The Airwaves
November 2005
SIERRA AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
An ARRL Special Services Club
-- RACES -- ARES --
P.O. Box 1442, Ridgecrest, California 93556-1442

BOARD    President    Bill Burns    WA6QYR    375-8566   
    First VP    Paula Herr    N6VGW    375-5324   
OF    Second VP    Gene Brewer    KI6LO    446-1315   
    Secretary    Tom Ingram    WB6EPD    375-7950   
OFFICERS    Treasurer    Pam Evans    KC6UUS    375-4240   

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, linked to 145.34
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
Program: Gene, KI6LO 446-1315 Airways Editor: Mike, WA6ARA 275-5324
RF Interference: Bill, WA6QYR 375-8566 Emergency and Public Service: Jerry, KK6PA 446-2228


THE AIRWAVES CALENDAR

Every Monday Night
ARRL Audio News
1910 (7:10 PM) on 146.64 MHz

SARC Net - Visitors Welcomed!
1930 hrs (7:30 PM) 
WA6YBN Translator 146.64 MHz (-)

East Kern County Emergency Net
Visitors Welcomed!
Rand repeater 145.340, pl 100
2000 hrs (8 PM)

Nov 09 SARC Board Meeting
Heritage Inn Conference Room 7:30 PM

Nov 09 SARC General Meeting
Heritage Inn Conference Room 7:30 PM 
Program: DXpeditions
            
Dec 04 OTHTC HIGH DESERT 50K ULTRA &
RRCA 30K Southern CA State Championship
AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE EXAMS
Second Sat, Even months
Dec 10 Volunteer License Exam Sessions
Kern County Library Ridgecrest Branch
131 East Las Flores Ave. Meeting Room
Pre-register by 07 Dec.
All must sign in at 9 AM.  Code test 11 AM. 
Contact Elvy NØLV 760-384-3589
E-mail  ehopkins@ridgenet.net


Bob Huckins has been awarded the DXCC Honor Roll award by the ARRL. He has confirmed 326 of the 335 call zones in the world. Congratulations Bob and well done!

From the President's Shack

Well the bugs of winter are out and infecting a number of folks, me included. I had to sit out last meeting with some bug. The clue I think is drinking lots of water to keep all systems running. In wintertime you don't think you need to drink as much, but the lady teaching the first aid class at Cero Coso indicated we need to drink water all times of the year. That class is worth taking up at the college. Community first aid is an 8 am to 5 pm class that covers first aid and CPR. A bunch of Boy and Girl Scout leaders took it on the 21st of October to up grade their skills. When you are out and about there are times when you need those skills to keep others going. Just this past weekend we had a troop out climbing Telescope Peak when one of the new boys slipped and slid down the hillside. He got lots of scrapes and bruises in bouncing over the rocks near the top. He had one cut to the back of his head. The unit leaders having the first aid and CPR training were able to look him over and determine that he was basically ok, no concussion. So they walked back to the cars and headed home. No cell phone coverage on Telescope Peak even though we can see it from Ridgecrest. Panamint Valley doesn't have coverage. Trona didn't have signals. They didn't get cell phone coverage until reaching the BLM facilities on 178 east of Ridgecrest. Another plus for ham radio.

By the time you get this I will have been to the Microwave Update 2005 in Cerritos (LA) and learned a lot more on different type of equipment out there to make the small waves. I believe that Mike and Paula went off to another conference to pick up on what was going on in another part of the Ham world. It is nice to keep up on what is happening. The new techniques that allow our part of the spectrum to do better at communicating with other hams for the fun of it and the emergency times are worth learning about. I hope you will avail yourselves of these opportunities to keep up with the times.

73's Bill


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

The October 12, 2005 board meeting was called to order at 1902 hrs. Those present: 1st Vice Pres. Paula Herr (N6VGW), 2nd Vice Pres. Gene Brewer (KI6LO), Treas. Pam Evans (KC6UUS) and Secy. Tom Ingram (WB6EPD. The Jamboree-On-The-Air will be 15 October at Pearson Park. Bill sent the ARRL a check for the $500 donation along with pictures. SARC received the form to reserve the park for next year. The meeting was adjourned at 1907 hrs.


