The Airwaves
April 2004
SIERRA AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
An ARRL Special Services Club -- RACES -- ARES
P.O. Box 1442, Ridgecrest, California 93556-1442

Board

Of

Officers

 
PresidentBill BurnsWA6QYR375-8566
First Vice PresidentPaula HerrN6VGW375-5324
Second Vice PresidentDennis FarrellW6DWF446-4787
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
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

SARC Committees

Technical Assistance: Greg, WA7IRW 446-4383 Public Relations: Paula, N6VGW 375-5324
Repeater Committee: open. Airways Editors: Mike, WA6ARA and Paula N6VGW 375-5324
RF Interference: Bill, WA6QYR 375-8566 Emergency and Public Service: Jerry, KK6PA 446-2228
Program: Dennis W6DWF 446-4787 Renewal Committee: Jerry, KK6PA 446-2228


THE AIRWAVES CALENDAR

Every	 SARC Emergency Net
Monday	 1930 hrs (730pm) 
Night	 WA6YBN Translator
	 146.64 MHz (-600 KHz)
	 Visitors Welcomed!

ARRL Audio News
	 1910 (7:10 p.m.) on 146.64 MHz

April 14 SARC Meeting - Heritage Inn Ready Room
	 BOD Meeting 1900 hrs
	 Membership Meeting 1930 hrs
	 Program: Microwaves by Bill Burns, WA6QYR

April 16-18 Boy Scout Camporall Demo Station
	 Amateur Radio Demonstration Station
	 at the Kern County wide Boy Scout Camporall
	 at Keysville just south of Lake Isabella
	 on a dirt but ok road. Contact Bill WA6QYR 375-8566

April 24 Junior Olympics Communications
	 Hams and handheld are need to help with
	 communications at the Junior Olympics. 8am to 1 pm
	 at the Burroughs High School.
	 Contact is Jay Kovar, KF6GUD 446-8670
AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE EXAMS
Second Sat, Even months. 
Apr 10 	Volunteer License Exam Sessions
Kern County Library  Ridgecrest Branch
131 East Las Flores Ave  Meeting Room
Pre-registration ONLY by 7 Apr. 
All must sign in at 9 am  Code test 11 am
Contact Elvy Hopkins 760-384-3589
E-mail ehopkins@ridgenet.net

From the President's Shack

Spring has sprung and time to get out and try the rigs out in the field before Field Day rolls around in June. The Kern County Boy Scouts will be out camping on April 17 when some of us try to put on a demonstration of amateur radio in the woods southwest of Lake Isabella. We hope to be using the tower trailer along with Phelps' solar powered HF station. The purpose of all this is to present to the youngsters a view of amateur radio as a hobby to have fun with. Hopefully some will be interested enough to join us.

If you are on the ARRL email list you probably received an email promoting some new books. One is an update to the previously out of print APRS book. Automatic Position Reporting System is a possible method to keep track of cars in a rally, horses in a ride, or people in search and rescue operation. It is the stuff Greg, WA7IRW and Gene KI6LO have talked about at previous meetings. I have ordered a book (#9167) so time will tell if it makes to Ridgecrest before the April meeting.

Another new book out is HF Digital Handbook (#9159) that is supposed to cover many of the new digital modes of communication. Several of our members have been experimenting with some of the modes over the air.

While on the topic of these new modes of connecting our radios to the computer, the SARC officers would like to find some one who is willing to help others out in fumbling through the hardware connections and software program set up to be able to get on the air. If you are willing to help out give Dennis, W6DWF a phone call.

See you at the 14 April meeting. Bill

Board of Officers Meeting Minutes
By Secretary Tom Ingram (WB6EPD)

The March 2004 board meeting was called to order at 1910 hrs. Those present: Pres. Bill Burns (WA6QYR), 1st Vice Pres. Paula Herr (N6VGW), 2nd Vice Pres. Dennis Farrell (W6DWF), Treas. Pam Evans (KC6UUS) and Secy. Tom Ingram (WB6EPD.

