ARRL Sections - Sacramento Valley

Sacramento Valley

Sacramento Valley

Contact Information

Section Name:
Sacramento Valley
Dr. Carol Milazzo, KP4MD
Daytime Phone:
(916) 782-3786
Evening Phone:
(916) 879-7449

Basic Information


ARRL SV Bulletin 1 ARLBSV001
MAY 11, 2016

To all SV radio amateurs

On May 19, 2016, ARRL SV Section will hold a Section Net, first on VHF (WD6AXM/R, 146.085 MHz, plus offset, tone 127.3 Hz) immediately following the Yuba-Sutter ARES net which starts at 7 PM Pacific Time. The second edition of the net will be for those unable to access the WD6AXM/R machine which is located atop the Sutter Buttes west-northwest of Yuba City. It will commence IMMEDIATELY after the VHF SV net signs off and be conducted on 5330.5 MHz USB, the 60 meter channel used successfully to test propagation on May 5. Those checking in to the VHF edition of the net are encouraged to join the HF edition if they can.

All ARRL members, club presidents, Section appointees, and all amateur radio operators with a General class or higher license are encouraged to join us for the HF net. Section News, items of regional and national interest to all amateur operators will be the topics of discussion.




Visit our Section website at for the latest updates.

NPOTA 2016

From the Section Manager

Here is the latest news from our section clubs and members. You can still send items for the May news to kp4md(at) I try to update this news page by each the weekend after submissions are received.

Mark Sunday, May 15 on your calendars now for the North Hills Radio Club Hamfest from 7 AM to 12 noon at a new location--the Carmichael Elks Lodge, 5631 Cypress Ave, Carmichael, CA 95608.  See more info at

Our website, Facebook and Twitter pages are a work in progress, and your suggestions and submissions are always welcome.

73, Carol Milazzo KP4MD
ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Manager

You can always send compliments, suggestions and submissions for inclusion in our Section News to kp4md (at)



Section News:
Section Nets:
Sacramento Valley ARES:

Thanks to Greg Kruckewitt KG6SJT for maintaining our Section ARES web page and assisting with our new Facebook page and Twitter feed.
Thanks to Les Cobb W6TEE for maintaining the Section Net list.

ARRL Affiliated Club web resources are now listed on this web page


ARRL Conventions and Hamfests




Classes and Volunteer Exam (VE) Schedules

License Class and VE Session Calendar


Folsom ARRL Volunteer Exam Schedule
Posted December 22, 2015

Here is our updated exam scheduled for the first part of 2016:

  1. Thursday January 21
  2. Thursday February 18
  3. Thursday March 17
  4. Thursday April 21
  5. Thursday May 19
  6. Thursday June 16

All exams start at 6:00 pm.

Round Table Pizza (Small private room by the front door), 2793 E Bidwell St, Suite 100, Folsom, CA 95630
For information see or contact Mike Kirkland, NS6Q at
73, Mike, NS6Q


Redding ARRL VE Schedule
Posted March 1, 2016

The Redding ARRL VE Team will be hosting exams on the following Saturdays in 2016:

  1. March 19
  2. May 21
  3. July 16
  4. September 7
  5. November 19

Our exam sessions are now being held at 2486 Progress Drive in Redding. Exams start at 10:00 AM and candidates are encouraged to pre-register.

More information can be found or by contacting Steve K6KS at



Test location: SHINGLETOWN AREA RESOURCE CENTER, 31268 HWY 44 SUITE C, SHINGLETOWN, CA. 96088 Next door to the Post Office.
Testing begins at 10:00 AM. Candidates should arrive 15 to 30 minutes early. We accept walk ins.
Contact: Dar Walker W6IO, Shingletown ARRL VE Liaison,, 530-474-3087

2016 SCHEDULE: Feb 20, Apr 16, Jun 18, Aug 20, Oct 15, Dec 17

Dar Walker W6IO


Sacramento Valley Section HF Propagation May 5 Sacramento Valley
60 Meter Propagation Test
Posted May 5, 2016

A 60 meter section wide propagation test was held on Thursday May 5 at 7:30 pm Pacific Time (0230 UTC 06 May) on 5330.5 kHz (USB dial frequency)The aim of this test was to confirm if a Section-wide net could be conducted on 60 meters. Propagation models predict that both the 60 meter and 75 meter bands are expected to support year-round evening NVIS propagation throughout our Sacramento Valley Section. A 60 meter Section net frequency could offer the benefits of lower atmospheric noise (QRN), no adjacent channel interference, and more efficient antennas for those with space limitations.

