The Airwaves
March 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
Mar 5	SARC Board of Officers Meeting
	1st Wednesday, Heritage Inn, 1730 hrs
Mar 12	Membership Meeting
	2nd Wednesday, Heritage Inn
	Flight Deck Room, 1930 hrs 
	Program: Rim of The World Rally
	Voice-Data-ATV by N6OQQ See article.
Mondays	SARC Emergency Net
	Every Monday 1930 hrs
	146.64 MHz (-600 kHz)
	WA6YBN translator. See article.

PUBLIC SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES
Mar 15	Coso Bun Buster 50 Mile Horse Ride
	Coso Junction Ride starts at 6:00 am.
	Call Hal Hazel KM6JM at 371-3208
	to volunteer. See article.
May 2, 3 Rim Of The World Auto Rally
	Two days of wild-n-wooley auto rally
	Call Paula Gibeault N6OQQ at 375-8704
May 10, 11 Death Valley to Mt. Whitney Bicycle Race
	Call Elvy Hopkins ND6Q at 384-3589 to volunteer for one or both days.
	See article.
May 15-17 BAKERSFIELD HAMFEST
	ARRL San Joaquin Valley Section Convention. Prizes Dealers Mfrs
	Camping Swap area Trophies
	Info 805-588-7065 805-323-3691

LICENSE CLASSES AND EXAMS
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 at 375-7245
	for more information.
Nov 8	Volunteer License Exam Session
	Kerr-McGee Center  0900-1200 hrs
FROM THE PRESIDENTS SHACK
Is there a place in the world for Ham operators today? I'm not being facetious. I think it is a valid question that we as Amateur Radio operators need to answer or someone will take away our spectrum and privileges. Amateur Radio is not a right, it is an earned "place in the sun".

According to the small amount of radio history that I have read, the Hams of yesterday were tolerated because they pushed the forward edge of technology in antennas, propagation and circuit design, and secondarily, because they were useful in times of crisis. Today we are being out run by technology. It is going digital as we hold on to our analog roots. I know that a lot of you will say that isn't true, that you are right up to date with the internet, packet, etc. But, I ask you to look at what is happening in civil (police, city, fire) and commercial communications as just an instance of what is happening. They are being set up so that a channel to talk on is set up automatically and sometimes winds up jumping from one frequency to another to maintain contact. This is possible because of the digital technology. This technology has been experimented with by Hams but that isn't the point that I'm trying to make. We didn't implement it first.

I do not have any statistics, but looking around at the Hams I know, I would say that most buy any equipment they use. A few build previously designed circuits. Some are playing with antenna design, but in general, it appears that we have become followers and participants not leaders. If it is taken as fact that the Hams will probably not be a major contributing factor in the advance of communications, then we have to ask ourselves why government will allow us to keep our portions of the RF spectrum. I see only one reason for government to continue to provide spectrum for us. Hams keep personnel and equipment ready for use when all the other forms of communication are diminished or gone such as in hurricanes and earthquakes. This is a valuable contribution. In terms of money and effort, government could not afford the network that Hams offer for free.

This has been proven time and time again.So when you are firing up your radios and rag-chewing with your friends, keep in mind that you are honing the skills that can become useful at any time. Participate in public service events to learn how to get around problems in the "field". Take the time and make the effort to learn how to work with the public agencies by participating in RACES and ARES. Keep in mind that "last ditch" communications in disasters could easily be the "raison d'etre" for Hams in today's world.

NEW SECOND VICE-PRESIDENT
At the February meeting Larry Merwin KE6YLG was a shoo-in candidate for the SARC Board of Officers open position of second vice-president. He was elected by a unanimous vote after no nominations were offered from the floor. Larry, thank you for stepping into a difficult position. Let's all pitch in and help Larry find programs for our meetings.

PROGRAM FOR MARCH MEETING
Hams and auto rally fans both will enjoy the March meeting's program. Paula Gibeault N60QQ, an auto rallyist of no small fame herself, will present a program with a video describing the various forms of amateur radio communications used in controlling, scoring and documenting the Rim Of The World Rally. Several SARC members have worked this world famous rally more than once in the past. FM voice, packet, ATV (amateur television) and even good ole HF SSB are all used. Some of the ATV video has been used by commercial TV broadcasts reporting this event.

