The Airwaves
September 2002
SIERRA AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
An ARRL Special Services Club -- RACES -- ARES
P.O. Box 1442, Ridgecrest, California 93556-1442

Board

Of

Officers

PresidentMike HerrWA6ARA375-5324
First Vice PresidentPhelps TerHeunW6PTH375-4905
Second Vice PresidentTodd EvansW6TOD375-4240
SecretaryTom IngramWB6EPD375-7950
TreasurerPam EvansKC6UUS375-4240

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 (Phno, # Dn)
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


THE AIRWAVES CALENDAR
SIERRA AMATEUR RADIO CLUB MEETINGS
Every 	SARC Emergency Net
Monday	1930 hrs WA6YBN Ridgecrest translator
Night	146.64 MHz (-600 kHz)
	Visitors welcome
Sept 11	Board of Officers Meeting
	Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn  1900 hrs
Sept 11	Membership Meeting
	Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn
	Ready Room  1930 hrs
	Program  QRP Mini-DXpedition
	By  Greg Roush WA7IRW
Oct 9	Board of Officers Meeting
	Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn  1900 hrs
Oct 9	Membership Meeting
	Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn
	Ready Room  1930 hrs
        Program  Videos "Disaster Drill, The Big One"
        & "Last Voices From Kuwait" 
Nov 13	Board of Officers Meeting
	Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn  1900 hrs
Nov 13	Membership Meeting
	Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn
	Ready Room  1930 hrs
PUBLIC  SERVICE  OPPORTUNITIES 
Sept 22	Picnic In The Park	See article
	Ridgecrest to Kernville bicycle ride
        Call Elvy Hopkins NØLV 384-3589 
Sept 28	KIWANIS Walk-A-Thon 	See article
	A good beak-in to public service
	Call Greg Roush 446-4383 
Nov 9, 10	Geo Bun Buster	See article
	Two day horse endurance ride
	Coordinator needed  Volunteer now

ACTIVITIES
Oct 12	Monthly Fox Hunt	See article
Nov 16	Heritage Inn parking lot  0900 hrs 
Dec 14	Contact Mike Herr WA6ARA 375-5324
	E-mail  
AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE EXAMS
Oct 12	Volunteer License Exam Session
Dec 14	Kern County Library  Ridgecrest Branch
	131 East Las Flores Ave   Meeting Room
Second	Pre-reg. by 9 Oct, 11 Dec  Walk-in?  Call
Sat	All must register at 9 am  Code test 11 am
Even	Contact Elvy Hopkins 384-3589
Months	E-mail  

JUMP ABOARD THE PUBLIC SERVICE WAGON -- VOLUNTEER EARLY

FROM THE PRESIDENT'S SHACK
by Mike Herr WA6ARA

Welcome back. It has been a while since the last club meeting and AIRWAVES. I hope everyone had an enjoyable summer. I know we did. Over the break I got my AO-40 array on the tower, did a lot of HF packet operating and became a grandfather. School is back in session. Everyone is getting back to work. So, it is time to get down to business.

There has been a lot of Ham news. We had a small, unexpected peak in the sunspots. Ten meters perked up out of nowhere but there was not much activity on six meters. Looks like a lot of positive FCC actions in the wings as well as a pro-Amateur Radio bill or two working their way through congress.

Time for the nominating committee to start once again. I am looking for three volunteers to serve as the nominating committee. It is a straight-forward job. SARC has numerous individuals who would make excellent club officers.

I am also looking for volunteers for an ad hoc committee to consider the future of SARC. I announced this in June and so far I have one volunteer. This committee will look at where the club is and should be going and propose any changes or actions necessary.

Remember to have fun with Ham radio. Hope to see you all at the meeting.

MEETING PROGRAM
Greg Roush WA7IRW made a trip to the Caribbean and, like a true Ham, turned it into a QRP Mini-DXpedition. Greg has planned a hi-tech, computer generated presentation of his exploits for the 11 September SARC meeting.

PUBLIC SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES

Picnic In The Park Sun 22 Sept
This sixty-mile bicycle ride from Leroy Jackson park in Ridgecrest to River Park in Kernville on Sunday, 22 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. Contact Elvy Hopkins NØLV at ehopkins@ridgenet.net or 760-384-3589.

