The Airwaves
September 1997
An ARRL Special Services Club -- RACES -- ARES
P.O. Box 1442, Ridgecrest, California 93556-1442




PresidentCharles HawthorneKC6WQR375-7321
First Vice PresidentDavid StoneKC6UUR375-1730
Second Vice PresidentLarry MerwinKE6YLG84-3180
SecretaryLloyd BrubakerWA6KZV375-7245
TreasurerMark RosenthalN6BVP375-2521

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 (9+phno, # Dn) Emrg Pwr.
Ridgecrest YBNBBS:WA6YBN, 145.050 MHz, Bulletin Board, 1200 Baud
Ridgecrest #YBNSW:WA6YBN-4, 223.580 MHz, Node, 1200 Baud
Ridgecrest #YBNSW:WA6YBN-4, 431.025 MHz, Node, 9600 Baud
Ridgecrest #YBNSW:WA6YBN-4, 439.025 MHz, Node, 9600 Baud

The Airwaves Calendar

Sep 3 Board of Officers Meeting
First Wednesday Heritage Inn 1730 hrs

Sep 10 Membership Meeting
Second Wednesday Heritage Inn
Flight Deck Room 1930 hrs
Program: Boy Scouts & Amateur Radio
By Bill Burns WA6QYR See article

Mondays SARC Emergency Net Every Monday 1930 hrs
WA6YBN translator 146.64 MHz (- 600 kHz)
Visitors welcome

Oct 1 Board of Officers Meeting
First Wednesday Heritage Inn 1730 hrs

Oct 8 Membership Meeting
Second Wednesday Heritage Inn
Flight Deck Room 1930 hrs
Program: Amateur Radio Microwave Communications and Considerations
by Chuck Swedblom WA6EXV

Nov 5 Board of Officers Meeting
First Wednesday Heritage Inn 1730 hrs

Nov 12 Membership Meeting
Second Wednesday Heritage Inn
Flight Deck Room 1930 hrs
Program: HF Spectrum Radio Wave Propagation by Dave Rosenthal N6TST

Dec 3 Board of Officers Meeting
First Wednesday Heritage Inn 1730 hrs

Dec 10 Membership Meeting
Second Wednesday Heritage Inn
Flight Deck Room 1930 hrs
Election of SARC Officers for 1998
Program: Home Brew Equipment
by Bill Weiss N6YRV

Sep 20 Desert Empire Fair Parade
Meet in K-Mart parking lot at 7 am.
Call Mark Rosenthal N6BVP at 375-2521 to volunteer.
See article.

Sep 27 Kiwanis Walk-A-Thon
An easy event for first time volunteers.
Meet at Leroy Jackson Park 7:30 am.
Contact Greg Roush WA7IRW at 446-4383 to volunteer.
See article.

Sep 28 Picnic In the Park
Ridgecrest to Kernville bicycle ride.
Call Elvy Hopkins NØLV at 384-3589.
See article.

Oct 18, 19 The 8th Desert Classic Mountain Bike Race
Call Elvy Hopkins NØLV at 384-3589 to volunteer.
See article.

Oct 31, Nov 1 & 2 Amateur License Cram Class
Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV will conduct an Amateur Radio License Cram Class.
Call Lloyd at 375-7245 for more information.

Nov 8 Volunteer License Exam Session
Kerr-McGee Center 0900-1200 hrs

by Charlie Hawthorne KE6WQR

Once again it is time to try and find volunteers for club officers. I think just about all of the SARC members have been in of the armed services. They don't volunteer for anything. There are a few exceptions, thank goodness. The reason this is fresh in my mind is because during the month of August I was supposed to get three people to form a nominating committee to find candidates for SARC offices next year. I sat down with a list of members and started calling. In half of the list I was successful in contacting about a fourth of the people I was phoning. All of those, except one, said no. I'm hoping to have better success with the next half of the membership list, but I'm not betting on it. It looks like it is going to be another one of those tough years for finding volunteers for SARC officer election.

