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ARRL Sacramento Valley Section News - July 2017

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)

ARRL Conventions & Hamfests & Regional Events

Past Section News Archive

Section Media

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

Getting Your Amateur Radio License

A license is required to operate an amateur radio station. Amateur Radio Licenses in the United States are granted by the Federal Communications Commission after passing an exam at a Volunteer Exam (VE) session.  
There are currently three classes of amateur radio license: Technician, General and Amateur Extra.
For information on testing, preparation and study materials, see:

Citrus Heights Ham-Cram Sessions
Posted January 5, 2017

Section member Joe Cardoza, KA6ROM, announces that his Citrus Heights VE Team will conduct their amateur radio Ham-Cram Technician License training and examinations on the fourth Saturday (except third Saturday in January) every other month at starting at 8:45 am at the LDS Church, at 7950 Hazel Ave, Orangevale, CA. This is the intersection of Hazel and Cherry Ave.

The Ham-Cram and Exam dates for 2017 are:

  • January 21st, 
  • March 25th, 
  • May 27th, 
  • July 22nd, 
  • September 23rd, and 
  • November 25th.

Joe Cardoza, KA6ROM, 916-725-6443,

A Ham-Cram is a several hours' review class of exam questions and answers followed by a license exam session.

Folsom ARRL Volunteer Exam 2017 Schedule
Posted December 16, 2016

Folsom ARRL VEC exams are held at 6 pm the third Thursday of each month except July, August and December.
Here is our updated exam scheduled for 2017:

  1. January 19
  2. February 16
  3. March 16
  4. April 20
  5. May 18
  6. June 15
  7. July NO EXAM
  8. August NO EXAM
  9. September 21
  10. October 19
  11. November 16
  12. December NO EXAM
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 2017
Posted December 1, 2016

The Redding ARRL VE Team will be hosting exams on the following Saturdays in 2017:

  1. January 21
  2. March 11 (changed)
  3. May 20
  4. July 15
  5. September 16
  6. November 18
Our exam sessions are now being held at the Shasta County Office of Emergency Services 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:
Open Door Community Church, 33883 HWY 44, SHINGLETOWN, CA. 96088
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

2016: Dec 17
2017: Feb 18th, Apr 15th, Jun 17th, Aug 19th, Oct 21st, Dec 9th

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
Posted November 28
Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017 - HR 555

LATEST NEWS: On Monday January 23, 2017 the US House of Representatives suspended their rules and passed the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2917 by unanimous consent. This action now sends the bill to the US Senate for its consideration.  Read more here.

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.

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 US270 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.

Fourth of July
July 2017 News

From the Section Manager

QST Cover

Here are the latest news from our section clubs and members.

June 24-25 ARRL Field Day Report

This month's news features reports, photos and videos from ARRL Field Day activities throughout our section. Field Day weekend brought a break from the week's earlier record breaking heat. Les, W6TEE, Roger, KI6FYF and I were delighted to visit many of the eighteen Field Day sites throughout our section. Be sure to click on the "Field Day Photos" links below.  Thanks to the efforts of the many amateur radio operators and clubs who helped this year's ARRL Field Day continue to be an outstanding public exposition and exercise of amateur radio's emergency communication response capabilities.

SV Section Nets

June 15 Section Net Report

There were 16 check-ins on the two meter net and eight check-ins on the 60 meter net.  Propagation was good on 60 meters.  All stations were heard and there were no relays.  Thanks to Steve Sweetman, K6TAZ, net control.

Don't have an HF radio?  
Listen on the W6DRZ web receiver at Half Moon Bay or the W7RNA web receiver in Sedona, AZ.

Hourly Northern California NVIS Observations
Current NVIS Observations

Section Manager Election

Thanks to the members who supported my re-election as Section Manager. I appreciate your confidence and support and will gladly continue serving as your Section Manager.

Norm Lucas, WB6RVR, Silent Key

We sincerely regret our loss of our Section Official Observer Coordinator, Norm Lucas, WB6RVR (see article below). Norm worked with dedication together with our team of Official Observers to help us maintain quality standards and to resolve radio interference issues. He helped spearhead the grass roots movement to amend the California Hands Free Driving Law. I very much enjoyed knowing and serving with him. In its upcoming restructuring, the Official Observer program will play an increasingly important role for the amateur community.

Steve Sweetman, K6TAZ, has notified us that due to a family move, he will leave his position as Yuba-Sutter ARES Emergency Coordinator effective September 1 after four years of service. We deeply appreciate Steve's service as net control during the recent Oroville Dam crisis evacuation, as well as in ARES supervision and training, Section nets and other assistance to our Section Field organization when needed.

We are currently recruiting for a new Affiliated Club Coordinator for our section. Please contact me if you are interested in assisting in this capacity.

Future Section Events

Mark your calendars for the Western Placer ARC Hamfest in Lincoln, CA on Saturday, September 16 and the ARRL Exhibit and Special Event Station N6M at the Rocklin Maker Faire on Saturday, October 14 at Sierra College, Rocklin, CA.

ARRL Pacificon Convention Oct. 20-22, 2017

October 20-22 ARRL PACIFICON Convention

Register online now at for the October 20-22, 2017 ‪‎‪‎ARRL‬ Pacificon Division Convention at the San Ramon Marriott. PACIFICON is the annual ARRL Pacific Division convention, held each year in October. It is THE premier amateur radio conference in the western U.S.

Our website, Facebook and Twitter pages are a work in progress, and your suggestions and submissions are always welcome.

This website is visited most during the first week of each month, but do check back as it is updated weekly with late breaking news.

73, Dr. 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)

Norm Lucas, WB6RVR, on KOVR-TV CBS13 Sacramento

SV Section Official Observer Coordinator Norm Lucas, WB6RVR, Silent Key
posted June 21, 2017

We are sad to announce that our Section Official Observer Coordinator Norman J. Lucas II, WB6RVR, passed away on June 19, 2017 from a sudden pulmonary embolism.

Born on February 27, 1960, Norm was first licensed as WN6LPF in 1964 at age 13.  (Read more about Norm's early years in amateur radio on page 3 of the April 2017 NCCC JUG Newsletter).

