The Airwaves
February 2007
SIERRA AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
An ARRL Special Services Club
-- RACES -- ARES --
P.O. Box 1442, Ridgecrest, California 93556-1442

BOARD    President    Gene Brewer    KI6LO    446-1315   
    First VP    John Andrus    KC6UWM    371-2190   
OF    Second VP    Fred Moses    KG6STR    371-4034   
    Secretary    Lloyd Brubaker    WA6KZV    375-7245   
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
Program: Fred, KG6STR 446-1315
RF Interference: Bill, WA6QYR 375-8566
Public Relations: John, KC6UWM 375-5324
Airways Editor: Mike, WA6ARA 275-5324
Emergency and Public Service: Mike, W6PA 793-0541


THE AIRWAVES CALENDAR

Every Monday Night

ARRL Audio News
1910 (7:10 PM) on 146.64 MHz

IWV Emergency Net
Visitors Welcomed!
1930 (7:30 PM) 
WA6YBN Translator 146.64 MHz (-)

East Kern County Emergency Net
Visitors Welcomed!
Rand repeater 145.340, pl 100
2000 (8 PM)
     
Feb 14 SARC Board Meeting
7:00 PM - Heritage Inn Converence Room

Feb 14 SARC General Meeting
7:30 PM - Heritage Inn Converence Room
Program - 6 Meter Fold Out Beam

Feb 24 Transmitter Hunt
9:00 AM - Heritage Inn parking lot

AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE EXAMS
Second Saturday, Even months
Feb 10 Volunteer License Exam Sessions
Kern County Library Ridgecrest Branch
131 East Las Flores Ave. Meeting Room
Pre-register by 05 Feb.
All must sign in at 9 AM.  Code test 11 AM. 
Contact Elvy NØLV 760-384-3589
E-mail  ehopkins@ridgenet.net


SARC DUES ARE DUE!!!

Your 2007 SARC dues are due. Please use the Membership Application [plain text, HTML, or PDF].
This will be the last newsletter based upon the 2006 membership. Also, please fill out all the info, including email and post address. This way we can keep an up to date data base of everyone.

This newsletter was sent out to all amateur radio households in the Ridgecrest, Olancha, Darwin, Death Valley, Rand and California City areas. Addresses were obtained from a callsign server that uses the FCC data base. Where more than one ham resided at a particular address, only one newsletter was sent. Please remember, it is your responsibility to maintain a correct address with the FCC. Failure to do so may result (and has in some cases) the FCC to revoke the license and fine the individual.


From the President's Shack

Well 2007 is in full swing and the temperature has been cold here in the IWV. Hopefully everyone survived the holidays and have been taking advantage of the cold weather to either do some operating or shack maintenance. I've been catching a few new DX calls on 20M but the bands haven't been the best lately.

As most of you have heard, the FCC made a historical decision to eliminate the CW requirement in the US Amateur license structure, effective 23 Feb. What does this mean for the Sierra ARC? Well, personally I can see a possible upsurge in the number of new and upgrading hams in the valley and on the club membership list. Is this a good thing? In a word, YES. Especially if some of those new members are of the younger crowd. Right now we basically have no kids involved in the club. I would like to see that change this year.

I would invite all non-Extra Class hams to upgrade to a higher class, even all the way to Extra Class. As such, I will present the idea to the club board of holding a series of club sponsored licensing classes later this spring.

Get out and enjoy amateur radio. See you at the meeting on the 14th.
...Gene KI6LO


January Installation Dinner Meeting
Everyone enjoying themselves at the SARC Installation Dinner
 
 
And also at the SARC Installation dinner...
Bill, WA6QYR receiving a plaque for his years of work on the SARC Board
TREASURER'S REPORT

Treasurer's Report as of February 1, 2007:

Draft Account $ 945.78 
Share Account $ 5,026.26 
BALANCE:      $ 5,972.04 
submitted by Pam Evans, KC6UUS


Audit Report

The audit committee, Paula N6VGW and Gene KI6LO, met on 14 of January to review the 2006 financial books of SARC. The books were balanced and in good shape.
...Paula N6VGW


IWV Emergency Net Checkins
January 01 15 
January 08 18 
January 15 18 
January 22 19 
January 29 15 

