The FARS Relay

Volume 31, Number 1 - JANUARY 2001

FARS 2001 Winter Banquet - Friday January 19

Garry Shapiro NI6T will speak on the recent Kingman Reef and Palmyra DXpedition (K5K).
Michaels Map
Michael's at Shoreline
2960 No. Shoreline Blvd, Mountain View

Michael's is located within Shoreline Park, at the northern most end of Shoreline Blvd, in Mountain View.

Map to Michael's at Shoreline. North is at the top.


President: Jack Eddy, WA6YJR
Vice President: Steve Stearns, K6OIK
Treasurer: Shel Edelman, N6RD
Secretary: Martin Liberman, KD6WJW
Training Officer: Rich Stiebel, W6APZ
Radio Officer: Omri Serlin, AA6TA
Newsletter: David Wilkes, KD6WRG (See address below)

Board members: Dick Baldwinson N6ATD; Herb Davidson KF6BKL, Charles Arney KF6CUU.

K6YA Station Trustee: Stan Kuhl, K6MA

FARS Web Page:

FARS announcement mailing list is moderated, so you cannot reply directly to the list. 

Also, note you can contact the FARS board of directors at 

To subscribe/unsubscribe, send a message to: 

In the e-mail message (in plain text) put one of:

unsubscribe fars-announce YOUR-EMAIL-ADDRESS
subscribe fars-announce YOUR-EMAIL-ADDRESS

(eg. Subscribe fars-announce

The FARS Relay is the official monthly newsletter of the Foothills Amateur Radio Society. Meetings are held at 7 PM on the fourth Wednesday of each month except January (Winter Banquet); and 3rd Wednesday 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 8PM; 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.


de Rich, W6APZ

Many FARS members have been licensed for many years. When I accepted the Training Officer position, I just assumed that we would get up in front of a group of prospective hams and teach them what we knew about ham radio. It wasn't until I started reading Now You're Talking! that I realized that there is a lot of new information that we, as hams should know. Each month I hope to share with you some of the new aspects that I've come across in preparing for the Technician and General Class license classes. Ill be presenting the questions separately from the answers. While the answer may seem simple and straightforward when seen by itself, remember that the ham exams are multiple choice. It is quite different when one is trying to pick out the correct answer from several similar looking, almost correct answers. The numbers before the question are the question numbers from Now You're Talking! So, feel free to check your copy of this informative publication for the background and discussion of each answer.

What are two of the five purposes for the amateur service?
What must happen before you are allowed to operate an amateur station?
How soon before the expiration date of you license should you send the FCC a completed Form 605 or file with the Universal Licensing System on the World Wide Web for a renewal?
What is the grace period during which the FCC will renew an expired 10-year license?
What are the frequency limits of the 23-centimeter band?
What are the frequency limits of the 13-centimeter band in ITU Region2? (Hint: All of the USA is in ITU Region 2)

That's it for this month. The questions presented are ones I could not answer off the top of my head. I hope others will also benefit. Please send me your comments and suggestions at:

Answers on next page or perhaps the one after that.

Banquet Speaker Garry Shapiro NI6T


First licensed in 1956 at age 13 as KN2RQC. Upgraded to General a few months later. Never completed first DX QSO (with HP1EH)---ran out of shack screaming with joy. Built gear with minuscule allowance. Upgraded to Extra in 1959 for no particular reason. Completed Bachelor's (RPI `63) and Master's (Stanford `67) degrees in Electrical Engineering-and DXCC ('63). Began EE career in Silicon Valley in aerospace, then data communications and finally semiconductors.

Lured away from radio by the pleasures of the `60's and license lapsed; failed to notice. Re-licensed in '82 as NI6T after a ham friend casually asked if I could still copy CW-- I could. But the home QTH in a canyon was not encouraging for DX. The DX fire lit again in '89 while operating mobile on a fishing trip; started hanging out on ridge tops, building antennas, boring friends. Missed Bouvet --- a tragedy not yet rectified.

Invited on Contest DXpedition in '92 (T32) for CQWW RTTY; the bonefishing was excellent, as well. Member of '95 Conway Reef DXpedition (ARRL DXpedition of the Year), and of '99 Rodrigues I. DXpedition.

Extra Class; Preferred mode - CW. Primary interest - low bands, WARC's, RTTY.

I first heard of Garry when I went into data communications. He was then, and probably still is, a legend in the industry.

In business, Garry was a resource for answers and contacts. Later, he helped with a very sticky communications problem when others were not forthcoming.

You can't tell from the picture above, but he has a penchant for wearing very garish sport shirts.


Steve's Stuff

If you liked Serenade SV, then you will like this: Free antenna modeling software from Ansoft.


FARS January meeting will be the banquet.

FARS Winter banquet

Friday, 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.

FARS NET on 145.23 repeater Thursday nights at 8 PM.


To increase the number of trained radio operators and electronics experts, and improve international goodwill. (Note that while the Citizens Band provides a useful service, the above really points out the difference. - the comments, such as this one, are mine. - W6APZ)
The FCC database must show that your have been granted an amateur license. (In the olden days, one had to have that license in ones hot little hands before transmitting.)
No more than 90 days.
2 years. (Check your license. Is it current?)
1240 - 1300 MHz (OK all those out there with those multi-band HTs. Take note of the band edges.)
2300 - 2310 MHz and 2390 - 2450 MHz.