Norm Lucas, WB6RVR, (February 27, 1950-June 19, 2017) at the 2017 Visalia DX Convention. Photo by Robert Wilson, N6TV
Norm was the president of Northern Amateur Relay Council of California (NARCC) for a few years.

He very actively lobbied with the grass roots movement for the revision of the California Distracted Driving bill through outreach to local radio clubs, podcasts, the local media and at the ARRL forum at the 2017 Visalia DX Convention.  (Photo by Robert Wilson, N6TV)

Norm was an ARRL Official Observer since 1989, and was the Sacramento Valley Section Official Observer Coordinator since 2003.

Norm was a member of the Samuel F. Morse Amateur Radio Club.  He was the architect of the 501(c)(3) non-profit paperwork for the Samuel F. Morse ARC and the Northern California Contest Club (NCCC).  The NCCC had recently awarded Norm a life membership in return for his time spent on this project.

Norm Lucas, WB6RVR, traveled to hamfests and amateur radio clubs to promote and sign on people to the grass roots movement to amend the California Hands Free Law.  Photo by Carol Milazzo, KP4MD
Norm and a group of his friends conducted a Multioperator/Single Transmitter entry in the ARRL 160 meter contest for many years, always placing well.

Norm was the trustee of the N6FR 147.99/39 MHz Walnut Grove repeater for years and was on the board of the W6AEX 147.27 MHz Mt. Vaca repeater.

One other item on Norm's long list of activities, Norm was a docent volunteer conductor and brakeman at the California State Railroad Museum since 1983, and was Assistant Manager of Museum Railroad Operations in charge of the rolling stock since 2010.

Norm was a life long resident of Sacramento and is survived by his wife Sheila and two grown children.

(Thanks mostly to Bob Hess, W1RH, for the above)

California Distracted Driving Law Update
Updates on AB-1222 Amendment Bill to Distracted Driving Law

Update on the CA Hands Free Law - AB 1785/CVC 23123.5, posted May 22, 2017

We have been fielding a number of inquires on if Amateur Radio (2-way radio) is exempt from the updated "hands-free" law that went into effect on January 1st of this year. The language of the legislation is "all inclusive" and tends to, by default, wrap 2-way radio use into the prohibition.

Amateur licensees in the Pacific and South West Divisions of ARRL have been working on this issue. The original bill's sponsor has been contacted a number of times. The CHP command has also been contacted. As a result, the CHP has issued a memo to its officers advising that "a radio installed and mounted in a vehicle with a wired hand microphone is not considered a wireless communications device........and therefore is not subject to enforcement under this section." That memo was issued on March 28, 2017.

More recently, the sponsoring assemblyman entered into the Assembly Journal a letter establishing the legislative intent of the law. Essentially, the letter states that common 2-way, wired radio use was not intended to be addressed by the newer hands-free law. This letter was published in the Assembly Journal on April 27, 2017.

Please note: Use of an HT would still be a violation. The radio must be mounted and the microphone be corded to the radio.

I have packaged the CHP memo and the letter to the Assembly Journal in one document.  Click this link to download.  Please pass it on. Amateurs should carry copies of these documents in their vehicles to present to law enforcement officials in case they are stopped. It may, or may not, prevent them from receiving a citation.

Please remember that not all law enforcement officers will be aware of these documents, and may not follow them. Amateurs may still be cited.

I would like to hear if any Amateur is actually cited under CVC 23123.5 for using Amateur Radio.

We can all thank the past SW Div Vice Director Marty Woll N6VI, Jim Aspinwall NO1PC, Norm Lucas WB6RVR, and others behind the scenes for their valiant effort to move this clarification forward. The effort is not over, as equally ambiguous language is being promoted in the revision to the law moving through the legislature now.

Please remind everyone that they must still not use their radios in a manner that detracts from their safe operation of their vehicle. Drivers can still be cited under the very broad "distracted driving" code section.

Thanks! 73, Bill Hillendahl KH6GJV, ARRL San Francisco Section Manager

Update by Jim Aspinwall, NO1PC, posted May 16, 2017

Jim Aspinwall, NO1PC, of the movement to amend the California Hands-Free Driving Law, has put out a call on with instructions for radio amateurs and registered voters to contact their State senators now regarding the new amendment bill AB-1222 now under consideration as it will not adequately protect mobile radio operation.

I wish to thank Jim Aspinwall, NO1PC, Norm Lucas, WB6RVR, Glen Pitts K6KJQ and Mike Morris WA6ILQ for their diligent advocacy and work with the office of Assemblymember Bill Quirk, the California Assembly and the California Highway Patrol, and for the rank and file ARRL membership and radio amateurs throughout California who have signed on to support this effort to correct the ambiguous language in the existing law.
The effort continues with some concerns over the language in the bill that will proceed to the California Senate.
For those who wish to keep updated on the status and contribute to the effort, I recommend Jim Aspinwall's detailed overview of the concerns and progress of the effort on his Hands-Free Information Site.

-Carol Milazzo, KP4MD

California Radio Amateurs Move to Amend Distracted Driving Law AB-1785
posted March 21, 2017

In the last two months since its posting, San Jose area radio amateur Jim Aspinwall, NO1PC's online grass roots petition to amend the ambiguous language in California's AB-1785 Distracted Driving Law has gathered over a thousand signatures in its support.

In a news story aired recently on KOVR-TV CBS13 Sacramento, Norm Lucas, WB6RVR, explained that the Distracted Driving Law was designed to curb smartphone texting while driving which has been identified as a safety hazard.  However, the ambiguous language in the law has also unintentionally rendered all commercial and amateur radio two-way mobile operation illegal in California.  The original author of AB-1785, California Assemblyman Bill Quirk (Assembly District 20) has confirmed that the law was not intended to ban amateur radio mobile operation and has recently introduced AB 1222, the purpose of which is to amend this law. Negotiations are underway and continuing between all of the stakeholders regarding appropriate language to modify this law.

Ham Radio Now: California Distracted Driving Law

In Ham Radio Now Episode 311, Gary Pearce KN4AQ and David Goldenberg WØDHG interview Norm Lucas and Jim Aspinwall for an in depth look at the drafting of the California AB-1785 Distracted Driving Law and how it came to negatively impact on commercial and amateur mobile two-way radio operation in California. They also describe the growing community effort to bring this problem to public attention and to lobby the California legislature for an amendment to this problematic law.