32 section members checked in with KP4MD as net control and Ron Murdock W6KJ acting as relay station. Despite atmospheric noise from thunderstorms through the area, signals were strong and the participating stations successfully exchanged their names, locations and signal reports.

Click here to see the May 5 60 meter test report.  Participants and listeners may send feedback and reception reports via e-mail to kp4md(at)

Carol F. Milazzo, KP4MD ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Section Manager, kp4md(at)

National Parks on the Air January through December 2016

National Parks on the Air In 2016, the National Parks Service (NPS) will celebrate its 100th anniversary, and radio amateurs will be able to help mark the occasion with the ARRL National Parks on the Air (NPOTA) event. The fun begins at 0000 UTC on January 1, 2016.
NPS entities within the Sacramento Valley Section are:

*Although some sites such as Sutter's Fort and the B.F. Hastings Building are under California State Parks administration, NPOTA activations may be conducted there with appropriate permission. "Operations within 100 feet of National Historic Trails are permitted at any point along the route. Operations from private property must receive permission." See NPOTA Rules 13(k) and (m). ARRL Headquarters advises amateur radio operators to contact and register with the corresponding local NPS unit administration in advance to inform them of planned NPOTA operations within their entity. Visit for more information. Follow NPOTA activation updates on npota.arrl.orgFacebook and Twitter. The Tule Lake National Monument The Tule Lake National Monument - NPOTA (NM31)
Posted April 30, 2016

The Tule Lake National Monument (NM31) WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument includes both the the Tule Lake Segregation Center, the largest and most controversial of the sites where Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War II, and Camp Tulelake, which was first a Civilian Conservation Corps camp, then a prisoner of war camp, and finally an additional facility to detain Japanese Americans.

Visit the National Parks Service website to find the Tule Lake National Monument and other NPOTA entities near you. NPOTA activations may be conducted with permission from sites along NPOTA trails not under NPS administration with proper permission.

Be sure to read the NPOTA activation rules and instructions and register your NPOTA activation for a truly enjoyable experience and public outreach!

From Duane Wyatt, WAØMJD, Section Youth Coordinator
Posted April 29, 2016

Kid's Club Project Update

Duane Wyatt WA0MJD has been working on a project to expose children with health issues to amateur radio and morse code. He has developed Kid's Club units to accomplish this. Script and photos of Kid's Club are seen in the project website at

Child Life staff at St. Jude's Research Hospital for Children have gladly agreed to accept a Kid's Club donation.

Duane is requesting help to pay for the assembly of a Kid's Club unit to give them. Each unit costs approximately $500 to assemble. Please contact Duane at duanewyatt(at) or (916) 677-9799

Duane Wyatt, WAØMJD,
ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Youth Coordinator
(916) 677-9799

April 3 - Pony Express Anniversary NPOTA/Special Event Station N6P Report

Pony Express Special Event Station N6P

Amateur radio operators from the River City Amateur Radio Communications Society and the Samuel F. Morse Amateur Radio Club activated the National Parks on the Air/Special Event Station N6P at the Pony Express Terminal (National Historic Trail TR15), 1002 2nd Street in Old Sacramento on Sunday April 3 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm PDT (1700-2200 UTC) to commemorate the 156th anniversary of the inauguration of the Pony Express on that date. CW and phone operation on 40 and 20 meters showcased the historic and current day role of Morse Code and the Amateur Radio Service.

Young people were especially interested in the Morse Code Practice Station.   Here a young lady (YL) is learning Morse Code at the Pony Express Terminal NPOTA/Special Event Station N6P. (photo by Bob Woodward N6PGQ)

The event included an ARRL Amateur Radio Literature display and a Morse Code Practice Station with a variety of telegraph keys, including a straight hand key, a bug and an electronic keyer. Young people were especially interested in the Morse Code Practice Station. Here a young lady (YL) is learning Morse Code at the April 3, 2016 Pony Express Terminal NPOTA/Special Event Station N6P. (photo by Bob Woodward N6PGQ) 

17 states and provinces were contacted during the April 3, 2016 N6P NPOTA/Special Event Station operation. Geomagnetic storms were predicted for April 3, foreboding poor radio propagation for the event.  Radio signals were few and weak for the first few hours while a geomagnetic storm with a K index of 5-6 was in progress.  Most contacts were made between 2000-2200 UTC when the K index had dropped to 1-2.  Contacts with amateur radio stations in a total of 17 states and provinces were logged.  Online log

See the full captioned photo story on Facebook and photo album.  To request a QSL card confirming your contact, please mail your card with an SASE to KP4MD address.

