The Airwaves
October 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)
     
Oct 11 SARC Meeting
Heritage Inn -- EME at OVRO 

Oct 14 Pacificon!

Heritage Inn HF Digital Radio 

Sep 23 ARRL Southwestern Convention

AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE EXAMS Second Saturday, Even months October 14 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

It is time to start showing our stuff again. RACES have been receiving materials for emergency go bags. But you need to get the on-line training first. Just because you have equipment (hopefully operational) doesn't mean you are ready. Training and practice are the needed items there. We begin the practice time with the Boy Scout Jamboree- On-The-Air event this month on Saturday 21 October running from 9-3 at the Ridgecrest Methodist Church 639 N Norma. We demonstrate several forms of our hobby here by contacting other worldwide stations that are also having Cub, Boy, Girl Scouts into their stations and talking with other Scouts on a third party operation. This gives us practice with the equipment setting up in "field" conditions, but also has some fun to it. We will have the National Boy Scout l call sign "K2BSA/6" for use during the event. Other equipment involved is some "T" Hunt and other band hardware that show we hams aren't just in the shack all the time.

I hope you can at least stop by the JOTA operation and see what the club is doing.

The club will be involved in the usual horse rides coming in January and February. These are just other chances to get out and be "radio active". The annual Kiwanis Walk was carried off in fine fashion by a few of our group with short practice directions around town helping keep the walkers in order and providing process corrections to the organizers. We get practice and the community gets a fun event and raises funds for a good cause. I hope you can be out an about with us. 73's Bill

Bill WA6QYR

Board Meeting

1. Kiwanis walkathon on 30 September 06. A few more volunteers are
needed. Six (7) operators signed in on the attendance roster.

2. JOTA is scheduled for October 21.  Operators mark your calendar
and participate.

3. A call was put out for the Nomination Committee. Anyone interested
call Bill Burns.

4. Electronics test equipment and other antiques. Call Lloyd Brubaker
for details. You cannot beat the price!!!

5. The Library will provide a free room for examinations.  Thanks
to Elvy for service on the "negotiating committee."

General Meeting. 

1. Called to order at 1930 hrs by president Bill Burns.  WA6QYR 

2. Greg Roush presented a show and tell on a solar charge controller.
He gave the operating data and construction details. A very small unit.

3. Fred Moses KG6STR gave a very fine talk on the history and range
of 2 meter digital radio. It's a complex subject for the old timers
and exciting for those who understand more of it.

4. The meeting closed with cookies and the 50/50 drawing at 2100 hrs.

Lloyd Brubaker  WA6KZV - Secretary  
TREASURER'S REPORT

Treasurer's Report as of October 1, 2006:

Draft Account $   610.50 
Share Account $ 5,101.10 
BALANCE:      $ 5,711.60 
submitted by Pam Evans, KC6UUS

IWV Emergency Net

Net check in for September is as follows:

11 Oct - 13 checkins 
18 Oct  - 17 checkins 
25 Oct - 19 checkins 

Ridgecrest Table Top Drill

The Dept. of Homeland Security provided grant funds to setup and run Tabletop disaster drills for seven Kern Co. cities. Ridgecrest's was held Thursday, 9/14/2006 at the Kerr-McGee Center. California City's will be on the 26th. John Denson, AI6A and Jerry Brooks, KK6PA, participat- ed as RACES members and Mike Cash, W6PM represented the American Red Cross. Also present was David Shipley, KE6RRT, representing China Lake's anti- terrorism group. I told Bruce Ornsten, N8RXJ, that we missed having him present. But he didn't believe me. The Chief of Police, Mike Avery, in his introductory speech mentioned the attendees should thank Jerry Brooks for the drill. "For many months Jerry harassed and needled me a- bout having a drill." The facilitator running the drill and several representatives gave comments on how useful ARES and RACES members are during a disaster. The scenario is a truck loaded with explosives losing control, crashing into the transformer station at Ridgecrest Blvd. and Downs St. at 0830 on a Thursday. The explosion demolishes or damages facilities within a 1/2 mile including the hardware store and the Radio tower and Cell phone tower. It was shortly after that the complaints about burning and itching eyes and skin started. It turns out that the ex- plosives are a dirty bomb that spread a chemical with the explosion. The wind is blowing from the SW at 10 MPH. Within 15 minutes the cloud covers 2.5 miles. It hits the Las Flores school, the Pink Bismall, the hospital and is pro- ceeding onto China Lake. Needless to say, we were in deep Kimshi. The hospital was locked down. Since the area was hazardous no victims could go into the hospital. At least two schools in full session were affected. Participants estimated over 2,000 victims were involved.

