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ARRL Sacramento Valley Section News - February 2018
Saturday March 3 Special Event Station N6E Frequencies

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) Information and Schedules
Class and VE Session Calendar

Classes and Exam Sessions

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 (FCC) after passing an exam at a Volunteer Exam (VE) session.  
The FCC currently issues three classes of amateur radio license: Technician, General and Amateur Extra.

The license exam contains multiple choice questions selected from lists that are published online at Many individuals prepare for an exam session using self-study license manuals and online practice exams. From time to time, license preparation courses are offered that cover the exam material over several weeks. "Ham-Cram" sessions are also popular, where a several hours' review class of exam questions and answers is immediately followed by a license exam session.

Visit to find a license class.
Visit to find a license exam session.

For more information on testing, preparation and study materials, see:

Samuel F Morse ARC to offer Morse Code Instructional Course April 4-June 6
Posted February 4, 2018

Morse Code Course
The Samuel F Morse ARC will once again be running our 10-week CW for beginner’s course. This course will be held once a week for 2 hours (7 PM until 9 PM) each Wednesday evening in Carmichael. If you or someone you know are interested in learning Morse Code we encourage you to sign up NOW. You do NOT need to be a licensed operator to join our class. We will begin Wednesday evening April 4th (ending June 6th).

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. Please contact Mike, N6MQL for more information:

Sacramento SHARP Amateur Radio Licensing Courses
Posted February 6, 2018

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

There is no fee for these license courses. A current Technician or General Class ARRL License Manual is required for each course. Each class covers a part of the License Manual with practice exams. A VE exam session will be held on the last day of each course for the FCC mandatory $15 fee. Class duration is from 6-9 pm. For further information visit

Yuba-Sutter ARC Technician Class License Course
Posted December 4, 2017

The Yuba-Sutter Amateur Radio Club will sponsor a 17 session Technician License exam course at the American Red Cross Center, 2125 East Onstott Frontage Road, Yuba City, CA, classroom 1 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm Monday and Wednesday evenings from Jan 3, 2018 thru Feb 28, 2018. There is no cost for the classes, however you will need an up-to-date ARRL Ham Radio License Manual. You can obtain a Kindle version from Amazon, purchase a copy from a bookstore, ARRL, or order one thru an instructor. The instructors will be Curtis (KF6VFP) and Joe (N9BD). Please get the word out to family, friends and anyone you know who is interested in getting their license. More information can be obtained from Curtis at (530) 743-3003 or

Citrus Heights 2018 Ham-Cram Sessions
Posted December 4, 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 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 2018 are:

  • January 27, 
  • March 24, 
  • May 26, 
  • July 28, 
  • September 22, and 
  • November 17.

Contact Joe Cardoza, KA6ROM, 916-725-6443 or to register.

California Emergency Volunteers Ham-Cram Sessions
Posted December 4, 2017

The California Emergency Volunteers, Inc. offers 6 hour long "Get Your License in One Day" Ham-Cram sessions followed by a Technician Class license exam session. These sessions are held on monthly on a Saturday alternating between Stockton and Manteca, CA. Visit for more information and to register.

Folsom ARRL Volunteer Exam 2018 Schedule
Posted December 4, 2017

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 2018:

  1. January 18
  2. February 15
  3. March 15
  4. April 19
  5. May 17
  6. June 21
  7. July NO EXAM
  8. August 16
  9. September 20
  10. October 18
  11. November 15
  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 2018
Posted December 1, 2017

The Redding ARRL VE Team will be hosting exams on the following Saturdays in 2018:

  1. January 20
  2. March 17
  3. May 19
  4. July 21
  5. September 15
  6. November 17
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

2018: Feb 17, Apr 14, Jun 16, Aug 18, Oct 20, Dec 8

Dar Walker W6IO

Other 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
  4. WPARC VE at Roseville Round Table Pizza - 1st Wed.
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.

Happy Valentine's Day!

February 2018 News

From the Section Manager

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

Congratulations to our Pacific Division Director Bob Vallio, W6RGG, on his recent election as Second Vice President of the ARRL! Jim Tiemstra, K6JAT, assumes Bob's former position as our new Pacific Division Director and Kristen McIntyre, K6WX, has been appointed as our new Division Vice Director.

New Section Appointments

We welcome Jason Eaton, KJ6HNP, of the Nevada County ARC on his new appointment as Nevada County ARES Emergency Coordinator and sincerely thank Rick Vizcarra for his past service in that capacity.

Welcome to Orion Endres, AI6JB, as our new Section Youth Coordinator. Orion is currently President of the Sierra Foothills Amateur Radio Club and brings many years of experience with youth in amateur radio through Scouting and Jamboree on the Air.  Thanks to Duane Wyatt WA0MJD for his service with our Section youth.

Michael Buck, K6BUK, of the Western Placer ARC now serves in the position of Section Public Information Coordinator previously held by John Stettler, KI6DWP, of the Amador County ARC since 2013. Thanks to John for his years of service.

Welcome to Max Soucia, N1KGS, of Citrus Heights who comes on board as our Section Affiliated Club Coordinator. Max hails from Maine where he served for years in the ARRL Section field organization.

Volunteers are needed for an Amateur Radio Exhibit at the March 3 Placer County STEM Expo at William Jessup University in Rocklin.
If you would like to participate in this outreach activity and introduce youth to the fascinating world of amateur radio please e-mail kp4md(at) as soon as possible.

SV Section Nets

February 15 Sacramento Valley Section Net

On Thursday February 15, ARRL Sacramento Valley Section will hold a Section-Wide Net, first on the WD6AXM repeater atop Sutter Buttes near Yuba City on 146.085 MHz (plus 600 kHz offset, tone 127.3 Hz) IMMEDIATELY after the 7 pm Yuba-Sutter ARES net closes. For those who are unable to access the WD6AXM repeater, our HF net will commence on the 75 meter frequency of 3880 kHz LSB +/- 3 kHz IMMEDIATELY after the VHF SV net signs off. Those who check in to the VHF net are also encouraged to join the HF net if they are able.

Thanks to all who participated in the January 18 Sacramento Valley Section Nets.  There were 31 check-ins on the VHF net but only 6 check-ins on the 75 meter net due to a disturbance in HF propagation at net time.

Now is a good time for all affiliated clubs to renew the contact information that people see on the ARRL National website. Clubs must update their club record at least once per year even if nothing changes. Should two years pass without an update your club will be listed as inactive. Just go to: and follow the instructions.  For assistance, please contact our Affiliated Club Coordinator, Max Soucia, N1KGS at

QST Cover

The ARRL International Grid Chase is the 2018 year long operating event. Read how you can participate on

You can still send February news to This news page is usually updated on the weekend after your submission is received.

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 often updated 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)

ARRL SV February 15 Section Net Report

The ARRL SV Section-wide nets were held on Thursday, February 15. Andy Boone KJ6IYM opened the VHF net on the WD6AXM 146.085 MHz FM repeater at 7:15 pm PST after the Yuba-Sutter ARES net signed off. 


