The Airwaves
March 2001
SIERRA AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
An ARRL Special Services Club -- RACES -- ARES
P.O. Box 1442, Ridgecrest, California 93556-1442

THE AIRWAVES CALENDAR
SIERRA AMATEUR RADIO CLUB MEETINGS
Every   SARC Emergency Net
Monday  1930 hrs WA6YBN translator
Night   146.64 MHz (-600 kHz)
        Visitors welcome 
Mar 8   Board of Officers Meeting
        John's Pizza  1100 hrs
Mar 14  Membership Meeting
        Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn
        Ready Room  1930 hrs
        Program  SEMS
        By ARRL video
Apr 11  Board of Officers Meeting
        Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn 
	1900 hrs
Apr 11  Membership Meeting
        Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn
        Ready Room  1930 hrs
        Program  Home Brew Roundup
May 9   Board of Officers Meeting
        Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn  
	1900 hrs
May 9   Membership Meeting
        Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn
        Ready Room  1930 hrs
        Program  TBA
PUBLIC SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES
Mar 17  Geo Bun Buster
        Fifty mile horse endurance ride
        Volunteers needed  See article
        Call Hal Hazel KM6JM 371-3208
May 19-20  28th Death Valley to Mt. Whitney
        Two day bicycle race 
        Call Elvy  NØLV  384-3589
ACTIVITIES
Mar 17  Monthly Fox Hunt
        Heritage Inn parking lot  0900 hrs 
        Call Mike Herr WA6ARA 375-5324
AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE EXAMS
Apr 14  Volunteer License Exam Session
Second  Kern County Library  Ridgecrest Branch
Sat     131 East Las Flores Ave   Meeting Room
Even    Pre-register by 11 Apr  Walk-in?  Call
Months  All must register at 9 am  Code test 11 am
        Call Elvy Hopkins NØLV 384-3589
Jun 9   Volunteer License Exam Session
Second  Kern County Library  Ridgecrest Branch
Sat     131 East Las Flores Ave   Meeting Room
Even    Pre-register by 6 Jun  Walk-in?  Call
Months  All must register at 9 am  Code test 11 am
        Call Elvy Hopkins NØLV 384-3589

THIS IS YOUR LAST AIRWAVES UNLESS YOU HAVE RENEWED YOUR SARC MEMBERSHIP FOR 2001
APPLICATION ENCLOSED (PDF)

FROM THE PRESIDENT'S SHACK
by Mike Herr WA6ARA

I am sitting here in the shack writing another AIRWAVES editorial. I spent the better part of the day working on another piece of home-brew gear. I love home-brewing, I must, because I sure have a lot of half started and unfinished projects around. This latest was an interesting project. It is a regenerative receiver that was featured in QST last year. It is unique in that the regenerative part is at the IF and has a tunable converter front end. My main purpose for building the project was to have a nice receiver for a little SWLing (That is Short Wave Listening). The circuit called for using the converter chip as the VFO as well. Well, I did not like that, plus I would have to build a buffer to drive the display as well. Yes, I know, a digital display on a regenerative receiver, what will they think of next? So I dug out one of those partially completed home-brew projects, a direct conversion receiver using a VFO and passive mixer. I got to only the VFO and the mixer and never built the audio or input ends. I pulled off the mixer and proceeded to work up a three band VFO. The thing really works and is now in a nice box along with the regenerative receiver.

The point of the story is to encourage all of you to try building electronic gear. Try a kit, or something small. Try that interesting project you saw in QST, 73 or CQ magazine. Do not worry if it does not look pretty, most of my stuff looks down right coyote ugly. Do not worry if you do not use the project afterwards or even if you do not finish it. Do not throw it away. Start a project drawer and slip it in there. Someday it will come in handy, or a part of it will. The great thing about amateur radio is that we are amateurs. We can experiment. We can try something new or something old. Some of the projects will succeed. Others fail. But, we will always learn from it. Give it a shot and bring it in to the April meeting and brag about it.

73 es vy gud DX.

PROGRAM Wed 14 Mar

Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS), the latest and greatest and most-up-to-datest, federal, state and county approved, endorsed and supported system for managing of emergency communications will be the subject of a thirty minute video at the March general meeting. Be prepared, as a Boy Scout, to know your function in this US of A wide plan.