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

The 12 October 2005 meeting was called to order by the 1st Vice-President, Paula Herr (N6VGW) at 1930 hrs at the Heritage Inn. The Sign-in sheet was started around.

Announcements:

1. 50/50 tickets were available.
2. There were 2 visitors, Steven Burns (a new HAM, KI6BBL) and
   Mike Alamo (KF6WSR, past member).
3. The Treasurers Report is in the newsletter.
4. There was no request for Technical Assistance this period.
5. The Jamboree-On-The-Air will be at Pearson Park on October 15th. 
6. Jerry Brooks (KK6PA) reported the new Emergency Services Packet is
   up and running on 9600 BAUD.
7. A Nominating Committee is needed. Nominations are needed by the November meeting.
   The vote will be in December and Installation will be in January. 
   Lloyd Brubaker (WA6KZV) volunteered for the office of Secretary.
8. An Audit Committee is needed to audit the club books. Paula Herr and Phelps TerHeun
   (W6PTH) volunteered.
9. Pam Evans (KC6UUS) provided cookies.
10. Gene Brewer (KI6LO) provided the program on 2-meter antennas.
11. Lloyd Brubaker won the 50/50.
12. 20 people signed in for the meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 20:10.


TREASURER'S REPORT Treasurer's Report As of November 01, 2005:
Draft Account	$   245.54
Share Account	$ 5,058.73
BALANCE:	$ 5,304.27
Submitted by Pam Evans, KC6UUS


Indian Wells Valley Emergency Net Report
Check ins  
		October 03    	-  13
		October 10	-  10
		October 17 	-  19
		October 24	-  14
		October 31	-  12
-- Mike Herr WA6ARA


November Meeting Program

Lately the major attention to Amateur Radio has been about the support for relief efforts of the Gulf Coast region. Not to diminish the seriousness of that support but I thought it might be interesting to take a look at some of the more fun aspects of amateur radio. As the SARC membership ranges from old timers to those who are relatively new to amateur radio, our individual interests are numerous and varied. But as most hams who have ever worked on the HF bands know, hearing a new prefix or rare country for the first time really excites the senses and stirs the DXing blood.

This month we'll be taking a ride in the co-pilots seat on a series of five great DXpeditions from1993 to 2000: AH1A, XR0Y, FO0AAA and A52A. These were all destined to become legendary operations in the annuals of amateur radio.

It would be a real special addition if SARC members or guests could bring any QSLcards received from these DXpeditions to show the group.

If you enjoy DXing or are curious what DXing is all about, be sure and attend the November SARC meeting on Nov 9th at 7:30pm in the Heritage Inn Hotel, Ridgecrest.

See you there.
Gene KI6LO


ARRL 2005 HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE

The ARRL, along with the Salvation Army, is conducting the 2005 Holiday Toy Drive. This year's effort is to brighten the holiday season for children in the coastal areas of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana left homeless or displaced in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. SARC is participating in this effort with Paula, N6VGW and Mike, WA6ARA heading it up. To meet the Christmas schedule, it is necessary to collect the toys and ship them by mid November. So please bring a new, unwrapped toy for children ages 1 through 4 to the November club meeting. If you have a QSL card, please include it with the gift. We will then be shipping all the collected toys to the ARRL collection site.


Possible Public Service Event

There is a possible public service event in December. We have been tentatively asked to support the Over The Hill Track Club HIGH DESERT 50K ULTRA & RRCA 30K Southern CA State Championship. As proposed we will likely need to man 3 to 4 stations. Check in to the Monday night IWV Emergency Net for more details as they develop.


United Way Races

And a great time was had by all. Who and doing what, you ask? Read on. I guess I should start at the beginning. Sometime around September 12th, I received an email from Jerry/KK6PA, asking for assistance in staffing a table at the Indian Wells Valley United Way Fair that was scheduled for Saturday, September 24th at Leroy Jackson Park. The purpose of this event was to provide information to the public on what RACES does and why RACES is part of the IWV United Way.

As it turned out, the United Way Fair was held on the same day as the annual Kiwanis Walk-A-Thon. Greg/WA7IRW, who has been coordinating communications support for the walk-a-thon since time began, had already volunteered a few Hams to help him out. Since some of these Hams just happened to be RACES members also, it took just a little extra persuasion from Jerry to convince them to help staff the RACES table after the walk-a-thon. So, we had a table and we had the people to staff it.