February 15 Solar Storm Disrupts HF Propagation

At 7:30 pm, SV Section Manager Carol Milazzo, KP4MD, called the Section HF net on 3880 kHz LSB.  As during our January Section net, a solar storm disrupted HF skywave propagation during net time. These solar events tend to recur every 28 day with the sun's rotation period.  The stations within ground wave range that were able to check into the HF net were W6CK and WB6OGD.

All Sacramento Valley Section radio amateurs are welcome to check into our Section Nets.  The nets carry announcements of interest to our section and test section-wide station communication capabilities.

ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Nets are conducted only on the third Thursday of the month when announced, following the 7 pm Pacific Time Yuba-Sutter ARES net on the WD6AXM 146.085 MHz FM repeater, followed by the HF Section Net on 3880 kHz LSB +/- 3 kHz. During summer months the HF net may be conducted on 5330.5 kHz USB as propagation permits.

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
This chart shows colors that represent the recommended HF frequencies for contacting stations for a particular hour. Both stations should use the SAME frequency denoted by the color at the location of the target station. The chart is in Universal Time (UTC). More information at

Placer County ARES Meeting January 27th
Posted February 11, 2018

On January 27th Placer County ARES held a meeting at the Auburn Veterans Hall, 19 members were able to attend. The meeting covered the ARRL ARES Field Resources Manual. Greg KG6SJT led the discussion of the manual. Every member in attendance was provided with a copy due to a generous donation. In addition Jim Price KO6GM had a drawing for some surplus equipment from CalOES.

Story and photos by Carl First, N6CKV, Placer County ARES Emergency Coordinator

Placer County ARES Meeting
Greg KG6SJT with the equipment from CalOES
Placer County ARES Meeting Greg KG6SJT with
the equipment from CalOES

January 20 Butte County ARES Field Training Exercise
Posted February 3, 2018

On Saturday January 20, 2018 a small band of radio operators from Butte County ARES braved the cold temperature to participate in a training exercise in Chico California. The objective of the exercise was to introduce new member Eric Linden KK6LBU to ARES operations using Winlink. Eric is a member of the Oroville Amateur Radio Society. The training was also was to bring up to the speed members Rick Hubbard KI6VOS and Carl Franke KI6CIU to changes in the Winlink software. Rick and Carl are members of the Golden Empire Amateur Radio Society. As part of this exercise, the members led by Butte County ARES AEC and president of the Oroville Amateur Radio Society Theodore Cochran N6TBC were to transmit a check in message across the Winlink system using packet radio into the ARC DOC in Sacramento. Members got to set up a Winlink data system, create, post and transmit a message. Such training prepares operators for real world message traffic using Winlink during deployments.

Theodore B Cochran, N6TBC, Butte County ARES AEC, President Oroville Amateur Radio Society

Rick Hubbard, Carl Franke,
Ted Cochran & Eric Linden
Ted Cochran at the portable
Winlink station
Carl Franke at his station

ARES Group Registration for ARES Connect
Posted January 19, 2018

All Section ARES groups should contact their Emergency Coordinators now to provide their current ARES group information for registration in the new ARES Connect system.  Your Emergency Coordinator is responsible for registering ARES groups in your respective area.

Additional information on changes to the ARES program will be emailed to SMs and SECs soon. Beta testing of ARES Connect will begin shortly and once completed additional information will be sent out.

ARRL Public Service Enhancement Working Group, Dale Williams, WA8EFK, Chairman

Puerto Rico Disaster Relief

Joe Pistritto, N3CKF, Speaks on ARRL/Red Cross Puerto Rico Disaster Relief Deployment
Posted January 14, 2018

At the River City ARCS General Meeting on Tuesday, January 2 at 7:30 pm, Joe Pistritto, N3CKF, gave a presentation on his September 28-October 18 deployment as a communications volunteer in the post-Hurricane Maria ARRL/Red Cross Puerto Rico disaster relief effort. The presentation was held at the Sacramento County Corp Yard, 5026 Don Julio Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95842.
December 6 Windstorm Takes Down KE6YUV Repeater Tower - Baja California Radio Club Assists with Donation
by Greg Kruckewitt, KG6SJT, Posted January 14, 2018

Strong winds on December 16 caused the tower from the communications vault next to us to topple. When their tower fell, it took out the KE6YUV repeater antennas and stripped the coax from our tower. On a positive note, the packet nodes KBERR and BERR37 were still operating.

At a recent meeting of the CREBC XE2BNC Baja Radio Club in Mexico saw photos of KE6YUV repeater damage due to a neighboring tower falling due to the wind storm in the Valley. The club "passed the hat" and send a generous donation to the Berryessa Amateur Radio Klub to assist with the repairs of the repeater that was damaged. It’s mutual assistance like this that makes Amateur Radio such a great community.

February 10 - Sacramento County ARES Training
Posted February 3, 2018

The next Sacramento County ARES training and meeting is scheduled for Saturday February 10, 2018 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

Hams in Emergencies

California Office of Emergency Services' New Video Extols Amateur Radio
Posted February 8, 2018

Recent disasters in the United States and around the world have resulted in lost communications. Whether hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or terror attacks response to a disaster is made more difficult without effective communications. California Office of Emergency Services (OES) has at least one answer to that in California - HAMS.

March 3, 9 am - 3:30 pm Special Event Station N6E Frequencies: Talk-In: K6PAC/R 147.300 +0.6 67.0 or W6EK/R 145.430 -0.6 162.2. HF: 20m 14.245 USB 14.070 PSK31, 40m 7.245 LSB 7.070 PSK31

Amateur Radio Youth Outreach at Saturday
March 3 STEM Expo in Rocklin
Posted February 8

Hundreds of curious youngsters at the Placer County STEM Expo will learn about the fascinating world of communications and electronics at the ARRL Amateur Radio Special Event Station N6E and Exhibit! Kids of all ages love hands-on activities and the opportunity to experience contacts over amateur radio, and you can participate in learning experiences that can lead to a new amateur radio license and to fulfilling careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

The American Radio Relay League Sacramento Valley Section will sponsor an amateur radio exhibit and Special Event Station N6E from 9 AM to 3:30 PM at the Saturday March 3 Placer County STEM Expo at William Jessup University in Rocklin with literature, hands-on activities, Morse Code practice stations and an operational amateur radio station.  Admission is free!

Radio amateurs who wish to join us at the STEM Expo to answer questions and share the joy of amateur radio should contact our Section Youth Coordinator, Orion Endres, AI6JB or Carol KP4MD at now for more information!

Redding Veterans Home
Redding Veterans Home to Receive Amateur Radio Station
Posted November 27, 2017

Members of the Redding ARRL VE Team and the Redding Old Timers’ group have received permission to move forward to design and install an amateur radio station at the Redding Veterans Home. The station is likely to have HF, VHF and UHF capabilities. Currently, there are five licensed amateur radio operators living at the facility and two more residents are studying to obtain their Technician Class licenses.

73, Steve, K6KS

Shriners Hospital School
Update from Duane Wyatt, WAØMJD
Posted November 27, 2017

Amateur Radio Program for the Shriner's Hospital School

A joint project of Shriners Hospitals for Children and the Sacramento City Unified School District, the on-site Northern California Shriners Hospital School provides bilingual education for preschool through 12th grade. Special programs include vocational education and school re-entry programs for rehabilitation patients.

