2016-03 (Mar)

ARRL Sacramento Valley Section News - March 2016

March 2016 News

From the Section Manager

American Radio Relay League

The National Association for Amateur Radio

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 Flyer


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 March news to kp4md(at)arrl.org. I try to update this news page by each the weekend after submissions are received. This month's National Parks on the Air feature focuses on the Pony Express National Historic Trail (TR15). This trail offers many convenient opportunities for NPOTA activations within our section

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

Mark your calendars and don't miss the Sierra Foothills ARC Hamfest on Saturday, March 12 from 7:30 am to 11:00 am at the Historic Loomis Train Depot. I'll see you there!

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

From Duane Wyatt, WAØMJD, Section Youth Coordinator

Posted February 27, 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(at)hotmail.com if you wish to participate

April 3 - Pony Express Anniversary NPOTA/Special Event Station N6P

2015 ARRL Pacificon Photos

ARRL Hamfests and Convention

Amateur Radio License Classes and Volunteer Exam (VE) Schedules

June 4 - Sutter Roseville Medical Center One Day License Review Class and Exam

Posted March 13, 2016

SPEAKER: John D. Hestenes, Ph.D., Emergency Coordinator, Placer County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), Member, SRMC Emergency Preparedness Committee, Member, Western Placer Amateur Radio Club

DATE & LOCATION: Saturday June 4th, 2016, TIME: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sutter Roseville Medical Center, 1 Medical Center Plaza, Roseville, CA 95678, Conference Room 16

General Course Objectives: General Course Objectives:

    • Discuss HAM Radio Operations and use in the Healthcare Environment

    • Provide participants with everything they need to know to pass the FCC Technician license exam.

    • Discuss HIPAA privacy requirements when sending patient or personal information via ham radio.

    • Discuss how you and your organization can contact, train and work with local ham radio operators.

Prerequisites/Study Material /Study Material: Instructions will be provided and sent to you via e-mail upon registration. Please provide a valid e-mail address upon registration so the material can be sent to you.

Registration/Cancellation: Registration/Cancellation: No walk-ins allowed. You must be pre-registered for the course no later than May 10. Space is VERY limited, so contact the SRMC Education Department at 916-781-1278 or e-mail Soraya Shadwick at shadwism(at)sutterhealth.org. Cancellations should be received at least 72-hours prior to the course if possible. Lunch is available at the cafeteria next to the class room. Course Fees: There is no fee for the course itself. However you must bring a $15.00 check payable to “ARRL VEC” for the test fee if you are taking the FCC test after the class. No cash or credit cards.

Continuing Education: This program is offered by a CA Board of Registered Nursing Accredited Sponsor, Continuing Education Provider Number CEP442 and California EMT-P/BLS Continuing Education Provider Number 65-0014. Successful participants may report 8-hours of continuing education. No partial credit.

* In accordance with the BRN, certificate of completion cannot be issued to participants who arrive more than 15 minutes late or leave more than 15 minutes early.

Download Information flyer

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

Morse Code Beginners' Class

Posted February 27, 2016

Due to the overwhelming popularity of the W6SFM CW Beginners class the SFM ARC is gearing up to start another CW Beginners class starting April 13th 2016. Students in our class will all complete with a good grasp on their entire alphabet, numbers and CW Pro-signs. Students are taught proper Sending and Receiving methods. Students will be provided with a Morse Code Straight Key and an Oscillator to keep and use on-air with their home stations.

The SFM ARC CW (Morse Code) class is a 10 week course held once per week for 2 hours. Our goal is to have all students on the air operating conversational speed CW by week 6.

If you or someone you know is interested in attending our next CW course please email the club at admin@w6sfm.com for more information. We hope to see you there!

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.

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

Redding ARRL VE Schedule

Posted March 1, 2016

The Redding ARRL VE Team will be hosting exams on the following Saturdays in 2016:

    1. March 19

    2. May 21

    3. July 16

    4. September 17

    5. November 19

All exam sessions will be held at Redding BloodSource at 1880 Park Marina Drive in Redding. Exams start at 10:00 AM and candidates are encouraged to pre-register.

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


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.


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


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

Dar Walker W6IO

Other ARRL VE Sessions - Schedule List

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

Duane Wyatt, WAØMJD, has organized a National Parks on the Air activation to mark the 156th anniversary of the April 3, 1860 inauguration of the Pony Express. The Special Event Station N6P will showcase the historic and current day role of Morse Code and the Amateur Radio Service and will be on the air from 0900-1400 Pacific Time (1600-2100 UTC) in the Old Sacramento Visitor Center in the B.F. Hastings Building, 1002 2nd Street, in Old Sacramento, the historic western terminus of the Pony Express National Historic Trail (TR15). Operation is planned on 40, 20 and 2 meters. Check Facebook and Twitter for late and real time updates.

