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ARRL Sacramento Valley Section News - April 2018

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 General Class ARRL License Manual is required for the 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 the course for the FCC mandatory $15 fee. Class duration is from 6-9 pm. For further information visit

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.

Spring is here!

April 2018 News

From the Section Manager

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

QST Cover

Bravo to the Sierra Foothills ARC on a successful March 17 Hamfest in Loomis!  We enjoyed seeing all of you who stopped by our ARRL Booth.

New Section Appointment

We welcome Chad Linden, N5BMU, who steps up to serve as Modoc County ARES EC and sincerest thanks to Dan Stossmeister, KJ6ZUW, for his past service in that position.

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

The ARRL International Grid Chase is the 2018 year long operating event. Read how you can participate on You can still send March 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 Section-Wide Net Report Thursday April 19

The ARRL SV Section-wide nets were held on Thursday, April 19. Andy Boone KJ6IYM opened the VHF net on the WD6AXM 146.085 MHz FM repeater at 7:20 pm PDT after the Yuba-Sutter ARES net signed off.


In contrast to the propagation blackouts that we experienced in January and February, both 60 and 75 meters supported HF nets. At 7:39 pm, ARRL SV Section Manager Carol Milazzo, KP4MD, called the SV Section HF net on 5330.5 kHz USB where the check ins were: AF6PO, AI6LZ, K6HOM, KD6SX, KO6HS and W6GGI (from Santa Barbara). Afterwards, on 3880 kHz LSB we also checked in N5BMU and N7JIL from Modoc County who reported having heard us very faintly on 60 meters, and AJ6AR and K6GCN from El Dorado County.

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 our 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 spring and summer months the HF net may be conducted on 5330.5 kHz USB as propagation permits.

Locations of: W6DRZ Receiver at Half Moon Bay; W7RNA Receiver at Sedona, AZ; Northern Utah Receiver
Don't have an antenna or HF radio?  Click a link
and Listen to our HF net on a web receiver.
W6DRZ receiver at Half Moon Bay 3880 kHz No 60m
W7RNA receiver in Sedona, AZ 3880 kHz 5330.5 kHz
Northern Utah web receiver 3880 kHz 5330.5 kHz

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

From Section Affiliated Club Coordinator, Max Soucia, N1KGS
Posted March 11

Hi Sac Valley Hams. I’m the newly appointed section Affiliated Club Coordinator. I’ve been a ham for 28 years or there about. I relocated from northern Maine in 2009 after I retired where I was Section Emergency Coordinator and I helped write and develop the original EC 101 course. I was an online mentor for EmComm for several years. I’m a big cheerleader for Amateur Radio’s ability to assist in emergencies when nothing else works. As such I’m a proponent of ARRL affiliation for the support we can give it in return for the technical and particularly legislative support they provide. In the present atmosphere of monetizing all aspects of society we will be feeling more and more pressure to privatize the EM spectrum including our slivers of it. Witness the development and expansion of 5G services. Protection and expansion of our spectrum is where we as individual hams can benefit from League activity as we support them with sheer numbers through membership and club affiliation.

I’ll be contacting each ARRL affiliated club in the Sacramento Valley Section over the coming weeks to update your club information and to help bring your League affiliation up to date if needed. I also want to visit each club over the coming months for an eyeball QSO. There is much of Northern California I have not seen and I’m looking forward to the travel. In the meantime, if you want assistance in utilizing the benefits of affiliation such as club insurance, or updating your Special Service Club status or have questions about any of these issues or just want to rag chew my cell number is (916) 607 6524 and my email is

73 de Max Soucia, N1KGS, Affiliated Club Coordinator, Sacramento Valley Section, ARRL

ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Youth Coordinator, Orion Endres, AI6JB, coaches a young STEM Expo attendee at the VHF Station
Amateur Radio Youth Outreach at March 3 STEM Expo in Rocklin
Posted March 11

STEM Expo 2018 was a Hit!

