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Volume 28, Number 10 - OCTOBER 1998

OCTOBER MEETING

The October meeting speaker will be Roy Rusin, W6II who works at HRO and will be speaking and demonstrating some of the new things that are out for the Ham.

THE NEXT BOARD MEETING WILL BE November 3.

NEW HAMS FROM THE FARS CLASS

Congratulations to the following new hams. They successfully took the crash course and passed the test in one weekend! Make them feel welcome on the air and at the club meetings.

KF6CO MAHLER, LANCE
KF6TCP BURGAR, JOY
KF6TCQ BUCKLEY, RON
KF6TCR CHU, YUNG
KF6TCS LOPEZ, ROBERT
KF6TCT WILLIAMS, BLAINE
KF6TCU CABARROQUE, DOMINIQUE
73, Paul

CLUB WEB SITE

In accordance with the change of the club's name we have updated the name for the web site. Please update your bookmarks and links to www.fars.k6ya.org

If you haven't yet visited our web site, please give it a visit.

You'll find current information on club meetings, copies of recents editions of the RELAY, pictures from Field Day, callsign lookup links, and lots more links. This is a club resource and we want it to be a useful tool for members as well as visitors. Let's us know how we can make the FARS website a better resource for you. Please contact the webmaster or any FARS board member.

de KN6QI, Mikel Lechner

SPECIAL EVENT FROM THE USS HORNET

From the GVARC newsletter

On Oct 17 & 18 a special event station will be operating from the Navigation Bridge of the USS Hornet aircraft carrier (in Alameda, CA). The station call sign will be NB6GC. The USS Hornet's W.W.II radio call sign was NBGC. We are very proud to put the Hornet's old call sign back on the airwaves in the form of an amateur radio call. This special event station will commemorate the Grand Opening of the USS Hornet aircraft carrier as an Air and Space Museum. The USS Hornet was the aircraft carrier that recovered Apollo 11 and 12, on their return from the first and second moon landing missions. Operating time will be 0001 Z Oct 17 to 2359 Z Oct 18, 1998. SSB and CW will be used on all bands 40 through 10 meters. SSB will be in the lower portions of the General Class band segments. CW will be centered 50 KHz in from the band edges with an operating width of plus or minus 10 KHz. Example: NB6GC CW ops can be found between 7.040 to 7.060 on 40 meters. For you nearby folks, FM: 146.49 Simplex. NB6GC will be operating on or around the FISTS frequencies, and will be a three-point FISTS contact for FISTS awards. The FISTS number for NB6GC is #5600. QSL cards will be mailed to every amateur station contacted. Please send QSL cards for NB6GC to: NB6GC, 4658 Capitan Drive, Fremont, CA, 94536-5448. It is our desire to display QSL cards received aboard the carrier. Further information about this event can be found at the following web site: members.home.net/k6df/cvs12/nb6gcqsl.html

-- de Nancy WZ8C

FLEA MARKET REPORT

Shel says we made some money; Details at the meeting; A more complete report in the next newsletter.

CLUB INFORMATION

President: Jack Eddy, WA6YJR
Treasurer: Shel Edelman, N6RD
Secretary: Martin Liberman, KD6WJW
Training Officer: Paul Zander, AA6PZ
Radio Officer: Mikel Lechner, KN6QI
Newsletter: David Wilkes, KD6WRG

Board members: Dirk Thiele, KE6ZUY; Dick, N6ATD; Hans, KE6TGA; Martin, KD6WJW; Herb, KF6BKL

K6YA Station Trustee: Stan Kuhl, K6MA

FARS Web Page: www.fars.k6ya.org
FARS announcement mailing list is moderated, so you cannot reply directly to the list. To subscribe, send the word "subscribe" to: emarc-request@ham.yak.net; For help, send the word "help" to majordomo@ham.yak.net; For human assistance, email to: human@ham.yak.net.

