The Airwaves
October 2000
An ARRL Special Services Club -- RACES -- ARES
P.O. Box 1442, Ridgecrest, California 93556-1442

Every   SARC Emergency Net
Monday  1930 hrs WA6YBN translator
Night   146.64 MHz (-600 kHz)
        Visitors welcome 
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  You could present a program 
        By  Your name and call here
Dec 13  Board of Officers Meeting
        Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn  1900 hrs
Dec 13  Membership Meeting
        Second Wednesday  Heritage Inn
        Ready Room  1930 hrs
        Program  You could present a program 
        By  Your name and call here
Oct 22  11th Desert Classic Mountain Bicycle Race  CANCELED for 2000 only
Oct 21-22 Boy Scout Jamboree On The Air
        Open your Ham Shack to eager Boy Scouts
        Bill Burns WA6QYR  446-5094  See article
Oct 14  Monthly Fox Hunt
        Heritage Inn parking lot  0800 hrs 
        Call Mike Herr WA6ARA 375-5324
Oct 14  Volunteer License Exam Session
Second  Kern County Library  Ridgecrest Branch
Sat     131 East Las Flores Ave   Meeting Room
Even    Pre-register by 11 Oct  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 6 Dec  Walk-in?  Call
Months  Written tests 9 am  Code test 11 am
        Call Elvy Hopkins NØLV 384-3589



by Larry Merwin KE6YLG

As I have said in this column many times, public service events are my favorite form of Ham Radio. I am happy to report from my participation in two recent events that the SARC fall season is off to an excellent start. I worked the Picnic in the Park bike ride on September 24th, and the Kiwanis Walk-a-Thon on the 30th. Both are discussed in detail elsewhere in this issue. I want to highlight, however, that we had a great turnout for both events. I know Elvy had extra people signed up for the bike ride and we had a full crew for the Walk-a-Thon. In addition, there were Hams at both functions who had never worked those events before. This was great to see and I hope you will all help the trend to continue. As for me, both days were absolutely beautiful and I really had a great time.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank those folks who take the lead in organizing our public service events. I will not try to list names for fear of forgetting someone, but you all know who they are. These Hams work very hard to liaise with the event sponsor, check out the route, find the best location for the portable repeater, recruit Hams, work as the SAG vehicle, pick up and distribute maps and T-shirts and do a hundred other things. Thank you for all of your effort and dedication.

As many of you may have heard, Jerry Brooks KK6PA is working hard to put together a Little Lake Repeater group. Johan Beyers N6PBT, the person currently paying the electric bill, is retiring and has decided that he will no longer do so. Jerry is working hard to keep the 147.21 machine on the air. Depending on the number of interested parties and the level of support generated, the autopatch may or may not be brought back on line. If you are interested in keeping this repeater on the air I would urge you to contact Jerry directly. (Ed. note: The owner of the Little Lake machine, Terry Downey N6TD, has refused all assistance from IWV Hams.)

Finally, it is that time of year again. Yep, the dreaded call for year 2001 officers for the SARC board. The club can only survive if interested hams are willing to step forward and take the responsibility to manage the club's business. The tasks are not onerous and the time commitment is not great. There is lots of help around. This club is outstanding in that there are lots of folks who are willing to step forward and lend a hand when assistance is needed. In the end, however, there still needs to be a core of officers to retain the overall responsibility. Please think about running for the board for 2001.

The Joy of QRP

Keith Clark W6SIY is a long time, enthusiastic QRP operator with numerous awards and certificates for low power operation. Keith will go over QRP operation, the ins and outs, how to make it work and the enjoyment of it.


Ridgecrest Desert Classic
This, would be eleventh annual, mountain bicycle race has been CANCELED for this year 2000 only.

Boy Scout JOTA 21-22 Oct
by Bill burns WA6QYR

Boy Scout Jamboree-On-The-Air is a world wide event scheduled for 21-22 October. It is a fun event in which Hams open their stations to local scouts to spend time learning about Ham Radio by talking with other scouts worldwide. In years past I have had dens of eight Cub Scouts (six to ten years old) stop by with several adults to have some fun. I have had older Boy Scouts (eleven to eighteen years old) with adults come by and learn about Ham Radio and get interested in their Radio Merit Badge.

Jim Kusznir KE6DWM is a local Ham that started out in a JOTA event. There are articles in the September QST, p. 48, and the October World Radio News, p. 26, about JOTA. Suggested frequencies are 3940, 7270, 14290, 21360, 28390 kHz.

I can provide a Ham's phone number to boy Scout leaders if someone would like to operate a station for JOTA. You may set your own hours of operation. One afternoon or full day or both days, your choice. Please let me know. Bill Burns WA6QYR home 375-8566 Boy Scout office 446-5094.


