The Airwaves
December 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
Dec 8	Board of Officers Meeting
	Second Wednesday Heritage Inn 1845 hrs
Dec 8	Membership Meeting
	Second Wednesday Heritage Inn
	Flight Deck Room 1930 hrs
	Election of 2000 SARC officers
	Program: Emergency Communications
	By Bruce Hagerty Ridgecrest Chief of Police  
Jan 12	Officer Installation Dinner
	Second Wednesday
	Where: TBA
	When:  TBA

AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE EXAMS
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 in OK  Call NØLV 384-3589
Feb 12	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 in OK  Call NØLV 384-3589
PUBLIC SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES
Dec 5	High Desert Ultra 50k/Relay
	Over The Hill Track Club 
	Call Lloyd Brubaker 375-7245 See article
Dec 11	Special Fund Raiser
	ARAB Club 50 mile horse ride
	Call Dave Stone 375-1730 See article
Dec 31	Y2K Watch 
	Ridgecrest EOC
	Monitor Y2K on HF and report
	Call Lloyd Brubaker 375-7245 See article
Jan 22	Fire Mountain Fifty
	Fifty mile horse endurance ride
	Call Dave Stone KC6UUR 375-1730
Feb 19	Twenty Mule Team
	One hundred mile horse endurance ride
	Call Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV 375-7245
Feb 19	Geo Bun Buster
	Fifty mile horse endurance ride
	Call Hal Hazel KM6JM 371-3208

VOLUNTEER TO BE SARC OFFICER FOR Y2K CALL BILL BURNS WA6QYR 375-8566

FROM THE PRESIDENT'S SHACK
by Larry Merwin KE6YLG

SARC is in trouble. There. I said it. Those of you who attended the November general meeting or read the November Airwaves likely know what I am talking about. Despite heroic efforts by Bill Burns WA6QYR and Charlie Hawthorn KE6WQR we have been, so far, unable to come up with anyone willing to volunteer to run for the SARC board of officers. Both Bill Burns and the Airwaves editor hit this theme pretty hard last month, so I thought that maybe I would not have to comment in this month's column. However, it became clear to me from the discussion at the November General Meeting that it was, in fact, important to address the issue here.

Let me start from the beginning. I believe that the existence of SARC is important to both local radio amateurs and to the community as a whole. SARC provides for the construction, maintenance and repair of the valley's repeater systems which would be vitally important in the case of a major disaster. It provides, in the form of the Airwaves, an excellent means of communicating important news about local amateur radio activities and in keeping us all informed about upcoming events. It sponsors Volunteer License Examination Sessions to expand the horizons of Hams who upgrade and to open our hobby to new members. It also serves as a focus, uniting Hams with common interests in a monthly forum and providing a point of contact for those in the community who require support for public service events. The accomplishment of all of these tasks would be very difficult, if not impossible, without the existence of SARC.

Given the importance and existence of SARC, it both legally and logically follows that a board of officers is required. The books need to be kept, bills paid, programs organized, newsletters written, general meetings chaired and much more. The SARC Board of Officers sees to all these things with help (often lots of help) from many willing and able members. None of these tasks is onerous. None of these tasks take days or weeks of time. But, all of these tasks need to be done. If not, the club will soon cease to exist.

Here we are back at the beginning. The club must have volunteers willing to take on the responsibilities of board membership if it is to continue to exist. At present, there is clearly a serious lack of Hams willing to assume those responsibilities. The situation must change or the very existence of SARC will clearly be in jeopardy.

MEETING PROGRAM Wed 8 Dec
Bruce Hagerty, the new Ridgecrest Chief of Police, will tell of his experiences during several disasters in the Los Angeles area. He will describe working with emergency communications, concentrating on working with amateur radio operators from RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service) and ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service).

ELECTION OF SARC 2000 OFFICERS
SARC officers for the year 2000 will be elected at the 8 December membeship meeting. Be there to support your favorite candidate. Volunteer to serve.

