2016-02 (Feb)

ARRL Sacramento Valley Section News - February 2016

February 2016 News

From the Section Manager

American Radio Relay League

The National Association for Amateur Radio

Sacramento Valley Section

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


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

Past Section News Archive

Here is the latest news from our section clubs and members. You can still send items for the February news to kp4md@arrl.org. This news page is usually updated on the weekend after submissions are received.If you haven't seen them, I encourage you to visit our website at www.arrlsacvalley.org and our Facebook and Twitter pages. The website offers multimedia content, web resource integration, ease of navigation and improved readability, especially on tablet devices. We have also started an archive of past section news pages. This is a work in progress and we solicit your suggestions for improvement. We will also continue to maintain our ARRL National website page.

Do drop by and say hello at our Amateur Radio booth if you plan to attend the California Four Wheel Drive Assn. Convention at the Marriott Rancho Cordova on February 20.

73, Carol Milazzo, KP4MD

American Radio Relay League

Sacramento Valley Section Manager


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

Mary Anne Balthrope, KE6EST, Silent KeyPosted February 12, 2016

Mary Anne Balthrope, KE6EST, became a Silent Key Friday noon, February 12, 2016. Mary Anne had been a member of River City ARCS for many years and was the 2012 recipient of the Lyle Aufranc Memorial Award. She designed and managed the River City ARCS logo clothing articles for 17 years.

Mary Anne regularly provided communications support for the March of Dimes, MS Walks, the California International Marathon, and for the Clarksburg Country Run for 14 years, during 12 of which she served as Net Control. Mary Anne and her husband Bob Balthrope were instrumental in developing and organizing communications safety systems for the equestrian community, including the Sweep Riders of the Sierra (SOS), the Western States Trail Ride (Tevis Cup), and the Lake Oroville Vista Endurance Ride (LOVER).

Mary Anne is survived by her husband Bob Balthrope KD6WTY, her children Carolyn Hendrick and Martin Swisher, step-children -Robert Balthrope Jr, Robin Morgan, James Balthrope, grandchildren-Alexis, Cody, Tyler and Taylor and great grand children- Riley, Claire and Kinsley.

A Celebration of Life will be held on February 27th, 2016 at 2;30 hours at Carlton Plaza located a 6910 Elk Grove Blvd. Elk Grove, CA 95758. In lieu of flowers the family requests any donations be made to Sweep Riders of the Sierra in Mary Anne’s memory.

(Photo courtesy of Ken Martin, KE6RMN)

ARRL Conventions and Hamfests

Eric June, KU6J, Silent KeyPosted February 3, 2016

It is with deep sorrow that we announce the unexpected passing on January 8, 2016 of Eric June, KU6J, of Truckee, CA. Eric was a great CW operator, traffic handler, member of our California Traffic Net, and ARRL Official Relay Station.

Eric was most recently a Summits on the Air (SOTA) activator and Northern Sierra region manager for SOTA. He will be sorely missed.

From Norm Lucas, WB6RVR, Official Observer Coordinator

Posted January 11, 2016

Do you have what it takes to be an ARRL "Official Observer?"

National Parks on the Air commences January 1, 2016

The Official Observer (OO) program has been sponsored by the ARRL for more than 85 years to help Amateur Radio operators assist each other to operate their stations in compliance with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations.

Official Observer appointees have assisted thousands of Amateur Radio operators to maintain their transmitting equipment and comply with operating procedures and regulations. The object of the OO program is to notify amateurs of operating and technical irregularities before they come to the attention of the FCC and to recognize good operating practices.

The OO program serves as the first line of "eyes and ears" for the FCC. It is the backbone of the Amateur Auxiliary. OOs are certified in the Auxiliary by passing a mandatory written examination.

The OO performs his/her function by observing rather than transmitting. They keep watch for such things as frequency instability, harmonics, hum, key clicks, broad signals, distorted audio, over deviation, out-of-band operation and other potential problems. The OO completes his/her task once the notification card is sent.

In substantive rule violations cases, OOs refer problems to ARRL HQ. After review by HQ staff, the OO may be requested to provide additional information that may be forwarded to the FCC for possible enforcement action.


    • Reporting to the ARRL Section OO Coordinator monthly on Form FSD-23.

    • Sending out advisory notices as needed.

    • Submitting good operator reports as warranted.


