The Airwaves
March 1998
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
Mondays SARC Emergency Net
      Every Monday 1930 hrs
      WA6YBN translator
      146.64 MHz (- 600 kHz)
      Visitors welcome
Mar 4 Board of Officers Meeting
      First Wednesday Heritage Inn 1715 hrs
Mar 11 Membership Meeting
      Second Wednesday Heritage Inn
      Flight Deck Room 1930 hrs
      Program: Six Meter Radio Control
      by Chuck Pierce WA6QFD
Apr 1 Board of Officers Meeting
      First Wednesday Heritage Inn 1715 hrs
Apr 8 Membership Meeting
      Second Wednesday Heritage Inn
      Flight Deck Room 1930 hrs
      Program: Mars Pathfinder & NAWC
      by Mike Herr WA6ARA
May 6 Board of Officers Meeting
      First Wednesday Heritage Inn 1715 hrs
May 13 Membership Meeting
      Second Wednesday Heritage Inn
      Flight Deck Room 1930 hrs
      Program: TBA
PUBLIC SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES
Mar 14 Coso Bun Buster 50 mile horse ride
      Call Hal Hazel KM6JM 371-3208 See article
May  9 & 10 Death Valley to Mt. Whitney Bicycle Race 
      Call Elvy Hopkins NØLV at 384-3589 to volunteer for one or both days
May 2,3 Northern California ACS Emergency Response Institute 
      Sacramento Calif. Dave Larton 408-778-7265 Home page 
       Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV 375-7245
LICENSE CLASSES AND EXAMS
Apr 11 Volunteer License Exam Session
      Kern County Library, Ridgecrest Branch, Meeting Room, 
      131 East Las Flores Ave.
      Written exam 0900hrs, Code test 1100 hrs 
      Call NØLV 384-3589
Jun 13 Volunteer License Exam Session
      Kern County Library, Ridgecrest Branch, Meeting Room, 
      131 East Las Flores Ave.
      Written exam 0900hrs, Code test 1100 hrs 
      Call NØLV 384-3589
Aug 8 Volunteer License Exam Session
      Kern County Library, Ridgecrest Branch, Meeting Room, 
      131 East Las Flores Ave.
      Written exam 0900hrs, Code test 1100 hrs 
      Call NØLV 384-3589

THIS IS YOUR LAST ISSUE OF THE AIRWAVES IF HAVE NOT RENEWED YOUR SARC MEMBERSHIP BY 31 MARCH


FROM THE PRESIDENTS SHACK
by Charlie Hawthorne KE6WQR

The Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL), is it a blessing or a curse? Each Ham has his or her own ideas about the worth of the ARRL. Here is my two cents worth. I appreciate the fact that I can get a Ham oriented magazine, books, videos and information from the ARRL, but to me, that is secondary to what I think is their most valuable contribution to the amateur radio community. The ARRL involves itself in the politics of the nation and the international community to try and keep airwaves for you, as Hams, to operate in. This is a big, expensive and complex job. In this age of communications technology, everyone (industries, governments, etc.) wants frequency bands for their exclusive use. Frequency allocations, whether you like it or not, are mandated by the World Radio Conferences (WRC). The representatives at these conferences work hard to obtain frequency allocations that benefit their interests. Their interests are usually driven by the governments that sponsor them. The interests of the governments, as you all know, is driven hard by money and security concerns (defense). The money generally comes from industries that are trying to find frequency bands that they can co-opt (Little Leo and the Ham bands, for example). Finding frequencies can be a make or break for some industries, so you can bet that they are not going to quit trying to take what they need through hook or crook. The ARRL, so far, has been big enough and respected enough that it has been fairly successful in keeping us Hams on the airwaves without undue loss of spectrum. We would not have any frequency bands to ourselves without their continual battling of competing interests.

The ARRL performs one other service that I see as being very useful. The FCC does not divide the Ham bands up into sections for special interests, such as QRP, EME, CW, repeaters, etc. If there were no recognized sub-bands though, the low power community would never be able to operate. Whether you believe it was done logically, or fairly, or not, at least the ARRL tried to divide the Ham bands up into parts where various interests can operate without undue interference. Those sub-bands are published by the ARRL so that there is no reason for a Ham not to be familiar with particular operating frequencies. If any of you have used your VHF radios in the Los Angeles or San Diego areas, you have probably heard persons that do not follow the rules (informal as they may be) and it was probably quite irritating to you. Just try to imagine how chaotic the airwaves would become if there were no rules to follow. For my part, I am thankful that we Hams have such an aggressive organization as the ARRL looking out for what we want to keep.

