The Airwaves
June 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)
     
June 13 SARC Board Meeting
7:00 PM - Heritage Inn Converence Room

June 13 SARC General Meeting
7:30 PM - Heritage Inn Converence Room
Program - KOS Strange Antenna Challenge 

June 23/24 FIELD DAY!!!

Jul 11 SARC Annual BBQ!!! 

Aug 08 SARC Annual Ice Cream Social!!!

Oct 6 Picnic in The Park Bicycle Ride!

AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE EXAMS
Every Even Month, Second Saturday
June 9 Volunteer License Exam Session
Location: Guns 4 Us, basement classroom
417 East Ridgecrest Blvd, Ridgecrest CA
No handicapped access
Pre-reg by 4 June
Limited to 9 applicants
All must register at 9 AM.
Contact Elvy NØLV 760-384-3589
E-mail 


From the President's Shack

By now many of the recently upgraded members who got HF capabilities have probably been active on HF ragchewing with stateside stations and chasing DX stations. Hopefully all have had alot of fun getting involved with their new privileges.

Speaking of doing new things, recently I decided to get ambitious and resurrect my code abilities. Having been able to copy a peak speed of around 18 wpm in the past, over the years with non-use it has dropped off to almost learning it all over again. In the last couple of months I've been copying off the air and using a couple of PC based code tutoring programs and the speed is coming back slowly. But it is coming back. I also built a PC soundcard interface to allow me to operate soundcard digital modes (PSK, RTTY, Slow Scan TV, etc) and CW. If you're not handy in building your own equipment, there are many different commercially available interfaces from ham equipment vendors.

As a side note, I also decided to do something I had never done before. I decided to give a CW contest a whirl. I spent about 6 hours total time operating in the WPX CW contest a couple of weekends ago. It was tough trying to copy those speeds but with a bit of help from the PC soundcard software MIXW, I made it through ok. I racked up over 17,000 points with 103 QSO's and even worked 2 new DX countries for my DXCC award.

So the moral here is don't be afraid to try out new modes and relearn modes long laid to the side, like I did CW many years ago. If you need help setting up for any mode, ask any of your fellow club members. If they don't know, ask someone else. Soon you'll find someone who can help.

See you at the meeting..... Gene KI6LO


May Meeting Minutes

1. The board meeting was called to order at 1900 hrs on 8 May 2007 by the President Gene Brewer KI6LO.
2. A discussion was held regarding the purchase of a digital projector for use by the club rather than borrowing one as is now being done. The price ranges from $400 to $800 or more. It was moved and seconded to task Fred Moses and Lloyd Brubaker to select a projector and present it to the membership for a vote to purchase.
3. Activities were discussed: some dates were known generally:
a. The ice cream social in August.
b. The Git-R-Done horse ride on 27 October, 17 April 2008
c. Picnic in the park horse ride 6 October
d. Ogren's Picnic ........when and if? TBA
e. Ham Radio classes for Boy Scouts: End of July. Where?
4. Mike Cash asked for help in determining those repeaters that can be reached from the IWV. A list is to be published and distributed to the members to be used in the event of an emergency.

KI6LO gave a very comprehensive talk on QSL cards. He covered the history, use in contesting, mailing, and some of the art-work involved as well as the problems in circulating.

The meeting adjourned about 2030


TREASURER'S REPORT

Treasurer's Report as of 04 June, 2007:

Draft Account $ 1,067.07 
Share Account $ 5,040.57 
BALANCE:      $ 6,107.64 
submitted by Pam Evans, KC6UUS


IWV Emergency Net Checkins
May 07- 15 
May 14- 13 
May 21- 9 
May 28 - 15 
Thanks Mark, KE6SMA, for helping out on net control.


Location Change for VE for Sessions

The Kern county Library has begun charging a $50 per use fee for the meeting room at the Ridgecrest Branch that SARC Volunteer Examiners have been using for test sessions for a number of years. Supervisor Jon McQuiston's office has been engaged in an attempt to have this fee rescinded for non-profit organizations. Since the fee is incorporated into a Keen County ordnance, the process will be a long one. Until, and if ever, this process is completed, SARC Volunteer Examination Sessions will be conducted at Guns 4 Us, 417 East Ridgecrest Blvd., in the basement classroom. There is no handicapped access. Other arrangements will be made as necessary. We wish to thank Tom Wiknich, owner of Guns 4 Us, for providing this space to us at no charge.

....Elvy Hopkins NØLV


June Meeting Program

The first part will be a short presentation about the "K0S Strange Antenna Challenge". This is a fairly new annual contest where the objective is to make contacts using only "strange antennas". Common antenna making materials like wire and pipe are NOT allowed, entire football stadiums are ok, Chevy Suburbans are ok. In order to make the contest have some legitimate value (as if sitting in the shade drinking cold beer and telling sea stories isn't adequate value in itself) the organizers claim that skills learned from this contest can be utilized to make antennas out of whatever is available after a natural disaster. They even have some real data collected from past years. The second part will be a discussion of what we think we know about the interference on 146.64, and options for eliminating, reducing, or living with it.


