Volume 29, Number 10 - OCTOBER 1999
October Meeting Friday October 22, 1999
Broadcast Digital Television (High Definition or HD)
A small look into the technology.
Gary Youngs K6GLY will be giving us a presentation on some of the technical
issues Facing the television industry's mandatory change to digital transmission.
Gary will be bringing some examples of broadcast digital recording and
display technology. He hopes to show some of the off the air digital
signals now in the bay area.
Gary has been involved in the broadcast industry in the bay area all
of his 30+ year career. He is active in SMPTE, past chair, and the
SBE with CPBE certification.
This should be a fun night with lot to see and do. Gary has asked
for a couple of extra people to show up around 6 p.m. to help set up.
He said he will bring a couple of pizzas to share with any one that can
help unload and load some heavy equipment and has a key to the room.
Les Zwiebel will speak on Restoring Old Boat Anchor Radios.
FARS Board: Charles Arney added.
Died: Jean Shepherd. See article later in this newsletter.
This is the month that we nominate officers and board members for the
next year. The election will be held at the November meeting, which
is one week early on November 19th. At the October meeting the board
will present their slate of officers and board members to be nominated
and then it will be open for nominations from the floor. We are still
in need for a training officer and one board member. Please if you
are going to nominate someone from the floor check with them first to make
sure they are willing to serve.
It is time for you to send in your reservations for the banquet.
We do need to get some idea of how many will be attending. We have
asked PAARA to participate with us this year and so we should have a very
good time together.
I want to say thank you to those of you that have been active in keeping
the club station on the air. The station will be participating in
several contest this year and next and I hope that many of you will participate.
If you can help please let Mikel the Radio Officer know.
I would also like to start a buddy system to help the new Hams that
join the club. If interested you would be assigned a new ham and
club member to help them through the early stages of becoming a good Ham.
If you are interested in doing this please contact me..
From the ARRL news letter and interesting note about a ten year old
Ham riding in the back seat of the family car listening to his radio.
He heard a distress call from another Ham who had cut himself badly with
plate glass. He told his father who dialed up 911 and then the boy
talking with the injured Ham got his address and other information which
was then relayed by the father to 911. Shows what even a new young
Ham can do.
De Jack WA6YJR
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)
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.
14 Years Industry Experience
Individuals, Trusts, Retirement Plans
No-Load Mutual Funds
Personal Account Statements
Peter W. Johnson, Jr., PFP (KN6MO)
Registered Investment Advisor
o DeLong Consulting o
Internet - Firewalls - E-Mail - UNIX
Bridging the gap - Your net -> Internet
3251 Firth Way, San Jose, CA 95121
408-322-3741 - Fax: 408-532-9362
145.230 REPEATER AUTODIAL UPDATE
For many years SARS/SPARK has been able to offer free emergency autodial
service to the general ham community. This has enabled any licensed
radio amateur to call an emergency agency when there was a problem to report.
It has also enabled disabled hams to call Ready Wheels and similar agencies
A few weeks ago, I was in a seminar most of the day and was unable to
monitor the repeater. I subsequently found out that someone had repeatedly
dialed up 77 on the emergency autodial and either let the phone hang, played
touch tones, or done other unacceptable things. This was not the
first time this had happened. The emergency autodial numbers take the caller
directly to the 911 dispatch center. The center knows immediately
what phone number originated the call. We needed to do something
immediately to prevent having the FCC put restrictions on our repeater
operation because of the continued nuisance calls to emergency services.
While all the emergency autodial numbers are still good, they will ONLY
be usable when a control operator is actively monitoring the repeater.
If you have an emergency or something to report, come up on frequency,
announce your call, and request a control operator to activate the patch
so you can place your call. If the control operator does not know
you, he may ask a few questions to try to verify that you are not the phone
jammer who has been causing problems, so please be patient. Since
ham radio is not the only thing in the lives of the control operators,
one may not always be available. So there may be times when the emergency
autodial will not be usable due to lack of a control operator.
