Category Archives: Meeting

September 13 General Meeting

This month’s WVARA meeting will be held in-person at 7pm on Wednesday, Sept 13, in Meeting Room 3 at the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, 2731 N. First Street at Plumeria Drive (southwest corner) in San Jose.   If you haven’t been to the Red Cross in a while, “talk-in” is usually available on the Association’s repeaters. Best choice would be 2m/220.  

This month’s meeting will cover the California QSO Party.  This terrific event occurs each year during the first weekend in October when hams across the country (and the globe) try to contact all 58 California counties. 

Our primary speaker will be Dean Wood, N6DE, who will update us on plans for the California QSO Party.  Among other things, Dean will cover the various ways that WVARA members can have fun participating in this great contest.  

In addition to Dean’s presentation, we’ll also hear tips from four WVARA members who last year activated four rare counties during CQP: Bobby (K0XI), Mark (W6IA), Kevin (KK6VF), and Jim (K6EI).

Three things to remember:

• Since the west side entrance to the Red Cross Building is always locked, we recommend entering the Red Cross Building through the main entrance situated on the north side of the building.

• The Red Cross locks the main entrance at 7pm sharp, so please come early in order to get access to the building.  

• We will be in Meeting Room 3 — about 100 feet from any entrance.  As a result, late comers who knock on an outside door won’t be heard from our meeting room.  If you need help getting in the door, you can my cellphone:  408-636-6172.

If you can’t make it to the Red Cross Building on Sept 13, feel free to join us via Zoom.  Zoom instructions are at the end of this email.

By the way, several of us meet nearbyfor dinner prior to the meeting at 5:30pm at Dish-N-Dash (2551 N. 1st St. San Jose):  https://dishdash.com .   Feel free to drop by and join us for dinner.

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.

June 14 Meeting

The next WVARA meeting will be held in-person on Wednesday, June 14, in Meeting Room 3 at the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, 2731 N. First Street at Plumeria Drive (southwest corner) in San Jose.   Social time begins at 6:40pm with the formal meeting starting at 7pm.  If you haven’t been to the Red Cross in a while, “talk-in” is usually available on the Association’s repeaters. Best choice would be 2m/220.   

BTW, a half dozen of us meet nearby for dinner prior to the meeting at 5:30pm nearby at Disn-N-Dash (2551 N. 1st St. San Jose):  https://dishdash.com . Feel free to join us.


Meeting Topic:  AREDN (Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network) —  Come hear about RF Microwave Networking here in the South Bay Area.  We will learn about what exists now, and how AREDN can be expanded for experimentation, community support, and emergencies.  This will also be an opportunity for WVARA members to ask questions about setting up multi-Mbps systems at home, portable, and at key community locations.

Our speaker, Jim Moss, N9JIM, is working with a small group of hams to establish a microwave backbone around the SF Bay Area — in particular the South Bay. The first mountaintop station was established in 2013 on 3GHz and demonstrated IPphone & text messaging to flyaway portable setups. In 2022,  Jim helped establish a 5GHz mountaintop node with AREDN firmware.  BTW, Jim also holds the current (2020) 122GHz distance record holder with K6ML & KB6BA. They operated from Mt Umunhum (near San Jose, CA) to Mt Vaca (near Vacaville, CA) a distance of about 80 miles using 18″ dishes and about 1mW. Jim is also active on 1.2GHz EME (Earth-Moon-Earth) communications using 500w and a 1.5m dish.  Very cool!

If you can’t wait until June 14 to learn about AREDN, then check out the AREDN website at:  https://www.arednmesh.org/


Regarding our June 14 meeting, three things to remember:
• Since the west side entrance to the Red Cross Building is always locked, we recommend entering the Red Cross Building through the main entrance situated on the north side of the building.
• The Red Cross locks the main entrance at 7pm sharp, so please come early in order to get access to the building.  
• We will be in Meeting Room 3 — about 100 feet from any entrance.  As a result, late comers who knock on an outside door won’t be heard from our meeting room.  If you need help getting in the door, you can my cellphone:  408-636-6172.

Although we will be meeting in person, Jim’s presentation will also be streamed via Zoom.  Zoom instructions will be sent via WVARA reflector and can likewise be obtained by contacting K6EI — his email is available via QRZ.

