The Airwaves
February 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)
     
Feb 18 Twenty Mule Team 100 mile horse endurance ride

AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE EXAMS
Second Saturday, 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.


From the President's Shack

Wow! Time is flying by. The holidays are over and the new year is whizzing past us in to February already. As Spring approaches we have opportunities to use our radios more often. The short horse ride came in January and the longe ones are coming up fast. Time to remember about practicing to be a net control just in case you happen to be the first one at that accident or event when you need to lead the others in providing help. It is easy to do. The Monday night net is one place to practice. The horse ride, bike ride or running events are other places to practice. These outdoor activities add the spice of trying to communicate over land with mountains in the way. Finding the right spot to allow the radio waves to make their way to the other communicator is sometimes trial and error, but can be done. We will be having several events to participate in as Spring comes along, so let's be prepared and work in some practice.
73's Bill WA6QYR


TREASURER'S REPORT

Treasurer's Report as of January 30, 2006:

Draft Account $   353.91
Share Account $ 5,072.76
BALANCE:      $ 5,426.67
submitted by Pam Evans, KC6UUS


Audit Committee Report

The audit committee has met, reviewed the SARC financial books and all passed with flying colors. My thanks to Paula Herr, N6VGW and Phelps TerHeun, W6PTH, for being on the committee and Bruce N8RXJ standing by if needed.
...Pam Evans KC6UUS

Results of the Audit

Balance at 31 December 2004 $5,754.33 
Deposits and Interest       $2,827.26 
Drafts / Disbursements      $2,796.06 
Outstanding drafts          $0 
Balance at 31 December 2005 $5,785.53 
signed:
Paula Herr, N6VGW
Phelps TerHeun, W6PTH


SARC Installation Dinner

The SARC Installation Dinner was held at the Texas Cattle Company on January 11, 2006. We had a good collection of hams showing up, filling up the meeting room. I counted about 30 members and visitors. The first part of the meeting was largely trading stories, filling out membership forms and buying raffle tickets...

Once we got down to business, Gene's (KI6LO) daughter volunteered to select the winner...

And the winner is... Paula,N6VGW!

One important action at the dinner was the thanks given to the officers stepping down for their service. Stepping down were Paula N6VGW as 1st VP, Gene KI6LO as 2nd VP, and Tom, WB6EPD as Secretary. Tom had held that position for so long no one could remember how long! Thanks one and all for their service and thanks to new and continuing SARC officers. Gene KI6LO shows off his mighty fine certificate of thanks from SARC.

Everyone had a great time and I hope to see everyone at next years. Thanks to Mark, N6BVP, for the photo of the event.


WA6EXV Honored

Chuck Swedblom, WA6EXV, has been honored by the San Bernardino Microwave Society with the LifeTime Achievement Award. See the full story.

And other SARC Hams in the news...

Check out N6TST's excellent article and cover in the February issue of QST


2006 Fire Mountain 50 mile/30 mile Horse Ride

The annual Fire Mountain 50 mile horse ride trotted off on a beautiful, but chilly, Saturday morning. Bill WA6QYR provided the initial coordination and assignments of operators, but had other commitments that kept him busy for the day. The first of the riders were just heading out on the first of three loops when Sam KG6EMT and Greg WA7IRW pulled into the base camp at about 0630. Alex KD6ZUV was already in position at water stop 1 on loop 1. Sam was introduced to the event organizers since he would stay at base camp. The RACES portable base station was set up to provide a back-up rig to Sam's handheld radio. Greg proceeded up to a high ridge south of the base camp to set up the SARC portable repeater using its new homebrew coaxial collinear antenna. The portable repeater seemed to work quite well once again for the entire ride. Greg then went over to water stop 2 on Loop 2, arriving about five minutes before the first riders came through at 0850. Alex reported about 0930 that 117 riders had come through79- 50 milers and 38- 30 milers and that he was shifting position to water stop 3. Thirteen of these horses were pulled from the ride by the vets at base camp over the course of the day. No problems with horses losing their rider's were reported, nor the need for horse taxis to pick up horses. Phelps W6PTH and his granddaughter reported in about 1100 that they were ready to operate at water stop 5/vet check 3 out on the Trona-Red Mountain road. We realized we hadn't heard from Tom N6NPG, who was supposed to be out at water stop 4 on Loop 3, and we couldn't raise him on the repeater or translator. Greg handed off the duties to DJ NH7NV, who happened to be helping at the water stop, and headed over to water stop 4, near where the power line intersects the Echo Range access road. About this time Sam discovered that he had run his car battery down trying to stay awake and warm; base camp is somewhat dull when the horses were gone. Fortunately Alex had some jumper cables and was able to get Sam's car started later in the day. Tom, it turned out, had been out to water stop 4 and had discovered an antenna problem. He had gone home to get another antenna and returned shortly after Greg arrived on site. Handheld radio antennas just were not quite adequate to work the repeater reliably from that location, so Greg set up another coaxial collinear and a cross-band repeater so we could move around the area and communicate using our handhelds. However, the location was just 30 yards away from the power lines and a tremendous amount of noise (S9+ on 20m) was getting into the receive side of the link, making it hard to understand people, especially those talking more quietly. The remainder of the day proceeded smoothly, except for Sam's handheld battery fading. Phelps reported the last horse was leaving the Vet 3 area about 1630 hours and he was shutting down. We said goodbye to the horsy folks and Greg went out to recover the portable repeater by the light of a beautiful sunset. Lessons learned: dress appropriately for the weather, have back-up batteries or a charger, check your equipment before the event, and have back-up gear available for when the unexpected happens. Thanks to everyone who helped out. I encourage more hams to get involved with these public service activities, especially the next one on Feb. 18th when we can use relief operators later in the day.

