RCARA - Monitor - April 2008.pub by xiangpeng


									                           Newsletter of the Riverside County Amateur Radio Association
                            ARRL Affiliated Club #1720 - - - - Celebrating our 52nd Year

Volume 53 No. 4                                     April 2008                                      http://www.w6tj.com

OUR APRIL 10TH PROGRAM                                           VENUS: LARGE AS EARTH
        This month's program is a Chef's Surprise.
It features a large cast and I can only hope there is
room for all of our members too.
         Be sure not to miss this 1) exciting, 2)
thrilling, 3) inspiring, 4) meaningful, and 5) powerful
                                   73, Justin, AE6YD

        Sad news. Gary Van Noty, AE6VF, had
 an apparent heart attack the morning of March
 25th and passed way.
        As you already know, a memorial
 service will be held on Saturday, April 5th at
                                                                         Venus is as large as Earth, and it is difficult
 3:00 PM in the La Sierra University Church.
                                                                 for its atmosphere to escape due to the planet's
 This is where we hold our monthly club
                                                                 gravity. The solar wind is the best source of
                                                                 energy to accelerate the upper atmosphere's
         Let us keep his dad, Van–AA6SD and                      charged particles, giving them enough energy to
 his sister, Carol Sue, WB0RTQ in our thoughts                   escape. This is why Venus loses its atmosphere
 and prayers during this difficult time for them.                due to interaction with the solar wind.
                                                                         It’s a great picture, isn’t it.

                                                                 FIELD DAY COMMITTEE
                                                                        We are fortunate to have Chris Maness,
                                                                 KQ6UP and Justin Nelson, AE6YD as our
                                                                 committee this year. This is the first time we have
                                                                 any of our newer stars stepping up for this task.
                                                                        Mark your calendars now for the weekend
                                                                 of July 27-29 – that’s Friday, Saturday and
                                                                 Sunday. In the past, Friday has been used as the
                                                                 day to do most of our antenna set-up. The actual
                                                                 Field Day starts at 11:00AM on Saturday and ends
                                                                 24 hours later at 11:00AM on Sunday.
                    If you enjoy ham radio
                 and don’t belong to the ARRL,                           This is a terrific opportunity for our Techs
                        SHAME ON YOU                             to try out HF and help light a fire to upgrade.

                                                      Page 1
                                                                     The Monitor is published monthly by the
                                                                     Riverside County Amateur Radio Association
                                                                     P.O. Box 1412, Riverside, CA 92502-1412
        Well, since we last met,                                        PUBLICATION DATE
                                                                     Monitor publication 11 days prior to each
my cat got out of the house. I
                                                                     meeting.    All articles for May’s issue must be
went outside and was sure she                                        received by the Editor no later than Sunday, April
would come in when I called                                          20th.      Send text file via e-mail to
her for a special treat.                                             froberts@aceweb.com with photos as
         I called, “Here kitty,
here kitty, here kitty, here kitty,                                  President
here kitty, here kitty, here kitty,                                  Ric Maxfield, N6RIC 546-6691
here kitty, here kitty, here kitty,                                  Vice President
here kitty, here kitty, here kitty,                                  Justin Nelson, AE6YD 231-5283
here kitty, here kitty, here kitty,                                  Secretary
here kitty, here kitty, here kitty,           Ric—N6RIC               Brent Austin, KI6OQT 353-1629
here kitty, here kitty, here kitty,                                  Treasurer
here kitty, here kitty, here kitty, here kitty, here kitty, here     Bruce Morgan, K6OIF 353-1474
kitty, here kitty, here kitty, here kitty, here kitty, here kitty,   Editor
here kitty, here kitty, here kitty, here kitty, here kitty“ But,     Fred Roberts, W6TKV 687-8145
I had no success whatever.                                           Director of Communications
                                                                     Bil Seymour, WA6MOD 909-795-4983
                                         73 de Ric, N6RIC
                                                                     Director of Membership
P.S. Believe Ric was in Hawaii – some folks will do                  Ed Morgan, KF6BNQ 689-1917
anything to get out of writing an article for The Monitor.           Past President
                                                                     Bob Wade, W6RTW 785-1210
                                                                     Trustee of W6TJ
                                                                     Ted Hudson, KQ6U 686-7157
                                                                     VE Team Leader
                                                                     Frank Van Derpoel, K6UIZ 686-1873
                                                                     Website Administrator – www.w6tj.org
                                                                     Art Sutorus, KQ6HF 734-1485
                                                                     Meeting Site Coordinator
                                                                     ‘Van’ Van Noty, AA6SD 689-2386
                                                                     Meeting Coffee Master and Back-Up
                                                                     Brent Austin, KI6OQT 353-1629
                            If you enjoy ham radio                   Damon Jones, KI6HPV 909-880-1921
                         and don’t belong to the ARRL,               Public Information Officer
                                SHAME ON YOU                         Steve Evans, KF6NBP 780-9059
                                                                     Club Historian
         As an Affiliated Club of the ARRL, we are obliged           Arlo Myers, WA6UDR 686-7473
to have a membership where at least one-half of our                  Monitor E-Mail Distribution Notice
members belong to the ARRL. Some years ago when the                  Clair Cessna, K6LG 689-4580
220MHz band was being attacked, a younger ham said,
                                                                     IECARO Delegates
“Well, I don’t use that band, so it doesn’t make much                Bob Wade, W6RTW 785-1210
difference to me.“ My response was, “If someone in your              Ric Maxfield, N6RIC 870-0832
family was attacked, you would rise up and fight back.
Well, Amateurs are a big family, and when one is
attacked, we all must fight back.” His reply, “Gee, you’re
right. I never thought of it that way.” Have you?                       DON’T MISS THE APRIL
         The ARRL fights our Federal and International                MEETING AND BOB-W6RTW
battles to protect our frequencies. Shouldn’t we all be a                SENDING FOUR CW
part of this and not just let others carry all the weight?
                                                                       MESSAGES ALL AT ONCE.
                de Fred, W6TKV, ARRL Member 50+ years