Jim Mazzuco K6IQ in contact with station KS7T at Pony Express Terminal NPOTA/Special Event Amateur Radio Station N6P Michael Aretsky N6MQL operating at Pony Express Terminal NPOTA/Special Event Amateur Radio Station N6P

From Joe DeAngelo, AG6QO, ARRL Official Digital Relay Station
Posted March 29, 2016

Call for New Packet Network Nodes

Radio-all-the-way digital messaging networks are seeing a resurgence in activity in Northern California and elsewhere.

The availability of powerful new bulletin board software, like BPQmail, which integrates traditional packet and hf BBS message forwarding with WinLink Gateway and NTSD capability is a major force behind that resurgence.

The network of radio-mail stations is growing. K6ETA, AG6QO, N6RME and others provide a VHF network of packet stations which tie together packet users across Northern California. That network extends via HF, PACTOR, WINMOR, and ARDOP stations, into Nevada and Southern California and ties into the national network.

Modern BBS software allows users to send and receive radio-mail as if it were email, often using their familiar email clients on their computers, laptops, phones and other mobile devices.

A strong network requires additional nodes. Anyone interested in using or extending the network is encouraged to get involved. You can contact Joe, AG6QO for more information ag6qo(at), or visit his BPQ web page.

From Bob Wortman, WB6VYH, 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.
Bob will also be doing NPOTA at some of the parks and monuments in northern California and will be able to do applications there too.

Please contact Bob ahead of time at wb6vyh(at) or 4wortman(at) for information and appointment.


From Norm Lucas, WB6RVR, Section Official Observer Coordinator
Posted January 11, 2016

Do you have what it takes to be an ARRL "Official Observer?"

FCC Amateur Auxiliary The Official Observer (OO) program has been sponsored by the ARRL for more than 85 years to help Amateur Radio operators assist each other to operate their stations in compliance with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations.
Official Observer appointees have assisted thousands of Amateur Radio operators to maintain their transmitting equipment and comply with operating procedures and regulations. The object of the OO program is to notify amateurs of operating and technical irregularities before they come to the attention of the FCC and to recognize good operating practices.
The OO program serves as the first line of "eyes and ears" for the FCC. It is the backbone of the Amateur Auxiliary. OOs are certified in the Auxiliary by passing a mandatory written examination.
The OO performs his/her function by observing rather than transmitting. They keep watch for such things as frequency instability, harmonics, hum, key clicks, broad signals, distorted audio, over deviation, out-of-band operation and other potential problems. The OO completes his/her task once the notification card is sent.
In substantive rule violations cases, OOs refer problems to ARRL HQ. After review by HQ staff, the OO may be requested to provide additional information that may be forwarded to the FCC for possible enforcement action.


  • Reporting to the ARRL Section OO Coordinator monthly on Form FSD-23.
  • Sending out advisory notices as needed.
  • Submitting good operator reports as warranted.


  • Recommendation of ARRL Section Manager
  • Pass an examination based on study of the ARRL's Amateur Auxiliary Training Manual
  • Full ARRL membership
  • Technician class license or higher for at least four years

The exam for becoming an OO is administered by US Mail from ARRL Headquarters in Newington, CT. All of the study materials and exam are provided by the League, and you can complete the exam at your own pace. It is the only appointed position where the candidate is required to successfully pass an exam, prior to their appointment. Interested and qualified amateurs can start the application process by going to the following link:

If you need further information about the OO program, or would like someone to speak about the OO program at your next club meeting, please contact:
Norm Lucas (WB6RVR)
ARRL Official Observer Coordinator (SV)

Amateur Radio Emergency ServiceMay 14 - Sacramento County ARES Training
Posted April 29, 2016

The Sacramento County ARES February training meeting will be Saturday, May 14, from 0900-1200 hours at To Be Announced

Club and Member News

Update from the River City ARCS
Posted May 3, 2016


Coming May3, George Poulos, N6YG will be demonstrating sound card modes used in Amateur Radio. He will also be touching on Slow Scan TV which may give us some insight into a mode we are using after the ARCS Wednesday FM net. Integrating computer technology with Amateur Radio certainly has come a long way. I’m looking forward to Tuesday’s meeting.

