The Airwaves
September 1999
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 8	Board of Officers Meeting
	Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn  1845 hrs
Sep 8	Membership Meeting
	Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn
	Flight Deck Room  1930 hrs
	Program: PSK 31 RTTY
	by Jerry KK6PA & Hal KM6JM
Sep 11	Swap Meet 3-6 PM 7220 Robertson Rd
	north of Inyokern Call Jim Leonard WA6TFZ
	377-3474 for information
Oct 13	Board of Officers Meeting
	Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn  1845 hrs
Oct 13	Membership Meeting
	Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn
	Flight Deck Room  1930 hrs
	Program: TBA
PUBLIC SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES
Sep 11	Desert Empire Fair parade
	Meet in K-Mart parking lot at 0800 hrs
	Call Mark Rosenthal N6BVP at 375-2521 to volunteer
	See article
Sep 25	Kiwanis Walkathon An easy event for first time volunteers
        Meet in Leroy Jackson park at 0730 hrs
	Call Greg Roush WA7IRW at 446-4383 for information
	See Article
Sept 25	Turkey Vulture Festival
	Kernville bird count Call Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV 
	375-7245 after 10 Sept See article
Sep 26	Picnic In the Park Ridgecrest to Kernville bicycle
	ride Call Elvy Hopkins NØLV at 384-3589
	See article
Oct 24  The 10th Desert Classic Mountain Bike Race
	Call Elvy Hopkins NØLV 384-3589 to volunteer
	See Article

AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE EXAMS
Oct 9	Volunteer License Exam Session
Second	Kern County Library  Ridgecrest Branch
Sat	Meeting Room  131 East Las Flores Ave
Even	All must register at 9 am  Code test 11 am
Months	Walk-ins OK  Call NØLV 384-3589
Dec 11	Volunteer License Exam Session
Second	Kern County Library  Ridgecrest Branch
Sat	Meeting Room  131 East Las Flores Ave
Even	All must register at 9 am  Code test 11 am
Months	Walk-ins OK  Call NØLV 384-3589
SIGN UP FOR YOUR FAVORITE PUBLIC SERVICE EVENT AT THE SEPTEMBER MEETING

FROM THE PRESIDENT'S SHACK
by Larry Merwin KE6YLG

Well, summer is nearly over and it is time for SARC to get back into high gear. As can be seen from the announcements elsewhere in this issue of the Airwaves, we have a busy public service season coming up. There are bike rides, horse rides, walks, parades, balloons, New Year's Eve Y2K standby and, of all things, buzzard watching. I hope that many of you will take the opportunity to work one or more of these events. If you have never participated in support of a public service event before, please do think about coming out and having some fun. It is a great chance to improve your radio skills. I guarantee that you will have an enjoyable, challenging and rewarding day. What's more, it is a great excuse to buy that new piece of radio gear that you've been eyeing.

Another upcoming activity that we should all watch out for is the "surprise," unannounced disaster drill that will be held sometime in September. According to the letter Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV read on the Monday night net, a state-wide drill will be held during non-business hours sometime during the month of September. I will certainly be monitoring the 146.64 translator a bit more diligently and I would encourage all of you to do the same.

In talking about getting back to high gear, I did not mean to imply that everyone had been asleep all summer. As many of you have noticed, there have been some changes in the local repeater scene. Due to problems beyond our control, both the 147.00 machine and the packet node on El Paso Peak had to come down. A group of volunteers have removed the systems and are currently doing repairs and modifications. After completion of this work, both systems will be placed at their new locations. We appreciate the dedication of the hard working crew that has taken on this important task.

Finally, it is not too early to think about SARC elections. Please consider adding your voice to the SARC board of directors. It isn't all that much work and the monthly flight in our private jet to the dinner meeting in the Ritz in San Francisco is quite enjoyable. Well, not really, I'm just checking to see if anybody is actually reading this stuff. Anyway, if you're interested, please contact one of the current board members listed on the front page.

MEETING PROGRAM Wed 8 Sep

PSK31 is an error free RTTY mode using free software, a Ham transceiver and a Wintel PC. Jerry Brooks KK6PA and Hal Hazel KM6JM will demonstrate this new mode at the 8 September meeting. Below is a digest of the information provided by both enthusiasts.

