The FARS Relay
Volume 31, Number 9 - SEPTEMBER 2001
September 28 7:30 THIS IS THE FOURTH FRIDAY
Our next regular meeting will be held at the Loyola School gym room
(directions below) on Friday, 28 September, starting at 7 PM for the code
practice and 7:30 PM for the regular meeting.
This is our annual home brew night. The rules are the same as they have
been: Anyone can bring a project. The prizes are $40,30,20,10.
This is the month that we are changing our meeting site to Loyola School
in Los Altos. We have this new site due the very hard work of Omri, AA6TA
and I hope you will all give him a big thank you. We are also moving our
meetings back to the fourth Friday of the month. The next meeting is the
28th and it is our annual Home Brew night so bring your projects and share
them with us. There are prizes for the best four projects voted on by those
who attend the meeting.
The past week has not been a good one for our country and I hope each
of you sense the need to solve the problem of security in our country.
I also hope that our leaders will carry through and finish what ever they
start. We should not reach out in hate to solve this problem. I have heard
many comments by Hams on the air that would be totally wrong if our leaders
would act on them. I ask each of you to think about what you promote on
Some of the new hams from our classes are now on the air and I hope
each of you will make them feel welcomed to ham radio. There are many stories
about new hams not being well received and I surly hope this is not the
Hope to see you all on the 28th de Jack WA6YJR
The FARS board held its monthly meeting on September 4, 2001. Members present
were Jack, WA6YJR, Larry, W6OD, Dave, KE6PFF, Herb, KF6BKL, Dick, N6ATD,
Mikel, KN6QI, Steve, K6OIK, and Martin, KD6WJW.
Mark, KG6GRR, also attended.
The last club-sponsored class graduated 21 out of 24. This included
a family of four!
Planning for the banquet continued.
Thanks were expressed for Omri, AA6TA, who obtained the new meeting
place, and Rich, W6APZ, who coordinated the two highly successful classes.
A nominee for training officer is still needed.
- Martin, KD6WJW
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.
Shortwave Receivers Needed
QST, QST, QST
I have several Scouts who are working on radio merit badge who need
to borrow general coverage shortwave receivers in order to finish their
work. The receivers are needed for approximately two weeks. Please let
me know if you have a receiver to lend.
- Steve, K6OIK
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: Howard Califf, KE6PWH, Dick Baldwinson N6ATD, Herb Davidson
KF6BKL, Larry Moore KM6IU, Charles Arney KF6CUU, David Cooper KE6PFF, Mikel
K6YA Station Trustee: Stan Kuhl, K6MA
FARS Web Page: www.fars.k6ya.org
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
(eg. Subscribe fars-announce firstname.lastname@example.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
3251 Firth Way, San Jose, CA 95121
408-322-3741 - Fax: 408-532-9362
TECHNICIAN COURSE #2 RESULTS
de Rich, W6APZ
FARS' second no-code Technician course concluded on August 28th. We
had 30 students enrolled in this class. Two dropped out due to unexpected
demands of their jobs. One person who dropped has not Responded to my emails
or phone messages left on his answering machine. One person had already
earned her license via the "ham-cram" method, but wanted to learn what
amateur radio was all about. Two other people had been out of town and
missed a number of classes. They did not feel prepared to take the test.
That would have left 24 to be tested, but one student, who had had an electronics
background, decided to take the test two weeks early, and passed. That
left 23. However, the mother of one of our ten-year-old students had apparently
helped her daughter study, and the mother showed up at the last class to
Therefore, 24 people were tested and 21 passed at the last class session.
Add the one student who was tested early, and our second class resulted
in 22 new Technician class hams.
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. The students
also received a raffle ticket for a chance to win a 2-meter HT that had
been donated to FARS for the class. The proud winner was Patricia, KG6HRJ,
who won an ICOM IC-2AT. While there are a few repeaters that can be accessed
without PL, this new FARS member may need our help to install a PL board
in her radio, which will allow her to access any repeater.
Our publicity about this course yielded the following results:
Boy Scouts 45.5%
(three different troops represented)
Los Altos Town Crier 13.6%
FARS Website 9.1%
Synagogue newsletter 9.1%
KE6PWH @ SCCARA 4.5%
We had several 10-year-old students in this class - all passed!
The oldest student was 85 - he also passed! Clearly, age is not a barrier
to obtaining a ham ticket. I have received a number of emails from students
thanking the FARS instructors and Elmers for their efforts, as well as
expressing appreciation for the guest hams who provided demonstrations
of various phases of ham radio, such as ATV, SSB, QRP, Emergency Preparedness,
and packet. 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.
