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Volume 29, Number 9 - SEPTEMBER 1999

September Meeting

September 24 will be our homebrew night. The speakers will be you. The contest is open to all who come. Non members can win a club membership; Members can win cash prizes of 40, 30, 20, or 10 dollars. 

The October meeting will be a demonstration of HDTV.
 

President's Corner

I hope each of you is considering who you want for officers this next year. We need a president, vice president, treasurer, radio officer, and at least two board members. 

Our banquet this year is on Friday night January 14 and the PAARA club will join us in this event. It should be a very good time so make your plans to attend and then let us know if you are.

It may interest some of you to know that PAARA members were very helpful in starting EMARC/FARS with many of their members participating in both clubs. 

I want to encourage all of you who live in the Los Altos, Palo Alto, Mt.View, and Sunnyvale To participate in the SPECS Emergency drill and be prepared to help them. They are doing a good job for the community and need your support. 

Jack WA6YJR

Pacificon

Pacificon 1999 will be at the Sheraton in Concord on October 15 through 17. Better get your hotel reservations early. If you don't have a brochure, phone 925-932-6125 or check the website at www.pacificon.org/.
 

Board Meeting

FARS had its monthly board meeting on the evening of September 7, 1999. The members present were Jack, WA6YJR, David, KD6WRG, Arv, WA6UUT, Howard, KE6PWH, Herb, KF6BKL, Mikel, KN6QI, and Martin, KD6WJW. 

The antenna at Larry, KM6IU's QTH is still available for sale. 

The board authorized purchase of a "kit" to assist the club in filing for non-profit status. 

Possible joint activities with PARA such as a picnic and the annual banquet were also discussed. There should be more about the latter at the upcoming club meeting. 

- Martin, KD6WJW

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. FARS NET on 145.23 repeater Thursday nights at 8 PM.

Jim, WE6V is running W1AW code practice sessions on the 145.23 repeater every Tuesday evening 8:00 to 8:30. 
 

CLUB INFORMATION

President: Jack Eddy, WA6YJR
Vice President: Howard Califf KE6PWH
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 Baldwinson N6ATD; Hans Neumann KE6TGA; Herb KF6BKL, Arv Hamer WA6UUT, Larry Moore KM6IU.

K6YA Station Trustee: Stan Kuhl, K6MA

FARS Web Page: www.fars.k6ya.org/

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 is how to reach the editor:
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, and at FARS meetings.
 
 

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OCTOBER FLEA MARKET


SPECS could use some help with the October 9th Flea Market.  There will be 2 hr shifts starting at 5am. Volunteers should contact Dennis KC6PUN.

Thanks,
Dennis
 
 

Proper Perspective

A flea broke into a lion's cage and bit that lion good

and then he stood on that lion's mangy mane as a conquering hero should. He said, "Oh, witness my power and my might. I conquered that lion with one healthy bite. A mighty flea am I, A mighty flea am I"

Now concerning this report, one sad thing must be written: That lion didn't even know that he'd been bitten.

And the moral of the story is perfectly plain: That fleas like human beings are silly and vain.

From Archy and Mehetibel, an off-Broadway musical based on the writings of Don Marquis
 

Amateur Radio Newsline

eHAM.NET is here

They call it eham.net and it could be the beginning of a new way for hams to interact with one another and the world around them.

eham.net made its debut in cyberspace on September 2nd. Its creator, Bill Fisher, W4AN, says that the site can best be described as a community of hams from around the world interacting as a community.

Fisher says that eham.net aimed at giving hams a place to share ideas. This is accomplished on many levels ranging from simple sales adds to propagation and DX information to a chat area where anything can be discussed.

But that's not all. eham.net includes news items from Newsline and other sources, a callsign server, free ads to swap on-line with listings automatically exported and reposted to the rec.radio.swap newsgroup and much, much more.

Access to eham.net is free. To take a look go to:

www.eham.net

W4AN

AMSAT-NA to meet in San Diego

The 17th annual Space Symposium and AMSAT North America annual meeting will take place between October 8 and October 10 in San Diego, California. Included in this year's events will be a field trip to Qualcomm and SpaceDev, Inc. Both of these companies which deal with satellite communication and spacecraft.

Also, the International Amateur Radio Union Satellite meeting has been moved to Friday evening October 8th. This, to allow those who attend the opportunity to take part in the field trip.

Further information may be obtained on the web at:

www.amsat.org

(AMSAT-NA)

World Amateur Radio Day

World Amateur Radio Day will be with us soon. Jeramy Boot, G4NJH, reports on this upcoming event from Nottingham in the UK:

The International Amateur Radio Unions World Amateur Radio Day takes place on the 18th of September. This years event celebrates Amateur Digital Communication. Commemorative Events being planned by IARU Member Societies all around the world. And there should be many Special Event Stations to contact on that day.

