ARRL Sacramento Valley Section News, October, 2014
SAD NEWS; John Lowery, KB6TRN, SK. John was 83, a combat Marine corporal in the Korean War. He was an avid ham operator and a member of the Amador County ARC. He passed away October 31.
Daniel Edwards, KJ6WYW, is our new Emergency Coordinator in Amador County. Congratulations to Dan. A big THANK YOU to Craig Hanson, AG6EL, for his service as the former EC there.
Larry Trotter, KI6YUK, of Quincy, is our new Emergency Coordinator in Plumas County. Congratulations, Larry. Bob Nelson, KA6NSN, did a great job for us starting in July, 2007. Thank you Bob!
We note with pleasure the nice picture in December 2014 QST (page 86) of Assistant Section Manager Dr. Carol Milazzo, KP4MD/6 promoting the 2015 January VHF Contest.
The Redding ARRL VE Team announces that we will be offering two exam sessions this month. The exam sessions will be held on Friday November 14th and on Saturday November 15th, at BloodSource in Redding. Candidates are asked to pre-register and to be there by 9:30 AM. We have added the Friday exam session this month for individuals who cannot make it to our Saturday VE sessions. More information can be found at www.reddingve.com or by contacting Steve K6KS at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kelley, KS6Z, reports: We will be offering Technician, General and Extra class license testing at 905 Richmond Rd, Susanville from 10 AM to Noon on November 15th. This is listed on the ARRL website for further information.
The Yuba Sutter VE tested five candidates on 1 November in Yuba City. Three were successful, earning one new Technician, one new General, and one new Extra class. Two did not pass the element they tried, and the new Tech failed to pass the General element.
In Chico, GEARS VEC conducts VE exams on the first Sunday of each even numbered month. All three classes of license are tested. Contact Tom Rider, W6JS, at 530 893 9211 to register for an exam and for more information. Tests are normally at the Butte County Search and Rescue Building in Chico.
SKYWARN Recognition Day, December 6
The annual SKYWARN ™ Recognition Day (SRD) will be on Saturday, December 6, 2014. This is the day when Amateur Radio operators visit National Weather Service (NWS) offices and contact other operators around the world. The purpose of the event is to recognize the vital public service contributions that Amateur Radio operators make during National Weather Service severe weather warning operations. It also strengthens the bond between Amateur Radio operators and the local National Weather Service. The event is co-sponsored by ARRL and the National Weather Service. Please remember that this is not a contest, so no scoring will be computed.
Object: For all radio amateur stations to exchange QSO information with as many National Weather Service stations as possible on 80 through 10 meters, including 6 and 2 meters bands and the 70 centimeter band. Contacts via repeaters are permitted.
Date: National Weather Service stations will operate December 6, 2014, from 0000 – 2400 UTC.
Exchange: Call sign, signal report, QTH, and a one or two-word description of the weather occurring at your site.
Modes: National Weather Service stations will work various modes including SSB, FM, AM, RTTY, CW and PSK31. While working digital modes, special event stations will append “NWS” to their call sign (e.g. NØA/NWS).
Station Control Operator: It is suggested that during SRD operations, a non-National Weather Service volunteer who is a licensed radio amateur serve as a control operator for the station that is set up at a NWS office.
More details about this event may be found at www.wrh.noaa.gov/mtr/hamradio.
Recently the club (AMADOR COUNTY AMATEUR RADIO CLUB, K6ARC) was invited to provide communication to a group of motorcycle riders who had a course laid out in the forest using forest trails. Unfortunately the ride was canceled by the forest official due to the recent rain which occurred the day before the race. Talk about rain being a mixed blessing. It would have been a good experience for us as it was a new venue and promised to provide more of those unexpected learning opportunities (or challenges). We hope to work with them next year. We have been working on some rearrangement of our emergency communication. We lost our simplex weekly net controllers and are working on that. The whole Em Comm situation is under review and reorganization. One activity we will try is a table top exercise. One component was for all to bring their GoBox but the shortcoming is that too few people have a dummy load. The solution will be to have a build project after the first of the year and use a club meeting to build dummy loads. There will be no meeting in December, just an informal luncheon. Happy Thanksgiving to all!, John Stettler, Section PIC, KI6DWP
To find out a little more about ACARC, check into http://k6arc.org/
2014 October: Alpine, CA & Douglas County, NV Sections Comment for ARES monthly report
During our October Douglas County Amateur Radio Team meeting, we discussed packet operations, training and plans. KJ7UK, Dick Creley and KJ6IX, Dale Yanz, led the discussion with KD7NHC, John Abrott, our Nevada Northwest District Emergency Coordinator, who relayed packet and other operations plans for Lyon County. We are moving forward to tie Nevada locations into the network.
