The Airwaves
April 1997
SIERRA AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
An ARRL Special Services Club -- RACES -- ARES
P.O. Box 1442, Ridgecrest, California 93556-1442

THE AIRWAVES CALENDAR
SARC MEETINGS
Apr 2	SARC Board of Officers Meeting
	1st Wednesday, Heritage Inn, 1730 hrs
Apr 9	Membership Meeting
	2nd Wednesday, Heritage Inn
	Flight Deck Room, 1930 hrs 
	Program: Navy MARS 
	by Bob Fletcher WB6KWE
Mondays	SARC Emergency Net
	Every Monday 1930 hrs
	WA6YBN translator
	146.64 MHz (- 600 kHz)

PUBLIC SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES
May  2 & 3 Rim Of The World Auto Rally
	Two days of wild-n-wooley auto rally
	Call Paula Gibeault N6OQQ at 375-8704
	Sign Up sheet enclosed
May  10 & 11 Death Valley to Mt. Whitney
	Bicycle Race Call Elvy Hopkins NØLV
	at 384-3589 to volunteer for one or both days.
	See article
 
May  15-17 BAKERSFIELD HAMFEST
	ARRL San Joaquin Valley Section Convention.
	Prizes Dealers Mfrs
	Camping Swap area Trophies
	Info 805-588-7065 805-323-3691
Jul 9	SARC BBQ & Tail Gate Swap Fest
	Eyeball QSOs Unload your RF junque

LICENSE CLASSES AND EXAMS
May 10	Volunteer License Exam Session
	Kerr-McGee Center  0900-1200 hrs
May 15	Volunteer License Exam Session
	Cerro Coso Com. College, Rm WW145
	Novice & Tech only. Pre-Reg. Required
	1800-2100 hrs Contact NØLV 384-3589
Jun 21	Volunteer License Exam Session
	Kerr-McGee Center  0900-1200 hrs
Oct 31 Nov 1 & 2 Amateur License Cram Class
	Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV will conduct an
	Amateur Radio License Cram Class at the
	Red Cross Office. Call Lloyd at 375-7245
	for more information.
Nov 8	Volunteer License Exam Session
	Kerr-McGee Center  0900-1200 hrs
SARC GENERAL MEETINGS ARE NOW ON THE SECOND WEDNESDAY IN THE FLIGHT DECK ROOM OF THE HERITAGE INN AT 1050 NORTH NORMA STREET

FROM THE PRESIDENTS SHACK
Our president, Charley Hawthorne KE6WQR, has made like a desert tortoise and hauled his fifth wheel portable house to Texas via Oklahoma for an extended visit with his in-laws. He expects to return via Oklahoma in time for the April meeting. Check his boots for that red Oklahoma dirt.

PROGRAM FOR APRIL MEETING
The Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS) network is a way that Hams can offer their skills to serve the armed forces. During off-shore military operations, MARS serves as a link to the folks at home by furnishing radio communications from those serving in the military to their families at home here in the USA. In the past, phone patches and RTTY carried the messages. Now PACTOR and AMTOR have taken over. Bob Fletcher WB6KWE has been an active MARS operator for twenty-one years. He will tell us about MARS and share some interesting stories regarding his experiences as a volunteer.

WHAT'S HAPPENING?
With only fifteen Hams at the March meeting the SARC Board of Officers is wondering what is happening? Have the members not made the transition to the new meeting day second Wednesday? Have they not found the new meeting place Flight Deck Room in the Heritage Inn? Is Wednesday a bad day? With the balmy, early spring weather was everyone doing their yard? The BoO needs some feedback. What are your thoughts? Check the front page. Call an officer.

PUBLIC SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES

Rim Of The World Auto Rally
This internationally known rally with numerous big-name world class competitors will be held on 2-3 May. You might see yourself on TV ESPN that is. If you have dubious thoughts about your skills, the 20 April Annual Pre-Rally Training Session is for you. Several Hams from the IWV are old hands at Rim and they keep going back because its fun fun fun. Jump into the world of high speed auto rally support. Use the enclosed brochure to sign up. Contact Paula N6OQQ at 375-8704 or gibeault@ridgecrest.ca.us for information on this very enjoyable opportunity for using your amateur radio communication skills. Visit www.rimoftheworldrally.com for more information.

