ARRL Sacramento Valley Section

ARRL Sacramento Valley Section News

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Check directly with groups for event schedule changes.

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Thursday, January 20
ARRL Sacramento Valley Section-Wide Net


On Thursday, January 20, 2022, ARRL Sacramento Valley Section will hold a Section Wide Net, first on the WD6AXM FM repeater atop Sutter Buttes near Yuba City on 146.085 MHz, plus 600 kHz offset, tone 127.3 Hz. Please wait for the call to the 2 meter ARRL Section Net after the 7 pm Yuba-Sutter ARES net has closed, usually around 7:20-7:30 pm Pacific Time.

For those who are unable to access the WD6AXM repeater, our HF net will commence IMMEDIATELY after the VHF SV net signs off, on the 75 meter frequency of 3880 kHz LSB +/- 3 kHz. Those who check in to the VHF net are encouraged to join the HF net if they are able.

Important: We will conduct the HF net on our 75 meter frequency despite the winter long skip conditions. If you do not hear net control over your radio, please check in anyway and listen for net control to acknowledge you via the Northern Utah webSDR at http://websdr1.sdrutah.org:8901/index1a.html?tune=3880lsb&zoom=5

All ARRL members, club presidents, Section appointees, and all appropriately licensed radio amateurs are encouraged to join us for the ARRL Sacramento Valley Section nets. Section News and items of regional and national interest to all radio amateurs will be the topics of discussion.

ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Wide Nets are conducted only on the third Thursday of such months as announced via official bulletin and on www.arrlsacvalley.org

American Radio Relay League

The National Association for Amateur Radio

American Radio Relay League is a 501(c)3 non profit organization.

Sacramento Valley Section

Serving Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo & Yuba Counties in Northern California

Sacramento Valley Section is located in the ARRL Pacific Division.

Sacramento Valley Section Web Resources

ARRL National Page:
www.arrl.org/Groups/view/sacramento-valley

Organization, Clubs, Calendar, Nets

Sacramento Valley ARES:
www.sacvalleyares.org SV ARES Brochure

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ARRLSacramentoValley

Twitter: www.twitter.com/ARRL_SV

Thanks to Greg Kruckewitt KG6SJT for maintaining our Section ARES web page and for assisting with our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Thanks to Les Cobb W6TEE for maintaining the Section Net list.

Submit Section News updates to kp4md(at)arrl.org

ARRL Conventions/Hamfests & other Regional Events

Past Section News Archive

Amateur Radio License Classes and Volunteer Exam (VE) Information and Schedules

COVID-19 Note: Please check with VE teams for availability.

Remote Video Sessions:

If you cannot find an in-person exam session in your area or if you would rather take the test via a remote video-supervised online session, you can search for online examination dates here: https://hamstudy.org/sessions. Click on the box “Show online” to only display the list of upcoming remote video sessions.

Getting Your Amateur Radio License

Before you go on air, you need to be licensed and know the rules. In the United States the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) grants Amateur Radio licenses to individuals who successfully pass a multiple choice written exam at a Volunteer Exam (VE) session.

The FCC currently issues three levels of amateur radio license: Technician, General and Amateur Extra.

The license exam contains multiple choice questions selected from lists that are published online at http://www.arrl.org/question-pools. Many individuals prepare for an exam session using self-study license manuals and online practice exams. From time to time, license preparation courses are offered that cover the exam material over several weeks. "Ham-Cram" sessions are also popular, where a several hours' review class of exam questions and answers is immediately followed by a license exam session.

Visit http://www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-radio-license-class to find a license class.

Visit http://www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-radio-license-exam-session to find a license exam session.

For more information on testing, preparation and study materials, see:

"So Now What?" - podcast for new hams

License Courses

COVID-19 Note:
Check with VE teams for availability.

2021 Ham-Cram Sessions - New Location

Posted April 21, 2021

Section member Joe Cardoza, KA6ROM, announces that his Citrus Heights VE Team will conduct their amateur radio Ham-Cram Technician License training and examinations on the following dates every other month at Compudigital Industries, 4480 Yankee Hill Rd, Ste 150, Rocklin, CA 95677.