KA7FOO, Doug Abramson, ADEC, from Reno, relayed some interesting information regarding the CARCON ( a Nevada frequency coordination group) 440 ham band designations. As I understand it, there are no 440 simplex operation frequencies designated. Some years earlier, our DCART group built our frequency plan using simplex operations that were approved and coordinated by the CARCON group. This part of CARCON's planning will affect our other districts as well. It seems the CARCON website has been not been reachable for a while. DCART will continue to use our frequency plan until we receive further direction.
KA7FOO also offered the EMCOMM class for us for a minimum of 5 students.
As I write this, we are celebrating Nevada Day, October 31st, our 150th anniversary of statehood. Our Nevada Day parade is taking place November 1st in Carson City. Many area hams are supporting communications as well as staging special events that you will read about in November's reports.
Our DCART member and AEC, KF7MYL, Loraine Hanwell, is moving out of our District to Reno. Thank you very much Loraine, for your support and assistance for our operations.
Sheila Clement, KA7AJQ, Alpine County, CA and Douglas County, NV
ARES Emergency Coordinator
Dennis, WU6X, HAS THESE INTERESTING REMARKS ON THE Buckmaster OCF Dipole.
October 17-21 saw me at the QTH of K4JPP in Virginia Beach, VA ... my good friend Bob lost his 60-foot free-standing tower and all antennas during hurricane Isabelle in 2003. A local ham put up a dipole for him a year later, but that too came down and he had been off the air for several years. So, the first order of business on my arrival was to line up a new antenna that would work most bands ... I decided to go with a Buckmaster 7-band, off-center-fed (OCF) dipole rated 3 kw.
Unfortunately, since I was only in town for the weekend, I didn't have time to order one. For the heck of it, I looked up Buckmaster's phone number and called it only to have Jack Speer, N1BIC, "Mr. Buckbaster" himself answer. After explaining the situation, I asked if I could drive up and buy the antenna directly ... he agreed to my visit so I drove the 2-1/2 trip to Mineral, VA (outside Richmond) to meet Jack in person. Jack is a super guy and we hit it off immediately. We visited for a good half hour, and I finally left with the new antenna and all the UV rope I needed to erect it.
Back at K4JPP ... the challenge was to pick the right trees to support the center and both ends. Luckily, I had packed my collapsible 6-foot fishing rod (collapsed to 2 pieces, 18" each) and was able to pitch a sinker over a limb 35 feet up to pull the UV rope over without issue. The antenna went up, fed with LMR-400, the long leg (90 feet) going north and short leg (45 feet) towards the west (trying for an omni-directional pattern) and I was plotting SWR curves in no time. The antenna showed less than 2:1 on all bands 80m thru 6m (no 15m with this design). I connected Bob's "full-boat" Yaesu FT-2000 w/Quadra amp station and began making contacts immediately on 17m.
To make a short story a little longer ... I made contacts to the east into EU with 59+ reports (Spain, England, France), a few DX island contacts, and to the west to Hawaii and Australia mostly on 17m (a long haul from the east coast). This is a wire antenna folks, so needless to say I was very impressed with the xmit performance and the low noise characteristics on receive. Most people thought I had a "aluminum" or some other directional antenna up. I worked over 50 stations on all bands, made a lot of new friends, and left K4JPP with a great radio station he should enjoy for years to come. To sum up, the Buckmaster is a very ruggedly constructed antenna and if you have the room (135 feet overall), I would highly recommend it, no tuner required! You'll need something for 15m, however, as Jack says the design doesn't support it mathematically. In any case, this antenna should work just fine at the 35 foot recommended height, especially in the inverted-V, with 90 to 120 degree spread on the legs. CQ DX!