We regret having to operate in this way. It is an inconvenience for
all. We wish the 523 repeater could continue to operate in the more open,
honor system mode it has operated in for years. We hope that once the perpetrators
of the jamming have been stopped we will be able to resume normal operation.
Jean Shepherd K2ORS 1921 - 1999
Jean Shepherd is a writer, humorist, satirist, actor, radio raconteur,
TV & film personality and an American original. He is a master storyteller
in the league of Mark Twain, S.J. Perlman and P.G. Wodehouse. Taking bits
and pieces from his own life, he weaves tales of the joys, humor, intrigue
and angst of growing up. His youth in Hammond, Indiana, his adventures
in the Army Signal Corps and stories of the obscure and infamous were all
fertile sources for his tales. For almost three decades, he told these
stories to eager radio audiences.
His most popular and well known work is the film "A Christmas Story"
(1983) which he co-wrote and narrated. Here Shep gives us a compendium
of his youth (as "Ralphie") including the infamous "Double Dog Dare", his
sidekicks Flick and Schwartz, the bullies Farkus and Grover Dill, and the
saga of the Lady's Leg Lamp. Ralphie's ultimate quest is to get a "Genuine
Red Ryder Carbine Action Two Hundred Shot Lightning Loader Range Model
Air Rifle" for Christmas despite all the grownup warnings that "you'll
shoot your eye out".
Shep is also a long time amateur radio operator (his mother always
told him: "Watch out for the live wires!").
Does Shepherd have other talents? How about "Kopfspeilen", that obscure
musical art form played on one's head!
[The above is from a Web page about Shep. My late wife Isabel KD6WRF
and I used to drive 200 miles round trip from Philadelphia to New York
to catch his gig on Saturday night at the Limelight in the Village. DW]
Amateur Radio Newsline
FCC starts acting in Southern California repeater jamming cases
"I think what most of the people in this room agree with is that we
need some enforcement in Southern California. Can we please get some enforcement
here in Southern California!"
That was the plea of one Southern California ham made to Riley Hollingsworth
when the FCC official spoke on the Queen Mary Ocean Liner attraction in
Long Beach. Now, less than two weeks later, Hollingsworth has acted
by issuing two Los Angeles Area hams stern warning letters regarding alleged
malicious interference to several area repeaters.
Receiving the letters are Todd Young, W6TLY of Culver City and Brian
Frobisher, WA6JFK, of Los Angeles. Both are accused in ongoing malicious
interference to the KJ6TQ repeater on 449.925 MHz operated by the Metropolitan
Amateur Radio System and the WB6TZY repeaters on 2 meters and 70 centimeters
owned by the Cresenta Valley Amateur Radio Club.
The FCC says that the interference has occurred at various times starting
in 1997 and includes the playing of tapes and music to jam the repeaters.
The letters from Hollingsworth to Young and Frobisher does not mince any
words. He tells them that this type of operation will not be tolerated
by the FCC. He also says that one more incident will result in fines and
legal action to remove both hams from the airwaves.
The warning letters to Young and Frobisher are believed to be the first
of several dozen that are expected to go out in the coming weeks. If they
don't meet with success, look for the government to take stronger action
against rules violators in the Southern California region.
BOMA challenges FCC on mandated access
The Building Owners and Managers Association International, a real estate
action lobby has challenged the FCC's mandatory access to private property
rules for telecommunications installations. BOMA says that mandated access
to private property is unnecessary, unmanageable and unconstitutional.
BOMA International takes the position that the taking of space by telecommunications
service providers within office buildings for the installation of equipment
and wiring for free or at low, government-established prices -- prevents
property owners and managers from maintaining control of the basic security
and integrity of their buildings.
In its filing to the FCC in association with the Real Access Alliance,
BOMA empirically the commercial real estate industry enthusiastically supports
and recognizes that competition in telecommunications is beneficial for
office buildings and their tenants. BOMA's position is that the real estate
marketplace, which by nature is competitive and adapts daily to marketplace
price signals and customer demand, can efficiently negotiate and govern
building access without government intervention.