Kiwanis Walk-A-Thon Sat 28 Sept
by Greg Roush WA7IRW

The annual Kiwanis Walk-A-Thon will be held on Saturday, 28 September The event will cover the usual five mile route starting and ending at Leroy Jackson Regional Park. This is one of the easiest public service events in the Indian Wells Valley. The Walk-A-Thon is also a great opportunity for 500-800 of our fellow Ridgecrestites to see Ham Radio and SARC in action, so we should be visible and wear our SARC name badges. The Walk-A-Thon starts at 0800 hrs. Volunteer Hams will need to be at the park at 0730 hrs to get checkpoint assignments and maps. Often our involvement is over by 1100 hrs and, depending on the checkpoint, some can leave much earlier. Seven Hams are needed to provide health and welfare message support to the Kiwanis organizers. We will use the 146.64 MHz translator for the event so a handy-talkie will work fairly well, especially with a mobile antenna. Typically, the messages relay the need for additional water or cups to suppo

Geo Bun Buster Sat/Sun 9/10 Nov
This was a one-day, fifty mile, horse endurance ride that has been held in March in the past. It has been re-vamped and re-scheduled to be a two day event on 9 & 10 November 2002. The usual communications coordinator for this horse event, Hal Hazel KM6JM, cannot reform his schedule to this new date and another person is needed to assume this duty. Please contact Hal at km6jm@arrl.net if you can take over the duties for one or both days.

RACES
by Phelps TerHeun W6PHT

It was, and still is, a summer of fires and floods, and hundreds of Amateur Radio operators who stepped in quickly, and skillfully to establish or restore essential communication links in support of a myriad of response efforts by professionals and volunteers. For us in the IWV, it was quiet. There were problems around us, to be sure, but none requiring a response from us. Were we ready if we had been called?

What does ready mean? Does it mean being able to quickly convert an empty room or perhaps just a patch of bare dirt into a communications center? Well, partly, but that isn't really the challenge. Is it being able to rapidly create a mast and antennas from the contents of, possibly, just a couple of canvas bags? Again, partly but that isn't the challenge either, particularly if you've done it countless times. Perhaps it is putting together a bullet-proof power system, where the radios keep right on running until someone cranks up the standby generator. Well, no again, important and terribly useful as that may be, that is not the challenge either. The challenge isn't being equipped with nifty radios, portable venues or any of the other fancy equipment and goodies, useful as they may be. No, the real the challenge isn't any of those things. The real challenge is the availability of skilled people.

It is people with the skills and training to set up quickly and operate to maximize the effectiveness of the aforementioned goodies? Is it people who can walk into a center, accept and skillfully execute whatever assignment is handed to them, without any explanation or supervision? Is it people who can establish and operate a remote site on very short notice. People who maintain the capability to be self sufficient for as much as three days (food, shelter, water and, of course power)? Is it people who understand and can execute common protocols designed to maximize the efficiency and professionalism with which their essential work is performed?

How many of us are these people? How many of us have the necessary training, skills and experience? For those relatively few who have extensively worked the emergency communications side of the street, they are ready, but far too few in number. For the rest with an interest in being able to support their communities when an emergency does occur, directly applicable training is available on-line from the ARRL. Training of volunteers is considered sufficiently important that a $181,900 homeland security grant through the Corporation for National and Community Service will reimburse the ARRL Level I course for up to 1700 volunteers. Check out the ARRL web site (Search for CNCS) for course announcements and take advantage of the opportunities offered you.

Emergency Preparedness Committee
On the first Thursday of each month, at 1130 hours, in the Kerr-McGee building, there is a meeting of the Emergency Preparedness Committee. This is hosted by Ridgecrest Police Department and chaired by RACES. Often there are more RACES members present than any other one agency but the more the merrier. It is an outstanding place to learn how everybody else is doing in preparing for the next emergency, how we can help and how they can help us. The meetings last only an hour, but in a year's time twelve hours of training covers a lot of ground.

