The Airwaves
November 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

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
Mondays	SARC Emergency Net
	Every Monday 1930 hrs
	WA6YBN translator
	146.64 MHz (- 600 kHz)
	Visitors welcome
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
Jan 7	Board of Officers Meeting
	First Wednesday Heritage Inn 1730 hrs
Jan 14	Officer Installation Banquet
	Details next month
Nov 7-9	Ridgecrest Balloon Festival See article
Nov 21	IWV RACES Disaster Drill
	Call Lloyd Brubaker 375-7245 See article
Dec 7	Over The Hill Track Club Annual Run
	Call Lloyd Brubaker 375-7245 See article
Jan 24	Fire Mountain Fifty  50 mile horse ride
	Call Lloyd Brubaker 375-7245 See article
Feb 21	Twenty Mule Team 100 mile horse ride
	Call Lloyd Brubaker 375-7245 See article
Mar 14	Coso Bun Buster 50 mile horse ride
	Call Hal Hazel KM6JM 371-3208 See article
Oct 31, Nov 1 & 2 Amateur License Cram Class
	Canceled due to lack of interest
Nov 8	Volunteer License Exam Session
	Kerr-McGee Center  0900-1200 hrs
	Call Elvy Hopkins NØLV 384-3589
Dec 3	Volunteer License Exam Session
	Cerro Coso Community College 1800 hrs
	Novice, Tech & Tech Plus Elements 1A, 2 & 3A only  Pre-registration is required
	Call Bill Maraffio N6PR 446-4165

See article

by Charlie Hawthorne KE6WQR

This month the new slate of SARC officers will be presented. It is not likely that there will be more than one candidate per office, if that many (and some of those will be this year's officers willing to serve a second or third term). That's a shame. This drought of volunteers for office is certainly not because the members do not want to help. Helping comes in many forms. We have people that do their best to keep repeaters and equipment going. We have people that make sure the newsletter gets out. We have those that give of their time as volunteer examiners. We have people that are involved in RACES and ARES. We have people that come out and coordinate or help with communications in the various races and public service events around town and even out of town, such as the bicycle races to Kernville and Mt. Whitney, the car races that Paula Gibeault N6OQQ is involved in etc. Don't let anybody kid you, most of these events are not all that comfortable. You are usually too cold or too hot or too many bugs are biting on you. You had to get up too early or you had to stay up to late. You wish you could sit down a while and so forth. Others give of their time to present their work and efforts to us as SARC meeting program speakers (and do a fine job). Over all, we have a great bunch of helpers.

We all know that these things get done because most of our Hams are service oriented. But, let's not forget that in order that most of these services occur there must be a point of contact. You cannot serve if you cannot be found. SARC serves as that point of contact. It is what the public sees and it cannot exist without officers to take care of the mundane housekeeping chores. So, call a Nominating Committee member and volunteer for a SARC office.

The nominating committee is searching for 1998 SARC officer candidates. Up to now, volunteers have been non-existent and, when polled by phone, refusals to serve have been overwhelmingly the predominant response. If you have questions regarding the duties of SARC officers and your qualifications, call the nominating committee. Mike Cash KN6IS 375-4441, Jerry Brooks KK6PA 446-2228, Larry Jenkins KN6WI 375-5049

The program for November will be a presentation on radio propagation and the rising solar cycle given by Dave Rosenthal N6TST.

For more than ten years Dave has been intensely interested in the ionosphere and how it impacts radio propagation. If you request NOAA's Space Environment Center's publication on how an amateur might make the most of WWV's twice-hourly broadcast bulletins about conditions between the sun and the earth, you'll find that Dave wrote it.

What we can expect is a quick review for those finding that several years of dismal communication conditions has allowed our recollection of ionospheric radio propagation to become as dust laden as our HF rigs. Then Dave promises to give us some tips on what to expect as the cycle continues rising. Those who have been checking have seen the last month or so provide some marvelous openings on fifteen, twelve and even ten meters.

Dave also has news on how to utilize recently available ionosphere related web sites to forecast your own HF propagation and even get a real-time picture of conditions along your chosen communications path. All for free. Be there if you can and check it out.


Ridgecrest Balloon Festival 7, 8 & 9 Nov.
The extent of amateur radio support for this event is still unknown. The festival organization has not contacted SARC after their initial request for unspecified assistance.