February Meeting Program

Jim Leonard WA6TFZ will demonstrate and explain his patented 6 Meter Beam Antenna, the Fold Out Beam (FOB) and the Fold Up Base (FUB) that supports it.
...Fred KG6STR


Gordon West, WB6NOA at Lake Isabella Meeting

The Sequoia Amateur Radio Group (SARG) in Lake Isabella will be hosting Gordon West, WB6NOA at their next club meeting on Saturday, February 10, at 9:30 a.m. in the Kern Valley Youth Center right near the center of town. Coffee and doughnuts will be available. Gordo brings and demos equipment and really gives a good talk, so I'm sure it will be quite enjoyable and educational. Talk-in on 145.450- with 156.7 PL when you get over Walker Pass. I can hit the Bird Springs repeater from my home if we can meet on the air. Detailed driving directions are available.

Skip, N6SR President, SARG


T-Hunts!

The next Transmitter Hunt will be on Saturday, 24 February at 0900. We will meet at the Heritage Inn Parking Lot and go from there. Be there!


Fire Mountain 50 mile/ 30 mile Horse Ride

The 20 January 2007 Fire Mountain 30/50 mile horse endurance ride began from the base camp at Springer and County Line Road (N35 degrees 35.547 minutes and W117 degrees 38.137 minutes) at 06:30 am with 54 fifty- mile riders and 22 thirty-mile riders. It was a cool 30 degrees at the start of a nice day. The purpose of having amateur radio communications for the horse ride is to ensure that all riders and horses make it safely through the event. Horse numbers are checked at each water stop to make sure no one is lost during each segment of the ride. Bill, WA6QYR was the leader at base camp. Greg, WA7IRW put up the portable repeater (147.060 MHz +) behind the college around 7 am, with the assistance of John and Lorilyn, and the event was off and operating.

Greg filled in at water stop 1 (N35 degrees 32.530 minutes W117 degrees 37.940 minutes) on the first loop and showed John and Lorilyn the radio operator duties at a checkpoint. At the end of the first loop the horses came back to base camp for a vet check. Out on the second loop was Fred, KG6STR at the water stop 2 (N35 degrees 32.639 minutes W117 degrees 39.864 minutes) and Bob, KA6PLU was at the road crossing (N35 degrees 31.319 minutes W117 degrees 40.070 minutes) to keep the horses and riders from going on to highway 395. John, KC6UWM and Lorilyn, KG6LEW were at water stop 3 (N 35 degrees 32.479 minutes W117 degrees 38.181 minutes) keeping track of the horses coming through their spot. The horses again went back to base camp where the 30 milers were done with their race. There was only one 30-miler rider that was pulled during this part of the ride. The veterinarians check the horse pulse and breathing rates to make sure they are fit to continue the race.

The 50 mile riders went back on to the course and out to where Alex, KD6ZUV was located at water stop 4 (N35 degrees 36.811 minutes W117 degrees 32. 943 minutes) on the Navy ECHO range road where the power lines cross. The horses then turned on to the Red Mountain -- Trona road heading south to where Lloyd, WA6KZV and Mike, W6PM were located at water stop 5 and Vet check 3 (N35 degrees 32.682 minutes W117 degrees 34.789 minutes). There were two horses that needed to be trailered back to base camp from that location. Only 13 horses of the 54 fifty milers that started needed to be pulled by the veterinarians. John, AI6A was at the rock pile to cover the final water stop (N35 degrees 34.086 minutes W117 degrees 36.988 minutes) before the finish line back at base camp. There were several times during the event when a horse's location was requested and we were able to provide answers. Good job folks.

The mid daytime was great to get off all the coats and enjoy the sunshine and nice views of the countryside. Sun down brought back the cold and heavy jackets. The ride was complete by 5:30 pm. All the riders seem to have a good time, as did the amateur radio operators. Thanks again to all those who helped keep the horses and riders safe.

Another note

SARC was given a $200 check form the folks who operated the "GIT-R-Done" horse ride event north of Inyokern November 11, 2006. On the calendar there are two more "GIT-R-Done" events. One on April 14 and another on October 27, 2007.