Dennis – WU6X
One of the big enjoyable events each October is Pacificon, our ARRL Pacific Divison Convention. For the last several years it has been held in Santa Clara at the Marriott Hotel. This is a good site for our convention, with enough forum space, lots of vendor space, and an outside flea market for Saturday morning.
This year it was a special regional ARRL National Convention celebrating the ARRL Centennial. This lived up to expectations. We had plenty of everything, including representation from Newington. I could not help but wonder at the resiliency of ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN. She has attended so many of these events this year she must be tired of all the 'excitement', but you would never know it from her demeanor or public words. She has been a keynote speaker at most of the conventions if not all. She talks without notes, from the heart, and I think we are very lucky to have such a fine spokesperson for ARRL and Amateur Radio.
While the venue is central to most of the ham radio population in our Division it is pretty far from Nevada and our own Sacramento Valley Section. Even the north part of the San Francisco Section or the south part of the San Juaquin Valley Section are a good trip to Santa Clara. Yes, I have heard complaints about the Santa Clara location: too far, too expensive, and no RV parking. That last has been corrected by the Marriott Hotel. Calling in advance will allow you one of their limited number of RV spaces. Unfortunately, that is all for naught.
For whatever reason, our next Pacificon will be in San Ramon, the location of the previous conventions for this Division. Perhaps the forums will be more closely planned—it always seemed that the San Ramon Marriott had too little space, and the rooms assigned to the various presentations were either too small or the presentation was not well attended.
At this point, I should mention, that while we have talented presenters from our Section, all the real work of the convention is done by the Mount Diablo Amateur Radio Club, and has been for quite a few years. It takes a great team most of a year to pull off the smooth operation required of such a complex event, and MDARC does a spectacular job. Once again we owe them a sincere THANK YOU!
Here is a request you may have read before, but it is still something you might want to investigate.
“I am seeking amateur radio operators to help me with my amateur radio-morse communication display and outreach. I have events planned in the coming months, but because of my advanced age and the interest in morse, I have difficulty setting up, operating the events alone and then taking down the display. Also, I miss the interaction with other amateur radio operators. I am in need of people in November and through the coming months.
“I am also looking for amateur radio operators to help me with Holiday Hams this year.
“This is an effort to let hospitalized children talk directly to Santa, the elves, Rudolph and Mrs. Claus at their north pole home via ham radio.
“I am looking for people to help me develop and manage this.”
Duane Wyatt WA0MJD
From the W6SFM SFM ARC:
The W6SFM Samuel F. Morse ARC enjoyed a fun filled day of CW on-air as a group during this years California QSO Party (CQP) held at Mike N6MQL’s home QTH. Over 550 contacts were made during the 12 hour period the club worked the event. In addition to the on-air work an enjoyable pot-luck dinner was had by the members. Thank you to Mike N6MQL, Mark K6JJR, John WB6UBK, Chris AI6U and new member Stan AA6DK who attended the operation this year. As always a big thank you goes out 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 October in-person meeting:
Topics of Discussion included our on going Morse Code beginners class. The W6SFM successfully filled our 10 week CW class with 15 new students all eager to learn Morse Code. As of week 7 we still maintain 14 of the 15 original students with one student doing home study. After some class assessment it would appear that about 60 percent of the students are at a 13-15 wpm QSO code comprehension rate. We have reports of several students already having on-air QSOs as of week 6. We have also had at least 1 student check in to our weekly on-air CW net! The club intends on running another Morse Code course some time early next year. Please contact the club for more information on that.
Other topics of discussion included the MRHS (Amateur Radio station K6KPH) Rhombic antenna project and it’s great need for financial donations. The SFM ARC feels this is a worth while cause and urges everyone to visit the MRHS website for more information and to donate: http://www.radiomarine.org/
At our upcoming November 6th SFM ARC in-person meeting club members will finalize plans and preparation for the upcoming November 15th club sponsored Bug Roundup event to be held on the air. In the same spirit as Straight Key Night The SFMARC announces our on-air event called "Bug Roundup". This seasonal event is to join bug key operators on-air world wide. Click HERE for more information on this event. Other items to discuss include the nominations for our upcoming year 2015 officers and elected officials. The final vote will be held at our December in-person meeting. All members are encouraged to show up to the November and December meetings to cast their nominations and votes.
