The Airwaves
April 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)
     
Apr 12 SARC Meeting
Heritage Inn -- WA7IRW, see details inside

April 21 Boy Scout Camporall Demonstration 

May 14 Fox Hunt!  See inside 

June 24-25 FIELD DAY! 

AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE EXAMS
Second Saturday, Even months
April 8 Volunteer License Exam Sessions
Kern County Library Ridgecrest Branch
131 East Las Flores Ave. Meeting Room
Pre-register by 05 Apr.
All must sign in at 9 AM.  Code test 11 AM. 
Contact Elvy NØLV 760-384-3589
E-mail  ehopkins@ridgenet.net


From the President's Shack

Well we are in Spring conditions with weather meaning WIND. Maybe a little April showers to bring May flowers. We already have some wild flowers out along the highways. Another thing that happens in the spring is the Boy Scout Camporall. This time I have arranged to have station call sign K2BSA/6. You might wonder why K2 call sign for a scout group centered in Dallas TX. Well the BSA National office used to be In New Jersey when they got the call sign. In the 1970's they moved to Dallas and have kept the call. It is used at the National Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill VA as a 3 area. Some years ago at the Jamboree a number of us thought it would be great to use the call at our own area Jamboree-On-The-Air sites and encourage as many stations to contact all the sites. Even have the sites contact each other. For a few of the years I had arranged the call in Ridgecrest JOTA. Some others have gotten the 6-area call for their sites when I didn't get to the office first. Any way just some trivia and history.

If you are interested in seeing and participating in the Field Day like set up in Keysville (a site southeast from Lake Isabella on a dirt but good road) let Bill know. Mike, WA6ARA and Greg WA7IRW will be along to operate using FT-817 with amplifier, multi-band inverted Vee antenna and solar/battery power. Mike suspects we will be on the lower HF bands due to poor propagation. We could use some back up contacts in Ridgecrest if you would prefer to sit at home. Saturday April 22 between 9 and 3 we should be on the air and looking for contacts. 73's Bill WA6QYR


Board of Officers Meeting Minutes & Minutes of the General Meeting
By Secretary Lloyd Brubaker (WA6KZV)

The board meeting was mostly reports of incidents with scouting. The demonstrations of Ham Radio went well and was well received. The membership drive is tapering off. As of this writing we have over 84 members.


TREASURER'S REPORT
Treasurer's Report as of April 1, 2006:
Draft Account $ 1,350.20 
Share Account $ 5,072.76 
BALANCE:      $ 6,422.96 
submitted by Pam Evans, KC6UUS


April Meeting Program

John Wendt WA6BFH was first licensed in 1967 at the age of 14. He gained the help and assistance of an Elmer who encouraged him to think conceptually about radio and physics. His interests are primarily focused on the VHF and UHF wavelength bands, but he is interested in the entirety of the RF spectrum and all of Amateur radios bands extending from the MF through the SHF regions. He is most encouraged by the findings of the Ham Radio

operators Ross Hull, John Kraus, and Edwin Howard Armstrong.

John's presentation for us this evening will be on Signal Propagation Across the Spectrum. His aim is to highlight and explain the nature and pursuit of working not only F-layer DX distant signals at the peak of the 11 year solar cycle, but also pursuing E-layer DX, and even the vagaries of Meteor Scatter, and other forms of more elusive or variable signal propagation on all and any frequencies.


EarthQuake !
From Lloyd Brubaker, WA6KZV

An earthquake a few days ago was a 4.1 with an epicenter between Ridgecrest and Barstow. At my QTH it lasted a scant 4 seconds and seemed to be a single shock wave. Some reported a rocking motion but we didn't feel that. Others didn't feel it at all. The RACES net went on the air promptly and a damage assessment showed no known damage. The quake was reported on Ch 7 fifteen minutes later.


David A. Rosenthal, N6TST, wins February QST Cover Plaque Award

I'd like to thank everyone who voted for my Polar Bear Portable article in the Best in QST competition for the February 2006 issue. I received the pleasantly surprising news about winning the prize only about a week and a half ago.

     
I've written a total of seven features for QST over the years but this one seemed to be the most popular so far. Those bears ARE cute. Interestingly, the photos I used for my wife's (Donna, KF6ZVE) article in the Ventura County Star (it appeared in their 25 September 2005 edition) also won a Northern Lights Award, one of the annual awards presented by Canadian Tourism for achievement in journalism and photography.