    • Recommendation of ARRL Section Manager

    • Pass an examination based on study of the ARRL's Amateur Auxiliary Training Manual

    • Full ARRL membership

    • Technician class license or higher for at least four years

The exam for becoming an OO is administered by US Mail from ARRL Headquarters in Newington, CT. All of the study materials and exam are provided by the League, and you can complete the exam at your own pace. It is the only appointed position where the candidate is required to successfully pass an exam, prior to their appointment. Interested and qualified amateurs can start the application process by going to the following link: http://www.arrl.org/fsd-187-application-for-station-appointment

If you need further information about the OO program, or would like someone to speak about the OO program at your next club meeting, please contact:

Norm Lucas (WB6RVR)

ARRL Official Observer Coordinator (SV)



From Duane Wyatt, WAØMJD, Section Youth Coordinator

Posted January 31, 2016

March 5 - Sacramento County History Day Exhibit

Duane Wyatt asks for volunteers to assist at an amateur radio demonstration at Sacramento County History Day at Inderkum High School, 2500 New Market Dr, Sacramento, CA 95835. Please e-mail duanewyatt@hotmail.com if you wish to participate

ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Youth Coordinator Duane Wyatt, WAØMJD, developed this Amateur Radio Exhibit featuring Communication by Morse Code.

Duane Wyatt, WAØMJD,

ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Youth Coordinator


(916) 677-9799

ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Technical Coordinator, VHF Award Manager, HF Award Manager and DXCC Award Manager Bob, WB6VYH reminds us he can count cards and check applications for VUCC and WAS and DXCC...............

Bob will be at some of the Ham Swaps this year and most likely Ham Club meetings throughout Northern California.

Bob will also be doing NPOTA at some of the parks and monuments in northern California and will be able to do applications there too.

Please contact Bob ahead of time at wb6vyh@arrl.net or 4wortman@comcast.net for information and appointment.


Visit the National Parks Service interactive map to find the California National Historic Trail and associated points of interest near you. NPOTA activations may also be conducted with permission from sites along the trail not under NPS administration, such as Sutter's Fort in Sacramento. In fact, NPOTA activations anywhere along the trail routes, even in urban areas with proper permission, may offer unique challenges and opportunities!

Be sure to read the NPOTA trail activation rules and instructions and register your NPOTA activation for a truly enjoyable experience and public outreach!

Important San Francisco Bay Area NPOTA Update

from Sean Kutzko NX9X, ARRL Media & Public Relations Manager

Posted January 21, 2016

The San Francisco Bay Area regional National Parks Service superintendent has instituted a policy that will permit only THREE NPOTA activations all year in these parks:

    • Eugene O'Neil National Historic Site (NS15)

    • John Muir National Historic Site (NS42)

    • Rosie the Riveter National Historical Park (HP37)

No activations from Port Chicago will be considered. Period. Operations from these sites will need to be well-planned in advance, with full approval by the ARRL and the NPS staff of the unit in question. Unannounced activations and mobile activations from the parking lots of these units should not occur.

January 16 Amateur Radio Demo at Ronald McDonald House

Posted January 17, 2016

In 2016, the National Parks Service (NPS) will celebrate its 100th anniversary, and radio amateurs will be able to help mark the occasion with the ARRL National Parks on the Air (NPOTA) event. The fun begins at 0000 UTC on January 1, 2016.

NPS entities within the Sacramento Valley Section are:

*Although some sites such as Sutter's Fort and the B.F. Hastings Building are under California State Parks administration, NPOTA activations may be conducted there with appropriate permission. "Operations within 100 feet of National Historic Trails are permitted at any point along the route. Operations from private property must receive permission." See NPOTA Rules 13(k) and (m).

ARRL headquarters advises amateur radio operators to contact and register with the corresponding local NPS unit administration in advance to inform them of planned NPOTA operations within their entity. Visit http://www.arrl.org/NPOTA for more information. Follow NPOTA activation updates on npota.arrl.org, Facebook and Twitter.

The California National Historic Trail - NPOTA (TR14)Posted January 31, 2016The California National Historic Trail (TR14) divides into many miles of branches within Northern California that offer plentiful opportunities to learn about California history and to conduct NPOTA activations throughout the Sacramento Valley Section. No admission fee is required along most of the trail. NPOTA trail activations only need be conducted within 100 feet of the trail itself. Operation from private property is prohibited unless permission has been received.

Posted January 31, 2016

The Sacramento County ARES February training meeting will be Saturday, February 6, from 0900-1200 hours at the Sacramento County Sheriff Florin Service Center, 7000 65th St, Sacramento, CA 95823.

