News and Events

Rick N6IET takes to the Island

It seems that SFM ARC Member Rick (N6IET) will be enjoying a nice weekend off (during the SKCC Weekend Sprintathon) for some portable work on the Santa Cruz Island. The following is a provisional operating schedule during Rick’s Santa Cruz Island adventure next week. Rick welcomes any and all contacts. Rick has indicated that apart from the nets,  he will be operating as N6IET/P. If the island has an IOTA designation, Rick will share it with you at the time of your QSO. Please report to the club if you do get a QSO with Rick!

Friday morning, Aug 10:

6:00am – 3545 kHz

6:30am – 3558 kHz (Bob Net)

7:15 – Breakfast

8:30am – 7043 kHz

9:00am – 7034 kHz (PARG net)

9:30am – 10113 kHz

Saturday, Aug 11:

5:00am – 3550± kHz (SKCC WES)

6:00am – 3545 kHz

6:30am – 3558 kHz (Bob Net)

7:15 – Breakfast

8:30am – 7055± kHz (SKCC WES)

9:00am – 7032 kHz (WSN QRP Net)

9:30am – 14050± kHz (SKCC WES)

Noon – Lunch

1:00 pm – 21050± kHz (SKCC WES)

3:00 pm – 14050± kHz (SKCC WES)

5:00 pm – 7055± kHz (SKCC WES)

Sunday morning, Aug 12:

5:00am – 3550± (SKCC WES)

6:00am – 3545 kHz

6:30am – 3558 kHz (Bob Net)

7:15am – breakfast

8:30am – break camp

10:00am – 14050± kHz (SKCC WES)

Noon – catch ferry back to Ventura Harbor


Just when you thought the 11 Year solar cycle was long

From the ARRL:

The sun has more than just the 11-year cycle for sunspots. According to a short article by Scientific American, other cycles of length 88, 200, and 2400 years have been noted. The 11-year cycle that we’re most attuned to is called the Schwabe cycle, discovered in 1843 by German astronomer Samuel Schwabe. The longer-duration solar cycles were discovered from isotope information recovered from cores drilled from ice built up over the last 9,000 years.

Triangulating arbitrary HF signals is just a few website clicks away. Using a new feature of the global crowdsourced network of Kiwi-SDR receivers, multiple receiving sites can be chosen. Receiver IQ data is collected and analyzed, and a map of potential transmitter locations can be displayed. The Time Difference of Arrival method does a very reasonable job when there are multiple receiving stations, and all can hear a ground wave from the transmitter. (Brian, K7ON, via QRP-L list)

Embarcadero has announced the free community edition of their C++ Builder toolset, for most hobby scenarios. Some Amateur Radio Software, for example the EXTFSK RTTY library, are dependent on long-obsolete versions of Borland’s C++ Builder, which is an ancestor of the Embarcadero product. With the new availability of these tools for hobbyist use, Builder-dependent packages can be now be maintained and enhanced by a broader population of Amateur experimenters.

Night of Nights 2018

W6SFM members John WB6UBK, and Chris AI6U were spotted enjoying the airwaves at this years KPH Night of Nights Event.  The event was held at the KPH Pt. Rayes receiving station.  Why the radios and Bug operations at a “receiving” station? Because the transmitters are actually located at a different location about 40 miles away, while the operators

have to listen to their side tone via over-the-air receivers! Keying is sent to the transmitters where the transmitter antennas are located.  For more information visit the Maritime Radio Historical Society at






Thank you Bob N6PGQ for your visit to KPH and your picture submission


The SFM ARC Needs your help with Club 


As those many of you who attend our regular in-person meetings held each first Thursday of the month know, the club has some type of presenter/ presentation each month. Months where there is an inordinate amount of club business to discuss presentations are not made available. At the beginning of each year the club is asked to suggest ideas that they would like to see presented or discussed at the in-person meeting. Last year the club enjoyed presentations such as:

  • WSPR Program and operations
  • RigExpert Antenna Analyzer overview
  • Antenna and Grounding Safety
  • SMD Soldering and Hot air rework station use
  • How to read the solar report and solar indices
  • DSP Noise Reduction on an SDR Radio
  • Horizontal Antenna Design

2018 will bring us a whole new list of educational and entertaining presentations. On the list we have the following being considered:

  • Vertical Antenna Design
  • VEC / VE What is needed and How to become involved
  • Phased Verticals Construction and Installation.
  • KX2/KX3 operations
  • Magloop antenna design
  • Field Day prep
  • Bogus Story recap and award modifications
  • RigExpert AA-55 Zoom features and operations.
  • Buddipole setup and Configurations.

The club is still looking for input from its members on what other ideas YOU may have. If there is something that you would like to hear or see presented at the meeting the club kindly asks that you email us to give us your input. Those out of town are also welcome to suggest presentation material as well. All presentations that are given in-person are also then presented to the editor of the W6SFM newsletter for publication each month. This way our out of town members will be able to enjoy what the other members saw or heard at the in-person meetings. So, should you think of something, please be sure to submit your suggestions for an opportunity to have them presented. Recaps can also be viewed on the Videos page too.