Each Tuesday of the week 8:00 PM on 7.110 MHz the SFM ARC enjoys getting on the air with CW for our weekly Nets. You do NOT need to be a member of the SFM ARC to check into our nets. Although our nets usually run around 13 wpm code, we are all happy to accommodate those that are slower and need us to oblige. If you are unable to copy Morse Code or need some code practice please feel free to visit our on-line LIVE streaming broadcast of both the Audio and a CW to Text decoding of the meeting. That link can be found on our home page of the website.
Those visiting the on-line site are welcome to make themselves known by using the ‘contact us’ link to let the net op (NCS) know you are there. This of course is not mandatory, it just lets everyone feel more involved in our on-air nets.
Do you or someone you know need a Ham Club to call home? For those that want to learn Morse Code, are interested in CW or already know and use it, the SFM ARC would love to be your new Club home. Our in-person meetings are held each 1st Thursday of the month at 7PM. The SFM ARC meets in the "Courtyard room" of the Carmichael Presbyterian Church in Carmichael, CA. The church is Located at 5645 Marconi Ave. For directions to the meeting visit our clubs home webpage www.w6sfm.com. Please use the rear parking lot and entry for best access to the meeting. A map and directions can also be found on the website.
We hope to see you at our next meeting! 73,
W6SFM Club President
The Sacramento Amateur Radio Club and the Yolo Amateur Radio Society put eighteen
Amateur Radio operators at their respective stations for the Princess Promenade. 260 ladies
biked up and down the American River Bikeway without serious incident on Sunday, October
See the pictures below (at the bottom of Section News) showing the two Net Controls for the event, Lee Rominger, W6LFR and Frank Reske with the Amateur Radio Communications Manager, Gary Matteson, WA6TQJ, behind them.
This year the UC Davis Womens Cycle Team provide additional on course
support. Below, is that team being given instructions by the "Shadow" Don
Matteson, KI6PEL The Princess Promenade Organizer is Janae Noble. Out on the course, Tom Preston, KQ6EO, provided communications support from the 30 mile marker at Negro Bar.
We have been very busy here at Sacramento County ARES. On October 22nd we along with Yolo ARES participated in a training exercise for Sacramento County O.E.S. along with California Department of Water Recourses. When we arrived nobody knew what to do with us....sound familiar!? By the end of the day everyone from the County level to the State level was impressed by our performance. Thanks go out to Frank Reshke N6SNO our S.E.C. and Greg Kruckewitt KG6SJT district 3 E.C. acted as net control. Terry Johnson KI6KWX, Will Henderson W4YS, Eric Guenzler KG6BZT, Craig Hinch KK6MNL, Paul Grose N6DRY, Ken Martin KE6 RMN, Max Soucia N1KGS, Vince Cracchilio KI6NHP, Ken Wilson (Yolo ARES) K6WLS, and Fred Sellstrom W7KOZ, all worked in the field and did an outstanding job representing amateur radio and ARES. I can't thank these men enough...job well done! Submitted by John Staples, KI6ZWW
Sacramento County A.R.E.S. E.C.
Sierra Foothills ARC, Auburn
October was our big White Elephant Auction. President Tyghe, KD6MLH was the auctioneer. Amazing he numbered and bar tagged all the items, then started the auction. This is what he does for a living so he pretty well maximized the bidding. Everyone went away happy with more than they came with. Everything from a Yaesu 747 to a box of screws found a new home. Also our Auctioneer volunteered for the North Hills ARC's White Elephant sale. The club had a minute of silence to honor our friend and now silent key, Jettie Hill, W6RFF, 73 old friend you will be missed.
As every other club will do, the November 14th meeting will be election of officers. Our December meeting is the Member's Christmas Dinner.
Our repeater, W6EK/r has been set back to the original pl of 162.2. If you were having trouble getting into the 2 meter, 220 or 430 machines, all should be back to normal. Please see our website at week.org and go to Nets section.
The Elmer Net continues to be going strong, now held the first and third Wednesday, monthly. Open to all Hams new or old, we gather to ask questions and get answers. From simple to complex, no question is "stupid" we are all here to learn and help our fellow hams.