Placer County ARES News

Posted January 31, 2016

In January the Placer County ARES group started with a new leadership team. John Hestenes (NT6ET) is the EC. Bob Brodovsky (K6UDA) is the AEC for Training, HF Teams and Ops-EC- Assistant . Carl First (N6CKV) is the AEC for VHF-Teams and Special Projects Coordinator. George Simmons (KG6LSB) is the AEC for Net Control Operations. Marty Machado (W6TOC) is the AEC for County Agencies Liaison & Logistics.

At the January 2, 2016, Placer County ARES Quarterly General Meeting we began three major thrusts:

    1. Development of a “Distributed Database (DDB)”, on USB thumb drives for each member, which is to contain only relevant, operations-related information files and which can be accessed by each member in situations when there is no internet access.

    2. Revision of qualifications for membership, deployment-ready status and various specialties. Along with this is a start on developing a “Friends of ARES” group to develop relationships with interested county agencies and entities, and including local radio operators that are not ARES members.

    3. Planning for the upcoming, county-wide Mass Casualty Incident (MCI 2016) exercise which is scheduled for May.

Submitted by John Hestenes, Placer County ARES EC.

Congratulations to John on his new appointment as Placer County EC!

Update from Modoc County ARES ECfrom Jim Linden N7JIL

Posted February 2, 2016

Modoc County ARES Emergency Coordinator Jim Linden, N7JIL sends this photo after the recent snows.

He writes, "Lots of snow here in Modoc and repeater antennas have several inches of ice crusted on them. Cuts down coverage a lot. See attached."

Jim Linden/N7JIL

ARES Emergency Coordinator, Modoc County


Modoc Emergency Radio Club/K6MER


New Year’s Day SOTA/NPOTA Activation

from Jordan KJ6NHF

Posted January 31, 2016

Amateur Radio Demonstration at Northern California Ronald McDonald House Kids Day in Sacramento, California. The participants were ARRL SV Section Youth Coordinator Duane Wyatt WAØMJD, ARRL SV Section Manager Carol Milazzo KP4MD, ARES District 3 Emergency Coordinator Greg Kruckewitt KG6SJT, Paul Grose N6DRY, Dwane Evans KG6KPW, Roger Cain KI6FYF, River City ARCS VP Paul McIntyre KC5JAX, and Hunter McIntyre.

The demonstration included CW contacts and phone contacts in the North American QSO Party on 20 meters using an Alinco DX-70TH and MFJ "Big Ear" antenna and 2 meter packet radio traffic exchanged with WinLink using a Yaesu FT-7900R transceiver and Kantronics KPC-3 Plus TNC. Photo album link.

Amateur Radio Licensing Class and Exam in Chico

Posted January 31, 2016

Golden Empire Amateur Radio Society (GEARS) will be holding a Technician cram Session on Feb 6th and we will test on the 7th. The location is the Search & Rescue classroom in Chico. We will start at 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM. Any questions call Gene Wright WA6ZRT (530) 345-3515. No charge for the class. The test will start at 2:00 PM on Sunday. The cost of the test is $6.50

I hope that we have a good turn out. Right now I know that we have 4 candidates. We could use more.

Gene Wright WA6ZRT, GEARS

Sacramento Amateur Radio Licensing Classes

Posted January 9, 2016

The Sacramento Sheriff's Amateur Radio Program will offer the following at the Sacramento Sheriff's Central Division, 7000 65th Street, Sacramento, CA 95823.

Class duration is from 6-9 pm.

For further information email nm3s@fastmail.com

Volunteer Exam (VE) Schedule Updates

Yuba-Sutter ARC Volunteer Exam Session

Posted January 31, 2016

The next VE session will be 5 March at 715 King Ave., Yuba City at 9:00 A.M. VE’s are needed to administer the exam. The elements for Technician, General and Extra class will be offered.

If you are planning on taking an exam you will need two forms of ID, at least one of them must be a picture ID. A fee of $15.00 is required. A calculator may also be used as long as it has had all of its memories cleared and there are no built in or preprogrammed formulas.

If you are upgrading to a higher class you need to bring your license and a photocopy of the license.

If you take an exam and pass, you can take the next higher class exam for no additional cost. If you do not pass and wish to try again an additional fee will be required.

