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ARRL Sacramento Valley Section News - April 2016

American Radio Relay League
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.

Sacramento Valley Section Web Resources

ARRL National Page:
Organization, Clubs, Calendar, Nets
Sacramento Valley ARES: SV ARES Brochure

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

Submit Section News updates to kp4md(at)

Past Section News Archive

Section Media
2015 ARRL Pacificon Photos

ARRL Hamfests and Convention

Amateur Radio License Classes and Volunteer Exam (VE) Schedules
Class and VE Session Calendar

June 4 - Sutter Roseville Medical Center One Day License Review Class and Exam
Posted March 13, 2016

SPEAKER: John D. Hestenes, Ph.D., Emergency Coordinator, Placer County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), Member, SRMC Emergency Preparedness Committee, Member, Western Placer Amateur Radio Club
DATE & LOCATION: Saturday June 4th, 2016, TIME: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sutter Roseville Medical Center, 1 Medical Center Plaza, Roseville, CA 95678, Conference Room 16

General Course Objectives: General Course Objectives:

  • Discuss HAM Radio Operations and use in the Healthcare Environment
  • Provide participants with everything they need to know to pass the FCC Technician license exam.
  • Discuss HIPAA privacy requirements when sending patient or personal information via ham radio.
  • Discuss how you and your organization can contact, train and work with local ham radio operators.

Prerequisites/Study Material /Study Material: Instructions will be provided and sent to you via e-mail upon registration. Please provide a valid e-mail address upon registration so the material can be sent to you.
Registration/Cancellation: Registration/Cancellation: No walk-ins allowed. You must be pre-registered for the course no later than May 10. Space is VERY limited, so contact the SRMC Education Department at 916-781-1278 or e-mail Soraya Shadwick at shadwism(at) Cancellations should be received at least 72-hours prior to the course if possible. Lunch is available at the cafeteria next to the class room. Course Fees: There is no fee for the course itself. However you must bring a $15.00 check payable to “ARRL VEC” for the test fee if you are taking the FCC test after the class. No cash or credit cards.
Continuing Education: This program is offered by a CA Board of Registered Nursing Accredited Sponsor, Continuing Education Provider Number CEP442 and California EMT-P/BLS Continuing Education Provider Number 65-0014. Successful participants may report 8-hours of continuing education. No partial credit.
* In accordance with the BRN, certificate of completion cannot be issued to participants who arrive more than 15 minutes late or leave more than 15 minutes early.

Download Information flyer

Sacramento Amateur Radio Licensing Classes
Posted January 9, 2016

The Sacramento Sheriff's Amateur Radio Program will offer the following at the Sacramento Sheriff's Central Division, 7000 65th Street, Sacramento, CA 95823.

Class duration is from 6-9 pm.  
For further information email

Morse Code Beginners' Class
Posted February 27, 2016

Due to the overwhelming popularity of the W6SFM CW Beginners class the SFM ARC is gearing up to start another CW Beginners class starting April 13th 2016. Students in our class will all complete with a good grasp on their entire alphabet, numbers and CW Pro-signs. Students are taught proper Sending and Receiving methods. Students will be provided with a Morse Code Straight Key and an Oscillator to keep and use on-air with their home stations.
The SFM ARC CW (Morse Code) class is a 10 week course held once per week for 2 hours. Our goal is to have all students on the air operating conversational speed CW by week 6.
If you or someone you know is interested in attending our next CW course please email the club at for more information. We hope to see you there!

Folsom ARRL Volunteer Exam Schedule
Posted December 22, 2015

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

  1. Thursday January 21
  2. Thursday February 18
  3. Thursday March 17
  4. Thursday April 21
  5. Thursday May 19
  6. Thursday June 16
All exams start at 6:00 pm.

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

Redding ARRL VE Schedule
Posted March 1, 2016

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

  1. March 19
  2. May 21
  3. July 16
  4. September 17
  5. November 19
Our exam sessions are now being held at 2486 Progress Drive in Redding. Exams start at 10:00 AM and candidates are encouraged to pre-register.

