ARRL SACRAMENTO VALLEY SECTION NEWS
October 2015 Updates
You can always send compliments, suggestions and submissions for inclusion in our Section News to kp4md (at) arrl.org
Bill Shaffer, N6SGT, Appointed as Sacramento County Emergency Coordinator
October 10 - ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Emergency Coordinator Frank Reshke, N6SNO, announces the new appointment of Bill Shaffer, N6SGT, as Sacramento County Emergency Coordinator. Bill brings many years in law enforcement, and training.
We wish to thank John Staples, KI6ZWW, for his years of service and experience in this position that have benefitted many ARES members.
Reno Ham Swap Photos
October 10 - Roger Cain KI6FYF and Carol Milazzo KP4MD visited the Reno Ham Swap at the Tamarack Junction Casino in Reno and share this photo album of some of the people and gear seen there.
News from Nevada County ARC "Nuggets"
This column is mostly catch up on club activities that happened in the last couple of months.
First: The NCARC had our usual “booth” out at the Nevada County Fair, which was from August 12 -16. The weather was very nice and only started to heat up the last couple of days. It seemed to me that there were lots of people coming into the fair, at least going by the location of our booth, and I heard people saying that attendance was up from previous years. We had many people stop by our booth and either ask about ham radio or just to say “Hi!”. We keep a couple of sign-in sheets available, one for those who are interested in ham radio and would like to be notified if we have a class for the technician license, and another sheet for hams who have come to see our Fair. We had about a dozen people sign up saying they are interested in ham radio and about the same number of hams. As most of you probably know, we also have a “QSL” card for the club. It has the club call sign W6DD, info on the two club repeaters and the club website. We handed out about 50 of these QSL cards to people as well as many of the ARRL brochures we have on display. Overall, I think we saw about as many people as we usually do who are curious or interested in ham radio. One thing I did notice was that most of the people stopping by knew that “ham radio works when everything else fails”. The fair manning roster included: Ed Flower, KK6SIF (who also helped with the setup and tear-down), Larry Latta, K6LRL, (2 shifts),Mark Marholin, K6JJR (2 shifts), Jim Dworak,KI6UOX, (who also helped with the setup and tear-down), Doc Dahshiell, NM6K (2 shifts), Jon Gicker, WA6TNC, John Hart, KE6FIQ, Alan James, KZ6B, Rich Vizcarra, K6TM, Dennis Seaton (and his Mom), W7BOK, Cal MeKitrick, KK6NTX, (also by most days after his shift at the Kiwanis Booth), and Dave Behr, KK6RFP.Thanks again to all for manning a shift or two at our booth.
Next is the Lincoln Swap Meet, September 19: I saw lots of club members at Lincoln this year – some with tables selling things and quite a few looking for “treasures” to buy. And as for treasures, I only bought one item this year, but came very close to buying a couple of others. One seller had several old boat-anchors radios and I noticed two Heathkit Apache transmitters. I was very tempted to get one, but was able to come to my senses and realized I’d probably never get around to working on it, even if I could manage to carry the thing into the house once I got it home. The other item I almost bought was an uncompleted home-brew tube linear amplifier. It was old, and dirty, but had a couple of nice looking variable vacuum capacitors with pretty fancy mechanical adjusting hardware plus some good transmitting tube sockets, a filament transformer and the tank coils. But again, I felt I’d probably never get around to doing anything to finish this project and decided to not purchase it. I know that a couple of you managed to find some very nice pieces of equipment to buy and it’s good to see people coming home with great deals. Myself, I always enjoy this particular ham fest – lots of stuff to look at and lots of interesting stories to hear. Finally, the Barbara Schmidt Millar Duathlon, Sept 20: This event is usually a Triathlon but this year was changed to the Duathlon because the water level in Scott’s Flat Lake was so low that the swimming portion of this event was dropped. So, the event was now a Bike Ride, Run and another Bike Ride. Even though the swimming portion was dropped, I was told that they still had over a hundred participants. The NCARC provided communications support for the portion of the run/bike ride along Pasquale Rd – from Cascade Dr to Dog Bar. The NCARC participants were Chuck Murphey, KI6CM, Al Helberg, AA7C, Larry Latta, K6LRL, Jim Dworak, KI6UOX, Ben Soper, N3BEN, Ed Flower, KK6SIF, and myself. Everything appeared to go smoothly with the run and ride and there were no mechanical breakdowns, accidents, or injuries to report.
