The Airwaves
June 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)
     
June 14 SARC Meeting
Heritage Inn -- The Power Outage, what
went right and what went wrong 

July 12 SARC BBQ
See details inside

August 9 SARC ICE CREAM SOCIAL
See details inside

AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE EXAMS
Second Saturday, Even months
June 10 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

Maybe summer is coming around again. It would seem that we had summer twice now. Once back in March for a week. Then in late April. And now we are creeping upon the end of May with nights still cool and nice. Time to be thinking about the lesions learned a few weeks ago when the electricity went out. The need for cool on people during the day in the desert is high. Staying indoors helps if you have a fan. Even better if you have air conditioning. All that takes electricity or energy of some kind. Having food to eat and water to drink is one of the primary human needs. So we need to make sure we have stock piled some food and lots of water that we can get to with out electricity. Fuel to make our generator generate is nice to have locked up in a safe place. Having an OPERATING generator is good as long as one has fuel for it. Solar cells are good at making electricity during the day but at night we need the generator. Be prepared so the scouts say and you might want to practice at home.

Bill WA6QYR


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

The meeting was called to order by President Bill Burns, WA6QYR, at 1904 at the Heritage Inn. The Board Meeting was held first and as members wandered in for the 1930 hrs meeting that assemblage was called to order as well. l

The minutes of the April meeting were approved as printed in the Airwaves after pointing out the correction of the date of the Fox Hunt. The date is 13 May (This is the official date!)

The Bike Race to Kernville is scheduled for 26 August. This is a Los Angeles bike club race starting from Johnsondale Bridge over Sherman Pass through Kennedy Meadows, and Nine Mile Canyon to 395.

The BBQ is tentatively schedule for Ron Ogren's WA6PEV on 12 July. You bring your own meat and something to share.

The Ice cream social is scheduled for 9 August. The location was not decided upon and is up for suggestions. Anyone with a hot idea?

The general meeting began about 1930 with the sign-in sheet passed out, 50/50 ticket sales was brisk with $16.00 taken in. Mike and Paula Herr were absent so the Secretary had to take charge of the drawing. The drawing was at the end of the meeting. The $8.00 was won by John Denson (our evening speaker).

The speaker for the evening, doing a very professional job, was John Denson, AI6A, on the workings of Field Day. The Nation Wide activity is always held the last week-end in June. Mark your calendar and call John to help out.

The meeting was closed 2045. Thanks Pam for the refreshments!


TREASURER'S REPORT

Treasurer's Report as of June 1, 2006: submitted by Pam Evans, KC6UUS


IWV Emergency Net
Net check in for May is as follows:
Date    Checkins 
May 01    15 
May 08    16 
May 15    21 
May 22    17 
May 29    10 
Thanks to Hal, KM6JM for taking May and Pam, KC6UUS for June.


SUMMER PLANS

Summer is the time when the club goes "dark" for July and August. In lieu of the July meeting (July 12th) we usually hold a BBQ. Typically this is held at Ron Ogren's (WA6PEV) place on Brady street just north of Ridgecrest Blvd. THIS HAS NOT BEEN CONFIRMED AT PRESS TIME. Listen to the Monday night net for details.

For the August meeting on the 9th Jim Leonard, WA6TFZ, in north Inyokern has invited us out to use his place about 7 pm. We can bring some ice cream and cake and pop to enjoy the nice place Jim has. Jim also has a nice telescope with CCD output to view the stars and planets latter in the evening when it gets dark. Directions- North on old highway 395 Brown Road for many miles and turn left after passing the hay fields of Neal Ranch on the left and the sign for First Light Observatory on the left. Go in one block and turn right and into Jims place with the big antennas.


ARES/RACES -- Hams to the Rescue!
Judith N7TTH

Ridgecrest, California, a small city in the high desert, has an active emergency preparedness team. Although the group's main focus is on earthquake training, they are ready to move during any declared emergency. Ham Radio operators in the area stand ready to provide back up communications when phone lines are down and cell service is unreliable due to overuse or battery failure.

During a recent series of electrical failures, one of which lasted over eight hours, the East Kern County ARES/RACES Ham Radio community proved the value of this training and preparedness as they provided critically needed communications support.

As soon as the event was officially declared a disaster, 34 Hams responded to the call for help, and were quickly assigned to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), the local hospital, and ambulance service, and other areas around the valley.

With diesel fuel and gasoline a priority, Hams contacted local stations to find still available sources. Others monitored various bands, including Edison's communications, and passed on the latest information. When information was needed, there was always someone willing and able to find and report the necessary data.

Rumors were discussed and either verified or dismissed, and places where help was needed identified. Information critical to the emergency was relayed during the time the power was off, and for an hour afterwards until the EOC was officially disbanded. The constant flow of information is vital during an emergency, without Hams this flow would be a mere trickle.

 
Lt. Ron Strand, Field Services Division and EOC Commander noted that "The Hams did a wonderful job, especially with communications between the Ridgecrest EOC, Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, and the Ridgecrest Police Department EOC, especially with the arrangements to alleviate the hospital fuel problem. Having them there for communications was a very good thing. They were a very important component of the EOC. As we are geographically isolated, the hams are important when we lose contact with the outside world, as they are still able to communicate."

According to Bob Dickus, Volunteer Coordinator for Police and Citizens Together (PACT), "The Hams did a terrific job providing valuable interagency communications. Having them there was a huge help."

Jerry Brooks KK6PA, Emergency Coordinator for East Kern County ARES and Radio Officer for RACES commented that he "was pleased at how many Hams responded and how well they synchronized with emergency services."

No emergency is without a few trouble spots, Brooks pointed them out during a debriefing held a week after the event. In-place gear is needed at several locations to make getting on air faster, non-Ham personnel need to know what we can -- and cannot -- do during an emergency, coordination is needed with local radio stations, and food and fuel will become critical during an extended emergency.