RECENT SARC ACTIVITIES

Field Day 22-23 June
SARC Field Day planning and organization was done by Bill Burns WA6QYR and Mike Herr WA6ARA. The group operated as "2A, San Joaquin Valley" meaning two operators, five watts or less RF power, battery or solar power and in the San Joaquin Section. There were three stations set up, but the "2" above meant that only two could operate at once giving operators a break once in a while.

The whole thing ended up being more of a sprint type operation rather than a typical twenty-four hour Field Day. We lost several operators early. Bill Burns WA6QYR had a family emergency as did Dave Rosenthal N6TST. Mike Alamo KF6WSR was ill. We did press on and worked a number of stations. The weather was un-typically cool, only low 90's, and mostly no wind. We had not planned on being QRP and solar, but when we looked around after setup, we all were.

We started setting up at 1100 hrs on Saturday and the last antenna came down about 2000 hrs on Sunday. WA6ARA came back and did a quick AO-40 satellite stint on Sunday morning and snagged four more QSOs.

Operators were Greg Roush WA7IRW, Mike Herr WA6ARA, Phelps TerHeun W6PTH with their own stations and Elvy Hopkins NØLV operated TerHeun's for a while on Saturday.

Visitors came often and most did not sign the log book, but Mike Chavez who was planning to take the Technician exam in August and Bob Cox who is looking at Ham Radio as another hobby spent a lot of time asking questions and observing the operations. Dale Smith W6ERT, a SARC member from California City, sat in the shade and kibitzed for quite a while. Ralph Brooks N6YRY and Monty Shinn W6PFR added their comments, suggestions and tall tales.

Antennas numbered four. WA6ARA used his trusty 40 meter dipole. WA7IRW had a twin-lead wonder. W6PTW sky hooked a 65-meter sky zapper. And on Sunday, WA6ARA set up an AO-40 satellite array.

The final count was 79 CW contacts and 14 SSB contacts including 4 through AO-40. Bonus points and multipliers gave a total of 860 points for SARC 2002 field Day.

Field Day Another View
by Phelps Ter Heun W6PTH

Field Day 2002, lovely June day, usual cast of characters, typical collection of stuff, a few deft tries with the sling shot and the dipole is swinging high in the air, solar panels pumping ergs into the battery. Sounds about right doesn't it? Well, yeah, but the radio doesn't. Nice, brand-new tuner, same reliable dipole been using for years, coax checked out. What in blazes is wrong here? You've got to be kidding, the antenna wont load? Must have busted the balun. Elvy NØLV, dashes off and brings back a brand new W2AU 1:1 balun, still in the box and labeled $7.95. How many decades have you had that one, Elvy? Balun installed, antenna goes back up. No joy. Well, let's take inventory. Plenty of DC power, radio works fine, antenna OK, all the coax OK (latter items checked with a bridge). So what's left? The tuner, the brand new, right-out-of-the-box tuner. Attention turned there. Elvy discovers inductor knob pointer is misaligned. Off comes the cover. Ah ha, simple screw driver fix. Antenna still won't

Volunteer Exam Session
Ridgecrest has two new Technicians, one each from the 8 June and the 10 August VE sessions. Steve Witcher is now owns KG6LVZ and Jerry Young has KG6MUS. Congratulations guys. Both new Hams will receive the next two AIRWAVES with membership applications enclosed.

Examiners were Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV, Bill Burns WA6QYR, Charlie Hawthorne AD6QK for 8 June and Monty Shinn W6PFR, Jerry Brooks KK6PA, Elvy Hopkins NØLV on 10 August. Bill Maraffio N6PR anchored both sessions by doing all the paperwork and exam submissions to the ARRL.

IN THE MILL

SARC & Ham Radio For The IWV
SARC president, Mike Herr WA6ARA desires to do some planning for the future of Ham radio in the IWV and how our club can be an integral part. A three person, ad hoc committee is desired. One volunteer has come forward so far. If you have visions, ideas, suggestions, blue-sky planning talents, this is the time to speak up. Call Mike at 375-5324 for more information.

COMING SARC ACTIVITIES

Transmitter Hunt Sat 12 Oct
Note: The usual Saturday-after-the-meeting Fox Hunt will not be held in September.