Duane Wyatt, WAØMJD,

ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Youth Coordinator


(916) 677-9799

From John Stettler, KI6DWP, Section Public Information Coordinator

Posted March 7, 2016

Upcoming Events

    • Greetings, Here are some events that may be of interest. SIERRA FOOTHILLS RADIO CLUB - SATURDAY , MARCH 12TH LOOMIS TRAIN DEPOT, 3640 TAYLOR RD.,LOOMIS,CA. starts 0730 - 1100 hours. INFO@W6EK.ORG



From Bob Wortman, WB6VYH, 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(at)arrl.net or 4wortman(at)comcast.net for information and appointment.


From Norm Lucas, WB6RVR, Section Official Observer Coordinator

Posted January 11, 2016

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

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. Responsibilities:

    • 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)



National Parks on the Air commences January 1, 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:California National Historic Trail (TR14) - Sutter's Fort - Sacramento*

*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 Pony Express National Historic Trail - NPOTA (TR15)Posted February 27, 2016The Pony Express National Historic Trail (TR15) traverses Northern California and offers many opportunities to learn about its history and to conduct NPOTA activations in our 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.

Visit the National Parks Service interactive map to find the Pony Express Historic Trail and associated points of interest near you. NPOTA activations may be conducted with permission from sites along the trail not under NPS administration, such as waymarker monuments remount stations and the B.F. Hastings Building in Old Sacramento. In fact, NPOTA activations anywhere along the trail route, 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!

March 29 - Sacramento Valley Section Emergency Coordinators to Speak at California Primary Care Symposium

Posted March 13, 2016

Modoc County EC Jim Linden N7JIL and Placer County EC John Hestenes NT6ET will present a one hour session on the topic of: What is “Ham Radio”? How Health Care Workers can Engage Local Ham Operators Before We Need Them at the March 29 Emergency Preparedness Symposium of the California Primary Care Association. Jim Linden is the Assistant Administrator of the Canby Family Practice Clinic, and John Hestenes is a member of the Sutter Roseville Medical Center Emergency Preparedness Committee.

The symposium description and schedule can be found at: http://www.cpca.org/index.cfm/training-and-events/2016-emergency-preparedness-symposium/

Posted February 27, 2016

The Sacramento County ARES February training meeting will be Saturday, March 19, from 0900-1200 hours at the Sacramento County Sheriff Florin Service Center, 7000 65th St, Sacramento, CA 95823.

ARES Balun/Antenna Build Session

Posted March 8, 2016

Greetings to all ARES members!

This concerns the upcoming antenna build meetings where we will be building an HF trap dipole antenna (with balun) that will work on 40, 20, and 15 meters. If you’re not interested in doing that, you need read no further. Thank you.

If you ARE interested, please read the rest of this email because it will tell you what you need to do to participate in the antenna builds. I’ll list the basic facts first, then do some Q&A which I hope will help.

Here's a picture of the balun and antenna we will build to show you what it all looks like when completed. The balun has a eye bolt at the top (not visible in this photo) for hanging, as well as connectors for feed line and antenna wires. The antenna has a 20 meter trap in each wire and an insulator at each end. Where: The build will be at Fred and Bonnie Sellstrom’s place in Wilton. Address is 11811 Walmort Rd. in Wilton, CA.

Fred and Bonnie have been kind enough to allow us to use their nice workshop and grounds to do all this. Fred is also donating some pipe and doing some machining to prepare some parts needed for the baluns. (Thanks, Fred!)

When: Dates are planned for 4/16/16 for the balun build; 5/21/16 for the rest of the antenna (you will need the balun to build the antenna). We’ll get started at 9:00 each day. I ask that everyone arrive ON TIME so we can all get started promptly.

Deadline for signing up: 4/1/16. No new sign-ups will be processed after this date.

Cost: $30. I’m sorry, but unfortunately the several vendors I must order the parts from simply refuse to send me any of those parts unless I send them money in return. Go figure! The $30 charge will cover the materials needed to make both the balun and antenna. I am not making any profit on this, believe me.

Below are some Q&A that will help explain things. PLEASE READ THEM ALL!

Q: What if I miss the deadline for signing up?

A: You will not be able to participate. This isn't to be mean, but because I have to place orders with several different vendors to get all the parts we need. After I get the parts, I have to machine some of them myself to go into the kits. Fred is also doing some machining. This all takes time, and I’ll also be teaching some ham classes (and doing a VE session) in both March and April, so I need to get started early. Signing up is not complete until I have your money in my hot, little hand. Therefore, you must see to it that I receive your money before 4/1!