Submitted by: Greg WA7IRW


UPCOMING PUBLIC SERVICE EVENTS

20 Mule Team 100 mile Horse Endurance Ride

The 20 mule Team 100 mile Horse endurance ride is coming up on 18 February. This event starts around 0600 and continues for 24 hours or until all the horses get accounted for at the end. SARC provides the communication for the ride. These rides often have interesting happenings, like thrown riders, panic horses, lost rider and/ or horse. You name it; it has happened and can happen again. The riders really need our help to maintain safety. It is always fun with the riders. You don't need to stay for the whole event. There are several places in the ride that you can spend a couple of hours or to many more hours. Keeping track of the horses is the main task. And passing that information on to the next communicator in the path is sometimes necessary to find the horse that went off the course. SARC will need a lead person to set up communication with Jackie Bumgardner and plan out what spots need communicators and at what time and the duration of that spot. Volunteers will be called for at the 8 February meeting.
Bill WA6QYR


Boy Scout Camporall

The Kern County Boy Scouts have again asked SARC to provide the tower trailer and radios for the county wide Camporall in Keysville (south west of Lake Isabella) on April 21-23 weekend. This is similar to what SARC has done for the Cub Scouts in the October Jamboree On The Air worldwide Amateur/Scouting event. A couple of years ago SARC set up the tower trailer and Phelps' station and let the Boy Scouts talk to other Amateurs where ever we could get someone to come back to us. It was a good communication practice like field Day but very layback. If you would like to participate please let Phelps, Greg or Bill know and they will be glad to help get you there.
Bill WA6QYR


AMSAT News Service Bulletin 029.01

From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD. January 29, 2006

Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, who is the ARISS International Chairman and AMSAT's V.P. for Human Spaceflight Programs, reminds us if all goes well, SuitSat will be deployed in 5 days. Are you ready?

 
Have you talked to a school in your area about SuitSat? Or a student group? Is your SSTV receive capability ready for the challenge?

SuitSat will be deployed during a Russian EVA scheduled to take place on Friday, February 3 at approximately 22:20 UTC. NASA TV will provide live coverage starting at 21:30 UTC. For digital downlink information and access to NASA TV's Public Channel on the Web in RealPlayer, RealAudio, or Windows Media Player formats, visit NASA TV.

Russian Cosmonaut Tokarev will carefully jettison SuitSat-1 by pushing the suit away at about a 30-degree angle upward and about 10 degrees to the left of the back of the station.

Once activated, those who hear SuitSat transmissions on 145.99 MHz are asked to enter their realtime data on the SuitSat website, so that participants around the world can track the satellite.

Educational Outreach reports (at schools or informal education sites) as well as Slow Scan TV images can be sent to suitsat@comcast.net. This information will be compiled by the ARISS team.

Other information on SuitSat can be found on:

www.amsat.org (includes a countdown timer to SuitSat release)
www.rac.ca/ariss
www.issfanclub.com
www.amsat.org/amsat/archive/sarex/48hour/threads.html
NASA Education Website information for students
SuitSat-1, called Radioskaf or Radio Sputnik in Russian, is sponsored by ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station), an international working group made up of volunteers from national amateur radio societies, including the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation.

The Russian space company, Energia, led the development of SuitSat and has trained the crew for the deployment mission.

