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

  IN THIS ISSUE...
       FCC DROPS MORSE CODE REQUIREMENT!
	   SARC INSTALLATION DINNER 10 JANUARY  
	       SARC DUES ARE DUE!  

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)
     
Jan 10 SARC Installation Meeting
6:30 PM - All American Bar-B-Que
See note inside

Jan 13 Transmitter Hunt
146.565 MHz
Start at 9 AM - Heritage Inn parking lot
See note inside

AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE EXAMS
Second Saturday, Even months
Feb 09 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


From the President's Shack

From the outgoing Prez... It has been a good 3 years as your SARC President. We have had a lot of activities that members have participated in. Fred, KG6STR has provided good programs for the membership. John, KC6UWM has had his turn in the leading of the club meetings when I have had double bookings for that second Wednesday of the month. Pam, KC6UUS is a great Treasurer to work with. She keeps those books in order and checks are ready when needed. Pam is the one keeping us with rounder tummies with her cookies at meetings. Thank you Pam. Lloyd, WA6KZV keeps notes of our meetings to put into the newsletter. Mike, WA6ARA does the wonderful job of publishing the Airwaves. I hope to continue to make meetings and help with events as schedules allow. My Scouting job is changing to where I will be out more in the evenings helping units operate. I wish everyone a Happy New Year.

Bill, WA6QYR

From the incoming Prez... Well another year has passed and hopefully 2007 will be a better year for all, amateur radio included. 2006 saw a lot of the normal activities as well as a couple of emergencies that required ARES callout. Even though I was in the valley during June, Field Day was all set to go thanks to all who had prepared but Mother Nature had different ideas with cancellation at the last moment due to extremely high temperatures.

The 2007 slate of SARC club officers have been elected. The only change is I am replacing Bill Burns as President. I want to personally thank Bill for the outstanding leadership he gave to the club during his tenure as President. I hope I can continue to provide that level during the next year.

Although most of you know me already to some degree, I thought I would provide a short resume of my amateur radio experiences to let you know what your club president has to offer the post. I was first licensed in August of 1976 as WN5UZU, Novice licensee. I upgraded to General Class a little over a year later and received WB5UZU. While attending college in Dallas, Texas, I upgraded to Advanced Class. I operated QRP from my apartment with a TenTec Argonaut 505 and a set of Hustler mobile whips on the 2nd story railing. Band conditions were good back then so I actualy worked alot of stations. In 1986, my wife and I moved to Ridgecrest and I changed callsigns to the present KI6LO. Since I am not much of a CW operator (Mike WA6ARA will laugh at this), I never saw the need to test for Extra Class, but with a constant barrage from my father (W5DQ) and first elmer (WB5MFI), I decided to test since the CW code requirement had relaxed. I upgraded to Extra in December of 2001. My main interests are chasing DX, ragchewing on HF, experimenting with antennas and digital modes and as of last year, 6M grid chasing. For the Tech/Tech+ crowd, I challenge you to get on 6M this winter and be prepared for the springtime sporadic-E openings. Last year was great and the forcast is this year to be much better.

If anyone has ideas that they would like to see the club explore, please let one of your officers know so we can arrange some time for a discussion during a meeting. Others may be interested in the same thing.

Gene, KI6LO


Board & General Meeting

The board meeting was conducted by Mike Herr. Bill Burns, the President, was absent from the meetings of 14 December.