A $100.00 donation was received from the 20 Mule Team Horse ride. Elvy Hopkins (NØLV) will buy updated license manuals for the library.

The funds allocated to relocate the 147.00 repeater will be returned to the main treasury. A new item, repeater expenses, will be added to cover the cost of power, phone and misc. repeater expenses.

Next month Bill Burns will provide program on microwaves.

A discussion was held on a membership survey. Dennis will work on a survey to be conducted in the near future.

The board meeting was adjourned at 1927 hrs.

Minutes of the General Meeting
By Secretary Tom Ingram (WB6EPD)

The March 2004 meeting was called to order by the President, Bill Burns (WA6QYR) at 1937 hrs at the Heritage Inn. The Sign-in sheet was started around.

Announcements:

1. 50/50 tickets are available.

2. The Treasurers Report is in the newsletter.

3. Announcements of the club meeting appeared in the local papers and on the local radio stations.

4. The allocation of funds for the 147.000 repeater will be dropped. Expenses for repeater power, phone and miscellaneous expenses will be a new item.

5. SARC will support the Boy Scout campout in Keesville on April 2004 with the tower trailer and a Ham station. The campout will include Boy Scouts from Kern County. Ham participants are needed.

6. Field Day will be in June. A chairperson is needed.

7. There will be a VE session next month. (April)

8. Gene Brewer (KI6LO) has a C-band disk available for free. He also donated a fiberglass sectional mast to the club.

9. Lloyd Brubaker (WA6KZV) still has various antenna parts available for a donation to the club.

10. Dennis Farrell (W6DWF) requested any information on any specific brand name DC to 110-volt converters.

11. Jerry Brooks (KK6PA) still has some sealed lead acid batteries to give away.

12. The possibility of a Weather program was addressed and will be looked into.

Dennis Farrell provided the program on wind power generation.

Jerry Brooks won the 50/50.

The attendance for the meeting was 18.

The meeting was adjourned at 20:20.

TREASURER'S REPORT

Treasurer's Report As of April 01, 2004: 
Draft Account	$ 1,388.91
Share Account	$ 5,462.52
BALANCE:	$ 6,851.43
Submitted by Pam Evans, KC6UUS

Program for the April Meeting
Microwaves!

Bill, WA6QYR has been interested in the microwave portions of the amateur spectrum since the 1950's. Bill's first job was working on a Navy radar system. Bill joined the San Bernardino Microwave Society in 1968 while working for the Navy at Corona. He has been in on the changes from tubes (klystrons) to transistors and solid-state microwave devices. Bill will bring some of his latest construction projects to show that anyone can get on the shorter wavelengths and have fun.

Boy Scout Camporall Demonstration Station

SARC has been requested to provide a Amateur Radio Demonstration Station at the April 16-18 Kern County wide Boy Scout Camporall to be run at Keysville just south of Lake Isabella on a dirt but ok road. I suspect if we get there on Saturday morning and leave Saturday evening we would be OK with them. We need to check the area out to see if the tower trailer can make it through the trees along the road otherwise we might want to just be a inverted Vee type antenna in the trees.
Bill WA6QYR

Field Day June 26 - 27

Proposal for Joint Field Day Operation

The High Desert DX Association (HIDEXA) has proposed that a joint Field Day operation between HIDEXA and SARC. We have done this before very successfully. HIDEXA can provide three QRP, battery/solar powered stations for SSB, CW and PSK-31 stations, three logging computers and four operators with Field Day experience. SARC can provide the trailer mounted tower and tri-band beam, additional operators, additional stations and need liability insurance. Where we would hold Field Day is in the air. Let's discuss how we want to do Field Day at the April SARC meeting. I will act as the SARC Field Day coordinator and John Denson for the HIDEXA john.denson@mchsi.com
73 Mike WA6ARA herr@ridgenet.net

IWV Emergency Net

Lloyd, WA6KZV, has been doing a great job as net operator for March. Thanks Lloyd! I am still looking for net operators for the month of April and beyond. You don't have to sign up for a whole month, just a week here and there is fine!
...Mike WA6ARA

Club Member in the Spotlight

Recently one of our own, Bill Burn WA6QYR, received the lifetime achievement award from the San Bernardino Microwave Society. Below is from the W6ZIFE Newsletter for April.