In talking with members I found that a lot of the newer members feel intimidated because they don't feel like they know enough and the older members are busy enjoying their retirement and feel that they have done enough through the years. Many of the members are just overloaded with travel, family and other activities. Despite all this the fact still remains, if you want the club to survive, you might have to participate a little more fully than just going to the meetings or just paying your dues.

Ed. Note: SARC constitution, Article VIII, Section 7: The Nominating Committee shall consist of three members appointed by the President before the September meeting. The Committee shall present the slate of candidates at the November regular meeting.

Article II, Section 2: The officers of the Club shall be elected for a term of one year by ballot of the members present, provided there is a Quorum, at the last meeting of the calendar year.

Bill Burns WA6QYR will talk about Amateur radio in Boy Scouting.

Photographs will accompany the program. Bill provided the following report on his recent activities.

[by Bill Burns WA6QYR]
Bill Burns WA6QYR, a local, long time Boy Scouter, just returned from the Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree at Fort A. P. Hill, Bowling Green, Virginia which is about fifty miles south of Washington, DC. Bill was Radio Merit Badge booth coordinator in the Merit Badge Midway where there were some fifty merit badges represented. The Radio Merit Badge booth was under the sponsorship of K2BSA scouters. This is a group of scouters involved with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) amateur radio station, K2BSA, located in Irving, Texas. K2BSA provides operations for the annual, BSA, worldwide Jamboree-On-The-Air each October.

The Radio Merit Badge staff of fifteen members from across the USA taught the badge requirements in sessions starting every hour on the hour. Four different sections covered the theory, practical, short wave listening (SWL), and kit building divisions of the merit badge. K2BSA staff covered the amateur radio options of the badge. Three hundred and fifty seven of the 580 scouts who started completed the badge in the nine days of the Jamboree. This is up from 244 completions out of 704 starters in 1993. Bill's staff record keeps improving every four years the Jamboree occurs. Bill started as a Jamboree staffer in 1989 when the Radio Merit Badge was endanger of being dropped.

K2BSA has a demonstration tent with several stations set up to demonstrate the many aspects of Amateur Radio. Several HF rigs are on different bands with monoband beams atop 50 ft. telephone poles. Amateur television (ATV) was represented with a link to the Radio Merit Badge booth along with a packet link. A satellite station was available to work through the various amateur satellites aloft. A packet station and traffic HF station were set up to send the message traffic from Jamboree participants to the folks back home. One of several special events occurred on 1 August at 0450 UTC. K2BSA contacted the MIR space station. Mike Foale KB5UAC, an astronaut and an Eagle Scout, talked with several Jamboree Scouts (both USA and Russian) as they watched MIR pass overhead in the early morning sky. Some of the scouts had started hiking to the station at 2 am to be in time for the event. About 200 scouts and scouters were present to witness the event.

Another part of Bill's responsibilities was to set up license classes and volunteer exam (VE) sessions during the Jamboree. Bill's staff of fifteen scouters along with the K2BSA station crew provided daily day time and evening no-code technician classes with about forty people in each class. Evening VE exams produced several new hams and upgrades.

Desert Empire Fair Parade 20 Sept.
The Desert Empire Fair parade is a public service event which has been well supported by SARC volunteers in the past. Mark Rosenthal N6BVP will organize amateur radio communicators for this event. Mark needs seven hams to assist him and asks volunteers to:
(1) Call him at 375-2521 to sign up.
(2) Meet in the K-Mart parking lot at 7 am on the morning of the parade for assignment of duties.

This event is a short one good for first timers to get their feet wet in public service. You might be chauffeured in your very own golf cart. Take your mag-mount antenna.