Death Valley to Mt. Whitney Bicycle Race
Saturday and Sunday 10 & 11 May are the dates for this nationally known bicycle race sponsored by the Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce and the High Sierra Cyclists bicycle club of Ridgecrest. Saturday's start is at OH! not-so-dark:30 from Stovepipe Wells. Hams need to be on station at different, but early, times depending upon their location. Late afternoon finds all bicyclists at Lone Pine or otherwise accounted for. Sunday's race starts at 8:00 am from Lone Pine and early afternoon finds most riders at Whitney Portals. Hams are invited to the heavy picnic lunch at Lone Pine Park Saturday afternoon. The SARC portable repeater is set up for Saturday and simplex works for Sunday. For Saturday, a mobile rig with at least ten watts is best for outlying locations. A portable Yagi is a great help in some locations. Because of the widely scattered locations on Saturday, no before-the-race meeting is conducted. Printed instructions, T-shirts and meal tickets are distributed in Ridgecrest a few days before the race

RECENT SARC ACTIVITIES

Coso Bun Buster 50 Mile Horse Ride
By Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV
As endurance horse rides go this is no bun buster. It's pretty laid back. Jerry KK6PA got caught up on all his Ham magazines. Lloyd WA6KZV got in a couple of naps and Jack NL7SX spent time seeing what other repeaters he could hit from his check point. It was all over in the early afternoon and sooner than that for some. Along with the above Ken KQ6LP and Dave KC6UUR were all kept in line by Hal KM6JM net control for the event. There were no more than the usual minor problems. About 130 appreciative riders were glad SARC Hams were there to help take care of them. The weather was beautiful and those who came to stay the night reported a beautiful night as well. Plan on this one next year and see a little more of our spring time desert in Rose Valley.

And Jack Bitzer NL7SX
The Coso Bun Buster Horse Ride of 1997 was on Saturday, March 15. Over 120 riders, their mounts, support crews, campers, trailers, veterinarians and the Ham radio communications team from the Sierra Amateur Radio Club were there as the sun rose to break the chilly night air and light the high desert. The 30- and 50-mile riders were soon on the trail and I was soon eating the two leaders' dust as they pounded up the canyon through narrow rocky gulches and Joshua speckled valleys.

Hal KM6JM was chief radioman with mast mounted vertical firmly bungeed to his trailer at base camp. He remembers the rain and wind of earlier Bun Busters. Dave KC6UUR a radio veteran of many horse rides arrived with maps and headed for one of the distant points near a pumice mine. Jerry KK6PA and Lloyd WA6KZV were heard and already situated on the course. Alex KD6ZUV was on water and feed duty in the remote areas. Mike the vet, also a Ham radio operator, was down south by the cinder cones and ready for anything. Jackie and Jim, both Ham radio operators, were Riding Staff and Vet (veterinarian) Check respectively.

Mt. Whitney and the east Sierra crest, with the complimentary desert to the east, were enjoyed by all as the day warmed with fair winds. My second assignment had me racing the leaders south to Vet Check #2 where Mike was. I took the freeway. They took the lake bed. Fortunately, Mike was monitoring and guided me away from the wrong turn on the way using 146.55 MHz. I seldom volunteer for sitting under power lines (Keough Hot Springs excepted), but, there they were trucks, water tanks, hay and feed and veterinarian right under the two gigantic transmission lines and towers. Yuk! I had to grit my teeth to get within quarter mile and considered abandoning the whole idea and heading for the donut shop. No guts. No glory. I'll make a note to request hazardous duty pay for this one.

To the head of the line, chair on the roof, cross-band on, HT, clipboard, floppy hat and I was set. Those first riders arrived at the same time and they were way ahead of the rest so it wasn't long before I had the two meter side of the HT scanning. A couple of weak repeaters, probably Las Vegas, and the rig settled on a rhythmic beep beep beep beep beep beep. Good strength. What could that be? Sounds like a clock ticking. Sounds like a beacon. But for what? Some desert rat tracking his burro? It was still going a half an hour later so I notified the net on 146.55. Hal came back and said the portable repeater was nearly shut down by interference a couple of years ago by the same thing. It wasn't too long before Jerry said he thought he knew what it was. It's a horse monitor. 'Never heard of that.