MEETING PROGRAMS
Six Meter Radio Control Wed. 11 March

A walk through the history of six meter model aircraft radio control (RC) and current developments will be the subject for Chuck Pierce WA6QFD in his March program. Chuck started controlling model aircraft when home built, vacuum tube transmitters and receivers were state-of-the-art. He will trace the development of equipment and the application of solid state technology and it's complexity to modern RC. Samples of equipment and aircraft will be on display.

Mars Pathfinder & NAWC Wed. 8 April

NAWC, China Lake was very much involved with the development of the Mars Pathfinder spacecraft which landed on Mars 4 July, 1997. Mike Herr WA6ARA was deeply involved in testing, problem solution and hardware fabrication. Mike will also brief us on Pathfinder radio resources and future plans to explore Mars. A Ham transponder on Mars? Attend the April meeting for this interesting program.

PUBLIC SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES
Coso Bun Buster Sat. 14 March

If you have not ventured into the fun of this kind of thing, try it. The Bun Buster horse ride starts early in the morning. Sometimes a pickup truck is a good thing to have. Some check points are on paved roads. Let Hal Hazel KM6JM at 371-3208 know your vehicle and radio capabilities and a check point at which your combination will suffice will be your duty point. Check in early so Hal can best organize the crew.

Lloyd Brubaker has plans to set up the portable packet network at this horse ride for on-the-job RACES training. If you have never used packet or want packet experience this is your opportunity. Are you interested in writing logging and record keeping software for horse and bicycle rides? Call Lloyd.

Rim of the World Car Rally 8, 9 May
by Paula Gibeault N7OQQ

It is time for the 1998 Rim of the World Pro Rally. This event, organized by Mike N6PYM and Paula N6OQQ Gibeault, is in its fifteenth year and once again promises just about every type of adventure a special event can provide. Pro Rallies are definitely not your tame street rally. These are flat-out time trial competitions on twisty, cliffy, dirt fire roads.

The majority of amateurs working the rally or tracking the cars get a front row view of the rally racers blasting down dirt roads. Others work net control for their own stage and some get to ride along in the organizers' cars. And then there is the intrepid packet crew who do a beautiful job of sending all scores from the field to headquarters, thereby allowing the rally scores to be final before the cars even get back to the finish. Rim of the World will take place May 8 and 9 starting in Palmdale and running in the Angeles National Forest south of that city. If any of the various positions sound interesting to you, please give Mike and Paula a call at 375-8704 or e-mail them at . All workers receive a very nice T-shirt and a $20 room rebate toward a motel room, each night, if needed. We hope to hear from you.

Death Valley to Mt. Whitney 9, 10 May

Now is not too early to begin thinking about this two day, nationally known bicycle race from Stovepipe Wells to Whitney Portals. 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.

RENEW SARC MEMBERSHIP NOW

All SARC memberships expire on 31 December. Please use the enclosed membership application to renew your SARC membership. Payment by check to "SARC" sent to the PO Box 1442, Ridgecrest CA 93556-1442 is the preferred method. Treasurer, Mark Rosenthal N6BVP, says that no payments will be accepted without a completed application (which he uses to keep the membership list current). Members for 1997 will receive THE AIRWAVES through March 1998. If not renewed by 1 April, you will dropped from the SARC membership roll.

Now is also a good time to order a SARC badge which will identify you at meetings, field day, public service events and emergency operations. Use the order form on the bottom of the membership application.

SARC PATCHES NOW AVAILABLE

Mark Rosenthal N6BVP has received our order of SARC patches. The price is $4.00 each. See Mark at a meeting for purchases or use the order form on the bottom of the membership application.

