The Airwaves
February 2001
SIERRA AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
An ARRL Special Services Club -- RACES -- ARES
P.O. Box 1442, Ridgecrest, California 93556-1442

THE AIRWAVES CALENDAR
SIERRA AMATEUR RADIO CLUB MEETINGS
Every   SARC Emergency Net
Monday  1930 hrs WA6YBN translator
Night   146.64 MHz (-600 kHz)
        Visitors welcome 
Feb 14  Board of Officers Meeting
        Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn  1900 hrs
Feb 14  Membership Meeting
        Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn
        Ready Room  1930 hrs
        Program  Emergency and CAP Communications
        By Phelps TerHeun KF6ZVD
Mar 14  Board of Officers Meeting
        Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn  1900 hrs
Mar 14  Membership Meeting
        Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn
        Ready Room  1930 hrs
        Program  Really Far Out Antennas
        By TerHeun and Overfelt
Apr 11  Board of Officers Meeting
        Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn  1900 hrs
Apr 11  Membership Meeting
        Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn
        Ready Room  1930 hrs
        Program  Home Brew Roundup
PUBLIC SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES
Feb 17  Twenty Mule Team  Twenty-four hour
        One hundred mile horse endurance ride
        Volunteers needed  See article
        Call Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV 375-7245
Mar 17  Geo Bun Buster
        Fifty mile horse endurance ride
        Volunteers needed  See article
        Call Hal Hazel KM6JM 371-3208
May 19-20  28th Death Valley to Mt. Whitney
        Two day bicycle race 
        Call Elvy  NØLV  384-3589
ACTIVITIES
Feb 17  Monthly Fox Hunt
        Heritage Inn parking lot  0900 hrs 
        Call Mike Herr WA6ARA 375-5324
AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE EXAMS
Apr 14  Volunteer License Exam Session
Second  Kern County Library  Ridgecrest Branch
Sat     131 East Las Flores Ave   Meeting Room
Even    Pre-register by 11 Apr  Walk-in?  Call
Months  All must register at 9 am  Code test 11 am
        Call Elvy Hopkins NØLV 384-3589


SARC says HELLO to all Amateur Radio Operators in Ridgecrest and the surrounding area

FROM THE PRESIDENT'S SHACK
by Mike Herr WA6ARA

It is February already. This is also the start of the SARC year. Many of you that are getting this newsletter may not be a SARC club member or perhaps were at one time. Those who have been and are SARC members, thank you, the club would not exist without you. But why have a club in the first place? In many cases, due to the very nature of radio and communications, Hams do not have to meet directly with others to enjoy our hobby. I believe the reason for the club to exist is so that we can help each other and accomplish more as a group by pooling our resources and efforts rather than separately going our own ways. I have put together a list of some of the areas that SARC, your local amateur radio club, supports.

        Local area repeaters (2 now, soon to be 4)
        Public service to the community
        Association with the national ARRL
        Volunteer Examination sessions
        Radio Frequency Interference committee
        SARC meetings and instructive programs
        Transmitter hunts
        Elmers (assistance for new Hams)
There are more, some trivial, completely unnoticed until needed. The point is that SARC is more than a meeting once a month. Over the years I have used the club repeaters to keep in contact with loved ones, listened to volunteers work to install an antenna for a disabled Ham and seen numerous folks I knew take and pass their Ham license because of SARC supported classes and volunteer examination (VE) sessions.

I encourage you all to join SARC, and even more important, to participate in the club. For some it will be public service, others perhaps building a repeater antenna, or simply sharing the knowledge you have. SARC is not perfect, but with your help we can improve it and enjoy it. If SARC needs a change or something adjusted, let me know.

73 and wishing you very good DX.

PROGRAM Wed 14 Feb
SARC second VP, Phelps TerHeun KF6ZVD, a long-time CAP member with many emergency communication experiences, will present a program containing: Overview of CAP communications, Emergency communications planning, Personal, club and sponsor protection against sue happy lawyers (without hiring one yourself) and he promises to do that all in forty-five minutes or less.

RENEW SARC MEMBERSHIP NOW
Yup. It is time to renew your SARC membership for 2001. Inflation has finally forced SARC to raise dues for only the second time since organizing in the mid-seventies. Memberships are now $20.00 individual, $30.00 family and $10.00 student/military. A three month grace period is given in which non-renewed members receive the AIRWAVES and the enclosed membership applications. After 31 March, non-renewed memberships are dropped from the mailing list. Support your friendly, local Amateur Radio club. Renew your membership at a meeting or by mail. The mailing address for SARC is on the application.