During the week before the Fair, I made up some storyboards, with pictures showing Hams providing Hurricane Katrina communications support and a brief explanation of what was taking place. Jerry volunteered to bring some bricks to help hold the storyboards in place. So now we had a table, people, and something to show and tell !!!

The morning of the United Way Fair (and the walk-a-thon) dawned cool and breezy. Initially, Jerry was going to set up an HF station and had plans on making a few QSOs during the day. Due to the large number of people attending the walk-a-thon and Fair, for safety reasons, Jerry wisely decided to make the HF station a receive-only station. A borrowed G5RV antenna literally thrown up into the trees around the RACES table, made an excellent receive antenna. Several DX and SATERN stations were monitored throughout the day on 20 Meters. After the walk-a-thon was completed, Greg left the RACES portable crossband repeater at the RACES table for display.

During the day, the RACES table was visited by many people, including Kathy Banks, a Sierra Sands School District Nurse and Red Cross volunteer, Ron Carter, the Superintendent of the Las Flores school and Dave Mechtenburg, the CEO of the Ridgecrest Regional Hospital. All were grateful of past, present and future efforts of all of the Eastern Kern County RACES members.

So, who had a great time? Why none other than those hardy individuals that Jerry persuaded to spend a wonderful day in the parkJerry/KK6PA, Bruce/N8RXJ, Gene/KI6LO, Phelps/W6PTH, Greg/WA7IRW, Lloyd/WA6KZV and yours truly, Hal/KM6JM.

73..de Hal/KM6JM


JOTA 2005

Saturday 15 October 2005 was the Jamboree-On-The-Air world wide Scouting event in which Amateur Radio operators help Scouts meet other Scouts over the airwaves. This year Greg, WA7IRW, Phelps, W6PTH, Bill, WA6QYR were joined by Gene, KI6LO, Loyilyn, KG6LEW and John, KC6UWM to put on the event for local Ridgecrest Scouts. Some 20 Scouts came by during the day to particpate. Bill lead the Scouts (mostly Tiger Cub (first graders)) in assembling and soldering a blinky light kit. Greg helped with morse code sets. Phelps held forth on 20 meters setting up contacts for the scouts to talk with others.

He "surfed" the bands but 20M was really the only ball game in town Saturday. He ran full power (100W Peak) most of the day. The solar panels had no problem holding the battery voltage up. System worked well as usual.

1. DX was in - South Africa, Norway, Hawaii, Kwajalein in the Marshall's (5-8/9). Only able to take advantage of Kwajalein (V73RY - Randy) because no scouts at the other times (drat!) At the end of the 15-20 minute session with Randy, I looked up and realized we had been working Kwjalein off the back of the Moseley! OBTW, Randy said he was "chasing me all over the band". Frequency changes were attempt between myself and an Austin Texas Station (K5S Bill)I was in contact with off and on for several hours to give our boys a fighting chance of being able to understand each other. I asked Randy to call him to see if he could link up with those boys also. That was successful. Several of Bill's boys were able to chat with Randy on Kwajelein. Neat! I'll bet they got a kick out of that! The U.S.S. Missouri (LH6BB) in port at Pearl Harbor would have been neat if I had any scouts. (5-9)

2. Youngsters: Chase, Brad, James, Andrew, Lance*, Nathan*, Kevin*, Mark, Josh, Andy, Brian, Adam, John, Jeffrey* * Scouts I think talked with Randy on Kwajalein. I am sure there were others. Guest operator Jerry Smith had a mob around him for quite awhile but unfortunately, Jerry didn't write down any names.

3. General conditions otherwise: Eastern part of the country in particular was terribly noisy mostly attributed to poor /sloppy/rude/operating practices; endured some flagrant pouncing and poaching (really annoying). Folks just had no patience or manners! VE7/VE6-land much quieter. Heard few stations on the West Coast. One California station (Orange County) claiming to be running a KW was no better than a 4 x 4! Go figure.