PUBLIC SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES
High Desert Ultra 50K/Relay Sun 5 Dec
Chris Rios, president of the Over The Hill Track Club, has scheduled this annual event for the first Sunday in December. The run will be south of Cerro Coso Community College. Five Hams are needed from 0700 hrs 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.

Fund Raiser Horse Ride Sat 11 Dec
This fifty mile horse endurance ride, sponsored by the Ridgecrest ARAB club, will start at first light and be conducted in the Coso Junction area. The wind-up round-up will be mid-afternoon and all can be home for dinner. Call Dave Stone KC6UUR at 375-1730 to volunteer.

Y2K watch Sat 31 Dec
Beginning at 1600 hrs on the last day of 1999, RACES and ARES members will begin to monitor the new year beginning in Auckland New Zealand. All HF stations capable and willing are asked to tune to the DX bands and monitor the activities as the new year marches from time zone to time zone around the world. When Y2K arrives in the USA we want to be especially watchful for any man made anomalies. We do not expect any problems except those caused by people who want something to happen. This is a calendar thing and it depends upon which calendar you follow.

The Police Chief will open the Ridgecrest EOC and the City of Ridgecrest has asked RACES members to stand by. If you can spare a few hours call Lloyd WA6KZV and get on the schedule for a watch assignment.

Instructions will be passed on as they are received. We will probably close down around 0300 hrs, 1 January 2000. RACES badges will be required at the EOC.

RECENT SARC ACTIVITIES
Caravan To Victorville
o Chuck Pierce WA6QFD traveled to Victorville to give his Six Meter Radio Controlled Model program to the Victorville ARC on the evening of Tuesday 9 November. Ralph Frasier KQ6UU and Elvy Hopkins NØLV accompanied Chuck. The program was well received. We met some new friends and the Victorville ARC provided a very nice dinner for us three visiting Ham.

Chuck was ushered into the twentieth century as he attempted to program a synthesized, two meter rig for the Victorville repeater while Ralph drove and Elvy read instructions with a flashlight from the back seat. Chuck's last use of two meters was with a home made AM rig over twenty-five years ago.

RACES RAMBLINGS From the Radio Officer
by Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV
Two drills were conducted during the month of November. The first was a power-down drill in Ridgecrest City Hall. During a training session, being held in the room used as the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), the power was turned off to the City Hall and a list of rooms and facilities without power was taken. Of course, the emergency generator promptly kicked in and power was restored to only some of these rooms and facilities. The message center was without power and we (RACES) resorted to flashlights. The power plugs in the message center remained off and so did the plugs in the EOC. In an emergency we would have had to run power in from outside or move the message center.

Action is being taken to add the message center to the emergency power circuits as well as the plugs in both rooms. It is nice to find the problems before they become real.

We found that the antennas work and we can get in and out of the message center with handhelds but there may be some desensing from by the dispatcher's transmitter. We also found that the 911 system needs a bit of firming up when the power changes over.

The second drill was a Packet Drill using the new portable stations. A report from that activity is given elsewhere in this newsletter. Thanks to KM6JM and KK6PA for conducting it.

A Bit Of Net Training.
by Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV
Each month we usually have a new Net Control Station (NCS) on the Monday night net on the 146.64 MHz SARC translator. Everyone should volunteer to take the net at least once a year for the training and to share in the load. Keep in mind that the NCS is also responsible for activating the net during a disaster or when a disaster seems to be a distinct possibility. The preamble will be modified and stations will check in without a roll call. This can lead to lots of doubling unless the stations listen carefully, and check in with their calls only. Do not make any reports or explanations during check in. Keep your check in calls very short. Once all the stations appear to have checked in the NCS should go down the list and make sure that they have the list complete and correct. The NCS may then ask for reports from individual stations. Net members should not transmit until invited to specifically by the NCS. The NCS should remind the net members of these rules or chaos will prevail.

It is hard to make iron clad rules regarding when to transmit and when not to. The best rule is simply not to transmit until asked to by the net control. If you feel that what you have to report is important simply say your call quickly and wait for net control to acknowledge you and ask for your report. Net control may ask you to "wait" or "stand by". Remain quiet and listen until called. Do not come on and explain why you think what you have to say is important. It is an NCS responsibility to get all the information quickly and correctly but also not to tie up the net. The NCS has to sort through the information and get what is the most important first and the member stations cannot evaluate this as easily as the NCS.