PUBLIC SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES

Coso Bun Buster 50 Mile Horse Ride
The fifty mile Coso Bun Buster horse ride will be on Saturday 15 March. Hal Hazel KM6JM will organize the Ham communications support. Horse riders depart from Coso Junction at 6:00 am and the ride is usually completed by 5:00 pm. To work this event a two meter handy talky with all-day battery or a mobile rig will suffice. Bring your own water, lunch, sunscreen and QST to read. Hal will set up his two meter, base style antenna at the start-finish. Simplex operation will handle the traffic. Six communicators are needed. Call Hal at 371-3208 for show-up time and other particulars

RECENT SARC ACTIVITIES

Twenty Mule Team 100 Mile Horse Ride
By Dave Stone KC6UUR
On 15 February local Hams helped with the Twenty Mule Team 100 mile horse ride. Working the various water stops where Greg WA7IRW, Hal KM6JM, Jack NL7SX, Judy KC6UTF, Dave KC6UUR, and Alex KD6ZUV.

Starting off at 6:00 am Saturday, 55 riders headed out for a 100 mile endurance ride. Half an hour later 74 riders started the 60 mile loop. At 8:00 am 58 riders left for the 30 mile loop. Riders had 24 hours to complete the course. Water, hay and horse trailers where sent out as needed throughout the day. The last 100 mile rider made it through the last check point, about 5 miles from base camp, at around 4:30 Sunday morning.

Communication between all water stops and base camp was done through the 147.00 repeater on El Paso Pk.

And by Jack Bitzer NL7SX
Ahh Hahh! Field work with Ham radio is my favorite. Good weather favored us all on the 100 mile horse ride. I'm not sure if they were racing each other or the clock. There were 178 riders with mounts and 125 of them reached Veterinary Point 2. There were four horses "pulled". So, the remainder, which I wouldn't see until later when VET 2 was shutdown in the early afternoon, were on the 60 and 30 mile loops. I set up west of Last Chance Canyon on the Inyokern-Redrock road. Last year they said they bounced signals off the Sierra to reach the 147.00 machine. I tried everything and finally settled on the four element beam at 15 feet aimed at some unknown peak they probably used last year.

Soon I figured out it wouldn't be long before I'd recognize every horse's rear in the ride. By the time they got to me most of the markings had been wiped, covered or just plain sweat away. There was no way to keep track inconspicuously. So I kicked the cross band on between the repeater and my 70 cm HT frequency, ambled over to the head of the line and proceeded to ask everyone for their number as they passed by. Nice friendly folks. In the crowds toward the middle of the ride it was hard to avoid the realities of horses. Watching my step and watching the rear ends was even more important.

One horse went down on it's side and just missed falling on it's rider. No one seemed to mind this so I didn't tell Dave KC6UUR at HQ. Riders were mostly women with the appropriate garb. I explained to one woman (who was smiling for the longest time) that I was the radioman and she would need to still check in with the vet up ahead. "That's obvious", she said. Well, maybe I should have some western duds, get in the spirit of things you know. One near dogfight later and after a few stragglers, the vet's assistant and I compared notes and shut the place down. 'Heard Greg WA7IRW, Hal KM6JM and Judy KC6UTF.

On to VET 3, which is the same place as VET 5 and VET 7, over south of Ridgecrest near Hwy. 395, to relieve Judy KC6UTF. The three different groups of riders converge here. About nightfall it looked like it could get confusing. At least they were all coming from the same direction. I saw most of two groups and the third group and began to remember the rear ends of the riders as well. VET 3, 5 & 7 was a real encampment. Pickups, horse trailers and RV's were all over the place. It was amazing to me that these women will ride these horses in the dark through the cyalume candle maze. 'Met Jackie, the organizer, a licensed Ham, her husband Jim, also licensed. I think Jackie passed through a few extra times on horseback keeping an eye on the trails. Heard Alex KD6ZUV who was stationed somewhere out there. By this time he had a pack of coyotes circling him just outside the light from his campfire. Heard Greg WA7IRW was observing horses and riders with a night vision scope.

'Heard Hal KM6JM head for town when his checkpoint was cleared. The weather began to change to light overcast and there was a breeze. All through the night riders would appear and disappear at the checkpoint. I missed three riders about 2:30 am. Alex kept track of the last few and explained that they must have gotten by me somehow and he took my place about 3:00 am when his area was clear. One horse became lame early in the evening and we had conflicting reports from the riders of where the horse and rider were. 'Took quite a while to sort out the real one from the phantoms and arranged for the support crew to locate the horse and rider. One rider got off the course, missed a candle maybe, and was picked up as well. Dave KC6UUR was still there when I headed off toward home. 'Made it three-quarters of the way and had to take a nap in the cab of the Jeep. Awakened to a beautiful sunrise. I'm signed up for the 50 miler on March 15th at Coso Junction.

