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FARS Meeting Programs - 2010 [2009] [2008]


Friday January 22, 2010 - FARS/PAARA Winter Banquet

From Arc Alley to Silicon Valley
Thomas H. Lee, Professor
Stanford Microwave Integrated Circuits Laboratory

Professor Lee of the Stanford Microwave Integrated Circuits Laboratory speaks on the early history of radio, and its relationship to the development of Silicon Valley. His talk, is based in part on his book chapter entitled “A Nonlinear History of Radio.”

Professor Lee has pictures of a Palo Alto home (at Channing Ave. and Emerson St.) that was the birthplace, in 1909, of the first high-tech company in what would later become Silicon Valley.

Professor Lee provides an overview of the contributions to radio technology by pioneers such as Maxwell, Hertz, Marconi, de Forest, Fessenden, Herrold, Litton, Terman, Alexanderson, Poulsen, Elwell, Pridham, Jensen, Farnsworth, Heintz, Kaufman, Eitel, McCullough, Shockley, Kilby, Noyce, and Hoerni, just to name a few.


Friday February 26, 2010 - Membership Meeting

HF Propagation and VOACAP
Steve Stearns, K6OIK

As Cycle 24 is starting to get underway, Steve, K6OIK describes the radio science behind HF propagation. How the ionosphere is formed by nature, what are the key variables. As a radio operator, the main things you want to know is how the D, E, Es, and F layers respond to solar radiation.

After describing the physics, Steve covers propagation prediction by statistics. This talk updates Steve’s talk at FARS July 2005 meeting.Whether you are a contester or a rag chewer, this talk tells you what you need to know to be successful in Cycle 24.


Friday March 26, 2010 - Membership Meeting

Field Day Triplexer
Gary Gordon, K6KV

Gary Gordon, K6KV, shows and describes a Field Day Triplexer that permits three stations to operate simultaneously on different bands while sharing a single antenna.

Gary helped design and build the triplexer, and WVARA used it at 2009 Field Day. An article describing the triplexer appears soon in QST. You can see the unit in person at the FARS meeting and hear Gary tell how it works.


Friday April 23, 2010 - Membership Meeting

Using High Power Coaxial Chokes to Kill Receive Noise and RFI
Jim Brown, K9YC

Jim Brown, K9YC, always talks about topics of great interest to Radio Amateurs. This time he clears up myths and confusions about baluns versus chokes. Do you know the difference? Jim covers:

  • How ham antennas are inherently unbalanced
  • Common-mode and differential-mode current on transmission lines
  • How to wind chokes
  • How to measure chokes
  • And lots of other fun stuff

You may remember Jim’s popular talk “RFI and Ham Radio” from FARS December 2007 meeting. Jim’s presentation slides can be found at his web site http://www.audiosystemsgroup.com/publish.htm.


Friday May 28, 2010 - Membership Meeting

Fighting Robots
Charlie Morrin, KI6FXY KI6FXY

Watch out! Charlie Morrin, KI6FXY, is bringing his “friends” tonight, and the robots take over. Whether small or large, the jobs of the future will increasingly be done by robots. Charlie’s friends are eager to demonstrate what they can do — from vacuuming to clobbering each other. This is a fun demo, but prepare to jump out of the way. The only question is do they need licenses to drive or operate a rig!


Friday June 18, 2010 - Membership Meeting

RFID Tags
Al Scott, Besser Associates

RFID tags are showing up everywhere, from anti-theft devices to U.S. passports to the credit cards of the future. Eventually they will replace bar codes on consumer products. Al Scott of Besser Associates explains the different kinds of RFID tags, their antenna and circuit technology, the digitally encoded messages they send, frequencies, power levels, and communication ranges. Al also covers what applications different tags are good for. This is an entertaining and education meeting. Learn all about RFID tags.


Friday July 23, 2010 - Membership Meeting

Power from the Sun: Photovoltaic Technology and Systems
Mark Byington, Cobalt Power Systems

July is the perfect month to learn all about solar electric power. Mark Byington covers all aspects of residential photovoltaic power systems including:

  • The basics of PV systems
  • Different types of roofs
  • Ground mount and pole mount systems
  • Pictures of typical installations (both the PV array and the inverter equipment)
  • Selling power to the grid
  • PG&E rate schedules; Time of use (TOU) or how to “buy low and sell high”
  • Battery backup systems
  • Current government incentives
  • Economics of PV systems; typical payback time; Return on investment (ROI)
  • Environmental benefit of PV systems

Friday August 27, 2010 - Membership Meeting

DXing for the Beginner
Kristen McIntyre, K6WX

Of all of the areas that I find fun in Amateur Radio, DXing is my favorite. If you’ve grown up in amateur radio operating only on local VHF/UHF and on local repeaters, you’ll find DXing to be a different world with its own procedures, language, tricks, and style. There is the thrill of the hunt and the magic of making ionospheric propagation work for you. This talk takes you on a tour of this world and show you a few ways to get started on your journey toward the enjoyment of working a “new one.” Even if you’re an old timer, come join us to encourage and elmer your friends as we take a fresh look at this area of our diverse hobby.


Friday September 24, 2010 - Membership Meeting

Homebrew Contest

This is your time to shine. Bring your amateur radio project to this meeting to show and describe to our audience. Everyone has a few minutes to explain and describe her/his project. Then the audience votes on the best ones to award prizes. The following prizes are to be awarded:

$40First Prize
$30Second Prize
$20Third Prize
$10Fourth Prize


Friday October 22, 2010 - Membership Meeting

Learning to Operate Morse CW
Dave Wolfe, AA6XV

This talk covers various aspects of operating CW and is primarily intended for people who have not operated CW before, or are perhaps, returning to it after being off for a while.


Friday November 19, 2010 - Membership Meeting

Holiday Treats for Radio Amateurs
Howard Califf W6HOC
Ham Radio Outlet

Just in time for the holidays and increasing sunspot numbers, Howard Califf, W6HOC, shows the latest and greatest in new and fun amateur radio gear. Everything from station accessories to tools to rigs and antennas are on display. Be sure to attend to find out about special holiday promotions too. Happy Holidays!

This meeting is our annual membership meeting where we are electing two directors to the board of directors. Members are encouraged to attend and exercise their right to vote.


Friday December 17, 2010 - Membership Meeting

Home Brew AMSAT Beam Indicator and Rotator Controller Project
Nimit Hongyim, K6XOX

Nimit describes his prize-winning project — a computer controlled rotator and antenna for satellite tracking. Through careful design, parts selection, and code integration, Nimit succeeded in making a highly functional, low-cost project with impressive capability. Pictures and description of Nimit?s project are at http://www.dgg2000.com/ftp/Sat_Proj/XOX_Rotor.pdf. Nimit shows how to do a lot with a little.



Past Programs 2009