IWV RACES Disaster Drill 21 November
by Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV

The annual Indian Wells Valley disaster drill will take place from 0800-1200 hrs on 21 November. All RACES stations are expected to attend whether or not you have the appropriate radio gear. This is a drill and training, not a test. Not only that, it's fun. Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV is POC. Hang your RACES card on your shirt or blouse and report in when the QST is announced on the radio. We need more than one person per station.

While this scenario is just another earthquake, there will be a few angles not tried before. Last year we made a number of mistakes that we do not intend to make again. We hope to have more trained net operators. Some of these will cover agencies who are not participating. We have had new people attend the horse rides, bike races, various walk-a-thons and runs so we should have most of the agencies covered with experienced net operators. They will have to simulate the presence of their agency in as realistic a mode as possible. This should be a good drill and provide a realistic experience. We can put to work everyone that we can get. Those who cannot attend should monitor, if at all possible. We will need HF stations as well as VHF.

Over The Hill Track Club 7 December
The Annual Run will be south of Cerro Coso Community College. Five Hams are needed from 7:00 am to about noon to provide safety and administrative communications for race officials. Contact Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV at 375-7245 or on the Monday night net.

To avoid past conflicts with motorcycle races, Chris Rios, OTHTC president, has scheduled this Annual Run with the BLM on the the first Sunday in December for future years.

Fire Mountain Fifty Sat. 24 January
Contact Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV 375-7245

Twenty Mule Team 100 Sat. 21 February
Contact Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV 375-7245

Coso Bun Buster Sat. 14 March
Contact Hal Hazel KM6JM 371-3208

The previous three horse rides start early in the morning. The 100 miler is twenty-four hours (It usually doesn't last that long.) so two relays of six Hams each are needed for it. Sometimes a pickup truck is a good thing to have. Some check points are on paved roads. If you haven't ventured into the fun of this kind of thing, try it. Let the Ham Radio organizer know your vehicle and radio capabilities and a check point at which your combination will suffice will be your duty point. Check in early so Lloyd and Hal can best organize their crews.

Lloyd Brubaker has plans to set up the portable packet network at all three of the horse rides for on-the-job RACES training. If you have never used packet or want packet experience this is your opportunity. Are you interested in writing logging and record keeping software for horse and bicycle rides? Call Lloyd.

Have you checked for openings on 17, 15, 12 or 10 meters lately?

Notes About Volunteering
by Elvy Hopkins NØLV

(1) Volunteer as early as possible. Some public service events supported by SARC are non-critical and do not involve safety and health matters. These can usually be handled in some manner by those who show up and with little previous organization. These do-what-you-can-with-what-you-have events tend to be parades (I hate parades) and walk-a-thons. (See comment on parades.) Horse rides (I'm allergic to horse exhaust.), car and bicycle races and track club runs involve participant and public safety and personal health and well-being of contestants. For these events the Amateur Radio organizer has to place Hams in widely separated and remote areas. Communications throughout the race course and with other agencies providing medical assistance and safety patrolling are required.

For these reasons the radio and transportation capabilities of volunteers must be known and matched to race check points and locations of other services before the event occurs. In some cases, Hams with known capabilities are asked to volunteer "because he has a portable Yagi that can get out of that hole."

I urge you to volunteer as early as possible to aid the event communications organizer in providing the best service that we can. Don't leave him pulling his hair until you call at the last minute.

(2) Notify the organizer as early as possible if you cannot be there. We all have our good intentions thwarted by occupationa family etc. Here again, let your event organizer know early so that he can find a replacement for your capabilities that he has planned for.

(3) Show up on time with all the necessary equipment and ready to go to work.

(4) If a mistake is made, correct it rationally, then continue with the business of the day. The way we improve is to learn from our mistakes. Keep notes. Discuss problems. Make suggestions. We are volunteers. We are amateurs. We can be good. To use a trite phrase, "Jist keep on truckin'."

SARC has supported a number of local events for a long time. We do it better each time as we work off of past experience. We are appreciated and the word is getting out about how well Amateur Radio works. Join this group of volunteers. Get in on the fun. Get experience which will be very valuable when the "big one hits." AND, volunteer early.

A note of appreciation. I have had the privilege of organizing communications for numerous bicycle races and rides. I really enjoy seeing a group of Hams take on a difficult situation and work out solutions on-the-spot and keep things working to provide what we went out to do. They get up before oh-dark-thirty, drive a hundred miles to sit in the hot sun or cold wind, fix broken equipment on the road and endure many other non-civilized situations all to play our Ham radio game.