AB1785 on Amateur Radio Roundtable

Tom Medlin, W5KUB, also interviewed Jim Aspinwall about the effort to amend AB1785 on the March 21 episode of the Amateur Radio Roundtable podcast.

ARRL Weighs In on New California ‘Driving While Wireless’ Statute
from March 14, 2017

ARRL is recommending that Amateur Radio be specifically excluded from a California statute prohibiting the use of “wireless communication devices” while driving. ARRL Southwestern Division Vice Director Marty Woll, N6VI, is taking point on the effort to revise the statute, known by its legislative bill number AB 1785. It was signed into law last September, and it took effect on January 1, amending §23123.5 of the state’s Vehicle Code.

“ARRL has received a huge volume of inquiries and complaints about this statute in particular, since its enactment,” ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, wrote in a letter to Woll to provide guidance in amending the California statute. “I would urge that you present this letter at any meetings you have with California State legislators on this topic, thus to bring the issues contained herein to their attention.”

Read the full story here

Update from Bob Wortman, WB6VYH, Section Technical Coordinator
Updated July 3, 2017

Summer is here and so is the heat.

We will also headed North this summer a few times and maybe a trip to Kings NP. So if you’re in that area and need cards check just let me know ahead of time.

I will also be at the Lincoln swap in September. If you need cards checked for DXCC, WAS or VUCC let me know ahead of time. If you do need cards and applications checked let me know ahead of time. Call me and leave a message or email me, my information is on the ARRL web page.

I also will be at Pacificon 2017 for the weekend and I’m sure that NCDXC will be there too. Stop by the table.

73 and good DX, Bob Wortman, WB6VYH
ARRL Pacific Division DXCC Awards Manager, Sacramento Valley Section Technical Coordinator, WAS Award Manager, VUCC Awards Manager

From Duane Wyatt, WAØMJD
Posted April 29, 2017

Call for Equipment Donations for Kid's "Radio Library"

Duane Wyatt, WAØMJD, is starting a Radio Library for local elementary school students who attend school workshops sponsored by the A Touch of Understanding disability inclusion and acceptance organization. This Radio Library will allow students parents to check out radios and accessories instead of books. The students parents return the amateur radio items to the library if the student loses interest in amateur radio or purchases his own equipment.

Duane is seeking amateur radio equipment donations to start this program. If interested please contact Duane at duanewyatt(at)

Duane Wyatt, WAØMJD,

FCC Amateur AuxiliaryFrom Norm Lucas, WB6RVR,
Section Official Observer Coordinator
Posted January 11, 2016

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

Update October 12, 2016 - The ARRL and the FCC are currently working together to update and to make changes to the Official Observer/Amateur Auxiliary program. Because of these expected upcoming updates and changes, ARRL has placed a temporary hold on applications for new Official Observers and Official Observer Coordinators at this time.  Read more here.

The Official Observer (OO) program has been sponsored by the ARRL for more than 85 years to help Amateur Radio operators assist each other to operate their stations in compliance with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations.
Official Observer appointees have assisted thousands of Amateur Radio operators to maintain their transmitting equipment and comply with operating procedures and regulations. The object of the OO program is to notify amateurs of operating and technical irregularities before they come to the attention of the FCC and to recognize good operating practices.

The OO program serves as the first line of "eyes and ears" for the FCC. It is the backbone of the Amateur Auxiliary. OOs are certified in the Auxiliary by passing a mandatory written examination.

Federal Communications Commission

Update on FCC Deliberate Interference Case
Posted April 4, 2017

Recent filings related to a long-standing FCC case regarding deliberate interference on 3908 kHz is posted on the FCC website at,DESC.
Additional information related to this matter is posted on the ARRL News

Light Ballast RFI
Pot grow lights interfere with Ham Radio
Submitted by Rene Smythe, WB6PSY, Posted March 4, 2017

I have experienced this interference for the past few years. I found the interference by swinging my 10m Yagi monobander around until the noise became over S9. I then went outside to see where the beam was physically pointed and discovered a garage where indoor pot is being grown. The lights are on a time cycle so the interference comes and goes. 40º degrees in either direction takes the noise out.

Now that marijuana is being legalized in more states, more hams are going to experience this noise.


ARRL and the FCC have a cooperative agreement in radio frequency interference matters.  You may submit complaints together with your supporting documentation to ARRL EMC Engineer Mike Gruber W1MG who then files the report with the FCC Gettysburg office.  More infomation is posted under the "From the Section Manager" notes in the November 2016 Section News - Carol KP4MD

Keep Our Digital Transmissions Legal on 60 Meters
Posted January 29, 2017

Our decreasing solar activity and residential antenna restrictions have attracted increasing numbers of radio amateurs to operate CW and weak signal digital modes on our lower HF frequencies including 60 meters. The five frequency channels that US amateur radio operators share on a secondary basis with US federal government users on 60 meters (5 MHz) pose unique requirements for CW and digital operators. As explained on, US radio amateur emissions on our 60m channels must be precisely centered in the center frequency of each assigned channel, that is, 5332.0, 5348.0, 5358.5, 5373.0 or 5405.0 kHz. Thus, for example, a CW signal on channel 3 (USB Dial frequency 5357.0 kHz) must be precisely on 5358.5 kHz. The same ARRL page explains that all digital emissions must also be centered in the channel center.