Transmitter hunts are held in the IWV on the Saturday immediately following the SARC monthly meeting. We meet in the Heritage Inn parking lot at 0900 hrs. Usually the fox is out hiding by then and the 146.565 MHz transmitter comes on every four minutes thirty seconds with a thirty second message. Now that we are using an automatic transmitter, the fox may or may not be in the area. Typically the it takes about forty-five minutes to locate the fox. Equipment is easy. A small beam with an attenuator is ideal but the fox has been found with just a hand held and a rubber duck.

I am hoping to soon have a second transmitter to hide just to make things interesting. For a little more spice, the second transmitter will be capable of some new twists. Mode 1 will be the standard beacon mode. Mode 2 will sound the beacon, as the hunter requests it, by transmitting on a particular frequency. This can help you but also your opponent. Mode 3 will allow the fox to send comments and clues through a link.

If there is interest, we may schedule a hunt some day in a specific field, using only a handheld. Also, if the Saturday hunts are inconvenient due to other priorities, I am game for an alternate or additional hunt day, say a flex Friday or holiday.

For more information, contact Mike Herr WA6ARA at 375-5324 or herr@ridgenet.net.

OLD BUSINESS

Minutes, Board of Officers Meeting
by Tom Ingram WB6EPD

June 12, 2002. Those present: Pres. Mike Herr WA6ARA, 1st Vice Pres Phelps TerHeun W6PTH, 2nd Vice Pres. Todd Evans W6TOD, Treas. Pam Evans KC6UUS and Secy. Tom Ingram WB6EPD. The meeting was called to order at 1903 hrs. Items for the general meeting were discussed. Mike reported that he had received the Field Day video. A short discussion was held on a Field Day Trophy. The last one left the valley when the last winner moved away. Mike will check into getting a new one.

The club received a $100 donation from the Arabian Breeders for the endurance ride support in March. The annual Bar-B-QSO will be held at Ron Ogren's WA6PEV on 10 July. Need to send out announcements. Emailing the newsletter was discussed. A discussion was held on raffling off a handheld radio. Should hold the drawing in October. Todd will investigate possibilities. The meeting was adjourned at 1921 hrs.

Minutes, Membership Meeting
by Tom Ingram WB6EPD

The 12 June 2002 general meeting was called to order by the president Mike Herr WA6ARA at 1930 hrs at the Heritage Inn. Fifty-fifty tickets were available for the meeting. The sign-up sheet was started around. Announcements: Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV provided the following from the Emergency Services Meeting. There will be a celebration for the anniversary of the Sidewinder at NWC. It is expected to be a big event and the Chief of Police would like to open the EOC and keep is manned for the weekend of the celebration. All local Hams are requested to monitor the net frequency throughout the weekend in case any problems occur.

Bill Burns WA6QYR will be the Field Day Coordinator and has a signup sheet. T-hunts will be discontinued until September. $100 was received from the Arabian Breeders for Ham support during the endurance ride in March. Next month is the barbecue at Ron Ogren's WA6PEV. Next newsletter will be in September. Greg Roush WA6IRW had photos from his sailing trip. He used a Yaesu FT-817 during the trip. The program this month was a Field Day video. Tom Ryan WB8ENO won the 50/50. Seventeen amateurs signed in at the meeting. There were no visitors. The meeting was adjourned at 2015 hrs.

TREASURERS REPORT
from treasurer Pam Evans KC6UUS

As of 29 Aug 2002
Share account	$6,344.83
Draft account	   274.33
Total	        $6,619.16
Obligated funds	
Relocate 147.00 repeater	
                  1374.86
Balance	        $5,244.30

FOR SALE FOR SALE FOR SALE
HyGain Tail Twister T2X antenna rotator. Rebuilt. No control panel. $225.00 Ray Stevens KC6UTC 760-378-3746 kc6utc@myexcel.com

FREE FREE FREE
One large box containing audio, power and high voltage transformers, electric components, parts, pieces, hardware etc. Ken Calderwood K6PGC 375-9378


See ya in da funny paperz. de NØLV