The next trip should be in May to the Canadian Maritime provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia where I'll run rental car mobile HF. Propagation willing, this will be an opportunity for local members with 20 meters and SSTV software to participate. The tentative SSTV date is 26 May but I'll have more details as the trip gets closer. According to projections during the planned 1500-2200Z time-frame, the ionosphere should cooperate, albeit perhaps weakly.

But again, thanks to everyone in the club who voted for me this time around. It's a lot of fun producing these articles (not to mention the work) and, now that I've retired from China Lake, I hope to do more.

Anyway, that's it for the moment. Once I finalize the details of this upcoming trip, I'll drop a line with more specifics.

Thanks,
Dave N6TST


Fox Hunt!

Due to the weather, the March Fox Hunt was a bust. The next hunt will be 14 May, which corresponds to the CQ National Fox Hunt weekend. We will be starting at the Heritage Inn parking lot at 9am. Usually these hunts last about an hour and everyone has fun. No equipment? No problem. You can hook up with someone who does and ride along. Be sure to bring along your handheld, so you too can twirl around trying to find it in the end. The frequency is 146.565 MHz. Everyone is encouraged to give it a try. For more info contact Mike, WA6ARA or Greg, WA7IRW.


IWV Emergency Net

Thanks Pam, KC6UUS for net control for the month of March. Net check in is as follows:

Date  Checkins 
March 6  17 
March 13 16 
March 20 13 
March 27 15 

Upcoming Public Service Opportunity

The Sierra Amateur Radio Club will bring a field demonstration station to the Camporall on Saturday 22 April. We have the approval to use the Station Call sign K2BSA/6 from National BSA. We hope to be set up by around 9 am and give demonstrations until about 4 pm. We will have a solar powered low power HF station with multi- band antenna to show and allow Scouts to talk with other amateurs during the day. We may have a satellite communication station along also. See you then, Bill Burns WA6QYR.


Antenex TRABT1420 Review
By Hal/KM6JM

How many antennas have you permanently bent from entering and leaving the garage, not to mention the SLAP SLAP SLAP as the antenna scraps along the seams of the door? Even a short quarter wave 2M whip at 19 inches on a SUV can recreate that same scraping and slapping.

A couple years ago while thumbing through the latest AES catalog, I noticed a very low profile, stealthy antenna from Antenex, which I thought would go very nicely with my mobile rig. I quickly called Squeak at AES Las Vegas, he quickly took my VISA number and a couple of days later, I had the antenna.

Upon reading the manual that came with the antenna, I was a bit concerned. Although I had read all of the web pages at Antenex.com, I had not seen anything regarding the very limited bandwidth of the antenna. The manual stated that the 1.5:1 VSWR bandwidth was a low .5 MHz. The manual also stated that although the antenna was rated at 60 Watts, transmitting into a high SWR, or in other words, transmitting outside of that narrow bandwidth, could damage/destroy the antenna. Yikes! After some thinking, I realized that for my operating, this narrow bandwidth would be acceptable. Since I usually operate on the YBN translator (146.04 transmit) and occasionally transmit on 146.52 simplex, both of those frequencies are within 500 KHz of each other. The Antenex website has since been updated and it now reflects a 1.5:1 VSWR of 850 KHz and 2:1 VSWR of 1.5 MHz. Using a MFJ-269 SWR Analyzer, I obtained a 1.75 MHz 2:1 SWR. Using a plain standard quarter wave whip, I measured over 18 MHz and using a 5/8 wave, I measured just under 8 MHz of bandwidth for a 2:1 SWR.

     
As you can see in the picture, the antenna is very small, measuring just a tad under 3.5 inches tall. Antenex claims that the performance is equal to a quarter wave antenna. Although I have not performed side-by-side comparisons, using 5 watts, I am able to KERCHUNK, I mean, I am able to transmit into the YBN translator from the same locations in Ridgecrest and Inyokern that I could when I was using a standard 2M quarter wave antenna.

The antenna mount is an NMO style and is single band only. Antenex offers a 440 model also. I like the bottom of the antenna. The large black area is foam, which helps protect the vehicle's finish. Then there is an o-ring to help stop moisture.

You can purchase the antenna directly from Antenex, however the prices seem to be less at the Amateur Radio dealers, such as AES. Although the antenna is single band only, and the review model is designed for 2M, it receives very well out of band. When Kern County Fire Dispatcher (KCFD) operated on 450 MHz, I was able to receive their broadcasts without any difficulty and now that KCFD is operating on 155 MHz, I am still able to receive their signals full quieting.

No more slapping and I can still KERCHUNK.
73...de Hal/KM6JM



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 Mon May 29 11:21:26 PDT 2006