RENEW SARC MEMBERSHIP NOW

Yup. It is time to renew your SARC membership for 2001. Inflation has finally forced SARC to raise dues for only the second time since organizing in the mid-seventies. Memberships are now $20.00 individual, $30.00 family and $10.00 student/military. A three month grace period is given in which non-renewed members receive the AIRWAVES and the enclosed membership applications. After 31 March, non-renewed memberships are dropped from the mailing list. Support your friendly, local Amateur Radio club. Renew your membership at a meeting or by mail. The mailing address for SARC is on the enclosed application.

RAFFLE FOR N-I-C-E STRAIGHT KEY

Phelps TerHeun KF6ZVD, our 2nd VP, has organized a raffle for a small, very attractive, gold plated straight key to raise money for SARC treasury. This key is in the $100 price range and would look really good at any Ham shack's operating position. It is the Millennium Key, #81 of 100, by Llaves Telegraficas Artesanas. Tickets are $5.00 each or three for $10.00. Get your tickets from Phelps. The key will be on display at meetings and the drawing will be at the June meeting.

PUBLIC SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES

Coso Bun Buster Horse Ride Sat 17 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.

Death Valley to Mt. Whitney 19-20 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 for information.

RECENT SARC ACTIVITIES
Eastern Kern Cty PSK31 on 2M FM (Pt 1)
by Hal Hazel KM6JM

I am sure almost every Ham has heard about PSK31, it's many different flavors and how this mode excels in its ability to continue a QSO under very poor conditions. You can build your own interface with parts obtained from Radio Shack or you can purchase a complete unit from several providers. The purpose of this article is not to tell you how easy it is to become PSK31 active, there are already many articles covering that. I am going to tell you about some of the amazing QSOs Jerry Brooks KK6PA and I were able to complete using two meter FM.

Jerry got me started on HF PSK31 about a year ago. After working out the bugs in both of our interfaces, Jerry and I went on to make quite a few HF PSK31 QSOs. Many of these QSOs were conducted when the received signal could barely be heard, yet the PSK31 software and computer sound board were able to detect and decode the incoming signal.

After reading an article regarding PSK31 on FM in the October 2000 issue of QST, page 81, about how a two Hams in Hawaii were able to complete a PSK31 QSO using two meter FM, I thought this might be a useful mode for Kern County RACES. As most of you are probably aware, we no longer have a twenty-four hour a day connection via amateur radio into Bakersfield. In the event of a RACES call out, Eastern Kern County will most likely need to send messages to the Kern County Emergency Operations Center. Based on the success of the Hawaii Hams, PSK31 sounded like it might provide a more reliable path using modest station equipment, something that most Hams have.

Our initial road test antennas consisted of Jerry's base station of a 5/8 wave mobile antenna up about eight feet and a five element Yagi at fifty-five feet. The mobile setup was just a 5/8 wave mobile antenna. Both transceivers were capable of five and fifty watts output. After a minor equipment problem while heading towards Trona was fixed (speaker cable plug came out of interface box), our first QSO was held from Jerry's house to the rest stop just north of the railroad crossing in Trona. That QSO was completed using 5/8 wave antennas and five watts both ways. Jerry and I were both shocked that we could conduct a keyboard to keyboard QSO with 100% copy, no hits, with such minimal equipment. Trying FM voice from the same location was totally unsuccessful.

Next along the road was the pass at Slate Range. That QSO was a repeat of the Trona QSO: 5/8 wave antennas with five watts output power. This was starting to look good. Jerry wanted me to check out Ballarat so I continued north on the Trona-Wildrose road. I pulled over at the turnoff to Ballarat and I was thinking to myself that this is just not going to work. After dropping from 2900 feet elevation at the pass to around 1250 elevation at the turnoff, I thought there was way too much dirt and rock between us. Regardless, I switched to high power and gave Jerry a call. What a shock when he came back to me with 95 to 100 % copy. Wow! The only difference was that Jerry was now using his Yagi but still at low power. With this type of good luck, what else could I do but head north to Panamint Springs.