The FARS Relay is the official monthly newsletter of the Foothills Amateur Radio Society Meetings are held at 7 PM on the fourth Friday of each month except January (Winter Banquet); and 3rd Friday in June, Nov. & Dec. Annual membership $20; family $25. Visitors are always welcome! Directions on the back page. Talk-in: W6APZ (145.23-, 100Hz) or W6ASH repeater (145.27 or 224.36). Contributions to the newsletter from members, family, and guests are earnestly solicited! Contributions subject to editing and/or compression. ASCII files via packet, Internet or diskettes preferred; but all readable forms welcome. Here are the various ways to reach the editor:

Packet: KD6WRG@N0ARY.#NOCAL.CA
Internet: dwilkes@svpal.org, davewilkes@aol.com

VHF voice: KD6WRG on W6APZ, 145.23- (100Hz PL) FARS net Thursdays 8 PM; Various other times. Mail: 1093 Kelly Drive San Jose CA 95129-3222 Voice: 408-996-1613 (Until 9 PM); Fax: 408-725-1036 Eyeball: at FARS meetings.



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PRESIDENT'S CORNER

In August I told you that I would not be available to run as president for the next year. My plans have changed somewhat and I will be able to run. However, I have told the board that I will not run if there is no vice president. I have found it extremely hard to do both jobs. We need a vice president so each of you should be thinking about who that might be. To fill out the slate we also need three board members. Dick N6ATD is a retiring board member and has agreed to run again. The other officers that have agreed to run are: Shel Edelman N6RD, Treasurer, Martin Liberman, KD6WJW, secretary, Mikel Lechner, KN6QI, Radio Officer, Paul Zander, AA6PZ, Training Officer, David Wilkes, KD6WRG, Relay Editor. Nominations will be accepted from the floor. Please if you nominated someone be sure that they are willing to run. All nominations will be made at the October meeting and voted on at the November meeting.

Our next meeting will be October 23 and the speaker will be Roy Rusin W6II from HRO. He will be speaking and demonstrating some of the new equipment that is out for the Ham operator. Hope to see you at the meeting.

At our August meeting there was a great deal of interest shown to have some instruction at some of our meetings on digital electronics and how this is used in our radios today. If you have experience in this field or areas of Ham radio such as Antennas and the like please let me know because we need to have your help in presenting this material to the club members.

This is your club and we need all of you to participate not just at meetings but in all aspects of club activity.

TRANSITIONS

The popular N0ARY packet BBS is changing hands: Trustee Bob Arasmith is handing over the sponsorship of the BBS to SCCARA (Santa Clara County Amateur Radio Association). The BBS is currently accessible by 'phone (408-749-1950) and through the internet; the 2m and 70 cm radio ports are not operational at this time, but are expected to be up in a few weeks. For more info, contact Gary, WB6YRU, or Wally, KA6YMD, on the SCCARA repeater, 146.385 + (no PL required).

73 de Omri AA6TA

CALENDAR

Livermore Swap Meet - 1st Sunday of each month at Las Positas College in Livermore, 7:00 AM to noon, all year. Talk in 147.045 from the west, 145.35 from the east. Contact Noel Anklam, KC6QZK, (510) 447-3857 eves.

Foothill Flea Market - 2nd Saturday of each month from March to October at Foothill College, Los Altos Hills.

RELAY BY E-MAIL

This month I am going to do a test of the e-mail address we have with an eye to distributing the Relay by e-mail to those members who have e-mail. If you receive a test message to an address where it would not be appropriate to receive the Relay, please respond with an alternate e-mail address or a note to indicate you can't or don't want to receive the Relay by e-mail. I would also like to know if you want the Relay in the body of an e-mail message or as a Word or text attachment. I also need to know if your Internet provider limits the size of messages or attachments.

DW


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AMATEUR RADIO NEWSLINE

FCC announces shift in Amateur Radio enforcement functions

The Federal Communications Commission announced a change in the handling of enforcement actions concerning the Amateur Radio Service. As of September 1st, the Compliance and Information bureau is assuming the duties of policing the activities of the nations 750,000 plus hams. Up until now, ham radio rules enforcement has been the purview of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and its predecessors.

