The FARS Relay
Volume 31, Number 7 - JULY 2001
July 25, 2001 7:30 THIS IS THE FOURTH WEDNESDAY
We don't know who the speaker is yet.
FIELD DAY 2001
I thank all FARS members and non-members, and especially the several graduates
of our recent Technician class, who helped make Field Day 2001 an enjoyable
experience. I did not have time to write down all the names and callsigns
of the participants, especially the new members, so please forgive and
let me know of any omissions.
Jack WA6YJR, who did most of the heavy lifting and was involved in everything,
Dick N6ATD, who helped plan and prepare for the event even though he
Ray W6FQY, who towed the RC tower-trailer from and to Burlingame;
Arv WA6UUT, who allowed us to store the RC tower-trailer in his driveway
(Arv is recovering nicely from a major operation);
Tom KF6LWZ, who transported equipment from and to the Palo Alto RC;
Paul AA6PZ, who lead the effort to put up and take down the towers and
Some of the set-up and/or take-down crew:
Jack KR6CD, Ray W6FQY, Norm W6IQX, Mikel KN6QI,
Howard KG6GRO, Peter KG6GRZ, and several more (those omitted,
please let me know who you were!);
Phil KA6MZE, who single-handedly set up a complete satellite
station and made 7 satellite contacts;
The non-members who helped operate the CW station: Ori AC6AN and
Charlie W4NJK; and our own CW gurus: Walt W6ASH, Kitty WB8TDA, Hans KE6TGA,
and Paul AA6PZ;
SSB station operators and loggers: Bob WB2URF (non-member) and our own
Paul AA6PZ, Mikel KN6QI, Dennis KC6PUN, Steve K6OIK, Peter WA6VAQ, Jim
KT6W, and new member Mark KG6GRR. Mikel KN6QI who set up the SSTV, APRS,
and Packet demos and logged some 50 PSK31 contacts; Andy KR6DD who made
the 5 solar-powered contacts; Peter WA6VAQ, who organized the superb pot-luck
barbecue; and all the participants who brought such delightful side dishes;
Charlie KF6CUU who pitched in on set-up and take-down despite a recent
golf-course accident; Dave KD6WRG who despite a heat stroke did put up
the Fday. Herb KF6BKL who arranged for the port-a-potty; Martin KD6WJW who
undertook the onerous task of figuring out our score. Results aren't in
yet; but we seem to have qualified for 1400 bonus points, the maximum possible
in class 2A.
73 de Omri AA6TA, Field Day Coordinator
I want to express my thanks to all those who helped at field day especially
to Omri who put it all together this year. We had an outstanding score
so all those who operated can pat themselves on the back.
We are now half way through the year and it is time to start thinking
about who you want to run this organization in the following year. I will
be completing my fifth year and will not run again. I hope you all realize
that this is not just a board function to find officers.
We will be starting another tech class on the 24th of July and if we
have the success that we had the last time we will see a lot more new HAMS.
If you aren't teaching it would be nice to have some of you show hope just
to help answer questions at the break times.
Hope to see you all at the next meeting.
de Jack WA6YJT
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.
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: www.fars.k6ya.org
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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:
Internet: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
o DeLong Consulting o
Internet - Firewalls - E-Mail - UNIX
Bridging the gap - Your net <-> Internet
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408-322-3741 - Fax: 408-532-9362
WHAT'S NEW IN HAM RADIO?
de Rich, W6APZ
We are continuing this month with material from the Technician License
question pool on Antennas and RF radiation exposure. These RF radiation
exposure rules are relatively new to ham radio. I was reluctant to do anything
about this subject until I got involved with teaching the FARS no-code
Tech classes. I found that the subject is NOT all that difficult and it
was actually easy to evaluate my station.
See how many questions 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.
T9A01 How do you calculate the length (in feet) of a half-wavelength
T0A02 Over what frequency range are the FCC Regulations the most stringent
for RF radiation exposure?
T0A05 In the near field, how does the field strength vary with distance
from the source?
T0A10 On what value are the maximum permissible exposure (MPE) limits
T0B03 To determine compliance with the maximum permitted exposure (MPE)
levels, safe exposure levels for RF energy are averaged for an "uncontrolled"
RF environment over what time period?
T0C02 Is it necessary for you to perform mathematical calculations of
the RF radiation exposure if your station transmits with more than 50 watts
peak envelope power (PEP)?
This is the last installment of questions from the Technician question
pool, as we have addressed all the questions that might be new to hams
who have had their licenses for many years. I hope you have learned something
from this series of articles. I know I did.
A Personal Tribute to Chet Atkins, W4CGP/ WA4CZD
By Kitty WB8TDA
Every newscast I heard on June 30 reported the passing of Chet Atkins.
