Date   
Cal OES News [2020-02-27] Grass Roots Radio Solves Rural NorCal Community’s Disaster Communication Quandary

Jef - N5JEF
 



Cal OES this morning published a brief article and link to a 3-minute YouTue video on the value of GMRS radio for emergency communications and awareness.

Please share with your family, friends, and neighbors.

- Jef  N5JEF  WQYJ498


NEWSROOM | Multimedia | California Governor's Office of Emergency Services

One Type of GMRS Radio

Grass Roots Radio Solves Rural NorCal Community’s Disaster Communication Quandary

Residents living in one rural Northern California community were tired of feeling helpless during recent wildfires and public safety power shutoffs. They didn’t have the ability to communicate with friends or loved ones because cell service, land lines and interest were all down. So, they took it upon themselves to solve the problem, at least for their own community. They gathered their neighbors, communications experts and first responders and came up with a plan. Their solution was GMRS: General Mobile Radio Service.

Thank you to the Grey Fox in Oroville for allowing us to use your facility for the interviews with Lois and Marisa.

Links

Butte County Sheriff’s Communication Reserve

Butte County ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service®)

Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES)

Cal OES Auxiliary Communications Service

 

Shawn Boyd

Shawn Boyd joined Cal OES as a public information officer in 2014 after a 20-year career in television news as a reporter, anchor and executive producer. He's a Cal State Sacramento alum and former US Navy yeoman and Air Force brat.



Coronavirus info

carl.wf6j@gmail.com
 

As it has started around here, read this and make your plans:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention always recommends everyone should always take simple daily precautions to help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses. - Avoid close contact with people who are sick. - Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. - Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. READ MORE: https://bit.ly/37Ay6Cm
Attachment with no description


Masks don’t work unless you have the right one and it is properly fitted (sealed)

Now there are “carriers” that can be sick or not, but can “carry” the virus and infect others.

BE safe and healthy,

73,
WF6J

February Presentations up on YouTube

Greg D
 

Hi folks,

Just a quick note to let you know that the presentation videos from our
February general meeting are up on the club's YouTube channel.

As a reminder, Orion AI6JB gave us a review of the club's Winter Field
Day event.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fPZWUZuLbs

Also, Bob K6UDA gave us a peek at the Yaesu Fusion Digital Voice test
that we are running on the club's 70cm repeater.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXSray0_5qg

Enjoy!

Greg KO6TH

Re: WU6X - ARRL Int'l DX Contest CW

Casey - W7IB
 

Thant's the god thing about CW alright, everyone could understand your American accent;-)
73 de W7IB
WRFE 545
Casey McPartland
Auburn, CA


On Mon, Feb 24, 2020 at 9:13 AM Orion, AI6JB <ojendres@...> wrote:

Wow!  36 Q’s per hour.  That’s “casual”?  You are the Ham.  Great Job Dennis!!

 

73

Orion Endres, AI6JB

1201 Wood Oak Court, Roseville, CA 95747-7383

(916) 788-8251 H \\ (916) 534-8251 C

 

What the heck does “73” mean?  73 is morse code short hand for “Best Regards” used by Ham radio operators.  It’s origin goes all the way back to the landline telegraph days.

 

 

 

From: sfarc@w6ek.groups.io <sfarc@w6ek.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dennis - WU6X
Sent: Sunday, February 16, 2020 17:56
To: sfarc@w6ek.groups.io
Subject: [from W6EK Groups.io] WU6X - ARRL Int'l DX Contest CW

 

This was a fun, casual contest for me!! ... Everyone on the band was looking for a US station. I worked Search & Pounce for most of the 5 hours I was on, then called CQ the last 2 hours, after I had pretty much worked everyone calling CQ and picked up a bunch more. Lots of interesting contacts this year, and one "all time new one" for me, Guernsey, and island in the English Channel, between England and France. Lots of big DX stations with BIG antenna farms too. So, you don't have to have a big station for this contest, just good ears to sort out the pileups.

Some notable contacts you don't typically hear unless there is a contest were: Croatia, Madeira Island, Cayman Island, Curacao, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Bosnia, Bulgaria, French Guiana, Guam, Latvia, Lithuania, Martinique, Montserrat, Poland, Scotland, St. Kitts & Nevis, and many, many more EU.

I ran 200w to an end-fed long wire from a remote in Richmond, VA to rack up:

183 Contacts
53 Countries on 6 continents
40,404 points (but whose counting?)

So, you can join in the fun on March 6th for the SSB version and have some fun trying to understand all those interesting accents. Well, that's the beauty of CW ... no accents!
73,
Dennis - WU6X

Re: WU6X - ARRL Int'l DX Contest CW

Orion, AI6JB
 

Wow!  36 Q’s per hour.  That’s “casual”?  You are the Ham.  Great Job Dennis!!