The Ham-Cram and Exam dates for 2021 are:

    • April 24, 2021

    • June 12, 2021

    • August 28, 2021

    • October 23, 2021

    • December 18, 2021.

Meet at 9 am, exam at 10 am. Preregistration is required. Contact Joe Cardoza, KA6ROM, via email cardozas@comcast.net to pre-register.

Carmichael Elks VE Team 2021 Sessions

Posted April 21, 2021

The Carmichael Elks VE Team continue conducting in-person on the third Saturday of each month from 7:00 am - 8:30 am at the Carmichael Elks Lodge, 5631 Cypress Ave, Carmichael, CA 95608. COVID precautions are iniplace. Advance registration is advised but walk ins may be accommodated. Contact Vas Vyvoda at (916) 956-9221 or vvyvoda@gmail.com

Upcoming dates are:

May 15, June 19, July 17, August 21, September 18, October 16, November 20, December 18.

California Emergency Volunteers Ham-Cram Sessions

Posted May 1, 2021

The California Emergency Volunteers, Inc. offers 6 hour long "Get Your License in One Day" Ham-Cram sessions followed by a Technician Class license exam session. Contact them via www.cevol.org for more information and to register.

Redding ARRL VE Schedule 2021

Posted May 1, 2021

The Redding ARRL VE Team will be hosting exams on the following Saturdays in 2021:

  1. May 15

    1. July 17

    2. September 18

Our exam sessions are now being held at the City of Redding Parks Building, 20055 Viking Way, Bldg #4, Redding. Exams start at 10:00 AM and candidates must pre-register.

More information can be found at: www.reddingve.com or by contacting Steve K6KS at sjmosconi@gmail.com

SHINGLETOWN ARRL VE 2021 Schedule

Test Location:

Shingletown Area Resource Center, 31268 HWY 44, SHINGLETOWN, CA. 96088

Testing begins at 8:00 AM.

Candidates should arrive 15 to 30 minutes early.

Information at http://www.qrz/com/db/wo6p

Contact:

Dar Walker W6IO, Shingletown ARRL VE Liaison, w6iodar@gmail.com, 530-474-3087

TEST SCHEDULE:

2021: Feb 20, Apr 17, Jun 19, Aug 21, Oct 16, Dec 11

Dar Walker W6IO

Other VE Sessions - Schedule List (ARRL.org site)

Samuel F Morse ARC to offer Morse Code Instructional Course Sep 15-Nov 17

Posted August 24, 2021

The Samuel F Morse ARC will once again be running our 10-week CW for beginner’s course. This course will be held once a week for 2 hours (7 PM until 9 PM) each Wednesday evening. If you or someone you know are interested in learning Morse Code we encourage you to sign up NOW. You do NOT need to be a licensed operator to join our class. We will begin Wednesday evening Sep 15th (ending Nov 17th).

Everyone can benefit from this course! For those with no Morse Code knowledge this is an excellent course where you or your friends will be taught the complete International Morse Code alphabet, numbers, pro-signs, how to adjust and send on a Morse Code straight. Please go to www.w6sfm.com or contact Mike, N6MQL for more information: admin@w6sfm.com


January News - Under Construction

From the Section Manager

As we approach a hopeful soon return to normalcy, I extend a warm welcome to our many newly licensed hams and applaud our section members and clubs for continuing the virtual club meetings, virtual Field Days, online conventions, licensing classes and VE sessions. We look forward to soon resume our in-person activities with all necessary safety precautions. Thanks to you all for keeping our Sacramento Valley section alive and strong over this past year!

Section Manager Nomination

Thanks to our section members who have endorsed and submitted the nomination for my re-election as Section Manager. I appreciate your confidence and support and will gladly continue serving as your Section Manager if you so desire.

From arrl.org: "Whenever more than one member is nominated in a single section, ballots will be mailed from Headquarters on or before July 1 to full members of record as of June 10 which is the closing date for nominations. Returns will be counted August 24. Section Managers elected as a result of the above procedure will take office October 1."

