The Airwaves
February 2002
SIERRA AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
An ARRL Special Services Club -- RACES -- ARES
P.O. Box 1442, Ridgecrest, California 93556-1442

Board

Of

Officers

PresidentMike HerrWA6ARA375-5324
First Vice PresidentPhelps TerHeunKF6ZD375-4905
Second Vice PresidentTodd EvansW6TOD375-4240
SecretaryTom IngramWB6EPD375-7950
TreasurerPam EvansKC6UUS375-4240

SARC Owned and Maintained Repeaters
Randsburg WA6YBN 145.34 MHz (-600 kHz), PL 100.0 Hz, Wide Area Coverage, Emerg. Pwr.
Ridgecrest WA6YBN 146.64 MHz (-600 kHz), Translator, No Squelch Tail, Emergency Power
Ridgecrest WA6YBN 147.00 MHz (+600 kHz), PL 107.2 Hz, Autopatch (Phno, # Dn)
Ridgecrest YBNBBS:WA6YBN, 145.050 MHz, Bulletin Board, 1200 Baud
Ridgecrest #YBNSW:WA6YBN-4, 223.580 MHz, Node, 1200 Baud
Ridgecrest #YBNSW:WA6YBN-4, 439.025 MHz, Node, 9600 Baud


THE AIRWAVES CALENDAR
SIERRA AMATEUR RADIO CLUB MEETINGS
Every   SARC Emergency Net
Monday  1930 hrs WA6YBN Ridgecrest translator
Night   146.64 MHz (-600 kHz) and
	Randsburg repeater 145.34 MHz 
	(-600 kHz, PL 100.0 Hz)
	Visitors welcome
Feb 13  Board of Officers Meeting
	Second Wednesday Heritage Inn 1900 hrs
Feb 13  Membership Meeting
	Second Wednesday Heritage Inn
	Ready Room  1930 hrs
	Program: Video Tour of Local Ham shacks
	and the SARC Translator
Mar 13  Board of Officers Meeting
	Second Wednesday Heritage Inn 1900 hrs
Mar 13  Membership Meeting
	Second Wednesday Heritage Inn
	Ready Room 1930 hrs
	Program: Home Brew & Kit Show and Tell
Apr 10  Board of Officers Meeting
	Second Wednesday Heritage Inn 1900 hrs
Apr 10 Membership Meeting
	Second Wednesday Heritage Inn
	Ready Room 1930 hrs
 
PUBLIC  SERVICE  OPPORTUNITIES
Feb 16  Twenty Mule Team  Twenty-four hour
	One hundred mile horse endurance ride
	Call Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV 375-7245
Mar 16  Geo Bun Buster  See article
	Fifty mile horse endurance ride
	Call Hal Hazel KM6JM 371-3208
	May 18-19  29th Death Valley to Mt. Whitney
	Two day bicycle race 
	Call Elvy  NØLV  384-3589
ACTIVITIES
Feb 16  Monthly Fox Hunt    See article
	Heritage Inn parking lot  0900 hrs 
	Contact Mike Herr WA6ARA 375-5324
	E-mail herr@ridgenet.net 
AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE EXAMS
Apr 13  Volunteer License Exam Session
Second  Kern County Library  Ridgecrest Branch
Sat     131 East Las Flores Ave   Meeting Room
Even    Pre-register by 10 Apr  Walk-in?  Call
Months  All must register at 9 am  Code test 11 am
Contact Elvy Hopkins NØLV 384-3589
E-mail  ehopkins@ridgenet.net

THIS AIRWAVES IS BEING SENT TO YOU AS A PUBLIC SERVICE OF THE SIERRA AMATEUR RADIO CLUB

FROM THE PRESIDENT'S SHACK
by Mike Herr WA6ARA
Greetings one and all. The Sierra Amateur Radio Club is sending this issue of the AIRWAVES to all Hams in the Indian Wells Valley and surrounding towns. Basically, we are inviting you to join SARC. If you are already a member, great. If you have been a member before, then please consider rejoining us. If you have never been a member, come to our February meeting. If you like what you see and hear, we invite you to join us.

OK, so what do you get as a SARC member? Good question. To start with, SARC built, owns and operates two currently active repeaters, the 146.64 MHz (really a translator) in Ridgecrest and the 145.34 MHz at Randsburg. In the near future, the 147.00 MHz machine with autopatch will be operating in Ridgecrest with a link to Randsburg.