Among activities in the UK, Bill Felton, G3XZF is going to run a World Amateur Radio Day Station from Isle College in West Beach. He intends to invite several of the local schools to call in and see Amateur Radio in action.

World Amateur Radio Day is September 18th.

(RSGB)

Japan bans cell phone jammers

Turning to the technology corner. You may remember our story a few moths ago concerning a device introduced in Japan that was designed to disconnect intrusive cellular telephone users. You know, the ones who take calls anywhere they wish -- even if it is to your detriment?

The Japanese government has now banned these units. While it says it is sympathetic with its citizenry, Japans telecommunications regulators say that the devices create a major public safety problem when people forget to turn them off. As a result the wideband noise generators jam public service frequencies in a one block area wherever the owner of the unit happens to be. It's reported that one such device took out the dispatch center in the community of Kobe. This happened because someone left one turned on in their coat pocket and hung it up on the third floor of an apartment across the street from the center. Japans telecommunications regulators say that this menace to public safety simply cannot be tolerated.

(VHF Reflector)

Motorola DTV chip

The Wall Street Journal says that Motorola Corporation is expected to unveil technology that will reduce the effects of multipath reflections that are plaguing the transmission of digital television signals. Dubbed MCT 2000, the technology will reduce the reflections that occur when a structure interferes with a digital signal. This same technology holds the promise of also improving other RF based communications systems and some day might even be applied in Amateur Radio.
(Wall Street Journal, Motorola)

Senior Radio

The Times of London reports that Angel Community Radio on the Isle of Wight only plays music that was recorded before 1959. The Times also says that the station is on the air 24 hours a day but only employs senior citizens on its staff.
(Q-News)

DX

In DX, several reports say that IZ0CKJ, IZ7ATN and IW0FQZ were active from Palestine from August 11th to the 26th. They reportedly operated all bands including 6 meters. QSL as you were directed on the air.

And look for an upcoming Central Kiribati and Tokelau operation under the guidance of SM7PKK and SM6CA. Operators now include SM0AGD, SM6WYN, G4EDG and LA7MFA. The scheduled DXpeditions are slated for Central Kiribati between September 23rd and October 3rd and for Tokelau ending October 12th. The callsigns to be used will be T31T, T31K, T31YL among others.

(OPDX)

New S. Florida 10 Meter net

Closer to home, Newslines Bill Burnett KT4SB reports that the new South Florida Net got underway on Saturday, September 4th. The net now meets weekly at 9 AM Eastern on 28.404 Mhz.
(KT4SB)

GB2RS NEWS BROADCAST

Good morning / evening. It's Sunday the 12th of September [1999] and here is the GB2RS news broadcast, prepared by the RSGB and intended for all radio amateurs and short-wave listeners.

Before this week?s news, a reminder that this bulletin is also available on the RSGB web site at: www.rsgb.org, where you will also find links to a number of groups and organisations mentioned in this broadcast.

United Utilities has abandoned its trials of Power Line Telecommunication, or 'PLT'. In an announcement to the London Stock Exchange on the 7th of September, United Utilities announced its intention to close the NorWeb Digital Power Line joint venture with Nortel Networks. The intention of the trials was to bring high-speed Internet access to homes by transmitting data along mains electricity cables. However, the introduction of PLT was firmly opposed by the RSGB on the basis that it would effectively wipe out large portions of the HF spectrum.

The RSGB has been involved in discussions with the Radiocommunications Agency on this subject for three years and worked closely with other users of the HF spectrum, including the Ministry of Defence, Home Office, BBC World Service, GCHQ and the Civil Aviation Authority, in order to counter the 'data-over-power-lines' plans.

The RSGB's EMC Committee had demonstrated in a simulation that HF transmissions along mains cable could be heard at great distances and would raise the noise floor sufficiently to make reception of weak signals below 30MHz virtually impossible. The Committee distributed a briefing paper and press release to newspapers, lobbied Members of Parliament and questions prepared by the EMC Committee were raised in the House of Lords.

The reason given by United Utilities for dropping the project was that the projected volumes and profitability of the scheme was insufficient to justify the investment required. However, it seems likely that the robust lobbying by the RSGB and other groups was also a factor taken into account.

The UK 47-Gigahertz distance record of 137 kilometres, set up by G3FYX, G3PYB and G8ACE in June this year, was broken in no uncertain manner during the RSGB 24 and 47GHz Contest on Sunday the 5th of September. Martin Farmer, GW7MRF Portable, and David Hall, GW8VZT Portable, both located on the summit of Cyrn y Brain in North Wales, each made two-way contacts over a distance of 161 kilometres with Paul Widger, G0HNW Portable, located at Shap in the Lake District. This long path was line-of-sight.