WA6QYR Life time Achievement Award

Bill was born in Riverside on March 21, 1942 and raised in Colton. He was very active in Boy Scouts and went from Cub to Life Scout while attending school in Colton. Bill became a radio amateur when he was a Cal Poly Pomona with a call of WV6QYR. While going to college he worked at LJ Snow Ford dealership and for Pacific Bell Telephone Company. Bill met Judy at Cal Poly and they were married in 1965. Many of his and Judy's early dates were spent on T hunts. After College he went to work for the Federal Government as an Electronics Engineer at the Naval Ship Missile System Engineering Station at Port Hueneme and spent half of his time traveling. He worked on shipboard radar. At this time bought his first International Scout 4x4 and had great fun installing a radio and talking with other hams. His interest also included Scouting as a Scoutmaster and joined the Presbyterian Church in Oxnard.

After two years Bill decided that he did not want to travel so far to work and ound a job at the Naval Ordnance Laboratory in Corona. During this time Bill joined two ham clubs including the San Bernardino Microwave Society. Bill was involved with helping the City of Corona in setting up the RACES civil defense communications during a major flood disaster. In January 1969 the estate of D. L. Thompson, W6IFE was sold off and Bill purchased Tommy's 6 ft rack containing a Rockloc rig weighing in at 200 pounds. Bill was also acquiring many dishes at this time. That year the NOLC facility was being closed down and Bill transferred to the Naval Weapons Center China Lake where he became a member of the Sierra Amateur Radio Club, a Four Wheel Club and the local mine search and rescue group. During many of his outings with his Scout, he scouted out roads and facilities for microwave DX record attempts from Mt Breckenridge. On June 17th 1970 Bill joined a group coming from Corona at Mojave and lead them to the site. The group included John Campbell W6NVV, Gordon Lowry, WA6ZKY and Ed Munn W6OYJ. They were hauling the W6IFE trailer mounted 6 ft dish and Ed's Rockloc rig. The next morning they easily contacted Dick Kolby, K6HIJ on Mt. Hamilton on 3300 MHz and 5700 MHz bands setting a new North American DX record of 214 miles for both bands. The SBMS club call sign W6IFE was used for the 3300 MHz record and Ed's call for the 5600 MHz. Those records stood unchallenged for many years.

When Apollo was launched Bill has assembled a receiving station using his Rockloc and an eight-foot dish. He was one of the few hams in the country that was able to hear the Apollo signals from the moon. Bill proceeded to get his Rockloc rigs on the air and joined efforts with Chuck, WA6EXV in many projects. One of these was to change the Rockloc system (85+ vacuum tubes and two hundred pounds) to a solid state Rockloc. One project Bill took on was the updating of the original SBMS Microwave Handbook. Another was getting the DX Records sorted out for all the microwave bands. In 1986 the first 10 GHz Cumulative Contest would be run and Bill spent many hours and miles checking out sites in the Antelope Valley and Indian Wells Valley for good microwave sites to be used during the contest. Many of these sites required the use of topographic maps a ruler and plotting profile based upon the index of Refraction for the type of terrain. A list of these sites was distributed to anyone that would be using the desert area for contesting or for general microwave use. That year Bill took 4th place nation wide in the contest and has remained one of the most active contesters each year.

In 1988 Bill took over the writing and editing of the SBMS Newsletter and hasn't missed a beat since then. He continues to provide us with current information on activities, new equipment views, schematics, and up coming events. His dedication and endurance in this role have been awesome and much appreciated by amateur microwave operators worldwide.