Kiwanis Walk-A-Thon 27 September
The 10th annual Kiwanis Club Walk-A-Thon will be held on Saturday, September 27. Ham operators interested in this easy, local public service event need to meet at 7:30 am in LeRoy Jackson Memorial Park (aka Rocket Park) to get route maps and assignment to one of the six checkpoints/water stops or the park. The five mile walk starts at 8 am and, depending on the checkpoint, the operator can be free as early as about 9 am and certainly by noon. The Kiwanis walk has typically drawn around 600 walkers. Our primary job is to relay the need for water and cups to the walk organizers and to keep track of the "last walker" which signals the shutting down of the checkpoint. We've found that keeping a rough head count of the walkers and the remaining quantity of water and cups helps the organizers and water stop service group stay ahead of demand so no one goes thirsty when the temperature starts to climb. The other job is to relay the need for transportation or first aid to the organizers. Usually the DARE van or an ambulance is cruising the route to help anyone who gets stung by a bee, twists an ankle or discovers that the walk is a little too long and hot. Pledge money raised by the Kiwanis Club is returned to schools and local non-profit groups. SARC/RACES might be on the list this year.

Picnic in the Park Bicycle Ride 28 Sept.
This High Sierra Cyclists event is not a race but a club ride from Leroy Jackson Park in Ridgecrest to River Park in Kernville on Sunday 28 September. This is an enjoyable relaxed day of Ham radio public service ending with a picnic in Kernville. Sandwiches, cookies, sodas etc. are provided by the bicycle club.

The portable repeater is set up on the south shore of Lake Isabella for communications on the west side of Walker Pass and into Kernville. Ten Hams make the work easy. Start is in Leroy Jackson Park at 6:30 am. Mid-afternoon sees everyone on their way back to Ridgecrest. Those not wishing to attend the picnic can work the east side of Walker Pass and return to Ridgecrest after the last rider passes their check point. Volunteers receive a t-shirt. Call Elvy Hopkins NØLV at 384-3589 to volunteer.

Desert Classic Bike Race 18-19 Oct.
The Eighth Ridgecrest Desert Classic Mountain Bicycle Race will be on 18 and 19 October this year. A dozen Hams keep things working smoothly for this nationally known race. This year will also have a downhill race on Saturday.

The portable repeater has been used on Sunday in the past. Saturday downhill race requirements are unknown at this writing. Volunteers receive a t-shirt.

Elvy Hopkins NØLV at 384-3589 will organize communication volunteers for both days. Please volunteer early so that communications resources can be planned and used most efficiently.

Ridgecrest Balloon Festival 7, 8 & 9 Nov.
The extent of amateur radio support for this event is unknown. Check the next issue of THE AIRWAVES for more information.

June Meeting
Bob Huckins W6UPI presented statistics and a video on the latest Heard DX Expedition.
Bob Rose KC6YYT won the 50-50 drawing.

Volunteer Exam Session
The 21 June volunteer exam session had twelve applicants take fourteen written exams. Five were passed.
Three code tests were given with none passed. Two CSCEs were issued.
New licensees are: Stephen W. Bouthillier KF6MJI of Ridgecrest and John A. Stinstrom KF6MJJ from Arcadia.
Congratulations to these new licensees. They will receive copies of the September and October issues of THE AIRWAVES (with membership applications - Of course!).

Officiating VEs were Tom Ingram WB6EPD, John Agrelius KM6HG, Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV, Jerry Brooks KK6PA, Monty Shinn W6PFR, Bill Maraffio N6PR and Bob Huckins W6UPI.

Field Day
Reports on Field Day activities have been scattered and incomplete. Mike Cash KN6IS was unsuccessful in rallying enough support for a SARC Field Day exercise at Ridgecrest.

Some local Hams participated in the Kern River Valley ARC Field Day, held at Shirley Meadows. Those known to make the trip were John Agrelius KM6HG and his daughter Jamie who passed the second part of the Technician license at the Shirley Meadows VE Session and is now KF6MSG. Mark and Anna Ball KE6IFD and KE6YLU did a lot of the serious cooking and no radio operating. Jim Evans W6EFB and Wray Jacobs KE6VDN made a day trip over to do some 10 meter operating at the invitation of KM6HG. Joe Melendez N6FIC set up some satellite antennas on the SARC tower trailer but software and tracking problems foiled any contacts. Pat McMurphy KO6SQ and Terry Fitzwater KD7VR ventured up the hill for an afternoon of kibitzing.

Propagation was poor. The Field Day contact logs were short. The tri-tip dinner Saturday evening was a great touch for an in-the-boonies schindig. Fun was had by all and plans for next year are in motion. The sunspot cycle upturn should extend the length of logbooks next year.

