The Airwaves
April 2002
SIERRA AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
An ARRL Special Services Club -- RACES -- ARES
P.O. Box 1442, Ridgecrest, California 93556-1442

Board

Of

Officers

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


THE AIRWAVES CALENDAR
SIERRA AMATEUR RADIO CLUB MEETINGS
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
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
Apr 29  Deadline for May Airwaves Submittals.
        To: Phelps, terheun@mchsi.com
May 8   Board of Officers Meeting
        Second Wednesday 
        Heritage Inn  1900 hrs
May 8   Membership Meeting
        Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn 
        Ready Room  1930 hrs.
PUBLIC  SERVICE  OPPORTUNITIES
May 18-19  The 29th. Death Valley to Mt. Whitney Bicycle Race
	   Two day bicycle event   See article
	   Call Mike Alamo  KF6WSR, 382-0474

ACTIVITIES
Monthly Fox Hunts   See article
Apr 13     Heritage Inn parking lot,  0900 hrs 
May 11     Contact Mike Herr WA6ARA 375-5324
Jun 12     E-mail herr@ridgenet.net 
June 22-23 National Amateur Radio Field Day
           Join the Fun.  Do radio outdoors
           Twenty-four hours of fun and panic
           possibly at Leroy Jackson Park
           (across from the fire station)
           in Ridgecrest.  May also be located elsewhere. 
           See May Airwaves.

AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE EXAMS
Apr 13   Volunteer License Exam Session
Jun 8    Kern County Library  Ridgecrest Branch
         131 East Las Flores Ave   Meeting Room
Second   Pre-registration by 10 April.  Walk-in ? Please call
Sat      All must register at 9 am  Code test 11 am
Even     Contact Bill Maraffio N6PR 446-4165
Months   E-mail  n6pr@arrl.net

PRESIDENT'S SHACK

As many of you know, the regular Airwaves editor, Elvy NØLV, had to tend to his father's affairs after he suddenly passed away. You are reading this newsletter as the result of club members jumping in getting the job done. Phelps, KF6ZVD, stepped in as editor, preparing the newsletter, Tom, WB6EPD with the mail labels and Pam, KC6UUS folding, stapling, stamping and mailing. Thanks all for pitching in.

If you missed the last club meeting, you missed a great Home-brew Roundup. A lot of projects and ideas were floating around. The members of the club are building and experimenting with all sorts of things, from APRS GPS beacons to 3 GHz transverters. Some of the projects were simple and low cost while others took plenty of time and effort to complete. Hopefully we will see a few more at the next roundup.

Field Day is coming! Field Day is a once a year event, occurring the 4th weekend in June. This year it will be 22 - 23 June. This is easily the biggest contest of the year in the United States, in fact, unless you hang out on 30 meters (no contests there) you can't escape it. Typically we have collected together at the park, set up antennas, generators, etc., and operated for 24 hours. Some come and operate the entire time, others only for an hour or so, and others just stop by and say hi. Yes, it can get hot, or windy, but it's a good time. Last year we did a QRP entry, keeping power below 5 watts. Some hams came out and did a microwave, PSK31, and APRS demonstrations.

What we need is a Field Day committee and a chairman. There really isn't a lot of work to be done, only some of it needs to be done up front. First, what kind of Field Day do we want to do? You can't please everyone all the time so just select a format and location. Mountains or desert, QRP or QRO? Just HF or do a little VHF / UHF? The club has insurance if a county / city park is selected, we have an antenna trailer with a beam as well. I'd like to form a Field Day committee at the next club meeting so be prepared to come with your suggestions and willingness to help.

73 Mike WA6ARA

MEETING PROGRAM

The meeting program for the April meeting will be on the subject of ARES/RACES, and will be presented by Jerry Brooks, KK6PA

PUBLIC SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES

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 kf6wsr@arrl.net 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.

Net Control for the SARC Monday evening nets
Volunteers always needed for these. Sign up as net control for a month or an evening. Contact Lloyd Brubaker, WA6KZV, 375-7245

BEING PREPARED
16 February, Ridgecrest Fairgrounds, SARC trailer all set up . . . or was it ?