So, that’s my catch up news. Hope you can make it to the meeting because Larry, K6LRL, will be telling us about a “Super Raffle” with $5 dollar tickets and a nice radio as the prize to be awarded at the annual Christmas Dinner/Meeting. See you at the meeting,
Walt, N6HNS, President
Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill
October 15 - Millions of people worldwide will practice how to Drop, Cover, and Hold On at 10:15 a.m. Pacific Time on October 15* during Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills, which began in California in 2008.
Participating is a great way for your ARES/EmComm group, family or organization to be prepared to survive and recover quickly from big earthquakes– wherever you live, work, or travel.
Visit http://www.shakeout.org/california/ and sign up your "Volunteer Radio Group" to participate.
Butte Fire After Action Report: September 9-14
by Daniel L. Edwards KJ6WYW, Amador County ARES EC
The following is the final after action report for the Amador County ARES support of the Red Cross Shelter set up for the Butte Fire. Radio communications were maintained for 102 hours beginning at midnight Wednesday Sept 9, 2015 until 6:00 AM Monday morning Sept 14, 2015 An FSD 157 for this event is included with this report.
Although we were not technically challenged due to the high quality of the facilities at the shelter, we did have an excellent opportunity to exercise our ability to deploy on short notice. The following bullets are a brief chronological summary of our activities.
- Within 40 minutes of being activated by the Red Cross Shelter Manager, Paul Keaton, on Sept 9, 2015, we had three people at the shelter, located at the Jackson Rancheria Conference center. They immediately set up a go-box and two-meter antenna. Rancheria Staff members were there as soon as we arrived and set up tables and chairs for us. They provided extension cords to provide power from one of the light poles in the parking lot and then erected a pop-up over the table.
- We established a communication network using the K6ARC repeater, 146.835 - offset 100 PL. As soon as Net Control was announced, we began receiving check-ins from Amador ARES members who had been monitoring the repeater. Within two hours, I was able to establish a Net Control roster for the first 24 hours without having to initiate the Amador ARES Call Tree. We set up four-hour shifts for the first eight hours so that people would not become too fatigued. Each shift consisted of two persons. One person manned Net Control and the second provided liaison with the shelter personnel. Handy talkies on 146.550 were used for communication between these individuals. We also monitored the San Andreas repeater on 147.195 with a positive offset and 100 PL. By 0400, we set up a second go-box and antenna to monitor a Cal Fire channel.
- At 0800 on Thursday Sept 10, 2015, we went to a six-hour shift. At 1400, we set up a communications trailer with a third mobile unit. The trailer also provided additional power and a charging station for both USB, 110VAC and 12VDC devices.
- By Friday Sept 11, 2015, I had established a roster through 1800, Sunday Sept 13, 2015. Four members from Yolo County ARES volunteered to support the event on Friday and Saturday. Lucile King W6KJX, Greg Kruckewitt KG6SJT, Bill Gustavson K6BIL, and Rick Littlefield N6KLB provided great support Four members of Sacramento ARES John Staples, Jeffery Lamb, George Carrington, Eric Guenzler volunteered to take Net Control from 0600 to 1800 Sunday. This additional support was greatly appreciated and nicely complimented the Amador ARES Team
- At 0400 on Sept 12, 2015, I met with the Shelter Manager to discuss our continued support. We agreed that there was only minimal traffic and that due to the reliable availability of landlines, cell phone, and internet service in the shelter, our services were no longer needed. We decided to suspend our support at 0600 on Monday Sept, 14, 2015. We made this decision to continue on for another two days because the fire was still not under control and there was still a chance that it might shift and force closure of the shelter. By Sunday evening containment had increased to 20% and we felt comfortable in our decision to suspend operation as planned.
- At 0600 on Sept 14, 2015 we suspended Net Control operations.
As I stated above, we were not technically challenged by this event. No official messages were sent or received but we did disseminate status updates on the location and movement of the fire, the closure of roads and the areas being evacuated. This proved to be quite valuable due to the lack of coordinated information from the various agencies. ARES members not on duty and other amateur radio operators searched the internet and provided us with information that we were able to coordinate and provide to those monitoring the repeater.
Due to our prominent location in the parking lot, we found ourselves becoming the first point of contact for those coming to the shelter. Both those seeking support and those dropping off donations would come to our pop-up to check in. We greeted each one in a friendly and supportive manor and directed them inside to the Shelter Red Cross staff. Although this was not a serious issue for us due to the lack of message traffic, we felt that it was an issue that we should address. Part of the focus on our location was due to the fact that our tent was a Red Cress pop-up and people naturally assumed that we were Red Cross members. We got the Rancheria Staff to swap our pop-up with one from the Rancheria and this reduced the requests.
