The Airwaves
January 2006
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    John Andrus    KC6UWM    371-2190   
OF    Second VP    Fred Moses    KG6STR    371-4034   
    Secretary    Lloyd Brubaker    WA6KZV       
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: John, KC6UWM 375-5324
Program: Fred, KG6STR 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

IWV Emergency 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)
AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE EXAMS
Second Sat, Even months
Feb 11 Volunteer License Exam Sessions
Kern County Library Ridgecrest Branch
131 East Las Flores Ave. Meeting Room
Pre-register by 08 Feb.
All must sign in at 9 AM.  Code test 11 AM. 
Contact Elvy NØLV 760-384-3589
E-mail  ehopkins@ridgenet.net


SARC 2006 Membership Renewals are due!

All SARC memberships expire at the end of the calendar year. The membership dues for 2006 are now due. Please use the handy dandy application form at the end of the newsletter and mail in your new or renewed SARC membership. Or better, bring it to the SARC installation dinner.


SARC 2006 Installation Dinner!

The 2006 SARC installation dinner will be held on 11 January, 6 pm, at Texas Cattle Company. We will be thanking our 2005 officers who are leaving for their hard work over the years; Tom, WA6EPD; Paula, N6VGW; and Gene, KI6LO, as well as welcoming our 2006 board new members Lloyd, WA6KZV; Fred, KG6STR; and John, KC6UWM and to our continuing officers Pam, KC6UUS and Bill, WA6QYR. Remember to bring your brown bag of useful goodies to swap. There will be door prizes of an ICOM V8 2 mtr HT and $25 gift certificates. Every family or member will get one free drawing ticket. Extras will be $5 each.


From the President's Shack

Welcome to the New Year 2006. Thank you to our 2005 officers who have taken leave; Tom, WA6EPD; Paula, N6VGW; and Gene, KI6LO. Thank you to our new 2006 replacements, Lloyd, WA6KZV; Fred, KG6STR; and John, KC6UWM and to our continuing officers Pam, KC6UUS and Bill, WA6QYR. We will be having an installation dinner on 11 January 6 pm at Texas Cattle Company. Remember to bring your brown bag of useful goodies to swap. There will be door prizes of an ICOM V8 2 mtr HT and $25 gift certificates. Every family or member will get one free drawing ticket. Extras will be $5 each.

I hope Santa found your place and left you some new and wonderful. I know some will have received that lump of coal, but look on the bright side. You can burn it in the stove and keep warm during the winter. The repeaters keep running and nets keep on working. Some of the HF bands are doing their wonders in being up and down with propagation. It will be nicer on 40 meters when all the foreign broadcast gets moved out somewhere else. In the mean time have a time with those good leftover turkey snacks.
73's Bill WA6QYR


Board of Officers Meeting Minutes

By Secretary Tom Ingram (WB6EPD)
The December 14, 2005, board meeting was called to order at 1906 hrs. Those present: Pres. Bill Burns (WA6QYR), 1st Vice Pres. Paula Herr (N6VGW), 2nd Vice Pres. Gene Brewer (KI6LO), Treas. Pam Evans (KC6UUS) and Secy. Tom Ingram (WB6EPD. Mike would like to send the Airwaves to all area Hams in January and February. The Board approved. Pam brought cookies. We have a candidate for each office. Elections will be held at the General meeting. SARC received $195 for the sale of equipment from the Jeff Eaton estate. Discussions were held on topics for the general meeting. The club needs to start thinking about Field Day early. Bill prepared a letter to the Heritage requesting meeting dates for next year. The installation dinner will be at Texas Cattle Company. The meeting was adjourned at 1925 hrs.


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

The 14 December 2005 meeting was called to order by the President, Bill Burns (WA6QYR) at 1935 hrs at the Heritage Inn. The Sign-in sheet was started around.

Announcements:

