The FARS Relay

Volume 31, Number 3 - MARCH 2001

George Raven K6OG

George Raven, a 35 year resident of Los Altos, died March 4th at the age of 85.

He is survived by Barbara Raven, his wife of 59 years. They had no children.

He was a retired electrical engineering manager for Fluor Corporation, having worked in its international mining operations, primarily in the South American Andes.

Volunteering had been a way of life including tutoring electrical engineering students at his Alma Mater, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. George was a disaster services volunteer through the Palo Alto Chapter of the Red Cross and helped out at natural disaster scenes throughout America. He volunteered nearly 17,000 hours with the Red Cross and became a leader in communications, records, and reports.

George received numerous awards for his commitment and dedication to the Red Cross and its mission. In June of 1995, he received the highest honor awarded by the Palo Alto Area Chapter of the American Red Cross for his volunteer service. The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to George to recognize him for the significant personal contribution of talent, resources, and leadership toward helping the Red Cross fulfill its mission.

Throughout his volunteer career, he went to many local and national disasters and became a leader in Communications, and Records and Reports. He was always proud to tell people that his house had the highest antenna in Los Altos and that he would be able to work from home in case of a major disaster. George spent close to 17,000 hours helping our community and making it a safer and better-prepared place to live and work.

He was always available to help with anything ranging from fixing electrical problems to leaving for weeks to assist during national disasters. His friends describe him as someone who always took the time to care about others even if this meant long hours of work. George was one of our most highly trained and best-loved volunteers. He will be sorely missed.

He was also an active amateur radio "ham" operator, callusing K6OG. He supplied volunteer radio communications for many local civic activities.

Trout fishing, golf, and skeet & trap shooting were other interests.

A memorial service will be held on Monday, March 19 at 2:30 PM at the Masonic Hall, 890 Church Street, Mountain View.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Palo Alto Red Cross, 400 Mitchell Lane, Palo Alto 94301.

[The above was copied from several sources. Thanks. George also had a military career. Perhaps we can obtain details later. DW]

March Meeting

Brian Boschma, N6IZ, will speak on nautical mobile - sailing and hamming.

Brian Boschma, N6IZ, is located in Silicon Valley. He runs maritime mobile on S/V Red Sky (WCY4129). He runs CW on HF Pactor, CW, and SSB at sea. When not at sea or building boats, he takes bike rides, running bicycle mobile on 2 meter FM.

- Steve, K6OIK

Steve's Stuff

This is the best web site I've come across on the history of Morse code, telegraphy, keys, and paddles:


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

Board members: Dick Baldwinson N6ATD; Herb Davidson KF6BKL, Larry Moore KM6IU, Charles Arney KF6CUU, David Cooper KE6PFF, Mikel Lechner KN6QI

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
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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 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.

President's Corner

Welcome to spring and all the events that get started at this time of year. Just a few of them are: Ham Class to start in April, Flea Market in May, and Field Day in June With the passing away of George Raven, K6OG we have lost a good friend to ham radio.

George was one of the founding members of EMARC now FARS and was always ready to help with what ever he was asked to do. As most of you know he was a great asset to the Red Cross and will be greatly missed in their work at home and abroad.

We will have a fifteen minute time of remembering at our next meeting and if you knew George please share with the club a memory.

Contact people for the upcoming events are Rich W6APZ, Flea Market, Shel N6RD and Field Day, Omri, AA6TA. Please let these people know of your desire to serve. If you do not then we will be forced to contact you.

de Jack Wa6YJR

Secretary's Report

The FARS board held its monthly meeting on the evening of March 6, 2001. Members present were Jack, WA6YJR, Rich, W6APZ, Dick, N6ATD, Howard, KE6PWH, Herb, KF6BKL, Omri, AA6TA, David, KD6WRG, Mikel, KN6QI, Dave, KE6PFF, Shel, N6RD, Steve, K6OIK, and Martin, KD6WJW. Fifteen minutes of the next meeting will be set aside for anyone who wishes to talk about George Raven, K6OG, a long-time member and Honorary Member of FARS and EMARC, who recently became a silent key. Most of the meeting dealt with the preparations for Field Day, the flea market, and the two classes that will be sponsored by the club. Omri, Steve, Mikel, and Dave agreed to serve on a committee to find a new location for the club station.

