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ARRL Sacramento Valley Section News - September 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:

NCDXC Free Online General Class License and HF Operating Course Starts Sep. 23
Posted August 23, 2017

The Northern California DX Club is offering free classes aimed at helping you to pass your General Class license exam, build your first effective HF station and learn HF operating skills. Enhancing your HF experience will be done with classes on advanced HF phone, CW and Digital operating skills, propagation analysis, antennas and other topics. These classes are arranged in 3 tracks so that you may take only those classes that interest you. Some classes will be taught using Power Point presentations delivered to your computer over Webex. You need no special software as Webex allows you to see and hear the presentation and participate in the two way audio stream. Other classes will be taught by your Elmer at his or her own shack. There you will experience the skills that you are learning on the air! Our 13 instructors are experts in their fields with literally hundreds of years of active ham radio experience. Our goal is to put you on the air on the HF bands and give you the background to enjoy the many aspects of the HF experience. Some of our instructors are great teachers, others are operators with many years or SSB, CW and Digital mode experience, while others enjoy building state of the art equipment. The classes will be taught at your level. We will strive to make each class fun. We want you to succeed!

Go to for details and registration.

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.

W6SFM Morse Code Beginners' Class Starts September 13
Posted August 10, 2017

The SFM ARC would like to announce that we will once again be running our 10 week CW for beginners course. This course will be 10 weeks long held once a week for 2 hours (7PM until 9PM) each Wednesday evening in Carmichael. If you, your club members, or someone you know are interested in taking our CW class we encourage you to sign up NOW. This class is made available to EVERYONE that wants to take it. You do NOT need to be a licensed operator to join our class. We have locked a start date for the class, we will begin Wednesday evening September 13th (Ending November 15th).

Everyone can benefit from this course! For those with no Morse Code knowledge this is an excellent course where you or your friends will be taught the complete International Morse Code alphabet, numbers, pro-signs, how to adjust and send on a Morse Code straight key and more interesting general information than one brain can store! The goal of our course is to have all students up to speed around week 6, and on the air! This is also a great opportunity for those of you who may have already taken our course before. This class offers a chance for returning students to brush up on their code, increase their speed, build on-air confidence and get a better understanding of the 'pro-signs' that CW radio ops use on-air.

The CW class is $50 for new members, and only $20 for returning members who bring their previously supplied Morse Key and Oscillator. As always, as a new student you will receive a FREE Morse Code straight key and a Code Oscillator to keep at the completion of the course. These items are worth more than $40 by themselves.

Now for the important part... This is a FIRST COME FIRST SERVE COURSE! We will Limit the amount of students who are able to take this course. Therefore it is very important that you make your payment AS SOON AS POSSIBLE to secure your seat in this class. We do not take walk-ins at the door. To make payment by check you must FIRST send an email to to indicate that you are interested and you are going to make your payment. We will hold your seat for 7 days from your email while we await your payment to come:

If you prefer, you may also pay via PayPal or Credit Card. PayPal and CC payments will be charged an extra $2.00 for credit card processing fees. If you would like to make your payment this way please send an email to to request an electronic payment you can make on-line.

If you have ANY questions please do not hesitate to email us back at your convenience. Thank you and we hope to see you at our next class!

73, Michael, N6MQL, President
W6SFM Samuel F Morse ARC

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 - S1534

LATEST NEWS: The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017 was introduced in the US Senate on July 12, marking another step forward for this landmark legislation. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) are the Senate sponsors. The measure will, for the first time, guarantee all radio amateurs living in deed-restricted communities governed by a homeowner's association (HOA) or subject to any private land use regulations, the right to erect and maintain effective outdoor antennas at their homes. The Senate bill, S. 1534, is identical to H.R. 555, which passed the US House of Representatives in January. 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.

Pacificon 2017
September 2017 News

From the Section Manager

QST Cover

This month's news announces many upcoming public outreach events, and reports, photos and videos from our section clubs and members.

Congratulations to Andy Boone, KJ6IYM, on his new appointment as Yuba-Sutter ARES Emergency Coordinator.  

ARRL Special Service Club

We are currently recruiting for a Section Affiliated Club Coordinator (ACC). The ACC serves to assist clubs to become ARRL affiliated; to help clubs better serve their members and communities; to motivate clubs to qualify for the prestigious ARRL Special Service Club recognition; and to keep affiliated club information updated annually. Please contact me if you are interested in assisting in this capacity.

Congratulations to the Sacramento Amateur Radio Club on the renewal of their Special Service Club status. 


September 16 & 17.  Duane Wyatt, WAØMJD seeks one assistant for a Morse Code exhibit and practice station for youth at Sacramento's Fairy Tale Town ScholarShare Book Festival.  Please contact Duane at

September 30.  The Golden Empire Scout Council, Pioneer Express District is soliciting operators to demonstrate amateur radio at the Eternal Flame Scout Fellowship Weekend at Gibson Ranch in Elverta, CA.  Lunch will be provided.  Many of the 400-500 Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts who attended last year's event enjoyed their first exposure and on-the-air experience of amateur radio communication.  Please contact me at if you would like to help introduce Scouts to Amateur Radio.


Saturday, September 16.  Mark your calendars and stop by the ARRL booth at the Western Placer ARC Hamfest in Lincoln, CA.  Download Flyer.

Thursday September 21.  ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Net at 7:30 Pacific Time (details below).

Saturday, October 14.  Section members and clubs are encouraged to participate in our ARRL Exhibit and Special Event Station N6M at the Rocklin Maker Faire at Sierra College, Rocklin, CA (details below).  Please contact me at to join us in this opportunity for public outreach and to promote our local amateur radio and club activities.

ARRL Pacificon Convention Oct. 20-22, 2017

October 20-22 ARRL PACIFICON Convention

Register online at by October 8 for the discounted rate to attend the October 20-22, 2017 ‪‎‪‎ARRL‬ Pacificon Division Convention at the San Ramon Marriott. Youths 17 years or under are admitted free!  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.

October 20-22 Jamboree on the Air

If you do not plan to attend the Pacificon convention, reach out to your local Brownies, Cubs, Boys or Girl Scout troop to offer an Amateur Radio demonstration and to support their participation in the Oct. 20-22 Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) to communicate with other scouts around the world.  Register your planned JOTA activity now at  Your assistance can help your local Brownies, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts earn the Scouting Radio Merit Badge and the ARRL Girl Scout Radio and Wireless Technology Patch.  

