The Airwaves
September 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)
     
Sep 13 SARC Meeting
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

School has once again started and everyone is back home after a summer of HOT weather. Judy and I were off to Philmont Scout Ranch when the California HOT weather came in. Needles, CA was 118 as we passed through. Philmont is the National Training Center (northeast NM) for Scouts. Judy and I were there for Methodist Scouter Work Shop week learning how to do a better youth ministry. On the way home we went to Chama, NM and rode the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Narrow Gauge Railroad up to Antonito, CO and back. Then we moved over to Durango, CO where we rode the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. I learned all about the HT's the Conductor and Brakemen used through a repeater system that let them talk back to the Durango dispatcher even though we were in river canyons most of the time. On the way back from Silverton the first train had to move a big boulder off the tracks with the help of 6 passengers. Then they had a boxcar derail. We were in the third train so had many stops to let the first and second trains get down the tracks before us. These are neat places to go visit if you have time. Thanks to Ron, WA6PEV and Jim, WA6TFZ for providing social time meeting places in July and August. At Ron's we had a good time with the BBQs and potluck dinner. The special ham shack that Ron keeps some very nice radios in is always a great spot to visit and share stories about on the air contacts. The Ice Cream social at Jim's was great with lots of stories to share and look at his new towers and antennas. Jim had his big telescope out for us to look at Jupiter and its moons before the full moon came up and was spoiling the sky show. Thanks again to Ron and Jim for hosting the socials.

Jim, WA6TFZ donated two big solar panels to the club 147.00 machine so we can wean it off Edison a little bit. I hope you can encourage some new folks to come to our SARC meeting and get involved in the local activities. See you at the 13 September meeting.

Bill WA6QYR

JULY SARC BBQ

   

AUGUST SARC ICE CREAM SOCIAL

   

Annual Kiwanis Walk-a-thon

The Kiwanis have again asked for ham radio support for the upcoming Walk-a-thon on Saturday, Sept. 30. The Walk will be over the shortened 2.5 mile route. The Walk- a-thon is one of the easiest public service events in the area, can be done with a 1W handheld radio through the translator, and provides a lot of exposure of ham radio to the public. Four checkpoints/water stops will be located around the route. At least 5 hams are needed to provide health and welfare communications from the checkpoints to the start/finish at the Kern Regional Park across the street from the fire station and post office. Duties would include estimating the number of walkers passing through the checkpoint, monitoring water and cup quantities and requesting more if supplies get low, and reporting any health or safety problems with the walkers. Volunteers need to be at the park by about 0730 hours for assignments, and the walk will be mostly over by 0930- 1000. Note that the United Way Family Fun Fair will getting started at the park as the walkers return, so you have two reasons to come to the park on Saturday. Contact Greg WA7IRW on 146.64 MHz or at 446-4383 to volunteer.

SCANNERS

After our "minor" power outage on May 12th, along with many other IWV Amateurs, I thought it was a good time to review my shack equipment and power requirements. I was surprised at the number of rigs and devices I have operating at 3, 6, 9, 12 and 24 VDC, and of course 120 VAC. Although I'm not about to throw out all of my non- 12VDC equipment, I did decide that I would try to standardize all future shack equipment to operate at 12VDC.

One of the first upgrades to the shack after the power outage was a new scanner that would cover the 800 and 900 MHz bands in addition to the standard frequencies we've come to expect from scanners. For my basic needs, I decided on the Uniden BCT8 and the supporting BUTEL control software. Some of the BCT8 highlights are: frequency coverage of 25-54, 108-174, 400-512, 806-956 MHz, with the usual "excluding cellular" statement; Trunking with Motorola Type I, II (and Hybrid), EDACS and LTR; 250 channels; and a pretty cool "Service scan" that will allow you to rotate through nine banks of preprogrammed frequencies for law enforcement, EMS, railroads, DOT, weather and other services.

Rather than bore you with page after page of all the things this scanner and the BUTEL software can do, I'll just lightly touch on a few of the features that I have found to be very useful.

