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
October 10 - Bill Shaffer, N6SGT, Appointed as Sacramento County Emergency Coordinator
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.
October 10 - Reno Ham Swap Photos
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.
October 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
October 15 Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill
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.
September 9-14 Butte Fire After Action Report
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