1. 50/50 tickets were available.  
2. There were no visitors.  
3. The Treasurers Report is in the newsletter. 
4. SARC received a $50 from the Kiwanis for the Walk-a-thon.
5. The 147.340 link is over deviating. 
6. Gregg Roush (WA7IRW) gave a short presentation on HF antenna feedlines.
7. The Over The Hill Track Club event had 295 runners.
The Portable repeater worked great. HAM support is desired for next
year's race the 1st Sunday in December.
8. Jerry Brooks (KK6PA) reported that the Parrot Peak repeater
plans have been terminated due to security issues. Jerry
plans to talk to the National Park Service about a repeater on
Rogers Peak. There is a repeater on park land at Yosemite.
9. Request for members with HF capabilities will be in the Airwaves.
10. The 147.00 machine has an autopatch.
To bring up the autopatch press * then the phone number.
To bring the autopatch down press #.
11. Nominations for Board of Officers:
President - Bill Burns (WA6QYR)
1st Vice President - John Andrus (KC6UWM)
2nd Vice President - Fred Moses (KG6STR)
Secretary - Lloyd Brubaker (WA6KZV)
Treasurer - Pam Evans (KC6UUS)
There were no nominations from the floor. Paula Herr (N6VGW) moved
that we accept the slate as read. The motion was seconded and
carried.
12. Fred Moses stated that he could use some help with setting up
programs for the coming year. 
13. Installation Dinner will be at Texas Cattle Company at 6:00 PM in January. 
14. Motion was made for Bill to spend $200 for gifts at the installation dinner.
Motion carried. 
15. Pam Evans (KC6UUS) provided cookies.
Paula Gibeault (N6OQQ) provided cookies and cider. 
16. Gene Brewer (KI6LO) provided the program on the WINSYSTEM and IRL
17. John Denson (AI6A) won the 50/50. 
18. 18 Hams were present for the meeting. 
The meeting was adjourned at 2046.
TREASURER'S REPORT
Treasurer's Report as of December 31, 2005:
Draft Account $ 522.79 
Share Account $ 5,058.73 
BALANCE:      $ 5,581.52 
submitted by Pam Evans, KC6UUS


Indian Wells Valley Emergency Net Report
Check ins
December 05 -  11 
December 26 -  8 
...Mike Herr WA6ARA


*************** 
The ARRL Letter 
Vol. 24, No. 50 
December 23, 2005 
*************** 
RESPONSE TO BPL COMPLAINTS AN "ILLUSION" OF RESOLUTION, ARRL SAYS

In a strongly worded letter to the FCC, the League has once again asked the Commission to shut down the Manassas, Virginia, BPL system because it's still causing harmful interference to Amateur Radio and otherwise does not comply with FCC Part 15 rules. The December 19 letter from ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, was in response to a November 30 letter from Spectrum Enforcement Division Chief Joseph Casey, who suggested further cooperation between the complaining radio amateurs and the city-owned BPL system. Imlay said more meetings and discussions about ongoing interference are no longer productive while "this hopelessly flawed BPL system" is allowed to continue operating.

"These meetings have not produced any solution to the interference problem but have, instead, created the illusion that the problem is being addressed," Imlay wrote. Ham radio complaints of interference from the BPL system date back to early 2004. "This system should have been taken off the air long ago, pending reconfiguration or re- engineering of it," he added, "and the only operating that it should be doing is for purposes of interference testing."

Communication Technologies (COMTek) operates the BPL system over the municipally owned electric power grid using Main.net equipment on frequencies between 4 MHz and 30 MHz. The League said the FCC has not discharged its "most fundamental obligation" to prevent or resolve interference issues involving the Manassas system, which, the League charged, only remains operating "because the Commission, for political reasons, has consistently refused to enforce its rules with respect to BPL."

The League told Casey that the only solution at this point is to order the Manassas BPL system--an unlicensed RF emitter permitted to operate only on a non-interference basis--to cease operation except to test for interference.

The Part 15 BPL rules the FCC adopted in October 2004 require a BPL operator informed of harmful interference to "investigate the reported interference and resolve confirmed harmful interference . . . within a reasonable period," Imlay pointed out. "No reasoned examination of this case could produce a finding that this rule has been complied with in Manassas," he added.

Imlay says that at a December 13 meeting, COMTek and the City of Manassas "openly acknowledged the interference to amateur stations" but claimed that until a month or so earlier, they had been unable to "notch" amateur allocations because they didn't yet have the equipment to do so. "By the admission of COMTek, the capability of reducing interference in this system does not exist," Imlay noted.

Previous meetings between the complaining radio amateurs and the BPL operator "produced no measurable results," Imlay contended, referring to the response of Donald Blasdell, W4HJL, to Casey on December 9. At one point in the system, interference was reported at S9 plus 40 dB on typical ham gear. "That level precludes virtually all Amateur Radio communications," he asserted. Imlay took the opportunity to again point out that the Manassas BPL system is out of compliance with 15.615(a) because its operator failed to provide full information to the public BPL database by the November 19 deadline.

"ARRL again requests that the BPL facility at Manassas, Virginia, be instructed to shut down immediately," the League's letter concluded, "and that it not resume operation unless the entire facility is shown to be in full compliance with Commission rules regarding radiated emissions; with the non-interference requirement of Section 15.5 of the Commission's rules; and not in any case until thirty days subsequent to full compliance with Section 15.615(a) of the rules."

