The Airwaves
April 2000
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 
Apr 12	Board of Officers Meeting
	Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn  1900 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  1900 hrs
May 10	Membership Meeting
	Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn
	Ready Room  1930 hrs
        Program  Home brew Show & Tell
        Bring your projects See article
Jun 14  Board of Officers Meeting
        Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn  1900 hrs
Jun 14  Membership Meeting
        Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn
        Ready Room  1930 hrs
        Program  TBA
Jun 24-25 Field Day  Fun for all  See articles
        Call Mike Herr  375-5324
PUBLIC SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES
May 13-14  27th Death Valley to Mt. Whitney
        Two day bicycle race  See article
        Call Elvy  NØLV  384-3589

AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE EXAMS
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 384-358


FIELD DAY IS 24-25 JUNE
SHARPEN YOUR PORTABLE OPERATING SKILLS
MIKE HERR WA6ARA IS ORGANIZING CALL 375-532

FROM THE PRESIDENT'S SHACK
by Larry Merwin KE6YLG

This month there are four items which I believe require attention of the SARC membership.

Field Day

This year, Field Day will take place on the weekend of 24-25 June. Mike Herr WA6ARA has offered to spearhead the SARC operation and to put together the appropriate paperwork. This is a great opportunity to enjoy Ham Radio in the great outdoors and to get in some portable operations practice as well. It also gives the club a chance to highlight to the public just what Ham Radio is all about and the importance of Ham Radio in disaster communications.

Protection Of Our Bands

The March 13th edition of the Bakersfield Californian carried a piece headlined, "FCC to Promote Airwaves as Commodity to Buy, Sell." This article began with a description of the increasing congestion of the RF spectrum and then described a new system being created by the FCC that would allow portions of the RF spectrum to be bought, sold, loaned and traded just as any other commodity.

It seems clear to me that this will eventually place further pressure on our already much sought after Amateur bands. After all, why should the FCC continue to let us have our space in the RF spectrum when they can sell it to some giant telecomm provider for big bucks? We need to continue to seek public support for our hobby through events such as Field Day and the participation of Hams in public service events. The ARRL and its lobbying efforts in Washington also deserve our continued financial support through membership and donations.

Technical Articles For AIRWAVES

Jerry Brooks KK6PA has suggested that we have short technical articles in the Airwaves. Such articles could be small projects, an explanation of some practical or theoretical aspect of radio, a reference table or chart or anything of interest of a technical nature that can be covered in one or two pages at most. Please contact Jerry with topics or articles.

Malicious Interference

Many of you will know that there has again been some malicious interference on the local repeaters. When such interference happens (such as during Monday night Net) DO NOT respond to or refer to the interference in any way. This guy wants you to respond. DO NOT do it. Ignore it and work around it. That is the only appropriate response.

MEETING PROGRAM Wed 12 Apr
Phase 3D Amateur Radio Satellite.

Presently there are a multitude of amateur radio satellites in orbit around the earth. CW, SSB, FM, packet and video are all available on frequencies from fifteen meters to the microwaves. While some satellites, or "birds" as they are referred to, receive heavy use others are almost totally unused. AMSAT Phase 3D, the newest, most sophisticated satellite is now slated to be launched in July on board an Ariane 5 booster.

This will be a large satellite with a multitude of bands and modes. It will be the equivalent of the opening of a new DX band without dependence on sunspots.

The orbit will allow QSOs measuring in the hours and coverage of half the earth. Participation will require only a Technician license and modest antennas. Ground level or apartment balcony antennas will be sufficient.

Mike WA6ARA, the speaker, has twelve years experience in operating low orbit satellites, mostly low power CW, using modest antennas. To date forty-eight states and five countries have been confirmed.

PUBLIC SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES
Death Valley to Mt. Whitney 13-14 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.

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.

CHAIRMAN SEEKS PARTICIPATION

SARC Program Chairman, Mike Herr WA6ARA, is seeking member participation in SARC events. For information on the three subjects below, call Mike at 375-5324.

Program for May Meeting
"Home-brew Show and Tell"

Mike wants home-brew projects to be brought to the meeting. Anyone with a project, new or old, completed or underway, bring it in for display, and maybe, a demonstration. Also there will be a short discussion of various kits and projects available and a description of the "Manhattan" ugly style printed wiring construction.