In 1997 Bill retired from civil service and after a year became restless and started looking for jobs. He was hired as a part time program specialist for the Desert District Southern Sierra Council Boy Scouts. Officially he is supposed to spend 20 hours a week on the job. He often spends up to 60 hours getting every thing done, mostly volunteer. Recently he received an award because his district had received the Quality District for the first time in many years. Bill has continually kept up with the latest microwave systems and built his own rigs for all the microwave bands from 1296 MHz through 24 GHz and is working on getting on 47 GHz. His very nice electronics shop contains many homebrew pieces of test equipment as well as a lot of commercial units that give him the ability to test all of his projects. Bill's very large back yard contains a mired of antennas including the local ham club repeater. Bill is always ready to give a helping hand to others to get their rigs working and will go to some mountain top to give them a good signal to evaluate their rigs or antennas. Bill has assisted many young people to become interested in ham radio and get on to get their licenses. On behalf of the San Bernardino Microwave Society it is my privilege to present Bill burns at this time, with the society Lifetime Achievement award.
Chuck, WA6EXV

(Editor - Know others in SARC who have major achievement, both amateur radio and non amateur radio wise? Let the editor know and we will immortalize them in the pages of the Airwaves)

Can You Ever Have Too Many HT's?

The short answer is a resounding NO! If you think you need another rig, take my advice and just go get it. I'm talking about HTs that can receive 2M, 440, and frequencies slightly above and below those bands. Scanners are included as far as this little essay applies.

Yes, I know, you can only talk on one radio at a time. Well sort of. Since you can talk on one and use another for packet or other digital mode, now you need two. But if you do any scanning of local frequencies of interest, you have now truly entered the world of unlimited needs.

Ok, so you like to hang out on a particular frequency. Fine. You don't really want to take a chance of missing a call so you have one rig set to that frequency. But you also sometimes like to monitor a local repeater or simplex frequency. Since those are not as important, you feel you can dedicate a scanning rig to those frequencies.

Scanners.... Do you remember your first scanner? Mine was a state of the art SBE Optiscan. It came out around 1976 and was one of the few scanners at that time that did not require crystals. The scanner used a plastic card that you programmed by adding/removing tiny little vinyl stickers using a binary code (no sticker means the light shines through, sticker means no light, basic on/off coding). I think Todd/W6TOD might have one. What? Oh yeah.......

So we're only talking two rigs here. No problem, right. But wait! Do you monitor Kern County Fire (KCF)? I do. KCF has their yellow, blue, orange and other "channels" that I want to scan. When the action gets hot, the KCF dispatcher can be using three or more frequencies. So now I need one rig set to the primary Orange channel and the scanner can handle the rest. Yup, I'll need another rig to monitor KCF Station 73, 74 or 77 if they move off the Orange channel. Ok, I've got a small HT that can handle that task.

What about Kern County Sheriff Office? They hang out on their own frequency. The scanner should be able to handle that unless something interesting is happening there. No problem, I've to another HT that can monitor 453 MHz. Speaking of KCSO, while coming back from lunch the other day, I got to listen to KCSO chase down some Mojave City bank robbers. That was interesting.

How many rigs do you need to monitor your favorite frequencies? CHP, China Lake, Ridgecrest, CALTRANS, trains, forestry, BLM, aviation, SAR......the list continually grows. This is the world of unlimited needs I mentioned earlier.

How many rigs am I using? Heck, I don't know. But one thing I do know is I need another radio! And I haven't even started on my mobile requirements!

Till next time, 73......de Hal/KM6JM

More Licensing Restructuring News

There has been more activity on restructuring of licensing of amateur radio. Most is revolving around modifying the Morse code requirement. The FCC is in the comment stage of proposal. Once the dust settles there will likely be a NPRM, Notice of Proposed Rule Making. This will be what the FCC proposes. That is likely 6 months or more off. Below is the ARRL bulletin for March 24, 2004. Many of the SARC member receive this but this is so critical I believe it is best to reprint it here for all the club member to review.