Q: How do I pay?

A: $30 cash (exact change, please) or a check made to Mike Abernathy for $30. Best way to pay is to bring your cash or check to the March ARES meeting on 3/19. If you can’t make the March ARES meeting and would like to sign up, you can mail a check to my postal address, which is available on QRZ. In case anyone doesn’t know, my call sign is NM3S. If you get close to the deadline, you can bring the money or check by my house, but email me first to arrange the meeting.

Q: $30 is a fair amount of money. What do I get for all that?

A: You get all the parts you need to build both the balun and antenna. You will get a kit for each item at the appropriate build. The kits will have all materials you need to build the balun (on 4/16) and antenna (on 5/21), except solder, PVC cement and silicone sealer, which will all be available at the build site. The kits will include items like magnet wire, an SO-239, stainless steel hardware, sandpaper, heat shrink tubing, antenna wire, PVC cores, coax, and so forth.

Q: What if I can’t make one or both of those build meetings and I’ve paid my money? Will you refund my $30?

A: Sorry, but no. As the saying goes, ALL SALES ARE FINAL. If you miss a build meeting, you will receive your kit(s) at a time and place mutually convenient (the next ARES meeting comes to mind). Also, I will NOT promise at this time to help anyone who misses the build sessions to assemble their kits later on. Keep in mind that several folks in ARES will know how to build the balun and antenna after we’re done. One of them may be willing to help you. We may also repeat this build at some future time, if there is a demand for it and Fred and Bonnie can stand it.

Q: Can I bring some of my own materials to save paying you the full price for the kit?

A: Sorry, no substitutions or partial kits. It just makes things too complicated.

Q: Do I need to bring anything to the build sessions?

A: An assortment of small tools would be helpful. Ideally, you should have a small pair of needle nose pliers, wire cutters, and a small “straight” screwdriver. A set of small ¼ drive sockets would also be helpful. We will have soldering stations and provide silicone sealer and PVC cement (balun build only), and heat guns (antenna build only). I will provide an antenna analyzer at both sessions to test the baluns, the traps and to tune the antennas. If you have an analyzer of your own, you can certainly bring it.

Q: What will I learn from all this?

A: You can learn things like what baluns do (aside from the obvious) and how they work as well as get some practical experience making one. You will also learn a bit about how traps work and how to calculate and build them and how to calculate and tune a dipole correctly after making just one measurement with an analyzer. After doing these builds, you should be able to design and build other dipole antennas that work properly.

Q: Will my finished antenna actually work?

A: It certainly should. Part of building the antenna will involve tuning it for both 20 and 40 meters. I built mine the same way you will, and I've used it a bit on both 20 and 40 without and with a tuner. It works fine. I’ve mainly used it for NVIS, but it also works nicely for longer range, especially if you can get it high enough. At only 15 feet up, I’ve worked New Mexico and Colorado on 20 meters. If it were up at the proper height of ½ wavelength or more, it should work as well as any dipole. Also, since a dipole works on odd harmonics, it should work well on 15 meters (7 MHz * 3 = 21 MHz, which is 15 meters). This should make a great little Field Day antenna as well as a good EMCOMMS/NVIS antenna.

Q: Will this antenna hold up outside in weather?

A: Yes. The wire will be Radio Shack outdoor speaker wire. It is UV proof, and I’ve made a lot of antennas with it. My main HF antenna (a 40 meter full-wave loop) is made from it and has been up over 5 years, and it works fine. The hardware will be all stainless steel. The balun needs to be sealed with silicone sealer (which we will have at the build session) to keep water out. You also need to paint the PVC pipe to protect it from UV radiation. If you do that, you can leave it up outside, and it should last as long as any balun and dipole.

If you have any further questions, do not reply to this email. Instead, please email me at nm3s@fastmail.com.

73's, Mike A, NM3S

Club and Member News

Donna Ranger, K6DLR, Silent Key

Posted February 27, 2016

We are saddened to report a new silent key.

Donna Ranger, K6DLR, the wife of El Dorado County Amateur Radio Club member Jerry Ranger, K6GER, recently passed away from the complications of cancer.

(Photo courtesy of El Dorado County ARC Circuit)

Sierra Foothills ARC Hamfest Media Hit

Posted March 13, 2016

We now have an on-line video of the Hamfest 2016, including KMAX-TV's Good Day Sacramento's on-air segment and still photos.

We have a bunch more video and stills, but are in process of editing them all.

Thanks to everyone who came out to support the Swap!