                                                            Page 2
IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR                                      CONGRATULATIONS TO –
         Last month's meeting program was                          At the March VE Testing Session, Frank-
supposed to be presented by Duane-N6JPO titled               K6UIZ reported the following upgrades:
“All About APRS – the Automatic Position Reporting           Tom Welch, KD6UZD upgraded to Extra
System”, but he had to cancel at the very last
minute due to something coming up at work. Well,             Carlos Sosa, KI6JRN upgraded to General
Ric-N6RIC stepped up to bat offering a                              Congratulations to both Tom and Carlos.
presentation, “Sailing from Vanuatu to New                   Well done!
Caledonia to Australia” which promised to be a
fascinating program. But first, we had our usual             CLIPPERTON DX-PEDITION
Show and Tell – well, this one was hardly usual.                    Although some of "Club Ducie" sat this one
First, Arlo-WA6UDR showed a variety of devices               out, a number of club members made another
used to measure the ambient air pressure in a                good showing for the Clipperton DXpedition.
room. Second, Don, WB6FKR presented an HF
Tuner that had been given to him (mailed) by an                     The final report from the Clipperton gang
Austrian ham when Don (also in Austria) needed               reads, “TX5C went QRT at 1400z on March 15th,
one. Third, Brent, KI6OQT presented an interesting           two days earlier than originally planned. Due to
Morse Code challenge – a recording with CW at                both weather and sea conditions, the Captain of
fairly slow speed which varied in tune, sound level          the Shogun determined that an earlier departure
and speed – while sending “Beethoven's 5th                   was required to ensure the safety of his crew and
Symphony” to the tune of the same name. Different            our DX team.
to be sure. Fourth, Bil-WA6MOD displayed and                          “We began moving equipment offshore two
described his “Travelling Tool and Hardware Bags“            days prior in challenging conditions. By the time
which were said to contain every tool he could               the last team members were extracted from the
possibly need and every nut and bolt (English and            atoll late in the day, all but one of the zodiac spare
Metric) he could possibly need. Fifth, Bob-W4NFZ             propellers had been broken on the reef. The
presenting what his XYL made for holding a radio             Shogun pulled anchor at 0130z March 16th and
steady if it was “seat-mounted”. She took old pants,         as the sun set, the team watched Clipperton Atoll
cut the legs off, sealed one end and filled them with        slowly fade from view.
sand. Bob assured us of two things, 1) the radio
                                                                    “TX5C made 71,794 QSO's in 156 hours
never moved, and 2) no one ever stole these
                                                             (6.5 days) of operating.”
“socks” - they simply weighed too much.
                                                                   So, here are the results of those members
         Well, when the Show and Tell program was
                                                             who reported (taken from the Clipperton on-line).
finally concluded, Ric advised it was after 9PM and
really too late for his 1-hour program, so he closed
the meeting. Surprisingly, we ended up with several                                                       QSO
groups sitting in a circle talking, sitting in small          CALL     NAME       CW        SSB      RTTY SUM
group talking, and standing talking. The tone was “I         WB6FKR Don            17        ---      ---      1
don’t wanna go home yet, I’m enjoying myself too             AD6FR                                             4
                                                                       Jim     17/30/40       20      ---
                                                             N6JW      John    12/17/30       80      ---      4
       Needless to say, if you missed this month’s
program, you really did miss a very good and most            K6LG      Clair    10>160      10>80      40     17
unique one. Hope to see you at the April meeting!            W4OFE     Ken         15       10>80     ---      8
We can only wonder what will happen next?
                                                             W6RTW     Bob      15/160       ---      ---      2
                                   73, Justin AE6YD
                                                             KC6TFU    Bill       ---       10>80     ---      6
WHAT ABOUT CW                                                W6TKV     Fred       ---       15>80     ---      5
       Some say CW is yesterday’s story, but the
                                                             WA6TLL    Tom        ---       15/20     ---      2
CW operators during the Clipperton DXpedition
could really handle the key and pound out the                WA6UDR Arlo           30        ---      ---      1
QSOs. If you’re new to HF, listen to the CW at the           K6UIZ     Frank     15/17       ---      ---      2
low end of the HF bands. It is really impressive.