BARK Repeater Club Volunteer Exam Session

Posted January 31, 2016

The BARK Repeater Club Will be sponsoring an FCC Licensing Test session:

Date: Feb 06 2016, Time: 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM (Walk-ins allowed)

Contact: Kenneth R. Wilson, (530) 305-4088,

Email: gramps55@gmail.com, VEC: ARRL/VEC

Location: LDS Chapel, 1405 Cottonwood St, Woodland CA 95695

Greg Kruckewitt, KG6SJT, ARRL Sacramento Valley Section District 3 Emergency Coordinator

Folsom ARRL Volunteer Exam Schedule

Posted December 22, 2015

Here is our updated exam scheduled for the first part of 2016:

    1. Thursday January 21

    2. Thursday February 18

    3. Thursday March 17

    4. Thursday April 21

    5. Thursday May 19

    6. Thursday June 16

All exams start at 6:00 pm.

Round Table Pizza (Small private room by the front door), 2793 E Bidwell St, Suite 100, Folsom, CA 95630

For information see http://ns6q.net/exams or contact Mike Kirkland, NS6Q at radio.ns6q@gmail.com.

73, Mike, NS6Q


Test location: SHINGLETOWN AREA RESOURCE CENTER, 31268 HWY 44 SUITE C, SHINGLETOWN, CA. 96088 Next door to the Post Office.

Testing begins at 10:00 AM. Candidates should arrive 15 to 30 minutes early. We accept walk ins.

Contact: Dar Walker W6IO, Shingletown ARRL VE Liaison, Wa6mxh@frontiernet.net, 530-474-3087

2016 SCHEDULE: Feb 20, Apr 16, Jun 18, Aug 20, Oct 15, Dec 17

Thank you and Happy Holidays, Dar Walker W6IO

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 US7 to §2.106 of part 2. The indicated affected areas are specified in http://transition.fcc.gov/oet/info/maps/us7/, 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°26' 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.

Posted November 28

New Year’s Day marked the beginning of the National Parks On The Air event. NPOTA, is a year long event sponsored by the ARRL to help celebrate the National Park Service’s 100th year anniversary.

While visiting with family in southern California during the holidays, I had made tentative plans to make a Summits On The Air Activation in Joshua Tree National Park on New Year’s Day. As the summit was in the National Park, I decided to make a joint SOTA and NPOTA Activation

There was an active solar storm earlier in the week with the Planetary K Index reaching as high as 7, so I decided to wait and see what the solar conditions were going to be like the morning of my Activation. It is very frustrating to try to operate a low power, portable station when the propagation conditions are against you. That morning the propagation reports and forecasts were favorable so I left Orange County at 5 A.M. and arrived at the trail-head before 8 A.M.. Inspiration Peak is 5,580 feet high and overlooks Palm Springs. It is a relatively easy one mile hike with about 700 feet of elevation gain. I reached the peak and was on the air a little after 9 A.M..

I was using my Elecraft KX3 with a new 45 watt backpacking amp for the first time. I ran the amp at 30 watts through a PAC-12, 1/4 wave, vertical ground mounted antenna. I operated on both 20 and 40 meters SSB for less then two hours and made a total of 138 contacts.

I didn’t arrive home to Placerville until 9 P.M., but it was well worth the effort to be able to visit Joshua Tree once again. I was very pleased with the number of contacts I made and I have plans to make more joint SOTA and NPOTA activations in 2016. Since participation in NPOTA requires that all logs must be entered using Logbook of the World, I also hope to earn my Worked All States Award by the end of the year.

Jordan, KJ6NHF

New Morse Code Class from the Samuel F. Morse ARC

Posted February 5, 2016

The SFM ARC will once again be running our 10 week CW beginners class beginning April 13th. This course will be 10 weeks long held once a week for 2 hours (7PM until 9PM) each Wednesday evening in Carmichael. If your members or someone they know are interested in taking our CW class we encourage them to sign up NOW. In order to offer each person the most attention possible, a very limited amount of students will be enrolled. Students will be taken on a first come first serve basis. You do NOT need to be a licensed operator to enroll in our class.

Everyone can benefit from this course! For those with no Morse Code knowledge this is an excellent course where your members and their friends will be taught the complete International Morse Code alphabet, numbers, pro-signs, how to adjust and send on a Morse Code straight key and more interesting general information than one brain can store! The goal of our course is to have all students up to speed around week 6, and on the air! This is also a great opportunity for those of your members who may have already taken our course before. This class offers a chance for returning students to brush up on their code, increase their speed, build on-air confidence and get a better understanding of the 'pro-signs' that CW radio ops use on-air.

The CW class is $40 for new members, and only $10 for returning members who bring their previously supplied Morse Key and Oscillator. As always, all our new students will receive a FREE Morse Code straight key and a Code Oscillator to keep at the completion of the course. These items are worth more than $40 by themselves.