PSK31 is an error free, RTTY mode which was developed by Peter Martinez G3PLX the creator of AMTOR. Peter not only wrote a Windows based version of PSK31 that performs all the DSP coding and decoding within the sound card, he placed it on the internet for free use. PSK31 uses Phase Shift Keying and gives a text speed of about fifty words per minute.

[PSK31 is not error free, see the official PSK31 web page below --KC6UUT]

Equipment needed: PC with Windows, Sound Blaster or compatible sound board, HF rig.

Radio Shack hardware: Audio isolation transformer, audio potentiometer, audio plugs, shielded audio cable.

Many users claim that copy is as good as any other mode and better than most a low signal levels. The signal bandwidth is 31Hz and allows use of narrow CW filters. To help with tuning, a miniature audio spectrum analyzer and a digital type 'scope are part of the screen display.

Some features of PSK31: Uses varicode. I and E, the high-use letters of the alphabet, are assigned the short codes (e = 11) and letter like Z is the largest code (z = 111010101). Synchronizes the two stations and has a very efficient DSP algorithm. This allows the signal to be "read" at very low signal levels. It rivals the weak-signal performance of CW and is a vast improvement over RTTY.

For more information, see the article by Steve Ford WB8IMY in the May 1999 issue of QST or visit the official home page of PSK31

PUBLIC SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES

Desert Empire Fair Parade 11 Sept
This half day event keeps track of parade entries and provides end-to-end communications for it's director. Meet in the K-Mart parking lot at 0800 hrs ready for assignment of duties and location. Mark Rosenthal N6BVP and Judith Rogow N7TTH organize communications for this event. Contact them at 375-2521.

Kiwanis Walkathon 25 Sept
The annual Kiwanis Walk-a-thon will be held on Saturday, 25 September. This is a great first time event for new hams. It is all in Ridgecrest. It takes only a few hours. And, it's great demonstration of Ham Radio public service. The last few Walk-a-thon's have each attracted over 800 walkers.

Seven Hams will be needed at the six checkpoints along the five mile course and the start/finish area at Leroy Jackson (Rocket) Park. The checkpoints are manned by various Ridgecrest service organizations and Boy and Girl Scout troops. Hams provide timely updates on supplies of water and cups for re-supply by the Kiwanis, provide an estimate of number of walkers remaining on the course, keep track of the last walker and provide rapid communications to the proper agency in case of problems on the course.

Hams will meet at the park at 0730 hrs for checkpoint assignments. The walk starts at 0800 hrs. The last checkpoint usually closes by 1100 hrs. Contact Greg Roush WA7IRW on the Monday night net or at 446-4383 if you will participate.

Picnic At The Park 26 Sept
This sixty mile bicycle ride from Leroy Jackson park in Ridgecrest to River Park in Kernville on Sunday, 26 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 384-3589 or via email.

Turkey Vulture Festival 26 Sept
The major purpose of this event is to count the number of turkey vultures in the vicinity of Kernville. Hams will accompany counters to coordinate finding and counting the birds. To volunteer, call Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV at 375-7245 after 10 September.

Desert Classic Bike Race 24 Oct
The Tenth Ridgecrest Desert Classic Mountain Bicycle Race will be on 24 October. About a dozen Hams are required to cover the thirty miles of this race. Contact Elvy Hopkins NØLV at 384-3589 or via email.

NOMINATION COMMITTEE NEEDED

President, Larry Merwin KE6YLG will appoint a three person Nomination Committee in the very near future. This committee canvasses the membership and presents a slate of officer candidates at the November general meeting. If you would like to serve SARC in this manner, call Larry at 384-3180 or volunteer at the September meeting.

OFFICER CANDIDATES NEEDED

SARC will need some new officers for the 2000 calendar year. Shifting job and family priorities are stressing some officers and some have served for several years already. As a member of a volunteer organization, each member must realize that being a club officer is a periodic obligation. This responsibility does not require a perfect set of qualifications but does require a willingness to work, learn, expand and grow. The board is a five person group effort which may call upon expertise of the membership for assistance. Feel free to discuss your periodic obligation as an officer in this volunteer organization with any current officer. Their phone numbers are listed on the front page.