Desert Empire Fair Parade 9 Sept
Mark Rosenthal N6BVP, Joe Cloonan KE6SMH and Ken Edgar KK7HQ assisted the Desert Empire Parade in conducting a smooth and well organized show this year. Three and one half hours of messages, information requests and chatter completed this public service task.

Picnic In The Park 24 Sept
Picnic in the Park is a metric century (100 kilometers) bicycle ride beginning in Ridgecrest's Leroy Jackson park and ending in Kernville's River Park, obviously, with a picnic. The ride is no picnic as Keith Clark tells below.

Show up time for Hams was six am at LJ park. Elvy distributed briefing sheets, T-shirts, lunch tickets, instructions and all nine Hams set off for their assigned check points.

As usual, Greg Roush WA7IRW mothered the portable repeater and was bike rider final check in at Kernville. Dennis Farrell AD6SA assisted Greg with the set up and dismantling and directed riders at check point six. Todd Evans W6TOD, Pam Evans KC6UUS, Ralph Frasier KQ6UU, Mike Alamo KF6WSR, Larry Merwin KE6YLG and Phelps TerHuen KF6ZVD kept track of riders and passed safety messages at the other six check points and water stops. Elvy Hopkins NØLV was the events communications organizer and also drove the SAG van following the last riders into Kernville. Dave Stone KC6UUR was on standby for call up, but was not needed.

This was an enjoyable day. All Hams showed up on time. All riders had departed by eight o'clock and the last riders finished at 1:45 pm. All riders finished the ride and were accounted for. The picnic was BBQ chicken and lots of yummy trimmings.

Thanks to all the volunteer Hams who helped make this event a smooth, safe and successful ride. Now read about this ride from a bicycle riding participant and SARC member Keith Clark W6SIY.

A Bicycle Rider's Report on PIP
by Keith Clark W6SIY

If you think its tough to get RF through the hills between Ridgecrest and Kernville, try pedaling a bicycle over that route. This year was my fifth time riding in the event. A few other times I supported the communications effort. On my previous rides, my total time was close to six hours. This year I knocked off fifty-five minutes from my previous best time, finishing in four hours fifty minutes. That included rest/snack stops along with the four hours twenty-three minutes of saddle time recorded by my bike speedometer/computer. Many of the cyclists are competitive and ride this event like a race. I understand the historical best time is around 3 hours, set a number of years ago by Tim LaFromboise and my son, Tim Clark AB6CM. This year, instead of riding the event, I planned in advance to ride with a long-term coworker Wayne Fiebick N6YUF. It was Wayne's first try on the ride and we had done some training rides together up the college hill, around the Inyokern loop (twenty-six miles), and one around the Wagon Wheel loop (thirty-seven miles). On September 3, we did a training ride to the top of Walker Pass, driving by car to Inyokern for a start/finish point (thirty miles). This really lets you know if you are ready for the Kernville ride as the 3000 foot climb up the pass is the major challenge. I think my overall ride time improvement was primarily due to the added motivation of riding with Wayne but I must also give some credit to the light tail winds we had on part of the course.

On the day of the ride, Wayne and I both rode our bikes from our respective homes to the Ridgecrest park, adding a few extra miles to the day's riding, and began the event at 0628 hrs. I kept time records of our progress to compare with my previous attempts. We made the turn off from highway 14 to Lake Isabella at 0746 having already climbed about 800 feet. I was pushing myself harder than before and we even passed a couple of riders on the climb, a new experience for me. But before we reached the 4000 foot elevation sign, Wayne had pulled away and I could not maintain the pace. So much for our plans I figured I would not see him again until I reached Kernville park but he waited for me at about 4500 feet and again at the summit's 5284 feet. At about the 5000 foot elevation level, I caught up with a rider who said "Hi Keith." It turned out to be Dave Rait KG6LR whom we were to encounter several more times along the course. Jay Kovar KF6GUD also rode but started earlier than we did, and being the pavement grinder that he is, we never saw him. I reached the summit at 0859 hrs, stopped to refill my water bottles and have some of the snacks provided. My XYL, Karen, was loosely following my progress by car and was pleased that I had made it up the hill. She had been a little concerned when I did not show up at the same time as Wayne. After a few minutes rest we were back on the bikes again for the thirty-five mph downhill. There was even a little tail wind right in this area. Wayne is quite tall and now I had the edge because I could coast faster. I made a point of sitting up very straight and occasionally holding my arms out to create enough drag to match his coasting speed. Hah!

