The Airwaves
May 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)
     
May 10 SARC Meeting
Heritage Inn -- John, AI6A, Field Day

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

The Springtime winds are still blowing and the antennas being tested for endurance. Hopefully yours are still in the air. Jim Leonard WA6TFZ has a new set of towers now since his went down in a winter storm. Those of us who ventured out to the Boy Scout Camporall had a good time in the wind at Keysville (SW of Lake Isabella). John Andrus KC6UWM had his first contact on HF and via satellite. Lorilyn, KG6LEW came along and enjoyed the activity. Mike, WA6ARA and Greg, WA7IRW did the communicating with the other stations and the Boy Scouts. Communication conditions were very poor, but we managed contacts on 40 and 17 meters. We had a solar powered battery station with field day type antennas. Bill, WA6QYR had arranged the use of the National BSA call K2BSA/6 in hopes of getting more contacts with the special event call sign. But Murphy is always around to help out.

73's 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 at 1900 hrs on 12 April 2006.

Thanks to the treasurer Pam Evans for the cookies.

Coming Events:

The Boy Scout Camperall will be held on 22 April and will include all of Kern Co. and some of the surrounding counties. The Hams will set up a station to demonstrate Amateur Radio. Operators are needed. Call Bill Burns for assignments and details.

Field Day details will be announced next month by John Denson the Chair of this years event. This year it is on 24- 25 June.

The only visitor to the club meeting was John Wendt, WA6BFH, who was our speaker for the evening.

A number of old timers appeared after a long lapse in attendance. Welcome back guys!

RACES has a new reenlistment form for all of those wishing to sign up. Training is required to update new state and county requirements. Contact Jerry Brooks, KK6PA for your copy. Evidently the training will be available on internet.

Greg Roush, WA7IRW, gave a demonstration of the various new flashlights using special batteries, LEDs, and generating devices.

The VE session last week was cancelled due to no interest. No one signed up or walked in. [A search is being conducted by Elvy Hopkins, NØLV, to find a new place to conduct the examinations. We are to be charged for the use of the room in the library.

   
Our speaker was John Wendt, WA6BFH, of the Microwave Society on the propagation nature of the various ham bands used for DX. He covered the eleven year solar cycle and the activity of the various bands. He indicated that the E layer of the ionosphere was the most dependable and described the other layers as will. He did a very fine job on a complex subject.

The meeting was adjourned at 2009.

Respectfully submitted Lloyd Brubaker, WA6KZV, Secretary


TREASURER'S REPORT Treasurer's Report as of May 1, 2006:
Draft Account $ 1,253.16 
Share Account $ 5,072.76 
BALANCE:      $ 6,325.92 
submitted by Pam Evans, KC6UUS


Fox Hunt!

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

Net check in for April is as follows:

Date  Checkins 
April 3    15 
April 10   13 
April 17   23 
April 24   18 

Boy Scout Camporall

The Boy Scout Camporall was held on 22 April 2006 at Keysville (just SW from Lake Isabella). Conditions were so so, but contacts were made on 40 and 17 meters and one on the VO-52 satellite. This was a field day type of operation, with wire antennas and solar power. Bill WA6QYR, made arrangements for using the national BSA call, K2BSA/6. Helping out included Bill WA6QYR, John KC6UWM, Lorilyn, KG6LEW, Mike, WA6ARA and Greg, WA7IRW. By the way, John KC6UWM had his first contact on HF and via satellite.


RACES / ARES Happening

I just talked to the head of the Kern Co. Office of Emergency Services. She has submitted a grant request to the State for a complete WinLink2000 station. She won't give a time frame but she seems to feel moderately confident that they will approve the $6,000 for it.

She is also submitting a request for $1500 for RACES gear for both East Kern Co. and West Kern Co. ARES/RACES. This gear may include a "grab-n-go" bag, an embroidered communications vest, and a battery-less flashlight. This gear will be issued to qualified RACES members. A qualified member is one who has resubmitted the forms that have been or will soon be mailed to all of you, and passed the three courses (Fema IS-100, Fema IS-700 and the ARRL Emergency Communications Course #1).

I am also sending letters to all other Amateur Radio Ops listed in the Eastern Kern County.

I'm sure all of you are aware that we provide emergency disaster communications for RPD, KCSO, KCFD, Red Cross, Salvation Army, ETC. We've added another group. It turns out that DART has a fleet of 40 vehicles. They've offered them up to be used should there ever be a requirement for mass evacuation in the aftermath of a disaster. Although they have their own communications systems they don't have any way to communicate with the RPD Emergency Operations Center. We can do that! :-)

I hope you will make every effort to re-up in ARES/RACES. Your participation is very important. Please take the time.
Jerry Brooks, KK6PA


ENGINE 64 ECC KCSO ENROUTE

Those of you who talk (or listen) to me on 146.64 have occasionally heard me talk about how I like to listen to the various Kern County Fire Department (KCFD) frequencies. I feel that I pick up tips on becoming a better Net Control Station (NCS) and operator during Net Operations. There was some activity a couple of weeks ago that really caught my attention and showed me the training, experience and teamwork that must go on each day in the KCFD ECC.

