The Airwaves
March 2002
An ARRL Special Services Club -- RACES -- ARES
P.O. Box 1442, Ridgecrest, California 93556-1442




PresidentMike HerrWA6ARA375-5324
First Vice PresidentPhelps TerHeunKF6ZD375-4905
Second Vice PresidentTodd EvansW6TOD375-4240
SecretaryTom IngramWB6EPD375-7950
TreasurerPam EvansKC6UUS375-4240

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 (Phno, # Dn)
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

Every  SARC Emergency Net
Monday 1930 hrs WA6YBN Ridgecrest translator
Night  146.64 MHz (-600 kHz) and
       Randsburg repeater 145.34 MHz 
       (-600 kHz, PL 100.0 Hz)
       Visitors welcome
Mar 13 Board of Officers Meeting
       Second Wednesday Heritage Inn 1900 hrs
Mar 13 Membership Meeting
       Second Wednesday Heritage Inn
       Ready Room 1930 hrs
       Program Home Brew & Kit Show and Tell 
Apr 10 Board of Officers Meeting
       Second Wednesday Heritage Inn 1900 hrs
Apr 10 Membership Meeting
       Second Wednesday Heritage Inn
       Ready Room 1930 hrs
       Program RACES & ARES
       By Jerry Brooks KK6PA
May 8  Board of Officers Meeting
       Second Wednesday Heritage Inn 1900 hrs
May 8  Membership Meeting
       Second Wednesday Heritage Inn
       Ready Room 1930 hrs
Mar 16    Coso Bun Buster  See article
          Fifty mile horse endurance ride
          Call Hal Hazel KM6JM 371-3208
May 18-19 The 29th Death Valley to Mt. Whitney
          Two day bicycle race  See article
          Call Mike Alamo KF6WSR 382-0474

Mar 16     Monthly Fox Hunt        See article
Apr 13     Heritage Inn parking lot  0900 hrs 
May 11     Contact Mike Herr WA6ARA 375-5324
Jun 12     E-mail [email protected] 
Jun 22-23  National Amateur Radio Field Day
          Join the Fun. Do radio outdoors
          Twenty-four hours of panic

Apr 13   Volunteer License Exam Session
Jun 8    Kern County Library  Ridgecrest Branch
         131 East Las Flores Ave   Meeting Room
Second   Pre-reg. by 10 Apr, 5 Jun  Walk-in?  Call
Sat      All must register at 9 am  Code test 11 am
Even     Contact Bill Maraffio N6PR 446-4165
Months   E-mail  [email protected]



Home Brewing Madness
This month's program is on home brewing, something near and dear to my heart. No, not the home brewing associated with barley and hops but with building your own amateur radio equipment. Ham radio, like other facets of our lives, is full of myths and urban legends.

Myth #1 Hams don't build anymore

Hams do build, and in increasing numbers. The huge number of kits, projects and parts have caused an explosion in building. Some Hams build full featured rigs, others accessories.

Myth #2 Since Heathkit left the scene, there are no more step-by-step instruction kits for building good gear.

Several of the kit manufacturers and clubs have developed step-by-step instructions that, in my opinion, rival the old Heathkit style. Many take you one component at a time, testing each section as you build them. Check out Elecraft for their K1 and K2 rigs. On the other hand, if you want a bag of parts and a schematic, that's out there as well. Many of the QRP clubs are going this route.

Myth #3 The equipment you can build doesn't equal what you can buy.

Yes and No. There has not been a two meter handheld as a kit for twenty-plus years and not likely to be in the future. I doubt that anyone will be home brewing an equivalent of a FT-817 either. On the other hand, I would put the Elecraft K2 against any commercial rig. In some cases you can build an accessory that simply isn't available commercially, or a specialized, dedicated piece of gear that will do what exactly you want it to do.

Myth #4 If you want to build from scratch you have to etch boards and go find one of a kind parts

The actually building has always been a problem. But recent changes have greatly improved the process. First, several sources of project ideas, such as QST magazine, have gone out of their way to ensure the projects presented in the magazine use components that are readily available. Usually some form of kit is offered at the end of the article. These kits vary from partial/full set of electronic parts and an etched board to an all-up kit with labeled front panel and enclosure. Parts are available from DigiKey, Mouser or Dan's Small Parts. And construction techniques such as "Manhattan" allow the home brewer to build sophisticated, and dense projects without printed wiring boards Also, I've found most authors are on the internet and ready to assist via e-mail.

So, get out there and build something, anything. Melt some solder and bring it to the March meeting. The only rule to home brewing is if you built it, it's home-brew.


Bring Home Brew, Kits to March Meeting
SARC Program Chairman, Todd Evans W6TOD, is planning a Home Brew and Kit Builders Show and Tell for the March meeting. This is a program in which Hams, SWLers, home brewers and kit builders are asked to bring their pet projects to the meeting and give an informal talk, and demonstration if possible, about the why and how of their fun.

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.


All SARC memberships expire on 31 December. Please use the enclosed Membership Application to renew. Year 2001 members have been 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?


Coso Bun Buster Sat 16 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 382-0474.

Death Valley to Mt. Whitney 18-19 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 Mike Alamo KF6WSR 375-2389 [email protected] for information.

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.

by Elvy Hopkins NØLV

Same as last month, the 147.00 MHz repeater and 450 MHz link are languishing in my garage awaiting word from the east coast leagle beagle corpse (sic) of the owner of the proposed location as to whether our installation will be permitted.


Transmitter Hunt Sat 16 Mar
Transmitter hunts are held in the IWV on the Saturday immediately following the SARC monthly meeting. We meet in the Heritage Inn parking lot at 9 am. Usually the fox is out hiding by then and the 146.565 MHz transmitter comes on every four minutes thirty seconds with a thirty second message. Now that we are using an automatic transmitter, the fox may or may not be in the area. Typically the it takes about forty-five minutes to locate the fox. Equipment is easy. A small beam with an attenuator is ideal but the fox has been found with just a hand held and a rubber duck.

