Category Archives: News

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

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.

WVARA Annual BBQ Saturday August 13

When: 11am–12:30pm, Saturday, Aug 13

 Where: Sunnyvale’s Baylands Park, Pickleweed Place #1

There won’t be an evening WVARA meeting in August. Instead, we are having our annual WVARA BBQ. Our location (Pickleweed Place #1 inside Sunnyvale’s Baylands park”) includes multiple tables, grill, an AC outlet, and a covered awning for shade.  When you get to Baylands Park, turn right after going through the main gate.  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 and maybe a side dish to share.

This year, our BBQ doesn’t coincide with the SSB portion of the North American QSO Party (NAQP) which means that the serious contesters in our club don’t have to choose between attending our BBQ and racking up a big score in the contest.  But feel free to bring a rig and make some contacts if you’d like.  

– Jim, K6EI

Field Day 2022

 https://wvara.org/wordpress/field-day-2022/

In case you haven’t heard, this upcoming weekend is WVARA’s big event of the year — Field Day on Mora Hill. 

Field Day is a great opportunity to get outdoors, gain experience assembling equipment in the rough, and operate a station under challenging conditions.  This year we will operate QRP (5 watts max) in the 9A Battery category with phone, CW, and digital HF stations as well as satellite ground station, a Get-On-the-Air station for rusty hams, and a VHF/UHF station.  

Feel free to drop by and join the fun.   We’ll set up on Friday, and operations run from 11am Saturday until 11am Sunday.  For more details, refer to our webpage at  https://wvara.org/wordpress/field-day-2022/

_._,_._,_

Radio Swap Meet This Sunday, June 19 in Santa Cruz

Greetings, All,
Please plan to join us this Sunday, June 19, for the monthly Swap Meet at the Santa Cruz County Club Repeater Station parking lot, 8am-2pm. 
Vendors bring own tables, tarps, shade canopy. No need to RSVP.

Tentative FOX HUNT at 10am.

Free admission. Free hot dogs and drinks. 
Take Morrissey Blvd. exit from Highway One, and follow signs to the DeLaveaga Golf Course and Shakespeare Santa Cruz.

Good clean fun! Please share this information with others you feel would be interested.

73,
Becky
KI6TKB

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.