The Airwaves
February 1997
SIERRA AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
An ARRL Special Services Club -- RACES -- ARES
P.O. Box 1442, Ridgecrest, California 93556-1442

THE AIRWAVES CALENDAR
SARC MEETINGS
Feb 5	SARC Board of Officers Meeting
	Heritage Inn 1730 hrs
Feb 12	Membership Meeting
	NEW MEETING DAY
	Second Wednesday, Heritage Inn
	Flight Deck Room  1930 hrs
	Program: FAA Communications by KE6KIJ
	NEW MEETING LOCATION
Mondays	SARC Emergency Net
	Every Monday 1930 hrs WA6YBN
	Translator 146.64 MHz (-600 kHz)

PUBLIC SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES
Feb 15	20 Mule Team 100 Mile Horse Ride
	Show up early. 6:00 am start, 24 hour ride
	Rancho Bahada @ Springer/Gateway
	Contact Lloyd WA6KZV 375-7245
 
LICENSE CLASSES AND EXAMS
Feb 7-9 Amateur License Cram Class
	Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV will conduct an
	Amateur Radio License Cram Class
	at the Red Cross Office.
	Call Lloyd, 375-7245,
	for more information. See article.
Mar 1	Volunteer License Exam Session
	Kerr-McGee Center  0900-1200 hrs
May 2-4 Amateur License Cram Class
	Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV will conduct an
	Amateur Radio License Cram Class
	at the Red Cross Office.
	Call Lloyd, 375-7245, for more information.
May 10	Volunteer License Exam Session
	Kerr-McGee Center  0900-1200 hrs
Jun 21	Volunteer License Exam Session
	Kerr-McGee Center  0900-1200 hrs
Oct 31, Nov 1 & 2 Amateur License Cram Class
	Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV will conduct an
	Amateur Radio License Cram Class
	at the Red Cross Office.
	Call Lloyd, 375-7245, for more information.
Nov 8	Volunteer License Exam Session
	Kerr-McGee Center  0900-1200 hrs
Fall Sem Introduction to Amateur Radio 
	Cerro Coso Community College offers this
	course leading to Novice and Technician licenses.
	The electronic lab has operating HF, VHF, data
	and voice stations. Course number is ET 69 ar.
	Two units.
FROM THE PRESIDENT'S SHACK
by Charley Hawthorne KE6WQR
Well, here I am again up on my soapbox shouting and gesticulating wildly. No big deal this month though, I just want to remind you that it is time to do something about joining the club or supporting SARC repeaters. As of 8 January only fourteen members had filled in their application forms, written a check and given them to our treasurer Mark Rosenthal. Now I know that everybody out there wants to join, so I guess it is the form that is scaring them. SARC is beginning a new data base and needs the information. We need to know who you are, where to send your mail and be able to tell the ARRL how many of our members belong to ARRL. If you find that you simply cannot stand the thought of filling out that form, bring it to me. I will fill it out for you while you just talk. Enough on this subject and on to something else. There are probably a lot of people out there who do not want to join the club. They may have something else to do on meeting nights. They may not want to interact with a club. No matter! For t

ELECTION AT FEBRUARY MEETING
SARC has no second vice president because there was no candidate for that office at the December election. Our president has canvassed the unsuccessful candidates in search of a 2nd VP. Larry Merwin KE6YLG, an unsuccessful candidate for 1st VP and treasurer, has agreed to run for 2nd VP at the election which will be held at the February meeting. At this time, Larry is unopposed in his bid for Program Committee Chairman. Nominations will be taken from the floor.

FEBRUARY MEETING PROGRAM
The program for the February meeting will be about Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) communications and data transmission in southern California. Michael Semingson KE6KIJ, a twenty year veteran of the FAA, is an Airway Transportation System Specialist and has much experience in service and maintenance of FAA communications and radar equipments.

Michael will have an RF power meter and an accurate frequency meter at the meeting. He invites all to bring their 144, 220 and 450 MHz hand-helds to be measured. If your HT antenna connector is not a BNC, bring an adapter to a BNC cable plug.

FEBRUARY LICENSE CRAM CLASS
The twice rescheduled License Cram Class, currently planned for 7, 8 and 9 February, is in danger of being canceled for lack of participation. Lloyd Brubaker must have at least three enrollees or he will cancel the class. Call Lloyd at 375-7245 to enroll.

HAM CLASSES IN THE IWV
by Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV
Amateur radio license classes are being conducted in the IWV both at Cerro Coso Community College and as SARC License Cram Classes on four weekends of the year. The HAM classes at the college are part of basic electronics classes and can be found in the course catalog each semester. A good background in the fundamentals of electronics is given along with the basics needed for the Novice and Technician Class licenses. This is an outstanding way to get started in the wonderful world of Amateur Radio.