Thursday night at 7:30 is the SFARC Net. With QSTs, reports and always a mystery question. Everyone is invited to check in and have fun.
Our VE testing sessions continue to draw record applicants. Testing is held the First Saturday, monthly, at 8am in the community room in Raley's Market, Granite Bay.
George, KB6LSB (our prize chairperson) also organized 3 events that SFARC Hams help provide communications for.
Submitted by Carl, WF6J.
The Yuba Sutter Domestic Animal Disaster Group (YSDADA) participated in Operation Slow-
Rise. Yuba County hosted this mock exercise to prepare for the event of flooding in the Yuba Sutter area. Various local, state, and federal agencies participated. YSDADA operations were
set up along Bizz Johnson Drive in Yuba County. Participants set up for communications, animal intake, boarding, and triage.
Hams working at the event were: Meg Burgin (KI6TLS), Shari Goforth-Eby (K6AVW), Eleanor Knox (KI6CSO), Ginny Paschke (KI6COL), and Marsha Sylvester-Jose (KI6CSN).
During October, Steve, K6TAZ, our Yuba County ARES Emergency Coordinator, participated in two disaster preparation exercises. The first was on October 9 at the Church of Glad Tidings where the assembled group reviewed procedures to follow in floods and other disruptive events.
On October 23, Steve and Bill, WA6OHP, worked all day in the Yuba County OES/EOC helping out with various radio communication channels. There were presentations by the Department of Water Resources and an associated traffic diversion exercise, contacts with Rideout Hospital using the Med 6 and Med 9 channels, and the YSDADA, Eleanor, KI6CSO, in their previously mentioned animal rescue exercise.
From the President, River City Amateur Radio Communications Society (RCARCS):
Our October White Elephant Sale successfully raised $853 for the N6NA repeater fund, thanks to the equipment donations and purchases of all who participated!
Several of our members attended the forums, vendor exhibits and swap meet at the October 10-12 Pacificon Regional Centennial Convention in Santa Clara. I presented the "Introduction to WSPR" session and the Arecibo Observatory documentary and enjoyed operating 20 meter CW at the W100AW special event station.
The Lyle AuFranc Award is presented each year to one club member in recognition for outstanding service to the community. Please submit nominations for this prestigious award at our next meeting or via e-mail to email@example.com by November 15. This award will be presented at our December 2 Holiday Party at Sam's Hof Brau. Please contact Linda Cardoza, KI6OLC at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to help the party room setup that day.
If you wish to assist at the Clarksburg Country Run on Nov. 9, please contact Vince Cracchiolo KI6NHP at email@example.com. Vince has announced his resignation as net coordinator and we thank him for his years of service in that capacity.
Due to the General Election on Tuesday, our November meeting date has been changed to Wednesday Nov. 5 and all RCARCS nets are canceled for that day. On the meeting agenda: club elections; a program on Search and Rescue by Craig Hinch, KK6MNL; and a Pacificon slide show. We encourage all to sign a club petition at the meeting to our congressional representatives to co-sponsor HR-4969, the Amateur Radio Parity Act. Nominations for two Board of Director positions and all 2015 RCARCS officers are still open until our annual election at the meeting. Please seriously consider serving in our club leadership. Our direction and future growth depend on you!
Join us this coming Wednesday, November 5 at 7:30 pm at the Sacramento County Corp. Yard at 5026 Don Julio Blvd for refreshments and great company. See you there!
Bob Woodward N6PGQ - President
Paul McIntyre KC5JAX - Vice President
Dr. Carol Milazzo KP4MD - Secretary
Paul Grose N6DRY - Treasurer
73, Dr. Carol Milazzo, KP4MD/6
President, River City ARCS
FROM the Oroville Amateur Radio society:
The October OARS (http://w6af.org) meeting on the 10th had an attendance of
15, not bad considering that Pacificon was taking place with at least two
club members there. Topping the agenda was the Oroville Veterans Day
Parade, and OARS providing communications assistance. Ron, KD7UHF, received
a good response to his call for participants. For the program, President
Gary, KF6EWO, did a presentation on homemade antennas for portable and
OARS participation in the California QSO Party included W6AF (K7XE, opr),
WA6CAL and W7XZ, giving Butte County numbers from the Oroville area;
Bennett, K6CEL, operated a backpack QRP station from high ground on a Plumas
The OARS Monthly Breakfast at Cornucopia on the 25th had 17 in attendance.