Well, it's a heart sensor placed under the cinch strap with a wire running up under the saddle. An antenna? The rider can glance at the wrist receiver and read the horse's heart rate. Jerry suggested to look out for #42 as he thought that horse was the culprit. It wasn't long before several Hams noted signals, some on other frequencies. We were on a bunny hunt with several bunnies being reported. There didn't seem to be a horse within two miles of me. I could see the course that far. S7 signal? Could it be concentrated by the power lines overhead?

The next group of riders thundered in with a cloud of dust. With all the milling around, watering, feeding, farrier work and vet inspections I missed #42. I walked through the melee with HT beeping but the signal seemed to be everywhere. On asking Jim about the monitors he said more than half the riders were using monitors of several models and manufacturers. So this is where the noise level on two meters comes from. Were we hearing 100 beating horses hearts capturing each other over the 50 mile course?

The whole event went smoothly and most of the riders were riding down the final six miles around two pm. Some of them were walking and a few were running next to their horses. One lady said her buns were about busted. (That sure was a strange position she was in.) Hal said "It didn't count unless she crossed the finish line." She was soon back in the saddle after the mandatory ten minute layover and pounding her way to the finish. As the last rider headed east and north

I noticed the beeps weren't any weaker. The vet staff, record keeper and I compared notes. We knew there were no more riders on the course. Should we search for the phantom rider? Should we close the checkpoint with such a strong signal? Everyone seemed anxious to leave so I made excuses that I might spend the night there, and within minutes I was the only one left. The horses were several miles away by now. I walked away from the transmission lines in both directions. It didn't seem to make a difference. After another twenty minutes there was a noticeable change and it appeared the signal was going rather than coming. I switched to the mobile receiver and drove east toward the mountains.

If there had been a reward for the first radio operator to finish doing this event I'd sure be suspicious. Here I was chasing a horses heart monitors and everyone else had gone to the finish line or headed south to the donut shop. The beeping disappeared into the noise near Little Lake. If this was a trick I'll get even.

RACES NEWS
by Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV
RACES Cycle Two training sessions held on 18 and 25 March were attended by seven volunteers. Standard Emergency Mgmt. System (SEMS) Incident Command System (ICS) was the subject of the presentation by Steve Busby, Training Officer for Ridgecrest Police Department. A two hour video was the main portion of these training sessions. Cycle Two will be available again for those who couldn't attend these two sessions.

New RACES ID cards have been received. The old ones are still valid and do not have to be replaced. Please let Lloyd know if yours becomes damaged, pocket-worn or otherwise unusable and it will be replaced by one of the new ones. A new photo and thumb print will be required. This can be done at a meeting if Lloyd is given ample notice.

SARC MEMBERSHIP UP
SARC now has 102 members. Membership applications are included in the January, February and March issues of the AIRWAVES and the February issue was sent to 435 Hams in the Ridgecrest and contiguous areas. Thirty members are new. Twenty-four of the 86 1996 members have not renewed.

Last years members receive the January, February and March issues of the AIRWAVES. The April, and subsequent, issues go to new and renewed members.

If you hear someone griping about not receiving "his" AIRWAVES, ask him is he renewed "his" SARC membership for 1997. Mark Rosenthal, our treasurer, is the keeper of the membership list. Fifteen dollars will get delinquent members back onto the SARC mailing list. See the front page for SARC mailing address.

REPEATER HAPPENINGS
The report was that the folks in Darwin in can access the SARC Translator but not hear it. Humm? Elvy Hopkins NØLV and Lloyd Brubaker W6KZV, with Bill Maraffio N6PR providing guidance via e-mail, began a systematic search for the cause. Oops! Why is that transmit antenna pointed at Owens Peak? Those 90 mph winds did their dirty work . With some serious, and I mean serious, clipping of Virginia creeper, Lloyd on a ladder from the ground, Elvy on the roof wielding wrench and pliers a few healthy grunts got the antenna pointed to 345 degrees where it should be. In the process, the transmit coax was checked for loss. OK within reasonable limits. However, at the transmitter, output power is down to three watts. Oops! Should be eight watts. N6PR is investigating this problem. A tune-up is in the offing. Meanwhile, Darwin as back on line.

NØLV is still looking for a smart battery charger/power supply for the SARC Translator. Any ideas, designs or sources out there?