Bar-B-QSO and Tail Gate Swap Fest
As in several recent years, the July meeting has been a barbecue hosted by Ron Ogren WA6PEV and his wife Mary Ellen. About twenty HAMS, wives and children barbecued various forms of steak and enjoyed many home made side dishes. The pool table and pachinko machines got a good workout but only two humongous june bugs made use of the swimming pool. A tour of Ron's VHF/UHF station is always a delight.

The swap fest went in fits and starts but a lot of "junque" swapped locations before the evening was done. Thank you Ron and Mary Ellen for a very enjoyable evening.

Ice Cream Social
The August meeting was an ice cream social with culinary delights and ice cream provided by Al & Reeds Natural Ice Cream right in their very own store. Around a dozen Hams and spouses munched on delicious sandwiches and ice cream specialties. Eyeball QSOs on anything Ham radio were the norm of the evening.

Packet Workshop
Jerry Brooks' KK6PA Packet Workshop was attended by two new packeteers Norm Smith K7DLN and Ted Holtermans KF6EYD.

A short, informal hands-on afternoon of packet racketeering taught new tricks and brought smiles of appreciation.

Weather Reports On VHF Handy Talky
by Larry Merwin KE6YLG
Did you know that you can listen to weather (WX) reports directly from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on your extended receive VHF radio? In many areas of the United States NOAA broadcasts weather information in the form of a continuously running tape loop. The broadcast contains current weather conditions, short and long range forecasts, storm warnings and other important weather related information. The loops are updated as necessary. Originally there were three NOAA frequencies, 162.550, 162.475 and 162.400 MHz. The service has now expanded to include 162.425, 162.450, 162.500 and 162.525. The primary frequency seems to be 162.55 so try that one first. Under the right conditions, the Bakersfield broadcast can be heard in the Indian Wells Valley on 162.55 MHz if you have a good rooftop antenna. Next time you travel someplace where they actually have weather you can get your information straight from the head weather guessers.

Local Hams Set Microwave Record
by Bill Burns WA6QYR
On Saturday July 5, 1997 some of the San Bernardino Microwave Society went out to see if 24 GHz could make it between Walt's Point, DM06WL, along the road from Lone Pine to Cottonwood lakes, and the Heaps Peak above Lake Arrowhead in the San Bernardino Mountains some 166 miles to the south.

Chuck Swedblom WA6EXV went to Walt's Point early in the morning. Dave Laag K6OW went to Heaps Pk. and Bill Burns WA6QYR went to the El Paso mountains at the half way point and in line with the shot.

Bill worked Chuck on 24,155 MHz at 0705 PDT. Bill turned around to contact Dave on the other end. While Dave was tuning for Bill, he contacted Chuck and made the new North American distance record on 24 GHz at 0715 PDT. The early hour was to catch the stillness of the air and any sunrise enhancements available. We were late for sunrise. Chuck and Bill use 100 mw Gunn oscillators for transmitters into an 18 inch off set feed DSS reflector. Receivers are just mixer diodes which sample a small amount of transmit power for LO. Wideband FM is the mode using full duplex. When you hear the other station he hears you. Dave has 100 mw Gunn source and a 24 inch reflector. Both Chuck and Dave have noise figures that are about 8 dB. Signals were 20 over S-9 so more distant mountain peaks are needed to stretch the record.

Mother Nature Takes Care Of Us
by Bill Burns WA6QYR
Some folks have stuff just lying in their back yard. In the desert where the wind blows, that isn't such a good idea. Need to put a brick (or two or three) on it. I have a two story house. I mounted a Cushcraft Ringo Ranger ARX-2 on a length of 3/4 inch water pipe fastened to the two story eve of my house (17 ft above ground) some 17 years ago after we moved in. Some time during afternoon or evening of 2 June there must have been a dust devil or big wind. The morning of 3 June I was in the back yard and noticed my Ringo Ranger was broken. Apparently a full sheet (4x8 ft) of half inch plywood had hit the side of the house on edge and hit the water pipe at about the 15 ft level, bending it greatly. The Ranger on top didn't like the sudden g's and broke in half. The bottom of the pipe had been put over a piece of rebar driven in the ground. The bottom of the pipe was now a foot away from the rebar with the ground wire still intact. There is a mark on the wall where the plywood hit just a foot away from a window. The plywood sheet has the full inch deep impression of the pipe in one edge. The plywood was laying on the ground at the base of the water pipe. The plywood Frisbee somehow missed the 40/80 meter inverted vee, the 40 ft tower and its guys, the satellite antennas and other trees in the back yard. I still don't know how far the plywood sheet flew or where it came from.

