Lesson learned for future Field Day

A highlight of Winter Field Day weekend was when Elecraft co-founder Wayne Burdick (N6KR) and his son Griffin dropped by our Winter Field Day site at Henry Coe State Park.  

Wayne noticed we were using a pair of KX3s, and he provided some info on a little-known Elecraft feature for improved co-station isolation in multi-multi environments like Field Day:  Using the transceiver’s menu to set “RX ISO” to “on” will suppress any radiation from the local oscillator that might otherwise leak to the antenna. This helps minimize oscillator birdies that could interfer with reception at the site’s other stations.   

Definitely worth remembering this feature at Field Day in June!

Winter Field Day team at Henry Coe State Park

Many, many warm thanks to Steve Sergeant, KC6ZKT, and his lovely wife Jean for the excellent job they did organizing and feeding our Winter Field Day team at Henry Coe State Park this past weekend.  

Saturday night’s chili was especially fantastic, the weather was near perfect except for a little overnight rain, and we all had a really great time.  I also learned a whole bunch about debugging quirky antenna/radio/laptop issues that never occur when I’m sitting at my home station.    

I’m already looking forward to WFD-2021.- Jim, K6EI

Here are a few photos from WFD. Wayne N6BTU

January 8 Meeting

The next WVARA meeting will be 7pm next Wednesday, January 8.  This will be at our usual meeting place: the Red Cross Building on 2731 N. First Street (Meeting Room #5) in San Jose.  Entry is via the side door on the west side of the building — look for the red WVARA sign.   Visitors are welcome, and of course there will be chocolate chip cookies.  If you haven’t been to the Red Cross, “talk-in” is usually available on the Association’s repeaters. Best choice would be 2m/220.  
Several of us meet for dinner near the Red Cross around 5:45pm prior to the meeting at Disn-N-Dash (2551 N. 1st St. San Jose):  https://dishdash.com/  Feel free to drop by and join us for dinner!   WVARA members also dine at Panera Bread at Coleman Avenue at Autumn Parkway, at the San Jose Market Center at 6 p.m. 

At this month’s meeting Edison Fong, WB6IQN, will bring us up to speed on DMR (Digital Mobile Radio).  This mode is getting really popular.  The radios cost about $100-$150 depending on the quality you want.  All of them  also have conventional FM.  DMR is a full digital format that is interfaced via the internet where one can 24/7 talk all over the world.  The dream of working DX sitting on your couch is here.  Since it is an open system originally set up  by Motorola there are over 15 manufacturers of DMR radios – both hand held and mobiles.  Learn how to get register as a DMR user, where to purchase a radio, how to program the radio and talk to the world without depending on propagation conditions. 


Ed is a design consultant and has worked at Loral Space System, Microsoft and National Semiconductor. He has 25 years of experience in analog design for communications, data conversion and RF systems. Fong has 12 issued patents and has published more than 40 papers. He is a senior member of the IEEE. He also is on the faculty of UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley, where he teaches RF Wireless Communications and I/O Design Fundamentals. 
Prior to Ed’s presentation on DMR, Steve Sergeant KC6ZKT will give a 15-20 minute update on WVARA’s Winter Field Day plans and preparations (Jan 25-26).  Winter Field Day is an emergency communications exercise focused on providing communications services in some of our area’s mostchallenging conditions.  Our WVARA team will be operating from a 2,840′ hilltop in Henry W. Coe State Park east of Morgan Hill — sounds fun although maybe a little chilly!     You can learn more about WFD at  https://www.winterfieldday.com .
Looking forward to seeing you at next Wednesday’s meeting!Jim, K6EIWVARA Vice President