Shriners Hospital School
The administrator and teachers at the Northern California Shriner's Hospital School are interested in starting an amateur radio program for their patients/students.  Duane Wyatt, WAØMJD, has secured some Morse equipment and an Alinco VHF handheld radio for the program and is soliciting a donated HF station (transceiver, microphone, power supply and antenna).

Please contact Duane at if you or your club can assist or would like to collaborate with him and the school staff in setting up and conducting this youth outreach project.

Duane Wyatt, WAØMJD,

Editor's note - The November 22 TWiT Ham Nation webcast featured an inspiring video story on Jim Mayercak's success at the Dresden Elementary Amateur Radio Station, KD8NOM.  See

Volunteer Operators Needed for June 23-24 Western States Endurance Run
Posted February 3, 2018

Joe Steinmetz, K6SAT, is the HAM radio coordinator for Western States 100 mile Endurance run, sponsored by WSER, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Joe is looking for radio operator volunteers for June 23 and 24th this year. More information about the race is available here: Radio Volunteer Information are available here: There is a sign-up form link in the above URL location, or interested amateur radio operators may contact Joe directly via email at or

Joe Steinmetz, K6SAT, WSER HAM Radio Coordinator

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

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.


Annotated 40 meters showing RFIRadio Frequency Interference
posted February 3, 2018

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 information is posted under the "From the Section Manager" notes in the November 2016 Section News - Carol KP4MD

Our Official Observer Coordinator Bob Hess, W1RH, shares this helpful web page by NK7Z for identifying sources of Radio Frequency Interference 

Club and Member News - February 2018

Feb 2018 Program - N6PGQ Tower Installation

River City ARCS
Update from River City ARCS
Posted February 5, 2018


In January we had Joseph Pistritto N3CKF as our speaker. He was one of the 50 hams who was selected to go to Puerto Rico to assist in the post-Hurricane Maria ARRL-Red Cross relief effort in getting communications back up and running after the storm.

This month our own Bob Woodward N6PGQ is giving a talk on his long and frustrating tower installation.

“How to Spend Three Years Installing an Antenna!!! OR How I Learned to Hate Love Amateur Radio”

In upcoming months we will be having our Elmer night and I will have a sheet on the sign in table for you to write down topics that you would like to have covered. Also I will have lists to sign in for our Club Picnic, Field Day and Farm and Tractor Days. We will be needing a Field Day Captain. It is not a hard job as we have a procedure written by Andy W6AWS that spells out what needs to be done.

I would like to thank all the members who are volunteering to help the Club at future events and meetings. If you have an idea for a meeting topic or are able to present, please let a member of the Board know.

Dave Martin WB6YLK Newsletter

Our Upcoming Meeting Programs/Club Events

Sierra Foothills ARC
Update from Sierra Foothills ARC
Posted February 3, 2018

Sierra Foothills ARC, Auburn, CA Web:
Newsletter at:

VE – First Saturday each Month 8 am at Raley’s Granite Bay. See website for more.

Hamfest 2018 - March 17th at Loomis Historic Train Depot in Loomis. (Go to for a flyer) This is the first swap of the new year. Drawings… main prize is a HONDA Generator in the drawing, free buyer parking, coffee, donuts, club table, ARRL table, plus you can be "walked through" with an Elmer if you want. Also we have presenters Bruce, K6BAA and Bob, K6UDA doing FT-8 operations and DSTAR operations. If you are not "up" on these come by and watch, listen and ask questions!

Sunshine Report - by Richard, WA6RWS goes out to Joe, KN6FH who is recovering from a fall.

Club Library - SFARC now has over 30 great publications that can be checked out by members. Some of the latest ARRL publications are featured, plus older publications that are hard to find.

Facebook for SFARC - Mark, W8BIT has our FB account up and going. See the homepage for the link. We also have a Yahoo group, headed by Dennis, WU6X, that most of our 124+ members belong to. More social media is planned by Mark or Social Media Manager. We also have Birton, N6UG now named our IT Manager.

VE Session results - Remember that we have VE exams in Raley's Granite Bay every first Saturday, Monthly. WE had 2 new Techs and a General.

W6EK Club Nets - Every Thursday at 7:30 is the club net, everyone invited to check in. The first and third Wednesday is the Elmer Net everyone is invited to join in, ask questions and get answers or help. W6EK Repeaters: 145.430 (- 162.2), 223.860 (- 110.9) and 440.575 (+ 162.2)

73, Carl, WF6J, ARRL PIO

SFARC February Meeting Program

President’s Message

By Orion Endres – AI6JB, President

Hello All! 

Dues Are Due
The New Year is here and that means Dues are Due! A single year’s membership is $22, but, if you pay for 2 or more years, it is $20 per year. Please go to our website, download a membership application, fill it out, and send it to Sharron, our Treasurer. You can pay via PayPal, send her a check, or bring it with you to February’s meeting. Thank you!

Western States & Tevis Cup Surprise
Ralph, W6RWL, dropped by the January Board meeting and presented the Club with a donation to the Repeater Fund. Thank you Ralph and the Western States/Tevis Cup folks for your generous support! The Western States is June 23-24 this year and the Tevis Cup is July 28. They need radio operators for both of these events and training sessions. If you would like to help out, please contact Ralph at

Hamfest 2018 ... T-minus 43 days!!  Flyer

Hamfest 2018 is on Saturday, March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day this year. Why not make it a part of your St. Paddy Day’s celebration? And a celebration it will be!! There are many exciting things happening this year.

The Grand Prize will be a Honda Generator!! We started crowdfunding, i.e. Passing the Hat at January’s meeting, and have already collected over $235 so far!! We have two members who challenged each other with $50 donations. They are now challenging you to match or better them!! Bring your wallets and get the word out to the Ham community!!

Bruce, K6BAA, and Bob, K6UDA, will be our featured presenters this year! Bruce will show the hot new digital mode FT-8 that everyone is talking about. Bob will conduct a DSTAR University teaching everything you need to know to get into DSTAR. You will not want to miss either session.

Now’s the time to talk up Hamfest! Get on area repeaters and ask folks if they are planning to come to Hamfest. Check into weekly nets and make QSTs announcing the Hamfest. Download flyers from our website and post them in public places. With a 124 members, you are our best marketing team.

VE Session Summary

Hi Everyone, Thanks again for all the VE's (8) that were able to come to the session.

We had a successful session again. We administered 6 elements to 4 candidates. 2 earned a new or upgraded license: 0 new Technician; 2 new Generals; 0 new Extras.

Thanks Al NI2U

Sierra Foothill Scores for CQP 2017

Sierra Foothills ARC scored big in the 2017 California QSO Party. Six Club members participated from remote counties of Alpine, Placer, Plumas and Siskiyou to take impressive spots in the event as follows:

Place CW PH Total Mult Score
1st AI6US-Brian 0 253 253 48 24,288
2nd AI6JB-Orion 0 196 196 37 14,504
2nd K6UDA-Bob 0 254 254 45 22,860
3rd W6DT-Wayne
3rd N6UWQ-Gary 0 138 138 19 5,244 (team)
1st WU6X-Dennis 150 45 195 36 19,440

A good time was had by all and we are already looking forward to next year.