To insure that the repeater was kept clear for network traffic, we announced each hour that the repeater was under net control that traffic should be directed through Net Control and limited to fire-related topics. The cooperation of the people who regularly use the repeater was outstanding. I did not script this announcement and relied on the net controllers to format their own statements. In retrospect, I should have had a scripted statement prepared in advance and provided it to the net controllers. A positive outcome of this is that the repeater manager, Chuck Bland came to the same conclusion and is going to include a programmed statement that can be activated during emergency repeater use that will periodically broadcast this announcement. This will include a change in the roger tone to distinguish it from normal repeater operation. He will also include the following capability.
- Ability for NC to record, at will, announcement messages. There will be separate messages for the VHF and UHF repeaters.
- Ability to enable and disable these messages
- Ability to set the interval of these messages - 15, 30, or 60 minutes. Can be changed at will.
I solicited feedback from the 20 ARES team members that participated in this operation. I have compiled their responses in a list of lessons learned. I want to thank all of the ARES members that supported this emergency event and their valuable input.
Call signs of amateurs who were major participants: WA6WIY, KC6SGT, KJ6WYW, KK6CZG, AF5CN, KG6BZT, K6BIL, AG6EL, KJ6WYY, W6KJX, KK6CZJ, KG6SJT, KE6FF, N6KLB, WA6HCL, KJ6HRO, KJ6BUV, KI6ZWW, KK6VGQ, N6XD,
From the Yuba-Sutter ARC "Valley Ham News"
ELECTION OF BOARD MEMBERS AND OFFICERS
Elections will be held on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 at the Yuba County Library at 7:00 p.m. Volunteers are needed for board and officer positions during the upcoming 2016 year. So far we have volunteers for: Board Member, Chris Price, KD6CP and Kathy Burns, N7WVW. To have a full roster we need 5 board members, President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer or a Secretary/Treasurer.
If you are willing to serve please let Chris Price or Kathy Burns know. Remember, this is your club. It does not exist nor run without you. You are the sparkplugs that make this a great club. Please volunteer and bring your great ideas.
VE TEST RESULTS AND TEST SESSION
At the September 5th VE session fifteen exams were given. There are two new technicians, two new general and one new extra. Brian Naglee (KK6WIJ), Richard Beaver (KK6WIK) became new technicians. Marvin Thomas (KK6WIL) became a general by passing technician and general exams. Randall Blankenship (KK6VIB) upgraded to general. Alfred Dunning (KK6VOS) upgraded extra by passing the general and extra exams. Congratulations to the new hams and those who upgraded. The next VE session will be 7 Nov.
YSARC CLUB MEETING
Oct. 6th., Tues. – 7:00 P.M. at the Yuba County Library. Dave Gartner, WD6AXM will give a presentation about the Sutter Buttes repeater. Our monthly drawing will be held. A Baofeng hand held radio is the grand prize. Other prizes include, an Eveready handheld six-volt flashlight/lantern, coax wrap, a Husky seven pocket utility pouch with belt attachment, and more.
Up for discussion:
• November elections
• Veteran’s Day parade
• Christmas Party
RENO HAM SWAP
Location: Tamarack Junction, 13101 South Virginia Street, Reno, NV 89501
Sponsor: Sierra Nevada Amateur Radio Society
The club will again be sponsoring a technician class. Classes will be held at the American Red Cross Center, 2125 East Onstott Frontage Road, Yuba City, Classroom 1. It will be taught from 6:30 to 8:30 Monday and Wednesday evenings from Jan 4th thru Feb 29th.
There is no cost for the classes, however you will need an up-to-date manual. You can obtain a Kindle version from Amazon or order one thru the instructor. The instructors will be Curtis (KF6VFP) and Ron (W6KJ). Please get the word out to family, friends and anyone you know who is interested in getting their license.
News from the El Dorado ARC "Circuit"
I hope this message finds all of you well and happy.
Wow! September 2015 is history. 2015 is almost so for that matter. Time doth swiftly pass us by. Who knows where it goes when its gone? Well, I know that there has been a lot of antenna work going on; holes being dug and then filled again with sterner stuff, to be topped with a steel tower reaching for the sky, topped with another sky hook intended to pull in distant stations. Good luck to all with those projects.