This may appear unreasonable to radio amateurs because a 2.8 kHz channel can accommodate many digital and CW transmissions simultaneously, and requiring multiple stations to operate on the same exact frequency would result in mutual interference. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)* explains this requirement in which states: "Allowing multiple emissions within the necessary bandwidth of the widest authorized modes (2.8 kHz) increases the possibility of harmful interference from secondary amateur stations to primary federal stations, and would make it more difficult for a federal station to identify an interfering amateur station. In addition, NTIA is concerned about the aggregate equivalent isotropically radiated power from multiple amateur stations transmitting within a single 2.8 kHz channel. Accordingly, NTIA requests that 47 C.F.R. Section 97.303(h) continue to require that amateur stations transmit only on the five center frequencies allocated to the amateur service."  (See

60 meter JT65 signals


This screenshot photo shows JT65 signals received on 60m Channel 3 (5357 kHz USB dial frequency) from 0300-0309 UTC on January 29, 2017. In the photo, the 5357 kHz dial frequency is at 0 Hz on the left side of the waterfall and the 5358.5 kHz channel center is at the 1500 Hz mark. Decodes of several US radio amateurs are seen transmitting JT65 emissions simultaneously on various frequencies throughout the channel 3 frequency range 5357-5360 kHz. This is the familiar appearance of a JT65 waterfall display on all other amateur radio bands; however, it does not meet the NTIA requirement that each US radio amateur transmission be centered on the 1500 Hz mark (the 5358.5 kHz channel center frequency). Richard Saunders, K6RBS, has posted the program settings for proper 60m JT65 operation here.
60 meter WSPR


The link lists recent WSPR mode emissions on 60 meters. One can scroll down that list and see how many A, K, N and W call signs have been transmitting WSPR mode outside the authorized 60 meter center channel frequencies.  Many US WSPR transmissions are now being observed on the WSPR software default 60m frequency of 5288 kHz, a completely unauthorized frequency for US radio amateurs.

Each licensee has the final responsibility for the lawful operation of his or her station.  Unfortunately, the increasing automation in our radios has apparently accustomed some to falsely assume that the radio will correct for operator carelessness and ignorance of regulations.  Our cooperation with NTIA requirements is essential for our continued access to the 60m channels and for possible future access to the new ITU worldwide 60 meter allocation at 5351.5 to 5366.5 kHz. (See and Please be aware of these requirements if you intend to or currently operate CW or digital modes on our shared 60m allocations. The Amateur Auxiliary is documenting this matter and hopes to raise its awareness in the wider amateur radio community.

-Carol Milazzo, KP4MD

*The NTIA is the federal authority that coordinates radio spectrum use for the US military and federal government while the FCC serves in this capacity for civilian radio spectrum users.

Amateur Radio Emergency ServiceJuly 8 - Sacramento County ARES Training
Posted July 3, 2017

The next Sacramento County ARES training and meeting is scheduled for Saturday July 8, 2017 from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon at the Sacramento Sheriff's Central Division, 7000 65th Street, Sacramento, CA 95823.

Vince Cracchiolo KI6NHP is the Sacramento County EC.

For more information, visit the Sacramento County ARES web site at

Club and Member News - July 2017

Section Field Day Photos
Submitted by Les Cobb, W6TEE, posted July 7, 2017

  1. Sacramento ARC - Intel Folsom
  2. El Dorado County ARC - East of Placerville
  3. High Sierra Field Day Group - CA88 in Sierras (39 yrs!)
  4. Western Placer ARC - Foothills NE of Lincoln
  5. North Hills RC - Farm N of Lincoln

We (W6TEE, W6KDJ) arrived at the Sacramento ARC, W6AK, FD site, an open field in Folsom, a little after 11 AM. We saw a number of Hams, a running generator, and nothing else yet. When I got closer I saw the generator was powering an electric drill and augur to make guy anchor holes in the rock-hard soil! So that's what Field Day generators are for! We stayed long enough to see one of three tall masts go up.

We arrived at the El Dorado County ARC location at 6600 ft. in the Sierras after they had been on the air a while, AG6AU, 6 transmitters. Photos show the FD Chair, K6KNJ, making a contact, while a couple from Rescue, interested in becoming Hams watches, and a public information board.

The High Sierra FD Group has participated in Field Day about 39 years, the first in Butte County where a member was going to school and the rest in Amador County. They operated this year as 3A. Photo shows Harry, K6HS operating VHF in the foreground, and Mike, WA6ZTY operating 40 m with a collinear antenna.

The Western Placer ARC, K6PAC, operated 5A from a ranch at 1200 ft East of Lincoln. I've been on hidden transmitter hunts that were easier to get to! I'm glad I have 4WD! Photos show YL KE6QQJ (white cap) operating 20 m phone while K6OU shuffles papers, and the antenna used. No CW was used!

Dusk was falling as we approached the new site for North Hills RC, K6IS, North of Lincoln. The photo of club President, Kaayla, KA6YLA, operating, had to be taken with flash. Field Day can be exhausting.

This report with photos is also posted at

El Dorado County ARC
Update from El Dorado County ARC
Posted July 3, 2017


I understand that the meeting held at Mt. Danaher, turned out well.

My wife and I took a road trip to visit some of the National Parks in Utah. Our first stop was Zion, followed by Bryce Canyon, Arches and Canyonlands. It was our first visit and we both found that the beauty in Zion was seen by looking up, while the others were seen by looking down. We took many pictures and it’s now my task to sort through them all. I’ll be using Photoshop Elements 15, which I’ll be learning as I go, but I’m told it’s probably the best tool to use.

Field Day is fast-approaching, as I write this. It will be one of very few that I’ve missed. One of my nieces has organized a family reunion for the week prior to Field Day and continuing through the following Sunday. She had started setting dates prior to checking with some of her uncles! My hope is to grab some time Saturday afternoon and put a radio on the air, near Chester, CA (CN90jh) and will be a 1D class.

Enjoy Field Day! I look forward to getting back to my full duties for the July meeting.

73, Michael, K6MLE Newsletter

Field Day Media Hit

For those who might have missed the newspaper article, here is a link to the on-line Mountain Democrat article along with a nice shot of KR6N

Bob, W1RH

River City ARCS
Update from River City ARCS
Posted July 3, 2017


Several events happened this month. For those who have not heard about SeaPAC (, let me say a few words about it. Seaside, Oregon, a small community about 30 miles south of the Washington-Oregon boarder, along the Pacific coast. The Ham Convention is presented by the Oregon Tualatin Valley Amateur Radio Club, for a 2 1/2 day event around the first of June.

Starting on the Friday of the weekend, several all day workshops are held. This year I attended a sold out seminar on the Raspberry-Pi where 120 hams assembled their Raspberry-Pi and listened to presenters talk about how to use the Linux operating system and the many amateur radio applications that were installed on the SD card with the Linux distribution of "cross" configured by NW Digital Radio ( The attendee's of the Raspberry-Pi workshop were a technical group anda lot of material was covered in the 7 hour session. I'm not sure a small presentation would be interesting enough for a club meeting, but if enough members show interest, one of the technical club members will work on an hour presentation.

