March Meeting – Wednesday, March 14th – PARASET: A Clandestine Spy Radio from WWII

Hello Everyone!

It’s time for our March WVARA meeting. Please join us this Wednesday (March 14th) 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.

Our guest speaker for the evening is Hiroki Kato (AH6CY) who will tell us a story of a QRP spy radio of WWII: how it was developed and how it was used in the war against Nazi Germany. Hiroki delivered a similar talk at Pacificon this last year, and from what I hear, we’re in for a real treat.

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!

A few of us usually meet for dinner somewhere near the Red Cross around 6 pm prior to the meeting.  If this applies to you, please read: This month, we’re going to take a small break from Dish’n’Dash and instead meet at Panera Bread located at 503 Coleman Avenue: https://www.yelp.com/biz/panera-bread-san-jose-2

Don’t worry, we’ll keep Dish’n’Dash in the rotation, but it’s not everyone’s favorite, and that’s fine.
Looking forward to seeing everyone!
73,
Bill, W9KKN

February Meeting – Wednesday, January 14th 2018 – RTTY

Hello Everyone!

It’s time for our February WVARA meeting. Please join us this Wednesday (February 14th) at 7pm 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, normally 2m/220 are good choices.

A few of us usually meet for dinner a block down the street around 6 pm prior to the meeting, and anyone is welcome to join https://www.yelp.com/biz/dish-n-dash-san-jose

For this Valentine’s day meeting, I’m going to tell you why I love HF digital modes and cover some of the basics in getting started with RTTY, FT8, JT65 as well as some advanced topics. If you’ve traditionally stuck with CW or Voice modes, there are many DX and contest contacts you’re missing out on! FT8 is even starting to show up in DXpeditions and there are some interesting changes around that planned for a future version of WSJT-X that you’ll hear about here first. We won’t be able to cover everything, but I hope to recruit you in our digital efforts at a future WVARA Field Day. Also, the RTTY edition of the North America QSO Party contest is Saturday, February 24th. Get on and make a few contacts!
Hope to see you there!
73,
Bill, W9KKN

January Meeting – Wednesday, January 10th 2018 – Wake Atoll DXpedition

It’s time for our first WVARA meeting of 2018. Please join us this Wednesday (Jan 10th) at 7pm 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, normally 2m/220 are good choices.

A few of us usually meet for dinner a block down the street around 6 pm prior to the meeting, and anyone is welcome to join. We’ll try to mix the pre-meeting restaurant up a bit this year, but we’ll start with https://www.yelp.com/biz/dish-n-dash-san-jose

John Miller will be talking to us about the 2013 K9W DXpedition to Wake Atoll. John has been on many DXpeditions and always tells an awesome story.
John’s Bio:  

John was first licensed as WV2BQJ in 1958 while living in Syracuse, NY.  In 1976, John’s career took him to Silicon Valley, where he reconnected with amateur radio in the late 90s.  In addition to his own website, he has created websites for a number of amateur radio organizations:
For the last decade, John has focused heavily on DXing, contesting, and recruiting new operators into the hobby.
John is a member of ARRL, INDEXA, MLDXCC, and PAARA. He is Past-President of the Northern California Contest Club, a Director of the Northern California DX Club, a founding member of the CW Operators’ Club, a member of the editorial staff of the National Contest Journal, and a Director of the Northern California DX Foundation.
Hope to see you there!

FARS-WVARA Joint Winter Banquet on Jan 19

This year, it isn’t just a FARS banquet – we are co-sponsoring the event. Come on out and enjoy the evening! Just be sure to bring cash for the raffle, as the ATM was recently removed.

Date: Friday, January 19.

Signup deadline: Postal, January 12, online January 15.

Location:
Michael’s at Shoreline
2960 No. Shoreline Blvd
Mountain View, CA
650-962-1014

Further information signup link, raffle prizes etc.:
http://www.fars.k6ya.org/events/banquet
      The raffle 1st prize will be an Elecraft KX2 transceiver.

Schedule:   6:00PM – Open Bar (No Host)
            7:00PM – Dinner
            8:00PM – Presentation
            9:00PM – Announcements, Awards, Raffle

Presentation Title:  The Pre-Silicon History of Radio in Santa Clara Valley and the Peninsula

Summary:  Early radio development history including local figures Lee De Forest, Charles “Doc” Herrold and others.

Mike Adams

About the Speaker:  Mike Adams has been a radio personality and a film maker.  Currently he is professor emeritus of radio, television, and film at San Jose State University, where he has been a department chair and the Associate Dean of the College of Humanities and the Arts. Adams has taught at the Shanghai Theatre Academy School of Television and Film.  As a researcher and writer of broadcast and early technology history, he created two award-winning documentaries for PBS, the Emmy-nominated “Radio Collector,” and “Broadcasting’s Forgotten Father.”  Mike is the Board Chair of the California Historical Radio Society, CHRS.  For his service to historical radio research and publication he received the AWA (Antique Wireless Association) Houck Award, the SCARS (Southern California Historical Radio Society) President’s Award, the TCA (Tube Collectors of America) Stokes Award, the RCA (Radio Club of America) Ralph Batcher Award, and he was named a CHRS History Fellow.  He has had published numerous articles and six books, including Lee de Forest, King of Radio, Television and Film, 2012, Springer Science, The Radio Boys and Girls: Radio, Telegraph, Telephone and Wireless Adventures for Juvenile Readers, 1890-1945, McFarland Press, 2015, and Columbus Radio, Arcadia, 2016.