Submitted by: Dennis Gregory - WU6X

Photos by Brian Gohl, AI6US. Orion AI6JB and Brian did an expedition to Alpine ALPI County
on Monitor Pass on 8900' Leviathan Peak (an old fire lookout)

Nevada County ARC
Update from Nevada County ARC
Updated February 11, 2018

Nevada County Amateur Radio Club members hold impromptu meetings at the Omega Rest Area on highway 20. Members set up their stations and in this case made contacts during the California QSO party. Elevation is around 5000 ft and the views are tremendous. Our activity always draws the interest of motorists coming through the rest stop.

73, Cal McKitrick AI6MC, NCARC President 2018 Newsletter Facebook Group

Next Meeting: Monday Feb 12, 2018 doors open 6:30pm, meeting at 7pm


Cal and John took the trek down to Quartzsite to take part in one of the biggest ham radio events in the nation. Other attendees include Randy K7AGE, Jeri Ellsworth AI6TK, And Bob Brodovsky K6UDA. Come hear what fun and activities there were among hams and celebrity hams in one of the biggest catboxes in the United States!


If you haven't had a chance to renew your membership for 2018, now is the time. Contact club treasurer John Hart, KE6FIQ to arrange payment.

Mark, W8BIR, Newsletter Editor

COFFEE CHAT (Ham n' Coffee)

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

Photo caption: Seated in the chairs are Richard KI6UOV, Chuck KI6CM. Standing is Walt N6HNS and Jim KI6UOX and at the radio is Ike KM6IUI making his first HF contact. (Photos by Cal AI6MC)
Photo caption: Seated in the chairs are Richard KI6UOV, Chuck KI6CM. Standing is Walt N6HNS and Jim KI6UOX and at the radio is Ike KM6IUI making his first HF contact. (Photos by Cal AI6MC)
Photo caption: Seated: Richard KI6UOV, Chuck KI6CM. Standing: Walt N6HNS and Jim KI6UOX
At the radio is Ike KM6IUI making his first HF contact.  
(Photos by Cal AI6MC)

Mount Shasta ARC
Update from Mount Shasta ARC - pending
Submitted January 3, 2018

January is the month we elect new officers. For the past few years, the January meeting has been cancelled due to weather, but the elections took place online. Who knows what the weather forecaster will bring us, so keep your eyes open and let's make certain we have the right officers in place to bring us into the New Year.

The club wishes to extend our warmest regards to the family of George Dibelka, AB6UE (SK). South Siskiyou County has lost a giant in amateur radio and emergency communications.

On December 20, 2017, the club hosted its annual holiday gathering. An excellent potluck was capped by door prizes and several rounds of "RADIO" (like bingo, but, well, radio) wherein winning members received premium prizes. The night was filled with warmth, laughter, and getting to know each other.

As we head into another year, we also begin another cycle of public service events. Please remember to test your equipment and check your calendars, because we'll be asking you to help.

Submitted by Mark Dibelka, AB2LI

W6SFM Monthly Meeting

Samuel F. Morse ARC
Update from Samuel F Morse ARC
Updated February 3, 2018


The W6SFM CW BEGINNERS CLASS WILL BE HELD STARTING WEDNESDAY April 4th. 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

January Meeting Report

The W6SFM Samuel F Morse Radio Club January meeting was called to order by club President Mike, N6MQL on January 4th at the Carmichael Presbyterian Church in Carmichael CA, with 15 member with no guest in attendance.

Welcome aboard to our newest member Phil, KD6RM of Fair Oaks CA.

This month the YouTube Live feed was working flawlessly on-line. Once again, the club had an uninterrupted 2-hour broadcast of our W6SFM In-person meeting! Due to the snack break the video has been divided up into part 1 and part 2 online. All On-air CW meetings are broadcast in their entirety and also posted to our W6SFM.COM website. Those videos along with Club in-person meetings can be found under the “Videos” page. Feel free to use our on-air net recordings archived for CW Practice, or just review when you are unable to view LIVE while the club is on-the-air. Please note that there may be a delay starting the live videos as it takes the YouTube server up to 2 minutes to begin the live transmission. This is done to accommodate any lag in the transmission video due to internet speeds. the live videos as it takes the YouTube server up to 2 minutes to begin the live transmission. This is done to accommodate any lag in the transmission video due to internet speeds.

Congratulations to our new club officers. With a vote of 37 to 0 the new club officers were elected into their current positions. • President – Mike, N6MQL • Vice President – John, WB6UBK • Secretary -Chris, AI6U The position of club treasure is still open, but being maintained by Mike, N6MQL.

This year the NA QSP held its annual NAQP event on the 13rd of January. David, K6CIM volunteered his home QTH for the event. The club worked the bands from 10 AM until 10 PM. With 6 members in attendance at this year’s event everyone had a chance to either get on the air, or enjoy sitting alongside an operator and perform logging duties. All in all, the club was able to score over 220 plus contacts! The club provided a Pizza lunch and refreshments, while the members brought snacks.

Other news and items of general interest were discussed by the members.

For this month's presentation, Mike, N6MQL presented the members with information on vertical Antennas”.

For show and tell, Member Eddy, K6SDW brought with him his portable Alpha Loop Magnetic Loop antenna system, complete with carry bag. Member Andrew, KC6O brought with him his complete Western Electric key, sounder and repeater board made circa 1910. The Western Electric 3B 20 Ohm Sounder was a very popular and highly used system back in the days of professional telegraphy. A telegraph sounder is an antique electromechanical device used as a receiver on electrical telegraph lines during the 19th and early twentieth century.

r next SFM ARC in-person meeting will be held at its normal time and location Feb. 1st (followed by our March 8th 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 at the bottom of the homepage. At our February meeting, we will be discussing ARRL news and events. We will also have a presentation on the VEC/VE Program as presented by Tom, W6JS. As always, we will have our Member show and tell portion. Members and visitors are asked to share their Ham Radio related items they find of interest. Please be sure to 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 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. With our YouTube Live streaming system, you can watch the Live Feed on your Apple IOS or Android devices. You do not need to have a YouTube account to access the feed. However, you will to subscribe to our channel. Those visiting & viewing can chat with others watching on-line as well. This of course is not mandatory, but rather just a way of making everyone feel more involved in our on-air nets. If you like, you can “check in” using the chat window and you will be included with our On-Air Net log. Simply announce your call letters in the chat window.

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!

