The Airwaves
February 2005
SIERRA AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
An ARRL Special Services Club
-- RACES -- ARES --
P.O. Box 1442, Ridgecrest, California 93556-1442

BOARD    President    Bill Burns    WA6QYR    375-8566   
    First VP    Paula Herr    N6VGW    375-5324   
OF    Second VP    Gene Brewer    KI6LO    446-1315   
    Secretary    Tom Ingram    WB6EPD    375-7950   
OFFICERS    Treasurer    Pam Evans    KC6UUS    375-4240   

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, linked to 145.34
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

SARC Committees

Technical Assistance: Greg, WA7IRW 446-4282 Public Relations: Paula, N6VGW 275-5224
Program: Gene, KI6LO Airways Editor: Mike, WA6ARA 275-5224
RF Interference: Bill, WA6QYR 275-8566 Emergency and Public Service: Jerry, KK6PA 446-2228


THE AIRWAVES CALENDAR

Every Monday Night
    ARRL Audio News
    1910 (7:10 p.m.) on 146.64 MHz
    SARC Net - Visitors Welcomed!
    1930 hrs (730pm) 
    WA6YBN Translator 146.64 MHz (-)

Feb 09  FOXHUNTING!
    Join the South Shore Foxhunters 
    Association of Massachusetts as they 
    track a wily radio "fox." Learn the tricks
    of radio direction finding!

    Produced by Bob Doherty, K1VV and Don 
    Tanguay, N1DT, members of the Marconi
    Amateur Radio Club, W1AA.
AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE EXAMS
Second Sat, Even months
Feb 12   Volunteer License Exam Sessions
    Kern County Library Ridgecrest Branch
    131 East Las Flores Ave. Meeting Room
    Pre-registration ONLY by 9 Feb 
    All must sign in at 9 am. Code test 11 am
    Contact Elvy NØLV 760-384-3589
    E-mail ehopkins@ridgenet.net
    Dates for the rest of the year are:
                09 Apr
		11 Jun
		13 Aug
		08 Oct
		10 Dec

From the President's Shack

Thanks to all who made the installation dinner. I would like to thank all the 2004 officers for their service to the Club. Again thanks to Gene, KI6LO for volunteering to cover the program VP slot and the returning officers for another year. The installation dinner was a success with some 30 folks turning out for the fellowship and good food. Thanks to those who carried in extra prizes in addition to those purchased by the club. As we look into the coming year with BPL and other issues of spectrum shuffles on the horizon, it is up to us to keep abreast of the issues and let our governmental representatives know what we think.

The January Fire Mountain fifty mile horse ride was another interesting communications event. This time there were a good number of volunteers out to make it a success for both SARC and the riders. It is nice to hear riders express their thanks for being out there to support them. Coming up in February will the 100-mile ride, which will take more volunteers over the course of 24 hours. I hope many of you will take that opportunity to sign up for a time period or go out with an experienced operator to learn the 'ropes' of communications in the field. These are great times to learn first hand what might come up in the 'big one' if and when it comes our way.

73's Bill WA6QYR


TREASURER'S REPORT

Treasurer's Report As of January 24, 2005: 
Draft Account	$   802.60
Share Account	$ 5,517.50
BALANCE:	$ 6,320.10
Submitted by Pam Evans, KC6UUS

And Speaking of the Treasurer'­s report:
Time for the audit of the SARC books. Phelps, W6PTH, Bob, K6WAG and Bruce N8RXJ volunteered for the audit committee. The audit was held 28 January. The books were found to be in excellent shape.
Thanks guys!


Indian Wells Valley Emergency Net Report

Check ins
January 10 - 17
January 17 - 12
January 24 - 15
January 31 - 16
Thanks to Jerry, KK6PA, for taking part of January. The Net Control Op for February will be Bill, WA6QYR.
...Mike Herr WA6ARA


Fire Mountain Fifty Horse Ride

All went well with the Fire Mountain Fifty Horse Ride. The weather was good. The ride started at 0630 and the last rider was past the last water stop at about 1800. Hams who helped included: KG6STR, WA6QYR, WB6EPD, WA7IRW, KI6LO, W6PTH, KC6UUR


EAST KERN COUNTY ARES/RACES NEWS

THEY ARE FREE! I have some more 7.5 Ah 12VDC batteries available at no cost. I have tested them to confirm their amp-hour capability. Although they are "previously owned", they still meet the specs for new batteries. If you want any, call me or email me at
kk6pa@hotmail.com

I received a call from Mark Wells, KF6CZE on January 8th of this year. Mark is the Liaison Officer for the San Bernardino County Emergency Communications Service (SBCECS). This County organization is establishing communications and contacts with the counties that border San Berdu County, including Clark Co. in Nevada. I'm meeting with Mark and the SPCECS Chief Radio Officer on February 15th. We'll be discussing establishing mutual assistance between the East Kern County ARES/RACES and the Service during a disaster. We hope to include each other in future disaster drills.

