This month’s WVARA meeting will be at 7pm on Wednesday, Sept 8, via Zoom.
Our speaker will be Dean Wood, N6DE, who will update us on the latest changes to the California QSO Party. This very fun event occurs the first weekend in October. Dean will likewise cover the various ways that WVARA members can have fun participating in this great contest.
When not contesting, Dean works as a hardware design engineer for networking companies in Silicon Valley. Dean’s involvement with WVARA spans two decades, with responsibilities including past WVARA President, Vice President, Secretary, Board Member, Field Day Coordinator, Flea Market helper, meeting presenter, and other things I’ve forgotten. -Jim, K6EI
Where: Sunnyvale’s Baylands Park, Pickleweed Place
When: 11am – 12:30pm, Saturday, Aug 21, 2021
(When you get to Baylands Park, turn right after going through the main gate.)
There won’t be an evening WVARA meetings in July or August. Instead, we are having our annual WVARA BBQ. Our location (see map below, the reservation is under “WVARA”) includes multiple tables, grill, an AC outlet, and a covered awning for shade. There is an entry fee per car at Baylands Park, so you may prefer to carpool. We’ll have hot charcoal and condiments — please bring your own meat to grill.
Our BBQ coincides with the SSB portion of the North American QSO Party (NAQP) which means this is an ideal opportunity for a really fun portable radio operation. (NAQP Contest rules are at: http://www.ncjweb.com/NAQP-Rules.pdf). We can’t put up any big Field Day-style antennas at Baylands, but we can still string up an NVIS dipole and/or put an HF whip on top of the metal awning and have some fun in the contest. Let me know if you are interested in volunteering to be in charge of either of the following two tasks:
Setting up an HF SSB station.
Setting up a VHF station for event coordination through the WVARA repeater
WVARA’s next virtual meeting will be via Zoom at 7pm on June 9. Our speaker will be Clint Bradford, K6LCS. Clint’s presentation covers how to work amateur satellites with your HT. You do not need 100W of transmit power nor expensive antenna arrays to work the FM amateur satellites! Many hams already have the necessary equipment to “work the birds.” This presentation will walk you through ALL the steps needed to successfully work several ham satellites. (Since this presentation is 90 minutes, we will shorten our meeting’s normal introductions to allow more time for the presentation.)
Speaker Bio: Clint K6LCS has been a ham since 1994, and found his niche in the hobby: working amateur satellites with minimal equipment and telling ALL about it! He has served a liaison between NASA, the ARISS team, and schools coordinating amateur radio contacts between the International Space Station and students (and orchestrated a wlldly successfulARISS contact). Professionally, Clint was sales manager for ADI / Premier Communications / Pryme, worked for a Motorola commercial two-way dealer a couple of years, and for Ham Radio Outlet a couple more. He resides in Jurupa Valley, California, with his wife, Karen, and their rescued lab, Freja.
Our May 12 speaker will be Kristen McIntyre, K6WX, who will speak on the topic of “SWR — Who Cares?” And will debunk some of the misconceptions and misunderstandings regarding the widest used measurement in ham radio — the Standing Wave Ratio. Topics covered will include what it is, how it is calculated, what SWR actually measures, and what we should care about – including what an impedance match is, the impact of SWR on real transmission line loss, how to match a transmitter to a load and how to measure feedpoint impedance. I’m looking forward to learning a thing or two!
Kristen has been interested in radio since she was about 5 years old. She started in Amateur Radio in 1979 getting her ticket while at MIT. Kristen has worked in many diverse areas from analog circuit design to image processing to starting and running an ISP. She is currently working at Apple in Core Networking, and spent many years at Sun Microsystems Laboratories where she was researching robustness and emergent properties of large distributed computer systems. She is a long time denizen of Silicon Valley and has worked at or consulted for many of the usual suspects. Kristen is an active ham and loves to chase DX on HF with her Elecraft K2 which she built while visiting her mother in Florida. She is ARRL Pacific Division Vice Director, president of the Palo Alto Amateur Radio Assoc., the Q&A columnist for Nuts and Volts magazine, and is active in many local clubs. Kristen was recently inducted into the CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame.
Our April 14 speaker will be Brian Tanner, AG6GX, who will talk about “The Art of Voice Communications: Techniques for Technician & HF-class licensees”. Brian will cover voice operating practices, including how best to format and communicate information for accuracy and precision via phone nets. While this presentation will be especially useful for newer hams, even old timers may learn something new.
Bio: Brian started by getting his Tech license in 1995. After several years of activity on the VHF and UHF bands, Brian upgraded and became radioactive on the HF bands in 2013. He participates in the Cupertino ARES group (CARES) as well as the city ARES net Cupertino_Net. Brian also enjoys tinkering with hardware and recently built a 100W HF solid state power amplifier.
It’s official. Sunnyvale has opened their picnic facilities for summer reservations, and we’ve been approved for Baylands Park Pickleweed Picnic Area. So mark your calendar for WVARA’s Annual BBQ on August 21 starting at 11am. This coincides with the North America QSO Party / SSB, so we’ll be making contacts during our BBQ via a portable station. (More details to follow.)
Our monthly meeting will be next week on Wednesday, March 10, at 7:00pm via Zoom. Zoom instructions will be emailed.
This month’s topic is one of interest to all hams. Jim Aspinwall, NO1PC, will unlock the secrets of “Elmering in the Age of Devices” — how we can each get more involved in mentoring (i.e. elmering) — helping younger folks get excited about the magic of ham radio. Jim points out that since “shop class” is a thing of the past, and Maker events are mostly focused on Arduino, robots and i-devices, there are few places for the average person to learn and really practice electronics except amateur radio. Mentoring by those of us in the ham community is the key!
Bio: Jim was originally licensed as WN9GVF in 1970 and eventually upgraded to Extra in 2005. In addition to a full career in the tech world, Jim served for 8 years as a volunteer firefighter/engineer, eventually transitioning that experience into working with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services as a telecommunications deployment specialist. Jim has created and moderates a fantastic amateur radio Elmer forum on Facebook devoted to Amateur Radio Elmers (https://www.facebook.com/groups/AmateurRadioElmers) and maintains a web-site devoted to ham radio reference information for newcomers at http://www.No1PC.org.