I have received a couple of emails expressing interest in the club. One fellow keeps asking when our next license class is, but I have nothing to offer him except other club’s classes. How about it, can we support an occasional class or should I refer interested ones elsewhere?
On another note, elections are coming up and you all should be thinking about who should be the club officers next year. One position we need a very motivated person for is that of PIO (Public Information Officer). This person should be an ARRL member so they may represent the club in ARRL publications and functions. It would also be good if this person were interested in journalism, at least in an avocational setting. We need to do a better job of publicizing our club and its activities. Maybe YOU are the person we need...if so please let someone in the club know you are interested. I'll vote for you!
Occupying my time in August and September has seen a long standing project which is coming close to completion. My 1996 Chevy Cheyenne PU came roaring back to life and is all but re-licensed for the road. I have sure missed that beastie's 4x8 foot bed. (not to mention it's nice V8 engine). Next field day I can bring more toys. A note to Verne: I also have a two horse trailer that could be pressed into service now that I have my tow vehicle running again.
73 to all, Don, AF6ND
Joint meeting with NCCC, MLDXCC and REDXA October 31
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2015 Lunch time: 11:00 AM (early start)
LOCATION: Rockville Corners 4163 Suisun Valley Road Fairfield, CA 94534 Phone: (707) 864-4325 www.salvioattherock.com
PROGRAM: Paul N6PSE - "DXpedition to Eritrea E30FB" with an update on the upcoming "VP8STI/VP8SGI DXpedition" & John K6MM - "Ham Radio: The Light Side. Why We Do... What We Do"
RSVP & PAYMENT: RSVP will be required and we'll be collecting money for this event. Menu and pricing tbd. Send your RSVP's to Secretary.NCCC@gmail.com.
See you there! Bob kr6n
A reminder that the October MLDXCC club meeting previously scheduled for October 10th has been changed to October 31st. This will be the BIG three club Joint meeting in Fairfield at Rockville Corners. Please RSVP to Joanna K6YL soon.
News from the River City ARCS President
Our October White Elephant Sale is almost upon us and Auctioneer Andy will again be at his post. It will be interesting to see what treasurers will change hands to help benefit our club’s repeater fund. Join us for some spirited bidding.
We will also be nominating members to serve as officers and Board members for the 2016 year. Please consider adding your talents to serve our club.
Speaking of repeaters, ours is back to its original glory with the controller and voters installed. Handheld coverage is much improved. Try it out. Thanks to all involved in its installation and operation.
Our November 3rd meeting will feature Debbie Wells and election of our Officers and Board members.
Our own Carol, KP4MD is our new ARRL Section Manager and has just recently returned from her training in Connecticut. Hopefully soon she will talk to us all in length about her trip to Newington, operation of W1AW, and a tour of the inner workings at “Headquarters”.
December 1st is our annual Holiday Party. Keep those dates free on your calendar.
We will be continuing our search for Elmers. Make note of your Amateur Radio skills to help others in need. Be sure to come to the October 6 meeting for some refreshments and to see what interesting things change hands.
73, Bob N6PGQ
News from Samuel F. Morse ARC
The W6SFM Samuel F. Morse ARC welcomed 9 members and 1 guest to this months SFMARC in-person monthly meeting. Thank you to all who have helped support the club and the preservation of CW on the bands! All members of the SFM ARC receive a W6SFM.COM email addresses and personal Member webpage where they can proudly display their bios to the public. We encourage our members to post news, photos and other information about themselves as well as their hobbies. Feel free to visit our new members page found in the members section of the W6SFM website.
Reports of our October in-person meeting:
SFM ARC President N6MQL was out of town on a Month long tour of Asia. Mike indicated he would be taking his “Go Box” with him consisting of a buddiepole and KX3 setup. A report on that experience will be discussed at our October meeting. Member John, WB6UBK called the meeting to order. John gave read the months budget report and announced the final funds available, Including one $10 donation made to the club. These donations will be used for the purpose of organizing PR booths such as the Kids Day in the Park event, Ranch Cordova and other events where the SFM ARC introduces Ham Radio and Morse Code to Children and the general public. If you would like to contribute to this cause please feel free to visit our home page for a PayPal link to donate.