SARC also provides a packet bulletin board and two packet nodes for digital communication into and out of the IWV.

SARC supports the community through lending our communication skills to walking, bicycling and horse events and parades. We support amateur radio licensing and upgrades in the area by supplying volunteer examiners and a place to administer FCC exams. We hold monthly meetings with interesting topics, monthly transmitter hunts and an occasional field trip.

Indirectly, SARC supports you, the amateur. We are affiliated with the American Radio Relay League which is the national organization for Hams. SARC financially supports the ARRL effort for the preservation of amateur radio frequencies and antenna rights. SARC also financially supports AMSAT, the national organization which builds, launches and controls amateur communication satellites. Being part of SARC makes you a part of these efforts as well.

Most important, through SARC you are connected to other Hams in the area. While you will find as many opinions on what is the best rig or antenna as there are Hams, the local Hams are more than willing to help raise an antenna, walk you through setting up a new rig, experiment with a new mode or engage in a friendly chat. So give SARC a try. We welcome you.

MEETING PROGRAM Wed 13 Feb
Our new Second VP, Todd Evans W6TOD, has put together a video tour of local Ham shacks, the SARC 146.64 MHz translator and other things of interest. How do other Hams do it? What is that funny looking antenna? Come collect some new ideas for your Ham hobby.

TRIED A NEW MODE LATELY?
by Bill Burns WA6QYR
On 7 January at 8:40 pm Ed Munn W6OYJ in San Diego (DM12) and Bill Burns WA6QYR in Ridgecrest (DM15) completed a contact on 144.140 MHz using the new digital mode called WSJT which was recently announced in the December 2001 QST.

Following the exchange of calls and grid squares, we tried SSB and found it to be marginal quality. Both stations were running similar equipment, 100 Watts and 13 element beams. This was a first contact for both, so it took some time to iron out the cockpit problems. Ed transmitted during the first thirty seconds of the minute and Bill the last thirty. WWV on ten MHz was Bill's source of time. The program lets the operator select text to be exchanged. Usually it is kept short. This mode is for meteor scatter people wanting long haul contacts via the short trail of a meteor, definitely not for rag chewing. But for some of us looking to contact on the longer paths with noise level signals, this mode might help.

Lots of our contest microwave contacts end up CW and sometimes using airplane scatter or cloud bounce for that few seconds of enhancement. Ed noted, during the twenty minutes to get everything set up and information exchanged, that my signals had periods of enhancement, perhaps by aircraft coming or going in the Ontario or LAX areas between us.

The WSJT mode uses a computer-to-radio interface similar to PSK31. The sound card generates the tones in the program sequences for the radio to transmit. It also sorts out the sounds coming from the radio for analysis by the software. With Windows type display the operator has control of many functions used during the contact. WSJT uses much more bandwidth (2 kHz) than the PSK31 (31 Hz) so is easier to tune for the other station.

The software, along with a user manual, is free from pulsar.Princeton.edu/~joe/K1JT. There are several sources of interface hardware if you do not wish to build your own. RIGblaster from West Mountain Radio and MFJ have hardware and software for the digital modes. They do not yet have WSJT on their CD's. Either Bill or Ed can supply you with a schematic if you are a builder.

MEMBERSHIPS EXPIRE 31 DECEMBER

All SARC memberships expire on 31 December. Please use the enclosed Membership Application to renew. Year 2001 members will be given a three month grace period with applications enclosed in the Jan, Feb and Mar issues of the AIRWAVES.

If you do not receive an April AIRWAVES, gueswot u diddunt du? Avoid the rush, renew now.

AUDIT COMMITTEE REPORT

On 4 February, the Audit Committee performed an in-depth audit of 2001 SARC financial records kept by treasurer, Ralph Frasier KQ6UU. Thanks to very well kept and accurate records and Quicken, the audit went smoothly, but not quickly.

See the treasurer's report below for the final numbers. The records are now ready to turn over to the 2002 treasurer, Pam Evans KC6UUS.

Thanks to Ralph for two years of the painstaking work of accounting for every penny of SARC funds and thanks to the audit committee, Mike Herr WA6ARA, Phelps TerHeun KF6ZVD and Elvy Hopkins NØLV, for assuring that we are on sound financial footing.