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 and Elmers who taught, and also made themselves available
during the class and during breaks (even when they did not have a formal
presentation to give) to respond to our students' questions. The FARS members
who taught on a regular basis were: Jack WA6YJR; Mikel KN6QI; Kitty WB8TDA;
Omri AA6TA; Steve K6OIK; Rich W6APZ; Paul AA6PZ; and Larry W6OD. In addition,
Peter WA6VAQ brought in his 40-meter SSB rig, dipole antenna, antenna tuner
and 12-volt battery and set up his station in the classroom. He not only
provided a live on-the-air contact for the students (during which one of
the younger students got a chance to talk on the air) but also demonstrated
how easy it is to set up a ham station in an emergency, IF one is prepared!
Additional FARS members responded to the call and either loaned their
DVMs or came with their DVMs to help supervise groups of students working
on a hands-on project measuring voltages and currents in series and parallel
resistor circuits. Thanks to Charlie KF6CUU: Dennis KC6PUN; Herb WY6G;
Jack WA6YJR: Jeff AD6MX; Mikel KN6QI; Omri AA6TA: and Rich W6APZ.
Non-FARS members also helped. Jim KE6SZJ, the president of SPECS, came
and spoke on the importance of helping in emergency communications. Larry
KE6AGJ, Chief Radio Officer of Santa Clara County, came to the class and
gave a pitch on becoming a registered Disaster Service Worker. Many of
our adult students signed up. Ben W2NYC brought his ATV equipment to class
and explained how easy it is to get involved with amateur television. Ori
AC6AN brought several QRP rigs to class to introduce the students to what
hams can accomplish by building their own equipment without having to spend
a mint to get on the air. Al WB6IMX and his Sunnyvale VEC team came the
last night to give the Technician exams.
TWENTY-THREE NEW FARS MEMBERS from COURSE # 2
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
helping several of our new members program their new radios and of talking
to some our newest members on the air. Should you hear their call signs
on any frequency (they all begin KG6H...), please be sure to give them
a call and a warm welcome to ham radio and to FARS. Invite them to attend
FARS meetings for eyeball QSOs. When you see a new face at a FARS meeting,
please introduce yourself and help make our newcomers feel welcome and
at home in FARS. As is obvious from the names, we had many child-parent
pairs in this class. In addition, the entire Snow family took the class
and passed. Our newest members:
|Peter Berman KG6HRY
||Wayne Johnson KG6HRV
|Kalipo Kauweloa KG6HRT
||Andy Nagorski KG6HST
|Kirsten Peterson KG6HRK
||Colleen Peterson KG6HRL
|Sig Rich KG6HRU
||Jaime Sedano KG6HOB
|Mark Smith KG6HRX
||Bill Snow KG6HRF
|Judy Snow KG6HRG
||Rob Snow KG6HRH
|Scott Snow KG6HRI
||John Tinsley II KG6HRW
|Ezra Van Gelder KG6HRS
||Sam Vesuna KG6HRN
|Sarosh Vesuna KG6HRM
||Patricia Walberg KG6HRJ
|Danny Watson KG6HRP
||Donald Watson KG6HRO
|Charles Wilde KG6HRR
||Mathew Wilde KG6HRQ
|Sandy Yahn KG6HAD
Two students from the first class, Michael Zensius (who took the Tech
test after returning to town) is now KG6GUE, and Vinh Nguyen (who retook
the tech test) is now KG6GXR. Combining the first and second classes, FARS
has been responsible for 24 new hams from the first class and 22 new hams
from the second class for a total of 46 new hams! Adding the two hams who
were enrolled in the first course and the one who had enrolled in the second
course, we have added 49 new FARS members!
Amateur Radio Newsline
ATTACK ON AMERICA: FOUR HAMS MISSING IN WTC TERRORIST ATTACK
The September 11th terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New
York City that lead to its collapse also took most broadcast television
off the air as well . Also destroyed were several radio station transmitters
and a few amateur repeaters. And now its been learned that there was a
human loss for ham radio as well. Amateur Radio Newsline's Henry Feinberg,
K2SSQ, has the latest:
The ARRL Letter reports that at least four Amateur Radio operators are
among the many still missing the aftermath of the attack. They include
Steve Jacobson, N2SJ, age 53, of New York City. Jacobson worked as a transmitter
engineer for WPIX channel 11. Also, on transmitter duty at the time of
the attack was Bill Steckman, WA2ACW. of West Hempstead out on Long Island.
He is employed by WNBC channel 4 and is well know in the area for a number
of repeaters he operated from the World Trade Center. Most notable among
them a 434 MHz ATV system.
Another missing ham is Robert D. Cirri Sr., KA2OTD, of Nutley, New Jersey.