More information can be found at: or by contacting Steve K6KS at


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

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

Dar Walker W6IO

Other ARRL VE Sessions - Schedule List
  1. BARK Repeater Club - Quarterly - Woodland
  2. Carmichael Elk Lodge ARRL VE - 3rd Sat. at 0700
  3. SFARC ARRL VE at Granite Bay Raley's - 1st Sat. at 0800

50 W PEP Maximum Power Limit Area on 70 cm
50 W Power Limit Area on 70 cm

A little recognized portion of FCC Part 97 regulations applies to 420-450 MHz operations in most counties in our Sacramento Valley section:
47 CFR 
§97.313 (f) No station may transmit with a transmitter power exceeding 50 W PEP on the UHF 70 cm band from an area specified in footnote US7 to §2.106 of part 2. The indicated affected areas are specified in, in the State of California within a 240-kilometer (150 mile) radius around locations at Beale Air Force Base, California (latitude 39°08' North, longitude 121°26' West).
More information on the additional impact on 70 cm repeater stations is at

Pave PAWS Radar at Beale AFB, CA

The Amateur Radio Service shares the 70 cm band on a secondary basis with the US Government which has priority. The US Department of Defense routinely monitors and locates signal sources on these frequencies.  Our voluntary cooperation is mandatory to avoid interference with the Pave PAWS (Phased Array Warning System) radar at Beale AFB and thus to assure our continued access to these frequencies.

Posted November 28

The Amateur Radio Parity Act

Amateur Radio Parity Act

Clarity on Amateur Radio Parity

Some misconceptions about the Amateur Radio Parity Act are being circulated. Please read full information here

National Parks on the Air 2016
April 2016 News

From the Section Manager

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

This month's National Parks on the Air feature focuses on the Pony Express National Historic Trail (TR15).  This trail offers many convenient opportunities for NPOTA activations within our section

Pony Express Trail 176th Anniversary
Our website, Facebook and Twitter pages are a work in progress, and your suggestions and submissions are always welcome.

Mark your calendars and don't miss the N6P Pony Express National Historic Trail (TR15) 156th Anniversary NPOTA/Special Event Station on Sunday, April 3 from 1700-2200 UTC.

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)

Sacramento Valley Section HF Propagation
April 14 Sacramento Valley
60 Meter Propagation Test
Posted April 18, 2016

The aim of this test was to confirm if a Section-wide net could be conducted on 60 meters. Propagation models predict that both the 60 meter and 75 meter bands are expected to support year-round evening NVIS propagation throughout our Sacramento Valley Section. A 60 meter Section net frequency could offer the benefits of lower atmospheric noise (QRN), no adjacent channel interference, and more efficient antennas for those with space limitations.

HF propagation conditions were much deteriorated with solar flares, and an unsettled geomagnetic field during the Section wide HF propagation test at 1930 PDT on Thursday April 14. Contacts on 5330.5 kHz USB were marginal or impossible due to severe noise and signal fading (QSB). After moving to 3880 kHz LSB, contact was established (although with high noise level) with N5JEF in Loomis, W6KJ, WA1NER, and KC9EI in Yuba City, W6TEE in Sacramento, K6TAZ in Smartsville, and K6AWR near Mt. Shasta.

 Go to our HF Propagation Report Page for more details and a full discussion.

CONCLUSION: Section-wide communication was established on 75 meters when anomalous adverse conditions disrupted 60 meters.  60 meters may still offer benefits for regional communications during usual propagation conditions. A future 60 meter net test during usual propagation conditions is warranted.

Thanks to all who participated and contributed their feedback to this propagation test.
Carol F. Milazzo, KP4MD ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Section Manager, kp4md(at)

From Duane Wyatt, WAØMJD, Section Youth Coordinator
Posted March 28, 2016

April 27 - World Morse Code Day

Duane WAØMJD would like to put on a two hour special event portable operation at a park or other facility on the afternoon of April 27.  That day is World Morse Code Day, celebrating Samuel F. Morse's birthday.  Duane asks that any amateur operators interested in assisting please contact him at duanewyatt(at) or (916) 677-9799, 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michael Aretsky N6MQL operating at Pony Express Terminal NPOTA/Special Event Amateur Radio Station N6P

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

Call for New Packet Network Nodes

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

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

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

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

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

From Sheila Clement, KA7AJQ, ARES Emergency Coordinator, Alpine and Douglas Counties

Douglas County Amateur Radio Association members continue their weekly nets and monthly meetings. Members are extremely active in packet operations and weekly Nevada hospital Monday nets on EchoLink/IRLP which include some California check ins. Members are also active and supportive of Nevada Section nets and emergency planning. A Nevada Section NVIS antenna exercise is planned for April 16th.

From John Stettler, KI6DWP, Section Public Information Coordinator
Posted March 7, 2016

Upcoming Events

Greetings, Here are some events that may be of interest.

From Bob Wortman, WB6VYH, Section Technical Coordinator

VHF Award Manager, HF Award Manager and DXCC Award Manager Bob, WB6VYH reminds us he can count cards and check applications for VUCC and WAS and DXCC...............
Bob will be at some of the Ham Swaps this year and most likely Ham Club meetings throughout Northern California.
Bob will also be doing NPOTA at some of the parks and monuments in northern California and will be able to do applications there too.