                                                    Page 3
THE MATTER OF PHONETICS                                              STANDARD PHONETICS
       One thing most HF operators notice is                 A - Alfa           J - Juliet         S - Sierra
that Technicians, most being primarily repeater              B - Bravo          K - Kilo           T - Tango
users, are definitely used to a full-quieting                C - Charlie        L - Lima           U - Uniform
signal with zero interference, and since most                D - Delta          M - Mike           V - Victor
Technicians (and hams in general) tend to                    E - Echo           N - November       W - Whiskey
favor one repeater over all others, everyone                 F - Foxtrot        O - Oscar          X - X-Ray
not only remembers all of the call signs but                 G - Golf           P - Papa           Y - Yankee
also gets quite proficient in recognizing voices             H - Hotel          Q - Quebec         Z - Zulu
too.                                                         I - India          R - Romeo
        At times, it does seem repeater
operators tend to compress their call signs,                         In using phonetics, you will occasionally
making it hard for others listening to catch                 find the other station will come back to you and
their calls.                                                 have copied your call wrong. For instance, if the
       By comparison, HF operators hardly                    QSO goes like:
ever have two things: 1) a totally clear                     (HIM) CQ, CQ Victor Echo One Victor Kilo Tango.
frequency, and 2) a strong incoming signal. To               QRZ.
solve the problem of copying a call sign                     (YOU) Victor Echo One Victor Kilo Tango, this is
accurately, the sender uses phonetics, i.e. Kilo             Whiskey Six Kilo Victor Uniform, over.
6 Alpha Bravo Charlie. On HF, there can be a
                                                             (HIM) Whiskey Six, your call again.
wide variety of problems: band conditions,
other hams quite close to your frequency,                    (YOU) Whiskey Six Kilo Victor Uniform, Whiskey
fading signals, ignition noise, power line noise,            Six Kilo Victor Uniform
etc. As a result, phonetics make real sense                  (HIM) Whiskey Six, something Uniform again.
and are a great help in getting a callsign right.
                                                             (YOU) It is time to stretch the letters he is missing
        A newcomer to the HF bands is easily                 out a little. Kilo >> Kilowatt, Victor >> Victory.
spotted – sometimes by calling CQ without call               Whiskey Six Kilowatt Victory Uniform (and repeat it
sign phonetics, and at other times, by his odd               twice).
selection of phonetic words. For example, a
Field Day station with the call K7LED* should                        The basic idea is to spread your callsign
be “kilo seven lima echo delta“, but you may                 out with spaces between each letter so the other
hear “kilo seven light emitting diode” which is              station can hear each letter. Often, a newcomer to
amusing and may even earn a chuckle.                         HF will say his callsign phonetics too quickly, and it
                                                             never gets across to the other station.
        If, however, you are trying to work a
non-english speaking amateur does actually                           One other point to make sure you are really
speak “ham english” by knowing a limited                     on the other stations frequency. Just move that
number of words, e.g. my name is, thanks for                 BIG dial back and forth to be sure you are dead
call, your signal 59, weather is good, it is 30              center.
Celsius, QSL, etc. You see, whenever two                     * K7LED is the club callsign of the Mike & Key ARC
people have mutual interests they can                        in Seattle, WA. Great Field Day gang with opera-
communicate quite well even though neither                   tions in SSB, CW and GOTA – all operating sta-
speaks the other’s language.                                 tions on the air for 24-hours. About 12 years ago,
         So as our Technicians keep moving up                W6TKV could not be with RCARA (seems like a
to General and then onto Extra Class, they                   brand new Granddaughter in Seattle took priority).
should make an effort to become familiar with                He wanted to be a part of Field Day, so he looked
the standard phonetics which are shown in the                on the ARRL website and checked the prior year’s
next column (these are listed on the web site                results. It seems K7LED was #3 in the USA, and
http://www.ac6v.com/dxphonetics.htm . After                  so he signed up for Field Day with them, had a
all, you don’t want to look like a “newbie” do               great time, joined their club and now serves as
you? Keep in mind VHF has it’s “rules” and HF                their QSL Manager – primarily for Field Day QSL
has it’s “rules” and they are very different.                cards.