Members of our Club and the Samuel Morse club set up a special event station last month in Old Sacramento. We made contacts to qualify for a National Parks on the Air (NPOTA_ station and had a lot of fun talking to visitors. The NPOTA event honoring the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service goes on through the 2016 year. We will keep everyone informed if NPOTA activations are happening close to us.

May 20 and 21 is Farm and Tractor Days. We need a few dedicated volunteers to help set up a station and demonstrate Amateur Radio to the attendees. Friday’s visitors will mostly be students so we need to have some things for them to see and do. If you aren’t busy those days, come join the Club in Rio Linda. We are working to coordinate clothing sales – stay tuned!

For those following my station installation adventures, Murphy showed up again. I received an E-mail the morning I was to pick up my tower telling me it was not completed. Other projects had priority. Maybe next month. Does anyone know of someone with a large powered posthole digger (tractor or Bobcat)?

Don’t forget our June meeting will be held Monday June 6th due to a Tuesday conflict with the primary elections.

See everyone at the meeting.

73, Bob Woodward, N6PGQ, President, River City ARCS,

Scott Peterson KE6VUS MESH Net Demonstration Update from the Golden Empire ARS
Posted May 1, 2016


Busy and active times are coming up for our club – let’s hope that the bands are busy and active as well!

Thank you Anna, KG6ZOA for chairing the Wildflower effort again this year. I know that you put a lot of effort getting operators and organizing the event.

This month is our big auction of the year. Find those items in your shack that are collecting dust, they may be just the item that another ham would treasure to have. This event is an important fundraiser for our club, so spread the word and let’s make this the biggest and most fun auction that we have ever had!

GEARS April 15 Meeting It’s hard to believe but Field Day is next month. It seems like we were just talking about how it is several months away. This is a great opportunity for us to come together, operate in the mountains, meet new friends, and mentor or be mentored in expanding our operating skills and knowledge. And guess what – we can have a whole lot of fun doing so! If you would like to be part of this historical tradition, please contact our Field Day Chair Michael Favor, N6FAV as soon as possible.

At our July 15th meeting we will have a very special guest speaker – Bob Heil, K9EID. Bob is the founder of Heil Sound, an innovator in speakers, microphones and just about anything dealing with sound. His Heil microphones are used throughout the world in ham shacks and professionally on stage and in studios. Since Bob’s QTH is in Missouri he will be joining us via Skype. If you have ever watched him as moderator on Ham Nation ( or heard him interviewed, you know that he is a wealth of information not just on sound but antennas, grounding systems and many other aspects of ham radio.

73 for now, and remember - The Sky’s the Limit with Amateur Radio!

Larry Marcum, KA6GND.

Bike Around the Buttes Update from the Yuba-Sutter ARC
Posted April 30, 2016


On April 16 over 1000 bike riders descended upon the town of Sutter, CA for the annual Bike Around the Buttes.

The routes are 17 mile, 40 mile, and 100 mile bike rides to raise money for Children's Type 1 Diabetes. The club was also there providing communications support as SAGs (Support and Gear), at rest stops and a command center.

Assisting this year were Net Control: Chris Price (KD6CP), Steve Sweetman (K6TAZ), Rest Stops: John Rogers (KI6UDF), LeRoy Smith (KJ6DKM), Mike Eby (KM6EBY), Chris McLain (KK6VZD), Bill Duncan (WA6OHP), SAGs: LeRoy Smith (KJ6DKM), Manna Whelchel (KA6ETB), Lonnie Moore (KI6ZYY), Andy Boone (KJ6IYM), Sherie GoForth-Eby (K6AVW), Mike Morris (KK6ISQ), Joe Stafford (KK6SOX), Linda Maas (KK6SOZ), Dave Gipson (KC9EI), Larry Witcher (KE6LAW), and Curtis Sylvester-Jose (KF6VFP).


Saturday, May 7, 2016 riders will visit the rural towns of Meridian and Sutter.

Ride through the pastoral farmlands of the Sutter Bypass, cross the Tisdale Weir, ride along the scenic Sacramento River levee road and around the unique Sutter Buttes (the smallest mountain range in the world), where John C. Fremont camped his troops in 1848 and returned to Colusa along the banks of the beautiful Sacramento River. Hams as SAGs, at rest stops and net control will be right there with them assisting in this 100 km (63 mile) ride.

