The National Association for Amateur Radio
Sacramento Valley Section
Serving Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo & Yuba Counties in Northern California
Sacramento Valley Section is located in the ARRL Pacific Division.
ARRL National Page: www.arrl.org/Groups/view/sacramento-valley
Thanks to Greg Kruckewitt KG6SJT for maintaining our Section ARES web page and for assisting with our Facebook page and Twitter feed.
Submit Section News updates to kp4md(at)arrl.org
Past Section News Archive
Amateur Radio License Classes and Volunteer Exam (VE) Schedules
Here are the latest news from our section clubs and members.
This month's news features news and happening from clubs and members around our section.
Now is a good time for all affiliated clubs to renew the contact information that people see on the ARRL National website. Clubs must update their club record at least once per year even if nothing changes. Should two years pass without an update your club will be listed as inactive. Just go to: http://www.arrl.org/club-update and follow the instructions.
This website is visited most during the first week of each month, but do check back as it is updated weekly with late breaking news.
73, Carol Milazzo, KP4MD
American Radio Relay League Sacramento Valley Section Manager
You can always send compliments, suggestions and submissions for inclusion in our Section News to kp4md(at)arrl.org
Sacramento Valley ARES Section Emergency Coordinator Greg Kruckewitt, KG6SJT, reports that Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) volunteers are now actively involved in supporting communication for the evacuation and sheltering of nearly 200,000 people living below the damaged Oroville Dam in rural California. The dam, on the Feather River east of Oroville, is the tallest in the US. Following a period of heavy rain, a section of the earthfill-embankment dam’s spillway eroded, and authorities issued an evacuation order for residents living below the dam, in case it should fail. Crews have been attempting to fill the eroded area with rock transported by helicopter.
Butte County ARES EC Dale Anderson, KK6EVX, was called out by the emergency operations center (EOC) on the evening of February 12. Six members of the Butte County ARES team now were deployed a Red Cross evacuation shelter at the Chico fairgrounds. Anderson said shelter managers were discussing the need to establish a radio link with the National Guard. Two VHF radios, one HF radio, and several handhelds were available at the shelter.
On February 12, Yuba/Sutter ARES EC Steve Sweetman, K6TAZ, opened and managed a net to provide information and gather reports of road closures or problems during the evacuation. The net received reports from radio amateurs who were evacuating. Traffic was reported to be very heavy, with a trip that would normally take 20 minutes extending into “3-hour stop-and-go ordeal,” Sweetman said. The net also gathered information on where evacuees could get fuel for their vehicles. “This became a critical need, as the thousands of people evacuated their houses with 1-hour notice,” Kruckewitt said, adding that the net has continued in operation. Sweetman is operating from his house on a high hill outside Yuba City,” Kruckewitt said. “He is safe from flooding and currently has 17 evacuees staying on his property.”
The Sacramento County EC Vince Cracchiolo, KI6NHP, was called into the Sacramento County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on February 13 as the Red Cross opened a shelter at Cal Expo in Sacramento. Kruckewitt said the Sacramento Valley Section has received offers from hams outside of California offering to help if needed. FEMA reports that 20 shelters are open with 3,680 occupants.
“At this time, we are doing fine,” Kruckewitt told ARRL, although power outages have been reported in Yuba and Sutter counties. “They are identifying the problem,” he said, “so power outages at the Chico shelter are possible.”
“All ARES groups in the Section are on standby, if help is needed. So far, the dam is holding, and repair work is under way at last report.”
Sacramento Valley ARES Section Emergency Coordinator Greg Kruckewitt, KG6SJT, reports that Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) volunteers are ready to assist in the evacuation and sheltering of upward of 200,000 people living below the damaged Oroville Dam in rural California. The dam, on the Feather River east of Oroville, is the tallest dam in the US. It impounds Lake Oroville, the second-largest man-made lake in California.
Following a period of heavy rain, a section of the earthfill-embankment dam’s spillway eroded, and residents below the dam were considered in harm’s way should the dam fail.
Butte County ARES EC Dale Anderson, KK6EVX, was called out by the emergency operations center (EOC) on the evening of February 12. Yuba/Sutter ARES EC Steve Sweetman, K6TAZ, opened and managed an Emergency Net via the WD6AXM 146.085 MHz repeater atop Sutter Buttes on February 12 to provide information and gather reports of road closures or problems during the evacuation.
Kruckewitt said “many shelters” have been set up, including one in the Stanislaus County town of Patterson — downstream from Sacramento, and one at the Cal Expo grounds in Sacramento County. No radio amateurs have been called upon to assist at any shelters. Radio amateurs in Yolo, Placer, Amador, and Sacramento County are on standby and willing to help, if requested, Kruckewitt said. — Thanks to Greg Kruckewitt, KG6SJT, ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Emergency Coordinator
Just 10 days after being introduced, the 2017 Amateur Radio Parity Act legislation, H.R. 555, passed the U.S. House of Representatives this week on unanimous consent under a suspension of House rules. The bill’s language is identical to that of the 2015 measure, H.R. 1301, which won House approval late last summer after attracting 126 co-sponsors, but failed to clear the U.S. Senate last fall as the 114th Congress wound down. The new bill, again sponsored by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), was introduced on January 13 with initial co-sponsorship by Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Rep. Greg Walden, W7EQI (R-OR), who chairs the influential House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
“The grassroots effort of Amateur Radio operators across this nation in support of the Amateur Radio Parity Act has been remarkable, nothing like we have ever seen before,” ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, said. “To all hams, keep going! Now is the time to charge forward with that same momentum to the Senate. We can do it!” The bill arrives in the U.S. Senate with ample time in which to garner its approval through an education campaign.