The Placer County STEM Expo was a blast this year thanks to the support of Sacramento Valley Section hams. A cadre of dedicated Hams came out on Saturday, March 3rd, to the William Jessup University in Rocklin California to setup two stations and show-off the exciting world of ham radio to the youth in our community.

Section Club support was outstanding. We had members from Western Placer ARC, River City ARCS, Samuel F Morse ARC, and the Sierra Foothills ARC there to get youngsters on the air. A special thank you to Jerry, N6JKH, and Art, KK6NFM, from the WPARC for bringing out the radios and antennas. The HF station was fed by a Buddistick and had to radios attached: an IC-7300 for SSB, and a FT-857D go box for digital. The VHF station was connected to a 2m copper pipe J Pole and had a FT-8800 go box station attached and tuned to the K6PAC and W6EK repeaters. Thank you to all the operators out there hanging around their rigs waiting for us to call. You welcoming voices put smiles on their faces.

Bob, N6PGQ, was a hit with our future coders. He brought two code oscillators and worked with the kids to practice sending their names in CW.

Ken, KE6RMN, Dave, WB6YLK, Marie, Tim, KD6MDV, Carl, WF6J, and Brian, AI6US, worked with the kids and answered folks questions about amateur radio. Most had no idea that amateur radio was a thing nor the importance it has played in the recent disasters. Thank you all for coming out to promote Ham radio and sharing our wonderful hobby to the youth in our Section.

73, Orion Endres, AI6JB, Section Youth Coordinator

Photo: Orion Endres, AI6JB coaches a young STEM Expo attendee on repeater operation.  by Carol KP4MD

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

April 14 - Sacramento County ARES Training
Posted April 2, 2018

The next Sacramento County ARES training and meeting is scheduled for Saturday April 14, 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.


2018 Disaster Volunteer Program of the Year: Auxiliary Communication Service Amateur Radio Volunteers
Posted April 13, 2018

Video from CalOES: California Volunteers - What Amateur Radio did for the fires last fall. Jim Price KO6GM and Lee Rominger W6LFR are recognized for their service- Thank you!

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

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.

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 interference reports 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 - April 2018

River City ARCS
Update from River City ARCS
Posted April 2, 2018


On March 3 N6PGQ, KE6RMN, KP4MD, WB6YLK and Marie Martin along with others from Western Placer ARC, River City ARCS, Samuel F Morse ARC, and the Sierra Foothills ARC went to the Stem Expo (a type of science fair) in Placer Co. and demonstrated Ham Radio to the students and adults.

March 17 was the first of several Ham Swaps for the year. Some others are:
April 28 – Valley of the Moon ARC in Sonoma Ca.
May 5 – Reno Ham Swap – Reno NV.
May – North Hills (POSTPONED - To Be Announced)
June 2 - Northern NV Radio Swap, Minden, NV
September 15 - Western Placer ARC Hamfest, Lincoln, CA

April 3 is our Elmer Night meeting and we are going to have topics on Antenna Magic, Repeaters, Fox Hunting, and Net Control Practice. It should be an informative night.

April 14 is our club pot luck picnic. We need people to get signed up so that we can get a good head count as to who is coming and get the right amount of food. We will have a “Fox Hunt” and you can bring your radios and work the world!

Field Day is coming up and we need to get signed up so we can get plans moving
Aug is our Installarama where we show off our mobile rig installations
Sept is our “Home Brew” night where we do a little bragging and show off our home brew items
So we have lots of interesting things in the upcoming months.

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.” Allen Saunders

Dave Martin WB6YLK Newsletter

Sierra Foothills ARC
Update from Sierra Foothills ARC
Posted April 2, 2018

President's Message by Orion Endres – AI6JB, President

Hamfest 2018 ... Is in the History Books!!

The Loomis Hamfest 2018 is now in the history books and what an exciting event! Mother Nature blessed us with no rain even though the media spoke of doom and gloom. We counted 531 participants and over 700 drawing tickets sold! Needless to say, the Honda Generator was a hit! Congratulations to Jeff, AK6OK, as our grand prize winner.