 

73

Orion Endres, AI6JB

1201 Wood Oak Court, Roseville, CA 95747-7383

(916) 788-8251 H \\ (916) 534-8251 C

 

What the heck does “73” mean?  73 is morse code short hand for “Best Regards” used by Ham radio operators.  It’s origin goes all the way back to the landline telegraph days.

 

 

 

From: sfarc@w6ek.groups.io <sfarc@w6ek.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dennis - WU6X
Sent: Sunday, February 16, 2020 17:56
To: sfarc@w6ek.groups.io
Subject: [from W6EK Groups.io] WU6X - ARRL Int'l DX Contest CW

 

This was a fun, casual contest for me!! ... Everyone on the band was looking for a US station. I worked Search & Pounce for most of the 5 hours I was on, then called CQ the last 2 hours, after I had pretty much worked everyone calling CQ and picked up a bunch more. Lots of interesting contacts this year, and one "all time new one" for me, Guernsey, and island in the English Channel, between England and France. Lots of big DX stations with BIG antenna farms too. So, you don't have to have a big station for this contest, just good ears to sort out the pileups.

Some notable contacts you don't typically hear unless there is a contest were: Croatia, Madeira Island, Cayman Island, Curacao, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Bosnia, Bulgaria, French Guiana, Guam, Latvia, Lithuania, Martinique, Montserrat, Poland, Scotland, St. Kitts & Nevis, and many, many more EU.

I ran 200w to an end-fed long wire from a remote in Richmond, VA to rack up:

183 Contacts
53 Countries on 6 continents
40,404 points (but whose counting?)

So, you can join in the fun on March 6th for the SSB version and have some fun trying to understand all those interesting accents. Well, that's the beauty of CW ... no accents!
73,
Dennis - WU6X

Looking for DMR expert

Greg D
 

Hi folks,

Putting out a bit of an APB... A couple of years ago I was talking to
someone at our club picnic in Applegate about DMR and what magic they
could do with their DMR handheld. I forget who that was. Anybody
remember (and be willing to admit it)?

Thanks,

Greg KO6TH

Re: 1:1 Choke Location on Beam Installation

Brian Gohl - AI6US
 

Thank you for your replies. Great information and references.

Wow!!! The K9YC link has an incredible trove of information. I think that I will be referencing that site often! Thanks Dennis!

Thank you Jef for the feedline length explanation. The hexbeam is 6m-20m, but in testing the 6m band, it is very inefficient and will likely not be used much. Your examples certainly confirms the concerns regarding the interactions of a radiating jumper on other frequencies. I will be using a 2 foot LMR-400 jumper to place the isolation choke weight near the bottom of the hexbeam center post, use a 3 foot LMR-240 UF coax jumper for the rotor loop then a barrel to transition to the LMR400 run to the shack.

Thanks again!
--
Brian- AI6US

Re: 1:1 Choke Location on Beam Installation

Jef - N5JEF
 

Brian -

The choke really should be at the antenna feed point. It is intended to present a relatively high impedance at that point, and minimize common mode radiation from the feedline. 

What's your highest band on that beam?

As you know, a quarter wave transmission line transforms an open circuit to a short, and vice versa. 

So, at 10 meters your 6 feet of coax (remember also consider the velocity factor) will be roughly a quarter wave and your choke will have roughly the opposite of its intended effect. At 20 meters, roughly 1/8 wave, so the transformation, as seen at the feed point, will be somewhere in between, and certainly not the high impedance as designed. 

That said, ham radio xperience tells us that antenna theory is all magic anyway, and you'll still make contacts proving it works great. 

So FWIW, have fun. 

-Jef N5JEF 



On Wed, Feb 19, 2020, 16:57 Dennis - WU6X <wu6x@...> wrote:
I think it won't make much difference, but check K9YC's page at: http://k9yc.com/publish.htm who is doctor of all things ferrite. I'm sure you will find something there related to this subject.
73,
Dennis, WU6X


From: sfarc@w6ek.groups.io <sfarc@w6ek.groups.io> on behalf of Brian Gohl - AI6US <ai6us@...>
Sent: Wednesday, February 19, 2020 9:42 AM
To: sfarc@w6ek.groups.io <sfarc@w6ek.groups.io>
Subject: [from W6EK Groups.io] 1:1 Choke Location on Beam Installation
 
Prepping to permanently install the hexbeam at my home QTH this weekend and researching the install location of the 1:1 line isolator choke.