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)

SV Section Nets

Section Wide 2 Meter and HF Nets, Thursday, September 21 at 7:30 pm PDT

A Section-wide net is scheduled for Thursday, September 21. The net will commence after the Yuba-Sutter ARES net closes about 7:30 pm Pacific Time on the WD6AXM 146.085 MHz FM repeater, immediately followed by an HF net on 5330.5 kHz USB (alternate 3880 kHz LSB if no propagation). We will issue an Official Bulletin reminder prior to the net.

September 21 HF Net Report

At the scheduled net time the 5330.5 kHz frequency did not support communications so the net was conducted on 3881.0 kHz LSB from 7:45 to 8:00 pm PDT. The following stations checked in:

Callsign Location
K6BBB Redding
K6HOM Sacramento
N6TBC Oroville
W6EVL Olivehurst
WA1NER Yuba City
WA6MNV Sacramento
WB6OGD El Dorado Hills

Future HF Section nets will be conducted on the 3880 kHz frequency due to seasonal propagation changes.

The next Section-wide net is scheduled for Thursday, October 19. The net will commence after the Yuba-Sutter ARES net closes about 7:30 pm Pacific Time on the WD6AXM 146.085 MHz FM repeater, immediately followed by an HF net on 3880 kHz LSB +/- 3 kHz. We will issue an Official Bulletin reminder prior to the net.

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

Hourly Northern California NVIS Observations
Current NVIS Observations

Ponderosa Fire Evacuations
Sac Valley ARES and Red Cross Respond to Ponderosa Fire Evacuations
Submitted by ARRL SV SEC Greg Kruckewitt, KG6SJT, September 4, 2017

The Ponderosa fire near Chico started August 29, 2017 1:16 pm

Butte County ARES Emergency Coordinator Dale Anderson KK6EVX was contacted at 8:40 pm. that evening by Pam Deditch of the American Red Cross to respond to the Nazarene Church Shelter in Oroville for the evacuations from the fire.

Anderson began calling his group to find out who was available. He activated Kris Koenig KK0NIG, Daniel Shelsta N6APX, Robert Rentz KK6WUG and Dale KK6EVX to the Naz Shelter. He also contacted Section Emergency Coordinator Greg Kruckewitt KG6SJT.

Anderson noted: "The ARES members checked in with Pam and set up ecomms. Later on Ted Cochran N6TBC and Carl Franke KI6CIU joined us. We used the W6SCR repeater (149.290) as our main repeater and monitored the N6ICW for the Sacramento Red Cross link. During this time we set a Winlink station on packet radio 145.050 and made contacts with KG6SJT as fall back if we lost the internet link. We were working 12 hr. shifts. Our tactical call sign was Naz Shelter. We were finally released on 2 Sept at about 2000 hr.” The Naz shelter had between 30 to 40 clients at times.

Sacramento Valley ARES
An additional evacuation center opened

On August 30, the Brownsville Evacuation Center was opened. Jim Piper N6MED, Amateur Radio Liaison to the Gold county Region of American Red Cross, was deployed by Red Cross to the Brownsville evacuation center as a shelter nurse. Before he left the Sacramento area, Piper was notified that cell communications were spotty so he took his radio go kit as well as his nurse kit.

When Piper arrived at the shelter, cell phone coverage was spotty and land line phones would not allow dialing out. Piper set up his radio and was able to communicate with the NAZ shelter and then via winlink. Packet radio was able to send email to his supervisors and receive reports on the fire.

Neighboring county ARES ECs were contacted by Kruckewitt to give those groups a heads up that mutual assistance might be needed to assist in Brownsville.

Jason Eaton KJ6HNP from Nevada ARES, Michael Joseph KK6ZGB from Sacramento ARES, and Michael Sangria AG6IP from Yuba Sutter ARES all indicated that they were on standby and available to go to the Brownsville evacuation center.

Sangria was scheduled to head to Brownsville that evening, but was contacted by Piper that there were no clients in the shelter so stand by untilThursday.

Red Cross indicated on Thursday that the shelter will probably shut down that evening. Sangria did go to the evacuation center and met with Piper who explained how winlink and Flmsg can be used to send information to the Red Cross even though cell phones and telecoms were not working. The shelter was closed later that evening.

Currently there are over 70 fires burning in California. All ARES members should have their go kits ready to support operations in their county or if mutual assistance in a neighboring county is needed. It is also a good idea to get up to speed on digital communication via radio. Packet and winlink are great tools for shelter communications.

Greg Kruckewitt, KG6SJT, ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Section Emergency Coordinator,

Amateur Radio Emergency ServiceUpdate from Placer County ARES
Submitted by Carl First N6CKV, Posted September 11, 2017

Placer County ARES Meeting Sept 9th

On September 9 th the Placer County ARES team held a meeting at the Auburn Veterans Hall. The subject of the talk was a presentation by Bob Fields KD6QVD on the Incident Command System and Emergency Operations Center. Bob is a retired emergency manager from the Santa Clara Valley. In addition to the presentation, Bob demonstrated his “Fly Away” boxes he has developed for the Civil Air Patrol. There were 21 ARES members at the meeting.

Pictures all by Carl N6CKV

Attendees at the meeting Bob Fields KD6QVD The Fly Away box
The attendees at the meeting Bob Fields KD6QVD The Fly Away box

September 9 - Sacramento County ARES Training
Posted September 4, 2017

The next Sacramento County ARES training and meeting is scheduled for Saturday September 9, 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

Hurricane Maria Communications
Update on Caribbean Disaster Zone Communications - Hurricane Maria
posted September 23, 2017

Getting health and welfare messages into Caribbean islands affected by Hurricane Maria via amateur radio at this time is nearly impossible. 85% of the cell towers in Puerto Rico are down and many of the affected areas remain without power.

It should be noted that the ability to deliver disaster welfare inquiries within the affected areas is extremely limited. The lack of power and local telecommunications, the security situation in some areas and the condition of roads combined with the fact that many individuals are displaced is such that locating specific individuals within the disaster area is very problematic.

The few amateurs who are on the air are following protocol, which is to handle priority traffic, (e.g. requests for supplies etc), then handling out going messages. Several amateur have gone to the area to help with communications. People in the area are invited to send a message to an out of the area family member who could then contact others. Incoming health and welfare messages are nearly impossible to deliver as one would literally have to find the person to deliver it, and as such are the lowest priority.