"If only one valid petition is received from a section, that nominee shall be declared elected without opposition for a two-year term beginning October 1."

Jojo Melendres, KN6HTD Appointed Assistant Section Manager

Congratulations to Jojo Melendres, KN6HTD on his appointment as Sacramento Valley Assistant Section Manager. Jojo is a medical professional at the UC Davis Medical Center, a member of Air Force MARS, has lead the reactivation of the Hospital Amateur Radio Team, and will assist with the work of our ARRL Section Field Organization.

Peter Mason, N6ERL, Appointed Nevada County EC

Welcome to Peter Mason, N6ERL, as our new Nevada County ARES Emergency Coordinator. Thanks to Jason Eaton KJ6HNP for his past service in that position

ARRL SV Section Booth at May 30 Carmichael Elks Ham Swap

Please stop by our ARRL booth at the Carmichael Elks Amateur Radio Club Ham Radio Swap Meet on Sunday May 30 starting at 7:00 am through 1 pm at the Carmichael Elks Lodge, 5631 Cypress Ave, Carmichael, CA 95608. Talk-in is on the N6ICW repeater 147.195 MHz, +600 kHz offset, PL 123 Hz. The Elks will have water, coffee and maybe doughnuts and hot dogs for sale, all proceeds go to the Elks Lodge. There will be an electronic salvage trailer available for stuff you want to donate. This is a LEAVE NO TRACE event. We want to leave the Elks facility cleaner than we found it!

***COVID 19 PROTOCOLS***

PLEASE protect the Elks Lodge and yourself. Plan on leaving an empty space next to you, maintain appropriate social distance, and WEAR A MASK.

If you have questions you can contact John Dyer, KJ6JD by email jd3@johndyer.com.

ARRL Field Day is June 26-27! ARRL Field Day is an annual exercise and public demonstration of our emergency communications response capabilities. Radio amateurs throughout North America participate in this exercise during the last weekend of each June. Anyone with or without an FCC license is welcome to visit and participate in Amateur Radio at a Field Day site. Click to find a public ARRL Field Day site in your area.

Clubs: Be sure to add your public Field Day site to the ARRL Field Day Station Locator. Log onto http://www.arrl.org/field-day and click on the Field Day Site Locator link. Promote your Field Day event in your community, online, and use hashtag #ARRLFD on social media.

An ARRL Sacramento Valley Section-wide net is scheduled for Thursday, May 20. On Thursday May 20, 2021 ARRL Sacramento Valley Section will hold an ARRL SECTION-WIDE NET, first on the WD6AXM repeater on 146.085 MHz +0.6 MHz offset CTCSS 127.3 Hz IMMEDIATELY after the 7 pm Yuba-Sutter ARES net closes, then followed immediately by an HF net on 3880 kHz LSB +/- 3 kHz. All radio amateurs are encouraged to participate. We will issue an Official Bulletin reminder to all section members during that week. For further details see http://www.arrlsacvalley.org/#svnet

Paul Grose, N6DRY, Silent Key

posted April 21, 2021

We are sad to announce that long time River City ARCS member Paul Grose, N6DRY, passed away peacefully while having lunch with his wife Jeff at Camden Springs Senior Living in Elk Grove around 1:00 pm on Monday, March 15, 2021.

Paul was a long time ARRL member, served as Treasurer and Vice President of the Elk Grove Florin ARC, board member and treasurer for the River City ARCS and was the 2011 recipient of that club's Lyle Aufranc Memorial Award. Paul was also regularly active in 2 meter and SSTV nets, homebrewing, on WinLink and packet radio with Sacramento ARES, and regularly gave communications support to the Clarksburg Fun Run and the California International Marathon.

Condolences may be sent to Paul's wife Jeff Grose at Camden Springs Senior Living, 8476 Sheldon Rd Apt 126, Elk Grove, CA 95624. The date and place of a future memorial service are to be announced.

You can still send May news to kp4md@arrl.org. This website is visited most during the first week of each month, but do check back as it is often updated with late breaking news.

