The Airwaves
September 2000
SIERRA AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
An ARRL Special Services Club -- RACES -- ARES
P.O. Box 1442, Ridgecrest, California 93556-1442

THE AIRWAVES CALENDAR
SIERRA AMATEUR RADIO CLUB MEETINGS
Every   SARC Emergency Net
Monday  1930 hrs WA6YBN translator
Night   146.64 MHz (-600 kHz)
Visitors welcome 

Sep 13  Board of Officers Meeting
Second Wednesday Heritage Inn 1900 hrs

Sep 13  Membership Meeting
Second Wednesday Heritage Inn Ready Room 1930 hrs
Program Two Meter Fox Hunting By Mike Herr WA6ARA

Oct 11  Board of Officers Meeting
Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn  1900 hrs

Oct 11  Membership Meeting
Second Wednesday Heritage Inn Ready Room 1930 hrs
Program The Joy of QRP By Keith Clark W6SIY

Nov 8   Board of Officers Meeting
Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn  1900 hrs

Nov 8   Membership Meeting
Second Wednesday Heritage Inn Ready Room 1930 hrs
Program TBA
PUBLIC SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES
Sep 9   Desert Empire Fair Parade
An easy short one  See article

Call Mark or Judith 375-2521
Sep 24  Picnic In the Park
Ridgecrest to Kernville bicycle ride
Call Elvy Hopkins NØLV at 384-3589  
See article

Sep 30  KIWANIS Walk-A-Thon  See article
Call Greg WA7IRW  446-4383

Oct 22  11th Desert Classic Mountain Bicycle Race
        Call Elvy  NØLV  384-3589

AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE EXAMS
Oct 14  Volunteer License Exam Session
Second  Kern County Library  Ridgecrest Branch
Sat     131 East Las Flores Ave   Meeting Room
Even    Pre-register by 7 Jun  Walk-in?  Call
Months  Written tests 9 am  Code test 11 am
Call Elvy Hopkins NØLV 384-3589

Dec 9   Volunteer License Exam Session
Second  Kern County Library  Ridgecrest Branch
Sat     131 East Las Flores Ave   Meeting Room
Even    Pre-register by 9 Aug  Walk-in?  Call
Months  Written tests 9 am  Code test 11 am
Call Elvy Hopkins NØLV 384-3589

PICNIC IN THE PARK SUNDAY 24 SEPTEMBER

KIWANIS WALK-A-THON SATURDAY 30 SEPT

FROM THE PRESIDENT'S SHACK
by Larry Merwin KE6YLG

The AIRWAVES is back again after a two month summer vacation. I hope that you all had a good summer. The cool mornings of this last week or so have me looking forward to fall weather and to all of the upcoming public service events. The combination of a radio, a Jeep and a hot cup of coffee on a chilly fall morning defines my personal favorite brand of Ham radio.

There are a number of things that I want to touch on this month. The first of these is this summer's Manter Meadow Fire. Although at it's closest approach it was probably forty miles from Ridgecrest, I was surprised at how dense the smoke was in the valley. I don't believe that there was a SARC or RACES callout in the local area but there easily could have been. Are your batteries fully charged? Do you know where your RACES card is?
(You will NOT be allowed into any disaster area without it. Ed.)

As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, our public service season will begin shortly. This month we have the Kiwanis Walk-a-Thon and the Picnic in the Park bike ride. In upcoming months there will be the Desert Classic Mountain Bicycle Race and a whole passel of horse rides. All of these events offer a great opportunity to have fun and to practice important emergency communications skills. The Walk-a-Thon is an excellent event for new Hams. It is right here in town, relatively short and usually pretty quiet, just right for taking your first public service plunge. Of late, we have been having some difficulty in fully staffing these events. All of these are great opportunities to serve the community and make our presence known. I would encourage all valley Hams to participate.

Also coming up later this month is the Boy Scouts Jamboree On The Air (JOTA). As of this time, we do not have anybody signed up to run a JOTA station in the IWV. If you are interested in helping scouts talk to other scouts please call Bill Burns WA6QYR for details.

The most recent e-mailed ARRL newsletter noted that the FCC RF safety regulations for Ham radio are now fully in effect. Have you completed the required survey of your station? It isn't too early to start thinking about SARC elections. A number of board members have been serving for several years and may not run for reelection in December. Please consider running for one of the seats on the SARC board. Although the 700 machine is currently still not on the air, I know that a number of SARC Hams have put in a lot of time refurbishing the system, obtaining coax and other hardware and making other arrangements for re-establishing this repeater. Our thanks to Elvy Hopkins NØLV, Jim Kusznir KE6DWM and Greg Roush WA7IRW for all of their hard work.

