The FARS Relay

Volume 31, Number 6 - JUNE 2001

June Meeting


We don't know who the speaker is yet. We also have to do some last minute preparation for Field Day the following weekend. If you have not scheduled operating time or volunteered to help, the best time to do so is at this meeting.


Amateur Radio Field Day is held once each year to make sure we know where our equipment is and operators are. It also is the time to make sure our equipment is working. By making as many contacts as possible during the time allotted, we practice handling emergency traffic if it becomes necessary. This year Field Day is from Friday, June 22 through Sunday, June 24.

There may still be a need for people to move equipment on Friday and Saturday. There is something for everyone to do. Field Day is also the best time to see how it is done. It is one thing to read about skip and bouncing off layers; quite another to actually hear what happens and have it explained by someone who knows.

There will be a pot-luck picnic barbecue on Saturday night. Please bring your favorite salads, deserts, or whatever to share. Keep in mind when selecting what to bring: It does get warm this time of year and some foods spoil more quickly than others. We also need ice chests to keep the drinks cold and to preserve the food. The club will provide drinks, hamburgers, and hot dogs.


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.

22 New Hams from FARS Technician Class

That's 22 out of 24 taking the test, which is much better than 50% pass rate from our 2-day weekend classes.  I received positive comments from several students who appreciated the quality of the class, the presentations, and the demonstrations.

Kudos to Rich, W6APZ for a job well done!

I also want to recognize those who helped out in the class (please forgive any omissions):

Omri, AA6TA Jack, WA6YJR
Kitty, WB8TDA Mikel, KN6QI
Herb, KF6BKL Steve, K6OIK
Larry, W6OD Paul, AA6PZ
Peter, WA6VAQ

Thanks to the Sunnyvale VEC team who administered the test.

Mikel Lechner, KN6QI


Unless we can find a new storage facility, the following FARS station furniture is available FREE for the hauling away!

All are currently stored at Arv's in Los Altos. We need to move these item out of Arv's shed by early July. If you can store these items for the club, or if you want any of it, please let me know asap!

73 de Omri AA6TA
[Anytime something is free, it is front page news. DW]


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, 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
To subscribe/unsubscribe, send a message to:
In the e-mail message (in plain text) put one of: 
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(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 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.


(Friday thru Sunday, 22 thru 24 June)

  1. We could use a few more volunteers for the work party on Friday, 22 June, at 1 PM (to move towers and antennas etc. from Charlie Arney's place in Los Altos Hills to the FD site). Please let me know if you can help!
  2. Ditto for the Saturday morning work party at the site, and

Sunday after 11 AM take-down party. Please let me know if you can help.

  1. If you plan to partake in the pot-luck barbecue on Saturday around 5 PM, and you have not signed up, PLEASE call Peter Griffith asap and tell him (a) how many are coming, (b) what side dish (e.g., salad, dessert) you can bring.
  2. We have plenty of operating and logging slots available at the SSB station and the VHF/UHF/Satellite station. If you want to reserve a slot, please let me know.
  3. We need a volunteer to drive Tom Cascone (who is scheduled to drive the Red Cross truck) from the FD site to his home in Palo Alto on Saturday morning; and to pick him up and bring him to the site on Sunday afternoon. Please let me know if you can do one or both.
  4. Mikel KN6QI plans to run SSTV and APRS demos sometimes during FD (these earn us 100 bonus points each!). If you are interested in watching, please contact Mikel at the FD site for details.
Tnx vy much! 73 de Omri AA6TA

Hot Cell Phone News

Your cell phone may give you brain cancer, but at least it's environmentally friendly !!

June 15, 2001

Nokia to offer biodegradable phones

HELSINKI - Nokia Corp. says it plans to roll out biodegradable phones as soon as it finds a suitable plastics mix for the phone parts. The company, however, says that it is seeking the right polymer materials to build the phones.

Steve K6OIK


de Rich, W6APZ

We are continuing this month with material from the Technician License question pool, the answers to which may not be obvious unless you recently passed your Tech license. See how many you can answer correctly before looking later in this newsletter for the answers. I've included the question pool reference number in case you want to look up the background to the answers.

Which region of the ionosphere is mainly responsible for absorbing MF/HF radio signals during the daytime?
What is a skip zone?
Which list of emission types is in order from the narrowest bandwidth to the widest bandwidth? (Rephrasing the question: Put the following in order starting from the narrowest bandwidth: RTTY, FM voice, CW, SSB voice.)
What is the usual bandwidth of a frequency-modulated amateur signal?
What are two advantages to using modern data-transmission techniques for communications?
Which sideband is commonly used for 10-meter phone operation?

That's all for this month. Next month we'll get into antenna and RF safety questions.


de Rich, W6APZ

FARS' first no-code Technician course concluded on May 31st. We had 29 students enrolled in the class; all completed the class. Two had already earned their licenses via the "ham-cram" method, but wanted to learn what amateur radio was all about. One person was sick on the last night, and one had to be out of town, but planned to take the test the first week in June. Therefore, 25 people were tested and 22 passed. Steve, K6OIK, is also a Boy Scout merit badge counselor who will be working with the scouts in the class to complete the requirements not covered in the Technician license but are required for the merit badge. Since the three who did not pass this first time are all scouts, Steve has volunteered to work with them and help them get their licenses.

As the VE team called each one in to give them their certificate of successful completion, the students were given a beautiful certificate made by Jack, WA6YJR, giving them a free year's membership in FARS. Mikel, KN6QI, artistically filled in each person's name on the membership certificate. The students also received a raffle ticket for a chance to win one of two 2-meter HTs that had been donated to FARS for the class. The proud winners were; Howard, KG6GRO, who won the Kenwood TR-2600A and Peter, KG6GRZ who won the ICOM IC-2AT. While there are a few repeaters that can be accessed without PL, these new FARS members may need our help to install PL boards in their radios which will allow them to access any repeater.