Read the full story here.
Hope that everyone had a great year. NPOTA is about to end and there should be a few WAS application coming in. It was fun and I can’t wait to see what is next.
I will be out and about in Northern California this coming year. We plan on stopping at some club meetings in Northern California and doing a few SOTA’s too.
I will be able to do WAS, VUCC, WAC, and DXCC at the meetings and if possible at the SOTA locations too.
For on the spot, in the field new DXCC applications you will need to have an on-line application fill out and printed.
If you have an old fashion DXCC paper style application or over 100 QSL cards I may need to take them home to do. Contact me for more information.
If you are doing a LOTW application with QSL cards too and having problems contact me, I may be able to help.
Any questions just email me. You need to contact me before I can do an application in the field.
I will be at several ham swaps this year in NorCal and maybe Nevada including Pacificon 2017. If you can’t get to Sacramento to drop off your application contact me, I love road trips and we can meet somewhere.
Happy New Years everyone…………….
73, Bob Wortman, WB6VYH
ARRL Pacific Division DXCC Awards Manager, Sacramento Valley Section Technical Coordinator, WAS Award Manager, VUCC Awards Manager
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 kidsclubweb.wordpress.com.
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)hotmail.com or (916) 677-9799
Duane Wyatt, WAØMJD,
ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Youth Coordinator
Update October 12, 2016 - The ARRL and the FCC are currently working together to update and to make changes to the Official Observer/Amateur Auxiliary program. Because of these expected upcoming updates and changes, ARRL has placed a temporary hold on applications for new Official Observers and Official Observer Coordinators at this time. Read more here.
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.
Norm is scheduled to give a presentation on the ARRL Official Observer Program at the March 7th meeting of the River City Amateur Radio Coommunications Society - Carol KP4MD
FCC Seeks Solar Array Interference Complaints
Submitted by Mike Kirkland, NS6Q, Posted February 14, 2017
I have been working for over a year to resolve an interference issue caused by a solar array a few houses down (daytime VHF noise level S9+ during the day).
In the mean time I talked with Ms Chen at the FCC. I mentioned that solar array interference is a big issue for hams. She said that I was the only one she knew about. She asked me to spread the word and have hams with solar array interference issues to do the following.
- Create an interference complaint with the FCC about your solar array interference issue at: https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us
- Email her with the specifics of your solar array interference issue.
- Be sure to include the complaint ticket number and why you believe the solar array is the source of the interference issue.
Deborah Chen, Federal Agent / Electronics Engineer, email@example.com
For everybody with a solar array interference issue, the FCC is listening and wants to hear from you.
73, Mike, NS6Q
ARRL and the FCC have a cooperative agreement in radio frequency interference matters. You may submit complaints together with your supporting documentation to ARRL EMC Engineer Mike Gruber W1MG who then files the report with the FCC Gettysburg office. More infomation is posted under the "From the Section Manager" notes in the November 2016 Section News - Carol KP4MD
Our decreasing solar activity and residential antenna restrictions have attracted increasing numbers of radio amateurs to operate CW and weak signal digital modes on our lower HF frequencies including 60 meters. The five frequency channels that US amateur radio operators share on a secondary basis with US federal government users on 60 meters (5 MHz) pose unique requirements for CW and digital operators. As explained on http://www.arrl.org/60m-channel-allocation, US radio amateur emissions on our 60m channels must be precisely centered in the center frequency of each assigned channel, that is, 5332.0, 5348.0, 5358.5, 5373.0 or 5405.0 kHz. Thus, for example, a CW signal on channel 3 (USB Dial frequency 5357.0 kHz) must be precisely on 5358.5 kHz. The same ARRL page explains that all digital emissions must also be centered in the channel center.
This may appear unreasonable to radio amateurs because a 2.8 kHz channel can accommodate many digital and CW transmissions simultaneously, and requiring multiple stations to operate on the same exact frequency would result in mutual interference. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) explains this requirement in https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/7021871884.pdf which states: "Allowing multiple emissions within the necessary bandwidth of the widest authorized modes (2.8 kHz) increases the possibility of harmful interference from secondary amateur stations to primary federal stations, and would make it more difficult for a federal station to identify an interfering amateur station. In addition, NTIA is concerned about the aggregate equivalent isotropically radiated power from multiple amateur stations transmitting within a single 2.8 kHz channel. Accordingly, NTIA requests that 47 C.F.R. Section 97.303(h) continue to require that amateur stations transmit only on the five center frequencies allocated to the amateur service." (See http://www.arrl.org/what-the-fcc-rules-say-97-303-h)http://wsprnet.org/olddb?band=60&sort=callsign&reverse=on&unique=on lists recent WSPR mode emissions on 60 meters. One can scroll down that list and see how many A, K, N and W call signs have been transmitting WSPR mode outside the authorized 60 meter center channel frequencies. Many US WSPR transmissions are now being observed on 5288 kHz, a completely unauthorized frequency for US radio amateurs.
Each licensee has the final responsibility for the lawful operation of his or her station. Unfortunately, the increasing automation in our radios has apparently accustomed some to falsely assume that the radio will correct for operator carelessness and ignorance of regulations. Our cooperation with NTIA requirements is essential for our continued access to the 60m channels and for possible future access to the new ITU worldwide 60 meter allocation at 5351.5 to 5366.5 kHz. (See http://www.arrl.org/news/view/arrl-asks-fcc-to-allocate-new-5-mhz-band-retain-channels-and-current-power-limit and http://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-invites-comments-on-arrl-petition-to-allocate-new-5-mhz-band). Please be aware of these requirements if you intend to or currently operate CW or digital modes on our shared 60m allocations. The Amateur Auxiliary is documenting this matter and hopes to raise its awareness in the wider amateur radio community.
