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FARS Meeting Programs - 2024 [2023] [2024] [2025]


FARS meetings take place on the 4th Friday of each month, except for no meeting in February (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!

FARS Mini Flea Market:
We now offer a mini flea market at our monthly meetings where members may offer items for sale. Here is how to participate:

  • The market table is set up shortly after the meeting room doors are opened.
  • Sellers should place their items neatly on the market table.
  • Sellers may include a small sign of prices, or place price labels on your items. Include your name and call sign.
  • Sellers should watch their items and wait for buyers.
  • Buyers can make offers for items and negotiate with the seller.
  • When a deal is made, transact your business, collect your item/money directly with the other party.

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



Friday April 26, 2024 - Membership Meeting

Easy Home-Brew Yagi Design

John Portune, W6NBC

This month’s meeting is scheduled to convene at Covington. This meeting is also available on-line via Zoom.

John Portune, W6NBC, speaks about designing and building Yagi antennas. Yagi antennas are parasitic array antennas made from an array of dipoles in which one element is driven and the others are parasitic i.e. present in the near field but disconnected from the feedpoint. These extra elements serve to shape the array’s beam pattern and result in a directional beam pattern.

John describes three simple “easy-to-remember” rules that let you create Yagi antennas that are at least 95% the equal of those that an expert antenna engineer can design or that on-line calculators can create. Low-cost home-brew examples are given.

John Portune, W6NBC, is a native of Los Angeles California. John received a Bachelor’s degree in physics from Oregon State University in 1960.

He was licensed Advanced WB6ZCT in 1965 and Extra in 1972. He holds UK Amateur license M0GCK and FCC GROL and General Radio Telegraph commercial licenses.

His career was as a television broadcast engineer and instructor, and included KNBC Los Angeles TV Channel 4 KNBC and Sony Broadcast San Francisco.

John has published over 35 articles in Amateur Radio magazines, notably QST and OTA.

Since retiring, he’s been active on HF, VHF, UHF-SSB, FM, digital modes and ham satellites. John is married to KF6OEB, has three children, and 12 grandchildren. His other interests include team railroading, pipe organ, and sushi enthusiast. John’s web site is https://w6nbc.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:
    • DSO03D12 100 MHz dual trace scope with probes - features a built in DVM and signal generator
    • Nano VNA H4 10 kHz to 5.4 GHz, HF, VHF, UHF, 4-inch touch screen, time domain reflectometer (TDR) function, includes cables and calibration kit. Measures S parameters, standing wave ratio, phase delay, Smith charts. Use to tune antennas, duplexers, filters, and more
    • uSDX+ QRP HF Transceiver Covers 160-6 meters – SSB, CW, digital QRP transceiver. 5 watts CW – 10 watt SSB. Built in CW decoder, full DSP noise reduction. Complete with 3000 MaH LiOn battery, AC adapter/charger, Speaker/microphone
    • MFJ-4230MV Compact 25A Switching Power Supply - adjustable 4-16V
  2. Choice of one of:
    • BaoFeng UV-5R x3 Tri Band VHF/UHF HT, 136-174MHz VHF, 220-240MHz VHF, 420-520MHz, 1/4W TX
    • HP Chromebook - 14 inch w/ Touch Screen - 32GB SSD; 4GB RAM. Great camera for zoom calls.
    • CountyComm GP-5 SSB General Receiver LW/AM/FM/HF (2.5-30MHz), Full SDR w/ SiLabs 4743 chip, and nice stereo FM receiver
  3. Choice of one of:
    • MFJ-557 Code Practice Oscillator
    • Beats by Dr. Dre Solo HD head phones with eggshell case; gen 2
    • Radio Shack RS-22-502A 12V 1.75A Unregulated Power Supply
    • Workman KS-2 Mag Mount Mobile Radio Antenna w/ adapters for BNC, SMA female, and SMA male
    • S-Pixie 40M 180mW CW Tranceiver completed built and tested. Includes headphone, power connector for both 12v and 9v battery
[100 MHz dual trace scope]

DSO03D12 100 MHz dual trace scope with probes - features a built in DVM and signal generator

[Nano VNA H4]

Nano VNA H4 Vector Network Analyzer. 10 KHz to 5.4GHz, 4in touch screen

[uSDX+]

uSDX+ QRP HF Xcvr 160-6 meters – SSB (10W), CW (5W), digital QRP transceiver

[MFJ-4230MV]

MFJ-4230MV Compact 25A Switching Power Supply - adjustable 4-16V

[BaoFeng UV-5R x3]

BaoFeng UV-5R x3 Tri Band VHF/UHF HT

[HP Chromebook]

HP Chromebook - 14 inch w/ Touch Screen - 32GB SSD; 4GB RAM. Great camera for zoom calls.

