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FARS Meeting Programs - 2021 [2020] [2021] [2022]


FARS meetings take place on the 4th Friday of each month, except for no meeting in January (Winter Banquet), and meetings on a different Friday in June (Field Day), November (Thanksgiving), and December (Christmas). See the calendar for specific dates.

Meeting Schedule

  • 7:00PM - General socializing. Meet and Greet.
  • 7:30PM - Introductions, Announcements.
  • 7:45PM - The evening's program.
  • 8:45PM - FARS business. Announcements. Raffle.

After the program, and FARS business, we hold a prize raffle and the “Wish You Were Here” drawing for all the cash in the jar!

COVID-19 Rules:
The following rules are being imposed for the safety of our attendees:

  • Participants must provide evidence of COVID-19 vaccination to attend an in-person meeting.
  • Participants must wear face masks in the meeting room, except when speaking.
  • All participants must maintain 6 foot spacing from other attendees.
  • Don't attend an in-person meeting if you are feeling ill, are at particular risk, or cannot abide by these rules.

Visitors are welcome to attend our regular meetings. (directions)
Covington School, 205 Covington Road, Los Altos, CA.



Friday December 17, 2021 - Membership Meeting

Program to be Announced

K6YA

This month’s meeting is scheduled to convene at Covington. COVID-19 Rules apply. This meeting is available on-line via Zoom.

This meeting is one week earlier than usual. It has been scheduled for the 3rd Friday instead of the usual 4th Friday of the month due to Christmas. Be sure to put the correct date on the calendar.

K6YA is the Club radio call sign for the Foothills Amateur Radio Society. The current trustee for K6YA is KA6MZE. This picture is of the Field Day 2007 set up crew.

Other:

Refreshments
Raffle prizes
Questions for Dr Know-it-All

We will be raffling off prizes at this meeting:


    Previous Programs - 2021 [2020] [2021] [2022]


    Friday January 22, 2021 - Membership Meeting

    Sunspot Science and Predicted Cycle 25

    Dr. Leif Svalgaard
    Stanford

    NO meeting at Covington this month. This is an on-line meeting accessed via Zoom.

    Observations of the Sun are vital in monitoring and predicting radio communications for amateurs and professionals alike. Conversely, centuries-long monitoring of variations of the Earth's magnetic field can be used to determine long-term variations of solar activity. This talk weaves these various threads from multiple scientific and engineering disciplines together to show the unity of scientific endeavor and its importance for our technological civilization.

    Dr. Leif Svalgaard has studied solar physics for over half a century and is a co-discoverer of the Svalgaard-Mansurov effect which provides convincing evidence that the Earth’s magnetosphere is permanently open to the solar wind.

    He joined Stanford University in 1972.

    During 1980-2000 Svalgaard was in private industry, including serving as consultant to SHAPE.

    In 2009 Leif returned to Stanford University. His latest research is on reconstruction of the historical sunspot number series and on prediction of solar cycles.

    Leif’s research web page is https://www.leif.org/research.

    Several presentations and a paper of interest are:
    There is no raffle, or WYWH for this meeting.

    Friday February 26, 2021 - Membership Meeting

    HF Antenna Design for Best Performance

    Tom Schiller, N6BT

    NO meeting at Covington this month. This is an on-line meeting accessed via Zoom.

    Tom talks about HF antenna design, including optimization of takeoff angle with different types of ground and radial systems, and pattern measurement. Tom talks about how to evaluate particular antennas for particular situations, like limited space, and how to get the best performance. He also covers a number of things that affect performance such as layout, materials and compromises.

    Tom's presentation is available on-line.

    Tom Schiller, N6BT, founder, Force 12, Inc. and Next Generation Antennas; author, “Array of Light” and published articles; co-founder of Team Vertical; developed first trapless tribander; several patents related to wireless communications; antenna research including flying drones through antenna patterns since 2014; licensed 1959, ARRL Life Member, CWops #281; contester, DXpeditions; co-founder of the NCJ.
    There is no raffle, or WYWH for this meeting.

    Friday March 26, 2021 - Membership Meeting

    K9W DXpedition to Wake Atoll and the Forgotten 98

    John Miller K6MM

    NO meeting at Covington this month. This is an on-line meeting accessed via Zoom.