-Carol Milazzo, KP4MD
Jim Piper, N6MED, Red Cross Liaison to Amateur Radio Speaks at Placer County ARES Meeting
Posted January 29, 2017
On January 28th Placer County ARES held a face to face meeting in Auburn. Eighteen members and visitors showed up for a talk by Jim Piper N6MED, Red Cross Gold Country Region Liaison to Amateur Radio. Jim covered that activities of the Red Cross during emergencies and how amateur radio works with Red Cross. Jim described the various forms that ham radio might need to relay, including the Red Cross version of the ICS 213. Jim also showed the forms in FLmsg.
Photos and story submitted by Carl First N6CKV Placer County EC
The next Sacramento County ARES training and meeting is scheduled for Saturday February 11, 2017 from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.
Vince Cracchiolo KI6NHP is the new Sacramento County EC.
For more information, visit the Sacramento County ARES web site at www.saccountyares.org
The American Red Cross Gold Country Region with 24 northern California which eclipses counties the ARRL Sacramento Valley Section, looks to ARES for disaster communications support when the telecommunications infrastructure is impacted into and out of a disaster area.
As experienced during a Red Cross shelter exercise in April 2015 in which we opened shelters from Cottonwood near Redding to San Andreas and Stockton, long haul voice radio communications can be a challenge within the Section. During a real disaster, the challenge is exacerbated by the length of general messages and logistics requests within the initial 12 to 96 hours of a Red Cross disaster response where the telecommunications infrastructure – dial-up, cell phone, and Internet access are all impacted.
Since the exercise, locally we have been working on a solution for efficiently and effectively passing our longer message traffic (i.e., messages longer than a couple dozen words that can otherwise be easily passed via voice). Traffic handling via an rf path can be a challenge during “blue skies” and can require frequent training and exercise. Complicate this existing challenge further with potentially verbose messages that lack the brevity required for transmission over an rf path. Complicate this challenge further with the potential for transcription errors* at the near and far end of path with hand written messages from author to radio operator (RO) and RO to addressee. *Consider the problem when an RO who mis-transcribes the name of a medication a client is taking and needs!
The resultant was an “agency specific” flmsg interface that Mr. fldigi himself, Dave Freese W1HKJ, created that could be used by virtually any agency and the creation of message templates in HTML. The form appears as a simple window with “Create Message,” “Edit Message,” and “View Message” in a browser -- an interface with which the casual Red Cross computer user should be familiar.
Message process will be:
- Author uses flmsg to create a message saved to an flmsg text object file.
- Author hands off the message (e.g., on a thumb drive) to the RO for handling.
- RO uses whatever means to move the traffic, whether Winlink, NBEMS, Outpost/AX.25, sneaker net, etc.
- RO at destination prints out (if facility available) or hands message object file to addressee.
- Addressee manages information in message accordingly.
We will be deploying flmsg 4.0.1 together with the Red Cross 213 General Message and Red Cross Disaster Requisition templates (now complete) within our region. We have in the development chain an flmsg HTML template for the Safe and Well data registration form. Training in-house is on-going. With the help of Greg Kruckewitt KG6SJT (whose help, among others, has been instrumental in this project), we will disseminate the Red Cross ICS 213, the Disaster Requisition 6409, and when available, the Safe and Well Registration templates. flmsg 4.0.1 is available now for download from the fldigi download site. We would like to continue to look forward to ARES support when ‘stuff’ happens.
Best regards, Jim / RN / N6MED
On Saturday, February 18, the Ladies of the Net Radio Club KM6CIR will activate the amateur radio station NB6GC aboard the historic USS Hornet, 707 W Hornet Ave, Pier 3, Alameda, California 94501 beginning at 1900-2400 UTC (11:00 am - 4:00 pm Pacific Time).
USS Hornet ARC operations frequencies list 40 meter 7.039 CW and 7.215 MHz LSB, and on 20 meters 14.039 CW and 14.260 MHz USB. If frequencies are open also check 7.245 and 3.952 MHz. QSL via KM6CIR.
The World War II ship, which was decommissioned in 1970, has been a public museum since 1998 and it became home to the US Hornet Amateur Radio Club in 2002.
Golden Empire ARS
QST de KA6GND
Posted February 2, 2017
Thank you Michael Favor, N6FAV for conducting the program at our January meeting, a fine presentation on SDR – Software Defined Radio. As I did last year I have strived to make sure that we have a variety of interests for our programs, and this one showed how amateur radio is keeping at the cutting edge of technology.
It was very sad news this past week to hear of the passing of one of our members, Nick, KK6WUF. Nick was so young and interested in growing as a ham, he will be missed.
Upon consensus of those present at the January meeting, I will be conducting them this year to make them as fun, casual and interesting as possible. We will be forgoing much of the business reporting since much of it is reported in the Radiator in the Minutes of the Board meeting. Anyone is welcome to attend the Board meetings held the 2nd Saturday each month, or call one of the club officers with any questions regarding the operation of the club. Items that need to be voted on by the club of course will be brought to the membership at the General Meeting.
73 for now, Larry Marcum, KA6GND, GEARS President Newsletter
Elk Grove-Florin ARC
Posted January 28, 2017
We greeted 2017 with a Bang! We had 24 hams show up for our first meeting of the year which featured an excellent presentation of the ARRL’s Official Observer Program by Norm Lucas, WB6RVR.