This year the W6SFM expects to make available a NEW American professionally hand crafted collectors straight key for purchase made available ONLY to W6SFM CW class students! This key will be produced by a well known key manufacture in the United States. If your members or their friends are interested in signing up or need more information on this course, please be sure to have them send an email to admin@w6sfm.com. Please keep in mind that our classes tend to fill fast and we can only accept a limited amount of students. Therefore the faster you get them this information the better chance they will have of getting a seat in the class room. Thank you and we hope to see you at our next class!

73, Michael N6MQL, President W6SFM SFM ARC

Update from SOTARS/QCWA

Posted February 9, 2016


Our meeting is Wednesday, February 10th. Lunch is at eleven and Denny's also serves breakfast all day.

As usual the meeting will be called to order at Noon in the restaurant's back room.

The program for this month is ??

We really need someone to step up and take over the job of finding programs for the monthly meeting. When I joined the club it had an 'Entertainment Director' in charge of the programs.

We meet as usual at: Denny's Restaurant, 7900 College Town Drive, Sacramento, Phone (916) 383-7071, Near Howe Ave. and FWY 50

Please come and enjoy the good food and fellowship.

Update from the Nevada County ARC

Posted February 8, 2016

Message from our Fearless Leader (by our most fearless leader in waiting)

At the February 8 meeting we will be selling a bunch of stuff the club has accumulated over the last few years – most small, a couple of large items and all kind of old. Any of the items which have been checked out recently will be marked as such. Others are going to be condition “Unknown”. There is a list below of the items which will be on display at the meeting and they’ll be priced to sell. We are still trying to establish prices for most items, but, we want to get rid of them, so nothing will be too high. Those items which don’t sell will either be trashed or, if we think someone other than club members might be interested in them, we’ll try to get someone to take them to a swap meet for us.

Other than allowing time for you all to look over our “treasures”, there will be just a short bit of club business at the meeting (we won’t have a technical presentation), and a discussion of a new NCARC web-site – how it will look and a maybe some ideas on features it can have or to look for in the future. I also want to follow up with a suggesting by Jon Gicker, WA6TNC, and ask people to tell us about their first radio or radio station and what they liked about it.

So, bring a little spending cash just in case you see something you’ve always wanted, or something that you say – “whatever that is I want it” in the pile of stuff and hope to see you at the meeting.

73 Walt, N6HNS

List of club items for sale (also can’t rule out additional items may show up):

    • ICOM 765 HF Transceiver (this used to be the Radio Room transceiver until we got the Yaesu FT-990)

    • Autek Research QF-1A, SSB/CW/AM Filter

    • MFJ-492X Menu Driven Memory Keyer

    • Filter King 6 meter Converter

    • EICO Model 710 Grid Dip Meter, with coils

    • Testedparts.com RF Load

    • Henry Radio HRB-3 SWR Meter

    • Palomar Engineers IC Keyer

    • Vibroplex Original Standard (grey base) SN 222888

    • Heathkit V-6 VTVM

    • Fluke 8012A DMM

    • Straight key with code practice oscillator

    • AEA Pakratt, PK-232 Data Controller

    • MFJ-410 “Professor Morse” Morse Code Teaching Keyer

    • ArcherKit VOM

    • TRAC Model TE 284 Deluxe Message Memory keyer

    • A-Tronix, Code Reader, CR-200

    • Kenwood TR 7850 2M FM Transceiver

    • Radio Shack SWR Tester

    • MFJ-259 Antenna Analyzer

    • KenPro Model KR-500A Elevation Controller

    • MFJ-207 SWR Analyzer

    • MFJ-1118, Deluxe High Current DC Outlet

    • Heathkit Model HN-31, Cantenna Dummy Load

Update from the River City ARCS

Posted January 31, 2016


Last month there were 43 paid members, we now have 56. Thanks to all of you who have renewed their membership for the 2016 year. PayPal is available if you don’t want to pay by check or cash to renew your membership.

Our January meeting featuring Jordan, KJ6NHF gave all of us a primer on SOTA. If you weren’t there . . .

This month we will hear from Chris Huber, N6ICW (with assistance from Andy, W6AWS). If you ever wondered how our repeater system works, the intricacies, theory and operation will be explained.

Also in February on the 20th, we will be helping new hams who enjoy 4wd program their new radios. If you are available at the Marriott Rancho Cordova from 10-4 to help, let one of the officers or Board members know.

