QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo

Press Release

LOS ANGELES – QSO Today host Eric Guth, 4Z1UG, announced that the next QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo will commence on March 13-14, 2021, over a period of 48 hours.  The first QSO Today Expo was a great success with over 16,000 attendees and the March 2021 event is anticipated to be even larger.  The QSO Today team has been working hard to make this upcoming Expo even better with new speakers, panel discussions, kit building workshops, and much more.  Anyone can attend from their home or office. Early Bird Tickets are just $10 (to help cover the cost of this event, $12.50 at the “door”) and include entry for the Live 2 day period as well as the 30-day on-demand period).  Registration can be found at www.qsotodayhamexpo.com.  

 Eric and his team have put together a world-class line-up of 60+ speakers to address this conference from the virtual Expo’s auditorium.  ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio® in the United States, is a QSO Today Expo Partner.  Flexradio is the Expo’s Platinum Sponsor, and Gold sponsors as of this time include Elecraft, RFinder, and CSI.  

At the Expo, amateur radio operators will be able to:

  • Learn from a packed line-up of renowned ham radio speakers such as Bob Allphin, K4UEE, on “My Favorite DXpeditions to DXCC Top 10 Most Wanted”; Michael Foerster, W0IH, on “Using the Arduino In Your Shack”; and Ron Jones, K7RJ, on “3D Printer Basics”.
  • Take part in Live virtual kit building workshops.  Kits will be available for purchase and delivered to you in time for the Expo so you can participate and build from the convenience of your home.
  • Walkthrough the virtual exhibit hall filled with popular amateur radio suppliers. Watch live product demos of the latest equipment.  New video technology will be used to provide a better experience for attendees to engage with exhibitors.
  • Prior to the Expo, take advantage of our new speaker calendar technology to download speaker times in your local time zones to your Google or Outlook calendar.  You’ll then have a complete schedule of the sessions you want to join.
  • Return over the next 30 days to listen to speakers you missed during the Live period, explore, and re-engage exhibitor offerings.

“While attendance is expected from traditional in-person convention “goers” not traveling due to Covid, the virtual Expo is a great opportunity for those that don’t typically attend in-person events – the vast majority of amateur radio operators.  At our last Expo, we found that 60% of attendees don’t go to in-person national conferences and 40% don’t attend state or local events – mostly because of distance or because of the thousands of dollars typically spent on travel and lodging.” said Eric, 4Z1UG.

“The QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo has all of the familiar hallmarks of an in-person hamfest, including opportunities to connect and learn. Expect to bump into friends and well known experts and personalities from throughout our worldwide ham radio community!” said Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, ARRL Product Development Manager

For more information, go to www.qsotodayhamexpo.com

January Membership Meeting

WVARA’s January Zoom Meeting:   The Quest for the Ultimate DX — Are We Alone in the Universe?

January 13, 2021 at 7pm PST.  (Zoom log-in details are available via the WVARA email reflector.)

In addition, Steve KC6ZKT will give us an update on plans for Winter Field Day and how you can get involved — Winter Field Day will be January 30/31.

The Allen Telescope Array, formerly known as the One Hectare Telescope, is a radio telescope array dedicated to astronomical observations and a simultaneous search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

Are you curious about how radio technology is being used for alien exploration in the universe?  Join Dr. Seth Shostak, N6UDK, Senior Astronomer with the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute, for a discussion on the possibility of discovering sophisticated civilizations much like our own. Learn about the approaches being applied to alien detection including RF- and signal-related technology.  And if you can’t wait until January, you can get started now by reading Dr Shostak’s book Confessions of an Alien Hunter (published by National Geographic). 

About our January speaker:   In addition to being a licensed radio amateur, Dr Seth Shostak has a B.A. in physics from Princeton and a PhD. in astronomy from Caltech. He did research in radio astronomy at several observatories before joining SETI. He has published numerous articles in professional journals as well as a number of popular magazines. He is the host of the SETI Institute’s weekly radio program on science. He is also responsible for many outreach activities for the SETI Institute.