RECENT SARC ACTIVITIES
Boy Scout Winter Outing
by Bill Burns WA6QYR

Boy Scout Troop 291, sponsored by the VFW, was wanting to go "camp in the snow." With all the wet and snowing kinds of weather lately, it looked like either Walker Pass camp ground or Kennedy Meadows could be locations for camping. Bill Burns WA6QYR contacted Ann McMillan WD6AYI for information on the the Kennedy Meadows area. Ann put Bill in contact with Cliff Caplinger W7PFC who lives in the Kennedy Meadows area. Several two meter contacts and updates indicated that roads to up Nine Mile Canyon and into Kennedy Meadows area were suitable for an outing on 14 February. The troop, noting the weather front moving in, opted for a one day outing of sledding and snow boarding. Thanks to Ann and Cliff for the support and monitoring radios during the outing. The Scouts had fun, got wet and came home in one piece. Bill and Scoutmaster Cass had fun too, with snow chains.

Twenty Mule Team 100 Mile Horse Ride
by Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV

The twenty-first of February began much the same as all horse rides. Stations calling in, assignments, horses and riders bouncing around in the early, cold and breezy sunrise. We had enough Hams for the event even though the night before there was, as usual, some doubt. Jacky Bumgardner KC6IFG had found her handheld, found out how to turn it on and how to turn to the frequency she was supposed to use. This organizational phenomenon lasted all day! The new route that resulted from not using any of the trails within Red Rock Canyon State Park caused general approval from the Hams since water check points and vet checks were generally closer to base camp. Also using the fair grounds as base camp gave us much more room and better facilities. Three loops were used. The map was a fascinating illustration of graphic geography. The most distant loop was used only by the forty or so hundred milers and could be abandoned by late afternoon. This brought everyone even closer together.

There was the usual number of pulls, briefly lost horses and other such minor emergencies. We were greatly appreciated by the riders who saw fit to mention it often. The loops were closed at about midnight. A party gradually developed at check point 3, 5 and 7 just above the college and did not close until about daylight. I believe that's the first time we had a check point that refused to close after all of the horses were in.

The packet stations and rider data base were given a good workout again and finally proved that using such a data base was not as profitable as we thought it might be. Hal Hazel KM6JM worked packet until about noon then decided it was not worth it. We closed the RACES communications trailer and put it away. Again, the smaller, closer loops made it possible to use the 146.64 MHz repeater. The police van was installed at the fair grounds and used the whole time. Power is available there, however we used the generator for much of the time. Whether or not packet is useful at a horse or bike ride is still controversial. It does work, and works well. It seems better adapted for what we set it up for and that is shelter and medical nets. It was used this time and will be used for the Fire Mountain Fifty ride to give training to packet novices and it was well worth the effort in this regard.

We did come up with a problem that needs to be given some thought. Lloyd WA6KZV hit the volume knob on his portable while attending the trestle water check point and went off the air as far as the rest of the net was concerned. All else was going along just fine so he had no cause to transmit. Several stations tried calling him and got no response and became mildly alarmed. The riders from his check point were not aware of any problem, of course. Finally Greg WA7IRW drove out to see what the problem was. Meanwhile Lloyd finally became aware of the long silence and discovered the error. He checked in again and was properly chastised. Lloyd certainly appreciated seeing Greg show up. The trestle check point can be awfully dark and lonely in the middle of the night. The net was run informally most of the time. This worked well.

When activity stepped up Dave KC6UUR exerted control and kept things running smoothly. Judy KC6UTF suffered from battery problems and went off the air for about an hour but nothing resulted from the hole in the net except her own sense of concern. It may be that a formal roll call be initiated about every thirty minutes or so especially during the night hours just to be sure that all is OK. It could be as simple as the NCS checking everybody off on a special sheet and then calling those remaining to be sure they are all right.

Mike Cash KN6IS is working on a program to make maps of the ride area and routes. GPS readings have been taken of all check points and junctions (waypoints) and it is hoped that we will be able to come up with better, more accurate maps along with the ability to make changes as needed. A good map has been long in coming.

Stations that helped with the net and not mentioned above were Jerry Brooks KK6PA, Jack Bitzer NL7SX, Bill Burns WA6QYR, Alan Hugo KD6IQB, Mike Gallagher KF6BCN, Ron Higgins KD6ZUV and Tim Lyons KF6LCH. I apologize for any I might have missed.

Volunteer Exam Session

The Valentines Day Volunteer Examination Session provided valentine licenses for several persons. Technician licenses were earned by Roger Sellinger KF6PLD, Steven Martin KF6PLE, Bruce Johansen KF6PLF and Perry Diaz KF6PLG. Ralph Frasier KF6LCG upgraded from Tech Plus to Advanced and has a new Group B call sign on itıs way. Marie Thompson KE6ZLN upgraded from General to Extra. Eight candidates took seventeen tests and all got at least a CSCE. Congratulations to all. These Hams will receive two free issues of THE AIRWAVES with membership applications enclosed.