73, Carl, WF6J, ARRL PIO, Sierra Foothills ARC

Update from the Nevada County ARC "Nuggets"

Posted March 13, 2016

Message from our Fearless Leader

Welcome to March. There is a ham swap meet scheduled in Loomis for the Saturday before the meeting (March 12), but we’ll have to see if the weather behaved or created problems. Burl Rogers, K4VYL, and Doc Dashiell, NM6K, are planning to set up a couple of tables at this swap meet so we should have a report at the meeting on the swap meet and the weather. If it turns out to be nice weather that day, I also may get down there and if I do I’ll tell you all a little about it.

Since I actually retired last year, I’ve been trying to get an electronics workshop going in a small downstairs room at home. So far, it’s more of an electronics storage area, but I have been making some progress. I also just recently decided to get a multi-year advance on my allowance and purchase a couple of new pieces of test equipment – an entry level Digital Storage Oscilloscope (DSO) and the nice bench top Digital Multi-Meter (DMM). I plan on bringing the DSO to the meeting and will provide a short, simple presentation on it. So, if you’ve any interest in DSOs you might want to check it out.

Around the home I’ve also been continuing to thin out the smaller trees on the property and have been looking at maybe taking down a couple of larger trees – mostly to make it easier to run a long wire antenna. And, while a new wire antenna may have to wait, I always enjoy looking at the property with an eye on possible locations for new antennas.

Also at the meeting, we will have some more details on a new NCARC website. Cal McKitrick, AI6MC, has been researching this and is also willing to set up our new website, so come to meeting prepared to discuss a NCARC new website.

As you can see from this column, I don’t have a lot to report on this month, but I hope some of you will find the DSO presentation somewhat interesting.

See you at the meeting. 73 Walt, N6HNS

Update from the Sierra Foothills ARC

Posted March 8, 2016

Hamfest 2016 - First area swap of the year is looking to be bigger than last year. Saturday, March 12, from 7:30am - 11am is the time and the Historic Loomis Train Depot Plaza is the place. FREE parking, Coffee & Donuts available, plus serial linch deal at Taylor's with purchase of a drawing ticket. Something for everyone, bring the family and come join us.

General Meeting - The 2nd Friday, Monthly at Auburn City Hall, 7:30pm Every one is welcome.

VE Testing - March 5th - First Saturday, Monthly. Lots of folks are upgrading and we are seeing several new hams. Held in Raley's Market in Granite Bay, corner of Douglas and Auburn-Folsom. More details, see: http://w6ek.org/veexams.html

Club Breakfast - March 26th and every last Saturday, monthly. Everyone welcome to come along at Mel's Drive Inn off Hwy 49, Auburn, CA Starts at 7:30 no host.

On Air Events - The ELMER Net 1st & 3rd Wednesdays at 7:30pm on W6EK/r; April24th - MS Society Walk in Folsom; May 21st Diabetes "Tour de Cure"; plus we are preparing for the Tevis and Western States 100 races.

And lastly our Hearts and Sympathy goes out to Bob Balthrope and Family on the passing of Mary Ann Balthrope, KE6EST/sk. Bob and Mary Ann have been Hams and Volunteers for as long as I can remember. Members of the North Hills RC and Sierra Foothills ARC, the Ham Community has lost yet another nice person and great Amateur.

73 de WF6J, ARRL PIO

Stockton-Delta ARC Swapmeet

Posted March 7, 2016

Stockton Swap April 9th 7:00 am. http://www.w6sf.org/. They have Ham Cram and more.

73, Carl, WF6J

QCWA/SOTARS March Meeting

Posted March 7, 2016

Our meeting is Wednesday, March 9th. 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 will be a series of short videos on various subjects. I hope you find them interesting.

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 Golden Empire ARS

Posted March 8, 2016


Greetings all. It was so wonderful at our February meeting to be able to hear what bands, modes and wishes that the attendees have in this wonderful adventure that we are on in ham radio. We have such a wealth of experience and interests in our club that we should share with our fellow hams. It was also invigorating to have 6 new hams and potential members for us to meet – welcome!

As of this writing that yesterday we held our first club breakfast in quite some time. There were 13 lively members and visitors enjoying breakfast together, swapping stories and discussing a wide variety of topics. No one seemed to be in a hurry to leave which is an indication of a good time! We hope to see many more of you at our next GEARS breakfast on Saturday, April 23rd

At our March 18th general club meeting Robert Lasso, W6RQR will be our guest speaker. Robert is an avid contester on many bands and will give us an overview of the many contests available to us all throughout the year.