Ham Radio in Space: AMSAT's Christmas Miracle

Call it a Christmas Day miracle. After twelve days of total silence, the AMSAT_OSCAR 40 satellite came back on the air on Monday, December 25th.

AMSAT_DL's Peter Guelzow, DB2OS, says that multiple reports received from hams in New Zealand and Australia all gave just about the same account of what happened. Guelzow says that at 21:45 UTC, Ian Ashley, ZL1AOX sent a RESET command on L_band along with an initialization block signal to switch on the S 2 S_Band transmitter. Just after the first attempt the S 2 beacon came on 2401.305 MHz with an S 5 to S 6 signal. This was comparable to the S 2 signal monitored during testing. The beacon signal was soon confirmed by several other stations in Australia, including Graham Ratcliff, VK5AGR.

The signal held steady at the S 5 level for quite a while. Then, over a 30 minute period starting at about 00:00 UTC the signal began to fade below the S 1 mark before slowly dropping to below S 1. Reports since then from around the globe have confirmed that this signal is indeed from the missing AO_40 bird.

Taking a cautious view, Peter Guelzow says that assuming this is true, it's a step in the right direction. But others are embracing a more seasonal belief. They say that it's the miracle of Christmas showing itself in the high tech space age.

(Adapted by Newsline from AMSAT News Releases)

Enforcement: SF Ham relegated to Morse for 2 years

California ham radio operator Danny Kenwood, WA6CNQ, has again come in for FCC enforcement action. This as the Commission's ham radio rules enforcer Riley Hollingsworth announces an agreement that will severely limit Kenwood's on the air activities for the next 24 months:

“We have reached an agreement this period with Danny Kenwood of San Francisco, WA6CNQ in a case involving repeater interference in his area. Kenwood agrees to be restricted to cw below 30 MHz for two years. And that period started December 30th.” Hollingsworth

Back in October of 1999 Kenwood lost his VHF and UHF privileges following allegations of profanity, obscenity, deliberate interference directed at users of the K7IJ Grizzly Peak repeater and of failure to properly identify. Last spring, the FCC issued a Warning Notice to Kenwood on the basis of reports from the K7IJ repeater system control operator that the repeater had to be shut down due to what Hollingsworth called Kenwood's interference and harassment to other operators on the repeater system.

According to a December 5th letter to Kenwood from Hollingsworth, the San Francisco ham has voluntarily agreed to the High Frequency Morse only modification, which continues through November 2002. The prohibition extends to Kenwood's operation of any other amateur station as well as his own station by himself or anyone else.


The Techno Craze: Geocaching

Those high_tech Christmas gifts may add more people to a new techno_adventure that is luring computer geeks away from their computer screens and into the real world. Called geocaching, the game takes players from mountaintops to cities, deserts to forests, hunting for a treasure cache, while relying only on the satellite_based Global Positioning System to lead the way.

Rather than counting on the treasure hunting maps of years past, geocaching players use GPS navigation devices to help them find carefully hidden containers full of trinkets. The prizes are secreted everywhere from forests to deep within cities.

According to Jeremy Irish, who runs official geocaching Web site, the motivation for the game is just being able to use the technology. You can find out more at:

(News release)

Radio Law: Cell Phones banned in Buckingham Palace

Meanwhile, Britain's Queen Elizabeth has banned her royal staff from carrying cellular telephones but not for health related reasons. According to press reports the monarch is not amused by the constant interruptions being caused by these wireless devices.

According to Great Britain's Sun newspaper, the Queen decreed the ban after mobile telephones rang during a banquet for a foreign dignitary. As a result, only Buckingham Palace staff who cannot manage their duties without mobile phones will be allowed to have them.

(The Sun of London)

And for this week, this year and this century, that's all from the Amateur Radio Newsline.

Our web page is at:

and our e_mail address is:

You can also write to us at: Newsline P.O. Box 660937 Arcadia, California

I have to make some comments on the above:

Did it ever occur to them that perhaps Santa is a ham and stopped by to fix it?

I don't agree with Hollingsworth's, “We have reached an agreement...”. Kenwood willfully interfered with communications and should lose his license.

The Queen's ruling is the first sensible thing that has come out of the Royal Family for decades.


FARS Banquet 2001

Banquet 2001 will be at Michael's at Shoreline on January 19, 2001.

We have decided on three menus: Roast Prime Rib of Beef au jus $30.00, Breast of Chicken. Piccata $25.00, Broiled Salmon, Lemon Beurre Blanc $28.00. Each entree is served with seasonal greens, "intermezzo" pasta, fresh vegetables, potato du jour, french rolls and coffee. We have selected cheesecake for dessert. The above prices include service at 17% and tax of 8.25%. [Please fill out form below as soon as you know you are coming to the banquet. DW]

We will have a NO HOST BAR. Wine can be purchased for dinner by anyone desiring it.

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 Flea market) 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.

Map of Los Altos Town Crier