All posts by wvara

May Membership Meeting

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!

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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.

April Membership Meeting

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. 

WVARA’s Annual BBQ

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.)

March Membership Meeting

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!   

Jim Aspinwall, NO1PC

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.

Congratulations to WVARA – CA QSO Party

Dear WVARA Members,
Congratulations to WVARA for a competitive 3rd place finish among 32 clubs in the Small CA Club category.  Thank you for participating in the California QSO Party last October!

California QSO Party 2020 results are now available at:
https://cqp.org/Results.html

Highlights:
* 1,365 logs received.  48% increase in logs over 2019.  Beats all-time CQP record logs received by a margin of 360 logs.

* Records shattered.  104 new records set.  All-time CA S/O HP record set by KI6RRN and all-time CA S/O LP record set by N5ZO.  New club records set by SCCC, REDXA and TCG.

* Strongest Top 10 CA S/O scores in the history of CQP.  The threshold to place in the Top 10 of all Single-Ops inside CA was over 300,000 points, an all-time high.

* SEQUOIA 1×1 station success.  Over 42,000 QSOs were made by our 21 1×1 SEQUOIA stations.  11 stations outside of CA made more than 100 overall QSOs with the SEQUOIA stations.  Over 500 stations spelled SEQUOIA at least once.

* 57 plaques, 40 bottles of wine, 13 SEQUOIA calendars and hundreds of certificates will be awarded.

* Largest results package in CQP history.  19 PDF files, links to two SEQUOIA station blogs, and a link to your 2020 CQP Certificate of Achievement await you at https://cqp.org/Results.html
Stand by for more information about the SEQUOIA certificates.

* Make sure to look for your callsign listed in all of these files.  You may very well find yourself listed in a Top 10 table of the comeback award, operating time improvement award or the top 10 SEQUOIA QSO counts by operating class.

Thank you for participating in CQP 2020!

73…
-Dean – N6DE
CQP Organizing Team: K6MM, NS6T, W6GJB, N6DE

February Membership Meeting

WVARA’s next monthly meeting will be on Wednesday, February 10, at 7pm via Zoom.  

Gary Johnson, NA6O, will tell us how to reduce/eliminate RF noise before it gets into your transceiver.  Gary will discuss how RF interference to amateur radio is steadily increasing due to the wide-spread use of poorly-filtered commercial electronic devices. In this talk, we will learn about these noise sources, how to locate them, and a number of techniques to reduce their effects. Lists of references and resources will be provided.

Bio:    Gary Johnson, NA6O, is a retired electronics engineer with a degree from the University of Illinois. His entire career was spent at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he used his diverse skills in measurement and control systems, electro-optics, transducers, circuit design, and technical writing. Gary holds nine patents and wrote two books. He grew up near Chicago and was first licensed as a junior high student in 1972. These days, he enjoys station building, contesting, and anything to do with CW, in addition to his other hobbies of woodworking and metalworking. He and his wife, Katharine, live in Livermore.

Zoom meeting information will be sent via email.

Hope to see you there!Jim, K6EI, WVARA Vice President

QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo

Press Release

LOS ANGELES – QSO Today host Eric Guth, 4Z1UG, announced that the next QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo will commence on March 13-14, 2021, over a period of 48 hours.  The first QSO Today Expo was a great success with over 16,000 attendees and the March 2021 event is anticipated to be even larger.  The QSO Today team has been working hard to make this upcoming Expo even better with new speakers, panel discussions, kit building workshops, and much more.  Anyone can attend from their home or office. Early Bird Tickets are just $10 (to help cover the cost of this event, $12.50 at the “door”) and include entry for the Live 2 day period as well as the 30-day on-demand period).  Registration can be found at www.qsotodayhamexpo.com.  

 Eric and his team have put together a world-class line-up of 60+ speakers to address this conference from the virtual Expo’s auditorium.  ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio® in the United States, is a QSO Today Expo Partner.  Flexradio is the Expo’s Platinum Sponsor, and Gold sponsors as of this time include Elecraft, RFinder, and CSI.  

At the Expo, amateur radio operators will be able to:

  • Learn from a packed line-up of renowned ham radio speakers such as Bob Allphin, K4UEE, on “My Favorite DXpeditions to DXCC Top 10 Most Wanted”; Michael Foerster, W0IH, on “Using the Arduino In Your Shack”; and Ron Jones, K7RJ, on “3D Printer Basics”.
  • Take part in Live virtual kit building workshops.  Kits will be available for purchase and delivered to you in time for the Expo so you can participate and build from the convenience of your home.
  • Walkthrough the virtual exhibit hall filled with popular amateur radio suppliers. Watch live product demos of the latest equipment.  New video technology will be used to provide a better experience for attendees to engage with exhibitors.
  • Prior to the Expo, take advantage of our new speaker calendar technology to download speaker times in your local time zones to your Google or Outlook calendar.  You’ll then have a complete schedule of the sessions you want to join.
  • Return over the next 30 days to listen to speakers you missed during the Live period, explore, and re-engage exhibitor offerings.

“While attendance is expected from traditional in-person convention “goers” not traveling due to Covid, the virtual Expo is a great opportunity for those that don’t typically attend in-person events – the vast majority of amateur radio operators.  At our last Expo, we found that 60% of attendees don’t go to in-person national conferences and 40% don’t attend state or local events – mostly because of distance or because of the thousands of dollars typically spent on travel and lodging.” said Eric, 4Z1UG.

“The QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo has all of the familiar hallmarks of an in-person hamfest, including opportunities to connect and learn. Expect to bump into friends and well known experts and personalities from throughout our worldwide ham radio community!” said Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, ARRL Product Development Manager

For more information, go to www.qsotodayhamexpo.com

January Membership Meeting

WVARA’s January Zoom Meeting:   The Quest for the Ultimate DX — Are We Alone in the Universe?

January 13, 2021 at 7pm PST.  (Zoom log-in details are available via the WVARA email reflector.)

In addition, Steve KC6ZKT will give us an update on plans for Winter Field Day and how you can get involved — Winter Field Day will be January 30/31.

The Allen Telescope Array, formerly known as the One Hectare Telescope, is a radio telescope array dedicated to astronomical observations and a simultaneous search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

Are you curious about how radio technology is being used for alien exploration in the universe?  Join Dr. Seth Shostak, N6UDK, Senior Astronomer with the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute, for a discussion on the possibility of discovering sophisticated civilizations much like our own. Learn about the approaches being applied to alien detection including RF- and signal-related technology.  And if you can’t wait until January, you can get started now by reading Dr Shostak’s book Confessions of an Alien Hunter (published by National Geographic). 

About our January speaker:   In addition to being a licensed radio amateur, Dr Seth Shostak has a B.A. in physics from Princeton and a PhD. in astronomy from Caltech. He did research in radio astronomy at several observatories before joining SETI. He has published numerous articles in professional journals as well as a number of popular magazines. He is the host of the SETI Institute’s weekly radio program on science. He is also responsible for many outreach activities for the SETI Institute.