Our new board took office on January 1, and we have been very busy planning our programs for the remainder of the year. Our meeting on February 11th will provide an overview of Packet Radio with demos of the Outpost Packet Manager and WinLink software packages. The presenter will be Greg Kruckewitt, KG6SJT. Greg is the Sacramento Valley ARES SEC and he will be assisted by Dwane Evans, KG6KPW and Paul Grose, N6DRY. Our meetings are held on the second Saturday of each month at 7:00pm. We meet at the Sheriff’s Community Room located at 7000 65th Street just north of Florin Road.
Check us out by going to www.egfarc.org, and there you will find directions to our meeting location. Come see what we are about!Submitted by Paul Grose, N6DRY
Posted February 9, 2017
The monthly meeting of OARS (http://w6af.org) will take place this Friday, 10 February 2017, 7 pm, at St. Paul’s Parish Hall, 1430 Pine Street in Oroville. The doors will open at 6 pm for a social hour prior to the meeting. The program, presented by Vice President Ted, N6TBC, will be devoted to Chirp, a versatile piece of radio programming software. Any member who brings a radio to the meeting can have memories programmed in it with this software (bringing its programming cable, if available, is encouraged). Hope all can attend.
73, Jim, W7XZ
SOTARS/QCWA Chapter 169
Posted February 6, 2017
The next meeting is Wednesday, February 8th. Lunch (or breakfast) is at eleven. (Denny's serves breakfast all day.) As usual, the group will be called to order at Noon in the meeting room.
The program for this month will be a PowerPoint presentation of the Folsom Powerhouse by Steve, KN6OX, so please plan to attend.
Meeting as usual at: Denny's Restaurant, 7900 College Town Drive, Sacramento. Phone (916) 383-7071, Located at the southwest corner of Howe Ave. and College Town Drive one block North of Highway 50.
Please come and enjoy the good food and fellowship.
North Hills RC
Posted February 12, 2017
The next meeting for The North Hills Radio Club will take place on Tuesday evening, February 21, 2017.
This month's meeting is Bring your radio night.
Bring your radio and do a small presentation of how you use it, possibly what you paid for it, and what you like about it. If possible bring a photo of the radio in it's normal operating environment, be it mobile or a base station.
Club meetings are always held on the third Tuesday of every month, at the former (SMUD) building located at 5026 Don Julio Blvd, at the northeast corner of Don Julio and Elkhorn Blvds. The board meeting begins at 6:00 P.M., followed by the general membership meeting at 7:30 P.M.
See you there! From Doug Emerson, Vice-President, North Hills Radio Club. Amateur call sign N6NFF
River City ARCS
Posted February 1, 2017
The RCARCS January meeting was devoted to "Elmer Night", providing a chance for members to get answers to questions on amateur radio topics such as "antennas", "radio programming", "software radios" and "general items". "Elmer" (see note below) refers to a person who has knowledge and is willing to share it with fellow amateurs in helping them solve problems of operation and maintenance of their radio stations.
During January's meeting, I learned that some Technician Class members are having problems passing the General Class exam. For the month of January, I've been thinking about this, wondering if an Elmer event could be applied to solve this problem. The monthly general meetings are 1.5 hours long, but this length of time and the environment is not suitable for such undertaking. There are "cram" sessions where the process of "rote" memory is applied to taking exams but leaves the person with no knowledge of what they have qualified for, once successfully passed.
As an experiment, I'm going to offer to 2 members of the club who have their Technician License and would like help getting their General Class license with some one-on-two tutoring. If you fall into this situation and are serious about doing the following:
- 1. Obtain the current ARRL License Manual for General
2. Obtain a spiral bound notebook for notes
3. Get an ink pen or pencil, and
4. will commit to 3 consecutive Saturday morning sessions, 3 hours long, that's a total of 9 hours,
After the meeting starts, and I have no takers, I'll make a general announcement of the offer. I'm not assuming any technical background so we're open to start at ground level. Between sessions, you maybe required to do some reading on your own for areas that you many need help. The license manual will server as an outline on things to be discussed. Again, this is an experiment and will require some serious work.
The February General Meeting will be hosted by Phil Sittner (KD6RM) and helpers. Phil will offer testing of your hand held radios as being in compliant of the FCC rules. We're estimating that if everyone has a radio to be tested, it will take most of the evening to complete. See you at the meeting,
Note: From "http://www.arrl.org/elmer-award" Origin of the term "Elmer" The term "Elmer"--meaning someone who provides personal guidance and assistance to would-be hams--first appeared in QST in a March 1971 "How's DX" column by Rod Newkirk, W9BRD (now also VA3ZBB). Newkirk called them "the unsung fathers of Amateur Radio."
73, Ed WA6QYO Newsletter
Nevada County ARC
Posted February 9, 2017
Next Meeting, Monday Feb 13, 2017, doors open 6:30 pm, meeting at 7 pm
WELCOME BACK LARRY AND GO-KIT INTRO
At this month's meeting we'll be welcoming Larry back as well as having an introduction to Go-Kits, the amateur radio operator's bug-out bag.
Everyone who has a go-kit or anything approximating one, even if it’s just an HT and a spare battery, is asked to bring it for show-and-tell as we exchange techniques and ideas for go-kits for remote emergency communications.
We will also be seeing a presentation on WINLINK, which provides email-like communications, useful for emergency communications.
73, Walt, N6HNS Newsletter
Sierra Foothills ARC
Posted February 12, 2017
January flew by, so as I pen this article I took a moment to reflect on what has been and what is yet to come.
January’s meeting was attended by a good many of you, but if you missed it, Greg, KO6TH, pulled back the curtain on what exactly goes on inside that PC box under your desk. If you want to catch up, his presentation was uploaded to the Yahoo Groups site. Dennis, WU6X, in his Tech Ten, showed us QRZ.com features you may not know about.