March 6 WVARA Meeting

Our next WVARA meeting will be held in-person at 7pm on Wednesday, March 8, in Meeting Room 3 at the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, 2731 N. First Street at Plumeria Drive (southwest corner) in San Jose.   If you haven’t been to the Red Cross in a while, “talk-in” is usually available on the Association’s repeaters. Best choice would be 2m/220.   

Social time for this month’s meeting will begin around 6:45pm, with this month’s presentation beginning at 7pm.   This month’s presenter is Paul Wesling, KM6LH, who will be speaking about amateur radio’s dramatic impact on the beginnings of the Silicon Valley.  Why did Silicon Valley come into being?   The  story  goes  back  to  local  Hams  (amateur  radio  operators) trying to break RCA’s tube patents, “angel”  investors, the sinking of the Titanic, Fred Terman and  Stanford  University,  local  invention  of  high‐power  tubes,  WW  II  and  radar,  William  Shockley’s  mother  living in Palo Alto, and the SF Bay Area infrastructure  that  developed  –  these  factors  pretty  much  determined that the semiconductor and IC industries  would be located in California’s Santa Clara Valley, and  that the Valley would remain the world’s innovation center as new technologies emerged – computers, then  software, mobile, biotech, Big Data, VR/AR, autonomous vehicles and now blockchain – and it would become  the model for innovation worldwide.    This presentation gives an exciting and colorful history of device technology development and innovation that  began in Palo Alto, then spread across the Santa Clara Valley during and following World War II.  You’ll meet  some of the colorful characters – Cyril Elwell, Leonard Fuller, Lee de Forest, Bill Eitel W6UF, Charles Litton 6AO,  Fred Terman 6AE/W6DI, David  Packard 9DRV,  Bill Hewlett,  Russ  Varian and  others – extending  to Nolan  Bushnell W7DUK and Steve Wozniak WA6BND – who came to define the worldwide electronics industries  through their inventions and process development.    

Paul is an IEEE  Life  Fellow and Distinguished  Lecturer and has  observed the  Valley  for  decades as an  engineer, executive,  resident, and educator.  He received  degrees  in  electrical  engineering  and  materials  science  from  Stanford University, then worked locally at companies including Lenkurt Electric, Sperry‐ Univac, and Amdahl, joining Tandem Computers in Cupertino in 1985.  Paul retired from  HP in 2001, then served as “Mr. IEEE” for the San Francisco Bay Area for 10 years.  He is  a  Life  Fellow  of  the  IEEE.    He  received  the  IEEE’s  Centennial  Medal,  the  Board’s  Distinguished Service award, the Society Contribution Award, the IEEE’s Third Millennium  Medal,  and  the  EPS  Society’s  Presidential  Recognition  Award.    He  edits  the  IEEE/ASME/SEMI  Heterogeneous  Integration  Roadmap  for  prediction  of  technology  directions in electronics packaging.  

BTW, several of us meet for dinner prior to the meeting at 5:45pm nearby at Disn-N-Dash (2551 N. 1st St. San Jose):  https://dishdash.com    Feel free to join us for dinner.

Although we will be meeting in person, Paul’s presentation will also be streamed via Zoom.  Zoom instructions will be sent via WVARA reflector and can likewise be obtained by contacting K6EI — his email is available via QRZ.

Three things to remember:

  1. Since the west side entrance to the Red Cross Building is always locked, we recommend entering the Red Cross Building through the main entrance situated on the north side of the building.
  2. The Red Cross locks the main entrance at 7pm sharp, so please come a few minutes early in order to get access to the building.  
  3. We will be in Meeting Room 3 — about 100 feet from any entrance.  As a result, late comers who knock on an outside door won’t be heard from our meeting room.  If you are late and need access, you can call my cellphone (408 636-6172) and someone will come let you in.  But please try to arrive before 7pm to avoid this hassle.

– Jim, K6EI

January 11 WVARA Meeting

This month’s WVARA meeting will be held in-person at 7pm on Wednesday, January 11, in Meeting Room 3 at the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, 2731 N. First Street at Plumeria Drive (southwest corner) in San Jose.   If you haven’t been to the Red Cross in a while, “talk-in” is usually available on the Association’s repeaters. Best choice would be 2m/220.  

Two things to remember:

 1) The Red Cross locks the exterior doors at 7pm sharp, so please come a few minutes early in order to get access to the building.  