[ANS thanks Frank, KA3HDO and the ARISS team for the above information]


WINLINK 2000 in the IWV Part III

Here we are again. Somehow, I couldn't submit Part III in time for the January issue of The Airways, what with having the flu and a mild case of pneumonia, so here it is. I know, some of you (KK6PA, N8RXJ and others) were heard to say, Don't be a wimp. Tough it out!.

A real quick summary, WINLINK 2000, also referred to as WL2K, is an Amateur Radio communications system that allows you to send and receive emails via Amateur Radio frequencies. Yes, email with very small attachments. WL2K supports originating an email from a portable packet station set up at an evacuation shelter all the way to placing that same email onto the Internet for ultimate delivery.

In Part I, I discussed some the hardware and software requirements for WL2K, operating speeds of PACTOR I, II and III, a little background of the WL2K system and some of the trials and tribulations I went through to send my first WL2K message. In Part II, I discussed the Packet Radio module of AirMail and the relative effortless ease of sending email from one packet station to another via VHF packet using Airmail. In this final installment, I'll talk about what the local HF PACTOR operator does with the AirMail message received from the local VHF Packet operator before sending it to the WL2K PMBO (remember PMBO? Participating MailBOx) and what is done with incoming messages received from the PMBO.

In the example shown below in figure 1, the message was created, proofread and approved for transmission at a local site, which could be the hospital, EOC, shelter, or an Amateur's personal station. The message was sent, or posted via VHF packet to KM6JM for further delivery to the HF WL2K system. It is very important for you, the typist, the originating station, the AirMail Operator, the Amateur, to proofread the message and find and fix any and all mistakes. An incorrectly spelled email address will cause the message to be undelivered to that address. Due to WL2K user registration controls, a System Administrator undeliverable notice will not be delivered by WL2K to a WL2K user.

Figure 1

The first thing KM6JM will do to a newly received message from a local Packet AirMail station is to open the message, verify that all email addresses appear to be valid, ensure that the canned text instructing recipients how to reply to the email has been inserted by the originating Amateur station. This is essential in getting all incoming messages routed to the correct supporting local packet station. The outgoing email is also checked to ensure it does not violate current FCC rules and regulations. When the message is ready for transmission via the HF PACTOR station, KM6JM will change the Post Via: to WL2K and then click on the Mailbox icon to repost the message. This will move the message from the KM6JM AirMail INBOX to the OUTBOX so the next time KM6JM connects to a HF WL2K station, the message will be automatically sent.

Figure 2 below shows how an incoming message appears when received from the PMBO via HF PACTOR. If the origination station followed the instructions and used a subject line of FORWARD TO .., the only action KM6JM will need to do is open the message, and from the Tool Bar, click on Message and then Forward, select the callsign of the local packet station supporting the individual/location that the email needs to be delivered to, and then click on the mailbox to post the message. The next time the local packet station connects to KM6JM, the message will be delivered. If the Subject line does not indicate where the message needs to delivered, KM6JM will need to read the message and try to determine where the message needs to be delivered.

Figure 2

That's about it. There are many different ways to use WL2K. I've read of some RACES organizations in Texas that have configured their systems to be almost 100% automated. Some of the manual processes I talked about could be automated, but it is beyond my skills. If you think you might be interested in helping with the Eastern Kern County ARES/RACES development of WL2K, please send Jerry KK6PA@winlink.org and me KM6JM@winlink.org an email. After sending the email, you'll receive a notice to register with WinLink. This is an anti-SPAM measure to prevent SPAM from being sent to WL2K users. It is NOT used to send SPAM to you, unless you consider a reply from Jerry SPAM HI HI.

73.......de Hal/KM6JM km6jm@winlink.org


Copper Ground Wire Anyone?

If anyone needs a piece of 1/4" solid bare copper wire for tower grounding, etc. give KI6LO a call @ 446-1315

AIRWAVES input!

I am always on the look out for articles for the AIRWAVES newsletter. This can be an original article on something you think the club might be interested in, a write up on a ham radio event, book reviews, you name it! I can and will take it in just about any form, but prefer it electronically. If you find an article of interest in another newsletter, magazine, etc, please inquire about permission to re-print in the AIRWAVES. I find that most will give permission.
...the editor

AIRWAVES Snail mail or Email?

The AIRWAVES newsletter is available through conventional paper form and the US mail system or electronically via email. Through email I send it out by either PDF or plain text. The best way is electronically via PDF. That way you get it fast, get full color photos and save a couple of bucks PLUS SARC saves a couple more dollars. When renewing please indicate what form you want, ie paper copy or electronic, and if electronic PDF or plain text.
...the editor


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 Mar 19 14:29:27 PST 2006