January was a month with a few notable contests: North America QSO Party, ARRL VHF Contest, and the Winter Field Day. I am finding radiosport as a great way to fine tune your station, broaden your skills, and get satisfaction from watching your scores and QSOs go up. If you haven’t dipped your toe in yet, give it a try. There are many club members who would be more than happy to help you to get started.Hamfest is Coming! Hamfest is Coming!
Hamfest 2017 is only 45 DAYS away. Carl, WF6J, is promoting the event to clubs, websites, television stations, and local newspapers from here to the bay area and beyond. Yes, look in the next QST magazine, and you’ll see we are in there!!
The drawing is shaping up to be more spectacular than last year. So far, we have two Yaesu FT-3200DR 2 meter digital/analog radios. Many other great prizes are in the works.
We are expanding the Hamfest to include a few new features. First, Richard, WA6RWS, will set up a Test Table, so buyers can test a radio they are thinking about purchasing before actually plunking down the cash.
Second, we are going to hold “Elmer Tours.” If you are a new ham and wondered what all this stuff is, how you use it, or is it worth the money, we will provide you an Elmer to take you around and show you the ropes. If you would like to host Elmer Tours, let me know via email. This is a great opportunity for you to participate and see all the good stuff.
Thirdly, we are going to sell “Premium” spaces to the sellers. A few spaces will come with a pop-up already setup on a parking stall. This is a great way for sellers to show off their wears and not have to worry about the elements. Premium spaces will be sold for $20 each. Sorry, no member discounts. If you have a pop-up you can loan the club, please send me an email and let me know. If need be, we will have someone come pick it up.
And lastly, do you have a kit or project you created, a homebrew antenna, a perfect mobile rig, or a special ham related thing you are proud to show off, we are setting up a demonstration area. Let me know via email if you are interested.SF ARC NEEDS YOU!
How can you help make this year’s Hamfest another rousing success? Here is a where you can help out:
- Club Promotion. We still need members to attend other clubs in the month of February to get up and pitch our Hamfest. If you are a member in another club, or willing to attend a club meeting, please give Carl, WF6J, a call and let him know.
- Net Promotion. We need members to do QSTs on nets. If you regularly attend a net, please let Carl, WF6J, know you will be promoting our club. If you can help, get with as will. We are interested any net within a 250 mile radius of Loomis.
- Help On The Day of Hamfest. All teams have openings. Please email me if you can help out with Setup/Tear-down, Parking, Security, Vendor Relations, Concessions, or Drawing. Many hands make light work.
- Post Flyers. Are you a member of a community club or know of a place to post our Hamfest Flyer? Take a copy or copies and hand them out or post them. The more often people see us, the greater the excitement, and the more likely they will show up.
Looking farther into the future, Ralph, W6RWL, needs radio operators for the Western States, June 24-25, TEVIS Cup, August 5-6, The Canyon 50K Run, April 29, and training sessions, May 27-29 & July 7-9. If you are available, please be sure email him at W6RWL@arrl.net.
Thank you everyone for all you do for the Club, for amateur radio, and for the community!
Orion, AI6JB, President Newsletter
Western Placer ARC
Posted January 10, 2017
Greetings from the Western Placer Amateur Radio Club:
I hope everyone had a Happy New Year and that the happiness will extend through the year!
The WPARC 2017 Kickoff Party will be Saturday January 21st at 1:00 PM at the Via Roma in Rocklin. The address is 1230 Sunset Blvd., Suite 600 in Rocklin. We have 4 menu items available for the party and we have a good deal on them. The menu will be a salad, a pasta dish, dessert, and soft drinks. The price is $25/person and includes tip. The menu items are:
Cannelloni alla Veneziana
Spaghetti with Meatballs
Vegetarian options are available. We are expecting a large turnout so PLEASE RSVP to me as soon as possible! Again this year the Sacramento Valley ARRL Section Manager Carol Milazzo KP4MD will be our special guest. Bring any questions you might have for Carol about the ARRL to the party. If you have participated in any of the club drawings this year your tickets are automatically entered in the Kickoff Party drawing. We will have some terrific prizes specially chosen for this event. I will send out a list in a week or so in the next newsletter.
We elected new club officers at the December club meeting. They are:
President – Jerry Haar N6JKH
Vice President – Arturo Galindo KK6NFM
Secretary/Treasurer – Michael Buck K6BUK (we are looking for a volunteer for Treasurer as our current Treasurer Paul KJ6ORG is leaving the area soon.)
Board Member – Clay Abrams K6AEP
Board Member – Bill Miller KJ6YCO (President Emeritus)
Board Member – Gary Talent WA6IKE
Alternate Board Member – Don Hayes N6DPH
Many thanks to Bill for the great job he did this past year as President. Also, thanks to all the Board members for their time and energy.
Remember, we have changed the date of the Board meetings. We have eliminated the meeting on the second Tuesday of the month and will meet at 5:45 on the 3rd Tuesday of month before the regular club meeting. This will be more convenient for Board members and will reduce their time commitment.
We have some exciting news on the System Fusion front. We now have a test Wires X node set up for club members to try. For those unfamiliar with Wires X, it is similar to Echolink or Allstar. The node is located at Art’s QTH for the test and is on 145.700. The system consists of a Yaesu FTM-400 DR dual band (2 meters/70 cm) and a Yaesu Wires X box. If the tests are successful (which they appear to be to date) we will link the node with the repeater. This is a significant benefit to the club and greatly increases the versitility and reach of the repeater. Anyone with a System Fusion radio can join in.