WINLINK 2000 in the IWV Part I

Oh no, not another article about WINLINK 2000. Yup, but this one is gooood. Since I can get long winded while typing and this is such an interesting topic, to me at least, I will present it in two parts. This part will discuss some of my experiences in getting on the air on the HF portion of WINLINK 2000, how you can do it, and the required hardware/software. The second part will talk about using VHF/UHF packet for sending and receiving Served Agency messages, and interfacing with the HF portion of WINLINK 2000. Although not 100% technically correct, for the purposes of this article, I am combining the HF and VHF/UHF sides into one system and calling it the WINLINK 2000 system.

Being interested and involved in Emergency Communications for 30+ years, and being a member of the Eastern Kern County ARES/RACES, I'm always searching for ways to increase our capabilities to communicate when normal communications systems are not available. When I first read about WINLINK 2000 (WL2K) in QST about a year ago, I thought this system would be worth investigating to see if we could use it within the Eastern Kern County ARES/RACES architecture. It also sounded like a great way to communicate with friends and family (yes, I do have family) while out roughing it in my RV. Would WL2K help us support our served agencies? I think the real question I had was, Is this going to take a genius to figure out and set up?

Just in case you haven't heard about WINLINK 2000, it is an Amateur Radio communication system designed to send and receive email-formatted messages via the airways. You type up your message, send it to a WINLINK 2000 Participating Mail Box (PMBO), the PMBO bridges it over to their Internet connection, and ZAP, your message is delivered via regular Internet email. For detailed information on the WINLINK 2000 system, check out www.winlink.org. WL2K is used daily by Maritime Mobile stations and RVers, and many organizations use it during times of disaster.

After reading the QST article, I did a few searches on the net and quickly became saturated in all the terms (PACNET, TELNET, PostOffice, PMBO, AirMail, SailMail, SCAMP, B2F format, PACLINK, and way too many more). I even ordered a couple of copies of the handbook titled The Sailors Quick-Start Guide To Sailmail / AirMail / Winlink2000 by Gary Jensen/AA1GJ (www.docksideradio.com), hoping it would help me. When they arrived, I gave one to Jerry/KK6PA and tossed the other copy in the shack. A few months later while researching WL2K again, I came across the book gathering dust, opened it, and found exactly what I was looking for; a quick, easy to understand guide to getting on the air. Duh!

The main user interface with WINLINK is an application called AirMail. AirMail is a free application created and supported by Jim Corenman/KE6RK. AirMail looks like a generic email application, allowing you to create and send a message that appears just like an email, with email addresses on the TO and CC lines (BCC addresses are not used in WL2K). This is something most of us are accustomed with. The email application appearance reduces the learning curve to just a tad over ZERO! Well, maybe 4 on a scale of 10 if you're like me.

After downloading, installing and configuring the software for my TNC and HF rig, about 25 minutes, and another 4 hours figuring out the difference between my HF rig display frequency and the published frequency of the WL2K station, I was on the air sending emails to a WL2K station in Oregon. By the way, if you have a Yaesu FT-8xx or ICOM IC-706 series (and a few others), you can easily avoid the display frequency issue by using a CAT interface.

To use Airmail, your computer must be using Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000 or XP (is anyone still using Windows 3.11 or older?) and a Terminal Node Controller (TNC) that will support PACTOR I, II or III protocols. Many of the older TNCs such as the original PK-232s/HK-232s and PK-900s, MFJ 1276s and 1278Bs, and most of the Kantronics KAM series, are capable of PACTOR I. For low volume or short messages without attachments, oh, did I mention you can send attachments just like regular email (?), PACTOR I works just fine. Depending upon the WL2K station that you connect to, you are allowed anywhere from 30 minutes per day at busy WL2K stations, to 90 minutes at not so busy stations. At 100 BPS for PACTOR I, you can send a lot of text in 90 minutes, even with an occasional data-block retransmission due to QRM/QRN. At the much faster PACTOR III speeds of 4 - 5 KBPS (with compression), now we're talking about sending 50-75 Kb file attachments with plenty of time to spare. Take a picture of that bear with it's butt sticking out of the dumpster at the campground up at Rock Creek and send it to your friends! If you are interested in higher speeds, you're limited to the TNCs developed by SCS (www.scs-ptc.com). Be warned, they are not cheap! You can obtain more information on these TNCs at www.docksideradio.com and www.farallon.us/webstore, and of course at the SCS website noted above. If you plan on purchasing one of the SCS TNCs, I would suggest calling Gary Wood at Farallon. Be sure to let him know you will be using the equipment to support ARES/RACES so you can get a 10% discount.