Thank you to the volunteers who have made Amateur Radio look good out there in the public eye. I'm eager do it again. Come join me.

Boy Scout Jamboree On The Air
by Bill Burns WA6QYR

The purpose of Jamboree-On-The-Air (JOTA) is to introduce youth to Amateur Radio and have fun talking with Scouts the world around about hobbies, Scout activities, school and the like. For the Boy Scout world wide JOTA event of 18-19 October 1997, Bill Burns WA6QYR set up operations at his house for the local area Scouts. This was the 40th year for JOTA and Bill had written to the Boy Scouts of America International office to get participation cards (like QSL cards) for the Scouts stopping by and the ones contacted via Amateur Radio.

On the morning of 18 October a group of four Scouts and their leader dropped in and were able to talk with Scouts in Saint Petersburg, Florida and Washburn, Maine. An afternoon group of seven Scouts and two leaders talked to Scouts in the National BSA Headquarters camp operating from K2BSA/5 near Dallas, Texas and to a girls Scout guide group on Queen Charlotte Island, British Columbia, Canada.

All contacts were on fifteen meters. The ten meter band was inactive in the morning , but by late afternoon there were a few stations operating. Just the week before, Bill had found lots of activity on both bands and was hoping to have more DX contacts, but thus is life in the beginning of the solar cycle up turn.

The third weekend of October is the JOTA schedule. You may want to think about inviting Scouts to your Ham shack next year to promote Amateur Radio with the youth of Ridgecrest.

by Elvy Hopkins NØLV

Translator 146.64 MHz
The recently overhauled power amplifier began to continuously transmit spurious RF on a local packet backbone frequency. Ron Cheshire WB6GKI located the disturbance and reported it to Jerry Brooks KK6PA who contacted Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV who then shut the translator off. The following weekend it was examined in place by Bill Maraffio N6PR with assistance by Elvy Hopkins NØLV. The errant power amp was removed and the KA6OIJ portable repeater was set up to pinch hit for the translator. Bill is currently in the process of completely rebuilding the power amplifier.

If you are wondering what that confusing "P" transmitted in Morse code after the courtesy "beep" is, here is an explanation. If DC power to the repeater drops below a voltage sufficient for good operation (power shutdown included) the "P" is transmitted to warn the control operator of a power problem. A control code of sub-audible and touch tones is supposed to turn it off. However, some audio signal level problems in the controller make this operation very difficult to do. Many tries are usually required. So we have to listen to the "P" until one of the control operators is successful in turning it off.

The portable repeater has been so busy recently that this audio level problem has not been repaired. Greg Roush WA7IRW promises repairs when the hardware returned to his shack and he gets a "round tuit."

Eighth Ridgecrest Desert Classic
by Elvy Hopkins NØLV

This year the Desert Classic bicycle race included a three mile downhill race on Saturday and the twenty-eight mile Classic desert race on Sunday.

On Saturday the expected fifty downhill racers turned out to be nine riders, so instead of five heats of ten and a final race, the nine riders ran the course twice just to give all a sporting chance. The same rider came in first both times. Five Hams, nine riders, a few of the organizers and the rider's support crews had a very enjoyable Saturday morning and all was completed by 10:30. The kamikaze aura that generally prevails in downhill bicycle races was not in force for this one and the only damage was to a bicycle in the first trip down the hill. It was repaired - with some delay to the second race. There were no emergencies and no requirement for treatment by the China Lake Mountain Rescue Group.

Larry Merwin KE6YLG took his Cherokee to the starting line. Hal Hazel KM6JM parked his Bronco at a vantage point overlooking a difficult and dangerous steep section. Tim Lyons KF6LCH patrolled the upper section on his motorcycle. Dave Stone KC6UUR stationed his Jeep on the fast lower section and Elvy Hopkins NØLV, in his pavement-bound van, anchored the crew at the finish line. Gene Chun KF6CMV showed up to check out the lay of the land for Sunday and stayed until the race was finished.