    John Miller, K6MM, tells two tales about Wake Island: one a tale of ham radio adventure and excitement, the other a grim reminder of history. The K9W DXpedition put a high-security military base on the air. The DXpedition also commemorated the lives of 98 innocent civilian contractors who lost their lives during WWII on Wake Atoll. DXpedition website: http://wake2013.org

    John Miller, K6MM, was first licensed as WV2BQJ in 1958 while living in Syracuse, NY. In 1976, his career took him to Silicon Valley, where he reconnected with amateur radio in the late 90s. Since then he has focused heavily on DXing, contesting, and recruiting new operators into the hobby. John is a DXCC Honor Roll member, holding 8-Band DXCC (he is working on completing 160M for a 9th band). His article “The No Excuses 160M Vertical” won the QST cover plaque award for the June 2009.

    John enjoys operating in DXpeditions, including PJ7E Saint Maarten, K9W Wake Atoll, K1N Navassa Island, K5P Palmyra Atoll, and KH1/KH7Z KH1 Baker Island. He was a pilot and webmaster for NH8S (Swains Island), C82DX (Mozambique), FT4TA (Tromelin), 3G0ZC (Juan Fernandez), and VK0EK (Heard Island).

    John is the current President of the Northern California DX Foundation, Past President of the Northern California Contest Club, a former Director of the Northern California DX Club, and a founding member of the CW Operators Club. He is also a member of the editorial staff of the National Contest Journal, and Co-chairman of the International DX Convention for 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021.

    In addition to Amateur Radio, John's interests include website design, piano composition, four grandchildren, and exploring Bay Area back roads on a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

    There is no raffle, or WYWH for this meeting.

    Friday April 23, 2021 - Membership Meeting

    The Green New Deal – Green for Whom?

    George Erickson

    NO meeting at Covington this month. This is an on-line meeting accessed via Zoom.

    Climate change is worse than you think. And dialog has degenerated to morasse. Dr. Erickson guides us through the current and confusing arguments. He reveals how physics and engineering are being ignored, deliberate distortions for private gain, irrationality driven by fear, and how so-called “environmental” organizations have distorted the politics.

    Dr. Erickson clears the air and addresses basic questions. Can wind and solar do the job? What will work?

    Dr. George Erickson is a best-selling author of five pro-science books. He has spent parts of 38 summers “bush-flying” in Alaska and northern Canada. He is a former VP of the American Humanist Association, a member of the National Center for Science Education, a member of the Thorium Energy Alliance, and a member of a group of about 50 independent physicists, engineers, MDs, energy experts and journalists who are deeply concerned about climate change, the environment and energy issues.

    Dr. James Hansen, former chief climate scientist at NASA, called Dr. Erickson's op-eds on climate change and energy issues “brilliant.” Those writings are based on Dr. Erickson’s fifth book Unintended Consequences: The Lie That Killed Millions and Accelerated Climate Change. The book is offered as a free download from https://tinyurl.com/unincons or from Dr. Erickson’s website www.tundracub.com.

    Dr. James Hansen, former chief climate scientist at NASA, now chief climate scientist at Columbia U.: “Your writing is brilliant and so clear -- I will want to borrow some of the things.”

    Martin Goodman MD: “Unintended Consequences is excellent. I recommend it widely. I am impressed with the strength of your well documented writing.

    Dr. Tim Maloney: “By comparing the safety, reliability and emissions footprint of nuclear reactors to carbon fuel combustion and intermittent wind and solar, Dr. Erickson sends a clear message to people who love the earth – nuclear is the rational way forward.”

    Richard Steeves, MD, PhD: “I am writing to recommend George Erickson’s Unintended Consequences: The Lie that Killed Millions and Accelerated Climate Change.”

    Mathijs Beckers: “This great book reveals why the green movement is wrong on nuclear energy.”

    Dr. Rod Coenen: “Unintended Consequences is rational thought for those seeking a sustainable planet. Thank you for spelling it out in lay language.”

    There is no raffle, or WYWH for this meeting.

    Friday May 28, 2021 - Membership Meeting

    Where Did the Bands Come From?

    Chris Codella, W2PA

    NO meeting at Covington this month. This is an on-line meeting accessed via Zoom.

    Chris Codella, W2PA, presents a historical look at the early days of radio during which several aspects of amateur radio were established that survive to the present day. This includes, the HF bands (particularly 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters), call sign formats, QSLs, operating practices, and equipment characteristics. Many of these things we take for granted today have lost origins – the reasons why they exist forgotten.

    The definition of the HF band allocations is particularly interesting. It started with the 200 meter limitation of 1912, changed as hams demonstrated the utility of the shortwaves, and changed again in response to the radio boom of the 1920s and the first international treaties. Learn more about ham radio history at Chris’ Ham Radio History page http://w2pa.net/HRH.

    Chris Codella, W2PA, is a Ph.D. electrical engineer who works on quantum computing at IBM Research in Yorktown Heights, New York.