Our Section website, Facebook and Twitter pages are a work in progress, and your suggestions and submissions are always welcome.

73, Dr. Carol Milazzo, KP4MD

American Radio Relay League Sacramento Valley Section Manager

kp4md(at)arrl.org

You can always send compliments, suggestions and submissions for inclusion in our Section News to kp4md(at)arrl.org

Annual Armed Forces Day Cross-Band Test Set for May 7 – 8, 2021

Posted April 27, 2021

The US Department of Defense will host this year’s Armed Forces Day (AFD) Cross-Band Test, Friday and Saturday, May 7 – 8, in recognition of Armed Forces Day on May 15. The event is open to all radio amateurs. For more than 50 years, military and amateur stations have taken part in this exercise, designed to include amateur radio and government radio operators alike.

The AFD Cross-Band Test is a unique opportunity to test two-way communications between military and amateur radio stations, as authorized under FCC Part 97 rules. These tests provide opportunities and challenges for radio operators to demonstrate individual technical skills in a tightly controlled exercise in which military stations will transmit on selected military frequencies and will announce the specific amateur radio frequencies being monitored.

The schedule of military/government stations taking part in the Armed Forces Day Cross-Band Test and information on the AFD message is available on the MARS website.

Complete the request form to obtain a QSL card.

FCC Updated Radio Frequency Exposure Rules Become Effective on May 3, 2021

from the ARRL News April 12, 2021

The FCC has announced that rule changes detailed in a lengthy 2019 Report and Order governing RF exposure standards go into effect on May 3, 2021. The new rules do not change existing RF exposure (RFE) limits but do require that stations in all services, including amateur radio, be evaluated against existing limits, unless they are exempted. For stations already in place, that evaluation must be completed by May 3, 2023. After May 3 of this year, any new station, or any existing station modified in a way that’s likely to change its RFE profile — such as different antenna or placement or greater power — will need to conduct an evaluation by the date of activation or change.

“In the RF Report and Order, the Commission anticipated that few parties would have to conduct reevaluations under the new rules and that such evaluations will be relatively straightforward,” the FCC said in an April 2 Public Notice. “It nevertheless adopted a 2-year period for parties to verify and ensure compliance under the new rules.”The Amateur Service is no longer categorically excluded from certain aspects of the rules, as amended, and licensees can no longer avoid performing an exposure assessment simply because they are transmitting below a given power level.

ARRL members can watch a recording of the May 15 webinar on RF Exposure rules on the ARRL Learning Network.

Read the full story at http://www.arrl.org/news/updated-radio-frequency-exposure-rules-become-effective-on-may-3

RF Exposure calculators

  1. Paul VP9KF - shows compliance at a given distance

  2. Lake Washington Ham Club and Wayne N6NB

  3. Ham Radio School Excel Sheet - Shows MPE and compliance for a given distance

April 2021 Volunteer Monitor Program Report Released

from the ARRL News May 13, 2021

The Volunteer Monitor (VM) Program is a joint initiative between ARRL and FCC to enhance compliance in the Amateur Radio Service.

A General class renewal applicant withdrew his application after FCC notice that the renewal application would be held up pending review of Volunteer Monitor complaints. As a consequence, the Quakertown, Pennsylvania, applicant has no operating privileges.

Twenty-one operators in 14 states received Advisories because of their operation in the March CQ World Wide DX Contest. While making contacts with VC3T and VC2W, their LSB signals extended below 7.125 MHz, which is the lower limit of the 40-meter amateur phone band.

Volunteer Monitors participated in a nationwide training program on April 7 that was conducted by ARRL and the FCC.

The Volunteer Monitor Coordinator had two meetings in April with FCC Enforcement Bureau personnel.