Sunday started at 0630 hrs for Elvy Hopkins NØLV and Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV because the portable repeater, which is pinch-hitting for the 146.64 MHz translator, had to be removed from the translator's location and gotten to the Cerro Coso parking lot. Tom Ingram WB6EPD and Dave Stone KC6UUR had been drafted to erect the portable repeater at its see-the-whole-course location (at N 35o 32,609' W 117o 37.634' thanks to Dave's GPS receiver). When Tom arrived at the CCCC parking lot, he was immediately dispatched back down the hill to recover a power cable that NØLV had left at the translator site. When finally up and running, the portable suffered self-desensing and talking-to-itself problems which Dave finally solved by putting the transmitting hand-held on low power. This fix worked well for the remainder of the day.

The remainder of the crew arrived at 0730 hrs to receive briefing sheets, topo maps, assignments and directions to their check points. Larry Merwin KE6YLG went to the very busy check point one/four where he had been for Saturday. Gene Chun KF6CMV was dispatched to check point two. Tom Ingram WB6EPD, after getting the portable repeater set up, went to the scenic check point three. Dave Stone, after fixing the portable's problems, returned to the CCCC parking lot to be a roving contact with the race organizers and to relay race news to the announcer/DJ. Elvy Hopkins NØLV anchored the crew from his flatlander's van. Mike Cash KN6IS and son Philip showed up to assure that a full crew was available, which it was, and were released to return home. Judy Burns KC6UTF, Keith Clark W6SIY and Mark Ball KE6IFD were on standby to cover pre-race cancellations.

This year there were two Hams on motorcycles patrolling the race course. Mark Slay KE6SMA took the first loop and beginner portions of the course and Tim Lyons KF6LCH traveled the second loop. Mark and a third, non-Ham motorcycle rider transported a bicycle rider, suffering from leg cramps, and his bicycle from a very difficult to reach portion of the race course to check point four where he could be transported by four wheel vehicle. The ailing bicycle rider was given a ride on Mark's one-seated motorcycle (How about that for a scary ride?) and his bicycle was strapped to the pillow protected back of the second motorcycle rider. Thank you for the extra effort.

Linda Finco KF6CMW, leader of the China Lake Mountain Rescue Group team, and Dave Grow WB6VGH, a Liberty Ambulance EMT, both had amateur radio hand helds and were listening to the portable repeater. This kept them up to date on race course events. Linda also provided a CLMRG radio to Dave and Elvy for monitoring (and communication on CLMRG frequencies if necessary). Coordination of efforts for any medical emergency situation would have been much easier with these additional communication links.

The races started on time and progressed well throughout the day. The winner completed the 28 mile course in just under two hours. There were no medical emergencies. Well, the EMTs put two bandaids on a three year old's knees after suffering a dose of pavement rash. The portable repeater performed flawlessly all day and was taken down by WB6EPD and KE6YLG. Two lagging riders were stopped at check point four and transported by four wheel vehicle to the finish. All 286 riders were accounted for and Ham Radio operators were released at about 1400 hrs. Thank you to all who participated and we hope to see you at the Ninth Ridgecrest Desert Classic.

Ridgecrest Community Cleanup
by Greg Roush WA7IRW

Seven Hams provided communications for the clean-up crews, dispatching of trucks to haul off the collections of trash and distribution of additional trash bags for the Ridgecrest City Cleanup on Saturday 25 October. Greg Roush WA7IRW organized the group and remained at City Hall to relay messages to appropriate city personnel. Mike Cash KN6IS, Hal Hazel KM6JM, Bill Manatt KE6NHO, Judy Burns KC6UTF and Dave Stone KC6UUR were assigned to rove six areas of Ridgecrest and monitor various work sites and their needs.

In addition to various civic, service, school and family groups, about 400 volunteer workers arrived at City Hall Saturday morning to assist in the city's cleanup. The pace of communication messages was moderate but steady for the 8-11 am period. Ridgecrest City officials were impressed with the communications assistance provided by SARC Hams.

Thank you to Hams who volunteered, in less than a weeks notice, to support this event.

License Cram Session Canceled

Lloyd Brubaker's License Cram Class scheduled for Friday 31 October and Saturday-Sunday 1-2 November has been canceled due to lack of interest.

Volunteer Examination 8 November
SARC will administer a FCC Volunteer Examination Session for all classes of Amateur Radio licenses at 9:00 am on Saturday, 8 November at the Kerr-McGee Center, 100 West California St. Walk-ins are welcome. For more information, call Elvy Hopkins NØLV at 384-3589.

by Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV

IWV RACES Disaster Drill 21 November
The annual Indian Wells Valley disaster drill will take place from 0800-1200 hrs. All RACES stations are expected to attend whether or not you have the appropriate radio gear. This is a drill and training, not a test. Not only that, it's fun. Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV is POC. Clip on RACES card and report in when the QST is announced on the radio.