Bill WA6QYR


2007 20 Mule Team Horse Ride Saturday 3 February

The ride had a last minute change in loop one that came to light when Bill, WA6QYR picked up the maps from the ride leader on Thursday. Bill made copies of the color map for each operator and backups. This ride began at the Desert Empire Fair grounds at 0600 when the 100-mile horses left the grounds. They were followed an hour later by the 65 milers on the same loop one. This year the loop went to the sand pits in south Inyokern by the gun ranges. Lloyd, WA6KZV manned the veterinarian checkpoint there. From there it went south by Sheep Springs and over to Golar Wash in the Garlock Valley. Fred, KG6STR found his location in a dry lakebed. This was Vet check 2. The horses then came back over the El Paso Mountains into the old railroad trestle where Mark, KE6SMA was parked and helping give direction to the riders going both ways under the trestle. The 35 milers would go to the same location on their route but from a different direction. The first 100-mile riders made it to the trestle in an hour and 20 minutes. The first 65 milers made it to Vet 3/5 at the intersection of Highway 395, China Lake Blvd and Brown Road within an hour. Greg, WA7IRW manned that location for the duration of the ride. Greg had the SARC portable 147.06 MHz repeater up and on the air by 6:30 am.

The 35 milers left at 7:30 am heading southwest on loop 2. Bob, KA6PLU was at Vet 1 light duty station located at the old highway 395-railroad crossing. By 8:30am the ride had a horse down just south of the fairgrounds by 3 miles. We communicated around the operators to find a vet that was available to come and help the horse. Soon things were in place to get the horse back to the fairgrounds where one of the vets watched the horse for the rest of the ride.

By 9:15 am everyone was tracking horses at all the sites including Fred in Golar Wash. 11 o'clock came and the first Vet 1 sites were closing down. The game became tracking horses that had been pulled at the veterinarian locations for having irregular pulse or breathing and following the leader and the tail-end horses. Bill, WA6QYR's job at the Fairgrounds was keeping track of 100-mile horses coming in from their first loop to Vet 4 and then heading out on loop 2. There were also the 65- mile horses that had completed the first loop and were done, along with the 35 milers that had completed loop 2 and were done. The 100 milers headed out for the second loop to complete their 100 miles. Mike, W6PM came on board with his gear at the highway 395-railroad crossing that was now designated water 7. Mike tracked the 100 milers through the evening as they headed on over to the trestle and then to Greg's location at Vet 5. We had a 100 miler that had somehow gotten off trail and flagged a CHP car down to get directions back the fairgrounds. Another 100 miler going out on the second loop broke off and returned to camp unbeknown to us. She was coming down with some sickness. Two of the 65 milers got lost and came back to the fairgrounds by some other route unknown to the radio operators. We had one horse that became ill on the ride and was lead back to water 7 by Mike's son, Phillip on his motorcycle. 11:00 pm came and all the 100 milers had been through water 7 so Mike got to go home. 1:00 am was when Greg left the Vet 5 area in charge of Alex, KD6ZUV and went home. The last two 100 miles came in to vet 5 at 2 am so Alex and Bill closed down the radio operation and reported standings of the last two 100 mile horses on the ride to the ride officials. It was a nice day for the riders and radio operators. The mornings were in the 30's and afternoon in to the 70's. All the radios worked well into the portable repeater except for Fred over in Golar. We could copy him at the noise level. He had an 11-element beam pointed at Randsburg to bounce into the repeater on top of the hills behind the College. It was a good exercise for all. I believe everyone had fun along the way too. Our back up operators were John, AI6A; John, KC6UWM; Lorilyn, KG6LEW; and Judy, KC6UTF.

Bill Burns WA6QYR


Editor's Note...
We are starting a new, semi regular column here in the Airwaves. It is intended to be a help or tip column for the new and old ham alike. It will be written by a variety of hams and taken from articles and websites. If you wish to write an Elmer tip, or have a question, please let me know. So here is our first Elmer on... column.

Elmer on... KERCHUNKING

Within the Amateur Radio community, "kerchunking a repeater" refers to accessing a repeater by momentarily pressing the Push To Talk (PTT) button on your microphone and causing the repeater to activate. The noise our receivers make as the repeater goes off the air eventually became referred to as "kerchunk." At one time or another, I'm sure anyone who has owned a 2M rig has kerchunked a repeater. The number one reason for kerchunking is that you want to use a repeater and you don't know if you can reach it from your current location. Other top reasons are to test your rig, to see if the repeater's input frequency is plus 600 KHz or minus 600 KHz, and my favorite reason, working on your "Kerchunk All Counties" certificate.