FEMA has brought in several mobile cellular telephone sites that communicate via satellite. As compared to amateur radio, these facilities have much higher bandwidth. These channels have been restricted for coordinating relief efforts. These will eventually be opened to public at first in larger metropolitan areas such as San Juan and Ponce.

Live feeds of Caribbean Emergency HF traffic are being streamed on

Links to further information on Caribbean emergency traffic are posted on the web page.

Thanks to our ARRL Section Traffic Manager Jim Michener, K9JM, and the Radio Relay International for information in this update.
Northern California DX Club Free Online Classes for General Class License and HF Operation Start Sept. 23
From the News, August 1, 2017

The Northern California DX Club (NCDXC) has announced an initiative aimed at getting more new Technician and General class radio amateurs active on HF. The NCDXC Elmering Project will launch on September 23.

NCDXC said its Elmering Project is aimed squarely at swelling the pool of new HF operators and getting them on HF. After some introductory classes are three curriculum tracks —General License Exam Preparation, HF Operating and Station Building, and Advanced Topics. Students sign up only for the classes that interest them; instruction will be at the participant’s skill level. The club said classes will cover such topics as advanced HF phone, CW, and digital mode operating skills, propagation analysis, and antennas. Some classes will be taught using Power Point presentations delivered to a student’s computer via WebEx.

Read the full story here.  Program Flyer

Go to for details and registration.

ARRL Exhibit and Special Event Station at October 14 Rocklin Mini Maker Faire
Posted August 8, 2017

Rocklin Mini Maker Faire
Attention Area Radio Amateurs and Groups:

The ARRL Sacramento Valley Section will sponsor an exhibit promoting Amateur Radio and our local clubs at the Mini Maker Faire at Sierra College in Rocklin on Saturday October 14 from 9 am - 4 pm. We plan a display of homebrew amateur radio equipment and antenna projects, Morse Code practice stations, and offering opportunities for attendees to learn about the many facets of the amateur radio and to communicate on the air with amateur radio operators via an operational on-site amateur radio Special Event Station N6M. We will offer literature and information on licensing, local clubs, the ARRL and amateur radio's role in community service and promoting careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

The DIY Magic of Amateur Radio

Radio hams were the original Makers and Hackers, using new, used and scavenged parts to make transmitters, receivers, and antennas capable of communicating with other hams anywhere on Earth, and beyond. In this hobby, communicating is the keyword. And, when computers came along, they fit right in to the ham's wide world. Using their technical skills and imagination, hams put together advanced communication networks connected by radio waves instead of wires.

When amateurs began experimenting with radio more than a century ago, they had no choice but to build everything they needed. You might or might not be able to get a signal on your smartphone, but it is truly liberating to be able to communicate using equipment you've built yourself — using just the natural phenomenon of radio-wave propagation and without our telecommunications infrastructure. Radio amateurs don't develop radio-communication skills and capabilities just for ourselves, but also to serve our communities and country through public service and emergency preparedness.

For more information or to help plan or participate in this public outreach, please e-mail kp4md(at)

ARRL President Issues Call for Members to Reach Out to their Senators to Support S. 1534
posted on July 25, 2017

August 8, 2017 Update from Rick Roderick K5UR

Based on feedback I’ve received, it seems to me that some members still don’t fully understand certain features of the Amateur Radio Parity Act (ARPA) and what it is meant to do. To make things clearer, we have developed an FAQ in the format of questions and answers. Please take a few minutes and read the FAQ to learn more about the ARPA. Here is the direct link:

ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, is calling on League members to urge their US Senators to support the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017, S. 1534. ARRL has opened a RallyCongress page to simplify the task.

“[W]e are at a crossroad in our efforts to obtain passage of The Amateur Radio Parity Act,” Roderick said. He said the campaign to secure passage of the bill scored a major victory earlier this year when H.R. 555 passed unanimously in the US House of Representatives. Obtaining passage of the companion Senate bill, S. 1534, is the final legislative hurdle.

“Now is the time for all hams to get involved in the process!” Roderick said. “Many of you already live in deed-restricted communities, and that number grows daily.”

He urged radio amateurs now restricted by a Homeowners Association from installing effective outdoor antennas to visit the RallyCongress site and e-mail their two US Senators. He also encouraged those not now affected by deed covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) to support their fellow radio amateurs by doing the same.

“If you want to help create an opportunity - not available before now - for Amateurs who live in deed restricted communities to install effective outdoor antennas on property that you own or lease, send these e-mails today!” Roderick said. “We need you to reach out to your Senators today. Right away.” S. 1534 was introduced in the US Senate on July 12, marking another step forward for this landmark legislation. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) are the Senate sponsors. The measure will, for the first time, guarantee all radio amateurs living in deed-restricted communities governed by a Homeowners Association (HOA) or subject to any private land-use regulations, the right to erect and maintain effective outdoor antennas at their homes, while protecting the aesthetic concerns of HOAs.

Update from Bob Wortman, WB6VYH, Section Technical Coordinator
Updated July 30, 2017

We just got back from Redding, love that heat.

We will be headed back North to the Lava Beds and Klamath Falls area soon. So if you’re in that area and need cards check just let me know, ahead of time please.

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 please.

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 with a card checking table. Stop by and say hi.

Don’t forget the Solar Eclipse QSO Party on August 21. If you’re not into QSO party’s you might just want to see what happens at your station.

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

Morse Code Exhibit at Fairy Tale Town
Update from Duane Wyatt, WAØMJD
Posted September 18, 2017

Report on September 16-17 Youth Outreach

Here is a photo of the exhibit at the FairyTale Town's ScholarShare event last Saturday and Sunday. The weather was perfect, there were lots of parents and kids there and lots of them tried the Morse machines--so it was fun and happiness...

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 (SK),
Section Official Observer Coordinator
Posted January 11, 2016

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

Update April 6, 2017 - 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 ARRL Executive Committee (EC) has directed that work begin on finalizing the language of a revised memorandum of understanding between ARRL and the FCC regarding the Amateur Auxiliary (Official Observer) program. The EC met on March 25 in Aurora, Colorado. The panel, which acts on behalf of the ARRL Board of Directors between its regular meetings, heard an update on the Official Observer Program Revitalization Study from ARRL Second Vice President and committee chair Brian Mileshosky, N5ZGT, who said his committee plans to present final recommendations later this year on revamping the Amateur Auxiliary, for ultimate consideration by the full Board.