Paul's narrow band FM signals were RS 57 with GW7MRF, while the Welsh signals peaked RST 529 in the Lake District. This difference in signal levels was due to G0HNW Portable's equipment being considerably more potent than that of the GW stations - he was using 25 milliwatts output to a three-foot diameter dish, as against GW7MRF's 150 microwatts output to a 10-inch diameter dish.

This fine contact is the result of a considerable amount of experimentation and co-operation between the stations concerned. Details of their earlier 47GHz achievements and experiments this year were published in the July 1999 issue of RadCom.

Our thanks to Peter Day, G3PHO, Editor of the RSGB Microwave Newsletter for this news story.

This Friday, the 24th of September, and Saturday the 25th, the 28th Leicester Amateur Radio Show will take place at the International Exhibition Centre at Donington Park in north-west Leicestershire. In addition to one of the largest amateur radio trade exhibitions in the country, the show also features a convention, with presentations on topics as varied as the Internet and Amateur Radio, the LF bands, six metres, 'progressive' licensing, the Spratly Islands DXpedition and a repeater forum. Those attending the Leicester Amateur Radio Show also receive discount on entry to the Donington Motor Racing Museum and the Super Bikes Championship at the same venue. For further details please contact Geoff Dover, G4AFJ, on 01 455 823 344.

Next Saturday, the 25th of September, is the 25th anniversary of the founding of the North East Aircraft Museum in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear. Special event station GB0NAM will be on the air to celebrate the museum's 25th birthday.
 

DX News:

From Annobon Island off the coast of West Africa, which counts as AF-039 for the RSGB Islands on the Air awards, a Spanish DXpedition signing 3C0R [Three Charlie Zero Romeo] is active until the 24th of September. Look for 3C0R on all bands and modes. They'll also be active on 6 metres if conditions allow. QSL via EA5FVY.

From Palestine, Ayar, OZ6ACD, is active as E44/OZ6ACD. QSL via OZ1ACB. QSL cards for contacts with Palestine may be submitted for DXCC credit after the 1st of October.

A major DXpedition from Kanton Island in Central Kiribati [pronounced 'Kirry-bas'] gets underway this week. Six operators including Steve, G4EDG, will be active as T31T and T31K on all bands and modes. YL operator SM6WYN will also be active as T31YL. They will be operating until the 3rd of October. Kanton Island counts as OC-043 for the RSGB IOTA Awards.

A new island for the RSGB IOTA award is due to be activated this week. Look out for the expedition to Imperieuse Reef in the Rowley Shoals off the coast of Western Australia which starts on the 21st of September. Five operators will be active using a special callsign which will be announced once the expedition starts.

From North Caicos in the Turks and Caicos Islands, VP5/HB9CYV and VP5/HB9CYN will be active until 26 September. This counts as NA-002 for the RSGB IOTA award programme.

These DX news items came from the RSGB HF Committee and 425 DX News.

And now the short wave broadcast section:

Apart from BBC World Service relays from Ascension Island, it's not often that short-wave broadcasts can be heard coming from the South Atlantic. However, once a year, Radio Saint Helena [pronounced 'Hel-ee-na'] broadcasts to the world for just five hours. Lacking a dedicated broadcast transmitter, they use the Cable and Wireless upper sideband transmitter, callsign ZHH50, on 11,092.5kHz. Station manager Tony Leo has agreed to host a final transmission, which will take place on Saturday the 23rd of October between 1900UTC and midnight UTC. RSGB Propagation Predictions, as published in RadCom, indicate that the path may be open to the UK close to midnight.

Several presenters from the Saint Helena Broadcasting Service should be heard and there is a promise of live audience participation by phone-in.

Now that point-to-point radio communications throughout the world have switched to earth satellite links, it is highly likely that this old short-wave utility transmitter will soon be taken out of service.

Those with Internet facilities can obtain more information about this unusual broadcast at www.sthelena.se - note that the server is located in Sweden, so the country suffix, 'se', is correct.

By giving four weeks notice of this unique broadcasting event, intending listeners can check out propagation by listening for the BBC West African service in English between 1700 and 2330UTC, coming from its Ascension Island and Seychelles transmitters on 15400, 9630 and 6190kHz.
 

Contest News:

There are no RSGB HF contests either this weekend or next weekend.

The times of the Scandinavian Activity Contest have changed this year. The SAC CW event is taking place this weekend, the 18th and 19th of September, between 1200UTC on Saturday and 1200UTC today, Sunday the 19th - and not at the times given in this broadcast last week. The SSB Scandinavian Activity Contest is next weekend, the 25th and 26th of September, also from 1200UTC on the Saturday and for 24 hours. This year there is also a new competition class - Low Power All Band - for single operator stations running a maximum of 100 watts output.