For those who cannot make the evening classes at CCCC, a one week-end cram class in which examinations are given for drill and explanations are provided to help over the rough spots. About eight standard exams are given then each item missed is reviewed, explained and discussed. Questions not covered by the exams are presented, as are video tapes on subjects such as packet radio. About a week after each of these classes a Volunteer Examination Session is held to qualify for the license. Contact the Cerro Coso Community College (384-6100) or Lloyd Brubaker (375-7245) for more information.

THE HAM POPULATION IN THE IWV
by Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV
Just in case you are wondering how big HAM Radio has become in the Indian Wells Valley here are a few facts that will help.

There are 392 HAMs in the valley. They come and go as any population does so it's hard to find out exactly how many at any one time. Check the internet to find out precisely. There are 35 Extra class, (all of whom should be Volunteer Examiners) 76 Advanced class, 50 General class, 114 Technician Plus, (with HF privileges) 14 Technicians (no code) and 30Novices.

The Amateur Radio hobby is really a whole basket of hobbies that defies tabulation. We have people who are interested in moon bounce, QRP (low power), packet, CW (code), DX (long distance communication), public service, disaster preparedness, traffic handling, equipment building, rag chewing, short wave listening and HAM conventions to name just a few. And, of course, everybody is interested in getting a new piece of gear for the HAM shack.

As you can see from this month's articles, we have lots of activities that come under the title of public service. In fact, that's why we are called the Amateur Radio Service. We often have more than one activity on a week-end and that is why we invite you to join the Sierra Amateur Radio Club and get in on the fun.

RACES
by Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV
We have a very active Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service group in the valley. Currently there are about seventy members carrying ID cards as Disaster Service Volunteers for Eastern Kern County. Training is given from time to time in a classroom environment and even more often in network operations for public service events. We have equipment especially for these events in the form of a communications trailer and van, a tower trailer with a 60 ft. crank up and a 3.5 kW generator for emergency power. A net meets every Monday night at 1930 hours on 146.64 MHz for training and social activities. Training is also provided by the city and country as well. The Emergency Services Committee meets on the first Thursday of the month at 1100 hours in the Kerr-McGee Center. Here all of the city agencies as well as the utilities and other agencies meet to plan drills and keep themselves posted on the state of preparedness for major disasters.

It doesn't take a lot of time to become prepared and to keep up with the latest doings of the Office of Emergency Preparedness. Now is a good time to begin. Contact Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV (375-7245) and find out how you can help.

RECENT SARC ACTIVITIES

Windy Sunday
by Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV
On Sunday afternoon, December 22, 1996, a ordinary desert wind decided to take full advantage of the weather map and wound up to near hurricane proportions. A number of electric power poles in the IWV snapped during the nearly two hour storm rendering most of Ridgecrest and Inyokern powerless. When power went out the SARC Indian Wells Valley Emergency Net activated and HAMs all over the valley began to tune into the WA6YBN translator. Before it was over, twenty-eight stations had checked in. At about 1400 hrs RACES was activated via the police dispatcher and verified by phone. N6YRW was sent to the EOC at the city hall. No other amateurs were fielded. Other nets were monitored and KA6NHO linked the valley to Bakersfield which, in turn, connected us to the Region in Fresno. The EOCs in those cities monitored our traffic. Highway 178 was blocked from Jacks Ranch Road to Brady St. with downed power lines. Poles were snapped across the street from the Community Hospital. Highway 395 was blocked for several hours

SARC Officers Installed at Banquet
The 1997 SARC officers were installed at a banquet held in their honor at Farris' Fine Dining on the evening of 13 January. The food was excellent. Conversation was spirited. Twenty-one diners, three kibitzers and three visitors all had a really good time.

The door prize, a white 36" x 72" interior closet door complete with hardware, was won by Jerry Brooks KK6PA who auctioned it off to the lowest bidder - "free if you take it with you now". The door prize was last seen departing under the arm of Jack McMillan K6JLZ aided by Cliff Caplinger W7PFC. Ann McMillan WD6AYI kept muttering under her breath "What's he going to do with that?"

Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV, the banquet organizer, said that next year different arrangements for reservations and payment will have to be made. Lloyd had reservations for thirty-five persons agreeing to pay at the door. Mr. Farris prepared food for thirty-five. Twenty-two diners honored their reservations which left thirteen unpaid. Farris graciously charged us for only twenty-five dinners leaving the SARC treasury to pay for three. The door prize ticket receipts covered this with $.50 to spare. Can the donor of the door prize take a $38 deduction on his income tax?

Fire Mountain 50 Horse Ride
by Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV
Over 100 riders departed at 0600 hours from the Fire Mountain Fifty corrals on Saturday the 25th of January. The weather looked ominous and became wet and windy before the mourning (sic) was over. In the afternoon the wind took over and gave the crew in the communications trailer a ride while sitting in one place. While the evaporation was speeded up by the wind and not compensated for by the rain the dryness gave some of the horses dehydration problems. However, the fifty mile ride went faster than previous years. The last riders came in about 1600 which is some kind of a record.