Bill Duncan (WA6OHP) is in need of more volunteers to assist, particually SAGs. He can be reached at or call him at 530-763-7175 to volunteer.

Update from the El Dorado County ARC
Posted April 30, 2016


Here’s hoping that this finds all of you well and happy.

April has been a fast passing month for me due to it being the income tax season. I never seem to escape that unscathed, but there is always next year.

The weather has been changeable but I am not complaining. We here in California certainly need the rain, and I for one would like to stop hearing all the gloom and doom drought messages in the media. So rain on Macduff! (My apologies to Shakespeare).

I am looking forward to the Mother Lode bike ride at the end of the month and hope to see many of you then as well as at the mee+ng this coming Thursday.

Boy, I don’t know who it was that said a person shouldn’t re+re because he’ll just waste away and die quickly due to boredom. I have a long enough to-do list to last me twenty years and if the last twenty years are any indicator of the future, I’ll probably have a twenty year long to-do list at the end of the next twenty. Boredom, my foot! That last didn’t have quite the impact that that expression usually carries, but I am trying to maintain a little decorum here.

Field Day is approaching fast so it is not too soon to get your fire permits for the year and to review your go kit contents and so on for that event.

Don, AF6ND Don, AF6ND

We have a terrific April 28 meeting planned. Our speaker is Sandy, DL1QQ, from Germany. Sandy will talk about the Olympics of Ham Radio - The WRTC Championship, featuring the best contesters in the world. This is an event held every four years. 2014 was in New England. The next WRTC will be held in Germany, in 2018.

Our raffle prize will feature a brand new 2 meter mobile radio and other good stuff!

See you on Thursday. Bob, W1RH

Update from the North Hills RC
Posted April 15, 2016

The North Hills Radio Club held their March meeting on the 15th. We had a very good turn-out of about twenty-five persons. George, N6YG our vice-president, gave part two of his talk about SSTV along with information about sound cards and software. Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 19 at 7:30 P.M. Our meetings take place at the former "SMUD" building, 5026 Don Julio Sacramento. Our meetings are open to all who wish to attend. This month, George is gonna do it again! That is, he's gonna give what promises to be an interesting presentation on JT65. George does very well with these presentations!

We are a bit behind with planning for our Hamfest but we're trying to move things along for the big event. It was brought to our attention that the address for The Carmichael Elks Lodge was incorrect on the ARRL web site. Please note that the correct address for the Carmichael Elks Lodge is 5631 Cypress Avenue, not 2103.  #2103 is the assigned number of the Lodge.  Remember, that the Hamfest will take place on Sunday, May 15, 2016. Gates will open for vendors at 6:00 A.M. They will open for lookers and buyers at 7:00 A.M. and the Hamfest will last until Noon.  The talk-in frequency will be the K6IS repeater at 145.190 MHz with a negative offset and a tone of 162.2 Hz.  Please don't go to our former location of Natomas High School.  If you do, you'll have a Hamfest all by yourself.

Refreshments will be sold at a snack bar which will be set up on the property.  As President of the club, I would like to see all of you there.  Please come up to the club table where tickets will be sold and say "hi".  I'd love to shake your hand! A big "Thank you" goes to the chairperson of our Hamfest committee, Mr. Richard Fazzino, N6RIK for spearheading the effort for our Hamfest.  If you have questions, you may send them either to Rick or myself.  Rick's email is: rickn6rik(at) and for myself, Doug Emerson, N6NFF to: dsemerson(at) and one of us will be glad to assist you.  The North Hills Radio Club looks forward to seeing all of our old friends and hopefully, some new ones at our Hamfest on Sunday, May 15.

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

ARISS SSTV Image received by KP4MD on 4/13/2016 Update from River City ARCS SSTV Net
Posted April 14, 2016

Members of the River City ARCS ‪‎SSTV‬ Net in Sacramento received these slow scan TV images during passes of the International Space Station.  During April 11-14, the ISS amateur radio station RSØISS continuously transmitted a series of SSTV images using PD180 format on 145.800 MHz FM to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the first ‪ARISS‬ contact (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station).  For many it was a first time and exhilarating experience with space communications.

Craig Bruce WP2N announced the ISS pass that occurred during the April 13 Wednesday night's SSTV net.  Net members temporarily moved from the 145.510 MHz FM net frequency to 145.800 MHz to receive some of the final images of this ARISS activity.