Official Observer Program Update

In his remarks, General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, was complimentary of new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and told the EC he thinks enforcement efforts may be more successful in the future, due to the new chairman’s interest in the issue. Imlay also said the new chief of the Enforcement Bureau, Michael Carowitz, is reported to be “amateur friendly.” He told the EC that he foresees a potential window of opportunity for improved spectrum enforcement work, as well as the opportunity to build a stronger working relationship with the FCC on all issues.

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

LF Bands
FCC Opens 630 and 2200 Meter Bands
from September 15, 2017 ARRL News

The FCC has announced that the Office of Management and Budget has approved, for 3 years, the information-collection requirement of the Commission’s March 29 Report and Order (R&O) that spelled out Amateur Radio service rules for the two new bands — 630 meters and 2200 meters. Notice of the action appears in today’s edition of the Federal Register. Before using either band, stations must notify the Utilities Technology Council (UTC), formerly the Utilities Telecom Council, that they plan to do so, and if UTC does not respond within 30 days, they may commence operation.
Read the full story on the ARRL News

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.
You may also contact our Section Technical Coordinator Bob Wortman, WB6VYH, or our Section Official Observer Coordinator Bob Hess, W1RH, for assistance. More infomation is posted under the "From the Section Manager" notes in the November 2016 Section News - Carol KP4MD

Club and Member News - September 2017

Mount Shasta ARC
Update from Mount Shasta ARC
Posted September 2, 2017

As in years past, it has been a busy summer in Siskiyou County and September is gearing up to be the busiest month of all. Over the next few weeks, MSARC will be providing volunteer public event staffing for the Tinman Triathlon (Sept. 3), Biketoberfest (Sept. 23), and the Headwaters Time Trials (Sept. 30). If you want to join us in the beautiful country surrounding Mt. Shasta and Castle Crags State Park, contact the club via the website ( and we'd be more than happy to meet you!

The club opened the clubhouse and brought the station on the air for the eclipse on August 21. Unfortunately, the bands were not in our favor and we made only two contacts via CW, but in so doing, we have awarded one of the members a new nickname. If you see Larry Marks (W6VTJ), you can call him "The Brass Fist."

Every Wednesday at 1900 PDT, we host an informal net to test radios and share club information. The net is on the W6YOP Grey Butte machine at 441.275 and we'd love for others to join in. It's ham radio, so the more, the merrier.

With a renewed vision of the future, MSARC will be looking to take some exciting steps over the next several months and years, keep your eyes open and join us when you can.

Submitted by Mark Dibelka, AB2LI

Update from Amador County ARC - pending
Posted July 30, 2017

The Amador County Amateur Radio Club has had a busy month. We started out with a joint B-B-Q with the Mother Lode Rockcrawlers. Both clubs use amateur radio and took advantage of that mutual interest to get together and improve our knowledge of each clubs activities and enjoy some fine food and fellowship. Our relationship with Red Cross was further enhances when a representative from Red Cross spoke at our July monthly club meeting. Later in the month we concluded a licensing course and every student was successful in passing the test for their Technician license. Our new repeater controller is in full operation and we had a special class to learn about its capabilities. 73, John Stettler, PIO

El Dorado County ARC
Update from El Dorado County ARC
Posted September 4, 2017


We had a nice turnout for our July meeting. It was good to see many new faces, as well as some I haven’t seen in quite a while!

At home, I have put a Raspberry Pi 3 to use as a headless monitor of WSPR (Weak Signal Propagation Reporter). Currently it monitors 20 meters, but will move to other bands as time permits. My own WSPR transmitter is almost completely installed. Just a matter of making some final connections before putting it on the air. If you’d like to join in the fun, there are a few of us in the club that can help you get started. A good resource is

As a reminder, if any member has a project they would like to share at a club meeting, please let me, or any other officer know. We will be happy to set aside some time for you to give a short presentation.

Please support the club raffle. The more participants, the better the prizes!

Hope to see you at the meeting!

73, Michael, K6MLE Newsletter

September 5 - Homebrew Night

River City ARCS
Update from River City ARCS
Posted September 4, 2017

September 5 Meeting Program - Home Brew Night


I've been with the River City Amateur Radio Club Society since 2004. This September's General Meeting will be the first meeting that I've attended where club members will have the opportunity to present a "home brew" item to the rest of the club. I hope the presenters can give a short comments as to "where they received the motivation to build their "home brew" device?" Maybe an article in QST or other electronic journal?

In the July 2017 issue of QST, Mike Aiello, N2HTT, published an article call "An Arduino- Controlled Digital VFO for Vintage Tube Transmitters". I've been a ham since the early 1960s and I have some favorite tube equipment from those days that. Although they were stable for the technology at the time (a little drift), they no longer meets the "rock steady" equipment of today.

Mike's article describes how he dealt with the developing a project by "breadboarding" everything on small piece of wood so if he must move it, everything stays together. He makes no bones that it takes months to get things done, unlike a kit where everything is all together - just add "assembly" and hope you don't wire something incorrectly. This technique I've seen before but it was the way Mike wrote his article that made an impression on me. I've collected most of the parts for the VFO, just an encoder is still missing. I hope to start on it soon after after I finish assembling a K2 that I bought many years ago - maybe this is more than just a boost.

I hope you find September's meeting inspiring and get the "home brew bug". See you next week at the meeting.

73, Ed, WA6QYO  Newsletter

Yuba Sutter ARC
Update from Yuba-Sutter ARC
Posted September 4, 2017


Is it that time already??? Time seems to be really flying by. It’s hard for me to believe that Field Day was not that long ago. I think you’ve probably heard quite a bit from those who participated what a fun time we had and how well it went off. I’m SO glad for all the hard work put in by those involved in the planning. Now that we’re “back in the groove” hopefully next year’s Field Day will be even bigger and better! I’m looking forward to it. I hope you all are also. It would be really fun to have twice as many operators as we did this year.

I’m also very pleased with our recent Antenna Day. Hosted by Curtis (KF6VFP) and Marsha (KI6CSN) it was another enjoyable event for those who attended. We had numerous members get their first experience with building simple antennas and learn new skills that they can now use to experiment further. I’ve already heard back from some of the attendees on additional antenna projects that they want to pursue. It’s satisfying to see the enthusiasm generated by this experience.

