The Airwaves
March 2000
An ARRL Special Services Club -- RACES -- ARES
P.O. Box 1442, Ridgecrest, California 93556-1442

Every   SARC Emergency Net
Monday  1930 hrs WA6YBN translator
Night   146.64 MHz (-600 kHz)
        Visitors welcome 
Mar 8   Board of Officers Meeting
        Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn  1845 hrs
Mar 8   Membership Meeting
        Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn
        Ready Room  1930 hrs
        Program  Astronomy for Hams
        By  Jim Leonard  WA6TFZ
Apr 12  Board of Officers Meeting
        Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn  1845 hrs
Apr 12  Membership Meeting
        Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn
        Ready Room  1930 hrs
        Program  AMSAT Phase 3D Ham satellite
        By  Mike Herr  WA6ARA
May 10  Board of Officers Meeting
        Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn  1845 hrs
May 10  Membership Meeting
        Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn
        Ready Room  1930 hrs
        Program  Six Meters 50-54 MHz
        By  TBA
Mar 18  Geo Bun Buster
        Fifty mile horse endurance ride
        Call Hal Hazel  KM6JM  371-3208
May 13-14  27th Death Valley to Mt. Whitney
        Two day bicycle race
        Call Elvy  NØLV  384-3589

Apr 8   Volunteer License Exam Session
Second  Kern County Library  Ridgecrest Branch
Sat     131 East Las Flores Ave   Meeting Room
Even    Pre-register by 5 Apr  Walk-in?  Call
Months  Written tests 9 am  Code test 11 am
        Call Elvy Hopkins NØLV 384-3589
Jun 10  Volunteer License Exam Session
Second  Kern County Library  Ridgecrest Branch
Sat     131 East Las Flores Ave   Meeting Room
Even    Pre-register by 7 Jun  Walk-in?  Call
Months  Written tests 9 am  Code test 11 am
        Call Elvy Hopkins NØLV 384-3589
Aug 12  Volunteer License Exam Session
Second  Kern County Library  Ridgecrest Branch
Sat     131 East Las Flores Ave   Meeting Room
Even    Pre-register by 9 Aug  Walk-in?  Call
Months  Written tests 9 am  Code test 11 am
        Call Elvy Hopkins NØLV 384-3589

by Larry Merwin KE6YLG

The first of the five basic purposes of amateur radio, as stated in Part 97 of our FCC rules, reads: Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary, non-commercial, communications service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications [97.1(a)]. What does this mean? I'm no lawyer, but my personal interpretation is that the first purpose of amateur radio is to be ready, willing and able to provide emergency communications service to the public on a voluntary basis. Please note that this is the first and primary stated basis for our existence and the reason that we enjoy the highly coveted RF spectrum parcels that we have. The reason I bring this up is the fact that recently we have been having trouble staffing public service events. Now I know that there are a lot of you out there with a lot of really neat mobile and hand held rigs. That pretty much takes care of the "ready" part. As for the "able," I'm not concerned about that at all. No one should ever worry that they are inexperienced at working public service events or that they will make mistakes. We have all made lots of mistakes and will continue to make mistakes. In fact, one purpose of working such events is to learn, often by making mistakes, so that when the big one hits we will have worked out as many of the operational bugs as possible. So, that leaves us with "willing." For whatever reason, it appears of late, that too few of us have been willing to work at public service events. It has come down to the same bunch of loyal stalwarts who are always there. The fact is they would like some support and to see a few new faces. They would like to have extra help as opposed to having to pick and choose which checkpoints to man and which locations to leave empty. I would ask that each of you be willing to work a public service event once in a while. Aside from the fact that such activities are a fundamental reason for the existence of the amateur service, they are an outstanding opportunity to learn, to have fun and to show the public who we are and what we can do. Please volunteer for a public service event.

Celestial DX Astronomy for the Ham

Jim Leonard WA6TFZ will present a program of basic astronomy for the Ham. How does a 100 billion light years away sound for the ultimate DX? See non- electronic, no antenna, no headphones, DX machines. Various types of telescopes will be available for inspection. Slides will be used for illustration. Come with questions.

Coso Bun Buster Horse Ride Sat 18 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.

A note about signing up. Performing these communications tasks well requires coordination and efficient use of operator experience and available radio equipment. Sign up with the coordinators as early as possible so they can plan efficient use of your capabilities and assets.


This issue of THE AIRWAVES is your last if you have not renewed your SARC membership for 2000.

VE session Saturday 12 Feb

The results of the 12 February VE session are as follows. Twenty one exams were administered, sixteen were passed, five were failed.

There is one new Technician, Ronnie W. Schiller KJ6AJU. There were upgrades to Technician Plus for Dennis Farrell KF6SWK and Louis Shanteler KF6VAE. Ralph Frasier KQ6UU upgraded to Amateur Extra. The last time Element 4B was administered in Ridgecrest was 14 February 1998.