Our club has wonderful resources in our own repeaters, 146.850 and 440.650. They sit idle most of the time but are always available to jump into action merely by the press of your PTT (Push To Talk) button. They are a great way to stay connected with other hams in our area, some that are passing through and also an incredible way to connect to the world through our IRLP and Echolink links. Be sure to identify once in awhile when monitoring, you just never know who else might be out there available to have a QSO (conversation) with. Repeaters are one way that short wave listeners and persons hoping to become a ham listen and learn from us who are on the air. Go ahead – talk it up!

“It’s a Small World with Amateur Radio”

73, Larry Marcum, KA6GND, Club President, 530-345-5399

Update from the River City ARCS

Posted February 28, 2016


If you ever wanted to know how a repeater works, wanted to know how the N6NA repeater system operates and wanted to see a video with the greatest view of San Francisco, you should have been at last month’s meeting. Chris Huber, N6ICW was our guest speaker and informed us and filled in all the details. The club, in addition, thanked him for all the hard work and expertise in updating and maintaining our repeater system.

At our next meeting, Phil Sittner. KD6RM will show his 40/80 Meter loop antenna. For those with limited space, his presentation may solve some problems. Bring your note pad and questions.

I was trying to make an emergency amateur radio checklist and realized that the last time I used my generator was to get it ready for Field Day (I had it in the truck in case it was needed in Rio Linda). I had one of those moments - I remembered I had not drained the gasoline and it sat in the tank for over eight months. Thoughts of a varnish encrusted carburetor flashed through my mind. I checked it out. Sure enough, it was full of our great California gasoline. The drained gas looked clear so I put a small amount of fresh gas in the tank and fortunately the generator started. This time I drained the remaining gas and brought the piston to top dead center.

I dodged a bullet. Fortunately I didn’t have to rebuild the carburetor and clean the tank. I’m now making a checklist of items that need routine maintenance. Hopefully all of us are thinking of materials in our “go kits” and items around the house/shack that may be needed in times of emergency. At our next couple of meetings, I will be asking members to bring a list of items they have and maintenance schedules in case of emergency. I’d like to compile a large checklist that members can use as they prepare for emergencies.

Clarity on Amateur Radio Parity

Some misconceptions about the Amateur Radio Parity Act are being circulated. Please read full information here.


The Amateur Radio Parity Act

Our club was represented by Carol Milazzo, KP4MD, Ken Martin, KE6RMN, and Phil Sittner, KD6RM at the 4WD convention at the Ranch Cordova Marriott. Our members were Ham Radio Ambassadors to those in attendance at the convention. Picture below. We are looking forward to hearing in April from George, N6YG who will share an introduction to sound cards and digital as they pertain to slow scan TV, and in May from Cliff, KK6YYG detailing APRS.

Please join us at our March meeting, Tuesday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the Sacramento County Corporation Yard at 5026 Don Julio Blvd. for refreshments and great company. Visitors are always welcome.

See you there! 73, Bob Woodward, N6PGQ, President, River City ARCS http://www.n6na.org

February 20 Amateur Radio Exhibit at Cal4Wheel Convention

Posted February 27, 2016

This year's Cal4Wheel Convention at the Marriott in Rancho Cordova, California, featured an Amateur Radio exhibit with ARRL literature and a working 2 meter Go-Kit. The convention, chaired by Amy Sagraves KB6AMY, also had a standing-room only introductory forum on the value of amateur radio for emergency communications on 4x4 trails, such as the Rubicon Trail, where cell phone coverage is lacking.

River City ARCS members Roger Cain KI6FYF, Phil Sittner KD6RM, Ken Martin KE6RMN, Mark Staff KK6WPN, and Cliff Hall KK6YYG and ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Manager Carol Milazzo KP4MD attended the booth to answer attendees' questions about Amateur Radio and to assist licensed hams with programming their radios. Many prospective hams visited the booth, and among the licensed hams we met were: W6EC, K6YOS, KI6QLF, KF6ZPL, KJ6UCC, KJ6UCB, KK6RKP, K1TLA, KK6YSY and others.

Update from the Oroville ARS

Posted February 28, 2016

Greetings from the Oroville area. The grass and weeds are getting tall, and that means it's time to start checking out mowers and weed trimmers.

OARS (http://w6af.org) February regular meeting was held on the 12th with 19 in attendance, and called to order for the first time by President Joe Herman, WA6CAL. Vice President and Webmaster Erik Bayer, AF6EF, reported on adjustments and updates he has been making to the website. The program was in two parts, the first an informative presentation by Treasurer Gerry Vrooman, N6GCV, about printing a paper copy of a license on the FCC's ULS website, as the Commission has gone "paperless" in the issuance of licenses in the Amateur Radio Service. The second part, presented by Joe Herman, was devoted to the Facebook page that he has set up for the club, and how to get access to it. Joe also announced a Presidents Award, to be presented at the end of the year to the member of the club who has shown the highest amount of participation in club activities during the year.