IN THE MILL

Meeting Programs
Second VP, Larry Merwin, has been scurrying around arranging programs for SARC meetings. Dave Rosenthal N6TST has agreed to talk about radio frequency propagation at the May meeting. For October, Chuck Swedblom WA6EXV will talk about various microwave subjects including Earth-Moon-Earth on 2450 MHz. Call Larry if you have ideas for, or can make a program presentation at a meeting

SARC Patches
The SARC BoO is casting about for interest in SARC patches. We used to give a SARC patch to new members. Then we designed and produced the SARC badge which was then given to new members and the patches were sold for an amount which covered their cost. Badges got to be too expensive to give away with a $15 membership and now they go for $5 which sometimes doesn't cover their cost plus shipping. The patches ran out and were forgotten.

The SARC patch is round, about four inches in diameter, with the same picture that the badge has on it, and has "Sierra Amateur Radio Club, Ridgecrest CA" surrounding the picture. They will probably sell for $2.50-$3.50. What is your interest? Let an officer know.

TREASURERS REPORT
by Mark Rosenthal N6BVP
As of 26 March

Share account	$1,495.18
Draft account	1,749.27
Total	$3,244.45
Obligated funds	
Relocate 147.00 repeater	1,200.00
Balance	$2,044.45

OLD BUSINESS

Board of Officers Meeting Minutes
by Secretary, Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV
Wednesday 5 March. Attendees: Dave Stone 1st VP, Larry Merwin 2nd VP, Secretary Lloyd Brubaker, AIRWAVES editor Elvy Hopkins. Since the President was absent the 1st VP took charge. The meeting was rather brief.

Letters are to be sent to the neighboring clubs asking that they publish in their newsletter an item inviting members to join our club if they use our repeaters regularly. Our own members are also invited to join theirs for the same reason.

There was a discussion about the lack of interest in Field Day. It would appear that there wouldn't be enough participation to warrant a SARC based effort. Individual members will have to attend other club's festivities in order to get their "Field Day fix."

SARC will renew the QST subscription for the local library.
The March general meeting's program will be the Rim Of The World auto rally. The May general meeting will feature Dave Rosenthal giving a talk on radio frequency propagation. The April program is still open --- any suggestions?

Minutes of the General Meeting,
by Secretary, Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV
The meeting was called to order by lst VP Dave KC6UUR with only 15 in attendance. This is the smallest meeting we've had in a long time. There were no visitors.

The Bun Buster horse ride was announced. The Rim Of The World car rally, by Paula Gibeault N6OQQ, was the feature of the evening. This year's ROW will be on May 2 and 3.

The status of the Portable Packet project was discussed. Whether or not a supply of club patches should be ordered. There was some interest. Field Day was brought up to evaluate the interest. There seemed to be very little.

The first sessions of Cycle Two RACES training was announced. Attendance at either 18 or 25 March from 7-9 p.m. is expected. Additional sessions will be held as needed. The meetings will be at the Red Cross office on board NAWS.

FOR SALE FOR SALE FOR SALE
Good Stuff
Heathkit HW-99 and HW-100 HF transceivers. Hallicrafters S-40B general coverage, tube receiver. Hewlett-Packard HP-4260B universal bridge. Heathkit Cantenna 1 kW dummy load. Gonset G66B mobile HF transceiver less S-meter. 2 ea. Commodore Plus 4 Computers. Call, go see, make offer. Chuck Darrah WA6JNF 384-1236

Clearing Out Unused Ham Gear
KLM KT-34A 10-15-20 meter tri-band beam with assembly/operation manual. $300. ICOM IC-900 mobile, modular transceiver including Control Head, Microphone, Interconnecting Cable, Interface Units A and B, UX-29A 144 MHz Band Unit and UX-39H 220 MHz Band Unit. Was working when removed from vehicle. $400. Will haggle on prices. Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV 760-375-7245

811-A Transmitting Tubes Generous Electricous. New-in-box. Four each. $25 each, $45 pair, $80 for all four. I pack. You ship. Elvy Hopkins NØLV 760-384-3589 Thank you

Bill Maraffio N6PR performs final review of THE AIRWAVES for technical, punctuation, typing, spelling and other assorted errors.
Thank you, Bill.

Our new Area Code is 760

See ya in da funny papers. de NØLV