July and August SARC meeting Notice

There will not be STANDARD meetings in July or August.

JULY - The ANNUAL CLUB BBQ will be held at Dr. Ron Ogren's (WA6PEV) home on July 11th at 6pm. This is a great place with plenty of room, swimming pool and an outstanding ham station to look over. Bring something to BBQ and a dish to share (i.e. chips, salad, beans, etc). The pool is open. This is always a great dinner / time for an eyeball QSO. To get to Ron'splace, head out west towards the setting sun to Brady. Turn north (right) on Brady. Ron's place is on the left, 243 Brady. Talk-in is on the SARC Translator 146.64

AUGUST - The Ice Cream Social will be held at 7pm on August 8 at PLACE TO BE DECIDED. We'll vote for one at the JUNE meeting, or pick one to put in newsletter:

CHOICE A. Jim Leonard "Saw Jim", WA6TFZ at the FIRST LIGHT Observatory (377-3474). Bring your ice cream, pop and bowls, spoons and etc. Jim has a back yard and mini pool. Lots of radio antennas in the air. Jim won the big door prize (a $4700 telescope) at the Riverside Telescope Makers Conference which was held Memorial Day weekend. He hopes to have it all set up so he can show it off. To get to Jim 's from "Down Town Inyokern" 178 and Brown Road, go north on Brown Road 7.3 miles to Hazen street on the left. The is a big green sign noting Saw Jim's Observatory. You will pass the big hay operation on the left and the hay barns on the right just before Hazen. Turn left on Hazen and go west one block to Robinson. Turn right and go north half a block to Saw Jim's 7220 Robinson. Talk-in is on the SARC Translator 146.64

CHOICE B. Fred Moses KG6STR house at 527 W. Howell. Only one antenna, and no sign, but there is a travel trailer tastefully integrated into the landscape in the front yard! This is a cul-de-sac with limited parking, but you can park at the next door neighbor's house (on the right), or on the street on either Howell or Peg. There is a big back porch, big back yard, and a pool. Bring your ice cream, pop and bowls, spoons and etc.


146.64 Translator Interference

This is a brief summary of the information we have now about the interference. We began to hear another repeater transmitting on 146.46 on Saturday 5/26/2007. On Sunday and Monday, several people identified the CWID of the repeater as W7PHL, and that it was originating from the direction of Las Vegas or Pahrump. The FCC database showed that W7PHL belonged to a ham in Las Vegas. The Repeater Directory, and the Southern Nevada Repeater Council (SNRC) both showed a coordinated repeater in Las Vegas on 146.64 registered to W6JCY (who the FCC shows with a San Jose, CA address). To the best of my knowledge, there has never been any interference identified as coming from the K6JCY repeater. I wrote an email to several of the coordinators on SNRC, and copied W7PHL and W6JCY explaining the situation as we knew it. One of the coordinators N6JFO immediately replied that he would look into it, and had already contacted W6JCY, who reportedly had not given permission to W7PHL to use that frequency. Several days later on Thursday 5/31/2007, I received replies from a second SNRC coordinator K7FAY and from W7PHL. K7FAY indicated that he was responsible for interference complaints for SNRC, but that he would do nothing unless the complaint came from TASMA (the coordinators for southern Ca.). TASMA requires a formal written and signed complaint form before they will do anything. Unfortunately, it says right on their form that they do not consider it to be interference if we can hear another repeater, but our repeater can transmit over the offending repeater. The reply from W7PHL basically said that he didn't believe that we could really hear the repeater because we were too far away, and that we had decoded the CWID incorrectly anyway (from the repeater that we couldn't really hear), that it has always been W6JCY. When we checked again, it was now identifying as W6JCY. I will write one more email to all parties, explaining what we know, and offering to work with them or even assist them to try to resolve this. At this point I have no indication at all that we can expect any cooperation or assistance from whoever is actually operating the repeater, or from either TASMA or SNRC.

Sorry, did I say brief at the beginning??? I will have an update at the meeting.

.....Fred KG6STR


Rumblings from Field Days of Yesteryears

Ah, the annual ARRL Field Day. The memories that are stirred in the cobwebs of my mind whenever I heard those frightful words. Bet you didn't know that the first Field Day was held in 1933? Yes Sirree Bub, all the way back in 1933.

Come visit with me now and hear some of the random comments made at various Field Day events that I have attended throughout my many years...

