Category Archives: Meeting

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. 

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

June 10 Virtual Meeting

Due to the coronavirus, this month’s WVARA meeting will not be held at the Red Cross Building. Instead, we will hold a virtual meeting via Zoom at 7pm on Wednesday, June 10.  At this month’s meeting, Jim Deloach (WU0I) will give a virtual presentation on his Field Day operation from a remote location in the wilds of Southeast Alaska.  

Time: Jun 10, 2020 19:00 Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meetinghttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/83252301029?pwd=cG0vNDZGS1J2NzJ1ZXZ2VUY2S1l4Zz09

Meeting ID: 832 5230 1029
Password: w6piy     

I have placed my Alaska DXpedition presentation on my website here:

http://www.deloach.net/AlaskaDXpedition.pdf

Tales of an Alaskan Field Day:   Have you ever wanted to participate in a DXpedition but did not want to wander too far or spend a lot of money?  Then you should try Alaska!  Alaska makes a great vacation destination, it is rare enough and exotic enough (with its own DXCC listing) to be a fun DX spot, and adding an Amateur Radio component to your vacation is easier than you think!  In his presentation, Jim explains how he and his lovely XYL mounted a Field Day DXpedition to Alaska in 2017, and nearly won the state! 

Jim DeLoach, WU0I, is a Silicon Valley wireless and location technology systems engineer specialized in data analytics, field testing, product definition, and tools development.  For fun, Jim loves to build high-performance temporary contest stations, but prefers to get out of the way and let the real operators take over as soon as the station is up and running!  Jim and XYL Maggie (KK6DZS) are WVARA members, live in Sunnyvale, and love to travel.  Jim can be reached at jim@deloach.net.

May 13 Virtual Meeting

This month’s WVARA meeting will be held via Zoom at 7pm on Wednesday, May 13.  George Zafiropoulos (KJ6VU) will give a virtual presentation on PackTennas — lightweight, compact, portable HF antenna systems ideal for a simple, solo Field Day.  George will tell us the story of these antennas, explain their design, and give tips on how to get the most from them.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86292324465?pwd=Q3RxWGdaZnJ0S3hyM2hzcXJ6ZVN5Zz09
Meeting ID: 862 9232 4465
Password: 505589

April 8, Virtual Meeting

Due to the coronavirus, the April WVARA meeting will NOT be held at the Red Cross Building. Instead, we will hold a virtual meeting via Zoom at 7pm on Wednesday, April 8. 


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. 
Looking forward to seeing you at Wednesday’s VIRTUAL meeting!Jim, K6EIWVARA Vice President

Join Zoom Meeting on Apr 8, 2020 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
https://zoom.us/j/660067844

Meeting ID: 660 067 844

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March 2020 Meeting will be Virtual

Due to the CoronaVirus, the March 2020 WVARA meeting will NOT be held at the Red Cross Building. Instead, we will hold a virtual meeting via Zoom. Below are the specifics: 
Time: Mar 11, 2020 19:00 Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/112102081

Meeting ID: 112 102 081

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Meeting ID: 112 102 081Guide to Zoom:https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-Joining-a-Meeting

Annual FD Brainstorm Lunch

Our annual Field Day Brainstorm Lunch will be 12:30pm this Sunday, Feb 23.  We’ll meet at Burger King (W. Trimble Road just north of Hwy 101 in Santa Clara).  Bring your thoughts on what you liked last year, what could be improved, and any ideas that you’d like us to consider for 2020.

Troubleshooting Electronic Circuits at WVARA’s Feb 12 meeting

The next WVARA meeting will be 7pm on Wednesday, February 12.  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.  

At this month’s meeting Ron Quan, KI6AZB, will give a presentation based on his latest book, “Troubleshooting Electronic Circuits: A Guide to Learning Analog Electronics”.  Ron’s presentation will cover selected topics from the book, including electronic components, LEDs, and ham radio circuits such as oscillators, Software Defined Radio mixers and audio amplifiers.  Ron will discuss how to debug circuit problems and fix via re-design.

Ron Quan, KI6AZB

Ron built his first crystal radio in the mid 1960s. Since then he has repaired radios, Hi Fi stereos, TVs, oscilloscopes, signal generators, lab power supplies, and broadcast equipment.  Before passing his Extra Class License, he was a broadcast engineer in the 1970s for radio stations KALX FM and KNEW AM. He received his engineering degree that led to working at Ampex, Sony, and finally Macrovision where he was a Principal Engineer.  Ron has written three electronics books and has taught at the university level on analog RF communications systems, signals, and circuits.

 Looking forward to seeing you at next Wednesday’s meeting!  BTW, 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. 

Jim, K6EI
WVARA Vice President

October 9, Meeting

Join us to hear about Clay’s suitcase DX expedition and communications support for International Health Services (IHS) work in Honduras. IHS Found in 1982, International Health Service is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) medical organization that provides medical and dental care to the impoverished people of Honduras. Each February approximately 100 people from all over the world head out on teams to various regions of Honduras and spend two weeks helping the people of Honduras and Nicaragua. IHS uses Pactor III & amateur radio as the main communication link for the field medical teams as they are often working in locations that are outreach of phone / cell service. Ham radio is used to arrange transportation, housing and schedule surgery or other medical service that the field team is not able to provide.

The DX expedition was in West Palm Beach on Roatan Inland for two days before moving to Rus Rus near the Nicaragua boarder for 8 days. Rus Rus DX expedition was done jointly with IHS field work as time & power allow.

Clay Couger was licensed in 92 as N5YJZ and was active in amateur radio throughout the 90’s while in college at Oklahoma State Univ. He severed one term as president of W5YJ OSU amateur radio club. Clay officially joined the Okie club by moving to California in 1999 and fell away from the hobby as he got caught in the Silicon Valley rat race. He became active again in 2016 due to a renewed interest in disaster support (wife says he needed a new reason to shop). He prefers to build things then get on air but has found FT8/FT4 to be wonderful mode as it can be run in the background while doing other things at the workbench.

International Health Services is actively recrewing for the Feb 2020 mission on February 14 to February 28. IHS are looking for licensed medical (DDS, DDO, MD, RN, OD, Dental Ass’t, NP, LPN, RDH, PA, CRNA, RPh, Pharmacist, Paramedic and EMT) professionals, amateur radio operators (general Lic and above), translators (Spanish, Garifuna, Miskito, Sumo, Pech, and Jicaque). We engorge spouses to join as there is always a need for next extra hands need to support the teams. For more information on IHS see their website at http://www.ihsmn.org/.