SB QST @ ARL $ARLB007
ARLB007 FCC invites comments on Amateur Radio restructuring plans

ZCZC AG07
QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 7  ARLB007
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  March 24, 2004
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB007
ARLB007 FCC invites comments on Amateur Radio restructuring plans

The FCC is seeking comment on three plans, one from the ARRL, 
that would reshape the Amateur Service licensing structure. Each 
Petition for Rule Making responds to World Radiocommunication Conference 2003
actions last summer that made changes to Article 25 of the international 
Radio Regulations. While differing substantially in some other aspects, 
the three petitions call for modifications at Amateur Radio's entry level 
and for a three-tiered license system.
One petition goes beyond licensing structure to recommend additional 
changes to amateur testing and HF digital privileges. A fourth petition 
focuses solely on the Morse requirement. Comments are due by 
April 24 on all four petitions.

Designated RM-10867, ARRL's petition asks the FCC to create a new 
entry-level license class--being called ''Novice'' for now. It would offer 
limited HF CW/data and phone/image privileges on 80, 40, 15 and 
10 meters plus certain VHF and UHF privileges. The League plan 
also would consolidate Technician, Tech Plus (Technician with 
Element 1 credit) and General licensees into a new General license 
that no longer would require a Morse examination. Current Technicians 
automatically would gain General privileges without additional testing. 
Applicants for Amateur Extra would still have to pass a 5 WPM Morse 
code examination, but the General and Extra written exams would 
stay the same.

A news report ''ARRL to Propose New Entry-Level License, Code-Free 
HF Access,'' www.arrl.org/news/stories/2004/01/19/1/, has further 
details. Frequently asked questions (FAQs) are addressed on the 
ARRL Web site, www.arrl.org/news/restructuring2/faq.html.

An ''unincorporated grassroots organization,'' the Radio Amateur Foundation 
(RAF), has filed a petition designated as RM-10868. Its wide-ranging 
filing asks the FCC to modify the Technician ticket to allow restricted 
HF phone, data, image and CW privileges. The group also proposes 
retaining the 5 WPM Morse requirement for General and Amateur 
Extra applicants, upgrading Advanced class holders to Extra and all 
Novices to Technician. The Radio Amateur Foundation said it sees 
no need to change licensing requirements for General or Amateur 
Extra applicants.

The RAF also wants to scrap existing Amateur Radio question pools 
and start over from scratch, keeping the question pools out of the public 
domain and requiring a 10-day waiting period before retesting. In 
addition, it would permit only Generals and Amateur Extras or Technicians 
licensed more than two years to request vanity call signs.

The RAF has further asked the FCC to permit digital experimentation 
from 29.0 to 29.3 MHz at bandwidths of up to 15 kHz.

In his two-page petition designated RM-10869, Ronald D. Lowrance, 
K4SX, calls on the FCC to retain the 5 WPM Morse code requirement 
for General class applicants and to raise the Morse requirement to 
13 WPM for Amateur Extra class applicants. He called Morse code 
''the most reliable mode of communication'' in an emergency. Lowrance 
would make no change in Technician licensing requirements.

The National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) 
wants the FCC to establish a new entry-level license called the 
Communicator class. Its petition, designated RM-10870, reiterates 
its call--first made last fall in RM-10787--to altogether eliminate
the Morse code testing requirement.

The NCVEC's petition would upgrade all current Novices to Communicator 
class. The NCVEC would further upgrade all existing Technician and 
Tech Plus (Technician with Element 1 credit) licensees to General 
and all Advanced class licensees to Amateur Extra without further 
testing. Once the Morse requirement goes away, NCVEC said in its 
filing, ''there will be no effective difference between the Technician 
and General class licenses.''