Although we cannot put an end to all kerchunking, we can drastically reduce the number of kerchunks by making a slight change in our operating style. Instead of always assuming that we cannot reach the repeater, always assume we can! There, wasn't that simple? That's what professional communicators do. Here's an example using a repeater or our local translator (WA6YBN): KA6AA THIS IS KA6BB. No answer. Ok, here are some possibilities for not making the contact: KA6BB did not reach the repeater, KA6AA does not have his rig on (shame shame shame), he is not home, he is not mobile, he is out walking without an HT, or KA6AA heard the call but decided not to answer. There could be other reasons, but out of those 6 listed, the results are the same: No contact. Are you going to lose any sleep over not knowing why KA6AA did not answer you? Probably not. But in the mean time, you operated properly by identifying your transmission.

It is especially important not to kerchunk when you are using the 164.64 WA6YBN translator. Since there is no squelch tail on the translator, the only time you will hear any reply from the translator is when it IDs once every 10 minutes. If WA7IRW announced that he was mobile and the translator ID'd 30 seconds before you turned your rig on, you're going to have to kerchunk the translator for another 9 1/2 minutes before you find out if you're reaching it. During those 9 1/2 minutes, I'm sure you'd be annoying a lot of people. Instead, just make your call. Be a professional.

Occasionally there is that unique time when a kerchunk might prove to be useful. I recently heard a local Ham talking about being up at Dantes View located in Death Valley. Who'd a thought he would be able to reach the 146.64 translator using just a mobile 5/8 wave antenna and 40 watts? Considering all the dirt and rocks separating the Ham and the 146.64 translator, his signal must have been taking a very amazing path.

So, you should always assume you have a good communications path when trying to make a contact. Whether it's via a repeater or simplex, VHF or HF, the results will be the same, you either make the contact or you don't. But also don't forget those rare opportunities to kerchunk a repeater from a far-off mountain top!

73. Elmer


END OF MORSE CODE TESTING

ZCZC AG04 
QST de W1AW   
ARRL Bulletin 4  ARLB004 
>From ARRL Headquarters   
Newington CT  January 19, 2007 
To all radio amateurs  

SB QST ARL ARLB004 
ARLB004 Codeless Amateur Radio testing tentatively 
begins February 23 
The ARRL has learned that the FCC's Report and Order (R&O) in the ''Morse code proceeding,'' WT Docket 05- 235, http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC- 06-178A1.pdf is scheduled to appear in the Federal Register Wednesday, January 24.     [It Did --Editor]
Assuming that occurs, the new Part 97 rules deleting any Morse code examination requirement for Amateur Radio license applicants would go into effect Friday, February 23, 2007. The League cautions that this date is tentative, pending official confirmation and publication.

"This change eliminates an unnecessary regulatory burden that may discourage current Amateur Radio operators from advancing their skills and participating more fully in the benefits of Amateur Radio," the FCC remarked in the Morse code R&O.

Publication of the R&O in the Federal Register starts a 30- day countdown for the new rules to go on the books. Rules and regulations that appear in the Federal Register constitute their official version.

Deletion of the Morse requirement is a landmark in Amateur Radio history. Until 1991, when a code examination was dropped from the requirements to obtain a Technician ticket, all prospective radio amateurs had to pass a Morse test.

On or after the effective date of the new rules, an applicant holding a valid Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) for a higher license class will be able to redeem it for an upgrade. For example, a Technician licensee holding a valid CSCE for Element 3 (General) could apply at a VEC exam session, pay the application fee -- which most VECs charge -- and receive an instant upgrade. A CSCE is good only for 365 days from the date of issuance.

The new rules also mean that all Technician licensees, whether or not they've passed a Morse code examination, will gain HF privileges identical to those of current Novice and Tech Plus (or Technician with Element 1 credit) licensees without having to apply for an upgrade. Novices and Technicians with Element 1 credit have CW privileges on 80, 40, 15 meters and CW, RTTY, data and SSB privileges on 10 meters.