The totals for VM monitoring in March were 1,394 hours on HF frequencies and 2,515 hours on VHF and above frequencies. -- Thanks to Volunteer Monitor Coordinator Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH

EmComm = Emergency Communications

Communicators Needed for June 16 Pony Express Re-Ride 2021

Posted May 17, 2021

The National Pony Express Association has scheduled the 2021 Re-Ride to start in Sacramento on June 16, 2021. https://www.nationalponyexpress.org/re-ride/current-reride/

Dennis Klaman – N6KLA – is the communications coordinator for the California portion of the ride. He is needing radio operators and Net Control operators to take specific shifts in support of the ride. The shifts will operate from locations along the Highway 50 corridor.

This is a fun and interesting event supporting a historical society that is just as passionate about their hobby as we are about our hobby.

Contact Dennis Klaman to help with this event. dennis.klaman@gmail.com.

Jay Ballinger - N6SAC

Emergency Coordinator Sacramento County ARES

Sacramento County ARES - Consider being a Net Control Operator

posted May 5, 2021

We could use some help with more of you participating as Net Control.

We have a dedicated, yet small, group of members who reliably perform these duties every single week. Sometimes, because of availability, our Net Control Operators handle our weekly Net more than once a month. It would be a big help if we could get more of you to join our Net Control ranks. And, I’ll make you a deal – you can participate as much or as little as you like if you at least give it a try.

Net Control Tutorials

  1. Net Control Training - 101

  2. Net Control Training - 102

Jay Ballinger, N6SAC, Sacramento County ARES Emergency Coordinator

http://www.sacramentoares.org

50 W PEP Maximum Power Limit Area on 70 cm

A little recognized portion of FCC Part 97 regulations applies to 420-450 MHz operations in most counties in our Sacramento Valley section:

47 CFR §97.313 (f) No station may transmit with a transmitter power exceeding 50 W PEP on the UHF 70 cm band from an area specified in footnote US270 to §2.106 of part 2. The indicated affected areas are specified in http://www.arrl.org/us270, in the State of California within a 240-kilometer (150 mile) radius around locations at Beale Air Force Base, California (latitude 39°08' North, longitude 121°21' West).

More information on the additional impact on 70 cm repeater stations is at http://www.narcc.org/NARCC-ARRL-PAVE-PAWS-Update-2014a.pdf

The Amateur Radio Service shares the 70 cm band on a secondary basis with the US Government which has priority. The US Department of Defense routinely monitors and locates signal sources on these frequencies. Our voluntary cooperation is mandatory to avoid interference with the Pave PAWS (Phased Array Warning System) radar at Beale AFB and thus to assure our continued access to these frequencies.

More information and videos on Pave PAWS

ARRL Sacramento Valley Section-Wide Nets

ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Nets are conducted only on months when announced, on the third Thursday of that month following the 7 pm Pacific Time Yuba-Sutter ARES net on the WD6AXM 146.085 MHz +0.6 MHz offset, CTCSS 127.3 Hz FM repeater, followed by the HF Section Net on 3880 kHz LSB +/- 3 kHz. During spring and summer months the HF net may be conducted on 5330.5 kHz USB as propagation permits.

All Sacramento Valley Section radio amateurs are welcome to check into our Section Nets. The nets carry announcements of interest to our section and test our section-wide station communication capabilities.

Don't have an HF radio or antenna? Click a link and Listen to us on a web receiver.

Hourly Northern California NVIS Observations

This chart shows colors that represent the recommended HF frequencies for contacting stations for a particular hour.

Both stations should use the SAME frequency denoted by the color at the location of the target station.

The chart is in Universal Time (UTC).

More information at http://www.sws.bom.gov.au/HF_Systems/6/6

Radio Frequency Interference

posted February 3, 2018

ARRL and the FCC have a cooperative agreement in radio frequency interference matters. You may submit interference reports together with your supporting documentation to ARRL EMC Engineer Mike Gruber W1MG who then files the report with the FCC Gettysburg office.