  1. A discussion was started concerning the financial status of the club. It was decided that we were plush.
  2. All of the nominations have been filled for the officers for the coming year (2007). Bill Burns was complimented for the fine job as president over the past several years. A gift was discussed . . . and decided upon.
  3. Club members began to arrive shortly after 1900 until 21 members were present.
  4. The general meeting was opened by the First Vice President John Andrus, KC6UWM. Lorilyn Andrus, KG6LEW, began selling 50/50 tickets.
  5. The installation dinner on 10 January was announced to be held at the ALL AMERICAN BAR-B-QUE on Norma st. There will be door prizes. Time is 1830. 11 members signed up on the sign-in sheet.
  6. Fred Moses, KG6STR, gave a very fine power point talk on how solar panels work.
  7. Greg Roush, WA7IRW, gave an excellent talk on the use of solar panels on sail boats and automobiles.
  8. The 50/50 drawing amounted to 12 dollars and was won by the secretary Lloyd Brubaker, WA6KZV.
  9. Thanks to Pam, KC6UUS, and Paula Gibault, N6OQQ, for bringing cookies!
  10. The meeting was adjourned at about 2030 hrs
Lloyd WA6KZV


TREASURER'S REPORT

Treasurer's Report as of January 1, 2007:

Draft Account $ 304.82 
Share Account $ 5,115.89 
Balance:      $ 5,420.71 
submitted by Pam Evans, KC6UUS


January Installation Dinner Meeting

The January meeting on 10 January will be the annual installation dinner. The location has changed. This year it will be at ALL AMERICAN BAR-B-QUE, located at 1400 North Norma. Start time will be 630 pm. There will be numerous prizes this year, plus the "brown bags"

Prizes this year include:

4 - LED Laser pointer lights 
1 - 2007 ARRL hand book 
1 - Amateur Radio on the move book 
1 - Simple and fun antennas book 
1 - Emergency Power for Radio Comms 
1 - 3 $25 gift certificates. 
Hope to see you all there!


Thanks!

I would like to extend a note of appreciation for all the time and work that Bill has put into the club as the president. Thanks Bill! I would also like to welcome our new president, Gene. Welcome aboard Gene! Thank you to everyone who has helped make SARC a great club in 2006.
Thanks
John, KC6UWM


DUES ARE DUE!!!

December marks the end of the SARC year. Your 2007 dues are now due.
Please print the membership application.
(you may also RIGHT CLICK to download either PDF or plain text)

Please fill out all the info, including email and post address. This way we can keep an up to date data base of everyone and, hopefully, you won't miss a single issue of this dynamic and exciting newsletter.


50 Mile Horse Ride!

We have been asked once again to support the 50 mile horse ride. The date is 20 January. Start time is 0600 with an expected end time late afternoon. Bill, WA6QYR is the coordinator. He can be reached at 375-8566. This is an excellent opportunity to practice those emergency communication skills.


T-Hunting is Back!

Transmitter Hunting, T-Hunting, Fox hunting, whatever you call it, is back. The next T-Hunt is scheduled for 13 January. Start time is 9am, at the parking lot of the Heritage Inn. Hope to see you all there. For more info call Mike WA6ARA at 375-5324


*************** 
The ARRL Letter 
Vol. 25, No. 50 
December 22, 2006 
*************** 
FCC ELIMINATES MORSE CODE AS EXAM REQUIREMENT!

Early next year, the US will join the growing list of countries that no longer require Amateur Radio applicants to pass a Morse code test as the entry ticket to HF. Announcement of the pending historic rule change arrived with no fanfare December 15 in an FCC public notice. A full-blown Report and Order (R&O) in the proceeding, WT Docket 05-235, followed December 19. The best estimate of when the Morse code requirement will go away officially is sometime in February -- 30 days after the R&O appears in the Federal Register.

"We . . . believe that the public interest is not served by requiring facility in Morse code when the trend in amateur communications is to use voice and digital technologies for exchanging messages," the FCC said in its R&O. "Rather, we believe that because the international requirement for telegraphy proficiency has been eliminated, we should treat Morse code telegraphy no differently from other Amateur Service communications techniques."

The FCC says it deems the current regime of written examinations "sufficient to determine whether a person is qualified to be issued an Amateur Radio operator license."

The FCC cast aside arguments that Morse ability is advantageous in emergencies, concluding that most emergency communication is handled using voice, data, or video techniques. The Commission also turned away assertions that retaining a Morse requirement would help keep out the bad apples.