Our new Board met for the first time and continued to plan for the 2016 year. We are looking forward to the Club picnic, Farm and Tractor Days, and Field Day.

In March, Phil Sittner, KD6RM will demonstrate his 80 and 40 meter mag loop antenna. Our April meeting will prepare us for our fox hunt at the picnic.

Carol, KP4MD reported there were 2445 page views on our Web Site. All of us owe Carol a debt of gratitude for maintaining a great up-to-date place to find information for us and the world.

Again, our net control operators are keeping a list of program ideas for future meetings. Check in to the net and help us make plans for the future.

See you at the meeting, Bob, N6PGQ

Update from the Golden Empire ARS

Posted January 31, 2016


Hello all, I hope that with all of the rain that we have been having it is giving you some time on the air, communicating in whatever your mode and band of choice is!! It was wonderful seeing so many of you at our first club meeting of this year. Our next general club meeting will be held on Friday February 19th. Our program will be a mystery guest speaker, actually several so come on out and join into the fun!

Thank you to our teaching team of Rick -KI6VOS, Tom –W6JS, Michael – N6FAV and Chair Gene – WA6ZRT for your hard work and expertise in putting on the one-day Tech (Technician) class this coming Saturday morning at 9am – FB (fine business) on that Team! Thanks also go to Tom and the VE (Volunteer Examiner) team for the testing session this coming Sunday afternoon at 2pm.

We held the first Board meeting of the new year and I am excited and confident that we will accomplish a lot of great new things as a club this year. Thank you Rick, KI6VOS for taking on the role of Net Manager in organizing and streamlining the Tuesday night 2 meter net control operators, we appreciate everyone’s time as NCS (Net Control Station) each week. Everyone, if you have 2 meter capability please check in to the net, share what’s going on with you during the roundtable, let your signal be heard!

We are planning a wonderful Field Day this year. Michael Favor N6FAV has agreed to be Field Day Chair this year, so mark your calendar for June 24-26. Michael will be looking for the help of many to make this a huge, fun, interesting and educational event. Any time during that weekend that you can participate would be valuable, so let Michael know how you would like to participate.

This month we will be holding our first club breakfast in many years on February 27th at 9am at the Farmer’s Skillet located at the corner of Rio Lindo and Cohasset Rd, just off of Mangrove in Chico. We will join together in their back room to eat, laugh and tell tall ham stories. Come on out and meet new hams and rekindle old friendships.

A survey will be coming to you soon regarding our club. The club is nothing without it’s members and so your input is so much appreciated and valued. We are looking for your input on what the club means to you, what you would like to get out of the club and put in to it.

Our club is made up of varied years of experience and knowledge. I will endeavor to ensure that we as a club are inclusive and helpful to our newer hams and those to come down the wire soon. That’s why as you may notice in this article I spell out acronyms as we all may not know what they stand for. Look for more of these types of things this year at the club meetings. We need to be mentors to the new as mentors once were to most of us as we entered this incredible hobby.

“The Sky’s the Limit With Amateur Radio”

73 (best regards), Larry Marcum, KA6GND, GEARS President

Update from the Oroville ARS

Posted January 31, 2016

Greetings from the Oroville area,

The good news from the rain here (and snow in the Sierras) is that Lake Oroville is now less than 200 feet from its crest and rising slowly, but has room for a lot more water. The Palmyra and South Sandwich/South Georgia Islands DXpeditions have provided a delightful bit of distraction to those of us who chase the DX. W7XZ had the good fortune to get into VP8STI's (ATNO) log on 30, 20 and 17M, and K5P's on 30-10M (not ATNO, but added Phone and Data modes and five new bands for Palmyra). South Georgia Island (ATNO for this station if worked), VP8SGI, is on the air as this month ends.

OARS (http://w6af.org) held its January meeting on the 18th, with 22 in attendance. Election of 2016 officers was the first order of the evening, and the Board for this year is: President Joe Herman, WA6CAL; Vice President Erik Bayer, AF6EF; Secretary (staying on for another term) Dorence Young, WB6FBQ; Treasurer Gerry Vrooman, N6GCV; Board Members at large (also staying on for another term) Bennett Laskey, K6CEL, and Bill Curran, AG6ZT; most recent Past President Ron Osborne, KD7UHF. The program, presented by new President Joe, WA6CAL, was devoted to Broadband-Hamnet and its practical applications.

The monthly OARS Breakfast took place at Waffle Shop in Oroville on the 30th with a near record twenty five gathering for good food and good company.