The main goal of the drill is to identify the lines of or- ganizational communications between the various organizations involved in the response. Amateur radio was not a primary participant in the activity. But RACES got a comment out to the assembly. Because of our WL2K system, all participants were asked to create a list of email addresses and phone numbers of all family members and organizations they need to contact during a disaster. Then put the list where it will be available during a disaster. This is also important for all amateur radio operators. Get that list in your "Go Bags".

Kiwanis Walk-a-thon The annual Kiwanis Walk-a-thon on Sept. 30th was a beautiful day for a public service event. Seven hams supported the walk this year, making it an easy event for us all. No problems, other than low supplies, were reported. Thanks to Hal KM6JM, Fred KG6STR, Judy KC6UTF, Bill W6WGS, Bruce N8RXJ, and Tamra KG6VYA.

by Greg WA7IRW.

JOTA

Jamboree-On-The-Air (JOTA) is an International Boy Scout and Amateur Radio world wide event happening on 21 and 22 October 2006. Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts can participate by going to an Amateur Radio operators home or special event station and learn a little about Amateur Radio and talk with other Scouts the world round. In Bakersfield, Perry Godley W6WTG, 2701 Forham Street (near the intersection of Haley and Columbus) will be operating on both days. Perry can be reached at 661-871-6296. In Ridgecrest, The Sierra Amateur Radio Club will be operating a special event station call sign K2BSA/6 at the Ridgecrest Methodist Church 639 N Norma from 9 to 3 on Saturday. Beyond talking to other scouts over amateur radio, the participants will have other activities that amateurs do to learn about and play with. Ridgecrest contact is Bill Burns WA6QYR at 760- 375-8566. Ridgecrest will be taking sign ups during the October Desert District Roundtable so they don't become over loaded with Dens and Patrols during the event.

Bill Burns

BuTel ARC8 Scanner Control Software

Last month I gave a short review of the Uniden BCT8 Trunking Scanner. This month, I'll write a little about the BuTel Advanced Radio Control 8 (ARC8) supporting control software for the Uniden BCT8.

If you haven't had the opportunity of using software to program or control a scanner, you'll be amazed at what some of the better software can help you do. You can use the BuTel ARC8 software without the scanner being connected or turned on. I ordered and downloaded the software from scannermaster.com and started using it while I patiently waited for UPS to deliver the scanner from AES.

When using the Memory Channel Editor to enter frequency information, there are five columns of information: frequency, tag, trunk, delay and lockout. The last three can be preconfigured so each new entry will always be the same, such as OFF ON OFF (trunking OFF, delay ON, lockout OFF).

I want to tell you about three areas where the ARC8 software really got my attention. When first using the Editor to enter frequency and tag information, I did not realize that the Virtual Control panel would display the Alpha Tag information. More on that in a minute. The tag column will allow you to enter up to a 20 alpha/numeric character name for each frequency.

Although the BCT8 scanner does not support Alpha Tagging, the Virtual Control panel within ARC8 does! With the exception of the On/off, squelch and volume, the Virtual Control panel will let you control all features of the scanner from your computer. It also provides a real-time display of what is going on with the scanner. When the scanner stops on a particular frequency, the Virtual Control panel also stops, displaying all information that you have programmed using the Memory Channel Editor. So now you don't have to fry your brain trying to remember who is the user of 154.28 MHz (OES White 1) or 935.925 (SCE).

And last, is the frequency import feature. This turned out to be a very useful feature. You can select a webpage, a PDF file paragraph or an entire Word document that has frequencies interspersed throughout and copy it all into the "Advanced Data Import" window for eventual input into the scanner bank that you select. One drawback with this feature is that if PL frequencies, telephone numbers or any other numbers are located in the selected text, those will also be copied into the data import window. But you will have the opportunity to review and remove unwanted entries, so the end result is still time saved.

The manual states in several places that the scanner and software is designed for serial cable support only and that USB to Serial adapters may not work. I am using KM6JM modified SIIG USB-Serial adapters throughout my shack, including the BCT8, with no problems. Do so at your own risk; however, I suspect the SIIG and other adapters will work fine.