I understand that it is recommended to install the choke at the antenna feedpoint, but I am looking for guidance on instead placing the choke inline at an alternative location below the flexible coax rotor loop. Are the any issues to consider if  installing the inline choke at the top of the tower then running a flexible coax approximately 6 feet up to the hexbeam feedpoint? Working 6m - 20m bands on the hexbeam, would the jumper length between the choke and hexbeam feedpoint have any influence? Would a 6' vs a 6" jumper have any effect on interaction (common mode???) if a VHF/UHF antenna were to be co-located on the tower?

Mounting the hexbeam's 1:1 balun choke in this location will reduce the number of connectors on the tower to transition from the flexible rotor loop coax to the stiffer LMR400. The choke would be able to dual purpose as the coax transition barrel.

Thanks for any advice!
--
Brian- AI6US

--
Dennis - WU6X

Re: 1:1 Choke Location on Beam Installation

Dennis - WU6X
 

I think it won't make much difference, but check K9YC's page at: http://k9yc.com/publish.htm who is doctor of all things ferrite. I'm sure you will find something there related to this subject.
73,
Dennis, WU6X


From: sfarc@w6ek.groups.io <sfarc@w6ek.groups.io> on behalf of Brian Gohl - AI6US <ai6us@...>
Sent: Wednesday, February 19, 2020 9:42 AM
To: sfarc@w6ek.groups.io <sfarc@w6ek.groups.io>
Subject: [from W6EK Groups.io] 1:1 Choke Location on Beam Installation
 
Prepping to permanently install the hexbeam at my home QTH this weekend and researching the install location of the 1:1 line isolator choke.

I understand that it is recommended to install the choke at the antenna feedpoint, but I am looking for guidance on instead placing the choke inline at an alternative location below the flexible coax rotor loop. Are the any issues to consider if  installing the inline choke at the top of the tower then running a flexible coax approximately 6 feet up to the hexbeam feedpoint? Working 6m - 20m bands on the hexbeam, would the jumper length between the choke and hexbeam feedpoint have any influence? Would a 6' vs a 6" jumper have any effect on interaction (common mode???) if a VHF/UHF antenna were to be co-located on the tower?

Mounting the hexbeam's 1:1 balun choke in this location will reduce the number of connectors on the tower to transition from the flexible rotor loop coax to the stiffer LMR400. The choke would be able to dual purpose as the coax transition barrel.

Thanks for any advice!
--
Brian- AI6US

--
Dennis - WU6X

1:1 Choke Location on Beam Installation

Brian Gohl - AI6US
 

Prepping to permanently install the hexbeam at my home QTH this weekend and researching the install location of the 1:1 line isolator choke.

I understand that it is recommended to install the choke at the antenna feedpoint, but I am looking for guidance on instead placing the choke inline at an alternative location below the flexible coax rotor loop. Are the any issues to consider if  installing the inline choke at the top of the tower then running a flexible coax approximately 6 feet up to the hexbeam feedpoint? Working 6m - 20m bands on the hexbeam, would the jumper length between the choke and hexbeam feedpoint have any influence? Would a 6' vs a 6" jumper have any effect on interaction (common mode???) if a VHF/UHF antenna were to be co-located on the tower?

Mounting the hexbeam's 1:1 balun choke in this location will reduce the number of connectors on the tower to transition from the flexible rotor loop coax to the stiffer LMR400. The choke would be able to dual purpose as the coax transition barrel.

Thanks for any advice!
--
Brian- AI6US

locked Monthly Breakfast Update

Dennis - WU6X
 

The calendar incorrectly sent a notice that the breakfast was going to be this Saturday ... Club Breakfast is actually scheduled for Saturday, the 29th, the LAST Saturday of the month this year, for leap year. Please disregard the previous notice.
Dennis - WU6X

Re: WU6X - ARRL Int'l DX Contest CW

Nathan Chilton - K6NDC
 

Wow, Dennis!  That's amazing!  What fun!

Re: OpenSPOT2 Lesson Learned

Greg D
 

Hi Gerry,

Yeah, the WiFi industry's marketing-over-physics strategy ended up shooting itself in its proverbial foot on what a "channel" is.  More channels is better, right?  The problem is that the channels overlap, and that causes interference.  Consider multiple SSB conversations spaced only a few hundred hertz apart in a pile-up.  Nobody wins. 

In case you're interested...