Volunteer Exam Session
The March 1 VE session conducted by SARC had eight applicants take twenty-three tests. Four new Technician, one Technician Plus upgrade and one new General upgrade licenses were earned. The others carried home CSCEs for next time. Two persons scored 100% on both the Novice and Technician tests. One of the new Technicians was a 75 year old woman whose daughter, son-in-law and grandson wanted grandmother to be a Ham. So - She did it! A busy time was had by all and the VEs retired to Blimpie's for lunch and a debrief.

RACES NEWS
by Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV
We have a very active Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) 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. SARC owns a communications trailer, a tower trailer with a fifty foot crank-up and a 3.5 kW generator. The city of Ridgecrest provided a van with their radios to which SARC has added VHF UHF voice and packet.

An IWV emergency net meets every Monday night at 1930 hours local on 146.64 MHz for training and social activities. Training is also provided by the city and county 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 and find out how you can help

New RACES ID cards have been received. The old ones are still valid and do not have to be replaced. Please let Lloyd know if yours becomes damaged or pocket-worn and we will replace it. ID cards remain the property of Kern County and should be turned in to Lloyd if you move away.

IWV Emergency Net
by Bill Burns WA6QYR
The Indian Wells Valley Emergency Net is a group of people who practice for that emergency which may come to us. It might be Mammoth Mtn. blowing its top, the Big One, a big wind like mid-December '96, or something else. The Net meets every Monday night at 1930 hours local to pass information of interest to Hams. Mostly, it is just checking in and staying for, or monitoring, a round table to learn what is going on with Sierra Amateur Radio Club and each other. Talking about what DX was worked, a project you are working on, (and maybe needing help with parts or understanding) something you did over the weekend and the like. Net control is one of you who volunteer to Judy KC6UTF the Net Manager. Currently Net Control has been spoken for through April. As Net Control Station (NCS) you receive a copy of the instructions, the steps in running the net and a roster with check off columns for the month you are taking care of. You just read the information, check off folks that check in and send the roster back to Ju

IN THE MILL

License Cram Classes Canceled
Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV has canceled the 2, 3 & 4 May License Cram Class because of a personal schedule conflict. The 10 May Volunteer Exam Session WILL be held at the Kerr-McGee Center.

The 21, 22 & 23 February Cram Class which was rescheduled for 14, 15 & 16 February then moved again to 7, 8 & 9 was finally canceled when only one student applied.

The next Cram Class is scheduled (Really?) for 31 October, 1 & 2 November followed by an 8 November VE Session.

Death Valley to Mt. Whitney Bicycle Race
Saturday and Sunday 10 & 11 May are the dates for this nationally known bicycle race sponsored by the Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce and the High Sierra Cyclists bicycle club of Ridgecrest. Saturday's start is at OH! not-so-dark:30 from Stovepipe Wells. Hams need to be on station at different, but early, times depending upon their location. Late afternoon finds all bicyclists at Lone Pine or otherwise accounted for. Sunday's race starts at 8:00 am from Lone Pine and early afternoon finds most riders at Whitney Portals. Hams are invited to the heavy picnic lunch at Lone Pine Park Saturday afternoon. The SARC portable repeater is set up for Saturday and simplex works for Sunday. For Saturday, a mobile rig with at least ten watts is best for outlying locations. A portable yagi is a great help in some locations. Because of the widely scattered locations on Saturday, no before-the-race meeting is conducted. Printed instructions, T-shirts and meal tickets are distributed in Ridgecrest a few days before the race

Assistance Required
by Second VP Larry Merwin KE6YLG
As the duly shanghaied -- err, I mean elected, SARC second vice-president, I need your help in arranging programs for this year's club meetings. Some of the suggestions that were noted at the last meeting include antenna basics, internet and packet communications, home brewing, Ham travels, map making, DX, APRS, satellites, basic principles, WWV, propagation, swap meets and Rim of the World.

For the March meeting, Paula N60QQ, will discuss Ham activities at last year's Rim of the World. Other than that, the schedule is wide open. If you have further ideas, if you feel you can give a program on one of the above suggestions or on something else, please contact me, Larry KE6YLG, at 384-3180.

AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE PLATES
Want to tell the mobile world that you are a Ham. Put your Ham call on your license plate? Your friendly local California DMV will do it for you. Here is you have to do. (1) Apply in person at any DMV office. (2) Your vehicle's current license plates will be surrendered to DMV. (3) Your vehicle registration will be surrendered to the DMV for a new one. (4) Copy of your current amateur radio license - DMV will keep. (5) Complete a "Special Interest License Plate" application. (6) Pay a $21 one-time fee (mad money, poker winnings, lunch money?). (7) You will receive temporary paper plates to display in your vehicle. (8) Your Ham call plates will be delivered to you via USPS in 4-6 weeks. Transferring amateur radio plates to another vehicle in the future will be $12 versus the $20 for vanity plates. Honk "CQ" if you speak CW. Otherwise wave your microphone.

EQUIPMENT DONATED
Jerry Smith WA6BFA has donated a Mosley TA-33 three element, 10-15-20 meter beam, a nine element two meter yagi antenna and a CDR rotator to the Amateur Radio Licensing class Ham radio station at Cerro Coso College. Mike Cash KN6IS, mentor for the class, expressed his appreciation and noted that installation will require the assistance of local Hams.

TREASURERS REPORT
by Mark Rosenthal N6BVP
As of 26 February

	Shares	$1,495.18
	Draft	1,749.27
	Total	$3,244.45
	Obligated	
Relocate 147.00 repeater	1,200.00
	Available	       $2,044.45
OLD BUSINESS

Board of Officers Meeting Minutes
5 February 1997 Meeting was called to order at 1730 hrs. Attendees: President Charley Hawthorne KE6WQR, First VP David Stone KC6UUR, Treasurer Mark Rosenthal N6BVP and AIRWAVES editor Elvy Hopkins ND6Q.

Elvy Hopkins said that when he contacted ARRL regarding the correcting of the information for SARC repeaters in the Repeater Directory. Change deadline is 15 January. Elvy said that he would submit the changes in November 1997.

Mark Rosenthal submitted a SARC Letterhead. Two changes were suggested.

Mark Rosenthal has sent a letter to Ann Taylor at the Kerr-McGee Center officially canceling Monday night meetings. Mark Rosenthal requested the board to approve the purchase of one book of 32 cent stamps for each SARC officer who requests it. Stamp use to be for SARC business on the honor system. No accounting of the stamps would be required and additional purchases for stamps used would be on request to the treasurer with no further board action. Leftover stamps are to be returned at end of an officer's term.

Mark Rosenthal requested that officers do not request repayment of expenses incurred until the total of the expenses exceeds $20. All minor expenses, up to $30, will be paid by the treasurer on request, provided a list is furnished detailing those expenses over the officer's signature. No receipts would be necessary. Each officer would be limited to $100 in the course of a year without further board approval. All requests for minor repayments must be made before the end of the calendar year.

President Hawthorne will begin to assemble the names of members of SARC standing committees.

Including an self addressed envelope in the January newsletter with a one page membership application form was discussed. The envelope was decided against. The one page membership application will be accepted after adding space for license expiration date.

There has been a request to put a list of paid-for-1997 call signs on SARC web page. It was decided that was not appropriate because that web page is open to the world. The same reasoning was used to decide not to put a membership list on the web page or packet. The meeting was adjourned at 1835 hrs.

Minutes of the General Meeting,
by Secretary, Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV
The meeting of 12 February 1997 was called to order at 1935 hrs. This was the first meeting in the Heritage Inn, rent free due to the kindness of the Inn. However SARC was not on the schedule for the Flight Deck Room and held the meeting in the smaller, lower conference room. Larry Merwin was elected to be Second Vice President by acclamation. The membership showed their appreciation with a round of applause. A wish list was passed around asking what was wanted in the way of programs for the coming year.

The point was made that if you signed up for the Officers Initiation Dinner and didn't attend, you should pay for your dinner. Several members signed up and then didn't show leaving SARC with a rather large bill. Fortunately Bill Ferris absorbed most of the shortage. He will not be expected to do that again. In the future, dinner will be paid for in advance or ordered off the menu.

Field day was discussed. Inputs are wanted. The schedule of meetings was announced: The board meeting will be the first Wednesday of the month. The general meeting will be the second Wednesday of the month. Both will be at the Heritage Inn.

A very interesting program on the communications, radar and other RF activities of the Federal Aviation Administration in the IWV area was given by Mike Semingson KE6KIJ. Attendance was nineteen persons. Four were visitors.

FOR SALE FOR SALE FOR SALE
811-A Transmitting Tubes, General Electric. New-in-box. Four each. $25 each, $45 pair, $80 for all four. I pack. You ship. Elvy ND6Q 619-384-3589

73s See ya in the funny papers. de ND6Q