News and Events

Good News for CA. Mobile Operators
As many of you know, Bill AB 1785 went into affect earlier this year.  However Bill AB 1785 inadvertently included devices that were not intended to be included in the wider cellphone ban. Devices such as two-way radios functioning on business band or civilian band (CB) radios which have a more limited scope of functions, and thus, a more limited potential for distracting a driver.

With the current change, the author provide technical cleanup to AB 1785, so that it is not construed to limit the use of two-way wireless communication devices utilized by either trained professionals or individuals that have been properly licensed for brief, verbal communications essential to the functioning of their job duties.

According to guidance issued by the California Highway Patrol, and recently (Sep 26th) signed into law by the Governor, a radio installed and mounted in a vehicle with a wired hand microphone, for example, business band or CB radio, is not considered to be wireless communication device, nor is it considered a specialized mobile radio device, and therefore not subject to enforcement under AB 1785. This bill is consistent with that guidance, and codifies that distinction.

For the text of the bill and other information on it’s changes, Click on the link here:  AB-1222: Vehicles: electronic wireless communications devices.

W6SFM Activates the California QSO Party
The SFM ARC station W6SFM took to the airwaves in the 2017 California QSO Party. This year the contest was hosted by club president Mike N6MQL  The California QSO Party (CQP) is held every year on the first weekend of October.  The first CQP took place in 1966. Since 1974, the Northern California Contest Club (NCCC) has sponsored CQP.  CQP has traditionally opened the annual contest season by providing an opportunity for contesters to prepare for the ARRL November Sweepstakes since the format is similar. Stations outside of California, worldwide, work stations in California only. The 58 counties of CA are the multipliers. California stations such as W6SFM, work all stations in or out of CA. The 50 US states and 8 Canadian areas are the multipliers.  Stations outside of Canada and the US add to one’s QSO total but do not count as multipliers. 

This year the club was able to score a decent amount of contacts in the 8 hours that we operated the main station. However, for the first time the CQP contest was open to members of the club within a 175 mile radius of Carmichael to operate their home QTH stations. After the contest members who worked in the event turn their logs into the club via email. The club can then submit up to 10 complete logs for points that all count towards our end score.  Be sure to send your logs in before the 22nd of October if you were a club member who operated using your own call at your home station.  For picture of this event please be sure to click HERE, or visit our Photo Gallery page under the Media Clicks and Pics menu above.

Newest Addition To The K6CIM Antenna Farm:
Looks like we’ll be hearing a stronger signal on the air from Carmichael, CA as member David K6CIM puts up his new NA4RR Hex Beam. David reports that with the aid of some Sunday afternoon tree trimmers visiting his QTH he was able to get his new beam on its 25’ telescopic mast using a  portable concrete 5 gallon bucket as a base. David reports that all of the hardware and guy wires are up and installed. This should be a great addition to David’s set up and should yield him some good results on the 20 – 6 meter bands. The NA4RR Hexagonal Beam (commonly referred to as the hex beam) is a popular antenna based on the G3TXQ design. Their antenna doesn’t require a large expensive tower, many people are using inexpensive push up poles including a lot of the current and past DXpeditions who have taken them along due to their weight, size and ability to pack up when it’s time to roll. The NA4RR broadband hexagonal

 

beam is not a “kit”. This is a plug-and-play design that not only fits a budget but is easy to assemble. No cutting, crimping, or tuning of the wires is required. The only tools needed are a pair of pliers and a pair of 7/16 wrenches. Most users report they are on the air in less than 90 minutes after opening the boxes. Here is a short video describing how to assemble this antenna in case you’re interested in getting one for yourself. We hope to hear good reports from David as he gets on the air and realizes the benefits. Good luck and good DX David, we’ll be listening for you on the air!

A Visit to Maritime Station K6KPH 
Members John, WB6UBK, Mike, N6MQL, Chris, AI6U and Bob, KJ6CA enjoyed a day at
 the maritime museum receiver station KPH/KFS and amateur radio station K6KPH at Point Rayes Station, CA. The reason that this is called the receiver station is due to the fact that the actual transmitters for the keys and RTTY equipment are located about 40 miles south in Bolinas, CA. Operators at the receive station tune their receivers to the transmitters frequency on 80 meter, 40 meter, 15 meters and 17 meters. Antennas at the receive site in Point Reyes include TCI omnis, rhombics and V beams, all switchable from the operating positions.

The transmitters in Bolinas are keyed from Point Reyes over a land line link as was done for KPH and as is currently done for MRHS coast station KSM. K6KPH uses the original KPH transmitters, receivers and antennas. Operators are at the receive station in Point Reyes keying the transmitters in Bolinas remotely just as was done when KPH was in service. The transmitters are usually the Henry 5kW commercial units installed at KPH in 1990, throttled back to 1.5kW TPO. But several of the restored 1950’s

vintage RCA transmitters are also on K6KPH frequencies. They are also used for special historic occasions. The transmitting antennas are double extended Zepps for 4Mc and 7Mc. H over 2 antennas are used for 14Mc and 21Mc K6KPH may be contacted directly by phone when the station is in operation to file radiograms, provide signal reports or coordinate schedules.  Or to just say howdy!  The phone number is +1 415-669-9646. We encourage all of our members to join us next time we take the drive down for some Ham Radio fun!

Boy Scouts of America Eternal Flame Ceramony
The W6SFM was once again represented at the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America Eternal Flame Ceremony. At this is a ceremony Beginning Friday evening around 8:00 pm and continuing non-stop until approximately 10:00 am Sunday the BSA and GSA troupes from all over Sacramento sign up for available time slots, normally 1 hour in length to retire flags.  The W6SFM provides for the participants the ability to see and operate a Morse Code station. Club President Mike, N6MQL and John WB6UBK both participat
ed at this years event. 

 

A standard SFM ARC PR booth was set up and not unlike the Kids Day in the Park event, the club provided a work sheet for the scouts to use. With this work sheet the kids were able to write their name and then code it using the supplied Morse Code alphabet.  Once the scouts filled out their work sheets they were then introduced to a Morse Code straight key and oscillator. Each attendee was then given a brief lesson in the proper use of that key, and how the Morse characters Dit and Dah should sound. They were then given an opportunity to send their names on the oscillator while John and Mike offered helpful hints and corrections.  Those scouts showing more interest in Morse Code were then introduced to the on-air KX2 radio that was on-hand. The SFM ARC provided a booth to the scouts from 10:00 am Saturday morning until 5:30 pm Saturday evening. Fun was had by both the kids, and the members of the SFM ARC. For more pictures of this event please click HERE or visit our Photo Gallery under the Media Pics and Clicks section of this website.