- Martin, KD6WJW


The electronic swap meet is on at Foothill College again. March through October, second Saturday. Get there early (5 AM with miner's helmet is not unusual) and bring $2 in quarters for parking (This may have increased to $3)

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.

Field Day

It's not too early to start thinking of Field Day (22-24 June). In particular, we urgently need captains for the CW and SSB stations, and CW operators. Captains already committed: Mikel KN6QI, Digital sta.; Phil KA6MZE (VHF-UHF/Satellite sta.); Peter WA6VAQ (Barbecue).

We need a Red Cross trained person to drive the RC truck to and from the site (our usual spot next to the Maryknoll Residence). Steve K6OIK may do it.

We need volunteers to help with the set-up Friday afternoon and Sat. morning; the barbecue Sat. afternoon; and the take down Sunday 11 AM to 2 PM.

Please let me know if you can help!

73 de Omri AA6TA

Field Day is on the Solstice this year. Should we arrange the antennae so we can watch the Sun rise over the Red Cross truck and get some druids in to perform appropriate ceremonies?


Superstition Anyone?

Are there any superstitions in amateur radio? Most occupations and hobbies have them. Never wish an actor good luck, for example.

Send me any you know about and I will make an article out of them. They can be individual superstitions or superstitions in general.

I must tell you I have not heard of any.


WANTED: Dead, Alive, or Both

A Reward is offered for information leading to the arrest of Eddie Current, charged with the induction of an eighteen year old coil, called Milli Henry, who was found half choked, and with the theft of valuable joules. This unrectified criminal, armed with a carbon rod, escaped from Western Primary Cell, where he had been clamped in ions. The escape was planned in three phases. First, he fused the electrolytes, he then climbed through the grid ... despite the impedance of the wardens, and finally he ran to earth in a nearby magnetic field. He has been missing since Faraday. Watt seems most likely is that he stole an A.C. motor. This is of low capacity and he is expected to change it for a megacycle, and return to ohm via short circuit. He offers series resistance: a potential killer.

Sent in by Rich W6APZ


In March, we are continuing with information we all should know from the Technician Class question pool. How many will you get correct this time?

What rule applies if two amateur stations want to use the same frequency?
On which band(s) may a Technician licensee who has passed a Morse code exam use up to 200 watts PEP output power?
What is the maximum symbol rate permitted for packet transmissions on the 2-meter band?
When may an amateur transmit unidentified communications?
What is the maximum transmitter power an amateur station is allowed when used for telecommand (control) of model craft?
If you hear a voice distress signal on a frequency outside of your license privileges, what are you allowed to do to help the station in distress?

Answers later in this newsletter.

Amateur Radio Newsline


Major changes appear imminent at the top level of the FCC, This, as President Bush prepares to appoint three new Commissioners to lead that agency.

Congress has already approved Michael Powell -- the son of Secretary of State Colin Powell -- to Chair the agency. Shortly after Powell took office, Republican Harold Furchgott-Roth and Democrat Susan Ness announced that neither would be staying on. And now it appears as if Commissioner Gloria Tristani will also be leaving the FCC before years end. This, even though her term does not expire until June 30th, 2003. News reports say that Democrat Tristani is expected to seek political office in New Mexico.

The five seat Commission is normally divided two ways with three of the seats going to the political party in power. Three Commissioners leaving before years end gives President George W. Bush a very unique opportunity to totally change the direction and policy of the FCC. This, if he chooses to do so. And what impact his appointees will have on the future of the United States Amateur Radio Service remains to be seen. (Adapted from FCC releases and published news reports.)


Scientists are reporting that the sun's magnetic field has reversed itself. This is a sign that the current sunspot cycle is at its peak and that the long downward slope of Cycle 23 will soon begin.