I have been checking in with the West KC Monday Night ARES/RACES net at 1900 in an effort to establish regular communications and contacts with Bakersfield. I am checking in on the Bird Springs repeater when they call me. Then one of the hams in Bakersfield who can hear the repeater relays my checkin to the net control. I hope this will help reduce any confusion and increase responses from hams in the Bakersfield area should we have need of emergency communications with them. It's been interesting setting it up. I haven't been able to get to Bakersfield directly on VHF/UHF. This lack of reliable communications was a compelling reason for assembling the portable crossband repeater. I have since found out that many hams in the south side of Bakersfield can reach the Randsburg repeater, 145.34. Our ARES/RACES portable crossband repeater will still be placed up on the ridge back of the college to allow us to talk to Lancaster/Palmdale and to Bakersfield if a major disaster wipes out the Randsburg repeater.

The stay-at-home drill I am working on is taking a lot more time and work than I thought it would. I am now into creating all of the messages for the drill, little by little. After the messages are finished, the timing to insert them into the drill will have to be done. Trying to get them organized is a real chore. Will everything be ready for sometime in February? I'll try, but I'm not making any promises.

The RACES part of the East Kern Co. ARES/RACES is a Kern Co. volunteer organization. Our first official line of contact with the Kern County has been with Charles Conner, the Kern Co. Emergency Services Manager. Charles retired earlier this month. He has religiously supported RACES and all disaster planning activity in the IWV for many, many years. His support has really been appreciated. The County is holding a retirement party for him on January 21st in Bakersfield. I'll be attending the party. You are welcome to drive over with me to attend the party. Just let me know before the party.

Jerry Brooks, KK6PA
EC/RO EKC ARES/RACES
kk6pa@hotmail.com


Annual SARC Installation Dinner

The Annual SARC Installation Dinner was held at Texas Cattle Company on 12 January. A great time was had by all. Tom Ingram, WB6EPD, won the grand prize of a VX- 150 2 meter HT. Other prizes included a some ARRL publications and AES gift certificates.


THE DEMISE OF THE PACKET RADIO NATIONAL TRAFFIC SYSTEM

The National Traffic System (NTS) has for years touted the Packet Radio system as THE way to send out Health and Welfare messages from a disaster area. Even when the Packet system was in full swing (before email) the delivery success rate was not very good. Long delays were also experienced while waiting for responses. Since email has grown so in popularity the Packet Radio system is gradually dying out from lack of use. Last year the ARRL gave their blessing to the WINLINK 2000 (WL2K) system that has been established within the US over the last several years. This system consists of HF Pactor nodes. Thirty-one in all in the US alone. Email formatted messages and NTS messages can be sent from an HF Pactor station in a disaster area to whichever node can be heard. The typical bands are 20 and 30 meters. With a complete WL2K station, email can be sent to the nodes via a local VHF/UHF packet radio net. A complete WL2K station is being planned for sometime this year. The old 222 mhz portable packet stations will also be phased out for two reasons. First, there are no new 222 mhz radios being manufactured. Second, the stations can't accept email formatted messages. The equipment from the portable stations will be assembled to provide portable packet stations for California City. In addition, one new packet station will be assigned to Cal City so they can send email messages to the new WL2K station.

Once the WL2K station is assembled, work will start on an instruction pamphlet and on training.

Jerry Brooks, KK6PA
EC/RO EKC ARES/RACES
kk6pa@hotmail.com


BPL in the News
And some good news on the BPL front.

**************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 23, No. 49
December 17, 2004
***************

MAJOR ISP TELLS FCC BPL NOT A "COMMERCIALLY VIABLE ALTERNATIVE" TO CABLE, DSL

Officials of Internet service provider EarthLink told the FCC that
broadband over power line (BPL) cannot compete with the dominant
cable or DSL technology today or in the near future. A BPL industry
spokesperson subsequently criticized the ARRL apparently for reporting
the company's statements. EarthLink President and CEO Garry Betty
and other company officials met November 16 with FCC Chairman Michael
Powell and Commission attorney Aaron Goldberger to deliver an ex
parte presentation on several Wireline Competition Bureau and Common
Carrier Bureau proceedings.

"EarthLink discussed that it has invested in and is in trials with
several potential 'third wire' broadband transmission paths to the
home, including WiFi, WiMax, MMDS and broadband over power lines,"
EarthLink Counsel Mark J. O'Connor informed FCC Secretary Marlene
Dortch in a November 17 letter. "However, EarthLink pointed out
that cable and DSL still account for virtually all consumer broadband
connections and that none of these alternative technologies offer
a commercially viable alternative today or in the near future."