Speaking of System Fusion, the Monday 8:30 PM 2 meter System Fusion net is growing rapidly. A number of club members have obtained a Yaesu model that offers System Fusion, from HTs to mobiles, to base stations. Of course, the System Fusion radios will also work on standard analog modes. Several people have new radios on order and we should see the net grow even more in the near future. In addition to many club members, we are hearing many visitors from a wide area on the repeater for this net. Also, the Thursday 2 meter and HF nets are growing. Tonight I think we had the largest number of HF check ins we have ever had. We also have recently heard check ins on the repeater from areas as far away as Dixon, Woodland, and Davis. Of course, club member Dennis KI6HHA now lives in Woodland and has a strong signal coming into the repeater for the nets. In fact, I think Dennis’s signal might be better than when he lived in Roseville. The Wednesday 2 meter AM net still seems to be quite popular but it is too early for me to check in. Information on all the nets, including the weekly HF net frequency, is on the club website at wparc.us.
Well, we have a lot more stuff coming up in the new year. I’ll try to keep you up-to-date on all developments as they occur.
73, Michael Buck, K6BUK, WPARC Secretary
In the past two newsletters I have forgotten to include the club mailbox for those members who wish to mail their dues in. The address is: WPARC P.O. Box 1173, Lincoln, CA 95648. Dues are unchanged at $24 for an individual member, $36 for a family membership and $12 for students and active military personal.
Don’t forget to RSVP for the club 2017 Kickoff Party with your menu choices. Also, remember that the party replaces the usual Tuesday night club meeting. The next Tuesday club meeting will be February 21 at 7:00 PM at the Woodcreek Oaks Golf Club in Roseville.
Club Meeting Location
WPARC conducts monthly club meetings on third Tuesdays of each month. Join us at Legends at Woodcreek Oaks Golf Club, 5880 Woodcreek Oaks Blvd., Roseville.
GENERAL MEETING (February)
Posted January 28, 2016
The next general meeting will be 7 Feb at the CalTrans building at 7 p.m.
Joe Visalli, N9BD, will demonstrate how to use the Amateur Contact Log and it interfaces with a radio for logging contacts. He will give a demo on Logbook of the World (LoTW) and how it ties to several software packages http://www.arrl.org/logbook-of-the-world
Hope to see you all there.PRES SEZ
Well, it’s a new year. And with that being said the first thing I’m going to do is remind all members that it’s time to renew your membership. Many already have renewed (and have been very generous in donating to the repeater fund, thank you) and I want to thank those who have already renewed for being prompt. For those that still need to take care of that piece of business, the renewal form is available on the new website to print out, fill out and send in. New this year is the fact that this form is now a fillable PDF form. It can be opened from the website link and filled in by typing the info in each field. After filling it out it can then be printed out and mailed in. You can also save it to your computer by using the right mouse button to click on the form and choosing the “Save As” option. Not a huge improvement mind you but an alternative way to fill it out for the more technically inclined.
Having mentioned the new website, http://www.ysarc.NET, I want to pass on grateful thanks to Kevin Conde / KM6GVD and Joe Visali / N9BD for creating this new more attractive website. And more importantly than the looks itself, IT ACTUALLY WORKS. Kevin eagerly took on the challenge of building, maintaining and improving the website so club news and info can easily be found with a computer or smartphone. And to further improve information sharing throughout the club, and with other hams, he put up a Facebook member page for more informal, time relevant information sharing. Got a new toy to show off? Post it on Facebook. Found a good deal that others would be interested in? Post it on Facebook. Need help with a project or just want to pick someone’s brain? Post it on Facebook. Tell your ham friends who aren’t part of the club about it. Think of it as an extension of our Monday night net. Not everyone will participate I know, some due to technological challenges and some because they don’t “do” social media, but for those that do it’s a great way to share.
Regarding the Monday Net, I want to put another plug in for volunteers to take some of the open slots we have this year. So far we have six of the twelve months covered and I think that’s excellent for this early in the year. Thanks to those who are repeat Net Controllers, your constancy is very appreciated. For those that haven’t taken up the challenge I repeat my invitation. I know that lack of equipment might be a barrier to some. As I write this Dave Gartner / WD6AXM is programming a Motorola MaxTrac mobile rig intended as a loaner for Net and event duty. A loaner power supply and antenna are also intended to be part of the package and will be available to any club member. Another barrier I suspect is keeping others from volunteering as a net controller is the anxiety of never having done anything like it. It took a few months for me to work up to taking on the challenge so I can certainly understand. For those that would but are a bit unsure of their abilities I offer my services as a mentor. I would be more than happy to have someone shadow me when I take Net duty and am willing to be present for the first Net that someone takes. I’m hoping other experienced net controllers would also be willing to mentor someone else and would announce that willingness. It would add to our pool of possible net controllers and, I’m sure, add to a ham’s self-satisfaction in having mastered this skill. Speaking for myself I actually have fun running the Net.
I hope you’re all as pleased as I was with the January regular club meeting. I’ll admit to some mis-givings on my ability to lead it. There were a couple of times where I was thinking to myself “What do I talk about now?”. It does help to know that someone will be giving a presentation of interest to the membership and I’m hoping we’ll have a string of people willing to share some of their experiences of HAMship. Hopefully we can persuade someone with experiences in areas of amateur radio that a lot of us aren’t familiar with to expand our horizons. I personally would like to see some presentations on digital modes (DPMR, Fusion), APRS, PSK31, Echolink, SDRs, etc.. I’m hoping someone in our club has some knowledge of those topics and will be willing to share. But anything you feel might be of interest to the club would be welcome.
I’m eager to see what the rest of the year will bring as I hope the rest of you are. We have a great group of people in our club and I’m looking forward to getting to know all of you better. If you hear me on the air give me a call so we can have a chat, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Till then, 73.