RAFFLE FOR N-I-C-E STRAIGHT KEY
Phelps TerHeun KF6ZVD, our new 2nd VP, has organized a raffle for a small, very attractive, gold plated straight key to raise money for SARC treasury. This key is in the $100 price range and would look really good at any Ham shack's operating position. It is the Millennium Key, #81 of 100, by Llaves Telegraficas Artesanas. Tickets are $5.00 each or three for $10.00. Get your tickets from Phelps. The key will be on display at meetings and the drawing will be at the June meeting.

LIBRARY NEWS

Roger Meng KA6CIE Memorial
SARC has recently added twelve books to those already donated to the Ridgecrest Branch of the Kern county library. This brings the total to thirty-eight amateur radio related books available to the community. These latest additions were made possible by Betty Meng KA6CIF, the wife of silent key Roger KA6CIE, who donated some of Roger's Ham gear to the club to be used as a memorial. The list of SARC presented books is enclosed with this issue of the AIRWAVES.

PUBLIC SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES

Twenty Mule Team Horse Ride 17 Feb
This is the granddaddy of horse rides in the IWV. It usually lasts the most of twenty-four hours. Six, eight, twelve and twenty-four shifts are possible for Hams working this endurance ride. Rider and horse logging, calling for the veterinarian, finding lost horses, getting the water wagon to its planned location etc. are a few of the things that come up. Anybody gotta bucketa oats? Call Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV at 375-7245 to participate in this marathon.

Coso Bun Buster Horse Ride Sat 17 Mar
This fifty mile horse ride runs the Owens River canyon in the vicinity of Coso Junction. Last year, radio spooks and goblins kept the afternoon interesting. Help keep Ham radio presence in our community on-going and visual. Sign up for this ride with Hal Hazel KM6JM, 371-3208.

Death Valley to Mt. Whitney 19-20 May
Now is not too early to begin thinking about this two day, nationally known bicycle race from Stovepipe Wells in Death Valley to Whitney Portals above Lone Pine. It is an early and long Saturday and ninety miles from home on Sunday. There is a free picnic in Lone Pine on Saturday. Call Elvy Hopkins NØLV at 384-3589 for information. A note about signing up. Doing these communications tasks well requires coordination and efficient use of operator experience and available radio equipment. Sign up as early as possible with the coordinators so they can plan efficient use of capabilities and assets.

RECENT SARC ACTIVITIES

Fire Mountain Fifty
by Dennis Farrell W6DWF
The annual Fire Mountain Fifty, a fifty mile horseback endurance ride, was held on Saturday, 20 January. Jerry Brooks KK6PA sited the Communications Van at the Valley Riders arena start location Friday evening. The van was manned at 0600 hrs to support an 0630 start. Supporting Hams started arriving at about 0630. Greg Roush WA7IRW had the SARC portable repeater operating at 0700, at which time, communications switched from simplex to the repeater.

The first horse arrived at the checkpoint one at 0710 and last of the 133 horses cleared that checkpoint at 0856. Just after 0900 two horses without riders appeared at the Rock Pile checkpoint and were soon to be rejoined with their riders. No injuries were reported, but one of the riders requested transportation for herself and horse back to the start point.

About 0930, increasing electrical interference made communications to and from the start location nearly impossible for over an hour, though no one else was affected. Based on all reports it was localized at the start point. Later discussion pointed toward wireless heart rate monitors being used on many of the horses as the probable cause of interference.

The ride continued without major incident. The last two riders cleared the Randsburg Wash Road checkpoint at 1600. The Wagon Wheel checkpoint closed at about 1650. At 1700 start point communications returned to the operator's vehicle and simplex operations were resumed so that Greg could disassemble the portable repeater. The last riders went through the Rock Pile at about 1730, and the Ham support was secured at that time. All Hams were invited to attend the tri-tip dinner held for the riders and participants.

Lessons learned: (a) Better routing information with checkpoint details would facilitate dispatching workers. (b) An alternate site for the communications van might eliminate interference. (c) Timely dispatch of workers would maximize use of time and assets.