The WiFi channels are actually an overlay to an older channel allocation.  The base channels are 5 mhz wide, and (802.11B) WiFi channels need about 22 mhz (20 + a guard band) of bandwidth each.  So each WiFi channel actually occupies about 5 of the base channels.  The Wikipedia page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WLAN_channels#2.4_GHz_(802.11b/g/n/ax) ) shows the actual frequencies.  The problem is that they left the original channel numbering, and let folks use all of them.  You'll see that Channel 1's allocation ends where channel 6's allocation starts.  So anyone using channels 2-5 at the same time will be interfering with both 1 and 6.  Same issue for channels 7-10 interfering with both 6 and 11.  So for best operation, one should only use channels 1, 6, or 11, but that's only 3 channels.  Marketing that you have 11 channels is better, no?  Sheesh...

If you look at the channels 5 ghz band you see that they don't allow use of the intervening channels, so they got that one right.  But on 2.4 ghz, it's a bit of a mess.  Oh, also the 2.4 ghz band is used by Bluetooth and some older cordless phones and video cameras, not to mention your microwave oven.  Bad idea to put your home WiFi router in the kitchen next to the microwave.

As to what to recommend for a default channel, it's hard to know.  As you say, many devices pick channel 6, but I've seen a lot of WiFi-enabled printers come up on channel 10.  There are cell phone apps that can give you a scan of the RF landscape, letting you pick out a quiet spot.  But, in theory, that's what your HotSpot was doing, so there's no single rule that will guarantee success.  I generally do a WiFi scan and then pick from among the three non-overlapping channels on the 2.4 ghz band, but leave the 5ghz setting to "auto" since they don't overlap.

Greg  KO6TH


Gerry - WA6E wrote:

I've enjoyed being on the road with my OpenSpot2.  It's fun to be here in Arizona and to hear what's going on back at home.  But here is something I learned the hard way about the OpenSpot2 and I pass it along in the hope that it might save somebody a headache.

Sometimes the OpenSpot would lose the connection with my Verizon Jetpack.  I would walk into the motorhome and it would be saying "Openspot trying to connect to Wifi" or something like that.  This went on and on and on.  I would have to reset everything several times to get it to work.  A little research discovered that the OpenSpot will only work on channels 1, 6 or 11 in the 2.4 GHz wifi "band."   I had my Jetpack channel selector set to "various."  I think what was happening was the Jetpack would sense interference on whatever channel we were on and move to a channel unsupported by the OpenSpot.  All my other wifi devices would follow the change but the OpenSpot would not.  So I changed the Jetpack to stay put on Channel 11 and all has been well since.

If you have this problem I would suggest you avoid channel 6.  I believe just about every wifi device comes with channel 6 as their default channel.

Cheers.

Gerry
WA6E




WU6X - ARRL Int'l DX Contest CW

Dennis - WU6X
 

This was a fun, casual contest for me!! ... Everyone on the band was looking for a US station. I worked Search & Pounce for most of the 5 hours I was on, then called CQ the last 2 hours, after I had pretty much worked everyone calling CQ and picked up a bunch more. Lots of interesting contacts this year, and one "all time new one" for me, Guernsey, and island in the English Channel, between England and France. Lots of big DX stations with BIG antenna farms too. So, you don't have to have a big station for this contest, just good ears to sort out the pileups.

Some notable contacts you don't typically hear unless there is a contest were: Croatia, Madeira Island, Cayman Island, Curacao, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Bosnia, Bulgaria, French Guiana, Guam, Latvia, Lithuania, Martinique, Montserrat, Poland, Scotland, St. Kitts & Nevis, and many, many more EU.

I ran 200w to an end-fed long wire from a remote in Richmond, VA to rack up:

183 Contacts
53 Countries on 6 continents
40,404 points (but whose counting?)

So, you can join in the fun on March 6th for the SSB version and have some fun trying to understand all those interesting accents. Well, that's the beauty of CW ... no accents!
73,
Dennis - WU6X

Re: OpenSPOT2 Lesson Learned

Nathan Chilton - K6NDC
 

Well done, Gerry!

Re: OpenSPOT2 Lesson Learned

Dennis - WU6X
 

Thanks Gerry. Excellent troubleshooting!

Dennis
iPhone Mobile

On Feb 16, 2020, at 8:57 AM, Gerry - WA6E <gjbrent@...> wrote:
I've enjoyed being on the road with my OpenSpot2. It's fun to be here in Arizona and to hear what's going on back at home. But here is something I learned the hard way about the OpenSpot2 and I pass it along in the hope that it might save somebody a headache.