Field tests conducted by Manassas radio amateurs established that the city's BPL system "was an interference generator at distances of hundreds of feet from the modems on overhead power lines," the ARRL told the FCC October 13. "It was also, incidentally, determined that the system was susceptible to interference from nearby radio transmitters operating between 4 and 20 MHz," the League added.

KIDS' TURN AT THE RADIO: FIRST KIDS DAY OF 2006 IS SUNDAY, JANUARY 8

The second Sunday in January is the day to turn your shack over to the kids for some ham radio fun with a purpose. The first running of Kids Day 2006 begins Sunday, January 8, at 1800 UTC and continues until 2400

UTC with no limit on operating time (the second Kids Day will be Saturday, June 17). Kids Day provides a terrific opportunity to show youngsters what Amateur Radio is all about--and that includes its role in emergency communication. ARRL Education and Technology Program ("The Big Project") Coordinator Mark Spencer, WA8SME, says Kids Day can be a great opportunity spark change and get kids and families thinking about emergency preparedness.

"While you are coaching the youngsters who visit your shack--and their parents too--on how to make contacts and new friends via ham radio during Kids Day, why not take a few moments to ask them about their family's plans to deal with emergency challenges?" he says in December 2005 QST (see "Kids Day 2006" on p 45). "Why not use the opportunities offered by Kids Day to show the youth in your neighborhood that ham radio can be loads of fun, and that ham radio is a way that they can contribute something very valuable to their communities?"

Call "CQ Kids Day." The suggested exchange for Kids Day contacts is first name, age, location and favorite color. It's okay to work the same station more than once if the operator has changed. Suggested frequencies are 14.270- 14.300, 21.380-21.400 and 28.350-28.400 MHz. Contacts via VHF repeaters are okay too, with permission from the repeater owner. Observe third-party traffic restrictions when making DX QSOs www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/io/3rdparty.htm

All participants are eligible to receive a colorful certificate, which becomes the youngster's personalized "sales brochure" for ham radio, Spencer says. The League asks everyone taking part in Kids Day to complete a short survey and post comments afterward www.arrl.org/FandES/ead/kids-day-survey.htm. Doing this provides access to download the certificate page, or participants can send a 9x12 self-addressed, stamped envelope to Boring Amateur Radio Club, PO Box 1357, Boring, OR 97009.

Spencer notes that this year's hurricane season highlighted one of the real values that ham radio brings to the community--a spirit of resilience. "By their very nature, ham radio operators are interested in personal preparedness and community service...this is resilience," he says. Spencer suggests that Kids Day sponsors take advantage of the opportunity to show how ham radio offers a way for participants to contribute something very valuable to their communities.

"A very effective advertising strategy is to get kids hooked on an idea," he says. "The kids in turn go home and 'bug' their parents about the idea. You plant the seed in a young mind, and they will take care of the rest!"

Spencer believes Kids Day activities can result in a family emergency plan campaign that could save lives, and future community planners who know communication and how to communicate.

"Make that personal connection that may result in a new licensee and, perhaps, more resilient individuals by opening your station and inviting kids and neighbors to share in your hobby," Spencer urges. "You just might find yourself re-infected with that enthusiasm that you once had."

Visit the ARRL Web site for full information on Kids Day http://www.arrl.org/FandES/ead/kd-rules.htm.

AMATEUR RADIO VANITY CALL SIGN PROCESSING WILL RESUME JANUARY 4

The FCC has announced that routine processing of Amateur Radio vanity call sign applications will resume Wednesday, January 4, 2006. The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) suspended vanity processing in September as an indirect result of its hurricane-related extensions of certain regulatory and filing deadlines. The Commission said licensees or applicants needing relief beyond the initial extension periods should follow the process for submitting waiver requests provided in 1.925 of the Commission's rules.

"The Bureau will consider additional relief related to the hurricanes on a case-by-case basis," the FCC said December 19 in a public notice.

Earlier this year, the FCC announced it would extend filing and regulatory deadlines for licensees in parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Florida directly affected by hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. During the extension periods, the WTB temporarily suspended certain automated licensing functions. These included dismissing applications that are returned and not amended on a timely basis, changing the status of a call sign from active to expired if a license is not renewed within the two-year grace period for Amateur Radio licensees, and issuing vanity call signs.

In September, the FCC said it had to suspend routine vanity call sign processing because the extensions included the two-year grace period and could conceivably affect the vanity program.


WANTED WANTED WANTED

John Denson (AI6A) is looking for a used PACTOR Terminal Node Controller to buy. He can be reached at 375-656 or john.denson@mchsi.com


RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP FOR 2006

Download the Membership Application (PDF) print, fill out and mail to SARC. Members who fail to renew by March will be dropped from the roll.


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 Jan 15 21:09:19 PST 2006