I found out that the youngest student was 11 years old, and the oldest was 73! I have received about seven responses so far from questionnaires emailed to the students. All were very complimentary. They appreciated the energy and preparation of our FARS instructors/Elmers. The demonstrations (including live on-the-air contacts) and hands-on presentations seemed to be a big hit. We also got some good ideas on how to improve our next class, which will start July 24. We already (as of June 1) have 16 students who have paid for that class. This means we have only 14 open slots and our publicity has just started!

Many thanks to Mikel, KN6QI, who not only helped as an instructor, but also kept the FARS web page about the class up to date. Thanks also to the other instructors/Elmers who taught, as well as made themselves available during the class and during breaks to respond to our students' questions. During our May 17 class, Jim, KE6SZJ, the president of SPECS came and spoke on the importance of helping in emergency communications. We had AA6TA, W6OD, and KN6QI teaching. During our May 24 class, Larry, KE6AGJ, came to the class and gave a pitch on becoming a registered Disaster Service Worker. Ten of our students signed up. Ben, W2NYC, brought his ATV equipment to class and explained how easy it is to get involved with amateur television. Teaching that night were WA6YJR, KN6QI, K6OIK, and W6APZ. Thanks also to our members (AD6MX, AA6TA, WA6YJR, KD6WRG, KF6CUU, and W6APZ) who provided DVMs for this class to enable some hands-on voltage, resistance, and current measurements. On May 31st, our instructors were AA6PZ, W6OD, and WA6YJR. Of course, thanks also to the Sunnyvale VEC team who came in to administer the exams.


de Rich, W6APZ

A one-year free membership in FARS for the new hams was one of the benefits of taking the FARS Technician course. I've already had the pleasure of talking to several of our newest hams/members on the air. Should you hear their call signs on any frequency (they all begin KG6G...), please be sure to give them a call and a warm welcome to ham radio and to FARS. When you see a new face at a FARS meeting or at Field Day, please introduce yourself and help make our newcomers feel welcome and at home in FARS. Our newest members are:

Kenneth KG6GRL Nick KG6GRN
Mark KG6GRR Matthew KG6GRT
Michael KG6GRU Carmen KG6GRV
Steven KG6GSC Isha KG6GSD
William KG6GSE Jake KG6GRK
Kevin KG6GRM Howard KG6GRO
Katherine KG6GRS Judy KG6GRX
Frank KG6GRY Uli Pending


The D region.
An area that is too far away for ground-wave propagation, but too close for sky-wave propagation.
CW, RTTY, SSB voice, FM voice
Between 10 and 20 kHz. The equation is Bandwidth, Bw = 2 x (D + M) where D is the maximum frequency deviation, and M is the maximum modulating audio frequency. So, for an FM transmitter using 5 kHz deviation and a maximum audio frequency of 3 kHz, this results in Bw = 2 x (5 + 3) = 16 kHz.
High transmission speed and communications reliability.
Upper sideband.

President's Corner

I want to say welcome to FARS to each new Ham that took the Tech. Class and passed.

I hope each FARS member will make these new Hams welcomed to the club.

A big thank you goes to Rich W6APZ, are training officer, who organized the class and saw that everything went smoothly. Also thank you to each one of the instructors who gave their time to help with the class. We were very successful with this group with 22 out of 25 passing. Out of this group there were four perfect scores.

We are well on our way to having the next class full which will start at the end of July. If you can help out please contact Rich.

Field Day is upon us and we need your help to setup, take down and to operate. You need to remember that this is not a one or two man show we need you all to help.

We still are looking for a place for our club station and if you have any leads please let a board member know so we can do follow up.

If you would be interested in a club picnic later in the summer please let me know.

Hope to see you all at the next club meeting June 20, which is a week earlier than normal because of Field Day, at the Town Crier meeting room at 7:30 PM.

de Jack WA6YJR

Second Technician Class in July

FARS is offering a second no-code Technician class on six consecutive Tuesday evenings beginning July 24 in Palo Alto. The class is already more than half filled, so if you know of someone who is interested, have them register ASAP. For details, see the FARS website:

You Have Your License, Now What?

You got your license at a good time, just before Field Day. Come on out and see how it is done. My late wife made her first HF contact on Field Day, with W1AW, the ARRL station.

You can see how the equipment fits together. You can see how the experienced hams operate and even operate yourself. You can see propagation in action as good contact fades with some areas while other areas start coming in better. Field Day is also a good place to find someone to answer questions.


PLEASE fill out the membership form whether you are a new or old member. Neatness counts.

Map of Field Day Site

Directions to Field Day Site

On the map above, North is up - where it should be. From 280: Exit to Foothill Expressway and turn South. Cristo Rey comes up very quickly. Turn right, take it easy. Look for the FARS sign on the right. Enter the gate and find the field on the right. If you have heavy stuff to bring in to the picnic area, have someone show you the road. There will be guy wires and other things on the field.

How to get to meetings:

(Visitors always welcome)

FARS meets at the offices of the Los Altos Town Crier.  The Town Crier is located at 138 Main Street in Los Altos, close to where Main and State Streets converge.  Street parking should be available on both Main and State; in addition, there is off-street parking behind the building, accessible from State Street.

USE THE BACK ENTRANCE to the building, accessible from State Street and the off-street parking lot; the front entry via Main Street will be locked.  We will be meeting in the conference room on the second floor.

TALK-IN via the 145.230- (100Hz PL) repeater.

To get a map and driving directions go to the FARS web site and click on "meetings".  Click on the link in the meeting notice for a map and to obtain specific driving directions.

Map of Los Altos Town Crier