 2) We will be in Meeting Room 3 — about 100 feet from the side door.  As a result, late comers who knock on the side door won’t be heard from our meeting room.  If you are late and need access, you can call my cellphone (408 636-6172) and someone will come let you in.  But please try to arrive before 7pm to avoid this hassle.

To start the new year, we will have a presentation by Kaitlyn Handelman (KN6MAN) on Cybersecurity and Radios In Space.  Radio transmitters surround us on the ground, in the air, and increasingly in space. Space is the place for amateur radio, telecommunications, and scientific transmissions. Space is awesome, but what could happen if a bad actor decided to attack satellite systems? More importantly, what fun can good actors have exploring satellite transmissions?

Kaitlyn Handelman (KN6MAN) is an offensive security engineer at Amazon where she secures ground, air, and space-based hardware. Kaitlyn has previous experience securing air and space systems at NASA.

BTW, several of us meet for dinner prior to the meeting at 5:45pm nearby at Disn-N-Dash (2551 N. 1st St. San Jose):  https://dishdash.com  Some WVARA members also dine at Panera Bread a few miles further to the south at 503 Coleman Avenue at Autumn Parkway at the San Jose Market Center.  Feel free to drop by either location for dinner.

Although we will be meeting in person, Kaitlyn’s presentation will also be streamed via Zoom.  For Zoom log-on details contact Jim at k6ei at earthlink.net

.Jim, K6EI
WVARA Vice President

November Nov 9 Meeting: Elections & Winter Field Day

This month’s WVARA meeting will be held in-person at 7pm on Wednesday, November 9, in Meeting Room 3 at the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, 2731 N. First Street at Plumeria Drive (southwest corner) in San Jose.  We will be holding elections for next year’s club officers.  If you haven’t been to the Red Cross in a while, “talk-in” is usually available on the Association’s repeaters. Best choice would be 2m/220.  

WVARA’s Winter Field Day Team: January 2022

In addition to holding elections, we will have a presentation by Steve Sergeant, KC6ZKT, regarding WVARA plans for Winter Field Day 2023.   Winter Field Day, to be held on January 28-29, is an emergency communications exercise focused on providing communications services in some of our area’s most challenging conditions.  You can learn more about WFD at [ https://www.winterfieldday.com/ ].

Steve Sergeant is a third-generation ham. Originally licensed Novice class in 1972, his licensed expired and later in 1991 he was granted KC6ZKT as a Technician, and has since upgraded to Extra. Steve has a long career in audio engineering for professional and later consumer audio system integration. He currently works at Dolby Laboratories as an Applications Engineer. Steve is on the boards of the WVARA and the Nature Sounds Society. He is also a volunteer backpacking instructor for the Sierra Club, and a Uniformed Volunteer for California State Parks.

Three things to remember:

  • 1) The Red Cross locks the exterior doors at 7pm sharp, so please come a few minutes early in order to get access to the building.  
  • 2) We will be in Meeting Room 3 — not our traditional meeting room.  Room 3 is about 100 feet from the side door.  As a result, late comers who knock on the side door won’t be heard from our meeting room.  If you are late and need access, you can call my cellphone (408 636-6172) and someone will come let you in.  But please try to arrive before 7pm to avoid this hassle.
  • 3) The Red Cross policy is that everyone must wear a mask when entering the building, but that masks are optional once you are in a meeting room.  Please be considerate to others regarding COVID.

BTW, several of us meet for dinner prior to the meeting at 5:45pm nearby at Disn-N-Dash (2551 N. 1st St. San Jose):  https://dishdash.com  Some WVARA members also dine at Panera Bread a few miles further to the south at 503 Coleman Avenue at Autumn Parkway at the San Jose Market Center.  Feel free to drop by either location for dinner.

Although we will be meeting in person, Steve’s presentation will also be streamed via Zoom.   Zoom instructions have been sent via WVARA reflector and can likewise be obtained by contacting K6EI — his email is available via QRZ.

Jim, K6EI
WVARA Vice President

October 12, WVARA Meeting

The next WVARA meeting will be held in-person at 7pm on Wednesday, Oct 12, in Meeting Room 3 at the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, 2731 N. First Street at Plumeria Drive (southwest corner) in San Jose.   If you haven’t been to the Red Cross in a while, “talk-in” is usually available on the Association’s repeaters. Best choice would be 2m/220.  

