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The FARS Relay

Volume 30, Number 9 - SEPTEMBER 2000

September Meeting

The September 22 Meeting will be Home-Brew Night as usual. The speakers will be you. This is your chance to strut your stuff.

The contest is open to all who come. Non members can win a club membership; Members can win cash prizes of 40, 30, 20, or 10 dollars. 

Secretary's Report

September Board Meeting Minutes

The monthly FARS board meeting was held on the evening of September 5, 2000.  The members present were Jack, WA6YJR, David, KD6WRG, Dick, N6ATD, Omri, AA6TA, Herb, KF6BKL, Dirk, KE6ZUY, Steve, K6OIK, Shel, N6RD, Mikel, KN6QI, and Martin, KD6WJW.

It was voted to move the club's monthly meeting to Wednesday evening. This will begin in October on the fourth Wednesday, but will be on the third Wednesdays in November and December because of holidays.

Nominees for next year's club officers were announced.

Other items under discussion included the future of the flea market and possible involvement with schools and the Boy Scouts to encourage interest in amateur radio.

- Martin, KD6WJW

President's Corner

There is a change coming in October. We will start meeting on the fourth Wednesday of the month . We are making this change in hopes of being able to attract more people to our meeting and especially young people. The schedule for meetings for next year will be published in the October Relay.

One other change that will take place and this will happen at our next meeting. We will start having the program portion of the meeting at the beginning and the business will be held at the end of the meeting. So those of you that come late please take note of the change.

The next meeting is home brew night so all you builders come with your projects and be prepared to tell a little about your project.

A slate of officers and board members to be elected will be presented at the October meeting. Nominations will be in order at this time from the floor. We ask that if you are going to nominate someone that you have asked him or her if they are willing to serve. The election will be held at the November meeting.

The Boy Scout Jamboree is October 21 and 22 and we would like to have some of you help work at the station on Sunday the 21st. This is one way that we can start attracting young people into the hobby. 

All Amateurs should take note: You are now required by the FCC to carry out tests at your station for RF radiation and meet the FCC rules Which, if you do not have them can be gotten from the ARRL Web site.

de Jack WA6YJR

FARS Board Candidates
President: Jack, WA6YJR
Vice Pres.:  Howard, KE6PWH
Secretary:  Martin, KD6WJW
Treasurer:  Shel, N6RD
Radio Officer:  Omri, AA6TA
Training Officer: Open
Newsletter: David, KD6WRG
Board Members:
Herb KF6BKL,
Michael KN6QI.
Other candidates are most welcome, especially since some of the club officers have been doing this for a long time. Nobody's feelings will be hurt.



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.

K6YA Station Trustee: Stan Kuhl, K6MA

FARS Web Page:

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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.


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.

Electronics Online

In researching the finer points of coils and inductors, I found these sites to be quite good. The author is a Ph.D. in magnetics and a specialist in maglev technology.

If you're not interested in coils today, here is a good page of electronics links, which together constitutes a very complete electronics course. If you read them all, you'll qualify as an RF design engineer.
Be sure to jump up one level and browse the home site too
Paul Nahin, The Science of Radio, Springer Verlag, 1996, 336 pp., ISBN 1563963477, softcover, $24 Amazon. 

I recommend this book highly. It is a very good summary of the history of radio written by an engineering professor. Plenty of math sprinkled throughout the text. Nahin covers Faraday, Maxwell, Hertz, Marconi, Popov, spark gap transmitters, antennas, vacuum tubes, patent wars, causal networks, Fourier and Hilbert transforms, single sideband, the golden age of radio, comparison of rates of consumer purchase/ownership (market penetration rates) of radio vs telephone vs electric light vs television (radio beat them all). Nahin predicts that when the current wireless revolution is over, the singular event of the 19th century will be commonly held to be Maxwell's unraveling of electromagnetics, overshadowing the U. S. Civil War. Fascinating.

Lead Solder

For both political and economic reasons, the electronics manufacturing industry has come to a consensus view that the ultimate abandonment of tin-lead solders is inevitable. Organizations in the U.S. and the rest of the world which are concerned about the impact of lead on health and the environment have already sponsored legislation that will lead to a sharp decline in the use of lead-based solders.