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


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

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

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


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


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

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

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

National Parks on the Air commences January 1, 2016

National Parks on the Air

In 2016, the National Parks Service (NPS) will celebrate its 100th anniversary, and radio amateurs will be able to help mark the occasion with the ARRL National Parks on the Air (NPOTA) event. The fun begins at 0000 UTC on January 1, 2016.
NPS entities within the Sacramento Valley Section are:
*Although some sites such as Sutter's Fort and the B.F. Hastings Building are under California State Parks administration, NPOTA activations may be conducted there with appropriate permission. "Operations within 100 feet of National Historic Trails are permitted at any point along the route. Operations from private property must receive permission." See NPOTA Rules 13(k) and (m). ARRL Headquarters advises amateur radio operators to contact and register with the corresponding local NPS unit administration in advance to inform them of planned NPOTA operations within their entity. Visit for more information. Follow NPOTA activation updates on, Facebook and Twitter.
Pony Express National Historic Trail
The Pony Express National Historic Trail - NPOTA (TR15)

Posted February 27, 2016

The Pony Express National Historic Trail (TR15) traverses Northern California and offers many opportunities to learn about its history and to conduct NPOTA activations in our Sacramento Valley Section. No admission fee is required along most of the trail. NPOTA trail activations only need be conducted within 100 feet of the trail itself.  Operation from private property is prohibited unless permission has been received.

Pony Express National Historic Trail Map
Visit the National Parks Service interactive map to find the Pony Express Historic Trail and associated points of interest near you. NPOTA activations may be conducted with permission from sites along the trail not under NPS administration, such as waymarker monuments remount stations and the B.F. Hastings Building in Old Sacramento. In fact, NPOTA activations anywhere along the trail route, even in urban areas with proper permission, may offer unique challenges and opportunities!

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

Amateur Radio Emergency ServiceApril 23 - Sacramento County ARES Training
Posted March 28, 2016

The Sacramento County ARES February training meeting will be Saturday, April 23, from 0900-1200 hours at the Sacramento County Sheriff Florin Service Center, 7000 65th St, Sacramento, CA 95823. 

ARES Balun/Antenna Build Session
Posted March 8, 2016

Greetings to all ARES members!

This concerns the upcoming antenna build meetings where we will be building an HF trap dipole antenna (with balun) that will work on 40, 20, and 15 meters. If you’re not interested in doing that, you need read no further. Thank you.

If you ARE interested, please read the rest of this email because it will tell you what you need to do to participate in the antenna builds. I’ll list the basic facts first, then do some Q&A which I hope will help.

ARES Balun/Dipole Build
Here's a picture of the balun and antenna we will build to show you what it all looks like when completed. The balun has a eye bolt at the top (not visible in this photo) for hanging, as well as connectors for feed line and antenna wires. The antenna has a 20 meter trap in each wire and an insulator at each end.

Where: The build will be at Fred and Bonnie Sellstrom’s place in Wilton. Address is 11811 Walmort Rd. in Wilton, CA.

Fred and Bonnie have been kind enough to allow us to use their nice workshop and grounds to do all this. Fred is also donating some pipe and doing some machining to prepare some parts needed for the baluns. (Thanks, Fred!)

When: Dates are planned for 4/16/16 for the balun build; 5/21/16 for the rest of the antenna (you will need the balun to build the antenna). We’ll get started at 9:00 each day. I ask that everyone arrive ON TIME so we can all get started promptly.

Deadline for signing up: 4/1/16. No new sign-ups will be processed after this date.

Cost: $30. I’m sorry, but unfortunately the several vendors I must order the parts from simply refuse to send me any of those parts unless I send them money in return. Go figure! The $30 charge will cover the materials needed to make both the balun and antenna. I am not making any profit on this, believe me.

Below are some Q&A that will help explain things. PLEASE READ THEM ALL!

Q: What if I miss the deadline for signing up?
A: You will not be able to participate. This isn't to be mean, but because I have to place orders with several different vendors to get all the parts we need. After I get the parts, I have to machine some of them myself to go into the kits. Fred is also doing some machining. This all takes time, and I’ll also be teaching some ham classes (and doing a VE session) in both March and April, so I need to get started early. Signing up is not complete until I have your money in my hot, little hand. Therefore, you must see to it that I receive your money before 4/1!