Thank You -- Chris, AI6U (SFMARC Secretary) Newsletter

Western Placer ARC
Update from Western Placer ARC
Posted February 6, 2018

Greetings from the Western Placer Amateur Radio Club:

Our Next Club Meeting is Saturday, February 20, 2018. 7:00 PM
Location: Round Table Pizza, 1020 Pleasant Grove Blvd #170, Roseville, CA
Scheduled Speaker and Topic: To Be Determined

WPARC January 2018 Meeting Kickoff Lunch
Vice President Art KK6NFM arranged for members and guests to assemble at Via Roma Pizzeria con Cucina on January 27 for lunch. About 35 members and guests turned out for the event to dine on a delicious Italian themed meal with salad and dessert. A few guests came from further afield, one from across town and another from across the country! After lunch came the drawing from the barrel of monthly tickets collected during 2017. A few lucky members walked away with new antennas and radios. Many others walked away with some new treasure, even if only a roll of solder! Thank you to all who made this event rock!

Regular 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 Round Table Pizza, 1020 Pleasant Grove Blvd #170, Roseville. This location faces Roseville Parkway at the northeast corner of the complex. View map and directions in link above. Come out to enjoy some camaraderie, food, beverage, and tales of the radios! Round Table offers a pizza and salad bar buffet dinner on Tuesday evenings for about $10/person.

WPARC Repeater New Tone 67.0 Hz. Our old subaudible tone of 179.9 Hz was becoming audible on newer radios presenting a hum. On Friday October 27 a team treked up to the repeater to change the tone from 179.9 Hz to 67.0 Hz. Ensure that you change all of your radios to use the new PL tone. The old tone won't be recognized by the repeater.

WPARC Repeater Abuses. Repeater Trustee Michael K6BUK received comments on a few repeater users abusing repeater etiquette. Please review Ethics and Operating Procedure for the Radio Amateur as a refresher.

Ham Radio License/Volunteer Examiner (VE) Tests. WPARC offers Ham Radio License testing on the first Wednesday of each month at 6:00 pm at the Round Table Pizza, 1020 Pleasant Grove Blvd #170, Roseville CA.  For more information please email Chuck at: kk6doa (at) gmail (dot) com.

Club T-Shirts. Club T-shirts have been a huge hit, and club members wanted more! Our vendor will soon have a web site offering more colors and shirt options. New orders are suspended until the new web site is available.

K6PAC Repeater Yaesu DR-2x Upgrades Completed. Upgrades to new Yaesu DR-2X are completed. A new FVS-2 Voice Module will add new features to leave messages, record and review your transmission, along with announcements. Stay tuned for more details.

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 Yaesu 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.

73, Michael Buck. K6BUK

WPARC on Facebook and Twitter

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

El Dorado County ARC
Update from El Dorado County ARC
Posted February 3, 2018


Greetings and welcome to 2018. I hope everyone was able to enjoy the holiday season and their New Year is off to a good start.

First, I would like to thank Michael for presiding as president of the club for the past couple of years.

Second, I would like to thank all of you for electing me as president for this year. I’ll do my best to keep the club running strong.

I believe this is my fourth time serving as your president. I have been a member of the club since 1998 when Nancy and I moved to El Dorado Hills from Rancho Cordova. I’ve had my license and call KE6GLA, since 1995. My wife Nancy, KG6PNP, got her license shortly after we moved to El Dorado County and became active in the club. Our Daughter Natalie got her ticket, KJ6NLD, when she was 10 at a Hamfest at the M2 Antenna factory. We are still working on Dennis, but he does like to participate in Field Day. We live in on a small lot and don’t have any tall towers for the antennas. Most of my antennas are wire and are supported by trees or small poles. Even with that limitation I’m able to work some DX and participate in few contests when time permits. I enjoy just about all aspects of the hobby and love to experiment with new modes or gadgets. I also enjoy building antennas and tinkering with so5ware. Recently I have been trying my luck at working the new satellites that AMSAT has put up in the sky for us to use. I‘ve learned to do these things in Amateur Radio with the help of our club members. Which brings me to my final thought.

The greatest asset club membership can offer you is its members. There is a wealth of experience and knowledge contained in our club membership. Our members can help with anything from programing memories in your handheld radio to installing a tower. All you need to do is ask and I sure someone will be willing to help you.

That’s it for now. I look forward to seeing you at meetings and club activities.

73, Jay, KE6GLA Newsletter

El Dorado County ARC celebrates the Discovery of Gold in Coloma, California

On January 27th and 28th , 2018 the El Dorado County ARC activated a special event station to celebrate the 170th anniversary of the discovery of gold in Coloma, CA by James Marshal. The special event station worked under the club call of AG6AU, “Silver and Gold” during the event. For the event we used the El Dorado County ARES trailer for the station. The station was located in the Coloma Gold Discovery Park near Sutter’s Saw Mill next to the river. In front of the ARES trailer we set up a public information table with information about Amateur Radio and ARES. During the event, we logged 528 contacts on 20m and 40m bands, mostly from North America. A lot of the contacts were with stations participating in Winter Field Day, so hopefully we represented Sacramento Valley well. During the QSOs we gave information about the Gold Discovery Park and how the discovery of gold in January of 1848 start the great Western migration in 1849. We had over 20 visitors to the station. We explained what the special event station was about and how we enjoy the Amateur Radio hobby. We convinced a few visitors to attend our next club meeting and get more information about Amateur Radio licensing. A great location, perfect weather and exceeding our goals of getting out and operate away from our homes, celebrating a significant historical event in our county, and exposing the public to Amateur Radio made for a very successful l weekend. We have already received many QSL cards to process.

Photo credits: Both pictures were taken by Jay Harmor, KE6GLA. In the second picture both Hams are El Dorado County Members, on the left is Phill Mosbacher, KK6YYD and on the right is Justin Tabatchnick, KB2ZVD.

Yuba Sutter ARC
Update from Yuba-Sutter ARC
Posted February 6, 2018

February Club Meeting is Tuesday, 6th of February 6:30 pm at the Marysville Methodist Church at 730 D St, Marysville, CA 95901.  It is a meeting and mini-ham swap, so bring your extra junk, err, I mean super cool ham gear to sell or trade. :)


Beale Air Show

The POC for the Beale Air Show is checking on his side to find out if we'll be able to operate on base and what restrictions there might be.

Beale’s operational frequencies are different than ours so I'm pretty positive that won't be a problem. There will be 2 days of displays and flying. Friday, April 27th, is set for local schools to visit the base and see the displays from 9-12. From 12-6 the displays will be open to the base personnel. They will get treated to a flying routine practice. The "open to the public" airshow is on Saturday, April 28th from 10-6. YSARC could participate on both days if we want. I envision taking the trailer and the solar array (which we'll need to finish setting up) and one HF rig at least along with a couple of VHF rigs with J-Poles. We won't have to break down the trailer Friday night as they'll have Security Police patrolling the area. I need to know ASAP who thinks they will participate and what day(s) and get information back to them post haste to arrange for access to the base for all of our participants. E-mail me if you're interested:



✓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


Elk Grove-Florin ARC
Update from Elk Grove-Florin ARC - pending
Posted November 18, 2017

Elk Grove-Florin ARC—Section News –November 18, 2017

Our General Meeting in November was the Annual Meeting required by our by-laws. We had our election of officers to manage the club affairs for the calendar year 2018. The officers for 2018 are: President: Chris Lay, KG6JFO; Vice President: Mark Flint, KK6YFV; Secretary: Mary Frederici, KI6YPQ; Treasurer: Cindy Gansereit, KM6BUY; Member at Large: Dave Reingold, KK6MVJ

We thank our 2018 officers for the time and service will give in leading our club and look forward to an exciting year.