KF6BCN, WB6EPD, KM6JM, WA6QYR, KE6SMA, KC6UUR and KD6ZUV took care of the field duties KC6UTF did yeoman service as net control and WA6KZV helped out where he could. The Fire Mountain Fifty crews know how to use the HAMs and they kept us busy and informed throughout the ride. Everything went smoothly except the weather.

The use of the communications trailer at base camp was found to be very worth while. It gave the radio operators shelter from the adverse weather and also gave them more frequency options. The trailer has base station radios covering 440, 220 and 144 MHz bands. Desk space and more room than an automobile gives the NCS more holding power over a long haul. Learning how to use the communications trailer is not the least of the advantages. Also we find things that can be improved upon such as a fiberglass roof with an imbedded sheet of iron to make mag mounts work. Cabinets are coming slowly but surely. One last thing: Does anyone know where the third folding chair went? It has "RACES" written in large white letter on the underside of the seat.

REPEATER HAPPENINGS

Translator Back On Battery Power
by Elvy Hopkins ND6Q
Two days after the big wind on 23 December ND6Q and Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV put the 146.64 Translator back on battery power. Since it's NiCd battery went bad several months ago, it has been running on only a power supply. There are plans to purchase a solar panel, charge controller and a deep cycle lead-acid battery with RACES funds. This plan has one major defect. The $300 solar panel puts out only one amp which is only enough to maintain a fully charged battery but is insufficient to fully charge it after it has been discharged during a power outage.

A search is on for a power supply/smart battery charger which can power the translator, switch to battery, charge the battery quickly when line power is restored then maintain the battery at full state of charge. The Astron RS-10A-BB will not do the job. It is also only a charge maintainer and will not fully charge a discharged battery. If anyone knows of such device in SARC's price range, please let the author know, posty-hasty at ehopkins@ridgecrest.ca.us or 384-3589.

Packet Racket
by Jerry Brooks KK6PA
Who says no one uses packet in the IWV? I have just completed a two week survey of packet use on 145.050, the 146.64 translator, and the 147.000 repeater. All are owned by SARC. Packet averaged 8.5 connects per day. The 146.64 translator averaged 6.4 uses per day. The 147.00 El Paso machine averaged 5.1 uses per day. (Ed. note. Jerry follows the chickens to bed - after 9 pm isn't included.) As you can see, packet gets more use than either one of the local voice repeaters. I didn't survey 145.34 Randsburg machine because it is used extensively by out-of-valley HAMs.

WA6YBN:YBNBBS and its associated node, #YBNSW:WA6YBN-4, are the central source of message traffic in the IWV. #YBNSW:WA6YBN-4 is connected to YBNBBS via a software connection. When you send a connection to YBNBBS, YBN-4 hears it and automatically passes it on to YBNBBS. You can connect to YBNBBS on any of its four frequencies

YBN-4 has four transceivers on it.

Port A: 223.58, 1200 baud DCD Network link via IWV220 node using a dual port DRSI internal card. The xcvr is a - Midland 13-509 into a Ringo Ranger Vertical.

Port B: 145.05 MHz, 1200 baud A user port using a dual port DRSI internal card TNC. The xcvr is a Motorola Mitrek with a dual band collinear vertical.

Port C: 439.025 MHz, 9600 baud Network link with ELPASO node into a Kantronics PK-96 TNC. The xcvr is Motorola Mitrek - into a dual band collinear vertical.

Port D: 431.025 MHz, 9600 baud Network link with BIRD node. The xcvr is a Motorola Mitrek with a dual band collinear vertical.

Port A is a backbone link into the Erich Muschinske KA6AMD IWV system. A back bone is the main system for transferring messages. Although HAMs can operate on this system, it is generally recommended that you use the 145.050 BBS on port B.

Port B is for every day users of packet. This is where you can leave messages. The BBS will route them out according to the address you place on your message. Nodes will NOT accept messages. Only the BBS does that.

Port C is a backbone link into the Jon Eastman KB6ZBI PALM system. The link is through the Jan Barglowski KC6UTH ELPASO node. This is presently our only operating backbone link out of the valley. This is how our messages enter and leave the valley. It is also a user frequency. You can use 9600 baud and a 440 xcvr to connect to any of the other 9600 baud nodes in the valley.

Port D is a backbone link into the Erich Muschinske KA6AMD BIRD node. Right now, it goes nowhere. It is the first part of an upcoming backbone that will handle emergency RACES traffic. This future link is waiting for the KB6ZBI soon-to-be-installed SHIRLEY node. The SHIRLEY node will ultimately link into the San Joaquin Valley 2400 baud backbone system.