                                                    Page 4
MINUTES – GENERAL MEETING                                        High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program.
                                                                 The array is composed of 180 polarized antennas
        President Ric Maxfield – N6RIC, called the               located on 20 acres. He said they asked hams to listen
March 13th meeting to order and led the Pledge of                and report what they hear and receive a QSL card.
Allegiance, then introductions by those present. There
were 31 persons signed in with 14 non-members.                           Brent Austin, KI6OQT added that the HAARP
                                                                 Project is a part of a U.S. Strategic Defense Initiative,
        ANNOUNCEMENTS:                                           and these powerful pulses are reported to be able to
        1- Bil Seymour, WA6MOD gave a report on the              “shoot down” incoming war-head missiles.
City of Grand Terrace City Council meeting regarding                       3- Bob Barden – WA4NFZ showed a mobile
antenna restrictions. The city council announced that it         radio mounting support base made of blue jean bags
would consider including public input from Radio                 filled with lead shot for weight – it securely holds his
Amateurs.                                                        equipment straddling the drive shaft hump of his new
        Steve Evans, AF6HR added their City Council              truck.
has proposed an ordinance to restrict the number of                        4– Bob Wade – W6RTW showed a home-
antennas to one “whip antenna” no higher than 20 feet.           brew 2M 3-el DF antenna made of PVC plastic pipe
And, the reason the City Council would include input from        and cut-to-size steel tape measure elements. The
Radio Amateurs is due to an ARRL threatened a lawsuit.           design has greater than 30 dB front-to-back gain. Bob
       Brent Austin, KI6OQT added that FCC laws                  raffled off this innovative antenna and it was won by Bill
supersede local restrictions against Amateur Radio               Rhinehart – KC6TFU.
Towers and Antennas due to rules that specifically                       5- Don Johns – WB6FKR showed an L-C
promote the Amateur Radio Service that provides                  antenna tuner generously mailed to him by an Austrian
emergency communications in disasters.                           ham in response to Don’s need while in Austria.
       Ric Maxfield, N6RIC mentioned if one signs the                    6- Bil Seymour, WA6MOD showed his two
CC&Rs in a neighborhood or residential complex, the              toolboxes including all the tools, nuts ‘n bolts and
home owners’ association could restrict activities in any        connectors he might need while in the field.
many they decide.
                                                                       7-Ron Braley – KE6RYX, gave a report that
        2- Ron Braley, KE6RYX announced a Hospital               RACES patches and hats were available for purchase.
Exercise for emergency communications will be
conducted on April 1st. This drill to make up for last           FIELD DAY:
November’s drill that was cancelled due to all of the                    Bil Seymour – WA6MOD commented on the
Southern California fires. Ron asked if any RACES                field generator and also the proposed new location for
members were interested in participating.                        the Field Day. He has seen the property and it looks
        3- Fred Roberts, W6TKV gave an update on                 good.
IECARO, noting there are openings for a Vice Chair,                      Bill Rinehart – KC6TFU volunteered to be the
Secretary and Treasurer – if interest, call him. The 2008        Field Day chef.
Arizona convention is August 2008 and the Inland Empire
                                                                          Ric Maxfield – N6RIC will arrange for Port-A-
one in September 2009.
                                                                 Potties if needed. It is yet to be determined if we can
       4- Art Sutorus, KQ6HF handed out the new                  use the kitchen and restrooms at Fellowship Hall.
Membership Roster created by Ed Morgan, KF6BNQ to
                                                                 NEW BUSINESS:
all members present. If members find errors, contact Ed
Morgan.                                                                  GOTTA BE HERE TO WIN Raffle: The winner
                                                                 was Edwin Richards – W6YJH, but he was not present,
       5- Frank Van Derpoel, K6UIZ announced two
                                                                 so the $5 prize goes back into the pot – next month the
hams upgraded – Carlos Sosa, KI6JRN upgraded to
                                                                 club adds $5, so the prize will be $10.
General Class and Tom Welch, KD6UZD to Extra Class.
                                                                         50-50 RAFFLE: “Van” Van Noty, AA6SD held
SHOW AND TELL:                                                   the winning ticket, and won $14.00 of the $28.00 pot.
       1- Arlo Myers, WA6UDR showed sample units
and spoke on sound level meters, explaining decibel
measurements and calibrations. While at UCR, he did                       Since the evening ran so long with our “Show-
research and used these audio meters.           He               and-Tell” items, our Speaker, Ric Maxfield – N6RIC
demonstrated a vacuum tube model dating from the                 cancelled his 1-hour program to a later date.
1950s and a newer solid-state unit.                              ADJOURNMENT: 9:12PM.
       2- Art Sutorus, KQ6HF gave a recorded audio               Submitted by: Brent Austin – KI6OQT, Secretary
presentation of a U.S. Military “Moon Bounce” by the
HAARP antenna array located in Alaska. HAARP is the