As every ham who has turned on a radio in the past few years has observed, the amount of electrical noise on the ham bands has increased dramatically.  Our speaker will be Jim Peterson, K6EI, who will update us on how to detect, identify, locate, and reduce Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) around your station.  Since many of us has learned hard-fought lessons on this topic, be prepared to share your own RFI-related stories with the rest of us during the meeting.

Three things to remember:

  • 1) The Red Cross locks the exterior doors at 7pm sharp, so please come a few minutes early in order to get access to the building.  
  • 2) We will be in Meeting Room 3 — not our traditional meeting room.  Room 3 is about 100 feet from the side door.  As a result, late comers who knock on the side door won’t be heard from our meeting room.  If you are late and need access, you can call my cellphone (408 636-6172) and someone will come let you in.  But please try to arrive before 7pm to avoid this hassle.
  • 3) The Red Cross policy is that everyone must wear a mask when entering the building, but that masks are optional once you are in a meeting room.  Please be considerate to others regarding COVID.

Several of us meet for dinner prior to the meeting at 5:45pm nearby at Disn-N-Dash (2551 N. 1st St. San Jose):  https://dishdash.com  Some WVARA members also dine at Panera Bread a few miles further to the south at 503 Coleman Avenue at Autumn Parkway at the San Jose Market Center.  Feel free to drop by either location for dinner.

By the way . . . although we will be meeting in person, the presentation will also be streamed live via Zoom.  So if you can’t make it to the Red Cross Building on Oct 12, feel free to join us via Zoom.  (This will be our first time attempting a hybrid in-person / Zoom meeting, so please be patient.)  Zoom instructions have been sent via WVARA reflector and can likewise be obtained by contacting K6EI — his email is available via QRZ.

September 14, WVARA Meeting

This month’s WVARA meeting will be held in-person at 7pm on Wednesday, Sept 14, in Meeting Room 3 at the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, 2731 N. First Street at Plumeria Drive (southwest corner) in San Jose.   If you haven’t been to the Red Cross in a while, “talk-in” is usually available on the Association’s repeaters. Best choice would be 2m/220.  

This month’s meeting will cover the California QSO Party.  This terrific event occurs each year during the first weekend in October when hams across the country (and the globe) try to contact all 58 California counties. 

Our primary speaker will be Dean Wood, N6DE, who will update us on plans for the California QSO Party.  Among other things, Dean will cover the various ways that WVARA members can have fun participating in this great contest.  

In addition to Dean’s presentation, we’ll also hear a few lessons-learned from WVARA members who in recent years have activated three rare counties during CQP.  Bobby (K0XI) ran an expedition to Lassen County in 2020.   Mark (W6IA) co-ran a M/M expedition to Glenn County in 2021.  And Jim (K6EI) and Tom (W6ESL) helped activate W6BO’s M/M station in Sutter County in 2021. 

By the way . . . although we will be meeting in person, Dean will be giving his presentation via Zoom.  So if you can’t make it to the Red Cross Building on Sept 14, feel free to join us via Zoom.  Zoom instructions have been sent via WVARA reflector and can likewise be obtained by contacting K6EI — his email is available via QRZ.

Several of us meet nearbyfor dinner prior to the meeting at 5:45pm at Dish-N-Dash (2551 N. 1st St. San Jose):  https://dishdash.com  Some WVARA members likewise dine at Panera Bread a few miles further to the south at 503 Coleman Avenue at Autumn Parkway at the San Jose Market Center.  Feel free to drop by either location for dinner.

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.

June 8 Membership Meeting

Our next WVARA meeting will be at 7pm on Wednesday, June 8, at the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, 2731 N. First Street at Plumeria Drive (southwest corner) in San Jose.   If you haven’t been to the Red Cross in a while, “talk-in” is usually available on the Association’s repeaters. Best choice would be 2m/220.  This month’s meeting will cover final details related to Field Day preparations and see a presentation about the wonders of nano VNA.

Three things to remember:

  • 1) The Red Cross locks the exterior doors at 7pm sharp, so please come a few minutes early in order to get access to the building.  
  • 2) We will be in Meeting Room 3 — not our traditional meeting room.  Room 3 is about 100 feet from the side door.  As a result, late comers who knock on the side door won’t be heard from our meeting room.  If you are late and need access, you can call my cellphone (408 636-6172) and someone will come let you in.  But please try to arrive before 7pm to avoid this hassle.
  • 3) The Red Cross policy is that everyone must wear a mask when entering the building, but that masks are optional once you are in a meeting room.  Please be considerate to others regarding COVID.