Remember, our first meeting of the fall will be Wednesday September 13th. I'm looking forward to seeing all of you there.

MEETING PROGRAM Wed 13 Sept
Fox Hunting on Two Meters

The how and why of Fox Hunting on two meters will be presented by Mike Herr WA6ARA. This is a full of fun sport in which the "fox" is a hidden transmitter, either manned or unmanned, and the "hounds" try to find it (a) first, or with (b) minimum miles. This can be enjoyed by the Ham and non-Ham alike and makes for a great family activity. Mike will reintroduce Fox Hunting to IWV Hams soon. The date and time will be announced later.

PUBLIC SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES
Desert Empire Fair Parade 9 Sept

Mark Rosenthal N6BVP and Judith Rogow N7TTH need four more Hams to provide communications for parade officials. Keeping the floats and exhibits moving in order is primary. Show up is in the K Mart parking lot at 8:30 am. Two to three hours of Ham fun will have you on your way to lunch. Call 375-2521 to volunteer.

Picnic In The Park 24 Sept

This sixty mile bicycle ride from Leroy Jackson park in Ridgecrest to River Park in Kernville on Sunday, 24 September is sponsored by the High Sierra Cyclists of Ridgecrest. Eight Hams are needed to provide communications at the start, finish and six water stops. Show up is at LJP at 6:00 am. The last rider reaches Kernville by 4 pm. Check point Hams close to Ridgecrest can go home much earlier or to Kernville for a nice, free lunch. Hams keep track of riders and support groups. A mobile radio, an external antenna, clipboard and pen are basic requirements. To volunteer, please contact Elvy Hopkins NØLV at 384-3589 or ehopkins@ridgenet.net at least three days before this event.

Kiwanis Walk-A -Thon 30 Sept

The annual Kiwanis Walk-A-Thon will be held on Saturday, 30 September. Seven Hams are needed to man the checkpoints during this three hour event. Interested volunteers should meet at Leroy Jackson Park (Rocket Park without the rocket) no later than 7:30 am to get a checkpoint assignment and route map. As usual, schedules can be accommodated if someone needs to leave early.

This is an excellent event to gain public service experience. All checkpoints are in Ridgecrest and the basic duty is to keep track of the number of walkers and whether the supplies at the checkpoint are sufficient for the number of remaining walkers. The Kiwanis volunteers provide cups and water as requested by the Ham when supplies start getting low. For more information or to sign up, contact Greg Roush WA7IRW at 446-4383 or on the Monday net.

RECENT SARC ACTIVITIES
Field Day
by Hal Hazel KM6JM

Have you ever received one of those obscene e-mails? You know the type I'm talking about. The one from Elvy Hopkins NØLV asking for a write up for the SARC AIRWAVES Newsletter because you did something related to Ham Radio. Well, I recently received three of them, two from Elvy and one from Jerry Brooks.

It seems that back in February, I mentioned to Bill Seif W6WGS, Todd Evans W6TOD, Pam Evans KC6UUS and Jerry Brooks KK6PA that I was considering participating in Field Day this year and that if they wanted, we could join together. I must have just taken some pain medication, because for some unknown reason, I also volunteered to coordinate this effort.

My idea of Field Day is to have fun and stay cool. I really didn't want to use the club's portable tower or the RACES generator. Getting those two items to a Field Day site and set up quickly becomes work. My plan was to use twelve volt, deep cycle batteries as our main source of operating power and then a small generator to keep the batteries topped off. Although scoring high in the section would be nice, having fun was the number one item on the list of things to do.

In March, Bill and I went up to Kennedy Meadows to check out a possible location for our Field Day effort. Bill's uncle owns some property there and we thought it might make a good Field Day site. Unfortunately, the site was hemmed in by hills in all directions and we decided another site would have to be found.

No further action was taken trying to locate a suitable Field Day site and in the back of my mind I was kind of hoping that everyone would forget about it. As luck would have it, that was not to happen. In May Todd brought the subject up again and since I had volunteered earlier in the year, it looked as if Field Day was back on. After considerable discussion, Todd mentioned two possible sites. One possible site was Troy Meadows and the other was Fish Creek. Both of these sites are just a bit further along the road from Kennedy Meadows.

In the beginning of June, I took a day off from work, grabbed Jerry, and the two of us checked out the possible sites. We stopped by Jack Macmillan's K6JLZ place on the way up. Mac wasn't home and we continued on up the road occasionally checking a clearing here and there. After stopping at Fish Creek, Troy Meadows and the Blackrock Ranger Station, we decided Troy Meadows would be our Field Day site. After locating the best campsite and getting it's GPS coordinates, Jerry and I headed home.