                                                        Page 5
WHEN THE WIND BLOWS                                                           10M AND DXCC
                                                                                      Recently, Louise, KA6ING who served a
                                                                              term as President of the Northern California
                                                                              Contest Club (NCCC) became a Silent Key. Of
                                                                              interest, a portion of her ham activities (aside from
                                                                              having 2 children, 3 grandkids and 5 great
                                                                              grandkids) were expressed by her daughter, Nikki.
                                                                                      “Louise was an avid 6M enthusiast, and
                                                                              chatted regularly on the 147.24 repeater. She
                                                                              enjoyed chasing DX on 10M, where she managed
                                                                              to confirm 295 countries as a Technician Class
                                                                                      Hope our Technicians keep this in mind as
                                                                              the solar cycle progresses.

                                                                              FEBRUARY VE HAPPENINGS
                                                                                       Some how or other, your Editor missed
                                                                              listing those who benefited from the efforts of our
       In all of the winds over the past two decades                          VE Team.
or so, this KT34-XA at the QTH of W6TKV has                                            One upgrade and two new hams:
withstood everything.                                                         Larry Michalski, KI6DCG, upgraded to General.
        Recent winds, however, have broken two                                Brent Austin, KI6OQT, new Technician.
half-elements on one side of this 6-element tri-band                          Steve Bluemer, KI6OQU, new Technician.
beam.     Of interest, the half-elements are still
hanging at the antenna by the tuning wires.                                   WANTED –
         Getting this antenna down for repair (or                             ARTICLES FOR THE MONITOR
replacement) is not going to be as easy as it was                                       The Monitor usually consists of articles
when it was put up. Three factors are of concern.                             gathered or written by your Editor. They vary in
First, the roof didn’t have tile on it when the antenna                       subject but obviously always represent items or
went up, so we could easier stand on and move                                 ideas of interest to your Editor, or ones he sees as
around the roof. Section, the antenna isn’t in a flat                         being of interest to our newer members.
plane any longer with the two half-elements no                                          On the rare occasions when a member
longer in place but hanging. Third, I am 20 years or                          sends in an article, several things happen. First,
so older.                                                                     the spelling is corrected – there are always
       The thought that keeps reoccurring is to hire                          spelling errors in whatever is written and
a crane so it can be more easily moved to ground                              whomever rites it. Articles are read more than a
level. If it can be quickly repaired, then the crane                          couple times to avoid spelling errors – and believe
could be used to raise it back up on the tower.                               me errors happen more than you think.
        The usual way to lower a large antenna is to                                    Starting with an article, there may be
run a couple of lines to ground and then slide the                            space constraints. Of course that can always be
antenna down the wires. This method seems a tad                               accommodated by making the font size smaller or
scary, particularly with the hanging two elements.                            larger, but that doesn‘t look so good.
                                                                                        Articles which deal with things that
                                                                              happened at the Board Meeting are more time
       WORLDWIDE DISTRIBUTION                                                 sensitive, for example, than a story about how a
                                   Ham                                        member got into ham radio. So, one takes priority
                                   Radio                                      over the other.
                                   Outlet                                               Pictures are good for filling space,
                                                                              particularly since one can make them large or
