WVARA’s Winter Field Day Team: 2019

If you’ve enjoyed Field Day with WVARA, then you should definitely join WVARA’s Winter Field Day team! WVARA’s next meeting will be on Nov 10 and will include a presentation on Winter Field Day by Steve Sergeant, KC6ZKT. Steve will present our plans for WVARA’s Winter Field Day participation on January 29-30. Winter Field Day is an emergency communications exercise focused on providing communications services in some of our area’s most challenging conditions. Our WVARA team will be operating from a 2,840’ hilltop in Henry W. Coe State Park east of Morgan Hill, where we had a great time and scored some impressive points in 2019! 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.This WVARA meeting will be at 7pm on Wednesday, Nov 10, via Zoom. Zoom instructions have been sent via WVARA reflector and can likewise be obtained by contacting K6EI — his email is available via QRZ.

November 10th Virtual Meeting & Elections

Dear WVARA Members:
   This is a reminder that the club will be holding its annual elections at the next virtual meeting on November 10, 2021, at 7pm.   Please refer to the October edition of the “Heterodyne” for information on the open positions and candidates.

At the present time we have one candidate for each open office so, unless there are any objections raised during the meeting, the plan is to simply take a voice vote of members in attendance at the meeting to either accept or reject the entire slate of proposed officers and directors.  In the past, when the club was able to meet in person for elections, there was always a provision for “write-in” candidates so, if you wish to run for an office or write-in a candidate for a particular office, please contact election committee chair KK6VF at <<kk6vf@earthlink.net>> before November 10th. 

If you wish to participate in the election of club officers and directors please join the meeting on November 10th.  Zoom meeting details will be sent out shortly. 
  73, Mark W6IA  WVARA Secretary

Outdoor Swap Meet, October 3rd

Greetings, All,

By popular demand, the Santa Cruz County Amateur Radio Club will host one more outdoor SWAP MEET.  Mark your calendars for: Sunday, October 31 8am-1pm.

Parking lot next to the Club Repeater Station in Upper DeLaveaga Park, near Shakespeare Santa Cruz.

• Fox Hunt at 10am
• Complimentary Continental Breakfast and BBQ lunch, donations accepted to benefit CZU Fire Radio Operators

Free Admission Vendor space is free but bring your own table or tarp to display your goods, and shade canopy if desired. Open to all.
Rain cancels the event.
Questions?Call Becky (831) 685-2915 and leave a message.

73, Becky KI6TKB

October Membership Meeting

This month’s WVARA meeting will be at 7pm on Wednesday, October 13, via Zoom.

Our Oct 13 presentation will be Summits On The Air with Rex Vokey, KE6MT.  Rex is will cover the basics of SOTA as well as some tips and tricks for those operating either at home or in the field.  He’ll also give a short report on his recent first-activation of a backcountry summit called Parker Peak.

Rex is the California (W6) Association Manager for Summits on the Air and has been a ham since 2015.  He gets out to do summits big and small whenever he can, operating both QRP and portable QRO (100 watts) from mountaintops.

September Membership Meeting

This month’s WVARA meeting will be at 7pm on Wednesday, Sept 8, via Zoom.

Our speaker will be Dean Wood, N6DE, who will update us on the latest changes to the California QSO Party. This very fun event occurs the first weekend in October. Dean will likewise cover the various ways that WVARA members can have fun participating in this great contest. 

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.
-Jim, K6EI

BBQ This Saturday, August 21

When: 11am – 1pm, Saturday, Aug 21

Where: Sunnyvale’s Baylands Park, Pickleweed Place #1(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 something to share.

And regarding COVID/Delta — even though we’ll be outdoors, some of our members may be immunocompromised so please bring a mask and practice social distancing as appropriate.

– Jim, K6EI


When:  11am – 12:30pm, Saturday, Aug 21, 2021

Where:  Sunnyvale’s Baylands Park, Pickleweed Place

When:  11am – 12:30pm, Saturday, Aug 21, 2021

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

There won’t be an evening WVARA meetings in July or 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 

June Membership Meeting

WVARA’s next virtual meeting will be via Zoom at 7pm on June 9.  Our speaker will be Clint Bradford, K6LCS.  Clint’s presentation covers how to work amateur satellites with your HT. You do not need 100W of transmit power nor expensive antenna arrays to work the FM amateur satellites!  Many hams already have the necessary equipment to “work the birds.” This presentation will walk you through ALL the steps needed to successfully work several ham satellites.  (Since this presentation is 90 minutes, we will shorten our meeting’s normal introductions to allow more time for the presentation.)

Speaker Bio:  Clint K6LCS has been a ham since 1994, and found his niche in the hobby: working amateur satellites with minimal equipment and telling ALL about it! He has served a liaison between NASA, the ARISS team, and schools coordinating amateur radio contacts between the International Space Station and students (and orchestrated a wlldly successfulARISS contact).  Professionally, Clint was sales manager for ADI / Premier Communications / Pryme, worked for a Motorola commercial two-way dealer a couple of years, and for Ham Radio Outlet a couple more. He resides in Jurupa Valley, California, with his wife, Karen, and their rescued lab, Freja.

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!


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.