Q: How do I pay?
A: $30 cash (exact change, please) or a check made to Mike Abernathy for $30. Best way to pay is to bring your cash or check to the March ARES meeting on 3/19. If you can’t make the March ARES meeting and would like to sign up, you can mail a check to my postal address, which is available on QRZ. In case anyone doesn’t know, my call sign is NM3S. If you get close to the deadline, you can bring the money or check by my house, but email me first to arrange the meeting.

Q: $30 is a fair amount of money. What do I get for all that?
A: You get all the parts you need to build both the balun and antenna. You will get a kit for each item at the appropriate build. The kits will have all materials you need to build the balun (on 4/16) and antenna (on 5/21), except solder, PVC cement and silicone sealer, which will all be available at the build site. The kits will include items like magnet wire, an SO-239, stainless steel hardware, sandpaper, heat shrink tubing, antenna wire, PVC cores, coax, and so forth.

Q: What if I can’t make one or both of those build meetings and I’ve paid my money? Will you refund my $30?
A: Sorry, but no. As the saying goes, ALL SALES ARE FINAL. If you miss a build meeting, you will receive your kit(s) at a time and place mutually convenient (the next ARES meeting comes to mind). Also, I will NOT promise at this time to help anyone who misses the build sessions to assemble their kits later on. Keep in mind that several folks in ARES will know how to build the balun and antenna after we’re done. One of them may be willing to help you. We may also repeat this build at some future time, if there is a demand for it and Fred and Bonnie can stand it.

Q: Can I bring some of my own materials to save paying you the full price for the kit?
A: Sorry, no substitutions or partial kits. It just makes things too complicated.

Q: Do I need to bring anything to the build sessions?
A: An assortment of small tools would be helpful. Ideally, you should have a small pair of needle nose pliers, wire cutters, and a small “straight” screwdriver. A set of small ¼ drive sockets would also be helpful. We will have soldering stations and provide silicone sealer and PVC cement (balun build only), and heat guns (antenna build only). I will provide an antenna analyzer at both sessions to test the baluns, the traps and to tune the antennas. If you have an analyzer of your own, you can certainly bring it.

Q: What will I learn from all this?
A: You can learn things like what baluns do (aside from the obvious) and how they work as well as get some practical experience making one. You will also learn a bit about how traps work and how to calculate and build them and how to calculate and tune a dipole correctly after making just one measurement with an analyzer. After doing these builds, you should be able to design and build other dipole antennas that work properly.

Q: Will my finished antenna actually work?
A: It certainly should. Part of building the antenna will involve tuning it for both 20 and 40 meters. I built mine the same way you will, and I've used it a bit on both 20 and 40 without and with a tuner. It works fine. I’ve mainly used it for NVIS, but it also works nicely for longer range, especially if you can get it high enough. At only 15 feet up, I’ve worked New Mexico and Colorado on 20 meters. If it were up at the proper height of ½ wavelength or more, it should work as well as any dipole. Also, since a dipole works on odd harmonics, it should work well on 15 meters (7 MHz * 3 = 21 MHz, which is 15 meters). This should make a great little Field Day antenna as well as a good EMCOMMS/NVIS antenna.

Q: Will this antenna hold up outside in weather?
A: Yes. The wire will be Radio Shack outdoor speaker wire. It is UV proof, and I’ve made a lot of antennas with it. My main HF antenna (a 40 meter full-wave loop) is made from it and has been up over 5 years, and it works fine. The hardware will be all stainless steel. The balun needs to be sealed with silicone sealer (which we will have at the build session) to keep water out. You also need to paint the PVC pipe to protect it from UV radiation. If you do that, you can leave it up outside, and it should last as long as any balun and dipole.

If you have any further questions, do not reply to this email. Instead, please email me at

73's, Mike A, NM3S

Club and Member News

Update from the El Dorado County ARC
Posted April 28, 2016

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

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

See you on Thursday. Bob, W1RH

Update from the Oroville ARS
Posted April 28, 2016

The OARS Monthly Breakfast will take place this Saturday, 30 April 2016, 9 am, at The Waffle Shop, 2107 Feather River Blvd (across the street from Applebee’s) in Oroville. Hope to see everyone there. 73, Jim, W7XZ

Update from the North Hills RC
Posted April 15, 2016

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

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

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

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

Update from the SOTARS/QCWA Chapter 169
Posted April 11, 2016

Our meeting is Wednesday, April 13th. Lunch is at eleven and Denny's also serves breakfast all day.
As usual the meeting will be called to order at Noon in the restaurant's back room.
The program for this month is another collection of short videos on various subjects. Again, I hope you will find them interesting.