Well, it had to happen. I pulled over at the junction of Trona-Wildrose Road and hwy 190 and sent Jerry a call. Nothing. Okay, try again with a longer call. "KK6PA KK6PA KK6PA DE KM6JM KM6JM KM6JMI'm at Panamint Springs junctionat Panamint Springs junctionhow copyhow copyDE KM6JM." Jerry got me this time but only because he knew where I was and what to be looking for. Several BTU's (back to you) later, Jerry confirmed I was at the highway junction and not at the Panamint Springs resort itself. Well, at least we would be able to use this mode and equipment in a real emergency if nothing else was available. A beam or high gain omni antenna at the junction would definitely provide better communications. A high gain omni antenna would probably have been best since our signals were surely bouncing off the various mountains between us.

Completing the loop, I continued up to Crowley Point, past Darwin and on to Olancha. Jerry and I tried our last QSO at the junction of highways 190 and 395. That QSO was about the same as the Panamint Springs QSO. Definitely possible by using high gain antennas both ways. Next month, our PSK31 two meter FM road test to California City, Tehachapi and Bakersfield.

Twenty Mule Team Horse Ride
by Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV

This year's Twenty Mule Team horse endurance ride went smoothly with no real laggards holding up the closing process. The drag riders came through about 0230 at the trestle leaving only the vet check five to close a half hour later and base camp to close in another two hours. One hundred and thirty-five horses participated with one rider each. The young lady who was the first of the hundred milers was in before dark. The weather was cold, but not too uncomfortable, and the wind was mild when there was any. It stayed dry. Jacky's map was upside down as usual and had to be interpreted for two new Ham radio operators. Dave KC6CEX promised to make us a more useful one if we would get the GPS data to him. We are in the process now. Thanks to the following Hams for making this all so easy. Dave Hunter KC7CEX, Mike Pope KB6NIZ (welcome back), Dave Stone KC6UUR, Dennis Farrell W6DWF, Phelps TerHeun KF6ZVD, Paula Gibeault N6OQQ, Greg Roush WA7IRW and Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV.

Thanks to Greg who put up the portable repeater, and took it down again when it was no longer needed. All of the riders expressed their appreciation for our being there keeping an eye on things.

Volunteer Examination Session

The results of the 10 February Volunteer Exam Session are; Johan Beyers N6PBT upgraded from Technician Plus to General. Gloria Frasier (KQ6UU harmonic) passed the Technician and is now KG6FDV. Monty Schinn W6PFR, Jerry Brooks KK6PA and Bill Maraffio N6PR were the examiners.

Monthly Fox Hunt by Mike Herr WA6ARA

Yes, there was a fox hunt planned for February but yours truly blew it. I had plans to pass it off to another hunter to be the fox, but I came home from travel and left the next day to go out of town on a personal matter. It dawned on me about 7:30 pm on Saturday night that the fox hunt was suppose to have happened that morning. A thousand apologies. There will be a hunt on the 17th of March. I will make sure to get the transmitter to the fox early (fingers crossed).

Fox hunting can be done with a limited amount of equipment, as simple as just a hand held radio and your body. Come out on the Saturday following the SARC meeting, 17 March, at 0900 at the Heritage Inn parking lot. The frequency is 146.565 MHz.

IN THE MILL

Show and Tell Program For April
SARC 2nd VP, Phelps TerHeun KF6ZVD, is looking for persons with home-brew and construction projects that can be brought to the April meeting for a Show and Tell program. Any piece of electronic equipment or Ham radio gear will be welcomed. Bring your pet project and show your construction prowess to the club. No fancy speech is required. A demonstration would be nice. Contact Phelps at 375-4905 or pterh@ridgenet.net.

Trip to Owens Valley Radio Observatory
How would you like to see and hear what all those large dish antennas in the Owens Valley south of Bishop are being used for? Mike Herr, our president, is organizing a group trip to visit the Owens Valley Radio Observatory (OVRO) which is the largest university operated radio observatory in the world. Saturday 12 May is the currently planned date for this trip. Let Mike know if you are interested. 375-5324 herr@ridgenet.net

The attractions are; The Millimeter-Wavelength Array consisting of six high-accuracy radio telescopes, each 10.4 meters (34 feet) in diameter; An intensive program of microwave background observations is currently underway at OVRO using the 40-meter (130-foot) telescope; New receivers and signal processing equipment have transformed the 27-meter (90-foot) Solar Array telescopes into a powerful interferometer for studying the Sun.

Hear about and observe these exciting programs and hardware in a guided and narrated tour. It is only a short auto trip from RidgeBurg. Car pooling can be arranged.