Scarcity of repeater sites
Speaking of real estate, of late more and more hams are complaining
that its getting hard to find a site for their repeaters. Others wake up
to find a notice of eviction with no reason given. In all, it appears as
if commercial radio site owners seem to be turning a deaf ear on the needs
of ham radio and in this report, Newsline's David Black, KB4KCH takes a
look at why this is happening.
Consolidation of broadcasting and other telecommunications properties
is having an adverse impact on ham radio repeaters finding and keeping
sites. More and more repeater operators are reporting receiving letters
from their site landlords telling them that the days of free or reduced
tower rental space are over. Others are getting notes telling them that
their site has been sold and that the new owners don't want experimental
or hobby radio systems at their sites. And as some hams have already found
out, no amount of begging, pleasing or arguing will persuade the site owner
to change its mind.
Most of the problems seem to stem from a recent spate of commercial
site buy-outs by a small number of large management corporations. New owners
could be hundreds or even thousands of miles away. These companies usually
hire a single individual to look after all their properties in a given
geographic region. Many of these site managers are business people with
no background in two-way radio. Their job is to maximize profit. This means
that any non-paying guests are being asked to leave. About 99% of
these are ham radio repeaters.
There is also the issue of corporate liability. In the litigious society
we live in, site owners want to minimize their risks. If a ham gets hurt
working on a radio or falls from the tower, the site owner knows that a
lawyer will soon be knocking at the door. To prevent this, many sites are
now off limits to hams, even if the repeater sponsors are willing to pay
the commercial rate for the site. And that number is growing as more and
more radio sites change hands and the mega-corporations tell Amateur Radio
that the welcome mat has been withdrawn.
New FCC antenna system
The Army Corps of Engineers is in the process of installing an all band
delta loop antenna at the FCC's Gettysburg, Pennsylvania location. The
seventy-five foot high sky hook will be used to assist commission personnel
in the real-time monitoring of the Amateur Radio service. It will also
serve as what engineers call a force multiplier as part of the FCC's High
Frequency Direction Finding Center located in Laurel, Maryland.
Midland Amateur Radio Club
I am in receipt of the Spring 1999 edition of MARCSPACE, their newsletter,
by email. "Why did it take so long?" You ask. Well you might. Even people
who have been there forget sometimes that the seasons are opposite ours.
Their Spring edition is marked, "September".
I?m not sure I believe the photos in their newsletter. They show hamshacks
which are very neat. We all know that can?t be true.
The Midland club is in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia. This is due North
of Wilkesland (A sobering thought). A friend is living temporarily in Tasmania.
I asked her to find me some post cards showing penguins in Wilkesland (Don?t
ask why). She says she can?t find any. Bummer!
September Homebrew Night
We probably should hold this in October; Homebrew night brings out some
silliness rarely seen in staid amateur radio clubs.
Arv WA6UUT took first prize with a key made out of twigs.
Floyd K6BSU was more traditional with a QRP rig and accessories.
Howard KE6PWH took us back to the good old days when our earning power
as kids did could not buy the things we wanted so we made them ourselves.
His antennas were inexpensive (not cheap).
Charley KF6CUU submitted a strategy for winning auctions on EBAY. We
were wondering where he was going with it, but he is bidding on electronic
Paul AA6PZ showed us how to whip together a working balun out of coax.
That?s one of the reasons we need him on Field Day.
Radio Society of Great Britain
Researchers for the TV Programme "Neighbours from Hell" have approached
the EMC Committee about a high profile breakthrough case in the South of
England. From here it appears to be drifting in the direction of a programme
about amateur radio and interference in general. It seems very unlikely
that something as difficult to understand as EMC, immunity and EMC regulations
could be adequately covered in a popular programme. It goes without saying
that it would be highly undesirable for an exaggerated account of amateur
radio interference problems, based on the relatively rare occurrence of
acrimonious disputes, to be screened as if this sort of thing were the
Anyone, whether or not they are a member of the RSGB, who is approached
by the media on this subject is requested to contact the Chairman of the
EMC Committee before making any statement.
FARS Banquet 2000
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
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%.
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
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.
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.