The following passed Element 4B toward Amateur Extra: Todd Evans W6TOD, Larry Jenkins KN6WI, Charlie Hawthorne KE6WQR and Dave Rosenthal N6TST. Dennis Farrell KF6SWK passed Element 4A toward Advanced. The following passed Element 3B toward General: Joe Cloonan KE6SMH, Dennis Farrell KF6SWK, Bruce Johansen KF6PLF and Louis Shanteler KF6VAE

Twenty Mule Team Ride Sat 19 Feb
by Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV

The Twenty Mule Team, one hundred mile horse endurance ride, that scattering of nearly two hundred horses and riders all over the local desert, was held on 19 February from 0600 hours to a little after 0100 hrs Sunday. While this ride has usually lasted longer and been without event, this one was shorter with lots of exciting events.

The water tank at the Rock Pile was discovered to be riddled with bullet holes before the ride began. A replacement, with water, was summoned and delivered before riders arrived. A horse with a broken leg was recovered from the railroad trestle area with a trailer. One ailing horse was put under veterinarian care at check point 3/5. It was sent home doing much better. We had to conduct two missions to rescue dehydrated horses and one mission to retrieve an ailing portable repeater. Well, we didn't have to retrieve it. Just take it down when we found it would not operate properly. One inexperienced person cannot safely disassemble the portable repeater.

The hams involved in this year's ride were Bill Burns WA6QYR, Judy Burns KC6UTF, Jerry Brooks KK6PA, Paul Castaneda KC6ZVD, a rider, Monty Shinn W6PFR, Dave Stone KC6UUR, Jack Bitzer NL7SX, Jackie Bumgardner KE6IFG the ride organizer, Karen Luhn N6OQR, Steve Luhn KA7ULQ and Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV. We were a bit short of communications help this year. As a result, a few Hams stayed longer than they had intended and, fortunately, a couple unexpected helpers joined the job. The weather was great for the event. It did not rain until early the Sunday. Without the portable repeater we found that all worked rather well with only a few relays needed. Relay stations from Ridgecrest pitched in at the tough spots and made things move rather well. Thanks to all.

Old Com Trailer Needs New Home

Do you need a tool shed? A frame for a utility trailer? A home for all the neighborhood's pack rats? The old RACES communications trailer is up for grabs. A less than one hundred word essay on "Why I should have the old communications trailer" will put you in the running for this give away. Lloyd Brubaker, our local EC, will be the judge of this contest and will also hand over the keys to the winner. Call Lloyd at 375- 7245 for full information on the format for the essay.

Packet Chat
by Hal Hazel KM6JM

Tired of your packet gear sitting around gathering dust? Have you lost your "Packet Edge?" 'Have a spare thirty minutes? How about joining us on the IWV Packet Chat Server each Wednesday evening at 1930 hrs.

The Chat Server has been in the testing phase for several weeks and appears to work quite well. There is no special format and no particular subjects discussed, although Ham radio is always a favorite. Here are the commands available in the chat server. typed text Send text to all users on current channel.

/? or /HELP  Print help information.
/BYE  Terminate the conference session.
/WHO  List all users and their channel numbers.
/MSG user text Send a private message 
to user. (You'll need to know the user's 
number, which can be obtained from the /WHO command.)

How good are you at multi-tasking? If you haven't participated in a chat line before, you could be in for a surprise. It can be fun and challenging to keep up with a "thread" or subject. For instance, you can ask for someone's opinion on a certain subject and twenty lines later, you'll get your reply interspersed with twenty other comments or questions. It's almost like attending a family gathering and participating in ten different conversations all at the same time.

To join in this fun all you need to do is connect to KM6JM-4 on 145.050 MHz. Once you get the node log-in notice, type CONF. This will add you to the conference, or chat, server. The node is limited to ten connections, so if you are unable to connect right away, try a few minutes later. If you cannot connect directly to KM6JM-4, try going through the WA6YBN-4 node. After connecting to WA6YBN-4, connect to KM6JM-4 on port 2 [C 2 KM6JM-4 which means CONNECT Port 2 (145.050MHz) KM6JM-4]. See you there.


Bill Maraffio N6PR, who has been the IWV ARRL Volunteer Examiner team liaison for twelve years, will be leaving the area in the near future. Having an extra class team liaison who stocks materials makes the VE task much easier for local VEs. If you are interested in assuming the duty, call Bill at 446-4165.


With only seven extra class and two advanced class volunteer examiners in the Ridgecrest area, Bill Maraffio, VE Team Liaison, is having trouble finding the four VEs to man the six, semi-monthly test sessions. If you are interested in becoming an ARRL Volunteer Examiner, send an e-mail to [email protected] and request the Prospective VE (PVE) packet (include your name and postal address). The PVE packet includes a current Volunteer Examiners manual and other information to get you started as an ARRL VE.