RECENT SARC ACTIVITIES

Field day at Ridgecrest
There was none.

Field Day at Shirley Meadows
Anna Ball KE6YLU and Joe Melendez N6FIC, two SARC members, shepherded the SARC tower trailer with its tri-bander and rotator to Shirley Meadows for the Kern River Valley ARC Field Day exercise. Robert Huckins W6UPI, John Agrelius K7HG and a Boy Scout troop, all from Ridgecrest, operated at Shirley Meadows. There were also several visitors from the IWV.

146th Annual SARC Bar-B-QSO, Pot Luck and Tail Gate Swap Fest
Twenty-one SARC members enjoyed the eyeball QSOs, food and really nice evening weather on 14 July at Ron Ogren's WA6PEV sub-urban estate. The only things swapped were tales of past Ham experiences.

79th Annual Summer Ice Cream Social
Eight SARC members and one soon-to-be Ham enjoyed the ice cream, food and general jaw-jackin' session at Al & Reed's.

Summer Volunteer Exam Sessions
The 12 June session saw nine exams given and passed. New Hams are Charles Creusere KF6WSQ Tech, Michael Alamo KF6WSR Tech, David Miles KF6WSS Tech Plus of Ridgecrest and David Brenner KF6WSP Tech of Oxnard Calif. Monty Shinn W6PFR, Bill Maraffio N6PR and Bob Huckins W6UPI officiated.

The 14 August session had three examinees take five tests and pass three. Albert "Skip" Robertson KC5UJX upgraded to Tech Plus and passed the General class written. Quintin Koca earned a Tech license, however the FCC hasn't posted any new licenses since 9 August so we don't know his call sign. Jerry Brooks KK6PA, Bill Maraffio N6PR, Keith Clark W6SIY and Bob Huckins W6UPI officiated.

Congratulations to these new Hams. They will receive the next two Airwaves with membership applications.

IN THE MILL

Amateur Radio License Class
The Cerro Coso Community College class on Amateur Radio (Introduction to Amateur Radio, ET 69ar) has fallen victim to managerial apathy at CCCC. Bill Burns WA6QYR, the proposed instructor, is attempting to re-establish a license class in some form at CCCC or through the Burroughs High School Adult Education curricula. The existing HF and VHF station at CCCC would be a great asset to the class, however if Bill cannot get it going again, an alternate location will be attempted.

If you know of someone who would attend a license class, please contact Bill, 375-8566 or via email.

El Paso Pk Stripped Of Ham Gear
On Sunday 11 July, Erich Muschinske KA6AMD, Jerry Brooks KK6PA, Elvy Hopkins NØLV, Dave Stone KC6UUR and Ed Tipler WA6KYZ, the owner of the building, stripped the facility of 95% of the Ham gear. Erich's packet node, the SARC WA6YBN 147.00 repeater/autopatch and many abandoned antennas, coaxial lines, empty racks, power supply connections and much assorted support hardware were hauled down the mountain.

Relocation Of 147.00 MHz Repeater
The 147.00 machine is in the possession of Jim Kusznir KE6DWM who will install the new controller and make many minor changes to the 147.00 machine and 450 MHz link radio.

In the meantime Elvy Hopkins NØLV began assembling a long list of parts and pieces to purchase. He is also doing the electro-political engineering. Another frequency study has to be made by the FAA because of a new link frequency and RF power change. Wrangling a decent, non-commercial rate for the phone line to the autopatch was a real time consumer. Mining (Yes, it takes a lot of digging on the phone and internet.) real engineering data from deep cycle battery and smart charger manufacturers is also a time consumer.

Greg Roush WA7IRW helped in evaluating the current antenna phasing harness. No, a new $400 one is not needed. Not bad for a free antenna, a $700 savings.

At all times an e-mail line of communications with Mike Hugo KA6OIJ, the original builder of the system, now living in HooNozeWere CalNeva is being kept hot with questions, answers, free advice and directions. Hopkins says that Hugo was doing the whole thing by remote control with himself as "Remote" and Hugo as "Control."

The crew hopes that Santa will bring a "new" 147.00 machine with autopatch and a new 450 MHz repeater to the Ham scene in RidgeBurg.