by Elvy Hopkins NØLV Translator 146.64 MHz
The battery boiling problems of the K-Mart "automatic" battery charger were solved by returning it to K-Mart for refund and replacing it by a Walmart unit which seems to be charging "automatic" as advertised with no overcharging, electrolyte loss or battery explosions. If you maintain a 12 volt battery for backup power in your Ham station, the Schumacher, Ship 'N Shore, Model SS-51A-PE is a good one and sells for $39.97 at Walmart. After monitoring it's performance on the translator battery for three months, I purchased one for myself.

After many long hours of divining for problems and many hair pulling attempts to align it on a spectrum analyzer the translator's power amplifier was scraped clean off the G-10 board and began anew by Bill Maraffio N6PR. Final results were a clean signal with acceptable sideband emissions and three watts of output power.

On Tuesday, 26 August the PA was installed and the KA6OIJ portable repeater removed. Output power was still about three watts. The translator lives again. At sometime during the installation the switch which controls ID operation was bumped into the "every ten (but really eight) minute" position. It was put into the "carrier input, but not more than every ten minute" position late the next day. Oops, not to do that again please - but everyone got to know that the WA6YBN translator was up again.

Move The 147.00 MHz Repeater
Mike Hugo KA6OIJ, the main mover and shaker in this effort, has been on several long and several un-scheduled travel assignments this summer and is behind on his favorite avocation - putting VHF and UHF RF into the air from high places. The move of the "700 machine" has been tentatively rescheduled for November-December.

Mike also has found another, more suitable location which will make the auto-patch link to the Randsburg 145.34 MHz machine less geographically challenged and more reliable. This 450 MHz link will also serve as a local Ridgecrest repeater and entry into the Randsburg and 700 Machine system of linked repeaters.

by Jerry Brooks KK6PA
The news about our 9600 baud link for message traffic from Las Vegas is that it is still working but very slowly. Erich Muschinske KA6AMD has purchased a TNC. We sent money to Bud Thompson NØIA in Las Vegas for a crystalled Motorola transceiver, but he is in the process of retiring and moving to Florida and it looks like he will not be able to tune and send the transceiver to us until mid-September. When received, we will temporarily install it using Todd Evans' KB6IGC 22 element 440 Yagi at Erich Muschinske's. If this setup works well, we will probably build another beam and return Todd's.

We are still waiting for Jon Eastman N7SX to find a "can" for his 9600 baud packet node on Shirley Pk. As soon as he gets that installed, we will have part of a path into the San Jaoquin Valley via Bird Springs (BIRD). We will then be able to connect to this route via WA6YBN-4, IWV96, BIRD, SHIRLEY, and then into an, as yet undetermined node, covering Bakersfield. It's slow but you have to expect that with a money consuming hobby.

HAM Club at Burroughs High School
Another attempt to start an Amateur Radio Club at Burroughs High School will be made by Bill Manatt KE6NHO a BHS instructor and the sponsor for the hope-to-be club. If you can assist, donate equipment or know a prospective member, let Bill know. No meeting time or location has been set at this time.

SARC Patches
The SARC patch is still struggling to have a second life. SARC members at the April meeting indicated enough interest to send treasurer Mark Rosenthal N6BVP into his catalogs looking for a manufacturer of a small run. So far prices are around $6. Mark is still looking for a lower price.

The SARC patch is round, about four inches in diameter, with the same picture that the badge has on it and has "Sierra Amateur Radio Club, Ridgecrest CA" surrounding the picture. What is your interest? Let an officer know.