2018 Loomis Hamfest

Of course, the grand prize would not have been possible without the support of the members of the Sierra Foothills ARC. Your support of our crowdfunding campaign made it possible to put a marquee prize out there and I truly believe it was instrumental in getting the level of participation we did with the forecast of rain. Thank you to you all!

Something new for 2018 were two presentations. The first was presented by Bruce, K6BAA, FT-8: The Hot New Digital Mode and the second by Bob, K6UDA, Introduction to DSTAR Digital Radio. Thank you Bob and Bruce for being a part of taking our Hamfest to the next level!

Once again, we had wonderful support from local and several ham industry vendors. Thank you goes out to DX Engineering, ARRL, N3FJP, MFJ, Titanium Satellite, Dutch Bros., Raley’s/Bel Air, Dynamic Imaging, and The RF Adapter Guy. When you make your next purchase, please consider these folks first and if you can, let them know you appreciate their support. I will have a detailed Hamfest report at our next General meeting. Mark your calendars for Loomis Hamfest 2019 on Saturday, March 16, 2019!

Dan Fogard, W6PRL, SK We lost a member last month, Dan Fogard, W6PRL. Dan, and his son Ken, regularly attended our monthly meetings and Dan was often heard on our repeater. Dan was originally licensed in 1949 as W7VC and then W6PRL in 1957. According to his QRZ page he loves CW and to him “... that is amateur radio”. Dan we will miss you!

Ken has donated Dan’s radio equipment to the Club and asked that a scholarship fund be created from the proceeds in Dan’s name for youth interested in getting their Ham license. Thank you Ken!!

Next Up ... Field Day! Field Day 2018, the largest amateur radio event of the year, is coming up on June 23rd & 24th. Planning for this year’s event is in full swing under the watchful eye of Gary, KC3PO (I just love that call sign!!). If you want to be a part it, no experience necessary, give Gary a call. Be sure to attend our next General Meeting, Gary will be sharing the dates ...

Get out there, make those QSOs, and, most important, have fun!!

Newsletter at:

New web feature- The club's Yahoo Group is being phased out and has changed to a Groups.IO Thanks to Dennis, WU6X for taking on this task. This is an email web system that serves the club's needs. Will post all events, club functions and other items of interest here. You need to apply to become a member. You can view all messages and more, here:

VE Team - First Saturday, monthly, is our VE testing at Raley's in Granite Bay.

Club Meeting - Every 2nd Friday, monthly, in the Auburn City Hall, Rose Room at 7:30pm. info at: Everyone welcome!

Club Breakfast - Last Saturday, monthly, at Mel's Diner on 49 in Auburn, 7:30am. Everyone welcome!

Club Nets - Thursday night net at 7:30pm on W6EK/r and every 1st and 3rd Wednesday the Elmer Net at 7:30pm

Club Library - Jim, WA8MPA is the Librarian and has assembled a large selection of new ARRL and other publications for members to "check out" of the library. SIgn out a publication until the next month's meeting.

73, Carl, WF6J, ARRL PIO

VE Report April 2018

A total of 7 elements were attempted with 4 passing. 
1 new Technician, 2 new Generals, and 1 new Extra.
8 examiners in attendance.

Nevada County ARC
Update from Nevada County ARC - pending
Updated March 10, 2018

Nevada County Amateur Radio Club members hold impromptu meetings at the Omega Rest Area on highway 20. 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 March 12, 2018 doors open 6:30pm, meeting at 7pm

CLUB MINUTES General Meeting on: 2018-02-12

Attendance: 20

After the usual introductions, President Cal gave us a summary of upcoming events and our planned participation in them.

Our presentation was by President Cal and Treasurer John, and consisted of several videos, slideshows and commentary regarding their recent trip to the Arizona Quartzite Quartzfest. Quartzfest is a huge get-together in the Arizona desert that attracts untold, but large, numbers of participants, who spend days doing ham radio-related activities and taking classes in many subjects. They also experience some cold desert nights. It seemed to be an enthusiastically-enjoyed event, so if that is the kind of thing that appeals to you, you probably would enjoy going down there next year. The presentation was well done and quite interesting and I think everyone enjoyed it. Many thanks to Cal and John!