NEW PACKET REPEATER SITE
Erich Muschinske KA6AMD, Jerry Brooks KK6PA and Elvy Hopkins NØLV are working out the mechanical details for installing Erich's packet node into its new home on a mountain south of Ridgecrest.

The landlord requires extreme measures concerning the backup battery and access to the hardware itself. Alternate through-the-outside-wall methods of venting the battery, transmitter emergency control and provision of emergency power are being devised and engineered for this location.

RACES
There will be a California wide emergency drill some non-workday period in September. Monitor the 146.64 translator for announcement of the event.

RACES needs donations of equipment to place a voice/packet station in the Salvation Army building at 120 East Church St. Jerry Brooks KK6PA is looking for equipment donations for the station.

Equipment required:

  1. Transceiver, 223.58 MHz preferred (two meter OK)
  2. Omni-directional antenna
  3. RG-213 coax and connectors
  4. Terminal node controller (TNC)
  5. PC/DOS based computer (old laptop preferred for 12 VDC operation)
    [hey what's wrong with using a Macintosh?!! --KC6UUT]
  6. Printer (portable preferred for 12 VDC operation)
  7. Solar panel (for charging battery)
  8. 12 VDC storage battery
Contact Jerry Brooks 446-2228 or email.

IN THE MILL

SARC Wants an OO
Because of the local source of interference, jamming and illegal operation on SARC repeaters and in the HF bands, SARC wants to have a local OO. What is an OO? An Official Observer is a member of the Amateur Auxilary to the Federal Communications Commission. The text below is taken from the ARRL web site.

"The Official Observer (OO) program has been sponsored by the League for more than 50 years to help amateurs help each other. Official Observer appointees have assisted thousands of amateurs to maintain their transmitting equipment and operating procedures in compliance with the regulations. The object of the OO program is to notify amateurs by mail of operating/technical irregularities before they come to the attention of the FCC. The OO is also the backbone of the Amateur Auxiliary to the FCC. OOs are certified in the Auxiliary by passing a mandatory written examination.

The OO performs his function by listening rather than transmitting, keeping an ear out for such things as frequency instability, harmonics, hum, key clicks, broad signals, distorted audio, over deviation, out-of-band operation, etc. The OO completes his task once the notification card is sent.

In hard-core rules violations cases, OOs refer problems to higher echelons of the Amateur Auxiliary, and may be requested to gather evidence for possible FCC enforcement actions. Requirements follow:

  1. Must take and pass examination to be certified as a member of the Amateur Auxiliary, an FCC requirement, based on study of the ARRL's Amateur Auxiliary Training Manual.
  2. Must be an ARRL Full Member and have been a licensee of Technician Class or higher for at least four years.
  3. Must report to the OO Coordinator regularly on FSD-23.
  4. Maintain regular activity in sending out advisory notices as needed.
The OO program is one of the most important functions of the League. A sincere dedication to helping our brother and sister amateurs is required for appointment. Recruitment of new hams and League members is an integral part of the job of every League appointee. Appointees should take advantage of every opportunity to recruit a new ham or member to foster growth of Field Organization programs, and our abilities to serve the public"

If you are interested, contact SARC president Larry Merwin KE6YLG. The ARRL web URL for Official Observer data is .

New Badges Available For Pickup
SARC treasurer, Ralph Frasier KQ6UU, has SARC badges for the following new members.

KF6CMW Linda Finco, KF6HBI Pat Weiss, WA6KYZ Ed Tipler, KF6TMJ Hardy Tyson, KC6UTB Chris Stewart, N6YRV Bill Weiss These badges can be picked up at a SARC meeting or by arrangement with Ralph at 375-1534.

SARC IN CQ Magazine
Digital photographs by Dave Stone KC6UUR and information provided by Elvy Hopkins NØLV were used in an article in the July issue of CQ-VHF magazine. SARC communications support of horse rides is the subject. Bob Josuweit WA3PZO writes the column called "In the Public Interest."

SARC Net Needs Control Stations
The Monday evening SARC emergency net needs volunteers to serve as control station on Monday evenings. Term of service is about thirty minutes on Monday evenings at 7:30 pm for a month. Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV, 375-7245, is the SARC Emergency Net manager. Please let him know if you are willing to be net control for a month of Monday evenings.