Chris / KK6VZDHAARP
Recently, Alfred (KK6VOS) visited the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) in Gakona, AK.
At the 03 January YSARC meeting, Alfred talked about his experience at the HAARP facility.
Originally, HAARP was a joint effort of the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and the University of Alaska to explore the possible development of ionosphere enhancement equipment for radio communications and reconnaissance.
In the summer of 2015 HAARP was handed over to the University of Alaska Fairbanks for research purposes.
HAARP directs a 3.6 MW signal, in the 2.8–10 MHz region of the HF band, into the ionosphere to study how radio signals are affected. The signals may be continuous or pulsed.
The ionosphere has been difficult to study. The air in the ionosphere is too thin for balloons and too thick for satellites to orbit.
El Dorado County ARC
Posted January 20, 2017
Placerville, CA January 20th, 2017 – The El Dorado County Amateur Radio Club will operate Special Event Station, AG6AU, from the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park on January 28th and 29th from 0900 to 1700 Pacific Time. This Special Event Station, showcasing the El Dorado County Amateur Radio Emergency Service communications trailer, will be communicating with other hams in North America and from the world.
We will be using the ARES trailer for our station and will be located in a parking lot near the saw mill. We will operate near the following frequencies 28.348 MHz, 21.348 MHz, 14.248 MHz and 7.248 MHz on SSB Phone. You are encouraged to come and see the operation or operate for a while if you wish. If you would like more information please contact Jay Harmor – KE6GLA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Special Event call sign, AG6AU, was issued by the Federal Communications Commission. The call letters represent gold (AU) and Silver (AG).
The public is most cordially invited to come, meet and talk with the hams. The station will be on-the-air during the Park’s normal hours of operation. See what modern Amateur Radio can do. They can even help you get on the air!
Bob Hess, W1RH. Newsletter
Posted February 23, 2017
Many thanks to all our Operators who worked Stand-By during these past several weeks on the Plumas. Our operations ran seamlessly throughout the "communications breakdown" in our area. While land-lines, cellphones and internet had failed or were intermittent 21-22 February 2017, Ham Radio continued to function will no outages or problems. We also maintained contact with Seneca and Eastern Plumas Hospitals, despite other comms being unusable. When all else fails: Amateur Radio! 73 de KI6YUK
Samuel F Morse ARC
Posted January 28, 2017
The W6SFM Samuel F Morse Radio Club January meeting was called to order by club President Mike, N6MQL with 9 members in attendance.
W6SFM would like to welcome our newest member, Carol, KP4MD of Citrus Heights CA.
The SFM ARC now provides a LIVE FEED via our on-line LiveStream video services. This live feed can be found on the W6SFM.com homepage by clicking on the Live Feed! link at the top of our page. On-line turn out was slightly higher than last months 8 viewers, however the club held a good audience with 13 viewers this month A copy of our in-person meeting are made available on our LiveStream account or by going to the W6SFM Live Feed! link on our homepage.
The SFM ARC announced the new date for our next CW (Morse Code) Beginners Class. A start date of April 5th has been scheduled. The CW Beginners Class will be held each Wednesday evening from 7PM until 9PM. The course lasts for 10 consecutive weeks culminating 2 weeks before the ARRL’s Field Day event. Class instruction includes a complete understanding of the Morse Code, Pro-Signs, on-air operations and how to send properly using a Straight key. Students are provided with a key and oscillator built by the club members. At the conclusion of the course students are able to keep those instruments as part of their course fee. If you or someone you know is interested to take our course, please be sure to contact the club with that information. You do NOT need to be a licensed amateur radio operator to take our class.
Preparations for the North American QSO Party hosted by John, WB6UBK was discussed. Other club business and ARRL news and information was discussed at the meeting along with the current band conditions based on our own personal on-air experiences.
For show and tell, Member Carol, KP4MD brought with her 3 items. Carol’s first item was a WWII field Radio key. This key has a plunger type button that is pushed down. Carol’s second item she displayed a home brewed “Micro TO Mk II” keyer built by herself in 1975 from a QST article. Carol indicated that she made use of this keyer until 2010! Along with her keyer box Carol also brought with her a newer acquired home brew paddle key. For Carol’s final item she displayed an Army Signal Corps KY-116/U (AKA J45) leg key Circa 1940 -1977.
Member Kevin, KR6AI brought with him his brand new Elecraft KX2 QRP rig accompanied with his DX Engineering Pelican type carry case. The KX2 is the latest radio in the Elecraft KX line of radios. Kevin explained to the group that the KX2 works the 80 – 10 meter bands. However, he also mentioned that the radio will receive on the 160 meter band, but has no 6 meter operations. At only 13 Oz. and 1.4” X 2.8” X 5.8” small the KX2 can output as much as 10 watts.
Our next SFM ARC in-person meeting will be held at its normal time and address Feb. 2nd (followed by our Mar. 2nd meeting). The SFM ARC in-person meeting will be held in the Howard Crowley room, upstairs at the Carmichael Presbyterian Church. More information including a Google Map is available on the homepage of our website.
At our February meeting we will be discussing the North American QSO party contest, results of any other contests, such as the CA QSO party contest will be announced. Current events, News regarding Amateur radio and other ARRL items will also be discussed. As always, we will have our Tech (show and tell) portion where members and visitors are asked to share their 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. Visitors are always welcome to join us.
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 and we encourage you to invite a friend to join us as well. 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. The “LIVE FEED” link can be found on our home page of our website.