License Cram Session
On Friday 31 October and Saturday-Sunday 1-2 November Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV will conduct another Amateur Radio License Cram Session for the Novice, Technician and Tech. Plus class licenses. Times are 6-9 p.m. on Friday, 8-12 am and 1-5 pm on Saturday , and 8-12 am on Sunday. It is expected that attendees will have done the studying needed to pass the FCC exams. Students should come in with questions about areas where they need help. The session is not designed to teach, in toto, the material needed. The Cram Session will be a series of about seven FCC style exams given from the question pool with the intent to find problems in understanding and memorization. Missed questions will be explained and discussed.

FCC exams will be given the following Saturday, 8 November, in the Kerr- McGee Center beginning at 9 am. For more information call Lloyd at 375- 7245. Do not wait until the last minute. A minimum class size is required. Sign up early.

by Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV
Rumor Suppression for Emergency Ops.
One of the topics in disaster worker training is rumor suppression. This is an especially important topic for communicators since they get the reputation, justified or not, of knowing what is going on. Everyone from the Incident Commander (IC) through the media to the guy mopping the floor asks them questions. It is important to know what you know and what you do not know.

Since all kinds of problems can be initiated by people in charge when they hear what they think are the facts, it is important to verify everything before putting it out on the air. There are general rules regarding rumor suppression. Here are a few of them.

1. Do not repeat what you have heard others say. Who knows if they know what they are talking about? If you are eavesdropping, do not relay anything you hear.

2. If you are asked to call someone and tell them something, ask if this is confirmed and by whom. Otherwise indicate that the information is unconfirmed.

3. If you observe something happening and know it is true, relay it to the IC if you think it is important enough for him to know. Do not get indignant if the IC asks someone else for confirmation. If you are not sure it is important enough then send it to the IC anyhow. Let them decide.

4. "I heard that Joe was injured." "Yeah, I heard that too." Does that make it true? No. That rumor may just be making the second trip around. Repeating a rumor enough times does not make it true. Confirm it if you must, but until then stop repeating it.

5. Do not let the media pump up your ego to get good stories out of you. You might be quoted as a "reliable source." If you're unlucky, you will be quoted by name. It is no fun to have a good vantage point viewing the damage you have caused and know that everyone else is watching too.

6. It is difficult to know when to stop suppressing information because it is just a rumor and start passing information because its true and valuable. A high level of suspicion and caution is to be used. If you get a kick out of informing people and appearing knowledgeable you may be the pr

Packet Practice for RACES Members
RACES members who have no packet experience may call Jerry Brooks KK6PA at 446-2228 to borrow one of the RACES portable packet stations or to get access to the base station. RACES needs Hams experienced with our set-up in the event of an emergency. Feel free to use the gear since that is the best way to learn about packet and the equipment used in a packet station. We don't plan on storing the portable stations in a closet. We hope to have them out in the field when needed. These loans are limited to RACES members only due to Kern County requirements.

from Mark Rosenthal N6BVP
As of 25 August
Share account$1,517.51
Draft account1,479.42
Obligated funds
Relocate 147.00 repeater1,200.00

Lost TR-7400 manual.
Bruce Bonbright KD6IPX has recently sold much of his Ham gear at a yard sale and here in THE AIRWAVES. He sold a Kenwood TR-7400 two meter, FM, mobile radio missing it's operating manual. That manual showed up in a box of gear that Bill Burns WA6QYR bought. If you have that TR-7400 and need the manual, call Bill at 375-8566.

Contacting THE AIRWAVES Editor
If you have an article for THE AIRWAVES or an idea for one, contact the editor Elvy Hopkins NØLV. He can be reached at 384-ELVY and [email protected].

World Wide Web Help Wanted
THE AIRWAVES editor is searching for an encoding method to distribute this newsletter via internet e-mail and have it appear on screen and be printed as it is sent in snail mail. Word 5.1 on a Macintosh is used to create the document. Contact the editor, Elvy Hopkins NØLV, at [email protected] with information.

[Erik KC6UUT responded, resulting in this web page among other things.]