The next regular meeting of OARS will be held Friday, 11 March 2016, 7 pm at St. Paul's Parish Hall in Oroville. Upcoming events for the club include Feather Fiesta Days Parade in May, and Field Day in June.

The OARS Sunday Night Net has seen upwards of a dozen checking in each session. The net convenes at 8 pm local time on the OARS repeater, 146.655 MHz, - offset, 136.5 Hz tone access. The repeater is also accessible via EchoLink (K6ZRX-L), and the node has provided a path for club members whose locations do not "see" the repeater well enough for RF access, and an occasional out of area check-in, including one from upstate New York a couple months ago.

The OARS Monthly Breakfast on 27 February had twenty one present for good food and good fellowship at The Waffle Shop.

Jim, W7XZ

Update from the Yuba-Sutter ARC

Posted February 27, 2016

Bike Around The Buttes

Bike Around the Buttes is coming Saturday, April 16th. The routes are 17 mile, 40 mile, and 100 mile bike rides to raise money for Children's Type 1 Diabetes. The club will be helping out by communications support again this year. Additional help is needed. Also, if you would like to ride along with a SAG that can be arranged.

To date Chris (KD6CP) has five (5) volunteers including himself.

More volunteers (about 25) and extras are needed. If you have never worked the BATB, volunteer, ride along with someone or help at a site – we will be happy to show you the ropes.


We will meet on Tuesday, Mar. 1, 2015, 7:00 p.m. at the Yuba County Library. The club store will be there and a short presentation of what is in the club store will be given. After the club store presentation we will have a short discussion and posssible vote to determine if the store is going to continue or close down once all items are sold. Afterwards, Eric (W6ETJ) will be giving a talk about his 2 meter “superstation.”


You are invited to participate in the “NorCal Special Event Simplex Drill” April 2nd 2016 at 7pm. We will have 5 stations placed at undisclosed elevated locations around the Sacramento Valley. Each rover will be on their own 2 meter simplex frequency. Your goal is to try and make contact with as many of them as you can. Each rover will have a contact confirmation number for you to log. After you have made contact with as many rovers as you can, you will then relay your contact numbers back to net control and the drill is then complete.

Repeater check-ins begin at 7:00 pm on the WD6AXM repeater 146.085 + offset PL 127.3 located atop the Sutter Buttes. After that, simplex frequencies will be announced for each of the five stations at undisclosed locations. More info will be announce at the beginning of the net What equipment is needed for the event? Any 2 meter radio will do but, this is your chance to try for long distance. So, you only have a HT? No problem! Are you a big gun base station? No problem! We have something for everyone with this event.

Also have a pen, note pad and be willing to try.

The purpose of this exercise is to increase our VHF emergency readiness and test our equipment for long distance communications.

Please mark your calendar and don’t miss out on the fun!

Chris (KD6CP)

HERB W6HBU's ANTENNA PARTYHerb, W6KBU, decided to replace the CL33 beam I'd sold him about 1990. It had served me well since 1973​ ​ when I found a we​ll used KT34A at a swap meet in Los Gatos.

I told Herb about the JK Navassa 5. As it came to pass, he bought one for his Yuba City location. Bob, N6BOB, bought the CL33 and rotor and when the antenna arrived, Bob and I, began putting the new antenna together.

The Navassa 5 has no traps. All elements are correctly spaced on a 12 foot boom. Herb opted for a six meter add on, so the element count goes from 10 to 12. Six meters is inductively coupled to the feed point of the antenna. A DX engineering balun is at the feed point.

When we had everything ready to get this monster up in the air, Herb realized he needed a new roof. The new antenna would go up on a previously installed heavy duty two inch mast anchored to the house.

The Tailtwister rotor and MFJ control box (a DCU 2) were tested in the meantime, and then we had all kinds of rain storms which made it unlikely that we would get the antenna up with damage.

At the end of January the new roof was complete and final construction was accomplished in the back yard of Herb's residence. On Thursday, February 11, the new antenna was finally in place along with the new rotor and a run of LMR-400.

Bob, N6BOB, Tom, KB6YAD, and Don, KC6PPX provided the muscle and expertise required to move everything up on the roof and install it securely to the mast. Herb really appreciates the help and is enjoying a new antenna and wondering at all the stations he now hears.