After some discussion about a newly- discovered pirate FM radio station in Nevada City, the meeting officially adjourned about 8:18.

Respectfully submitted by Jon, WA6TNC, Substitute Secretary

COFFEE CHAT (Ham n' Coffee)

Thursdays, 8 am at Valentina's Bistro, 841 Sutton Way, Grass Valley
Update from Paradise ARS
Posted April 2, 2018

Special Event Station from Gold Nugget Days April 27-28

The Paradise Amateur Radio Society will operate Special Event Station W6PAR from 1500-0000 UTC on April 27-28 from the Gold Nugget Days event in Paradise, CA. Frequencies:14.250 MHz USB and 145.290 MHz FM, -.6 offset, 110.9 PL. QSL via: Paradise Amateur Radio Society, 6616-D 273 Clark Rd, Paradise, CA 95969.

One of the first mining claims at Dogtown, known today as Magalia, was the Willard Claim, a hydraulic mine, in 1851 owned by 3 miners, Willard, Wetherbee, and Smith. The claim was northeast of Dogtown in the canyon by the West Branch of the Feather River. It was here on April 12, 1859, A.K. Stearns a workman at the mine, found the largest gold nugget weighing 54-lbs. The nugget was worth $10,690. Annual celebrations started in 1959. Gold Nugget Days 1997 was the first event in Butte County taking part in Cal-150, the official state commemoration of 150 years of California statehood. or

Stephen, W6AKF, PIO Paradise Amateur Radio Society

Mount Shasta ARC
Update from Mount Shasta ARC
Posted April 2, 2018

It has been a very busy time for the Mt. Shasta Amateur Radio Club. The new slate of officers has been elected (all seated officers had their terms extended by a year), the public events for the upcoming year have been added to the calendar, and the website has been completely revamped.

New member Brannan (KM6PKK) has stepped up to help the public relations team with rebuilding the club website ( and we think the results are simply amazing! As a result, folks can add the club calendar to their own calendars and never miss a date, register for testing, and see what events we have planned. Please check it out and send him congratulations for his hard work.

Mark Dibelka, AB6LI, teaching 7th grade
Beginning in January 2018, the club began teaching a technician level licensing course at Sisson Elementary School in Mt. Shasta, CA. The class began with 18 students and has been winnowed down to 9 students who are very serious about amateur radio. There will be open operating hours for these fine kids on 4/2/18 and 4/4/18 starting at 1700 PDT on 7.275 and 14.340, please help them make their first contacts and keep them excited about getting their licenses. It would appear that the school has fully bought into the program as well, and we have been invited back for a longer class in the next school year, as well as a simultaneous upgrade class to move our successful students to general class operators.  Photo: Mark Dibelka, AB6LI, teaching 7th grade.

Due to a lack of emergency communications in general and an obvious need for severe weather spotters in south Siskiyou County, Mike (KX6MMM) is helping to organize a Skywarn Spotter class at the clubhouse and a weekly Skywarn net. Should any active spotters have suggestions on how to make the program successful, please contact Mike and share some thoughts.

With several public service events coming up, please consider taking a day and helping your fellow hams in the north after checking out the "Events" page on our website.

73 until next contact!

Submitted by Mark Dibelka, AB2LI

W6SFM Monthly Meeting

Samuel F. Morse ARC
Update from Samuel F Morse ARC
Updated April 2, 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

The W6SFM Samuel F Morse Radio Club March meeting was called to order by club President Mike, N6MQL on March 1st at the Carmichael Presbyterian Church in Carmichael CA, with 10 members and no guests in attendance.

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.

Seeking volunteers to help with the annual Kid's Day in the Park event to be held April 28. Other news and items of general interest were discussed by the members.