[GP-5 SSB]

CountyComm GP-5 SSB General Receiver LW/AM/FM/HF (2.5-30MHz)

[MFJ-557 Code Practice Oscillator]

MFJ-557 Code Practice Oscillator

[Beats by Dr. Dre Solo HD]

Beats by Dr. Dre Solo HD head phones with eggshell case; gen 2

[RS-22-502A Power Supply]

Radio Shack RS-22-502A 12V 1.75A Unregulated Power Supply

[Workman KS-2 Mag Mount Mobile Radio Antenna]

Workman KS-2 Mag Mount Mobile Radio Antenna w/ adapters for BNC, SMA female, and SMA male

[S-Pixie QRP Xcvr]

S-Pixie 40M 180mW CW Tranceiver completed built and tested. Headphone, power 12v / 9v battery



* Indicates prizes awarded.

Friday May 24, 2024 - Membership Meeting

To be Announced

K6YA

This month’s meeting is scheduled to convene at Covington. This meeting is also available on-line via Zoom.

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:



* Indicates prizes awarded.

Friday June 14, 2024 - Membership Meeting

To be Announced

K6YA

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

Other:

Refreshments
Raffle prizes
Questions for Dr Know-it-All

We will be raffling off prizes at this meeting:



* Indicates prizes awarded.

Friday July 26, 2024 - Membership Meeting

To be Announced

K6YA

This month’s meeting is scheduled to convene at Covington. This meeting is also available on-line via Zoom.

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:



* Indicates prizes awarded.

Friday August 23, 2024 - Membership Meeting

To be Announced

K6YA

This month’s meeting is scheduled to convene at Covington. This meeting is also available on-line via Zoom.

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:



* Indicates prizes awarded.

Friday September 27, 2024 - Membership Meeting

FARS Annual Amateur Radio Home Brew Contest

K6YA

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

Other:

Refreshments
Raffle prizes
Questions for Dr Know-it-All

We will be raffling off prizes at this meeting:



* Indicates prizes awarded.

Friday October 25, 2024 - Membership Meeting

Program to be Announced

K6YA

This month’s meeting is scheduled to convene at Covington. This meeting is also available on-line via Zoom.

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:



* Indicates prizes awarded.

Friday November 22, 2024 - Membership Meeting

Program to be Announced

K6YA

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

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:



* Indicates prizes awarded.

Friday December 20, 2024 - Membership Meeting

Program to be Announced

K6YA

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



* Indicates prizes awarded.

Previous Programs - 2024 [2023] [2024] [2025]


Friday January 26, 2024 - Membership Meeting

[K3ADM]
[K3ADM]

Raffle Winners:
Vijay, W6VIJ (1st)
Joy, N6GO (2nd)
Kashif, KO6CXA (2nd)
José, AJ0SE (3rd)

WYWH:
Ed, WB8IQN ($55)

Weak Signal Propagation Reporter (WSPR)

Adrian Motamedi, K3ADM

This month’s meeting is scheduled to convene at Covington. This meeting is also available on-line via Zoom.

Weak Signal Propagation Reporter (WSPR) is an HF digital communication mode used for weak-signal HF radio communication between amateur radio operators. It achieves reliable communication by using low data rate and strong forward error correction coding (FEC).

WSPR was originally designed and implemented by Joe Taylor, K1JT, for probing potential propagation paths with low-power transmissions. The protocol is nicely implemented in a computer program.

So what is WSPR good for? WSPR can give insight into station performance without test equipment. Questions like… Despite having good SWR, does an antenna work well? What does its radiation pattern look like?

Talking to other hams, you might hear that a band is open, but then wonder how well your antenna works on that band. How do you know when exactly from your specific location, the band is open to your exotic DX destination and its vicinity?

While HF propagation software tools like VOACAP and Proplab-Pro give predictions, a WSPR beacon reveals what is happening now! You can see seasonal, day/night, and hourly propagation, and also monitor reported paths to different receivers – all nicely displayed on a map. WSPR software can even alert you at the best time for a QSO with your favorite destination. It can help you to adjust your antenna’s pattern or direction, or gather statistics about your beacon.

Adrian Motamedi, K3ADM, explains the WSPR protocol, then explain how he set up a Raspberry Pi computer as an ultra-low power (10mW) and low cost WSPR beacon. He explains how he designed, simulated, and measured a harmonic filter for the output. He tells how he time synchronized a standalone, Internet independent, WSPR beacon for less than $35.

Adrian’s presentation is available on-line.

Adrian Motamedi, K3ADM, graduated in the field of microwaves and high-frequency technology. After university, he started his professional career as a high-speed digital circuit design engineer at Siemens, later Infineon Technologies.

In 2007 he joined Juniper Networks, where he worked on system, chip, package and EMI designs. For Juniper's MX2020 flagship product for the Edge market, he developed the first backplane having 3000 links at 10- and 25-Gbps.