Do you know someone in need of a Ham Club to call home? Perhaps someone that wants to learn Morse Code, are interested in CW or already know and use it, the SFM ARC would love to be their new Club home. Our in-person meetings are held each 1st Thursday of the month at 7 PM. 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. Michael N6MQL -W6SFM Club President Newsletter
Jean Ann Nelson was born March 5, 1947, to the late Ernest and Mary Ford. She passed away on January 5, 2017, after a courageous 16 month battle with brain cancer. Jean was preceded in death by her daughter Debbie; and survived by her husband Donald, daughter Cindy, and son Don (Tracy). She is also survived by her siblings: Wesley, Peggy (Tommy), Thomas, and Joan. Jean was very active with her grandchildren: Cynthia (Rocco), Christopher, Jonathan (Samantha), Nicholas, Alex, Lisa (Brandon) and Carolyn. Her great grandchildren Ayden and Jasmine brought joy to her life. Jean had a special place in her heart for her nieces and nephews: Jason (Chanel), Jessica, Donovan (Chelsea), Dilan, Dionne (Brent), Kyle, and Ryan. She enjoyed spending time with her great nephews: Clayton, Kenji, Derrick and Devereaux. In addition, Jean is survived by many more relatives and dear friends. Following her retirement from Pacific Bell after 30 years of service, Jean worked for Franchise Tax Board and the River Cats. She volunteered at the Jazz Festival for many years. Wherever Jean went, she made lifelong friends. Jean's passion for travel was equal to her love of family and friends. She and Donald had great adventures traveling in their Airstream. Jean visited many destinations throughout the states and internationally. She was an amazing woman who took great care in sharing her joy of life and her love with everyone who was lucky enough to know her. A funeral mass will be held at St. John the Evangelist Church in Carmichael at 11:00 am on Saturday, February 18, 2017, with a celebration of life at the Elks Lodge in Carmichael following the mass. Memorials may be given to the or a charitable organization of your choice. - Obituary
For those wishing to attend the service: St. John the Evangelist, 5751 Locust Ave. Carmichael Elks Lodge, 5631 Cypress Ave, Carmichael
Submitted by Dan Langford, WA6VPJ
It took a lifetime, but I finally did it.
Ever since I was in my early teens I wanted to accomplish a specific goal in life.
In the early 50s our family was wealthy. My father ran a dress business with my grandfather (who started the business.) They manufactured what were called "cotton frocks"... basically cotton house-dresses for woman... the kind of thing a woman wore around the house and nice enough to go to the grocery store in.
It was the kind of dress Donna Reed and June Clever wore (June wore pearls with it because we know that all housewives of the era wore pearls when they were dusting!) and you still see these thin, cotton dresses worn by some women in the southern states.
We had a thirty-foot boat which was docked in a marina not far from our Long Island, NY house. On the boat we had this huge Zenith multi-band radio. It not only had the marine stations for weather, but you could hear Europe and the amateur (ham) bands. It was portable (weighted a ton) and was so much fun to listen to. Here is a pix of the model:
In the late 50s the business failed... factories went to the South and women started wearing slacks and jeans... and my father just didn't change with the times.
We were broke.
My parents got divorced when I was 11 and as part of the settlement my mother got the radio, which she gave to me and I put it in my room where I spent hours listening to Europe ("BBC Calling", "Radio Moscow", etc.)
But what I loved more than anything was listening to the ham radio stations talk to each other... often across the nation and to Europe as well. I was fascinated by radio and wanted to get MY ham license (there is no age limit.)
I would also visit Elliot Gross's house. He had been licensed when he was around 10 years old and I was amazed at how he could talk to people all over the world in his father's ham 'shack.'
Back then the entry license from the FCC (called the Novice class) required that you take a written test that was fairly easy... but you also had to be able to send and receive Morse Code at five words-per-minute.
But it wasn't the entry license that I wanted. That one was limited to low power transmission which basically worked for "around the block" communications.
I wanted what was called the General class license because that allowed you to 'work' the "DX" (distance) bands and talk to people across the country and throughout the world.
The General license required you to pass a difficult written exam and be able to send and receive fifteen words-per-minute of Morse Code!
But there was a problem.
I simply could not receive the code. I could send it, but receiving just didn't work. If dit-dit-dah was sent I might hear dah-dit-dit.
It was not until years later that I learned that I had a minor audio dyslexia issue. I always wondered why someone might say "That's a large dog" but sometimes I heard "That's a dog large.”
Anyway, it was never much of a problem and it was random, usually triggered by stress, and I was not bothered by it... music sounded fine... and although I might have heard some of the sounds a bit differently than others, it was no big deal. But it was (obviously) a big deal with hearing code... so I had to end my quest for getting a ham license.
I recently learned that several years ago the FCC dropped the code requirement and so I started studying for the entry level (now called the Technician License) which is rather easy and I passed that a few months ago and was assigned the callsign of KM6AAI.
Then I started on my real quest... learning the much more difficult material for the General exam.
How many of you remember how to compute the square root of the reciprocal of a sum of reciprocals:1
1 + 1 + 1
--- --- ---
x y z
or can figure out the answer to this... even after studying?:
What signal source is connected to the vertical input of an oscilloscope when checking the RF envelope pattern of a transmitted signal?
A. The local oscillator of the transmitter
B. An external RF oscillator
C. The transmitter balanced mixer output
D. The attenuated RF output of the transmitter
This was not an easy test and I had to re-learn a lot of college algebra.
Yesterday I took the exam, only missed one question and achieved a life-long goal... and now... 55 years since my 13th birthday... I am the proud recipient of the Amateur Radio General Class FCC license.
Just a small thing to most... but a huge thing to me.
73s, Alan Canton, KM6AAI, Fair Oaks, CA