  Janet Margelli                    933 N. Euclid Street                      small. And, of course, an article can go on and on
  Manager                           Anaheim, CA 92801
                                    Fax 714-533-9485                          until it reaches the bottom of the page. Like this.

                                                                     Page 6
GLAARG - OUR VEC                                                      Our current VE Team Leader is Frank-
                                                             K6UIZ to whom both our VEs and our club
        The Greater Los Angeles Amateur Radio                members are all indebted. The current team
Group (aka GLAARG) came into being in 1984                   includes: Mark-K6GUK, Art-KQ6HF, Clair-K6LG,
when the FCC moved ham license testing from                  Bob-W6RTW, Van-AA6SD and Fred-W6TKV –
being an FCC function over to the ham community.             since only 3 are required at any testing session, we
The basic plan was for the FCC to establish many             know if a couple of our VEs are otherwise
Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (VECs) who                   engaged, the test session goes on, and when
would take over the management of the grunt work             Frank has been under the weather, Clair has
related to ham radio licensing. Each VEC, in turn,           stepped in to manage the session.
would authorize VE groups, like ours, who would
                                                                     One of the great benefits of our VEs being
actually hold the FCC test sessions. Also included
                                                             with GLAARG is how rapidly they process
in the transfer was regular updating of the Question
                                                             paperwork for both new hams and upgrades. In
and Answer Pools for all license classes, currently
                                                             general, the processing costs are much lower with
the Technician, General and Extra Class.
                                                             an all-volunteer group. Being a VE Group for a
        Acting together the VEC groups serve                 small VEC has some very distinct advantages for
collectively as the National Conference of Volunteer         all brand new hams and our Volunteer Examiners
Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC). Together the                  alike. All Extra Class members are invited to sign
VECs c keep the entire effort glued together. If you         on as Volunteer Examiners. Like chicken soup, it
need the Q&A Pool for any license level, just click          couldn't hurt.
on www.ncvec.org - and by the way, this same
                                                                       This article was suggested by Clair-K6LG
group also issue 1X1 callsigns, if you are interested
in using one for a 2-week period for a special event.        DIDJA KNOW?
       The current VEC groups are listed with the                   Did you know that 6M is used for Radio
ARRL probably being the largest one -                        Controlled Model Airplanes by those who are also
 1 - Anchorage Amateur Radio Club – AK                       Hams? That’s true.
 2 - ARRL – CT                                                       And, did you know that Bob-W6RTW is an
 3 - Central America CAVEC, Inc. – AL                        active participant in that hobby too?
 4 - Golden Empire Amateur Radio Society (Chico)
                                                             THE PROPAGATION FORECAST
 5 - Greater Los Angeles Amateur Radio Group-CA
                                                                     The ARRL Propagation Forecast is issued
 6 - Jefferson Amateur Radio Club -LA                        weekly by Tad Cook, K7RA. There was an
 7 - Laurel Amateur Radio Club, Inc. – MD                    interesting and unusual note in the March 20th
 8 - The Milwaukee Radio Amateurs' Club, Inc - WI            issue.
 9 - MO-KAN VEC Coordinator – KS                                     Dale Drake, W7GMY of Florida asked, "Just
10 - Sandarc-VEC (San Diego)                                 a curious question on the cycle numbers. How do
11 - Sunnyvale VEC Amateur Radio Club – CA                   they come up with cycle numbers? Cycle 24 would
                                                             indicate that at 11 years per cycle, they have been
12 - W4VEC – NC
                                                             recorded for the past 253 years.”
13 - W5YI-VEC – TX                                                   Tad responded, and you may also be
14 - Western Carolina Amateur Radio Society VEC              surprised to learn that daily sunspot records do
                                             – TN            stretch way back over hundreds of years, and
         At the time RCARA members were approved             Cycle 1 in fact peaked a quarter century prior to
as VEs, GLAARG had just gotten underway. Our                 America's Revolutionary War. Check web site at,
initial VE Team Leader was Chuck Peck, KN6U-SK,              http://wm7d.net/hamradio/solar/historical.shtml to
who later served as our President in 1988 and                see graphs of Cycles 1-23.
1989. Of interest, one of the original Volunteer
Examiners is Fred-W6TKV who reports, "As I recall,

