News and Events

Club Members come together for a cause!
Saturday May 13th marked the Girl Scouts of America STEAM Expo (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics ) event. At the ARRL supplied booth club members along with N6NA members, Duane Wyatt and the ARRL helped to introduce kids, their parents and the general public to Amateur Radio and the Morse Code. After a brief lesson on Radio and Morse Code the kids were given a Hands-on worksheet where they were asked to spell their name and code it using the supplied Morse alphabet. After, they were instructed on the use of a straight key and given a chance to send their names in code with the supplied key and oscillator. Each person taking part in the hands-on event were given their worksheet and accompanying “helpful links” page to take home with them. For pictures of this event please visit our Photo gallery.

Bug Roundup Event hits 6 of the 7 continents on the globe!
The SFM ARC is happy to report that with our new on-line registration we were able to track most of the participants in our event. According to both registration forms, and optional logs sent to the W6SFM, we were able to see check-ins and activity from all but the continent of Antarctica. Registration and operations were received from some of the following places around the world:

• Australia
• Brazil
• Canada
• Democratic Republic
of Congo
• England (and other
parts of the UK)
• India
• Japan
• France
• Russia
• Singapore
• 23 states of the
United States of
America (and Puerto

Along with the optional logs the club received we also received some very nice letters and of appreciation and pictures from those who enjoyed the event. One letter was received from Arasu, VU2UR in India. Arasu indicated that he enjoyed a CQ BR QSO with John, 9V1VV of Singapore. Rich, G4FAD reports many CQ BR QSOs with others in the UK as well as Yann, F5LAW in France and Fernando, 9Q6BB on his Vibroplex Lightning bug in D. R. of Congo. Rich also says that Fernando actually broke off his DX pileup to talk Bugs with him

Because of the popularity, and lack of DX operational hours and Frequencies, at our last in-person meeting (June 1st) the club unanimously decided that we should extend the hours of the CQ BR event from 24 to 48. This way the DX would have a chance to more easily operate the event with US based stations. The club also decided that we should begin to advertise the use of 17 and 30 meter WARC bands during the event. Because CQ BR is NOT a contest this breaks no FCC Rules or Regulations. Members found that DX tends to be more prevalent on 17m during the day, and 30m during the early/late evenings. In the past DX stations have had to ask other participants via the CQ BR “Live Chat” spotting window, for a meet up on 30 meters. Perhaps advertising the use of these bands will make it easier for those hookups. The new hours, and times (both in Local and UTC) have already been posted to this website.

Antenna Party at Bob’s house!
Thank you to Member Norm WB6RVR, for helping Member Bob K6DGQ with his roof mounted Vertical antenna break-down, repair and re-installation. Along with the help of Tom WA6OSX and some members of the Stockton ARC they assisted Bob at making repairs to his antenna. Bob thankfully reports that the job has been completed successfully. Proof of this is Bob’s recent 599 signal on the W6SFM’s Tuesday night Net meeting. Bob says that he will now try to make as many of the on-air meetings as he can. Good work guys. To see some pictures of this Antenna party please visit Bob’s Member’s page found under the “About W6SFM” menu above.

Filter Construction Completed
Member Rick N6IET reports on his efforts to build his local Amateur Radio Club’s small footprint Bandpass Filters. Rick has completed them with very nice results. The filters are those that were published in an earlier QST article and use farrite core inductors instead of air core wound inductors as the W6SFM built 2 years ago. Rick reports that while transmitting on his FT-857 rig with a 40′ separation from his IC-735 he is finding that the filters work pretty well for blocking adjacent-band received signals, based solely on S-meter readings of background noise with and without the filters. In general, with the pre-amp on, Rick gets anywhere between S7 and S9 noise readings on every band except 10 meters using either rig connected to the AV-680 vertical. With any of the 4 filters in line, using his FT-857, Rick got S0 (S-zero) background noise on all non-WARC bands except the band for which the filter was designed, in which case he got the same S-meter reading with and without the filter. Sounds like his local club is going to have a ‘harmonic’ free Field Day. Good work Rick!

Scouts Promote Morse Code
Member and Sac Valley ARRL section co-coordinator Carol, KP4MD reports to the W6SFM that the Boy Scouts of America has created a new award for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers as wells as Adult Leaders called the “Morse Code Interpreter Strip”. This Strip encourages youth and adults to learn Morse Code and elevate their skill level to at least 5 WPM! Once earned, they can proudly sew on this uniform patch. The BSA reports that nearly 4,000 patches have been purchased. To read more about this BSA patch and requirements please visit their Award website by clicking HERE .

W6SFM CW Beginners Class in it’s final stretch
The W6SFM 2017 CW Beginners class is almost over! With only 1 more classe for this course, Mike, N6MQL reports that a total of 9 students are continuing to attend our CW class.  Mike reports that 90% of the class are pushing around 13 – 14 WPM code copy speeds! Of course there are those that still need to catch up, but we’re confident that everyone who rejoins us for our next class will do very well the next time around.  The CW Beginners class is held once per week on Wednesday evenings at 7 PM until 9PM for a total of 10 weeks and is taught 2 times a year. This year the current class program will end about 2 weeks before the big W6SFM Field Day event. This will give the CW class students a chance to brush up on their code skills for an extra 2 weeks before they are welcome to join our club for our event.

CVC 23123.5 Update
Many of you know about the new California auto law that restricts HAM radio operators from using their radios in the car. Member Norm, WB6RVR has been working on getting this glitch in the system fixed. He suggests if you have radios in the car you want to use while driving that you click HERE to print out a letter you can show the CHP or other law enforcement should you get pulled over

W6SFM CW Beginners Classes
SFM ARC offers a 10 week (once per week) in-person  CW Beginners Course in the art of Morse Code. Our course strives to teach what other courses can not, the art of both receiving AND proper sending of Morse Code. Every student is provided with FREE Equipment to use at home and in class. Contact us for more information on this twice annual course.