PUBLIC SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES

Twenty Mule Team Sat 16 Feb
For a number of years, the IWV Ham community has been providing radio communication for the start/finish and check points at horse endurance ride events in and around our valley. Currently there are three, one in each of January, February and March. These are excellent opportunities to make our hobby more visible. We have become well known throughout the US for the safety we provide the riders and their horses.

This year the Twenty Mule Team Ride will be an international event. This means more horses and riders and more expertise in endurance riding. We have had an international event before and we had nearly 200 horses at that time. This year's Twenty Mule Team is on the 16 February and goes for 24 hrs (0600 to 0600) with start and finish at the fairgrounds. I solicit your assistance, even if only for an hour or two. Call me at 375-7245 or e-mail to wa6kzv@ridgenet.net.

Coso Bun Buster Sat 16 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 382-0474.

Death Valley to Mt. Whitney 18-19 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 ehopkins@ridgenet.net 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 your capabilities and assets.

REPEATER HAPPENINGS
by Elvy Hopkins NØLV
The 147.00 MHz repeater and 450 MHz link are languishing in my garage awaiting word from the east coast leagle beagle corpse (sic) of the owner of the proposed location as to whether our installation will be permitted.

COMING SARC ACTIVITIES

Transmitter Hunt Sat 16 Feb
Transmitter hunts are held in the IWV on the Saturday immediately following the SARC monthly meeting. We meet in the Heritage Inn parking lot at 9 am. Usually the fox is out hiding by then and the 146.565 MHz transmitter comes on every four minutes thirty seconds with a thirty second message. Now that we are using an automatic transmitter, the fox may or may not be in the area. Typically it takes about forty-five minutes to locate the fox. Equipment is easy. A small beam with an attenuator is ideal but the fox has been found with just a hand held and a rubber duck.

I am hoping to soon have a second transmitter to hide just to make things interesting. For a little more spice, the second transmitter will be capable of some new twists. Mode 1 will be the standard beacon mode. Mode 2 will sound the beacon, as the hunter requests it, by transmitting on a particular frequency. This can help you but also your opponent. Mode 3 will allow the fox to send comments and clues through a link.

If there is interest, we may schedule a hunt some day in a specific field, using only a handheld. Also, if the Saturday hunts are inconvenient due to other priorities, I am game for an alternate or additional hunt day, say a flex Friday or holiday.

For more information, contact Mike Herr WA6ARA at 375-5324 or herr@ridgenet.net.

Ed. note: The latest Ramsey catalog has two kits for fox hunters, one all-up screamer DDF1 for $150 and one that uses HT audio/RF DF1 for $60. Home page www.ramseykits.com

RECENT SARC ACTIVITIES

Fire Mountain Fifty Horse Ride
by Dave Stone KC6UUR
The ride started at 0630 hrs on Saturday 19 January. Seventy-six riders did the full fifty miles and thirty-five did the thirty mile loops. The last check point closed at 1712 hrs.

Early into the ride it became apparent that, due to some over exuberance or malicious sabotage by another activity in the same area as the horse ride, much of the course had become un-marked. Ride organizers were sent out via motorcycle to remark the trail. Some riders were very upset, but not with us or the ride organizers. Everyone was very happy with the way we helped work out the problem. Greg Roush was at one of the early check points and helped deal with it.

Only one horse needed a trailer ride down from the vet check. Water, feed, veterinarians and support crews were directed around the course as required. Keeping warm and out of the wind as much as possible was part of the day.

Greg Roush set up the SARC portable repeater the night before. It needed to warm up a bit the next day and he had to lower the output power to get it working, but otherwise it worked for the whole ride. Greg's new collinear antenna and duplexer scheme is putting out more signal than in the past. Phelps had a new vehicle with some antenna problems. 'Seems that a coaxial connector put on the night before in a high wind with not-big-enough soldering iron was the problem diagnosed by Greg's antenna analyzer.

The weather was cold but calm at the start of the day, but the wind kicked up in the afternoon. I can live with the cold, but when I started seeing horses roll by like tumbleweeds, I start to think a new hobby might be in order.

Greg says that the thirty mph winds made dismantling the portable repeater much more difficult that normal. He did like the strawberry crepes provided by the chef at checkpoint one.

Thank you to these SARC communicators, Mike Pope KB6NIZ, Greg Roush WA7IRW, Dennis Farrell W6DWF, Phelps TerHeun KF6ZVD and David Stone KC6UUR.