Who’s up for a fox hunt? Who knows what a fox hunt is? As part of the antenna day activities some tape measure Yagi antennas were constructed by a few of the attendees. They are commonly used for foxhunting, tracking down a radio transmitter through direction finding techniques, and are relatively quick and easy to make. At the last meeting we introduced the idea of having a foxhunt and the response was very positive so we’ve planned to hold one the morning of October 21st to be followed by some sort of social/eating activity. For those that need an antenna a couple of club members will be putting together kits of needed parts that only need to be assembled. Bob McClard has already agreed to host an antenna-assembling get-together in the latter part of September on his (covered) back porch.

I’m very pleased to see the progress that Gary Mason (KE6VUR) is making with putting together the Sutter High School Amateur Radio Club. At the recent Sutter High Club Day seven more students signed up to participate. Kudos to the YSARC club members who are stepping up and donating equipment and manuals to give the club a kickstart. Gary, Joe (N9BD), Mark (KA6FFM) and myself met recently to discuss what Gary thought we could contribute as a partner with the SHSARC to assist them in their endeavors. Gary is very appreciative of what the club has already done on their behalf, donating equipment and study material and showing enthusiasm for his project. His primary request of the club and its members will be the sharing of club member expertise with his students. Occasional club member presentations to the club would be greatly appreciated as well as our willingness to welcome his group into our activities whenever possible. A Technician class held at their club meetings at the high school is planned to move the students along in acquiring their licenses. Gary is a certified instructor but might need some assistance so if you’re willing to help please let him know. Along those lines if you think you might be willing to do a presentation at one of the club meetings again contact Gary.

There are many other activities coming up in the near future. The Western Placer Amateur Radio Club will be hosting their annual HamFest in Lincoln on the 16th of September. This is one of the bigger ham swaps in the area and would be worth attending. A great opportunity to pick up some of the ham gear you need or want and hopefully score an unbelievable deal. The California QSO Party contest will be held the first full weekend in October. After Field Day this is probably one of the bigger contests for California hams. With Gary’s group coming up to speed if you plan on working this contest consider inviting a student to participate along with you. It would be a great opportunity to stoke their enthusiasm. November will bring us the Veteran’s Day Parade in Marysville and our handling of the communications. Volunteers are always appreciated. December is not too far away and the subsequent club Christmas party. This will also need a coordinator so I am mentioning it now in the hopes it will prompt a volunteer sooner rather than later.

Finally, a reminder to all that Steve Sweetman (K6TAZ), our Yuba Sutter ARES coordinator will be shortly bound for South Carolina for retirement. First of all, we want to thank Steve for his service to the community in filling this position. His dedication to his post has ensured that ham radio is ready to respond should the need arise. Anyone interested in assuming his position should contact him or Carol Milazzo, our ARRL Section Manager.

Till next time, 73s. Chris (KK6VZD)


✓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


September Technical Presentation - Intro to Arduino

Sierra Foothills ARC
Update from Sierra Foothills ARC
Posted September 4, 2017


The SFARC General meeting for August commenced at 1930 hours at the Auburn City Hall Rose Room, Vice President Mike-KK6GLP presiding. President Orion-AI6JP, Treasurer Sharon-KK6RGV and Director Bob-K6UDA were absent. Mike led approximately 29 members and guests in a Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. An introduction of Officers, members and guests followed.


Vice President’s Report: Mike-KK6GLP briefly discussed the agenda and reviewed this evening’s activities.

Secretary’s Report: Bruce-K6BAA requested input for the club newsletter; advised a welcome letter was available for new members and guests, and a reminder to the membership to sign the attendance sheet.

VE’s Report: Al-NI2U reported there were 19 candidates resulting in 12 Technicians, 5 General and 1 Extra.

Satellite Report: Greg-KO6TH briefed members on ISS packet activities. Bob-WE6C asked Greg to post Yahoo alerts for ISS passes over Norther California.

Refreshments/Drawing: Wendy-KK6HSK and her daughters provided tonight’s refreshments using the proceeds for a fundraiser. Aaron-KG6TVT reviewed items planned for the drawing

Club Picnic: Jeremiah-W6DLO updated members on his preparations for August 19th’s picnic to be held again at Applegate Park.

Brian-AI6US gave a presentation of the unofficial club camp out to be held at Stumpy Meadows Reservoir September 22-24 and encouraged members to make their reservations for RV/Tent spaces.

Presentation: Carl-WF6J and his assistants conducted a well received and fun antenna work shop for participating club members.

General Announcements: The Club Net meets every Thursday at 7:30pm; Board and General Meetings occur on the 2nd Friday, Board meeting is held at Sizzler Restaurant in Auburn, and General meetings at 7:30pm at Auburn City Hall. The Club breakfast is held on the last Saturday at Mel’s Diner in Auburn; an Elmer Net is held the first and third Wednesday night at 7:30pm on the 2m repeater. See for more information.

The meeting adjourned at 2130. Submitted by Bruce-K6BAA, Club Secretary

September 2 VE Session Report

We had a very successful session again. We administered 21 elements to 14 candidates. 12 earned a new or upgraded license. We have 7 new Technicians 3 new Generals And 2 new Extras

We had 10 examiners and a welcome back to Gary Smith after his motor cycle accident.

Thanks, Al NI2U

Elk Grove-Florin ARC
Update from Elk Grove-Florin ARC - pending
Posted August 16, 2017

Elk Grove-Florin ARC-August meeting

Our August meeting was a little different than most. We called it “Install O’Rama”. We invited the clubs and hams in the area to join us for this parking lot event. Hams with mobile installations were invited to display them and hams looking for ideas were encouraged to come and see what others had done. While the attendance was a little lower than we had hoped, we still had some great installations to show.

Fred W7KOZ and Bonnie KC6PSZ brought their Communications Trailer in from Wilton. This is truly a labor of love. They built it up from Scratch. Fred for many years was a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary and used it in many of its events. As you can see from the picture it contains work space for two operators and several radios.

Fred Sellstrom W7KOZs trailer.  Photo by Craig Bruce WP2N Van owned by Brian Courtright K9LBC.  Photo by Craig Bruce WP2N

Brian K9LBC brought his van. He is new to ham radio and has done a magnificent job of building a mobile radio/camping vehicle. It is powered by a 12-volt deep cell battery that is charged by a 100 watt solar array. He can fish, hunt and play radio in the same vehicle. Brian lives in Antelope and is a member of the North Hills ARC. We appreciate.

We had a visitor that is not a licensed yet, but wants to be. So, we had a chance to promote Amateur Radio a bit. It was a good night!