The CQ World Wide RTTY DX Contest takes place next weekend, the 25th and 26th of September. The contest starts at zero hours UTC on Saturday and finishes 48 hours later at 2400 UTC on Sunday.

On VHF, the Worked All Britain 144MHz Phone Contest takes place today, Sunday the 19th of September, from 0900 to 1700UTC. Logs should be sent to the WAB Contest Manager, G8XTJ, whose address is correct in the RSGB Yearbook.

The fifth session of the RSGB 10GHz Cumulative Contest takes place today, the 19th of September.

Next Sunday, the 26th of September, the RSGB 70MHz Fixed Station contest takes place between 0900 and 1300UTC.

The full rules of all RSGB contests may be found in the October 1998 RadCom.
 

PROPAGATION NEWS

{{Newsreaders: The historical Solar Factual Data to be read only by HF newsreaders. VHF / UHF newsreaders: you may read this section after the Regional News, providing you do not exceed your 30 minute time-slot.}}

And now the solar factual data for the period from the 6th to the 12th of September, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS:

Solar activity was low and even declined to very low on the 10th, with no solar flares taking place at all. The largest flare of the week was an M1/1B on the 8th. Solar flux declined to 107 units on the 8th and 9th, but increased steadily to end the period at 141. The average was 119. The 90-day solar flux average on the 12th was 164, that's three units down on last week. X-Ray flux levels remained steady and averaged B3 units.

Geomagnetic activity was 'unsettled' with an average of Ap 13. The 12th was 'active' with an Ap index of 26.

Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds vary between 350 and 520 kilometres per second. Particle densities varied between 1 and 17 particles per cubic centimetre, except for a brief spell on the morning of the 12th which saw densities up to 47. Bz varied between minus 11 and plus 11 nanoTeslas throughout.

{{Newsreaders: The Solar Forecast to be read by ALL newsreaders.}}

And now the solar forecast.

This week the active side of the sun is expected to be looking our way. Solar activity should be moderate most days, with a chance of an X-class solar flare taking place, particularly later in the week. The solar flux should increase and be around the 220 level by next weekend. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be 'unsettled' throughout. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 27MHz for the south and 24MHz for the north. These levels could be exceeded if the geomagnetic field remains quiet. The darkness hour lows should be around 10MHz.

Paths this week to Australia are expected to have a maximum usable frequency, with a 50 per cent success rate, of 27MHz. The optimum working frequency, with a 90 per cent success rate, will be about 20MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 0800 and 1300UTC. And that's the end of the solar information.

For more on propagation see www.rsgb.org/society/psc.htm

You're listening to GB2RS, the news broadcasting service of the Radio Society of Great Britain, coming to you from the station of [insert own callsign].
 

Your Input

Is any of this of any value to the members of FARS. Obviously I find it interesting, do you? There are amateur radio newslines all over the world which I can get on the Internet. Is it worth reprinting them in the newsletter?

Is there anything out there I don't know about? I can go looking for it if you tell me you are interested.

In any event, go to www.arnewsline.org and go through the entire list. Jean Shepherd is an interesting character you may not know about. I also found out that Art Bell, the sleazy radio host is a ham. I am greatly disappointed.
 

FARS Banquet 2000

Greetings,

Larry Moore and I made tentative arrangements for our banquet. I say tentative because until the $200 deposit is paid down the road it won't be permanent.

We are going to go back to Michael's at Shoreline where we had our banquet in January 1998. The date we selected is January 14, 2000. This is a Friday night It seems that January has become very popular for holiday parties as well as November and December.

We have decided on three menus. Roast Prime Rib of Beef.au jus $29.80. Breast of Chicken. Piccata $24.65. Broiled Salmon,Lemon Beurre Blanc $27.55. Each entree is served with seasonal greens, "intermezzo" pasta, fresh vegetables, potato du jour, french rolls and coffee. We have selected cheesecake for dessert. The above prices include service at 17% and tax of 8.25%. [Please fill out form below as soon as you know you are coming to the banquet. DW]

We will have a NO HOST BAR. Wine can be purchased for dinner by anyone desiring it. Incidentally house wine from the bar will cost $3.75.

We have chosen not to have Hors D'oeuvres during the cocktail hour. We felt it would increase to the price too much and weren't really necessary since it is a big dinner with the separate pasta dish. An alternative might be to have the Club buy the Hors D'oeuvres. To do it right would cost $200 to @ $250 for four to five trays with 50 items per tray. This can be discussed if anyone thinks we really need them.

The sooner people get this on their calendars the greater our chances of a good turnout. Of course a good program is important to a good turnout. The program committee should get busy. We have done our part.

We have indicated to Michaels a group of 50-60 with a tentative possibility of up to 100 if Paara joins us. They are flexible on this. We will discuss guarantees when it is time for the deposit.

Dick N6ATD
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.