RACES to Practice 21 February
The 100 mile, The Twenty Mule Team (horse) Ride will take place on Saturday 21 February. This annual event has been well supported by RACES members for a number of years and this year will be slightly different from those in the past.

We will set up the portable packet stations (two currently - to be expanded to four) and operate the packet station in the communications trailer to cover a portion of the ride route. The purpose of this exercise is to give amateurs who have not yet been on packet an opportunity to get acquainted with that mode and get some practice in formal message writing under real conditions. We will route, through packet, ride net messages that are normally verbally passed. These are lists of horses that have been pulled out of the ride, lists of horses that have passed a given check point, names and locations of officials, check-points, lead riders and so on.

We are asking for as many RACES members as possible to take shifts of one or two hours at the packet station locations and learn the ropes. Between now and then read all you can get a hold of about this specialized mode of communication and the instructions available in the RACES Manual. If you do not have this latter reference, see Lloyd and get one. Instruction will be provided on site by a qualified operator. We hope to have four pscket sites by February. It would be nice to have from nine to twelve newly experienced operators for the 24 hour ride. Put these dates on your calendar and plan to attend.

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 packet system 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.

Get ready for El Niño. Waterproof your antenna connections

from Mark Rosenthal N6BVP
As of 28 October
Share account$1,517.51
Draft account1,479.42
Obligated funds
Relocate 147.00 repeater1,200.00
Board of Officers Meeting Minutes by Secretary Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV

October 1, 1997: Those present, Pres. Charlie Hawthorne KE6WQR, 1st VP Dave Stone KC6UUR, 2nd VP Larry Merwin KE6YLG, secy. Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV, treasurer Mark Rosenthal N6BVP and AIRWAVES editor Elvy Hopkins NØLV.

Business: No report from the Nominating Committee. It was hoped that volunteers would step forward to run for office for next year. Nobody in office now finds it convenient. If you wait until it is convenient it will never happen. Help support your club.

The 1998 officer installation banquet was discussed and it was decided to try Farris' Fine Dining again. Since we were far short of those who indicated they were coming last year, Bill Farris was kind enough not to charge us for the shortage. This time however it will be pay as you make reservations. Since a buffet is cheaper and often even faster, we'll do that again. The cost will be $13.50 and this allows no buffer. A check or cash to SARC will be taken with your reservation. The deadline is the Friday 2 Jan. Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV is the point of contact.

A new copy of "Now You're Talking" will be put in the Ridgecrest Branch of the Kern County Library. Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV has the purchase action.

SARC web pages are being done by Larry Jenkins KN6WI and Erik van Bronkhorst KC6UUT with Elvy Hopkins NØLV providing SARC material.

N6BVP is still searching for an economical source for SARC patches.

NØLV presented a bill of $82.41 for October AIRWAVES publication.

Minutes of the General Meeting,
by Secretary Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV

October 8, 1997: Twenty-seven persons including one visitor, Fred Hareland KF6LEF, were in attendance. The translator is down again. Thank heaven for the KA6OIJ portable repeater.

The Monday night net meets every Monday night (now that general meetings are on Wednesday). Checking in will give you a chance to find out what is going on in the Ham community.

The nominating committee had no report. They will be phoning around, but don't wait to be called. Call them. No report from the treasurer. Bob Huckins W6UPI won $7.50 on the 50-50 drawing.

The speaker for the evening was Chuck Swedbloom on Amateur Radio microwave activities. A very interesting talk on a fascinating subject. He also gave a summary of the Southern California Microwave Society's activities. He didn't mention the annual convention but it is well worth attending.


Tower, sixty foot, crank up, guyed, three sections with matching fifteen foot, thick wall mast. Old Tri-Ex (?), triangular section, lower section eight inches on a side. Some guy wire included. Good condition. All sections and mast are straight. Needs minor welding to reattach two lower leg guides. $100 (A mighty fine price these days.) Call Gene Roth 446-6265

Lost TR-7400 manual
Bruce Bonbright KD6IPX 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 tranceiver 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 at 384-ELVY or [email protected].

See                   ya                       in                    da
funny                 paperz.                  de                    NØLV