Many eulogies recognized him for both the great musician that he was and
his contributions to the music industry. None, however, mentioned the lives
he touched through ham radio. I doubt they knew. But, I did. Chet was a
regular on the 147.90/30 repeater. This repeater also attracted many Peabody
and Vanderbilt University students, faculty, and alumni. One evening, I
was telling the regulars about the fact that I was trying to learn to play
guitar for one of my education degree requirements. I asked if anyone knew
of someone who could get me started. Who should step forward--none other
than WA4CZD. I only knew him as Chet--not Chet Atkins. He offered to pick
me up at the college, take me to his office, and show me some guitar basics.
Fortunately, one of the hams clued me in by landline. Sure enough, we met
and he got me started. Near the end of the semester, he suggested we get
together so he could see how I was doing. So, we did. The thought of performing
in front of a celebrity was a tad overwhelming to say the least! Much to
my surprise, Chet pulled a guitar off the shelf, tuned both our guitars,
and began playing and singing along with me. I had so much fun that I honestly
forgot about his celebrity status. We were just two friends singing and
playing the guitar! I was in awe over how he could be so excited and accepting
of my minuscule skill. But, as I got to know him better, I realized that
I had witnessed, first hand, a genuine down to earth human being. He was
a person first and a celebrity last. His support and encouragement gave
me and the rest of us in the college ham club the boost we needed to make
our career dreams realities. Chet, thank you first for being yourself and
second for giving me one of the most cherished and memorable experiences
of a lifetime.
Another side of Chet Atkins,
Chet Atkins had talent and I do own and listen to many of his recordings.
I didn't know he had a sense of humor until I caught him on Prairie Home
Companion doing a song that had me rolling on the floor. It was during
the Tammy and Jimmy and Jimmy TV evangelist scandals. Chet did a song,
Would Jesus Wear a Rolex on His Cable TV Show?, which put the scandals
in perspective. After he died, Kitty filled me in on just what a concerned
and caring person he was. I prefer him playing real, acoustic, guitar.
Congratulations go to Matthew Giebler, KG6GRT, of Boy Scout Troop 33 for
completing all requirements for merit badges in Electricity, Electronics,
and Radio. Matthew is the first Scout among those in FARS May/June Technician
class to complete the merit badge triple crown in addition to passing the
Technician license exam. Good job!
Impedance of square-conductor, open-wire transmission lines
My paper appears in CQ, July 2001, pp. 34-35, with acknowledgments
to Nelson Blachman, WG6R, and John Eisenberg, K6YP.
73- Steve, K6OIK
HAM CLASS # 1 UPDATE
As reported earlier, 22 of the 25 people taking the test passed the first
time during the last class session. Since then, two other class members
have obtained their licenses, bringing the total new hams from the first
class to 24. Two class members already had their licenses from a "ham-cram"
course and took the class to learn more about ham radio, so they did not
need to take the test. Steve, K6OIK, continues to work with two Boy Scouts
who did not pass the first time, in an effort to help them obtain Radio
Merit badge and their ham ticket. Thanks, Steve, for this extra effort.
HAM CLASS # 2
Our second no-code Technician class is again full with 30 students paid.
30 people in the room we are using is a squeeze, but doable. Most students
have already picked up their study materials and have started to read the
books. This class starts on 7 PM on Tuesday, July 24 and finishes on August
28. This being the vacation period, some students will miss a class, which
will mean more work for the FARS Elmers, but that's what we are here for.
I encourage all Elmers to attend as many of the classes as possible to
meet the students and provide help where needed. The relationship of the
Elmers to the students is the best way to convince these students to become
active FARS members.
We again have a "ham-cram" graduate in this class. The fact that we
have attracted "ham-cram" graduates would seem to say that people really
DO want to understand what they are doing, rather than just memorize information.
Thanks to all of you who helped distribute the flyers and who talked
up the class on the air and at other club meetings.
Morse Code practice continues to be sent every Wednesday evening at 8 PM
on the 145.230 repeater. We are currently on the last half of tape # 4
of the Gordon West six-tape series. Code is being sent with a letter spacing
of 5 words per minute, but with a character speed of about 15 to 18 words
per minute to facilitate learning the code by the sound of each character.
This is the method used by the volunteer examiners in giving the code test.
On the FARS meeting night, usually the 4th Wednesday of the month, code
practice is sent from 7 to 7:25 PM at the meeting site.
For those of you wishing to upgrade to Technician plus code, you will
have one year from the time you pass the CW test to upgrade to general,
i.e., to take the next technical element test. If you simply wish to add
the old Novice CW bands, passing the CW test plus the Technician theory
test will do that for life. If, however, you wish to upgrade to General
and wait longer than one year to take the written General exam, the code
test will have to be repeated. As of July 1 of this year, the requirement
is either; perfect copy of 25 letters (one minute's worth of 5 WPM code
out of five minutes sent) or, a passing grade on a fill-in-the blanks test
based on the message content. Multiple choice questions on message content
are no longer used.