                                                                DX IS!
the original group was 6-8 RCARA members. My
GLAARG VE badge was issued on August 1, 1984
and bears serial number 0027 - that's 22 years ago,
and it's still current - but I also have an ARRL VE
badge, just in case."

                                                    Page 7
                                       de W6TKV
                                                                  Czech Republic
        An interesting thing happens at the bottom of
the solar cycle for a few years – that being a
slowdown in exchanging QSL cards with both DX                     Dominican Republic
stations (fewer contacted) and with stateside                     England
stations due to some bands not being open. And, of                Estonia
course, 41c postage can be a big deterrent).                      Finland
         There is, however, an interesting way to                 France
exchange “pseudo” QSL cards at no cost at all, and                Germany
that is via eQSL. The word pseudo is used because                 Guantanamo Bay
all eQSL cards carry a printed signature – and that               Hawaii
means the ARRL which offers the most meaningful
awards does not accept them for credit. After all,                Hungary
they are the easiest to duplicate and show you have               Ireland
worked every country – all without a transceiver.                 Israel
      The prime advantage to eQSL is that no                      Italy
postage is required (yea!) and they can be                        Japan
download from the eQSL sight (yea!).                              Kuwait
        Recently, I received a notice from eQSL                   Lithuania
saying a ham whom they identified by call sign had                Luxembourg
sent me an e-mail. I thought, “I’ll just take a peek at           Madeira Island
it.” When I opened the eQSL file, there was not a                 Mexico
single QSL for me, but a stack of 1,049 QSLs                      Netherlands
waiting for me. Just as a matter on interest, I
                                                                  New Caledonia
printed the list which ended up being 23 full pages.
       I cannot recall how long ago I last checked
eQSL, but obviously it was quite a fairly long time
ago. In scanning the list, there were QSLs from:                  Papua New Guinea
       USA – there were about 100 QSLs here
                                                                  Puerto Rico
                                                                  Russia (Asiatic)
                                                                  Russia (European)
       American Samoa
                                                                  Saint Martin
                                                                  Slovak Republic
       Balearic Islands
                                                                  South Shetland Island
       Bonaire/Curacao Netherland Antilles
                                                                  The Gambia
       Canary Island
                                                                  West Malaysia
                                                                  That’s a lot of QSLs and bear in mind, these
       Croatia                                             came in over a period of several years. Oh, well.

                                                      Page 8
WHAT’S UNUSUAL IN THIS SERIES?                                  YOUR FIRST WIN
Hand, spring, time, table, spoon, bill, board, walk,
out, come, back, ground, work, space, ship, mate.
       Look at the words long enough and you’ll
see the answer. Honest, you will!