We rode along together to the next rest stop at the old Onyx store arriving at 0952. This stretch is mostly flat to slightly downhill. At times other riders would draft on us a few minutes then pass us. We took turns leading, since the back rider gets a significant advantage of reduced wind drag especially if he is behind a real tall guy. Multiple riders together can maintain better speed than a solo rider, but they have to bunch uncomfortably close together to get the maximum benefit.

More snacks and water refills were taken on at Onyx then we headed out across the flats toward the lake. Along this stretch we picked up another rider and the three of us were making twenty-plus mph for a few miles. Eventually, I started to fall off the back of our group and I suspect Wayne may have been relieved to fall back with me. We let the unknown lead rider pull away. Around the Kernville turn off, we picked up Dave again and headed for the three hills north of the lake.

These hills are quite a challenge as you are hot and tired at this point of the ride and they are quite steep. The first one is the shortest and steepest and I got a pretty good indication of my max heart rate from the monitor I was wearing. I reached the summit at 1030 hrs and found Wayne waiting for me and Dave right behind. After each of the climbs there is a nice downhill. However, it is over with quickly and you have to start the next climb. The middle hill is the toughest of the three. It is intermediate in steepness and length but just seems to be the most challenging. My speed up these was around five mph. Again Wayne waited for me at the top. The third hill is about nine tenths mile long, the longest, but we could maintain six mph on it and I kept up with Wayne.

The rest of the ride is relatively flat so Wayne and I kept together along this stretch. We reached the Kernville park at 1118 hrs, so early that my XYL had to scramble to get the camera ready to record the event. It sure is great to sit down on something other than a bike seat after the ride! The picnic lunch was great and we got to visit with friends who had also completed the event, were picking up riders, or were helping with communications. Thanks to all the Hams who provided communications support for the ride. I had a great time and hope you did too.

Kiwanis Walk-a-Thon 30 Sept
by Greg Roush WA7IRW

A beautiful day greeted the seven SARC Hams who volunteered to provide public service communications for the annual Kiwanis Walk-a-Thon on 30 September 2000. The walk, led by the DARE vehicle, started a minute before 0800 hrs and the last checkpoint closed at 1025 hrs before the heat started to build up too much. The Hams, in order of checkpoints, were Ralph Frasier KQ6UU, Hal Hazel KM6JM, Gene Chun KF6CMV, Dave Stone KC6UUR, Bill Seif W6WGS, Larry Merwin KE6YLG and Greg Roush WA7IRW at the start/finish. No injuries were reported and the general consensus was that the event proceeded smoothly and with adequate supplies. The WA6YBN translator was used to relay all communications. A stuck transmitter button (possibly a heavy thumb) was the only communications problem.

by Mike Herr WA6ARA

SARC held it's first Fox Hunt in a long time on Saturday, 16 September. We had a great time. The three teams participating included Ralph Frasier KQ6UU and his family, Greg Roush WA7IRW and friend Sam, who is a studying for his Ham license, and Mike Herr WA6ARA with Sparky the wonder dog. The fox was Paula Herr N6VGW.

The hunt started at 0800 hrs at the Heritage Inn Parking lot. The format was a simple one minute transmit every five minutes. First one to the fox wins. The KQ6UU team used the "handheld and rubber duck held next to the body and twirl" method while WA7IRW used a Yagi with attenuator and an MFJ two meter antenna analyzer while WA6ARA used a quad, simple attenuator and handheld. WA7IRW and Sam used a triangulation method and rapidly zeroed in on the area while team KQ6UU search around for the signal with passerbys giving him strange looks. WA6ARA and Sparky used the "follow the beam" method and benefited in recognizing the XYL's van. Sparky was to be used in the close in work but the over abundance of new smells and another walking dog rapidly reduced her usefulness.

WA6ARA walked to the fox first but foul was declared due to personal knowledge. Team WA7IRW found the fox shortly afterwards followed by team KQ6UU, after a few hints. The hunt was followed by a short breakfast at Carl's Jr.

The next Fox Hunt will be 0800 hrs, 14 October. Please meet at the Heritage Inn Parking lot with beams, quads, handheld shields and the like. Hopefully WA6ARA will have the hidden transmitter perking along by then. The frequency is 146.565 MHz.


GPS Receiver Tracking Exercise
by Hal Hazel KM6JM

Do you need to know more about how your GPS receiver works so that you can get APRS going? Just want to play with GPS?

Now that the weather is cooling a bit and the fact that our favorite government has stopped scrambling the GPS signals over the USA, this is a good time to learn more about our GPS receivers. Now that Selective Availability is not longer an issue, many of our GPS receivers are capable of an accuracy of twenty-five meters or less.

If you would like to get some practice with your GPS receiver, please send me an e-mail [email protected] or contact me on the SARC translator. If enough people are interested, I will organize a Saturday morning session in which we can hunt down various X's in the desert. This event will be similar to the cross-country orienteering exercises with compasses and map reading, only ours will have all of the check points within a half mile circle.