BTW, several of us meet for dinner at 5:45pm nearby at Disn-N-Dash (2551 N. 1st St. San Jose):  https://dishdash.com  Some WVARA members also dine at Panera Bread a few miles further to the south 

at 503 Coleman Avenue at Autumn Parkway at the San Jose Market Center.  Feel free to drop by either location for dinner.


Jim, K6EI
WVARA Vice President


Meeting Presentation:  The Nano Virtual Network Analyzer.  The speaker at our June 8 meeting will be Stan Dye, KC7XE.  This presentation will describe and demonstrate the nanoVNA and some of its capabilities and practical uses for amateur radio, along with a couple of the available software packages that can be used to control it from your computer.  Stan has found the nanoVNA to be a very useful and educational tool.  It is far less expensive than commercial antenna analyzers, but is more versatile and fun to use.  You do have to be a bit adventurous, since the nanoVNA started as an open-source community supported project, without much good documentation – but it has an excellent and very active online user community that is very knowledgeable and helpful.  Stan reports that while far from an expert on the nanoVNA, he has learned a great deal using it and interacting with other users.

Stan is an active WVARA member.  He was first licensed over 45 years ago as a novice with callsign KA7JPQ.  This call seemed to him to take forever to send in morse code, so only a few months later he upgraded to Advanced Class and received call sign KC7XE.  A few years later he upgraded to Extra class.  In 1984 Stan received a Master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Brigham Young University, and began his career in Silicon Valley at a small high-tech think-tank named ESL, where he met several other ham radio operators who are (or have been) members of this club.  Stan worked his entire career at ESL, which became part of TRW and later Northrop Grumman, doing advanced projects for defense intelligence operations.  He became an expert in specialized digital communications signals and systems, designing and building hardware processors, DSP software and digital signal analysis algorithms.  Stan received several honors and commendations for his work, including being named a Northrop Grumman Technical Fellow in 2005, and receiving the NGMS President’s Award for Innovation.

May Meeting – All Things Field Day

Believe it or not, we are returning to the Red Cross Building for our next WVARA meeting, which occurs at 7pm on Wednesday, May 11.  It’s been over two years since we were last there, and several major changes have occurred:

  • The Red Cross locks the exterior doors at 7pm sharp, so please come a few minutes early in order to get access to the building.  
  • We will be in Meeting Room 3 — not our traditional meeting room.  Room 3 is about 100 feet from the side door.  As a result, late comers who knock on the side door won’t be heard from our meeting room.  If you are late and need access, you can call my cellphone (408 636-6172) and someone will come let you in.  But please try to arrive before 7pm to avoid this hassle.
  • The Red Cross policy is that everyone must wear a mask when entering the building, but that masks are optional once you are in a meeting room.  Please be considerate to others regarding COVID.

Meeting Topic:  All Things Field Day.  We have a permit from the Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve to operate Field Day from Mora Hill June 24-26.  We only have a couple of months to get ready and there’s lots to do.  The focus on our May 11 meeting will be to discuss our plans and coordinate tasks.

Oh, and if you haven’t already done so, please take our on-line Field Dayparticipant survey (at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7HWZMDB) to assist us in planning.

January Virtual Membership Meeting

The next monthly WVARA meeting will be at 7pm on Wednesday, January 12, via Zoom.  Zoom instructions have been sent via WVARA reflector and can likewise be obtained by contacting K6EI — his email is available via QRZ.
Hope to see you there!
Jim, K6EI
WVARA Vice President

Screen Shot 2022-01-03 at 9.56.05 AM.jpg

Tim Duffy, K3LR

Our January 12 presentation will be everything you might want to know about grounding and bonding — critical knowledge for reducing RFI in your shack.  Tim will show us examples of what not to do, examples of proper installations, and the how they are put together.
Tim Duffy, K3LR, has been an active amateur radio operator for 48 years – starting as WN3SZX in 1972.  He has hosted 145 different operators from around the world as part of the K3LR Multi operator radio sport contest efforts since 1992. Tim has built a 13 tower station with 11 operating positions. He was the ARRL Atlantic Division Technical Achievement award winner in 1998.