Category Archives: News

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
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Meeting ID: 862 9232 4465
Password: 505589

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)

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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

Silicon Valley Electronics Flea Market

Calling All WVARA Members!

March 14th, 2020, is WVARA’s turn to host the Silicon Valley Electronics Flea Market!  This will be the first Electronics Flea Market of the year, so attendance should be really good. We need volunteers for a number of key jobs.

Please view the online sign-up sheet and sign up for jobs here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20F0444AEAC292-electronics1
–Load the van on Friday–Mark vendor stalls, help set up barriers, check vendor tickets (with ASVARO coordinators)–Set up the snack tent Saturday morning–Sell Donuts and Coffee Saturday morning–Tear down the snack tent Saturday afternoon–Help participants clean up after themselves Saturday afternoon–Remove chalk marks in the parking lot, and make sure the parking lot is in better shape than we found it–Haul cardboard to a recycling center–Unload the vans and trucks on Saturday afternoon
Best of all, if you have items to sell, please bring them with you, we will set up WVARA sellers tables, free to WVARA members.

Questions? Please send a note to Greg, N6GD, at g.desbrisay@ieee.

73

Greg, N6GD
_._,_._,_

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

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!

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. 

EdFong.jpeg

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

November 13th Meeting

It has been officially confirmed the the meeting is Wednesday, November 13th.

We will be holding our Election for next years officers, followed by a Presentation by Eric  Guthrie on some of the DXPeditions & people he has interviewed over the past Several Years!


I’ll look forward to seeing you All at the Red Cross at 7pm.
I understand that the groups that meet prior to the meeting for dinner are planning to meet at the usual time and place!
-73-Bill N6FFC w  try

Calling All WVARA Members!

Calling All WVARA Members!

This Saturday is WVARA’s turn to host the Silicon Valley Electronics Flea Market!  We need volunteers for a number of key jobs.

Please CLICK HERE to view the online sign-up sheet and sign up for jobs:

–Load the van on Friday–Collect payments from vendors at the gate bright and early on Saturday–Set up the snack tent Saturday morning–Sell Donuts and Coffee Saturday–Tear down the snack tent Saturday afternoon–Help participants clean up after themselves Saturday afternoon–Remove chalk marks in the parking lot, and make sure the parking lot is in better shape than we found it–Haul cardboard to a recycling center–Unload the van on Saturday afternoon
Also, if you have items to sell, please bring them with you, we will set up WVARA sellers tables, free to WVARA members.

Questions? Please send a note to Greg, N6GD, at g.desbrisay@ieee, or chat with me at the club meeting this evening!

73

Greg, N6GD
_._,_._,_

WVARA Annual BBQ

When: 11am – 12:30pm, Saturday, August 17, 2019

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

(When you get to Baylands Park, turn right after going through the main gate.)

There won’t be an evening WVARA meeting in August.  Instead, we are having our annual WVARA BBQ.  Our location (see map below, the reservation is under “WVARA”) includes multiple tables, grill, an AC outlet, and a covered awning for shade.  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.

 Our BBQ coincides with the SSB portion of the North American QSO Party (NAQP) which means this is an ideal opportunity for a really fun portable radio operation.    (NAQP Contest rules are at: http://www.ncjweb.com/NAQP-Rules.pdf).  We can’t put up any big Field Day-style antennas at Baylands, but we can still string up an NVIS dipole and/or put an HF whip on top of the metal awning and have some fun in the contest.  Let me know if you are interested in volunteering to be in charge of either of the following two tasks:

  • Setting up an HF SSB station. 
  • Setting up a VHF station for event coordination through the WVARA repeater 

– Jim, K6EI

Sunnyvale Baylands Park Map
Sunnyvale Baylands Park Map

Electronics Flea Market

Hello West Valley members,

As you are planning your family’s summer schedule, please keep in mind that West Valley ARA has the concession for the Electronics Flea Market on Saturday, September 14th.

We will set up the parking lot, deploy out garbage cans, set up tables and the refreshment tent, sell cold drinks, coffee and doughnuts and clean up afterwards.  As such, we will need as much help as possible. Many hands spread the work around.

As many of you know, WVARA does not meet in July or August and the September meeting will be just a few days before the Flea Market, so as the time approaches, reminders will be posted and sign-ups will be solicited.  This is our major fund-raising effort for the year.

Please remember, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2019 at Fry’s Electronics in Sunnyvale, starts early.

— 

Dave Schultheis
WB6KHP San Jose
Director, WVARA