73,​ Ron Murdock, W6KJ

Report on ARRL Southwestern Division Convention

by Section Affiliated Club Coordinator, Ron Murdock, W6KJ

Posted February 28, 2016

Ron, W6KJ, and Jo Anne, N6YLO, visited Yuma, AZ, to attend the ARRL Southwestern Division Convention and meet with the other Vice Presidents of the International Order Of Krazies, IOOK.org, 18 and 19 February 2016. The real draw was an IOOK gathering which they missed last year. Later this year they will attend Dayton Hamvention during a month long trip to Georgia, Ohio, Minnesota, and targets of opportunity.

In years past, the quaint little homey atmosphere of the Yuma Ham Fest made for a great place to meet with friends you contact on the air and to sell, buy, and trade for treasures and junk. A 'Buzzard's Bar-b-que' on Saturday also had another chance to see those you missed during the days on Friday and Saturday. And, they had a prize drawing. This year the prize drawing included a 16 grand prize list, from a Flex 6500 down to a dual band vhf-uhf mobile unit. The prize list is going to rival Visalia and Dayton if it keeps growing.

Like the two above mentioned events, Yuma's has a dedicated event planning staff. It is really a two team affair. The 2017 staff is already at work on the event for next year, while the 2016 group is cleaning up the after event details. Yuma is a popular retirement area and many former professionals spend their winters there. This may account for all the talented people from whom the staff of each year's ham fest are drawn.

Because the Yuma Hamfest is held at the Yuma County Fairgrounds, there is ample room for RV parking and tail gate sales. The fairgrounds are across the road from the Yuma Airport/Marine Corps Air Station, so Friday can be noisy with the sound of Freedom.

73, Ron Murdock, W6KJ

Update from the El Dorado County ARCPosted February 27, 2016FROM THE PRESIDENT

Live long and prosper in 2016.

Well now, another month sneaking out the back door, and I haven't gotten everything done that I wanted to. What else is new eh?

OK, we missed doing a special event for the Gold Discovery commemoration but that's not going to happen again. I would like to get all future events listed on our club calendar on the website so that I and everyone else can have a ready reference when we need a reminder. It's there, lets put it to more use.

I was happy to see that EDCARC made it into the section news letter as that has been one of my goals for sometime for the club.

Frank, W6DHN, volunteered to help out a group of students in Georgetown this month in order to introduce them to Ham Radio. Kudos Frank. I would like to see this grow into something bigger and better so as to get more involved with the community. I believe that Frank reported that some club members helped out by manning their radios so the kids could actually talk to someone. Kudos to you as well.

BTW, what's a kudo? I have always assumed it is something good but I don't know whence it comes. OK, I had to Google it. It is transliterated from the Greek word Kydos which means praise or awards. So now we know.

73, Don, AF6ND

Posted March 8, 2016

SFM ARC News Letter March, 2016

The W6SFM Samuel F. Morse ARC welcomed 14 members and 2 guests to this months SFMARC in-person monthly meeting. Turn out was once again high. We’re still missing a few of the “regulars” at our monthly meeting and it would be great to see them once again too. It’s always nice to see all of the faces of the club members come out on a regular basis. This month guests were Ward, our soon to be CW Beginners class student, and Susan, K6DQS.

A past guest, Norm, WB6RVR has decided to join the W6SFM as a member. Welcome to the group Norm! As a member of the SFM ARC you will receive a W6SFM.COM email addresses and personal Member webpage where you can proudly display your bio and personal pictures to the public. We encourage our members to post news, photos and other information about themselves as well as their hobbies. Feel free to visit all our member’s page found in the members section of the W6SFM website.

Reports of our March in-person meeting:

SFM ARC President Mike, N6MQL called this months meeting to order. Mike read the month’s budget report. As usual donations to the club are always appreciated. Club. Donations are used for the purpose of organizing PR booths such as the Kids Day in the Park event, Ranch Cordova and other events where the SFM ARC introduces Ham Radio and Morse Code to Children and the general public. If you would like to contribute to this cause please feel free to visit our home page for a PayPal link to donate.

If you are interested in purchasing some of the fashionable Samuel F Morse Club merchandise such as Personalized Mugs, Hats (ball cap), club Pens or T-Shirts we ask that you go to the W6SFM.COM website and click on the Merchandise link at the top of our home page for ordering information. Club members receive a 20% discount on all T-Shirt orders.

Club Secretary Chris, AI6U proceeded to read in last months meeting notes and the totals for our On-line / On-air net meetings for the month. Once again we’re getting good check-ins both on-air and on-line. We had a total of 28 QNI on-air and 6 On-line viewers, with improved local band conditions. We love to hear about your current weeks happenings. Net meetings offer a way for club members to get together between in-person meetings. Especially for those that are out of town. Please refer to our W6SFM homepage for on-air meeting times and location. You do not have to be a member of the SFM ARC to join in with our On-air Net meetings.