Following the election Dave, KK6MVJ, presented an excellent slide show talk about his trip to Oregon for the Solar Eclipse in October. Thank You Dave!

Club members and their families will end 2017 with a Christmas Party including lots of food, fellowship and a slideshow summary of the year.

Happy Holidays!, Paul N6DRY

Oroville ARS
Update from Oroville ARS
Updated February 3, 2018

OARS Monthly Meeting Reminder

The monthly meeting of OARS will take place Friday, February 9, 2018, 7 pm, in 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.

Membership dues for 2018 ($20) are due at this time.  The OARS Club mailbox location is unexpectedly being shut down.  Until further notice, all club correspondence including dues paid by mail should be sent to: OARS, c/o Ted Cochran, 47 Orchardcrest Dr, Oroville, CA 95965.

Ted Cochran, N6TBC, President, Butte County ARES AEC, N6TBC@WINLINK.ORG

Update from SOTARS/QCWA Chapter 169
Posted February 11, 2018

Our meeting this month is Valentine's Day, Wednesday, February 14th. 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 for this month is the continuation of the MFJ factory tour on their 45th anniversary which concludes with an interview of Martin Jue.

The 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 to attend.

Rose Jolly, W6QPV, Silent Key

Rose Jolly, W6QPV beloved wife of Jim Jolly passed away on February 9th. Rose had been in ill health since coming down with the flu last month. Rose will be sorely missed by all of her friends and family. We extend our deepest sympathy to Jim and family.

North Hills RC
Update from North Hills RC
Posted February 6, 2018

The next meeting of the North Hills Radio Club will take place on Tuesday February 20.  Aaron Jones, K6ABJ, will do a presentation called "Useful Information you can use, for old and young hams alike."

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 callsign N6NFF

Glenn ARS
Update from Glenn ARS
Posted February 6, 2018

Prez Says!

Spring is upon us, or so it would seem. Have you noticed the buds starting to push on Walnut and Almond trees, and other plants. Seems way early but then maybe I am starting to pay more attention to what is going on around and about my location.

Been having fun doing some radio programming and rearranging the shack. What a process this is turning out to be! Would be further along but for the early good weather which brought forth much vegetation which now needs to be dealt with. Thus pushing some valuable radio time to the back burner where it is hoped it will simmer and not be forgotten.

Have a whole lot of radios close to the bench to check out, fix where needed, and program. The hope is to get at least a few done this year. Then there is the antenna farm…

Just swiped this from the ARRL web site. I know it is copy righted but just couldn’t help myself. I was doing research on the ARRL Education & Technology Program; how we as a club might be able to bring awareness of Amateur Radio to Glenn County.

What is Wireless Technology Literacy?

Here's how ARRL's Education & Technology Program defines the educational objectives for Wireless Technology Literacy: A person who is wireless technology literate-- Is aware of the many types, capabilities, and limitations of wireless technology; Has the ability to select appropriate wireless technology to convey the message; Has the ability to adapt and adjust wireless technology to meet changing conditions to get the task accomplished; Has the ability to use wireless technology to enrich life experience.

So upon asking myself this questions and thinking over the four bullet points, It was a shock to find that I may not be as technology literate as I thought. How about you? How would you go about making yourself more literate in all things wireless? The next question is how do we as a club bring this awareness to all the schools in Glenn County?

I urge all to do some deep thinking and bring your questions and ideas to the next GARS club meeting. Yes it is that time again! We will be meeting at the Artois Lutheran Fellowship Hall at 6:30pm, on Thursday, the 8th of February. Late arrivals and guests are always welcome. So be safe in all you do and may you all have many blessings in the days ahead!

Mike Ellithorpe-KF6OBI 530-518-3730 Newsletter

Golden Empire ARS
Update from Golden Empire ARS
Posted February 3, 2018

The Prez' Says:

It's been a busy month.

I asked the VE team to go to Feather River Medical Center to give FCC exams. Three of the candidates passed and three did not. That was on Jan. 28.  On Feb. 1st. Gene and I will be going to a Carmichael club to set up a VE testing group.

Feb. 4 we will be testing at the Search and Rescue building. Please NOTE: On June 3rd we will have to move the test site, as we cannot use the Search and Rescue Building on that specific Sunday. I will obtain a new site for that one test date.

I believe we have guest speaker for our Feb. 16 meeting. Scott Petersen-KE6VUS, will give a presentation on the MESH system.

73, Tom Rider W6JS Newsletter Bulletin 

Member Updates and Feedback

K9LBC Winter Field Day Station
by Aaron Jones, K6ABJ, posted February 3, 2018

Pictured here is Brian Courtright, K9LBC, a newly licensed ham and a member of the North Hills Radio Club participating in his first contest. The contest was Winter Field Day 2018 (WFD) held at 19:00 UTC on January 27 to 19:00 UTC on January 28. The K9LBC Winter Field Day station event held at Folsom Lake was organized by Aaron Jones, K6ABJ. They competed in the “Outdoor” category, and stayed on site in the outdoors during the entire 24 hour event. Also creating a station and operating at the event was Joel Baldwin AI6DG. Jones learned about the contest and decided to organize a group of contesters after learning about the contest through the Sacramento Valley Section Newsletter.

Story and photos by Aaron Jones, K6ABJ.

One Ham's Opinion... Worth What It Cost... Probably Less!
by Alan Canton, K6AAI, submitted January 20, posted February 3, 2018

I thought the statement by the Board in the [ARRL January 18] newsletter was obscure and somewhat stilted. It was basically a typical bureaucratic response written by pubic sector lawyers trying to say something while actually saying nothing. The response did not address the topic and left me with more questions.

It seemed to me that the Board's response is saying that the items that Mr. Norton mentioned in his speech and his disagreement to them have not even been adopted by the board. So I don't know what to believe. I look to 'influencers" and "thought leaders" like you and others to help in forming an opinion. I did not know about the splinter groups you mentioned and I will check them out.

You know what troubles me more than anything about the ARRL? It is the low membership share. There are 700,000 hams in the country and 150,000 members which is only 21%. That is very low 'market penetration.'

When I've asked others about this I get the answer of "You know how cheap hams are." OK, I get that, but just about every ham as $1,000 tied up in his hobby and another $49 is not going to take any food (or beer!) off the table.

I was an ARRL member in 1960 (or '61) when I was 13 (or 14) years old and had a novice ticket. (I think the dues were maybe $5 a year!) ARRL (and ham radio) was a big deal.Every school had a 'radio club' and I sometimes think that half the 13 year old boys in the New York city area were hams. (I never knew a YL who was a ham back then... I would have dated her in a New York minute!) And EVERYONE with a ham ticket joined the ARRL if for no other reason than to get the magazine (we could buy CQ and 73 at a large news/magazine stand... there were many that dotted the corners New York streets... usually near subway stations.)