California Assemblyman Ken Cooley at 2017 River City ARCS Field Day
On Saturday, the main events of SeaPAC start with several 1 hour seminars, almost every hour on various topics while a flea market and various vendors are presenting their items for sale in the main auditorium. Saturday night there is a banquet where speakers have talked about all sorts of topics. Sunday is a half day event where things are the same as Saturday, but start to come to an end by 1300 with prize drawings to finish the event out. Over the years SeaPAC has been getting better and better. If you need a good vacation at the first of June, look into Seaside, but do it early as hotels and RV parks fill up fast.

Field Day - Well it was very warm event and I understand why only a fifth of the club came out. Even though, it was a very good event with lots of things to be experienced this year with all the solar systems and antennas. Every station was power on batteries and charged by solar panels. I will ask those members during the July 5th General Meeting introduction to make a short comment on their system.

Our speaker for the July meeting is Phil Sitters on "Antennas". I hope you all can come to hear this presentation. While on the subject of antennas, there is a free e-book by Jim Abercrombie, N4JA (SK) at I found this publication to be excellent and very readable. I would suggest that you check it out and get a copy before it disappears. See you at the meeting Wednesday, July 5th, 2017.

73, Ed, WA6QYO  Newsletter Photo caption: California Assemblyman Ken Cooley visited the River City ARCS Field Day Site.  

River City ARCS Field Day Photos

Yuba Sutter ARC
Update from Yuba-Sutter ARC
Posted July 3, 2017


The next general meeting will be held Tuesday, July 11th at the Caltrans Building in Marysville. Show and tell of various types of antennas you can make to give you ideas for the antenna fabrication party on July 15th at Curtis (KF6VFP) and Marsha’s (KI6CSN) home. Come to the meeting, decide on an antenna you would like to build, get the material and come up on July 15th.

YSARC Field Day results from June 24-25

On 80 meters - 56 phone and 25 CW contacts. On 40 meters - 108 phone contacts. On 20 meters - 42 phone and 26 CW contacts. In all 308 total points were earned. Contacts were made in 37 States, 7 Countries and 8 CQ Zones (US, Canada, US Virgin Islands, Hawaii, Japan, Brazil and Australia). Neil Bossard (N6CNY) made the contact with Brazil and Chris McLain (KK6VZD) made the contact with Japan.

For photos and comments see the clubs Facebook page at


✓YSARC’s new web page is: - click on the upper right-hand icon on the homepage to join the club’s Facebook page. Past issue’s of the VHN are available on our new website.

✓Send your ham related articles and pictures to share in your VHN. Pictures of ham shacks, antenna projects, antenna parties, etc. are appreciated or


Yuba Sutter ARC Field Day Photos

Sierra Foothills ARC Field Day 2017

Sierra Foothills ARC
Update from Sierra Foothills ARC
Posted July 10, 2017

SFARC Monthly Report

Post Field Day - An exciting time was had by all. Nyack was the usually QTH and you can see the video at:

VE Testing - Held the first Saturday monthly, 8am at Raley's Granite Bay. We had 14 new Technicians, 4 new Generals and one who went from Tech to Extra. - Al, NI2U

Meeting - The usual business stuff and then the program is HF and VHF Antenna Theory. August will feature an antenna build based on the topics discussed. Field Day results will be reviewed. Meeting held in the Rose room at Auburn City Hall. Starts at 7:30pm, everyone welcome.

Picnic - The Annual SFARC Club picnic will be held August 19th from 10am - 2pm. Will there be a QLF contest?

Nets - Thursday nights at 7:30pm for the SFARC Net. First and Third Wednesdays for the Elmer Net.

More information can be found by visiting our website:

73, Carl, WF6J, ARRL PIO  Newsletter

Elk Grove-Florin ARC
Update from Elk Grove-Florin ARC
Posted July 10, 2017

Field Day—June 24th -25th

We invited SHARP and ARES to join us at Davis Ranch at Sloughhouse again this year. Our crowd was small, but the food and location was great. Thanks to all who came out!

Duane Wyatt, WAØMJD, teaches a youth to spell her name in Morse Code
General Meeting – July 8th

Our attendance was lower than normal, but the meeting was great! Duane Wyatt, WAØMJD, was our speaker. Duane volunteers with a group that provides encouragement and services to children with disabilities. He uses Ham Radio and particularly, Morse code, in his presentations to about 60 kids per week. Duane loves CW and has found that the kids find it fun and learn it fairly quickly. So, he helps them study for their license and get equipment. We were very fortunate to have a mother and daughter visit us from Southern California. Her daughter is autistic. You see her joy in the picture below as Duane teaches her to spell out her name using Morse code. The name of the group that Duane volunteers with is called “A Touch of Understanding”. Go to for more information.

We are busy preparing for our August Meeting – August 12, 2017

Hams are known for their ability to “Fabricate”. Our August meeting will be an opportunity for Hams in region to show off their mobile installations. So, if you have and installation on you bicycle, motorcycle, or in your car, truck, RV—Whatever!! Bring it out and share it with our Hams. If you are looking for installation ideas, come see what others have done. Perhaps you or your club has a communications trailer you would like to show off. Our parking lot is the place to be. If nothing else, just come out and meet the Elk Grove-Florin club members. We are small but we like to think we are a pretty nice bunch of Hams.

The date is August 12th , the time is 7:00 pm and the location is 7000 65th Street, 95823. We will be on the parking lot of the Sacramento Sheriff’s Central Division parking lot.

73, Paul (N6DRY)

Oroville ARS
Update from Oroville ARS
Posted July 10, 2017

The OARS Monthly Breakfast will be Saturday, 29 July 2017, 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

The monthly meeting of OARS ( will take place Friday, 14 July 2017, 7 pm, at St. Paul’s Parish Hall, 1430 Pine Street in Oroville. The doors will open at 6 pm for a social hour prior to the meeting. Hope all can attend.

Oroville ARS Field Day Photos

Update from SOTARS/QCWA Chapter 169
Posted July 9, 2017

Our meeting this month is Wednesday, July 12th. You can choose Lunch or Breakfast. (Denny's serves breakfast all day.)  Breakfast (or lunch) starts at eleven and the meeting will start at Noon.