    Chris caught the radio bug in the 1960s as a kid listening to shortwave radio. He was Novice WN3LXK, and later General WA3LXK. In the early 1970s, he was active in DXing, contesting, and traffic handling on several New Jersey nets. He received PSHR, BPL, net certificates, A1-OP, DXCC, WAC, and WAS. He was also a member of Navy MARS holding call sign N0TLC.

    As a high school student he passed the Amateur Extra Class exam. He remained active through college and graduate school at Rutgers, Michigan, and Cornell respectively. He received his current call sign, W2PA, in 1977. After a period of inactivity following college, Chris got back on the air in 1989.

    He is a ham who solders and writes code. In 2007 he rebuilt a Heathkit SB-101 transceiver and restored the HW-100 that he originally built when he was 15 years old. In 2008, Chris restored a Collins S/Line, including 516F-2 power supply, 75S-3B receiver, 32S-3 transmitter, 312B-4 speaker and console, and SM-1 microphone.

    In 2016, Chris dove into software defined radio (SDR) with an Apache Labs ANAN-8000DLE based on the OpenHPSDR designs. He became a contributing software developer, contributing a database update, I/O, MIDI controller support additions, QSK, and miscellaneous fixes.

    Today Chris can be found on the HF bands from 10 through 160 meters, propagation permitting—about half CW and digital modes, and half SSB.

    There is no raffle, or WYWH for this meeting.

    Friday June 18, 2021 - Membership Meeting - canceled

    Meeting Canceled

    K6YA

    This meeting has been canceled.

    This meeting is one week earlier than usual. It has been scheduled for the 3rd Friday instead of the usual 4th Friday of the month due to Amateur Radio Field Day. Be sure to put the correct date on the calendar.

    K6YA is the Club radio call sign for the Foothills Amateur Radio Society. The current trustee for K6YA is KA6MZE. This picture is of the Field Day 2007 set up crew.
    There is no raffle, or WYWH for this meeting.

    Friday July 23, 2021 - Membership Meeting

    NanoVNA: A Small And Cheap Vector Network Analyzer

    Luca Younes, KN6HBW

    NO meeting at Covington this month. This is an on-line meeting accessed via Zoom.

    NanoVNAs might seem like poorly engineered gimmicks when compared to name brand analyzers like RigExperts, but if you take the time to learn their quirks, nanoVNAs become quite useful. Luca Younes, KN6HBW, covers basic VNA terminology and theory, nanoVNA variants, usage instructions for common tasks like antenna analysis, filter or frequency analysis, and nanoVNA specific theory (like design). He may also briefly discuss nanoVNAs sister product, the tinySA.

    Luca's presentation is available on-line.

    Luca Younes, KN6HBW, is a young ham and recent licensee. Luca is 14 and has been licensed since February 2019.

    He has a self-professed “obsession” with science fairs and got licensed in order to do projects. Luca spends time on the N6NFI repeater, discussing projects with other hams who are interested.

    He tends to spend hundreds of hours researching and designing projects on paper before deciding whether to build or not. An example he is particularly proud of was a 70-cm band “UART over rf” project. UART stands for Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter. A UART's main purpose is to transmit and receive serial data.

    There is no raffle, or WYWH for this meeting.

    Friday August 27, 2021 - Membership Meeting

    Universal Equivalent Circuits for All Antennas

    Steve Stearns, K6OIK

    NO meeting at Covington this month. This is an on-line meeting accessed via Zoom.

    Equivalent circuits are useful for performing lab tests without radiating. Series and parallel RLC resonant circuits have long been the staple of narrowband equivalent circuits for dipole and loop antennas. K6OIK presents a different approach for making universal equivalent circuits for any antenna over any bandwidth. Antenna impedance and admittance properties are reviewed. Key properties are explained on a Smith chart. The concept of natural frequencies for terminated antennas is explained. By using results from classical network synthesis, measured or computed impedance data, and a circuit optimizer, the impedance function of any antenna can be accurately modeled by one of four universal equivalent circuits. The difference between 1-port and 2-port equivalent circuits are discussed. The former are useful for making dummy loads for reflection experiments or match network testing. The latter are useful for transmission experiments. Examples are given for dipole and monopole antennas.

    HF phone: Golden Bear Amateur Radio Net, 3,975 kHz LSB at 1900 Pacific time daily.

    E-Mail: k6oik AT arrl.net

    Articles: /docs/k6oik

    Steve Stearns, K6OIK, started in ham radio while in high school at the height of the Heathkit era. He holds an FCC Amateur Extra and a commercial General Radio Operator license with Radar endorsement. He previously held Novice, Technician, and 1st Class Radiotelephone licenses.