Program Chairman Looking for Speakers

Mike is looking for speakers for the following subjects: DX chasing, contesting, stealth HF antennas, high power operating, proper grounding, antenna measurement, simple microwave projects, mobile installation and operating and just about anything else you can think of.

Field Day

Mike wants SARC input for field day. So far the response has been somewhat underwhelming. So, what do we want to do? Field Day in the IWV or in the mountains? QRP or QRO? There are a multitude of possibilities we could do and have a good time. If you are interested see me after the meeting or call.

RECENT SARC ACTIVITIES
Geo Bun Buster Sat 18 Mar
by Hal Hazel KM6JM

The 2000 Geo Bun Buster started right on schedule Saturday morning, March 18th, at 0615 hrs. It was calm, cool and forty-three degrees at the Coso Junction mini market which is the site of Base Camp for this ride. At the start of the race the only Ham on site was me. After placing several panicky CQs on 146.58 to see when people would start showing up, Ken Edgar KK7HQ arrived with Mark Slay KE6SMA right behind him.

Ken and Mark were immediately briefed and quickly took off for their assigned check points. Ken was at the first check point ensuring everyone made it the first 5.5 miles with a 500 foot elevation gain. Only one rider voluntarily pulled himself after the first four miles due to the condition of his horse. This information was quickly relayed by Ken back to base camp. Mark's check point was next in line at the Northern most water and number check point on the course in the Upper Cactus Flats area. His quick response and agile driving allowed him to get ahead of the riders and get set up for the first incoming. This was another six miles into the course with a 1200 foot elevation gain just short of the highest point in the course.

Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV showed up next and was assigned duties at the Vet Check 1. This is the first location that the horses were checked to ensure both horse and rider were in good enough shape to continue the ride. This is always one of the busiest locations on the course, trying to obtain the numbers of the riders as they arrive, keeping the ride officials up to date on other conditions of the ride, obtaining trailer services for those horses that were pulled for various reasons and keeping Net Control calm.

This year was just another typical ride. Several horses were pulled from the ride at Vet Check 1 and coordination was required to get the horse trailer to and from the Vet Check and Base Camp. Now it gets a bit foggy. Just before reaching the Vet Check one horse tripped, stumbled, and fell, knocking itself out. No, that's not right. The horse tripped, stumbled and fell, knocking it's rider unconscious. No, that's not right either. OK, maybe the horse fell, hit it's head on a rock and died. All three versions were being told later in the day. Whatever the real story is, the horse woke up a couple of minutes later, when some other riders came by, jumped up and being a bit disoriented, caused a bit of commotion. The rider managed to calm the horse down and walk it the rest of the way to the Vet Check. I haven not been able to find out if the horse completed the ride.

After being cleared by the veterinarian, the riders made a slow 2.5 mile, 550 foot elevation climb up the hills to where Jerry Brooks KK6PA and Dennis Farrell KF6SWK were waiting. After first missing the turnoff to the site where the water trough as located, Jerry and Dennis backtracked and found the right path.

This was one of the quieter locations, but with a fantastic view. From their location they could see almost the entire Little Lake and Coso valley area and had a clear visual shot into Base Camp, almost 8 miles away. However, Base Camp could not see them until a CQ was sent using flashing mirror.

Another 2.5 miles and a drop of 800 feet in elevation down the trail got the horses and riders to the next water stop and number check point staffed by Phelps TerHuen KF6ZVD. Phelps had to ensure the riders and horses made it safely across the road and headed in the right direction back towards base camp.

Although not a normal function of a check point, one of the riders had a shoe of their horse replaced at this check point. See "Hoofnote" below. After a 5.5 mile downhill run, all riders and mounts, not necessarily together, returned to base camp completing their thirty mile ride. The fifty mile group had a one hour hold and vet check prior to departing on loop three. One rider had to walk in after falling off his mule because of a loose saddle. The saddleless mule he was riding came in by itself following the marked trail and was escorted into base camp by other support personnel. Once the rider and mule were reunited, they went back up the trail to where he had fallen off and then completed the rest of the fifty mile ride.