The program is the second half of TXFactor Episode 16, with sections on SOTABEAMS FT-817 SSB/CW filter module and their WSPRLite beacon transmitter. I hope you find this half interesting.  Check out their other products at

Meeting as usual at: Denny's Restaurant, 7900 College Town Drive, Sacramento. Phone (916) 383-7071, Located at the southwest corner of Howe Ave. and College Town Drive one block North of Highway 50.

Please plan on attending.

North Hills RC
Update from North Hills RC
Posted July 9, 2017

The next meeting for The North Hills Radio Club will take place on Tuesday evening, July 18, 2017.

Join us at our July meeting of the North Hills Radio Club, where the program will be about End Fed Antennas. This month will be all about the antenna, aspects of which Maynard will go into a discussion during this meeting. Of note is the transformer, which he will discuss the components inside the mystery box.

We will be discussing the possible project build of the transformer for a subsequent meeting, if interest is there.

Please come and you are encouraged to bring a friend, ham or otherwise. Our meetings are open to the general public and we would like very much for you to attend. See you on July 18.

Club meetings are always held on the third Tuesday of every month, at the former (SMUD) building located at 5026 Don Julio Blvd, at the northeast corner of Don Julio and Elkhorn Blvds. The board meeting begins at 6:00 P.M., followed by the general membership meeting at 7:30 P.M.

See you there! From Doug Emerson, Vice-President, North Hills Radio Club. Amateur call sign N6NFF

Nevada County ARC
Update from Nevada County ARC
Posted July 9, 2017

Next Meeting Monday July 10, 2017 doors open 6:30pm, meeting at 7 pm at the Salvation Army annex building on Alta St. in Grass Valley. This month's meeting will feature a presentation by Greg Dolkas, KO6TH, "How to Make Things Work".


Your intrepid reporter counted 23 attendees at the June meeting of the Nevada County Amateur Radio Club. We voted on whether to have a special Christmas drawing with prizes of a quality name-brand HT as the grand prize and an 8 watt Baofeng model as a secondary prize. Other options were presented, but the feeling was that something of this sort would be welcome to draw more interest in the drawing, the proceeds of which benefit the club.

Walt N6HNS asked whether the club felt up to full coverage of a booth for the fair as requested by the fair organizers, that is coverage from 10am to 10pm on all days of the fair. The fair runs for five days, from August 9th to the 13th this year. There is a hope that split shifts can be run of about 6 hours each, rather than very long shifts of 12 hours each.

Larry K6LRL reported to the club that QRO operation has worked out well for him. "It really works!" he said, advising those who are having trouble making contacts that they should look at adding a linear amplifier to their stations.

We watched videos by Jim W6LG from Youtube on coax and on linear amplifiers. If you haven't seen Jim's videos, they are an excellent introduction to many of the practical aspects of amateur station building and operation. You can find them by going to

We had 3 go-kits presented to the group, one from Jason KJ6HNP for 2m in a "Seahorse" box that was a very practical transportable station solution. Another was Cal AI6MC's truck-based solution, with an antenna that goes from the bed of his truck up through the shell with weather protection. The third was a small kit that Richard KI6UOV built into a frame built from acrylic inside a tool bag. It uses a 5W Baofeng as the rig, an external antenna, and is a highly portable basic station.


No minutes submitted for the last meeting.

73, Walt, N6HNS        Newsletter

Samuel F. Morse ARC
Update from Samuel F Morse ARC
Posted July 3, 2017


The W6SFM Samuel F Morse Radio Club June meeting was called to order by club President Mike, N6MQL on June 1st at the Carmichael Presbyterian Church in Carmichael CA, with 18 members and 1 guest in attendance. The club was saddened to hear of the sudden passing of dear member Norm WB6RVR on 6-19-2017. Norm was a very big part of our club and the Ham Community. He will be greatly missed. Our condolences go out to his family. Due to Norms sudden passing, and in respect for his family while they continue to grieve their loss, the club did not use Norm's Tri-band Yagi setup or the Phased vertical array's in his possession at this years Field Day event. Instead, the club opted to return back to our 4 Band Trap Vertical and 80 Meter Inverted Vee setup.

The SFM ARC welcome 2 new members to our club. Mike, KE6EE joins us from Oakland, CA. and , former CW Class student and frequent check in on the W6SFM Tuesday night Net meetings, Birton, N6UG joins us from Rocklin, CA. The clubs LiveStream system was up and running this month during our In-person meeting. A copy of most of the meeting can be seen on our Live Feed page. We encourage those who do not receive our club newsletter or are not able to attend our meetings to have a look at what we were up to. In the future, if you do not follow the W6SFM on, and you believe there is a LIVE broadcast happening, but are unable to view it through our Live Feed Page, we ask that you go to and simply search for “W6SFM”. You will then be able to find any live broadcasts currently taking place. To avoid confusion, we encourage ALL members to “follow” W6SFM so they can be notified when a live broadcast is occurring. Whether it be a Tuesday night Net Meeting or an In-person meeting, you will always be notified via email. The club was intending on broadcasting for some time during our Field Day event.

This month’s scheduled SMD/SMT re-work demo was re-scheduled for next month as there was too many Field Day planning and news events to be discussed to fit it in.

Bug Roundup Event hits 6 of the 7 continents of the globe! The SFM ARC is happy to report that with our new on-line registration we were able to track most of the participants in our event. According to both registration forms, and optional logs sent to the W6SFM, we were able to see check-ins and activity from all but the continent of Antarctica. Because of the popularity, and lack of DX operational hours and Frequencies, the club unanimously decided that we should extend the hours of the CQ BR event from 24 to 48. The club also decided that we should begin to advertise the use of 17 and 30 meter WARC bands during the event. Because CQ BR is NOT a contest this breaks no FCC Rules or Regulations. Members found that DX tends to be more prevalent on 17m during the day, and 30m during the early/late evenings. In the past DX stations have had to ask other participants via the CQ BR “Live Chat” spotting window, for a meet up on 30 meters.

Just announced at our June meeting was the completely remodeled and coded W6SFM Website. Mike, N6MQL gave a brief demo of some of the new features now available on our website.

Other club business and ARRL news and information was discussed at the meeting along with the current band conditions based on our own personal on-air experiences.