Eastern Kern County RACES Drill
by Hal Hazel KM6JM
A surprise, unannounced drill was conducted on Saturday morning, 20 November. The purpose of this drill was to exercise the capabilities of the Eastern Kern County RACES members in relaying message reports via voice and packet communications. In the drill scenario, RACES had been activated by the Eastern Kern County Radio Officer at the request of Kern County officials. RACES members were being requested to provide communications support at several emergency shelters. An additional duty was to log the evacuees into a packet database program (ARESDATA) to help keep track of the displaced people in the event that health and welfare checks were requested from outside agencies and to reunite separated family members.

The drill started at 1003 hrs with a general call out for all Kern County RACES members. Within minutes, Hal Hazel KM6JM, the coordinator for this drill, had fifteen members checked in with eight members being available for immediate assignment. Those eight were requested to grab their gear and report to the Kerr-McGee Center parking lot for station assignment.

Bill Seif W6WGS and Mark Slay KE6SMA were the first two RACES members to arrive. Mark brought one of the RACES Portable Packet Stations with him and Bill and Mark were promptly assigned the Leroy Jackson Park shelter. Monty Shinn W6PFR, Tom Ingram WB6EPD and Jerry Brooks KK6PA arrived next. Monty was assigned packet data entry duties from a list that shelter personnel had already filled out and would also be taking voice reports from shelters that did not have a packet station on site.

Jerry reminded the drill coordinator of the availability of the Ridgecrest Multi-Use (communications) Van and was promptly assigned voice and packet duties in that van. This proved to be useful while trouble shooting packet connection difficulties later in the morning. Roger Sellinger KF6PLD arrived about 1040 with another RACES Portable Packet station and along with Tom Ingram, departed for Inyokern Park to set up the equipment.

Connecting to the ARESDATA application via packet from Inyokern proved to be challenging. Due to the contour of the land, a direct link could not be established to the ARESDATA station nor to the WA6YBN-4 node. To solve this problem, RACES has a portable packet node that is capable of operating unattended approximately 72 hours. This node was set up at a site that would provide a good relay point between Inyokern and Ridgecrest. Unfortunately, a short developed in the onboard battery on the node radio and the node quickly became unavailable. Fortunately, the radio itself survived the melt down.

As part of the drill, the 146.640 MHz translator suffered a simulated failure thirty minutes into the exercise. Net Control quickly spotted this problem and instructed all participants to use 146.64 MHz simplex. A quick radio check with all drill participants found that each had made the shift. Shortly after 1100 hrs, while coordinating with Jerry in the Communications Van, it was determined that the 146.640 MHz translator was repaired and available for use again. Net Control made the announcement and again without losing anyone all drill participants hastily made the shift back to the translator.

When traffic on the primary frequency posed the possibility of delaying or preventing higher priority traffic from being passed, Net Control moved Jerry KK6PA and Mark KE6SMA to the Medical Net frequency to continue coordination on getting the portable packet station to work. This turned out to be a good move.

Towards the end of the drill, Net Control passed emergency drill traffic to Lloyd WA6KZV concerning a diabetic seizure victim. Lloyd rapidly took the message and simulated calling 911 for advanced medical help. Shortly after that, WB6EPD called Net Control with emergency drill traffic concerning a heart attack victim at the Inyokern City Park. After scrambling for paper and a pen, Net Control took the message for further relay.

Voice announcements were made throughout the drill reminding all who were listening that a RACES drill was in progress and requested that the frequency remain clear for drill and emergency traffic. I, as the drill coordinator, was very happy with the cooperation that all valley Hams showed during the drill. And to tell you the truth, I expected nothing less from the IWV hams.

While discussing the drill with several participants later in the day, I said that I was very pleased with the quick response to the call out on a day that many people are out of town. At least fifteen RACES members would have been immediately available had this been a real call out. Although this is not enough to staff a long-term requirement, it is more than enough to get things started.

