FARS / PAARA Winter Banquet - January 22, 2016 [2016] [2017]

The FARS / PAARA Winter Banquet was held Friday evening, January 22, 2016. The Foothills Amateur Radio Society (FARS) and the Palo Alto Amateur Radio Association (PAARA) presented this ham radio event and fete. This annual event was open to anyone who wants to attend, but reservations were required.

This year we invited the West Valley Amateur Radio Association (WVARA) to join us at our 2016 Winter Banquet. We welcomed West Valley members.

Our program

Go Big or Go Home:
The First Transatlantic Telegraph Cable and the Birth of Electrical Engineering
Professor Thomas H. Lee

Electrical engineers are the children of a failure so traumatic that we don't even talk about it. American paper magnate Cyrus West Field drove the Victorian era's equivalent of a moon-shot: Spanning the Atlantic with a telegraph cable. Amplifiers would not exist for another half-century, so success would require mastery of a number of complex technical disciplines. Regrettably, the project's technical head was a medical doctor.

A British board of inquiry convened to assess the resulting failures noted that the electrical arts lacked even a basic vocabulary to describe the failure. William Thomson was eventually named the new head of the project, and final success followed in 1866. The volt, ohm and ampere were formally defined shortly thereafter and the profession of electrical engineering was born. Thomson -- arguably the first professional electrical engineer -- became Lord Kelvin, and EEs have been busy making mischief ever since.

Speaker Bio

Tom Lee paid his way through MIT by working at places like Frank Kent's TV and Radio Service and Hughes Aircraft. His 1989 doctoral thesis at MIT described the world's first CMOS radio. He has been at Stanford University since 1994, helped design PLLs for several microprocessors from DEC and AMD, and has founded or co-founded several companies.

He is an IEEE and Packard Foundation Fellow, and is also the 2011 recipient of the Ho-Am Prize in Engineering (informally known as "The Korean Nobel"). He is a past Director of DARPA's Microsystems Technology Office, and owns between 100 and 200 oscilloscopes, thousands of vacuum tubes and kilograms of obsolete semiconductors. No one, including himself, quite knows why.

Raffle prizes for the Banquet

We had $1,600 in prizes for the banquet raffle. Here is a list of prizes raffled at the banquet:

[Yaesu FT-857D]

Yaesu FT-857D HF/VHF/UHF Transceiver Our top prize, covers the full HF band with 100W, plus 2M VHF (50W) and 70cm UHF (20W). This unit includes DSP, general coverage (0.1 - 56MHz) receive, 76-108, 118-164, and 420-470.
[FT-2900 2m/75 watt xceiver]

FT-2900 2m/75 watt base transceiver VHF Transceiver (144-148MHz), Power (75/25/10/5W), 3W audio, 221 Alpha-Numeric memories, no fan (quiet). Includes: microphone, power cable, mounting bracket.

ALINCO DJ500T Portable 2m/70cm Transceiver 5W Features include: 1500mAH Li-Ion Battery, 200 Memories, IP54 dust/splash proof, MILSPEC (STD810) vibration/shock compliant.
[GP-5 SSB]

CountyComm GP-5 SSB General Receiver LW/AM/FM/HF(2.5-30MHz) SDR receiver, FM Stereo, 18” whip antenna, 450 memories, Silicon Labs Si4734 DSP chipset. We are raffling 3 of these units (2 donated by Nick N6VOA)
[MFJ 4230 mvp 30A Switching Power Supply]

MFJ-4230MVP 30A Switching Power Supply Super compact 30 Amp Power Supply with 5-way binding posts, and Anderson Power Pole ports.
[Diamond X-50A Antenna]

Diamond X-50A 2m/44 Base antenna Fiberglass and stainless steel hardware. Wide band performance. Factory adjusted - no tuning required. High wind rating. DC grounded. Bands: 2m (3-1/4 wave) and the 70cm (440 MHz).
[TBJ-1 Antenna]

TBJ-1 Tri-band J-Pole Antenna by Edison Fong, WB6IQN resonates on 2m (146MHz), 1.25m (220MHz), and 70cm (440MHz). Power: 75W. No radials and no ground. (donated by Ed Fong himself)
[DBJ-2 Antenna]

DBJ-2 Roll up J-Pole Antenna by Edison Fong, WB6IQN - Feb 2003 QST - dual band roll up antenna kit - (144-148 MHz and 440-450 MHz). Adapters for BNC, SMA and SMA - female. 6 ft extension cable. 50W.
[MFJ 121B Atomic Clock]

MFJ 121B 12/24 Atomic Clock Dual UTC and local display. 24/12 hour mode. 2” tall digits. Mounted in a handsome silver-metallic, hard-plastic frame.
[MFJ 262B DC-1GHz Dummy Load]

MFJ 262B DC-1GHz Dummy Load Resisters are copper flanges and beo ceramic for incredible low thermal resistance and capacitance. Frequency range - SWR of less than 1.2:1. DC to 1 GHz with PL259 connector. Power up to 200 Watts for 5 seconds and 35 Watts continuously. Air cooled heat sink.
[MFJ 2702 2 pos. DC-1GHZ Coax Switch]

MFJ 2702 2 pos. DC-1GHZ Coax Switch Gold plated connector contacts provide low VSWR and low insertion loss. An excellent 70 dB isolation. DC to 3 GHZ with < 1.2:1 SWR.
[MAHA Powerex NiMH 2700mAH batteries]

2-MAHA Powerex 4pk 2700mAH Rechargeable batteries 8 total AA size NiMH rechargeable batteries.
[Raffle Prize]

Powerwerx BT-Junior Battery Tender Jr.
More than a battery charger, it's fully automatic, and keeps your 12v GEL cell fully charged.
[Raffle Prize]

Powerwerx TriCrimp for Anderson Powerpoles.
Makes Anderson Power Pole installation quick and easy with the best best possible connection. Works on Anderson Power 15, 30 & 45 Amp contacts.
[Raffle Prize]

ABR 218XATC-PL6 6ft coax jumper.
Premium Quality RG-8X sized cable 6 feet in length with connectors.
[Raffle Prize]

Terminal and Connector assortment 520 pieces. Storehouse Item 67686 (Donated by HRO).
[Raffle Prize]

PP30-10 Powerwerx Anderson Powerpoles 30A. Standardized power connectors make interconnecting equipment simpler.
[Raffle Prize]

2 PL259s (2 pkgs) with small coax bushings.
[Raffle Prize]

Heat Shrink Tubing Assortment 127 pieces. Storehouse item 67524.
The most popular sizes in a plastic storage case. Shrinks at a 2:1 ratio. UL & CSA certified. (Donated by HRO).
[Raffle Prize]

Bongo Ties 10 5″ (2 pkgs)
Quickly tie cables and keep them organized. Use over and over again. (Donated by HRO).

Schedule: 6:00PM - Open Bar (No Host)
7:00PM - Dinner
8:00PM - Presentation
9:00PM - Announcements, Awards, Raffle


The banquet was held at:

Michael's at Shoreline
2960 No. Shoreline Blvd
Mountain View, CA


Dinner included dessert (chocolate mousse) and coffee. There was a no-host bar.

Last updated February 14, 2018