We meet as usual at: Denny's Restaurant, 7900 College Town Drive, Sacramento. Phone (916) 383-7071, Near Howe Ave. and FWY 50
Please come and enjoy the good food and fellowship.

Update from the River City ARCS
Posted April 9, 2016


Phil Sittner spoke at our March meeting and demonstrated his 40/80 loop antenna. It was a great presentation. It looks to me like Phil, if he was in any of our shacks (and junk piles) for more than a day would have completed a project that that we could only dream about.

Our April meeting will feature Cliff Hall, KK6YYG speaking about APRS. I’m looking forward to seeing how this facet of our hobby can be used.

Last month, I asked us to be thinking of an emergency checklist and preparing for the unexpected. I’m working on my list and getting some of the “to do’s finished. Now that we’ve entered spring, it’s time to get some cleaning and organizing started.

On April 3 many of us are scheduled to be in old town Sacramento operating a CW station as part of NPOTA. We’ll give the club an update at the meeting.

Linda, KI6OLC is recuperating and needs help with our refreshments at the meeting. If you can help for a while, let me or any of the Board members know.

I am supposed to pick up my tower in a couple of weeks and work will begin on my station. It’s kind of strange to only have a portable HF and VHF station operating. Hopefully Murphy is on vacation somewhere a long distance away.

See everyone at the meeting.

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

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

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

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

Update from the Nevada County ARC
Posted April 9, 2016

Message from our Fearless Leader

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

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

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

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

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

Hope to see you all at the meeting.

73, Walt, N6HNS

Scott Peterson KE6VUS MESH Net Demonstration
Update from the Golden Empire ARS
Posted April 9, 2016


What a beautiful time of year – the winter storms are almost past us and the weather is beautiful. Good days to get outside and check how our antennas faired the winter, and start erecting those new antennas that we thought about all winter. That’s what’s going on at my QTH as I look forward to being able to operate bands and modes that I have not been able to get on for quite some time. Here’s to new beginnings!

I truly hope that by now you have completed the club survey and if not I urge you to do so as soon as you can. I and the Board members really want to help the club to be all that it can be for now and the future, your input is crucial.

GEARS April 15 Meeting
At this month’s club meeting Scott, KE6VUS will be presenting a program on the MESH network, a whole new way of expanding our horizons. Be sure to start looking through all of your cubby holes, closets, garage, workshop and anyplace else for those “treasures” - items that you have held on to just in case you may someday use it. Well, it may be time to make that decision that maybe you won’t ever use it but it just might be that thing that someone else could sure use. At our May meeting is our annual GEARS auction. This event so helps our club treasury and could bring you a few bucks if you desire. We hope that this year is huge – spread the word, dust off those items and mark your calendar for Friday, May the 20th

Anna, KG6ZOA is again chairing our participation in the annual Wildflower bike run. Please contact Anna as soon as possible if you can help out on this. This is a great opportunity to exercise our radio capabilities in the field and show the public what a valuable and fun resource that we are.

“The sky is the limit with amateur radio”

Larry Marcum, KA6GND, GEARS club president, 530-345-5399 or

Update from the Yuba-Sutter ARC
Posted April 9, 2016

Bike Around The Buttes

Bike Around the Buttes is coming Saturday, April 16th. The routes are 17 mile, 40 mile, and 100 mile bike rides to raise money for Children's Type 1 Diabetes. The club will be helping out by communications support again this year. Additional help is needed. Also, if you would like to ride along with a SAG that can be arranged.
To date Chris (KD6CP) has five (5) volunteers including himself.
More volunteers (about 25) and extras are needed. If you have never worked the BATB, volunteer, ride along with someone or help at a site – we will be happy to show you the ropes.


We will meet on Tuesday, April 5, 2016, 7:00 p.m. at the Yuba County Library. The topic for this meeting is handheld transceivers. Be sure to bring yours. A drawing for door prizes will be held. The grand prize is a choice between a $50 HRO gift certificate and a mag mount antenna. The club store will be there for those who wish to make purchases.

Chris (KD6CP)

Update from the Oroville ARS
Posted March 31, 2016

Greetings from the Oroville Area.

OARS ( held its March meeting on the 11th with 26 in attendance. The agenda was mainly centered around upcoming events for club participation, including the Wildflower Bicycle Run on 24 April, Oroville Fiesta Days Parade on 7 May, Field Day in June and the Berry Creek Berry Festival in August. Other items discussed included adding a family membership to the club's dues structure and the possibility of obtaining a club post office box. The program was devoted to an emergency preparedness drill with Broadband Hamnet, to be conducted by YSARC on 2 April at 1900 local time. Following that, Gary, KF6EWO, did a short presentation on setting up a crossband repeater and the rules implications in doing so.