The February regular meeting of OARS will take place on the 12th, 7 pm, at St. Paul's Parish Hall, 1430 Pine Street in Oroville. The doors are expected to open at 6 for a social hour prior to the meeting. The next major event for the club is providing communications assistance for the Feather Fiesta Days Parade in early May.

All the best to you and yours, Jim, W7XZ

Update from the Yuba-Sutter ARC

Posted January 31, 2016


Calling all Volunteers! The club is in need of people to step up and manage upcoming events for the club. Without your support the club can not add more activities to the schedule. I would love to see more events added; however, that means more involvement is required! To those who have donated your time for the growth of our hobby thank you. As your president for 2016 I will do my best to serve the club and make it grow; however, It can’t happen if the membership does not support the club. So remember I can only do as much as the membership wants.

Bike around the buttes will be April 16, and we are looking for volunteers for the event. The next general meeting will be held at the Yuba County Library at 7pm and Steve (K6TAZ) will be presenting on emergency preparedness and ARES. It is a good topic for our wet winter and upcoming spring. The next board meeting will be at the Red Cross on the 16th of February at 6:00pm. All are welcome to come to a club board meeting. If you have any ideas for the club, would like to volunteer, or just a complaint, please let me know or any board member know. Let’s make this club something that you can be proud to call yourself a member

Your 2016 president, Chris Price (KD6CP)

Update from the El Dorado County ARC

Posted January 31, 2016


Here’s hoping that this finds all of you well and as happy as can be.

Things have been getting back to normal From December’s mad rush to do all the things we need to do for family, friends and ourselves. We held out annual Winter Potluck on January 9th which was well attended and very enjoyable. W1RH set a new high bar for raffle prizes and door prizes. This year’s club officers introduced themselves and some very fine food was happily consumed. This is the second year we have delayed our pot-luck to January and it seems to be working out.

On my home front, I decided to use all “hollow” technology from the Heath Company as I have managed to collect a great deal of it. The process of restoring this equipment to good operating condition is proceeding apace requiring also the fabrication of a number of special coax cables. It has been a long project but I hope to get it on the air very soon.

It is not too early to begin planning our field day event, and I hope to initiate a few meetings with our knowledgeable past and present field day coordinators to see how we get this done and to see if we can improve in any way. I know that it is very much a DIY project, but we do have several mutual aid aspects that we do as a group such as the Porta-Potty arrangement and the Pot Luck / meeting.

73, Don, AF6ND

Update from the North Hills RC

Posted January 31, 2016

The North Hills Radio Club held their first meeting of the new year on January 19. Maynard Wright, W6PAP presented an interesting program on antenna tuners. It was well received.

As many of you know, our club usually has a hamfest on the third Sunday in May. This year will be no exception. However, the hamfest will be moving to a new location, The Carmichael Elks Lodge in Carmichael. This new location is actually an old location. A number of years ago, our club used to hold their meetings as well as the hamfest at the Elks Lodge. With this in mind, please don't show up at Natomas High School on the day of the hamfest or you'll miss out on all of the fun! We would sincerely like to thank Chris Huber, N6ICW and John Dyer, KJ6JD for putting this deal together for us. Please watch our web site www.k6is.org for further details.

The NHRC holds our monthly meetings on the third Tuesday of every month except for December. We meet at the former SMUD building here in Sacramento. It's at the northeast corner of Don Julio and Elkhorn Blvds. It's the same place where our good friends in the River City ARCS meet. If you live within driving distance of Sacramento on a week night, please come and join us.

Until next month, the best of 73 from all of us in the NHRC.

Sincerely, Doug Emerson, President, North Hills Radio Club, Amateur Callsign N6NFF

Update from the Sierra Foothills ARC

Posted January 31, 2016

Sierra Foothills ARC is in full swing to get Hamfest 2016 going. It happens on Saturday, March 12th from 7:30 - 11am and is an ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest. Location is in the Historic Loomis Train Depot. Last year a bunch of us started planning for the club's first swap. As ARRL PIO I tried to get a flyer or email to everyone in Northern California and Nevada. The 1st Hamfest was a success, so we are trying for an even bigger Hamfest this year. Besides, food & drink, Free Buyers parking, we will have radio demos and a bunch of hourly and main drawing "rewards". more info at: w6ek.org

The first meeting of the year went well. Our new officers got things going without a hitch. New Officers are: Orion Endres, AI6JB, President; Al Martin, NI2U, Vice President; Bruce Anderson, K6BAA, Secretary and Sharron Griffith, KK6RGV as Treasurer. You can see the Directors and other club folks at: http://w6ek.org/officers.html

Our club Meetings are the Second Friday each month. They start at 7:30pm and are held in the Rose Room of the Auburn CIty Hall. The club also hosts a monthly breakfast on the last Saturday at Mel's Diner (on HWY 49 north of I80) at 7:30am Everyone is always welcome to all SFARC events.