Aside from the interference problem, there appeared to be no communications difficulties. The portable repeater worked well, as did the Communications Van. Operators working check points, water stops, vet checks and chasing the hay and water wagons for this event were Dave Hunter KC7CEX, Dennis Farrell W6DWF, Sam Ghaleb KG6EMT, Greg Roush WA7IRW, Hal Hazel KM6JM, Mike Pope KB6NIZ, Charlie Hawthorne AD6QK, Chris Hunter KC7WMM, Alex Higgins KD6ZUV and Phelps TerHeun KF6ZVD.

My thanks to all the participants whose support and coaching helped make up for my inexperience.

Monthly Fox Hunt
by Mike Herr WA6ARA
The T-Hunt last month on 13 January went well. This was a short hunt and at the new time of nine AM. Ralph Frasier KQ6UU was the fox. Participates included Greg Roush WA7IRW, Todd W6TOD and Pam KC6UUS Evans, Paula N6VGW and Mike WA6ARA Herr. Mike and Paula stumbled, 'er, found the fox first. It may be time to open up the boundary a tad.

Fox hunting can be done with a limited amount of equipment, as simple as just a hand held radio and your body. Come out on the Saturday following the SARC meeting, 17 February, at 0900 at the Heritage Inn parking lot. The frequency is 146.565 MHz.

PACQUET RACQUET
Invitation to a PSK31 Test
What is the best way to communicate with Bakersfield? As many of you know, our main emergency communications will be mostly with Bakersfield and Sacramento. With the link from Bird Springs repeater to Bakersfield via the Breckenridge repeater being sometimes on and sometimes off, we need a backup frequency to provide for disaster communications. Forty meters has always been considered the best band to use as the backup. However, it too is not one hundred percent reliable.

I have been looking for an additional band and mode to use. It is possible to talk to Bakersfield with a big station using voice SSB. However, Todd Evans W6TOD says even that is not consistently reliable from his location. The weak signal and narrow band width of PSK31 has an intriguing possibility both on forty meters and two meter SSB. There is even a possibility that it can be done on two meter FM. With that in mind I have contacted Marie Thompson N6ZFN, the west Kern RACES radio officer, to see if we can actually communicate using these modes. This project would be attempted using modest stations rather than something like Todd's giant VHF and UHF Yagis.

Hopefully, sometime in February, Marie and I will be able to schedule and attempt. PSK31 can be a fun mode. All that is needed is a computer with a sound card, some free software, and ten dollars worth of Radio Shack hardware. If anyone wants to participate or wants more information, give me a call at 446-2228.

IN THE MILL
Thank You
Bill Maraffio N6PR is a real whiz at computer programming. He wrote the software which downloaded the raw amateur radio license data from the FCC web site and processed it into a data base which is used to print the address labels for this issue of the AIRWAVES. He also removed known bad addresses, persons who have moved away and silent keys. SARC secretary, Tom Ingram WB6EPD, then went through the to assure that all SARC members were included (Have you told the FCC that you have moved since your license was renewed?) and finally printed the 318 address labels for this February mailing.

Among the data that Bill sorts out is soon to expire licenses. Check the list below for your call sign. They are in random order as the FCC data is.

Licenses Expiring in 2001

        KB6MCL  Aug 27
        KB6TOG  May 14
        KC6MNP  May 7
        KC6UTB  July 23
        KC6UTD  July 23
        KC6UTF  July 30
        KC6UUQ  May 7
        KC6UUR  May 7
        KC6UUS  May 7
        KC6UUT  May 7
        KC6UUU  May 7
        KC6YYS  July 23
        KC6YYT  July 23
        KC6YYU  July 23
        KC6ZCO  Aug 6
        KC6ZWX  Aug 20
        KD6AMB  Sept 3
        KD6EGM  Dec 31
        KD6EGO  Dec 31
        KM6FL   July 23
        N6JJQ   May 28
        N6MVX   Sept 3
        N6PCX   Jun 11
        N6YRY   May 7
        N6YUF   May 7
        WA6CLB  April 23
Show and Tell Program For April
SARC 2nd VP, Phelps TerHeun KF6ZVD, is looking for persons with home brew and construction projects that can be brought to the April meeting for a Show and Tell program. Any piece of equipment for Ham radio will be welcomed. Bring your pet project and show your construction prowess to the club. No fancy speech is required. A demonstration would be nice. Contact Phelps at 375-4905 or pterh@ridgenet.net.

SARC Web Site
SARC member Erik van Bronkhorst KC6UUT maintains a web page with the AIRWAVES and other Ham related information from the club archives. Thank you Erik for this valuable service.