Thanks to Steve, K6OIK, and Mikel, KN6QI, for sending the code practice
during June and early July when I was unable to do it.
What's an Elmer?
Thanks to all of you for volunteering to be Elmers for FARS' first no-code
Tech Class of 2001. As you may have heard, 22 of the 25 taking the exam
passed the first time and were presented a year's free membership in FARS.
I'd be interested to know how many students contacted you outside of class
either by email or by phone.
I would appreciate it if you would make yourselves available to be Elmers
during our second Tech class which is from July 24 through August 28.
While being available to respond to email or phone questions IS important
whether you are able to come to class or not, IF you are able to
attend any of the classes, that would be doubly helpful as students are
more apt to contact someone they have already met. Meeting the students
can also be an important bridge to encouraging them to become active in
Please confirm via email that you are willing to be Elmers for our second
Thanks for your support.
de Rich, W6APZ
DVMs for 2nd Ham Class
During FARS' second Tech class on August 7, we will again let the students
have a hands-on experience with measuring voltages in series and parallel
circuits and applying Ohm's law.
For this to be successful, we will need to borrow at least 7 DVMs from
club members. Having bent a few meter needles around the meter stop in
my early ham days, we are specifically asking to borrow Digital meters,
since they auto-range and are more "forgiving" of possible human errors.
Prior to handing out the DVMs, we will, of course, instruct the students
on the safe way to use the meters.
Please let me know via email if you are able to lend one or more DVMs
for the class to use. You are welcome to bring the DVM to the Aug.
7 class and supervise its use or bring it to the July FARS meeting. In
either case, I will return the DVMs to you when we have finished using
de Rich, W6APZ
Answers to What's New.
T9A01 Divide 468 by the antenna's operating frequency in MHz.
T0A02 Frequencies between 30 MHz and 300 MHz. (note: This is prime Technician
T0A05 It depends on the type of antenna being used.
T0A10 The whole-body specific absorption rate (SAR).
T0B03 30 minutes.
T0C02 No, there are alternate means to determine if your station meets
the RF radiation exposure limits.
de Rich, W6APZ
The FARS board held its monthly meeting on the evening of July 3, 2001.
Members present were Jack, WA6YJR, Omri, AA6TA, Dave, KE6PFF, David, KD6WRG,
Howard, KE6PWH, Mikel, KN6QI, and Martin, KD6WJW. There was a wrap-up discussion
of Field Day activities, which were considered to be quite successful.
Other topics included plans for the January banquet and club officers for
next year. On behalf of FARS, AA6TA will send Maryknoll a letter of thanks
and a check of $100 for the use of their facilities for our Field Day activities.
Needed: Los Altos Antenna Advice
Alan Childs K6IPM, is getting ready to install a tower in Los Altos and
needs help from someone who has done this before. He has already obtained
the Los Altos Municipal Code (With PRB1 guidelines!) and done other research,
but would like information from Los Altos HAMS who have already applied
and received the builder and site permits.
(Alan Childs), get together with him
at the July meeting, or get his telephone number from the roster.
2001 California QSO Party (CQP) sponsored by the Northern California Contest
Begins: 1600 UTC - 6 October 2001
Ends: 2200 UTC - 7 October 2001
I'm pleased to announce the 2001 running of the California QSO Party
will be on Oct 6-7.
I'm sending this to as many ham clubs as I can find, and I'm asking
you as the club representative to please tell your members about this unique
operating event. I've attached a Word file which gives an abbreviated set
of rules. Please feel free to edit this down to smaller amount of text
if you feel like it. The important point is to let your members know about
this event, and to let them know that full rules and other information
is easily available at
Your help is greatly appreciated.
CQP is the premier state QSO party. Last year there were over 7,000
active hams involved in some way or other. The vast majority get on the
bands and give a few QSOs to the more serious contesters, but then stick
around and join in the activity looking for those CA counties. We are again
doing advance planning work to insure that all 58 CA counties will be on
the air and active during this event. In fact, if you happen to be in one
of the rarer counties you can easily have a pile up.
CQP is not just for HF. It also includes 6 and 2 meters. Unknown to
many, CQP also has a club competition. It can be a great club activity
to organize your club to get as many members as possible on the air and
send in their logs to help your club achieve a high total score.
If anyone needs info and can't get to the Internet address, then have
them send me a note by snail mail and I'll be happy to help them out.
Al Maenchen AD6E
NCCC, c/o Al Maenchen, AD6E, 3330 Farthing Way, San Jose, CA 95132-1908.
A $1.00 donation to help defray costs of printing and mailing results is
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
TALK-IN via the 145.230- (100Hz PL) repeater.
To get a map and driving directions go to the FARS web site www.fars.k6ya.org/
and click on "meetings". Click on the link in the meeting notice
for a map and to obtain specific driving directions.