firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael K6BUK – Secretary email@example.com
Scott KJ6FAV – Treasurer firstname.lastname@example.org
Clay K6AEP – Board Member email@example.com
Gary WA6IKE – Board Member firstname.lastname@example.org
Dennis KI6HHA – Board Member email@example.com
Ben N3BEN – Alternate Board Member firstname.lastname@example.org
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 101th 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 League also provides and supports the Logbook of the World for free. It is probably the most widely used logbook for awards. 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: @ARRL_W1AW
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.
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!
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 now a Family Dollar Store. Lots of members show up for breakfast and there are plenty 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).
See you at the September club meeting!
Remember, our website is wparc.us.
The Redding ARRL VE Team announces that our next exam session will be held on Saturday September 19th
, 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 email@example.com .
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The Yuba Sutter ARC VE Team holds the September session on Sept 5 at the church office at 715 King Ave. in Yuba City. Pre-registration is preferred but walk in candidates will be given a test if time permits. The session begins at 9 AM. Contact LeRoy Smith, KJ6DKM, firstname.lastname@example.org . Candidates should bring a copy of their current license, the current license, and two forms of identification, one of which is a picture ID. The test fee is $15.
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Our Pacific Division Convention is October 16-18 this year at the San Ramon Marriott Hotel in San Ramon. This location is familiar to many as it was the place we used prior to the Santa Clara location.
Check out Pacificon.org for all the details. Advance registration closes 5 October. VE exams are always part of our Convention.
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Remember, VE exams will be given off site during the September 19 Sacramento Valley Ham Fest in Lincoln. Email Dennis KI6HHA at email@example.com to register. You must register in advance for the test.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org for information and appointment.
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I have an acquaintance who has autism and has no money, friends, or family.
He is interested in becoming an amateur radio operator and I told him I would find him a radio and mentor him online how to use it. Anyone have a free or low cost radio for him? I will have to pay all costs myself---he has no money for this.
Duane Wyatt WA0MJD (Email on QRZ)
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FOR ALL SPECIAL SERVICE CLUBS: SSC PENNANTS FOR YOU!
The Club Update mechanism has been upgraded. Now when a club updates the information on the ARRL club pages the changes are displayed as soon as the information is submitted.
The tutorial on the club page www.arrl.org/clubs has been updated to reflect the changes in the updating procedure.
Here is the direct link to the pdf tutorial.
At the July meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors, the board directed HQ to issue one of our new SSC pennants to each Special Service Club. Please reach out to your Special Service Clubs and have them verify that the club information is correct and that their Special Service Club status is up to date.
Having this information correct will reduce the number of items returned to HQ because of a bad address.
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From North Hills Radio Club:
As you may remember from last month's newsletter, The North Hills Radio Club had a picnic for the first time in a number of years. During the picnic, Chris Gifford, KJ6LZR conducted a fox hunt. It was so well received that he decided to conduct another one before he went in for shoulder surgery on the 20th of this month.
The hunt was held on Saturday, August 15. It was open to anyone and everyone who wanted to participate. We all gathered at the North Hills and River City ARCS meeting site at around Eleven A.M. Just before Eleven-thirty, Chris got on the K6IS repeater and laid out the boundaries for all of us. The frequency to be used, to the surprise of all, was the output frequency of the K6IS repeater. Once Chris gave his instructions, off we all went. The fox ended up being located at Land Park near downtown Sacramento. Once everyone found the fox, we enjoyed hot dogs, soda, water and good fellowship together. Congratulations to Dan Plat, N6TNI along with his sun, Dennis Klaman, N6KLA. Coming in second were two blind persons; Doug Emerson, N6NFF, his wife, Sheilla, N6IKB along with their driver Maynard Wright, W6PAP. Because Dan and his sun Dennis were the first to find the fox, doing so thirty-five minutes after it started, they will be the ones to plan the next fox hunt. Everyone had a great time at the hunt and the hot dogs weren't bad either!
Coming up in September, North Hills will present their annual "What Is Amateur Radio Night" on Tuesday Evening, September 15. It will be held at our usual meeting site, 5026 Don Julio Blvd, right on the northeast corner. The event will take place from 6:00 until 8:00 P.M. If you live within easy driving distance of Sacramento we invite you to come and bring a carload of non-ham friends or relatives. Young non-ham friends or relatives are especially welcome to come. We want to show non-hams what a wonderful hobby we have. Who knows! The carload of non-hams you bring could result in one or all of them in getting their ticket. That would be a good thing for our hobby. See you there. Until then, the best of 73 from all of us in The North Hills Radio Club.
Doug Emerson, N6NFF
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From the River City ARCS: Debbie Wells had to postpone her presentation and will be our guest speaker in November. This month, Bob Hess, W1RH will do double duty talking about the role of the Official Observer for our Amateur Radio service. He also will be talking about the 50th anniversary of the California QSO party.
The Club is forming an “Elmer Team” to answer questions and solve other’s problems. Are you an antenna guru, PL259 solderer, able to program the new menu driven equipment? If so, and you would like to join the team and have expertise to share, let us know.
Our October meeting will be the annual White Elephant sale. Clean out your shack and bring some gear to sell to help benefit our repeater operation.
It looks like our repeater will soon be off “hilltop” mode and offer its great coverage to valley hams. Stay tuned for the “big switch”.