The change is the result of internal arrangement between the Compliance and Information Bureau and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. Under it, all investigation, evaluation and processing of radio amateur related enforcement matters has been transferred to the CIB.

What this means in the real world of enforcing the Part 97 rules is unclear. Officially, the FCC seems to view the move as nothing more than an internal bookkeeping shift. But some insight as to what it really might mean may be found in the words of the FCC's Joe Monie. Monie was speaking at an FCC Forum at last weekends Radio Expo in Chicago. According to Monie, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau will no longer handling complaints of interference. He says that this will make the Compliance And Information Bureau responsible for that function.

And Monie seemed to have a warning for rules violators. He said to look for stepped up enforcement to the best of the bureaus ability based on the resources and funding available. (FCC, Newsline, RAIN)

Solar flare: RF blackout help request

I'm Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF in Los Angeles with this late breaking story.

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Socorro, New Mexico needs hams to file reports on what they heard on any band on Sunday, September 27th. Especially on 40 meters and below. That's because September 27th is the day that a major Gamma Ray burst from a neutron star 15,000 light years away hit our Earth blacking out radio communication.

This solar event occurred at 10:22 UTC. This burst was so strong, it ionized the E and F layers on the night side of the Earth. It also ionized the D-layer for extreme absorption for many minutes, and saturated gamma and X-ray sensors on satellites.

This is an extremely rare astronomical event that is caused by a generation of power so intense it is almost beyond explanation. Only two other major gamma ray bursts have ever been detected, one in 1979 and another in 1984.

Paul Harden, NA5N at the New Mexico observatory says that experimental physics Very Low Frequency monitoring circuits maintained by Stanford University recorded radio wave absorption down to the tens of KHz. But, because this event occurred in the very early morning hours in the U.S., there is virtually no record of it. And that is where you can help.

If you have any recollection of this event, or specific data from say QSO in progress then Paul Harden wants to hear from you. His e-mail address is: pharden@nrao.edu

NA5N says that this is a real opportunity for hams to make a contribution to a rare scientific study if you were lucky enough to witness it in some form or another.

With thanks to Jay Miller, WA5WHN, in Albuquerque for passing along this information, I'm Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, reporting for Newsline. WA5WHN)

Wideband transmissions

The FCC has initiated an inquiry to investigate permitting the operation of ultra-wideband radio systems on an unlicensed basis under Part 15 of its rules. Its been assigned as Docket 98-153. For more information visit the agencies website at: www.fcc.gov (FCC)

RF Concepts for sale

Want to get into the ham radio manufacturing business? Now's your chance. This, as a major domestic supplier decides to get out of one aspect of Amateur Radio. Newslines Cathy Gilliland, KB0FDU, has the story of RF Concepts:

Kantronics Incorporated says that it is looking for a buyer for the company's RF Concepts line of VHF and UHF power amplifiers. Kantronics, which is located about 80 miles from here in Lawrence, Kansas says that the RF Concepts line no longer fits within -- what it calls -- its strategic plan for the future.

Kantronics bought RF Concepts in 1989 and moved it to Kansas from California. Company President Phil Anderson, W0XI says that RF Concepts would be an excellent buy for someone interested in that end of the business.

The sale would include the RF Concepts name, all current and non-current designs and manuals, finished goods, raw inventory stock, tooling, and the vendor and dealer lists.

Anderson says that Kantronics will continue to manufacture its line of digital products.

From the end of the Yellow Brick Road in Hiawatha, Kansas, I'm Cathy Gilliland, KB0FDU, reporting for Newsline.

If you are interested you can contact Phil Anderson or Kay Runge. They are available by e-mail Phil to: sales@kantronics.com (Kantronics, ARRL, Newsline)

New CAT Controller list

N2CKH says over the VHF Reflector that the Cat Control Center is a new Internet mailing list he has created. Its purpose is to provide a dialog between Steve and the rest of the amateur community on the subject of amateur station computer control software for Microsoft Windows that he is developing for sale to hams.