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 [email protected].

Ed. note: The latest Ramsey catalog has two kits for fox hunters, one all-up screamer DDF1 $150 and one that uses HT audio/RF DF1 for $60.


Twenty Mule Team Horse Ride
by Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV

About 263 horses started the 100 miles of the Twenty Mule Team Endurance Ride on the weekend of 16-17 February. The 100 milers began at 0600 hrs and the 35 and 65 milers began at 0730 hrs. The weather was ideal, cool and clear with only a few scattered clouds. There were two accidents, one resulting in hospitalization of the rider, with the horse going home, and the other was apparently much more trivial. Riders were from the International Association of Endurance Riders this year, some from as far away as Brazil. Our thanks to all who participated and to those who simply monitored to be on hand if needed.

Twelve Hams participated covering the base station and the many check points and water stops along the two loops. Erich Muschinske KA6AMD, Allen Patrick KG6BNE, Dennis Farrell W6DWF, Hal Hazel KM6JM, Phillip Cash KG6JEL, Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV, Mike Pope KB6NIZ, Mike Cash W6PM, Andy Petach WB6SID, Dave Stone KC6UUR, Mike Alamo KF6WSR, Phelps TerHeun KF6ZVD.

RACES Table Top Drill
by Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV

The table top drill administered by the Ridgecrest Police Department on 22 February was an outstanding success. We had over thirty-six participants including the FBI and all the other movers and shakers who would be active in disaster recovery operation in the IWV. Only the sheriff was missing. A detailed report of the scenario would be a good idea at the SARC meeting sometime since there was quite a lot that came up regarding a bio-terrorist attack. We are planning an up-scale drill for next month so begin planning to be on hand. The chief says it will be about the middle of the Easter week.

Volunteer Exam Session
The 9 February Volunteer Exam Session provided the following results. Ralph Brooks N6YRY upgraded to Amateur Extra. David Jones is a new Technician with call sign KG6JZJ. Charles Pierce WA6QFD received a paper upgrade to General class. William Magorian KD6IQD passed Element 3 and is now working on his five wpm code skills. Officiating VE's were Mark Rosenthal N6BVP, Hal Hazel KM6JM, Bill Maraffio N6PR and Bob Huckins W6UPI.


Field Day Coordinator
SARC needs a coordinator for the National Amateur Radio Field Day outing on 22-23 June, the fourth weekend. If you have Field Day experience, please consider heading up this very valuable training event. Leroy Jackson Memorial Park has been the perennial location for this fun filled event, however this can change.

Field day exercises give Hams first hand experience operating under the less than ideal conditions which would be encountered in an emergency situation. This team effort has many valuable facets. Learning to know fellow IWV Hams, diurnal propagation characteristics of the HF bands, seeing other Ham's equipment in operation, learning contesting procedures are some of the educational processes.

The SARC mobile tower trailer and portable electric power generator are also put to good use during this twenty-four hour exercise.


Minutes, Board of Officers Meeting
by Tom Ingram WB6EPD

Feb. 13, 2002. Those present: Pres. Mike Herr WA6ARA, 1st Vice Pres. Phelps TerHeun KF6ZVD, 2nd Vice Pres. Todd Evans W6TOD, Treas. Pam Evans KC6UUS, Secy. Tom Ingram WB6EPD and AIRWAVES editor Elvy Hopkins NØLV. The meeting started at 1900 hrs. The audit committee consisting of Mike Herr, Phelps TerHeun and Elvy Hopkins reported that there were no discrepancies noted and that the club was solvent. A copy of the report was presented to the secretary for the club records. The report was also included in the AIRWAVES.

There has been no word on an alternate site for the 147.00 MHz repeater. A discussion was held on possible sites. The last VE session had four successful applicants. The meeting was adjourned at 1920 hrs.

Minutes, Membership Meeting
by Tom Ingram WB6EPD

The 13 February 2002 meeting was called to order by the President Mike Herr WA6ARA at 1936 hrs at the Heritage Inn. Fifty-fifty tickets were available for the meeting. Sign-up sheet was started around. Announcements: Mike Herr introduced the incoming board members. Elvy Hopkins NØLV gave a history of past and present board members. Mike announced that there would not be a T-hunt this weekend unless someone was available to hide the transmitter. Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV announced the upcoming Twenty Mule Team twenty-four hour endurance horse ride on 16 Feb. This year it is an international ride and at least 200 riders are expected. Home-brew and kits are the program for next month

There were 318 copies of the February AIRWAVES sent out. It was noted that approximately one-third of the local IWV amateurs are members of SARC. Two new members joined tonight. They are Frank KG6BEP and Shannon KG6BEQ Alonge. Gary Johns KE6CE was as a visitor tonight. Four applicants were tested at the 9 Feb VE session. The next session is 14 April. The audit committee (Mike Herr, Phelps TerHeun and Elvy Hopkins) found no errors during the audit of the SARC financial records for 2001. The report is included in the February AIRWAVES.

Todd Evans W6TOD provided the program for the evening, a video tour of local amateur radio stations and the 146.64 MHz translator. Jeff Waldburger KG6GBY won the 50-50 drawing. Twenty-one amateurs signed in at the meeting. The meeting adjourned at 2030 hrs.

from treasurer Pam Evans KC6UUS
As of 28 Feb 2002
Share account   $5,379.09
Draft account      874.72
Total           $6,253.81
Obligated funds 
Relocate 147.00 repeater  1374.86
Balance         $4,878.95

See     ya      in      da      funny   paperz. de NØLV