For the full story, see

Steve, K6OIK


Amateur Radio Newsline

Ham Radio Politics: IARU meets in Darwin, Australia Region 3 of the International Amateur Radio Union has concluded its long awaited meeting in Darwin, Australia. And while Region 3 encompasses Australia, New Zealand and the rest of Asia, decisions made there may impact on hams worldwide. From Brisbane, Australia Q-News Graham Kemp, VK4BB, has this in depth look at what was discussed and what was accomplished at this gathering: 

The IARU Region 3 Conference being held in Darwin considered a wide range of issues and many of them were concerned with protecting and furthering the cause of Amateur Radio within the region and globally.

Lets run down, again a little further the details of this conference. The conference chairman and WIA President Peter Nash, VK2BPN commented on the positive approach taken during the week long conference when he said it clearly should the IARU Region 3 spoke with a single voice.

However, things are a little different with the morse vote. The conference resolved to support lowering the Amateur License Morse Code test speed as a temporary measure and the ultimate removal of Morse Code being an ITU License requirement. The ARRL voted against and Hong Kong abstained.

Also related to ITU RR S25 was another motion in which the conference addressed concern a preliminary draft recommendation the WRC03. That being document 8A temp 91E. This includes reference to radio telegraphy under a list of operating skills for the Amateur license. 

The concern expressed by delegates was that operating skills could be misunderstood. And in fact had been wrongly seen by some in the Amateur Radio Fraternity as indicating the retention of a Morse Code telegraphy skill. Delegates heard that in ITU terminology, Radio Telegraphy meant all digital modes of transmission.

In a motion proposed RSGB, seconded ARRL, the conference resolved to instruct the IARU Region 3 Representatives on the IARU Administrative Counsel to replace the terms operating skills with methods of communications.

The conference also noted crowding in the 80 meter band being experienced particularly in countries with narrow allocations. And reaffirmed the IARU objective of obtaining exclusive world wide 7 MHz allocation of no less then 300 kHz. This was reaffirmed.

The conference instructed the directors if IARU Region 3 to treat achievement of this as a matter of the highest priority and member societies in the region have been urged to do all they can in support.

The emergency and disaster communications traditionally provided by the Amateur Service is set to be strengthened as a result of the conference. They recommended the establishment of a regional committee for disaster communications. It will seek to appoint Disaster Communications Coordinators within Region 3.

The Conference also gave its support seeking a band allocation in the vicinity of 5 MHZ. And to consider defining HF band segments, not the 10, 18, or 24 MHz, for use during international disaster emergency communications. It was noted that IARU Region 2 had already defined such segments in its band plans.

Among other resolutions were those related to harmonization of licensing in IARU Region 3, monitoring of interference from non Amateur transmissions to Amateur Satellites, Internet based Amateur license education and on demand computerized license testing.

The seeking of an Amateur allocation for a low frequency band, either 165 to 190 or 135.7 to 137.8. And one of the final matters decided at the conference was the election of the IARU Region 3 Directors for the next 3 years. And they include Fred Johnson, ZL1AMJ as Chairman, and Peter Nash, VK2BPN. (Q-News)

Restructuring: 5 words per minute code for full HF access now in effect 

Ham Radio in space: ISS Ham Station poised for launch Manned ham radio is poised to go back into space. This as NASA prepares to launch the first gear that will become part of the International Space Station ham radio station. Roy Neal, K6DUE, has the details:

The Space Shuttle Atlantis carries the key that will open the door to human space flight on the International Space Station. Its seven member crew will prepare the ISS for its first residents. They will begin outfitting the Zvezda, the Service Module that will provide living quarters for the first teams of astronauts and cosmonauts.

Atlantis carries more than 5 thousand pounds of hardware and one of the major items is the first ISS amateur radio station. The STS-106 crew will not fire it up. Instead it will be stored in the Zarya, called the FGB module, awaiting arrival next month of the Expedition one crew. 

Astronaut William Shepherd will command that crew, all licensed amateurs. Cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev will round out the team. They plan to spend four months in orbit, ushering in the new era of permanent human presence in space. 