Topics of Discussion at our in-person meeting included Kid's Day In The Park (April 30). W6SFM will begin setting up around 9 am. The event held in Hagan park runs from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. More on this next month.

Also discussed was the annual "bogus story" contest to be held at at our next month's meeting. This event invites our club members to write a simple 1 page Ham Radio related "bogus" story, or "tall tale". Members will then read their stories at our April meeting. The story with the most votes will win the W6SFM Bogus story trophy. This trophy is held by that member until the next April's contest. If you are interested in attending the SFM ARC in-person meeting to listen everyone is welcome to join us for that.

ARRL Newsletter highlights discussed included the US amateur radio licenses increase over the 2015 year. Once again we covered the topic of something that hits home for many club members, HR1301. As it continues to be on track, with a total of one hundred and twenty three sponsors. A count of members who have worked a "National Parks On The Air", station marking the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service was taken. It seems that a few have already worked some of the stations. This event runs to the end of this year, so we hope to have many more reports on members working some of the off the beat and path stations. (Pun intended)

This month the W6SFM admin had received some emails from members and non members who were/are under the impression that the ARRL is trying to petition the FCC to give more CW sub band area to the RTTY operators thus taking away CW areas to QSO. Mike N6MQL presented a graph that explained how this wasn't the case, and that in actuality the CW operators would actually receive MORE sub band area if the proposal to the FCC should pass. If this were to happen the ARRL would move it's allocation of the CW area 10 KHz higher to match more closely with the ITU Region 2's design.

For our “show and tell” portion of our meeting, Mike, K6LQ displayed us his 1940's Brelco Navy straight key. He also presented a GHD model 504B straight key for everyone to try. Both keys were in very nice condition and operated flawlessly. Some were surprised by the feel of the 1940's Brelco key as it felt much better to send on than it looked like it would. Mike, N6MQL showed the club the latest RigExpert antenna analyzer AA-230Zoom. It was explained that with this analyzer measurements of TDR (time domain reflectometer) Reactance, Resistance, Return Loss, Impedance, SWR both with graphs and Smith Chart views could be made as well as simultaneously measuring up to 5 different frequencies within one band, or multiple bands. Mike also mentioned that he was an authorized dealer for RigExpert products and that if anyone was interested they could contact him to purchase.

Our next SFM ARC in-person meeting will be held at its normal time and address. Our upcoming April 7th (followed by our May 5th) SFM ARC in-person meeting will be held in the Howard Crowley room upstairs at the Carmichael Presbyterian Church. More information is available on the homepage of our website. At our April meeting, we will be discussing Kids Day In The Park in Rancho Cordova (April 30). Our annual W6SFM "bogus story" contest will be held. Bring your best story along with more ARRL new stories and news events. As always we will have our Tech (show and tell) portion where members and visitors are asked to share their Ham Radio related items they find of interest. Feel free to visit our In-Person meeting with items that you purchased or were given that you would like to share with the group. Please Check out the W6SFM home page for more details. We also hope to discuss the clubs results in the on-air North American QSO party contest if those results are released. The SFM ARC participated in this event held on the 9th – 10th of Jan. Please see the W6SFM website for more news / events and pictures posted. Be sure to check back often for updated information on the club and its happenings.

Each Tuesday of the week 8:00 PM on 3.545 MHz the SFM ARC enjoys getting on the air with CW for our weekly Nets. You do NOT need to be a member of the SFM ARC to check into our nets and we encourage you to invite a friend to join us as well. Although our nets usually run around 13 wpm code, we are all happy to accommodate those that are slower and need us to oblige.

If you are unable to copy Morse Code or need some code practice please feel free to visit our on-line LIVE streaming broadcast of both the Audio and a CW to Text decoding of the meeting. The “LIVE FEED” link can be found on our home page of our website. For those that would like to watch the Live Feed on their Apple IOS or Android devices a “LiveStream” App is required. For instructions and the proper location to view the LIVE FEED please contact Mike, N6MQL for more setup information. Those visiting the on-line site are welcome to make themselves known by using the ‘contact us’ link to let the net op (NCS) know you are there. This of course is not mandatory; just a way of making everyone feel more involved in our on-air nets.

Do you know someone in need of a Ham Club to call home? Perhaps someone that wants to learn Morse Code, are interested in CW or already know and use it, the SFM ARC would love to be their new Club home. Our in-person meetings are held each 1st Thursday of the month at 7PM. Please use the rear parking lot and entry for best access to the meeting. A map and directions can also be found on our website. We hope to see you at our next meeting!

Until our next news letter I thank you all very much for being a member of the SFM ARC, without you this club could not exist. Very 73,

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

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