December Meeting Wednesday, December 13th

We all spend the year getting on the air in new ways, in new places, with new modulation modes, with new toys, and with new friends. This meeting is centered on this last item: friends. There will be no guest speaker, but there will be food, prizes, and (hopefully) many stories of good times on the air as part of our annual free-form holiday party.
The meeting place is the same as always (San Jose Red Cross). The meeting time is the same as always (7pm), though anyone coming to help setup is invited to join us at 6pm.
There is no planned pre-meeting for food, since, well, this meeting has lots of it there.
See you Wednesday!
Bobby
K0XI

WVARA Mug

It’s not to late to add your name to the list of folks getting the new WVARA mug to be produced locally by WVARA club member Brian Goldberg, KG6BKI. We’ll be charging $12 per mug and will be giving Brian the final order list immediately after next month’s Holiday Party.  So be sure to let me know if you would like a mug.  (You can pay Peri, our club treasurer, when you pick up your mug at January’s meeting.)   

Field Day results are here!

ARRL released the latest QST at their web site today. Among other things, it contains the results for Field Day 2017.

To say the least, “we did good”. Our score of 19350 in 13AB was the 4th highest score, just 410 points behind 3rd-place W4EZ (9AB).
W4IY (12A) scored 20930, still pretty close. First place was once again held by W3AO down to just 16A, at 39430, about twice our score!
(How do they do that every year???).

Interesting that W4EZ and ourselves were the only AB stations in the top 10. I guess the other guys need power to do the job.

Congrats to all, it not only was a fine effort under trying propagation conditions, but a very fun one as well. Especially thanks to Bobbie and Bill for their organization efforts! May this years Field Day be even more fun, and please someone arrange for some sunspots for that weekend.

73,
Jack, W6FB

To CQ or not to CQ…that is the question.

This particular question will be answered by our very own Bill Fehring, who will take us through space weather and how it affects terrestrial propagation. In the end, the question we all consider when turning on a rig is “How will the bands be today?” Bill will take us through some online resources that work to predict band performance based not on beacon networks, but on the solar activity of our little corner of the universe. He will help us understand how to interpret the data they present in order to answer that question, what metrics are used, and hopefully allow us some better experiences during this low period of sunspot activity.
As well, this Wednesday evening will be your chance to participate in some home grown democracy while you vote for next year’s WVARA officers.
73,
K0XI

Mission 29, October 21, 2017

QST QST QST

Mission 29 is scheduled to take place October 21, 2017 in Conjunction with PACIFICON, ARRL’s Pacific Division Convention.  Make a contact with a skydiver and receive a one of a kind QSL card.
The mission will take place at Bay Area Skydiving in Byron, CA.  http://bayareaskydiving.com/.  Come on by and visit us.
If you are attending PACIFICON come by our table and say hi.
We hope to have our first jump soon after 10:00 A.M.
FM QSO: 146.430 MHz
HF QSO: 14.250 MHz
D-Star: TBD
APRS: Track the individual skydivers by call sign; AF6IM, KC6TYD, W7BIG
Streaming video: Several point of views will be available including air-to-ground. Log into: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/mfwright
Parachute Mobile will be acting as Net Control atop Mt Diablo. ETJs (estimated time of jump) will be announced periodically as will as other mission specific information. Updates will also be made on the W6CX repeater at 147.060 +100. Not in repeater range? No problem. Updates will be made here on the website and on our Facebook page.
We make every effort to record your QSO. To ensure that you receive your QSL card please email KC6TYD@gmail.com indicating which jumper, the jump number, and the time you made your contact.
For updates go to parachutemobile.org.
As always, we do not have control over Drop Zone, aircraft, and the weather, so this event is subject to delay or cancellation.
Bill Frantz

October 11 Meeting

CQ CQ! It’s time for another meeting. This Wednesday evening, in addition to the regular agenda of interesting items, we’ll have a brief discussion over our outings schedule, as well as the pros and cons of:

  • CQP
  • Oceania on the coast
  • ARDF
  • ARRL VHF
  • 7QP
  • and whatever else comes to mind

In an attempt to continue bringing ideas out from within the club, our “guest speaker” Bobby Barnett (K0XI) will talk about Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF), who does it, why, and how contests are organized. The evening will end with an assembly project where everyone will get to make an ARDF yagi for 2m (http://theleggios.net/wb2hol/projects/rdf/tape_bm.htm). There will be enough parts for about 10 antennas, so work in teams. It should take about 30 minutes, and the only homework I’ll give is to solder the feedpoint and hairpin on at your leisure. See you there!

W6PIY