The (last Saturday of the month) OARS Monthly Breakfast took place on 26 March with 22 present at The Waffle Shop in Oroville for good food and good company.

The next OARS regular meeting will take place on Friday, 8 April 2016, 7pm at St. Paul's Parish Hall, 1430 Pine Street in Oroville. The Feather Fiesta Days Parade, to take place on 7 May, is expected to be high on the agenda.

Three Sacramento Valley certificates for the 2015 ARRL DX Contest found their way to Oroville: John Hunt, K7XE, 15M Phone, with Division Winner sticker; Jim Jennings, W7XZ, 40M CW and 20M Phone, the latter with Division sticker.

73, Jim, W7XZ

AF6ND STATION PHOTO Equipment List (L to R and T to B)   TOP Row  Hammarlund HQ-129 (Fully Operational since 1946)  HeathKit 2KW HM-102 Power Meter (status unknown yet)  Dentron M2000A Antenna Tuner (Inspected and Repaired this last weekend)  HeathKit Ham Scope (at least partly functional)  HeathKit Ham Scan (at least partly functional)  HeathKit Aux VFO Matches the SB101 below (status unknown, unrestored, dirty from tobacco smoke)  Dell Computer (For station use. Looking for room for the monitor)   BOTTOM Row  Kenwood R3000 HF Receiver (fully functional waiting for its own antenna.)  Kenwood 2Meter All Mode Transceiver (need TLC still) HeathKit SB220 2 KW HF Amplifier (status unknown-no power in shack yet-restoration done)  HeathKit SB101 HF Transceiver (Restored, RX working TX unknown, Mods for VFO operaon needed)  HeathKit Keyer  HeathKit Station Speaker + HP-23C power supply for the SB101 (all new diodes, caps and resistors)  Home Brew 3 channel Mike AMP  Home Brew Station Power control (to be interlocked with Dentron lightning protect switch)  HeathKit 1KW Cantenna   NOT IN PICTURE is more HeathKit , Yaesu, Kenwood, Radios, Home Brew G5RV mulband wire dipole, test equipment and etcetera, too much to list.
Update from the El Dorado County ARC
Posted March 29, 2016


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

I began my semi-retired mode of operating a year ago now and the extra day every weekend is helping to produce results on my many projects especially my Ham Shack. Last year, starting about mid-April, I attended the W6SFM CW class where I finally overcame being code illiterate. Because my HF radio project has taken a back seat to certain other projects my proficiency has not improved much since last year but I am now practicing with a HeathKit Keyer with Iambic paddles. It is a whole different experience than the straight key, but a lot of fun as well. Still practicing with the straight key and one day I will hit the airwaves with one or both.

I am including a photo of my HF rig which went live this last weekend on RX only. Attempts to make RF into a dummy load have not yet yielded any happiness, but the RX section has actually picked up someone sending CQ on 20 meters a couple of times. Except for keeping the shack warm with the heat from all those filaments, that’s about it for radio contacts.. Some well spent time with the SB101 manual will hopefully cure the remaining issues.

Coming up next month is the Century Bike Ride event that Jay is coordinating.

Well it’s been a busy rainy month here at Lake Woebegone, and I expect more of the same for April. Stay safe, have fun (or are those last two mutually exclusive?) and I hope to see you at the meeting on the 31st.

Regards, Don, AF6ND

Update from the Sierra Foothills ARC
Posted March 29, 2016

The Sierra Foothills ARC is just coming down from our "high" with the success of our 2nd Annual Loomis Hamfest. While the rain was threatening, we had dry weather from very early to afternoon. If you didn't come due to rain, you missed a great swap. While we have photos and video on the club website: Yesterday, Ham Nation aired our video during their show. It is Episode 240, March 23rd.

Our President, Orion Endres, AI6JB was the Chairperson for this year's event and he and our fellow club members did a super job. Never knew what the Loomis Train Depot looked like at 0-dark-thirty before. Hi.

Field Day - as SFARC and others prepare for our Ham Community's annual event, we hope the snow melts at Nyack before Field Day. Will have more stations, antennas and people this year, plus we want to see how good Tyghe, W6TJR and Bob, K6UDA are at flying the video drone through the antennas and trees. Our objective, besides a great score, is to make our site Family friendly and get some kids interested in Ham Radio.

General Meeting - Always the 2nd Friday, each month and everyone is welcome. We have "Tech 4 Ten" a technical 10 minute quick demo or talk, then our Main Program, followed by a drawing. Of course there are refreshments. It all happens at 7:30pm in the Rose Room of Auburn's City Hall (next to the police station off 49).