73, Paul (N6DRY)

Photo credits: 1. Fred Sellstrom W7KOZ's trailer.  Photo by Craig Bruce WP2N  2. Van owned by Brian Courtright, K9LBC.  Photo by Craig Bruce WP2N

Oroville ARS
Steak Bake
Update from Oroville ARS
Posted September 4, 2017

The monthly meeting of OARS ( will take place this Friday, 8 September 2017, 7 pm, at St. Paul’s Parish Hall, 1430 Pine Street in Oroville. The doors will open at 6 pm for a social hour prior to the meeting. The program, to be presented by Gerry Vrooman, N6GCV, will be about Raspberry Pi and some of its practical uses in Amateur Radio.

OARS is hosting this year’s Steak Bake, to take place on Saturday, 23 September 2017, 1 to 5 pm, at Hammon Park (southeast of The Home Depot in Thermalito). Flyer images are attached to this message, with the meat item prices set. Ron Osborne, KD7UHF, would greatly appreciate responses from those planning to attend, either by phone, email or the RSVP sheet at this Friday’s meeting.

Hope all can attend both events. 73, Jim

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

Our meeting this month is Wednesday, September 13th. 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 17, on Field Day in the UK. "Pete visits Norwich to spend a day with the Norfolk Amateur Radio Club at their annual field day event, Radio Active."

Next month's show to be determined.

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.

What Is Amateur Radio Night - September 19

North Hills RC
Update from North Hills RC
Posted September 4, 2017

The next event for The North Hills Radio Club will take place on Tuesday evening, September 19, 2017.

The North Hills Radio Club will once again be holding our annual event called What Is Amateur Radio Night.

This year, it will take place on Tuesday evening, September 19 from 6:00 until 8:00 P.M. At What Is Amateur Radio Night (WIARN) we try to showcase as many aspects of the amateur radio service as we can. From the early days of tube-type and military gear to today's modern radios and cutting-edge digital modes and just about everything in-between! WE invite all NHRC members as well as hams from other clubs to come and display your favorite part of the hobby. In the past we have had persons from ARES/RACES, CERT, Skywarn and even the CHP.

We would like for you to come and look at all of the various displays or, bring something to display your own self! If you're from another club, how about bringing some literature about your club as well as applications for perspective future members. Nothing wrong with trying to get more members into your club.

WIARN well be held at the former SMUD building located at 5026 Don Julio Blvd. at the northeast corner of Don Julio and Elkhorn Blvds in Sacramento.

One more thing… How about bringing a non-ham friend to our event? We would especially like to see young people from the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts or Brownies. Be sure to know that everyone, young or old is welcome to attend. Don't be afraid to bring that non-ham friend to the show.

There have been several instances where persons have come to WIARN and have gone on to get their ticket. If you have any questions or would like to come, you can contact Doug, N6NFF on the club's K6IS repeater on the frequency of 145.190Mhz with a minus offset and a CTCSS tone of 162.2 Hz. You can also send an e-mail to:

The North Hills Radio Club looks forward to seeing all of you at What Is Amateur Radio Night (WIARN). Until then, the very best of 73. From Doug Emerson, Vice-President, North Hills Radio Club. Amateur call sign, N6NFF

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


Come enjoy the September 11 meeting with your fellow hams! Guest speaker Bob Hess, W1RH, Chief Engineer at KOVR.


No minutes submitted for the last meeting.

COFFEE CHAT (Ham n' Coffee)

Thursdays, 8 am at Valentina's Bistro, 841 Sutton Way, Grass Valley

73, Walt, N6HNS        Newsletter  Facebook Group

W6SFM September 7 Meeting

Samuel F. Morse ARC
Update from Samuel F Morse ARC
Posted September 2, 2017


The W6SFM CW BEGINNERS CLASS WILL BE HELD STARTING WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 13th. The club has locked a date for the beginning of our next semi annual CW Beginners Course. The course is a once per week 2 hour class that meets for 10 consecutive weeks. At this course students will learn how to both send and receive Morse Code. Students will be supplied a straight key and Oscillator to keep at the completion of the course. Students will also learn proper on-air pro-signs and other interesting information about Morse Code and On-air practices. If you or someone you know is interested in joining this course please be sure to contact the club ASAP. This is a FIRST COME FIRST SERVE enrollment with VERY limited seating. Those who contact the club via email are eligible to be placed on a 7 day 'seat reservation' while we await your payment. For more information be sure to contact us by going to

The W6SFM Samuel F Morse Radio Club August meeting was called to order by club President Mike, N6MQL on August 3rd at the Carmichael Presbyterian Church in Carmichael CA, with 10 members and 4 guest in attendance.

This month comes with some new updates to the W6SFM.COM website again. For those who have been returning to the page from time to time you may have noticed that slowly there have been many small changes and improvements. This month Mike, N6MQL has rolled out the new “Videos” page. This page is located under the “Media Clips & Pics” menu bar at the top of every page. On the new Videos page, you will find 3 different category views and video libraries. “Club Activities” videos."On-Air Net Meetings" library and our “Monthly In-Person Meetings”. Each month a new club meeting video will be posted for those who were unable to attend the meeting in person, or watch it live on the first Thursday of each month at 7PM. Simply select the video you’re interested to watch from one of the 3 categories to view it. The club recommends that you click the “Subscribe to the W6SFM” button so that you will be informed both when the club is broadcasting LIVE and when we post a new video to the archives. Both YouTube W6SFM do NOT spam your email for any reason, and accounts are FREE to login. You can even use your existing Google account to login!

Discussed at our last meting was the Amateur Radio Parity Act, H.R.555/S.1534 was discussed. Members were notified by email with a hyperlink app to "RALLY CONGRESS" to generate a letter to both US Senators urging them to vote for this bill.

Also mentioned was the Solar Eclipse QSO Party (SEQP) during the solar eclipse September 21, along with other news and events.

For the second half of the meeting, Carol, Kp4Md gave a presentation on WSPR (Weak Signal Propagation Reporter" system.

There was no "Show and Tell" this month.

Our next SFM ARC in-person meeting will be held at its normal time and location September 7th (followed by our OCT 5th 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 September meeting, we will be discussing ARRL news and events. We will also have a presentation on the use and understanding of the Solar Indices report.