We also do ARRL VE testing the first Saturday, monthly, at Raley's on Douglas Blvd. & Auburn-Folsom Road. Starts at 8am, so please plan accordingly. All exams are given and everyone is encouraged to test for their license or upgrade. For more information, go to our website's VE Exams page, or contact: AL Martin, NI2U (530) 885-5112.

Listen in to the club on one of our nets. Every Thursday at 7:30pm is the Club Net. While we read a list for check-ins, everyone is invited to join in. There are satellite reports, ARRL report, club and area announcements and as always a "Mystery Question". Looking for Help? check into the ELMER Net every 1st and 3rd Wednesday nights at 7:30pm. We try to assist new (and older) operators by answering questions, providing guidance and some hands on where needed.

Our nets are held on the club repeater W6EK on 145.430 MHz, -06/ PL 162.2 Hz; 223.860 MHz -1.6/ PL 110.9Hz; 440.575 MHz +5/ PL 162.2 Hz

Happy New Year from SFARC! de WF6J

Update from the Western Placer ARC

Posted January 19, 2016

The 2016 WPARC Kickoff Party will be this Saturday (January 23) at 6:00 PM. We have confirmed The Old Spaghetti Factory at 731 Sunrise Ave. in Roseville and we have a “party menu” to choose from for dinner. The dinner includes a crisp salad, a main pasta dish, hot fresh baked bread, spumoni ice cream, soft drink, and gratuity. There is a flat charge for this of $20 per person which is quite a deal. Make sure to mark the date in your calendar. The Kickoff Parties are a lot of fun and give us a chance to socialize outside of our regular meetings. Remember to bring your spouse/XYL/significant other. We will also have our new Section Manager, Carol KP4MD, as our special guest. In addition, we have some special drawing prizes to start the new year. Also, remember to wear your club call sign ID.

NETS Wednesday and Thursday! Wednesday we have a 10:00 AM net on the club repeater, K6PAC, and as always, Katy KJ6YCP will be net control . It is a fun net and definitely growing. We will have two nets Thursday starting at 7:30 PM with the 2 meter net, followed by the HF net 5 minutes after the end of the 2 meter net. The 2 meter net will be on K6PAC, the WPARC repeater, at 147.300 (+) 179.9. Bill KJ6YCO is the new net manager. The HF net will be announced on the 2 meter net.

You might have noticed that I said KJ6YCO is the new net manager. Dennis KI6HHA is giving up the post and also his position on the WPARC Board. Unfortunately, Dennis is moving to Woodland and will be reducing his participation in the club. Dennis has been an exceptionally active member, introducing some valuable changes, starting a VE Team, and just generally working to make the club better. Please join me in thanking Dennis for all the effort he has put into the club and to wish him the best in his new QTH.

We do have new club officers for 2016. They are:

Bill KJ6YCO – President

No One – Vice President (lack of interest in the position)

Michael K6BUK – Secretary/Treasurer (we had to combine the Secretary and Treasurer positions due to lack of interest).

Clay K6AEP – Board Membership

Gary WA6IKE – Board Member

Arturo KK6NFB – Board Member

Katy KJ6YCP – Alternate Board Member

Steve N6HTV – Alternate Board Member

Don't forget the the ARRL Sacramento Valley Section has a new website with lots of good information. Check it out at: arrlsacvalley.org

If you know of any other Ham Swaps, Hamfests, or any other ham related events in northern California or western Nevada, email me and I will add them to the newsletter.

Thinking of the events in the Sacramento Valley Section reminded me that there are lots of nets in the area that are sponsored by other clubs. There are many different kinds of nets including HF, VHF, UHF, digital, and SSTV. For a full listing go to this link maintained by Assistant Section Manager Les W6TEE. (Please note new website!) Les does a great job of keeping the page updated: sites.google.com/site/arrlsacvalley/nets. You can also find the page by going to the new Sacramento Valley Section website and clicking on the “Nets” tab. arrlsacvalley.org

Michael Buck, K6BUK, mrbuck@pacbell.net

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

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