I think the ARRL management would be better served spending more of their time, treasure, and resources attracting a larger membership than dealing with internal codes of ethics and other non-issues to the membership.

A "Be a member, recruit a member" campaign might help. Perhaps offer a digital-only-QST membership price? Maybe offer a discount for brining in a friend? I don't think a 21% market-share is sustainable at the current level of league spending.

I hope the ARRL can easily and quickly resolve this internal conflict. If they take a hardcore "We know best for the membership" it is going to create a wide schism which will take years to resolve.

My advice to the board would be to drop the offensive new board rules, be as open as possible, allow board members the right to be honest and open to their constituents about ARRL policies, and *** MOVE ON *** to more important and pressing matters... like membership and HOA and the constant battle to preserve our bands from commercial encroachment.

Alan Canton, KM6AAI, Fair Oaks, CA,,

Ham Radio Now Episode 380

Response and update:

These are my individual thoughts and do not represent official League policy.

I am aware of the controversy that appeared in the social media such as Ham Radio Now,, Write Your Director and a Facebook Group. Those who organized those grass root responses impress me as genuinely motivated to protect the integrity of our representative process and the accountability of the League officials whom we elect.

I personally know CEO Tom Gallagher NY2RF to be competent and visionary in his leadership and am sad to hear of his retirement announcement. I also have met ARRL President Rick Roderick and Dick Norton, N6AA, the Southwest Division Director whom the Board censured for allegedly publicly criticizing the Code of Conduct.

In the January 18 ARRL Letter, President Rick Roderick K5UR wrote:

"Unfortunately, it was necessary for the Board to take the highly unusual action of publicly censuring one of its members recently. The Board heard the allegations made by an ARRL member of what transpired at an Amateur Radio event; it heard reports from other amateurs who were there, and it heard all the information that the Director involved chose to present. Everyone had a chance to speak and to evaluate the presentations. The Board, in an 11 to 3 vote with one abstention, took action to protect the organization's integrity based on the information presented."

I do not fault Mr. Roderick for reporting the action of the Board, but being present and on the platform with Dick Norton during that ARRL Forum at the 2017 International DX Convention in Visalia, I can attest that Mr. Norton explained the Code of Conduct in a non-judgmental manner at the forum and merely polled the membership present for their feedback. Many who responded expressed doubts about the Code citing concerns about the accountability of their Directors in promoting the interests of the members who elected them. Mr. Norton acknowledged all responses but at no time did he criticize or express disagreement with any action of the Board. In my personal opinion, Mr. Norton did not merit a censure for polling his constituents on this matter, and I would question the sincerity and impartiality of any who may have represented it to the contrary. I believe that many who attended the forum in Visalia would agree.

Since then, several Directors (e.g., see have affirmed that ambiguous language in the original draft of the Code of Conduct led to its unintended interpretation as a "gag-order" on Directors.  In response to these concerns, the Board at its recent annual meeting resolved to review and correct the language in the Code of Conduct.  Read more details at

I firmly believe in the value of the ARRL. We as members need to support its growth and strengthen it with our participation. I applaud our membership and leadership for our participation in this dialogue and trust that we will uphold our values of mutual honesty, cooperation and transparency.

-Carol, KP4MD, February 3, 2018
Propagation on 144 MHz
by Don Righello, W6PJJ, posted February 3, 2018

I have been chasing weak signals on VHF for many decades beginning back in 1968. In the Old Days... I had a basic understanding of Tropospheric Ducting, I knew it worked. The evidence was in the VHF and UHF spectrum even in the upper reaches of Microwave bands when at times, I could hear signals from long distances away. Thanks to Len Schlageder… K6OIK who worked for Stanford Research Institute’s RF Propagation Department, I learned much more about that elusive ducting that would occur at night and during storms.

Len taught me a great deal about Propagation from LF to SHF, SRI had a very good handle on propagation behavior and some brute force methods to improve conditions on the VHF Bands. SRI had money and high-power... they warmed up the Ionosphere by beaming high-power HF RF signals from transmitters located from San Diego to Half Moon Bay and then bounce VHF signals off the radiated zone, it worked quite well but was costly to produce favorable conditions.

In those days, I lived in the bottom of a Parabolic Dish, the city of San Luis Obispo, surrounded by high mountains that made utilizing Tropo propagation, difficult at best. I would head to Morro Bay with the eleven element Yagi and would set up very close to Morro rock and with an Armstrong Rotator, point up the coastline. There with my TS-700A and a KLM-160 Watt Afterburner… I would work Santa Cruz, Monterey and sometimes into Los Gatos, Saratoga and on occasion… Oakland. Troop was the method and only when the temperatures were correct to produce strong air boundaries over the Coastal Mountains and inland.

Now a-days I still work Tropo even with a very anemic station, a single Squalo at 25’ and running about 180 watts output. Granted… it is not as easy as it was a few decades ago when I used to have four long boom Yagi’s on a 55’ Tower and an 8877 Afterburner. I enjoy a challenge from time-to-time so I drag-up my patience, don the headphones… and listen. The Beacons are an excellent method to determine conditions over long distances. I often listen to the VHF Beacons in the south of the state to determine if signals are moving up north from those locations. Just last night I tuned into the Tehachapi Beacon located in DM05, call sign N6NB/B operating on a frequency of 144.294...I could copy the CW ID signals very well… if there had been a station on in that vicinity with a reasonable system, I’m certain that we could have had a CW QSO.

If you plug-in the Grid Coordinates between that beacon DM05sb and my QTH CM98io the distance is 292.4 miles, the old adage of (Line-of-Site) for VHF is not applicable when you introduce the Ducting Factor.

Today we don’t have to use the Guess–Work of yesteryear, an excellent tool for determining the Tropospheric Conditions in your region is the (Worldwide Tropospheric Ducting Forecast ). You can select your region so the prediction will be accurate for your QTH. See LINK Below.

I fired up the Yaesu 736R just a few minutes ago @ 18:45 GMT and there was the N6NB Beacon pounding out CW. So, for those who are enamored with the newfangled snail-slow modes that allow you to make contacts at the noise floor, you might want to see how many Grid Squares you can work on Twice-Meters. And, if your fortunate enough to have a 222 rig for CW and SSB, that’s even better… the noise floor on 222 is about 7 db lower than on Twice-Meters especially if you’re in a Metro Area.

Have fun... there are plenty of challenges on 144. you may just want to see how your station measures up, and with your New-Fangled Modes and patience… you will be logging Grid Squares regularly or you can resort to Cussing-And-Discussing the lack of propagation on the HF Bands.

73, Don W6PJJ
CREDITS: William Hepburns. Worldwide Tropospheric Ducting Forecast

Alan Thompson, 11 year old ham
Placerville Ham Radio Operator Returns after 55-year Hiatus
by Alan Thompson, AJ6AR, posted February 3, 2018

When Alan Thompson was just 11 years old, and living in Placerville with his family on Mosquito road, he earned a Novice-class Amateur Radio license. Alan had the distinction at that time of being the second-youngest ham radio operator in the United States (see accompanying story from the Mountain Democrat and Placerville Times, dated August 02, 1962).

