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
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
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
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
by Elvy Hopkins NØLV
COMING SARC ACTIVITIES
Transmitter Hunt Sat 13 April
For more information, contact Mike Herr WA6ARA at 375-5324 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
RECENT SARC ACTIVITIES
2002 Geo Bun Buster By Hal Hazel/KM6JM
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
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
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.
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 - KC6UUSFOR 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