The November OARS Meeting will be on Friday, 14 November 2014, 7 pm, at St.
Paul's Parish Hall in Oroville. Agenda and program are to be determined at
this time, but nomination and election of officers for 2015 is an expected
item, along with a proposed holiday dinner in early December. 73,Jim, W7XZ.
HamZams are being held every third Saturday morning at 7 AM at the Carmichael Elks Lodge, 5631 Cypress Avenue in surprisingly, Carmichael! We examine for all classes of license. We start at 7 AM and run through 8:30. The Carmichael Elks Lodge is on the NW corner of Cypress and Hackberry, and drop ins are welcome.
El Dorado Hills and surrounding area
HamZams are being held every third Thursday evening at 5:45 PM at the Raley's Supermarket in El Dorado Hills at Highway Fifty and El Dorado Hills Blvd. There is a public room in the left rear corner of the store, and we usually run from six to seven thirty.
For more information, or to ask about special requirements, contact KJ6JD, John Dyer, at 916 927 4201. Many of us monitor the 147.195 N6ICW repeater for casual contact and questions. The dates for November are the 15th for Saturday Carmichael Elks Lodge HamZams, and November 20th for Thursday El Dorado Hills Raley's HamZams. Get out and upgrade, or become a ham. Remember, Christmas is coming, and radios make great gifts! Have your General or Extra for those coming winter months.
Also, don't forget the Thursday Night Ham Swap, every Thursday at 8 PM on 147.195 N6ICW repeater. If you have ham equipment or want ham equipment, or just want to check in, please join Armen, WB2ZEI and the rest of our community for this fun event. Updates on HamZams are usually given along with results from test sessions. Be there or be square...KJ6JD, John Dyer.
Posted on October 31, 2014 by admin
On Veterans Day, Tuesday, November 11, 2014 TALARC (The American Legion Amateur Radio Club) will be operating a Special Event Station to honor veterans of the United States Armed Forces using the one by one special event FCC-issued call sign of W9L. The station will be on the air from 0900 to 1600 EST.
To contact the special event station Ham radio operators should tune to 20 meters – 14.275 MHz USB, +/- 5 KHz, or IRLP Node 4816. Central Indiana can use to 146.46 MHz simplex or to the 145.17 MHz repeater in Hamilton County, Indiana to make contact. Stations working W9L can send a 9X12 inch self-addressed-stamped-envelope to The American Legion Amateur Radio Club, 700 N. Pennsylvania Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204, and TALARC will provide confirmation on your contact with a Veterans Day Special Event certificate.
See the story on the Legion website:
U.S. Partners Now Accepting Proposals for ARISS
The ARISS U.S. partners, ARRL, AMSAT and NASA, have announced the opening of a new proposal window for schools and educational organizations interested in hosting a scheduled Amateur Radio contact with a crew member on board the ISS during 2015. The proposal window is October 17 – December 15, 2014.
For proposal information and more details such as expectations, proposal guidelines and proposal form, and dates and times of Information Sessions go to www.arrl.org/hosting-an-ariss-contact. Please direct any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feel free to share this announcement to spread the word about this opportunity!
Debra Johnson, K1DMJ
Education Services Manager
ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio®
225 Main Street
Newington, CT 06111-1494
Fax: (860) 594-0259
The Aloha Hawaii Net is every Friday Night at 8 pm on Western Reflector Channel 4 (9254) and Echo link Conference AH2S-R (107380 ) or if by AllStar 29897. The net is open to all.
Those VoIP channels are all integrated 24/7 being always available for use. Emergencies take priority.
The weekly net is for those who love Hawaii and want to talk about it and play occasional trivia.
The Net Manager is Todd WH6DWF who lives in a high rise on Waikiki at the 400 foot level.
Go Todd! Kent W7AOR, Las Vegas, NV. Thanks to Gary, K7VY, Nevada Section Manager, for this item.
That's all the news. If we missed getting your news in this month, don't wait. Just send it to me at: email@example.com and I will include it right now.
Thank you! to all the fine contributors that make this column fun to read.,