Pacificon 2000 Oct. 20-23
The first Pacificon of the new millennium, to be held at the Concord Airport Sheraton Hotel, Concord, Calif. Oct. 20-22. An outstanding list of speakers has been assembled. Dave Sumner K1ZZ, ARRL Executive Vice President, will give the keynote address on the future of amateur radio. Riley Hollingsworth K4ZDH "Mr. Enforcement," from the FCC will be the banquet speaker. Chris Imlay W3KD the ARRL General Counsel, will give a four hour legal seminar on Friday and an additional one hour lecture on Saturday.

One entire track will be devoted to QRP and the NorCal QRPers will have their usual exciting program. Admission to Pacificon 2000 is only $5.00 if paid in advance. The annual Antenna Forum on Friday will require an additional fee, as will the Friday legal seminar. For additional details go to the Pacificon web site,, write to
Pacificon 2000
P.O. Box 272613
Concord, CA 94527
e-mail to [email protected], or call 925-932-6125. Talk-in will be on 147.600+, PL 100 Hz.

The planning phase for the table top drill on the 13th of October is all but finalized. I hope only minor points need to be polished. The drill is planned for 1000 to 1200 hrs which is not very convenient but I would like a few RACES members to be observers and perhaps minor participants. The drill is for training city and county department heads. If you can attend let me know. Lloyd Brubaker 375-7245


Minutes, Board of Officers Meeting
by Secretary Tom Ingram WB6EPD

September 13, 2000: Those present: Pres. Larry Merwin KE6YLG, 1st VP David Stone KC6UUR, 2nd VP Mike Herr WA6ARA, Treas. Ralph Frasier KQ6UU, Secy. Tom Ingram WB6EPD and AIRWAVES editor Elvy Hopkins NØLV. The meeting started at 1902 hrs. Mike has not had a chance to work on the SARC budget. Ralph moved $1000.00 from checking to saving to take advantage of the interest. Larry asked if SARC would be interested in putting up a radio exhibit at the NAWS museum. A discussion on possible displays followed. Larry will write an article for the newsletter to see if there is any interest. Elvy asked if anyone had ARRL membership applications. Tom will check the ARRL web site for applications. A discussion was held on the Little Lake repeater. Jerry Brooks is working the problem and will address the general membership.

Larry addressed the need for programs for the general meeting. A replacement may be needed for the October meeting. A short discussion was held on upcoming special service events. Elvy reported that he is still trying to find time to complete work on the 147.00 machine. The meeting was adjourned at 1921 hrs.

Minutes, Membership Meeting
by Secretary Tom Ingram WB6EPD

The 13 September 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. The sign in sheet was started around. There were two visitors to the meeting: Claire N6ODO and Orin WW60 Gilbertson, past SARC members, were passing through Ridgecrest and stopped in for the meeting. Announcements: Upcoming events are listed on the sign-in sheet.

Larry announced the possibility of a Ham Radio exhibit at the NAWS museum. Someone is needed to head the project. At this time we do not know of what equipment is needed. There will be an article in the newsletter. Jerry Brooks KK6PA announced that the Little Lake repeater would be shut down unless there is a sponsor to pay the electric bill which is $16.00 per month. Those interested should contact Jerry for addition information. Elvy Hopkins NØLV announced the Picnic in the Park ride on 24 September. Greg Roush WA7IRW announced the Kiwanis Walk-a-Thon on 30 September. A total of seven people are needed.

Larry announced the election of officers in December. See Larry or a current board member if you are interested in being a SARC officer for 2000. Larry also announced that programs are needed for upcoming meetings. Bill Burns WA6QYR announced the 21 October Boy Scout Jamboree-On-The-Air. Volunteers are needed to have scouts in their Ham shacks to participate in HF operations contacting other scouts. Members available to help should contact Bill. The program this month was on fox hunting presented by Mike Herr WA6ARA. Mike announced that he would like to start a monthly Fox hunt. Mark Rosenthal was the winner of the 50/50 drawing. Twenty-three amateurs were present at the meeting. The meeting adjourned at 2016 hrs.

        from Ralph Frasier KQ6UU
	As of 29 Sept. Y2K
        Share account   $4,444.45
        Draft account   460.33
        Total   $4,904.78
        Obligated funds 
	Relocate 147.00 repeater        574.86
        Balance $4,329.92

Contacting THE AIRWAVES Editor Elvy Hopkins NØLV at 384-ELVY or e-mail [email protected].

See ya in da funny paperz. de NØLV

Updated Sat Oct 7 19:11:35 PDT 2000