Our next SFM ARC in-person meeting will be held at its normal time and location July. 6th (followed by our Aug 3rd meeting). The SFM ARC in-person meeting will be held in the Howard Crowley room upstairs at the Carmichael Presbyterian Church. Directions, including a Google Map are available on the home page. At our July meeting, we will be recapping the ARRL’s annual Field Day event. We will also have a presentation on the use of a Hot Air rework station used to solder and remove SMD devices on PCBs. As always, we will have our Tech (show and tell) portion. Members and visitors are asked to share their Ham Radio related items they find of interest. Attend our In-Person meetings with items that you’ve purchased or were given to you that you would like to share with others in the group. Visitors are always welcome to join us at our meetings. On-Air Net Meeting 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 13-15 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 contact Mike, N6MQL for more setup information. Those visiting the on-line site are welcome to make themselves known by hitting the "like" button during the net events. This of course is not mandatory, but rather just a way of making everyone feel more involved in our on-air nets. On-line members can also make use of the “Chat” window to speak with each other, or the NCS (if available) Tell A Friend 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 knows and uses 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!

-- Chris AI6U (SFMARC Secretary)


Samuel F Morse ARC Field Day Photos

Western Placer ARC
Update from Western Placer ARC
Posted July 9, 2017

Our Next Club Meetings are July 18, 2017. 5:30 – Board Meeting. 7:00 – Members Meeting. Woodcreek Oaks Golf Club, 5880 Woodcreek Oaks Blvd., Roseville, California

Scheduled Speaker and Topic: Kevin AA6KA speaking on D-STAR. D-STAR (Digital Smart Technologies for Amateur Radio) is a digital voice and data protocol specification designed specifically for Amateur Radio. Come to the meeting to learn about it.

Club Meeting Location: WPARC conducts board and member meetings on third Tuesdays of each month. Members and guests with business to bring before the board are welcome to attend board meetings. Join us at Legends at Woodcreek Oaks Golf Club, 5880 Woodcreek Oaks Blvd., Roseville.


First Ever Club T-Shirts!

One of your fellow members is coordinating our first ever club T-Shirt order. Many expressed interest at the May meeting. The plan is to prepare an order of high quality long- and short-sleeve shirts, where a large club logo is printed on the back, and your name, call sign, and small club logo on the front. Tentative costs are in the $15-20 range. If interested in a T-shirt of your very own then bring your checkbook or cash to the June meeting.

Field Day 2017 is in the Logs

Gary Talent WA6IKE hosted the club at his QTH high atop the foothills overlooking Lincoln and the valley to staff five radios this year. It was hot and sunny during the day which kept a few away. Join us at our July club meeting for an update on successes this year. New pictures below.

WPARC 2017 Hamfest - Sep 16

WPARC 2017 Hamfest will be Saturday, Sep 16. Start setting your ham radio treasures aside for their next owners, and plan to attend this annual event. Be thinking about volunteering a few hours to make this year another success!

Tour de Rocklin - Sep 30

Bill KJ6YCO announces that the Tour de Rocklin will return this year on Saturday, Sep 30. This is another premier cycling event in our area and WPARC will be there to support it. Save the date to provide support at net control, as SAG in your vehicle, or at a check point along the route.

WPARC on Facebook and Twitter

Check us out on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter (@k6pac)

Glenn ARS
GARS Field Day
Update from Glenn ARS
Posted July 3, 2017

Here's a graphic of the contacts made during Field Day.

It was fun having the DRT to use as the station control. Unfortunately the AC isn't scheduled to arrive until this coming Tuesday, so the 107° was a bit overwhelming but we prevailed until about 6 PM on Saturday. Drank quite a bit of water.

Also enjoyed much freshly brewed coffee using the coffee maker. Phil freshly ground some Starbucks French Roast. Food was provided by a Thrivent Action Team.

Sunday the band conditions didn't provide the ability to make any contacts. Phil arrived about 5:45 AM and Mike and Phil began breaking down the station shortly before noon. By 1 PM the QTH was back to its normal configuration.

Hope to see you at the club meeting 7/13 meeting where we will be able to share more detail.

73, Phil, GARS Sect'y/Treas

Golden Empire ARS
Update from Golden Empire ARS
Posted July 6, 2017

The Prez' Says


Thank you very much to Michael N6FAV and Kathy K6FAV for securing the wonderful location for our Field Day this year at the Masonic Family Center. Also thank you to the others who helped set up, operate and attend to have a fun time! I wish that I could have been there but I was out of town for the week.

Have you bought any raffle tickets yet to try to win the antenna analyzer that the club is raffling off? You just never know when you might need one.

When I put up my tower in late 2015 I used new coax and connectors to the antennas, all was secured very well and all has survived 2 winters very well. Then suddenly last month, long after winter, 2 of my uhf/vhf antennas have a problem. I normally check the swr from time to time, but an analyzer can tell you so much more.

See Rick KI6VOS for tickets.

I hope to see you at our July meeting on the 21st!

73 for now, Larry Marcum, KA6GND, GEARS Club President,, 530-345-5399  Newsletter

G.E.A.R.S. Special Program Friday July 21, 2017 - 7 PM
Digital Based Solutions for Declining Propagation Environments

Presented by John Bush - KH6DLK / V63JB Yap, Federated States of Micronesia

Extra Class licensee John Bush, visiting from Yap, Micronesia, will present digital based solutions due to decreasing solar activity that reduces radio wave propagation.

  • How declines in propagation are causing us as hams to rethink how we’ll communicate in the future.
  • What communications options are available
  • What digital modes are available
  • Can these modes be used for VHF, UHF, and with repeaters?
  • What are the criteria for picking a digital mode?
  • The importance of ARQ (automatic repeat request) and FEC (forward error correction) in high accuracy digital modes
  • What are some of the more popular modes?
  • What are the pros and cons of the most popular modes?
  • What do we need to build a digital station?

Golden Empire Amateur Radio Society, Butte County Search and Rescue Building, 3965 Morrow Lane, Chico, CA 95926

All visitors are welcome to attend. For information email:

Field Day at Pioneer Park, Woodland
posted July 6, 2017

The UC Davis Amateur Radio Communications Society, Yolo Amateur Radio Society, Mount Vaca Amateur Radio Club, and the Berryessa Amateur Radio Klub held a combined Field Day Class 2A operation as W6YAR for most of the weekend at Pioneer Park in Woodland. Eleven operators made over 350 contacts on 10-80 meters using digital, CW and SSB modes in all call areas, 49 sections in 39 states and provinces. Next year's Field Day site will be the UC Davis campus.