December Monthly Meeting

WVARA’s December 9 Zoom Meeting:  “Repeaters To Go… Wild” 

WVARA will not be holding a holiday party this year.  Instead, we will hold a standard monthly Zoom meeting on Wednesday, December 9.  Steve Sergeant, KC6ZKT, will tell us about: “Repeaters To Go… Wild”.   Zoom details will be released via the WVARA email reflector.  If you aren’t yet a WVARA member and would like to attend this meeting, feel free to contact Jim Peterson, K6EI, via k6ei@wvara.org.

Summary:  What if you’re organizing a backcountry event where there is no communications infrastructure?  It’s the kind of problem that amateur radio operators are uniquely suited to solve.  What if your repeater site is only accessible on foot?  Then you need a portable repeater system that can be carried to site in a backpack.  Steve will talk about design requirements for highly portable repeaters systems, and show and demonstrate two 70-cm systems he has built for public service events, and review events where they were used.

Steve built repeater for public service events

November 11 Monthly Meeting

WVARA’s monthly meeting will be  on Wednesday, November 11, at 7pm via Zoom.  Please contact a WVARA board member for Zoom Information.

At this month’s meeting, Keith Snyder (KI6BDR) will give a virtual presentation on the Russian Woodpecker Over the Horizon Radar – A Real Blast from the Past.   I’m really looking forward to this one since many of us older hams remember encountering this signal on-the-air.

In addition, Steve KC6ZKT will give us an update on plans for Winter Field Day and how you can get involved.   (Winter Field Day will be January 30/31).
Jim, K6EIWVARA Vice President

“Duga 3” antenna array

Hidden deep in a serene forest yet taller than the clouds, standing in surreal beauty is an antenna array like none other on earth, having an aperture area greater than 15 U.S. football fields. One of the great wonders of the world – a top secret Soviet HF radar, so secret that even the name is uncertain, for it had many. It was the Russian Woodpecker. It was the Steel Yard. It was Duga.

The story of this top secret place is one of mystery and intrigue. Now abandoned, a rusting testament to man’s cold war hubris, almost all popular accounts on the web are seriously flawed – victims of deliberate disinformation. Where did it come from? What did it do? Did it transmit? Did it receive? Was it the first of three, or the third of two?

Keith Snyder, KI6BDR

Keith Snyder, KI6BDR, has been busy reverse engineering to uncover truth before time erases history. Keith shows visible engineering clues that reveal the mission and correct the history of the huge “Duga 3” antenna array. The Duga 3 is located a few kilometers from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant site. Although it has fallen into disrepair, it stands today due only to a hasty exit forced by radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear accident. The nuclear accident ironically protected the array from dismantlement, a reprieve from all but the ravages of time. The antenna array today attracts tourists who visit Chernobyl. It is one of the 8th Wonders of the World due to its titanic size.

Foothills Amateur Radio Society Membership Meeting on Friday October 23

*Foothills Amateur Radio Society Membership Meeting on Friday October 23*

This month we are again offering a virtual meeting on Zoom.  Visitors are welcome.  Connection information will be posted on FARS web site shortly before the meeting at http://www.fars.k6ya.org/meeting/on-line-meeting <http://www.fars.k6ya.org/meeting/on-line-meeting>.

*Date*:  Friday, October 23, 2020

*Location*:  This is a virtual meeting via Zoom

*Time*:  7:00 pm start connecting; 7:30 pm meeting starts

*Presentation*: Repeaters To Go… Wild

In addition to FARS, this presentation will also be given at an upcoming WVARA meeting on December 9.

*Speaker*:  Steve Sergeant, KC6ZKT

*Summary*: What if you’re organizing a backcountry event where there is no communications infrastructure?  It’s the kind of problem that amateur radio operators are uniquely suited to solve.  What if your repeater site is only accessible on foot?  Then you need a portable repeater system that can be carried to site in a backpack.  Steve will talk about design requirements for highly portable repeaters systems, and show and demonstrate two 70-cm systems he has built for public service events, and review events where they were used.

*About the speaker*:  Steve Sergeant is a third-generation ham.  Originally licensed Novice class in 1972, his licensed expired, but 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, who teaches in ultralight techniques, and a Uniformed Volunteer for California State Parks at Henry Coe State Park.


An article by a FARS member is in the forthcoming November issue of /QEX/ magazine.  Available to all ARRL members at http://www.arrl.org/arrl-magazines <http://www.arrl.org/arrl-magazines>.