Since I had the base camp duty for the 100 Miler, I arrived at the trailer to find . . . trash inside . . . required radio (2M) not at the operating position . . . No tools with which to attempt to correct the situation.

Lloyd (after digging around in his truck for a time) eventually came up with something loosely (very loosely) resembling a pair of pliers . . .

With some struggling with this so called "tool", the correct radio was liberated from its mounting bracket and properly relocated (well almost) to the operating table. "Almost" because the antenna coax wasn't long enough to allow the radio to be properly installed in the mounting bracket at that location. Oh well, can't have everything. At least, it was on the right table, if not in a secure position. Aha, but stay tuned, this gets downright entertaining . . .

AND THEN THERE WAS ONE . . .

Strangest thing, but just the act of walking around in the trailer caused the 2M radio to spontaneously key up. . . . oops ! Ah so, the return spring on the PTT switch was either broken or missing. No problem; there are four Kenwood microphones in the trailer. We'll just swap microphones. OK then, push, pull, click, click, back in business that quick ! Well, not quite. First substitute mic was a keypad type with the keypad cover missing. Almost impossible to use it without also transmitting tones. Spreading hate and discontent abroad in the land. Tsk, Tsk. OK, let's get one of the other Kenwood microphones. Are you keeping track here ? Good. Two down, two to go. Substituted the third Kenwood microphone. DOA INOP Kaput. PTT switch in this one didn't operate at all. Well, we've got just one more left . . .

Aha, success. This one worked.

Well folks, the messy trailer wasn't exactly sterling public relations for those who poked their heads in to visit. But it would have been a real disaster if four Kenwood microphones had been on the sick list and we had a fire drill pulling a radio out of one of the vehicles and substituting it for the "collection" of unusable radios in the trailer.

Now then, none of these monkey motions would have happened IF the trailer equipment had simply been checked out the previous afternoon. It would only have taken a few of minutes to discover that the radio installed was the wrong one . . and the coax was too short . . . and that the mic didn't work . . . and fix all that.

So, in future, let's take just a little more care to really be ready. What's the saying ?

Proper, Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.

73, de Phelps/KF6ZVD

REPEATER HAPPENINGS

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 legal beagle corpse (sic) of the owner of the proposed location as to whether our installation will be permitted.

COMING SARC ACTIVITIES

Transmitter Hunt Sat 13 April
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 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.

For more information, contact Mike Herr WA6ARA at 375-5324 or herr@ridgenet.net.

RECENT SARC ACTIVITIES

2002 Geo Bun Buster By Hal Hazel/KM6JM
The day finally ended for KC6UUR/Dave and myself just after 1630 when the tail end rider arrived at Vet Check 3, passed the mandatory P&R and general condition check (the horse, not the rider), and departing. Well shoot, Phelps and Elvy won't let me get away with that so I guess I better start at the beginning. The Geo Bun Buster is the third of three Horse/Rider endurance rides that the Sierra Amateur Radio Club supports throughout the year. This ride takes place around the Coso Junction, McCloud Flats, and Cinder Hill areas, and consists of a 30 mile course and a 50 mile course.

The terrain in this area varies from line of sight communications to having several rather tall hills in between base camp and the farthest Check Point. Rather than using the SARC portable repeater, simplex communications has been used for the last few years. Although this could cause problems because all check points cannot hear or talk to each other, base camp is able to communicate with all check points that are using mobile rigs and antennas and with some check points using HTs. With a little bit of circuit discipline, you know, those little things like checking to see if the frequency is clear and relaying only that traffic that you are responsible for, simplex operation has proved to be very effective.

This year's Geo Bun Buster was different than most of the others. Nothing exciting happened. No knocked out horses, no thrown riders, no rider-less horses. Several horses had to be trailered back to base camp from Vet Check 1 and 3, but nothing really worth mentioning

Oh, it was a bit windy for Mark and myself on Friday evening/night. Mark/KE6SMA came up early and spent the night in a wind-blown tent at McCloud Flats. Mark said it wouldn't have been that bad except that his dogs beat him to the sleeping bag. By the time Mark got to the sleeping bag, there wasn't much room left. Even my "Earthquake Preparedness Kit / Mobile Radio Shack," with it's stabilizer jacks down, was rocking throughout the night. Throughout Saturday was pretty much the same.