    He studied electrical engineering at California State University Fullerton, the University of Southern California, and Stanford, specializing in electromagnetic theory, communication, engineering and signal processing.

    Steve was Chief Technologist for TRW Firestorm Wireless Communication Products (now part of Northrop Grumman Electromagnetic Systems Laboratory), where he led the development of digital array signal processing technology for smart antennas, commercial wireless, and government communication systems.

    Steve served as assistant director of ARRL Pacific Division under Jim Maxwell W6CF, and is vice-president of the Foothills Amateur Radio Society. He holds ten U.S. patents and has over 50 professional publications. Steve has received numerous awards for professional and community volunteer activities.
    There is no raffle, or WYWH for this meeting.

    Friday September 24, 2021 - Membership Meeting

    [K6YA]
    [K6YA]

    Home Brew Winners:
    Roy, KM6EEO (1st)
    Paul, AA6PZ (2nd)
    Andy, KR6DD (3rd)
    John, K6JDS (4th)

    FARS Annual Amateur Radio Home Brew Contest

    K6YA

    This month's meeting is scheduled as an in-person meeting at Covington School and COVID-19 Rules apply. This meeting was made available on-line via Zoom.

    This meeting is about you. Yes you, our members and guests. Our Annual Amateur Radio Homebrew Contest is a opportunity to show off a project that you have worked on in the past year. Each participant has a few minutes to show and explain his project to our audience and has a chance to win one of our four prizes:

    $40 First prize
    $30 Second prize
    $20 Third prize
    $10 Fourth prize
    K6YA is the Club radio call sign for the Foothills Amateur Radio Society. The current trustee for K6YA is KA6MZE. This picture is of the Field Day 2007 set up crew.
    There is no raffle, or WYWH for this meeting.

    Friday October 22, 2021 - Membership Meeting


    [Raffle Winners]

    Raffle (L-R):
    Steve, K6OIK (6th)
    Dave, W6VYC, (1st)
    Mike, KN6QI (4th, 5th)
    Abhi (2nd, 3rd)
    Erik, KM6EOP (2nd)

    ANSim Antenna Modeling Software

    David Tilston
    Phoenix Antenna Systems

    This month’s meeting is scheduled to convene at Covington. COVID-19 Rules apply. This meeting is available on-line via Zoom. [update: Evidence of COVID-19 vaccination is required to attend the meeting in-person]

    David Tilston of Phoenix Antenna Systems explains and demonstrates the new antenna modeling software ANSim. ANSim is a moment method electromagnetic modeling program used mainly for antenna design. The thin-wire code is based on the high-accuracy multi-radius bridge current (MBC) method developed by Dr. Mark Tilston in 1989 at the University of Toronto. The MBC method is considered by antenna experts to be the most accurate of MoM thin-wire codes, without the numerical artifacts and issues found in NEC4. Having 30-years of development, ANSim can model electrically small and medium size structures made of wires, plates, and dielectric blocks. It is the main design tool used by Phoenix Antenna Systems in Perth, Ontario, Canada. As a bonus, a free evaluation-version is offered and can be obtained via the FARS link at https://www.fars.k6ya.org/others#Software.

    Other:

    Refreshments
    Raffle prizes
    Questions for Dr Know-it-All

    We will be raffling off prizes at this meeting:

    1. Choice of one of:
      • Radio Shack 25Amp Power Supply switcher for HF radios w/ binding posts #22-510
      • Nano Vector Network Analyzer (VNA) 2-port network analyzer with SMA connectors, broad frequency coverage 50 kHz to 1.5 GHz, measures S11, S22, S21 and S12, includes calibration kit (SMA open, short and 50-ohm). Updated version. Use it to measure filters, tune duplexers, match antennas, and more
    2. Choice of one of:
      • BaoFeng UV-5R Dual Band VHF/UHF HT
      • Canon 12 megapixel digital camera
    3. Journey's Edge Pocket Tool - includes bright LED Flashlight. I can’t live without mine
    4. Workman KS-2 SMA Mag Mount Mobile Radio Antenna
    5. COB lantern (Chip On Board) twice as bright as conventional LED lights
    6. RG214U Coax Cable 25ft w/ N connectors(also known as Belden 8268); 450 MHz 5.2dB per 100 ft.
    [RS 25Amp Power Supply]

    RS 25Amp Power Supply #22-510

    [Nano Vector Network Analyzer (VNA)]

    Nano Vector Network Analyzer (VNA) 2-port network analyzer w/ SMA connectors, covers 50 kHz to 1.5 GHz