The California Historical Radio Society offers a YouTube channel of videos on radio history topics: https://www.youtube.com/user/CalRadioHistory/videos <https://www.youtube.com/user/CalRadioHistory/videos>.

Steve Stearns, K6OIK
Vice President
Foothills Amateur Radio Society
http://www.fars.k6ya.org <http://www.fars.k6ya.org>

October 14 – Virtual Meeting

WVARA’s monthly meeting will be at 7pm on Wednesday, October 14, via Zoom.  (Zoom instructions can be found at the end of this email.)
At this month’s meeting, Dave Brown (WR6Z) will give a virtual presentation on How to Get On 900 MHz

Looking forward to seeing you at our virtual meeting.
Jim, K6EIWVARA Vice President

Screen Shot 2020-10-07 at 3.18.14 PM.png

Meeting Topic:  The 902-928MHz amateur band poses some interesting obstacles to get on the air and operate as there are no amateur specific radios commonly available.  This makes the band ideal for the ham radio DIY experimenter to get on the air and is not expensive to do so.  This presentation will cover the origins of the 900MHz ham band, how to obtain and modify equipment to get on the air and where to operate.

A Bay Area native, Dave Brown was first licensed in 1977 as WD6EBC and later upgraded to the extra class, changing call signs to WR6Z.  Being active in the hobby since he was first licensed, he enjoys building projects, working on radio equipment as well as operating portable on HF, VHF and UHF.  A graduate from Cal Poly, SLO he has worked in the field of electrical engineering for over 30 years specializing in RF, mixed signal and power management systems.  He is an active WVARA member and is currently working in R&D application engineering focused on semiconductor products for mobile platforms at Kinetic Technologies, Inc.

Zoom Meeting Specifics: Topic: WVARA MonthlyTime: Oct 14, 2020 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)   

 Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82509826854?pwd=cURvemF0VEwzTHNlZzMvdk1HTDZVQT09

Meeting ID: 825 0982 6854Passcode: 226249One tap mobile+16699006833,,82509826854#,,,,,,0#,,226249# US (San Jose)+12532158782,,82509826854#,,,,,,0#,,226249# US (Tacoma)

Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system. Monthly: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/tZYod-CgrD0iH9BslXI74UAM2QFMhePvTO3Q/ics?icsToken=98tyKuGqqzsjEtaTuByDRpwQGYigXfzzpiFHgvp_jxPdKncHVyLbZNNkH7p6IM7k
Dial by your location
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma) 
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 825 0982 6854Passcode: 226249 Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kdSzPLLbNq

September Virtual Meeting

Meeting Topic:  WVARA and the California QSO Party (CQP) • WVARA’s history in CQP
• Five ways that WVARA members can have fun in CQP 2020
• Suggested WVARA game plan for CQP 2020 — which occurs the first weekend of October.  
Dean Wood (N6DE) 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.  Dean’s involvement with CQP includes:

Participated in his first CQP in 1995 as a college student

Current member of CQP organizing team and CQP County Coordinator

Current holder of 15 CQP records: 12 county records and 3 overall CA records (Top CA S/O Expedition, Top CA S/O-Assisted Low Power, Top CA School)

Been on 14 county expeditions to 10 different counties

Long time active helper behind the scenes in CQP, including log checker, publicity coordinator and several other things

Time: Sept 9, 2020 19:00 PDT 

Join Zoom Meetinghttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/83252301029?pwd=cG0vNDZGS1J2NzJ1ZXZ2VUY2S1l4Zz09

Meeting ID: 832 5230 1029
Password: w6piy       

One tap mobile
+16699006833,,83252301029#,,1#,028366# US (San Jose)
+13462487799,,83252301029#,,1#,028366# US (Houston)

Or you can dial by your location
        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
        +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)
        +1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
Meeting ID: 832 5230 1029 (Dial-in audio password: 028366)

Annual bBQ Cancelled

I have been notified by Sunnyvale’s management that all city park reservations for the month of August have been cancelled due to Covid-19.  As a result, we will not be holding our annual BBQ in Sunnyvale’s Bayland Park on August 15. 

Jim Peterson