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. On-line members can also make use of the “Chat” window to speak with each other, or the NCS (if available)

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

WPARC HamFest September 16

Western Placer ARC
Update from Western Placer ARC
Posted September 2, 2017

Greetings from the Western Placer Amateur Radio Club:

The WPARC Hamfest on Saturday September 16th! Only 17 days away! We have an exciting 1st prize for the drawing – a Rig Expert AA-170 HF/VHF Antenna Analyzer/VNA with a retail value of $395! If you are a ham you need this device. It is a fully contained analyzer that displays graphs of your antenna systems performance. In addition, you can save readings and graphs to your device and display them on your PC using a USB cable. I have used one of these and it does in seconds what takes hours with non-graphing analyzers. Plus, it is much more accurate. It works on all types of antennas – vertical, wire, what ever you need to tune. Plus, this version includes 2 meters! More prizes will be announced soon. Tickets are $1.00 for one, $5 for six, or $10 for 15 (definitely the best deal). Please see the flyer attached to this newsletter for more info.

We haven't increased the cost for vendors since the first Hamfest 11 years ago. It is still just $10 per parking spot and I think that is helping to drive the growth of the event. We will have coffee, donuts, and water available at the club booth. Last year we had the largest turnout ever with several hundred people and we expect this year to be even larger. If you are looking to buy that special piece of gear or sell something you no longer need the WPARC Hamfest is where it happens.

The gates open at 7:00 AM but we need several volunteers to be there around 5:00 AM to set up and to control parking for buyers and sellers. Gates open at 6:00 AM for vendors.

We will have VE sessions at an off site location. If you are interested in taking a test please email Dennis KI6HHA at Also, we will use the club repeater, K6PAC, for the talk in frequency. It is 147.300 (+) 179.9.

The WPARC September meeting is Tuesday night, the 19th. It starts at 7:00 PM and the Board meeting is at 5:45 PM. All members are welcome to attend the Board meeting. Come early for lots of food, drink, and conversation. Remember we have changed locations. We will now meet at the Roseville Round Table Pizza at 1020 Pleasant Grove Blvd.

We are now offering VE testing on the 1st Tuesday of the month. Chuck KK6DOA will be managing the program. The location will be at the south gate Visitors Center in Sun City Lincoln Hills. For more informal email Chuck

System Fusion Net time change! We will still meet on Monday nights but we are moving the time to 7:30 PM, an hour earlier. The System Fusion net starts in analog so people can ask questions about C4FM and obtain help before we switch to digital. This net, and System Fusion, are growing fast with many people from throughout the Sacramento valley joining in. Gary KT6SKR is the net control and is doing a superb job. Check it out. (Gary has an ICOM ID-51a Plus D-Star HT for sale. Please see info at the end of the newsletter.)

An exciting new net is the 2 meter simplex net on Wednesday nights. We are testing our systems to see what we can do without a repeater. It is on 146.550 at 7:30 PM. The net is informal and we don’t have a fixed NC but LC often takes the lead.

We also have analog FM nets on Wednesday morning at 10:00 AM and Thursday at 7:30 PM. The morning net is always hosted by Katy KJ6YCP and the 2 nets on Thursday evenings start at 7:30 PM. Bill, KJ6YCO, is the net coordinator now and often hosts the 2 meter net. When he isn't on, the trusty Dennis, KI6HHA, is on, and handles the net with his usual style and skills. They all do a fine job and it is a pleasure to hear them lead the nets. Many thanks to all of them for dedicating time to the club nets to make them a success. If you would like to be a Net Control for one of our nets, please contact Bill at

Five minutes following the Thursday 2 meter net we have an HF net. LC, N7VQC, is on the spot to handle the HF net. LC is also an excellent Net Control and it is always a pleasure to hear him on the bands. We have had many visitors join from the western States recently and this has been a lot of fun. We are all working to improve our transmitted signal and audio using oscilloscopes and voice meters. We can record your audio and play it back to you which is a big help for adjusting your equipment. Lots of experimenting and lots of fun is the idea for this net. The net changes bands every week so listen to the 2 meter net for any change in frequency (also check the club website, If the band is busy we usually go up 5 until we find a clear spot. The schedule starts from the first Thursday of the month on 10 meters, then 15, then 40, and finally 75 meters at the end of the month. If there are 5 Thursdays in a month, the last one will be on 10 meters.

The club website,, has a new look and new information. Jey KQ6DK is now club web master and is updating the the site on a regular basis. Thanks to Jey for all his work on the website.

Don’t forget about our WPARC Facebook page. It is at:

Want more? We now have a Twitter account! Just search for @k6pac (the club repeater call sign with the “@” symbol). We are following the ARRL, the ARRL Sacramento Valley Section, Kenwood, and Yaseu and a few others. If you think of someone we should follow, please email me. I know there are a few local clubs with Twitter accounts and I will add them.

We have a new repeater ordered! Our current repeater is a Yaesu DR-1X which provides analog and digital operations. Yaesu is offering a terrific upgrade deal for the new DR-2X for only $300 and we are going to take advantage of it. The repeater is on its way from Japan and should be here within the next month. It is more robust than the DR-1X and has many new features that we will discuss in future newsletters and meetings. There is a firmware update coming for all System Fusion radios to take full advantage of the new features of the repeater and we will have a workshop for anyone who needs help with the upgrade. Yaesu has just released a new HT, the FT-70, that is designed to take full advantage of the new features at about $200. The new HT is fully System Fusion capable and looks like it will be a good performer.

When we install the new repeater we are considering lowering the PL tone to 67 Hz. The current PL tone, 179.9 Hz, comes through in the audible range on many radios. The PL tone is supposed to be sub-audible but 179.9 is just a little too high and causes a hum when transmitting that can be heard on many radios, especially those with wider audio bandwidth. We will give everyone full information as we progress through the replacement of the repeater.

73, Michael Buck. K6BUK  HamFest Flyer

WPARC on Facebook and Twitter

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

Glenn ARS
Update from Glenn ARS
Posted September 9, 2017

Prez Says!

September is known as the autumnal (fall) equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, and is considered the first day of fall. It is also time to consider doing any repairs to your antenna systems and other Amateur Radio equipment that is outdoors. The coming fall and winter months may surprise and throw us weather that we have not seen in a long time. Also don’t forget your DC battery banks, if you have them, and your emergency generator sources. Maintenance now will save you a lot of heartache over the winter months and help keep you on the air.