So now that you've gone through all the hassle of looking for those old rig-to-TNC cables, given up and made new ones, what are you going to do with WL2K? Remember August 20th, 2004, the day the IWV was almost totally isolated from the rest of the world? That certainly got the attention of those of us who depend on email and telephones to do our daily job. If that were to happen today, we can send emails to a WL2K PMBO station located outside of the disaster area, and the PMBO station will enter our messages into the Internet for further delivery. Think about that. Let's say the fiber cable gets cut again. We can send an email from Ridgecrest Regional Hospital to Kern Medical Center requesting urgently needed supplies. Or, after the big earthquake hits, we can send an email to your relatives located away from the area of destruction, letting them know you are ok, or maybe not so ok.

AirMail has an add-in propagation tool called ICE. You enter the Solar Flux I ndex (SFI), click UPDATE, and you can see the reliability number for current ZULU day for each PMBO and the frequencies each PMBO monitors. You can find the current SFI at www.wm7d.net/hamradio/solar. To see where each of the PMBOs are located, check out www.winlink.org/worldmap.htm. AirMail also gives you the option to download the latest weather faxes for whatever area you choose. I'll discuss ICE and downloading weather faxes, and more, in Part II.

If you are a ARES/RACES member, once you are up on WL2K, be sure to let Jerry/KK6PA know so he can add that to your list of capabilities.

If you're interested in getting on the WL2K system, dust off your old TNC, send me an email at km6jm@winlink.org and I'll send you a short guide on getting set up.

Till next time, 73..de Hal/KM6JM@winlink.org


FOR SALE!

Yaesu NC-15 Desk Quick Charger/DC Adapter and matching FNB-4A 500mAh 12VDC NiCd battery for 07 series Yaesu HTs. $45 for both. ICOM BC-35 Battery Charger and matching IC-BP8 12VDC NiCd battery for ICOM IC-02 series HTs. $45 for both. Contact Hal/KM6JM 371-3208


***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 24, No. 42
October 28, 2005
***************
Toys already have begun showing up in Memphis, Tennessee, in response to the ARRL 2005 Holiday Toy Drive appeal. The League has partnered with The Salvation Army for this year's effort to brighten the holiday season for children in the coastal areas of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana left homeless or displaced in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

"As The Salvation Army continues to provide assistance to the victims of the largest natural disaster in modern US history, we are excited to partner with the ARRL in providing toys for children affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita this holiday season," said Mark Jones, The Salvation Army's public relations director.

Because it still has the facilities to manage a large toy drive, The Salvation Army will handle the distribution end of the program. Its facility in Jackson, Mississippi, will coordinate distribution throughout the Gulf Coast region.

Country music artist Patty Loveless, KD4WUJ, is the Holiday Toy Drive's national chairperson.

The collection point for the toys is in Memphis, Tennessee, where the League has secured a warehouse facility. Between now and December 10, the ARRL is encouraging ham radio operators throughout the US to purchase new, unwrapped toys for children ages 1 through 4 and send them with a QSL card to ARRL Toy Drive/The Salvation Army, 1775 Moriah Woods Blvd--Suite 12, Memphis, TN 38117-7125.

Volunteers in Memphis will sort and stock the toys, and in early December, the toys will be transported to The Salvation Army facilities in hurricane areas that need help the most at that time.

Amateur Radio volunteers turned out in force to support communication for relief and recovery operations in the Gulf Coast. ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, says the Amateur Radio community is once again in a position to make a difference.

"Thousands of families are without a place to live and will be homeless over the coming holiday season," he said. "For a child living out of a tent or car, FEMA trailer or someone else's home, the 2005 holiday season will be anything but jolly. But hams from all across the country are coming to their rescue again through the ARRL Holiday Toy Drive."

Cash donations from ARRL members also are welcome. League members may send checks to ARRL Holiday Toy Drive, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111.

"Knowing that someone 'out there' remembers you is a start for these children," Pitts said.

More information about the ARRL 2005 Holiday Toy Drive is available on the League's Web site www.arrl.org/pio.


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 Sat Nov 26 10:07:21 PST 2005