At Aruba networks and subsequent chip startup, his team developed a 3.2-Tbps switch chip for switches at commercial data centers. The startup was acquired Cavium Inc., and then by Marvell Semiconductors.

He then joined an automotive/clean energy company and worked on EV infrastructure in the US and abroad.

Adrian currently works for an AI startup. He has six patents in the field of high-speed design and simulation. He speaks at JEDEC & Design-Con conferences. He is a member of the IEEE and is a volunteer on the boards of directors of FARS and a physics non-profit. Adrian is an avid hobbyist who holds licenses for Amateur Radio, boating, and as a student Pilot. He enjoys hiking, flying small airplanes, following the stock market and financial statistical analytics and prediction algorithms and 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:
    • DSO03D12 100 MHz dual trace scope with probes - features a built in DVM and signal generator
    • Nano VNA H4 10 kHz to 5.4 GHz, HF, VHF, UHF, 4-inch touch screen, time domain reflectometer (TDR) function, includes cables and calibration kit. Measures S parameters, standing wave ratio, phase delay, Smith charts. Use to tune antennas, duplexers, filters, and more
    • Tiny Spectrum Analyzer Frequency 100KHz-350MHz, resolution 2.5KHz-640KHz. Bandpass filters for 2.6KHz-640KHz. Built in calibrated Signal generator from 100KHz-960MHz. Complete with cables, telescopic antenna, and LiOn battery
    • * Radioddity QB25 Mobile Quad Band (144/220/440 MHz) 25W mini mobile transceiver w/ 50W antenna
    • uSDX+ QRP HF Transceiver Covers 160-6 meters – SSB, CW, digital QRP transceiver. 5 watts CW – 10 watt SSB. Built in CW decoder, full DSP noise reduction. Complete with 3000 MaH LiOn battery, AC adapter/charger, Speaker/microphone
  2. Choice of one of:
    • * BaoFeng UV-5R x3 Tri Band VHF/UHF HT, 136-174MHz VHF, 220-240MHz VHF, 420-520MHz, 1/4W TX
    • * Retekess portable radio Covers AM/FM/SW. Built in MP3 player/recorder. Great for emergencies, WWV monitoring. Built in LiOn battery
  3. Choice of one of:
    • Flashlight 800 lumens Mil spec - 800 lumen aircraft aluminum LED flashlight with 18650 3000mAh battery and AAA battery adapter
    • Non-stick Silicone Rescue tape fuses to itself with no glue
    • * Workman KS-2 Mag Mount Mobile Radio Antenna w/ adapters for BNC, SMA female, and SMA male
    • S-Pixie 40M 180mW CW Tranceiver completed built and tested. Includes headphone, power connector for both 12v and 9v battery
[100 MHz dual trace scope]

DSO03D12 100 MHz dual trace scope with probes - features a built in DVM and signal generator

[Nano VNA H4]

Nano VNA H4 Vector Network Analyzer. 10 KHz to 5.4GHz, 4in touch screen

[]

Tiny Spectrum Analyzer Frequency 100KHz-960MHz, resolution 2.5KHz-640KHz

[Radioddity QB25 Mobile]

Radioddity QB25 Mobile Quad band 25W mini mobile transceiver w/ antenna

[uSDX+]

uSDX+ QRP HF Xcvr 160-6 meters – SSB (10W), CW (5W), digital QRP transceiver

[BaoFeng UV-5R x3]

BaoFeng UV-5R x3 Tri Band VHF/UHF HT

[Retekess portable radio]

Retekess portable radio Covers AM/FM/SW. MP3 player/recorder. Great for emergencies, WWV monitoring. LiOn battery

[Flashlight 800 lumens]

Flashlight Mil spec - 800 lumen aircraft aluminum LED flashlight, rechargable 18650 3000mAh battery

[]

Non-stick Silicone Rescue tape fuses to itself with no glue

[Workman KS-2 Mag Mount Mobile Radio Antenna]

Workman KS-2 Mag Mount Mobile Radio Antenna w/ adapters for BNC, SMA female, and SMA male

[S-Pixie QRP Xcvr]

S-Pixie 40M 180mW CW Tranceiver completed built and tested. Headphone, power 12v / 9v battery



* Indicates prizes awarded.

Friday February 23, 2024 - Membership Meeting

FARS Winter Banquet - Coastal station KPH – its history, restoration, and modern operations

Richard Dillman, W6AWO via Zoom

This month’s meeting is scheduled to convene as an in person only meeting (NO Zoom Access) at the Blue Pheasant in Cupertino. Reservations are required to attend.