QUIRK IN THE MONITOR                    de W6TKV
      Yes, I realize this headline is just asking for
cute comments from many, if not all, RCARA
members. Oh well, to the quirk.
       When I complete each issue, I turn it over to
Art-KQ6HF who converts it from Microsoft Publisher
(in JPEG format) to Adobe (in PDF format). For
some bizarre reason, very bottom line or two is
occasionally cut off in the PDF formatted Monitor.
       To avoid this, I recently started reviewing the
issue on our Website as soon as it arrives there,
and alert Art to any problem areas which he can                        You mean I really won a contest??
patch prior to our members being alerted to the
issue being posted at www.w6tj.com – quirk free.                         Yes sir, that is exactly how you feel. As it
                                                                turns out there are many contests one can enter
WORKED IN A RECENT CONTEST                                      and end up as a winner.
       If you didn’t work these guys recently , you                      Bear in mind, there are many levels in all
shouldn’t be surprised. They were really rare ones .            contests. Being at the top in the Orange Section
..                                                              is a great deal more possible than being at the top
                                                                in California or in the U.S.
      AH0AX                                                              Well, how do you end up as a winner.
       TR1CK                                                    There are some obvious “rules” that make sense
                                                                as soon as you here them.
         FR0G                                                            Rule #1 – Always send your contest log
                                                                into the contest sponsor. Usually that is done via
                                                                the Internet, and the form you send is generated
             OK2LAF                                             by your computer contest program.
                                                                         Rule #2 – Check the prior year’s results
               APR1L                                            and you may find an area that affords you a good
                 FO0L ! ! !                                     opportunity. In ARRL Sweepstakes, you will find
                                                                very few stations entered the QRP category last
                                                                time. In general you will do better in CW contests
                                                                because there are more “low power” entrants.

                                                                SSB contests are really hard, tiring, depressing
                                                                work in the QRP category although it can be done
                                                                – it’s just not fun.
                 &                                                       Rule #3 – Plan to spend as many hours in
                                                                the contest as you can, and make sure you have

            SELL ITEMS
                                                                every thing set up prior to the contest day. Last
                                                                minute things can eat you alive.
                                                                         If you do not have a Contest Logging
          Just go to www.w6tj.com                               Program, there are many of them you can review
                                                                on the Internet. One low cost (~$40.00) program
              and click on the
                                                                is Amateur Contact Log by N3FJP. It has a
                                                                general log where every QSO is stored and has
       Buy and Sell Items                                       many contests plus all the State QSO Parties.

                                                       Page 9
 Every Monday at 7:00 PM             10M Early Check-In Net, 28.328 MHz        Info: WA6DDL
 Every Monday at 7:15 PM             2M Net on the Repeater                    Info: N6WMH
 Every Monday at 7:30 PM             Newsline on the Repeater                       ----------
 Every Wednesday at 8:30 PM          Simplex Net on 145.52 MHz                 Info: K6GUK

 April 5th – Saturday at 10:00AM     T-Hunt – St. John’s Church, Corona        Info: W6TKV
 April 10th – Thursday at 6:30 PM    VE Testing (by appointment only)          Info: K6UIZ
   “     “   – Thursday at 7:30PM    Club Meeting                              Info: N6RIC
 April 15th – Tuesday at 7:30 PM     RF Group (aka Real Friendly Guys)         Info: AA6SD or K6GUK
 April 17th – Thursday at 7:00 PM    Board Meeting                             Info: N6RIC
 May 3rd – Saturday at 8:00 AM       KA6ABL Breakfast – Flo’s Cafe             Info: W6RTW
   “ “      – Saturday at 10:00 AM   T-Hunt – St. John’s Church, Corona        Info: W6TKV
 May 8th – Thursday at 6:30 PM       VE Testing (by appointment only)          Info: K6UIZ
  “     “ – Thursday at 7:30 PM      Club Meeting                              Info: N6RIC

 June 27th-29th – Friday to Sunday   Annual ARRL Field Day                     Info: KQ6UP or AE6YD

 April 12th – 7:00 AM                Cable Airport Swap Meet, Upland           Sponsor: IEARC
 March 19th – 7:00 AM                Chino Hills High School Swap Meet         Sponsor: CHHS Boosters
 March 26th – 7:00 AM                TRW Swap Meet, Manhattan Beach            Sponsor: W6TRW ARA

Riverside County Amateur Radio Association
P.O. Box 1412
Riverside, CA 92502-1412

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