Category Archives: News

Amateur Radio Annual Winter Banquet (sponsored by FARS)

Amateur Radio Annual Winter Banquet (sponsored by FARS)

Friday, February 15, 2019 – 6:00 PM

Highlights from the Archives: Early Amateur Radio and Accounts of SOS Calls

Presented by Bob Rydzewski, KJ6SBR, California Historical Radio Society (CHRS)

Reservations Required

WVARA has again been invited to join the Foothill Amateur Radio Society (FARS) for their annual Amateur Radio Winter Banquet at Michael’s restaurant in Shoreline Park. Many WVARA members enjoyed the event and won prizes last year.

This event is open to anyone who wants to attend, but reservations are required. Bring a spouse or a friend, and, of course, bring a few dollars for the raffle. There are over $1,500 in great prizes. See

All sign-ups should be received by 6:00 PM on February 11th. You can sign up online on FARS web site using PayPal. Or you can download and mail a paper reservation form with a check. Mailed sign-ups should be posted by February 7th to be received on time.

Annual Holiday party

Wednesday, December 12th, WVARA is Having it’s Annual Holiday Party.We will be meeting at the American Red Cross, on the corner of 1st Street And Plumeria At 7:00pm in our usual meeting room. The affair is, as usual, a “Pot Luck” where we are treated to some Great “Special” dishes that our members bring to delight our tastebuds each year! People with Last Names beginning A-M please bring a “Main Dish” And People whose Last Names beginning M-Z Please bring a dessert! 

We have some Great “Door Prizes” this year, with some “One-Of-A-Kind” Items That Have Never Been Available At Any Of our Holiday Parties in years past! 

Please arrive early, to help set-up the tables if you can. All members And their guests are Welcome to attend our Holiday Party, So Come One And Come All, To our Best Party Of the Year! 

Hope to see You There! -73-Bill N6FFC 2019 Vice President elect West Valley Amateur Radio Association — 

QST FD Results

The December issue of QST came out today in digital form. It contains the Field Day results.

The top four:
W3AO 33942 15A
W4EZ 21645 9AB
K6EI        19720 14AB
W4IY 16988 9A

We were just under 2000 points behind W4EZ, while Watching 4IY was a bit less than 3000 points behind us.
A couple of thoughts –
1) it might be interesting to get with the EZ folks and see if we can get a friendly / collaborative competition going. I suspect it is always there, but it would be interesting to exchange info on what we both do, how it is similar and how it is different. We might be able to give each other ideas that improve both efforts. 
2) It’s about time to start planning the 2019 effort. It should contain ideas to improve operations on the low bands. With 10 and 15 pretty much out of play (10 more than 15), 40 and 80 are even more important to our results.

In any case, we can pat ourselves on the back for a very short time (don’t hurt that keying arm, though) before we get started on next year.

And with the number of spotless days for the year officially at 60% today, and the percentage guaranteed to be above 51% overall for the year, perhaps we need to take up a collection to buy some sun spots.

Seriously, congrats to K6EI, K0XI and the folks who put this together, and all of team WVARA for the effort involved in setting yet another record.

Jack, W6FB

FD Results

Not only did WVARA score #3 nationwide, we also succeeded in setting a new all-time record for the 14 Alpha Battery category.  (Our East Coast friends at W4EZ likewise set a new record for 9 Alpha Battery.)
One obvious question: does WVARA want to pursue a new Field Day category record in 2019?

WVARA Meeting – Wednesday 10/10 – John Miller K6MM – Hot DX from Baker Island

Hello Everyone,

With CQP just happening this last weekend, apologies for not sending this out sooner, but we have a meeting this Wednesday (10/10) at the Red Cross at 19:00 in Meeting Room 5 at the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, 2731 N. First Street at Plumeria Drive (southwest corner) in San Jose. Talk in is available on the association repeaters, 2m is a good choice.

This month, we have a visit from our dear friend John Miller, K6MM to talk to us about his recent DXpedition to Baker Island at the end of June / early July. While we were out at field day and thought we had some warm weather, John and rest of the Baker team were baking in the South Pacific.

If you’ve been paying attention at all, you know that FT8 is starting to see major use in DXpeditions with its new DXpedition mode. Baker Island was one of the first DXpeditions to give it a full shakedown, find out how it worked out for them!