The intent of Steves proposed product is to support all popular -- and even some not so popular brands of amateur equipment with a computer interface capability. You can subscribe to the mailing list by pointing your browser to: catcc.listbot.com (N2CKH)

Free jammer ID software update

Last week we carried a story regarding a link to free jammer identification software that was available on the Australian Q-NEWS website. By the time we went on the air that link had disappeared but thanks to Chuck Martin, KD6NUJ, a new URL has been found. To get the software go to: www.axom.com/kb8rln/xmit_id.html (Newsline)

FCC unveils universal license

The FCC's Universal Licensing System is finally here and its implementation will affect Amateur Radio. We have this report:

Amateurs can say good-bye to the familiar FCC Form 610. This as the FCC has adopts its long awaited Universal Licensing System or ULS.

For hams, the ULS replaces the Forms 610 with a new Form 605. Form 605 is the so-called Quick-Form Application for Authorization in the Ship, Aircraft, Amateur, Restricted and Commercial Operator, and General Mobile Radio Services.

The rules for the new licensing system were adopted on September 17th. The FCC says that the ULS will fundamentally change the way the it receives and processes wireless applications and makes licensee information available to the public. It also claims that new system will consolidate, revise, and streamline license application procedures for radio services under the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau.

Using the ULS, applicants and licensees will be able to file, modify, and renew electronically. But the FCC says that hams can continue to use the old form 610 for six months after the new rules go into effect. An effective implementation date will be announced when the FCC issues the official Report and Order.

The FCC has also opened its website to the ULS. Access and more information is at: www.fcc.gov/wtb/uls

The FCC has also adopted proposals to permit automatic reciprocal licensing of foreign hams wishing to operate in the United States. This, pursuant to recent international reciprocal operating agreements.

I'm Mert Garlick, N6AWE, in Los Angeles reporting for Newsline.

An official Report and Order detailing the FCC's actions is expected to be released soon. (FCC, ARRL)

NY Ham challenges vehicle law interpretation

A New York amateur is going to court to protect what he calls his mobile operating privileges. Paul Hintz, N3EYQ, of Kingston, is seeking to have Section 397 of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law upheld by a local Town Court.

Hintz has been fighting with local police officials since 1992. This, after he was cited for speeding. The arresting officer also issued Hintz a ticket for carrying his Kenwood TH225, which was programmed to receive public service frequencies. That ticket was conditionally dismissed.

Earlier this year, Hintz was again involved in a confrontation with local police. And again, the use of his mobile radio equipment was called into question. But this time, the Ulster County District Attorney's Office also became involved.

Hintz has now retained counsel and asked for a jury trial. The case was postponed in April. A new court date has not been set. (Hudson Loop)

Jamming relief

Jamming is a major problem for repeater operators and the situation is bad worldwide. Here in the United States we call it malicious interference but even down under they have the problem. But as Graham Kemp, VK4BB of Q-News tells us, there now a solution as well:

Interference problems

often plague repeater systems. Now there is software available that can provide positive proof in a contested case and it is something any hobbyist can afford. Yup, it's free.

Each FM radio has a unique fingerprint that can be used for transmitter identification. A program called XMIT_ID allows you to record and catalog this unique fingerprint. It records the radios discriminator audio fingerprint, then time and date stamps every transmission.

You can download the program free from the World Wide Web. To get that URL just click on the best of Q-News or while you are reading Q-News at: www.wiaq.powerup.com.au

You'll find the URL to download XMIT_ID. I thank VK4TUB and the Monitoring Times for that information. (Q News)


How to get to meetings:

(Visitors always welcome)

FARS meets at the Covington School District building, 201 Covington Road, Los Altos. Take the El Monte exit (The same exit as for the Foothill Fleamarket) off of I-280 and go East on El Monte. Cross Foothill Expressway and turn right at the next light on to Covington (Note Saint William church on corner). Stay to your left as the road forks. Just past the fork, turn left into the school parking lot. Walk through the center hallway and turn right. The meeting room is the first door on the left. Talk in on 145.23 or 145.27, negative offset, 100 PL.