Was I happy with the results of the drill? Yes and no. During the drill, there were more areas that did not work as planned than there were areas that went smoothly. I would like to have another drill in a month or so after we have a chance to fix the problems. I am not disappointed that we found the problems. I would have been worried if everything worked right. The purpose of having drills is to test our procedures and to see where we can improve. It sure is easier to fix things now rather than in the middle of a real disaster.

Are you interested in being a part of RACES? It is easier than you might think. All you need is a genuine desire to help and to spend a few minutes to register with Lloyd Brubaker WA6KZV, the Eastern Kern County Radio Officer.

IN THE MILL
New Badges Available
Treasurer, Ralph Frasier KQ6UU, has new badges for: KC6UTB Chris Stewart, KF6VAE Louie Shantler, KN6WI Larry Jenkins and KF6WSR Mike Alamo. See Ralph at a meeting to pick up your badge.

Show and Tell Program
The SARC Program Chairman, Ray Lingenfelter KF6LEE, is attempting to put together a Show and Tell program for an early Y2K SARC meeting. If you have a Ham related electronic construction project that you would like to tell about and demonstrate at a meeting, call Ray at 446-5908. Three or four or five of these short talks will make an interesting program and no one will have to assemble a long talk and demonstration.

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 e-mail

REPEATER HAPPENINGS
Relocation of 147.00 MHz Repeater

Work is progressing very slowly on the electronic and programming reconfiguration. The mechanical components still need to be mated to the new nineteen inch rack.

Two 150 foot lengths of semi-rigid, five-eights or three-quarter inch coax and connectors are still needed.

The one day, 26 November , window for installing the antenna on the tower was missed because primary personnel were out of town.

New Packet Repeater Site
Jerry Brooks KK6PA and Erich Muschinski KA6AMD are still working out the mechanical details for installing Erich's packet node into its new home on a mountain south of Ridgecrest. Hopes are to have the station operational before Y2K.

Little Lake Repeater
The 147.21 MHz Little Lake repeater is owned by Terry Downey N6TD in Lone Pine and funded by Johan Beyers N6PBT of Inyokern. The phone line has been permanently disconnected even though the autopatch has not. The link to Mazourka Peak is not working at this time. It will be rerpaired.

SARC Needs ARRL VE Liaison
Bill Maraffio N6PR will be leaving the area in the future. Bill has been the ARRL Volunteer Examiner SARC team liaison for several years. Having a team liaison who stocks materials makes the VE task much easier for local VE's. If you are interested in assuming the duty, call Bill at 446-4165.

SARC Needs Volunteer Examiners
With only seven extra class and two advanced class volunteer examiners in the Ridgecrest area, Bill Maraffio, VE Team Liaison, is having trouble finding the 3-4 VEs to man the six, semi-monthly test sessions. If you would like to assist the amateur radio community by becoming a volunteer examiner, call Bill at 446-4165 or check into the ARRL web site.

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 29 November
	Share account	$3,374.31
	Draft account	$2,025.13
	Total	        $5,400.44
	Obligated funds	
			$1,200.00 Relocate 147.00 repeater
	Balance	        $4,200.44

OLD BUSINESS

Minutes, Board of Officers Meeting
by Elvy Hopkins NØLV
Those present: Pres. Larry Merwin KE6YLG, 1st VP David Stone KC6UUR, 2nd VP Ray Lingenfelter KF6LEE, Treasurer Ralph Frasier KQ6UU and AIRWAVES editor Elvy Hopkins NØLV

Finding a rent free SARC meeting location was discussed. Elvy volunteered to contact Carroll Evans of the Maturango Museum for more information. Several means to establish a Roger Meng KA6CIE memorial were presented. Books for the Kern County library seemed to be a good one. Ralph still has a badge for Chris Stewart KC6UTB.

The BoO voted to donate Roger Meng's Astron RS-12A power supply to Erich Muschinski KA6AMD for use in the new packet installation.

Nomination Committee report: Bill Burns WA6KYZ, reported only one volunteer, for secretary, for Y2K.