SARC Badges Ready For Pick Up
SARC Treasurer, Ralph Frasier has badges for WA6IYH Jim Cotillier and AK6C Harry Helms. Call Ralph at 375-1534 or see him at a meeting.

OLD BUSINESS

Minutes, Board of Officers Meeting
by Tom Ingram WB6EPD

14 February, 2001. Those present: 1st VP David Stone KC6UUR, 2nd VP Phelps TerHeun KF6ZVD, Treasurer Ralph Frasier KQ6UU and Secy. Tom Ingram WB6EPD. The meeting was called to order at 1901 hrs. Lloyd Brubraker asked for volunteers for the Twenty Mule Team ride. He will take the communications trailer to the Fairgrounds on Thursday night. The SARC ARRL Special Services Club Certification expires 29 April 2001. Tom will follow up on the certification. Tom announced that the club received an award from the spectrum defense fund in recognition of the club donation.

The audit committee report was submitted to the board. There were no discrepancies noted. Members of the audit committee were Elvy Hopkins NØLV, Bill Maraffio N6PR and Larry Merwin KE6YLG. A donation of $100.00 was received for the SARC support for the Fire Mountain Fifty horse ride. Use of the Randsburg repeater for a Weather Net will be addressed in the general meeting. The meeting was adjourned at 1920 hrs.

Minutes, Membership Meeting
by Tom Ingram WB6EPD

The 14 February general meeting was called to order by 1st Vice-President Dave Stone KC6UUR at 1930 hrs at the Heritage Inn. Fifty-fifty tickets were available for the meeting. The sign-in sheet was started around. Raffle tickets were also available for the Gold Millennium Key. The drawing will be at the June meeting.

Announcements: Paula Gibeault N6OQQ announced the Rim of the World Auto Rally May 4 and 5. The maps provided for the Fire Mountain Fifty horse ride were inaccurate. GPS coordinates will be provided for the next ride. The Club received a $100.00 donation in recognition of their support during the ride.

The Twenty Mule Team 100 mile ride will start at the fairgrounds on 17 February. Alan Heaberlin W6AMH talked about plans to use the SARC Randsburg Repeater for a Weather Net on Thursday nights. The net will start at approximately 1915 hrs. Alan gave a short presentation on the Weather Watchers functions. Larry Merwin KE6YLG presented the audit committee's report. There were no discrepancies noted. Paula Gibeault announced the Rim of The World Auto Rally May 4 and 5. Hams are invited to assist in the communications tasks. Jerry Brooks KK6PA announced that Hams were needed in Bakersfield with two meter SSB for PSK31 work.

There were two visitors John Owens KG6DTE and Jerry Harness W6LET.

The program for the evening was provide by Phelps TerHeun KF6ZVD on Civil Air Patrol Communications. The 50-50 drawing was won Jerry Brooks. There were twenty amateurs present at the meeting. The meeting adjourned at 2045 hrs.

TREASURERS REPORT
from Ralph Frasier KQ6UU
As of 21 February 2001
	Share account	$5,001.27
	Draft account	466.15
	Total	$5,467.42
	Obligated funds	
	Relocate 147.00 repeater	574.86
	Balance	$4,892.56

WANTED WANTED WANTED

Claude Wood WA6YSQ is looking for old (1970's) linear device data books from Motorola, National, RCA, Signetics and Texas Instruments. Contact him at 377-5558 or cmwood@iwvisp.com

FOR SALE FOR SALE FOR SALE

MFJ 422B Electronic keyer/paddle. Uses Curtis 8044 ABM keyer IC. Manual says 8-50 wpm but will do much slower than 8 wpm if/when required. Can't attest to 50 wpm. Almost identical specs to current 422D model. Excellent physical and working condition. Just a bit dusty. $75

GAP Challenger DX-III and GAP Challenger DX vertical antennas. Operates 2, 6, 10, 12, 15, 20, 40, 80 meter bands. Both fully functional and operate within manufacturers specifications. $180 for DX-III, $100 for DX. Contact Hal, KM6JM, 382-0474 or km6jm@arrl.net

Contacting The AIRWAVES Editor
Elvy Hopkins NØLV at 384-ELVY or e-mail ehopkins@ridgenet.net.

The Repeater list has been updated since last month. Thanks to Jerry Brooks KK6PA.

See     ya      in      da      funny   paperz. de NØLV

Updated Sun Mar 11 12:09:57 PST 2001