THIS AIRWAVES IS BEING SENT TO YOU AS A PUBLIC SERVICE OF THE SIERRA AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
FROM THE PRESIDENT'S SHACK
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
TRIED A NEW MODE LATELY?
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
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 email@example.com.
Coso Bun Buster Sat 16 Mar
Death Valley to Mt. Whitney 18-19 May
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.
COMING SARC ACTIVITIES
Transmitter Hunt Sat 16 Feb
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
RECENT SARC ACTIVITIES
Fire Mountain Fifty Horse Ride
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
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
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.
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.
Minutes, Board of Officers Meeting
Minutes, Membership Meeting
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.
Share account $5379.09 Draft account 0.00 Total $5379.09 Obligated funds Relocate 147.00 repeater 1374.86 Balance $4004.23EXPIRING AMATEUR LICENSES
Expired in 2001
Expiring in 2002
See ya in da funny paperz. de NØLV