    [BaoFeng UV-5R]

    BaoFeng UV-5R Dual Band VHF/UHF HT

    [Canon 12 megapixel digital camera]

    Canon 12 megapixel digital camera

    [JE Pocket Tool]

    Journey's Edge Pocket Tool - includes bright LED Flashlight

    [Workman KS-2 Mag Mount Mobile Radio Antenna]

    Workman KS-2 SMA Mag Mount Mobile Radio Antenna

    [COB LED lantern]

    COB lantern (Chip On Board) twice as bright as conventional LED lights

    [RG214U Coax Cable (25ft)]

    RG214U Coax Cable 25ft w/ N connectors


    Friday November 19, 2021 - Membership Meeting

    [Kenneth Wyatt]
    [Kenneth Wyatt]

    [Raffle Winners]

    Raffle (L-R):
    John, K6JDS (3rd)
    Steve, K6OIK (4th)
    Wolf, KN6RDF, (2nd, 5th, 6th)
    Mike, KN6QI (1st)

    Urban RFI and Ham Radio

    Kenneth Wyatt, Wyatt Technical Services LLC

    This month’s meeting is scheduled to convene at Covington. COVID-19 Rules apply. This meeting is available on-line via Zoom.

    This meeting is one week earlier than usual. It has been scheduled for the 3rd Friday instead of the usual 4th Friday of the month due to Thanksgiving. Be sure to put the correct date on the calendar.

    Urban RFI sources have dramatically increased to the point where it’s an issue for most HF and even VHF operators. We discuss the sources of this noise in more detail, but it’s largely due to switch-mode power supplies, lighting, appliances, and other equipment powered from the small power supply modules. This noise is easy to see on waterfall displays; especially if it’s due to SMPS, where you can observe equally spaced harmonics of the switching frequency. We’ll also discuss some mitigations and ways to track down the sources.

    Kenneth's presentation is available on-line.

    Kenneth Wyatt is principal consultant of Wyatt Technical Services LLC, as well as past senior technical editor for Interference Technology Magazine (2016 to 2018). He is based in Colorado and has worked in the field of EMC engineering for over 30 years with a specialty in EMI troubleshooting and pre-compliance testing.

    Kenneth teaches training classes and speaks internationally, is widely published, and is the co-author of the popular EMI Troubleshooting Cookbook for Product Designers and EMC Troubleshooting Trilogy (Vols 1-3). All are available through Amazon. He may be contacted through his web site, http://www.emc-seminars.com.

    Other:

    Refreshments
    Raffle prizes
    Questions for Dr Know-it-All

    We will be raffling off prizes at this meeting:

    1. Choice of one of:
      • * Professional Motorola GP68 – UHF 430-470 MHz transceiver complete with charger, antenna, new battery, manual - 16 Channel UHF – preprogrammed to local UHF HAM repeaters, Mil Spec 810 – has hardware modifications for direct keypad frequency entry
      • Nano Vector Network Analyzer (VNA) 2-port network analyzer with SMA connectors, broad frequency coverage 50 kHz to 1.5 GHz, measures S11, S22, S21 and S12, includes calibration kit (SMA open, short and 50-ohm). Updated version. Use it to measure filters, tune duplexers, match antennas, and more
    2. * Radio Shack 25Amp Power Supply switcher for HF radios w/ binding posts #22-510
    3. * Pittsburgh Digital Caliper 6 inch Digital Electronic Caliper, large 4-digit LCD display, accurage to 1/1000 inch
    4. * APC power strip Commercial grade, 840 joules protection, 7 outlets, phone/modem protection, resettable circuit breaker, Green/Red LED fault detection
    5. * HT Antenna 2m and 70cm SMA connector
    6. * USB Power Station 5 ports
    []

    Professional Motorola GP68 – UHF 430-470 MHz transceiver charger, antenna, battery, and manual

    [Nano Vector Network Analyzer (VNA)]

    Nano Vector Network Analyzer (VNA) 2-port network analyzer w/ SMA connectors, covers 50 kHz to 1.5 GHz

    [RS 25Amp Power Supply]

    RS 25Amp Power Supply #22-510

    [Pittsburg Digital Caliper]

    Pittsburgh Digital Caliper 6 inch Digital Electronic Caliper, large 4-digit LCD display

    [APC power strip]

    APC power strip, Commercial grade, 7 outlets

    []

    HT Antenna 2m and 70cm SMA connector

    []

    USB Power Station 5 ports



    * Indicates prizes that were awarded. [The original Baofeng UV5R 2nd prize was replaced with the Radio Shack Power supply]