SFM ARC On-Air Net Meetings
Please join us for our club’s 8:00 PM Tuesday Night on-air Net Meetings held at 3.545 MHz
Or you can listen and watch the CW to text translation HERE using our Live Feed!
In Memory of Norm Lucas, WB6RVR (2/27/1950 – 6-19-2017)
Our very dear member, Norm WB6RVR passed away suddenly 6-19-2017. Norm was a very big part of our club and the Ham Community. Norm helped all those who were in need of his assistance, regardless of how well he may have known a person. He was always there to offer a hand when it came to Antenna Setups, repairs, or even offering to help his clubs out financially with different tasks that they may have required.
Norm was also a great help to the Ham Community in that he was there fighting along with a small group of people for all of our rights as California Amateur Radio operators. Norm helped to write, and have a law corrected that placed serious restrictions on HAMs by our CA law makers. Norm was instrumental in correcting a law set forth in January of this year 2017 barring all use of hand held or Microphone operated communications radios while traveling in a vehicle. It was Norm and his group who worked so diligently to correct that law to once again exclude the use of Amateur Radio within that law. Although not completely re-written as he would have like to see it, Norm was there continuing his fight up until his passing. Norm will be greatly missed by this club, and many others.
Next Month’s In-Person Meeting
Our next SFM ARC in-person meeting will be held at its normal time and location Aug. 3rd (followed by our Sep. 7th meeting). The SFM ARC in-person meeting will be held in the Howard Crowley room upstairs at the Carmichael Presbyterian Church.
Directions, including a Google Map are available at the bottom of the homepage.
At our August meeting, we will be discussing news and events. We will also have a presentation on the setup and use of the WSPR net Sub-noise floor beacon, receiver communication and mapping system. As always, we will have our Tech (show and tell) portion. Members and visitors are asked to share their Ham Radio related items they find of interest. Attend our In-Person meetings with items that you’ve purchased or were given to you that you would like to share with others in the group. Visitors are always welcome to join us at our meetings.
W6SFM Comes out for ARRL Field Day 2017!
A Big thank you to everyone that joined the SFM ARC for its annual ARRL Field Day event 2017. Once again, the club enjoyed a fun get together of its members, guests, and the general public. The club stations were located behind the rear parking lot in the field of the Carmichael Presbyterian Church. This location provided everyone with FREE and Easy public accessibility to the W6SFM Field Day location. The large tree the club operated under provided everyone with about a 20-degree damper in our 100-degree heat wave!
The SFM ARC suffered a great loss with the passing of Member Norm, WB6RVR (mentioned above) which caused the club to have to switch to “plan-B” in our antenna setup. The club operated a modest 2 stations, all emergency powered 100-watt (or less, depending on battery voltage levels) configuration. This year’s antennas used were the club work horse “all-band” 80 meter tuned Inverted Vee, and the clubs newly repaired, rebuilt and re-tuned Hustler 4 band trapped vertical. Set up of our antenna systems began on Saturday Morning (Field Day) at 8:45 AM. Radios and battery equipment set up begin around 9 AM. By 10:30 AM the club’s logging computers were networked together and we were ready to go. Operations began precisely at 11 AM PT. Member turn out at the setup was very good with around 11 members and 1 guest joining in. Everyone was treated to Coffee and Doughnuts to start their morning off. Throughout the event the club saw 24 total people show up. The club was visited by 11 guests and 13 club members. Included in those numbers were 5 Kids 18 years old or younger. Member Chuck N6UOE brought out his grandson to get a view of what Field Day was all about. Chris 12 years old, was very helpful assisting chuck and the club with the vertical antenna setup and connection.
Field Day operations continued throughout the afternoon and into the night. ARRL Section manager, and W6SFM member, Carol KP4MD joined us with her ‘official’ visit around 4:30 PM and stayed through dinner time. Those who were still with us for dinner were served Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Chips, Soda and Water. A special thank you to member Kal, KE8EVR for bringing out a very nice supply of bottled sodas. There was plenty of room for a tent and sleeping bags to be set up in the field, but those who stayed the night with us were up for most of the night. Those who did get some shut eye chose to catch a few winks in the front seats of their cars. For most of the late night ‘grave-yard’ shift the radios were maned with both an operator, and a logger. There were only about 2 or 3 hours where only 2 operators without loggers worked by themselves.
All in all, the club performed very well for the event. Just as Tamitha Skov’s special Field Day Solar report (as was posted on the front page of the W6SFM website) predicted, Band conditions were a little shaky In the morning, and part of the early afternoon. After about 3 PM the bands seemed to open wide up. 10 and 15 meters showed lack luster operations, but were open to the pacific islands. W6SFM worked both Hawaii and New Zeeland on 15 meters. Later, using the vertical antenna the club was able to work all the way into Puerto Rico and Venezuela on 20 meters.
Between the two stations the Vertical antenna made 46% of the contacts, and the Inverted Vee made the other 54% of contacts. Some of this can be attributed to the fact that the Inverted Vee operates on 80 meters in the overnight, whereas the Vertical cannot operate below 40 meters. The breakdown of contacts per band were as follows:
80m – 125 Contacts
40m – 165 Contacts
20m – 122 Contacts
15m – 15 Contacts
The top 3 Contacts by Section were as follows:
Oregon – 30 contacts
Colorado – 24 contacts
Our top 3 performing operators (by initials) were as follows:
MA – 206 Contacts
JG – 69 Contacts
BR – 52 Contacts
Field Day 2017 Preliminary Results
The club field Day logs and supporting documentation were submitted to the ARRL on the 5th of July by way of electronic delivery. Doing so offers the club 50 extra ‘bonus’ points in the event. The final score for W6SFM is not official at this time as the ARRL still has to check our logs and verify our information for bonus points. However, based on the club’s application we can determine the following:
Class – 2A
Section – SV
100% Battery Power
Total Contacts: 423
Total Contact points:
846 pts. (2X CW multiplier)
100% Emergency power: 200 pts.
Media Publicity: 100 pts. (News article via phone)
Public Location: 100 pts.
Public Info Table:
NTS Message to ARRL SM/SEC: 100 pts.
W1AW Field Day Message: 100 pts
NTS message Handled: 1 = 10 pts.
Site Visit by agency official: 100 pts.
Youth Participation: 5 youth, 1 operator
Docs Submitted via the Web: 50 pts.
Educational Activity: 100 pts.
Social Media: 100 pts. (web, twitter, facebook)
Safety officer: 100 pts.
Total Bonus Points: 1,180 Projected total score: 2,026
Pictures have already been posted to the W6SFM website in our 2017 Photo Gallery. A 2017 Field Day video will be released to the Videos section of our website as soon as we are able to get that constructed and edited for release. Be sure to visit the W6SFM website often to check for updates and further improvements.
Thank you everyone who made this event special as always. We hope to see all of our local members, Guests and even some of our out of town members at our next Field Day event 2018!
Solar Report by Tamitha Skov (A real report everyone can understand)