IN THE MILL

Bring Home Brew, Kits to March Meeting
SARC Program Chairman, Todd Evans W6TOD, is planning a Home Brew and Kit Builders Show and Tell for the March meeting. This is a program in which Hams, SWLers, home brewers and kit builders are asked to bring their pet projects to the meeting and give an informal talk, and demonstration if possible, about the why and how of their fun.

Magic Black Boxes, simple do-this-tuits, antennas, kits of any kind and whatever you hatched out yourself will be welcome. The presentation can be as simple or complicated as you wish.

A call to Todd, 375-4240, would be helpful, but don't let not doing that keep you from grabbing your pet gezachtasmalzit(s) as you run out the door to the March meeting.

ABOUT THE HANDOUTS
The keep-it sheets included with this AIRWAVES are general information usable by IWV Hams.

Are you having problems understanding how to do business with the FCC? ULS? CORES? FRN? TIN? The Registration and ULS sheet will guide you through the FCC generated haze of acronyms and assist you through CORES registration via the internet.
[see the FCC Amateur Radio Services web page for more information]

The book list is to make known the Ham related books that SARC has put into the Kern County library. Go browse the collection, take one home to read, find something new to build.

The Considerate Operator's Guide contains important frequency listings. Consult this list before transmitting in the Ham bands to keep from interfering with others of our diverse hobby as they pursue their specific interests.

The volunteer examination schedule gives dates, times and contacts of VE sessions in the towns surrounding Ridgecrest. This information can be used to locate the next available session and take that next license exam when you are ready and without waiting on the local bi-monthly session.

SARC supports local, public events with communications including a portable repeater installed as required. Consider joining us in this work which puts Amateur Radio into the public eye in a very positive way.

Please use the membership application when joining SARC and ordering a badge. These make our secretary and treasurer's jobs a lot easier.

OLD BUSINESS

Minutes, Board of Officers Meeting
by Tom Ingram WB6EPD
There was no BoO meeting on 9 January.

Minutes, Membership Meeting
by Elvy Hopkins NØLV
The annual officer non-installation dinner was held at The Texas Cattle Company Wed 9 Jan 2002. Nineteen members, spouses and harmonics attended. Due to vacation, travel and previous commitments, only two 2002 SARC officers were present. No installation ceremony was conducted. No oath of office was administered. Mucho prime rib, ground male bovine and other red neck delights were consumed.

A big THANKS goes to those who contributed items to the raffle. A KLM 100 Watt, 450 MHz amplifier was won by Keith Clark W6SIY with a 33 cent ticket. Erich Muschinske KA6AMD immediately jumped on that and purchased it for $70.

Gloria Frasier KG6FDV presided over the 50-50 drawing and the raffle tickets. Lots of eyeball QSOs and lots of fun was had by all.

THANK YOU
Thank you to Bill Maraffio N6PR who designed software to pull Ham addresses off the internet and provided the expiring license list.

TREASURERS REPORT
from Audit Committee As of 4 Feb 2002

Share account   $5379.09
Draft account   0.00
Total          $5379.09
Obligated funds 
Relocate 147.00 repeater   1374.86
Balance                   $4004.23
EXPIRING AMATEUR LICENSES
Expired in 2001
KC6MNP 5-07
KC6UTJ 5-07
KD6EGO 12-31

Expiring in 2002
AB6KV 4-21
KA2SIB 12-15
KC6BPH 8-25
KC6UTE 4-21
KD6GCZ 2-11
KD6IPN 4-21
KD6IPQ 4-21
KD6IPS 4-21
KD6IQB 4-21
KD6IQD 4-21
KD6IQE 4-21
KD6IQG 4-21
KD6IQK 4-21
KD6IQL 4-21
KD6IQM 4-21
KD6LRC 7-14
KD6MMI 8-4
KD6MMK 8-4
KD6MML 8-4
KD6MMM 8-4
KD6OYV 11-10
KE6NZE 4-21
KM6JM 5-19
KM6NN 5-26
KM6SZ 4-14
KM6WS 6-23
KM6ZP 8-18
N6EVF 5-5
N6FIC 6-16
N6PYN 12-22
N6VSF 4-21
N7TFZ 3-17
WA0TEF 7-21
WA6CAY 11-3
WA6QFD 3-24

See     ya      in      da      funny   paperz. de NØLV