Initially they will operate only voice and packet. Later plans call for amateur TV, slow scan and ATV, a digipeater and relay stations. Frequencies and operating plans, including callsigns, will be announced well in advance of their use. 

A new, international organization called ARISS amateur radio international space station was formed to design and develop ham gear for the station and training the crews to operate it. It truly is an international operation. 

The United States Space Administration and Russia's Energia have signed agreements, outlining the installation and use of amateur radio on the station. A technical team, ISS HAM, was formed as an interface to support hardware development, crew training and on-orbit operations.

The United States has provided hand held equipment for 2 meters and 70 centimeters. The Russians have provided ports so that antennas can be mounted outside the Service Module. An Italian team designed and built the antennas and a German team built sophisticated repeater stations that will allow crews to make daily reports on their activities, while also improving the quality of contacts with the men and women aboard the station. US and Russian teams have trained the astronauts and cosmonauts in operating the equipment.

ARISS Amateur Radio aboard the International Space Station has a bright future. More than a million and a half licensed hams worldwide will share in the fun of living and working in space. (ARISS, K6DUE) 

Enforcement: Beverly Hills PD denies using Ham frequencies for routine business A spokesman for the Beverly Hills Police Department says that the agency is not using Amateur Radio to conduct routine business. And Detective Richard Schwab also says that the department has not attempted to place any frequencies or repeaters off limits to other hams.

Schwab, who holds the callsign N6BBW, tells Newsline that the first inkling that anything was wrong came when another Beverly Hills police officer received a letter of inquiry from the FCC. That letter dated August 14th was addressed to Ronald Derderian, KB6VTN. It cited monitoring information indicating that Derderian may have attempted to restrict the use of a repeater frequency while running a Beverly Hills Police Department Disaster Communications System net on the N6CBW repeater.

But Schwab says that the net and the repeater were no more restricted than any other directed net that one finds on the HF or VHF bands. He says that the term restricted means only that during the net the frequency was to be maintained for net operation and not available for open QSOs. But the repeater was and continues to be open to real life emergency situations during the scheduled drills. 

And regarding the charge that the department is using ham frequencies for official business. To this Schwab says that the Beverly Hills Police Department has one of the most advanced tactical communications systems in the nation. As such they have no need for any routine communications in the ham radio bands. Schwab says that the department has already been in contact with the FCC to explain their side of the situation. Also that a formal written response will be filed shortly. Meantime, Schwab invites any Los Angeles area hams who are interested in joining the group to contact him at his callbook address. He says that the net is made up from citizens from all walks of life and it is not limited to those carrying a badge. (Newsline) 

VHF: New 2 Meter Bulletin Service G0NFA in the U.K. has sent in details of the new 144 MHZ News Bulletin which is available on the Internet. The 144 MHZ News Bulletin gives information on current and forthcoming 2 meter expeditions and other news relating to the band. Derek says that the service has now active for about twelve weeks and is gaining in popularity. The bulletin itself can be read at: (RSGB)

VHF: N0LL beacon changes frequency Closer to home, Larry Lambert, N0LL, says that as of August 30 his N0LL/B 2 meter beacon has changed its frequency. Listen for it on 144.289 MHZ and zero beat it with the 600 Hz sidetone at 144.288.4 MHZ. Larry adds that the operating frequency is the only change to the system. It still runs 13 watts into a pair of omni antennas. Larry's e-mail address is:

(VHF Reflector) 



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


Emergency Comms: Napa Earthquake 

Ham radio sprang into action on Sunday, September 3rd. This after a 5.2 magnitude earthquake jolted the heart of Northern California's wine country injuring more than 25 people, knocking out windows, breaking gas and water mains, and shutting down power to about half of Napa county.

According to the United States Geological Survey in Menlo Park the quake hit at 1:36 AM about 6 miles northwest of Napa and 6 miles northeast of Sonoma, near the small town of Yountville. The shaking woke people as far south as San Francisco, some 50 miles away. While there was no total loss of telephone or cellular service, some parts of the county did lose electrical power. About 6,000 families were still without power three hours after the quake. According to news reports, radio amateurs and other volunteers provided supplemental communications to post quake damage survey crews and other agencies.

(Newsline from area news reports) 


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.