George, KG6LSB is coordinating radio support for the MS Society walk in Folsom; and the Diabetes Tour de Cure, Loomis. We also are looking for operators for both the WSER -Western States Endurance Run and the Tevis Cup races. Please contact Ralph Lucas, W6RWL at: or for more information and to sign up. For those new hams, the WS100 starts in Squaw Valley and runs down the mountain ridges ending in Auburn, CA. Dates: June 25-25. Tevis is the same course but with riders and their horses. Dates July 23-24. And just a note of remembrance for Mary Ann Balthrope, KKE6EST/sk who was so active in helping run those two races for many years.

VE team License Exams - Every First Saturday, monthly at 8am in Raley's Market on Douglas at Auburn-Folsom Road, Granite Bay. Always happy to see folks pass their exam and get their "ticket" Even better when we get to talk with them on the air.

SFARC Nets - Every Thursday night at 7:30pm on the W6EK/r is our main net. Everyone is invited to check in. There is a Satellite report, ARRL News, DX conditions, a few words from our Officers, plus a Mystery Question! Also every First and Third Wednesdays at 7:30pm is our Elmer Net. Open to everyone, it is a place to ask questions and get answers. New or old alike, anything relating to Ham Radio is welcomed.

Contact you on Field Day!

73 de WF6J, ARRL PIO

Sierra Foothills ARC Hamfest Media Hits
Posted March 29, 2016

The Sierra Foothills ARC Hamfest is now featured at 18:00 on the TWiT Ham Nation Netcast Episode 240 as well as in KMAX-TV's Good Day Sacramento's on-air segment and still photos.

Update from John Mitchell, KK6CJL
Posted March 31, 2016

My wife (KK6CJM) and I (KK6CJL) were able to be guests in the radio room on the Queen Mary in Long Beach about a week ago. My mother (an American Nurse in Southern England during WWII) sailed home from England after WWII on this ship so it has always had special meaning to me. I was especially pleased to be honored to put my new Extra ticket to use as a guest operator from W6RO that day. It was impressive how the pileup "parted the seas" for me when "Queen Mary" was mentioned on the air!

My Dad was wounded near Paris while serving with the 30th Division in 1944. Yes my Mom was a nurse in the American hospital in Blandford, England that nursed him back to combat in time for the Battle of the Bulge. They were married in England right after VE Day and my Mom wore a wedding dress made out of a patient parachute. He returned to the US before she did but was waiting for her when she got off the Queen Mary in the USA.

The nurse with the patient in traction picture includes my Mom. It has been used in the official history of Blandford Camp…now a Base for the Royal Signal Corps.

Any properly licensed HAM can arrange to be a guest operator with a valid license and advance arrangements for time in the radio room.
...No photo received...

Al Canton, KM6AAI KM6AAIs Radio in Cup
Update from Al Canton, KM6AAI
Posted March 31, 2016

Al Canton (KM6AAI) in Fair Oaks, CA is a brand new ham who had a problem. He bought a Kenwood K20A hand-held radio which he liked a lot but found that it was too thin to stand on his desk. "The slightest movement would knock it over, to say nothing of when my cat Ziva jumped up," he complained.
He looked all over the house for a possible stand for the radio but found nothing. At last it dawned on him. "Why not just put it something that had a wider bottom and which was designed to be stable... a coffee cup!"
He reports that this not only solved his stability problem, but found that the cup actually improved the audio output.
"I can now put it in scan mode and listen to the traffic without fear that it will either tip over or fall off the desk," he says.
Of course, it is important to remember NOT to pour coffee into the cup while the radio is in it!

-73-, Alan Canton, KM6AAI, Fair Oaks, CA, ac(at), Managing Partner, New Media Create

I Am Now KM6AAI And It Only Took 55 Years!

Update from Samuel F. Morse ARC
Posted March 8, 2016

SFM ARC News Letter March, 2016

The W6SFM Samuel F. Morse ARC welcomed 14 members and 2 guests to this months SFMARC in-person monthly meeting. Turn out was once again high. We’re still missing a few of the “regulars” at our monthly meeting and it would be great to see them once again too. It’s always nice to see all of the faces of the club members come out on a regular basis. This month guests were Ward, our soon to be CW Beginners class student, and Susan, K6DQS.

A past guest, Norm, WB6RVR has decided to join the W6SFM as a member. Welcome to the group Norm! As a member of the SFM ARC you will receive a W6SFM.COM email addresses and personal Member webpage where you can proudly display your bio and personal pictures 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 all our member’s page found in the members section of the W6SFM website.