"The record is devoid of a demonstrated nexus between Morse code proficiency and on-the-air conduct," the FCC observed. It concurred with one commenter's observation that "maintaining the code requirement does not purge Amateur Radio of bad operators. Education and self- policing does."

The FCC also ordered that all Technician licensees present and future -- whether or not they've passed a Morse code test, will get privileges on 80, 40, 15 and 10 meters identical to those of Novice licensees. "In eliminating this disparity between Technician and Technician Plus licenses, we are simplifying the Amateur Service licensing structure and promoting regulatory parity," the FCC said.

The FCC took advantage of the occasion to act on the League's Petition for Partial Reconsideration in the "omnibus" proceeding, WT Docket 04-140, calling on the Commission to retain 3620 to 3635 kHz for automatically controlled digital stations by moving the Extra class phone band edge to 3635 kHz. The FCC decided instead to authorize 3585 to 3600 kHz for such operations, and leave the newly expanded phone band intact.

The Commission further amended Part 97 "to authorize Amateur Extra class privileges to all individuals who have been issued a CEPT radio-amateur license by their country of citizenship, and who satisfy other requirements in the Commission's rules."

Although the FCC's Morse code decision came as no surprise, it nonetheless revived debate on the issue. The FCC had proposed more than a year ago to drop the Morse code requirement for all license classes. The record in the proceeding, the FCC said, "reflects a division of views in the Amateur Radio community." After reviewing the more than 3500 comments and counter-proposals radio amateurs had filed, the Commission stuck with its initial proposal.

ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, had this reaction: "While the Commission's decision to delete the Morse code requirement for an Amateur Extra Class license departs from the ARRL's recommendation, it is helpful to have the matter resolved so we can move forward."

ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, expressed a similar viewpoint. "Now that the debate is over, we can focus on learning Morse code simply for its own sake," he said. Sumner pledged that the League would maintain its traditional support of Morse code as an operating mode and would continue to offer Morse training materials as well as such incentives as bonus credit for CW contacts in ARRL-sponsored operating events. ARRL's Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station W1AW will keep its schedule of Morse code practice and bulletin transmissions.

Since World Radiocommunication Conference 2003, the UK, Canada, Germany and other countries have dropped their Morse requirements. Sumner said other countries have successfully made the transition to a codeless testing regime, and he doesn't anticipate problems in the US.

The pending disappearance of the Morse code requirement seems to have rejuvenated the urge to upgrade. ARRL Sales and Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, says distribution of General Class license training materials have skyrocketed in the week after the FCC announcement.

The pending disappearance of the Morse code requirement seems to have rejuvenated the urge to upgrade. ARRL Sales and Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, says sales of General Class license training materials have skyrocketed in the week after the FCC announcement.

The ARRL has posted information relevant to the FCC action in WT Docket 05-235, including an FAQ, on its Web site www.arrl.org/fcc/morse.


Editor's Comments

Ok, so what does this all mean? The FCC has decided to eliminate Morse code testing. It did not eliminate Morse code as a operating mode. As such, it is just as valid as SSB, FM, PSK31, etc.

The change does not take place for 30 days after it is published in the Federal Register. This has not taken place. So, in essence, the clock is not running, yet. It is likely it will be published some time in January 07. So the actual rule change will take place in February or March. It literally would take an act of Congress to stop it.

It is important to remember, these changes are not in effect yet. There were no changes to the licensing structure, or automatic upgrading. The exception to this is that the Technicians will get to operate code on the HF bands, same as if they were Technician Plus. That is a strange quirk indeed.

If you have a Technician license and valid credit for the General written, you do not instantly upgrade. It is likely you will have to take your credit and / or license to a VE session and apply for an upgrade. The appropriate forms will have to be signed and submitted for the upgrade to occur. I suspect that specific instructions will come out once the publishing of the rule change happens.


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 Sat Jan 13 11:56:49 PST 2007