Login/Register


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!

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



Friday September 24, 2021 - Membership Meeting

FARS Annual Amateur Radio Home Brew Contest

K6YA

This month’s meeting is tentatively scheduled to be an on-line meeting, but may be rescheduled to convene at Covington if they allow it. Watch the email list or this page for possible change in venue for this meeting.

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

Program to be Announced

K6YA

This month’s meeting is tentatively scheduled to convene at Covington.

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 November 19, 2021 - Membership Meeting

Program to be Announced

K6YA

This month’s meeting is tentatively scheduled to convene at Covington.

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.

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 December 17, 2021 - Membership Meeting

Program to be Announced

K6YA

This month’s meeting is tentatively scheduled to convene at Covington.

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.
There is no raffle, or WYWH for 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.