Cirri is a Port Authority police officer and the ARRL District Emergency
Coordinator for Hudson County. He was last seen helping to evacuate workers
from one of the buildings when it collapsed.
Also, Michael G. Jacobs, AA1GO of Danbury, Connecticut who works at
Fiduciary Trust Company International, which had offices in the World Trade
Center. He too has not been seen since the twin towers collapsed.
Meanwhile, hams worldwide are praying for a miracle. A miracle that
maybe they and others who were in the twin towers when they collapsed have
escaped but have not yet reported in. Or that they are under the rubble
-- still alive -- and that rescue workers will reach them in time.
Reporting from near the disaster scene, I'm Henry Feinberg, K2SSQ, for
the Amateur Radio Newsline.
ATTACK ON AMERICA: HOW TO FIND TERRORISTS AND SPIES ON THE AIR - PART
Shortly after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the
Pentagon, FCC Special Counsel Riley Hollingsworth asked radio amateurs
to keep their ears open and report any suspicious or clandestine communications
to him. But many hams probably do not know what to listen for. An expert
in this area is Chicago area ham Joe Schroeder, W9JUV. We asked Joe to
give us an inkling of what we all should be listening for:
Joe Schroeder has a lot more to monitoring for terrorist communications
than we can possibly cover in our newscast, but you can hear it. Part one
of our two part interview with W9JUV is on the web right now in Real Audio
at www.rainreport.com. Its also available on the phone at 847-827-7246.
That's 847 - 827 - R-A-I-N.
One last item. If you do happen across something that needs to be reported,
you will need to know where to take your information. Those who have been
watching T-V or reading newspapers already know that a Federal Bureau of
Investigation task force is assigned to head up the domestic aspect of
the investigation. It has also requested all media outlets let the public
know that it would like any leads reported directly to it. To accomplish
this, the FBI has set up a toll free number area code 866-483-5137. Again,
that's area code 866-483-5137. Information can also be sent via a special
website at www.ifccfbi.gov. The FCC's Hollingsworth can be contacted by
e-mail to email@example.com. All these addresses and other resources are at
the very top of our web page at www.arnewsline.org. (ARNewsline(tm))
EMERGING TECHNOLOGY: DATA AS RF OVER POWER LINES
Last week we told you that data transmission over power lines was now
a reality in Germany. But were you aware that experiments with this system
are also taking place here in the United Stated? It is -- and Q-News Graham
Kemp, VK4BB, has the details:
-- The systems is made by Main.net as an example use frequencies between
1MHz and 30MHz to send data from the home to the local power substation.
"There are no more technical problems. The radiation is under the allowed
level, although radio amateurs aren't happy with us offering the service,"
said Andreas Preuss, a spokesman for RWE Powerline GmbH. Despite radio
operators fears, there have been no reports of radio interference, he said.
Main.net and Ascom are running trials in seven European countries, as
well as in some Asian countries. Power line networking wasn't seen as economically
viable in the U.S. for a long time, because the electricity grid is different.
Trials of the new technology in the U.S. are just beginning, with Main.net
/ PowerTrust of Reston, Virginia. The exact location of the trials remains
a secret, for now.
For Q-News Australia, I'm Graham Kemp, VK4BB, reporting for Newsline.
Kemp adds that data transmission over power lines is bound to widen.
This is especially true in countries where the telecommunications infrastructure
is limited like China and parts of Latin America. (Q-News)
EMERGING TECHNOLOGY: NEW MAP SOFTWARE
OFFERS PROMISE FOR APRS
A new software package produced with the AAA auto club promises travelers
much more than directions for upcoming road trips. Even better, the maps
could find a place in ham radio.
Not only does DeLorme's new AAA Map 'n' Go 7.0 software print detailed
maps and identify lodging. It also can create sightseeing itineraries,
determine how much gas you will need to make the trip and money you will
need to pay your way.
Getting basic directions and a map using the software is reported to
be very easy. All you need to do is to type in your point of departure
and destination, then click "go." Within seconds, the computer spits out
a map with the route highlighted in blue, alongside written directions.
All that's needed is for some enterprising ham to find a way to partner
the program with a computer set for A-P-R-S readout and you can know almost
to the foot the exact location of any beaconing station.
The CD-ROM, distributed by DeLorme through a partnership with the AAA.
It sells for $29.95 but requires Windows 95, 98, 2000, Me, NT or later;
a Pentium-class 150 MHz or higher processor; 16 MB RAM; 30 MB available
disk space; a CD ROM drive and a 256-color monitor with Super VGA graphics.
A Windows-compatible printer, sound card and speakers are also recommended.
More information is available at Amateur Radio Newsline's(tm) only official
website located at:
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.