The Novice-class license was the first of four Ham Radio licenses available in 1962. Alan always wanted to earn a higher license class. But before he could master the code speed and electronics skills required, he entered into a different group of classes at El Dorado High School and became more interested in cars and girls than radios. He quickly lost interest in Ham Radio altogether and let his Amateur Radio license lapse.

Now 55 years later, after a professional career spent in high tech and communications, Thompson found himself again wanting to renew his Ham Radio hobby and earn his license all over again. Only this time around, he'd promised himself he'd go straight to the top and pass the tests for all three currently-available licenses at once.

One of Thompson's first steps to get back into Ham Radio was to join his local El Dorado County Amateur Radio Club ( where he could meet other local Hams, and start spinning up on current radio technology. "This was one of the most important moves I made. There, I met a lot of great people who generously offered advice and assistance to a 'wannabe' Ham." said Thompson. "I think it's absolutely vital for anyone thinking about becoming a Ham to connect with their local Amateur Radio Clubs first. My advice is to attend some club meetings in your area, and see if it works for you before you make an investment in hardware. Here, you'll find a welcoming group of fellow enthusiasts who are more than willing to share what they know, and answer questions you hadn't yet thought to ask."

After two months of online study at sites like and, Thompson felt he was finally ready to pass the exams. A twice-yearly exam session, sponsored by the Rubicon Trail Foundation, was held on Saturday, December 2nd, in El Dorado Hills. Thompson passed all three Exams in one sitting, and earned an Extra-class ticket. Barbara Olson-Arenz, one of the attending VEs, and a member of the Rubicon Trail Foundation, remarked, "Our group had witnessed only a few examinees over the past several years who had successfully taken and passed all three exams at once." On December 14th, Barbara was pleased to congratulate Alan, and let him know when his new radio "call sign," AJ6AR, was finally issued.

AJ6AR exam certificate
Thompson continued, "So much has changed in radio during the 55 years since I first earned my license, I feel a bit like a modern-day 'Rip Van Winkle' who woke up in another century. We now have communications satellites, computers, the Internet, smart phones, Google, and WiFi everything." Before, all my equipment used old, "glow-in-the-dark" vacuum tubes. Now, radios are all like miniature computers.

When asked where is the place for Ham Radio in this age of Email, SKYPE, Twitter, Facebook, and instant, world-wide communications, Alan replied, "Well, apart from the sheer fun of building your own radio station from scratch and talking with fellow Hams all over the world, Hams provide vital, local community services through volunteer participation in emergency-response groups such as ARES, CERT and RACES."

Alan added, "The recent weather and fire disasters in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and California once again proved the value of Ham Radio operators who provided life-saving, local emergency radio communications when power, cell phone towers, and Internet connections were cut." He continued, "Now that I've regained my license, my dream is to outfit a complete mobile communications rig so I might be able to help the next time Ham Radio operators are called to assist in another emergency."

In the meantime, Alan has been busy buying equipment for his new Shack, and stringing up antennas at his property on Mosquito Road where he and Debra Webster, his wife, live just two miles from where Alan had first earned his license in 1962.

Thompson is the owner and Chief Technical Consultant for El Dorado Networks, a satellite TV and Internet service and installation company in Diamond Springs. Debra added, "Now, I just need to figure out how get Alan back into the office every day, when he'd really rather stay home gabbing on that radio."

Alan Thompson - AJ6AR

A Dying Man's Last Wish--Talking on High Frequency Ham Radio

Update from Jim Heath W6LG
Posted January 1, 2018

I helped in a very small way with granting a man's last wish. Here's the video Articles about our contact were in Chicago area newspapers. I was described as Jim in Grass Valley.

John Nugent's last wish was fulfilled with the kind and generous help of a large group of Ham Radio volunteers and others on December 5, 2017. The group included the follow ham radio operators and others near Chicago, IL: Alesia K. Behnke FHCC Lovell, Dave K9DRH, Donald Whitney, Derick.Bonewitz, Rob Orr, Jim Heath W6LG, David Isgur, George Dorner, Kent McKenzie, Michael Jackson, W. Paul Mazzeno, Allan Ayers, John Fritze K9TAL, Dave Pritchard.

Jim's W6LG YouTube channel has almost at 10K subscribers with one video at more than 100,000 views.

Still recovering from a bilateral PE a year ago and the damage that all did. I've been going to UC Davis Med Center.

Thanks, Jim Heath W6LG

From the 1990's until recently, Jim Heath, W6LG, had manufactured home and mobile screwdriver antennas, controllers and accessories at High Sierra Antennas in Nevada City, CA.   For years Jim exhibited his High Sierra Antennas at the Dayton Hamvention and thousands of these antennas are still in use today.  Although High Sierra closed in November 2016, Jim continues to serve the radio amateur community through posting instructional videos on his YouTube channel. - Carol, KP4MD

HRN 365: NCIS Newington on Ham Radio Now

NCIS Newington - The Controversy
Posted January 1, 2018

When ARRL HQ announced via Facebook that on October 31 NCIS episode #336 "Trapped" would spotlight amateur radio, I imagined a glowing positive portrayal of volunteer amateur radio heroes who assist law enforcement in serving public safety. I mean, what else would we expect after seeing all the positive media coverage that we received in the aftermath of last year's hurricanes and wildfires?

Instead, I (and apparently many others) felt disillusioned and perhaps somewhat insulted by a grossly inaccurate stereotype of radio amateurs, e.g. the use of cryptic "handles" instead of call signs, etc. and a grotesque representation of radio amateurs as generally being odd, paranoid and social misfits. Perhaps that portrayal did serve the writers' intent to add a sensational mystique to the plot, but, in my opinion, had they researched the topic, it would have added credibility as well as an informed and realistic view of the amateur radio service.

In his Ham Radio Now podcast #365, Gary Pearce, KN4AQ, focuses on the amateur radio images and dialogue from the NCIS episode to analyze and discuss the portrayal and his concerns over its impact on the public perception of the amateur radio service.

In his "Second Century" column on page 9 of the January 2018 issue of QST, ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher NY2RF gives his take on this matter and concludes that "The public saw ham radio. They missed the distractions [that were so obvious to us]. Maybe that's a good thing." After all, Hollywood and fictional prime time television are about entertainment, not education.

- Carol Milazzo, KP4MD

60 meter band plan
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

Observed Violations of US 60 Meter Frequency Regulations
60 meter JT65 signals


This screenshot photo shows JT65 signals received on 60 meter 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 violates the NTIA requirement that each US radio amateur transmission be centered on the 1500 Hz mark (the 5358.5 kHz channel center frequency).
ARRL Official Observer Richard Saunders, K6RBS, has posted the proper WSJT-X program settings for legal 60m JT mode operation here.
60 meter WSPR


The link lists WSPR mode emissions on the 60 meter band. One can scroll down that list and see how many A, K, N and W call signs have been transmitting WSPR mode on 5288 kHz outside the authorized 60 meter center channel frequencies.  
US WSPR transmissions continue to be observed on the WSPR software default 60 meter 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 US civilian radio spectrum users.

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