Inyokern Parade
by Mark Rosenthal N6BVP

I would like to thank the Hams that arrived in Inyokern at the early hour of 9:00 am on 21 February to work the Inyokern Celebration and Parade. I never got to see some of them, since I dispatched them by radio. Novel idea, Huh? The parade went off without a hitch and most of us were home by eleven o'clock. Thanks to Rosalie Barber KF6CMZ, Mack Hope KD6IPN, Greg Roush WA7IRW, Judith Rogow N7TTH, Bob Huckins W6UPI and Bob Rose KC6YYT. I'll see you at the Desert Empire Fair Parade.

TREASURERS REPORT
from Mark Rosenthal N6BVP

As of 24 February
  Share account              $2,444.09
  Draft account               1,978.51
  Total                      $4,422.60
  Obligated funds
    Relocate 147.00 repeater  1,200.00
  Balance                    $3,226.60
IN THE MILL
From the ARRL Section Manager

Below is an e-mail received on 20 February. I just want to compliment your club on the very nice SARC web page. Please convey my best regards to the membership of your club and contact me anytime if I can be of assistance. Very 73, de Donald W. Costello W7WN, Section Manager, ARRL, Pacific Division, San Joaquin Valley Section (Ed. note: The SARC web page is the work of Larry Jenkins KN6WI and is at http://www.ridgecrest.ca.us/~jenkins/HAM/SARC.html.)

Maggy Pladson Memorial Scholarship

"Maggie" Pladson WA6RFJ, a long time Ridgecrest resident and Ham, became a silent key recently. His family has established the Magnus K. Pladson scholarship for engineering and communications with the Fire Mountain Foundation, Cerro Coso Community Development Office. Proceeds from the sale of Maggie's Ham equipment will go to the scholarship. Bob Huckins W6UPI is assisting the family with the sale. See the For Sale section for listing of equipment available through Bob.

Cerro Coso License Class

The spring semester CCCC Amateur Radio (Technician) License class has eight members. The instructor, Tim Lyons KF6LCH, is asking for IWV Hams with special interests or skills, applicable to the class, to volunteer to make a presentation in the class. You may contact Tim at 375-9886.

Field Day       Field Day       Field Day

Field Day 1998 will be June 27 and 28. Mike Cash KN6IS has jumped at the invitation to head up the effort to hold SARC Field Day at the Leroy Jackson

park in Ridgecrest. The object of Field Day is to work as many stations as possible on any or all amateur bands (excluding the 30, 17 and 12 meter bands) and, in doing so, to learn to operate in abnormal situations under less-than-optimum conditions. A premium is placed on skills and equipment developed to meet the challenge of emergency preparedness and to acquaint the public with the capabilities of Amateur Radio.

The SARC tower trailer with it's three element, tri-band beam will dominate the park skyline. Wire antennas will burden the trees. Weird concoctions of wire, rope, coax and strange little boxes will be strung from poles of various materials. Computers, gas lanterns, tents, not to mention transceivers and the full gamut of Ham gear will live in the park for twenty-four hours of attack on the RF spectrum. A Saturday evening picnic and BBQ is in the planning stage. We wouldn't want to let MacDonalds bring any civility to this all out assault on the either.

Contact Mike Cash, 375-4441, if you would like to be an operator, be a logger, help set up, help tear down, kibitz, cook, take pictures, take videos or participate in any manner. Experience is not required. Field Day is where experience is gained.

RF Exposure Errata

For those of you using the January 1998 QST article to compute RF exposures, Table 6 in "FCC RF-Exposure Regulations - The Station Evaluation" (January 1998 QST, page 54), contains three incorrect numbers in the 30-foot height-above-ground column. Table 6 is reproduced correctly on page 72 of the February issue of QST.

Table 6 was reproduced on the handout for the RF Exposure program by Bill Burns WA6QYR at the February meeting. The corrections may be pencilled in.