OLD BUSINESS

Minutes, Board of Officers Meeting
by Elvy Hopkins NØLV

Location: John's Pizza at 12 noon on 3 Jan. Those present: Pres. Mike Herr WA6ARA, 1st VP Dave Stone KC6UUR, 2nd VP Phelps Terheun KF6ZVD, Treas. Ralph Frasier KQ6UU and AIRWAVES editor Elvy Hopkins NØLV.

Mike presented a straw man SARC budget for 2001. Discussion and filling of the blanks resulted in a complete document. Ralph will present a budget summary at each BoO.

Phelps presented a list of nine proposed meeting programs. Programs for Feb., Mar. and Apr. were solidified. Discussion on how to effect other programs followed. Phelps also showed a very small, very attractive, gold plated straight key and suggested that SARC sell raffle tickets for it to raise money. This plan was approved. Tickets will be $5.00 each or three for $10.00 with the drawing at the June general meeting.

Mike will write a letter to the Heritage Inn requesting the use of their conference room(s) for year 2001. Phelps will search Ridgecrest for a rent free meeting room. SARC has a web page done free gratis by Erik van Bronkhorst KC6UUT. Elvy will update the ARRL web site listing for SARC. Elvy was given permission to do the annual February all Hams in the IWV and surrounding area mailing of the AIRWAVES.

Minutes, Officer Installation Dinner
by Elvy Hopkins NØLV

The SARC officer installation dinner was held 10 January at the Texas Cattle Co. Twenty-nine SARC members and family celebrated the new Board of Officers. Fifty-fifty tickets were used to award door prized donated by Bob Huckins W6UPI, Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV and Erich Muscinske KA6AMD. All had many eyeball QSOs, good eats, good prizes, good time and a good night.

TREASURERS REPORT
from Ralph Frasier KQ6UU

As of 31 January 2001
        Share account   $5,001.27
        Draft account   497.31
        Total   $4,687.84
        Obligated funds 
	Relocate 147.00 repeater        574.86
        Balance $4,923.72
AUDIT COMMITTEE REPORT
The audit committee, Bill Maraffio N6PR, Larry Merwin KE6YLG, and Elvy Hopkins NØLV, met on 6 Feb. with Treasurer Ralph Frasier KQ6UU to review SARC financial records for the year 2000. All records balanced to the penny. Thank you Ralph.

WANTED WANTED WANTED

Claude Wood WA6YSQ is looking for old (1970's) linear device data books from Motorola, National, RCA, Signetics and Texas Instruments. Contact him at 377-5558 or cmwood@iwvisp.com

FOR SALE FOR SALE FOR SALE

MFJ 422B Electronic keyer/paddle. Uses Curtis 8044 ABM keyer IC. Manual says 8-50 wpm but will do much slower than 8 wpm if/when required. Can't attest to 50 wpm. Almost identical specs to current 422D model. Excellent physical and working condition. Just a bit dusty. $75

GAP Challenger DX-III and GAP Challenger DX vertical antennas. Operates 2, 6, 10, 12, 15, 20, 40, 80 meter bands. Both fully functional and operate within manufacturers specifications. $180 for DX-III, $100 for DX.

Heathkit SB-1000 1kW SSB PEP/850W CW linear amplifier. Operates 10, 12, 15, 20, 40, 80, 160 meter bands. Uses a single 3-500Z tube. Control cables made for Kenwood transceivers. Must see to appreciate. Kit put together by a master kit builder, perfectionist fanatic. Original owner, treated with TLC Super mint condition. $475

MFJ Differential-T antenna tuner, model MFJ-986. Covers 1.8-30 MHz. Rated at 3 kW PEP. Lighted peak/average reading cross-needle SWR/Wattmeter with 200/50W and 2000/500W ranges. Sides and top have minor scratches. Perfect working order. $175

Timewave DSP-59+ DSP audio noise reduction filter. Version 3.0 firmware. Reduces random noise, eliminates heterodynes. 225 combinations of high/lowpass filters for voice and digital modes. One tiny scratch on top cover. $175

Contact Hal, KM6JM, 382-0474 or km6jm@arrl.net

Contacting The AIRWAVES Editor Elvy Hopkins NØLV at 384-ELVY or e-mail ehopkins@ridgenet.net.

See     ya      in      da      funny   paperz. de NØLV

Updated Sat Feb 10 12:11:56 PST 2001