You may also contact our Section Technical Coordinator Bob Wortman, WB6VYH for assistance. More information is posted under the "From the Section Manager" notes in the November 2016 Section News - Carol KP4MD

Bob Hess, W1RH, shares this helpful web page by NK7Z for identifying sources of Radio Frequency Interference http://www.nk7z.net/rfi-snapshots

Keep Our Digital Transmissions Legal on 60 Meters

Posted January 29, 2017

Our decreasing solar activity and residential antenna restrictions have attracted increasing numbers of radio amateurs to operate CW and weak signal digital modes on our lower HF frequencies including 60 meters. The five frequency channels that US amateur radio operators share on a secondary basis with US federal government users on 60 meters (5 MHz) pose unique requirements for CW and digital operators. As explained on http://www.arrl.org/60m-channel-allocation, each US radio amateur emission on our 60m channels must be precisely centered in the center frequency of each assigned channel, that is, 5332.0, 5348.0, 5358.5, 5373.0 or 5405.0 kHz. Thus, for example, a CW signal on channel 3 (USB Dial frequency 5357.0 kHz) must be precisely on 5358.5 kHz. The same ARRL page explains that each digital emission must also be centered precisely in the channel center.

This may appear unreasonable to radio amateurs because a 2.8 kHz channel can accommodate many digital and CW transmissions simultaneously, and requiring multiple stations to operate on the same exact frequency would result in mutual interference. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)* explains this requirement in https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/7021871884.pdf which states: "Allowing multiple emissions within the necessary bandwidth of the widest authorized modes (2.8 kHz) increases the possibility of harmful interference from secondary amateur stations to primary federal stations, and would make it more difficult for a federal station to identify an interfering amateur station. In addition, NTIA is concerned about the aggregate equivalent isotropically radiated power from multiple amateur stations transmitting within a single 2.8 kHz channel. Accordingly, NTIA requests that 47 C.F.R. Section 97.303(h) continue to require that amateur stations transmit only on the five center frequencies allocated to the amateur service." (See http://www.arrl.org/what-the-fcc-rules-say-97-303-h)

Observed Violations of US 60 Meter Frequency Regulations

FT8/JT65

This screenshot photo shows digital signals received on 60 meter Channel 3 (5357 kHz USB dial frequency) from 0300-0309 UTC on January 29, 2017. In the photo, the 5357 kHz dial frequency is at 0 Hz on the left side of the waterfall and the 5358.5 kHz channel center is at the 1500 Hz mark. Decodes of several US radio amateurs are seen transmitting digital emissions simultaneously on various frequencies throughout the channel 3 frequency range 5357-5360 kHz. This is the familiar appearance of a digital waterfall display on all other amateur radio bands; however, it violates the NTIA requirement that each US radio amateur transmission be centered on the 1500 Hz mark (the 5358.5 kHz channel center frequency).

WSPR

The link http://wsprnet.org/olddb?band=60&sort=callsign&reverse=on&unique=on lists WSPR mode emissions on the 60 meter band. One can scroll down that list and see how many A, K, N and W call signs have been transmitting WSPR mode on 5288 kHz outside the authorized 60 meter center channel frequencies.

US WSPR transmissions continue to be observed on the WSPR software default 60 meter frequency of 5288 kHz, a completely unauthorized frequency for US radio amateurs.

Each licensee has the final responsibility for the lawful operation of his or her station. Unfortunately, the increasing automation in our radios has apparently accustomed some to falsely assume that the radio will correct for operator carelessness and ignorance of regulations. Our cooperation with NTIA requirements is essential for our continued access to the 60m channels and for possible future access to the new ITU worldwide 60 meter allocation at 5351.5 to 5366.5 kHz. (See http://www.arrl.org/news/view/arrl-asks-fcc-to-allocate-new-5-mhz-band-retain-channels-and-current-power-limit and http://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-invites-comments-on-arrl-petition-to-allocate-new-5-mhz-band). Please be aware of these requirements if you intend to or currently operate CW or digital modes on our shared 60m allocations. The Amateur Auxiliary is documenting this matter and hopes to raise its awareness in the wider amateur radio community.

-Carol Milazzo, KP4MD

*The NTIA is the federal authority that coordinates radio spectrum use for the US military and federal government while the FCC serves in this capacity for US civilian radio spectrum users.

E-mail compliments, suggestions and submissions for inclusion in our Section News to kp4md (at) arrl.org

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