According to David Hathaway, a solar physicist at the Marshall Space Flight Center, reversal of the suns magnetic field is a normal phenomenon. He says that the sun’s magnetic poles exchange places at the peak of the sunspot cycle and thus is a good indication that the Solar Maximum has finally arrived.

But this does not mean the bands are simply going to go away. In fact peak conditions can be expected to continue for at least several months.

If you are interested in learning more about the sun’s magnetic field reversal and its effect on radio propagation, we suggest you see N6CL's “VHF-Plus” column in the upcoming April issue of C-Q magazine. (CQ)


Again the address to place your bid on that key to help the Handi Hams is J-38 Bidding, in care of Worldradio Magazine, 2120 28th Street, Sacramento California 95818. (Worldradio, ARNewsline™)


With thanks to the ARRL, the CGC Communicator, CQ Magazine, the FCC, the Ohio Penn DX Bulletin, Radio Netherlands, Rain, Rowland Net, the RSGB and Australia's Q-News, that's all from the Amateur Radio Newsline™. Our e-mail address is More information is available at Amateur Radio Newsline's™ only official website located at:

You can also write to us or support us at Amateur Radio Newsline™, P.O. Box 660937, Arcadia, California 91066.

Before we go, its time to announce that the nominating period for the year 2001 ARNewsline Young Ham of the Year Award is now open. Created back in 1986, this award is offered each year to recognize one young Amateur under the age of 18 in the continental United States for his or her contributions to society through Amateur Radio.

Nominating forms in text of Adobe PDF are at our website at More information on the award will appears in the March issue of CQ Magazine now on news stands. Look for it also in the Spring edition of the QCWA Journal.

More information is available at Amateur Radio Newsline's™ only official website located at:

You can also write to us or support us at:

Amateur Radio Newsline™, P.O.Box 660937, Arcadia, California 91066

Before we go, its time to announce that the nominating period for the year 2001 ARNewsline™ Young Ham of the Year Award is now open. Created back in 1986, this award is offered to recognize one young Amateur under the age of 18 in the continental United States for his or her contributions to society through Amateur Radio.

Nominating forms in text of Adobe PDF are at our website at:

More information on the award will appear in the March issue of CQ Magazine and the Spring edition of the QCWA Journal.

For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, at the editors desk, we at ARNewsline™ saying “Welcome to ham radio in the 21st century! 73 and we thank you for listening.”

Answers to Quiz

Both station operators have an equal right to operate on the frequency.
80, 40, 15, and 10 meters.
19.6 kilobauds
Never, except transmission from a space station or to control a model craft.
(Note the exception; it was news to me - Rich.)
One watt. (I wonder if this would apply to rocket-launched “coke-can” type telemetry projects?)
You are allowed to help on a frequency outside your privileges in any way possible.

That's all for this month. I learned some interesting new rules in ham radio in preparing the above, I hope you also learned something new while reading it. (O.K. guys and gals, now the secrets out - I'm not any smarter than you are! - Rich)


FARS has a number of interesting videotapes which have come into my possession as Training Officer. While some of the tapes are old relative to the current test requirements, many have good interesting material that members may be interested in.

The Ham Class tapes should be viewed any everyone who will be helping teach a ham radio class. They have many good suggestions on how to make your presentation interesting.

We also have a variety of Morse code practice tapes, which you can borrow. Those who think that they might be interested in upgrading to the General Class license in the FARS class starting Tuesday evening, July 24, would do well to start practicing CW NOW! While my son taught himself the code (to 5 WPM) in two weeks, it took me three months to master 13 WPM. People learn at different rates. It's not too early to start practicing CW.

The videotapes are listed below.

Anyone wishing to borrow one of the above tapes or the CW practice tapes may do so by calling me at 650-494-0128. They are for the club to use de Rich Stiebel, W6APZ Dues: personal: $20; family: $25. Send check or Money Order payable to FARS to:

Shel Edelman, N6RD 2195 Columbia, Palo Alto 94306 Voice: 650 493 7212

Please post the enclosed flyer where you work, or where non-hams will see it.


de Rich, W6APZ

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