TREASURERS REPORT
	from Ralph Frasier KQ6UU
As of 2 September
	Share account	$3,330.32
	Draft account	1,376.97
	Total	$4,707.29
	Obligated funds	
		Relocate 147.00 repeater	1,200.00
	Balance	$3,507.29
OLD BUSINESS

Minutes, Board of Officers Meeting
by Secretary Tom Ingram WB6EPD

June 9, 1999 Those present: Pres. Larry Merwin KE6YLG, 1st VP David Stone KC6UUR, 2nd VP Ray Lingenfelter KF6LEE, Secy. Tom Ingram WB6EPD and AIRWAVES editor Elvy Hopkins NØLV.

The meeting started at 1850 hrs. It was announced that the Kern River Valley club would like to use our antenna trailer for field day. The Board decided that a SARC member would be required to move the trailer to any activity. A discussion was held on the need for board approval for use of the trailer for activities other than SARC. Elvy is to investigate past decisions involving trailer usage.

We have no volunteers for a SARC Field Day coordinator. There is a VE session on the upcoming weekend, 12 June. The ARRL/FCC Official Observer status was discussed. No interest has been expressed. Elvy has ordered the enrollment package. Programs for fall meetings were discussed. There are several possible candidates.

It was announced that Greg Roush WA7IRW plans to upgrade the portable repeater in the future. There is no change in the El Paso status per Ed Tipler. Discussions were held on moving the equipment. Installing the antenna on the tower at the new location appears to be the most difficult problem. The meeting was adjourned at 1922 hrs.

Minutes, Membership Meeting
by Secretary Tom Ingram WB6EPD

The 6 June meeting was called to order by the President Larry Merwin KE6YLG at 1935 hrs at the Heritage Inn. Fifty-fifty tickets were not available for the meeting. Announcements: No one had expressed an interest as Field Day Coordinator.

Shirley Peak will have a Field Day. The VE session will be June 12 at 0900 hrs. There will be a VE session on 14 August by appointment only. No interest in the ARRL/FCC Official Observer program as yet. Elvy has ordered a requirements package.

Elvy will lead the effort to remove the El Paso equipment but will need help. The annual BBQ will be held at Ron Ogren's WA6PEV in July. The Ice Cream Social will be in August.

Paula Gibeault N6OQQ provided the program on the 16th Annual Rim of the World Rally. Hams have been involved in the rally for fifteen years. Nineteen amateurs signed in at the meeting. The meeting adjourned at 2045 hrs.

FOR SALE FOR SALE FOR SALE
Kenwood TM-231A, 2 mtr, mobile, FM, xcvr with MC-48B hand mic $175. Kenwood TM-221A, 2 mtr, mobile FM, xcvr with mic $150. Icom IC-02AT, 2 mtr, hand held, speaker mic, BC-35 drop-in battery charger $125. Pyramid 35 amp, regulated, adjustable power supply $75. Astron RS-12A, 12 amp, 12 volt, regulated power supply $ 40. Philmore 3 amp, 12 volt, regulated power supply $25. Daiwa CN-465m, SWR/Pwr meter, 140-450 MHz, 15/75 Watt. $45. Pace P5403A SWR/Power Meter $20. Larsen 2 Meter magnetic mount antenna $10. Lafayette SP-25 Headset $10. Call Betty Meng KA6CIF at 377-4119

FOR SALE FOR SALE FOR SALE
Drake TV-3300LP low pass filter, HF, 1 kW, New In Box, 80 dB @ 41 MHz, UHF connectors, 52 Ohm, original invoice $40 KLM 2M-2N 144-148 MHz, air dielectric, pwr divider, New In Box, N connectors $75 Contacts: Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV 760-375-7245 & Elvy Hopkins NØLV 760-384-3589.

WANTED WANTED WANTED
Bob Huckins W6UPI wants type 6267 tubes. Contact him at w6upi@arrl.net

Contacting THE AIRWAVES Editor
Elvy Hopkins NØLV at 384-ELVY or via email.

See ya in da funny paperz. de NØLV