Baker Island is an uninhabited atoll located just north of the equator in the central Pacific Ocean about 3,090 km (1,920 mi) southwest of Honolulu. The island lies almost halfway between Hawaii and Australia. Its nearest neighbor is Howland Island, 42 mi (68 km) to the north-northwest; both have been territories of the United States since 1857, though the United Kingdom considered them part of the British Empire between 1897 and 1936. Located at 0°11′41″N 176°28′46″W, the island covers 2.1 km (0.81 sq mi), with 4.8 km (3.0 mi) of coastline. The climate is equatorial, with little rainfall, constant wind, and strong sunshine. The terrain is low-lying and sandy: a coral island surrounded by a narrow fringing reef with a depressed central area devoid of a lagoon with its highest point being 8 m (26 ft) above sea level. The island now forms the Baker Island National Wildlife Refuge and is an unincorporated and unorganized territory of the U.S. which vouches for its defense. It is visited annually by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For statistical purposes, Baker is grouped with the United States Minor Outlying Islands. Baker Island is also the last piece of land that experiences the New Year (earliest time zone).
Pre-meeting dinner:
A few of us usually meet for dinner somewhere near the Red Cross around 6 pm prior to the meeting and anyone is welcome to join. This month we’re going to go back to Dish’n’Dash just a block down the street:

Hope to see you at the meeting!


May 9th WVARA Meeting – Jim Peterson K6EI – Field Day!

CQ field day CQ field day, kilo six echo india, kilowatt six echo italy….

It’s time for the May WVARA meeting! May 9th at 19:00 in Meeting Room 5 at the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, 2731 N. First Street at Plumeria Drive (southwest corner) in San Jose. Our speaker this month is Jim (K6EI), who is going to unveil the plan he’s been cooking up for ARRL Field Day.

For some radio clubs, ARRL Field Day could almost be called a casual event. Perhaps they find a park somewhere, bring some batteries or a generator, stand up some temporary antennas, make a few contacts on the radio… That’s fine, and we look forward to working them, but this is the West Valley Amateur Radio Association. For this club, Field Day is the most fun that we can legally have on the radio in one weekend.

Mark your calendars, June 23rd and 24th (and setup on Friday, June 22nd if you’re willing.) This is easily one of the most ambitious (if not the most ambitious) field day efforts on the west coast. Under the guidance of our fearless field day veteran, Jim Peterson (K6EI), our tower/antenna deployment engineer Svend (KF6EMB), our VHF/UHF/Satellite solar-powered el presidente Bobby (K0XI), our band/mode captains, our GOTA captain, and numerous other volunteers, we are looking forward to another record-setting performance for team WVARA.

A few of us usually meet for dinner somewhere near the Red Cross around 6 pm prior to the meeting. This month, it’s back to Panera Bread located at 503 Coleman Avenue:

See you there!


April 11th WVARA Meeting – CWOps – Rob Brownstein (K6RB)

Hello Everyone!
It’s time for our April WVARA meeting. Please join us this Wednesday (April 11th) at 7 pm in Meeting Room 5 at the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, 2731 N. First Street at Plumeria Drive (southwest corner) in San Jose.

Most of us come in through the side entrance on the southwest side of the building — look for our red WVARA sign on the side where they park all the Red Cross trucks. Cookies will be served, and of course, visitors are welcome! If you haven’t been to the Red Cross, “talk-in” is usually available on the Association’s repeaters; 2m/220 are good choices, and our 6-meter machine is working pretty well these days I hear!

At the beginning of the year, we asked “What is your amateur radio-related new years resolution?” and several of us (including myself) answered that 2018 was the year to get into CW.

Learning CW can be intimidating, though; you might tune to the CW subbands on one of these contest weekends and hear a blur of dits and dahs at 45+ WPM and wonder if anyone could possibly be decoding or sending at that speed.

Our guest might be able to help with that: Rob Brownstein (K6RB) is one of the founding members of CWOps and the CW Academy. CWOps is a club of CW operators that sponsors a weekly CW contest that occurs every Wednesday at three different times. CW Academy is a program put on by the CW Operators’ Club aimed at increasing the number of competent CW operators on the HF CW sub-bands. It addresses all levels of enthusiasts: from those aspiring to become licensed operators who want to learn and use Morse code; to veteran operators who are intent on increasing their CW skills, speed and activity.

Rob Brownstein, K6RB, was first licensed at age 11 as KN2UMU in New York City’s borough of Queens. He has maintained a consistent level of operational activity for 56 years. His preferred operating mode is CW and he spends nearly 99 percent of his time ‘pounding brass.’ His preferred activities are rag chewing and contesting with CW.

Bobby (K0XI) will also talk about Back Country Weekend at Henry Coe State Park, it’s not too late to get involved. Our May meeting will be dedicated to All Things Field Day.
A few of us usually meet for dinner somewhere near the Red Cross around 6 pm prior to the meeting and anyone is welcome to join. This month we’re going to go back to Dish’n’Dash just a block down the street:
Don’t worry, we’ll keep Panera Bread in the rotation, and if Dish’n’Dash isn’t your first choice, there will likely be a few still going to Panera, just ask on the repeater.
Hope to see you there!
73, Bill/W9KKN