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The FARS Relay

Volume 30, Number 8 AUGUST 2000

August Meeting

August 25, 2000 7:30 

Jack Ruckman, AC6FU will speak at the August 25 meeting on the 10-10 Club. 

The September 22 Meeting will be Home brew Night as usual.


Well, there it is gang. Howard is way ahead of the game and you have enough warning to get your home-brew project done and your patter rehearsed. 

Secretary's Report

The FARS board held its monthly meeting on the evening of August 1, 2000. Members present were Jack, WA6YJR, Dick, N6ATD, Omri, AA6TA, Shel, N6RD, Howard, KE6PWH, Herb, KF6BKL, Steve, K6OIK, Mikel, KN6QI. 

We are aiming for the fourth Wednesday for our new meeting night. 

The club station will have to be moved toward the end of 2000 or early in 2001. We may need storage space for the equipment if the new space for the station is not ready when the old space is torn down. 

We are talking with PARRA about doing a joint banquet again in January. It will be at Michael's.

We will be asking for nominations and volunteers for club officers for 2001. 

Starting in October, business will be held to 15 minutes at the meetings. This is so the speaker can start earlier. 

We are looking for club projects. If they can be fund-raising projects, all the better.

David, KD6WRG


Summer is fast coming to an end and school will soon start. As a club we should begin to explore how we can attract young people into Ham radio. Some of you must have some ideas as to how we can reach young people at the school age level. Let us hear from you.

Our next speaker will be speaking about 10-10 international which I have been a member of for several years and this should be a very informative meeting so I hope to see a lot of you out.

If you haven't marked your calendar for the banquet I hope you will do so. It will be held on Friday, January 19, 2001. We had a great time meeting with PARRA last year and we teaming together again this year.

Hope to see you all at the meeting,

de Jack WA6YJR


The XYL's HT had been acting a bit erratic. After replacing the battery pack with a new one that did not solve the problem, I decided to test the rubber ducky antenna on an MFJ 259B analyzer. The Yaesu FT-11R rubber ducky antenna showed a minimum VSWR of 1.4:1 at 145.85 MHz and a 2:1 bandwidth from 143.53 - 148.59; very reasonable performance. I then tried my AEA 2 meter Hot Rod antenna fully extended. It measured a minimum VSWR of 1.1:1 at 145.73 with a 2:1 bandwidth from 143.07 - 149.07 MHz; very good performance. Then I decided to test the well-known adage: "you can even use the AEA antennas fully collapsed". In this configuration, the VSWR minimum was 1.5:1 at 126.42 MHz, with a 2:1 bandwidth of 123.19 - 

129.48 MHz. The VSWR at 144 MHz was 10:1! (VSWR = ten to one) Yes, one can transmit with an AEA antenna collapsed, and yes, it may get out better than a rubber duck, but only because the duck is such a poor radiator, even if the duck is a good match. Remember: a 50 W resistor is also a good match.... but a poor radiator.

de Rich W6APZ


President: Jack Eddy, WA6YJR
Vice President: Howard Califf, KE6PWH
Treasurer: Shel Edelman, N6RD
Secretary: Martin Liberman, KD6WJW
Training Officer: Steve Stearns, KF6OIK/AE
Radio Officer: Omri Serlin AA6TA
Newsletter: David Wilkes KD6WRG (See address below)

Board members: Dirk Thiele KE6ZUY, Dick Baldwinson N6ATD; Herb Davidson KF6BKL, Omri Serlin AA6TA, Larry Moore KM6IU, Charles Arney KF6CUU, Steve Stearns KF6OIK, David Wilkes KD6WRG.

K6YA Station Trustee: Stan Kuhl, K6MA

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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: N6NFI (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:

VHF voice: KD6WRG on N6NFI, 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.

Sixty Five Years in Amateur Radio:

Walt Serniuk K6HQE died in July after a long illness. 

Walter Serniuk was licensed (class B) on Oct. 29, 1935 as W2JAR in his home town of Elizabeth, NJ, a stone's throw from Staten Island, NY, joking referred to as "Static Island" by the radio fraternity in those days. (Probably because of the numerous welding rigs in the shipyards)

Walt's early experience started with crystal sets, including making his own galena crystals from lead and sulphur. This was followed by progress to regenerative sets using UX199,30 and 32 tubes.

The first rig was a 45 Hartley breadboard oscillator on 80 meters. The receiver was 24 regenerative detector followed by two stages of 27 audio.

A class A license (equivalent to Advance) was obtained a year after the initial license. At that time, in the late 1930's, 160 meter phone was very popular. The rig had expanded to a 24 electron coupled oscillator, followed by a buffer and a 45 final Heising modulated by a 250. A National FBXA was used along with a home built superhet, sporting a regenerative RF preselector and a regenerative 2nd detector. It worked fine, but was tricky tuning because of body capacity effects.

Walt never used arc or spark for radio transmissions, but got good experience in development of multi Kilowatt arc and spark sources for spectroscopy while in college.

After obtaining a degree in Engineering Physics, Walt joined a World War II team working on Secret Weapon #2, The Proximity Fuze. The development, design and production of the Fuze under Navy auspices was contributed to heavily by Radio Amateurs, as were other key areas in weaponry, communications and navigation.

Following WW II Walt's efforts were mostly in military electronics, including; Communications, Navigation and Electronic warfare systems, and the development of spread spectrum techniques.

Walt became K6HQE on transfer to the West Coast in 1953. On transfer back East in 1958, he was reassigned W2JAR and when he was transferred out West again in 1972, he regained K6HQE.

Walt feels that "Ham Radio has been a source of guidance, inspiration and education and accomplishment in his life, progressing from an early interest in general science to radio and electronics as a professional engineer. May it do the same for the youth of today!"

[We don't know who wrote this ten years ago. Thanks to Jack for finding it in an old Relay. DW]


FARS Winter banquet January 19, 2001 at Michael's

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.

IEEE article on cell phone safety 

The IEEE just published an authoritative summary article on the status of research on cell phone safety and RF exposure. It's in the August issue of IEEE Spectrum. 

The text can be viewed on the web at 

Steve, K6OIK 
o DeLong Consulting o 

Internet - Firewalls - E-Mail - UNIX
Bridging the gap - Your net -> Internet 

Owen DeLong

3251 Firth Way, San Jose, CA 95121 
408-322-3741 - Fax: 408-532-9362 
Email: Owen@DeLong.COM


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.