I like to think that when things are slow, it's not necessarily that things are slow, but that everyone knows what they are doing and doing it very well. I'd like to thank the following hams who "did it very well:" KB6NIZ/Mike (who claims to have been assigned the windiest place of the ride), KE6SMA/Mark (who had a good view of the Vandenberg missile shot Friday night but missed most of it), KK7HQ (last minute volunteer who did a lot of running around gathering information at Vet Check 1), WA6KZV/Lloyd (who knew when to relay traffic and did so without being asked), W6DWF/Dennis (up at the top of the ride, with a splendid view of the entire valley), KF6ZVD/Phelps (sorry about taking so long in getting this write-up to you), KC6UUR/Dave (allowed to sleep in since his assignment did not require his presence early), and the ever present KD6ZUV/Alex (ensuring there was horse and people water and hay at each of the check points).

Although we always want hams who "do it very well," that ability is not something that comes naturally. The above mentioned hams have been helping out with the three horse rides off and on for, well, since I moved here in '92. I would like to ask some of the hams who might not think that they can "do it very well" to volunteer the next time these rides come along. There are many assignments that are suitable for first-timers, either a check point by themselves or assisting another ham. We'll make sure you get air time, you won't be just a "gofer." The experience you get during these communication support events, whether it is a horse ride, parade, bike ride, or any other event, will definitely help you when called upon to help out with disaster communications. Plus, you get to meet a bunch of great people... Just stay away from the horses with the red ribbon on their tails !

73 de Hal/KM6JM

IN THE MILL

Field Day Coordinator
SARC still 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.

OLD BUSINESS

Minutes, Board of Officers Meeting
By Secretary Tom Ingram (WB6EPD) Mar 13, 2002. Those present: Pres. Mike Herr (WA6ARA), 2nd Vice Pres. Todd Evans, Treas. Pam Evans (KC6UUS) and Secy. Tom Ingram (WB6EPD).

The meeting started at 1905 hrs. Donations of $100 from the Fire Mountain 50 horse ride and $100 from the 20 Mule Team ride were presented to the club. Items for the general meeting were discussed. The meeting was adjourned at 1915 hrs. Minutes, Membership Meeting

By Secretary Tom Ingram (WB6EPD)The 13 March 2002 meeting was called to order by the President Mike Herr (WA6ARA) at 1930 hrs at the Heritage Inn. 50-50 tickets were available for the meeting. Sign-up sheet was started around. Announcements: One visitor, Bill Spearow (N3WGD), was present at the meeting. He plans tobecome a member. Gifts of $100 each from the Fire Mountain and the 20 Mule Team ride were announced. Dues are now due. New badges have arrived. See Pam Evans if you ordered one. A Field Day coordinator is needed for the Amateur Field Day in June. The Geo Bun Buster Horse ride will be 16 Mar. There will be a T-Hunt this weekend. The next VE session will be 19 April. The Death Valley to Mt. Whitney Bike ride will be 18-19 May.

Lloyd Brubaker (WA6KZV) announced that the 22 February Table Top drill at the Police station went very well. Almost all of the local officials attended, as did representatives from the FBI. The subject of this drill was a terrorist attack. Another drill is planned for April. Next months SARC program will be on ARES/RACES and will be presented by Jerry Brooks (KK6PA). This week's program was on Home Brew and was presented by several amateurs. Dennis Farrell (W6DWF) won the 50/50. 19 amateurs signed in at the meeting. The meeting adjourned at2030 hrs.

TREASURER'S REPORT

As of March 26,2002:
Share Account 6030.09
Draft Account  781.39
Total       $ 6811.48

Obligated Funds -
Relocate 147.00 Repeater
             1,374.86
Balance    $ 5,436.62

Pam Evans - KC6UUS
FOR SALE
Four, 68 key QWERTY bare keyboards suitable for CW keyboard. Free to a good home. Limit of one per person. Contact Bill Marrafio, N6PR, 446-4165