ELPASO node: The ELPASO node will get to PALM and the AVBBS. It will also get you to AB6QV which has an internet gateway. If you want to take the time to figure it all out, you can send messages out on the internet. There are also some overseas stations that surf the internet and will occasionally check into YBNBBS.

IYK/ELPASO link: IYK is a 1200 baud node on 145.010 MHz. If you happen to have a crystal rig that transmits on 145.050, you can use WA6YBN-4 to get to it. First, connect to WA6YBN-4. Then send a connect command to ELPASO then to IYK. ELPASO and IYK are linked together by a software path similar YBN-4 and YBNBBS. Once you are connected to IYK, you can go from there. You can also connect direct to IYK on 145.010.

IWV Nodes: The Erich Mushinske IWV nodes are hooked up to three transmitters on 145.61 MHz (1200bd), 223.58 MHz (1200bd) and 439.025 MHz (9600bd). Their calls are IWV:KA6AMD-4, IWV220:KA6AMD-5, and IWV96:KA6AMD-6 respectively. You can connect to any of the three nodes directly on their own frequencies. IWV can presently allow you to connect to Las Vegas via VEGAS and then to the N0IA NTSBBS. I hope to get Erich to setup his IWV system to receive all of the message traffic from a future 9600 baud, 440 backbone link into Las Vegas. He doesn't know I'm going ask him to do this so don't tell him. If this comes about, we'll probably be passing traffic on to PALM instead of us getting traffic from him. These three paths will give redundancy in case of emergencies and for backup should any of the links breakdown.

There is also a packet cluster available. W6EFB runs one as JA1MAR on 145.690. It is a DX spotting system that will tell you about recently heard DX. A HAM who participates in the cluster hears a DX station. That person then puts the information on the cluster for other HAMs to see. By digipeating through JA1MAR you can connect to the DXCLUSTER yourself.

See the enclosed packet handout for comments about the Hugh Anderson K6YYJ HF system. I'll be glad to field any questions you have. Jerry Brooks KK6PA 446-2228, kk6pa@ridgecrest.ca.us

BOARD OF OFFICERS MINUTES
by Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV
8 January 1997 Our first meeting at The Heritage Inn. The meeting was called to order at 1730 hrs by the President Charley Hawthorne. Present were the following board members: Dave Stone, Lloyd Brubaker, Mark Rosenthal. Also present were the following: Immediate past President Mark Ball, Immediate past 2nd vice president Mike Cash and AIRWAVES editor Elvy Hopkins (also chairman of the Audit Committee). Dave Shipley was also briefly present to be sure that the new meeting room was satisfactory and as arranged for. It was pointed out that the minutes of previous meetings was published in THE AIRWAVES. (1) The lack of a 2nd VP was discussed. Program suggestions were listed. It appears that only a few dates yet remain to be filled. (2) Contributing authors are needed for THE AIRWAVES. Members are encouraged to submit articles on their Amateur Radio activities or observations. (3) A SARC Web Page will soon be in place. There will be a link to SARC from the Ridgenet Community Page. (Thanks Larry KN6WI) (4) A lette

TREASURERS REPORT
by Mark Rosenthal N6BVP
As of 29 January

Shares	$1,495.18
Draft	 1,952.63
Obligated	
Relocate 147.00 repeater  1,200.00
Emerg. pwr. for 146.04	    300.00
Balance	                 $1,947.81
THANK YOU
A great big thank you goes to Bill Maraffio N6PR for collecting the raw data and writing the software to organize and print the 400 address labels used to mail this issue of THE AIRWAVES.

Thanks to Bob Huckins W6UPI, Monty Shinn W6PFR and Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV for reviewing the mailing list.

Thanks to Mark Rosenthal N6BVP for helping apply address labels and use of his postage meter to save stamp licking.

ERRATA
Ole Ed hisself did a beauty last issue. The SARC Membership Application, which is supposed to be two sided sheet, was split with other parts of THE AIRWAVES on it's back sides. OK for single membership, but, families had a two-sheeter. Sorry about that. I'm still learning about this job - by making mistakes. And speaking of mistakes, PackWrap shorted me eleven copies so I did it right for the last eleven.

Ole Ed found a "*" where a "#" should have been in the header denoting how to bring the 147.00 autopatch down. This has been wrong since October and no one has caught me!

The 10 May VE session has been left out to The AIRWAVES Calendar for December and January issues for lack of space. de ND6Q

FOR SALE FOR SALE FOR SALE
Kenwood HF station: TS-440/AT Transceiver with internal antenna tuner $675, SM-220 Station Monitor $385, TL-922A RF Amplifier with new 3-500Z tubes installed and spare set $1185. Norm Smith K7DLN 619-384-4692.

Old HAM proverb: If your antenna didn't blow down in the last windstorm, it wasn't big enough.

73s See ya in the funny papers. de ND6Q