While listening to Kern One there was a short, maybe a one second, unidentified transmission consisting of some yelling and screaming. The dispatcher responded with the usual Last unit transmitting you were unreadable. When there was no reply, the dispatcher repeated his last transmission again. Still with no reply, there was a longer pause, maybe 20-30 seconds, and the ECC Dispatcher transmitted Engine 64, ECC. No response. Engine 64, ECC. No response again. A few seconds later, ECC transmitted Engine 64 ECC, KCSO enroute your location.

WOW! I immediately realized that during that 20-30 second pause, the dispatcher and possibly others were busy checking their logs to determine who was out on a call where KCFD personnel might be exposed to yelling and screaming, and something that could possibly prevent them from answering their radios. Eventually Engine 64 responded that everything was fine, but had they required additional assistance, I'm sure they would have appreciated hearing ECC transmit KCSO enroute your location.

So how can we become a better NCS from this experience? Two real life experiences come quickly to mind, one from one of our yearly supported horse rides. Base Camp lost communications with the Amateur at Hwy 395 and where the railroad used to cross. Did the Amateur: Go to sleep? Experience dead batteries? Change frequencies? Or worse? If you have another Amateur at Base Camp or nearby, you could send that Amateur over to check out the one you've lost contact with. Maybe a KCSO Deputy or CHP Officer is visiting a Vet Check or Water Stop. If they are heading in the direction of the lost Amateur, you could ask them to check. Another real incident was experiencing interference on the frequency being used for an event. Rather than wait hoping that the interference will go away, shift the net to an alternate frequency. If you wait too long, you may not be able to contact all net participants to let them know of the shift and the new frequency. Of course, if you are a good NCS, you will have already briefed all participants of the alternate frequency in advance!

Whatever the case, as a good NCS, you should take the initiative. Send someone to check out the situation. Call for assistance. Don't hesitate until it is too late to do anything. The excuse that you were Overtaken By Events (OBE) is usually not appreciated by those who were affected by those events.

Till next time......73.
.....Hal/KM6JM


BPL NEWS

*************** 
The ARRL Letter 
Vol. 25, No. 17 
April 28, 2006 
*************** 

==>CALIFORNIA PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION APPROVES BPL REGULATIONS 
Saying that broadband over power line (BPL) will bring Internet access to "underserved communities," the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has adopted regulatory guidelines for electric utilities and companies that wish to develop BPL projects in that state. While the Commission's BPL guidelines include a requirement to maintain the safety and reliability of the electric distribution system, the state agency has no jurisdiction over radio frequency interference, which received no mention in the PUC's news release. ARRL Laboratory Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, points out that the utility industry still must meet another tier of federal regulations that govern permitted BPL signal levels and interference issues.

"Although this action addresses how BPL operators will be responsible to state regulators, it does not address any of the technical problems with BPL in any way," Hare observed. "Utilities will still have to carefully choose BPL vendors with a proven track record of preventing interference complaints."

The CPUC said it wants to foster BPL deployment to solve the "last mile" problem of broadband delivery and to increase consumer choice in broadband providers. "BPL has the potential to bring broadband Internet services to communities who do not have broadband service available today from the telephone companies or cable companies," said CPUC President Michael R. Peevey.

One commissioner suggested that BPL faces an uphill battle. "This is a nascent technology with technological, market, and financial hurdles before it," commented CPUC member John Bohn. "By removing unnecessary regulations from its path, we free BPL entrepreneurs to invest and take the risks they want, while protecting ratepayers from any downside."

ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, said that while the League's concern is with BPL interference and not with BPL's viability in the broadband marketplace, "it's odd to see the California PUC echoing the pro-BPL rhetoric that was coming out of the FCC two years ago and that is so demonstrably wrong today." Sumner points out that BPL has been around for years now, and "after all the hype," the most-recent FCC statistics show no more than about 4000 BPL lines in service across the US.

"The California PUC would better serve its citizens by focusing on more capable broadband technologies, such as fiber and wireless, that do not have the potential to disrupt radio communication," Sumner concluded.

The policy the CPUC adopted April 27 stemmed from a draft developed by CPUC member Rachelle Chong, a former FCC commissioner.


Generator Survey!

I am doing a survey for ARES/RACES concerning emergency disaster communications. Please answer the following:

1. Do you have a gas powered generator? 

2. What are it's characteristics? 
   - max power output? 
   - weight? 
   - is it in working order? 

2. In the event of a disaster would you be willing to loan the
generator to the local ARES/RACES organization?
Thank you for any information.

David Stone - KC6UUR
760-375-1730
GENSURVEY@VERIZON.NET


Free Stuff!

HTS Satellite receiver & antenna control, C and Ku bands- FREE10 foot dish with LNA and actuator- FREE

HiGain DX88 trapped vertical 80M thru 10M with manual, (traps need cleaning)- FREE

VHS recorder - FREE

ATA PK-232MBX Data Controller with manual- FREE

Call- Claude Wood (WA6YSQ) at 377-5558


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 11:50:07 PDT 2006