The new Communicator ticket would permit a power limit of 100 W 
on bands below 24 MHz and 50 W on all frequencies above 24 MHz. 
Communicator licensees would have to use commercially manufactured 
equipment (or gear built from a commercial kit). They could operate
both voice and digital modes on 80, 40, 15 and 10 meters plus VHF 
and UHF up to 70 cm.

All three license restructuring plans call for changes to the
present HF subbands.

Interested parties may view and comment on these petitions via the 
FCC Electronic Comment Filing System, www.fcc.gov/e-file/ecfs.html. 
When entering the RM number in the ECFS ''Proceeding'' field, RM 
must be in capital letters and the hyphen must be included.
NNNN
/EX
Audio News available on the Internet

While SARC re-transmits the ARRL Audio News every Monday night, it and a lot of other audio news is available for free download via the Internet. Much of the news is the same, but either with a different slant or expansion. You might try these links for other interesting amateur radio news:

Amateur Radio Newsline
Just follow the links to the MP3 copy. The file size is usually about 3 Megs and is available usually by noon every Friday. Download with dialup usually runs about 15 minutes. You will get a solid 20 plus minutes of news. A lot is repeated from the ARRL Audio News but a lot of other information.

This Week In Amateur Radio
Go to the left hand side and click on MP3 and follow to the download area. Here the file size is around 9 Megs! If using a dialup, be prepared to turn it on and go do something else because it will take a good hour to complete. At the end you will have 60 plus minutes of amateur radio news. Good listening. They have a lot of sections dealing with DX, enforcement, etc and a story or two. Look for a new issue of This Week in Amateur Radio on Saturdays around noon.

ARRL Audio News: Go to the ARRL web site,
No, you don't have to be a member. Click on the bar "ARRL News" then "ARRL Audio News" and follow the links to download the MP3. They usually had the present weeks and the past weeks news available. This is the smallest download, only about 1.8 Megs and corresponding shortest audio news, about 15 minutes. The ARRL puts up the latest news on Friday, around 4pm Pacific. Remember, if you miss it, we re-transmit the ARRL Audio News every Monday just prior to the IWV Emergency net (barring computer problems, travel and short-term memory). The best part of the ARRL Audio News is that while short, it usually is the most up to date.

Looking for News!

I'm always looking for local news for and about the IWV amateur radio community. Also, if you have something for sale or are looking for something else, drop me a line and I'll put it in the Airwaves.
...Editor, Mike, WA6ARA, herr@ridgenet.net

SARC Newletter via Email

The SARC newsletter is now available via email in TWO formats, Adobe Acrobat PDF and in plain text. The PDF version is complete, and in color, but you will need Acrobat Reader to view it. Most have it and it is available free to both PC and Mac users. The plain text version can be read by just about anything! ...but you lose the graphics. If you want the newsletter via Email make sure you check the proper box on the membership form, add your email address and the version you want. If you have already renewed and want to convert to email, or have changed your email address, drop the secretary, Tom Ingram, WB6EPD , (375-7950) a note, as he is keeping the email address lists.
...Editor, Mike, WA6ARA, herr@ridgenet.net


Check out the Amateur Radio's Web "Top 20" Links from QST


RACES, ARES and INDIAN WELLS VALLEY EMERGENCY NET MEMBERS

In case of impending or current emergency, monitor the SARC translator on 146.64/04 MHz or the backup simplex frequency of 146.52 MHz. KK6PA, Jerry, the local RACES EC, will coordinate mobilization. An Emergency Net Control Station will direct radio communications. Check in. State your capabilities. Be prepared to go outside the IWV for at least three days.

An E-Pac should contain: your RACES card, radios and accessories, batteries, charger, paper, pen, clipboard, flashlight with spare batteries, timepiece, headgear, sunglasses, spare glasses, your medications, your medical history, first aid kit, severe weather clothing, non-perishable food, 3 gal. water, sleeping bag.

Updated Sun Apr 18 11:30:04 PDT 2004