The main presentation this month was given by member Phil, KD6RM discussing his 40 meter two element phased array verticals using an antenna analyzer and some free software. For show and tell, Phil also showed us some matching transformers such as the one used in his system.

Our next SFM ARC in person meeting will be held at its normal time and location April 5th (followed by our May 3rd meeting). SFM ARC in-person Meetings are 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 April meeting, we will have our annual "bogus story" contest and with time permitting, a demonstration of the new features of the Rig Experts antenna analyzer by Mike, N6MQL. We will also discuss ARRL news and events. 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. These are 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 (SFM ARC Secretary) Newsletter

Western Placer ARC
Update from Western Placer ARC - pending
Posted March 11, 2018

Greetings from the Western Placer Amateur Radio Club:

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

Tour de Lincoln Volunteers Needed - Saturday May 12
Tour de Lincoln is a premiere bicycling event starting from McBean Park in Lincoln. Multiple courses are laid out into the foothills surrounding Lincoln. Cyclists come from all over to ride the event. A new director and organization is taking the reins this year. WPARC is looking for a few of our seasoned pros and apprentice pros to volunteer as radio operators at aid stations or in your vehicle as a SAG wagon patrolling a portion of the course. If you'd like to try hamming at an event but don't want to solo just yet then ask to be paired up with someone to experience the fun. Email Roger K6OU to express interest.

K6BUK Spoke on Transmission Lines at February Member Meeting
Club Secretary Michael K6BUK spoke on transmission lines used in ham radio. He passed around several samples of window or ladder line, coaxial cable, and connectors. Michael noted the differences between the lines and connectors, and why one might be better suited to your specific application. He also talked about microwave wave guides briefly. He might be coaxed to share more at a future meeting. Thank you Michael!

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 April 2, 2018


Greetings, we will attempt to have a meeting this month. It looks like we may have to deal with some weather again during the meeting but now it looks the snow level will be above Placerville. There is a chance of thunderstorms on Thursday and you never know what they could drop.

The weather was the reason we had to cancel the meeting for February. The Federated Church where we hold our meetings as you know sits on the top of a hill in Placerville. We didn’t feel it would be safe for most us to make the drive to the meeting and then back home again with the low snow. To inform every one of the meeting cancelation we used email and announcements over the 2m and 6m repeaters. We did our best to try and reach everyone before they unnecessarily made the drive to Placerville. If you’re not able to monitor the club repeater most of the time there are a few times you should try to listen to the repeater for important information. First is during the weekly club net on Tuesdays at 8:00pm. You don’t have to check-in if you’re busy but you should listen in to hear any important bits of information that may be discussed. Second is on club meeting Thursdays. If we have any last-minute changes to the meeting the repeater will be our primary way to communicate those changes. A hand-held radio sitting on the car seat should let you hear any vital information. If time permits we will also send out a notice on the email reflector. If anyone else has some innovative ideas on how to get information out the membership let the board know so we can discuss the idea and maybe try it out.

Spring will be here this Tuesday and the days are getting longer. After this much- needed rain stops, all of us should be able to get outside and start working on our outdoor projects. I know I have a few antenna things to work on. Also, there is always yard work to do. Don’t forget about your defensible space around your property. I hope to see everyone at the meeting on Thursday and please drive safely.

73, Jay, KE6GLA Newsletter

Yuba Sutter ARC
Update from Yuba-Sutter ARC - pending
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 April 12, 2018

OARS Monthly Meeting Reminder

The monthly meeting of OARS will take place Friday, April 13, 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.

The program, presented by Kevin Conde, K1KMC, will be on the subject of digital communications.

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 April 9, 2018

Our meeting this month is Wednesday, April 11th. 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 conclusion of TXFactor episode 19. This episode returns to the BBC and Bob gives and overview on getting started with SDR using an inexpensive RTL-based USB dongle and SDRSharp. The last section is on the RSGB online exams.

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.