After a couple of evening meetings on two meters, Bill, Todd, Pam, Jerry and I had our assignments and we all met at Troy Meadows around lunch time on Friday, June 23rd. Motor homes and trailers were set up, antennas raised, tables set up, coax ran, and in no time at all, we were ready to make a few calls. As Todd and Pam were approaching the Field Day site, a low hanging tree branch grabbed one of their antennas and flung a small but important part of the antenna off into the woods. A thorough search of the trail by all of us failed to turn up the part. The loss of this part limited Todd's six meter operations to a single mobile vertical antenna.

Saturday morning found us all enjoying the weather. During the night, the temperature dropped down to 30 degrees. Bill spent the night in a tent and Jerry had spent the night in the back of his SUV. Although both claimed the cold did not bother them, we were able to chip enough ice from their faces to make coffee for all of us.

Field Day started at 1100 that Saturday morning. Todd and Pam got off to a great start on six meter SSB. We could hear them making one contact after another. Bill and I started on 20 meter SSB and after 15 minutes decided to go to 15 meters. All this time, Jerry was busy making contacts on 20 meter CW. Bill and I even made a few PSK31 contacts later in the afternoon.

Work required Bill to return to the valley late Saturday afternoon. The rest of us continued to make occasional contacts and called it quits for the day around 2200.

Sunday morning dawned bright and cool, an almost exact repeat of Saturday morning. Todd and Pam continued to hammer out six meter contacts and Jerry and I made a few more HF contacts. Not looking forward to the Sunday afternoon "race" down Nine Mile canyon, we all decided to pack up and head home before Field Day was officially over. Jerry hit the road first and made it down with no difficulty. I was next, pulling, or was it being pushed by, my travel trailer. Nine Mile road is definitely exciting when you're being pushed by 5,000 pounds! By the time I got down the road and dried the sweat from the steering wheel, Todd and Pam were at the top and ready to start their decent in their 70's retro-RV.

We all made it home safely. Next year will be a bit different. New antennas to try. Spare antenna parts to bring. I need to rewind my "antenna rope puller-upper fishing reel" with heavy weight fishing line and pick up a few more two oz. lead weights. A screened sunshade will definitely be on the required items list. Did I mention that we were all attacked by hoards of killer flies? They would come in swarms, land on exposed skin, and if left unattended, would soon bite. There were a few mosquitoes to contend with, but they were no where near a vicious as the flies.

Throughout Field Day, we had a hard time making SSB contacts on the HF bands. Our primary HF station consisted of a Yaesu FT-920 and a 40 meter wire dipole up in the trees about 30 feet high. Besides wall-to-wall signals and multiple signals on the same frequency, some of our problem could be attributed to our location. Troy Meadows is a very quiet area for RF and we did not have to deal with local QRM and QRN. Besides us, the nearest HF source would have been Kennedy Meadows, ten miles down the road. This allowed our receivers to work at their design specifications. The DSP filtering on the FT- 920 is outstanding, but not much help for our transmitted signal when it returns to earth. We even managed to make a 15 meter contact over the Sierra into Visalia to grab San Joaquin Valley.

The bottom line; 98 contacts and 536 points.

If you'd like to join us next year, to participate in Field Day, to exercise your operating skills and to have fun, give any of us a call. If you want to work at finding people to operate, and work at setting up all the equipment, and work at taking everything down, give one of the SARC board members a call.

Summer VE Sessions

The 10 June session resulted in the following. One new Technician, Michael Meissner KD7JOU of Missoula Montana. These Hams did paperwork upgrades to General: Doug Deyoe WB6TNW, Pam Evans KC6UUS, Steven Kamo N6PCX, Dennis McKinney N6PCU, Louis Shanteler KF6VAE, Ron Skatvold WB6VXI and Ed Tipler WA6KYZ. Upgrades to Extra: Charlie Hawthorne AD6QK, Bruce Johansen AD6QR and Claude Wood WA6YSQ. Phelps TerHeun KF6ZVD passed Extra written. One Technician written was passed. Three of five Extra writtens were passed.

The 12 August session had the following results. Dennis Farrell AD6SA ('So sorry about that "S", Dennis) upgraded from Tech Plus to Extra. Paula Herr N6VGW and Ron Cheshire WB6GKI got paper upgrades to General. Two exams were given, one was passed. Three upgrades were one by exam and two by paperwork. The VEs for this session were Tom Ingram WB6EPD, Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV, Bill Maraffio N6PR, Charlie Hawthorne AD6QK and Bob Huckins WD6UPI.