By the time the riders started leaving base camp for loop three, the temperature had risen close to eighty degrees at Base Camp. This would definitely slow down the horses for the rest of the ride. Some more excitement at base camp had a horse getting loose and heading north along the power line road. This happened three times during the afternoon. After ride personnel retrieved the horse the first two times, they decided to let the owner hunt the horse down the third time. Strange, the horse never got loose the rest of the day. Hmmm....

After leaving base camp, the fifty milers retraced their first 5.5 miles back up to where Ken was patiently waiting. Besides checking off the riders numbers Ken had to ensure that they turned right, crossed the road and continued south to the next vet check. Ken was overheard later in the day mumbling "turn right and cross the road, turn right and cross the road, no your other right....."

After a 6.5 mile, slow, fairly level, 600 foot descent, the riders arrived at Vet Check 3 staffed by veteran horse ride communicator Dave Stone KC6UUR. After a last minute call on 146.640 while I was on the road to Coso Junction the afternoon before the ride, Dave graciously accepted a change in assignments. I'm sure that being able to sleep in several hours later had nothing to do with the speed at which he accepted the change in assignments.

Most of Dave's excitement consisted of trying to stay awake and fielding calls from base camp like "Are the last riders there yet?" "No?" "Why not?" repeated throughout the afternoon.

Another 6.5 miles down the course found the riders and horses at the finish line staffed by Bill Seif W6WGS. The finish line was almost as good as the finish line at Belmont. Bill found that throughout the afternoon, riders would put the pedal to the metal for the last 1000 yards, often resulting in a nose-to-nose photo- finish. After this mad, dusty dash the riders used generous amounts of water to cool down their horses. This resulted in several calls to Alex Higgins KD6ZUV to get more water brought out. Speaking of Alex, he works as part of the ride crew tasked with ensuring there are sufficient supplies of hay and water at all the water stops. Plus he had the fun task of retrieving the water troughs after the last rider has gone through.

The last fifty mile rider returned to base camp just a few minutes past 1800 hrs just a few minutes prior to the twelve hour maximum time limit. This ride lasted longer that previous rides and was attributed to the higher temperature in the afternoon. Next year the Ride Communications Coordinator (me) promises not to assume so much, will not be as hyper and will take his St. Johns Wort (provides calming effect). Sorry guys and thanks a lot.

Hoofnote: During the Geo Bun buster, I was moving the mail at Water Stop 6 and observed a little mare come down the trail kinda slow and easy like. Poor baby tossed a shoe up the hill somewhere. Her rider rounded up some Vet Wrap and was in the process of wrapping up the shoeless hoof when one of the spectators sauntered up, allowed as how he was a farrier and if the lady would bring the horse over to his white pick 'em up, he would put on a new shoe. Done deal in about ten minutes and when the rider tried to pay for the shoeing, the fellow refused her money. "Oh I'm sure you'd a done the same for me." Nice folks are just everywhere, aren't they? And, hay, it's kinda nice to honcho a full service water stop in the middle of nowhere.
Phelps KF6ZVD

RACES RAMBLINGS
Old Com Trailer Needs TLC

If you would like to get into a non-radio project that is very worthwhile give Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV a call at 375-7245. The "new" communications trailer needs a new roof. The tarp that is the present roof stayed on in the last windstorm. We plan to remove the old aluminum covering and at least some of the roof structure and replace them with a more sturdy structure and more insulation. The rest of the trailer seems to be in fairly good condition. We need a few good men and women willing to work no-brainer projects to get it all done. A good many man hours are needed but with lots of camaraderie it will go a lot quicker. The new communications trailer will be a lot more comfortable and useful. Some work sessions will be announced but you can be put to work at your own convenience.

VOLUNTEER EXAMINERS NEEDED

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 vec@arrl.org 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.

NET CONTROL STATIONS NEEDED

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.

IN THE MILL
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 herr@ridgecrest.ca.us). Remember, Field Day is the fourth weekend of June, the 24th and the 25th.

Badge Shipment Arrives

Treasurer, Ralph Frasier, 375-1534, has new badges for KF6ZVD Phelps TerHuen, WA6YSQ Claude Wood, K6WAG Bob Wagner, KE6LPK Lori Semple, KK7HQ Ken Edgar, KD6IWA Rudy Largoza and WA6QFD Chuck Pierce.