North Hills RC
Update from North Hills RC - pending
Posted March 11, 2018

The next meeting of the North Hills Radio Club will take place on Tuesday March 20. This month's program will be presented by former past president, vice-president and secretary-treasurer, Maynard Wright, W6PAP. Maynard will give a talk about the new 600 meter amateur band. The FCC recently granted privlages to hams on this band. It promises to be an interesting program. So, why not come and join us!

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 April 2, 2018

Prez Says for April 2018

I would like to start with a quote by Lewis Grizzard. “Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn”. I could not describe last month any better that this.

I have not heard from Dorothy or John Post over the last month thus meaning there may not be a GARS newsletter for April. So this edition of the GARS, ‘Prez Says’ will be sent out to all members via email. Let us pray for the safe return of Dorothy and John Post. They are sorely missed!

The ARRL has posted the new rules for this years Field Day, 2018. I have downloaded a copy and will have it at our next membership meeting for all to peruse. We will be discussing this event and start more formal planning during the meeting.

Also this month we have the ‘Run Your Tail Off 2018 5K/10K’ event which is being held on the 14th of April, 2018, at the Buckhorn Campground, Black Butte Lake. Time for our club members to meet on the boat ramp will be 7am the morning of the event. Please mark your calendars and come out and support this event. GARS provides communications and safety support on the trail. The plan still is to have the Disaster Response Trailer (DTR) on site to use as the net control station, and to show it off to all the participants.

For those that wish to help and support this event please respond to me your desires by our April membership meeting. We have a minimum need for six communicators and I need to turn names in for the gate pass.

A Nano-Spot, a Multi-Mode Digital Hot Spot, Designed for Pi-Star / MMDVM Open Source Firmware Compatibility, was ordered over a month ago, for testing and then use while traveling around the North State. This unit has been received and is in the process of being setup for demonstration. At least that is my plan. Here is the link to the Micro-Node web site. < >  Here are some highlights of this hot spot. NANO-SPOT is a completely self-contained digital hot spot supporting DMR, Dstar, P25 and System Fusion communications. Fully assembled and tested in a ruggedized extruded aluminum enclosure. All that's required for operation is a power source and a WiFi based internet connection.

Nano-Spot User Manual Available Here:

Pi-Star Digital Voice Software pre-loaded and easily upgraded via software. Product Features: · Supports PI-STAR's web based digital voice dashboard and configuration tool · Supports all four digital amateur modes DMR, D-Star, P25 and System Fusion · Built-in WiFi: 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 · Built-in OLED system status display indicating Mode, Talk Group and Call Sign · Built-in LED indicators for status of Power, PTT, COS and Mode · USB Accessory port for optional external Nextion display · USB Console port for hardware root level access to the operating system · Quad Core A7 1.2GHz Processor, 512mb DDR3 RAM and 8gb eMMC Flash · Durable extruded aluminum enclosure (L 86mm x W 57mm x H 26mm ) Package Includes: · Fully assembled and tested Nano-Spot · UHF and Wifi antennas

· USB hardware console port cable · USB Power cable · 100-240VAC wall wart power supply · Quick start guide · One year warranty Free USPS Domestic Priority Mail shipping

From now through the month of September we as a club will be very busy planning for various happenings. As mentioned above, this month, there is the ‘Run Your Tail Off’ event. The month of May seems quite, but must make the most of it, to bring together our plans for Field Day in June. Then we have this years Steakbake in September. Tentative plans are to hold this event at the Lutheran Fellowship Hall and or its adjoining park in Artois, CA. Start time we are embracing is around 12 noon.

A raffle prize has been donated to the club. We will begin selling raffle tickets during our membership meeting this month. Tickets are one for $5.00 or 5 tickets for $20.00. The donated prize is the AnyTone AT-D868UV, Digital DMR / Analog Radio. Will have the radio for all to see at this months meeting.

Always seems that I leave something out... At this time I thank all for their support and look forward to your continued support and help in advancing the art of radio.