Friday March 22, 2024 - Membership Meeting

[N5YJZ]
[N5YJZ]

[KK6IK]
[KK6IK]

[Raffle Winners]

Raffle Winners (L-R):
Adrian, K3ADM (1st)

Not Shown:
José, AJ0SE (2nd)
Steve, K4ZAA (3rd)

Parks on the Air

Clay Couger, N5YJZ and Scott Nacey, KK6IK

This month’s meeting is scheduled to convene at Covington. This meeting is also available on-line via Zoom.

Clay Couger, N5YJZ, gives an overview of Parks on the Air activities, events, and mechanics.

Scott Nacey, KK6IK, talks about his recent experience, equipment, and lessons learned as he traveled to and activated numerous parks around the Bay Area.

Clay Couger, N5YJZ, was first licensed in the early 1990's while a student at Oklahoma State University. Upon graduation, Clay got married and moved to the Bay Area where he worked as a program manager first for Cisco and later Ciena.

His interest in Amateur Radio rekindled in 2017. Upon retiring in 2023, he fell in love with Parks on the Air (POTA).

Scott Nacey, KK6IK is a long term Amateur Radio operator first licensed as WA1YOJ in the late 1970’s while in Junior High School. In college, Scott earned both engineering and business degrees from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts.

Professionally, Scott spent decades in computer hardware and software engineering, management and global technology & business innovation.

Now retired, Scott has been rediscovering ham radio and the many amazing things that are happening with the hobby. Check out Scott’s QRZ.com page for some additional detail of his Amateur Radio journey and of the radio technologies and activities he has been rediscovering.

Other:

Refreshments
Raffle prizes
Questions for Dr Know-it-All

We will be raffling off prizes at this meeting:

  1. Choice of one of:
    • * DSO03D12 100 MHz dual trace scope with probes - features a built in DVM and signal generator
    • Nano VNA H4 10 kHz to 5.4 GHz, HF, VHF, UHF, 4-inch touch screen, time domain reflectometer (TDR) function, includes cables and calibration kit. Measures S parameters, standing wave ratio, phase delay, Smith charts. Use to tune antennas, duplexers, filters, and more
    • uSDX+ QRP HF Transceiver Covers 160-6 meters – SSB, CW, digital QRP transceiver. 5 watts CW – 10 watt SSB. Built in CW decoder, full DSP noise reduction. Complete with 3000 MaH LiOn battery, AC adapter/charger, Speaker/microphone
    • MFJ-4230MV Compact 25A Switching Power Supply - adjustable 4-16V
  2. Choice of one of:
    • BaoFeng UV-5R x3 Tri Band VHF/UHF HT, 136-174MHz VHF, 220-240MHz VHF, 420-520MHz, 1/4W TX
    • * RK-560 50MHz-2.4GHz frequency counter - CTSS/DCS decoder
    • Beats by Dr. Dre Solo HD head phones with eggshell case; gen 2
    • MFJ-557 Code Practice Oscillator
  3. Choice of one of:
    • Radio Shack RS-22-502A 12V 1.75A Unregulated Power Supply
    • Workman KS-2 Mag Mount Mobile Radio Antenna w/ adapters for BNC, SMA female, and SMA male
    • * Palomar CMNF-500-50 Common Mode Noise Filter - 1-60MHz - common mode choke
    • S-Pixie 40M 180mW CW Tranceiver completed built and tested. Includes headphone, power connector for both 12v and 9v battery
[100 MHz dual trace scope]

DSO03D12 100 MHz dual trace scope with probes - features a built in DVM and signal generator

[Nano VNA H4]

Nano VNA H4 Vector Network Analyzer. 10 KHz to 5.4GHz, 4in touch screen

[uSDX+]

uSDX+ QRP HF Xcvr 160-6 meters – SSB (10W), CW (5W), digital QRP transceiver

[MFJ-4230MV]

MFJ-4230MV Compact 25A Switching Power Supply - adjustable 4-16V

[BaoFeng UV-5R x3]

BaoFeng UV-5R x3 Tri Band VHF/UHF HT

[RK-560]

RK-560 50MHz-2.4GHz frequency counter - CTSS/DCS decoder

[Beats by Dr. Dre Solo HD]

Beats by Dr. Dre Solo HD head phones with eggshell case; gen 2

[MFJ-557 Code Practice Oscillator]

MFJ-557 Code Practice Oscillator

[RS-22-502A Power Supply]

Radio Shack RS-22-502A 12V 1.75A Unregulated Power Supply

[Workman KS-2 Mag Mount Mobile Radio Antenna]

Workman KS-2 Mag Mount Mobile Radio Antenna w/ adapters for BNC, SMA female, and SMA male

[Palomar CMNF-500-50]

Palomar CMNF-500-50 Common Mode Noise Filter - 1-60MHz - common mode choke

[S-Pixie QRP Xcvr]

S-Pixie 40M 180mW CW Tranceiver completed built and tested. Headphone, power 12v / 9v battery



* Indicates prizes awarded.