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 http://www.arrl.org/fcc/uls-qa.html Links for obtaining copies of Forms 605 and 606 are at http://www.arrl.org/fcc/forms.html, while a tutorial on the basics of how to register is given at http://www.arrl.org/fcc/uls101.html

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

Mar 8, 2000. Those present: President Larry Merwin KE6YLG, 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 1850 hrs.

Elvy announced that the SARC did not have to pay for the RACES communication trailer license as it is exempt and is licensed by the city. A discussion was held on new books for library. Elvy went over books that were needed. Elvy announced money raised from sale of Roger Meng's KA6CIE gear will be used to buy books for the library. The library will allow the normal identification plate and a dedication plate for the Roger Meng memorial books. Elvy will request permission to purchase the books at the general meeting. It is time to review the SARC constitution. The board will discuss this at the next board meeting.

Mike is working on programs for upcoming general meetings. Larry will not be at the next meeting. Ralph reported that SARC is in good financial shape. Tom reported that he had received seventy- one membership applications. It was noted that we need more participation on community activities. No news on the 147 machine. There has been no volunteers for VE liaison replacement for Bill Maraffio N6PR. It was mentioned that the hospital plans to put up a tower. The next board meeting will start at 1900 hrs. The meeting was adjourned at 1912 hrs.

Minutes, Membership Meeting
by Secretary Tom Ingram WB6EPD

The 8 March meeting was called to order by the President Larry Merwin KE6YLG at 1932 hrs at the Heritage Inn. Fifty-fifty tickets were available for the meeting. Sign-up sheet was started around.

Announcements:
Last issue of the AIRWAVES for those who have not paid their 2000 dues. Geo Bun Buster horse ride will be 18 March. Mike Herr WA6ARA talked about Field Day. He will help organize it. The location is open. Paula Gibeault N6OQQ talked about the Rim of the World Auto rally to be held May 5-6. Amateurs radio operators are needed. APRS and packet will be used. Elvy Hopkins NØLV announced that the proceeds made from the sale of radio gear donated by Roger Meng's KA6CIE widow will be used to purchase amateur radio books for the library.

Elvy read a list of books that he would like to purchase. Elvy made a motion to proceed with the purchase. Eugene Chun KF6CMV seconded the motion. Elvy encouraged those wishing to take the VE exams in April to sign up early. Ten people have signed up already. Ralph Frasier KQ6UU announced that he had received new badges.

Jim Leonard WA6TFZ along with several assistants from the China Lake Astronomical Society, provided the evening program. Jim provided a slide show and announced that the China Lake Astronomical Society meets the first Monday of every month. Jerry Brooks KK6PA talked about a once a year technical AIRWAVES newsletter. Anyone with inputs should get ideas to Jerry. Rudy Largoza KA6IWA won the 50-50 drawing. Twenty-three amateurs signed in at the meeting. The meeting adjourned at 2034 hrs.

TREASURERS REPORT
from Ralph Frasier KQ6UU

As of 2 March Y2K
        Share account   $3,397.70
        Draft account   2,537.81
        Total   $5,935.51
        Obligated funds 
                Relocate 147.00 repeater        1,200.00
        Balance $4,735.51

FOR SALE FOR SALE FOR SALE

Icom V21AT 144/220 MHz handy-talky with extra battery $250. Radio Shack HTX-202 144-148 MHz handy-talky $100. Kenwood TM231A 2 meter mobile, 50 watts $200. Kenwood TM331A 220MHz mobile, 25 watts $275. TS-850SAT HF rig with antenna tuner $950. Miscelaneous stuff that will sell when anyone comes to see the above. Bob Rounthwaite WD6GBX riverwalk@juno.com.

FOR SALE FOR SALE FOR SALE

Hammarlund Super Pro SP-600 JX-14 HF receiver in Hammarlund cabinet, excellent condition, $500, Jim Leonard 377-3474, supersaw@ridgenet.net

Contacting THE AIRWAVES Editor

Elvy Hopkins NØLV at 384-ELVY or e-mail ehopkins@ridgenet.net.

See ya in da funny paperz. de NØLV


Updated Sat May 13 13:30:17 PDT 2000