The Monday evening SARC emergency net needs volunteers to serve as control station. Term of service is about thirty minutes on Monday evenings at 7:30 pm for a month. Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV, 375-7245, is the SARC Emergency Net manager. Please let him know if you are willing to be net control for a month of Monday evenings.

        from Ralph Frasier KQ6UU
As of 2 March Y2K
        Share account   $3,397.70
        Draft account   2,268.83
        Total   $5,666.53
        Obligated funds 
                Relocate 147.00 repeater        1,200.00
        Balance $4,466.53

Volunteer Exam 8 Apr

Due to the license restructuring effective on 15 April, there are many Hams wanting to take current exams that they have studied for before the tests are changed. There are those who want to pass current tests and have CSCEs available for the instant upgrades available after 15 April. And, there are some who want to upgrade to a real, thirteen word-per-minute code Advanced or a real, twenty wpm Amateur Extra and be the last of the high speed code breed. This has caused a surge in advanced sign-ups for the 8 April VE session. Discussions with the Kern county library manager have given us the period of 0730-1300 which runs an hour later that in the past. So a 0900 hrs start will give four hours of testing time without starting at 0800 as was done in February.

If you have registered for 8 April, expect a call to confirm your intentions and your test element(s).

Field Day 2000

Before we know it, Field Day will be upon us. SARC used to put on quite a Field Day, sometimes in the mountains, sometimes in Leroy Jackson park. We have not had a SARC Field Day operation for the last few years. It is time to start again. For those who have never been on a Field Day, it is great fun. For a twenty-four hour period we operate portable, virtually all the bands and modes, high power and low. The club usually makes somewhere between 500 and 1000 contacts. One of the great aspects of Field Day is that you get to try different rigs, antennas, modes and bands. Anyone interested? Start talking it up and see how we can make it happen this year. If you are interested, please contact Mike Herr WA6ARA [email protected]. Remember, Field Day it the fourth weekend of June, the 27th and the 28th.

FCC Form 605

When the Universal Licensing System (ULS) was made available for the Amateur service, the FCC's Wireless Telegraph Bureau announced that Forms 610 and 610V would continue to be usable for six months. That grace period expired on February 16. The Bureau will dismiss without prejudice all applications received on or after February 17, 2000, if filed using Forms 610 and 610V. From that date on, all Amateur licensing (with the exception of club stations) must employ the new ULS Form 606. Prior to filing Form 606 it is necessary to register using Form 605. Either electronic or paper versions of these two forms may be used. An overview of the ULS system can be found at Links for obtaining copies of Forms 605 and 606 are at, while a tutorial on the basics of how to register is given at

Minutes, Board of Officers Meeting

by Secretary Tom Ingram WB6EPD February 9, 2000. Those present: 1st VP David Stone KC6UUR, 2nd VP Mike Herr WA6ARA, Treasurer Ralph Frasier KQ6UU, Secy. Tom Ingram WB6EPD and AIRWAVES editor Elvy Hopkins NØLV. The meeting started at 1854 hrs. Jerry Brooks KK6PA suggested that the board investigate ways to include technical matter into the newsletter without additional expenses or work. A discussion followed on newsletter makeup and expenses. Every effort is made not to have a newsletter that requires extra postage. One option that was discussed was to have a once a year special mailing for a technical newsletter.

A discussion on the 147.00 machine followed. Elvy is still having difficulty obtaining used hard line for the repeater. New hard line would cost approximately $2,500. Elvy announced that the audit committee report is available. The audit committee consisted of Elvy Hopkins NØLV, Bill Maraffio N6PR and Larry Merwin KE6YLG. Elvy will read the audit report at the general meeting. Rent has gone up for the Heritage Inn meeting rooms. The Flight Deck room upstairs is now $45 and the Ready Room downstairs is $30. Elvy will look at the Ham books in the library to see what needs to be updated. The meeting was adjourned at 1922 hrs.

Minutes, Membership Meeting
by Secretary Tom Ingram WB6EPD

The 9 February meeting was called to order by the 1st VP Dave Stone KC6UUR at 1927 hrs at the Heritage Inn. Fifty-fifty tickets were available for the meeting. The public service volunteer sign-up sheet was started around.

Horse ride on 19 February. The horse ride in January was successful. Elvy Hopkins NØLV announced that he had a sign-up sheet for those wishing to take Ham license tests at the VE session on Saturday, 12 Feb. There may be an additional VE session the following Saturday.

Jerry Brooks KK6PA provided the program for this meeting on a portable, folding, Cubical Quad antenna and how to modify a timer to control the charge time for NiCd batteries. Keith Clark W6SIY won the fifty-fifty. drawing. Twenty-five amateurs signed in at the meeting. The meeting adjourned at 2000 hrs.


Hammarlund Super Pro SP-600 JX-14 HF receiver in Hammarlund cabinet, excellent condition, $500, Jim Leonard 377-3474, [email protected]


Free standing tower, 50-80 ft., for tri-band beam and rotator. Will haul 200 miles to Ridgecrest CA. Bob Wagner K6WAG 371-1337 [email protected].


Bob Huckins W6UPI wants (1) type 6267 tubes (2) Kenwood MC-60 microphone. Contact him at [email protected].

Contacting THE AIRWAVES Editor

Elvy Hopkins NØLV at 384-ELVY or e-mail [email protected].

See ya in da funny paperz. de NØLV

Updated Sat May 13 12:42:39 PDT 2000