Sometimes the OpenSpot would lose the connection with my Verizon Jetpack. I would walk into the motorhome and it would be saying "Openspot trying to connect to Wifi" or something like that. This went on and on and on. I would have to reset everything several times to get it to work. A little research discovered that the OpenSpot will only work on channels 1, 6 or 11 in the 2.4 GHz wifi "band." I had my Jetpack channel selector set to "various." I think what was happening was the Jetpack would sense interference on whatever channel we were on and move to a channel unsupported by the OpenSpot. All my other wifi devices would follow the change but the OpenSpot would not. So I changed the Jetpack to stay put on Channel 11 and all has been well since.

If you have this problem I would suggest you avoid channel 6. I believe just about every wifi device comes with channel 6 as their default channel.

Cheers.

Gerry
WA6E





--
Dennis - WU6X

OpenSPOT2 Lesson Learned

Gerry - WA6E
 

I've enjoyed being on the road with my OpenSpot2.  It's fun to be here in Arizona and to hear what's going on back at home.  But here is something I learned the hard way about the OpenSpot2 and I pass it along in the hope that it might save somebody a headache.

Sometimes the OpenSpot would lose the connection with my Verizon Jetpack.  I would walk into the motorhome and it would be saying "Openspot trying to connect to Wifi" or something like that.  This went on and on and on.  I would have to reset everything several times to get it to work.  A little research discovered that the OpenSpot will only work on channels 1, 6 or 11 in the 2.4 GHz wifi "band."   I had my Jetpack channel selector set to "various."  I think what was happening was the Jetpack would sense interference on whatever channel we were on and move to a channel unsupported by the OpenSpot.  All my other wifi devices would follow the change but the OpenSpot would not.  So I changed the Jetpack to stay put on Channel 11 and all has been well since.

If you have this problem I would suggest you avoid channel 6.  I believe just about every wifi device comes with channel 6 as their default channel.

Cheers.

Gerry
WA6E

openSPOT2 First Time Configuration #elmer #howto

Dennis - WU6X
 
Edited

After completing the configuration of my openSPOT2, I went back through the steps and documented how to setup the openSPOT2 for use with a Yaesu FT-2D Fusion-capable radio. Configuring the radio is the easy part once the openSPOT is setup.
Enjoy and 73,
Dennis - WU6X

Loomis Hamfest 2020 - SFARC Needs YOUR!

Orion, AI6JB
 

Hello everybody!

Loomis Hamfest 2020 is on Saturday, March 21, 2020, T- 37 days  21 hours 12 minutes according to our countdown timer on the website.  This event is our major fundraiser for the year and a great  opportunity to get Ham radio into the community.

Our Hamfest draws folks from as far away as the SF bay area, Reno, Redding, and Manteca.  We have a swap meet, Club Table, Door Prizes, Coffee & Donuts, Test Bench, Elmer Tours, ARRL Booth, presentations, a Talk-in station, and free parking.  This year our presentations are really not presentations, but hands-on workshops on Digital Communications, i.e. Fusion, DStar, DMR, and Hot/Open Spots.  We will have Elmers (typically old, but not necessarily, Hams who know more about ham radio than the rest of us) for each mode there to answer your questions and help with setting up your radio.  Even if you do not have a radio, yet, learn what you will need and what is the best equipment.

How can you get involved?

First, spread the word!  Flyers will be at Friday's meeting.  Take a few and pin them up on community boards, e.g. library, stores, post office next to my picture ;-)  Get on the air and "Talk-up" the Loomis Hamfest.  Visit other club nets and make a brief QST.  All the information is on our website.  Our Loomis Hamfest webpage even has a Contact Us form if anyone has a question.

Second, sign-up to help.  You can email me or put your name to the Sign-up that will be passed around at the meeting on Friday.  This is an all hands on deck event.  We need everyone's help to make this a fun, enjoyable, and successful Loomis Hamfest 2020!!

Our next and last Loomis Hamfest planning meeting will be at the site, Historic Loomis Train Depot in downtown Loomis, on Tuesday, March 10, starting at 17:00.  You are welcome to come out, get the inside scoop, and see the site.

73
Orion, AI6JB
Loomis Hamfest 2020 Chair

GMRS Question...

Gary - KB7QWC
 

Hi Alan,

   I have a friend who is asking about what radio to buy for GMRS.  He has a license and a motor home.

   He says he doesn’t have a budget.

   His general wish list:

      dual band scanning,

      DTMF tones for control of remotes

      CTCSS capability

   And a nice mike.

   I use a Btech GMRS.V1 and haven’t had experience with other units.

   He would like a decent unit while traveling in the MH and useful in Foresthill.

   My thoughts are the BTECH handheld and the Midland MXT400 installed in the motor home.

   What are your thoughts and your input?

   Thanks,

 

   …Gary, KB7QWC  WREN366

      Foresthill, CA