W6YAR Field Day Photos

Field Day Photo Collage from Shingletown ARC
Submitted by Dr. Shelli Joye, K6SRJ, posted July 30, 2017

Shingletown Amateur Radio Club (STARC)
The struggle to raise one of our antennas on Field Day in Viola, 9 miles east of Shingletown at 4500 feet. Note the llamas watching!

Posted by Dr. Shelli Joye, K6SRJ

Shingletown Amateur Radio Club (STARC) The struggle to raise one of our antennas on Field Day in Viola, 9 miles east of Shingletown at 4500 feet. Note the llamas watching!

Field Day at Sloughhouse
Submitted by Frank Reshke, N6SNO, posted July 3, 2017

I went out to Sloughhouse to see who was there. I found Tim, KC6NAT, with a great set-up. He was representing Sac ARES.

SHARP was there with their Comm Trailer. It had 6 operating positions as well as HF. The trailer had a hydraulic tower. A really nice set-up. Rick McCusker was running the show. I ran into Scott from Elk Grove-Florin and he was cooking hot dogs. Next was Mike, NM3S, who had his Go-Kit out, with a large PVC tower. Mike was representing Sac ARES and SHARP. Duane Evans was there also. There was a little breeze blowing which made it nice. Of course we got some corn on the way out!

73, Frank Reshke, N6SNO, ASEC, Sac Valley Section

Clarence Nevis, KF6YTQ, Silent Key

Clarence Nevis, KF6YTQ SILENT KEY
Posted July 6, 2017

Clarence Nevis, KF6YTQ- Club Member for a long long time.. became a Silent Key the weekend of June 16th-17th. There will be no service.

He was a very strong guy for a long time considering what difficulties he had... very intelligent and really an 'expert' on many subjects... of course Amateur Radio but also an accomplished Machinist as a hobbyist.. Engineer by vocation and worked for Cal Trans.

Submitted by Larry Fibich AF6LF

Dr. Thomas A. York, N6DFL SILENT KEY
Posted July 22, 2017

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Dr. Thomas A. York, the Ham Radio Operator of the N6DFL station.

I am his adult grandson, some of my fondest memories from my childhood involved joining him in his "Nets", learning about the operation of his station, and morse code. One of the final messages I communicated to him was a greeting in morse code that he taught me 25 years ago.

I thank you all for the contributions of friendship you provided to my grandfather, it meant a great deal to him, and to his family.

N6DFL is SK.

- Christopher J. Baker, Grandson of Dr. Thomas A. York N6DFL

ARRL Virgin Islands Section Manager Fred Kleber NP2X, Roger Cain KI6FYF and Carol Milazzo KP4MD on St. Croix USVI
Visits with Caribbean ARRL Section Officials
Submitted by Carol Milazzo, KP4MD, posted July 6, 2017

Currently on our KP4MD/P Holiday style Suitcase DXpedition at our vacation condo in Puerto Rico, Roger KI6FYF and I took a 6/30-7/1 weekend trip to St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. ARRL VI Section Manager Fred Kleber NP2X and his wife Lisa W4LIS treated us to a tour of the island, a visit to their lofty hilltop contest-class station, a visit to the boardwalk and souvenir shopping in downtown Christiansted, St. Croix, and the monthly meeting of the St. Croix Amateur Radio Club. In spite of their few numbers and limited infrastructure, the Virgin Islands ARES group has been quite resourceful in networking with the National Guard, FEMA and the territory government for disaster preparedness.

July 5, 2017 - Dinner meeting at Hacienda Muñoz in San Lorenzo, PR with ARRL Puerto Rico Section Manager Oscar Resto, KP4RF, Asst. Section Manager Jose "Otis" Vicens, NP4G, Sacramento Valley Asst. Section Manager Roger Cain, KI6FYF, and SV Section Manager Carol Milazzo, KP4MD.
On July 6, we enjoyed a dinner meeting at the Hacienda Muñoz (a restaurant in a traditional mountainside coffee plantation setting) in San Lorenzo, PR with ARRL Puerto Rico Section Manager Oscar Resto, KP4RF, Asst. Section Manager Jose "Otis" Vicens, NP4G, Sacramento Valley Asst. Section Manager Roger Cain, KI6FYF, and SV Section Manager Carol Milazzo, KP4MD. We enjoyed legendary Puerto Rican hospitality, ambience and exquisite cuisine while discussing issues that amateur radio faces in our respective sections.

Photo Album

Equipment Grounding Problems
Submitted by Carol Milazzo, KP4MD, posted July 9, 2017

At the April meeting of the W6SFM Samuel F. Morse ARC, John Geyer, WB6UBK, who is a professional electrician, presented a talk on electrical safety and grounding. Over the past year or so I had noticed increasing noise floors on HF and inconsistent SWR readings. While operating on the 80 meter CW net, RF appeared on our household appliances and triggered touch lamps. Suspecting a grounding problem, John very kindly assisted me in tying the station ground rod to the Ufer ground at the electrical service entrance with 4 AWG wire, but the problem persisted.

Then suspecting a problem in the equipment ground connections (a rat's nest of coax braids secured where the ground wire enters the station) I found that over the years a common tie point screw had come loose and instead of zero ohms the equipment chassis measured 13 ohms to ground.

Rather than just tightening the loose screw, I decided to replace the rat's nest of coaxial braids with a proper grounding bus. I replaced the braid from the ground rod with a short direct length of copper plated hanging tape securely attached to an 18 inch copper plated plumbing bracket as a bus bar behind the station equipment.

I mounted my Powerpole distribution box securely to the bracket and ran short lengths of braid from the bracket to each equipment chassis.  See photo album.

I may solder the joints in the future, but for now I have confirmed a good low resistance ground to all station equipment and have resolved much of the receiver noise, erratic SWR readings and RF that had appeared on the home wiring.

Thanks to John Geyer for his talk on proper grounding!

Carol KP4MD

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