Training is more important than gear, however, and Brooks urged area Hams to contact him about classes.

Mr. David Mechtenberg, CEO of Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, praised the Hams stating, "The HAM radio operators played a very important role in the electrical power outage on May 12, 2006. It is extremely important to have contact with the outside world when the hospital is in an emergency situation. We are able to be in immediate contact with the Command center and relay information to the hospital staff as well as receive support from the Command Center. A case in point was the communication to the Naval Base for diesel fuel in case the hospital generators would not have enough fuel for the length of the outage. I cannot not say enough about the value the HAM radio operators provide the hospital."


Field Day 2006

You are cordially invited to come join the fun of being a part of Field Day this year!

As you probably already know, the objectives of Field Day include developing our skills to meet the challenges of emergency preparedness and to acquaint the general public with Amateur Radio. We operate in abnormal situations and in less than optimal conditions with the objective of working as many other stations as possible.

This year we plan to start setting up at Helmer's Park (on Warner Street, next to the Penney Swimming Pool) mid- afternoon on Friday, 23 June. The contest begins at 11:00 AM on Saturday, 24 June and runs until 11:00 AM on Sunday, 24 June. That Sunday afternoon, after the contest is over, we will disassemble and remove everything from the park.

We plan to field a 20 meter PSK-31 station, a 20 meter GOTA SSB station, a 40/80 meter CW station and a 40/80 meter SSB station. All four will be battery/solar powered running QRP (no more than 5 watts). We also plan to have at least one satellite QSO and to demonstrate the APRS, ATV and SSTV operating modes. We would also like to field a 2 meter station for local simplex contacts on 146.52 MHz and a Pactor station for receiving NTS messages.

GOTA stands for Get On The Air. The 20 meter GOTA SSB station may be operated by Novice, Technician, or generally inactive hame. Non-licensed people may also participate under the direct supervision of a control operator.

We are in need of additional people to help set up, operate and tear down. In addition, we need to borrow a couple deep discharge batteries, solar cells and a couple of free standing, scissor-type awnings.

Please plan to participate this year and, if you are available to help out or if you have questions, please contact John Denson (AI6A) at 608-3175.


Practical Fox Hunting

I was listening to some local 2 meter simplex activity on Friday June 2nd when all of a sudden, some strange sporadic interference started coming over the 2 meter simplex frequency.

I studied it for a few minutes and also found out that Bob K6WAG was getting it too. After a few deductions, I determined that his UHF to VHF crossband repeater was repeating the interference, but not the cause.

I then went to the UHF repeater frequency of 445.800 that Bob was using, and heard nothing, then I dialed the VFO back and forth and there it was, a S-9 signal that was very very sporadic and drastically changing frequency from approx 445.600 up to 446.300, up and down that section of the band, and it was accompanied by a low level 60 cycle hum.

I found this rather interesting and decided to go out in the back yard to fetch my home-built UHF yagi that I designed for direction finding.

I hooked it to my Yaesu VX7R handi and got up on the roof of the house. I found the signal to be coming from the direction of the college, or slightly east of the college.

I asked Pam KC6UUS if she wanted to go for a ride, so away we went. I first went 3/4 of the way up the college road to get a bearing, all the while coordinating with Bob K6WAG on 2 meters so that he could tell us what frequency he was hearing the interference on, at that moment. I received zero signal at all. Humm, drove back to the bottom of college hill and took a bearing, aughhh, there it was, pointed right at the fancy homes up in the cove area east of the college, but blocked from the college by a big hill (explained why I got nothing near the college).

Pam and I drove to the fancy home area and took another bearing, WOW, mega strong now and pointed toward the highest house in the area to the south west of that whole area.

We then drove to a dead end street and took another bearing, this time using air gap technology for attenuation, and beyond any doubt, located the exact address where the interference was coming from.

We took down the information from that mailbox and had Bob K6WAG look them up in the phonebook. Bob tried to call them but they were not home and he only got an answering machine.

It will be interesting to see what the culprit is, of course the way I intend to handle the initial phone conversation is to say that I have located some interference coming from the area right near their home, and see if I can get permission to locate the interference that I know is not intentional. In other words, there are many consumer electronic devices these days that could possibly be going bad, going into self oscillation, and throwing out spurious signals without the home owner even knowing. I can approach this in a fashion that I may be able to help them locate an electrical item that is going bad before it catches fire and burns the house down!

This whole thing took about an hour or so.

For those who are considering participation in the club Fox Hunt, also known at the T-Hunt, I highly encourage you to do so, it's super fun, and helps to sharpen your skills to find this type of interference. Who knows, the next interference may be affecting you????

Respectfully,
Todd and Pamela Evans
W6TOD and KC6UUS


Stuff For Sale!

I have a new, still in the carton and never been opened. Cushcraft A4S tri bander beam. $500.00. Cost was over $700.00 with tax and shipping here. More info on it in any AES or HRO catalog for details. I been using mine for 9 years and find it better then any of the other tri banders I have used in the past. Also have a 35' crank up tower(guyed) and rotor. $400.00. Full set of TA-33 tri- band beam traps only. $60.00 OBO.

Jim WA6TFZ 375-3474 sawjim@ridgenet.net

And More Stuff For Sale!

Timewave DSP-59+ DSP Audio Noise Reduction Filter. Version 3.0 firmware. Reduces random noise, eliminates heterodynes (tuner uppers and cw). 225 combinations of high and low pass filters for voice and digital modes. One small scratch on top cover. Original box and operating manual. $140.00

Hal/KM6JM 371-3208


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 Jul 3 17:28:37 PDT 2006