Topics of Discussion included the planning of the upcoming W6SFM CW Beginners class. The SFM ARC is to began it’s 10 week CW course on the 16th of Sep. Students have checked in and their free Keys and Oscillators were handed out to all 22 students who attended. Preparations were finalized for the upcoming California QSO Party contest. The radio club is slated to operate for 12 of the 24 hours of the contest. This year the contest will be hosted at Mark, K6JJR’s home QTH in Lake of the Pines. Also discussed was the upcoming Lincoln swap meet. Many of the SFM ARC members indicated they would be attending that event as well. We should have some interesting items to “show and tell” at our October meeting.
Chris, AI6U reported on this months On-Air Net check-ins. The net is held each Tuesday evening on 80 meters. Reports were very good with an average of 6 check-ins per week and 1 – 2 on-line LIVE FEED viewers attending.
For our tech portion of the meeting member Bob, KJ6CA discussed his visit to KPH (Maritime historical Museum) during the “Night of Nights” event. While visiting the station Bob took and passed his Commercial CW Exam. This is an exam that allows Bob to operate on the Commercial Maritime frequencies used in the past to serve as CW Ship to Shore transmissions. KPH still provides some traffic to ships that make use of CW while on the seas. Bob was given the honor of sending the final sign-off message for K6KPH Night of Nights.
Mike, K6LQ brought and showed his 1945 Vibroplex Zephyr bug as well as his 1936 Specialty Company (Cedar Rapids) bug.
Our next SFM ARC in-person meeting will be held at it’s normal time and address. As a reminder the club has now moved to a larger space to accommodate our growing club. Our upcoming October 1st (followed by our November 5th) SFM ARC in-person meeting will be held in the Howard Crowley room upstairs. Current events, News regarding Amateur radio and other ARRL items will be discussed. As always we will have our Tech portion where members and visitors are asked to share Ham Radio related items they find of interest. Feel free to visit our In-Person meeting with items that you purchased or were given that you would like to share with the group.
Each Tuesday of the week 8:00 PM on 3.545 MHz the SFM ARC enjoys getting on the air with CW for our weekly Nets. You do NOT need to be a member of the SFM ARC to check into our nets. Although our nets usually run around 13 wpm code, we are all happy to accommodate those that are slower and need us to oblige. If you are unable to copy Morse Code or need some code practice please feel free to visit our on-line LIVE streaming broadcast of both the Audio and a CW to Text decoding of the meeting. That link can be found on our home page of the website.
Those visiting the on-line site are welcome to make themselves known by using the ‘contact us’ link to let the net op (NCS) know you are there. This of course is not mandatory, it just lets everyone feel more involved in our on-air nets.
Do you or someone you know need a Ham Club to call home? For those that want to learn Morse Code, are interested in CW or already know and use it, the SFM ARC would love to be your new Club home. Our in-person meetings are held each 1st Thursday of the month at 7PM. The SFM ARC meets in the "Howard Crowley" room of the Carmichael Presbyterian Church in Carmichael, CA. The church is Located at 5645 Marconi Ave. For directions to the meeting visit our clubs home webpage www.w6sfm.com. Please use the rear parking lot and entry for best access to the meeting. A map and directions can also be found on our website.
We hope to see you at our next meeting!
73, Mike Aretsky N6MQL, President
News From The Golden Empire ARS “Radiator”
Hello everyone; It’s October and there are some things on my mind. First, I hope everyone had as much fun at the Steak Bake over to Jensen Park as I did. Evelyn Weir won the tri-band handy-talky. Lucky lady! The steaks were good, the chef did a great job, the side dishes plentiful, and the fox was chased all over the park.
Gene Wright WA6ZRT has arranged for our October program. Thank you Gene. Gene has been busy with teaching the class for new technicians. He's got eight students, they meet weekly at the Search & Rescue Building and he is much encouraged by the participation. He has had help from other hams in the area. Thanks to you all. We need more hams.
This is the month that we traditionally recruit a nominating committee to find candidates to fill our club officer slots for the next year(s). SOOOO; think about if you want to be on the nominating committee and whether this is the year you finally get your feet wet and run for office. Being an officer is a lot of fun and Dorothy takes your picture often to put in the newsletter. The slate of candidates will be presented to club membership in November with the vote in December.
We got a little rain and I was listening to thunder while I was on my 80M net earlier. My rain gauge was inside for service so I'm not sure how much rainfall totaled. The weather guessers are forecasting more rain on Sunday---let's keep our fingers crossed. I don't think there was enough precipitation to wash all the dust off antennas, insulators and such. We all hope for lots more rain this winter so the lakes all refill.
Until the meeting (October 16) or I need to send a special bulletin, good radio to you all.