For me, 250 memory channels is perfect. I feel it is too easy to miss a call if the scanner is checking too many more channels than that. The BCT8 scans 100 channels per second and since I scan about 125 of the 200 frequencies I have programmed, it only takes about 1.5 seconds to zip through the channels. But although I don't scan every frequency, if the Net Control Operator of the IWV Emergency Net should ask me to monitor any of those frequencies during the next disaster, I should now be able to dial up almost any Frequency Of Interest.

Another nice feature of the BCT8 is the Service Scan. I found it useful in finding the frequency that the National Weather Service transmits on in this area. It was a simple matter of pressing the SVC button until WX was displayed and three seconds later the weather frequencies were being scanned. This would be a great feature if you used the scanner as a mobile unit and you traveled state to state. You could select POL, FIRE/EMS or one of the other services that you are interested in and scan those frequencies. One drawback is that you can only monitor one service at a time. The manual claims to have the frequencies for local police and county sheriffs preprogrammed for every U.S. state, so you only need to press the "State" button until the state you are in is displayed.

Items included with the scanner are: AC adapter, DC power cord, telescopic antenna, window mount antenna, operating guide remote programming software demo CD- ROM, mobile mounting bracket.

Additional specs from the manual: 100/300 steps per second when band searching; 2.6W max audio output; 12VDC 500ma required power; BNC antenna connector; 7.06"Wx7.1"Dx2.44"H & 2lbs 7oz

Next month I'll talk about the BUTEL Advanced Radio Control (ARC8) control software package and how easy it made importing frequencies from the Internet and normal day-to-day operations of the BCT8.

Till then.....73......Hal/KM6JM

PODCASTS

There are numerous podcasts with a flavor of Ham Radio. They are free, easy to down load and listen on a computer, palm Pilot or MP3 player. Here are a few that I listen to:

ARRL Audio news available every Friday evening

Amateur Radio News -- general news, similar to the ARRL news. Every Friday morning.

This week in Amateur Radio -- about an hour and half of ham news, contests, propagation, etc Available every Saturday night

Solder Smoke -- two hams chatting via echolink about ham projects. Lots of fun. About once a week or so.

Long Delayed Echo -- Friendly blog site with occasional pod cast, usually about some historical aspect of ham radio. About one a week or so http://ke9v.net/

99Hobbies.com - A variety of ham radio subjects and interviews, usually about 15 minutes long. About once a week or so.

Ham Radiocast -- variety of discussions. Usually about one every couple of weeks.

Stuff For Sale!

HF Radios Yaesu FT-990DC HF Transceiver with 2.0/2.4 SSB Filters $750.00
Yaesu MD-1 Dynamic Desk Mic $ 75.00
Yaesu FT-757 GX II HF XCVR with 2.1 SSB Filter $350.00
HF Amplifier

Heathkit SB-220 2KW Linear Amp w/ AG6K Mods. $450.00

DC Power Supplies Astron RS-35A DC Power Supply $100.00
Astron RS-20A DC Power Supply $ 75.00

Misc. HF Gear

Ameritron ATR-15 1.5KW Antenna Tuner $200.00
Drake TV-3300LP Low Pass Filter $ 30.00
MFJ Mod. MFJ-1700B Antenna Switch $ 30.00
MFJ Versa Tuner Mod. MFJ-941B Antenna Tuner$ 30.00

UHF/VHF Gear

Cushcraft 13B2 2 Meter 13 El. Yagi $100.00
Mirage B108 2 Meter Amplifier (2W. in, 80W. out) $75.00
RF Concepts RFC 2-23 2 Meter Amp. (2W. in, 30W. out) $50.00

Contact John, K7HG: k7hg@yahoo.com or 760 375-7203 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. $110.00

Brand new, never used, Battery Booster by W4RRY/L&L Electronics. Increases battery voltage to 13.5 VDC to keep HF rigs happy. See QST Oct 2005, pg 71 for more info. W4RRY sells for $125 including shipping. Ordered too many. Yours for $105.

Astron SS-30 Switching 12VDC power supply. 25A continuous, 30A ICS. Less than 10 hours of actually being turned ON. $100.

Hal/KM6JM 371-3208

And More...

For Sale - West Mountain Radio Rig Blaster RJ-45. Bought January 2002, unused in original box. $60 Dennis Farrell, w6dwf@arrl.net, 446-4787.


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