This is also the month of the year that we receive nominations and conduct voting to fill open positions on the board. Please bring with you your nominations and be ready to cast your votes for the following open officer and board positions:

Vice President (out of cycle)
Treasurer (now past three terms)
Training Officer (position open)
Publications Officer ( now past two terms)

Mike Ellithorpe-kf6obi President, GARS 530-518-3730  Newsletter

Golden Empire ARS
Durham Ham Swap
Update from Golden Empire ARS
Posted September 4, 2017

The Prez' Says QST de KA6GND

I sure hope that all of you are safe from the fires burning in our area and staying safe from this heat and smoke. How did you like the solar eclipse? Did you operate on HF during that time and have anything to report?

Ham radio received some good exposure on PBS's Nova program when our member Kris Koenig KK0NIG helped on the production and got us in there - thanks Kris!

The Steak Bake is this month, hosted this year by OARS in Oroville on the 23rd of September. See inside this newsletter for more information.

On Saturday September 30th, will be the 2nd annual Ham Swap-meet at Durham Park, hosted by Harry W6HAS. It will be from 8 a.m. until noon. This is a great way to meet some voices from the air in person, take home some valuable goodies or unload them!

I learned a valuable lesson recently. I had been having trouble with an old HyGain TH3JR Tri-band HF beam that I put up last year. This past month with some help we discovered that although I mounted it with all drain holes in the traps pointing down for proper drainage, at some point in it's life it must have been stored on the ground with some drain holes not facing downward, and the traps were full of corrosion, dirt and bugs causing nothing but problems. That is something that many of us may not think about when storing an antenna outside when not using it.

May the bands be kind to you and remember, the sky is the limit with amateur radio, the contacts are out there.

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

PSK31 during SEQP
Solar Eclipse Report from Paul AI6IN
Posted September 2, 2017

Had a lot of fun operating digital in the Solar Eclipse QSO Party on 20 meters.

Sent in my log sheet; not many contacts from my minimal setup, but data is data; it all helps.

This PSKReporter screenshot was cool; especially seeing E51WL receiving my signal (25W to a vertical mounted at 8m)!

VY 73,
Paul AI6IN

KE8FT Loop Antenna
Solar Eclipse Report from Giuseppe Molinaro KE8FT
Posted September 4, 2017

During the Solar Eclipse QSO Party I started on 40 m then moved on 80m , 40m , 30m , 17m and finished on 20 m. I am using a linear loaded slanted delta loop (cut for 160m) with apex at 40 feet and lower sides attached to the top of the 6 feet fence (see picture below) fed through a 4 to 1 balun/MFJ-998RT remote tuner.

I also observed quite a few interesting SNR changes on all the various bands, in particular regarding 80 & 40 m what follows:

Timestamp Call MHz SNR Drift Grid Pwr Reporter RGrid km az
2017-08-21 16:50 KE8FT 3.574099 -12 0 CM98dn 5 KG7GDB CN84ku 709 351
2017-08-21 17:02 KE8FT 3.574099 -6 0 CM98dn 5 KG7GDB CN84ku 709 351

Timestamp Call MHz SNR Drift Grid Pwr Reporter RGrid Km az
2017-08-21 16:10 KG7GDB 3.574111 -22 0 CN84ku 5 KE8FT CM98dn 709 170
2017-08-21 16:14 KG7GDB 3.574111 -26 0 CN84ku 5 KE8FT CM98dn 709 170
2017-08-21 16:18 KG7GDB 3.574111 -20 0 CN84ku 5 KE8FT CM98dn 709 170
2017-08-21 16:20 KG7GDB 3.574111 -21 0 CN84ku 5 KE8FT CM98dn 709 170
2017-08-21 16:24 KG7GDB 3.574111 -25 0 CN84ku 5 KE8FT CM98dn 709 170
2017-08-21 16:38 KG7GDB 3.574111 -24 0 CN84ku 5 KE8FT CM98dn 709 170
2017-08-21 16:44 KG7GDB 3.574111 -19 0 CN84ku 5 KE8FT CM98dn 709 170
2017-08-21 16:48 KG7GDB 3.574111 -13 0 CN84ku 5 KE8FT CM98dn 709 170
2017-08-21 16:52 KG7GDB 3.574111 -15 0 CN84ku 5 KE8FT CM98dn 709 170
2017-08-21 17:00 KG7GDB 3.574111 -15 0 CN84ku 5 KE8FT CM98dn 709 170

Timestamp Call MHz SNR Drift Grid Pwr Reporter RGrid km az
2017-08-21 14:50 KE8FT 7.040095 -25 0 CM98dn 5 VE6OG DO33 1785 19
2017-08-21 15:00 KE8FT 7.040095 -26 0 CM98dn 5 VE6OG DO33 1785 19
2017-08-21 15:20 KE8FT 7.040095 -23 0 CM98dn 5 VE6OG DO33 1785 19
2017-08-21 15:44 KE8FT 7.040095 -27 0 CM98dn 5 VE6OG DO33 1785 19
2017-08-21 17:08 KE8FT 7.040095 -18 0 CM98dn 5 VE6OG DO33 1785 19
2017-08-21 17:18 KE8FT 7.040095 -8 0 CM98dn 5 VE6OG DO33 1785 19
2017-08-21 17:26 KE8FT 7.040095 -10 0 CM98dn 5 VE6OG DO33 1785 19
2017-08-21 17:34 KE8FT 7.040096 -9 0 CM98dn 5 VE6OG DO33 1785 19
2017-08-21 17:42 KE8FT 7.040096 -14 0 CM98dn 5 VE6OG DO33 1785 19
2017-08-21 17:48 KE8FT 7.040096 -22 0 CM98dn 5 VE6OG DO33 1785 19

Solar Eclipse Report from Carol Milazzo KP4MD
Posted September 4, 2017

I operated WSPR mode during the Solar Eclipse QSO Party with 5 watts on 80 and 40 meters using a FlexRadio 1500 Software Defined Radio and a 40 meter horizontal full wave "Loop SkyWire" antenna (a square loop of wire 35 feet on each side) at 20 feet height above ground.

Significant unusual daytime enhancement of long distance propagation on 40 meters occurred as the eclipse shadow progressed eastward towards the Midwest and eastern United States.

40m WSPR mania during 1600-1900 UTC 8/21/2017 Solar Eclipse KP4MD 40m WSPR spots during 1600-1900 UTC 8/21/2017 Solar Eclipse
Total 40 meter WSPR activity during Solar Eclipse KP4MD WSPR Spotted Stations during Solar Eclipse
40m WSPR Spot Signal to Noise Ratio vs. Time 40m WSPR Spot Distance vs. Time

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.

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