An EarthLink analysis indicated that BPL is the most expensive of
the broadband technologies it evaluated. In a chart titled "Next
generation broadband," EarthLink said that wireless and BPL "are
not likely to be competitive in cost and performance with cable and
DSL over the last mile to the home."

EarthLink judged as "not successful" one unspecified BPL technical
trial using Amperion equipment in a "wireless / BPL combo." In
discussing other trials using Ambient and Current Technologies
equipment--in one of which EarthLink had invested--the ISP's
assessment was that the high cost per household passed--$125 in
both instances--would require a better than 15 percent market
penetration to attain a competitive cost.

EarthLink said its assessment determined that ADSL2+ 
technology is the "best option" and can offer VoIP as well 
as high-speed broadband (at 6 to 10 Mbps) and video 
over copper wire and using on-premise consumer 
equipment. The company also indicated that it plans to 
invest in ADSL2+ technology. The company's
ex parte submission [pdf document]
is available on the FCC Web site.

ARRL's reporting of EarthLink's submission to the FCC 
apparently struck a nerve at Ambient, with which 
EarthLink has a business relationship. In a classic case of 
shooting the messenger, Ambient CEO John J. Joyce 
took the League to task on behalf of the BPL industry in a 
statement posted via Market Wire on the 
CBS MarketWatch.com Web site. 
Joyce seemed to suggest that the League itself had 
provided the EarthLink information and was spinning the 
company's remarks to advantage.

"The release by the ARRL clearly takes the statements of EarthLink's
attorney out of context and conveniently ignores many developments
in the industry that contradict ARRL's conclusions," Joyce said,
adding that 2005 promises to be "the year of BPL."

Among other things, Joyce said that "the ARRL perception of BPL's
economics fails to consider that consumer broadband is only one
application for a BPL- enabled utility system." he said there are
other industrial applications that may augur in BPL's economic
favor. He also emphasized that the projects with which his company
and EarthLink have collaborated were demonstrations "never intended
to be competitive installations" and are "in no way representative
of BPL economics."

ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, said the League stands by its account,
which Joyce characterized as a "claim" on the ARRL's part. "ARRL's
report on the document was accurate in every way, and we stand by
our report," he said. "The conclusions given are not ours, but
EarthLink's.  Anyone who wishes to do so can read the submission
for themselves."

Looking for News, Ads or Comments!

I'­m always looking for local news for and about the IWV amateur radio community. Also, if you have something for sale or are looking for something else, drop me a line and Iíll put it in the Airwaves.

Ok, let'­s say you have some news for the Airwaves. How do you get it in. Well, the best way is if you can send it to me electronically, ie email. The text can be in Word or Works, but the most universal is as text body of the email, no HTML, PLEASE!

However, if you don'­t have email, I can take paper copy. You can send it to me at 613 Rebel Road, Ridgecrest.

NOTE: Email, while fast and easy, it is not 100% reliable. If I get Airwaves input via Email, I will send a note back as a receipt. If you don't get a receipt back, then likely I didn't get it.
...Editor, Mike, WA6ARA, herr@ridgenet.net


SARC Membership / Newsletter

Remember that the SARC newsletter is now available via email, in TWO formats, Adobe Acrobat PDF and in plain text. The PDF version is complete, and in color, but you will need Acrobat Reader to view it. Most have it and it is available free to both PC and Mac users. The plain text version can be read by just about anything! ...but you lose the graphics.
If you want the newsletter via Email make sure you check the proper box on the membership form, add your email address and the version you want. If you have already renewed and want to convert to email, or have changed your email address, drop the secretary, Tom Ingram, WB6EPD, (375-7950) a note, as he is keeping the email address lists.
...Editor, Mike, WA6ARA, herr@ridgenet.net


RACES, ARES and INDIAN WELLS VALLEY EMERGENCY NET MEMBERS

In case of impending or current emergency, monitor the SARC translator on 146.64/04 MHz or the backup simplex frequency of 146.52 MHz. KK6PA, Jerry, the local RACES EC, will coordinate mobilization. An Emergency Net Control Station will direct radio communications. Check in. State your capabilities. Be prepared to go outside the IWV for at least three days.

An E-Pac should contain: your RACES card, radios and accessories, batteries, charger, paper, pen, clipboard, flashlight with spare batteries, timepiece, headgear, sunglasses, spare glasses, your medications, your medical history, first aid kit, severe weather clothing, non-perishable food, 3 gal. water, sleeping bag.


Updated Sun Mar 13 18:33:50 PST 2005