The FARS Relay

Volume 31, Number 9 - SEPTEMBER 2001

September Meeting


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.

President's Corner

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 the air.

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 case here.

Hope to see you all on the 28th.

de Jack WA6YJR

Secretary's Report

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


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 Lechner KN6QI

K6YA Station Trustee: Stan Kuhl, K6MA
FARS Web Page:
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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.


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 be tested.

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)
HRO 18.2%
Los Altos Town Crier 13.6%
FARS Website 9.1%
Synagogue newsletter 9.1%

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.


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


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.



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 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 The FCC's Hollingsworth can be contacted by e-mail to All these addresses and other resources are at the very top of our web page at (ARNewsline™)



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 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. 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 / 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)



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. (AAA. DeLorme)

More information is available at Amateur Radio Newsline's™ 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 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