PACKET RACKET
by Jerry Brooks KK6PA

Are there any improvements you packeteers would like to see for YBNBBS? Better antenna? More speed? More secure connections? Games? Weather forecast? Free ice cream? Anything?

I am giving a little thought to finding funding for installation of an internet gateway on YBNBBS. What I am specifically looking for is if there is any need for it. Is there anyone who would like to have an internet gateway locally instead of having to link through to AVGATE?

This project involves purchasing a cable modem, a server and of course the monthly cost for the ISP. Are you packeteers willing to pay for it? Your comments will be appreciated. Please contact me at 446-2228 or kk6pa@arrl.net

IN THE MILL
FEMA NECN SHARES MARS CAP

Several months ago I provided a synopsis of a FEMA message to the effect that after 31 December 2000 MARS and CAP stations participating in NECN/SHARES exercises would be restricted to using only equipment conforming to the new frequency accuracy standards. Guess what? The date has been extended now to the end of 2001. You don't suppose those folks looked at the number of stations they were going to loose in four months, decided they could not stand the "hemorrhage" and reconsidered? Your guesses are as good as mine. And I already have new equipment - groan. Phelps Ter Huen KF6ZVD.

TREASURERS REPORT
from Ralph Frasier KQ6UU

As of 5 Sept. Y2K
Share account   $4,444.45
Draft account   557.94
Total   $5,002.39
Obligated funds 
Relocate 147.00 repeater        574.86
Balance $4,427.53

OLD BUSINESS
Minutes, Board of Officers Meeting
by Secretary Tom Ingram WB6EPD

June 14, 2000 Those present: President Larry Merwin KE6YLG, 1st VP David Stone KC6UUR, 2nd VP Mike Herr WA6ARA, Treasurer Ralph Frasier KQ6UU, Secy. Tom Ingram WB6EPD and AIRWAVES editor Elvy Hopkins NØLV. The meeting started at 1900 hrs. Tom announced that the club received a $50.00 donation from the Arabian Breeders. Elvy presented a bill for printing and postage for the June/July/August AIRWAVES in the amount of $71.00. Elvy reported he has the 147.00 repeater in his garage and has found a source for the 7/8" coax for $2.00 per foot. He will pick up the cable during his next trip south.

Elvy reported that he has ordered the new books for the library and will update the library list in the AIRWAVES. A short discussion was held on the SARC budget. Mike presented a planning budget. A discussion on repeaters as related to the budget followed. Repair of the repeaters is questionable. There are people in the valley that could repair the repeaters but they may not be available when a repeater needs repair. The 147.34 machine probably needs a checkup. The club also needs to consider a new portable repeater. Officers for the upcoming year were discussed. Ralph announced that anyone ordering a badge could pay the postage if they wish to receive it early. The meeting was adjourned at 1925 hrs.

Minutes, Membership Meeting
by Secretary Tom Ingram WB6EPD

The June 14, 2000 general meeting was called to order by President Larry Merwin KE6YLG at 1930 hrs at the Heritage Inn. Fifty-fifty tickets were available for the meeting. Sign-up sheet was started around. Announcements: Upcoming events are the SARC Barbecue in July and the Ice-cream social in August. The $50.00 donation from the Arabian Breeders was announced. Tom Ryan WB8ENO and Jim Shryne KE6WRT were visitors to the meeting. The program for the evening was on Weak Signal VHF and was presented by Todd Evans W6TOD. Mike Alamo was the winner of the 50-50 drawing. Twenty-three amateurs were present at the meeting. The meeting adjourned at 2033 hrs.

The Sierra Amateur Radio Club received a letter from AMSAT:

Dear Folks

Please accept my thanks for your generous contribution of $50.00 to AMSAT which we received on 20 May 00.

The task of constructing the very ambitious Phase 3D spacecraft has proven to be even more challenging than any of us at first thought. Your contribution will help us meet the costs of final preparation for launch and post launch activities.

Thanks again for your support. Because of the contributions like yours, AMSAT should be able to continue "keeping ham radio in space".

73 and very truly yours
Keith Baker, KB1SF
President [AMSAT]

WANTED WANTED WANTED

Medium duty, 40-50 ft., crank-up tower for VHF and UHF beams. Phelps KF6ZVD 375- 4905

Contacting THE AIRWAVES Editor Elvy Hopkins NØLV at 384-ELVY or e-mail ehopkins@ridgenet.net.

See ya in da funny paperz. de NØLV


Updated Sun Sep 10 18:56:22 PDT 2000