The FCC R&O includes an Order on Reconsideration in WT Docket 04-140 -- the so-called "omnibus" proceeding. It will modify the Amateur Service rules in response to ARRL's request to accommodate automatically controlled narrowband digital stations on 80 meters in the wake of other rule changes that were effective last December 15. The Commission designated 3585 to 3600 kHz for such operations, although that segment will remain available for CW, RTTY and data.

The ARRL has posted all relevant information on these important Part 97 rule revisions on its "FCC's Morse Code Report and Order WT Docket 05-235" web page.
NNNN /EX


Petition to Gov for Ham Radio Week

The East Bay Section has started a grass roots movement to petition the Governor to issue a proclamation declaring June 17th - 23rd 2007 as Amateur Radio Week. As far as known, no Calif. governor has ever issued a proclamation on behalf of ham radio although there have been attempts by single clubs in the past to do so. Maybe large numbers will help hammer the message.

This is a good project. I will have the petition at the February and April club meetings for signature.
...Mike WA6ARA


SARC History

This was recently sent to Bill, WA6QYR, from Frank Kelly and reflects a little history about SARC.

"Hi Bill, I see you are also El Presidente of the SARC. I will always remember the WA6YBN callsign.

My first ham QSO was on 40m CW during the lunch hour at Murray Jr. High School using WA6YBN. This was in December of 1961 when I was a newly licensed novice as WN6CWN.

A handful of us kids were tutored by Lloyd Brubaker in the seventh grade during after school hours. He taught us the code and theory. Lloyd was also the trustee of the station, then located in the "Murray School Science Club" quanset huts. If I recall correctly, we had TCS and BC348Q receiver, and I think a Heathkit crystal controlled transmitter. I called CQ for weeks until someone finally returned the call (I remember attributing the trick to pouring water on the ground rod outside the building to make it more "conductive"). Man I was nervous.

My own first commercial radio was a Heathkit two-er. Lloyd had one as well. He lived a couple of houses away from us on the base on Mitscher Rd and we could tell when the other's radio was on from the regen receivers' radiation.

Somewhere I have a picture from the Rocketeer taken in 1962 of us kids with myself identified as the "Chief Operator" of the Murray School Radio Club. I guess some things never change.

Its not hard to imagine the impact Lloyd had on us kids and our career decisions later in life. I was honored that he and his daughter attended a surprise birthday party for me (along with Chuck) a few years ago in Ridgecrest.

I will always remember WA6YBN."

73,
Frank


FOR SALE!

HF Station For Sale: Yaesu FT-920 HF & 6M Xmit, 100KHz - 30MHz & 48-56MHz Rcv. Options include FM unit, 500 Mz CW filter, 6kHz AM filter and TCXO.

Ameritron ALS-600 Solid State no tune 600 watt amp with 10/12 Meter mod.

LDG AT-1000 Autotuner antenna tuner, handles up to 1000 watts.

GAP Titan DX antenna 10M-80M 25ft vertical antenna.

Timewave DSP-59+ digital signal processor.

MFJ-616 Speech Intelligibility Enhancer.

Logikey Model K-5 keyer and Bencher BY-1 Iambic paddle.

All items in excellent to new condition. Amp and tuner have less than one hour transmission time. Typical individual used prices on the web totals $2,725. Package price yours for $2,475.
Hal / km6jm@arrl.net or 371-3208

For sale: Ham friendly Property, four bedroom, 2 1/2 bath home on 2.5 acres at 400 North Primavera St. All underground utilities. Towers, antennas and Jacuzzi available. For more information contact Carol Wilson at 446-5959.
...John Denson

For Sale: Got a legacy radio you'd like to use but it has no sub-audible tones? Such a deal I've got for you. Four, brand new, still-in-the-bag, Com Spec SS-32 Sub Tone generators boards, about 1 square inch including on- board dip switch. Cost $ 30. $ 10 apiece while they last.
...Phelps, W6PTH, 375-4905

For Sale: TS-520 HF rig. Good, sound workhorse rig for HF at a great price. $100 you pick up.
Mike WA6ARA 375- 5324 herr@ridgenet.net


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 Feb 23 11:29:13 PST 2007