"I sure wouldn't have eaten that third helping of beans if I'd known I was gonna be squeezed into this tent operating with you two fellows for the rest of the night." "I'll go over and check how the 80 Meter crew is doing, Fred, while you light my old gas lantern." "Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time." "Any fool can pound in tent pegs with a 2 pound sledge, but it takes skill to perform that job with the Amateur's basic tool...the flat rock. Let me show you." "What you just saw me perform there, Fred, is technically known as the 'Crouch Hop!' Did you notice how I clutched my squashed thumb between my thighs before bounding about camp?" "Of course I got us permission to operate here. Now shut up and turn off the light until that car goes by." I'm going back over to check on the 80 Meter crew again Fred, while you relight the lantern. By the way, I think you look a lot better without that scruffy looking beard." "Did anyone remember to bring toilet paper?" "Here, use one of these new GOTA logs, whatever they are." replies a crusty old Extra Class. "Nice kick, Fred. I just wish you had aimed the lantern toward the parking lot instead of the tent. By the way, you don't use your eyebrows much do you? It seems to me you're much better off without them." Now that's strange. My most memorable Field Day memories have nothing to do with a mic in my hand or my hand on a CW paddle.

By the way, this years Field Day will be held on June 23 and 24. Whether you help out with the Field Day activities of SARC, the High Desert DX Association, or do your own Field Day event, this is always a great time to get out of your shack and create some of your own Field Day memories.

73. Elmer

Free to Air Reception from Equatorial Satellites, Continued...
By Joe Perry Jr, WB6DCO

FTA Signals From Space

Are all FTA channels really free. Are all signals from space really free. Of course you will want to search every possible down-link transponder on every possible satellite to find the FTA channels. There is a group of down-link channels we call WILD-FEEDS. These can be broadcast TV, Radio and HDTV stations that are out doing local news, or sports feeds from anywhere on the Earth. These WILD-FEEDS are generally only on the air for short times to down-link live TV to their home station feed, where the home station records the TV for later editing and retransmission to your homes on regular channel coverage. You can watch a golfer swing on the wild feed channel and watch the ball hit 10 seconds later on your local TV channel. That is WILD! Oh, you though light and electrical signals traveled at the speed of light, 299792458 meters persecond? We'll when you add up the 12 seconds that it takes the signal to go up and down a few times from satellite to ground and back and then through all your local TV station feeds, you can find delays of seconds.

Many of the satellites have C and Ku downlinks. So, if you want to surf the C band you have to think BIG UGLY DISH (BUD). Yes, you see these in people backyards folded over or dying a slow death. The C band requires at least a 6 foot dish depending on the angle to the satellite you want to surf. You may need a 8, 10, or 12 foot dish to see near the horizon. Remember the satellites are 1.5 degrees apart from horizon to horizon. So, if you point a BUD over to see a satellite at 60 degrees west of Greenwich, England, that is out over the Atlantic Ocean, from California areas, then you will find that several satellites are in the same down-link beam path because of the geometry of the situation. What you want is a dish size that will resolve the satellite separations. The BUD dish will do any satellite at most any angle in C and Ku band. The satellites in Ku band use the new smaller dishes you see on rooftops pointed at the standard broadcast satellites. We will want to use the same dish types but we will point them at the other satellites looking for the FTA signals. Joe's BUD and antenna Farm for FTA receptions in the picture below. Dishes come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Bigger is better in this case. If someone has one of the older DISH network dishes and is not using it, you may be able to acquire it for your FTA hunting. Some of you may go out on 2m hunts, here we are gonna hunt for 11 gigahertz signals in the sky. The larger oval dishes and larger 30" round dishes are excellent Ku band satellite antennas. We will cover the methods to choose your LNBF horn depending on the satellite transponders. Most FTA down-links require a linear polarized horn that does Left-Hand (LH) and Right-Hand (RH) to decipher the transponder signal.

You can feed your FTA receiver from any LNBF horn. It costs nothing to scan a satellite with different horns to see what you pickup. Your FTA output can be a computer card, or an FTA DVB receiver that goes to your standard TV or HDTV.

I have avoided give out any websites that deal with satellite reception. If you wish to Google up such sites, they exist all over the Internet.

When you are looking for LNBF's to purchase for your FTA receiver you will want to try and get dual outputs. See the dual output F2 spickets.

Do not buy single output horns if you can avoid them. Do not buy combined LNBF's where two or more horns are enclosed within on ecover. FTA's cannot talk to these combined LNBF horns. They are generally only for Dish Network or Direct-TV network boxes.

...Next time how to find that first Satellite in the Sky.


For Sale

Brand new Flex SDR-1000 with 100 watt power amp, still in the plastic wrapper. Open to offers at or above $ 995.00.
W6PTH, 375-4905 or W6PTH@ARRL.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 Sat May 5 16:23:16 PDT 2007