OLD BUSINESS
Board of Officers Meeting Minutes
by Secretary Tom Ingram WB6EPD

February 4, 1998. Those present: Pres. Charlie Hawthorne KE6WQR, 1st VP David Stone KC6UUR, 2nd VP Larry Merwin KE6YLG, Secy. Tom Ingram WB6EPD, Treas. Mark Rosenthal N6BVP and AIRWAVES editor Elvy Hopkins NØLV. Due to a change in the general meeting programs, tables were requested for the Flight Deck Room for the March meeting vice the February meeting. The Flight Deck room will be used for February and March. The time for the Board of Officers Meetings was changed from 5:30 pm to 5:15 pm. New membership applications which include a patch order are now available. Three members paid dues twice. These members were contacted and all three requested that the extra dues be placed in the repeater fund. Need to thank those who have donated money for repeater and general funds.

We have not paid any fee for the phone at the 147.00 MHz repeater site. Dave will check with Ed Tipler. The need for a financial audit was discussed. THE AIRWAVES editor announced that he may need to combine two newsletters or be late with one in the near future due to his schedule. Three hundred and sixty-nine February AIRWAVES were mailed out at a cost of $338.58. If sixteen pound bond is used for large newsletters (7 pages) only one thirty-two cent stamp is needed. A SARC membership card was discussed. The board decided that a card is not needed.

Standing committees were discussed. The board decided not to take any action on these committees at this time. Field Day was discussed. This will be mentioned in the next newsletter and in upcoming general meetings. Charlie will check with Mike Cash to see if he is interested in leading a Field Day effort this year. Past general meeting programs were discussed. No ideas for future programs were presented.

Minutes of the General Meeting

The 11 February meeting was called to order by the president at 1930 hrs at the Heritage Inn. SARC patches are available. The cost is $4.00 each. Announcements were made. Inyokern Parade on 21 February. Twenty Mule Team horse ride on 21 February. Coso Bun Buster on 14 March. Amateur Exams on 14 February. Second VP Larry Merwin KE6YLG discussed upcoming programs and announced that he is looking for additional programs. Anyone with an idea for a program should let Larry know. There were two guest at the meeting, George Schrems WAØTEF and Jim Kusznir's mother.

Tim Lyons KF6LCH who is teaching the Ham class at the college announced that he wouldlike some program presenters for the Ham class. Anyone interested should give Tim a call at 375-9886. Bob Huckins W6UPI announced some HF radio gear was for sale. A list will be in the next AIRWAVES. The evening's program was presented by Bill Burns WA6QYR on the new FCC RF Exposure Rules. Bill had a copy of the latest RF bulletin which is available on the internet. The new 610 form requires amateurs to state that they are in compliance with this bulletin.

Twenty seven members attended. Gene Chun KF6CMV won $9 in the 50-50 drawing. The meeting adjourned at 2110 hrs.

FOR SALE       FOR SALE       FOR SALE

Transceiver, HF, solid state, Kenwood TS440S with matching PS30 power supply $650
Antenna tower, fifty-five feet, three section, crank up, free standing, Tristao TX455 (18 sqft at 50 mph), $600
Desk microphone, Shure 440D $50
Low Pass filter, 1000 Watt $25
Power supply 14.4 VDC, 16 cont. 20 ICS AMP, Astron RS20A $85
Tube tester, US Govt. surplus, nice one, $45
Collectors item, HF transceiver, vacuum tube (Remember DeForest valves?), 100 Watts, Yaesu FTdx560, with matching speaker $125
Box of miscellaneous new and used vacuum tubes, $25
All items very clean and undamaged. Call Bob Huckins W6UPI 760-375-7655, e-mail w6upi@ridgecrest.ca.us.

WANTED       WANTED       WANTED

Oscilloscope: 25 MHz, dual trace, solid state.
Function Generator: sine/square wave to 500 kHz, solid state.
Freq. Counter: 10 Hz to 50 MHz, solid state.
Transceiver: dual band 2m/440, all modes, DTSS and CTCSS encode/decode, memory must include sub-audible tones, need not be cross band. Prefer Icom IC-207H.
Contact Claude Wood WA6YSQ 377-5558, e-mail cmwood@iwvisp.com.

Contacting THE AIRWAVES Editor If you have an article for The AIRWAVES or an idea for one, contact the editor Elvy Hopkins NØLV at 384-ELVY or e-mail ehopkins@ridgecrest.ca.us.

See       ya       in       the      funny       paperz       de NØLV