Update from the Nevada County ARC
Posted April 9, 2016

Message from our Fearless Leader

Most of the information in this column is about events coming up in May which the NCARC supports. There are two bicycle rides which we have been supporting. The first is on Saturday, May 14, and is the Gold Country Challenge, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Grass Valley. I believe this is the third time for this event and the NCARC has been supporting it from the beginning. Cal McKitrick, AI6MC, has been collecting names of people who will be available to provide ham radio communications for this event and while I believe he has been getting a good response, please check with him if you would like to participate. These types of events are good practice for setting up and participating in any type of communications support and the event sponsors are always appreciative of our help.

The next event in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Nevada County Mountain Bike Ride and it takes place Saturday, May 21, the very next Saturday after the Gold County Challenge. The NCARC has been providing radio communications support for the rugged South Yuba River canyon portion of this event for over 10 years (!) – in fact, I this year will be the 12th year of our support. I will be coordinating the club support for this event, so if you’re interested please contact me. While it does look like we have enough people to cover all the sites, it’s always helpful to have more than one person at a given site.

I also want to mention the new NCARC web-site which Cal McKitrick has put together for us. It looks very nice and the way Cal has arranged this, it should be relatively straightforward for the club to maintain this new web-site.

One more thing – I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Jim Dworak, KI6UOX, fell from a ladder on Saturday and broke a leg (in 5 places!!!). I went by to see him on Monday and while he was doing OK, he has what almost looks like a good 2 meter antenna bolted onto his leg and will be going through a long process to get back on his feet. I’ll have more information at the meeting

That’s it for this column – I think our club President, Larry Latta, K6LRL, will be back in town soon and so you all might be seeing him at the meeting.

Hope to see you all at the meeting.

73, Walt, N6HNS

Rene WB6PSY installing a Carolina Windom 160 in anticipation of working Heard Island.

Update from Rene, WB6PSY
Posted April 29, 2016

Well, the wire antenna is worthless – doesn ‘t hear more than the locals. So, for me it was UnHeard Island. Had I have been able to work Heard Island, it would’ve been country #350. As I only have a beam on 10 metres, they did not give it a try when conditions would’ve been there for NorCal. It would’ve been country #346 on 10 metres. At age 75, there’s no more opportunity for me. Unfortunately todays DXpeditions are there to see if they can outdo the last one with Q’s instead of working tough bands. Example: I got a contact with Krish, VU4K on 10m and gave him a 3x1 and that was stretching it. Many of my 10m contacts were a 3x1. My 10 metre totals attest to my ability to work DX, oh, and BTW NOT one of my contacts was done on a net or list, not at another ham’s station or by phone patch.

73, de Rene, WB6PSY

KM6AAIs J-Pole antenna in a BushAl Canton KM6AAI

Update from Al Canton, KM6AAI
Posted April 29, 2016

As a new ham one of the lessons that you learn is that it is not really about the radio, it's all about the antenna.

Al Canton (KM6AAI) in Fair Oaks, CA heard it so often by the hams on the N6ICW repeater that he finally decided to junk the rubber-duck on his little Kenwood HT and get a real antenna.

One of his un-official elmers, Gordy Fuller (WB6OVH) also of Fair Oaks had a old j-pole antenna sitting in his garage just gathering dust and offered it Canton.

"Being too old and too smart to climb on my roof, I figured that any antenna is better than no antenna so we popped the four-foot j-pole on a five-foot piece of PVC and... stuck it in a bush to hold it up and ran the feed line through a window to my office," says Canton.

Both Canton and Fuller were somewhat skeptical that it would do much good, but much to their surprise ts has performed very well.

"Before my 'stick in a bush' I could hit one or two repeaters. Now I can get to thirteen of them... and there may be more I've not tried. I might be weak on some of them, but they can still hear me and I can hear them."

While he still has to find a better way to get the feed line into the house so that the bugs don't come through the break in the screen, for the time being a towel works well to keep the neighborhood insect life out.

Canton says the new antenna has totally changed his ham radio experience with the abiity to talk to hams as far away as the East Bay as well as hams in the foothills area. He has even been able to get to Placerville on simplex!

While licensed for only four months, the new ham has passed his General and plans to outfit an HF station and get an antenna up in the air, but until he chooses a radio he says that working 2M continues to be fun.

"I've logged over 100 of the most interesting people in the area via ham radio with my 'bush league' j-pole and when I get it up on the roof I'm sure I'll be able to reach many more."


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