Join us at our meetings.
Bob Woodward, N6PGQ
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The OARS (Oroville Amateur Radio Society) (http://w6af.org) August meeting saw
18 in attendance. WithTreasurer Bob Oden, K6RCO, moving to Minnesota, a lot
of discussion was devoted to an interim replacement (Larry Thompson, W6LAT, will
assume the duties for the remainder of the term), and a new location for the OARS
repeater's EchoLink node. John Hunt, K7XE, whose location currently hosts
the repeater, will host the node as well, eliminating the need for a radio
link between the two. Josh Heide, K6ZRX, provider of the hardware for the
repeater and node, plans to perform the changeover in the middle of
September. The OARS booth at the Berry Creek Berry Festival was reportedly
well received; a station set up at the booth communicated well, and a set of
pamphlets and cards printed up by Joe Herman, WA6CAL, and his XYL went over
quite well at the event. The Steak Bake, hosted this year by GARS, is
scheduled for 19 September, the same day as the Lincoln Hamfest, but it was
pointed out at the meeting that it is an afternoon event and the Hamfest
ends at noon. The program, presented by Joe, WA6CAL, consisted of two
videos, one about manufacturing a vacuum tube, and the other explaining
There were seventeen at the OARS Monthly Breakfast on the 29th.
Congratulation to John Hunt, K7XE, who has attained certificates for CQ's
prestigious WAZ award (SSB #5332), and WPX at the 1000 prefix level.
The next monthly meeting of OARS will take place on Friday, 11 September
2015, 7 pm, at St. Paul's Parish Hall, 1430 Pine Street in Oroville.
73, Jim, W7XZ
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Alpine and Douglas August ARES comment
Douglas County Amateur Radio Team, Nevada ARES members and members from California and Arizona participated in a digital/voice exercise August 22nd. I am receiving preliminary comments that it was a good test of various digital modes for reliability for traffic handling. KJ6IX found MT-63 the mode of choice for passing message traffic as it provides error correction and speed. At 9:00 AM, August 22nd, we began with voice on 7280 and stepped up 2 to avoid nearby signals. Pete, W7TKO, at his Winnemucca station was net control. He could not copy many nearby Nevada stations and we could hardly copy him. On our weekly 3965 kHz nets, all our Nevada stations are great copy. I am just South of Carson City. Jerry, KC6ILH, of Pahrump was alternate net control and able to pull in most Nevada stations as well as those in Arizona and California. Quite interesting. There should be more after action comments on the digital part soon. George, KF2T ran the digital part from Las Vegas.
Sheila Clement, KA7AJQ
EC, Douglas and Alpine Counties
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The W6SFM Samuel F. Morse ARC welcomed 12 members to this months SFMARC 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 August in-person meeting:
President Mike, N6MQL read the months budget report and announced the final funds available, Including one $10 donation made to the club. 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.
Topics of Discussion included the final planning of the W6SFM CW Beginners class. The SFM ARC is to begin it’s 10 week CW course on the 16th of September. Students have checked in and after a difficult acquisition of enough Morse Keys, the students free Keys and Oscillators are now under construction. At the time of this news letter the club has 23 students signed up. We thank everyone who choose to participate with this class. For those that didn’t make it to this one we look forward to seeing you at the next class in 2016.
.A special announcement was made regarding the sponsorship of the W6SFM CQ BR (Bug Roundup) Event . A popular American Key company has asked to sponsor the CQ BR in exchange for different hand crated keys to be made as give-aways. Another announcement was made that the same key manufacture would be producing a custom hand made collectors key that would be available to only our CW class room students to purchase. Announcements such as the Placer Country Amateur Radio club Hamfest 2015 were made. Members of the W6SFM have planed to carpool to the Lincoln event..
Chris, AI6U reported on this months On-Air Net check-ins. The net is held each Tuesday evening on 80 meters. Chris reports that over 24 people have checked in on our on-air net as well as 9 On-Line LIVE FEED viewers. Check ins have been both guests and members spanning across the country. .
Our next SFM ARC in-person meeting will be held at it’s normal time and address. As a reminder the club has now moved to a larger space to accommodate our growing club. Our upcomingSFM ARC in-person meeting will be held in the Howard Crowley room upstairs. 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. Feel free to visit our In-Person meeting with items that you purchased or were given that you would like to share with the group.
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 "Howard Crowley" 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 our website.
We hope to see you at our next meeting! 73,
W6SFM Club President
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Larry Trotter, KI6YUK, EC, Plumas County
, added this comment that I'm you might be interested in.
This was a very busy month on the Plumas. The 2 Events we worked went off quite successfully. The Club spent a good deal of time and money upgrading our Mt. Hough repeater site. Many thanks to the work crew and especially Jim W7OWC for his expertise and guidance. We even had several members use their radios to thwart a potential forest fire at Buck's Lake! Thank You Brian K1BKH, Susan K6BLS and Kathy KF6CCP! Once again, Ham Radio to the Rescue!
Here is the list of nets maintained by Les, W6TEE. Please check to see if your favorite net is listed:
Looking for our list of nets? Thanks to Les, W6TEE, the list is now at
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That is all the news we received this month, but we may have missed yours. You can always get news in to us for inclusion in our Section News. Just send it to me at email@example.com and I will do the rest.