There was a discussion on methods and means to improve SARC meeting attendance.

The meeting was adjourned at 1925 hrs.

HF propagation is great

Minutes, Membership Meeting
by Elvy Hopkins NØLV
The 10 November meeting was called to order at 1934 hrs. A Roger Meng KA6CIE memorial was discussed. Questions about the operation of the 147.21 MHz, Little Lake repeater were heard. The autopatch seems to be inoperable.

Nomination Committee report: Bill Burns WA6QYR and Charlie Hawthorne KE6WQR report that after canvassing the entire SARC membership by phone, only one volunteer for Y2K officer was found. Skip Robertson KC5UJX volunteered and, he can serve for only ten months before being transferred from the IWV. Nominations and volunteers from the floor were called for. There were none. It was moved and seconded to accept the current 1999 board of officers as part of the Y2K slate.

A 12 December Ridgecrest City Hall open house was added to the sign up sheet. A Monday, 15 November electrical power outage drill at the Ridgecrest City Hall was announced. Lloyd Brubaker called for volunteers for the 31 December Y2K disaster watch at various locations in Ridgecrest. The RACES membership list was circulated for updates.

Ralph Frasier KQ6UU described the trip to Victorville with Chuck Pierce WA6QFD and Elvy Hopkins NØLV. Chuck presented his program on radio controlled model aircraft and boats to the Victorville ARC. Dave Stone described his attendance to a Kiwanis and a mountain bicycle race luncheon. Kiwanis presented SARC with a certificate of appreciation and the Tenth Annual Ridgecrest Classic donated $500 to SARC.

The program was an ARRL video on spark gap communications. The 50-50 drawing netted $9 for Bob Wagner K6WAG. The meeting was adjourned at 2051 hrs.

FOR SALE FOR SALE FOR SALE
Yaesu FT51-R VHF/UHF dual band FM, handheld transceiver with FNB-38 battery, soft case, MH-19A2B ear piece and lapel mic, computer cable for programming the FT51-R, Yaesu ADMS-1 programming software, manuals, PTT/volume control for motorcycle handlebar with velcro attachment, ear piece attachment for use in motorcycle helmet, throat mic, custom built holder for attaching FT51-R to motorcycle handle bar, 18" dual band mag mount antenna. All for $499.00 Robert N. Lindeman KE6ZSF 371-9405 lindeman@ridgenet.net

FOR SALE FOR SALE FOR SALE
Betty Meng KA6CIF has donated the remainder of her husband Roger's KA6CIE ham gear to SARC. For purchase, contact Elvy Hopkins NØLV at 384-3589 .

Philmore 3 amp, 12 volt, regulated power supply $15. Pace P5403A HF, SWR/Power Meter $20. Lafayette SP-25 Headset $10. Archer universal, cigarette lighter power supply, 3-9 V, 300 MA. Ameco Morse Code course on two LP records transferred to cassettes. $Fr.ee.

FOR SALE FOR SALE FOR SALE
KLM 2M-2N 144-148 MHz, air dielectric, power divider, New In Box, N connectors $75 Elvy Hopkins NØLV 760-384-3589.

WANTED RACES WANTED
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),
  6. Printer (portable preferred for 12 VDC operation),
  7. Solar panel (for charging battery),
  8. 12 VDC storage battery.
Contact Jerry Brooks 446-2228 kk6pa@ridgenet.net

WANTED WANTED WANTED

Free standing tower, 50-80 ft., for tri-band beam and rotator. Will haul 200 miles to Ridgecrest CA. Bob Wagner K6WAG 371-1337 wagcons@aol.com.

Bill Maraffio N6PR wants two 300-400pF, 500 volt, variable capacitors like the ones used for tuning in old-fashioned, tube, superhet radios. A Hammarlund MC325M will also work. Contact him at 446-4165, or kcm_wrm@ridgecrest.ca.us.

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

Contacting THE AIRWAVES Editor
Elvy Hopkins NØLV at 384-ELVY or e-mail ehopkins@ridgenet.net.

See	ya	in	da    funny	paperz.	de NØLV

Ther otta be sumthin here?