We will be meeting at the Artois Lutheran Fellowship Hall at 6:30pm, on Thursday, the 12th of April. 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 President, GARS 530-518-3730

Golden Empire ARS
Update from Golden Empire ARS - pending
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
How I Chose my New Amateur Radio Vanity Callsign
by Alan Canton, K6AAI, posted March 10, 2018

After you have been granted an amateur (i.e. 'ham') radio FCC callsign you have the option to exchange it for a different one that is available and allowed for your license class.

I was assigned KM6AAI ...[ kilo mike six alpha alpha india.] I liked it but I wanted a shorter call by dropping the 'M' and perhaps getting a 'better' suffix. (I'm always amazed that the FCC gave out [kilo six alpha sierra sierra] and [whiskey four tango india tango])!!!

While studying for my Extra exam I did three months of "on and off" research on what vanity call to "reward' myself with upon passing.

I wanted a 1x2 [K6_ _] but given how few come up for grabs and the competition for them, at my age I figured I would not get one in this life!!! So I decided I wanted a 1x3 ... [K6_ _ _]. I thought about a 2x2 [K _6_ _] but I find them hard to 'copy' as well as remember.

My goal was to find a callsign letter-combo that upon hearing was easy to remember as well as one that (subjectively) rolled off the tongue.

While my method was not scientific by any means, after talking to hams and non-hams and doing some testing I learned a lot of things. In no particular order, here are my findings.

I learned that people remembered a letter followed by a number [K6] better than two letters followed by a number [KM6], which reinforced my intent to get a 1x3 and and not the 2x2.

Given five sets of 3 letters (like what might be heard in a DX pileup) I found that my test group of people remembered the combinations with double letters [AAX] or where all 3 were the same [BBB] better than any other grouping EXCEPT if the 3 letters form a known word like CAT or DOG or GOD or GUN or BAT, etc.

All of the 'K6' three-letter common words [map, cop, etc] as well as the three-single-letter options [BBB, GGG] were taken so I had to look for a combination of double-letters followed by a third letter that would tend to stand out and be easily remembered.

I found that the better remembered groups were those that were easy to pronounce phonetically... they rolled off the tongue. Combos like [GGK... golf, golf, kilo] did not work as well as something like [AAL... alpha, alpha, lima].

I found that letters that were vowels or phonetics ending in vowels tended to sound better and be remembered better than harder consonants... 'alpha' worked better than 'hotel.'

I found that the double-letter pair coming first was better remembered than if the pair came last. [AAF ... alpha, alpha, foxtrot] was recalled more often than [FAA... foxtrot, alpha, alpha] because often people didn't hear the final letter of a double letter combo. They hear [FA] and not [FAA].

I learned that when the final syllable of the third letter rhymed or sounded like the final syllable of the combo pair, retention was increased.... like in [delta delta alpha].... all three end in an 'ah' sound.... [charlie, charlie, yankee]... all have an 'eee' sound. The combo of [golf, golf, uniform] didn't work as well.

I also learned that phonetics that had the emphasis on the first syllable (echo) were better remembered than when the emphasis was in the middle (november, sierra) or at the end (quebec, hotel).

While it was a very minor issue, I found that a two-syllable final letter phonetic like "echo" was more often remembered than a three-syllable third letter like [sierra ...see-air-ahh]. (There are only 2 one-syllable letters... golf, mike.)

I liked the sound of 'india' and while it is a three-syllable word, it gets slurred and often sounds like a two-syllable phonetic... 'in-jah.' It helped that 'india' is a well-known country.

I also liked the sound of 'lima.' While 'lima' is a city (in Peru and Ohio,) few people had ever heard of it. Perhaps if 'L' was phonetically 'lie-mah' (like the bean) it might work better than 'lee-mah!')

I gathered a lot of data. The argument can be made that it was just random and I won't dispute that. But random data is better (at some level) than a SWAG (

So at the end of the day... I decided to drop the 'M' and keep the suffix that the FCC had given me...[alpha, alpha, india] which was as good as I could get. Everything better was taken.

The above was MY methodology.

YMMV!! (

73s, Al

Alan Canton, K6AAI, Fair Oaks, CA,

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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