Besides support for trunking, the ARC8 software allows you to save your file and changes, you can make changes off- line and then upload the changes to the scanner. If you make changes to the scanner directly, you can download those changes to the software and save them. You can print out a complete listing "just in case. ." and export your file to several different formats including an Excel file, for sharing with your friends.

I am really impressed with the BuTel software. So much so, that when I feel the need to have another receiver (see my earlier article titled "Can You Ever Have Too Many HTs?") I will ensure BuTel has supporting software for it.

73. ....Hal/KM6JM

WIN System Repeater in Bishop While staying at Independence I was lucky to over hear the check out and first day of the W6IY WIN System repeater in Bishop. If you haven't listened to the WIN system, you are in for a real treat. The Bishop repeater,W6IY is
444.600 (+) PL 100.0

Others include our own repeater in the valley on El Paso Peak,
448.800 (-) PL 100.0
managed by Ed, WI6RE. Give a listen, you will hear stations all over the country and sometimes DX.

Also supporting the desert is:

Palmdale, KJ6W is 445.600 (-) PL 100.0, usually connected to the WIN System..... 
Victorville, K6PNG is 447.020 (-) PL 162.2 
Frazier should return soon on 447.640 (-) PL 123.0 
Techachapi (linked to Frazier) is 440.625 (+) PL 88.5 
For traveling around the Desert, it is good to have a nice list of possible repeaters where someone is actually listening... the WIN System has 36 owned or affiliated repeaters, so somebody is usually at least listening and could be of assistance....

Thanks to Ed, WI6RE for the info
...Mike WA6ARA

 ************************* The ARRL Letter Vol. 25, No. 39
September 29, 2006 ************************* 
ARRL 500 kHz EXPERIMENT IN ORGANIZATIONAL PHASE

The project manager for the ARRL 500-kHz experiment, Fritz Raab, W1FR, says The 500 KC Experimental Group for Amateur Radio is still in the organizational stages but has already recorded its first two-way contact. The FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology on September 13 granted Part 5 experimental license WD2XSH to the ARRL on behalf of a group of radio amateurs interested in investigating the LF spectrum. The two-year authorization permits experimentation and research between 505 and 510 kHz (600 meters) using narrowband modes at power levels of up to 20 W effective radiated power (ERP).

"It will probably be a free for all through October as guys get their stations on the air," Raab told ARRL Headquarters. "The Midwest stations will be limited to 505 to 508 kHz for the time being, and the rest can use 505 to 510 kHz." He said a couple of the WD2XSH participants got on the air the day after the license was issued, and several others activated the first week, generating a number of reception reports.

"Many are for distances of about 300 miles, of course, but some are much longer," Raab told ARRL Headquarters. He reports that W0RPK in Iowa copied the WD2XSH/20 station in Oregon early on September 26 - a distance of 1500 miles.

The first QSO took place September 21 between the stations in Tennessee and North Carolina - a distance of some 300 miles.

Raab eventually would like to see at least a secondary 600- meter Amateur Radio allocation from 495 to 510 kHz. He envisions eventual use of the spectrum to provide Amateur Radio emergency communication via groundwave.

Announcement of the license grant earlier this month brought a few requests from radio amateurs interested in joining the experimental group. Raab says there are no plans to expand the group's membership, however. He does invite reception reports of transmissions made by group members. Report Form

For the time being, the WD2XSH group is only using CW. The ARRL Part 5 application had requested permission to use both CW and PSK31, but the license grant omitted the latter mode. Raab says he's working to secure permission to add PSK31 to the grant.

During October, the 21-station experimental group will develop a band plan that assigns frequencies for QRSS -- very slow speed CW -- as well as for CW beacons and for two-way communication, Raab said. WD2XSH participant Conrad Murray, WS4S (WD2XSH/11) reports he's transmitting a QRSS beacon on an irregular basis on 505.505 kHz from his Tennessee QTH.

News of the WD2XSH license grant opened another line of communication for Raab. "The announcement brought me a bunch of e-mails, and contact with someone I knew from college and hadn't seen since the 1970s," he said.

More information is on the 500 kc Experimental Group for Amateur Radio Web site www.500kc.com.

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. $110.00

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 Fri Nov 3 15:01:50 PST 2006