Reports of our March in-person meeting:

SFM ARC President Mike, N6MQL called this months meeting to order. Mike read the month’s budget report. As usual donations to the club are always appreciated. Club. Donations are 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.

If you are interested in purchasing some of the fashionable Samuel F Morse Club merchandise such as Personalized Mugs, Hats (ball cap), club Pens or T-Shirts we ask that you go to the W6SFM.COM website and click on the Merchandise link at the top of our home page for ordering information. Club members receive a 20% discount on all T-Shirt orders.

Club Secretary Chris, AI6U proceeded to read in last months meeting notes and the totals for our On-line / On-air net meetings for the month. Once again we’re getting good check-ins both on-air and on-line. We had a total of 28 QNI on-air and 6 On-line viewers, with improved local band conditions. We love to hear about your current weeks happenings. Net meetings offer a way for club members to get together between in-person meetings. Especially for those that are out of town. Please refer to our W6SFM homepage for on-air meeting times and location. You do not have to be a member of the SFM ARC to join in with our On-air Net meetings.

Topics of Discussion at our in-person meeting included Kid's Day In The Park (April 30). W6SFM will begin setting up around 9 am. The event held in Hagan park runs from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. More on this next month.

Also discussed was the annual "bogus story" contest to be held at at our next month's meeting. This event invites our club members to write a simple 1 page Ham Radio related "bogus" story, or "tall tale". Members will then read their stories at our April meeting. The story with the most votes will win the W6SFM Bogus story trophy. This trophy is held by that member until the next April's contest. If you are interested in attending the SFM ARC in-person meeting to listen everyone is welcome to join us for that.

ARRL Newsletter highlights discussed included the US amateur radio licenses increase over the 2015 year. Once again we covered the topic of something that hits home for many club members, HR1301. As it continues to be on track, with a total of one hundred and twenty three sponsors. A count of members who have worked a "National Parks On The Air", station marking the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service was taken. It seems that a few have already worked some of the stations. This event runs to the end of this year, so we hope to have many more reports on members working some of the off the beat and path stations. (Pun intended)

This month the W6SFM admin had received some emails from members and non members who were/are under the impression that the ARRL is trying to petition the FCC to give more CW sub band area to the RTTY operators thus taking away CW areas to QSO. Mike N6MQL presented a graph that explained how this wasn't the case, and that in actuality the CW operators would actually receive MORE sub band area if the proposal to the FCC should pass. If this were to happen the ARRL would move it's allocation of the CW area 10 KHz higher to match more closely with the ITU Region 2's design.

For our “show and tell” portion of our meeting, Mike, K6LQ displayed us his 1940's Brelco Navy straight key. He also presented a GHD model 504B straight key for everyone to try. Both keys were in very nice condition and operated flawlessly. Some were surprised by the feel of the 1940's Brelco key as it felt much better to send on than it looked like it would. Mike, N6MQL showed the club the latest RigExpert antenna analyzer AA-230Zoom. It was explained that with this analyzer measurements of TDR (time domain reflectometer) Reactance, Resistance, Return Loss, Impedance, SWR both with graphs and Smith Chart views could be made as well as simultaneously measuring up to 5 different frequencies within one band, or multiple bands. Mike also mentioned that he was an authorized dealer for RigExpert products and that if anyone was interested they could contact him to purchase.

Our next SFM ARC in-person meeting will be held at its normal time and address. Our upcoming April 7th (followed by our May 5th) SFM ARC in-person meeting will be held in the Howard Crowley room upstairs at the Carmichael Presbyterian Church. More information is available on the homepage of our website. At our April meeting, we will be discussing Kids Day In The Park in Rancho Cordova (April 30). Our annual W6SFM "bogus story" contest will be held. Bring your best story along with more ARRL new stories and news events. 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. Please Check out the W6SFM home page for more details. We also hope to discuss the clubs results in the on-air North American QSO party contest if those results are released. The SFM ARC participated in this event held on the 9th – 10th of Jan. Please see the W6SFM website for more news / events and pictures posted. Be sure to check back often for updated information on the club and its happenings.

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. For those that would like to watch the Live Feed on their Apple IOS or Android devices a “LiveStream” App is required. For instructions and the proper location to view the LIVE FEED please contact Mike, N6MQL for more setup information. 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; just a way of making everyone feel more involved in our on-air nets.

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 7PM. 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!

Until our next news letter I thank you all very much for being a member of the SFM ARC, without you this club could not exist. Very 73,